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HearthstoneMay 1, 2018 10:00 am CT

These datamined Hearthstone cards may never make it into the game

The intrepid dataminers at Hearthhead and Hearthstone Top Decks have discovered new cards included in the latest Hearthstone patch. Their previous datamining efforts found cards for the current Monster Hunts — but while those cards made it into the game, it’s doubtful these new cards ever will.

Why? Let’s take a look at these datamined cards to find out. There are three buckets of cards: arena cards, slush cards and test cards.

The arena cards

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At BlizzCon, the attendees voted on new arena-only cards to add to the game — but the cards that lost the vote are now in the game files. Is Blizzard planning to give these cards a go or have they simply shown up by accident?

It would be simple step at this point to add them to the drafts. The Mage card Power Cosmic (which Discovers a Legendary minion) would make one of the strongest Arena classes even stronger. The Discover aspect mitigates some of the randomness of the card. For Priests, Mass Resurrection (which gives your minions Deathrattle: resummon this minion) would give them a powerful way to maintain board presence.

 

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The slush cards

Many of these “slush” cards have temporary or unfinished art, but I find the name interesting. A slush pile is a name for unsolicited manuscripts sent to publishing houses and a slush fund is a reserve of money — but what about this Hearthstone slush set? This bucket looks like a reserve of cards which the developers have either rejected or might go back to in the future for ideas. The slush set is full of ideas we know the Hearthstone team has toyed with, but the cards themselves are likely just experiments.

In this bucket you’ll find Genn Greymane, who later became a Witchwood Legendary minion. His slush card is a little different, showcasing the Worgen mechanic of swapping health and attack each turn the card is in a player’s hand. The text of the slusg Mage card Corrupted Snobold (which freezes minions damaged by your hero power) found its way onto the card Ice Walker.

Three of these cards (Gnomenapper, Curio Peddler, and Crafty Blacksmith) use a mechanic where your opponent guesses the card you discovered, and if they guess right, they also get it. During a Fireside chat, one of the developers mentioned this mechanic as an idea they tried out for The Witchwood but rejected. Then there’s Fate Mirror (which becomes a random spell in your opponent’s hand each turn), which found its way onto the Priest Legendary minion Chameleos. I hope Anti-Magic Guardian (which prevents your Hero from being targeted by Spells or Hero powers) makes it into a future set.

The test cards

These are cards used by the testing team, and they’re a little game-breaking. There are cards like Complete Quest, which completes either player’s Quest, while Free Cards makes all cards cost zero mana. My two favorites are Crash (the game) and Server Crash, which do just what they sound like. The Destroy Deck card — which also does just what it sounds like — also found its way onto Azari, the Destoryer, the card you get from Warlock Legendary Rin, the First Disciple. But I want them to find a use for more of these cards: I’d like to see them use the art on AI Buddy – Blank Slate in the worst way.

But there’s more datamining to see

I’ve highlighted some of my favorites. Heathstone Top Decks has images of many of the more interesting ones, and our friends at Hearthhead have the full list but in text format. We were never intended to see any of these cards. I’m a software developer in my ‘day job’. A simple missed step in the preparation the final build of the Monster Hunt patch could have left them visible. While its fun to get a peek behind the curtain, we won’t see any of them in the live game in their current forms.

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Filed Under: Datamining, Playtesting

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