Thoughts on recently spoiled Prince Mechezaar. (article-ish?)
So Prince Mechezaar just got revealed as one of the new legendarys with the new adventure that is coming out soon. For those of you who missed it this is the card:
"Prince Malchazar: 5 mana 5/6 demon
At start of this game shuffle 5 legendaries into your deck"
I wanted to make this post to break down the card in detail and make myself and others understand it better. Keep in mind that I am talking about the card in competetive constructed. This card will be great and lots of fun in arena and casual but that is not really my thing.
So Blizzard is very good at building hype. I played Magic for several years before Hearthstone and if there is something I learned is that every new set that is released need their own flashy flagship cards that help build hype around the set and get people excited, but that doesn't necessarily means it is a constructed staple because of that. Prince Mechezaar is a perfect example of this with "shuffling 5 LEGENDARIES (OMFG ZOMG!!)" into your deck. Earlier examples of this are Reno Jackson (FULL HEALTH OMG) and The Mistcaller (people thought this card would be OP, remember?). All these are cards with at the time a very unique effect and definitely helped getting people more excited about the set. But enough of the history lesson and lets actually get to the card.
Something that I see a lot of people do, even a lot of pro players, are that when they see a new card they only see the ceiling, how powerful it can potentially be without even considering what it does at its worst. At best Prince Mechezaar is an ok body that gives you the extra edge you need in a long fatigue-matchup where you get 5 great legendaries that help you grind your opponent out of resources. But how often will this happen? Right now there are not many matchups at all that go that long, most of the decks try to decide games much earlier than that. In a control warrior mirror that might be exactly what you need but how often will it help you when you play vs Zoo, Hunter, Shaman etc, I even think it hurts you a lot in these matchups. But I will get to that later.
What I instead want to look at is what this card will do in your average game of Hearthstone and how good/bad it is at his worst. Of course I'm no future teller so this is just speculation and my thoughts explained.
So all we know that we get by putting this card in our deck is a 5/6 for 5 (and 4 random legendaries). This is not a card we would never put in our deck by itself, Pit Fighter doesn't see any play and neither will this if it doesn't do more. So for this card to be playable we need to rely on his effect.
"At the start of this game shuffle 5 legendaries into your deck"
So we are putting 5 extra cards in our deck at the start of the game. This means that we increased our deck size to 35 and this is 99% of the time a bad thing. We aren't even given the option in Hearthstone but you would never play more than 30 cards in Hearthstone (unless super specific metas cornercase scenarios, lets work under this assumption, ok?) even if you could because it bring the consistency down of your decks gameplan overall. This reduces the chance of a consistent draw or finding the key card you need in any given situation. For example say you find your Fiery War Axe one turn to late to kill his Tunnel Trogg because you drew Archmage Antonidas instead last turn.
Also I think people just assume that the word "legendary" translates into "good card" which is not the case. Reno Jackson, Fandral Staghelm, Brann Bronzebeard, Emperor Thaurissan and Justicar Trueheart all have two things in common. Number one; They are in the absolute top tier legendaries in all of Hearthstone. Number two; You need to build your whole deck with these cards in mind to use them to their full effect. But we rarely think of this because of course you wouldn't put them in a deck where it doesn't fit. But getting any of these from Prince Mechezaar is probably terrible. What I am trying to get to is that a lot of legendaries are "build around-cards" and legendaries that you think are amazing are just that because you built your deck that way. And then I haven't even mentioned the place that god forgot where Lorewalker Cho, Acidmaw, Anomalus and Milhouse Manastorm sit and share stories about that one time they saw play because they dropped off a Sneed's Old Shredder. If you ever draw one of those it will very likely cost you an entire game a lot of the time.
Here is the most important part and the reason I wanted to write this post though, we are gonna look at what we get at its worst and what makes the really good cards great. Lets use Dr. Boom as an example, one of the most powerful cards to ever exist in Hearthstone. At worst whenever you play this card you get a 7/7 and two 1 /1 that will deal one damage to the worst possible targets for seven mana, does this sound like a bad deal? Not at all. Lets take a build around legendary instead, and something that is the closest comparision I can draw to our new Prince; Elise Starseeker. Elise is used to get your dead cards become live ones in control mirrors, or that is the main purpose of the card at least. But how bad is Elise when you play against Zoo, Shaman or Hunter? Well, it is still a 3/5 which is not that terrible to drop on curve against aggro, you do not sacrifice that much by putting Elise in your deck even in the matchups where she is at her worst.
That is the problem I have with Prince Mechezaar; in a lot of matchups, however the flashy effect might be it will just be a Pit Fighter. This would be acceptable but it also comes to the risk with drawing really bad cards in important situations (once again, it's way more important to be aware of the floor than the ceiling of a card). All of this combined makes me think that Prince Mechezaar is not gonna see a lot of competetive constructed play.
Then again I've been wrong before. I have said in the past that Webspinner is totally unplayable when it was reveled, I thought that Troggzor the Earthinator were the most OP legendary ever and I just scrolled past Dr. Boom like it was nothing when it was revelaed. I am not writing this post to tell people that they are bad for thinking the card is good, I just want to start some discussion and give you some insight in my thoughtprocess during spoiler season.
Also I am sorry if the English isn't perfect or the post is unstructured, this is literally just thoughts I've written down in one hour, I am not going to proofread it or anything. English is not my native language.
And please, this is the first time I'm writing a post like this in Hearthstone, so let me know what you think. All constructive feedback is super appriciated and I read it all. I really want to write weekly articles in the future so I am really trying to improve as much as I can when it comes to writing.
Thank you for reading!
// Jon "Orange" Westberg