Exclusive Hearthstone Whizbang’s Workshop card reveals: Will these Mage spells bang?

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Hearthstone turns 10 this year, which makes me feel both incredibly old and surprisingly emotional. Blizzard’s card battler was the game I played every night when I moved to America in 2014, and I’ve never stopped since. It was my first digital CCG, and I spent almost every night for six weeks alone in a San Francisco apartment learning why casting Fireball on a Chillwind Yeti was not going to carry me to glory. What a time to be alive (and hard stuck at rank 16).

To celebrate the anniversary, Blizzard is leaning hard into a decade’s worth of nostalgia. The first expansion of the year is called Whizbang’s Workshop, and it’s full of callbacks to some of the most popular card designs of the past. You can see everything revealed so far here, but today I’m here to talk Mage, and specifically spells. 

We’ve got three cards to reveal, and they all play into the ‘No Minion’ archetype that terrorised the ladder between 2020 and 2021 when Incanter’s Flow, Deck of Lunacy and Refreshing Spring Water were completely busted. All those ended up being nerfed (in some cases multiple times), and although I don’t expect these new cards to be quite as broken, with Mage you never know. Here they are:

Manufacturing Error 

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Any purely spell-based deck needs a powerful card draw engine, and this is certainly that. Manufacturing Error gives off Skull of Gul’dan vibes, but without the Outcast requirement to trigger the cost reduction. Being able to draw three cards and potentially cheat up 9 Mana is incredibly potent. Obviously it will feel bad if you hit the lower cost stuff in your deck, but I also suspect that No Minion Mage is going to run a relatively high curve based on the other new cards that are intended to support the archetype. 

Yogg in the Box 

(Image credit: Blizzard)

It’s Mage. It’s random. It has to be Yogg.

In keeping with the toy theme of the expansion, the Old God has been transformed into a Jack in a Box—a cute reference to the people saying ‘what’s in the box?’ as they moused over old iterations of Yogg. When cast in a deck with no minions, Yogg in the Box unleashes five spells that cost at least 5 Mana. Note that, Yogg being Yogg, the spells are targeted entirely at random. Also note that Pyroblast is leaving the Core set at the same time as Whizbang’s Workshop launches, which is good or bad news depending on the quality of your RNG. 

Spot the Difference 

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Our final card is the one I’m least confident about. Historically, spell-only decks—whether Mage or Hunter—have used spells that summon minions to make up for their lack of them. But being able to summon two 3-Mana minions for 4 Mana doesn’t feel nutty when you look at the current pool. Getting something like an Ogre-Gang Outlaw which has Rush is probably the best result, but there are a lot of under-statted Battlecry minions that cost 3, meaning even with the Discover effect you’re probably going to get some underwhelming choices.

We spoke to lead initial designer Cora Georgiou about the inspiration behind the Mage class fantasy in Whizbang’s Workshop, which she sees as being all about puzzles: “No Minion Mage has been successful in the past, but we wanted to explore what that deck would look like in 2024 with a brand new set of spell cards fueling it. Manufacturing Error, Spot the Difference, and Yogg in the Box are designed to reward the player at various points during the game with payouts that are powerful enough to incentivize players to build with such a puzzling restriction.”

Although it’s still too early to guess how good No Minion Mage will be, the other Mage cards revealed earlier today show some promise. Frost Lich Cross-Stitch is a 5-Mana spell that reads ‘Deal 4 damage to a character. If it dies, summon a 3/6 Water Elemental that Freezes.’ I’m always interested in spells that summon minions, especially if they also do direct damage, potentially swinging the board state.

But the real juicer is likely to be the new Legendary Mage spell. It’s called The Galactic Projection Orb, costs a whopping 10-Mana, and reads: “Recast a random spell of each Cost you’ve cast this game (targets enemies if possible). 

That’s obviously a huge potential payoff in almost any Mage deck, but especially for the No Minion version. Now imagine this degeneracy: You cast Yogg in the Box which casts The Galactic Projection Orb which casts Yogg. You know it’s going to happen, the question is will you be the one uninstalling and throwing their laptop in a dumpster when it does. Whizbang’s Workshop launches on 19 March.

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