TAC Hearthstone podcast 500th episode featuring Cora: “Renathal was a little bit of a crapshoot” cover image

TAC Hearthstone podcast 500th episode featuring Cora: “Renathal was a little bit of a crapshoot”

Cora was present in The Angry Chicken Hearthstone podcast and gave interesting insights about Castle Nathria legendaries and Minisets.

The Angry Chicken (TAC) Podcast celebrated its 500th episode by interviewing Cora "Songbird" Georgiou, Hearthstone Senior Game Designer. During the show, they went over the 2022 expansions and what Hearthstone has for us in 2023.

While Hearthstone Game Designers are always present on social media, having them on a live interview provides valuable insights. TAC podcast, hosted by RidiculousHat and Jocelyn had this opportunity and today we will highlight some of the most relevant talk points.

Cora reviewing Castle Nathria Hearthstone expansion

Given that Cora was the set lead for the Murder at Castle Nathria Hearthstone expansion, most of the chat revolved around that. The expansion's flavor and narrative were an incredible success. But, at the same time, some cards created some controversy.

The outlying character that drove the conversation was Renathal. One of the most impactful single cards in Hearthstone's history. Cora explained their thought process behind the creation of those Hearthstone's neutral legendary cards.

"We wanted Neutral Legendaries to be good. Renathal was a little bit of a crap shoot. We didn't have a perfect picture of exactly how good it would be. 40/40 feels right, feels like is pretty impactful, and it's pretty powerful and certainly, exciting."

Cora on Hearthstone neutral legendaries for Castle Nathria set - TAC Podcast

We've all lived through what happened. Renathal divided Hearthstone waters, and Cora's admitted that they knew that they might have been going to nerf the card at some point.

Adding to Cora's sayings in TAC Podcast, Nicholas "DeckTech" Weiss mentioned that there was a bet inside the Hearthstone design team on the matter.

"Some people were so sure he’d be OP that they made a bet he would be nerfed within 30 days. I thought the card was garbage, so I bet “no way.” Turns out the card WAS really strong BUT didn’t get nerfed within 30 days, so I was wrong, but was right."

Cora went over some other Murder at Castle Nathria Hearthstone neutral Legendaries. Her opinion was that Denathrius was a strong card but that he did nothing wrong. Additionally, Cora sided with the larger part of the Hearthstone community when talking about Theotar.

"Its harder to defend Theotar"

Cora about Theotar - I guess we all agree
Theotar after it's second nerf
Theotar after it's second nerf

Cora on Minisets and Balance cadence

After the recent launch of the Return of Naxxramas miniset, the community started wondering if the timing of these sets is the right one. The metagame before the set seemed fun and balanced and it only lasted 2 weeks and then the miniset broke everything again.

RidiculousHat raised the question if it wouldn't be better to have 4 expansions and eliminate minisets to improve patch cadence. Cora admitted that she had heard this Hearthstone discussion and added her point of view on it.

Cora started by mentioning that Hearthstone minisets are a new thing. They have been around for only 2 years, and in a 10-year-old game, that is not much. At the same time, she understood the negative implications minisets have but highlighted that they deliver a different experience.

"Minisets, while they don't do the best job at creating this big "comeback moment" for a lot of players and while they don't the best job at creating new archetypes specifically (because they only have a few cards per class), what they do is a very approachable way for a lot of not-hypercompetitive or hyper-engaged players to get content. To play with new cards without feeling like they need to do a significant investment."

Cora on Hearthstone minisets - TAC Podcast

On top of that, from a workflow perspective, replacing Minisets for Expansions wouldn't be an easy fit. But things didn't end up there. Hearthstone fans will probably love what Cora said next.

"We have some plans to spice things up a little bit throughout the year and to, hopefully, make minisets that feel a little bit more exciting and a little bit more impactful."

With the next expansion and Core Set rotation coming soon, we will only have to wait and see.

If you want to go over the full interview, you can rewatch the TAC Podcast on Twitch. The audio version will be available on the many podcast platforms out there soon.

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more Hearthstone news and updates. Be sure to visit Esports.gg for all the latest esports news. See you next time in the Tavern.