From The Darkness He Comes- Cho'Gall Enters The Fray
I will be analyzing the new Warlock legendary Cho'Gall and discussing whether or not his stats and effect make him viable in competitive Hearthstone. Let's take a peak:
The stats for the card are solid for a mid-late game minion. In combat, Cho'Gall should be able to trade decently with 1-3 minions depending on what deck the opponent is using. Classes with cheap and efficient removal, such as Warrior or Priest, can deal with Cho'Gall quite easily. Warlocks could capitalize on this and feel relieved to play their other powerful minions.
Let's move on to Cho'Gall's effect because I think that is the most interesting part about him. It is a Battlecry, so once he is played the effect will trigger no matter what. The basic concept of the effect is good: play a spell of the player's choice in health instead of mana. The ability to play a spell without the restraints of mana gives the Warlock many options. Players can use the effect immediately, or save it as a later investment. Cho'Gall's ability gives deck builders opportunities to add more expensive spells to their Warlock decks and create new plays never seen before. Obviously there are spells that are better to use with this effect, but playing a spell "for free" is still pretty good in my opinion.
There are a couple of downsides I would like to point out about Cho'Gall. For one he is not a demon, so he doesn't have synergy with demons and cannot be summoned by Bane of Doom. His effect could do more harm than good and put the Warlock closer to lethal. A potential combo could go to waste if a player is forced to use Cho'Gall's ability to clear the board.
Honestly it's really tough to find more downsides about this card. The potential this card has with the Warlock spells seems too good. Players could see a return of the Leeroy Jenkins + Power Overwhelming + Faceless Manipulator combo (this is pretty situational and depends on a lot to succeed but is an option nonetheless). Siphon Soul, Shadowflame, and Bane of Doom coupled with the effect provide great board clear and a shift in tempo in favor of the Warlock. Cheaper cards like Soulfire and Darkbomb wouldn't feel too bad to use either. I'll even go out on a limb and say Demonheart could be used in a more demon oriented deck in Wild play. Where Cho'Gall seems to be headed is in Standard Renolock decks. That's where players see more expensive Warlock spells. I still think there is potential with Demonlock, but maybe less so.
I'm definitely giving Cho'Gall two thumbs up in the viability department. I think there will be room for him in Standard play with Dr. Boom out of the picture. The spells leaving standard for Warlock are Darkbomb, Imp-losion, and Demonheart. Warlock's spell arsenal is still looking strong with their better spells being in the Classic set. The Demonheart in Demonlock decks is a bit of a stretch, but I'm willing to test it out in Wild. I think this is a great addition to Warlock 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.