It’s hard not to be excited about Saviors of Uldum’s new Quests. It’s been more than two years since we first saw them in Journey to Un’goro, and they still hold a special place in many players hearts. With their unique conditions and powerful rewards, they present a refreshing gameplay and deckbuilding challenge. However, many of Un’goro’s Quests were far too slow or niche to be competitive. How could Saviors of Uldum’s be different? Though we’ve only seen two so far, there are a number of clues that suggest they may be far more viable.
Cutting out the 5 Mana Middleman
One massive change for the as-yet revealed Quests is the removal of the ‘reward’ card, instead of completing the Quest giving you a card, typically a 5 mana minion or spell. In Uldum, this step is completely skipped. In the Quests we’ve seen so far, completing the quest instantly activates the reward.
This is huge for the tempo impact of Quests. Previously, Quests were big and powerful effects that were often far too slow. In addition to being down a card all game, losing your turn one and requiring limiting deckbuilding restrictions, the 5 mana cost made Quests clunky to even complete. In fact, the only Quests that saw consistent competitive play were those able to get around their high mana cost. The Warrior Quest reward only cost 3, the Rogue Quest was often discounted with Preparation, and Mage’s Time Warp was usually cast for 1 mana with multiple Sorcerer’s Apprentices.
By skipping this mana cost, there’s an effective 5 mana discount on all of Uldum’s new Quests. That’s huge, and should never be underestimated.
Easy Conditions, Hard Rewards
Another aspect of the Uldum Quests is the deckbuilding focus. Un’goro’s Quests typically had difficult, specific conditions to meet and a powerful, generic reward. The hard part was completing the Quest, not utilising it. Of course, there were some exceptions like the difficult to use Rogue and Druid Quests, but even in these cases the deckbuilding focus was on completing, not utilising, the Quest.
But for the Uldum Quests we’ve seen, this is flipped. While they’re not easy to complete, both the Druid and Warlock Quests have relatively open-ended activation conditions. Drawing cards or not spending mana is not dependent on any one specific card type or deckbuilding strategy. Instead, the rewards require deckbuilding to properly utilise. Ossirian Tear’s ‘Choose One’ combination demands those cards, and Tome of Origination’s mana reduction needs high-cost cards or specific combos to properly utilise.
This should make building a quest deck more open ended, with a greater variety of strategies for completing them, while lowering their generic standalone power level. This makes Quests better able to adapt and shift, especially to a faster meta.
Beyond that, Quests will also receive support from powerful Neutral cards. We’ve seen one of these already in Questing Explorer. This 2 mana 2/3 draws you a card if you control a Quest, filling a vital role in any Quest deck’s early game. Crucially, it helps you overcome the Quest’s card disadvantage while allowing you to develop an early board presence to counteract your lack of a proactive turn one play.
More Neutral Quest support cards would allow a far greater range of those decks to work. Plugging the gaps, especially in the early game, will be crucial for allowing us to live long enough to have fun with our exciting new Quest rewards.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
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