Zephrys the Great

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Zephrys the Great is a legendary neutral minion card, from the Saviors of Uldum set.

Zephrys grants the wishing player a card from a selection of three cards, from the Legacy set, to help turn the tide of battle in the player's favor. The selection of cards is based on what is best for the current game state for the player, as determined by an internal algorithm.

Of all Hearthstone cards, Zephrys the Great required the most development work and the largest team effort to design.

How to get

TypeSourceQualityCount
Card packsThe Regular version can be opened from any of these packs:

Saviors of Uldum
Year of the Dragon
Wild
Regular1 (random)
Card packsThe Golden version can be opened from any of these packs:

Saviors of Uldum
Year of the Dragon
Wild
Golden Wild
Golden1 (random)
CraftingCraft a Regular copy for 1600 Dust.pngRegular1
CraftingCraft a Golden copy for 3200 Dust.pngGolden1
Achievement Uldum Legendary Collector
(Collect all 23 Saviors of Uldum Legendary cards.).
Diamond 1

Notes

To edit these notes, go to Template:Zephrys the Great notes.

General[edit source]

  • Zephrys' Battlecry allows the player to choose a card from the Legacy set to add to their hand from a selection of three cards, from any class. The three cards offered are based on what is best for the current gameplay situation, as calculated by an internal algorithm.[2][3]
  • The cards Zephrys can generate from the Legacy set are based on cards that were in the Basic and Classic sets before Patch 20.0.0.77662 and the introduction of the Legacy set.
    • Essentially, the following cards are not in Zephrys' pool, even though they are in the Legacy set:
  • Zephrys' algorithm will consider both players' board state, your available mana after playing Zephrys, your available mana for the next turn, both players' health totals (health and armor), both players' classes, both players' deck sizes, and how many cards are in your hand and in your opponent's hand.[4][5][6] Zephrys also considers the number of Secrets the opponent has, and the opponent's weapon if they have one equipped.[5] Zephrys also considers both players' Basic and Upgraded Hero Powers, but not most other hero powers.[6][7]
    • Zephrys will only use "public" information in selecting his card offerings, as detailed above; thus, he will not see or use "private" information, such as what cards are in your hand.[4][8]
  • In addition to looking at the board state, Zephrys also breaks down cards from the Legacy set into categories. Zephrys uses these categories to offer the player the best cards from the three best categories.[3][5][9] For example, Zephrys can offer one area of effect card, one single-target removal card, and one proactive card, such as a reasonable minion, in many situations.[3] Sometimes Zephrys will offer more cards of one category than the others if they are significantly better for the current board state.[10]
    • For example, if the opponent has enough minions on the board, Zephrys might offer three board clear cards.[3] Generally though, there is a threshold at which Zephrys keeps offering cards from the same category.[5]
    • For example, if the opponent has a Murloc, Zephrys is able to offer  Hungry Crab to destroy it, but only if it is better than other single-target removal options considered by Zephrys.
  • Zephrys will only offer cards that the player can play on the same or following turn. He tries to prioritize the former but can also offer choices for the latter if he detects that he can give an especially useful option for the following turn.[2]
    • For example, if Zephrys is offering a board clear card, he may give  Twisting Nether if there is 8 mana left, or  Flamestrike if there is 7 mana remaining (and if enemy minions are mostly at 4 or less health).[2]
    • For example, if Zephrys is played on turn 7 and there are no other minions on the board, he is able to offer  Tirion Fordring to play on turn 8.
  • Zephrys will always offer cards to grant the player lethal if possible in the current turn.
    • However, because Zephrys doesn't know what cards are in your hand, Zephrys will only spot lethal if the player has already taken the necessary actions to set up lethal.
    • Lethal will also only be granted if it is within the limitations of Zephrys' coding (please also see the "Lethal" section below).
  • Zephrys only looks at "interesting" Legacy cards and will never offer "uninteresting" cards which players would rarely want, such as  Bloodfen Raptor.[2] There are a total of roughly 130+ cards that Zephrys looks at when considering what to offer for the player.[5] For gameplay reasons (i.e. wishing for more wishes[5]), he will also never offer cards with return to hand effects (namely  Shadowstep,  Youthful Brewmaster, and  Ancient Brewmaster).[11][12][13]
  • Zephrys understands normal game mechanics and basic keywords[14] (e.g. Taunt,[15] Windfury,[16] Divine Shield,[17] Poisonous,[17] Lifesteal,[18] Spell Damage[19][20][21]) but not special card text and effects (e.g.  Electra Stormsurge,[22] Deathrattles,[23]  Supercollider,[24]  Bomb Wrangler,[25] Kayn Sunfury[26]). He does, however, understand conditional effects (e.g.  Kill Command,[27]  Houndmaster[28]) and healing-into-damage effects (e.g. Auchenai Soulpriest[29]). Zephrys also understands offering a few Choose One cards for their Choose Both effects (e.g. with  Ossirian Tear).[30]
  • Zephrys is able to simulate what the game state looks like after some of Zephrys' offered cards are played on all possible targets. Zephrys then evaluates and compares the resulting game states after these targets have been "tested". Sometimes there might be simulations of waiting a turn to see what happens there. Holistically, Zephrys goes through a list of functions, one for each card that he offers, to obtain and compare resulting game states.[5]
  • Zephrys' Battlecry is similar to but not equal to a Discover effect, so it does not work with Discover-related effects such as  Dwarven Archaeologist.[31][32]

Offers[edit source]

  • Zephrys is able to offer area of effect and single-target removal cards based on the attack and health of enemy minions, whether or not enemy minions will significantly reduce in stats if silenced, and whether enemy minions have Reborn[33] or Deathrattle[33] effects. When offering removal options, Zephrys understands core gameplay mechanics and common keyword states, but does not read or understand unusual minion card text and effects.[14][34]
    • For example, if there are multiple minions on the opponent's board and they have 4 or less health, Zephrys is able to offer  Flamestrike.[35]
    • For example, when offering a board clear card, Zephrys may offer  Brawl if there is 5 mana remaining,  Twisting Nether to avoid the risk of any minions surviving, or  Blizzard if Zephrys wants to lock up the board.[3]
    • For example, if the opponent has a  Twilight Drake, Zephrys is able to offer  Earth Shock.[36]
    • For example, if the opponent has a  Lightspawn, Zephrys is able to offer  Ironbeak Owl.[37]
  • Zephrys recognizes enemy Deathrattles but does not understand the effects of Deathrattles.[38][39] Thus, when Zephrys evaluates whether to remove a Deathrattle minion, he first judges the minion's threat level by looking at its base mana cost, attack, and health, and then he compares these stats to the stats of a vanilla minion at the same mana cost. Zephrys then adds this difference in stats as a value to the opponent's board.[23] Chadd Nervig, one of the main designers of Zephrys, additionally stated on Twitter that, "it's a bit higher than just subtracting the stats."[40] For the cases when Zephrys decides to offer removal for an enemy Deathrattle minion, he will try to prioritize removal that won't activate the Deathrattle, such as with transform or silence effects, or  Sap.
    • For example, if the opponent has a 6/6 Pyros, Zephrys is able to offer  Hex to safely remove it without triggering its Deathrattle effect.[41]
    • For example, if the opponent has a  Khartut Defender, Zephrys is able to offer Hex to safely remove it.[42]
    • For example, if the opponent has a  Tortollan Shellraiser, Zephrys is able to offer  Sap to safely remove it.[43]
    • For example, if the opponent has a 5/7  Augmented Porcupine and Zephrys is played with 1 mana remaining,  Earth Shock is able to be offered.[44]
    • For example, if the opponent has a 4/5  Zixor, Apex Predator and Zephrys is played with 1 mana remaining, Earth Shock is able to be offered.[45]
    • For example, if the opponent has a 1/1  Boom Bot and Zephrys is played with 1 mana remaining, Earth Shock is able to be offered.
    • In general, Zephrys is able to offer Earth Shock to remove a Deathrattle minion that will have 1 health remaining after silencing, even if with enchantments it currently has more health. To absolutely guarantee Earth Shock, Zephrys should be played with 1 mana remaining, the player has 5 or more cards in hand after playing Zephrys (to compete with the single-target removal spell  Mortal Coil), the enemy Deathrattle minion is relatively high-cost with low base stats, and the minion is the only enemy minion on the board. Earth Shock is also able to be offered for 1-health Reborn minions.[46]
    • Also, Zephrys does not offer  Mass Dispel for a bunch of non-threatening enemy Deathrattle minions, such as a field of Leper Gnomes,[47][48] because Zephrys does not read card text and does not consider them worthy of being silenced. Zephrys also does not offer Mass Dispel for a bunch of health-buffed enemy minions that are low in attack and thus considered non-threatening to Zephrys.[49][50]
  • Zephrys is able to offer a myriad of specific counter cards such as  Acidic Swamp Ooze if the opponent has a weapon,  Flare if they have an active Secret,  Crazed Alchemist if they have a  Doomsayer, and  Hungry Crab if they have a Murloc.[51]
    • Zephrys, however, sometimes doesn't offer  Flare if the opponent has an active Secret,[52][53] and if there is 2 mana remaining to spend.[54][55] Zephrys is able to offer Flare if the opponent has five (a Christmas tree!) of Secrets,[56] but sometimes not when he thinks you have lethal through other means (but the Secrets actually make it impossible).[57][58]
      • Zephrys knows the number of Secrets the opponent has, but not what they are since it is not public information.[59] This means that Zephrys does not recognize the existence of specific Secrets such as  Counterspell and  Ice Block. Additionally, Zephrys does not prioritize Secret removal for Mage Secrets.[52][53][54][55]
    • Zephrys is able to offer  Harrison Jones against the Rogue class with the Rogue hero power even if they don't have a weapon equipped.[60]
    • Zephrys is able to offer  Bloodsail Corsair against Immune weapons such as  Stormhammer (which doesn't work).[61]
    • Zephrys knows how an enemy  Doomsayer works and the importance of killing it, so Zephrys will offer options accordingly upon seeing an enemy Doomsayer.[17][62] The developers don't plan to teach Zephrys about individual card mechanics and interactions, but this case was a one-time exception.[17]
  • Zephrys is able to offer burst damage that's not lethal in the form of  Bloodlust,  Savage Roar, Windfury, and  Windspeaker if the opponent's board is not very threatening; however, if the player has a lot of minions on board and lethal is not close in reach, Zephrys will prefer to offer  Soul of the Forest instead.[63]
    • Example: The opponent has a 3/3 minion. Bloodlust is offered with 5 mana remaining for +15 attack to reduce the opponent to 1 health.[64]
    • Example: The opponent has no minions. Savage Roar is offered with 3 mana remaining for +14 damage to reduce the opponent to 3 health.
    • Example: The opponent has no minions. Savage Roar is offered with 4 mana remaining for +8 damage to reduce the opponent to 2 health.[65]
    • Example: The opponent has no minions. Savage Roar is not offered for +12 damage to reduce the opponent to 8 health, but Soul of the Forest is offered.[66]
    • Example: The opponent has a 6/6  Kronx Dragonhoof. Bloodlust is not offered to reduce the opponent to 1 health after Zephrys is played with 5 mana remaining.[67]
    • Example: The player has a 6/6  Edwin VanCleef and the opponent has 28 health and no minions. Windfury is offered after Zephrys is played with 2 mana remaining.[68]
    • Example: The player has 3 minions and the opponent has a 2/1  Guardian Augmerchant. Windspeaker is offered for the player's 6/3  Rotnest Drake to reduce the opponent to 3 health, but Savage Roar was not offered to reduce the opponent to 1 health.[69]
  • If the player is very low on Health, Zephrys will commonly offer several healing or survival options, such as  Healing Touch.[70] However, Zephrys will not always offer the most optimal option for healing or survival when the player is low on Health and in danger of dying.
    • Example: The player is at 10 health. Zephrys is able to offer Healing Touch for +8 health with 6 mana remaining.[71]
    • Example: The player is at 10 health. Zephrys is not able to offer Healing Touch with 5 mana remaining, but offers  Acidic Swamp Ooze to destroy the opponent's 5-Attack weapon. On a minor note, if Zephrys had offered Healing Touch, the opponent would not go on to gain lethal in the next turn.[72]
    • Example: A Priest player is at 1 or 2 health with a  Lesser Heal hero power. Zephrys is not able to offer any healing or survival options such as  Holy Light for the current turn after Zephrys is played with 2 mana remaining, but offers Healing Touch for next turn.[73][74]
    • Example: A Priest player is at 8 health with a Lesser Heal hero power. Zephrys is not able to offer  Holy Light with 2 mana remaining, but offers  Lay on Hands for next turn.[75]
    • Example: The player is at 11 health and the opponent has 12 attack on board with 3 out of 5 minions having greater than 2 health. Zephrys offered  Soul Cleave but not  Frost Nova as his area of effect choice.[76]
    • Example: The player is at 1 health. Zephrys is not able to offer  Lightning Storm with 3 mana remaining, which has a 50% chance of clearing the opponent's board and prevent 10 damage from minion attacks, but may offer Frost Nova.
  • Zephrys is able to understand offering Combo cards for their Combo effects.
  • Zephrys is able to offer minions based on their reduced costs, such as  Dread Corsair and  Sea Giant.
  • Zephrys is able to offer  High Inquisitor Whitemane to summon minions that died in the current turn if Zephrys is played with 7 or more mana remaining.[79]
  • Zephrys is able to offer  Twilight Drake if there are at least 5 cards in hand after playing Zephrys.
  • Zephrys is able to offer  King Mukla to mill the opponent,[80][81] or if the opponent's hand is full.[82]
  • Zephrys is able to offer  Sap to destroy an enemy minion when the opponent's hand is full.[83]
  • Zephrys is able to offer  Shadowflame to play on himself to deal his attack damage to all enemy minions,[84][85] or to play on another minion to deal that minion's attack damage to all enemy minions.
  • Zephrys is pessimistic about random-targeting cards that he offers in order to be safe.[86]
    • For example, when Zephrys offers  Brawl, he assumes the median enemy wins.[86]
  • Zephrys frequently offers  Tirion Fordring as a proactive lategame card.
  • Zephrys is able to offer  Alexstrasza if the player is ahead on board with roughly at least 10 attack,[87] the opponent's hero has more than 15 health, and there is at least 9 mana remaining after playing Zephrys. However, Alexstrasza cannot be offered in some Solo Adventures such as Tombs of Terror.[88][89]
  • Zephrys is able to offer  Lord Jaraxxus in the late game.
  • Zephrys is able to offer  Faceless Manipulator if there is at least one big-statted minion on the board controlled by the player or by the opponent.[72][90] Faceless Manipulator is more likely to be offered if the minion has Taunt,[71][91][92][93] Deathrattle,[42][94][95] Charge,[96] or any other valuable common keyword state.
  • Zephrys is likely to offer cards for card generation or card draw if the player has 4 or less cards in hand and the opponent's board is not very threatening.
  • Zephrys does not offer cards for card draw if the player's deck is empty or near empty, but is able to offer cards for card generation instead, such as  Ysera,  Brightwing, and  Thoughtsteal. Zephrys considers offering Thoughtsteal only if the opponent's deck has two or more cards.
  • Zephrys offers cards only on their base cost, so cost-modifying effects such as  Loatheb,  Sorcerer's Apprentice, and  Summoning Portal do not affect his offerings.[97][98]
    • For example, Zephrys may still offer  Twisting Nether if the opponent has played Loatheb.
  • Zephrys sometimes does not offer the same cards when a double-Battlecry effect is in play, such as with  Brann Bronzebeard or  Spirit of the Shark, simply because hand size is changing in between wishes.[28][78][99][100] Additionally, if a double-Battlecry effect is active, Zephrys does not know how to chain his Battlecries.[101]
  • Zephrys never offers cards for "unforced trading",[102][103] unless Zephrys is calculating lethal through enemy Taunt minions with cards like  Savage Roar or  Bloodlust, or if  Crazed Alchemist is involved as a single-target option.
  • Zephrys is able to offer silence cards in certain strange situations, which seems to be a bug.
    • Example: Zephrys is able to offer  Earth Shock for a lone  EVIL Totem when Zephrys is played with 1 mana remaining, but strangely not any removal card such as  Backstab or  Arcane Shot.[104]
    • Example: Zephrys is able to offer Silence when a Paladin opponent has no minions, and none of the player's own minions need silencing.[105]
    • Example: Zephrys is able to offer Silence when a Mage opponent has no minions, and none of the player's own minions need silencing.
  • Zephrys sees Titan minions as regular minions with stats. Zephrys would think that the Titans could attack, would not see the titan abilities, or their exhausted state, and would offer options accordingly.[106]

Lethal[edit source]

  • Zephrys will always offer cards to allow the player to gain lethal, even options that are unintuitive at first glance.
    • However, since he cannot see what cards are in the player's hand, he can miss lethal chances if the player does not play out their cards first.[107][108]
    • He will not offer lethal solutions that rely on RNG.[27][109]
    • He will only offer lethal within the limitations of Zephrys' coding. This page attempts to address all of his algorithm limitations.
  • Zephrys is able to find lethal with a Basic or Upgraded Hero Power.[6][110] Additionally, the modified cost and modified damage/healing of the hero power is also taken into account.[6]
    • Example: The opponent has 9 health. With 8 mana remaining, Zephrys is able to offer  Avenging Wrath in combination with the Mage hero power  Fireblast for lethal.[111]
    • Example: The opponent has 8 health. With 7 mana remaining, Zephrys is able to offer  Fireball in combination with the Hunter hero power  Steady Shot for lethal.[112]
  • Zephrys understands finding lethal with a healing spell such as  Healing Touch with  Auchenai Soulpriest on the board.[29] This also works with other healing-into-damage effects, such as with  Auchenai Phantasm or  Embrace the Shadow.
  • Zephrys is able to offer silence when he spots a lethal blocked by Taunt minions.[15][113]
  • Zephrys is able to offer silence if the player has a frozen minion on board capable of giving lethal if it was unfrozen.[6]
  • Zephrys is able to offer silence to reset a friendly minion's stats to gain lethal, getting rid of a set attribute effect.[114]
  • Zephrys is able to offer silence to silence a "Can't attack" minion if it would be lethal if the silenced minion attacks.[115]
  • Zephrys will favor silence cards among potential lethal options to help minimize unwanted interference caused by Deathrattles or other card effects.[6]
  • Zephrys is able to find lethal through fatigue damage.[116][117] However, before Patch 15.0.4, it was seen that Zephrys could miss finding lethal through fatigue if the opponent had the Warrior hero power. This bug might still exist in certain rare situations.
    • Example: Opponent Warrior hero is at 17 health, taking 10 fatigue damage next turn. Zephrys was not able to offer  Gorehowl for lethal.[28]
  • Zephrys is able to find lethal using  Prophet Velen's damage modifier effect.[118]
  • Zephrys is able to offer  Shadow Madness to be played on an enemy minion for lethal.
  • Zephrys is able to offer  Crazed Alchemist to be played on a friendly Elusive minion for lethal.[119]
  • Zephrys is able to offer  Alexstrasza for lethal if there is 9 mana remaining after playing Zephrys and lethal damage is presented on board after Alexstrasza's effect.
  • Zephrys is able to offer  Heroic Strike or  Inner Demon for a hero with Windfury to find lethal, such as if the hero is equipped with  Doomhammer.
  • Zephrys is able to offer  Pyroblast for lethal next turn if the opponent is at 10 health or below, or can be reduced to 10 health or below in the current turn with the player's current board state, and the opponent's Lifesteal minions, if any, are not able to heal the opponent out of range of a Pyroblast lethal next turn.[18][90]
  • Zephrys does not use active cost-reduction effects to find lethal.
  • Zephrys does not offer  Tundra Rhino for lethal.[122][123][124]
  • Zephrys does not offer  Timber Wolf for lethal.[123][125]
  • Zephrys does not offer  Blessing of Might for lethal.
  • Zephrys does not offer  Sinister Strike for lethal.[126]
  • Zephrys does not actively seek out lethal in the current turn if the opponent's hero is immune, such as from the effect of  Mal'Ganis,[127][128] but is able to offer Pyroblast if the opponent is at or below 10 health and they have no Lifesteal minions.[90]
  • Zephrys is able to offer  Baron Geddon for its end-of-turn effect that deals 2 damage to all other characters, but will not recognize using a Baron Geddon already on board to deal 2 damage to the enemy hero for achieving lethal.
    • Example: Baron Geddon is on the player's board and the opponent hero is at 8 Health. Zephrys is played with 4 mana remaining.  Fireball is not offered for lethal.[129]

Fixed bugs[edit source]

The following is a very brief list of some documented interactions that have been fixed. For the official patch changes, see #Patch changes.

  • With the live release of Saviors of Uldum, Zephrys now more correctly values Reborn effects and "egg" Deathrattles.[33] Previously in pre-release, Zephrys did not value these two card effects when offering board clear cards.
  • Before Patch 15.0.4.33402, Zephrys was able to find lethal with an unused Basic Hero Power, but sometimes not with a used Basic Hero Power.[131] After the patch, this bug was fixed.
    • Example:  Steady Shot is used, bringing the opponent down to 7 health with no minions on their board. Zephrys is played, leaving 6 mana available. Zephrys offered  Fireball, but Steady Shot was already used so it was not lethal. As a separate and overlapping bug, Zephrys was not able to offer  Avenging Wrath for lethal.[132]
    • Example:  Shapeshift is used, killing off a 1/1 Taunt. Zephrys is played, leaving 6 mana remaining. He does not offer any lethal options, such as  Bloodlust, which would give lethal with the minions on board. He does offer a  Savage Roar, which would give lethal if both the 1/1 Taunt was off the board and the player had not attacked with Shapeshift yet.[133]
  • Before Patch 15.0.4.33402, Zephrys was able to offer  Coldlight Seer with no friendly Murlocs on the field.[134]
  • Before Patch 16.0.0.37060, Zephrys overvalued the effect of Deathrattles by a lot, causing him to avoid destroying enemy minions with Deathrattles a little too much, instead preferring to offer freeze effects such as  Frost Nova and  Blizzard.[135][136][137] This was a large issue but was fixed after the patch. The change in Deathrattle evaluation was explained by Chadd Nervig on Reddit:[23]
"Previously, Zephrys valued Deathrattles as summoning a minion with stats equal to the difference in stats between the minion's base stats and the expected stats of a vanilla minion at that mana cost.
Now, instead of evaluating it as summoning a minion, it does something more generic, of adding 'that much value' to the opponent's board. In practice, this produces about the same results, except without the occasional card offered to deal with that extra summoned minion (which doesn't exist)."

Sounds

Play
  • ▶️ VO_ULD_001_Male_Djinni_Play_01.wav Your wish is my suggestion.
  • ▶️ Zephrys_Play_Stinger.wav <music stinger>
Attack
  • ▶️ VO_ULD_001_Male_Djinni_Attack_06.wav Alakazam!
  • ▶️ ULD_003_ZephrystheGreat_Attack_Underlay.wav <underlay sound>
Death
  • ▶️ VO_ULD_001_Male_Djinni_Death_01.wav <death sound>
  • ▶️ ULD_003_ZephrystheGreat_Death_Underlay.wav <underlay sound>

Lore

With the League of E.V.I.L. and its crew of calamitous lackeys, the League of Explorers equipped with archaeological artifacts, and the mystical mummies and monsters of Uldum, the desert sands have never hosted such a party of powerhouse prestidigitators and mischief-makers. Among those most powerful stands Zephrys the Great. While at a glance most would see nothing but a mild-mannered medium, Zephrys the Great is capable of divining and manifesting precisely what is needed in any given scenario.

Once this dune-dwelling diviner is played, the state of the game will be carefully analyzed and Zephrys will attempt to conjure exactly what you need to swing the game back in your favor or clench a decisive victory![145]

Unique to Hearthstone, Zephrys is a djinn.

Warcraft Wiki icon.pngThis section uses content from the Warcraft Wiki.
A djinn is a type of powerful air elemental that can be found in Skywall. They made their first appearance during World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
It was the djinn that gave the tol'vir back their immortality as creatures of stone, in exchange for their allegiance to  Deathwing. The only tribe of tol'vir to accept the offer were the Neferset. When the Orsis tribe refused to serve Deathwing, Al'Akir's djinn buried the city beneath a mighty sandstorm.
Most djinn in World of Warcraft are powerful lieutenants of Al'Akir, though a minor one has also appeared trapped in the Magical Brazier inside the Vortex Pinnacle. A legend among the tol'vir tells of a wicked djinn whom the Ramkahen sought to destroy. In an attempt to prevent his own death, the djinn tried to transfer his spirit into the body of a monkey. He was slain right in the middle of the transference, and only a fraction of his essence had moved over - only enough to possess the monkey's paw.

Trivia

  • When Team 5 decided to bring back the "If your deck has no duplicates" mechanic for Saviors of Uldum, they decided that the set needed to have a really cool and exciting card that synergized with the mechanic, on par with  Kazakus from Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. The design team came up with the idea of a card that would allow players to look through their collection and choose any card to add to their hand, but the gameplay engineering and UI teams immediately protested against this design. The team subsequently tried to brainstorm a version of the card that would be feasible to create, with one of the suggestions being to have the card only show players a couple of cards from their collection. The idea was then born to have the AI select some reasonable choices for players to pick from. The team tried implementing this idea "like five different times", with each iteration a complete reimagining of the previous, until they landed on the version seen in the final set.[3][5] The team manually went through the Legacy set to pick interesting cards and place them into categories for Zephrys to choose from.[3]
  • The decision to have Zephrys only offer cards from Legacy rather than all sets was made partially for technical reasons, since figuring out how to rate each card involves a lot of manual work for the developers. However, according to Peter Whalen, the bigger reasons stem from design: a big part of playing with Zephrys consists of understanding what he's going to offer and how to maximize the payoff from him, which gets harder the larger the card pool is and the weirder the cards in it are. Legacy provide a versatile mix of removal, AoE, minions, and situational cards while also being fairly simple and well-known to most players, whereas expansions tend to consist of a lot more niche and situational cards. Legacy have the added perk of having fewer extreme cards that could make Zephrys frustrating to play against. Furthermore, only selecting cards from Legacy rather than all sets also means that players don't have to relearn the card every time a new expansion comes out.[146][147]
    • The developers briefly discussed allowing Zephrys to Discover Hall of Fame cards when he's played in Wild. However, they found that the payoff wasn't quite worth it and that it's easier for them to maintain Zephrys and for players to predict what cards he's going to offer if his effect is the same across both Standard and Wild formats.[148]
  • According to Chadd Nervig, one of the main designers of the card, Zephrys the Great required the most amount of development work and the largest team effort in helping to design, quality-assure, and polish the card for official release.[5][149]
  • According to Alec Dawson, a game designer on the Hearthstone team, Zephrys was the card that the team worked on the most in the history of the game.[150]
  • Zephrys has over 1000 lines of code running behind the scenes; typically, a card has around 2-20 lines of code, maybe even 50.[5] The code only takes milliseconds to run to evaluate the player's board state to offer the player cards.[5]
  • Zephrys was continually updated with changes made to the Basic and Classic sets while he was in Standard.[151] Once Zephrys left Standard and moved to Wild, he remained as is.[152]
  • Zephrys the Great was first revealed on July 31, 2019 in the official Card Reveal Livestream for Saviors of Uldum. An official Theorycrafting Livestream was then held the next day in which six content creators were invited to theorycraft decks and do battle against one another at Blizzard HQ.[157]
  • In the Tavern Brawl Three Wishes, players could play around with 0-mana-cost cards of Zephrys' effect: First Wish, Second Wish, and Third Wish.
  • Zephrys' effect is also found on the treasure card  Zephrys's Lamp in the Tombs of Terror adventure. A special and very rare treasure card called  Sack of Lamps is able to give many such Zephrys's Lamps to the player in a single turn.
  • Zephrys' effect is also found on the card  The Perfect Idea in the Galakrond's Awakening adventure. Two copies of the card are contained within Commander Elise's deck which the player plays with in two separate encounters: the third encounter of the first League of Explorer's chapter against Kriziki the Winged, and the second encounter of the last League of Explorer's chapter against  Waxrider Togwaggle. The player is able to freely experiment with Zephrys' effect using this card since it shuffles itself back into the player's deck after it is used to discover "the perfect card".
  • Zephrys the Great's Diamond form depicts the card forms of  Tirion Fordring,  Fireball and  Boulderfist Ogre.

Gallery

Patch changes

  • FOL Logo Adventure.pngPatch 26.4.0.175913 (2023-05-31):
    • Diamond card unlock requirement is now: "Obtained by owning 23 Saviors of Uldum Legendary cards." (previously: no special unlock requirement).
    • Now has Diamond version.
  • MoLK Logo Adventure.pngPatch 25.4.0.165029 (2023-02-14):
    • No longer has Diamond version.
  • Fractured in Alterac Valley - logo.pngPatch 22.2.0.130051 (2022-01-25):
    • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the game to crash after playing Zephrys the Great.
  • Fractured in Alterac Valley - logo.pngPatch 22.0.0.127581 (2021-12-06):
    • Some of Zephrys’ animations were turned off to temporarily solve a bug that sometimes caused crashes when Zephrys was played.
  • Forged in the Barrens logo.pngPatch 20.0.0.77662 (2021-03-25):
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys the Great would not offer Mass Dispel or Shadowflame when your board was full.
  • Ashes of Outland logo.pngPatch 17.4.0.49534 (2020-06-09):
  • Ashes of Outland logo.pngPatch 17.2.0.47374 (2020-05-12):
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys would miss lethal when there was an enemy Taunt minion with Lifesteal that you could attack into.[160][161]
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys would prefer not to transform/Silence certain high-stat Deathrattle minions (such as  Waxadred).[162][163]
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys could miss lethal using  Unleash the Hounds.[164][165]
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys would not offer Silence options for minions with the "Can't Attack Heroes" effect.[166][167][168]
    • Zephrys is now slightly less likely to offer single-target removal for next turn.
    • Zephrys will no longer offer  Natalie Seline for next turn.[169][170][171]
    • Zephrys may now offer  Polymorph instead of  Hex in a few cases where it would be better for your opponent to have a 1/1 than a 0/1 with Taunt.
    •  Swipe will now fill the AoE category (instead of single target damage) if Zephrys expects it to be used against the enemy hero.[172]
    • Improved how Zephrys evaluates enemy minions that have low base stats for their cost, but are buffed.
  • Ashes of Outland logo.pngPatch 17.0.2.45932 (2020-04-20):
    • Zephrys the Great has been updated to accommodate the  Sacrificial Pact and  Glaivebound Adept changes.
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys the Great would not offer a lethal option if your hero had a large amount of Attack.[173][174]
  • Ashes of Outland logo.pngPatch 17.0.0.44222 (2020-03-26):
    • Zephrys the Great has been updated for the changes to the Classic set in Year of the Phoenix:
    • Improved ordering of simulated attacks to best make use of Rush minions to clear Taunts, in order to maximize potential face damage. This should solve many cases where Zephrys "missed lethal" that involved trading a Rush minion into a Taunt before going face with other minions.
    • Zephrys is now more likely to offer a Freeze card when the opponent has a full board, since it locks the opponent out of being able to play any minions.[175]
    • Fixed a bug where Freeze effects were sometimes offered against already-Frozen enemies.[176]
    • Fixed a bug where  SI:7 Infiltrator was offered for next turn over  Flare for this turn.
    • Fixed several bugs involving the opponent's weapon and/or Frozen state, for calculating whether healing should be offered.
    • Fixed a bug where minions whose base cost was higher than 10 (such as  Shirvallah, the Tiger) were evaluated as being extremely valuable.[177][178]
    • Fixed a bug where Windfury was not offered for use on a minion that has already attacked once this turn.[179][180][181]
    • Fixed a bug where  Crazed Alchemist was offered to destroy your own  Doomsayer.
  • Descent of Dragons logo.png Patch 16.0.0.37060 (2019-12-05):
    • Fixed a bug where minions with both Stealth and Taunt (such as  Wardruid Loti) weren't properly accounted for.[182]
    • Fixed a bug where weapons would sometimes be offered as a removal option against Stealthed minions.
    • Druid Choose One cards now account for having the 'Choose Both' effect.
    • Fixed a bug where  Starfall could be offered as removal against a single minion.[183][184]
    • Fixed a bug where  Earth Shock was incorrectly offered as removal against targets that were reduced to 1 health by  Shrink Ray or  Equality.
    • Adjusted how Zephrys values enemy Deathrattles.
      • Dev comment: Previously, Zephrys valued Deathrattles as summoning a minion with stats equal to the difference in stats between the minion's base stats and the expected stats of a vanilla minion at that mana cost. Now, instead of evaluating it as summoning a minion, it does something more generic, of adding 'that much value' to the opponent's board. In practice, this produces about the same results, except without the occasional card offered to deal with that extra summoned minion (which doesn't exist).
    • Fixed a bug with lethal calculations including Rush minions not eligible to attack heroes.
    • Fixed several bugs involving certain cards not being offered:  King Krush,  Faceless Manipulator,  Shadow Madness, and  Doomhammer.[185][186][187][188]
  • Saviors of Uldum logo.png Patch 15.0.4.33402 (2019-08-26):
    • Fixed a bug where  Acidic Swamp Ooze was sometimes not offered against 1-Durability weapons.[189]
    • Fixed a bug where  Harrison Jones was sometimes offered against 1-Durability weapons when he could not be played that turn.[190]
    • Fixed a bug where weapon removal cards were not offered against 0-Attack weapons.
    • Fixed a bug where weapon removal cards were not offered when it would prevent your opponent from having lethal on their next turn.
    • Fixed several bugs involving certain cards not being offered:
    • Fixed several bugs involving Hero Powers:
      • Hero Powers were sometimes assumed to be usable, even if they had already been used that turn.
      • The current cost for Hero Powers is now considered, instead of assuming a cost of 2.
      • Damage and healing modifiers on hero powers are now accounted for.
      • Upgraded Hero Powers (such as through  Sir Finley of the Sands, or  Justicar Trueheart) are now considered.
      • If your Hero Power has been replaced, Zephrys will no longer assume your base Hero Power is still usable.
    • Fixed a bug where  Betrayal was not appropriately counting as a single-target removal option when it would only damage one target.
    • Fixed a bug where  Alexstrasza was being offered based upon the opponent’s combined Health and Armor, instead of only their Health.
    • Fixed a bug where silence cards were not offered to unfreeze your own minions for lethal.[191]
    • Among potential lethal options, silence cards will now be favored, in order to help minimize potential interference from Deathrattles or other unique card effects.
    • Fixed a bug where Zephrys did not properly consider multiple Deathrattles on the same minion (most commonly from Magnetic minions).[192]
    • Improved Zephrys's evaluation of the value of healing this turn vs next turn.
    • 2019-08-06: Zephrys now more correctly values Reborn.[193][194]
    • 2019-08-06: Zephrys now more correctly values "Egg" Deathrattles.[195]
    • 2019-08-06: Zephrys no longer sometimes incorrectly offers  Harrison Jones against Druids.[196]
    • 2019-08-08: Fixed a bug where Zephrys sometimes didn’t handle enemy Divine Shields properly.
    • 2019-08-08: Fixed a bug where Zephrys sometimes didn’t handle Poisonous properly.
    • 2019-08-08: Fixed a bug where Zephrys didn’t consider that buffing a 0-Attack minion would let it attack that turn.
    • 2019-08-08: Taught Zephrys how Doomsayers work.
      • Dev comment: As a rule, we don’t plan to teach Zephrys about individual card mechanics and interactions. However, we’ve made a one-time exception in this case since having less-than-perfect offerings from Zephrys when trying to find an answer to a Doomsayer could cause you to lose your board or end up with no good plays for the turn.
  • Saviors of Uldum logo.png Patch 15.0.0.32708 (2019-08-01):
    • Added.

References

 
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  120. Zephrys doesnt recognise bloodbloom being active (he didnt give pyroblast). Not complaining, just figured id post the interaction in case it ends up helping someone.. (2019-08-31). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-09-01.
  121. Zephrys won't give you lethal if you have Kalecgos on the board and haven't played a spell that turn. (2019-08-15). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-08-16.
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  126. No Sinister Strike for lethal!. (2020-03-30). Imgur. Retrieved on 2020-03-31.
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  131. Shouldn't Zephrys always offer you lethal when possible? Almost lost a brawl game because he didn't offer me fireball.. (2019-08-08). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-08-16.
  132. Zephrys won't give you Avenging Wrath as lethal option even with your opponent at 7 HP, no minions on board and exactly 6 mana left.. (2019-08-13). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-08-13.
  133. Zephrys missed lethal or I was not playing it optimally. (2019-08-16). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-08-16.
  134. Brian Kibler on Twitter (X). (2019-08-22). 
  135. Why Zephrys the Great don't give Twisting Nether? I lose in opp turn because he use Penance on my Zephyros and Ragnaros the Firelord win (i have exactly 8 health). (2019-11-28). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-12-06.
  136. Where's my Twisting Nether, Zephrys??. (2019-09-15). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-01-19.
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  139. Zeph, where's my flare?. (2020-03-02). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-04-06.
  140. Zéphyrs not giving lethal making me lose the game. (2020-03-24). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-04-06.
  141. tahedozHS on Twitter (X). (2019-08-19). 
  142. C'mon Zephrys, I don't need more cards. (2020-01-14). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-01-21.
  143. Zephrys offered Loot Hoarder in fatigue?. (2019-08-27). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-08-29.
  144. BiladaClub on Twitter (X). (2019-08-10). 
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  153. Stonetusk Boar Paladin. (2019-08-14). Reddit. Retrieved on 2019-08-29.
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  155. MarkMcKz (2020-01-26). INFINITE DAMAGE Combo! Zephrys Witch's Cauldron OTK! (01:20 - 01:32). YouTube. Retrieved on 2020-03-23.
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  158. Trump doesn't get offered Windspeaker for lethal in Outland Inn-vitational tournament. (2020-04-21). Twitch Clips. Retrieved on 2020-04-22.
  159. Windspeaker not offered for lethal. (2020-03-27). Imgur. Retrieved on 2020-03-27.
  160. Tell me please Zephrys, WHY don't you offer me a fireball?. (2020-04-06). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-05-13.
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  162. "I wish for a hex" "2 mana 2/3 coming right up" - Zephyrs. (2020-04-05). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-05-13.
  163. Zephrys, are you sure you don't want to give me earth shock here?. (2020-04-04). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-05-13.
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  165. Zephrys does not find lethal with Unleash the Hounds. (2019-09-09). Imgur. Retrieved on 2019-09-09.
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  170. Zephrys, explain yourself. (2020-03-31). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-05-13.
  171. Why zephyrs didn't offer a cheap removal or at least southsea deckhand? I know I couldn't loose, but anyway.... (2020-04-18). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-05-13.
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  173. TheViper94HS on Twitter. (2020-04-17). 
  174. Tyler doesn't get offered Soulfire for lethal. (2020-04-17). Twitch Clips. Retrieved on 2020-04-22.
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  182. Zephrys misses lethal through Stealth + Taunt (Wardruid Loti). (2020-08). Twitch Clips. Retrieved on 2020-04-22.
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  185. Zephrys can't find lethal with King Krush. (2019-09-01). Imgur. Retrieved on 2019-09-01.
  186. Thijs not offered King Krush for lethal. (2019-10-16). Twitch Clips. Retrieved on 2019-01-11.
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  190. Trolden (2019-08-11). Funny And Lucky Moments - Hearthstone - Ep. 457 (07:23 - 8:07). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-08-12.
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