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Yogg-Saron, Hope's End

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Yogg-Saron, Hope's End
Yogg-Saron, Hope's End(33168).png
Yogg-Saron, Hope's End(33168) Gold.png
Set: Whispers of the Old Gods
Type: Minion
Rarity: Legendary
Cost: 10
Attack: 7
Health: 5
Abilities: Battlecry, Cast spell
Tags: Random

Battlecry: Cast a random spell for each spell you've cast this game (targets chosen randomly).

I spell your doom... Y-O-U-R D-O-O-M!

See this card on Hearthpwn

Yogg-Saron, Hope's End is a legendary neutral minion card, from the Whispers of the Old Gods set.

How to get[edit | edit source]

Yogg-Saron, Hope's End can be obtained through Whispers of the Old Gods card packs, through crafting, or as an Arena reward.

Card Crafting cost Disenchanting
Yogg-Saron, Hope's End 1600 400
Golden Yogg-Saron, Hope's End 3200 1600

Notes[edit | edit source]

Selection and targeting
  • For each spell the controlling player has cast that game, Yogg-Saron will cast a random spell. Yogg-Saron may cast any collectible spell, regardless of class, but not uncollectible spells.[1][2] There are currently 278 non-Quest collectible spells in Standard format alone, providing a wide and fairly unpredictable range of effects.
  • Counterspelled spells do not count towards Yogg-Saron's counter.[3]
  • Spells that were not played directly from hand but cast as a result of playing another card (e.g. Tortollan Primalist's Battlecry) do not count towards Yogg-Saron's spellcounter.
  • This minion's Battlecry randomly selects a target for each spell that requires a target. It may select any valid target, including friendly and enemy minions, either hero, and Yogg-Saron itself.[4][5] Spells which do not require a target, such as random target or area of effect spells (e.g., Sabotage or Flamestrike) will function normally.[6]
    • Only valid targets as described by the spell will be selected. For example, Mind Control will only select from enemy minions, and Execute will only select from damaged enemy minions.[7] If a spell has no valid targets, it will "fizzle" and have no effect.[8] This means that for spells with multiple effects such as Demonfuse, none of the spell's effects will occur unless there is a valid target.[9]
    • Spells cast by this Battlecry cannot target elusive, Stealthed or Immune characters.[verification requested] Spells can still affect those minions through indirect means like area of effect, just as they can when cast by the player.
Ownership

The ownership of spells cast by Yogg-Saron is split between Yogg-Saron and the controlling player:

  • For card text purposes, spells cast by Yogg-Saron are considered to have been cast by the controlling player.[10] For example, Blizzard will always target the opponent's board, Lay on Hands will always draw cards for the player, and Excavated Evil will always shuffle itself into the opponent's deck.[11][9]
    • Damage dealt by the spells is considered to have been dealt by the controlling player, for purposes such as Hallazeal the Ascended.[12]
    • Yogg-Saron puts Secrets into play as normal for the controlling player (if possible). It does not activate the effect itself.[13][14] If the Secret cannot be played, due to having a copy already in play, or already having 5 other Secrets in play, the spell will "fizzle" and have no effect.[15]
    • Combo effects will activate if the player played a card before summoning Yogg-Saron; otherwise, they will not.[16] Previous spells cast by Yogg-Saron do not count for activating subsequent Combo effects.
    • Forbidden spells function normally by consuming all of the player's remaining mana, and providing effects proportionate to that amount.[17]
    • Wild Growth and Astral Communion will generate Excess Mana if the player already has 10 Mana Crystals when Yogg-Saron casts the spell.[18]
    • Spells with Overload will Overload the player's mana when Yogg-Saron casts them. This behavior was bugged prior to Patch 6.2.0.15181.
  • However, for all other purposes the spells cast by Yogg-Saron are considered to have been cast by Yogg-Saron itself, and do not count as spells cast by the player.
    • They will not trigger effects that activate "whenever you cast a spell", such as Mana Wyrm, Flamewaker or Archmage Antonidas.[19]
    • They will not trigger the enemy's effects that activate when their opponent casts a spell, such as Trade Prince Gallywix and Lorewalker Cho.[20]
    • They will not trigger Lock and Load's effect. Lock and Load will still trigger from spells cast by the player after Yogg-Saron is finished casting. This is true regardless of whether it was the player or Yogg-Saron who cast Lock and Load itself.[21]
    • They do not count toward the progress of Quests or other effects that counts spells cast by a player, such as Arcane Giant.[22]
  • If Yogg-Saron changes ownership during its Battlecry, such as by one of its spells destroying an enemy Sylvanas Windrunner, the rest of its spells will function as if the Yogg-Saron was played by the other player. For example effects targeting the casting hero will target the opponent, while effects targeting an enemy minion will choose a minion belonging to the original player, and AoE effects like Arcane Explosion will affect the original player's own board. The developers consider this "too cool to not keep".[23]
Miscellaneous
  • Damaging spells will be improved by the controlling player's Spell Damage. However, if a minion with Spell Damage is removed by one of Yogg-Saron's spells, any spells cast afterwards will not be improved.[24]
  • If a spell provides a selection option such as Discover or Choose One, Yogg-Saron will select an option randomly.[25][26]
  • Yogg-Saron's Battlecry only counts spells cast by the hero themselves. Spells cast by put into battlefield effects like Mysterious Challenger, or by previous Yogg-Saron summonings, will not be counted.[27][28]
  • Yogg-Saron's Battlecry will immediately stop casting spells if Yogg-Saron is destroyed, Silenced, returned to hand or transformed partway through the Battlecry.[29] If either hero is destroyed following a spell, Yogg-Saron will also immediately end its Battlecry.[30][31]
    • A spreadsheet showing the chance Yogg-Saron stops casting spells for every combination of spells cast and minions in play, as of One Night in Karazhan, can be found here.
  • As with all such effects, when played in a Standard format match, Yogg-Saron will only cast spells valid in Standard format.[32]
  • The spells cast by Yogg-Saron will be shown in the history, as part of the Yogg-Saron entry.[33]
  • Because Yogg-Saron generates the spells it casts, a golden Yogg-Saron will cast all golden spells, while a regular Yogg-Saron will cast all normal spells. It does not matter whether the spells played by the player earlier that game were golden or regular.[34]
  • If the time taken by Yogg-Saron casting spells extends past the end of the player's turn, extra "slush" time will be added onto the opponent's turn to compensate.[35] However, bugs may still cause problems with this.
  • Yogg-Saron will cast a maximum of 30 spells each time it is played. By activating the Battlecry twice, Brann Bronzebeard can cause Yogg-Saron to cast up to 60 spells when played.[36]
Specific spells
  • Since Yogg-Saron has more than 5 Attack, if it casts Shadow Word: Death with no other 5 Attack minions on the board, it will target and destroy itself.[37]
  • Since Yogg-Saron costs 10 mana, Forbidden spells will usually produce no effect, unless it first casts a spell that generates the mana for it (e.g. Innervate).
    • Exception: If Yogg-Saron Shadowsteps himself, you can summon him again the next turn for only 8 mana, leaving 2 mana for use in a Forbidden spell. Other cost-affecting cards, such as Emperor Thaurissan, Aviana, or Naga Sea Witch can be used for a similar efffect.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Yogg-Saron is a strong if risky addition to any spell-oriented deck. It is generally best-suited to Mage decks due to the large number of cheap spells the class has access to, as well as other spell synergy such as Flamewaker and Archmage Antonidas. Rogues can also play it to great effect in a Miracle Rogue style deck, due to their cheap spells and abundant card draw. The more spells cast that game, the more spells Yogg-Saron will cast when played. Since the aim of playing Yogg-Saron is to benefit from its spells, the more spells featured in the deck the better.

Playing Yogg-Saron is an inherently risky move. The results of playing Yogg vary strongly depending on the spells chosen, and to a lesser degree the state of the board. However, due to the balance of spells of different sorts, including which spells use manually selected targets and which automatically choose targets of an appropriate type, the consensus is that the effect is on average fairly strongly in the summoning player's favour. For example, if Yogg-Saron casts a Lightning Storm, a Kill Command, an Arcane Intellect, a Mark of the Wild, a Muster for Battle and a Flash Heal, leaving aside variables such as Deathrattles and Secrets, the Kill Command, Mark of the Wild and Flash Heal may be to either player's advantage, but the Lightning Storm, Arcane Intellect and Muster for Battle will always be to the summoning player's advantage. As a rule, Yogg-Saron seems to offer more advantage if the opponent has a board full of minions, partly due to the range of AoE damage spells.

Despite the odds in general being good, bear in mind there is always a risk the spells cast by Yogg-Saron will quickly destroy itself and effectively waste a turn, worsen your board state and chances at victory, or even destroy your hero outright.

Yogg-Saron is usually played as a back-up rather than primary strategy, in part because it is not always drawn during the course of a match. It can act as a win condition, but this usually depends on the state of the board and the game leading up to that point.

Because Yogg-Saron's effects are amplified by the number of spells cast that game, it is usually far more effective if played late in the game than early. That said, playing Yogg-Saron after a very large number of spells have been cast can result in such a chaotic sequence of events that the likely outcome is less desirable. For example while there are only a few AoE spells capable of damaging or destroying the player's own minions, with enough random spells, there is a good chance one will be cast. If the player is relying on their minions to win the match, this can make a late Yogg-Saron a riskier play than an early one. Overdrawing is another risk of heavy spell-casting by Yogg-Saron, due to the number of spells with card draw effects.

Like all Battlecry minions, Yogg-Saron's effect can be doubled by Brann Bronzebeard, causing it to cast 2 spells for each cast by the player.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Summon
Bow down before the God of Death.
Attack
Death is eternal.

Lore[edit | edit source]

Yogg-Saron, as depicted by Dan Scott

From Wowpedia:

Yogg-Saron is a named Old God, one of the mysterious and dread elder beings that were defeated and sequestered by the Titans during Azeroth's primordial ages. Upon their fall at the hands of the Pantheon countless millennia ago, Yogg-Saron was imprisoned inside a Titan complex within the depths of what would become the continent of Northrend. Yogg-Saron made its first appearance in World of Warcraft as the final boss in the raid dungeon Ulduar, which was implemented in patch 3.1.

In Hearthstone[edit | edit source]

Yogg-Saron (yog-suh-RAWN) is an Old God of many names, each one of them a mouthful. It’s amassed titles such as The Beast with a Thousand Maws, That Which Must Not Be Named, The Fiend of a Thousand Faces, and its personal favorite: The God of Death. For a cosmic horror with an identity crisis (and a taste for forbidding and lengthy nicknames), it’s got a real silver tongue. Lots of silver tongues, probably, since its face is mostly gaping, toothy maws. Anyway, finding eternal imprisonment beneath the continent of Northrend to be a bitter pill to swallow, Yogg-Saron used nothing more than its insidious whispers to corrupt its own jailers. It succeeded in turning them against each other before taking control of them, and the prison complex itself.
While Yogg-Saron was staging the slowest prison break in history, its oozing vileness was seeping up all over Northrend, sowing strife wherever it was found. Druids, led by Fandral Staghelm, thought they could halt its spread with a little creative landscaping, but the roots of the World Tree they planted grew deep enough to touch Yogg-Saron’s prison. This monumental misstep gave Yogg-Saron the opportunity to pry open the door into the Emerald Dream. The tree was destroyed, but not before the seeds of the Emerald Nightmare were planted by the Old Gods.
Yogg-Saron is hideously good at proving that when you’re up against this mouthy monster, you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.[38]

History[edit | edit source]

Design[edit | edit source]

Designers Mike Donais and Peter Whalen explain that the card went through numerous iterations before reaching the version seen in-game.[39] The overall design concept for Yogg-Saron was a "top-down" approach, trying to envision "what Yogg-Saron would actually do".[40]

The oldest recorded design was as a 10 mana 10/10 minion, with the text, Your spells cost (1). While this is in your deck, you have 15 seconds per turn. The designers comment:

"We wanted the old gods to blow your mind when you saw them. We tried some crazy versions that had effects if they started the game in your deck. This one is a mixed blessing, your turns are really short, which can be exciting if you opt into it. As a bonus, once it’s in play, all your spells are 1 mana which can cause some crazy turns."

However, this design was quickly found to be overpowered, leading to some "absolutely ridiculous" combinations, such as Mages filling their hands with 1 mana damage spells such as Pyroblast.

Another design was as a 4 mana 8/8, with the text, When the game starts, gain 3 Mana Crystals. You can't gain more. This gave the player a strong initial advantage, but with an even stronger disadvantage once the game got going. Whalen explains:

"If your opponent got to 6 crystals and could stabilize, they won, and otherwise you could just kill them with 5/4s. It really felt like playing an A.I. where it feels good when you win but really bad when you lose. And it felt kind of boring for the guy who had just 4 mana crystals. Just, 'I'm going to do this thing.'"

The Yogg-Saron player's deck would predictably consist of mostly 4 mana minions, allowing for the maximum output each turn, leaving little room for ingenuity, while the opponent had little choice but to use removal to attempt to survive the first few rounds, with losses feeling decidedly unfair. Although the designers tried varying the exact number of Mana Crystals, ultimately Yogg-Saron games just "didn’t feel particularly good", and the design was scrapped.

Another design featured Yogg-Saron as a 5 mana 10/10, with the text, When the game starts, Yogg-Saron eats your mind. You only have 15 seconds each turn. This design was intended to provide a calculated risk, with the minion itself massively undercosted, allowing for strong early game advantage, in exchange for an equally large reduction in the time available to the player to make their actions each turn. This iteration was ultimately rejected due to technical limitations with synchronisation and lag, potentially causing trouble with such short turns, although the developers were also uncertain about the design.

After myriad iterations, the designers eventually settled on a basic theme: summoning Yogg-Saron would cause it to cast a large number of spells, based on the player's spell-casting that game. However, the developers tried various implementations before hitting on just the right design.

The original version was a 10 mana 8/8, which rather than casting random spells, cast a copy of each spell the player had cast that game. While the targets were still chosen randomly, the control over which spells were cast allowed players to set up devastating one turn kills, potentially making play very uninteractive. Certain cards caused additional problems:

"Infinite Yogg Saron. It turns out if you play him and you cast Vanish that game, really, nobody gets to play Hearthstone anymore. You don't always win those games but they're not that fun."

When the spells cast by Yogg-Saron were changed to be random - matching its current design - not only were the results less predictable, but the increased randomness turned playing the card from a guaranteed win to a gamble with frequently hilarious results, exchanging boring but overpowered for risky but fun. After arriving at Yogg-Saron's final card text, the last change was to reduce its stats to a 7/5, making sure its strength lay more in its spells than in the minion itself.

Changes[edit | edit source]

Initially predicted by many players to be of little value, once released Yogg-Saron quickly became a popular card in ladder matches. While it still had the risk of defeating the player who used it, its average outcome was found to be favourable, being especially strong for Tempo Mage and Token Druid, where it was commonly used as a finisher or comeback tool. The card also saw a large reaction from players and spectators due to its potential for fun and unexpected plays.

In the months following its release the card saw play in a number of major tournaments, where its large impact on the outcome of matches resulted in the playerbase becoming divided over how positive it was for the game, with some calling for it to be banned from tournaments. While its overall effectiveness was not, according to Blizzard,[41] very high, its strong RNG factor led to frustration for many players and encouraged the view of Hearthstone as being determined mostly by luck, rather than skill. Others defended the card, citing its largely enjoyable effect on the game, and pointing out that the start of the new Standard year would see many of the most problematic spells removed from Standard format.

In September 2016 the developers acted, describing the card as "the most controversial card we've ever made", and explaining that "seeing Yogg in tournaments was not where we originally hoped it would end up" stating that "Yogg should be for players who want to have a lot of fun, but maybe not the card you see frequently in high-level tournaments." The card was subsequently nerfed by means of a rule change: where the card would previously continue to cast spells regardless of what happened to the Yogg-Saron minion itself, it would now cease to cast spells as soon as the minion was destroyed, Silenced, transformed or returned to the hand. In addition, a subsequent change with Patch 6.2.0.15181 caused the spells cast by Yogg-Saron to apply any Overload to the controlling player, something which the developers had previously been uncertain whether to introduce. The combined changes acted to nerf the reliability and overall power of the card, with the intention of removing it from top tier play, while still "maintaining the dream for people who love the card."[42]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Yogg-Saron features a large amount of RNG. When it was revealed, it was described by PC Gamer as "the game's craziest RNG card yet."[43]
  • Yogg-Saron took the longest to program of any card in the Whispers of the Old Gods set.[39] This was due to it needing to interact correctly with every spell in the game, as well as special considerations for how mechanics like Secrets and Choose One work. The card also took "a very large amount of playtesting" to get the balance right for the card, ensuring it was viable and worthwhile for certain decks, without becoming excessively popular or game-determining.[40]
  • Yogg-Saron's very first implementation was made by Peter Whalen, and had no visual or audio spell effects: "You play him, 20 spells instantly happen. ... Just like – oh, all the creatures are dead, I have four extra cards in my hand and my opponent’s deck is gone." Whalen explains that the spells cast were also missing from the history: "No history at all! So you would have this, like, 5/8 taunt sheep in place of Yogg-Saron and you’d be like 'I have no idea what just happened.'"[44]
  • Yogg-Saron is also depicted in the card art for DOOM!.
  • When the card was revealed, designer Max McCall jokingly commented,
"so how many times have people Pyroblasted themselves in the face in testing with Yogg-Saron?"
"five. there is a scoreboard on the wall"[45]

Artist[edit | edit source]

Tooth

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Yogg-Saron, Hope's End, full art
Yogg-Saron, Hope's End golden animated.gif

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

  • One Night in Karazhan logo full2.png Patch 6.2.0.15181 (2016-10-20):
    • If Yogg-Saron casts a spell with Overload, the controlling player will now be Overloaded for the stated amount.
    • Yogg-Saron, Hope's End will no longer cast spells after being Silenced. [This was included as part of the previous patch, but may not have been fully implemented until this patch]
  • One Night in Karazhan logo full2.png Patch 6.1.3.14830 (2016-10-03): Yogg-Saron will now stop casting spells if it is destroyed, Silenced, transformed or returned to the hand.
Commentary: This is the most controversial card we've ever made. Some people LOVE Yogg, and others hate it. We felt like seeing Yogg in tournaments was not where we originally hoped it would end up. Yogg should be for players who want to have a lot of fun, but maybe not the card you see frequently in high-level tournaments. Yogg is relatively weak in power level for nearly every class at every level, but is slightly above average in 2 decks – Tempo Mage and Token Druid. We didn't want to nerf it so much that it couldn't still be a fun card for players who currently love Yogg. Yogg-Saron will now stop casting spells if, during Yogg-Saron’s battlecry, it is destroyed, silenced, transformed, or returned to its owner’s hand. We tried a bunch of things and we think this is a significant enough nerf that it could reduce the amount it gets seen (especially in tournaments), while still maintaining the dream for people who love the card.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  2. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  3. https://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone/comments/4h9df9/counterspelled_spells_do_not_count_towards_the/
  4. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  5. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  6. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  7. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  8. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  9. 9.0 9.1 PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  10. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  11. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  12. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  13. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  14. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  15. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  16. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  17. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  18. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  19. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  20. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  21. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  22. Peter Whalen on Twitter. (2017-04-02). 
  23. https://twitter.com/ywoo_dev/status/725945407524630528
  24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI0TdNlBTtQ&t=5m56s
  25. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  26. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  27. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  28. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  29. Patch 6.1.3.14830
  30. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  31. https://github.com/HearthSim/hs-bugs/issues/487
  32. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  33. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  34. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  35. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  36. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDUMzkcxs2M Tested in Patch 5.0.0.12574 (WotOG patch)
  37. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  38. Whispers of the Old Gods – It's Never a Yawn with Yogg-Saron. (2016-04-07). 
  39. 39.0 39.1 Shack News - Making a Hearthstone Card: The Madness of Yogg-Saron. (2016-04-29). 
  40. 40.0 40.1 The Angry Chicken: "The One with Iksar". (2016-05-18). 
  41. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-09-28). 
  42. Upcoming Balance Changes - Update 6.1.3. (2016-09-28). 
  43. PC Gamer on Twitter. (2016-04-07). 
  44. IGN - BLIZZARD ON DESIGNING HEARTHSTONE’S OLD GODS. (2016-06-20). 
  45. Max McCall on Twitter. (2016-04-07).