Well this was unexpected. I knew a Hearthstone expansion would be announced on this year's Blizzcon but I certainly didn't expect it to be released quite literally next week, with the release date set for November 12th.

I have a feeling this is Blizzard's response to the rising amount of complaints about the current Hearthstone metagame, where deck archetypes are so aggressive and so entrenched nothing short of massive changes will shake them up. So will the League of Explorers bring with it that change?

Honestly? Probably not.

Don't get me wrong, I look forward to the adventure mode. What little of it they've showed at Blizzcon looked like really fun solo content that I will gladly play around with for a while, but, as it happens with all single player stuff, the content will eventually be completed and I'll be back in ranked giving the new cards a try.

The upcoming cards (you can check them out here) look fairly interesting and the new Discover mechanic seems like a perfect fit for a control deck. Discover, if you don't know, works much like how Tracking does except you don't chose cards from your deck, they are instead three random cards that fit the criteria of your Discover card. Here's an example:

So in the case of Gorillabot A-3 if you control another mech you will be given a selection of 3 completely random mechs from outside your deck and you will then be able to choose one of them and discard the others.

Sounds good to me, so where is the problem? The problem is that decks have become so refined and so aggressive that there is just no room for slow cards unless you are a warrior or freeze mage in which case you barely have any wiggle room in your deck. While the Gorillabot has the potential to bring you massive value you're better off running a Piloted Shredder because you can at least guarantee you will be getting the second minion out.

And this goes for most of the cards, a lot of them are great in arena and I do look forward to toying around with them, but in constructed they might as well not exist. I want to play with these new cards, I want to have a game of Hearthstone that isn't decided by turn 6 but unless the metgame changes heavily, and it has no reason to, this just isn't going to happen.

Hunter's new hero power?

On a positive note, as I mentioned above, a lot of these cards are going to be highly prized in arena and will shake that metagame up significantly. The Discover mechanic seems like an especially good fit since value is the name of the game and you can afford to sometimes do a slower play that gives you card advantage. And most amazingly of all, Warriors got a usable arena common!

Don't take me for a naysayer after reading all of this, I want to believe I'm wrong and that the metagame won't stabilize within a week but past experience is telling me otherwise. What I'm hoping for right now is that they might surprise us with a balance patch as there's still two more days of Blizzcon left. A patch that shakes up existing archetypes alongside a solo adventure would go a long way towards mending the rend that is appearing between Blizzard and their community.

To send you off, here's the short trailer that came along with the League of Explorers announcement, enjoy!

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