Tentacles for Arms, Throwing Everyone for a Loop

The Whispers of the Old Gods hype train has been chugging along, and card reveals have been picking up the last few days. As part of the popular Hearthstone streamer voting contest, the player Sjow revealed a card called Tentacles for Arms yesterday.

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If you can’t tell, it is a 5-cost Warrior weapon with a 2/2 distribution, and a infinite return deathrattle. Upon seeing this, I took to Twitter:

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And this opinion was reflected also on Reddit:

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Why does Tentacles for Arms exist?

Quick analysis

Let’s look at some similar weapons, in terms of attack/durability.

The vanilla value weapon is Fiery War Axe, dealing 6 damage over 2 turns for 2 mana. Argent Lance will get 4-6 damage over 2-3 turns for 2 mana. Stormforged Axe will get 6 damage over 3 turns for 3 mana. Perdition’s Blade and Glaivezooka do similar things and deal 4 damage over 2 turns. Coghammer is OP.

Tentacles for Arms does 4 damage over 2 turns for 5 mana. Let’s see other 5-mana weapons!

Doomhammer effectively costs 7, but rightfully does 16 damage overall. Assassin’s Blade does 12 damage, and Arcanite Reaper 10.

Tentacles for Arms does 4. For the same cost.

Why?

The community is baffled as to why such a card exists, and Ben Brode talked about it a great deal from his stream last night. Here are some reasons why the card exists as is according to him, and some input from myself and others.

  • It would be OP otherwise – Brode made several comparisons with Tentacles for Arms with the Rogue spell Headcrack (3 mana, 2 dmg, return card on combo). Headcrack was previously a 2 mana spell for 2 dmg, and the combo return. It was nerfed to 3 mana in October 2013, and subsequently never made it to competitive play right off the bat. He mentioned that it would be better for a card to be bad than OP. Would Tentacles for Arms be OP if it was 4 mana? It would be doing 4 damage for 4 mana, and returned to the hand. What if it was a 3/2 instead?
  • It serves another purpose – With a set of 140 cards, there is going to be some filler, like the Boogeymonster. Brode mentioned that some cards serve other purposes, to cater to other players, such as those who enjoy the challenge of making a deck. I myself have the “competitive evaluation” mindset on cards and just see the low value 5-cost 2/2 weapon. But maybe some people do like trying to make things work.
  • Reno Warrior / Fatigue Outcomes – This was suggested that it could serve as a weapon in a Reno deck, where most cards are singletons. Against a class that doesn’t heal, it isn’t the worst thing in the world, as it is constant damage each turn. In a double fatigue situation, the Warrior would have a weapon and armor up each turn.
  • Something we don’t know! – In all fairness, we have had only a small glimpse of the new card set. While it is unlikely there is a card that specializes in buffing Tentacles for Arms, there could be unseen synergy. There already is a pirate Warrior (that does something else), but there are at least 2 other pirates confirmed through murals for Old Gods. So some card could make these tentacles more palatable.

All in all, it is most likely that Tentacles for Arms is as bad as it looks. It is an epic card though, and these cards are the most experimental lot. And soon, everyone will just accept this bad card for what it is and move on to criticizing some other bad card that comes out.

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