Inspire Mechanic

By | August 19, 2015

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The Grand Tournament is coming soon, so it’s a good time to start looking at how the new mechanics introduced in the expansion will perform. As a starter, let’s look at the new mechanics: Inspire.

Inspire is an effect that triggers when you play a hero ability. There are various effects available, but in general, the mechanics allows you to use the hero ability without losing tempo, and this is a pretty big deal. There has been a lot of debate as to how effective this new mechanics is because the baseline minion bodies of Inspire minions are somewhat weaker compared to other equivalently costed minion. The goal of this post is to shed some light on how the mechanics might fare.

In this post, let’s take a look at three 5-mana Inspire cards: Recruiter, Kvaldir Raider, and [Mukla’s Champion]. We will take as the baseline super basic deck with Booty Bay Bodyguard replaced by Silver Hand Knight, and pit it against the same deck replaced by the Inspire cards. For each deck, we will create a Priest and a Warrior version.

I’ve only had the time to run about 1,000 games per simulation, but the results so far are somewhat surprising:

The win rate of the Inspire deck vs the Silver Hand Knight deck. Click on the data to see the actual simulation runs.
Priest Warrior
Recruiter deck 52.2% 59.0%
Kvaldir Raider deck 54.6% 67.4%
Mukla’s Champion deck 53.3% 59.6%

Overall, all three Inspire cards seem to be stronger than the baseline Silver Hand Knight. Granted, the AI used here isn’t tuned to play against Inspire cards, but it’s also not tuned to play Inspire cards either, so it’s difficult to say how much of an effect that would have. It’s also worth noting that the Inspire decks have almost no Inspire synergies. Part of the strength of Inspire cards comes from the fact that a single hero ability use can trigger Inspire effects of multiple minions on the board, but these decks do not have any other Inspire cards to take advantage of that. There are also cards that reduce the cost of hero abilities and buffs their effects, which are also missing from these decks. Basically, these simulations are the worst case scenarios for these Inspire cards — and yet, they still outperform a card that many consider as good value.

Based on these results, it looks like Inspire is going to be a strong mechanic. I can’t wait to try out some Priest inspire decks.

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