What is Inspire?
Inspire is a new mechanic introduced in The Grand Tournament, encouraging the use of the Hero Power. Inspire is an effect that triggers whenever you activate your Hero Power. Inspire occurs after the Hero Power is resolved.
For example, Thunder Bluff Valiant, the totem created by the Hero Power will gain +2 attack from the inspire effect. Inspire gives minions an activated ability with a clear cost. Minions now have a way to affect the board in more than just attacking. Attaching a cost to an effect trigger also allows more powerful effects to be printed on cards. In addition, it add more meaning decisions in managing your mana. It also adds more challenge in your planning skills, as you have to weave the effect of your Hero Power, and Inspire triggers into your play.
What is the effect of Inspire on the Constructed metagame?
In a vacuum, Inspire leads to a slower, more attrition meta game. Baring no outside cards, like Garrsion Commander or Coldarra Drake, you can only use your Hero Power once per turn and thus each creature can only active their Inspire triggers once, and only on your turn. In addition, Inspiring every turn will lead to having 2 less mana to play other cards. This promotes to steadily gaining advantage over many turns. In addition, Inspire leads to more minion interactions, as people are more incentive to get rid of minions from the board.
Thus, Inspire needs two things to be successful, time and board presence. Aggressive early game decks are direct enemies to Inspire because they fight furiously for board control and denies time from the opponent as much as possible. This is the biggest obstacle for Inspire to break out.
So what decks will try to use Inspire?
Tempo decks maybe enjoy Inspire since they have the tools to gain board presence and then they can use Inspire effects to close out the game for them. The only issue is that tempo needs to put noticeable pressure every turn. Thus the Inspire effect they are interested in must be impactful. It would be tricky to find impactful Inspired effects while still being a low cost minion.
Control decks are the most likely to use Inspire because the decks go for the long game and have many tools for board control. Control decks can also afford to play the higher cost Inspired minions that have stronger effects. I am particularly hopeful that Nexus-Champion Saraad will see some play.
What is the effect of Inspire in arena?
Inspire has wonderfully great benefits for arena. Arena is a typically slower format than Constructed due to the unrefined curves. This leads to the Hero Power being used more often and thus Inspire triggers will have more chances to activate. In addition, there is a higher chance that Inspire minions can survive their first turn.
What Hero Class benefit the most from Inspire?
Paladin / Shaman
Benefits the most, because these two classes really want to use their hero power as much as possible. Every time you get to use your Hero Power, you gain board presence. And now you can gain a Inspire effect as well.
Warrior / Priest
Benefits greatly. The drawback of the Warrior and Priest’s Hero Powers were that they were defensive Hero power that offers nothing in terms of board control. Now having Inspire triggers will allow the two classes to affect the field while maintaining their late game plans.
Imagine that you tied every Inspired minion with an effect that said draw a card and lose 2 life. That would make those cards amazing because they have no risk since they replace themselves. It is not that Warlock can benefit the most from Inspire, but rather Inspire pose little to no risk for Warlock (other the lost of tempo).
Druid / Mage
Benefits occasionally. Normally you only use your Hero Power if there is an one health minion on the board or if there is nothing else you want to do. So having Inspire now will add a lot of meaning decisions since it adds more value to using your Hero Power, but sometimes, you don’t get the most benefit from using the Hero Power itself at that time. At least for Druid, the armor carry over throughout the turn
The Hunter decks that exist doesn’t make the best use of Inspire. Use of Steady Shot is common and important in Aggro Hunter to close games, but since Inspired cards aren’t immediately impactful, it doesn’t fit the aggro Hunter game plan. For control or midrange hunter, they aren’t interested in always using their Hero Power because it doesn’t anything to control the board. However this might mean that Steamwheedle Sniper is much more valued in those decks.
The worst class to use Inspire in. That is because you don’t always want to create a new weapon, replacing the possibly stronger weapon that you already have. The awkward timing makes Inspire very inconsistent in Rogue. Poisoned Blade isn’t good enough compensation.
Inspire is great for Hearthstone as both a game mechanic and teaching tool. Starting player greatly underestimate the usefulness the Hero Power and are more drawn to simply use their mana to play more cards. However Inspire can now incentives and show newer players how useful a Hero Power can be. Inspire adds more design space on minions, and their impact on the game. Lastly, it adds more meaningful decision and challenge to the player who wants to make the most out of their resources.