Explaining a hidden and misunderstood keyword: “Return”, and it’s cousin “Shuffle”

Via Hearthstone: http://ift.tt/2s5YnqK


I would like to help spread awareness of a part of Hearthstone players don’t seem to get: "Return" is a keyword (or rather, should be), and has a specific meaning and rules. What has sparked my desire to make this post is the recent patch 8.2 where Pyros was fixed and no longer incorrectly works with Spirit Echoes. Since that patch several people have assumed that nothing was fixed with Pyros or that the resulting fix is actually a new bug, but Blizzard really DID fix an existing bug, people just don’t realize it because the rules haven’t been laid out to them.

"Return" is a simple concept: Move from point A to point B, with point A being "wherever the card happens to be but not point B" and point B being defined in the card text (usually to the hand). It gets VERY complicated quickly though, as there are hidden rules to it. Note that Return (as I define it, and how it works in-game) MOVES a card, and does not copy it. This is why Spirit Echoes can not stack, if you move a card from your field to your hand, it’s already in your hand and you can’t move it to your hand a 2nd time as it’s already there. Return also doesn’t care about the current status of the card, which means if you force a living minion to Return (like though a Hunter’s deathrattle trigger cards) it will leave the field instantly.

Now, as to what Blizzard fixed in the patch: Pyros is no longer compatible with Spirit Echoes. Why? Pyros Returns itself to your hand as a transformed card, and before the patch Spirit Echoes would Return a 2nd card of the Pyros that died to your hand. This is inconsistent with the "Return" keyword, which can’t make a 2nd copy of a card, and can only move the copy that existed. so Blizzard fixed it by making Pyros incompatible with Spirit Echoes, which is now consistent with how Return works in Hearthstone. Someone has also mentioned how Getaway Kodo won’t trigger on Skeleton Knight if he wins the joust, which is completely logical: If the card returns itself, it can’t re-return itself because it’s already there!

"Shuffle" is a similarly misunderstood card. Many players have tried to activate the Deathrattle of Malorne early to get extra copies, only to find their minion flying off into the deck. Well, Shuffle is essentially: Move this card directly into the deck, and then mix the cards. Now, that sounds obvious, but it’s important to note as it means you cannot stack this with Return, as the card can’t be in two places at once.

The confusion likely stems from the fact that "Return" and "Shuffle" are rare, and most cards have a different wording that isn’t so limited. Thistle Tea and Mimic Pod both add COPIES to your hand, for example, which gives a lot of players the idea that cards can be copied or duplicated at any time, even though that isn’t true in any case where "Return" or "Shuffle" is used. Many people have lost games due to the misconceptions of these "Should-be keywords", and I hope people can learn to check the wording on cards because they absolutely matter in these cases.

I’d love to here some better wordings or ideas on how to say this, if anyone has a better way to explain this concept. Blizzard can absolutely mess up, and this patch is full of bugs and oddities, but I want to give Blizzard props for fixing a bug that most people are treating as a NEW bug instead of a bug fix.

submitted by /u/thegooblop
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