Control Warrior is surviving the loss of Baku well. With most combo decks pushed out by the rotation, and with new bomb tools helping Warrior win against Control, the meta is increasingly shaped by the late-game power of Doctor Boom. But the race to win the fatigue war is presenting a problem for tournaments running the nascent Specialist format: a terrifyingly dull fatigue arms race.
The never-ending story
With so many late-game Warrior decks out there, Archivist Elysiana is a natural choice. As well as stuffing an additional 10 cards into your deck when you run dry, she deletes any bombs that might be lurking in there. This is good news for people who want to counter Warrior: but unfortunately, she works best in Warrior as other classes have trouble surviving the endless flood of bombs and mechs.
As a result, she ends up not making other classes a better option, but simply elongates and extends Warrior mirrors to nearly unbearable degrees. So why is she such a problem?
When it comes to late-game fatigue mirrors, it’s very hard to beat Archivist if you don’t run her. With 10 additional cards in your deck, it would take a ludicrous amount of additional draw to fall behind your opponent in the fatigue race. To make matters worse, players can run even greedier versions with Baleful Banker to yet further increase the length of games, resulting in an ever-escalating arms race of additional cards.
This limits not only deckbuilding creativity, but makes matchups incredibly polarized if going to the latest stages of the game, often simply dependent on who teched in more anti-control.
However, far worse than this is the RNG impact. All of Elysiana’s cards are randomly discovered, meaning that games where she is the deciding factor are often almost completely determined by RNG. This compounds the already restrictive RNG in drawing the likes of Doctor Boom early.
By reducing the decision-making in the game to what amounts to an end-game coin flip, archivist Elysiana fundamentally lowers the excitement of engaging with the game. What’s worse, by dragging out the game into 30 minute long slugfests, she decreases the stakes on any given turn. Exceptionally long games simply don’t make for good viewing.
What’s the solution?
There are a few options for fixing this mess. One would be to simply ban the card from tournaments. While extreme, it could yield the desired result. Another more radical strategy could be to adjust the way that tournaments are streamed: instead of playing livestreaming a single match, only highlights could be shown or multiple games played at once.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via hearthstone.gamepedia.com.
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