August 10, 2007

Fires of Outland: WoW TCG Expansion Previews

Fires Of Outland Booster Box

Fires of Outland is out! Check out our Review

It’s hard to believe that we’re already on deck for a new World of Warcraft TCG release. We gotta hand it to Upper Deck one thing: they know how to space their releases so there’s always something coming down the pipe in the near future. And now the Official WoW TCG website has started to post their series of WoW TCG Fires Of Outland set preview articles.

Outland is - of course - the lands which lay beyond the Dark Portal, and which served as the setting for the first World of Warcraft Expansion release: The Burning Crusade. We’ve included the first 10 Fires of Outland preview articles here for your reading enjoyment. However, we do have a couple of beefs with where it seems Fires is going.

First and foremost, it feels as though the WoW TCG isn’t really changing at all. New cards means new equipment, new abilities and new allies, but the game’s mechanics seem to be stuck in the mud. Sure, there’s some variety between how you construct decks for each set, for example there's some emphasis on ability removal in some sets more than others, but where are the new keywords and game mechanics? We’re on entering into the third major set of the game, and given these card previews and we’re beginning to worry that all future sets will just be a generic shotgun of new content instead an attempt to evolving gameplay with various themes.

Our second over-critical beef is that all of these new abilities seem to replace abilities of the prior sets, instead of complimenting them. In other words, some of these class-specific cards feel like more powerful and flexible versions of spells that already exist in the game. And instead of building a large bag of tricks for a class, the bag is just being dumped out and replaced with new packs of cards that do the same - or more - things for a cheaper casting cost.

Though to be self critical, we’re basing this on only 10 card previews from Upper Deck. Judge for yourself, here they are:

Fires of Outland Previews:

    DragonsBreath
  1. Mage: Dragon's Breath

    Instant ability that deals 3 total damage to one or multiple targets, for the insanely cheap cost of 3. Oh, and a hero dealt damage is stripped of his/her special ability for the turn. We're a bit worried that this card might break some of the previous raid decks...

  2. Druid: Moonfire
    Cheaply (cost 2) deals instant damage for 1, with a DOT of 1 per turn. Also with a sneaky ability: return to hand for 1. So, if you have 3 to spend a turn then you can do 2 damage, and have the power to return the card to your hand if an ability destruction card is played. Pretty freaking sweet.

  3. Hunter: Silencing Shot
    Instantly interrupts ability cards at a cost of four - or alternatively - tapping a ranged weapon. Nice should serve as a nice little ability in any hunter's arsenal.

  4. Mage: Megamorph
    An unsettling card for you sheep lovers, but thankfully with a huge cost of 8. A mage simply points Megamorph at a party and turns all the allies into a flock of sheep. Yes, it's a fist full of polymorph - condensed into bar form - that cripples your opponent with a slap to the face, and protects you long enough in the end game to the drive the dagger home.

    Avenger's Shield

  5. Paladin: Avenger's Shield
    For a cost of four, a Paladin can toss his shield to hit three allies for 1 point of damage each, with a handy side effect of taping them for at least a full turn as well. Captain America anyone? Strangely, no shield is required.

  6. Priest: Shadowfiend
    A ferocious priesty pet that's adept at pegging enemy heroes for 2, and then fading back into the caster's hand. Strangely, a Shadowpriest is not required. Seems like a filthy trick.

  7. Rogue: Filthy Tricks
    This one is just wrong. For 6, Filthy Tricks turns all cards in the Rogue's graveyard into combo cards. Oh, and it's on-going. Might as well fall on your sword right now.

  8. Shaman: Earth Shock
    This is probably the cleanest translation of an ability from the World of Warcraft MMORPG that we've seen in Fires of Outland. For a cost of 4, Earth Shock instantly deals 4 damage to a hero or. You can also use this card to interrupt abilities, while still delivering a full payload of 4 damage at the same time. Now that's efficiency.

    Angrida

  9. Warlock: Angrida
    A well-rounded, common succubus pet for a cost of 3. Attack: 3. Health: 3. Special ability: Tap and hit someone for 3. Number of dead bodies in Angrida's walk-in closet: 3. It's alright, by the look of her in the card's artwork, there's not much of anything else in there.

  10. Warrior: Beserker Rage
    Breaks all negative abilities attacked to the hero, and channels retained damage into a potential to deal more damage back; the warrior gets an ongoing +1 attack for every 5 damage on him. Honestly, this seems more like the Troll racial ability than the Beserker Rage warrior ability, but hey, it works.

Read More in: Collectable Card Games | Gaming News | World of Warcraft TCG

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at August 10, 2007 5:13 PM

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