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Zephrys the Great

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

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]

  • Zephrys' Battlecry allows the player to select one of three cards from the Basic or Classic set, from any class. The cards that are offered are based on what is best for the current gameplay situation, as calculated by an internal algorithm.[1]
    • 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, both players' deck sizes,[verification requested] and how many cards are in your hand and in your opponent's hand. However, he can only see "public" information: for example, while he can consider how many cards are in your hand, he will not know what those cards are.[2][3]
  • Zephrys breaks down cards from the Basic and Classic cards into categories. In most default cases, this means offering one area of effect card, one single-target removal card, and one proactive minion.[4] Sometimes Zephrys will offer more cards of one category than the others, or will offer more meaningful options, depending on the situation.[4]
    • For example, if the opponent has enough minions on the board, Zephrys might offer three board clear cards.[4]
    • For example, if your opponent is Lord Jaraxxus, he will offer Sacrificial Pact to destroy him.
  • Zephrys will only offer cards that the player can play on the same or following turn.[5] 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, its cost will most often be based on the player's available mana after paying the cost to play Zephrys (for example, Flamestrike if there is 7 mana left or Twisting Nether if there is 8 mana remaining).[1]
  • Zephrys will always offer cards to allow the player to gain lethal, but only if the player has already taken the necessary actions to set up lethal, and only if lethal 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] For gameplay reasons (e.g. Edwin VanCleef, Knife Juggler), he will also never offer cards with return to hand effects (namely Shadowstep, Youthful Brewmaster, and Ancient Brewmaster).[6][7]
  • In general, Zephrys somewhat understands some normal game mechanics (e.g. Poisonous[8], Divine Shield[8]) but not unusual minion card text and effects (e.g. Electra Stormsurge,[9] Brann Bronzebeard,[10] Deathrattles,[11] Enrage[12]). He does, however, understand conditional effects (e.g. Kill Command,[13] Houndmaster[10]).
  • 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.[14]
  • Zephrys offers board clear cards based more on the amount of health that enemy minions have, rather than if they have special effects such as Reborn and Deathrattle.[11] However, the inability to value Reborn effects and "egg" Deathrattles has been stated to be fixed before the official release of the expansion.[15]
  • Zephrys can offer specific counter cards such as Acidic Swamp Ooze if the opponent has a weapon,[16] Flare if they have an active Secret,[17] Crazed Alchemist if they have a Doomsayer,[1] Hungry Crab if they have a Murloc,[18] and Sacrificial Pact if they're transformed into Lord Jaraxxus.[19][10]
    • Zephrys, however, sometimes may not offer Flare even if the opponent has an active secret and there is 2 mana remaining to spend.[20][21]
    • Zephrys sometimes may not offer Acidic Swamp Ooze even if the opponent has a buffed weapon and there is 2 mana remaining to spend.[22]
    • Zephrys knows how an enemy Doomsayer works and will offer options accordingly.[8] The developers don't plan to teach Zephrys about individual card mechanics and interactions, but this case was a one-time exception.[8]
  • If the player is very low on Health, Zephrys will commonly offer several healing or survival options, such as Healing Touch.[23]
  • Zephrys is able to offer King Mukla to mill the opponent.[24]
  • Zephrys is able to understand offering Combo cards for their Combo effects.
  • Zephrys is able to offer Shadowflame to play on himself to deal 3 damage to all enemy minions.[26]
  • Zephrys may not offer a Silence or Earth Shock if the opponent has a large buffed-up minion such as a Replicating Menace with Taunt on the board, with 1 mana remaining to spend.[27]
  • Zephrys sometimes does not offer the same cards if a double-Battlecry effect is in play, such as with Brann Bronzebeard or Spirit of the Shark (possibly because hand size is changing).[10][5]
  • Zephrys offers cards only on their base cost, so cost-modifying effects such as Loatheb, Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Pint-Sized Summoner do not affect his offerings.[28]
    • For example, Zephrys may still offer Twisting Nether if the opponent has played Loatheb.
  • Zephrys frequently offers Tirion Fordring as a proactive lategame card.
  • 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.[29][30][31][32]
    • He will not offer lethal solutions that rely on RNG.[13][33]
    • 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 an unused Basic Hero Power, but sometimes not with a used Basic Hero Power.[34]
    • Example: The opponent is at 8 health, and Zephrys is played, leaving 7 mana available. Zephrys is able to offer Fireball in combination with Steady Shot for lethal.[10]
    • 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 is not able to offer Avenging Wrath for lethal.[35]
    • 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.[36]
  • Zephrys will not find lethal through fatigue, or recognize Deathrattles that draw cards for the opponent to get lethal through fatigue.[10]
  • Zephrys will not find lethal if you have a frozen minion on board capable of giving lethal if it was unfrozen.[10]
  • Zephrys does not use active cost-reduction effects to find lethal.

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 him first to maximize the mana he has to work with.

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 Mountain 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 and Savage Roar. 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 Animal Companion, Wild Growth, 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, which can disable Zephrys' effect by shuffling multiple Bombs into your deck. Try to play Zephrys early if you can in this match up.

Since he has the same 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, and/or Reno the Relicologist.

Cards offered[edit | edit source]

Some of the more powerful cards that Zephrys might think about giving to the player are listed below:

Cards that don't seem to be offered
Guaranteed offers

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Your wish is my suggestion.

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![39]

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.[40] The team manually went through the Basic and Classic set to pick interesting cards and place them into categories for Zephrys to choose from.[41]
  • 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.[42][43]
    • 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 formats.[44]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Zephrys the Great, full art

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

  • Hotfix (2019-08-08):[8]
    • 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.
  • Saviors of Uldum logo.png Patch (2019-08-06): Added.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Hearthstone (2019-07-31). Saviors Of Uldum Final Card Reveal Livestream (30:50 - 34:00). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-08-01.
  2. Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  3. Peter Whalen on reddit. (2019-07-31). Retrieved on 2019-08-01.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Hearthstone (2019-07-31). Saviors Of Uldum Final Card Reveal Livestream (51:20 - 52:20). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-08-01.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Hearthstone - Zephrys Shows us the Perfect Card. (August 7, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-09.
  6. Peter Whalen on Twitter. (2019-08-01). 
  7. Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Dylan Bates (August 8, 2019). ZEPHRYS HOTFIX - AUGUST 8, 2019. Retrieved on 2019-08-09.
  9. Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 HysteriA (August 8, 2019). Zephrys Experiments - Will Zephrys Always Find Lethal? - Saviors of Uldum Interactions. Retrieved on 2019-08-09.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Trollden (August 5, 2019). Funny And Lucky Moments - Hearthstone - Ep. 455. Retrieved on 2019-08-05.
  12. Zephyrs working as intended. (August 19, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-19.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  14. HysteriA (August 12, 2019). Hearthstone Mythbusters 87. Retrieved on 2019-08-13.
  15. 2019-08-18 on Twitter. (Chadd Nervig). 
  16. Hearthstone (2019-07-31). Saviors Of Uldum Final Card Reveal Livestream (01:00:50). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-08-01.
  17. Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  18. Mike Donais on reddit. (2019-07-31). Retrieved on 2019-08-01.
  19. Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  20. That's it Zephrys, we're switching you to Orville Redenbacher popcorn because you can't Pop Secret. (August 7, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-10.
  21. Extremely annoying moment when Zephrys showed me three spells knowing my opponent had a counterspell up with 1 health, I had 2 mana left. (August 10, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-10.
  22. Funny And Lucky Moments - Hearthstone - Ep. 457. (August 11, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-12.
  23. Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  24. "My hand is too full!". (August 9, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-09.
  25. Why not give me mass dispel? I lost because of this.. (August 12, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-12.
  26. Zephrys the Great: Deconstructing the Djinni. (Aaugust 2, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-16.
  27. Thijs gets the perfect card. (August 11, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-11.
  28. Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-08-01). 
  29. Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  30. Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  31. Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  32. Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  33. Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2019-07-31). 
  34. Shouldn't Zephrys always offer you lethal when possible? Almost lost a brawl game because he didn't offer me fireball.. (August 8, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-16.
  35. 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.. (August 13, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-13.
  36. Zephrys missed lethal or I was not playing it optimally. (August 16, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-16.
  37. Zephrys won't give you lethal if you have Kalecgos on the board and haven't played a spell that turn. (August 15, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-16.
  38. Trolden (August 18, 2019). Funny And Lucky Moments - Hearthstone - Ep. 459. Retrieved on 2019-08-18.
  39. Blizzard Entertainment (2019-08-01). Saviors of Uldum Card Reveal Recap, Final Week. Retrieved on 2019-08-06.
  40. Hearthstone (2019-07-31). Saviors Of Uldum Final Card Reveal Livestream (50:15 - 51:25). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-08-01.
  41. Hearthstone (2019-07-31). Saviors Of Uldum Final Card Reveal Livestream (58:30). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-08-01.
  42. Peter Whalen on reddit. (2019-07-31). Retrieved on 2019-08-01.
  43. Peter Whalen on reddit. (2019-07-31). Retrieved on 2019-08-01.
  44. Peter Whalen on Twitter. (2019-08-17).