Blizzard: Why Hearthstone's new Rush keyword will answer years of problems

Taking charge.

For years now, Hearthstone has had a Charge problem. Blizzard hopes The Witchwood, Hearthstone's next set of cards, will finally hold the answer.

One of the game's most powerful keywords, Charge gives minions a huge advantage - the ability to attack immediately, instead of waiting a turn.

This advantage is so important, many Charge cards have later been nerfed. (I remember the earliest days of Warsong Commander and, worse, Grim Patron, now both reigned in.) Overall, the keyword has been used sparingly in recent card sets.

The Witchwood counters all this by introducing a fresh keyword, Rush, which is an updated form of Charge - with the caveat that Rush minions cannot attack heroes this turn. It's a limitation some Charge cards have already experimented with to tame their ability to defeat opponents from full health in one turn.

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Everybody, rush in here.

As part of a joint interview with Eurogamer and our sister site Metabomb, we asked Hearthstone senior game designer about Rush - and whether Blizzard had simply considered changing the way Charge worked across the board.

"We talked about that a lot - whether it was better to change Charge, introduce a new keyword, or to introduce a new keyword and also change all of the Charge cards to be Rush," Whalen said.

"The biggest thing that we talked about was you know what Leeroy Jenkins does, you know what Stonetusk Boar does. You know what all these old cards do and changing that is pretty disorientating. It would also mean that these old cards would become much, much weaker. Leeroy would get much worse, so we decided not to do that yet."

Yet?

"I think it's something we still have on the table for the future. You still have a lot of opportunities on the design side to put in powerful things. Look at Militia Commander. We can't make that card if it has Charge. 'Four mana 2/5 with Charge, Battlecry: Gain 3 Attack this turn'? It's just insane. With Rush though it's a card that we can make, and it's pretty cool and exciting to play with.

"Charge as a mechanic is really fun - it's really great to be able to play a card and do something with it immediately. The thing that's not fun about Charge is having your opponent do 20 damage to you on a turn from an empty board. That's pretty miserable."

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and all the stealth Destiny articles.

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