First impressions of the Grand Tournament - Part 2
Silver Hand Regent
Paladin’s hero power can now be played in any class with this card from the Grand Tournament expansion. As long as you have Silver Hand Regent on board, every time your hero power is used, a Silver Hand Recruit will be summoned. With its 3/3 for 3 mana stats, it does not look too attractive. Silver Hand Regent, however, has great potential and is especially good in Arena. I think the only reason this card is not exclusively Paladin class is because of how good it is in Arena. Paladins are dominate in Arena and this card could increase their power in it even more. By making it neutral, Blizzard is giving a fair chance to all classes.
However, I do not see this card being played outside Paladin constructed decks. Paladin has the ability to buff his dudes with Quartermaster and gain extra value. I believe that Silver Hand Regent will be used together with Muster for Battle in midrange Paladin decks focused on making a lot of dudes and buffing them.
Saraad will be a fun card to play. It has a similar effect as Nefarian except it’s more random. You are not getting random spells from your opponent’s class, but a totally random spell from any class. For a deck to be competitive, it needs to be consistent and this kind of random effect can decrease consistency. Yes, getting something like Pyroblast or Flamestrike can instantly win you the game, but you can also get Totemic Might after you spent 7 mana for 4/5 body and hero power. This card will be tested by a Coldarra Drake/Garrison Commander and Maiden of the Lake combo, but I would not be surprised if people replace it with something like Sludge Belcher or a similar card that will increase their survivability and overall consistency of the deck.
The only card with comparable random effect I can think of is Unstable Portal. Unstable Portal is played in tempo Mage decks because it is a spell that can be reduced to 1 mana cost with Sorcerer’s Apprentice, has synergy with Flamewaker, and can win you the game by getting some crazy minion early, like Sylvanas on turn 3 or Ragnaros on turn 5. Nexus-Champion Saraad is not as cheap as Unstable Portal and it is really slow.
In Arena, this card is good because it can be viewed as a 4/5 that draws you a card every time you play hero power. Arena is a slower format, so you can expect the Saraad effect to be triggered multiple times, gaining more value.
I don’t understand this card. It seems incredibly bad! Why would you spend 4 mana for a 3/3 weapon and play hero power twice, for total of 8 mana, when you can spend 5 mana for a 3/4 without ruining two turns by cutting 2 mana from your mana pool? I guess they made this card to give Rogue decks a reason to play hero power every turn.
With this whole Inspire theme, Rogue is not gaining much because Rogue’s hero power is designed to gain tempo. In order to gain full value, it is used every two turns unlike other hero powers that can be used every turn. Maybe Blizzard will reveal other Inspire cards that will make Poisoned Blade better, but for now it seems awful.
Warrior already has two amazing weapon cards: Fiery War Axe and Death’s Bite. Both cards are played in every Warrior deck (Control, Patron and Face). King’s Defender needs taunt on the board in order to be better than Fiery War Axe and it’s just worse than Death’s Bite. Minions with taunt played in Warrior decks are: Sludge Belcher in Control; Unstable Ghoul and Dread Corsair in Patron. Many players are already cutting one Fiery War Axe from Patron Warrior decks to make space for combo pieces and draw mechanic cards. I do not see King’s Defender finding its place there, mainly because you want to play Death’s Bite on turn 4 and use it, so you have Whirlwind effect on turn 5 for an early Grim Patron combo. In Control Warrior, it can be played after turn 5 Sludge Belcher, but you really do not need 3 attack weapon late game, you need it early on turn 2, like Fiery War Axe, to kill Flame Imps, Knife Jugglers, and other early threats. All in all, I do not see this card being played in constructed. In Arena, it’s like Longhorn Bow: solid 3 attack weapon for 3 mana with 2 or more charges.
Mage will get a new secret. When a friendly minion dies, a random minion of the same cost is summoned. Compared to Duplicate, Effigy creates better tempo play, because it gives you minions right away. This card will definitely see play in aggressive Mage decks. Great value can be gained if Effigy is up and you play cards with high mana cost, like Antique Healbot. They will be easily killed, but you already got their effect and now, when Effigy triggers, you have a better body on board.
This is a powerful secret that can swing the game if not “read” by your opponent. As we get more secrets, it becomes harder to play around them and much easier to surprise your opponent. Secrets are becoming more powerful in both constructed and the Arena.