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A Quick Look at the Plague Wing in Hearthstone

The second wing of Hearthstone’s Curse of Naxxramas adventure launched last night at 11:59pm PST. (Way to make that Tuesday launch date, guys!) This wing features the familiar faces of Noth the Plaguebringer, Heigen the Dance Dancer, and Loatheb, plus class challenges for the Mage and Hunter decks. Each wing costs 700 gold or $6.99.

Although Blizzard didn’t outright say as much I suspect that the odd launch time was to avoid the servers crashing, but it didn’t seem to help. It took about 30 minutes for my order to be processed, and for most of that time the game reported that I had 700 less gold in my account but the wing was still locked. They even had to shut down the Hearthstone store complete at one point. So much for a late start not crashing the servers!


(Editor’s Note: As I was reading over this post at 11:30am PST I saw someone on Twitter mention having difficulty completing their purchase, so these troubles may still be going on right now.)

Anyway, once I finally got access to the Plague Wing I found the normal mode bosses even easier than those in the previous Spider Wing. Here’s an overview, with spoilers of course if you care about that kind of thing:

Noth the Plaguebringer
Special Ability: A passive to raise a 1/1 skeleton whenever an enemy dies.
Strategy: I was a little worried about playing my aggro pally deck here because it has a lot of minions with 1 health that could be easily killed, but I one-shot this boss.
Card Reward: Stoneskin Gargoyle! 3 mana for a 1/4 drop that restores to full health at the start of your turn. I was pretty excited to get this card because it was really fun to play in the Druid challenge from the previous wing and can become an obnoxious early taunter.

Heigen the Unclean
Special Ability: 1 mana to do 2 damange to the “left-most enemy minion”.
Strategy: The first thing to note is that Heigen’s power means YOUR left, and he can do it when you only have one minion on the board. I had a little trouble with this guy until I used a special Priest deck I made for Heroic Maexxna that is almost entirely spells, offensive battlecries, and minions with charge. Any strategy that doesn’t rely too heavily on hitting things with minions will work here.
Card Reward: Unstable Ghoul. 2 mana for a 1/3 drop that has a taunt and a deathrattle which deals 1 damage to all minions. This seems like an interesting anti-aggro or zoo deck card?

Special Ability: 2 mana to do 3 damage to the enemy hero.
Strategy: Loatheb starts out with a whopping 75 health in normal mode, but do not panic! He will frequently play a Spore card, which is a 0/1 drop that gives all enemy minions +8 attack upon its death. Yes, +8. I one-shot Loatheb with my pally aggro deck (I recommend a cheap aggro deck for this boss) and I don’t care because it was so much fun, you guys. Turning a couple of tiny 1- and 2-drops into monsterous minions that hit for double digits is deeply satisfying.
Card Reward: Sludge Belcher. 5 mana for a 3/5 drop that has a taunt and a deathrattle which summons a 1/2 slime that also has taunt. Although it costs an additional mana, I feel like this might be a good upgrade for the classic Sen’jin Shieldmasta taunt (“Taz’dingo!”) with that deathrattle. Someone smarter than me will have to run the math, though.

Once you’ve killed all three of the Plague Wing bosses in normal mode you’ll get:


To which I said, “Wait, what?”. I will be the first to admit that I’m a total noob at Hearthstone theorycrafting, but this seems really lame and highly situational.

Anyway, tonight I’ll try the class challenges and maybe poke at the Heroic versions. While I don’t think I would pay $7 for a wing, I do enjoy the content and so far between the fights and the cards it’s definitely been worth my 700 gold.

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  • Reply
    July 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Loatheb is actually one of the strongest creatures Blizzard has released, and it’s kinda a sign off power creep. Nominally, it’s a means of screwing Miracle Rogue when played right after they drop a Concealed Gadgetzan. But even just normally, it’s a 5/5 for 5 that makes removing it via spells the next turn difficult. Hell, just imagine playing this against a mage, and preventing a Flamestrike or Blizzard they were counting on casting.
    Azuriel´s last post: Arkham Horror

    • Reply
      Jessica Cook
      July 30, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Ahahaha, really? Well, that just goes to show little I know about this game. XD

      I guess I don’t get how you can tell that your opponent is planning on playing something really good on their next turn? I would have literally no idea when to use this card. (And then wouldn’t they just Flamestrike me the next turn anyway?) Not that I doubt what you’re saying at all, I just want to understand.

      I appreciate the correct info though! One day I may actually get good at this…

    • Reply
      August 1, 2014 at 12:12 am

      IIRC, the main reason Sylvanas went to a 6-mana cost was mainly because having a 5/5 body for 5 mana was somewhat op, especially when considering the deathrattle.

      Even if you don’t plan on having the battlecry affect the next turn, Loatheb’s stats just scream ‘value’.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I’ll have a blog post forthcoming with my story, but yeah, within a couple of hours my ticket was resolved and I got the 700 gold back after having been charged 1400 initially. I’m glad they decided to make the expansion purchasable with in-game gold, because I don’t think each wing is worth $7. Perhaps $15 for the whole thing, but otherwise they are too short and easy to burn through. I still played through everything minus heroics in one sitting, as I’m sure a majority of the players do.

    Still, it’s been fun and it’s nice to see new cards in the game. Playing normals is quite a bit different now, and will continue to be until the new meta stabilizes. Good stuff.
    Izlain´s last post: Sona Rework + Gnar Reveal

  • Reply
    July 30, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    The Sludge Belcher should really be looked at as a possible upgrade on the Fen Creeper rather than Taz’dingo. Taz coming down a turn sooner is a huge benefit so I don’t think it would usually be a good idea to turn it into SB – making your deck slower – unless you have a lot of 4-drops already.

    Try swapping Taz for SB against Warlock Zoo or aggro paladin and you’ll see what I mean.
    Dahakha´s last post: Are you anti-Virtual World?

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