The second wing of Hearthtone’s first expansion, Curse of Naxxramas opened up yesterday (or should have opened, read this article for more details) and it’s time once again to analyze the bosses, challenges and new cards.
Let’s start off, once again, with the class challenges. This week, we have the Mage and Hunter stepping to the plate, each with its custom deck to take on 2 of the raid bosses. The Hunter’s deck contains, among other less important things, a crapton of Webspinners, the new Hunter card, 2 King Krush, a couple of stealth creatures and a few Direwolf Alphas. No, I’m serious, your hand will be at least 60-70% Webspinners most of the time. Great way to push the new card, guys.
As for the Mage, it’s all about the secrets, baby! Oh, no, Ms. Proudmore, I didn’t call you “baby”. No, not the Pyro, no, plea-….. In any case, we have a few of the classic Mage secrets (Vaporize, Ice Block, Mirror Entity) and of course the new Secret, Duplicate along with some cards which jive well with them (Kirin Tor Mage, Ethereal Arcanist), Mad Scientist (unreleased yet), Secret Keeper and a few other things sprinkled over.
All in all, 2 very good class cards this week, even the difficulty of the challenges seemed a bit more turned up.
Let’s turn our attention to the 3 amigos of the Plague Quarter. The first boss is Noth the Plaguebringer (with a name like Noth, Noth’n better than to throw a few puns around), whose passive skill (which produces anti-synergy with Unstable Ghoul, one of his favorite minions) is to summon a 1/1 minion for each player minion slain.
Defeating him (easily done) rewards you with one of the more useless new minions, Stoneskin Gargoyle.
The middle boss is Heigan the Unclean, cause of multiple quarantine zones in Azeroth, mostly places where he sat for more than a minute. His ability is to deal 2 damage to the first minion on your left (here is one rare situation where the Gargoyle may be slightly useful).
There are a few of fun exploits you can do with this ability (Nerubian Egg, Mad Scientist), but aside from that, this boss is pretty easily beatable (even though he packs a few Mage secrets). The card this Unsanitary One unlocks is the Unstable Ghoul:
And so, we come to the final boss of the raid, Loatheb of the fungal growth. Sporting an slightly overpowered version of the Hunter ability (3 damage for 2 Mana), and 75 HP (may seem a lot, but please bear with me), this may just be one of the easiest bosses to beat.
Why, you may ask? Because of the Spore. You see, using one of 2 spells (an AOE which does 1 damage to all enemy minions and one that does 5 damage to a minion) Loatheb summons a 0/1 spore. Which, when killed, gives all of your minions +8 Attack. Plus, due to the fact that at one time there will be multiple spores on the board, massive damage boost can be gained using a simple AOE attack.
The final 2 cards you get from defeating this buffed up shroom are the Sludge Belcher and Loatheb.
As always, we end with the Heroic side of the Raid:
As you can observe, probably the most problematic changes are with the first and last boss (3 damage from 2 isn’t really all that much). A 5/5 summoned for every minion you lose? That’s painful. And as for the last, if you don’t kill him in 10 rounds and you don’t have any heals, you’re dead even if he doesn’t play any minions. On the whole the difficulty is on par with last week’s.
So, how does this week’s wing stack up? Minion-wise, we got 2 great class cards, 2 pretty situational minions, a potential replacement for the Taz Dingo and a Legendary which will make spell casters weep bloody tears. The challenges are a bit more challenging, Normal mode is still beatable by Zoolock and Heroics are still tough as promised.
On the whole, the Plague Quarter is a bit worse than last week’s wing, and the 24 hour issue with the store which prevented many Hearthstoneers (me included) have to wait the fix makes this week’s content a bit disappointing (for a Blizzard product). Waiting for better next week. Keep on raiding.