Shibo Reviews the Valeera Book of Heroes Solo Adventure
The Book of Heroes series has a new chapter dedicated to the blood elf assassin Valeera Sanguinar available in Hearthstone.
The Book of Heroes series is a solo adventure format where players can relive the lore for each of the basic playable heroes in Hearthstone. The mode is set up like a dungeon run, where the player faces eight notable boss characters in the hero’s backstory. The game draws its lore from the World of Warcraft universe and pulls a lot from the video game and associated comic books.
Despite my extensive experience playing Hearthstone, I am very much a newbie to the lore in World of Warcraft. My reviews for the Book of Heroes chapters come from a place where I’m expecting the solo adventure to tell me everything I need to know about the character’s lore.
Based on my experience with the Book of Heroes series, I have gone from feeling slightly bored to absolutely loathing it. I have not enjoyed this series, as I felt this solo adventure series is half-baked, rushed, and not enjoyable. The Anduin Book of Heroes chapter, released last month, infuriated me with how boring and ill-conceived it was.
However, Valeera’s chapter surprised me with how impressive it was… for a Book of Heroes chapter.
This chapter follows Valeera Sanguinar’s adventure from slavery to assassin hood. Though the Blood Elves are a part of the Horde, Valeera started her life in captivity and fought for her life in gladiatorial combat. She partnered with some cards hardly seen later, like Broll Bearmantle and Lo’Gosh.
Through her earning her freedom (she literally says “no, I’m not. Bye now!), she realizes Lo’Gosh is actually the king of Stormwind himself: Varian Wrynn. He then adopted her as his own little assassin sidekick. Alliance politics are weird like that.
She catches a demon curse from some guy named Vendellin Soulfire, and she oversees a meeting with the Alliance and Horde. After it goes sour, she interrogates a half-orc named Garona and learns she has to stop a member of the Twilight’s Hammer Cult named Cho’Gall.
Finally, she finds her place among an elite group of assassins after passing a rigorous test in Jorach Ravenholdt’s manor.
There’s more to the lore that eight solo adventure fights cannot properly cover. However, Valeera is the kind of character who doesn’t have a whole lot of lore compared to the others, apparently. Her lore was mostly depicted in comic books.
However skimpy the lore may be for some people, I felt this was an adequate amount of lore to present that didn’t feel like a suffocating knowledge dump.
The Book of Heroes series is notorious for unloading massive amounts of lore at breakneck paces while skipping over important parts that make me feel confused, but this chapter knew how to properly keep me engaged. I followed along quite well, for being such a lore novice.
Another thing that surprised me about this adventure was how delightful the decks felt to pilot. Valeera smashes face with combo and stealth-synergy decks most of the time. Later in her career, she equips decks that support playing Spectral Cutlass and other “thief” strategies.
The Ravenholdt fight is quite different than one might imagine. Rather than fight and kill Jorach, the player must complete a puzzle to kill stealthed minions with unknown health stats. This is accomplished by playing cards like Blade Flurry to deal massive amounts of AoE damage to Jorach’s Silent Shadows. This was great and refreshing and turned the aggro-heavy Rogue archetype into a control puzzle game.
Overall, this was a great installment in a lackluster series. It’s not my favorite to play by itself, but it’s certainly more enjoyable than the other chapters. Perhaps this means we will receive better Book of Heroes chapters in the coming months?