Quest cards return to Hearthstone in Saviors of Uldum, but how will they work?
First introduced in Hearthstone’s Journey to Un’Goro expansion, Quests are 1-mana Legendary spells which provide a powerful reward when you perform a specific set of actions. They always start in your opening hand so you can play them on your first turn and spend the rest of the game completing them. There are no Quests in the current Standard card pool, but Saviors of Uldum looks to change that: each class will get a new Quest and each player will receive one of the Quests the first time they log into the expansion.
One of the original problems with Quests was how they slowed your deck down and gave you one less card in your opening hand. Classes with good stalling tactics like Priest, Warrior, and Rogue made the best use of Quests in the past. The original Rogue Quest — The Caverns Below — was so powerful that it had to be nerfed on three separate occasions.
But it seems the developers understood these weaknesses. In Saviors, we’re getting a new card called Questing Adventure, a 2/3 minion which draws a card if you have a Quest. Cards like this, that give you bonuses if you’ve played a quest, will go a long way to making Quests more playable for all classes.
To this point, we’ve seen three of the new Quests: Shaman, Druid, Mage, and Warlock.
Shaman Quest: Corrupt the Waters
The Quest’s requirement is to play 6 Battlecry minions, which should be easy to complete since most Shaman decks already run many Battlecry minions. The reward is The Heart of Vir’naal which, in addition to being the river flowing through Uldum, makes your Battlecries to fire twice. This is the same as the Battle Totem treasure you can get in the Dalaran Heist single player mode, which is a lot of fun to play.
Unlike the treasure, the Hero Power costs two mana. Math says you can’t get double Shudderwok or double Archivist Elysiana unless you hit them with Far Sight. Doubling Elysiana wouldn’t do much good since she’d just replace your deck twice, so you’d still only wind up with 10 cards.
But Shaman have access to lots of powerful (and less expensive) Battlecry options. How about two 5/5 Horrors from Swamp Queen Hagatha, each with two spells attached? Or a Fire Elemental that does 6 damage. On top of the Shaman cards, there are neutral minions. Lifedrinker becomes a Fireball (6 damage), plus a Radiance (6 healing). Mind Control Tech (if your opponent has 4 or minions, take control of one) acts as a board equalizer, Dark Iron Dwarf (give a minion +2 attack) gives a minion +4 attack.
Lackeys are where Heart of Vir’naal will shine. All the Lackey generators generate twice as many Lackeys, and Shamans are also getting a new Lackey generator in the E.V.I.L totem card. Lackeys are 1-mana so can you play many the same turn as your Hero Power. With the Heart of Vir’naal, Kobald Lackey does 4 damage, Faceless Lackey summons two minions, Ethereal Lackey gives you two spells, Goblin Lackey gives +2 attack, and Witchy Lackey transform a minion into one that costs two more.
Control Shaman, a Battlecry-heavy deck, is already strong on the ladder, so this Quest card has serious possibilities.
Druid Quest: Untapped Potential
The Druid Quest requires you to end four turns with unspent mana. You have to play the Quest on Turn 1 but with Coin, Biology Project, and Innervate you could complete it as early as turn four. The reward is Ossirian Tear, which causes your Choose One cards have both effects). We’ve seen this type of effect before with the Fandral Staghelm card. Unlike the Shaman Quest, this one is passive and doesn’t cost mana.
Druids have over a dozen Choose One cards in Standard already, plus any that might be introduced in Saviors. Wardruid Loti becomes a monster with this. Starfall becomes an upgraded Swipe. Mark of the Loa (give a minion +2/+4 and Taunt or Summon two 3/2 Raptors) and Tending Tauren (give your other minions +1/+1 or Summon two 2/2 Treants) also look like good choices.
Druid is relegated to Token decks in the current meta. There are still many cards yet to be revealed, but at first glance, I don’t see Untapped Potential having all that much… potential in Standard. In Wild, where Jade Druid is still strong, it could be an interesting addition.
Warlock Quest: Supreme Archaeology
The name of the quest is a nod to Supreme Archaeologist Rafaam, the leader of the League of E.V.I.L. To complete it, you need to draw 20 cards, which works well with Warlock’s Hero Power of drawing cards. The reward is a new Hero Power called Tome of Origination. For two mana, you draw a card and reduce its cost to 0.
No cost cards are powerful, but the key will be getting the right cards. If you get a 0-mana Mecha’thun, it opens a one turn kill possibility. Tome of Origination could be excellent after the Rafaam Legendary cards turns all your cards into Legendary minions, but still somewhat at the mercy of the RNG.
The problem is once you’ve drawn 20 cards, you’ve been through most of your deck. If only there was a way to draw your deck multiple times.
Plot twist: there is, and it’s called Plot Twist. There are also the Portal demons from Portal Keeper and Portal Overfiend to add to your deck and count as draws. Warlock still needs more cards to deal with early game aggression, but players will make every effort to find a competitive deck for this Quest.
Mage Quest: Raid the Sky Temple
Raid the Sky Temple asks Mages to cast spells. Really? That’s like their thing. Warlock’s Quest was about drawing cards. At this point, I expect the Warrior Quest will be gain armor. The developers did talk about how they want to reinforce class identity, and it seems these Quests cards aim to do just that.
To complete the Quest, the Mage player must cast 10 spells. That’s a third of your deck dedicated to spells, but with cards like Magic Trick, Twinspells like Conjurer’s Calling, and Ray of Frost, plus spells generated from Mana Cyclone, you could cast complete the Quest with far fewer dedicated spells.
The reward is Ascendant Scroll (2 mana: Add a random Mage spell to your hand, it costs (2) less). It’s a permanent Primordial Glyph, but random instead of Discover. Its an infinite value generator for Mage. Any spell you get even Pyroblast or the new Puzzle Box of Yogg Saron are playable on the same turn.
I’m surprised the developers have brought Quests back since Quests and Death Knights were both blamed for Hearthstone cards getting too power toward the end of the Year of the Raven. It’ll be interesting the see what the other classes, especially Warrior, Priest and Rogue receive as their Quest. You can pretty much count on one or two being meta relevant.
This is also a good time to remember we are less than a month from the new expansion. Unless you’re crafting a card like Zilliax, it’s probably best to hoard dust for Saviors at this point.
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