One Night At Karazhan Prologue

        Alright, one more Hearthstone article, but it’ll be the last one for a while. …if only because the latest expansion isn’t out fully. But speaking of it, there is a new expansion called One Night In Karazhan, where the player is a guest to a fabulous party at the spire known as Karazhan, and they’re enlisted by the butler, Moroes, to help fixed some ‘issues’ before the party starts.
        However, that begs the question, why does Moroes need your help? His boss, after all, is Medivh, likely the most powerful and handsome mage ever to grace the world of Azeroth. Well, in order to explain where he went, give the players a little more incentive to try the expansion, and just have fun, Blizzard added an entirely free prologue to One Night At Karazhan, which has one battle, but a very impressive one. That is the topic for today.
        Medivh is getting things ready for the party, but there seems to be a demon in the ballroom, when no one should be getting in yet. Said demon, Prince Malchezaar, seems to be here to complain that he didn’t get invited to the party, because after all, he’s a Prince of the Eredar! Even Jaraxxus was invited, even though Malchezaar outranks him. But Medivh points out that whatever he did last time was definitely more trouble than the prince is worth, including blowing a hole in the roof, and torching the library.
        In any case, a fight is enviable, and the prince is an incredibly powerful foe. Remember how I pointed out how strong Nefarian was, and how lucky it is that Ragnaros is there to help you? Well, the prince is certainly in the same ballpark. He doesn’t have ten Mana Crystals, but he does have six, and his Hero Power is identical to Jaraxxus- summoning a 6/6 minion for two Mana, which naturally he’s going to do every turn. In addition, he has thirty armor on top of his thirty health, effectively twice as much for you to wear down.
        Thanks to his extra mana, he can summon some impressive demons and use powerful weapons right out the gate, though his selection doesn’t seem very large and is limited strictly to demons as far as minions go. He does, however, carry the Death’s Bite weapon, which has two uses, does four damage, and hits everything on the board for one damage when destroyed. More threatening is Gorehowl, a seven attack weapon that never runs out of durability, as long as you only attack minions with it. If you attack the hero, its one use will run out. The prince usually ends up doing that.
        Luckily, Medivh is also in an entirely different league when compared to ordinary mages. He too has thirty Armor, and a unique Hero Power that lets him draw three cards. Many of his cards are entirely unique, and set up an easy combo that can wear down Malchezaar’s forces. In fact, despite the power of his adversary, Medivh seems far more concerned about the party about to start, and talked to Moroes about while the game goes on.
        That kind of nonchalance may seem foolish when facing one of Hearthstone‘s strongest enemies, but lets look at Medivh’s cards before we judge him. His deck is almost exclusively full of spells, which is good because he doesn’t have to sacrifice minions to deal with the prince’s minions. The only minion he does carry is the unique Two Mana 2/4 Archmage’s Apprentice, which you’ll want to play for their effect.
        Every time you play a spell, this minion will shuffle a copy of it back into your deck, and if you have more than one, you get extra copies. This means no matter how long the battle goes on, you cannot run out of cards, and you have an unlimited supply of spells to throw around.
        Which spells? Well… all of them, really. Frostbolt, Fireball, Pyroblast, all the basics are there. You won’t find any Secrets, but don’t worry, Medivh’s unique spells make up for any lack and then some. First and most importantly is Archmage’s Insight, a three Mana spell that makes any spell you play their turn cost nothing. That ten Mana Pyroblast? Just shoot it off, blow something up! Combined with his Hero Power of drawing three cards, you can fire off an entire hand of spells and wipe out the board easily.
        Aiding in this is Arcane Power, normally costing two Mana, which adds five damage to all your damage spells. This includes Arcane Explosion, which normally does one damage, but with Arcane Power it suddenly does six damage, enough to take out any minion the prince has, and even if powers up a demon with Demonheart, giving them an extra 5/5, any single spell can remove them still. This also means you’re free to throw your other spells at the prince.
        All the rest of his unique cards are more of a support. First is Mage Armor, normally one Mana, which gives Medivh ten more Armor. Given how powerful the prince’s minions are, if you leave them alone too long you’ll need this. In case you do need minions, don’t worry, Astral Portal has you covered. It costs one Mana, and summons a random Legendary minion. You never know what you’ll get, since there’s over a hundred different Legendary minions, but odds are it will be something helpful.
        Remember how I said Medivh’s deck has no secrets? Well, that’s only half true. One of his cards is Mysterious Rune, three Mana, which give him five random Mage Secrets. No matter what you get, it’ll be sure to mess things up for your enemy, that’s certain. Finally, the last card is Invocation, which gives Medivh five more Mana Crystal for the turn it is used, perfect for playing Archmage’s Apprentice and Archmage’s Insight early.
        So, the setup here should be fairly clear. The minions will give you more spells, and you fire off spells to wipe out Prince Malchezaar’s forces, and then himself. Now, the first time I played this battle I nearly lost, I will admit, but that was more due to some dumb choices rather than any fault of the deck, which is perfectly suited for crushing Medivh’s enemy. In fact, it’s so easy compared to usual battles that I actually did try Heroic this time.
        On Heroic, it was just a bit more challenging. Malchezaar now has Looming Presence in his arsenal, drawing him three more cards and gaining six armor. His health and armor have also doubled, adding up to 120 health to get through, while Medivh lacks Armor himself. While the normal fight is on somewhat equal footing, here you are at an obvious disadvantage. Board control is an absolute must, because if he manages to get a lot of demons on the board, he can likely wipe you out in a couple of turns, and since you can’t hold out to draw more cards, you have to think a little more carefully about what you play and when.
        But while it does present a challenge, I cannot really say this is as hard as the other Heroic battles, mostly by virtue of me beating it, but also because you are using a reconstructed deck. You can’t go into this battle with the wrong sort of deck, or the wrong strategy- Medivh is built for a certain strategy, his deck and power both support it, and there’s no getting around that. Simply put, you have the means to beat him in your deck, and even if you are more vulnerable and the prince a bit tougher, ultimately it’s the same situation, and if you can beat him once, you can do so twice.
        So, that’s the battle between Prince Malchezaar and Medivh. When you beat him, a portal opens and the prince is thrust back into his home realm, but he pulls Medivh in with him. Thus, we have our dilemma- without Medivh, not only can the party not start, but without him keeping everything in check, Karazhan swiftly falls into chaos, and it is up to the player to stop all of this- and perhaps rescue Medivh as well, who can say? I’ll be able to say more once the ending is playable, but for now, I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick little article, dear readers.

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