The Strength of Barnes - Is He Overpowered?
One of four legendary minions releasing in One Night In Karazhan, Barnes is easily the most controversial. This is largely in part due to his heavily RNG based effect that summons a random minion from your deck as a 1/1. The minions retains its effects such as Deathrattles and Spell Damage, however you can also Silence off the effect to restore its stats. But the former fact is what many are viewing as problematic for the next few years of Hearthstone.
You can imagine the possibilities. Fill your deck with expensive minions, get Barnes to summon and have it summon another big creature out of your deck. That's just one of the many dreams players have conceptualized going into Thursday's release. But it's actually the more competitive decks that many are complaining about.
Barnes fits well into many Midrange and Tempo oriented decklists. At worst you're summoning a 's worth of stats, but at best you're gaining some of the more powerful deathrattle effects in all of Hearthstone. We've slotted him into Tempo Mage and Midrange Hunter to get an example of the kind of statistics we're looking at.
Assuming you have played zero minions prior to Barnes, which is obviously unrealistic, these are the odds you'll get one of the following effects:
Chance of a Deathrattle Ping: 27%
Chance of a Summon Deathrattle: 40%
Chance of a Vanilla 1/1: 27%
Chance of a Stealthed 1/1 Beast: 6%
Overall, the chance you get a good result is 73%! That's phenomenal. And the likelihood that you'll get a and pretty much win right then and there is 13%.
Again, assuming you've played zero minions:
Chance of Spell Damage: 33%
Chance of Freeze: 13%
Chance of Spell Cost Reduction: 13%
Chance of Spell Benefit Effect: 33%
Chance of a Vanilla 1/1: 8%
With only an 8% chance you summon a vanilla 1/1, there's pretty good reason to run Barnes in Tempo Mage. His slot may indeed be better used by another card to help create more pressure, time will tell for sure, but at least for now he looks like a decent inclusion.
So is Barnes overpowered? Not necessarily. But the RNG behind his effect is certainly something a lot of pro players don't really appreciate, especially when we already have in Standard. There's just a huge difference between a vanilla 1/1 and a 1/1 that summons two 2/2 Beasts when it dies and that variance is what many have an issue with.
We spoke to
Fade2Karma streamer FalconePunch55
about the card, "I believe that Barnes is pretty much the new Piloted Shredder," he says. "Everyone is excited to play him at first, but by the time the card rotates out, we'll be glad to see him go. It's a card that can win the game on turn 4, with no downside."
Falcone continues, "I don't think is a bad thing. It's more random than a lot of players will like though. I enjoy the fun of Hearthstone much more than top competitive players though, so it doesn't bother me," he admits, "but that's coming from someone who also still loves Yogg."
Meanwhile others aren't so sure he'll be a healthy influence on Hearthstone. "I really got double feelings about Barnes," says G2's
, "hope I'm wrong but the highroll Tuskar mechanic is something scary for the competitive scene."
Noxious on the other hand is strictly against its existence.
Regardless of what any of us think, Barnes is here to stay until early 2018, so we better get comfortable!
Have any good Barnes decks to share? Let us know!
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