Get into any discussion about Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and you’re bound to talk about a couple of things: deck makeups and your favorite (or most controversial) cards.
Right before the free-to-play card-battler’s iPad rollout, I talked with two of the Blizzard developers behind the project, production director Jason Chayes and producer Bryan Chang. While learning about how the publisher used Unity to port Hearthstone from computers to the tablet, I also asked them about their favorite cards.
Here’s what they shared with me.
Production director Jason Chayes: Crazed Alchemist
The Crazed Alchemist gets a lot of love from the Hearthstone community. This neutral can swap a Minion’s health and attack, neutralizing a foe’s card or making one of yours more formidable. It’s one of our favorite cards, so it’s no surprise that one of the leaders of Blizzard’s team digs it as well.
“I like Crazed Alchemist a lot,” Chayes told me. “The card can do a lot of crazy stuff. I love its versatility — it can change the lay of the land [on the board.]”
It’s also a great answer to one of the most annoying, powerful Legendaries in the game.
“It’s a great anti-Nate Pagle card,” Chayes said, referring to the Legendary that gives its player a 50 percent chance of drawing a card at the start of each turn that it’s on the board. It has 0 attack and 4 health — and by swapping those numbers with Crazed Alchemist, Pagle dies because it has no health.
Producer Bryan Chang: Headcrack
Rogues aren’t your typical spellcasters, but in Hearthstone, they have some of the coolest spells. Combine these with draw cards like the Gadgetzan Auctioneer (which gives you one card for every spell you play) and Rogue becomes one of the best Hero classes in Hearthstone.
Headcrack is one of the Rogue’s most distinct cards. It costs 3 mana and does 2 damage to the opposing Hero. But if you had played a card earlier in your turn, its Combo ability puts the Headcrack back into your hand after it does its damage.
“I think it’s a cool card,” Chang said. “I play it over and over, and I don’t even mind when it’s played against me.”