If you’re like us, you’ve spent the last couple days obsessing over every single nuance of the announced cards from the upcoming Goblins vs. Gnomes Hearthstone expansion. Blizzard has promised 120 new cards, and so far we’ve only seen about 30, but that hasn’t stopped us from drafting all sorts of exotic new decks in our head. In fact, we went ahead and wrote this massive, exhausting preview of every single one of the new cards we’ve been shown thus far.
We looked at each addition from both the constructed and arena perspectives, just to make sure we were covering our bases. Do you think we’ve undervalued or overhyped anything? Let us know!
(Note: We excluded token cards, i.e. the Spare Parts and anything else you can’t insert into your deck naturally.)
Arena: A decent drop, should be able to swallow up a 3/2 with relative ease, but generally you’re going to be looking for a safer bet.
Constructed: I could definitely see this card fitting into some Mech-based aggro decks on ladder. You can hide a lot of damage between two health and a divine shield. I think I’d still prefer Voidwalkers though—that two-mana cost is a considerable drawback.
Arena: You’re paying five mana for 3/4 stats and a Battlecry that could totally screw you. It could also win you the game, but there’s no way you’re taking this over, say, Cairne.
Constructed: Could see some play in some sort of weapon-based deck. Imagine using this as a Rogue and getting Doomhammer back—that’d be incredible! And despite its specificity, the Blingtron/Harrison combo could be a lot of fun.
Arena: Yeah 3/3 for five mana isn’t great, but the battlecry of essentially wiping an enemy minion off the board is pretty good too. There are better five drops, but this certainly isn’t a slouch.
Constructed: This might be a little too specific for constructed, too. It’s a decent effect but for one more mana you can just run an Argent Commander into the same thing without any randomness. It won’t sink a deck, but I don’t think it’s much of a game-changer either.
Arena: This is a Warrior-only spell, and at its best it’s a three-mana unilateral removal. Someone plays Deathwing? Bouncing Blade will take it out easy. Can’t deal with a Yeti? Bouncing Blade!
Constructed: It won’t make it into every Warrior deck, but I think a lot are going to take a number. It combos well enough with the Armorsmith, Acolyte of Pain, and Frothing Berserker, and the base effect is already strong. Seems like an easy fit!
Arena: Terrible. Your opponent is always playing cards in Arena, there’s no way this thing is going to get value.
Constructed: Well, it really looks like Blizzard are trying to make this Mill archtype viable. Milling is, of course, when you force your opponents to draw cards unsustainably. Force your opponent to tap out at 10 cards? Your Clockwork Giant is free! So this could be totally viable if Milling becomes a decent strategy. We shall see!
Arena: It’s a one-mana 2/1, which means it dies to everything. Pass.
Constructed: It’s still a one-mana 2/1, but its mech synergy starts to come into play. These new mech cards are built to work together, and you’re going to need early game no matter what. The deathrattle gives you a “spare parts” card, which are a bunch of one-mana spells that do super basic things like increase a minion’s health by one, or damage by one, stuff like that. It’s honestly too early to tell, but it seems reasonable to believe that the Clockwork Gnome can carry some clout.
Arena: Significantly less good if your draft didn’t have any mechs. You’ll be passing on Cogmaster quite a bit.
Constructed: If Mech Zoo becomes a thing, you’ll see Cogmaster everywhere. It can be turned into a 3/2 quite easily, and that’s value for one mana. It’s such a supplementary card that it really depends on what happens with the meta to know for sure.
Arena: It’s good! Seven mana for a 7/7 is average, but the two Boom Bots he spawns are these 1/1s who deal 1-4 damage to an enemy creature when they die. You’d still take, like, Ragnaros first, but that’s because he’s Ragnaros.
Constructed: I don’t know if we’ll see too much of Dr. Boom in Constructed. He reminds me of Illidan Stormrage or Onyxia, quality legendaries that might cost a little too much for their potential value. The wild card (of course) is that the 1/1s Boom spawns are mech cards, which opens the door up to a bunch of combos we’re not privy to just yet.
Arena: A decent drop, it trades with whatever your opponent is putting down in his first two (sometimes three!) turns.
Constructed: I could see the Sheep finding its way into Control Warrior, Control Paladin, and especially Freeze Mage. You know what’s a poor man’s Blizzard? Frost Nova into Explosive Sheep into Hero Power on the Sheep. This might be one of the best cards in the expansion, and I think it’ll become a very common tech choice.
Arena: It’s basically a more inconsistent Frostbolt with higher upside. You’ll be drafting it.
Constructed: I think this could become a solid mainstay in Mage decks. Dealing four damage for two mana is a really good deal, and Mage has enough removal already to ensure Flamecannon is targeting the right thing.
Arena: Paying three mana for a 3/2 sucks. It sucks even more when it turns your Sylvannas into a 1/1 Chicken.
Constructed: There’s limited usage in decks like Freeze Mage or Miracle Rogue that are more spell-heavy, but you’re still running the risk of turning some crucial cards into Chickens. Some people have been calling this the worst card we’ve seen from the expansion thus far, and I’m not ready to go that far just yet. Don’t let the absolute worst case scenario scare you away completely. There’s some value here.
Arena: Hey! It’s two mana for a 3/2 that makes the Rogue’s hero power way better and capable of clearing off the opponent’s 3/2 for free. That’s great!
Constructed: Hey! It’s a two mana for a 3/2 that makes the Rogue’s hero power way better and capable of comboing with Deadly Poison for a makeshift Flamestrike. That’s even better! And maybe it’ll finally stop people from exclusively using the Rogue for Miracle!
Arena: You’re looking at a 5/4 for 4 with a situational battlecry, that’s pretty good!
Constructed: If you’re able to take advantage of that situational battlecry by having a mech on the board, you’re going to do some pretty significant damage. I LOVE this card to blast a stealthed Gadgetzan Auctioneer into the next galaxy. It’s mid-rangey, which hasn’t exactly defined Mage meta lately, but I could see it working its way in.
Arena: You’re not going to be milling in arena, but a three mana 2/4 is still pretty good.
Constructed: But if you are running a Mill Deck, all of sudden that three mana 2/4 can start looking like a three-mana 6/4, which is a harbinger of destruction in the early game. Again, it all depends if milling becomes viable, but that’s certainly a start.
Arena: Same as the Sapper, situational ability but good stats for what you’re paying.
Constructed: Might fit its way into secrets-heavy mid-range Mage decks, along the likes of Ethereal Arcanist, but it doesn’t exactly set my world on fire. Could be a game-saver in Freeze Mage though!
Arena: In arena you often find yourself playing catch-up, which is why the Mad Bomber is always such a great choice. Madder Bomber causes more chaos and can swing a game even more dramatically, so I see him being a top-tier choice.
Constructed: Mad Bomber doesn’t get a lot of shine in constructed, and I think his bigger brother will share the same fate. It’s Stranglethorn Tiger-esque, a fine minion that will always be kicked to the curb for more vital selections.
Arena: It’s a two-mana 2/3 with an ability that won’t hardly benefit you in arena. So basically a River Crocolisk with slightly higher upside.
Constructed: On the other hand, if Mech Zoo becomes A Thing, two copies of Mechwarper will be in every single one of those decks. Hard to gauge now, but it certainly seems like Blizzard is trying to make it happen.
Arena: Meh, seven health for nine mana, an ability that’s really only going to help you twice in a hundred times. I’d stay away.
Constructed: There’s probably some combo that I’m missing that will make this card completely unstoppable, but I’m not seeing it right now. It just looks like a worse Kel’Thuzad!
Arena: This card is UNFAIR. Turn one it’s a 1/2, pass to the opponent it’s a 2/2, they can’t deal with it, back to your turn it’s now a 3/2 and you hit face and frostbolt the minion your opponent played. Now back to their turn: It’s a 4/2, etc, etc, etc. It’s an Undertaker that can get very violent very quickly.
Constructed: Same as I said in arena, except now it’s easier to buff and it combines with mech synergy. We’re all going to be hating the Micro Machine soon enough.
Arena: In arena this is just an expensive 4/5 with none of the insane upside I’m about to get to.
Constructed: So here’s what happens: You play Mimiron’s Head with two other mechs. You pass the turn, and if they’re unable to deal with those three mechs, all of a sudden they get destroyed and you summon V-07-TR-0N which is a 4/8 with charge and mega windfury which means it gets to attack four times a turn. That means you can immediately do 16 damage to the face. The problem comes with pulling off this combo precisely. Is it possible? Sure. Is it likely? Not particularly. We have to wait and see with Mimiron. But man I really, really hope it becomes viable. That just sounds like too much fun.
Arena: So you’re paying one less mana for a two-charge, four-damage weapon, the downside being is that 50 percent of the time when you swing you’ll end up hitting the wrong enemy. That’s significant, but I think the value is still there. I’d draft it!
Constructed: It’s the same story with constructed but with some weird tech-y stuff thrown in. For instance, if a Miracle Rogue has its Gadgetzan stealthed and you swing at the face, does that mean there’s a 50 percent chance you’ll “miss” and hit the Auctioneer you couldn’t have targeted previously? We need answers to those questions before we can fully evaluate the Warmaul.
Arena: It’s four mana for a 4/3 but you also get to summon a random two-cost minion out of its corpse. That’s awesome! Maybe you’ll get Millhouse Manastorm without his downside and just his awesome stats! Maybe you’ll get a Doomsayer and accidentally wipe the board! It’s a worthy risk, and a really fun card, you’re going to draft all these Shredders, (yes there’s more.)
Constructed: The same but with mech synergy. I don’t know how often we’ll see these Shredders in constructed, but it’ll certainly be a fun ride every time.
Piloted Sky Golem
Arena: It’s the same as the Piloted Shredder, except with slightly higher stakes.
Constructed: It’s the same as the.. yeah you know.
Arena: You play a Spiteful Smith, wait til it’s got like one health left, then swoop down with the Recombobulator, win the dice roll, and turn it into a Doomguard! You’ll win every game! Seriously though, it’s a two-mana 3/2 with some hilarious upside, you should draft it because you enjoy playing this game, right?
Constructed: To be honest I see less value for this thing in constructed ostensibly because you’ll already be running the minions you want to keep around. It makes much more sense in arena.
Arena: You’re looking at a two-mana 3/2 exclusive to Priest with the ability to take an enemy minion’s attack power down by two for a turn. This will lead to some seriously advantageous trading. Draft them. Draft them all.
Constructed: The Shrinkmeister-the-enemy’s-Ysera-and-then-steal-it-with-Cabal-Shadow Priest-combo is about to become a thing, and it will make you lose your mind. Shrinkmeister will be in every Priest deck.
Sneed’s Old Shredder
Arena: See the other Shredder entries, except this one is eight-mana for 5/7 and summons a random LEGENDARY out of its dead body.
Constructed: It summons a legendary, either you’re down with that or not man.
Arena: A basic, vanilla three-mana 3/4, and unlike the Dark Cultist, everyone can run this. Those are great stats. Draft this thing.
Constructed: This is a pretty basic card. It’s a mech, so there’s that. Maybe it’ll have a spot in Ramp Druid?
Arena: Three mana for a 3/3 with a battlecry you probably won’t be able to use. File this under Murloc Warleader and Southsea Captain in terms of arena picks.
Constructed: I think this is the strongest of the potential mech synergy postulations. Basically if you have a mech on the board when you play this, it turns into a 4/4 and you get a spare part into your hand. Spare parts are pretty basic, but they can help! I expect to see this card as a mainstay in any decks that rely on mech bonuses.
Arena: You play it for two mana and get a random minion back that now costs three less. Maybe that gives you back a free Harvest Golem! Maybe it’s a Fire Elemental that you can play next turn! I’m going to be drafting this a ton in arena.
Constructed: I think you’ll see a lot of Unstable Portal in Aggro Mage and Secrets Mage. Maybe not as much in more late-game combo decks, but I really don’t see any significant downside to Unstable Portal. It’ll hit far more than it misses.
Upgraded Repair Bot
Arena: Five mana for a 5/5, if you have some other mechs in your deck it’s an added bonus.
Constructed: It really all depends on whether or not Priest start running mechs. If they do, expect the Repair Bot to be a mainstay.
Arena: It’s like Mark of the Wild but for Priests, which means you’d probably rather be drafting a minion over this card.
Constructed: You’ll be seeing this a lot. It’s just a generally good buff in a class that relies on keeping its minions alive, and the added spell power opens the door for some crazy Prophet Velen wombo combos. We shall see!