Published on August 11th, 2022 | by Andrew Holmes
Murder at Castle Nathria (Review) is an unequivocal success
Summary: Beyond the mechanics of the expansion, something Murder at Castle Nathria succeeds in, is the flavor. The idea that this is a murder mystery goes great with the cards released like Murloc Holmes, and works great with the mechanics of the set.
I’ve been playing Hearthstone for a very long time. Not since Goblins vs Gnomes have I personally played a set that I loved so much. This is for a few reasons, but most importantly, the set is just fun to play with. There is a archetype for every type of player, and nothing feels particularly unfair. If you like combo oriented decks, Warrior brings back the damage style of play made famous in Patron. If you like OTK style decks, Mage and Druid got you covered. Aggro? You already know that Demon Hunter and Warlock are there. Rather than going through every individual card and deck, I’m gonna introduce you to some of the new mechanics introduced in Nathria and explain why I think they are great
For the first time in Hearthstone, we have locations. They work like this, you play them on the field, and you can use them as many times as they have durability (Located on the bottom right) When you do this, the location will close, and be available again after your next turn. These cannot be destroyed unless specifically stated by a card, so they dodge field wipes. This is a great way to set up combos, and in general gives you more flexibility with your plays. It could be argued since these can’t be destroyed or interrupted other than by specific cards they aren’t interactive, but from my experience they never feel unfun to play against.
Of course locations aren’t the only new to Hearthstone this expansion. The new mechanic Infuse makes board state gameplay relevant again by having your minions that die upgrade the infuse cards in your hand. In the case of Sire Denathrius, for every one of your minions that die while Denathrius is in your hand, it gains an additional damage that will happen when he is played. The other big addition to Hearthstone is introducing hand disruptions for the first time. With the card Theotar, you can steal an important combo piece, and give them back something not as helpful. It feels great to be able to interrupt a big combo, forcing your opponent to find an alternate wincon.
Beyond the mechanics of the expansion, something Murder at Castle Nathria succeeds in, is the flavor. The idea that this is a murder mystery goes great with the cards released like Murloc Holmes, and works great with the mechanics of the set. A bunch of minions dying to power up your minions, or were they murdered? The entire set gives really big Clue (the board game) vibes, and I’m personally here for it. All of the card art look fantastic, but that is to be expected from Hearthstone. The only other thing I’ll mention, is the class balance feels really good right now. Every class has a viable deck that can win. Sure, some are better than others against certain decks, but that comes with any TCG.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I’ve been playing Hearthstone for a long time, and I genuinely believe this is one of the best sets to come out in a long time. From the new mechanics introduced, to the great theming, you would have to say that Murder at Castle Nathria is an unequivocal success.