Within Hearthstone’s upcoming expansion, Forged in the Barrens, there’s one card out of the 135 that has drawn the most attention due to its varying applications.
Kazakus Golem Shaper is a new version of the leader of the Kabal from Mean Streets of Gadgetzan and his crafting ability has returned in the form of making minions as opposed to potions.
Instead of having a Highlander requirement from your deck when playing Golem Shaper, the newer Kazakus wants no four-mana cards in your deck when he’s played, meaning the deck-building restriction is more lenient. Even though this would lead you towards running no other four-mana cards in your deck, if your deck is slow and controlling enough, you can run one other four-mana card since you can always draw them before Kazakus. While this is not advisable for most conventional use, it’s still an option to consider.
Once you play Kazakus, there are three selections to make (between three choices each time) in creating your powerful minion. On the first step, you can pick the size of golem, which determines the statline, mana cost, and scale of the non-keyword ability. Afterwards, you select a keyword for your Golem. Finally, you pick an ability for your Golem to perform when you play it later.
Every Kazakus Golem option
Golem Size: Between your three selections, this choice will be consistent on your Discovers since there’s only three sizes.
- Lesser Golem: One mana – 1/1
- Greater Golem: Five mana – 5/5
- Superior Golem: 10 mana – 10/10
Golem keyword: Choose one keyword between the Discovered three. If you’re looking for a specific keyword, you have a 50 percent chance of finding it.
- Swiftthistle: Rush
- Earthroot: Taunt
- Sungrass: Divine Shield
- Liferoot: Lifesteal
- Fadeleaf: Stealth
- Grave Moss: Poisonous
Golem Effect: Select an ability your Golem will activate when played from hand. Every option that can be found will be divided by signifying the difference in sizes selected.
- Wildvine: Give your other minions +1/+1|+2/+2|+4/+4.
- Gromsblood: Summon a copy of this (this is found at every mana cost)
- Icecap: Freeze one/two/all random enemy minions.
- Firebloom: Deal three damage to one/two/three random enemy minions.
- Mageroyal: Spell Damage +1|+2|+4
- Kingsblood: Draw one/two/three cards.
How to best use the Golem Shaper
More often than not, the Golem size you pick is dependent on the state of each match. If you have the tempo and you play Kazakus on four, you usually want to pick the Greater Golem (five mana) to press the advantage. If you’re being pressured against an aggressive deck and need immediate answers, going for the Lesser Golem (one mana) can give you a powerful minor ability in a pinch. If you’re facing off against a control deck and expect to need immense value to finish off the opponent, reaching with the Superior Golem (10 mana) will allow you to refuel and often create large boards.
Some keyword herbs that are good individually are Swiftthistle (Rush), Sungrass (Divine Shield), and Fadeleaf (Stealth) due to how they either affect the board or are just strong attributes to have on a minion regardless. The Liferoot (Lifesteal) option can be good against aggressive decks aside from Earthroot (Taunt) due to how much restoring health can be a nail in the coffin for aggro.
While Grave Moss (Poisonous) is useless in most circumstances, it has notable synergy with Firebloom (dealing three damage to enemies). This is due to the fact that Poisonous damage being dealt, even through effects, will instantly slay any minion.
Ability herbs worth fishing for are either Gromsblood (summon an exact copy of this golem), Kingsblood (draw cards), and Firebloom. Wildvine (buff your other minions) can be a powerful finisher if you expect to have a wide board against your opponent.
Icecap (Freeze enemy minions) is good for stall against opponents looking to finish you off, and it even provides a Frost Nova effect if you go for a Superior Golem. Mageroyal (Spell Damage increase) is probably the most difficult herb to effectively use, since not every deck will run spells. If you do have burn damage in hand, however, Mageroyal can be devastating with Gromsblood due to the duplication, allowing for massive amplification opportunities.
Overall, Kazakus is one of the most skill-testing cards released in a long time, and any player who takes the time to practice it will be rewarded for optimal play.
Master Kazakus Golem Shaper for yourself when Hearthstone: Forged in the Barrens launches March 31.