Peter Whalen discusses Hearthstone keyword Echo, and reveals more new cards
Hearthstone’s next expansion The Witchwood introduces a new keyword: Echo. Cards with Echo place of copy of themselves into your hand when played. If you have the mana crystals, you can play the same card many times in one turn, but the copy disappears at the end of your turn. We already see this mechanic in game on cards like Unstable Evolution or Valera the Hallow.
Senior Game Designer Peter Whalen sat down for a Hearthside chat to talk about the early ideas for the expansion, how they came up with Echo, and more. Along the way, he also introduced three new Echo cards — including the Legendary class card for Rogues.
My wife is a huge Agatha Christie fan. I wish they’d had kept the original name, Murder on the Gilnean Express. The Mysteries mechanic also sounded fun and I hope they find a way to bring it back in a future set.
Warpath has many of the same applications as the Warlock Defile card without requiring the activator. The card has many uses. It can serve as a board clear, replacing Brawl, and gives you an activator for Sleep with the Fishes, King Krush, or Execute. Warriors have cards which benefit from hurting them multiple times like Acolyte of Pain, or Rotface. This card will let Warriors run Skulking Geist without having to worry about sacrificing their Whirlwind, and gives Warriors a Whirlwind effect in an Even built deck.
Face Collector looks interesting, but slow. For 10 mana, you add 4 Legendaries to your hand and summon 4 2 attack /2 health minions. You do put yourself at the mercy of the RNG. There will be times you get The Lich King, Prophet Valen, Harrison Jones, and Tyrantus. You could also have a hand with Lorewalker Cho, Moorabi and Blodo Queen Lanathel, and Clutchmother Zavas. You have to ask yourself, are you feeling lucky, punk? Are you? Its comparable to Shaku, the Collector, which saw some play. Face Collector will generate at least one card since it’s a battlecry where Skaku might not ever generate a card.
Phantom Militia gives you a 2 attack 4 health minion for 3 mana — but with Echo, you can get two minions for 6, or three for 9. This feels similar to Saronite Chain Gang, which gives you two 2 attack 3 health taunts for 3 mana. It also feels like a more expensive Spreading Plague type card for all classes, giving you three 2/4 taunts for 9 mana. You could even play it without the Echo effect on turn three, to deal with the aggressive decks so prevalent in the waning stages of the Year of the Mammoth. Phantom Militia, or other neutral Echo minions, has the potential to boost the power of both The Caverns Below and in Fire Plume’s Heart. For Fire Plume, it lets you build a deck with less Taunt cards and more utility. For Cavern Below, it gives you a minion to return to your hand which produces more minions every time you play it.
I’m looking forward to seeing what other Echo cards will be in the set.
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