'Hearthstone' Has A Serious Yogg-Saron Problem


Hearthstone is a card game where randomness often beats skill. A player with years of experience, who knows every card in the game and what’s popular in the meta and how to counter it, can lose to someone who just has the right amount of luck. Hearthstone isn’t unique in that regard – all card games require a bit of luck in order to win. Still, over the last few expansions, Hearthstone has reached a point where luck out-values skill.

Whispers Of The Old Gods gave us Yogg-Saron, a 10-mana 7/5 minion that plays a random spell for each spell you played during the game. When WOTG was first released, nobody really played the tentacle Old God. He was too unstable to be played competitively. He could either win or lose you the game.

Then One Night In Karazhan came out and decks like Druid and Mage got an overabundance of spells that would buff Yogg. Quickly, the ability for Yogg to win you the game started to outweigh his random abilities. He became a second win condition for when your game is all but lost. Nobody plays Yogg-Saron when they are ahead and have a full board, that’s just a waste. But, if your 15 health behind your opponent and looking down at a Faceless Manipulator and a Flametongue Totem, there’s no better chance to use him.

Professional Hearthstone players hate Yogg-Saron . For a spectator, it’s fun to watch a random series of events win a game, but for someone that wants to play HS for a living, it’s disheartening. Imagine climbing your way up the ranked ladder, ending up at a big tournament like the Tavern Tales and losing any chance you had of winning money because the old gods gifted your opponent some board clear.

SuperJJ, who is one of the best Hearthstone players in the competitive scene, looks almost pissed as he crushes Rdu with good RNG. On the couch interview, SuperJJ said: “We don’t need this in competitive Hearthstone… (I) didn’t win the game because I did something special for it, (I) won the game because the card did something special for me.”

That sums up why cards like Yogg-Saron are bad for the future of Hearthstone . Having a card do a bunch of crazy things for you is nice, but a win off of a Pyroblast when you are playing Druid just feels cheap. Unlike League of Legends or Overwatch , pro Hearthstone players need to rely on extreme amounts of luck to remain employed. Teams are leaving Hearthstone by the truckload – Team Dignitas dropped their full Hearthstone roster on Saturday.

Blizzard needs to remember that Hearthstone needs strict guidelines in order to be competitive. You can’t ask players to invest years of their lives into a game just to throw their skills out the window when Yogg-Saron gets played.

Join the Discussion