For full list of cards in The Grand Tournament, check out this dedicated post.
I’m Camzeee, a multi-legend ranked Hearthstone player and long-time contributor to HearthstonePlayers.com. I’m a Hearthstone Coach with hearthstonecoaching.com too so check that out if you’re looking for someone to help your game.
Welcome to part 6 of my card review/predictions of the new Hearthstone expansion – The Grand Tournament. If you haven’t already, check out my other reviews covering The Grand Tournament here.
For each card, I’m going to rate it from a scale of Terrible, Bad, Average, Good and Great. It’s hard to predict just how well certain cards will do, but I’ve done them for the last expansion and also expanded my knowledge of Hearthstone a considerable bit so I’m willing to stick my neck out and make my predictions for how each card will perform.
Let’s get into part 6!
This card is another odd legendary. On your opponents’ turn, he might as well be a 0/9 because minions don’t have to hit Bolf in order to hurt him. They can hit face or just trade into your other minions instead since this doesn’t have Taunt. In theory, he does well against aggro decks to preserve your hero’s life, but I don’t think he’s really going to be that great against them because of the aforementioned drawback of him being hurt without needing to take damage.
He’s still weak to silence, and against slower decks, he’s far outclassed by the other six drops that dominate the meta such as Sylvanas Windrunner and Emperor Thaurissan. I can see him being an anti-aggro tech on occasion, but I can’t see him really making enough of an impact to warrant inclusion in most decks. If you want anti-aggro, Antique Healbot does a solid job and Sludge Belcher offers a similar amount of bulk for a mana less as well. He’s interesting for sure, and it’ll take some experimenting to see how effective he will be. I’m going to be cautious with my prediction and rank him as average.
In arena, he’s pretty decent. 3/9 stats is great for trading at all stages in the game, and he can keep you alive a few turns longer too if you’re worried about burst. He’s not top tier, but he’s above average I’d say.
This card is weak overall. Silver Hand Knight is a pretty comparable card, and I’d say Recruiter is easily worse than the Knight. Because the Squire gets put in your hand and not immediately onto the Battlefield, you need to play the Squire out of your hand where it gets subject to summoning sickness. You also need to use your hero power in order to generate the Squire, so in total, the Squire is effectively a 3 mana 2/2. In order to get the Recruiter and the Squire out in the same turn, it’ll cost 8 mana compared to just the 5 mana from the Silver Hand Knight.
The Recruiter is just too slow overall and will not see any constructed play. There are stronger Inspire cards out there if you’re building a deck based on the archetype. Silver Hand Knight is also never played in constructed, and since this is almost always going to be worse, it won’t see play either.
In arena, this card is below average too. It can yield some strong value if you can keep it alive or you’re ahead on board, but without hero powering, this card is just a 5 mana 5/4 and that trades very poorly overall.
Saboteur is the Loatheb of hero powers. It’s got a pretty average 3 mana body of 4/3. The Battlecry is nifty but unlikely to really make an impact. Compared to Loatheb, it falls quite short because a good player generally will be happy to skip their hero power and play cards out of hand. Loatheb on the other hand makes it very difficult for the player to deal with from an empty board or to board clear. This card is more or less a minor nuisance and not much more.
I can’t see this card making a significant metagame impact, even if Inspire decks do prove to be successful. The cheap and relatively weak effect of the hero power isn’t worth shutting down most of the time, and you’d be replacing a pretty valuable spot in your deck for this card with average stats. I don’t think it’ll see play unless Justicar Trueheart is somehow the best card in the expansion and hero powers are running rampant. It’s nice that they introduced this card, but it’s probably too early for it in constructed play.
In arena however, this card is above average. A 3 mana 4/3 is decent enough stats to be playable, and shutting down a hero power for a turn is pretty good especially if you anticipate your opponent needing to hero power the next turn. It’s not amazing, but it’s a strong card with a niche effect that can seriously disrupt turns.
This card is a pretty decent basic addition to the card pool. It’s a straight +1/+1 upgrade on the Chillwind Yeti and that’s strong overall in arena.
In constructed, this card won’t see play because there are far more effective cards in the 5 mana slot. However, a new player who happens to stumble upon this card might use it as an upgrade on the basic cards if they’re really looking for something to fill the 5 mana slot.
In arena, this card will see a lot more play. 5/6 stats are excellent for trading with other 5 mana or less minions and it matches up well with most other cards. It’s not the stickiest card and it dies to Fireball too easily, but it’ll do well most of the time and it’s a reliably sized body which gives arena decks more consistency. I’d pick it up above average for sure.
This card is underwhelming. Spell power minions are typically understatted for what they really offer, and this card is no exception. What makes this card worse than say a Kobold Geomancer, is its inability to combo well with high cost board clears. You could play the Geomancer and Flamestrike on the same turn and that’s what made it useful. This card doesn’t have that ability and it sports a relatively weak 2/6 body too.
This card will obviously not see any constructed play. Azure Drake is far superior to this card for just one mana more, and the Snobold’s problem with being too expensive is exposed even more in constructed where tight synergies are the basis of the deck building process.
In arena, this card is below average. It does have 6 health which isn’t the easiest to remove right away, and if it lives and you can combo some damage spells together. However, having just 2 attack makes it a weak play on turn 4 and it’s hard to see how this card can help you reverse a losing board state.
This card is a pretty run-of-the-mill basic Inspire card. It’s not going to make waves in constructed since it doesn’t have any real synergies to capitalize on and for an early drop, it doesn’t fit too well in either a constructed or aggro archetype.
However, it will be a pretty good card in arena, especially in tempo oriented decks. Rogue would love to have this card for instance since they can Backstab early threats while developing their own board which will give this room to breathe and grow.
I’d draft this card above average in arena. It’s better than the basic 3/2 Bloodfen Raptor and if you can get this on the board first, you can hero power in the subsequent turn to make it a 3/3 which trades favorably against most other 2 drops.
This card is one of the most RNG heavy minions in the game. I did the math on what the likelihood of getting good beasts is, and Ram Wrangler actually has RNG on its side. 65% of the time, it’ll get a beast that is above 2 mana cost which makes this pretty great overall. If you consider that this card is effectively a 3 mana 3/3 with an ability to put a random beast in play for 2 mana, it’s actually pretty strong. It can easily net you an insane beast like Gahz’rilla or Malorne which is almost instantly game winning.
I’d say this card is good in the right sort of constructed Hunter deck with beast synergy. None of the beasts you can get are going to hurt you like Doomsayer out of a Shredder can which makes this always at least decent. I compare this to Bane of Doom and that card is pretty good with some great upside. It’ll likely need to be built around, but Ram Wrangler is a strong card and definitely encourages Hunters to try a new style of play. I’ll happily give it a shot!
In arena, this card is entirely dependent on whether you can get beasts to combo with. Without them, this card is one of the worst 5 cost minions in the game. With it, it’s fantastic. In my experience, Hunters typically get at least a handful of beasts so be sure to pick some up if you get a chance to draft this card.
Its card text is powerful, but that’s about all that this card has going for it. It has abysmal stats of 7 mana 4/2 which makes it one of the worst cards to play out on its own. It basically requires that you combo it with Unleash the Hounds or some form of spell damage targeting your opponents’ minions. This requirement to combo for value diminishes the value of the card especially because it costs so much mana to play.
If you can use it effectively in combo with Unleash, you can clear any board, but that’s a 10 mana play, and if you can get to 10 mana as a Hunter, you should have won the game already or are in the process of closing it down. This card is just overall poor and I don’t expect it to see any constructed play at all.
In arena, this card is even worse somehow. Because there’s no way you can reliably get cards to combo with it, it’s just awful to have in a deck when you’re behind. If you’re ahead, you’d be playing a 7 mana 4/2 that allows you to trade your minions 1 for 1. Whoopee. I’d never draft this card. I’d pick Millhouse Manastorm over this card in arena.
This card in contrast to Acidmaw is actually not too bad. It doesn’t synergize particularly well with Face Hunter since so many of those minions have just 1 health. But against other token classes like Paladin or in a Midrange value Hunter, this card can be quite a useful anti-aggro tech. It’s hilariously bad against Grim Patrons but if you’re not up against those, it can be very useful to apply finishing touches after an Unleash the Hounds.
I’m hesitant to say it’s a good card in constructed, because it doesn’t fit well in either of the most popular Hunter archetypes right now. But if a Lock and Load Hunter emerges with control elements, this card can be useful for doing some much needed Area of Effect damage. Of course, it also combos perfectly with Acidmaw to clear any board but the prohibitive cost of that (10 mana) means it won’t be played for that combo alone.
In arena, this card is around average. It compares most similarly to Baron Geddon but at a lower mana cost. It is a legendary minion however, and usually, you’ll have better options to choose from at that rarity.
This card is a little weak overall. A 3 mana 4/2 doesn’t inspire confidence, and its effect is pretty situational. It’s essentially a win-more card similar to Argent Protector. That card is overall stronger than this one since it can apply to any minion type yet it’s rarely played.
I can’t see this making an impact at the constructed level because of this, even if Beast Control Hunter becomes a reality. It’s just too specific and its base stats aren’t good enough for this card to be played on its own.
In arena, this card is slightly better especially if you have some beast synergy going. A 4/2 for 3 mana is still below average, but the likelihood of minions staying alive between turns in arena is higher and this is able to provide some decent swing potential.
I like this card. It’s what a control oriented Hunter needed – board clear. This card is a mini Consecration for a mana less. It’s overall pretty strong for clearing early threats and it’s good that it comes out on turn 3 where it’s rare that the opponent can flood the board with more than 3 minions. It’s good against aggro, but also does work against more controlling token decks like Midrange Paladin and Shaman (which is likely to see a revival).
I can see it fitting in a number of Hunter decks including spell decks with Lock and Load or just a slower Deathrattle or Midrange variant. 3 mana for this effect is very useful overall and it’s a solid card if a little unexciting.
In arena, this card is great. Board clears are premium cards in arena, and even more so now that there are more minion threats than ever and removal is harder and harder to come by. I’d draft this very, very highly probably in the top tier of Hunter rares.
Another quality card for Hunter here. While it may not be very good in constructed because of its relatively weak stats of 2 mana 3/2, it is a great card in arena. It is essentially a Bloodfen Raptor with a chance to draw a card. That is pretty amazing in arena since it compares favorably to Gnomish Experimenter and that card costs a whole extra mana.
In constructed, I can’t see it finding a place unfortunately, because even in a Control Hunter deck, there are a number of cheap but crucial minions like Mad Scientist which make winning Jousts quite difficult. It also has rather uninspiring stats, and the combo and spell nature of control decks doesn’t lend itself well to winning Jousts and drawing a minion.
As already discussed, this card is outstanding in arena. It encourages you to draft a slightly higher curved Hunter deck (which I think is very viable already), and gives the possibility of card draw. Even if it doesn’t hit, it gives you a little insight into your opponents’ deck and provides a reliable 3/2 body. I’d pick this very highly and only below minions with naturally superior stats.
The irony of this card name isn’t lost on me. It’s hilariously named and actually pretty darn good. You are essentially getting a 2 mana Ironfur Grizzly that comes up when your opponent isn’t expecting it. The biggest draw of this card, is the ability to put these in play off Mad Scientist which makes them incredible value. Just to be clear, the Bear isn’t like Noble Sacrifice. It does not redirect an attack aimed at your hero at the Bear instead. The initial attack on your hero will succeed and the Bear will spawn after the attack is complete.
Players are already scared of attacking a Hunter’s face for fear of Explosive Trap and this card just makes that fear even greater. Its greatest asset is that it’s really disruptive. An opponent who thinks he might have lethal can attack face with a token looking to pop another trap but instead run into this and then need to re-sequence all his attacks. I think it’s a great card for a Midrange or Control Hunter, because it gives the class a Taunt to deal with the cheap 2/1 tokens of an aggro deck and not at the expense of Tempo since Mad Scientist can be used to put it in play.
Overall, I think it’s a great card in constructed and a pretty good one in arena. Getting a 2 mana 3/3 with Taunt is good whenever you get it, and if you can get a Mad Scientist, it’ll be outstanding. This is a really solid secret overall, and I expect it to be popular in all game modes.
This is a difficult legendary to evaluate. On the one hand, it’s got horrible stats of 6 mana 4/4. On the other hand, its effect is very powerful and in a slow deck, it can be absolutely devastating. Imagine buffing your Whirling Zap-o-matics to 4/3s or your Piloted Shredders to 5/4s. That’s a big difference and it will pay off in the long run.
However, the steep price of having to play this card at a tempo loss will probably cause it to be no more than a novelty and lack the consistency needed to make it in competitive play. I compare it to Sword of Justice. That card is very strong of course, but it’s also very slow and it hasn’t been able to find a home in any Paladin deck. That card’s tempo loss also comes down on turn 3 instead of turn 6 and yet the recurring effect of +1/+1 doesn’t really make it worthwhile.
This card I feel will end up being the same. The 6-drop legendary slot is very competitive, and it just can’t compete well enough with Emperor Thaurissan in a combo deck or Sylvanas Windrunner in a Midrange deck. I’m not sure what deck this card fits in better than either of those cards in, and that makes it a hard sell.
In arena however, it’s a superb card. Because of the average quality of minions in arena, being able to give them all +1/+1 until the end of the game is a huge buff and will help in long drawn out games. I’m hesitant to call it “great” because there are other more instantly impactful legendaries, but this one is certainly above average.
Wow talk about a heavy Overload. This Overload is extreme. If for some reason you had to play this on turn 3, you’d be left with no mana the next turn to do anything. The best turn to use this card is turn 6 where you’d at least be able to hero power the subsequent turn. Even so, the fact that this card hits your own minions as well is a real drawback especially in a Shaman class that is so heavily focused on board control and totems most of the time.
Ideally, this card fits into a Shaman deck that doesn’t play any minions i.e. a Malygos Spell deck. Even in there, the crippling Overload from this card makes it very difficult to justify. It’s like an Ysera Awakens but that card hits Face as well so it can be used to burst if need be. This can’t even do that which makes it quite a bit worse. The good news is, Shaman does have a card to negate Overload in Lava Shock. This is a life saver if it is used in tandem with this card either the turn it’s played or the subsequent turn. It’s the only reason I think this card can be played in constructed with any amount of success.
In arena, this card, while super powerful, just isn’t worth the drawback most of the time. Having a big board clear is absolutely premium in arena, but as discussed, the fact that it hits your own minions makes it so much worse than Flamestrike with a total mana cost of 8 mana if you count the Overload. If you are forced to play this, your subsequent turn is so weak, that your opponent can just reload the board with threats and you’re right back where you started. I wouldn’t draft this very highly, but a one-of in a slower Shaman deck might be viable.
This card is another one that is difficult to evaluate. The effect is basically that of two Deadly Shots and that’s pretty strong especially if your opponent has taken to playing around AoE from Hellfire or Shadowflame.
It’s definitely got a strong effect, but for 6 mana and two discarded cards, that’s a very heavy price to pay. Doomguard is similar, but in exchange, you get a 5/7 charge minion that can give you lethal, give a good trade, and fits a fast paced Warlock deck. This card is suited to a control playstyle – a Handlock essentially – which really doesn’t appreciate the card discards. I can’t see this making an impact on constructed not necessarily because it’s a bad card, but because it doesn’t work well with the two dominant Warlock archetypes.
In arena, this card is slightly more valuable. It can be nice to play this when you’re low on cards to maintain the board and I think it holds more value than a large number of the other epic cards you can choose from.
Eugh. This card is so bad. We did get confirmation from a developer that the Crusher can destroy itself. That basically means this card effectively functions as an 8 mana Deadly Shot from an empty board. That’s abysmal. Yes, it can destroy your own tokens if you get lucky, but if you’re ahead on board to the point where you can sacrifice one of your own minions and take the tempo hit of playing what is essentially an 8 mana 5/4, you don’t need to be playing this card in the first place and should just win already!
If this card said “destroy a random enemy minion”, it might actually be playable (it’d actually probably be overpowered) but it would be closer to playability than this piece of junk. Heck, if they prevented it from destroying itself, it would probably be at least playable since you could control it so that you make favorable trades then Inspire to knock off an enemy minion. As is, it’s beyond unplayable.
In arena, this card is still horrible. Because it can destroy itself, it just sucks overall and you’re getting a 6 mana 5/4 as well which is dumpster Priestess of Elune stats with a worse effect. I’d avoid picking this.
Tiny Knight of Evil
Blizzard are taking a weird direction with the Warlock class in encouraging the discard mechanic. That mechanic lends itself to aggressive archetypes focused on emptying your hand, yet this is an Inspire expansion which means Warlocks are also encouraged to draw more cards and play for value. You can’t realistically do both, and the Tiny Knight is a perfect example of a card that just doesn’t know where to fit in.
It doesn’t fit in a Zoo deck because it’s not sticky enough and its snowball potential is very limited, and it doesn’t fit in a control deck either, because discarding cards is contrary to the control win condition. I can’t see this being played in any deck and it’s hard to envision a deck where this card is really effective. If you can boost it two or more times consistently, it’s a good card, but if you do that, because of the nature of the discard mechanic, you won’t have anything else left to play. It’s rather lose, lose. The only way I can see this being played is out of Bane of Doom.
In arena, this card is average simply because it has a playable vanilla body. The upside of this card will come into effect very seldomly, but it does well enough as a 2 mana 3/2 to compete.
So after Blizzard gives us two weak Demons, we get this bad boy as well to even things out for Bane of Doom. This card is pretty plain but decent enough. A 7 mana 6/8 is a pretty great body as evidenced by the effectiveness of Kel’thuzad. Of course, it’s strictly an arena card, because for 7 mana, this is competing against Dr. Boom or other high value legendaries which it doesn’t have a hope of beating in effectiveness.
In arena, this card is a good pickup. It’s certainly better than War Golem and has some synergy if you can pick up a few Voidcallers to take advantage of its Demon typing. I’d pick it as a big minion if you’re short on them and it gets bonus points for Demon synergy.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the review. Feel free to leave comments and feedback. Some fun cards in here. Overall though, I’m disappointed in the class reveals for Warlock. Blizzard had a chance to make some really fun and interesting cards and instead we got niche cards that are overall pretty weak. Since Warlock is my favorite and most played class I was hoping for better. However, this pessimism for Warlock is contrasted with my optimism for Hunter. I actually really like a lot of the Hunter class cards and consider it probably the second best class in terms of card reveals behind probably Shaman. What class do you think got the best cards in this expansion? Let me know and we’ll talk about it!
See you soon for more card impression from The Grand Tournament!
I am a multi legend-ranked player with Level 60 heroes for every class. My favorite card in Hearthstone is Lord Jaraxxus (gold of course!) and I’m also an arena infinite player with over 800 arenas completed.