Hearthstone's New Legendary Spells Don't Work The Way You Think
Legendary scientists don't necessarily get along with their creations.
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Hearthstone's next expansion, The Boomsday Project, is themed around arcane science--which lends itself to mechanical monstrosities and powerful spells alike. This will be the first expansion to introduce Legendary spells for each class, with powerful effects of their own. Lead designer Mike Donais shed some more light on how the team approached designing these new unique spells, and why they may not work exactly how the community expected.
In the lore, Dr. Boom has invited nine legendary (mad) scientists to his lab to run amok with their wild experiments, each with their own specialty. That makes up the nine Legendary class minions in this expansion, so many in the community have inferred that their signature Legendary spells would synergize with them for some powerful mega-combos. Donais said the team considered that, but ultimately decided against it.
"That's actually something that we talked about, linking them up so they work together, but we decided in the end, most of them are not going to work together," he said. "We wanted you not to have to own both Legendaries to sort of build the deck that that Legendary is focused on. So in most cases, you actually don't have any synergy between the two."
That doesn't mean there's absolutely no synergy between the new minions and spells, of course; just that it may not necessarily require you to own and draw both Legendaries at once for some big wild effect. Donais said that other cards, like Common, Rare, and Epic spells, could synergize with the Legendary minions.
The design mandate behind Legendary spells, then, was more about making big effects. Hearthstone has plenty of powerful spells, but Legendary cards are unique in that you can only pack one copy into a deck. That lends itself to spells that are impractical to have multiple copies, like the Rogue card Myra's Unstable Element, or ones that are just too swingy to allow more than once.
"For the Legendary spells, it was not as much about power level so much as doing something unique that we've never done before," Donais said. "So in a lot of cases, they have either a huge effect, or a crazy effect that we normally couldn't do. Draw the rest of your deck [from Myra's Unstable Element] is a great example, right? We still want to set the Mana cost to be what we think is appropriate for draw the rest of your deck, but the effect is something that you just wouldn't even imagine. Like, 'Oh, my god. Where's my cards gonna be after I draw the rest of my deck? What if I have another three turns after that? I'm just gonna take fatigue damage.' But it's a crazy, crazy effect, so I think it's a good example of what a Legendary spell can be."
Hearthstone's The Boomsday Project launches on August 7. Two separate pre-order bundles are now available--a $50 for 50 pack bundle with a card back and golden legendary, and a $80 for 80 pack bundle that adds the Warlock hero Mecha-Jaraxxus. Check out our gallery of Hearthstone's Boomsday Project cards.
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