Goblins vs Gnomes: More Cards, More Impressions Part 5

Welcome to Part 5 of my GvG card review! There are a lot of new exciting cards in this part of the series. Are you ready for Goblins vs Gnomes?

Introduction

Welcome to Part 5 of my GvG card review series! If you’re not caught up, here’s Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

This part is for the remaining Druid, Hunter and Rogue cards from GvG as well as some neutrals.

Here we go starting with Druid.

Card Analysis

Malorne

Class: Druid

Grade: B

This card has serious competition in the Druid 7 slot, and that’s its biggest problem going forward.

Blizzard seems to want to push Druid into the late-game more by giving them hard removal in Recycle (next card reviewed) and longevity (Tree of Life).

This card fits that mould by playing an insanely long game acting like a Phoenix – rising from the ashes. Its stats are formidable for a 7 drop – one of the best in fact – and it’s a Beast as well which has new found synergy with Druid of the Fang.

The weakness of this card is its lack of a secondary trait or effect. The turn it hits the board, it might as well be a war-golem. For this reason, I can’t see this becoming a Druid cornerstone.

Faster, more combo’y variants are still likely to dominate in the constructed metagame which has no room for a Legendary as slow as Malorne. However, if there is a shift for whatever reason, this is not an unreasonable card and can get great value over the course of a game if you can play it 2 or 3 times.

In arena, this card is above average. It hits like a truck and gives you more trucks to hit with when it goes down. Win-win.

Recycle

Class: Druid

Grade: B

Other people rate this worse than I do because I feel they underestimate the crucial niche this fills for Druid.

If this were any other class, this would be a C+ card since it doesn’t actually get value, just a more prolonged form of tempo.

But Druid needs a card like this. The only form of hard removal the class has is naturalize which is a notoriously poor card for card play. They need a good hard removal so they can actually win control matchups more reliably.

This card’s big advantage over a lot of the other hard removal cards like siphon-soul is that it ignores any Deathrattles the card may have.

If it can hit something like a sneeds-old-shredder or ysera this can be game defining. I like to see it as a siphon-soul that silences but wears off once your opponent plays this again.

It has its niche, but it’s definitely weaker than other class hard removals in the daily grind to grind and is a much weaker play in arena, where card advantage decides games more often than tempo.

Dark Wispers

Class: Druid

Grade: C

This card is pretty terrible. 6 mana is a big investment, and neither of these choose one options are particularly good.

You’ll want to use the minion buff more often than the wisps but because it’s a choose one, it loses significant value.

blessing-of-kings is 2 mana cheaper and buffs +4/+4. That card doesn’t see much play in constructed, and neither will this.

So how about the Wisps? They combo with savage-roar right? Yes, but they also die to any type of board clear and wild-pyromancer will burn them alive.

This card is below average in arena as well. You’re paying a lot upfront for this card, and its effect just isn’t quite good enough when compared to say starfire. It’s better in arena than constructed, but it’s still bad there.

This is up there with one of the worst class cards revealed in the expansion.

Tree of Life

Class: Druid

Grade: C+

circle-of-healing on steroids. This card is pretty incredible, but unfortunately, it’s very situational.

It’s tremendous against aggro if you can stabilize, but if it’s turn 9 and you’re still not dead, chances are you’ll win anyway so this card isn’t going to be worth its value.

It’s best used in an extremely slow late game Druid deck, but we haven’t seen too many of those on the ladder recently, so it’ll be a new innovation.

For those that are wondering, if this is played with auchenai-soulpriest on the board, everything dies and the game is a draw.

I can see people trying it out in the early stages, but giving up an entire slot in your deck for this card will likely be too much to stomach.

In arena, this card sucks. It’s worse than twisting-nether and is a big win-more card. I’d pick it even lower than doomsayer even.

Grove Tender

Class: Druid

Grade: B-

This is a strange addition to Druid’s arsenal. It doesn’t really need another ramp card, and since this also gives the opponent a card/crystal, it’s pretty weak.

In fact, overall, I think Grove Tender’s ability helps the opponent more than you.

The reason for this, is that they get the additional card/crystal on their turn with full mana so they can leverage the advantage more than you since you expend 3 mana playing this.

Its stats are a plain 2/4 for 3 mana which is nothing special, no race either. There will be times this can appear to be good like drawing into a game-winning swipe but that’s unlikely and more often it’ll give your opponent ways to keep up with/overtake you.

It looks like an even trade at first, but like I said earlier, it’s likely to help your opponent more than you over the course of the game.

It’s average in arena too because of this and unless you have an insane late-game that you know can overpower your opponent, this card won’t be something you’ll want to pick up.

King of Beasts

Class: Hunter

Grade: B-

Say hi to the ugliest card in Hearthstone! But no joke, it’s quite hilariously cartoonish.

Aesthetics aside, the King of Beasts underwhelms in game terms as well. It is a 2/6 for 5 mana which is pretty poor.

Taunt somewhat makes up for it, but when compared to other 5 drop taunts, it needs one beast on the field to even be on a par with fen-creeper.

It stays out of the “abysmal” rating tier because it’s a beast and has synergies with Hunter, but make no mistake, this is a weak card, and is very unlikely to make a mark in constructed.

It’s average in arena, maybe just about on par with fen-creeper as a high-health taunt.

Glaivezooka

Class: Hunter

Grade: B+

This is a very good card for Hunter and helps their aggressive style out – coming down on turn 2 instead of 3 is really useful for getting control of the board.

It’s similar to Metaltooth Leaper in that it encourages a fast Mech style of play, and the Battlecry makes it relevant in the later game as well.

The Glaivezooka is also a superb card in arena, and helps Hunter drafts out immensely as a Common card.

There’s not too much fancy to say about it, it’s a solid early game weapon, and if not a must-play in Hunter, definitely worth consideration.

Cobra Shot

Class: Hunter

Grade: C

Now from one of the best Hunter cards in the set to one of the worst. This card is abysmal.

It does damage to a minion equivalent to other classes’ two mana spells and has a sinister-strike stapled on. That is effectively 3 mana’s worth of spell damage for 5 mana.

That should tell you all you need to know about the card. I can’t see it being useful in constructed decks in any form.

In arena, this isn’t bottom tier, but it’s certainly below average.

Direct removal isn’t that common so this could be useful in a pinch but its mana to effectiveness ratio is so off that it’s still a bad card.

Trade Prince Gallywix

Class: Rogue

Grade: A-

This Rogue legendary is a pretty unique card.

The closest thing it resembles is lorewalker-cho, which is never played in constructed, but Gallywix is strong where Cho is weak.

First, it has really beefy stats.  5/8 for 6 mana is tremendous and allows it to trade favorably with sludge-belcher, loatheb and other equivalent popular cards.

Second, its effect is very good at deterring opponents’ spells. Gallywix effectively pays for your opponents’ spells with his own special coin which is fantastic value.

The problem with Gallywix, is that he’s joining a Rogue class that is at its most uncertain. Since gadgetzan-auctioneer was nerfed to 6 mana, Miracle Rogue is seeing its last embers of life fizzle away.

Rogue now is in a big state of flux, and a specialty card like Gallywix isn’t really something they can build around. We’ll see how Rogue copes, but it looks like it’ll trend towards a Mech style in constructed.

Gallywix will float around because it is a great card by itself in any meta, but it’s not going to be an auto-include like Vol’jin in Priest.

This card is great in arena. I’d pick it above average for sure but not quite god tier.

Cogmasters Wrench

Class: Rogue

Grade: B

Rogue has access to a number of good weapons, and this one is decent in the right deck.

However, it’s not fantastic, and has about the same power/value as eaglehorn-bow while being dependent on having Mechs on board.

It’s a bit sad that this is an Epic level weapon because it’s more in line with a Rare. This means it’ll be harder to acquire in arena.

I wish that this weapon powered up Rogue’s Mechs instead of needing them to make an impact. That said, a weapon like this encourages heavy Mech play, and when combined with the Iron Sensei, gives Rogues plenty of incentives to at least try out a Mech deck.

As value cards go, this one is a bit below average in a vacuum and thus suffers a bit in arena since you’re less likely to have Mechs on the board.

One-Eyed Cheat

Class: Rogue

Grade: C

This card is fun but not much more. It’s like magma-rager with the potential to have stealth.

It really needs a super heavy pirate deck in order to get value, and even then, it basically acts as a 4 dmg removal spell that comes a turn later.

I can’t see this being played in any competitive decks, and it’s cards like these that make Pirate tribal unviable in the competitive scene. I wish it weren’t this way, but Pirates just don’t have much to work with.

The cards they do have are saddled with poor stats, gimmmicks, or both. This card has a bit of both and unfortunately is really tough to use effectively.

This card sucks in arena even more. It gets easily removed by one attack hero powers and pirate synergy is nigh on impossible to get now that there are more cards in the game.

Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil

Class: Rogue

Grade: B

This is a tough card to gauge. On the one hand, it packs effectively 9 damage into one card, but it’s also combo-reliant.

It’s perhaps most closely compared to deadly-poison. This costs 3 more Mana for just 1 more attack, and if you look at it in that way, it doesn’t seem very good.

But here’s the thing, this card will give you some serious, serious tempo if you can combo it. My first game encountering it, I had an opponent drop a Goblin Auto Barber on a 1/2 weapon and then play Tinker’s.

Suddenly, he has a 6/2 on the board and a 5 atk weapon which took out my chillwind-yeti. I lost 2 turns later.

Little nuance plays like that, combined with Rogue’s unparalleled ability to control the board makes this a lot better than it looks on the surface.

It’s good in arena because it’s easier to get full value out of the weapon charges. I fancy this card to surprise a few people in constructed and there might be a place for it, it just won’t be in Miracle Rogue. RIP.

Mogor the Ogre

Class: Neutral

Grade: B-

This is a strictly just for fun card, but it’s hilarious and will create highlight reel plays. For those that aren’t sure, here’s why it sucks.

First, its stats are weak for a 6 drop. 7/6 is a lot worse than 6/7 because of big-game-hunter. Second, its effect is extremely volatile and hurts you just as much as your opponent.

Don’t get me wrong, this card is a lot of fun, and can prevent lethal. It might even be good if you’re facing a Zoo type deck where the minions are really dependent on getting specific value trades.

But ultimately, it doesn’t have consistency and that’s what competitive players really crave.

In arena, it’s also middling. There are a lot of extremely high value legendaries which are more priority picks than this.

Fel Reaver

Class: Neutral

Grade: B

This card is incredibly fun. It makes the game change instantly, and makes for a pretty strategic game where the opponent tries to mill away your deck while you try to end the game.

An 8/8 on turn 5 is tremendous tempo and if you have board control, this can really do damage.

Problem is, it is bad more often than good especially in constructed where your opponent can string combos together with cheap spells to sink you.

It will win you the game on occasion, but this card is overall not consistent enough to build a deck around.

In arena, this will see play. It can single-handedly win you a game and since you have overall weaker cards, burning a few will likely not matter.

Junkbot

Class: Neutral

Grade: C

This card looks like it could be great. The key part here is “could be”.

Problem is, the Junkbot just requires too much of you and it’s vulnerable to silence.

If this gave you card advantage in spare parts, this might be really strong, but as is, the boost it gets is just not enough while requiring you to trade in your board.

Its weakness to silence and poor stats in constructed is multiplied ten-fold in arena.

Because you can’t rely on having a high number of Mechs to sacrifice for the Junkbot, it’s often a 1/5 for 5 mana which is beyond bad.

If it had slightly more reasonable vanilla stats, I could see this getting traction in constructed, but it doesn’t, and I think it’ll be very hard to justify this card in any deck.

Kezan Mystic

Class: Neutral

Grade: A-

I really like this card. It offers counterplay to secrets, and is well balanced.

It has a 3 mana minions’ body with the conditional Battlecry that allows it to steal a secret. That offers real swing possibility while also being playable as just the body in non-secret matchups.

It’s not going to be played in every deck in every meta, but it does its job well, and if secrets start becoming more prevalent, this will be a great tech card to deal with them.

In constructed it will definitely see play as a secret counter. How often we’ll see it depends on the meta, but I wager that it’ll crop up often especially in the early meta-testing waters.

In arena, this card is also really good. Secrets are picked on occasion and when this hits it’ll get great value. If not, you’re overpaying one mana for this, but its a fair trade for the one or two games where you can swing the secret.

Hobgoblin

Class: Neutral

Grade: B

This card is very unique. It has terrible stats as a 2/3 for 3 mana, but this is offset by a very strong ability in the right situation.

Classes with prominent one health minions (I’m looking at you Warrior) can get incredible value from the Goblin. The effect also stacks, so if you have two Hobgoblins out and play a mana-wyrm, you’ll get a whopping 5/7!

In constructed where you can tailor your deck, this has nice applications. It does mean that you become insanely dependent on it though, because said one health minions are going to be weak on their own.

Warrior especially is going to benefit because of their love of one health minions – armorsmith, acolyte-of-pain and unstable-ghoul.

It’s going to take real determination, but I think it might, might be good enough to throw into constructed.

In arena, this card is very situational but can work. I’d rate it about average in terms of Epics which a lot of are sub par.

Gnomeregan Infantry

Class: Neutral

Grade: C+

This card is effectively a silverback-patriarch with charge. It’s a real shame then that Silverback is such a terrible card because this is a direct upgrade.

It’s hard to see any competitive deck using a card like this unless they’re building an extremely specific deck around hobgoblin.

Even then, this card will often be played as a 1/4 with Charge which is just too weak.

In arena, this card is also below average. One damage isn’t enough to kill most minions and that leaves this out of a job.

It’s not likely to see a whole lot of play in any game mode.

Puddlestomper

Class: Neutral

Grade: B+

This is what Murloc decks needed. A solid minion with race synergy.

Puddlestomper is effectively a bloodfen-raptor with Murloc instead of Beast.

What makes it somewhat above average, is the fact that it has respectable stats as a Murloc, which traditionally has been the race with the worst minion stat distribution.

This has great synergy with the other Murloc buffers like coldlight-seer and murloc-warleader. Murlocs got extra buffs in Shaman too which this can take advantage of.

In arena, I’d rate this above bloodfen-raptor in any class except Hunter. The reason for this, is that Murloc buffs are typically buffs across the entire board even from your opponents.

That means an enemy Murloc Warleader will help you out! It’s a decent card in arena, and I’m sure it’ll be a staple in a Murloc deck if that ever makes a comeback.

Salty Dog

Class: Neutral

Grade: B-

This is a stalagg without the Deathrattle. Stalagg has often been derided as a weak card and with good reason.

7/4 is a really awkward stat distrubution for 5 mana. It leaves it in BGH range, is suspectible to die to a lot of the premium 3 drops, and just doesn’t have enough durability.

That said, as a Pirate, it gets a bit of a boost there. It has synergy with southsea-captain and can trigger ships-cannon among other benefits.

Since a competitive Pirate deck has yet to really surface, it’s hard to say how this will fit, but I’m guessing since it’s one of the higher end Pirates it’ll be used on occasion for the flavor.

Competitively, it just can’t beat the value of the other 5 drops in non-pirate decks and will not see play.

In arena, it’s about average. Since removal is tougher to draft consistently, its high attack will actually matter more and it has the potential to compete with 6 mana minions and higher.

Conclusion

Some fun cards introduced for the classes here. I think out of these, Druid got some pretty average/mediocre ones, Rogue did alright since it has one of the best Legendaries, and Hunter got a decent new weapon to help out in arena.

For the neutrals, these cards with the exception of kezan-mystic are unlikely to see extensive use in Constructed but will feature in arena.

I like that Blizzard added new cards for existing tribes. It gives more incentive for players to want to try out Pirates and Murlocs, and that’s good for the long term future of the game.

Part 6, the final installment, will be out very soon including a review of my personal favorite card in the expansion!