The upcoming Hearthstone expansion, The Witchwood, is going to feature two new keywords – Echo and Rush. However, if you were keeping an eye on cards released in the last few expansions, mechanics behind those keywords aren’t really new. In this guide, we’ll gather all the information about the keywords, and all the new cards featuring them.
Cards labeled with Echo work similarly to Unstable Evolution from the Kobolds and Catacombs set. You can replay the cards how ever many times you want until the end of the turn. After playing it for the first time, you get a base copy of the card in your hand. After you play the copy, it adds another copy etc. After you end your turn, the copy disappears from your hand. This is highlighted by the fact that the Echo copies are blurred. Here’s some more information about the Echo mechanic:
- Cards with Echo won’t disappear from your hand – only the copies you get from its effect.
- Echo cards add a base copy of the card into your hand – it means that any mana discounts (e.g. Emperor Thaurissan) or handbuffs (e.g. Smuggler's Run) don’t carry over onto the copies.
- Ongoing discounts, however, do carry over. For example, if you have a Sorcerer's Apprentice on the board, every copy of the Echo spell will cost 1 less. Similarly, with Summoning Portal on the board, every copy of the Echo minion will cost 2 less (but not less than 1).
- Unstable Evolution‘s wording will not get changed to “Echo” instead of “Repeatable this turn”. Devs did not specify why.
Echo Card List
Similarly to Echo, Rush is a keyword, which was already featured on some of the cards. The first similar card was printed back in TGT – Icehowl. However, unlike the Rush cards, Icehowl could NEVER attack the opponent (unless Silenced). The first card which featured the Rush mechanic was actually a nerfed version of Charge (the one we have right now) – for 1 mana, you give a minion Charge, but it can only attack minions this turn (which is basically Rush).
The most recent card which features a similar mechanic is Charged Devilsaur – but in this case, it is a Battlecry, not an ongoing effect. So in case of Charged Devilsaur, it could be bypassed by summoning a minion rather than playing it from your hand – that’s the reason why the card is such a good pick from Free From Amber, or how the combo with Carnivorous Cube works (if you eat the Devilsaur and kill off your Cube, you have two 7/7 minions with Charge, which can attack anything you want).
Minions with Rush have Charge (can attack on the turn they’re played), but can’t target the opponent’s Hero – you can either target a minion or pass. The reason for that restriction is that Charge is an interesting mechanic, but it’s often too powerful if you can attack your opponent immediately – it can lead to a lot of unfun combos and uninteractive, aggressive decks. With Rush, the value of being able to attack immediately is still there, but it can no longer be abused. Here’s some more information about the Rush mechanic:
- Rush is an ongoing effect (like Taunt), which means that you will not be able to bypass it by summoning the minion rather than playing it from your hand.
- Minions with Rush can’t target the opponent’s Hero, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t attack it. If they target a minion and their attack gets redirected onto the Hero (for example through Misdirection), they still deal damage.
- Neither Charged Devilsaur, nor Charge will have Rush instead of their current effects. In the case of Devilsaur, it would be a significant nerf to the card. In the case of Charge, Blizzard generally does not want to make changes to cards from the Basic and Classic sets.