PSA: How to get the most resources from the Hall of Fame

In this article we will talk about the upcoming changes to the Classic set with the advent of the Year of the Raven. These changes include the relegation of three cards from the Classic set to the Hall of Fame. The cards that are moving are:

Come the Year of the Raven these cards will no longer be able to be played in the standard format but can be played in the wild format. If you have the cards in your collection, you will be refunded the full dust value of the cards for up to two of the copies of each card. On top of that, you get to keep the cards! If you own golden versions the dust refund will be prioritised for those over the normal copies.

The refund given can be exploited to generate some extra dust. If you own two golden copies then you will receive the full crafting value for those cards which is a lot of dust and then you can disenchant them if you don’t want them post rotation.

This means:

  1. You can get golden or normal copies of the cards for free, or;
  2. Gain the normal disenchant value of the cards for free.

That being said, you can only do one of these if you are able to invest in golden or normal copies to begin with. The investment is quite large for the epics (1600 dust) but less so for the rares (400 dust).

Per epic you are able to get 400 dust and per rare 100 dust. If you are able to craft golden versions of all the cards then you can get 1800 dust for free! The rich just get richer…

 = 1800 DUST!! Woaaaaah!!

Odds and Evens: Hearthstone is getting some more build around cards

In the upcoming Hearthstone expansion ‘The Witchwood’ we will be seeing the first introduction of cards that have an effect at the start of the game if the conditions of that card are met.


The condition of one of those cards is that your entire deck must consist only of odd-cost cards. This card is Baku the Mooneater:

As you can see, this effect is a flashback from the card Justicar Trueheart which was released in the expansion The Grand Tournament:

For those who do not know what to expect from an upgraded hero power here are they are from their respective classes:

Warlock:                                                    Warrior:

Paladin:                                                       Rogue:

Hunter:                                                         Druid:

Mage:                                                           Priest:


Since Justicar was released the only hero classes that have truly benefited from the upgraded hero power were: Paladin, Warrior and Priest. However it should be noted that Justicar had to be drawn and played in order to obtain the effect whereas Baku needs to be in your deck and for your deck to only contain odd cards. Classes may really benefit from starting on turn one with an upgraded hero ability.


The other start of the game condition is that your deck contains only even cost cards. The card is Genn Greymane:

The effect is the same as Raza the Chained which will be rotating out of standard when Genn comes in:

It is also reminiscent of Maiden of the Lake from The Grand Tournament expansion:

Any form of mana-cost reduction is a strong effect however there are classes that it works better for. Genn certainly means that turn one will be a hero power or a coin into two drop. Having only even costs and a 1 mana hero power certainly spices up the mana curve.

The great thing about Baku and Genn are that they promote new deckbuilding in order to benefit from the new effects. This should lead to more diversity in the standard meta and should create some unseen synergies. Some of those cards you previously thought were total garbage may become the star of some new deck such as ‘Odd Hunter’ or ‘Even Paladin’. We may even see some cards NEVER seen before shoehorned into decks as they are the only card with an effect needed in a class for odd or even mana.

In any case, I’m more excited to see Jade cards rotate out…

Hearthstone’s Meta shake-up and why we were wrong

The latest expansion of Hearthstone, ‘Journey to Un’Goro’ was released last week and the ‘Year of the Mammoth’ has began the new era of the ‘Standard’ format. To mark this event and in accordance with the rotation of sets in standard, ‘Blackrock Mountain’, ‘The Grand Tournament’ and ‘League of Explorers’ are not playable in the format but are in ‘Wild’ format. In addition some radical changes to the ‘Classic’ set took place which saw some heavily utilised neutral cards being castigated to the ‘Wild’ format and joining what is called the ‘Hall of Fame’.

Overall, Hearthstone feels like a new place. Interestingly, we are seeing some very unique decks that utilise cards that have never been used in competitive decks. For instance, ‘Stonetusk Boar’:

This card is being played in a new midrange ‘Rogue Quest’ deck that is causing many to despair by how good it is (not a great example). For me this is particularly satisfying because we are seeing a card that many considered to be rubbish being used to great effect.

Another satisfying thing that I have witnessed is the utilisation of cards that many complained of in the past or could not see the use properly. My first example, which caused one of the greatest controversies in the HS community, is ‘Purify’:

At the time that this was revealed in the then upcoming adventure ‘One Night in Karazhan’, many were angered by how weak this card seemed and that as a common it would make priest weaker in Arena. Priest was also one of the weaker hero classes and the community felt that cards were not being released which would make priest more powerful. The outrage was frustrating to me because some cards are made not to be obviously powerful and these cards are called ‘sleepers’. They sit in your collection until another synergistic card is released which improves the deck it is played in. Silence priest now has enough redundancy to be valid (possibly tier 1) and purify is a 2-of in that deck.

The next card was nowhere near as controversial as ‘Purify’ but had the same volatile reaction of the HS community. This time it was ‘Gadgetzan Ferryman’ which was being released in ‘Mean Streets of Gadgetzan’ as a Rogue card:

People looked at this card and saw it as a strictly worse version of ‘Youthful Brewmaster’:

While this is true for the most part in an objective comparison, it does not account for what ‘Ferryman’ did, which was to provide redundancy in its ability. This redundancy has formed the backbone of the earlier stated midrange ‘Rogue Quest’ deck. Players at the time were again, annoyed with the Rogue hero class being positioned low in the hero rankings. ‘Ferryman’ was just another card that didn’t help the class right then and there so people slated it. Rogue is seeing quite a lot of play right now and there is currently a Megathread on HS’s Reddit page discussing how broken the Quest deck is.

So there you have it, a couple examples where people were wrong but not really… My point is not to be Captain Hindsight and say we should have known but rather to be Corporal Foresight and say that we should expect some cards in the future to synergise well with it. Yes.. well, it’s not a brilliant point.

Having just been thoroughly disillusioned with Hearthstone, I can say that the new expansion has relit my passion for the game. Currently we are in the best place where people are trying new decks out and the meta has not yet settled. I have hope that from the unprecedented number of archetypes I have seen in this short period of time, most will survive, evolve and become viable.

How does Intellectual Property protect certain ideas in games? The case of ‘Time Warp’

This question crossed my mind when I saw a new card in the digital collectible-card game Hearthstone (HS). The card belongs to the latest expansion named ‘Journey to Un’Goro’ and is called ‘Time Warp’. ‘Time Warp’ looks like this:

The reason I have become so interested in this card is because it looks incredibly similar to another card, in another collectible-card game (CCG) called Magic the Gathering (MTG). The name of this card is also ‘Time Warp’, and here is what it looks like:

Now, you might see the similarities but if not I will explain them as best I can. These are two cards from distinct games with the same effect. They give you the ability to take an extra turn after the turn you have just taken. They both cost 5 ‘mana’, or ‘mana crystals’ which have to be paid to play the card for its effect. Finally and probably the easiest to understand, they have the same name which is ‘Time Warp’. They are both, in my eyes, the same concept or idea. ‘Time Warp’ from the game MTG, came out in the ‘Tempest’ expansion in the year 1997 and the ‘Time Warp’ from the game HS comes out this year (2017) which puts the card releases 20 years apart. Funnily enough, the duration of a Patent is also 20 years, hmmm…

Someone could argue that this is HS using MTG’s idea, however HS has grounds for demonstrating that the card is copied from their own previous work in their most ubiquitous title, ‘World of Warcraft’ (WoW). While HS and WoW do not share the same game mechanics and are in completely separate game categories, HS draws inspiration and tries to emulate aspects of WoW since it is a spin off title from WoW. Many of the cards in HS are character specific abilities from WoW and the card ‘Time Warp’ is no exception. Here is a picture of the information WoW gives on the ability ‘Time Warp’:

WoW was released in 2004 and contained the ability ‘Time Warp’ with it. The reason for giving the dates isn’t because they are relevant to the actual rights but rather I find it interesting to see the historical perspective of ‘Time Warp’. My Senior Lecturer in intellectual property reminded me of an even earlier ‘Time Warp’ which was sung in the Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975…

So how does Intellectual Property protect ‘Time Warp’ (excluding WoW and Rocky Horror version, sorry)?

Copyright protects; the artwork of ‘Time Warp’ for both HS and MTG; the text on the cards and the source code in HS as literary works; the sounds and animations in HS when you play the card. Dealing with them respectively; the text is also not exactly the same apart from the name of the card where the issue is how many words constitutes a literary work, as such it would be better resolved in trademark; the artwork and framing of the cards is not copied, each is unique; MTG cards do not have accompanying sounds and animations when you play it (unless you choose to create them yourself) and finally MTG is physical and does not have source code (unless we live in the Matrix). The problem is that the respective ‘Time Warp’ cards are in different mediums, for me this is annoying because the games are very similar and so are the cards. Copyright does not really help my case for ‘Time Warp’.

In theory obtaining a patent would be the best way to protect ‘Time Warp’ as it is an idea and not an expression and patents protect ideas. Unfortunately games are excluded from patentability under Section 1(2)(c) of the Patents Act 1977 which states that “a scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business, or a program for a computer.” I was interested in the idea of patenting individual cards but it would be vastly more expensive and would also be excluded. Sadly Patent law won’t help me either.

Another method for seeking protection of ‘Time Warp’ may be submitting it as a design. However this won’t work as designs can only be 3D and a MTG card would be classed as a 2D object (despite being 3D). HS cards are not even physical objects.

Finally, trademarks could help us but it would require that the name ‘Time Warp’ was not in use for anything else and unfortunately it had been used in 1975 in the Rocky Horror Show…

To sum up, there is relatively scant protection for ‘Time Warp’. I’m not suggesting that this a legal challenge waiting to happen, because I’m sure it would fail, however I do find it interesting that ideas in video or physical games are not protected by Intellectual Property like music or art etc. The situation that I have just shown hopefully illustrates my point that two similar, yet distinct games have the same effect and thus the same idea but there is no challenge because there is no right which has been violated. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is another question which would require me to take an extra turn.

Incoherant Thoughts