Two new Echo cards, as well as some of the history of The Witchwood, were revealed today in a video with game designer Peter Whalen.
Today’s Hearthside Chat with game designer Peter Whalen revealed two new Echo cards as it discussed the design history of The Witchwood, which apparently started out as “Murder On The Gilnean Express”. You can view the entire Hearthside Chat here, where Peter discusses some of the things that the design team tried out before settling on Echo:
Hearthside Chat Video
Warpath and Face Collector
Card Images courtesy of Hearthpwn.com
Warpath strikes me as a flexible tool for aggressive decks and an enabler for while damaged effects. Sleep with the Fishes will rotate from standard when Warpath becomes legal, but this card doesn’t strike me as a direct replacement for it. Warpath doesn’t do a great job of cleaning up midsize boards before they get out hand, and has a lot of overlap with Scourgelord Garrosh’s Hero Power. However, it has much more utility with cards like Acolyte of Pain, and can be used on its own in the late game to handle most threats. It might not be as efficient as Defile, but I expect this one to see play.
Face Collector is the first truly dynamic Echo card we’ve seen, as its random Battlecry can put players in a position where they are forced to choose between playing additional copies of Face Collector or playing one of the random Legendary minions it just drew them. Rogue decks tend not to be slow or controlling in nature, which makes me a bit suspect as to how strong this card will actually be in practice. It doesn’t buy you a lot of tempo when played on curve, but it has the ability to provide INSANE value if you can cast 3 times in a single turn. If there’s a value-oriented Rogue deck to be had when the new set comes out, I expect Face Collector to be a part of it.
Murder on the Gilnean Express
As much as I love new card spoilers, my favorite part of today’s video was when Peter Whalen discussed the design history of The Witchwood. He shared that the set was initially themed as a murder mystery titled “Murder on the Gilnean Express”, and included a number of designs which played up this theme.
One ability they tried out was called “Investigate”, where you built a minion’s abilities up over a series of Discover effects. This design sounds fun and skill testing, but it may have proved to be a bit too time consuming in practice.
Another ability they tried out was called “Mystery”, which is explained on card image above. I really like the design behind Mystery and hope to see it show up in a future set, even if only on a single card and not as a new keyword ability.
Ghostly cards were one of the precursors to Echo. They tried out several designs of Ghostly while the set was still murder mystery themed, and at one point Ghostly read as “discard this card at the end of your turn”. As they moved away from the old theme and towards the new one, they eventually settled on Echo as the new keyword ability for a variety of reasons. It fit well with the set’s new theme, and it provided players with interesting decisions to make throughout the game.
If you’d like to learn more about The Witchwood, check out our expansion hub right here!