Hearthstone's Shudderwock is just as broken as Ben Brode feared | PCGamesN

Hearthstone's Shudderwock is just as broken as Ben Brode feared


Update, April 13: One Witchwood card in particular is proving pretty strong.

Hearthstone's latest expansion, The Witchwood, released last night, and brought with it Shudderwock, a new legendary card that game director Ben Brode seemed actively afraid of. And it seemed as though he was right to be, as Shudderwock's impact on the game has already been...significant.

Here's every Hearthstone The Witchwood card revealed so far.

The card works by repeating every Battlecry you've cast that game, so a reasonably simple combination of cards allows you to simply keep playing the card while damaging your opponent (for the record, that combo includes Saronite Chain Gang, Grumble, Worldshaker, and Primordial Drake as some of its most important components).

As it stands, it's a very difficult combo to counter, as streamer DisguisedToast exhibited yesterday. He's already made it to Legend - Hearthstone's highest rank - and while that in itself isn't completely crazy, he managed to get there with a win rate above 90%, which definitely is. The card is so strong that DisguisedToast says if Blizzard haven't nerfed it within two months, he'll donate $1,000 to charity.

Shudderwock does seem to be bordering on completely broken. Not only does the full loop allow players to continue their turns for minutes at a time (allowing Toast to take a nap while it played out), but it seems that the combo is capable of breaking the game's rules. Normally, Hearthstone only allows players to have seven minions on the board at one, but this post shows that number grow to 10.

Some players are quick to point out that certain decks, such as aggro Paladin, do counter the Shudderwock Shaman that's currently tearing the game apart. Despite that, I would imagine that Blizzard will be reworking Shudderwock in the not very distant future - personally, I'd be surprised if it suvives two weeks in its current state.

Original story, April 10: Hearthstone’s upcoming expansion launches on Thursday, with a card that game director Ben Brode describes as “the craziest card we’ve ever made.” In an interview with Kotaku, Brode revealed the Shudderwock, a legendary Shaman card.

Shudderwork is a 9-mana 6/6 card, but its effect is what you should be worried about. It’s a Battlecry, which triggers as soon as the card is played, and when it does so, it repeats all other Battlecries that you’ve played in your current game, with targets chosen at random.

Given that you can only play Shudderwock in the late game, there’s the potential for you to have already played a fair few Battlecry cards, and Brode says that the result is chaotic. A particularly nasty combo, according to Brode, involves using Shudderwock alongside Saronite Chain Gang, which uses its Battlecry to “summon an exact copy of this minion,” and Grumble, Worldshaker, which returns all minions to your hand and makes them cost one mana.

That meant that a Hearthstone tester was able to play Shudderwock, triggering the Battlecry of Saronite Chain Gang and summoning a second version of the new card. That version didn’t trigger  the Shudderwock’s Battlecry, as it hadn’t been played from the tester’s hand, but when Grumble’s Battlecry triggered, the tester was able to repeat the process in its entirety by playing the new one-mana version of Shudderwock.

Brode tried to stop the card from shipping, reportedly telling Hearthstone staff to change the card, but it was apparently too late, and the card will arrive in The Witchwood as is. The new expansion will launch on Thursday, April 12.

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QDP2 avatarWhiteCrow avatarLycan Von Wolf avatar
QDP2 Avatar
1 Week ago

That feeling when you get lucky with a Grumble drop last expansion and Shudderwock as the free legendary at the start of Witchwood. So long as you have the Lifedrinker, the Saronite Chain Gang and the Volcano for board-clear, it's a free game.

I'd argue there's still room for improvement too. Currently it's very reliant on Lifedrinker (which is a great card) but without the draw you end up wasting both players time. It's easily possible to burn 10+ minutes on animations for 1 turn of spamming Shudderwock; and without any Lifedrinker it'll deal 0 damage. Adding some Kobold Apprentices (deals 3 damage among random enemies) you'll remove any long pointless plays where Shudderwock does literally nothing. At the least it'll reduce BM, which I found I was doing far too often without the alternate face-damage.

I wonder how Blizzard are going to patch this... They could change Shudderwock so it casts its Battlecry is random order. Currently you just need to play Saronite before Grumble and you are guaranteed a new copy in hand. Saronite being a cheaper defensive card that's rarely a problem, but with random order you'd be rolling a dice each time you play as to whether you get a copy.

They could also limit Shudderwock's replay ability, so it only plays your last 5 Battlecry cards. It'd make the deck less imbalanced and far more board-control based. The OTK would still be possible but be far harder (and require some skill) to play.

My bets are they'll change Saronite's Battlecry from its current Summon to another state (reading the Wiki, they'd probably term it as a 'Generate' card, unless they wanted to coin a new term like 'create' or 'spawn') where the new copy doesn't trigger any Battlecry as it spawns.

WhiteCrow Avatar
6 Days ago

There was a time I thoroughly enjoyed this game, shortly after its launch, but I soon realized just how prohibitively expensive it would be to remain competitive. I had several top tier expensive decks, and when they began to fail upon the release of a new expansion I felt sick upon realizing I would have to do it all again.

Lycan Von Wolf Avatar
5 Days ago

This is one of the dumbest comments people leave about this game. This game is one of the most free to play friendly games out there. You can easily get 1 or 2 competitive decks every expansion never spending a dime on this game and barely playing

WhiteCrow Avatar
3 Days ago

Ok bud. Yet one of the most reported on aspects of the game involves its high price of remaining relevant in its multiplayer.