Hearthstone’s new Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion is out, and that means that on top of being able to play with fresh strategies, we get to partake in another more underappreciated pleasure: watching pro players fail to play around new cards.
“Hit yourself in the face, that’ll show me,” Lee says as his Warlock opponent plays a Flame Imp, which deals three points of self-damage when played.
Ironically enough, Lee himself has not one, but two Bittertide Hydra cards on the board that’ll make him hit himself in the face in just a second: for every tick of damage each Hydra takes, they’ll hurt Lee for 3 damage each. But since the card is a super-efficient 5-mana 8/8, it’s a fair drawback.
What Lee isn’t prepared for is the new Warlock card Defile, which deals one damage to every minion on the board and triggers again each time a minion dies. First the card kills his 5/1 Menagerie Warden, causing it to re-trigger. Then it kills the Warlock’s Flame Imp, causing it to trigger again. Then it kills the Warlock’s Raging Worgen, triggering it a fourth time.
This wouldn’t be so bad except every time the card triggers, the Hydras take another hit of damage, and hit Lee for a combined six damage per turn. Once Defile has done its job, Lee has taken 24 damage and lost the game.
While you’re struggling to learn all of Frozen Throne’s new cards, it’s nice to see that even professional-level players have an adjustment period too. It makes the K-pop song in the clip background, Red Velvet’s “Rookie,” feel almost too on-the-nose.
Joshua Calixto (@hitherejosh) writes about esports, culture, and technology.