Blizzard is gearing up for yet another Hearthstone expansion, with Saviors of Uldum set to release on August 6. It's an expansion that introduces 135 new cards to the enduringly popular CCG, and one of those new cards is Sir Finley, which we can now reveal to you as a world exclusive for Gamereactor. Here are the details:
Sir Finley of the Sands is a Paladin-only card - a legendary Murloc minion with 2 attack power, 3 health points, and a 2 mana cost to play. What makes him special, however, is his battlecry:
"If your deck has no duplicates, discover an upgraded Hero Power."
As part of our exclusive reveal, we also got the chance to put some questions to Alec Dawson from Blizzard, and this is what the dev had to say about Sir Finley of the Sands, and why the formerly neutral card was changed to Paladin-only:
"When we were creating Saviors of Uldum, we knew we wanted to bring back the four League of Explorers, and that they would take up the remaining four classes - Paladin, Hunter, Druid, Mage," Dawson told Gamereactor.
"When we started to talk about which class each member of the team should be, Sir Finley was one where we knew almost instantly that he would be a Paladin; he has Sir in his name, first of all! We also feel that Murlocs have a special place with Paladins, so it really just made the most sense."
"Sir Finley is also a card that brings back two mechanics/strategies that are not in the current game - cards that interact with the deck build (no duplicates) and the 'change the hero power' mechanic."
We wanted to know why they were interested in bringing it back and we asked Dawson whether similar cards will be available to other players?
"With bringing back the League of Explorers, there was a question of 'What have they been doing all this time? How have they levelled up?' With those questions in mind, it was clear how Finley could level up. Instead of a normal Hero Power, what if you could get an upgraded Hero Power?! Fun fact, Finley was actually the first card designed for Saviors of Uldum."
"The Hero Powers that Sir Finley will give players access to are the same ones that have been seen in the past with Justicar Truehart," the man from Blizzard told us later when we asked about the differences in the upgraded version of the Paladin Power. "So player's won't just get paladin powers, they will be able to discover hero powers from the other classes as well."
So there you have it! Paladins will be able to choose between three randomly picked upgraded hero powers, from any class. Sounds like a must for any Paladin looking to build a Murloc deck.
If that's not enough exclusive Hearthstone content for you, we also put some questions to actor Terrence Stone about his portrayal of the card. Here's what he had to say about Sir Finley:
Saviors of Uldum is the second appearance for Sir Finley Mrrgglton in Hearthstone; did you also voice Sir Finley the first time, in League of Explorers, and are there any major differences in the second version, such as the script, the character itself, or your performance?
Yes, Sir Finley is back for a second time. And yes, I have always been the voice of the good Sir. The League of Explorers is a fun and powerful team, and this time we play a major part in the storyline! The main difference for Sir Finley this time is that he's more of a "badass with a monocle" so to speak. Although he will, at times, mildly freak out over some circumstances... like being used for bait!
Murlocs have a very distinct sound. How easy, or hard, was it to find the right sound and corresponding accent?
Creating the Murloc sound was a combination of three parts. When I created the original first Murloc, what came to my mind was that they are (a) small, so a higher pitch for voice placement, (b) don't speak words yet must be understood, and that (c) they are from water, so must sound "wet" somehow.
At first, in the studio, we just came up with the "Murloc Murgle Gurgle," as I call it. I look at the line in English, then basically say it in a gurgle way that still keeps the emotion and delivery I would have if speaking the actual words. But still being "gurgly" enough that you can't clearly hear the real words. The gargle sound is tough to put in sometimes, so I always have water on hand to keep some in my throat at all times. Of course, too much, and you choke or cough. Yes, the dangers of voice acting!
When I created Sir Finley it was at the end of a Murloc session, and the wonderful director, Andrea Toyias, said one of the writers wanted to know what a Shakespearian Murloc would sound like. I did my idea and they all laughed (always a good sign). Then they asked, "What if he actually spoke?" So I thought of James Mason, if he was on Helium and very posh, with a gurgle. They said, "Okay, talk to you again soon." Then one day they called me in, and they had created Sir Finley Mrrgglton.
Finally, can you tell us what's your new favourite Sir Finley line?
My favourite line of Sir Finley is still, "Who's up for an adventure?" because it's just a fun, excited call out to all the players that can't wait to play and explore and immerse themselves in Hearthstone. Who's up for it... I'm sure one!