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Monday, January 18, 2016

Wizard101: Witch's Hoard Pack Review


The Polaris update brought with it all new systems and functions unknown to any world previously - boss pets, boss minions, casting spells from outside the battle, and more. It should be no surprise, then, that Wizard101's Polaris pack is no different.

Witch's Hoard Pack: What's Inside

This newest hoard pack contains the usual - a mount, pet, and a few sets of gear. It also contains some new things that if you don't want yet, you're going to - dancing penguin NPCs and Polaris furniture, just to name a few. It also introduces new ways to get old items of interest including wooden castle blocks and Sugar Khrystal seeds. On top of that, some older items are making a return, including the Ice Floe Siren and Wildwood Yeti pets.


Seal Team Gear

Just in case you didn't get your fill of the Seal Team in Polaris, the Witch's Hoard Pack contains a set of gear themed after them that you can wear. There's also a two-handed ice hammer weapon that looks pretty... cool. 

Most of the gear has generally been undesirable in terms of stats and created interest only because of its appearance. Pack gear is hit-and-miss with reliable stats, and one or two items have caught the attention of the community. 

The items that may be of most interest are the hammers. Although players would suffer a critical and block loss from the Terror's Hoard items, they maintain a decent damage bonus but get to add the armor piercing that they lost from Malistaire the Undying's weapons.

The gear, following the trends of Polaris and other pack items, does two interest things. First, it provides bonuses to multiple classes, primarily damage. This seems to be an attempt to bring about a resurgence of dual-school gear we saw with the crafted items in Celestia. Second, it seems to center around enchantments, particularly Cloak. The outfits give two cloaked blades. While I have not tested them, I assume they are naturally cloaked and your opponent will not know what they are.

Gear Grade: B-


Waddling Witch Hut

One of the stand-out items for this pack is the mount. It's one that everyone secretly hoped for ever since we stumbled upon Baba Yaga. True to the myth, we ride her house with its chicken legs. 

The idle animation sets the house perfectly down on the ground as if we'd hopped onto a doghouse, but then stands up again. The model is very clean - it's probably a scaled-down version of her actual home in Forlorn Tayg.

Mount Grade: A


Wildwood Yeti and Icefloe Siren Pets

The Wildwood Yeti pet is a hybrid discovered earlier in Polaris. It's a combination of two other Yeti pets, one of which is purchased from a vendor and one of which is a drop throughout the world. The Icefloe Siren was a pet released in the Crown Shop during the 12 Days of the Spiral event this past December. It's interesting that the pets in this pack are not new, but perhaps the Wizard101 team has recognized that it's the easiest part of the pack to share through hatching.

Pet Grade: B



Pack Analysis

This pack is not in any way a remake of or addition to a previous pack. It's unique and contains many desirable items that serve new functions and open the door to other house NPCs, even the possibility of bosses.

All or Nothing

This pack has a surprising number of awesome items. Not only did they put some nice new ones in. They also included some of the older items that we've been wanting more of. However, for all the fantastic pieces of gear, decorations, pets, castle blocks, and seeds, there's just as many almost useless pet snacks, music themes (some new but so many that they're likely full at the Bazaar), treasure cards, and reagents.

The problem is that this is an all or nothing kind of pack. There are no items you may or may not use, or various cards that might come in handy in the future. Either what you get is extremely useful or extremely useless. 


In many ways, that's a welcome change given that people are not typically purchasing packs for anything but the best of the best and yet are expecting some items they won't use. On the other hand, it can make for some really uninteresting pack openings when one is almost full of poor snacks and treasure cards. At least the Pirate Beastmaster packs had high-level snacks.

Item Grade: C-


The Verdict

Would I recommend the pack? Definitely give it a try, especially if you're after the wooden castle blocks, wanting the Polarian furniture, or experiencing a shortage of Sugar Khrystal seeds. However, this isn't the one I'd invest a lot of crowns into. The drop rates do not seem as stellar as some packs and it can take quite a few to get what you're after.


Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral! Credits: Thanks to Vanessa Mythdust and Mason for allowing me to get screenshots of their mounts!


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