Published on August 22nd, 2014 | by Gregg Miller2
Curse of Naxxramas: Construct Quarter
The fourth wing of Naxxramas has been released, and it comes with an interesting change. Many could have predicted this mechanics twist when comparing Hearthstone to the World of Warcraft version of the raid. Unlike previous wings, and the upcoming Frost Wyrm Lair, in the Construct Quarter there are four boss heroes to fight.
Our first hero to fight in this wing is Patchwerk, who was described as the ideal and ultimate boss encounter model for damage dealing roles in the MMO to gauge their maximized potential. This time, the boss is an exercise in dealing with enemy removal. This hero has no deck, and draws no cards, avoiding Fatigued. He also starts play with a 5/8 Hook as his weapon, putting an effective 6 turn time limit to kill him, before he just slays your hero. This is of course assuming you don’t do anything to change this fact with various decks or heroes. In addition, this is the first boss that makes the player go second in turn order, all previous bosses force you to go first. His Hero Power costs four mana, and and destroys a minion.
Grobbulus is a nasty hero with a rather terrible self-sustaining Hero Power. For two mana, he will deal one damage to all minions. If any minions die to this, he gains a 2/2 Slime, which applies to his own minions. With Rogue, Warrior, buff cards and a unique carded called Mutating Injection, he’s able to make any of his minions terrorize your deck.
Gluth was an exciting boss when I first tried to fight against him with my newly made Shaman Deathrattle deck. For two mana, Gluth changes the health of all minions on the board to one, making me think this would be perfect for getting a deck that would punish the boss with their own Hero Power. Unfortunately, I learned he starts with a one mana 1/5 Jaws weapon in their hand that says: “Whenever a minion with Deathrattle dies, gain +2 attack.” This lead to a swift, and crushing defeat. Effectively, you need to play your first five turns without putting a Deathrattle minion in play, to let that weapon burn out, or find a way to destroy it. After that, you just need to have minions that can hit hard, as well as weapons or spells to help aid you.
Thaddius is my all time favorite hero in this wing, and in the Naxxramas expansion. His hero power has a cost of zero, and swaps the attack and health of all minions in play. This has a deck building choice that you can not add any zero attack minions to the deck, unless you have some way of buffing their attack after playing them. This also added some interesting longevity to some minions, as they’d “shrink” over the course of many turns. Planning ahead is a big strategy with fighting against him, and it added a rather interesting level of depth in games against this boss.
As for the new cards, we gained some new and interesting cards that expand and work well with earlier released cards, as well as existing ones. The one mana Undertaker is a 1/2 minion that gains +1/+1 whenever you summon a minion with Deathrattle, fantastic for a Deathrattle centered deck build. The 2 mana 2/2 Mad Scientist adds a free, but random, method for Hunters, Paladins, and Mages to put in Secret cards into play when his Deathrattle effect is triggered. Zombie Chow is a one mana 2/3 creature that continues the “cheap cost, but pay for this card in another way” addition by having a Deathrattle that heals your opponent for 5 health. Wailing Soul is a four mana 3/5 creature with an interesting addition for deck strategies that make you want to add in affordable cards, but not pay for the downsides. It has a Battlecry that Silences all of your own minions, making it so you have an additional self Silence in decks that want to use Zombie Chow, Dancing Blades, or even Ancient Watcher.
Defeating all the bosses adds the two Legendary cards, Feugen and Stalagg. Feugen is a five mana 4/7 that states, “Deathrattle: If Stalagg also died this game, summon Thaddius.” The counterpart, Stalaag, is a 5 mana 7/4 minion that states, “Deathrattle: If Feugen also died this game, summon Thaddius.” What is Thaddius? For ten mana, he is an 11/11, who comes out for “free” when Feugen and Stalagg are killed.
For the Class Challenges, Priest and Warrior are up to bat, and they bring a pair of cards that seem to fit in theme for them. Priests gain the Dark Cultist after they defeat Thaddius with a special deck. For three mana, this 3/4 minion comes with a Deathrattle that reads: Give a random friendly minion +3 health. For Warriors who defeat Grobbulus, they gain a four mana weapon with 4/2 and “Deathrattle: Deal 1 damage to all minions.”
With another smooth launch, the Construct Quarter was an interesting wing, and it ushers in more cards to change the metagame. There’s one more wing to go, and even with two bosses, I’m expecting some interesting mechanics.