Everything you need to know about Hearthstone’s newest free card, Transfer Student

Learn about how to claim him, what decks he could fit in, what his abilities are, and how strong they are.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Earlier this week, Blizzard introduced Hearthstone’s next expansion, Scholomance Academy. During this announcement, the company also gave every account two free copies of a card to preview that’s from the set, Transfer Student.

Players can claim this card by simply logging into the game. The card will be added to their collection once they load in. Players have until Oct. 20 to get this card for free before it’s presumed that they must craft it with Arcane Dust or open it in Scholomance Academy packs.

Transfer Student has a plethora of effects, 24 to be exact. Nine of them are active in standard play and a 25th effect will be added once Scholomance Academy is officially released.

Transfer Student’s effect changes each game. He looks at the current board you’re playing on and matches his effect to the board’s theme. While this may be a lot to remember at first, players who compete in the standard format will only have to remember 11 at most since more than half of the boards are only available to the wild format.

Here are all of Transfer Student’s effects (with every board available to play in the standard format bolded):

  • Orgrimmar: Deal two damage
  • Stranglethorn: Stealth and Poisonous
  • Stormwind: Divine Shield
  • Pandaria: Battlecry: Give a friendly minion +1/+2
  • Naxxramas: Deathrattle: Add a random Deathrattle minion to your hand
  • Goblins vs Gnomes: Battlecry and Deathrattle: Add a Spare Part to your hand
  • Blackrock: At the end of your turn, reduce the Cost of a random card in your hand by (two)
  • Grand Tournament: Inspire: Draw a Card
  • League of Explorers (Excavation): Battlecry: Add a random weapon to your hand
  • League of Explorers (Museum): Battlecry: Discover a new Basic Hero Power
  • Whispers of the Old Gods Stormwind: Battlecry: Spend all your mana, summon a minion of that cost
  • Karazhan: Add a Karazhan portal spell to your hand
  • Mean Streets of Gadgetzan: Battlecry: Give a random minion in your hand +2/+2
  • Un’Goro: Battlecry: Adapt.
  • Frozen Throne: Deathrattle: Add a random Death Knight card to your hand.
  • Kobolds and Catacombs: Battlecry: Recruit a minion that costs (2) or less.
  • Witchwood: Echo, Rush
  • Boomsday: Taunt. Battlecry: If you have 10 mana crystals gain +5/+5.
  • Rastakhan’s Rumble: Rush, Overkill: draw a card.
  • Rise of Shadows: Battlecry: Add a Lackey to your hand.
  • Saviors of Uldum (Feet): Reborn
  • Saviors of Uldum (Windmill): Battlecry: Add an random Uldum plague spell to your hand.
  • Descent of Dragons: Battlecry: Discover a dragon.
  • Ashes of Outland: Dormant for two turns, deal three damage to two random enemy minions when it awakens.
  • Scholomance Academy: Add a Dual Class card to your hand.

While this card could be too random and have too low of a power level to be considered viable in wild, Transfer Student may have some potential in decks in the standard format that are lacking proactive and two-drop viable plays. Transfer Student’s viable effects in standard can be broken down into three categories: keywords, powerful Battlecries, and value generation.

An example of the potent keyword variant is the Stormwind board, which is a two-mana 2/2 with Divine Shield. That’s comparable to Paladin’s Shielded Minibot, which saw play when Secret Paladin was in standard and still sees play in wild with Mech Paladin. The Saviors of Uldum Feet Variant board is also similar to Paladin’s Shotbot, which is a strong tempo card in Mech Paladin due to its stick Reborn keyword factor. Even the weakest keyword version of Transfer Student (the Stranglethorn board) can still be a fair proactive play on turn two. It’s comparable to Journey to Un’goro’s Giant Wasp, which was one mana more expensive than Transfer Student.

The powerful Battlecries version of Transfer Student are similarly comparable to the Year of the Dragon’s Lackeys. The Orgrimmar board lets Transfer Student deal two damage, which is comparable to Kobold Lackey, and the Descent of Dragons board gives you the ability to discover a Dragon like the Draconic Lackey. The Pandaria board gives any friendly minion of your choice +1/+2, which can help you create a backbreaking early-game curve if you have any one-drop preceding Transfer Student.

While value generation isn’t the best usage for a card that wants to be aggressive like this, it’s still an option to fall back on if the game comes down to it. As mentioned earlier with the Descent of Dragons board, discovering a random Dragon can give you an extra threat to curve into during the later parts of the game. Additionally, the Rise of Shadows board gives you a lackey, which makes this an already-comparable improvement to EVIL Cable Rat, a card that was run in multiple Lackey-focused decks. The Saviors of Uldum Windmill variant board is probably the weakest value-generation focused effect, but your opponent will have to knowingly play around potential removal like Plague of Flames or Plague of Madness.

In addition to all of the effects that are already known, this card will be updated and given a unique effect that matches the themes of the next four standard board sets coming after Scholomance Academy. After it rotates into wild, every new board afterward will give him a Battlecry that grants players a random card from that board set’s expansion.

Pro Hearthstone player PizzaHS already built a deck that Transfer Student can slot into in the form of Discard Scrap Imp Zoo Lock. Transfer Student’s standard ability sets can easily slot into aggressive standard decks, especially the Stormwind, Saviors of Uldum Feet, and Pandaria variant. But if you find yourself on the Ashes of Outland board, it may be best to ditch the Transfer Student in mulligan. This is especially true if you can’t afford to lose tempo against a slower deck with him going dormant for two turns.

Players can log into Hearthstone from now until Oct. 20 to claim their free Transfer Student card.