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Zephrys the Great

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Zephrys the Great
Regular
Zephrys the Great(90825).png
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Gold
Zephrys the Great(90825) Gold.png
Set: Saviors of Uldum
Type: Minion
Subtype: Elemental
Rarity: Legendary
Cost: 2
Attack: 3
Health: 2
Abilities: Battlecry, Highlander
Tags: Battlefield-related, Deck-related, Highlander
Artist: Max Grecke

Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, wish for the perfect card.

"Of course it's perfect, you're just not seeing how to use it."

See this card on Hearthpwn

Zephrys the Great is a legendary neutral minion card, from the Saviors of Uldum set.

Zephrys grants the wishing player a card from a selection of three cards, from the Basic and Classic sets, to help turn the tide of battle in the player's favor. The selection of cards is based on what is best for the current game state for the player, as determined by an internal algorithm.

Of all Hearthstone cards, Zephrys the Great required the most development work and the largest team effort to design.

How to get[edit | edit source]

Zephrys the Great can be obtained through Saviors of Uldum card packs, through crafting, or as an Arena reward.

Card Crafting cost Disenchanting
Zephrys the Great 1600 400
Golden Zephrys the Great 3200 1600

Notes[edit | edit source]

General
  • Zephrys' Battlecry allows the player to choose a card from the Basic or Classic set to add to their hand from a selection of three cards, from any class. The three cards offered are based on what is best for the current gameplay situation, as calculated by an internal algorithm.[1][2]
    • Zephrys' algorithm will consider both players' board state, your available mana after playing Zephrys, your available mana for the next turn, both players' health totals (health and armor), both players' classes, both players' deck sizes, and how many cards are in your hand and in your opponent's hand.[3][4][5] Zephrys also considers the number of Secrets the opponent has, and the opponent's weapon if they have one equipped.[4] Zephrys also considers both players' Basic and Upgraded Hero Powers, but not most other hero powers.[6][5]
    • Zephrys will only use "public" information in selecting his card offerings, as detailed above; thus, he will not see or use "private" information, such as what cards are in your hand.[3][7]
  • In addition to looking at the board state, Zephrys also breaks down cards from the Basic and Classic sets into categories. Zephrys uses these categories to offer the player the best cards from the three best categories.[2][8][4] For example, Zephrys can offer one area of effect card, one single-target removal card, and one proactive card, such as a reasonable minion, in many situations.[2] Sometimes Zephrys will offer more cards of one category than the others if they are significantly better for the current board state.[9]
    • For example, if the opponent has enough minions on the board, Zephrys might offer three board clear cards.[2] Generally though, there is a threshold at which Zephrys keeps offering cards from the same category.[4]
    • For example, if the opponent has a Murloc, Zephrys is able to offer Hungry Crab to destroy it, but only if it is better than other single-target removal options considered by Zephrys.
  • Zephrys will only offer cards that the player can play on the same or following turn. He tries to prioritize the former but can also offer choices for the latter if he detects that he can give an especially useful option for the following turn.[1]
    • For example, if Zephrys is offering a board clear card, he may give Twisting Nether if there is 8 mana left, or Flamestrike if there is 7 mana remaining (and if enemy minions are mostly at 4 or less health).[1]
    • For example, if Zephrys is played on turn 7 and there are no other minions on the board, he is able to offer Tirion Fordring to play on turn 8.
  • Zephrys will always offer cards to grant the player lethal if possible in the current turn.
    • However, because Zephrys doesn't know what cards are in your hand, Zephrys will only spot lethal if the player has already taken the necessary actions to set up lethal.
    • Lethal will also only be granted if it is within the limitations of Zephrys' coding (please also see the "Lethal" section below).
  • Zephrys only looks at "interesting" Basic and Classic cards and will never offer "uninteresting" cards which players would rarely want, such as Bloodfen Raptor.[1] There are a total of roughly 130+ cards that Zephrys looks at when considering what to offer for the player.[4] For gameplay reasons (i.e. wishing for more wishes[4]), he will also never offer cards with return to hand effects (namely Shadowstep, Youthful Brewmaster, and Ancient Brewmaster).[10][11][12]
  • Zephrys understands normal game mechanics and basic keywords[13] (e.g. Taunt,[14] Windfury,[15] Divine Shield,[16] Poisonous,[16] Lifesteal,[17] Spell Damage[18][19][20]) but not special card text and effects (e.g. Electra Stormsurge,[21] Deathrattles,[22] Supercollider,[23] Bomb Wrangler,[24] Kayn Sunfury[25]). He does, however, understand conditional effects (e.g. Kill Command,[26] Houndmaster[27]) and healing-into-damage effects (e.g. Auchenai Soulpriest[28]). Zephrys also understands offering a few Choose One cards for their Choose Both effects (e.g. with Ossirian Tear).[29]
  • Zephrys is able to simulate what the game state looks like after some of Zephrys' offered cards are played on all possible targets. Zephrys then evaluates and compares the resulting game states after these targets have been "tested". Sometimes there might be simulations of waiting a turn to see what happens there. Holistically, Zephrys goes through a list of functions, one for each card that he offers, to obtain and compare resulting game states.[4]
  • Zephrys' Battlecry is similar to but not equal to a Discover effect, so it does not work with Discover-related effects such as Dwarven Archaeologist.[30][31]
Offers
  • Zephrys is able to offer area of effect and single-target removal cards based on the attack and health of enemy minions, whether or not enemy minions will significantly reduce in stats if silenced, and whether enemy minions have Reborn[32] or Deathrattle[32] effects. When offering removal options, Zephrys understands core gameplay mechanics and common keyword states, but does not read or understand unusual minion card text and effects.[33][13]
    • For example, if there are multiple minions on the opponent's board and they have 4 or less health, Zephrys is able to offer Flamestrike.[34]
    • For example, when offering a board clear card, Zephrys may offer Brawl if there is 5 mana remaining, Twisting Nether to avoid the risk of any minions surviving, or Blizzard if Zephrys wants to lock up the board.[2]
    • For example, if the opponent has a Twilight Drake, Zephrys is able to offer Earth Shock.[35]
    • For example, if the opponent has a Lightspawn, Zephrys is able to offer Ironbeak Owl.[36]
  • Zephrys recognizes enemy Deathrattles but does not understand the effects of Deathrattles.[37][38] Thus, when Zephrys evaluates whether to remove a Deathrattle minion, he first judges the minion's threat level by looking at its base mana cost, attack, and health, and then he compares these stats to the stats of a vanilla minion at the same mana cost. Zephrys then adds this difference in stats as a value to the opponent's board.[22] Chadd Nervig, one of the main designers of Zephrys, additionally stated on Twitter that, "it's a bit higher than just subtracting the stats."[39] For the cases when Zephrys decides to offer removal for an enemy Deathrattle minion, he will try to prioritize removal that won't activate the Deathrattle, such as with transform or silence effects, or Sap.
    • For example, if the opponent has a 6/6 Pyros, Zephrys is able to offer Hex to safely remove it without triggering its Deathrattle effect.[40]
    • For example, if the opponent has a Khartut Defender, Zephrys is able to offer Hex to safely remove it.[41]
    • For example, if the opponent has a Tortollan Shellraiser, Zephrys is able to offer Sap to safely remove it.[42]
    • For example, if the opponent has a 5/7 Augmented Porcupine and Zephrys is played with 1 mana remaining, Earth Shock is able to be offered.[43]
    • For example, if the opponent has a 4/5 Zixor, Apex Predator and Zephrys is played with 1 mana remaining, Earth Shock is able to be offered.[44]
    • For example, if the opponent has a 1/1 Boom Bot and Zephrys is played with 1 mana remaining, Earth Shock is able to be offered.
    • In general, Zephrys is able to offer Earth Shock to remove a Deathrattle minion that will have 1 health remaining after silencing, even if with enchantments it currently has more health. To absolutely guarantee Earth Shock, Zephrys should be played with 1 mana remaining, the player has 5 or more cards in hand after playing Zephrys (to compete with the single-target removal spell Mortal Coil), the enemy Deathrattle minion is relatively high-cost with low base stats, and the minion is the only enemy minion on the board. Earth Shock is also able to be offered for 1-health Reborn minions.[45]
    • Also, Zephrys does not offer Mass Dispel for a bunch of non-threatening enemy Deathrattle minions, such as a field of Leper Gnomes,[46][47] because Zephrys does not read card text and does not consider them worthy of being silenced. Zephrys also does not offer Mass Dispel for a bunch of health-buffed enemy minions that are low in attack and thus considered non-threatening to Zephrys.[48][49]
  • Zephrys is able to offer a myriad of specific counter cards such as Acidic Swamp Ooze if the opponent has a weapon, Flare if they have an active Secret, Crazed Alchemist if they have a Doomsayer, and Hungry Crab if they have a Murloc.[50]
    • Zephrys, however, sometimes doesn't offer Flare if the opponent has an active Secret,[51][52] and if there is 2 mana remaining to spend.[53][54] Zephrys is able to offer Flare if the opponent has five (a Christmas tree!) of Secrets,[55] but sometimes not when he thinks you have lethal through other means (but the Secrets actually make it impossible).[56][57]
      • Zephrys knows the number of Secrets the opponent has, but not what they are since it is not public information.[58] This means that Zephrys does not recognize the existence of specific Secrets such as Counterspell and Ice Block. Additionally, Zephrys does not prioritize Secret removal for Mage Secrets.[53][52][51][54]
    • Zephrys is able to offer Harrison Jones against the Rogue class with the Rogue hero power even if they don't have a weapon equipped.[59]
    • Zephrys is able to offer Bloodsail Corsair against Immune weapons such as Stormhammer (which doesn't work).[60]
    • Zephrys knows how an enemy Doomsayer works and the importance of killing it, so Zephrys will offer options accordingly upon seeing an enemy Doomsayer.[61][16] The developers don't plan to teach Zephrys about individual card mechanics and interactions, but this case was a one-time exception.[16]
  • Zephrys is able to offer burst damage that's not lethal in the form of Bloodlust, Savage Roar, Windfury, and Windspeaker if the opponent's board is not very threatening; however, if the player has a lot of minions on board and lethal is not close in reach, Zephrys will prefer to offer Soul of the Forest instead.[62]
    • Example: The opponent has a 3/3 minion. Bloodlust is offered with 5 mana remaining for +15 attack to reduce the opponent to 1 health.[63]
    • Example: The opponent has no minions. Savage Roar is offered with 3 mana remaining for +14 damage to reduce the opponent to 3 health.[64]
    • Example: The opponent has no minions. Savage Roar is offered with 4 mana remaining for +8 damage to reduce the opponent to 2 health.[65]
    • Example: The opponent has no minions. Savage Roar is not offered for +12 damage to reduce the opponent to 8 health, but Soul of the Forest is offered.[66]
    • Example: The opponent has a 6/6 Kronx Dragonhoof. Bloodlust is not offered to reduce the opponent to 1 health after Zephrys is played with 5 mana remaining.[67]
    • Example: The player has a 6/6 Edwin VanCleef and the opponent has 28 health and no minions. Windfury is offered after Zephrys is played with 2 mana remaining.[68]
    • Example: The player has 3 minions and the opponent has a 2/1 Guardian Augmerchant. Windspeaker is offered for the player's 6/3 Rotnest Drake to reduce the opponent to 3 health, but Savage Roar was not offered to reduce the opponent to 1 health.[69]
  • If the player is very low on Health, Zephrys will commonly offer several healing or survival options, such as Healing Touch.[70] However, Zephrys will not always offer the most optimal option for healing or survival when the player is low on Health and in danger of dying.
    • Example: The player is at 10 health. Zephrys is able to offer Healing Touch for +8 health with 6 mana remaining.[71]
    • Example: The player is at 10 health. Zephrys is not able to offer Healing Touch with 5 mana remaining, but offers Acidic Swamp Ooze to destroy the opponent's 5-Attack weapon. On a minor note, if Zephrys had offered Healing Touch, the opponent would not go on to gain lethal in the next turn.[72]
    • Example: A Priest player is at 1 or 2 health with a Lesser Heal hero power. Zephrys is not able to offer any healing or survival options such as Holy Light for the current turn after Zephrys is played with 2 mana remaining, but offers Healing Touch for next turn.[73][74]
    • Example: A Priest player is at 8 health with a Lesser Heal hero power. Zephrys is not able to offer Holy Light with 2 mana remaining, but offers Lay on Hands for next turn.[75]
    • Example: The player is at 11 health and the opponent has 12 attack on board with 3 out of 5 minions having greater than 2 health. Zephrys offered Soul Cleave but not Frost Nova as his area of effect choice.[76]
    • Example: The player is at 1 health. Zephrys is not able to offer Lightning Storm with 3 mana remaining, which has a 50% chance of clearing the opponent's board and prevent 10 damage from minion attacks, but may offer Frost Nova.
  • Zephrys is able to understand offering Combo cards for their Combo effects.
  • Zephrys is able to offer minions based on their reduced costs, such as Dread Corsair and Sea Giant.
  • Zephrys is able to offer High Inquisitor Whitemane to summon minions that died in the current turn if Zephrys is played with 7 or more mana remaining.[79]
  • Zephrys is able to offer Twilight Drake if there are at least 5 cards in hand after playing Zephrys.
  • Zephrys is able to offer King Mukla to mill the opponent,[80][81][82] or if the opponent's hand is full.[83]
  • Zephrys is able to offer Sap to destroy an enemy minion when the opponent's hand is full.[84]
  • Zephrys is able to offer Shadowflame to play on himself to deal his attack damage to all enemy minions,[85][86] or to play on another minion to deal that minion's attack damage to all enemy minions.
  • Zephrys is pessimistic about random-targeting cards that he offers in order to be safe.[87]
    • For example, when Zephrys offers Brawl, he assumes the median enemy wins.[87]
  • Zephrys frequently offers Tirion Fordring as a proactive lategame card.
  • Zephrys is able to offer Alexstrasza if the player is ahead on board with roughly at least 10 attack,[88] the opponent's hero has more than 15 health, and there is at least 9 mana remaining after playing Zephrys. However, Alexstrasza cannot be offered in some Solo Adventures such as Tombs of Terror.[89][90]
  • Zephrys is able to offer Lord Jaraxxus if the player's hero is below 15 health and the opponent's board state is not too threatening.[91]
  • Zephrys is able to offer Faceless Manipulator if there is at least one big-statted minion on the board controlled by the player or by the opponent.[92][72] Faceless Manipulator is more likely to be offered if the minion has Taunt,[93][94][71][95] Deathrattle,[96][97][41] Charge,[98] or any other valuable common keyword state.
  • Zephrys is likely to offer cards for card generation or card draw if the player has 4 or less cards in hand and the opponent's board is not very threatening.
  • Zephrys does not offer cards for card draw if the player's deck is empty or near empty, but is able to offer cards for card generation instead, such as Ysera, Brightwing, and Thoughtsteal. Zephrys considers offering Thoughtsteal only if the opponent's deck has two or more cards.
  • Zephrys offers cards only on their base cost, so cost-modifying effects such as Loatheb, Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Summoning Portal do not affect his offerings.[99][100]
    • For example, Zephrys may still offer Twisting Nether if the opponent has played Loatheb.
  • Zephrys sometimes does not offer the same cards when a double-Battlecry effect is in play, such as with Brann Bronzebeard or Spirit of the Shark, simply because hand size is changing in between wishes.[101][102][27][78] Additionally, if a double-Battlecry effect is active, Zephrys does not know how to chain his Battlecries.[103]
  • Zephrys never offers cards for "unforced trading",[104][105] unless Zephrys is calculating lethal through enemy Taunt minions with cards like Savage Roar or Bloodlust, or if Crazed Alchemist is involved as a single-target option.[80]
  • Zephrys is able to offer silence cards in certain strange situations, which seems to be a bug.
    • Example: Zephrys is able to offer Earth Shock for a lone EVIL Totem when Zephrys is played with 1 mana remaining, but strangely not any removal card such as Backstab or Arcane Shot.[106]
    • Example: Zephrys is able to offer Silence when a Paladin opponent has no minions, and none of the player's own minions need silencing.[107]
    • Example: Zephrys is able to offer Silence when a Mage opponent has no minions, and none of the player's own minions need silencing.
Lethal
  • Zephrys will always offer cards to allow the player to gain lethal, even options that are unintuitive at first glance.
    • However, since he cannot see what cards are in the player's hand, he can miss lethal chances if the player does not play out their cards first.[108][109]
    • He will not offer lethal solutions that rely on RNG.[26][110]
    • He will only offer lethal within the limitations of Zephrys' coding. This page attempts to address all of his algorithm limitations.
  • Zephrys is able to find lethal with a Basic or Upgraded Hero Power.[5][111] Additionally, the modified cost and modified damage/healing of the hero power is also taken into account.[5]
    • Example: The opponent has 9 health. With 8 mana remaining, Zephrys is able to offer Avenging Wrath in combination with the Mage hero power Fireblast for lethal.[112]
    • Example: The opponent has 8 health. With 7 mana remaining, Zephrys is able to offer Fireball in combination with the Hunter hero power Steady Shot for lethal.[113]
  • Zephrys understands finding lethal with a healing spell such as Healing Touch with Auchenai Soulpriest on the board.[28] This also works with other healing-into-damage effects, such as with Auchenai Phantasm or Embrace the Shadow.
  • Zephrys is able to offer silence when he spots a lethal blocked by Taunt minions.[14][114]
  • Zephrys is able to offer silence if the player has a frozen minion on board capable of giving lethal if it was unfrozen.[5]
  • Zephrys is able to offer silence to reset a friendly minion's stats to gain lethal, getting rid of a set attribute effect.[115]
  • Zephrys is able to offer silence to silence a "Can't attack" minion if it would be lethal if the silenced minion attacks.[116]
  • Zephrys will favor silence cards among potential lethal options to help minimize unwanted interference caused by Deathrattles or other card effects.[5]
  • Zephrys is able to find lethal through fatigue damage.[117][118] However, before Patch 15.0.4, it was seen that Zephrys could miss finding lethal through fatigue if the opponent had the Warrior hero power. This bug might still exist in certain rare situations.
    • Example: Opponent Warrior hero is at 17 health, taking 10 fatigue damage next turn. Zephrys was not able to offer Gorehowl for lethal.[27]
  • Zephrys is able to find lethal using Prophet Velen's damage modifier effect.[119]
  • Zephrys is able to offer Shadow Madness to be played on an enemy minion for lethal.
  • Zephrys is able to offer Crazed Alchemist to be played on a friendly Elusive minion for lethal.[120]
  • Zephrys is able to offer Alexstrasza for lethal if there is 9 mana remaining after playing Zephrys and lethal damage is presented on board after Alexstrasza's effect.
  • Zephrys is able to offer Heroic Strike or Inner Demon for a hero with Windfury to find lethal, such as if the hero is equipped with Doomhammer.[121]
  • Zephrys is able to offer Pyroblast for lethal next turn if the opponent is at 10 health or below, or can be reduced to 10 health or below in the current turn with the player's current board state, and the opponent's Lifesteal minions, if any, are not able to heal the opponent out of range of a Pyroblast lethal next turn.[92][122]
  • Zephrys does not use active cost-reduction effects to find lethal.
  • Zephrys does not offer Tundra Rhino for lethal.[125][126]
  • Zephrys does not offer Timber Wolf for lethal.[127][126]
  • Zephrys does not offer Blessing of Might for lethal.[128]
  • Zephrys does not offer Sinister Strike for lethal.[129]
  • Zephrys does not actively seek out lethal in the current turn if the opponent's hero is immune, such as from the effect of Mal'Ganis,[130][131] but is able to offer Pyroblast if the opponent is at or below 10 health and they have no Lifesteal minions.[92]
  • Zephrys is able to offer Baron Geddon for its end-of-turn effect that deals 2 damage to all other characters, but will not recognize using a Baron Geddon already on board to deal 2 damage to the enemy hero for achieving lethal.
    • Example: Baron Geddon is on the player's board and the opponent hero is at 8 Health. Zephrys is played with 4 mana remaining. Fireball is not offered for lethal.[132]

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Zephrys is an incredibly powerful card that can save you from a bad situation, kill priority targets, generate value for later turns, or create lethal. Generally, you should save Zephrys for when you have no other good plays. Zephrys will always be an efficient play, so it's a good idea to wait until he's your only efficient play. When you do play Zephrys, it's a good idea to play out your other cards first to get to a desired level of mana remaining, then play him to persuade Zephrys to give you cards at or below that mana cost (factoring in the cost to play Zephrys of course).[133] To find out what Zephrys likes to offer you in various scenarios, the only way to find out is to play Zephrys a lot for yourself to see what he likes in different situations.

Since Zephrys gives you a choice between three cards, you still have to judge which of his options will be the best. For example - at three mana remaining he may give a healing spell like Holy Light, a removal spell like Deadly Shot, and a Sea Giant which is currently playable. It's up to you to decide which path will provide the best value currently and on later turns.

Pay close attention to what Zephrys is offering, especially if the options include direct-damage spells or cards like Windfury, Savage Roar, and Bloodlust. He may see a lethal that you didn't account for.

If you're attempting to gain lethal with Zephrys, be sure to use your burst damage first. Zephrys will not check the cards in your hand, so he won't count them as damage when searching for lethal.

Even if this wastes a lot of his value, Zephrys isn't a terrible play on curve. He'll generally offer 3-mana cards, making him a super-upgraded Jeweled Scarab. In particular, he'll almost always offer Wild Growth, Animal Companion, and Brightwing, three of the best 3-mana cards in the Basic and Classic set. He can also curve out later turns as well, offering fitting mana costs no matter when he's played. He also often offers Tirion Fordring in the lategame as a proactive play.

Be wary of Bomb Warrior and Bad Luck Albatross, which can disable Zephrys' effect by shuffling in duplicate cards into your deck. Try to play Zephrys early if you can in this match up.

Since he has the same singleton condition, Zephrys is a natural fit for decks using Reno Jackson, Kazakus, Inkmaster Solia, Raza the Chained, Krul the Unshackled, Elise the Enlightened, Sir Finley of the Sands, Dinotamer Brann, Reno the Relicologist, and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza.

Zephrys also doesn't need to be used solely in singleton decks. Since his effect only cares about your current deck, he can be played at or near fatigue to make use of his Battlecry. This can allow you to find a finisher as an aggro deck or another piece of value in a long control match. This works especially well in combination with Chef Nomi.

Cards offered[edit | edit source]

Most of the powerful cards that Zephrys thinks about giving to the player are listed below:

The card categories that Zephrys might offer the player are listed below:

Guaranteed offers
Cards that may or may not be offered
Cards that are not offered or don't seem to be offered

Fixed bugs[edit | edit source]

The following is a very brief list of some documented interactions that have been fixed. For the official patch changes, see #Patch changes.

  • With the live release of Saviors of Uldum, Zephrys now more correctly values Reborn effects and "egg" Deathrattles.[32] Previously in pre-release, Zephrys did not value these two card effects when offering board clear cards.
  • Before Patch 15.0.4.33402, Zephrys was able to find lethal with an unused Basic Hero Power, but sometimes not with a used Basic Hero Power.[164] After the patch, this bug was fixed.
    • Example: Steady Shot is used, bringing the opponent down to 7 health with no minions on their board. Zephrys is played, leaving 6 mana available. Zephrys offered Fireball, but Steady Shot was already used so it was not lethal. As a separate and overlapping bug, Zephrys was not able to offer Avenging Wrath for lethal.[165]
    • Example: Shapeshift is used, killing off a 1/1 Taunt. Zephrys is played, leaving 6 mana remaining. He does not offer any lethal options, such as Bloodlust, which would give lethal with the minions on board. He does offer a Savage Roar, which would give lethal if both the 1/1 Taunt was off the board and the player had not attacked with Shapeshift yet.[166]
  • Before Patch 15.0.4.33402, Zephrys was able to offer Coldlight Seer with no friendly Murlocs on the field.[167]
  • Before Patch 16.0.0.37060, Zephrys overvalued the effect of Deathrattles by a lot, causing him to avoid destroying enemy minions with Deathrattles a little too much, instead preferring to offer freeze effects such as Frost Nova and Blizzard.[168][169][170] This was a large issue but was fixed after the patch. The change in Deathrattle evaluation was explained by Chadd Nervig on Reddit:[22]
"Previously, Zephrys valued Deathrattles as summoning a minion with stats equal to the difference in stats between the minion's base stats and the expected stats of a vanilla minion at that mana cost.
Now, instead of evaluating it as summoning a minion, it does something more generic, of adding 'that much value' to the opponent's board. In practice, this produces about the same results, except without the occasional card offered to deal with that extra summoned minion (which doesn't exist)."

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Summon
Your wish is my suggestion.
Attack
Alakazoom![178] / Alakazam!

Lore[edit | edit source]

With the League of E.V.I.L. and its crew of calamitous lackeys, the League of Explorers equipped with archaeological artifacts, and the mystical mummies and monsters of Uldum, the desert sands have never hosted such a party of powerhouse prestidigitators and mischief-makers. Among those most powerful stands Zephrys the Great. While at a glance most would see nothing but a mild-mannered medium, Zephrys the Great is capable of divining and manifesting precisely what is needed in any given scenario.
Once this dune-dwelling diviner is played, the state of the game will be carefully analyzed and Zephrys will attempt to conjure exactly what you need to swing the game back in your favor or clench a decisive victory![179]

Unique to Hearthstone, Zephrys is a djinn.

From Wowpedia:

A djinn is a type of powerful air elemental that can be found in Skywall. They made their first appearance during World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
It was the djinn that gave the tol'vir back their immortality as creatures of stone, in exchange for their allegiance to Deathwing. The only tribe of tol'vir to accept the offer were the Neferset. When the Orsis tribe refused to serve Deathwing, Al'Akir's djinn buried the city beneath a mighty sandstorm.
Most djinn in World of Warcraft are powerful lieutenants of Al'Akir, though a minor one has also appeared trapped in the Magical Brazier inside the Vortex Pinnacle. A legend among the tol'vir tells of a wicked djinn whom the Ramkahen sought to destroy. In an attempt to prevent his own death, the djinn tried to transfer his spirit into the body of a monkey. He was slain right in the middle of the transference, and only a fraction of his essence had moved over - only enough to possess the monkey's paw.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • When Team 5 decided to bring back the "If your deck has no duplicates" mechanic for Saviors of Uldum, they decided that the set needed to have a really cool and exciting card that synergized with the mechanic, on par with Kazakus from Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. The design team came up with the idea of a card that would allow players to look through their collection and choose any card to add to their hand, but the gameplay engineering and UI teams immediately protested against this design. The team subsequently tried to brainstorm a version of the card that would be feasible to create, with one of the suggestions being to have the card only show players a couple of cards from their collection. The idea was then born to have the AI select some reasonable choices for players to pick from. The team tried implementing this idea "like five different times", with each iteration a complete reimagining of the previous, until they landed on the version seen in the final set.[2][4] The team manually went through the Basic and Classic sets to pick interesting cards and place them into categories for Zephrys to choose from.[2]
  • The decision to have Zephrys only offer cards from Basic and Classic rather than all sets was made partially for technical reasons, since figuring out how to rate each card involves a lot of manual work for the developers. However, according to Peter Whalen, the bigger reasons stem from design: a big part of playing with Zephrys consists of understanding what he's going to offer and how to maximize the payoff from him, which gets harder the larger the card pool is and the weirder the cards in it are. Basic and Classic provide a versatile mix of removal, AoE, minions, and situational cards while also being fairly simple and well-known to most players, whereas expansions tend to consist of a lot more niche and situational cards. Basic and Classic have the added perk of having fewer extreme cards that could make Zephrys frustrating to play against. Furthermore, only selecting cards from Basic and Classic rather than all sets also means that players don't have to relearn the card every time a new expansion comes out.[180][181]
    • The developers briefly discussed allowing Zephrys to Discover Hall of Fame cards when he's played in Wild. However, they found that the payoff wasn't quite worth it and that it's easier for them to maintain Zephrys and for players to predict what cards he's going to offer if his effect is the same across both Standard and Wild formats.[182]
  • According to Chadd Nervig, one of the main designers of the card, Zephrys the Great required the most amount of development work and the largest team effort in helping to design, quality-assure, and polish the card for official release.[4][183]
  • According to Alec Dawson, a game designer on the Hearthstone team, Zephrys was the card that the team worked on the most in the history of the game.[184]
  • Zephrys has over 1000 lines of code running behind the scenes; typically, a card has around 2-20 lines of code, maybe even 50.[4] The code only takes milliseconds to run to evaluate the player's board state to offer the player cards.[4]
  • Zephrys will continually be updated with changes made to the Basic and Classic sets while he is in Standard.[185] Once Zephrys leaves Standard and moves to Wild, he will remain as is.[186]
  • Zephrys the Great was first revealed on July 31st 2019 in the official Card Reveal Livestream for Saviors of Uldum. An official Theorycrafting Livestream was then held the next day in which six content creators were invited to theorycraft decks and do battle against one another at Blizzard HQ.[191]
  • In the Tavern Brawl Three Wishes, players could play around with 0-mana-cost cards of Zephrys' effect: First Wish, Second Wish, and Third Wish.
  • Zephrys' effect is also found on the treasure card Zephrys's Lamp in the Tombs of Terror adventure. A special and very rare treasure card called Sack of Lamps is able to give many such Zephrys's Lamps to the player in a single turn.
  • Zephrys' effect is also found on the card The Perfect Idea in the Galakrond's Awakening adventure. Two copies of the card are contained within Commander Elise's deck which the player plays with in two separate encounters: the third encounter of the first League of Explorer's chapter against Kriziki the Winged, and the second encounter of the last League of Explorer's chapter against Waxrider Togwaggle. The player is able to freely experiment with Zephrys' effect using this card since it shuffles itself back into the player's deck after it is used to discover "the perfect card".

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Zephrys the Great, full art
Zephrys the Great golden animated.gif

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

NB: The following superscript references describe and depict scenarios for the corresponding bug.
  • Ashes of Outland logo.pngPatch 17.4.0.49534 (2020-06-09):
  • Ashes of Outland logo.pngPatch 17.2.0.47374 (2020-05-12):
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys would miss lethal when there was an enemy Taunt minion with Lifesteal that you could attack into.[194][195]
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys would prefer not to transform/Silence certain high-stat Deathrattle minions (such as Waxadred).[196][197]
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys could miss lethal using Unleash the Hounds.[198][199]
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys would not offer Silence options for minions with the "Can't Attack Heroes" effect.[200][201][116]
    • Zephrys is now slightly less likely to offer single-target removal for next turn.
    • Zephrys will no longer offer Natalie Seline for next turn.[202][203][204]
    • Zephrys may now offer Polymorph instead of Hex in a few cases where it would be better for your opponent to have a 1/1 than a 0/1 with Taunt.
    • Swipe will now fill the AoE category (instead of single target damage) if Zephrys expects it to be used against the enemy hero.[205]
    • Improved how Zephrys evaluates enemy minions that have low base stats for their cost, but are buffed.
  • Ashes of Outland logo.pngPatch 17.0.2.45932 (2020-04-20):
    • Zephrys the Great has been updated to accommodate the Sacrificial Pact and Glaivebound Adept changes.
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys the Great would not offer a lethal option if your hero had a large amount of Attack.[206][207]
  • Ashes of Outland logo.pngPatch 17.0.0.44222 (2020-03-26):
    • Zephrys the Great has been updated for the changes to the Basic/Classic sets in Year of the Phoenix:
    • Improved ordering of simulated attacks to best make use of Rush minions to clear Taunts, in order to maximize potential face damage. This should solve many cases where Zephrys "missed lethal" that involved trading a Rush minion into a Taunt before going face with other minions.
    • Zephrys is now more likely to offer a Freeze card when the opponent has a full board, since it locks the opponent out of being able to play any minions.[208]
    • Fixed a bug where Freeze effects were sometimes offered against already-Frozen enemies.[209]
    • Fixed a bug where SI:7 Infiltrator was offered for next turn over Flare for this turn.
    • Fixed several bugs involving the opponent's weapon and/or Frozen state, for calculating whether healing should be offered.
    • Fixed a bug where minions whose base cost was higher than 10 (such as Shirvallah, the Tiger) were evaluated as being extremely valuable.[92][210]
    • Fixed a bug where Windfury was not offered for use on a minion that has already attacked once this turn.[211][132][212]
    • Fixed a bug where Crazed Alchemist was offered to destroy your own Doomsayer.
  • Descent of Dragons logo.png Patch 16.0.0.37060 (2019-12-05):
  • Saviors of Uldum logo.png Patch 15.0.4.33402 (2019-08-26):
    • Fixed several bugs involving weapon removal:
      • Acidic Swamp Ooze was sometimes not offered against 1-Durability weapons.[218]
      • Harrison Jones was sometimes offered against 1-Durability weapons when he could not be played that turn.[218]
      • Weapon removal cards were not offered against 0-Attack weapons.
      • Weapon removal cards were not offered when it would prevent your opponent from having lethal on their next turn.
    • Fixed several bugs involving certain cards not being offered:
    • Fixed several bugs involving Hero Powers:
      • Hero Powers were sometimes assumed to be usable, even if they had already been used that turn.
      • The current cost for Hero Powers is now considered, instead of assuming a cost of 2.
      • Damage and healing modifiers on hero powers are now accounted for.
      • Upgraded Hero Powers (such as through Sir Finley of the Sands, or Justicar Trueheart) are now considered.
      • If your Hero Power has been replaced, Zephrys will no longer assume your base Hero Power is still usable.
    • Fixed a bug where Betrayal was not appropriately counting as a single-target removal option when it would only damage one target.
    • Fixed a bug where Alexstrasza was being offered based upon the opponent’s combined Health and Armor, instead of only their Health.
    • Fixed a bug where silence cards were not offered to unfreeze your own minions for lethal.[27]
    • Among potential lethal options, silence cards will now be favored, in order to help minimize potential interference from Deathrattles or other unique card effects.
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys did not properly consider multiple Deathrattles on the same minion (most commonly from Magnetic minions).[219]
    • Improved Zephrys's evaluation of the value of healing this turn vs next turn.
  • Hotfix (2019-08-08):[16]
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys sometimes didn’t handle enemy Divine Shields properly.
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys sometimes didn’t handle Poisonous properly.
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys didn’t consider that buffing a 0-Attack minion would let it attack that turn.
    • Taught Zephrys how Doomsayers work. As a rule, we don’t plan to teach Zephrys about individual card mechanics and interactions. However, we’ve made a one-time exception in this case since having less-than-perfect offerings from Zephrys when trying to find an answer to a Doomsayer could cause you to lose your board or end up with no good plays for the turn.
  • Hotfix (2019-08-06):[32][220]
  • Saviors of Uldum logo.png Patch 15.0.0.32708 (2019-08-01): Added.

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. Deadly Shot is able to be offered to kill reasonably-statted lone stealthed minions. Deadly Shot is also able to be offered to kill lone decently-statted Reborn minions.
  2. Assassinate is able to be offered when the opponent has multiple minions and one of the most threatening is a 4-attack high health targetable minion.
  3. Polymorph is able to be offered instead of Hex when Zephrys decides it is more favorable to push damage to the opponent's face.
  4. Before Zephrys offers Starfall, the card is conditionally set as either a "single-target" or "area of effect" card depending on the board state. Chadd Nervig in his Angry Chicken podcast interview mentioned that most cards Zephrys offers fall under only one category; however, some fall into multiple categories, as is the case with Starfall. The card is also likely to be offered when the player has a 'Choose Both' effect active, such as with Ossirian Tear, and board conditions are appropriately met for Starfall's combined effect.
  5. Frost Nova is able to be offered if the opponent has lethal, or sometimes close to lethal, on board and the player has less than 6 mana remaining after playing Zephrys (to avoid Zephrys potentially offering Blizzard).
  6. Inner Fire is able to be offered for low-attack high-health minions, including 0-attack high-health minions.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Either Sorcerer's Apprentice or Faerie Dragon will be offered if Zephrys is coined out on turn 1. Both minions are also able to be offered in later stages of the game.
  8. Eaglehorn Bow is more likely to be offered if the player has Secrets up.
  9. Gladiator's Longbow is able to be offered if there is a 5-health character that Zephrys wants to kill.
  10. Thoughtsteal is able to be offered if The Perfect Idea is played on turn 1 against Kriziki the Winged in the Galakrond's Awakening adventure.
  11. Nourish was offered in the Three Wishes Tavern Brawl when First Wish was used on turn 6, when the player has 6 maximum mana and the opponent has 8 maximum mana. There can be 7 cards in the player's hand (including Zephrys).
  12. Crazed Alchemist is able to be offered for use on 0-attack low-health enemy minions.
  13. A weapon is likely to be offered if the player is at a decent health total with several minions and the opponent has no minions.
  14. Wild Growth is always offered when Zephrys is played on turn 2 at 2 mana.
  15. Brightwing is able to be offered if there are 4 or less cards in hand after Zephrys is played on turn 2.
  16. Before the priest rework on March 26th 2020, Zephrys always offered three core cards when played on turn 2 on an empty board: Wild Growth, Animal Companion, and Brightwing. After the priest rework, Power Word: Shield now replaces Brightwing as a core card when there are 5 or more cards in hand after playing Zephrys on turn 2.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 PlayHearthstone (2019-07-31). Saviors of Uldum Card Reveal Livestream (49:50 - 54:00). Twitch. Retrieved on 2020-08-08.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 PlayHearthstone (2019-07-31). Saviors of Uldum Card Reveal Livestream (01:09:35 - 01:12:00). Twitch. Retrieved on 2020-08-08.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 The Angry Chicken podcast (2019-08-23). The History of Zephrys: Hearthstone Interview with Celestalon. YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-08-26.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Blizzard Entertainment (2019-08-26). Hearthstone Update – August 26 – Card Balance Updates. Retrieved on 2019-08-26.
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  15. Zephrys gives Spellbreaker and Blessed Champion. (2019-09-06). Imgur. Retrieved on 2019-09-06.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Dylan Bates (2019-08-08). ZEPHRYS HOTFIX - AUGUST 8, 2019. Retrieved on 2019-08-09.
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  18. Trolden (2019-12-15). Funny And Lucky Moments - Hearthstone - Ep. 481 (02:40 - 03:27). YouTube. Retrieved on 2020-01-11. Notice how Moonfire is provided for lethal with Spell Damage +5.
  19. Hearthstone Esports (2020-07-19). Alutemu vs Leta - Finals - Hearthstone Masters Tour Online: Asia-Pacific (31:00 - 32:00). YouTube. Retrieved on 2020-07-22. Notice how Fireball is provided for lethal with Spell Damage +5.
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  36. Zephrys offers Ironbeak Owl for Lightspawn. (2020-03-27). Imgur. Retrieved on 2020-03-27.
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  41. 41.0 41.1 Hey Zephrys, where's my Tirion?. (2020-03-29). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-03-31.
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  51. 51.0 51.1 That's it Zephrys, we're switching you to Orville Redenbacher popcorn because you can't Pop Secret. (2019-08-07). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-08-10.
  52. 52.0 52.1 Never concede early folks(p.s blizz fix Zephyrs ffs). (2020-01-09). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-01-12.
  53. 53.0 53.1 Extremely annoying moment when Zephrys showed me three spells knowing my opponent had a counterspell up with 1 health, I had 2 mana left. (2019-08-10). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-08-10.
  54. 54.0 54.1 Day 69, Zephrys still doesn't understand secrets... I have 2 mana left, my opponent has iceblock and I have lethal on board... Guess what? I lost right after because my opponent played Reno. :). (2020-04-07). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-04-09.
  55. Zephrys Brings a Flare to Hunter Fight. (2019-09-08). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-09-08.
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  60. Zephyrs shouldn't offer bloodsail corsair against immune weapons. (2020-02-17). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-03-23.
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  73. Thanks zephrys , I have 2 mana. (2020-04-21). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-04-22.
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  76. Hearthstone Esports (2020-07-18). Leta vs justsaiyan - Quarterfinal - Hearthstone Masters Tour Online: Asia-Pacific (44:40 - 46:20). YouTube. Retrieved on 2020-08-08.
  77. Why not give me mass dispel? I lost because of this.. (2019-08-12). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-08-12.
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  156. Genuine question, idk if it’s a glitch, but why did zephyrs offer backstab. (2020-05-27). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-06-13.
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  158. So, Zephrys offered me ooze when my opponent hasn’t equipped a weapon. (2020-06-27). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-07-20.
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  164. Shouldn't Zephrys always offer you lethal when possible? Almost lost a brawl game because he didn't offer me fireball.. (2019-08-08). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-08-16.
  165. Zephrys won't give you Avenging Wrath as lethal option even with your opponent at 7 HP, no minions on board and exactly 6 mana left.. (2019-08-13). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-08-13.
  166. Zephrys missed lethal or I was not playing it optimally. (2019-08-16). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-08-16.
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  168. Why Zephrys the Great don't give Twisting Nether? I lose in opp turn because he use Penance on my Zephyros and Ragnaros the Firelord win (i have exactly 8 health). (2019-11-28). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-12-06.
  169. Where's my Twisting Nether, Zephrys??. (2019-09-15). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-01-19.
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  175. C'mon Zephrys, I don't need more cards. (2020-01-14). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-01-21.
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  194. Tell me please Zephrys, WHY don't you offer me a fireball?. (2020-04-06). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-05-13.
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  197. Zephrys, are you sure you don't want to give me earth shock here?. (2020-04-04). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-05-13.
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  204. Why zephyrs didn't offer a cheap removal or at least southsea deckhand? I know I couldn't loose, but anyway.... (2020-04-18). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-05-13.
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