Did you know that Harmonic spells were inspired by The Witchwood expansion? Here’s our guide on this new mechanic plus the behind the scenes!

Are you ready to rock? The next Hearthstone expansion boasts new cards, Legendary class spells, cool mechanics, and so much more! In an interview with esports.gg, game designer and Festival of Legends expansion lead Leo Robles Gonzalez shared insights about Harmonic spells. Here's how this new mechanic works, what inspired it, and what happened during playtesting!

These Harmonic spells swap between Harmonic and Dissonant each turn (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
These Harmonic spells swap between Harmonic and Dissonant each turn (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Harmonic spells in Hearthstone

A card that features the Harmonic and Dissonant modes is the Harmonic Metal spell. This card is available for the Death Knight class and it's marked with a Blood Rune. It also costs three mana to play. The card text is "Give 4 random minions in your hand +2/+2. (Swaps each turn)." The last part of this description is key because it can change the way a player approaches a game.

When Harmonic Metal gets swapped, it becomes Dissonant Metal. The text for this card is similar to its counterpart, but it grants a bigger buff to a couple of minions instead. The text is "Give 2 random minions in your hand +4/+4. (Swaps each turn)."

Harmonic and Dissonant mechanic behind the scenes

Harmonic Metal and Dissonant Metal weren't always known by these names, however. In the interview, Gonzalez revealed that they started out as Major Metal and Minor Metal. After some playtesting, it didn't feel right to go from Major Metal to Minor Metal. Therefore, the Hearthstone team worked together and came up with other musical terms to represent this mechanic.

"This mechanic started with the idea of major and minor scales in music where you have two halves of a card," Gonzalez said. "They are equivalent, but kind of flip-sided. So you have the Major side and the Minor side, and it was literally how it works right now."

He then briefly explained how the numbers on the Harmonic and Dissonant cards swapped each turn.

The Witchwood inspiration

"And it played super well," Gonzalez continued. "If you remember from The Witchwood, there were the Worgens that were a similar idea that these minions' stats swapped each turn. And those are super fun, but because it was just their stats swapping, there wasn't a lot of depth with what was done with the mechanic. This is card text numbers swapping, so we can write anything so long as there's two numbers on there."

The Witchwood key art (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
The Witchwood key art (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

He added that playtesting was super fun and explained the reason why Hearthstone moved away from the Major and Minor names.

"If you see your card go from Major Metal and it swaps to Minor Metal, it just feels like it got worse," he explained. "I know that is the thing in music, and the card didn't get worse — it just changed its axis. But because it went from Major to Minor, there was just this constant feeling of like, 'I don't wanna play the Minor version'" and you didn't really think about it, so we brainstormed ideas for what other musical things are there to kind of represent this mechanic, and that's where Harmonic and Dissonant came in."

That's all for now. Stay tuned on esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates!

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