Watch Hearthstone’s 14 Minute Pony Massacre

A string of demonic ponies taking knives to the face for nearly a quarter of an hour. That’s been my morning viewing thanks to two players exploiting a new card combo in Hearthstone [official site].

I drifted away from Hearthstone about a year and a half back. It was more interesting to me when it had fewer cards because it was easier for me to come back and dip in for a few rounds. Now it’s like Netrunner – I don’t know what anything does or what might appear at any given moment so I sit there with my basic mage deck and sometimes turn something into a sheep (the Netrunner equivalent is staring at my runner deck and trying to work out why I thought Crypsis was going to come in useful here). Now my main source of interest in Hearthstone is looking at little deck experiments where people try to break the game or create weird scenarios by exploiting card interactions. This is just such a thing – look!

The massacre comes about because of two cards; Knife Juggler and Dreadsteed. Knife Juggler has been about for ages. The important thing about it in this instance is that it deals damage to a random enemy after you summon a minion. Dreadsteed is a new card from the Grand Tournament set. It only has 1 hit point and when you kill it (provided it hasn’t been silenced or whatever) it summons another Dreadsteed.

The setup showcased by The Optimistic Brit (I see what you did there) has each player setting up their side of the board with five Dreadsteed and two Knife Jugglers. The Knife Jugglers have incredibly high hit point values because the players used other cards to boost the health of one, then summoned duplicates using a Faceless Manipulator.

When the final Faceless Manipulator is played and summons that last Knife Juggler it triggers the long pony-knifing turn. It’s a pretty simple interaction, actually. The Knife Juggler appears and it triggers the other Knife Juggler on that side of the board to fire off its random damage ability. The random damage hits a Dreadsteed on the other side. The Dreadsteed is killed but, as per its special ability, it just gets replaced with another Dreadsteed. The replacement pony appearing triggers the Knife Jugglers on that team to fire their random damage and some of the original player’s Dreadsteeds get killed. As long as Dreadsteeds keep being killed and replaced the action continues.

The reason it eventually ends is not that both players are dead (they’re both well and truly destroyed a fair while before the turn ends). It’s that the random damage is gradually chipping away at the health of the Knife Jugglers as well as hitting the Dreadsteeds. Eventually there are only two Knife Jugglers on the board, one on each side, and at 16:13 the random damage from one hits the other. No Dreadsteeds are killed and so the cycle of summoning and damaging finally ends.

15 Comments

  1. Janichsan says:

    Sounds a bit like Blizzard didn’t really thought that one through…

    • Fazer says:

      That situation wouldn’t really happen in a real match, so there is no fault in Blizzard’s actions here.

    • Carra says:

      It doesn’t crash or loop forever. Nicely done by Blizzard.

  2. Synesthesia says:

    Crypsis is shit. I still lose to it.

    I am bad at netrunner.

    Are there any casual netrunner players around here? We could make a small octgn tournament, or something of the sort.

    • unitled says:

      Crypsis is going to make a comeback when everyone starts playing Sacrificial Construct to help against Keegan Lane in the new big box.

      I play an awful lot of Netrunner, we have a great meta up in Edinburgh. I’d happily join a league, but with a huge, massive preference for Jinteki.net over OCTGN. The former is going from strength to strength, the recent Spectator update has been fantastic.

  3. meheleventyone says:

    It’s really hard to setup and requires both players to work together to achieve so it’s not something that is a real issue in the game. Not that Blizzard hasn’t had to recently patch out some nasty effects of card interactions.

  4. gbrading says:

    Nice, I love silly things like this in Hearthstone. Like that person who engineered a situation where 1 turn took 45 hours.

    • Jac says:

      Yeah same, that was class. There’s a funny bouncing blade, commanding shout and gazrilla one somewhere as well. Ends up increasing its attack so much that it resets to zero.

  5. drewski says:

    “I drifted away from Hearthstone about a year and a half back. It was more interesting to me when it had fewer cards because it was easier for my to come back and dip in for a few rounds. Now it’s like Netrunner – I don’t know what anything does or what might appear at any given moment so I sit there with my basic mage deck and sometimes turn something into a sheep”

    I know that feels.

  6. FriendlyFire says:

    Reminds me of that one play TotalBiscuit made with Kel’thuzad. If you clone him, every minion that died in the previous turn is resurrected once per Kel’thuzad. Since he had two, he’d gain an exponential number of Kel’thuzads every turn.

  7. skyturnedred says:

    My favourite is the 2816 Damage Arcane Missile play.

  8. DrollRemark says:

    I’m genuinely amazed that Blizzard don’t think your character dying is worth interrupting whatever sequence is taking place on the board. I know we all want to see the eshiny whizzbangs, but the game is over! The first player died about 5 minutes into that video, and yet it just. Kept. Going.

    • jrodman says:

      What if you would get healed later during the same phase or whatever or also kill the opponent? Are those things possible?