Competitive Play of Demented Frostcaller
Today I will analyze the competitive viability of the new Mage card Demented Frostcaller. As usual, I will look at the base stats, effect, and what decks it will see play in. Let's check Demented Frostcaller out:
The raw stats of the card aren't really that great, and depending on what deck opponents have this isn't a minion players should summon on turn 4. A minion with 2 attack and 4 health is something players see on 3 mana cost minions. Cards with the same combat stats, such as Keeper of the Grove and Gnomish Inventor, warrant a cost of 4 mana because of their effects. Personally I'm not perturbed with the stats of Demented Frostcaller and I think its effect warrants the cost. Freeze is one of the more annoying mechanics to deal with in the game. It's great for stalling out the game, potentially forcing opponents to skip turns, and allowing Mages to draw their win conditions. Also according to Blizzard's Assistant Community Manager/Shoutcaster Robert Wing said on Twitter "[Demented Frostcaller] will not try to freeze a frozen character, FYI." While the card effect is still random, this guarantees that the card will get good value with each consecutive proc.
With all of this in mind let's review what decks and cards will fit well with Demented Frostcaller. The obvious choice for players should be Tempo/Roulette Mage (whatever you like to call it). Players can throw out low cost spells to constantly trigger the freeze effect. In some situations this could be a better option than Flamewaker. Patron Warrior loves getting its minions hit for one damage, but freezing Grim Patron, Frothing Berserker, and the Warrior's Face could mitigate a lot of damage. In some situations players might force the opponent to silence its own minions to push for damage. Players could punish this over extension and feel safer with a silence gone. A specific card that pairs well with Demented Frostcaller is Ice Lance. I predict that Ice Lance will be added to Tempo Mage in Standard with the loss of Flamecannon and Unstable Portal. Since Demented Frostcaller won't Freeze already frozen characters Ice Lance can provide great utility and in some cases great damage.
The big argument against playing Demented Frostcaller is Water Elemental. Players can choose what to freeze, it has better combat stats, and playing this on turn 4 feels much better. However, my counter argument is that Water Elemental can't freeze an enemy character when it enters the board thanks to summoning sickness. Also players could just have both cards in the deck. I've seen Tempo Mage run Piloted Shredder, and Demented Frostcaller would make a solid replacement in Standard.
My final verdict for Demented Frostcaller is that two copies will be played in Standard Tempo Mage decks. I find this card hard to fit into Wild at the moment with the existence of Piloted Shredder. I could see players adding one copy to provide more utility options. I think Demented Frostcaller is one of the better Mage minions released so far and will see Competitive play.
About the Author- I am a writer that follows competitive esports such as Hearthstone, League of Legends, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Follow me @Kenny_Humiston on Twitter for content updates.