Test Subject gets banned from Hearthstone’s Wild mode for enabling an OTK combo alongside a new Priest Return to Naxxramas miniset card.

The Hearthstone dev team had to take an emergency measure and ban Test Subject upon the Return to Naxxramas miniset launch. The Priest combined with a new card released in the miniset would enable an OTK combo that could cause the entire Wild mode to collapse.

Hearthstone Test Subject ban notice
Hearthstone Test Subject ban notice

A new Hearthstone OTK gets Test Subject banned

It is known that the design and balance team does not have the resources to test every card, nor do they design thinking about Wild mode. Thankfully, the Hearthstone community is always ready to pinpoint upcoming problems, such as the Test Subject OTK.

The Return to Naxxramas miniset gave Priest a new 1-mana card that dealt damage to the enemy hero, Mind Sear. Alone it's nothing to worry about. However, when you combine it with the always-problematic cost reduction from Radiant Elemental things get dangerous.

This 4 card OKT combo isn't a meme, and that's why Hearthstone had to ban Test Subject preemptively. The combo allows you to do "inifinite" damage with 3 mana repeating the following loop:

  1. Play Radiant Elemental for discounts.
  2. Play Test Subject to get infinite spells.
  3. Cast Embalming Ritual on Test Subject so you would summon a new Test Subject after killing the minion.
  4. Cast Mind Sear to kill the Test Subject, deal 3 damage to the enemy hero and recover the two spells.
  5. Rinse and repeat steps 3 to 5.

How to solve this problem?

To be fair, given that the Hearthstone team discovered this just days before the Return to Naxxramas miniset launch, banning Test Subject seemed like a good idea. The thing is, this is only a temporary measure.

Aleco, Hearthstone's Final Design Lead, mentioned that despite this issue being triggered by a new card, the actual problem resides in the old cards, such as Test Subject and Radiant Elemental.

"This feels like more of a Test Subject problem (or perhaps Radiant Elemental?) than a Mind Sear problem. We'd rather be able to print more cards like Mind Sear in the future without having to worry about them going infinite with Test Subject."

Aleco's response on a definetive solution to the problem

Test Subject was not the first card banned from Hearthstone wild mode. Four other cards are forbidden in this "free-for-all" mode. All of them, are due to synergies creating OTK combos or non-interactive gameplay patterns.

Hearthstone cards banned from wild (besides Test Subject) - Image via Hearthstone <a href="https://hearthstone.fandom.com/wiki/Wild_format#Banned_cards" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Wiki</a>
Hearthstone cards banned from wild (besides Test Subject) - Image via Hearthstone Wiki

What other game-breaking combos are we yet to discover? Stay tuned to find out and check out more Hearthstone content. Be sure to visit Esports.gg for all the latest esports news.

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