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For those of you who do not know me, I am not a streamer, but I have some accolades to my name. I've made the arena leaderboards on Asia twice
(only two months seriously trying for them), as well as a third time
when doing experimental drafts (no Pally/Rogue that month), I was number one Rogue in Asia in 2016,
I made numerous threads
pointing out statistics about the arena and things a blizzard has not mentioned to us, as well as mostly accurate analysis
about new expansion cards as well as predictions about the arena. In short, I would like to think that I kinda know what I'm talking about.
With the release of KFT, Blizzard offered synergy picks in the first two picks of your draft, which give you early access to cards that might be build around cards for your draft, which if you picked them up later in the draft might be completely useless. The overwhelming response from the arena community has been negative, and in general the best responses have been from people like Kripp or Hafu who think the system is flawed, but do not hate them nearly as much as a lot of players and so don't care. Me personally, I feel like I'm on an island because I'm one of the few people who actually likes the Synergy system, even as it is now. It can certainly be better, but I find that what the system does to drafting engages me, which more than cancels out the drawbacks to it, and that it has the potential to improve with more fixes. So, counterbalance to the two posts last week talking about how bad the implementation/idea of it sucks, I'm going to give my thoughts on why I like it, why I'm not as bugged by certain things other people are, as well as some suggestions on how to further improve the system at the end. The Fundamentals of Blizzard, and the Hardcore Arena Community
Before I get into anything about why I like the picks, I think it's important to understand a few things about Blizzard and what they want from their game and from the arena. I think, for all players, these are things you have to accept to understand where Blizzard is coming from.
1: This is Blizzard's game, and they are the ones will determine what the game will be.
2: The hardcore Arena player base is a very small player base. It is a tiny fraction of the overall Arena player base.
3: Blizzard, with its changes, wants to appeal to the larger arena player base and both increase the players in arena and their experiences.
4: A consistent design philosophy from Blizzard has never been to focus on having "fair" games, but rather to have games with big memorable moments that will stick with you. They would much rather have a game where something amazing happened than a boring game where the better player made better decisions and won.
The complaints have mostly been brought up by the hardcore Western
Arena community. Yet this community is a tiny fraction of the playerbase. Discounting Kripp/Amaz/Hafu/Trump streams, there are no primarily Arena streamers that consistently have more than 1000 viewers (English speaking). Sorting by Arena on Twitch, you'll find that the combined viewers of Arena generally are only a couple thousand, for all languages. /ArenaHS
has less than 6000 subscribers. As of the time I'm writing this, there's 400 people watching Arena streamers, and 50,500 people watching Hearthsone on Twitch. The hardcore Arena Community is a very vocal minority when it comes to playing Hearthsone. These changes are probably aimed at the millions of people who play Arena on a casual basis rather than the 10s of thousands (maybe?) who are hardcore players, so our criticism should be done through those eyes.
Blizzard's goal is to get those 50% of the people who average under 3 wins, who are probably mediocre players, and give them memorable moments and strong high-roll decks. I genuinely believe that, part of the reason Blizzard is so nice to Mages/Paladins with cards, is that having "braindead" decks which could do great regardless of the player, encouraged these players to play more to get that high. The synergy picks are designed around that, to give the under 3-wins players that form the foundation of Arena something where if they roll high, they can have those moments that encourage them to keep playing. I myself, had a spectacular moment
with a bunch of murlocs in one game, which in my tens of thousands of arena games I had never had before. I didn't care that the deck was horrible and went 2-3 (not the murlocs' fault), that one moment will is going to stick with me more so than any 12 win run in this expansion will. The rollout of the Synergy pics to me, is similar to patch 7.1 where they increased the rates of rare, epic, and legendary cards, as well as moving the arena over to standard (something a good number of hardcore players either intensely diskliked or disliked but understood why), in order to appeal to the large player base.
In addition, the Western
hardcore community, especially on Reddit, are mostly English speakers. I'm an American who lives in Taiwan and constantly plays on the Asia server. The Meta on Asia is noticeably different than that on NA or EU. Part of the reason why I enjoy playing on Asia so much, is because that it has always been more of a Synergy meta. Iksar mentioned response to negative comments on the arena synergies
that among people that they talked to were Kripp, Hafu, and players from China. I would imagine that the Chinese server is much more common with Asia than NA or EU. While my Chinese is not good enough that I can go browse Hearthsone Chinese forums to see what they feel about the arena synergies, it is entirely possible that the arena synergies may also be in response to what the Asian players enjoy, rather what the Western players enjoy. As a small aside, Arena is significantly bigger in China than in NA/EU, so much that they have actual physical rewards for your rank in that system, and even Arena clans that come over to try to dominate our servers (Hello Meow), where as in NA/EU, even if you are number one on the leaderboards, there is no appreciable boost in viewers or rewards at all. It is important to note that Hearthsone is a global game, with many people playing for many different reasons.
For the record, I'm not saying don't criticize or don't have negative feelings to what Blizzard is trying to do. What I'm saying is, try to understand what Blizzard is doing. Try to look at things from beyond your own perspective and at a larger perspective. If you understand the logic and don't care about things outside your own control, these changes will not upset you as much. There are some players who vehemently hate these changes (not just ADWCTA, who I definitely think went a tad overboard), and I think taking this advice will make things easier to accept rather than continuously getting angrier about things and making things worse for yourself. Remember: This is Blizzard's game, they're going to do what they're going to do with it, and being upset or angry that its not what you like isn't going to do anything to change it. Why be angry about something beyond your control? What the Synergy Picks are, and Why I Like Them
The Synergy picks themselves are pretty straightforward. They're in the first two picks, one of which is guaranteed Rare or above. They either operate under tribal mechanics, keyword mechanics such as Taunt or Deathrattle or Spells, or weirder mechanics like 6 Health Minions or Evolve or minions with 5 or more attack. Additionally, each class has their own internal synergies that are included with these picks outside of really Priest and Warrior, for reasons that I'll cover when addressing why I'm fine with the Synergy pics.
As for Synergy picks themselves, disregarding whoever Blizzard wants to appeal to, the cards in the synergy pool all have a pretty clear goal in mind. For all of the cards that are listed, the idea is that if you get one of these cards early on in your draft, then it may impact what you draft later on. Ben Brode said
that they wanted players to have, effectively more options while drafting. One of the many complaints about Arena for the last few years is that it was effectively curvestone, where you just play the strongest minion/mana each turn and win. For many players who play primarily constructed and occasionally come into Arena, this was one of the big turn-offs. Combined with the comments from Brode, this has been something they have talked about for many months
(synergies and making Arena more appealing), so it is not something that happened out of the blue like a lot of people think.
Further talking about Brode's comments, the idea of feeling clever as a player speaks to me, and the reason why I play Hearthsone. Part of the reason I only have 2 real attempts at the Leaderboard is because I hate playing the same stuff over and over again. I really don't like and get bored playing braindead decks, and prefer decks that challenge me even if the results are not as great. The moments that stand out, that make me enjoy Hearthsone, are when I make a decision, either in draft or in game, where I feel I get rewarded for being creative and rewarded for not doing the "optimal" play or pick to set up a better play down the line. My favorite card in the game, which I'd pick first pick over anything else, was Hobgoblin, because of just the times when I could get it to go off and buff a bunch of annoy-o-trons or Argent Squires. I'd always go for dragon cards if they were offered early, because of how I'd feel getting a good dragon deck to go off. And again, top tier arena player, so its been working for me.
So for me, the synergy picks go a long way in both rewarding me in choosing various classes, as well as breaking up the monotony of the game. First off, the potential (which hasn't been realized yet) to use the Synergy picks to truely differentiate the classes to start off with is there with the idea. One problem I had with playing Hunter, especially prior to the standard change, is that there are real few cards that reward you for having beasts. Even now, you've got Houndmaster, Hyena, Razormaw, Kill Command, and then things like Beastrager and Stampede and Bowman, and then..... Bestial Wrath? Smuggler's Crate? For a while, Hunters didn't have Beast synergy, or enough reliable cards that they could draft to get beast synergy. Even now, looking at HSreplay, with Hyena and Houndmaster having first two synergy picks and Bowman having a bonus, you're picking less than 2 of the cards that have synergy with your beasts/run. Why should beasts be a Hunter thing, when you're going to get so few things that make your beasts relevant/game? And think of how bad this was in Wild without a spell bonus on Kill Command. The synergy system, fully implemented, can go a long way to making each class truely feel more distinctive and grant class identity in the Arena.
On top of this, within the draft itself, the synergy picks, to me, reward you for being an intelligent drafter. Obviously, for the worse off players, going all in on synergy can sometimes get you a great deck that can beat anyone. But, to me, there's a lot of skill in being a great synergy drafter. One key thing about drafting for synergy decks, is that you don't pick every synergy card you see. If you've only got one card that grants synergy, going too overboard on synergy to activate that card will lead to a net decrease in quality of your deck. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses. Sometimes you get so many synergies that you're in diminishing returns point, and the "synergy" bonus isn't there anymore and you revert to taking the most powerful cards while filling out your curve. To me, the first two cards open up options for me to feel "clever" as well as make picks I normally wouldn't make, as well as consider all picks under the veil of the first two synergy picks. That breaks up a lot of monotony in drafting, and I'm fine if I end up not getting the draft to work out. The plus to me outweigh the minus that come with the system.
** Arguments Against Synergy: Why I'm Fine with the Faults**
I seem to be alone in liking these picks ,as there has been a litany of criticism levied against the system as it currently is. Everybody's entitled to their opinion, and I and I certainly respect other people's opinions on this, especially as I've yet to be banned from twitch chats for expressing my support of the synergy system. However, I feel better lot of these concerns are overstated, so I'm going to go down the list of common complaints brought up, and explain why I do not have nearly the same negative reaction as other players.
- ** 1: There is little Variety in the first two picks. ** If you spam the same classes over and over again, I could see this as a valid concern. If you play different classes, almost every single class has class cards in the synergy picks to break up the monotony, so it's not nearly that impactful to me. Personally, I would like for there to be more options, but there is the problem of, if you have too many options, you cannot get a reliable synergy for your class, so you want to have a small enough pool that you can reliably get these cards. While this is something that would have to be tested out, to me I think an ideal number would be at least 10 cards per rarity, including class cards, as that would certainly be enough to make you feel like you're not getting the same cards all the time, while providing a reliable set to base your synergies off of.
One problem is that this is not something that can be easily fixed. Just looking at the neutral common cards, there are very few cards that have synergies with other cards. Most of them are just bundles of stats. Unless you want to add in things like Grimscale Oracle or Kobold Geomancer, there are very few cards you can actually add from the neutral commons. However, considering that three of the neutral commons rotate out with the next standard shift, this is something that's going to have to be addressed in either the next two expansions, or with the shift in the synergies offered.
One way to address this would be to be more liberal with what you consider synergy pics. For example, Flesh Eating Ghoul, Cult Master, and Necrotic Geist are all cards that do something when a minion dies. These cards have a soft synergy with low-cost cards. Adding these cards to the pool could add a little bit more variety and impact your drafting decision, but synergies with these cards are not as easily noticeable. Battlecry buff cards would be another option, but they're generally powerful by themselves. ADWCTA in a DM made a suggestion I like in that with your synergy pick, that maybe only one or two of the cards offered are "synergy" cards and third card is a normal card, so that it make things feel like there's more of choice. Something will need to be done here, but I think that for Phase 1 of synergy, what Blizzard has is fine and can improve.
- ** 2: There are missing synergies from existing class cards. ** Especially with Priest and Warrior, this is a valid concern, but it's not really a concern that anything can be done about. With Priest, their big problem is that most of their cards are binary yes or no cards. Basically, if you have something, play this card, otherwise play a different card. What you look at the Priest class cards, there basic effects are steal from your opponents deck/board, which is not a synergy, buff your own minions' health, which is a a tiny synergy effect, Dragons which Operative is already in and the only other pick is Dragonfire which is AoE more than synergy, or, really the only Synergy card that is missing, is Auchenai or Northshire + healing effects. They just don't really have cards that work with the Synergy system and would need to force random cards for synergy to work.
As for Warrior, SHUT UP! EVERYONE SHUT UP! DO YOU WANT SUDDEN GENESIS? DO YOU WANT BLOOD WARRIORS? DO YOU WANT SHIELD SLAM? THIS IS HOW YOU GET THEM! ZIP IT, DON'T GIVE BLIZZARD ANY MORE IDEAS!
Seriously, obviously they're missing their weapons synergy cards, and many of those cards would improve Warrior, but a small problem is that Warriors pretty much auto-pick their weapons no matter what. Adding these cards to the pool would do nothing to really impact a draft or choices because you're always going to pick a weapon as a warrior. Other than that, the real Warriors synergies are armor, whirlwind, and taunt. Honestly, even if you can get the right deck for these synergies, they just don't work. Even though I personally like to try to get those deck to work, adding these cards to the synergy pool will just make Warriors a lot worse than they already are. Bloodsail Cultist needs to be in for both weapons and Pirates, and Upgrade and Pawnbroker probably should be in the Synergy Pool just so we're actually has some Synergy cards, but the problem is a lot of their Synergy cards are just god-awful even in constructed when you can build around them.
As for the other classes, all of them are pretty well represented with their Synergy cards. There are certainly cards from every class that you can add to the pool, and I imagine that in future sets these cards will end up getting added to the pool. As it is, I imagine its just oversights by Blizzard or cards they felt that were too much of auto-picks to be in the sets. However, every class except Priest and Warrior has at least 6 cards in the pool, so there's certainly some variety among the classes, enough that I don't think this is really that big of an issue.
One small issue for adding class cards to the synergy pool is that, most of them are gated as Epics. Unless Blizzard made the synergy picks rarity-independent (another way to fix problem 1), there aren't all that many to really add per class in Common/Rare. Plus, most of them are bad even in constructed, when you can build every card in your deck around the relevant synergy.
- ** 3: Synergies are forced upon people. ** There are two main points when addressing forced synergies. One is that because you get synergy cards, you deck is forced to take other cards that go with synergy. For example, if you take a Tolvir Stoneshaper, then you must always take an elemental to go with this card. The other is that Blizzard is forcing the synergy on you, so the choice is theirs rather than yours to go that way.
The answer to both of these points is, you just don't draft around the synergies, or treat them as a bonus. First off, its only the first two picks of the draft. If you truly do not want to go for a Synergy option, there is almost always a "least bad" option, and very rarely are all the cards near unplayably bad. The majority of the cards are, while possibly understatted for their cost, are certainly playable cards that you can make work. There's certainly some horrible cards that are offered, but you do not to take these cards. Additionally, there is actually skill involved in making this average card function to its fullest, so outside the decks that draft/draw the nuts, these picks favor the better player overall. Ultimately, sure the first two picks are average for everyone
, but its still your choice to go for synergy drafts, and you can easily just ignore them while players who like to go for these decks (me) have the option to do so every run.
- ** 4: The first two picks of my draft are bad cards and hurt the quality of my deck. ** From point 3, you're pretty much guaranteed to get an average card, and there is a good chance that you'll be offered good class cards with your synergy pick. With that said, well it is true your individual deck quality may go down, especially from Ungoro, but this is the same for every deck. Everyone is going to be offered from the same pool of cards, so while your overall deck quality might take a slight hit, everyone's deck quality is going to go down as well. So your "weak" deck is not really that weak compared to the aggregate deck.
With that said, there's obviously some cards that need to be pruned from the list. Vorax in non-Pally/Druid classes, Blubber Baron, and Coldlight Seer are not real synergy picks, or strong enough of an upside to justify building synergies around. As for the Legendary choices, where I see other complaints, I remember a time when Legendaries were real rare. Even though some of them are bad and not that exciting (I hate the Princes even though I get why they're here), its still the mentality of focusing on what you don't have/outside your control, rather than what you can do with what you do have.
In addition, as a long-term player, the bad Synergy cards may actually benefit you in the long run. As I mentioned before, taking a synergy card and then going full synergy and just picking everybody every synergy card is in effect a noob trap. What this means is that people who are not hardcore arena players, they are likely to see that synergy pick and then therefore go all in on taking every Synergy card that they play. For these players, the idea of getting one run or one game where all the synergies come together in perfect harmony and create an awesome moment for them will incentivize them to continue to play Arena, on average having mediocre runs but enough fun to continue playing. Knowing when to go and not to go for synergies is another skill that'll benefit great players, and in theory lead to a higher winrate, even before the possible influx of "fresh meat" will.
- ** 5: It feels bad when there are no synergy cards offered. ** Again, not telling anybody how to feel. For me, I look at the decks where I don't get my synergies as challenges rather than being upset with it. When I draft Synergy decks, I generally look at the Synergy cards as a bonus rather than something I am completely building my deck around. To me, because of my mentality and how I view things, I don't really care if I miss out of my synergies, and adopting this mentality could make you feel a little bit better about how your deck ends up. With that said, there's still 28 non-synergy cards in your deck. The majority of your deck is going to be built on those cards rather than these synergy cards, so the decks that you have now compared to decks before are not going to be that much different. Having two pics that are off, or possibly a little bit below average compared to what you would get, will not hurt your deck that much.
One thing I've heard often is that there should be a bonus attached to the synergy cards, and I even said that this is what should happen in the thread where synergy cards were first announced. However, there are also problems with this. If you make the bonus too strong, then be Synergy picks become just another tier list for classes. People will be able to map out the bonuses and math out which bonus on average is going to yield the most powerful deck. Additionally, one of the advantages and appeals that Arena has is that decks are not nearly as tight as constructed. A lot of people play Arena to get away from constructed where you need to have a perfectly tuned to deck to be effective. I definitely think the classes/decks should have thier own feel, but Arena needs to stay Arena. In addition, how do you address something like Jade cards without having them be oppressive and Arena like they have potential being constructed? How do you approach cards like Blubber Baron or Egg, which would logically promote drafting battle cries, which are by and large more powerful cards than normal cards? Realistically, you'd need different percentages for each synergy (do you want Jade cards and beasts to have the same bonus), which I don't think Blizzard could even program in. Finding the right percentage bonus also requires a lot of time and a lot of fine-tuning so that you're guaranteed to see a few of these related cards in your draft, but not guaranteed to see so many that Arena loses its identity.
Additionally, I think a secondary concern of Blizzard was that they did not want to make a completely massive change to the arena, so that they are slowly implementing these changes to Arena. Making a massive change where they implement the synergy cards and the bonus, and then screwing that up, could very well screw up Arena and make it possibly unplayable, or completely turn people off on it. The synergy cards have obviously been negative to the hardcore players, but in the overall grand scheme of things, it's still Arena. The changes, while poorly receive, are minor and not really that impactful on arena. Making an absolutely massive step or massive change and screwing that up has a lot more negative potential. I honestly imagine a Blizzard is taking a lot of the negative feedback, and is to be tuning their Synergy systems based around this feedback.
- ** 5: It increases the burden of knowledge of all sets, and does not show off KFT cards. ** The simplified idea is that in general, the cards you play around are cards that are from the current set. By implementing the synergy system, you have to be aware of cards from previous sets, like Blazecaller, which is still a relevant card and wouldn't be without the synergy system. Personally, I think keeping other sets relevant is an overall positive towards Arena. One of the reasons that they made the change from Wild to Standard was that it became relatively impossible to play around every single card that was ever made in the game. But, with Standard, the burden is not nearly all that oppressing. With this, while the burden of knowledge is increased, it still a relevant burden that player should have, and works to benefit the more skilled player. Plus, I'm a fan of keeping all the sets' mechanics relevant rather than just being around and then the cards being irrelevant. With KFT cards, as I mentioned before, it's 2 picks out of 30. There are KFT cards in the synergy pool, and you still have an offering bonus of unknown certainty to KFT cards, so they certainly get their time to shine. We all fear Bonemare.
- ** 6: The synergy cards impact class power Llevels. ** Everything impacts the class power levels. This is an argument you can literally make about anything that ever happens ever in the game. And with that said, synergies obviously have not had that much of an impact on class power levels. Rogue has one good Synergy card in Peddler, one okay one in Jade shuriken, and it's arguably the best class in Arena. Paladin has one great card in Rallying Blade, two okay cards and Blackguard and Steward of Darkshire and there's still a top tier class. Mages have access to Coldwraith, Steam Surger, DK Jaina, and Kazakus, yet they have fallen to, according Hearth Arena and HSReplay, to the # 5 class in Arena. Hunter has arguably the best synergies and are worse than Mage. Warlocks have poor synergies and are top tier. So whatever impact the synergies have on how powerful the class is, there's clearly more impactful things involved.
- ** 7: Mages and Locks get access to extremely powerful DKs with their legendary synergy pics. ** Gul'Dan is 100% a synergy pick, and according to HSreplay, you're still only drafting 2 demons/deck, and that you need to have those demons die before you can play him in order to not just spend 10 Mana to upgrade your hero power. Jaina is not really reliant on synergies, and honestly I'm fine seeing her removed since the power of her card is the ability to summon water Elementals if she kills something with her hero power more than the lifesteal to all Elementals. But, she's still a card that needs to be played in the late game, plus you need to be even/ahead on board when playing her to be truly effective. And, remember that Mages is the 5th best class, so with the increased access to Jaina it does not have that much of an impact on their class win rate.
One of the problems that big cards have is that big cards only matter if the game lasts long enough to the point where you can actually play your big cards. For most games, mid-tier cards which are not as powerful or shiny, are actually going to determine who wins or who loses a game much more than any of the big cards offered will. A card like a Rallying Blade or a Cold Wraith is going to be more impactful in the mid game, so you can get that big board swing so that you can have the advantage going into the late game. It feels bad to lose to a really strong card, but often even if you're losing to those really strong cards, often they aren't the reason that you lost (Exceptions: Cards with initiative like spells or Drake). It's what happened in the mid game, the synergy cards that nobody is really complaining about, that won/lost the game. Additionally, the fact people are complaining about Jaina and Gul'Dan serves Blizzard's point about memorable moments. The fact that people remember these losses, yet don't remember the dozens or hundreds of other losses to more mundane things serves the point that the Blizzard philosophy of creating memorable moments drives their Hearthsone experience works, even if its a negative.
- ** 9: The arena should not be used for testing these changes. ** This is an unfortunate drawback, but there is really no other option if blizzard wants to make changes to their game. First off, is no real PTR for Hearthsone, and no real way to implement a PTR to test out changes like what Blizzard or other games developers have done. Secondly, Blizzard has been in a consistent design philosophy of wanting to make changes to the arena, and since Kara have been making these changes on the live servers. It is not something new for Blizzard to test out these changes on the live servers and get feedback from the players. Because there's no option for PTR, they have no other option to actually get feedback on their system without just implementing it fully.
One of the key things about Arena is that it has an absolutely massive player pool. The tiered system to get better quality opponents and better quality Rewards, as well as the repetitive nature of drafting decks are all things that can only really be implemented on the live server. Team 5 has maybe a hundred people working for them and I would imagine that the majority of those people are not people who are hardcore Arena players who could see these flaws. The changes are small enough that they don't really change what Arena is, yet large enough to get relevant feedback.
This system, very clearly has been talked about for a while from blizzard. This is an idea that has been discussed, and I can't imagine that it did not go through without testing. In my personal opinion, its disingenuous to say these were not tested before being implemented. However, the people in the Blizzard design team do not necessarily have a perfect grasp on what is or isn't entertaining to the playerbase, especially in a mode they don't have as much experience with. When doing internal testing, I'm certain that there were actually people who thought this was a very good idea, and decided that they would test it on the community because they liked it. The community reaction has been negative, so they will learn from this feedback and ideally work to improve the system. One thing that everyone agrees on, including people who do not hate the system, and even including people who support the system like me, is that it can be a lot better. It is by no means perfect and I will never say that the system has been implemented perfect. It has a lot of flaws, and for me I just don't care about the flaws; I just don't see them as something that is really that impactful. But, I definitely do not want the system to stay the same and I want the system to improve over time. The system will never get to the point where it can improve until the playerbase has the opportunity to play with it and give their feedback to Blizzard, and that can not happen without small itterations being tested.
** How To Improve the Synergy System **
A lot of this is going to be restated from stuff I talked about in the arguments against synergy, but I think that restating these points here may serve as feedback for the system. Things that I think could be better:
- ** 1: Unfun/weak cards should not be in the synergy pool.** Variable what people consider unfun, but there are a few cards that aren't really powerful enough to justify being a synergy card. Coldlight Seer, Blubber Baron, and Voraxx outside Paladin/Druid are not really fun, and should be removed. The 3 mana Prince also has an effect that's really so weak he shouldn't be there, as well as the 4 mana Prince in my opinion. Frost Lich Jaina is a cool card (haha, pun!), but because the bulk of her power in Arena is in the hero power, she probably shouldn't be in the pool as well.
- ** 2: There should be a larger card pool, including more class cards, and more flexibility on what's considered a synergy card. ** For neutral commons, Cult Master, Flesheating Ghoul, and Necrotic Geist should be added with their synergies with spawn minion cards as well as low curve decks. Each class should also have more cards in the pool to cement their class identity with the synergy picks. Suggestions I would offer, not all great cards, but cards I see changing how you draft:
Druid: Innervate, Wild Growth, Addled Grizzly
Hunter: Crackling Razormaw, Kill Command, Dispatch Kodo, Tol'Vir Warden, Stampede
Mage: Shatter, Kabal Lackey, Cryomancer, Arcanologist, Kirin Tor Mage
Paladin: Grimestreet Outfitter, Smuggler's Run, Grimestreet Enforcer, Divine Favor, Meanstreet Marshall, Wickerflame Burnbristle, Gentle Megasaur
Priest: Kabal Songstealer, Northshire Cleric, Priest of the Feast, Radiant Elemental, Auchenai Soulpriest, Onyx Bishop, Mirage Caller, Shadow Essence, Eternal Servitude, Pint-sized Potion, Shadow Visions, Shadowform, Lyra the Sunshard
Rogue: Southsea Squidface, Deadly Poison, Shadow Sensei, Runeforge Haunter, Counterfeit Coin, Preperation, Doomerange, Shadowcaster
Shaman: Spirit Claws, Primal Fusion, Bloodlust, Flametongue Totem, Thing from Below, Spirit Echo, Gentle Megasaur
Warlock: Darkshire Councilman, Ravenous Pterrordax, Demonfire, Unwilling Sacrifice, Felfire Potion, Silverware Golem, Cruel Dinomancer, Bloodbloom, Cho'Gall
Warrior: Ravaging Ghoul, Blood Razor, Battle Rage, Forge of Souls, Whirlwind, Bloodsail Cutlist, Grimestreet Pawnbroker, Upgrade, Stolen Goods, Shield Slam, Sleep with the Fishes, King Mosh
- ** 3: There should be an offering bonus if you pick cards from a certain category, ideally variable depending on the category. ** For example, Dragons, Jades, and Deathrattles really need more help for their kinds of decks to be effective compared to Beast/Murloc decks. There are plenty of cards on the tier list that, they're bad not because you can't get them early and build around them, but more that you're not going to get enough cards even if you draft them early to justify building around them. This would also go a ways to alleviate a lot of the frustrations many people have. Just keep it tuned and don't overtune it so if you pick Jade you're going to get offered 15 Jades during the draft.
** TLDR **
I like synergies, its possible other non-hardcore players like synergies so we shouldn't demonize the idea, many of the complaints are valid but fixable/overstated, system could definitely be better.