Adding flavor to Searing Totem

Posts: 4
I had a some thoughts relating to Searing Totem...

Why? Right now Searing Totem seems dull and it doesn't add to/coincide with how Searing Totem works in WoW. When I have one come up in Hearthstone, it's disappointing. It feels like I just wasted 2 mana. In my opinion, the other three totems, while they might not always be useful, have some kind of benefit depending on your play style.

While some may argue that the other classes also get 1/1 for 2 as their hero power, my intent is to suggest some comparable options which will feel more inline with a Shaman.

First, change Searing Totem to a 0/1 for 2, making it very easy to kill. Second have it deal 1 damage at the end of each turn... but to whom/what? This is where the discussion comes in.

A) Deal 1 damage to a random enemy minion OR hero.
B) Deal 1 damage to X random enemy minions (2? 3 might be a bit much).
C) Deal 1 damage to target enemy minion or hero.
D) Deal 1 damage to minions across from Searing Totem.

My opinion is that A would be the most balanced.

Dealing damage to multiple minions (B) might be overkill but I'm still very much learning the game.

Option C would seem reasonable given how cost/damage relationship works, but doesn't feel very "Shamany"

D is the most interesting IMO... Blizzard has implemented some location based mechanics (Like Flametongue Totem) which might make D plausible. It would also add a neat element to a match as far as card location on the board and force players to keep an even or odd number of cards on the table to manage damage until Searing Totem is dealt with. For example, shaman has 5 cards, the opponent has 5, meaning only 1 is directly across from the totem, so it is the only one damaged, however, if the opponent had 6 cards, 2 of them would be across from the totem, causing damage to both cards.. Which, at 0/1, should be easy. However, if the Shaman has 5 cards, and the opponent has 1 or 2, odds are none will be across from the totem, meaning it deals no damage. This card count/positioning allows both sides to control Searing Totems damage and also functions much like it does in WoW.

Hopefully this is new, and I didn't just reiterate someones idea from another post. I just got into the beta, so there is still a lot of reading and learning to do!
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- Hearthstone
Posts: 10,937
Honestly, I think it would be fun to see Searing Totem randomly attacking stuff, and I agree it fits the flavor more. However, in terms of the balance of the card, I think it would be too strong for a hero power. While a bit debatable, the thing is, the random 1 damage will occur as long as the Searing Totem stays out, meaning that it takes no damage doing it, which in general is considered stronger than the ability to choose what you want to hit but losing the minion in the process. And I think this is too strong for a hero power, which is supposed to be the strength of a 0-cost card.
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Posts: 5,107
Remember this is just a hero power. To be able to potentially put a card in play that could do 2 damage without any buffs to a hero and/or minion(s) would be too strong.

I agree though, would be cool if it did it's little damage the same way it interacts in wow.
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Posts: 35
searing totem may be "balanced" as a 1/1, but its very unrewarding and does not fit into the shaman deck play styles blizzard has provided (based on the shaman card set).

If i wanted to flip and make 1/1 token I would play paladin, and be able to do it consistently.

IMO searing totem as it is now needs to be changed.
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- Hearthstone
Posts: 10,937
searing totem may be "balanced" as a 1/1, but its very unrewarding and does not fit into the shaman deck play styles blizzard has provided (based on the shaman card set).

If i wanted to flip and make 1/1 token I would play paladin, and be able to do it consistently.

IMO searing totem as it is now needs to be changed.


The problem is what do you do to it to keep it balanced? It's better to be a bland card than a broken-strong one. Hero powers are designed to be the strength of a 0-cost card, it's hard to do very much with something that weak.
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Posts: 86
I just feel like we should be able to choose which totem comes out BUT you can only play each totem once until all have been played.

EG turn 2 you choose to play a healing totem, you must then wait until you have played the 3 others before you can play it again.

This may seem like an OP buff, but honestly spamming the button for a random chance can actually work in your favor. I don't think this would break shaman personally.
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Posts: 48
Searing totem should have deathrattle: do 1 damage to random enemy character or something
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Posts: 31
Agreed that an 0/1 that deals 1 damage to a random enemy would be a lot more flavorful, but like Sar mentioned it is also a more powerful effect, avoiding death through combat and being able to (occasionally, if lucky) bypass taunt.

Maybe if it had a time limit as well...perhaps start as an 0/2, but deal 1 damage to itself every turn like Imp Master? That would give it 2 shots, which is still more than the current searing totem often gets, and it being timed would mimic how actual totems function, though it being the only totem to do so would be odd.

So yeah, not sure. Nice idea for increased flavor, but I don't know how reasonably it can be implemented.
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Posts: 758
If totems were changed to be timed based on health then two major changes would have to take place:

1)Since they are no longer "permanent" minions but rather temp minions, then they need to be made more consistent (I.e. we can choose which totem we want) or they need to be more powerful (i.e. change stoneclaw from 0/2 to 0/3)

2) Another change that would have to be made would be how would healing totem work? If timed= -1 health each turn, then effectively healing totem becomes more valuable since it keeps your other totems up.

I honestly don't see this being a good mechanic because it would require a redesign of the shaman hero power from the ground up. Honestly I would be happy if they just reverted the healing totem nerf and called it a day.
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Posts: 4
I like that twist - have it lose a health each round so it only has 1 or 2 health to start, then maybe implement the card positioning thing I talked about in option D to temper/control the effect?

Sar, what do you mean it has the effect of a 0 cost card? I think I understand what you mean, but I'm not following why it would still cost 2 mana to use...
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- Hearthstone
Posts: 10,937
I like that twist - have it lose a health each round so it only has 1 or 2 health to start, then maybe implement the card positioning thing I talked about in option D to temper/control the effect?

Sar, what do you mean it has the effect of a 0 cost card? I think I understand what you mean, but I'm not following why it would still cost 2 mana to use...


If you look at hero powers, they have the strength of a 0-cost card.
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Posts: 937
I've been thinking about this as well. Searing Totem is completely boring as of now.

How about this then?

0/1 with Deathrattle: Deal 1 damage to 2 random enemy characters

Because 0-power minions can't attack, your enemy would have some control over whether or not to pop the totem, which balance out the totem's power.
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Posts: 18
I've been thinking about this as well. Searing Totem is completely boring as of now.

How about this then?

0/1 with Deathrattle: Deal 1 damage to 2 random enemy characters

Because 0-power minions can't attack, your enemy would have some control over whether or not to pop the totem, which balance out the totem's power.


And then various cards that give it taunt (burn an ancestral healing turn two, or some such) would bring it some power in the game, actually forcing you to play it. I really dig the ideas on this thread, particularly D of the aforementioned post, and this above idea here. It'd really mesh better than a 1/1 that has a 1/4 chance of actually helping me when I need it early game.
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Posts: 2
Changes in my opinion:

1/1 to 0/2 and add random 1dmg shot to minions/hero
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Posts: 3,030
Was playing a bit last night and searing totem saved my butt a couple times between killing my a taunt (1 for 1 with rockbiter) or being there for bloodlust + searing totem + windfury. No joke, I had a game with only this minion up and I know the other guy would igore it so I put windfury on it with the windspeaker minion. He killed the minion of course. Next turn +3 rockbiter, +3 bloodlust = 14 damage to hero from searing totem, game over. so it's very useful if you're running the same type of deck as a paladin (buff type).

BUT I agree it would be neat if it had something more. I was thinking at a minimum, it should do one random damage when it's summoned, then revert to a vanilla 1/1.
Edited by Hounds on 10/23/2013 11:24 AM PDT
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Posts: 252
Ranged fire damage affected by spell damage buffs.
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Posts: 5
I can't stand the searing totem!!! I get it all the time, it comes out then it dies and it comes out again! I can't stand this totem, it's clearly a waste! In WoW a searing totem would sear! When it died it would sear anybody in its range, so why doesn't it do this in the game and deal 1 damage to all enemy minions? I love the Shaman it's my 2nd favorite to play! But I can't stand the stupid searing totem! I hate to use my hero power just because I know I'll get that waste of 2 mana for a stupid useless totem! A mage uses its hero power and kills it, a druid uses his hero power and he has a shield to absorb the 1 damage, how useless is this?
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Posts: 528
Most games have offense cost more than defense but not always. This is because offense can kill minion/player but defense cant.

I dont agree with this. I say every stat point and occurrence of an ability should cost the same with some extra value on class cards and legends.

Shield bearer vs gold shire. Both have the same ability and bearer has 1 total more stat point. This is because offense of gold shire is generally considered more valuable than 1 more hp because it can kill things by it self and hit things attacking into the taunt. I dont agree with this. It maybe of more value to more players but that does not mean its flat out of more statistical value. The meta may say that gold shire is better than shield bearer but thats the meta. Let the meta do what ever it wants. Base effects on a fairly strict mathematical value for everything. Some cards will have more balance with itself or synergy with other things. That does not necessarily mean the effect or cost should be adjusted.

Back to searing totem. The other 3 totems are close enough its fine. Searing is basically a murloc raider with -1 stat point or its a 0mp wisp. As a wisp it would be fine except for the random factor. Random things tend to be stronger to compensate for randomness. The more random the effect the stronger the effect. As such searing should be a bit stronger. The other 3 are on par with 1mp minion effects. Searing is weaker than 1mp effect 100%. I suggest it be 1/1 death rattle: deal 1 damage to a random foe (maybe enemy minion). This makes it not flat out better than eleven archer as you cant direct it and its not when played but on death. Or when its played it has charge but if it attacks it dies at the end of turn which makes it a piggy but with no chance to stay alive turn to turn.

ya most of the time i dont want searing totem.
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Posts: 27
Maybe a 1/1 with Charge would be a better totem.
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Posts: 717
Changing it would be nice but...yeah, changing it to what? Some of the ideas in this sound great, most seem more like wishful thinking though.

You don't exactly have much to work with budgeting on a '0' cost.
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