Hearthstone: Goblins Vs. Gnomes - Games Weekly

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Hearthstone: Goblins Vs. Gnomes

Blizzard’s foray into the digital collectible card game market was originally created by a small team with a laser focus. Today, Hearthstone has blown up as a leading option for the burgeoning genre on PC and iPad and is one of the top games at any given time on Twitch.tv. The first expansion, Goblins vs. Gnomes, shakes up the formula with gnomes, goblins, piloted mechs, and more than 120 new cards.

Players will get to experiment with new mechanics like spare parts cards created from some of the new tinker toys that add small boosts but you won’t know what they do until you get them. These small boosts may only impart one damage or one health buff to a minion, but using the right spare part at the right time can make the difference between a game loss and a win.

Mechs are the major new minion type, with many cards boosting, buffing, or altering the rules when they’re part of the mix. If you recall the World of Warcraft raid boss Mimiron, his head makes an appearance here. If you have three mechs out with the head, they combine and form V-O7-TR-ON, a massive 4/8 construct that comes with charge and mega wind fury for four attacks a turn.

Mekgineer Thermaplugg makes an appearance as a massive new legendary mech minion that spits out a swarm of Leper Gnomes. The Blingtron 3000 gives both players a random weapon. These weapons are always the gold versions, naturally. Is your opponent hiding behind a fistful of cards in hand? Roll out the Clockwork Giant and get beastly 8/8 on the board for a reduced price. Need some health? The Antique Healbot confers a massive eight health to the caster when it lumbers onto the table.

Goblins vs. Gnomes introduces the concept of piloted mechs, minions that pop out random units when they die. Being able to use the random minions that may jump out from the wreckage is going to introduce a whole new kind of skill on the fly gameplay. What will be inside that Piloted Shredder a Doomsayer, a Mad Scientist, Nat Pagle, or something else completely? If you want to get really crazy, check out one of the expansion’s high profile piloted machines Sneed’s Old Shredder. Who knows what legendary minion will be hidden inside?

As the set title implies, plenty of mech boosting gnomes and random blasting goblins are available alongside the ridiculous robotics. Goblin blastmages and bombers provide some new ways to use chaotic demolitions to take out opposing troops.

While many of the cards we’ve seen are neutral and can be played in any deck, there will be an accompanying suite of class-specific cards as well. The Priest’s Shrinkmaster is a potent two-drop that can zap an enemy down to size as he hits the table, and the Mage’s Unstable Portal continues the theme of controlling chaos and making the most of randomness. You never know what’s going to come through the portal, but you’re likely getting a serious discount on the casting cost.

Blizzard’s first expansion for Hearthstone looks like it’s going to be incredibly fun, as bots and bombs come together in new and fascinating ways.

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