What Happens When You “Break” a Card Game Like Hearthstone?

Collectible card games are incredibly difficult to balance. With new cards being introduced frequently offering new perks and abilities to players, ensuring that these new additions can successfully fit into each game is an ongoing struggle. This has led to the likes of HearthstoneMagic The Gathering, and Pokemon experiencing multiple controversies over the years, thanks to new cards being introduced that significantly change up existing strategies, sometimes to the detriment of the game itself.

YouTuber and filmmaker Austin McConnell recently uploaded a video about the struggles faced by card games when it comes to maintaining balance. Discussing the impact of the hugely overpowered Shudderwock card in Blizzard’s PC-based CCG Hearthstone, Austin also dives into Yu-Gi-Oh! and its Catapult Turtle/Magical Scientist combo. All of these additions effectively changed the way their respective CCGs were played, making games substantially less fun by way of having their win conditions based on obtaining and using these cards.

The video serves as a great overview of why it is so difficult to balance CCGs, and why the introduction of one cool card can effectively change the face of an entire game. Austin also dives into the ethics of making such changes, with Hearthstone having come under fire for introducing nerfs to its cards, nullifying their value after players have spent a whole bunch of money on them. It’s an interesting watch, especially if you haven’t got your ear to the ground of these card games.

Watch the video below:

Now’s also a good time to remind you that GameRevolution is soon to launch its Tech and Geek Culture channels, giving you more to read surrounding the hobbies you love. CCGs will be but one part of these brand new channels, with GR also set to cover new technology and hardware, tabletop games, comics, anime, and more. Stay tuned and don’t miss out!