[TL;DR: Choose a second class as you are building your deck. Certain Neutral minions will change so you can Discover Battlecries, Deathrattles, or Spells from that class. Costs of the Discovered effects are based on the cost of the Neutral minion. Certain other minions and Spells will help boost the power of the Battlecries, Deathrattles, and Spells you can Discover from that second class.]
I have been reading various posts by members of this forum that make excellent cases for how the loss of “strategy” in Hearthstone has made it less fun to play than other card games, in particular Magic the Gathering. One detail pointed out by many of these folks is that in MtG, you can combine two decks of different colors that synergize, and there are also certain dual-class cards that allow you to combine the strengths of the various colors; both these facts allow more deck strategies that keep MtG fresh and interesting. Dual-class cards and game templates have been requested by many Hearthstone players as well, and while the Devs have designed various fun dual-class Tavern Brawls, if I remember correctly, for these you don’t get to really pick your deck and design it in detail. It led me to start thinking how something like dual-class cards could be introduced into Hearthstone without having to redesign the entire game. So, I present below my idea for a Dual-class Expansion called “Back to School”.
“Back to School” would be designed around a package that focuses on a Legendary minion given for free, just like C’thun and Galakrond, supported mainly by nine common Neutral minions and various spells. This free legendary minion, let’s call it “Nonuple, the Master Tutor”, when chosen for your deck from the Card Collection screen, would ask you to choose one of the other 8 classes (important that this choice happens here and not at the start of each game: getting to choose the second class based on your opponent’s class would be very unfair). At this point, each of the nine common Neutral “Students” (NOT a minion tribe, like Murloc, but “Student” would be in the name of each) would change to reflect that second class choice.
So the 19 “core cards” of this expansion package would look like this:
One of: Nonuple the Master Tutor, 2 cost 2/2 Legendary neutral minion. “Start of Game: Your Students learn [X class].”
Two of: 1-3 cost, ?/? neutral Student minion: “Battlecry: Discover and activate a 1-3 mana [X Class] minion Battlecry. Tutor twice to upgrade.”
Two of: 4-6 cost, ?/? neutral Student minion: “Battlecry: Discover and activate a 4-6 mana [X Class] minion Battlecry. Tutor twice to upgrade.”
Two of: 7-10 cost, ?/? neutral Student minion: “Battlecry: Discover and activate a 7-10 mana [X Class] minion Battlecry. Tutor twice to upgrade.”
This pattern is similar for the other students:
Two of each of: 1-3/4-6/7-10 cost ?/? neutral Student minions: “Battlecry: Discover a 1-3/4-6/7-10 mana [X Class] minion Deathrattle. Tutor twice to upgrade.”
Two of each of: 1-3/4-6/7-10 cost ?/? neutral Student minions: “Battlecry: Discover a 1-3/4-6/7-10 mana [X Class] Spell. Tutor twice to upgrade.”
By this point, you may be wondering what those varying minion costs and ?/? stats mean. This part, I think, is hardest for me to explain, and probably for the developers to program…basically, I know that often, to offset the benefit of, say, a really good Battlecry, a minion will be somewhat under-statted for its cost. So, at the point when you choose your second class after adding Nonuple during deck constuction, each of the Students would change costs and stats in a way determined by the developers to be “fair” for that dual-typing. The easiest example might be this: Mages have a lot of excellent high-cost spells (Flamestrike, Pyroblast, etc), so upon choosing Mage as your second class, the high-mana spell-Discovering Student would become “9 cost, 6/6 stats”; basically, you sacrifice one turn tempo-wise for possibly a huge swing in a future turn.
There would also be a new keyword, similar to Invoke, called “Tutor.” Each of the Students would start off only knowing core set or Common class Battlecries/Deathrattles/Spells. “Tutoring” them, with various Tutor keyword cards from the expansion, would upgrade the rarity level of class Battlecries/Deathrattles/Spells they could Discover, whether they were in your hand or deck. The Students would demonstrate an upgrade completion by having their “rarity jewel” change to the appropriate color (blue, purple, orange).
Example: Teaching Assistant, neutral 3 cost 2/3 minon: “Tutor your Students.”
Some further details:
-If “summoned” by a card based on cost (say, by casting a spell while holding Atiesh), each Student’s unmodified stats in the Collection screen are “2-cost 2/2, 5-cost 5/5, and 8-cost 8/8”. If Students are bounced back to your hand somehow, without Nonuple in your deck at game start, their effects do not activate when played.
-If Silenced, the Students would retain their stats from the start of the game, not revert to their unmodified stats listed above.
-If Rogue or Druid is chosen as the second class, “Combo” or “Choose one”, respectively, could be options among the Battlecry Student set. If Combo was chosen, the card would have the yellow glow around it on the Discover screen if the Combo would activate that turn.
-If resurrected, the Deathrattle Students lose their Discovered effect, since the Battlecry is required to choose it first.
-Playing in Wild would give options from all card choices, and Standard from Standard cards.
So what would the rest of expansion besides these cards be? There would be some Neutral minions and Spells that would Tutor, obviously, and perhaps some Student-specific tech cards.
Ex 1: Project Leader, Legendary Neutral 6 cost 3/3, “Tutor your Students twice.”
Ex 2: Afterschool Special, Rare spell, “Tutor your Students. Give your minions +1/+1”.
Ex 3: Knuckle-rapper, Epic minion, “Silence a Student.”
As for the rest, who knows? The Devs made DoD and Galakrond kind of a random grab-bag of themes and tech cards, the same might happen again.
The added strategic planning of this expansion would become apparent when deciding
(1) what classes synergize the best together (for example, one might pick Druid as the main class with Hunter as the second class, since both use Beasts and have Battlecries/Deathrattles/Spells to support that tribe);
(2) which classes have very good Battlecries/Deathrattles/Spells in a certain cost range, so you would know which Students of that cost to choose and how much they’d need to be Tutored.
Example A: Say you wanted to try for Luna’s Pocket Gallery while playing Warlock. You’d need to pick Mage as the second class, then include at least one of the high-mana cost spell-Discovering Students, and at least six of the Tutor cards in order to upgrade it enough to possibly Discover a Legendary spell.
Example B: Say you wanted to play the Beasts tribe, but using Priest, which doesn’t usually support it. Pick Hunter as second class , and many of Hunter’s core set and and common cards already have good Battlecries/Deathrattles/Spells that boost Beasts, so you might only need a few Students and Tutor cards to support your game plan.
As many of you will point out, knowing the options of the Battlecries/Deathrattles/Spells of a certain Class in a certain cost-range will allow you to attempt to purposely narrow your options to get the choices you want using the Discover mechanic (“Hmmm, my second class is Priest, and I know that Convincing Infiltrator is a 5-cost rare Deathrattle Priest card, so I could Tutor twice, then play my mid-cost Deathrattle Students to try to Discover its Destroy an enemy minion Deathrattle”). In certain situations, this could become overpowered. But I would counter, at least this requires some strategic planning! Is it any worse than getting high-rolled by a Lackey-given spell? Or Zephrys, which requires only a simple deck archetype and a bit of planning (how much mana is left after playing him)? I would argue not. Furthermore, this set, with Tutoring and Students, would force players to learn more about how cards work together, cost advantages and disadvantages, etc. Which, now that I type it out…might actually make Blizzard LESS likely to add these features, to keep their game simple enough that “anyone can play it.” I would argue they should trust their player base to be smart enough to learn these features.
This all seems complicated, but I believe most of these mechanics are programmed into the game already, or could be added rather easily without completely rewriting it. I think the dual-class combinations would likely spawn many powerful dual-type strategies, but by allowing all classes to mix and match, the meta shouldn’t become too dominated by one or two dual-classes, because there would be enough strategic variety for everything to have counters.
Thank you for reading, and please let me know what you think.