With the announcement of the Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion for the online card game, Hearthstone, a new card was featured on the announcement video. Time Out! is a new 3-mana spell for the Paladin class. The card will make your hero immune from taking damage for one turn. A thing to note is that this card is not a legendary spell. As such, Time Out! can be played twice in your deck if you so choose. The main comparison to Time Out! is the old Hearthstone card, Ice Block, a 3-mana secret that protects you from taking lethal damage for one turn but only becomes active once you take lethal damage normally. Let’s compare these two cards side by side and see what conclusions we can draw about their viability.
Argument 1. Time Out! is nearly as good as Ice Block.
One side of the argument I have seen float around on the forums and social media is that Time Out! is nearly as good as Ice Block because they both make you unable to be killed for one turn. Both do have their limitations too, however.
The other argument for Time Out! being potentially as strong as Ice Block is the ability to use it to just stall the game without taking damage. With the low mana cost, this is a card you can use early on in the game against an aggressive style deck. This allows you to follow it up with Paladin’s strongest combos with Equality.
A major advantage that Time Out! does have over Ice Block is that there are no counterplay options available for Time Out!. Once it’s played, it’s there for the turn, whereas Ice Block can be removed or even stolen away by certain cards. An example of this would be Eater of Secrets or Kezan Mystic.
Fun Fact: Time Out! is the only card in Hearthstone that allows you to survive Mecha’thun’s Deathrattle effect.
Argument 2. Time Out! is nowhere near as good as Ice Block.
The other side of the argument has many strong points as well. The most common argument is that you can ignore Time Out! for the turn quite easily, since you will often have to predict when your opponent is ready to go for the win. The main issue this causes is that your opponent will sometimes just be able to further develop the board state while you try to survive. This might well put you in a worse position than you started in.
The main advantage that Ice Block has over Time Out! is that you can play it far in advance. What this allows you to do is use more mana in the turn that you want to turn the game around.
An example of this was in Old Freeze Mage, where you had to set up Ice Block in advance of Alextrasza. This allowed you to follow it up with the damage from your hand with cards like Fireball and Frostbolt combined with, at the time, Ice Lance.
Time Out! is a great card and most certainly will see play in some form of Paladin. Whether it will be up to par with Ice Block is something we will have to wait and see once the Rastakhan expansion rolls out in early December. What do you think about this new Paladin card? Let us know!
For more of our Hearthstone coverage, check out our posts about Hearthstone reaching 100 million players, and our first look at the Rastakhan Rumble expansion revealed at BlizzCon 2018.
Image credit: RegisKillBin