The release of Betrayal of the Guardian brought with it the customary update to the Comprehensive Rules, and while most of it was simple, behind-the-scenes stuff that just makes the game “work right,” there were a couple of other interesting changes with this version. Some of the more confusing ones were already covered by Matthew Del Buono's article covering earlier this week, but there was another rather significant one that may have been easy to miss if you weren't looking for it: the removal of 100.2f. What was 100.2f, you ask? Well, here's the short version:
A deck can include a Master Hero with a certain name only if it contains no Master Heroes with any other name.
Here's a fun question: how many of you reading this are only just now finding out that this rule existed?
The World of Warcraft TCG can be pretty complicated, when you think about it. Our Comprehensive Rules document is of a pretty impressive size, and each set brings with it new additions to this mountain of things to learn. As such, when we run into a rule that doesn't seem to be pulling its weight, we have to ask ourselves if it's worth keeping, and 100.2f was found wanting.
For starters, as I alluded to earlier, 100.2f (or the “one Master Hero per deck rule,” as it's sometimes referred to) was easily one of our least-known rules. We've seen a staggering number of players over the years demonstrate an unawareness of the rule, including some of our most seasoned veterans. To be fair, the rule really didn't come up all that often, but the fact that so many people had seemingly never even heard of it is what initially made us question its continued existence.
That brings us to the second half of the equation: why does the rule exist? What purpose does it serve? Well, from a mechanical standpoint, 100.2f, in theory, presented a neat choice for the player, as they would have to decide which Master Hero played the best with what their deck was trying to do. However, in practice, this hasn't actually been that cool a decision to make. Add in the lost potential coolness of being able to actually have different Master Heroes in your deck, and things weren't looking so good for the rule.
Another reason for 100.2f to exist was because of flavor concerns. While I'm not 100% sure if this was the original intended flavor of a Master Hero (I guess I'll have to ask ol' Papa Hummel the next time I see him), in R&D we've taken to treating the playing of a Master Hero as if the original hero was pulling off a mask and exclaiming, “I'm not really Jonas the Red, I'm ILLIDAN STORMRAGE!” (although another interpretation I've heard that I like is that your hero is just a servant of the Master Hero that's actually in charge.) In any case, I believe that part of the thought behind the creation of this rule was that, while it's one thing to have this moment with, say, some random Rogue, it felt bizarre to have famous characters dramatically revealing themselves to be other famous characters (or serving each other, if that's what you prefer). However, the recent crop of Timewalkers Block heroes, featuring some of the biggest names in Warcraft lore, has already made this situation possible, and so far it seems like it isn't offending people's sensibilities.
Anyhoo, to sum up, the rule was obscure, it wasn't offering much in terms of gameplay, and the lore concerns seemed much less of an obstacle these days. It looked like it was time to let 100.2f go. So for those of you out there who've been dying to put together a+ father/son deck, or a + “weird timeline” deck, or any other rad concoction you can think of, you're now free to do so, and we hope you have a blast doing it.