Elements of Hearthstone RNG: Passive Reinforcement

Moving along in the RNG series, I will get into what I call Passive Reinforcement, a card that gives you card that isn’t considering drawing from your deck. The new Discover mechanic in League of Explorers is a form of Passive Reinforcement, but I won’t get into those cards just yet. As opposed to Active Reinforcement, Passive Reinforcement adds a card to your hand.

Deck reinforcement

  • Captain’s Parrot/Sense Demons – Unlike the others in this class, these two cards solely help you draw a card that you have put into your deck. So really, there isn’t really much RNG for these cards. You can control it by putting useful pirates or demons in your deck, to ensure a good draw.

Limited options

  • Elite Tauren Chieftan – Good ol’ ETC has an awesome rock star intro but is nearly unplayable outside of a real casual game. You can get 1 of 3 cards, which cost 4 each, with the best card being a better Hammer of Wrath. The other 2 cards are typically not worth the 4 mana cost.
  • Ysera – On the other hand, Ysera gives you a chance to get 1 of 5 cards at the end of each turn, all being very good cards for their cost. They all work in different situations, but are all good in their own way.

Opponent dependency

  • Mind Vision – Mind Vision gives you a probability of copying a card in your opponent’s hand with 1/cards in hand. You can consider this card having more RNG against a control deck, and less so against a card that doesn’t draw a ton of cards. Obviously, this is a better against a deck that has good cards in it, rather than playing against a new player with a limited pool.
  • Thoughtsteal – Like Mind Vision, this card is better if your opponent has put good cards in their deck. Unlike Mind Vision, there is typically more RNG, as the deck is typically a bigger denominator to pick from than the hand. Also, it is likely that the higher-cost cards are picked, given mulligans typically aim to start off early game.

Medium

  • Neptulon – By the time League of Explorers comes out, there will be 14 collectible Murlocs. Neptulon adds 4 random murlocs to your hand, meaning that there will be a 7% chance to get each one.
  • Nefarian – Nefarian gives you 2 spell cards depending on the opponent. Roughly speaking, you will get a 3-5% chance to get a certain spell from a class. Certain classes (Mage, Shaman) will be better to steal against (Warrior, Paladin).

Playing the Lottery

  • Gazlowe – Gazlowe’s usage is dependent on how many 1-cost spells or spare parts you can find. However, once Gazlowe gets grinding, you can get 1 of 48 (2%) mechs added to your hand.
  • Webspinner – Right now Webspinner gives you a shot of 1 of 40 beasts (2.5%) upon death. Once the LOE adventure hits, it will be upped to 1 of 47 (2.1%).
  • Grand Crusader – This card adds one random Paladin card to your hand, which will be 1 of 48 Paladin cards by LOE (2.1%).
  • Burgle – You’re getting roughly a 2% chance at a specific class card. Unlike Nefarian, you can get minions or weapons as well. Class minions tend to be more usable than class spells, so it is a slightly more reliable card.
These knives are actually dipped in jormungar poison.
These knives are actually dipped in jormungar poison.
This is like the WoW Comic when Valeera got addicted to magics and Broll got mad.
This is like the WoW Comic when Valeera got addicted to magics and Broll got mad.

Upshot

  • Passive Reinforcement typically involves giving up tempo to add random cards to your hand.
  • You can’t really control the randomness, unless you are using cards that depend on decks used.
  • Typically the swing of passive reinforcement RNG is low-risk, high upside. Getting a bad spell or a scrub minion is going to make you lose a game, as there is typically something to play on the board. But getting an amazing card through this method will give you a huge advantage.
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