Zephrys the Great recently received a Hotfix help improve the card in actually providing cards appropriate for the situation you play him in. It is a very complex card that has been coded in a somewhat simple manner. Because of this, the card hasn’t been giving the best options to players considering it can’t read all minions’ card texts. Given that, here’s what you need to know about the Zephrys the Great Hotfix.
What the Hotfix Says
The notes for the hotfix were posted on the Blizzard forums. They read as follows:
“Fixed a bug where Zephrys sometimes didn’t handle enemy Divine Shields properly.
Fixed a bug where Zephrys sometimes didn’t handle Poisonous properly.
Fixed a bug where Zephrys didn’t consider that buffing a 0-Attack minion would let it attack that turn.
Taught Zephrys how Doomsayers work.
As a rule, we don’t plan to teach Zephrys about individual card mechanics and interactions. However, we’ve made a one-time exception in this case since having less-than-perfect offerings from Zephrys when trying to find an answer to a Doomsayer could cause you to lose your board or end up with no good plays for the turn.”
What the Hotfix Means
The first four things listed in the Hotfix notes are for the most part self explanatory. Zephrys would assume you could kill a minion but didn’t realize it would have Divine Shield or Poisonous. Zephrys also didn’t account for the fact that 0-attack minions could be buffed to attack to trade or go face.
The most important takeaway from what the Blizzard team is how it interacts with Doomsayer. Because of how the card was coded, Doomsayer registers as an 0/7 that couldn’t do anything and he chose to simply ignore it. This would result in never being offered a silence to prevent Doomsayers from clearing your board.
Now that Zephrys has been coded specifically for the card Doomsayer, various ways of dealing with the card should be available to players that need something to beat a Doomsayer turn. This problem extends to more than just Doomsayer however. Zephrys also can’t understand what happens to cards like Siamat.
It knows that Siamat is a seven mana 6/6, but it can’t tell what Keywords have been chosen. This could result in the card not offering a lethal with an attack buff for Siamat because it assumes it can only deal six damage. This sort of interaction will also occur on other Battlecry minions that give text to itself or another minion. This is an even bigger problem in Wild where there are so many more cards to account for.
What the Future Holds for Zephrys
It is quite unlikely that Zephrys continues to offer the best cards for a given situation as more expansions get released. Blizzard has stated that on principle they don’t want to teach it what all of these different cards do. This is because at the end of the day Zephrys the Great is just a single card out of hundreds.
That said, it will become less and less of a playable card. So one of two things may happen: Blizzard softens their stance on the coding of Zephrys, or Zephrys gets phased out of any meta as a playable card. It’s a learning moment for Blizzard as you can’t please the community when you word a card in such a way that Zephrys is.
For now, it is something fun to play and actually seems pretty good under normal circumstances. It’s also a lesson for any game designers when it comes to cards to appeal to the imagination. This card requires the most effort on the part of Blizzard. They have to code this card in a way that it can recognize any possible situation that might occur. This has proven to be too tall a task to handle. At least they are trying to fight against that with this Zephrys the Great hotfix.
Images courtesy Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.