Amid Calls for Mysterious Challenger Nerf, Hearthstone Devs Maintain Faith in Meta Solution

First wing of new adventure, League of Explorers, goes live; Take a look at all 45 new cards.


The latest Hearthstone card that has players enraged by its apparent game-altering supremacy is not likely to be nerfed, if comments from two Blizzard developers are to be believed.

Mysterious Challenger, a Paladin card with a 6/6 for 6 body, carries a Battlecry that simultaneously activates each type of secret in a player's deck. Its introduction in August, during the release of the Grand Tournament expansion, led to players quickly stuffing Paladin secrets in their decks and, upon dropping Mysterious Challenger onto the board, were able to control the game with several secrets played at one.

The high success rate of this strategy, coupled with the ease in which players could pull it off, led to calls for the card's battlecry to be diminished. But in an interview with PC Gamer, senior game designer Mike Donais and production director Jason Chayes both suggested that Mysterious Challenger can be overcome without direct intervention from Blizzard.

"One thing that we heard from players in the past is 'hey these [Paladin] secrets are bad, no one will ever play them, why don't you buff them?' We haven't been hearing that recently," Donais began when asked whether he regretted printing Mysterious Challenger.

From his comments, it appears that Blizzard's position is to wait for the community to find its own solutions to the card.

"Like, Mysterious Challenger is not actually that much better than the decks around it. If some of those [new] decks get good, then it will be on par with the Mysterious Challenger," Donais continued.

"Recently a player added a Wild Pyromancer to his Priest Dragon deck, and it started beating Mysterious Challenger. It's just little tweaks like that, where you put a couple of different cards in your decks, and then you improve against the meta."

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Chayes admitted that Mysterious Challenger "is, for sure, a strong card and a strong deck," but said he was looking forward to seeing how players find solutions. He added that Hearthstone's new adventure, the League of Explorers, adds 45 new cards which will make even more changes to the meta.

Donais clarified that, while none of the new League of Explorers cards are a direct answer to Mysterious Challenger, they will promote other decks ideas.

"I don't think the new cards in League of Explorers are specifically answers to Mysterious Challenger, but other decks will improve in power level," he said.

Since its release from beta in April 2014, Blizzard has printed more than 700 Hearthstone cards, but only several have been nerfed; Leeroy Jenkins, Starving Buzzard, Undertaker, Soulfire, Auctioneer, and most controversially, Warsong Commander. These cards are rarely seen in constructed play. Blizzard has, in the past, resisted calls to nerf Dr Boom, and to an extent the meta has found ways to play around it.

"A couple of weeks ago, the deck to beat was Warsong Commander [a Patron Warrior deck], and everyone was building decks that worked with that card," Donais said.

"That's no longer the deck to beat, so I think what we'll see over the next couple of weeks is people building decks to beat Mysterious Challenger. I don't if those will succeed or not, but I'm sure things will change as players attempt to."

The League of Explorers, the latest Hearthstone adventure, launched on Thursday November 12 and will unlock 45 new cards over four weeks. Take a look at all of the new cards below.

Hearthstone has accumulated more than 40 million registered players, according to owning company Activision-Blizzard.

Click on the thumbnails below to see the new hearthstone League of Explorers cards
Click on the thumbnails below to see the new hearthstone League of Explorers cards

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