Dear 'Hearthstone': Stop Trying To Make Rend Blackhand Happen In The Blackrock Mountain Expansion, Because He Never Will

By Steve Buja , Updated Mar 18, 2015 11:14 AM EDT

Dear Blizzard, we get it. Rend Blackhand is your baby. Like any parent, you're proud of him and want him to do well, no matter his prowess. You support your child, come hell or highwater.

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That is your job as a parent. It is our job as members of the real world to tell you that your baby is going to be eaten alive. Or not even eaten alive; like John Lennon's son Julian, he will simply be a footnote in the upcoming Blackrock Mountain: A Hearthstone Adventure expansion when it drops sometime next month.

Now, it's not on you Blizzard. In theory, Rend Blackhand's ability is pretty great: if you are holding a dragon card, Rend destroys an opponent's Legendary creature, in much the same way that Hemet Nesingwary removes an opponent's beast because nobody likes Zoo Hunters (even and especially other Zoo Hunters). Rend has the advantage of not needing the Tinkmaster Overspark to be summoned at the same time to turn an opponent's minion into a beast before being removed, but that's about it. You can summon one 8/4 for 7, or spend 8 and get a 6/3 and a 3/3.

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Or, if you're going up against a legendary, chances are it's beefy, powerful - and you could take it out with a well time Big Game Hunter, and then still summon Hemet and take out a beast, all for one extra mana.

Rend simply costs too much and his Health is too prone to being taken down by some mid-level clear. If a well-timed Flamestrike can take out your beefy legendary - a raid boss, no less - there's a bit of an issue. Granted, I know that a Flamestrike would kill both Hemet and the Tinkmaster, too, but if you're not up against a Mage, you can breathe a bit easier. With those conditions, I don't think Rend will see a lot of use in Ladder play, and he will certainly be avoided in Arena, at least initially.

Now, Blackrock Mountain is not out yet - you haven't even announced the release date - so we may not be seeing the whole picture. As you say in the latest article, Rend does have a brother named Maim. For all we know, there may be some sort of synergy between the two - should Maim even exist as a card. As a Deathrattle, Maim could summon his burly brother automatically (like Feugen and Stalagg), or decrease the mana cost on Rend or another legendary creature.

So there could be a spot for Rend in the world. You're Blizzard, you're the grandmasters of tinkering and balancing your games and metagames. In the meantime, I'm still more excited about the Dragon Egg card, which could be a fun little board filler if you play your cards.

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