We’re 2 weeks into the Frozen Throne right now and it’s very clear that Druid is the granddaddy of them all as its various decks dominate large portions of the metagame, with Pirate Warrior, Murloc Paladin and Resurrect Priest just some of the other decks knocking about.
Hero cards are our exciting new toy this time out, but other than the Exodia Mage deck our previous gamechanger, the Quest cards, have been massively struggling as many received little support from the latest expansion, a highly disappointing scenario.
I was personally hoping Blizzard wouldn’t drop the quest archtypes like they have with other mechanics in the past such as Inspire, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. What is especially frustrating, is that they spent so long trying to make certain decks viable (Taunt Warrior being the prime suspect) only to leave them high and dry just a single expansion later. Correct me if I’m wrong, but what is the point in pushing a deck so hard if you’re just going to drop it as soon as it experiences some success?
Which Quests are Viable at the moment?
There is the aforementioned anomaly. Quest Mage has experienced an upsurge in viability, in large parts as the meta has slowed down, despite receiving only a few cards that would directly support the quest:
· Ghastly Conjurer – Adds a copy of Mirror Entity into your hand.
· Arfus and The Lich King – Both can add Lich King cards to your hand.
· Simulacrum – Copies the lowest cost minion in your hand and can be manipulated to get an extra Apprentice.
So even the most powerful quest in the current meta wasn’t given a handout by Blizzard and instead its success came from the pace of the overall expansion. The meta seems to have stabilised so Exodia Mage could remain a tier 1 deck, but of the next expansion produces a ton of new ideas and this deck gets no support, that may not continue.
Priest’s Awaken the Makers got a little bit of support with Obsidian Statue, Eternal Servitude and Shadow Essence, and other playable neutrals such as Skelemancer and Bone Drake – but these cards are playable without the quest and have done little in the way of pushing ‘Awaken the Makers’ up the ranks.
Outside of that most quests got next to nothing to help them. It could be argued that Ultimate Infestation helps out the Druid quest and the Blood-Queen Lana’thel helps the Lakkari Sacrifice but right now Druid is too powerful without another cook to spoil the broth and discard is still a downright dreadful RNG based mechanic which I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.
Are Quests a Dead Archtype?
They may be on the brink of extinction, but they’re not dead yet. It’s not worth writing quests off in their entirety until we have seen what another expansion has to offer up but given Blizzard’s track record of injecting life into previous ideas, there perhaps isn’t a lot to cheer about if you’re a fan of quests.
Using the previous expansions as example, we can determine a feature which was heavily pushed, that hasn’t seen much action since.
• GvG landed a bunch of Mechs into our collections, with Un’Goro and Frozen Throne producing just one between them of late. That one, Meat Wagon, which sees zero play outside of terrible meme decks.
• TGT introduced Inspire, no such cards have been released since.
• WOTOG unleashed the highly-popular C’Thun decks upon us but following the expansion dropping it was stated that no further C’Thun cards will be released in future.
• MSOG gave us tri-class cards, which have yet to show their face since.
Of course, I have to give credit to them for continuing to push the successful discover mechanic from LoE and the fact that a few viable dragons have been available following Blackrock Mountain. Clearly though, less has stuck that has dropped off.
The present issue however, is that a number of the quests require very specific cards in order to influence the usage of the quest cards.
Despite not getting too much support, Mage’s quest deck is in already in a very good spot and may see even more play if any Druid cards are neutered in future, but other than that, things aren’t looking promising.
Druid itself will always get some 5+ attack minions as they’re easily printable and non-specific and Paladin will likely see more buff spells appear over time, but the power level of these quests is just too low at present. Similarly, Warlock’s quest is simply too unreliable to run unless the discard situation is addressed and Rogue’s once-powerful quest is no more, having been nerfed into the abyss.
Priest has been dealt a strong hand of deathrattles in this expansion, but Anduin may not be so lucky in future as such powerful cards like this may not re-occur again. Perhaps worst of all though, Warrior and hunter got no class cards to help push their quest decks to the next level; with the only viable taunts introduced being The Lich King and Saronite Chain Gang and the only neutral 1-drop of note being Arherus Veteran. Likewise, Shaman only received one slighty playable murloc, Brrrloc, and a shaky draw in the form of Ice Fishing. Hopefully this isn’t a case of they simply don’t care for the archtypes anymore because all 3 of their quests are very interesting concepts.
So all in all, it seems that only Exodia Mage will keep the quest idea alive for this expansion, and without any specifically designed cards or mechanic reworks there’s a slim chance that things will improve moving forward. Personally, I’m sad to see that. Many quests have untapped potential because they didn’t see very much play during Un’Goro and treating these unique cards like an afterthought is a complete waste of a wonderful concept.
They’re extremely unlikely to ever buff the weakest quests, so many of them need a great deal of upkeep, but I don’t see why when a new door opens, we must close another. Hopefully Blizzard take a careful look into the situation and in future expansions they give quest cards a second crack of the whip as I would really love to see lesser seen quests such as The Marsh Queen and Jungle Giants find some kind of place within a future metagame as there’s some truly interesting decks that really deserve a boost.