For the record, I love Hearthstone. I have played since early beta and almost non-stop since that time. It is an addictive and challenging game and every season and card set creates a certain excitement seeing what the Blizzard Hearthstone team is going to come up with next.
However, many gamers do not like Hearthstone. Some say it relies too much on RNG, while others say it lacks the depth and creative deck-making capability of a game like Magic: the Gathering. While I agree with both of these points, I have always appreciated the simplicity of Hearthstone. I like the deck limit of 30 cards as well as the incredible graphics and animations the game offers. It has a very satisfying feel to it, especially when you win.
This post is going to deal with what I believe is the most broken and un-fun (is that even a word?) card ever created: Zephyrs the Great.
Let’s examine my last three Control Priest losses to Galakrond Warlock in ranked play:
- Turn 7: Warlock plays Galakrond The Wretched - gets 5/2 weapon AND I have to clear the board of four usually huge demons which I have planned for.
- Turn 9: Warlock plays Alextrasza - knocks me from 30 life to 15, attacks with weapon which puts me at 10 life.
- Turn 10: Warlock plays Zephyrs the Great for Pyroblast (which Zephyrs gives EVERY time if your opponent at 10 health or below)
- I DIE since there is almost ZERO I can do about it.
There is absolutely no strategy involved in this since there is really no counter-play I can make against it. Up to Turn 9 I played a perfect game and sat at a full 30 life. You could say I could play my own Zephyrs, but then I have to play a totally different deck which would not be competitive in the current meta.
I can understand losing to a Mage who hit my face with spells throughout the game leaving me at 10 life and setting up the Pyroblast. This would have been my fault (especially as a Priest) if I allowed myself to get that low over the course of the game.
This is a situation where I literally lock down the Warlock until turn 7 where he just somehow always has the cards he needs to end the game in 2-3 turns. If this happened once in a while I could chalk it up to RNG and move on, but this is not the case as it just happened three straight games and has happened several times more in the course of a couple of days play.
The idea behind Zephyrs seems like a good one from a defensive standpoint. Maybe he saves you from death for a turn or allows you to clear the board when you cannot. But giving you a certain winning spell every game in the same situation is not what he should be about. There should at least be some amount of randomness to what he gives in this situation.
Zephyrs the Great boils down to this:
Opponent at 10 life or less = WIN!
To offer some evidence for what I am talking about, here is a quoted piece from hearthstone.gamepedia.com Zephyrs the Great card notes:
Zephrys will always offer cards to allow the player to gain lethal, even options that are unintuitive at first glance.
However, since he cannot see what cards are in the player's hand, he can miss lethal chances if the player does not play out their cards first.
He will only offer lethal within the limitations of Zephrys' coding. This page attempts to address all of his algorithm limitations.
Zephrys is able to find lethal with a Basic or Upgraded Hero Power. Additionally, the modified cost and modified damage/healing of the hero power is also taken into account.
Example: The opponent is at 8 health, and Zephrys is played, leaving 7 mana available. Zephrys is able to offer Fireball in combination with Steady Shot for lethal.
Zephrys understands finding lethal with a healing spell such as Healing Touch with Auchenai Soulpriest on the board. This also works with other healing-into-damage effects, such as with Auchenai Phantasm or Embrace the Shadow.
Zephrys is able to offer silence if the player has a frozen minion on board capable of giving lethal if it was unfrozen.
Zephrys is able to offer silence to reset a friendly minion's stats to gain lethal, getting rid of a set attribute effect.
Zephrys will favor silence cards among potential lethal options to help minimize unwanted interference caused by Deathrattles or other card effects.
Zephrys is able to find lethal using Prophet Velen's damage modifier effect.
Zephrys is able to offer Alexstrasza for lethal if there is 9 mana remaining after playing Zephrys and lethal damage is presented on board after Alexstrasza's effect.
Zephrys is able to offer Heroic Strike for a hero with Windfury to find lethal, such as if the hero is equipped with Doomhammer.
Zephrys is able to offer Pyroblast for lethal next turn if the opponent's health is low and the opponent's Lifesteal minions, if any, are not able to heal the opponent out of range of a Pyroblast lethal next turn.
So we can clearly see that if a player has Zephyrs the Great in-hand and has their opponent at 10 life or below, the game is theirs since he will always offer Pyroblast.
ZEPHYRS NEEDS TO BE BANNED!!!