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Hearthstone: Why Random Cards Raise the Skill Cap in Goblins vs. Gnomes


Many of the cards revealed at BlizzCon for Hearthstone’s “Goblin vs. Gnomes” expansion had random effects on them, and I saw a portion of the community get bummed out and complain that random effects ruin the competitiveness of Hearthstone. That is simply not true, my friends!

I’ll admit that I thought the same thing at first, but Adam showed me a whole new way of looking at random effects on cards — a way that reveals that they’re actually increasing the skill cap in Hearthstone, not lowering it. Now I’m even more excited to play with these new expansion cards!

I invited Adam on the show this week to share his perspective on random cards with you, so you can hopefully get excited too. I hope it helps you appreciate the new cards for what they really are: awesome additions that’ll make Hearthstone more fun and more competitive.

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The Links

Hearthstone Group Play Art

Hello!

  • Adam is on the show this week
  • Topic: Why Random Cards Raise the skill cap, not lower it
  • Reasons to be happy this week
  • News: BlizzCon announcements: Spectator mode, World Championship, new expansion, and more!

Current Perspective on Random Cards

  • The new expansion has a lot of random effects in its cards.
  • Goblins and gnomes both have strong ties to random or unexpected effects in their engineering, so it fits the theme
  • Some forum/reddit posters have gotten very angry about how they believe the random effects reduce the competitiveness of the game. And at first, I kind of agreed.
  • Adam shared his perspective with me and explained how random effects are actually increasing the skill cap and competitiveness of Hearthstone.
  • It really got me excited about the expansion, and let me view the cards with a totally new, better perspective. I wanted him to share that with all of you as well.

Why Have Random Effects On Cards At All?

  • Diversity
  • Surprise
  • Risk
  • High-level strategy revolving around manipulating the odds in your favor

Degrees of Randomness

  • How random does the effect have to be?
  • Stampeding Kodo vs. Brawl
  • How wide of a variance is there in the outcome? Best case vs. Worst case
  • If it’s randomly deal 100 damage to your opponent or destroy all of their cards, do you really care that it’s random?

Randomness Raises the Skill Cap

  • Random effects can be controlled and manipulated.
  • Approach random cards like a con artist. How can you manipulate the context and the environment to make that random card work in your favor.
  • This is a more big-picture strategy that involves knowing all the cards in your deck, your chances of drawing each card, and controlling the board at a level beyond simply “I have more minions”.
  • Be patient with your random-effect cards to get the most value out of them.

Examples From the New Expansion Cards

See the full set here!

Community

  • Questions from Bert and Matt
  • iTunes Reviews

Card of the Week

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Farewell

  • Follow Adamon Twitter
  • What you want to see in future episodes
  • What hosts you want to visit the show

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