Gnomes in Hearthstone, Part 4, Final

Here we are at last.  We’ve talked about drawing cards, buffing and debuffing,  and a how intelligent gnomes are.  Now we’re going to talk about the odd gnomes out. The cards that feature gnomes, but where the mechanics are not prevalent enough to imply a common theme.

Let’s start with Leper Gnomes.  Leper gnomes in hearthstone do direct damage to the enemy hero.  This sets them apart from goblins, that do lots of damage, but tend to do it randomly, or have some form of blowback.  Thermaplugg does not directly do damage to the enemy hero, but he summons the basic leper gnomes that do.

Transformation!  I was surprised there were not more gnomes that did this because Tinkmaster Overspark is such an iconic gnome in Hearthstone.  The theme of transformation seems to have shifted to Shaman.  Since Gnomes can’t be shamans, it makes sense that this would not be something they continued.

Healing! Only a couple gnomes heal. In World of Warcraft, gnomes did not have a healing class for a long time. Seeing healing being under represented as a mechanic makes some sense. It would be interesting to see some first aid themed gnomes that heal, perhaps a Surgeon General “Doc” Cogspin someday.

And the rest!  These final gnomes don’t have any kind of special condition that make them thematically consistent with gnomes.  Hearthstone is a very random game.  The only structure they stick to is based on class not race.  Honestly, it surprised to see how strong some of the trends have been.

There are a few cards I want to single out in this last section:

The Knife Juggler.  He is SUCH a Goblin.  Deals damage to Random Enemies?  Total Goblin.  If he was a rogue exclusive card I could understand it.  Class over race for balance, but he’s not.  He is a neutral card.

Sergeant Sally is walking that same line with her AOE damage. I almost shoehorned her with the lepers because she does a straight forward damage to non-random targets.

Mind Control Tech is another I am surprised we don’t see more of.  All three of those cards have long convoluted conditions about when and how their abilities work, so maybe that is another theme, or maybe not.


And that is it!  we have covered every gnome minion card in the game as of “Knight of the Frozen Throne”  After doing this I was surprised by something that Hearthstone is famous for but is larging missing from the gnome kit: Randomness.  Not to say their is no randomness in gnome cards, but it less than in a lot of other aspects of the game.  Frankly I’m almost relieved.  Gnomes have a reputation for devices that malfunction and backfire.  It’s part of why people don’t take them more seriously and I’m glad to see it largely ignored here.  Gnomes in Hearthstone are reliable, the way it should be!  (Let gobins own the ‘blowing themselves up’ shtick .)

With gnome story so light in Warcraft, we are challenged to look for the details we can tease out in other places.  It can be a fun and unique challenge.  The more I do it, the more I enjoy it.  If you are interested in more I also have a post about inferred gnome lore from Warcraft 2.

Gnome in Hearthstone Part 3!

This again? Yes!  I gave you a break, after Part 1 and Part 2 were back to back, but now we are back and scrapping the bottom of the barrel like never before!  This week I’m hitting three themes at once! Summoning, Versatility and Resource Manipulation!.

Plenty of gnomes summon other minions.  This was started by Mekkatorque and the Dragonling Mechanic.  What’s really interesting to me about these is that most of them are NOT engineering devices.  It started what way, but Arcanosmith and Rattling Rascal are summoning magical  minions.  Blingaton brings weapons, and Thermaplugg summons gnomes.  So what does this tell us about gnomes?  I think that this is a representation of strategic thinking from gnomes. Having multiple units on the board increases your play options, and generally forces your opponent to spend more resources to clear the board.  Below are the 6 gnome cards that bring another card to play field with them.

The second trait is Versatility.  These gnomes have multiple basic abilities.  Charge, Taunt, Stealth, Lifesteal, Poisonous, Spell Damage and more!  This stacking of abilities plays into the concept of gnomes as strategists.  Having multiple abilities give these gnome a wider variety of scenarios that they are useful in.

The first sets of abilities we talked in parts 1 and 2 were about playing into the engineering specialization that gnomes are well known for.  These set don’t do that, they harken to the raw intelligence of them.  It’s not played up as much, but I am really happy to see it portrayed here.

Last of these we have 4 card that modify Mana Costs.  These clearly reflect the gnome racial ability Expansive Mind.  Like the cards above, they reflect the intellectual prowess of gnomes.  These are even more pure in their representation, because none of them call back to some form of engineering.  They are all mages that use their genius to maximize efficiency.  …  Except Millhouse.  GET IT TOGETHER MANASTORM!

Gnomes in Hearthstone part 2!

Last week we talked about the primary characteristic of gnomes in Hearthstone, drawing cards.  There is another mechanic that gnomes have a lot of, buffing and debuffing.  When I started reviewing the cards I was surprised by how many gnomes buff.  I thought that buffing was just such a generic ability (a lot of these cards are pirates) that it wasn’t really a big deal, bug then, I compared them to goblins, and goblins almost NEVER buff.  So what does this tell us about gnomes?

I think it ties back into gnomes being engineers.  Drawing cards is analogous to inventing new devices.  Buffing is improving and enhancing existing things (a very important and often overlooked aspect of engineering).  There were 13 draw cards and now we have 11 buff/debuff cards.

The subtle and flexible theming in Hearthstone is great.  It expands on the Warcraft lore in a freeform way that is really fun and interesting to see.





What are Gnomes in Hearthstone?

There are a lot of gnome minions in Hearthstone, 51 as of Frozen Throne.  In the 6 expansions that have released some patterns have emerged.  Gnomes primarily put cards in your hand, either directly like the Gnomish Inventor, or indirectly like Wilford Fizzlebang.











This seems to be the niche gnomes fill in Hearthstone as a whole.  I’m kinda sad that Northshire Cleric is not a gnome card since it is probably the most common Draw card used.  13 of the 51 Gnomes in the game put or, facilitate putting, cards in your hand.  In fact the “Spare Parts” mechanic added in the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion is NOT found on any of the goblin cards in that set.  This reinforces the gnome roll in gaining cards. I am most impressed with new Gnomeferatu card, which basically has you draw a card from your opponent’s deck and then discard it.  It’s exactly what you would expect from a gnome parasite.

ClockworkGnomeGnomeferatuGnomishExperimenterJeevesLootHoarderNetherspiteHistorianNoviceEngineerPolluted HoarderShallowGravediggerTinkertownTechnicianToshley


Dear Mean Streets Gadgetzan, Please Come to WoW!

Mean streets of Gadgetzan is AMAZING!  The characters, the conflict, the aesthetic.

Would love to see it come to WoW, and have Tanaris be turned in to a full urban zone.  There are a lot of wilderness zones, and there are a lot of cities in Warcraft.  I would love a huge zone where you leave the quest hub area and head off in to dark dirty city alleys were you never know what’s around the next corner.

It would also be chance to kick back and relax the Alliance/Horde thing. The three crime families divided up by class makes for an easy to understand set-up that people can jump right in to.  The classes not in Heartstone would need to be added, but it’s 3 for 3 so it’s no problem.  Monks to the Green Lotus (obviously), Demon Hunters to the Kabal, and Death Knights to the Grimy Goons.  In addition to those 3 factions, you will still have the “Old Town” Gadgetzan run by Marin Noggenfogger.

There would be a huge amount of potential for zone goals and stuff.  Boost your crime family NPCs, undermine the others.  Sneak over to the wrong side of town and try to pilfer some goods from your competition.

At the very least, I hope some of the Heathstone characters pop up in WoW.




Bronze Dragonflight could shift the caverns of time out to an island if need be.

Gnome/Trogg Deck FTW!

The new Tavern Brawl is AMAZING!

Here are my personally recommendations for deck building.

1. Pick any class, but Druid and Mage work the best, Shaman the worst.

2. Put in ALL THE SPELLS!  Seriously, ALL OF THEM!

3. Put in ALL THE TROGGS!  Troggs get a bonus every time your enemy casts a spell.

4. Put in ALL THE GNOMES!  You want to draw cards.  Only use the Dalaran Mage is you have a lot of Direct Damage spells. (Mage/Hunter/Rogue)


It’s time to get Violent!

I’m bored and want to get violent!  Being added to Hearthstone was entertaining for a while, but honestly getting randomly sucked through Unstable Portals all the time is starting to get tiresome.  Trying to get ready for a shower, BAM battlefield.

At least the Nexus comes with interesting outfits.  I just KNOW they are going to pick Mekkatorque first.  That ALWAYS happens, BUT you can be sure as fel that I will be right on his heels!