Been a while now, I have been too lazy to write, but a subject came to my sights that bugged me a lot, so I decided it was time to explain my feelings about this specific subject and leave some things for you guys to think about!
Lately I have been seeing multiple threads all around saying how overpowered Dr. Boom is, a lot of people seem to be upset by how better the card is when compared to other cards around the same cost, mostly 6 and 8 drops in the game, and I would like to say that I do not believe Dr Boom is overpowered and in this article I will explain why, I hope you guys feel comfortable in the read, let us begin!
Comparing the game to MTG
I know what most of the people are going to say: Different games, different comparisons. That is true, but we have to remember that both games have a lot in common, some of these things that we can note are mana curve, the idea of monster scaling, among other things. Hearthstone based itself a lot on MTG, but tried to be a game more focused on Minions fighting for Board control rather than the Skill based spell attrition war that we see in MTG.
In MTG, the players that are defending are able to choose what minions they are going to block the opponent’s attack, thus in MTG there is no need for such an ability as Taunt, in general we can say that the Defending Player has the upper Hand in MTG. Meanwhile in Hearthstone the attacker has the upper hand, being able to choose freely which opponent they want to attack. We can say that in Hearthstone, just because of that fact alone, Aggro i more favored than Midrange/Control strategies.
So, strategically speaking, we can see that HS is more favored to Aggro while MTG has more favored to Control/Tempo strategies, alright we get that, so what? What does this has to do with Dr Boom being or not being OP?
Well, I will get to that eventually.
Now, we start by comparing MTG minions to Hearthstone minions.
Usually, the strongest MTG early game minions of all times are comparable to Hearthstones Early game minions. Minions such as Undertaker, Flame Imp, Voidwalker, Mad Scientist are as strong as minions like:
Yes, I went there: I am comparing MTGs strongest minion: Tarmogoyf, with HS’s early game cards, I’ll even say more: no card in MTG is as strong as Mad Scientist is, which is a 2 mana card that when dies searches your library for a card and plays it for free.
So, now we know that MTG’s early game minions are as strong as HS’s early game minions. And since we know that decks focused on the early game in HS is a lot more favorable than MTG, we all can agree that it is only natural to have extremely strong late game minions to make it so Control and Midrange decks are going to keep up with Aggro pressure in Hearthstone, right?
NO! Hearthstone late game minions are horrible, every single one of them! All you have to do is take a look at MTGs late game minions and you’ll know how unfavored HS is when we comparing them both.
Let us take a look at some MTG Late game minions that were playable in the past:
Now THAT is scaling!
You also need to remember, that in MTG, even tho the defender is more favorable than the Aggressor, the aggressive decks are more played, not because they are cheap but because even after all that, they’re still stronger: they’re usually more consistent and its a lot easier to generate tempo. Even when cards like Wrath of God exists, and the number of persistent minions is so low on MTG, and there is still the possibility of drawing dead land cards mid-late game, Aggro decks still have the upper hand!
How is Scaling Done in Hearthstone
So, now we come to the point of talking about how is scaling done in Hearthstone and explain why is there such a big discrepancy on minions:
In Hearthstone there are Points that you usually have for each card, the points you can distribute in each card are =1+2*(mana cost)+(legend check)+(class check). The legend check will usually add a maximum of 2 points to a card, and a minimum of 1, and a class check will add 1 point. Also notice that this does not apply to 1-drops, all 1-drops in the game have 4 basic points and +1 if its a class card.
These points can be used to add an ability or to add Health or Attack to a minion, thus you can see Chillwind Yeti being a 4/5, Ogre Magi being a 4/4 with a +1Spellpower Ability, and so on. The thing is that this scaling does not take in consideration the Tempo factor, a card that gets played turn 5 will not affect the game the turns before, while a card played turn 1 can and will (if left unchecked) affect the game turns 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on. Which means that the impact of late game cards should be a lot bigger than they currently are.
The biggest flaw that I see is that an ability cost the same points regardless of mana cost, a simple way of proving this is comparing earthen-ring-farseer with guardian-of-kings, where each point of healing has almost the same point cost for each card:
Farseer = 7 points, 6 in stats and 1 point into 3 healing.
GoK = 14 points(+1 for being a class card), 11 points into stats and 3 points for 6 healing!
Did you just noticed how bad it was done? You wanna get it worse? Think about antique-healbot, a card that a lot of decks are forced to use in order to keep up with the Pressure, even if inefficiently:
Healbot = 11 points, 6 in stats and 5 (!!!!!) for 8 healing.
And keep in mind I am not even counting the fact that we are able to choose what we are healing with Farseer, but we are not able to do so in both Guardian of Kings and Antique Healbot.
If you think this is a separated point, just keep comparing minions such as archmage vs ogre-magi and so on!
One important thing is that abilities should not cost the same between mana costs as it did before. I believe Blizzard is finally noticing that and evolving the cards, as seen on Dr. Boom and Madder Bomber (which is still a horrible card, but at least the 6 damage ability cost is the same as the 3 damage one from Mad Bomber). We then notice that maybe Dr. Boom is not over the top, it’s just Blizzard trying to make late game matter more than it did before.
So, how does all of this Affects your Opinion on Dr. Boom?
Well, now you notice that it’s not that Dr. Boom is too good, it’s just that other options around the same mana cost are just horribly bad! Excluding some very few cards such as: fire-elemental, shieldmaiden, cabal-shadow-priest, savannah-highmane, sylvanas-windrunner and neptulon, Late game cards are often too weak when compared to their early game brothers, which makes it so you don’t want to play them.
So, as stated in the title, we can finally conclude that:
Dr. Boom isn’t even good! It’s just that everything else sucks!
Yap, that is the sad truth! Let us only hope that in the future we can start seeing stronger late game minions that are able to counter Aggressive deck’s pressure.
So, this was my takedown on the matter of Dr. Boom’s overpowered-ness, I hope you all enjoyed the read and see you guys on the next article!
Oh yeah, I know you clicked my article looking for playable decklists, so here are my latest lists: http://imgur.com/a/MiB4F