Hello, hello and welcome back to another Hexploration article. Today we are going to cover and go in depth on all the new champions and mechanics in Frostheart and my thoughts on them. I’m excited for all these new things, and I can’t wait until they’re available to us. We have a lot to cover so let’s jump right in and evaluate!
We discovered all the new keywords in this article. If you need a refresher make sure to check it out to get the concept of all the new keywords.
Frostform is a mechanic that allows you to reduce the cost of your troop by paying its Frostform cost. By doing this the troop’s defense will become one and it will become an elemental in addition to what it already is. Think of Frostform as kinda the opposite of Empower. Instead of increasing the cost you’ll lower the cost but get an overall more fragile troop. This makes cards like Cheap Shot even better to play main deck than before since every troop that is Frostformed will have one toughness. Also keep in mind if you Reverted a troop with Empower it got significantly weaker. The opposite is true for Frostform. Reverting a Frostform troop, say with something like Hope on the Horizon, will make the troop stronger.
Gladiator is a simple mechanic. A troop with Gladiator will get bonus attack on your turn and bonus defense on your opponent’s turn equal to the Gladiator number. It’s important to note that Gladiator does stack, so if you have multiple instances of Gladiator 1 it will just make the troop stronger. The most important thing to take away from this new keyword is that you’ll want to be killing most troops on your opponent’s turn, especially if your removal of choice is something like Strangle.
Illuminate is an awesome mechanic that puts these cute Candlekin into play or grows all your Candlekin by the number listed. For example, if you Illuminate for 2, you’ll be given the choice to put 2 Candlekin into play or give all your Candlekin +2/+2. This allows the user to pick between going wide with an army of Candlekin or to go tall and make your Candlekin huge threats. Going wide is great against decks that have a lot of single target removal. You can punish your opponent for playing so many Strangles and Herofalls. Going wide will also help with your Assault cards. Going tall will be important against decks with little removal but big troops, so you can outgrow their defenses.
Runic is a keyword found on actions of all shards in Frostheart that gives them the ability to be replayed later in the game for free once a resource enters your hand. This will allow you to play your action a second time when you draw a shard. It’s important to note that after you play an action with Runic it will become a constant. This is important to note because cards like Radiant Physician, that improve with the more constants you have, get a lot better in the new format. Keep an eye out for cards that play with constants, they might have just gotten the push they need.
This is my personal favorite keyword. Fateweave is a mechanic that allows you to manipulate your next draw by allowing you to put a resource or a non-resource card on top of your deck. Remember that if you have multiple instances of Fateweave, you can stack the top of your deck however you choose. For example, if you Fateweave twice in one turn you can insure that you have two resources on top of your deck, or later in the game you can insure that the top two cards are non-resource cards. This also means that Fateweave plays well with itself but not so much with Prophecy. For example, you’ll want to Fateweave first before you play an action like Lanupaw’s Sight. Otherwise you’ll draw your Fateweave cards before you draw the cards you Prophesied onto, delaying your payoff even further.
Those were some sweet new mechanics! I believe they are going to change the way we play and interact with our opponents. But that’s not all that’s coming! Next up, let’s go over the twenty new champions we get when Frostheart is released.
Bar’dak has a powerful charge power, but a prohibitive cost in both charges and health. You’ll need to be able to offset the health loss in Constructed, otherwise you’ll get run over by the aggressive decks we know already exist. However, in Limited losing health isn’t the end of the world, especially since you’ll be trading a lot of your troops and resources with your opponents’. In Limited, you don’t risk being burnt out as much as you would in Constructed, which also helps.
This chaostouched champion, on the other hand, will work great with any troop with evasion, like Flight or Unblockable. He will allow you to burst your opponent down very quickly, especially if they happen to be utilizing troops like Dreadlings or, to a lesser extent, Candlekin.
Isabella is all about abusing the Deathcry keyword. Thankfully, Blood has a lot of access to troops with Deathcry. Keep troops in mind like Naive Lackey, Underworld Crusader, Elder of Lost Ages, Cosmic Shaman, Scrap the Endless, and other powerful troops with Deathcry. You could even build a reanimator deck that focuses on that keyword to generate advantage. You could bring troops back to life with something like Mordrom’s Gift, or when you can’t do that, you could just use your charge power to make a zombie with the same powerful Deathcry ability. Value!
Ixo is another champion that works well with Deathcry troops. I feel like you’ll be able to abuse Ixo the Primeval more in Limited than in Constructed, since every deck in Limited plays troops and you’ll always be able to kill at least one or two troops over the course of the match.
For Calilac, I really wish she Fateweaved for three charges instead of four. For one more charge, you can draw a card with other champions, say like Renner. She does start off with a high health total, but having to wait a whole other turn to see the effects of her charge power is a negative drawback. However, it is great that we’ll have another champion to pick from if you don’t want to play Marshal Josephina, especially one who attacks on a different axis.
Cassia lets you make a 1/1 Candlekin or give all your Candlekin +1/+1. This is a powerful ability, especially if your deck has a lot of Illuminate troops and/or actions. You’re going to want to use the +1/+1 with her and try to add to your candle army in other ways. This is because giving +1/+1 to three or more troops can be a lot more powerful than just making a 1/1 Candlekin.
How can you not love a champion with the name Papa Goot? You can’t! This Iljuni starts at a very low health total of 17, but he can create a constant named Daybreak that will gain you one health at the start of each of your turns. This will offset his low health total very quickly. Keep in mind that constants are looking to matter in Frostheart, and Papa Goot will likely be a very solid champion pick for your constants deck.
As far as Pharamedes is concerned, giving one troop +2/+2 permanently is strong in Constructed but more so in Limited. This is especially true if that troop has a Deathcry ability that lets them come back into play, like Elder of Lost Ages or Spiritbound Spy.
Lorelai has a strange, yet powerful charge power. On the surface, it doesn’t look to be too strong since you need six charges to use it. On top of six charges, you also must have a lot of troops in play, so there are a lot of hoops to jump through. You’ll have to abuse her charge power with something like Dreadlings or Candlekin, and then also have a big payoff action or a resource sink. It’s a lot of work, and it will take a special kind of deck to play Lorelai, but if we have the appropriate cards then she can be quite powerful.
Now Swampbutt is a champion I can get behind…. Though I’d probably better stay in front… And at least twenty feet away. Swampbutt creates four Swamp Gas and put them into your deck. Swamp Gas is a wonderful way to kill small troops, or just hit your opponent in the face and draw a card. They are also fantastic at lowering the cost of Psychic Ascension. Swampbutt is the champion interrupt and burn players have been dreaming of. You can play a sweet control deck that wins by either burning the opponent out or by eventually becoming the Paragon of Thought. Thankfully, this troll is also in the right shards to play Major Ruby of Galvanism, so you can make enough Swamp Gas to engulf all Entrath!
Thakra gives Ruby a very solid way to close out games. Two Blaze Elementals are nothing to scoff at, especially after a board wipe. The Blaze Elementals also do a respectable job of triggering Assault or fueling Scrounge. I look forward to losing many games to kitty cat elementals.
Tork will be very scary if you can generate a lot of troops like Dreadlings, or really just any swarm of small troops with Speed. He then basically becomes a better champion to play than Therroz if you are in Ruby and want to grow your team.
Rainbows, butterflies, and happy go lucky clouds. That’s what HEX is truly about! Puff is a great champion for Reversion strats. Playing Hereafter on something like Gargalith and then using Puff’s charge power on it will make it a beautiful happy go lucky butterfly until the start of your next turn. Then it will go back to being a 7/8 Spellshielded champion killer. Puff, you’re one happy but demented cloud.
Dracon is also pretty crazy for setting up awesome combos. For five charges, you can rebuy small actions like Arcane Focus, Change Course, Strangle, Withering Gaze, or whatever two or less action your heart desires. However, we can abuse this limitation by reducing our actions with things like Mindcall or Coralcove Witch. With Coralcove Witch, you’ll want to look for powerful actions that cost 4 so that you can fully abuse Runecarver Darcon’s ability by replaying these powerful actions again once you’ve reduced their cost to two.
Soaring Talon is a solid champion in Limited when paired with another shard combination that has large troops but little to no evasion, like Wild. If you have the deck for it, just one use of this charge power can quickly end the game the turn you use it.
Yarna is new bury champion, oh my! You’ll want to pair Yarna with things that create spider eggs like Azure Fang Decree or things that can abuse your opponent having a large crypt like Demented Ascension. Just be careful when you use her charge power. Some decks would love to have some extra troops in their crypt to reanimate or Scrounge away. I imagine you’ll sometimes want to build up to eight or so charges so that you can use her charge power back to back and not get punished.
Furiko’s charge power is one that I’d want to build around for Limited, and it’s not difficult. You just need lots of troops or ways to make generated troops like Battle Hoppers. Then, when you use Furiko’s charge power, you’ll have a huge army that will be very hard to overcome.
Gryrr Clampclaw, on the other hand, has a solid charge power both for Limited or Constructed. This could be the go to champion for the Wild/Ruby Gladiator deck, especially if you don’t plan on going wide.
Plagueroot’s pretty crazy. Four charges for two 1/1 troops is an undercosted cost for a charge power. You’ll just have to be able to get that troop to die. This is especially strong in Limited if you use Plagueroot’s charge power on a troop which then trades with one of your opponent’s. You’ll get two 1/1s out of the deal alone, and that’s without any fancy crypt recursion for even more value.
Puck and Balthasar have a charge power I can really get behind. For five charges, you’ll be able to draw a card and either gain two health or play the card if it’s a resource. This is a charge power you’ll want to try and use a lot, either by reducing it with cards like Eternal Bastion or by building up a lot of charges through Fallen Singularity or Major Ruby of Galvanism. Either way, this power will surely rock!
And that’s it folks. Thanks for tuning in to another Hexploration article. Enjoy the spoilers as they keep rolling out. I can’t wait to get my hands on these new cards and champions!