The boiling speculation for the next Hearthstone adventure came to a head with Disguised Toast finding the domain for karazhan.com being claimed. Further evidence was provided by Blizz themselves, with the formal announcement of the adventure next week:
I’m no expert in Warcraft, but I’m pretty sure the feathers point to Medivh’s raven form. Also, the address “old friend” refers to an old character, like Medivh. Some have mentioned that the drinks and music are like the parties in the Karazhan raid. Dead giveaway!
Given that I have never played the Karazhan on WoW, I tried to do some research of watching an individual run through the raid on YouTube, and also read about what Karazhan consists of online. From what I can tell, these are major areas of Karazhan. Bold areas mean it is a required event or boss.
- The Stables
- The Grand Ballroom
- The Guest Quarters
- Servant’s Quarters
- Opera House
- The Menagerie
- Guardian’s Library
- Gamesman’s Hall
- The Topmost
The previous 3 adventures were 5-week events. So these areas would be melded into 5 stages.
I noticed a bunch of other things about Karazhan.
- Bring out your dead -Almost everyone in Karazhan is undead to some extent. You get a lot of spectral ghosts, forsaken/scourge zombie types, dreadsteeds, etc.
- Nothing can stop me, nothing! – Despite being the owner of Karazhan, you never actually fight Medivh in the Karazhan raid. You play chess against him, and he cheats, but no physical fight.
- Party crasher – Everyone seems to be having a dead good time before you show up and kill people and loot them. The invite, with it’s martini and music notes seems to fit quite well with what I saw in Karazhan.
Adaptation to Hearthstone
In my last blog post, I took a look at how adventure cards tied to Warcraft lore. With the same list, I took a look at class/neutral card balance for each adventure.
- Naxx – 9/30 class cards – 1 rare class card per class
- BRM – 18/35 class cards – 1 rare, 1 common per class
- League – 27/45 class cards – 1 rare, 2 commons per class
With these numbers in hand, we can assume certain things about Karazhan:
- No class epics or legendaries – To date, all adventure class cards are common or rare. Epics were only included in the most recent League of Explorers. Legendary cards have always been neutral. This is unlikely to change for Karazhan.
- 50+ – One of the goals of a new card release is to shake up the meta. The easiest way to do this is to release class cards that help balance the meta, either by giving a weak class OP cards, or giving a strong class a not-very-useful card. The disparity between classes in terms of ladder dominance now is pretty big. Thus, I will assume Karazhan will not follow a Naxx release of 30% class cards, but one that will have 50% or more class cards. So in the line of BRM.
Boldish Card Predictions
This entire entry could be moot if the Karazhan hints are all a giant red herring. But since I’ve gone so far, let’s go deeper.
- Legendaries – The adventure legendaries have always been bosses and known quantities. I predict the legendaries in Karazhan would be:
- The Curator
- Maiden of Virtue
- The Violet Eye – I noticed that killing enemies in Karazhan would give plus reputation to the Violet Eye. This makes sense given they are specifically spying on Medivh. If any cards come out that are even close to Violet Teacher, watch out!
- New Rogue Spell – Being a Rogue enthusiast, I noticed that Moroes is the one character in Karazhan that has any Rogue relevance. In his movelist, it states he uses two core Rogue abilities in Garrote and Gouge. Garrote is a silence ability with bleed damage, while Gouge is a stun ability. My money is on Garrote.
- Emerald Ripper – In lieu of a spell, the Emerald Ripper could also be a new Rogue weapon. Given the art is already used in Assassin’s Blade, this could be less likely than the spell.
- Mana Burn? – The calls for a Priest upgrade are getting pretty loud. Could there be a possibility of a spell like Mana Burn that causes an enemy overload in mana? This would obviously be a very powerful thing, and I do not know if this will help Priests at all.
- New Imps – A bunch of imp mobs called Homunculus are present in Karazhan. Given that Imp Gang Boss will be dropping out of the standard rotation, these guys could be a similar replacement.
- Spiders – So many different spectral spiders appear in Karazhan. It is very likely a Hunter or Druid card becomes a spider beast. If we didn’t have enough spiders already…
- Chess Pieces – Yugi-Oh had a bunch of Archfiend cards that were inspired by chess pieces. Could we see similar rewards because of the Karazhan chess event? Maybe!?
- Undead – The safest bet is that there is going to be a buttload of undead cards in this set. It’s going to be off the chain, like Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.