Now that Hearthstone’s latest expansion, Blackrock Mountain, has started to roll out, players are eagerly anticipating the shifts in the game’s meta. However, the decision to release wings on a Thursday or Friday has left tournament organizers in a tough spot.
For tournament players, being able to prepare decks that play well in the current meta is essential. As we saw with the Curse of Naxxramas expansion, even a few new cards can shift the game entirely.
With Naxxramas, wings came out early in the week and players had at least a few days to test the new cards before tournaments. Now with Blackrock Mountain, some tournaments are having to make tough decisions: either force players use relatively untested cards, or ban the cards altogether.
In last week’s first wing, two of the most powerful cards in the set were released: Quick Shot and Emperor Thaurissan. The latter appeared in 27 out of 48 decks in this past weekend’s Amazon Blackrock Mountain Release and Pinnacle 4 tournaments. Quick Shot was in every Hunter deck bar one.
The cards did not appear at the Insomnia54 or Copenhagen Games tournaments in Europe however, as those events banned the cards. Part of this may have been due to the tournaments beginning less than 24 hours after the cards were released.
This weekend, one of April’s biggest tournaments will take place: the $25,000 (mostly) invite-only Seat Story Cup. The tournament starts with a group stage on Thursday that will be played on E.U. servers. And debate has raged among the players as to whether or not they would be allowed to play the newest Blackrock Mountain cards from the top eight phase of the tournament. That would mean new cards entering halfway through, something which has never happened before in Hearthstone.
TakeTV, the tournament’s organizer, tells the Daily Dot it will allow the new cards from the playoff stage.
“Obviously the timing of the expansion isn’t optimal for our tournament,” a spokesperson said. “But then again it will be great to see players use the new cards they haven’t played with at all. Every player has the same risk of using new cards, that are potentially very powerful, but haven’t been tested by them.”
Blizzard did not respond to a request for comment on this story.