Full 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 7 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 7!
Blizzard seems keen to add dragons with Taunt in this expansion to appease players who found the archetype underwhelming. Dragon decks have not yet really taken off because they tend to be too slow and unable to deal with the pressure of aggressive decks. There’s been an outcry for Dragons with Taunt that can synergize with the tribe while also providing defense. This card is one of Blizzard’s introductions with the other being Twilight Guardian (reviewed below).
I feel this card is a bit weak overall though. A 7 mana 6/6 Taunt isn’t great. Its Deathrattle is really hit or miss since it can go off sometimes on your opponents’ turn when you’re unprepared. It feels a like a bigger version of Abomination, and that card hasn’t exactly taken over the meta. I dislike that your opponent can kill it whenever it sees fits to get the best deal from its Deathrattle potentially wiping your board. Conversely, if it doesn’t get its Deathrattle off at all, it’s just a big Taunt that gets outclassed by Sunwalker.
If this card were 6 mana I think it’d be playable, but at 7 mana, it’s just too expensive and comes down too late. I might be wrong since it does have incredible board clearing potential, but I don’t think I am. Troggzor the Earthinator also boasted 7 mana 6/6 stats and it really failed to take off.
In arena, this card is better. Again, the Deathrattle can potentially be a liability, but since Dragon synergy is hard to come by, it’ll usually just be a 7 mana 6/6 Taunt which is about average among legendaries.
As discussed with Chillmaw, Blizzard wants Dragon decks to take off and their solution is to provide Dragons with Taunt. It works in theory and if the Dragons added are of a high quality. This card is merely mediocre. If it doesn’t get its Battlecry off, it’s a really disappointing 2/6 for 4 mana that trades poorly. If it gets its boost, it becomes a 4 mana Fen Creeper. That’s not exactly a big boost. If it became a 4/6 I think it might be good enough, but as a 3/6, it just becomes a meat wall without meaningful board presence.
I feel a little frustrated with some of Blizzard’s design choices in this way. I feel like in this expansion, they’ve kind of gotten scared of making cards strong or at least at a power level that makes the card objectively good. Last expansion, they went a bit too far in giving Piloted Shredder 4/3 stats for instance, but this time around, they’re knocking a stat point or two off where I feel it would bring cards to playability. One extra attack here does a lot to make the Guardian overall stronger against the metagame and it’s a shame they just didn’t feel it deserves it.
In constructed, this will be trialed, but I’d be very surprised if this card gets picked over Twilight Drake which is a better 4 mana Dragon overall since it has 4 attack and will be of a similar size by turn 4 in a slow Dragon deck. This card isn’t bad, it just isn’t good and I want a GOOD Dragon.
In arena, this card is slap-bang average. It’ll often be just a 2/6 for 4 mana since Dragon synergy is difficult to build around. That’s below average, but the times it does get its Battlecry it’s a good card and in the inconsistent epic pool, it’s not a bad pickup.
Kripparian rated this the worst card in the expansion and I’m hard pressed to disagree with him. At first glance, it doesn’t look THAT bad. 8 attack is really high and it can hit super hard IF the Ogre chooses to obey orders. However, its low health and its unreliability make it a pretty ginormous bust. It has no chance at all of seeing play in constructed. 8/5 stats are just horrible and the fact that it will often miss will make it one of the most frustrating cards to play. This card could probably be an 8/8 and still not see constructed play.
In arena, this card is pretty bad as well. It’s not quite in the garbage tier with Secretkeeper and the like, but it’s certainly bad and below average for rares. Overall, this is one of the worst cards in the set. Oh well.
This card is a really nice addition to the common card pool and will change arena significantly. It makes Core Hound look like absolute ass with its reversed stats of 5/9. We already know that it’s better than the Core Hound because of the precedent set by Ancient of War. The 5/10 version of the Tree is far superior to the 10/5 variant and this is exactly the same.
It won’t likely see play in constructed because it gets outclassed by other 7 drops such as Dr. Boom or Gahz’rilla in Hunter where the beast synergy could matter. The other class that would like this is maybe Druid, but Ancient of War is just better overall unless the Druid beast synergy cards really take off.
However, in arena, this card is a monster. Ancient of War is an incredible card in arena, and this card functions similarly except for all classes in the common card pool. It truly is a scary prospect knowing that your opponent could drop this with the regularity that you see a Chillwind Yeti. Currently, the only way you can really take this out efficiently is with hard removal. It’s probably THE best 6+ minion in the common card pool because it doesn’t die to Fireblast + Fireball and 5 attack is enough to beat just about anything you’ll face. I’d take this over any neutral common minion except maybe Piloted Shredder because that card is totally fair *cough*.
This is a pretty neat card that I think will succeed in slowing the arena meta-game down. A 4 health heal is not too shabby at all, and it comes with a fairly costed body as a 3/5 for 4 mana. Compared to Priestess of Elune, this card is amazing, and it’ll work well in the slower board control decks.
Zombie Chow has already shown that a heal for your opponent as a drawback isn’t that bad and this is better than Chow in that regard, because you can choose when you give the heal to your opponent. I don’t think it’s better than Earthen Ring Farseer though in the decks that are looking for a mid-game heal. A 3 health heal as opposed to a 4 isn’t a big difference, and the Farseer’s ability to use that heal on minions as well gives it more utility. I can’t see this being played in constructed because it doesn’t make a big enough immediate impact like Antique Healbot or compete well enough with the versatility of Farseer.
In arena, this card is a lot more enticing. It’s a pretty good pick-up overall since board control rather than face damage is what matters. The heal for your opponent won’t likely matter if you’re ahead on board, whereas the heal for yourself can get you out of some sticky spots where you had to take face damage in order to secure board control. It gets extra value in Rogue and Warlock decks as a result.
R.I.P. Booty Bay Bodyguard. This card is a straight upgrade on that card, and at the same rarity no less. It won’t make waves in constructed play because it has no natural synergies. A Sen’jin Shieldmasta is a superior common Taunt because of its 3/5 stats which trade better with the ubiquitous Piloted Shredder.
However, it will be a very playable card in arena. 5/4 stats are still inferior to the 3/5 from Sen’jin in arena, but it’s a solid Taunt minion that can trade well with more expensive cards and can actually be better than Sen’jin when facing down more expensive minions with its higher attack. I’d draft it above average.
This card is interesting to note because it’s the second example of Blizzard being happy to just straight upgrade some of their weaker cards in the basic set. I’m fine with this, since they’re upgrading some of the worst cards. I don’t consider it power creep because they’re not making upgrades on already good cards. If they made a 5/4 Piloted Shredder, I wouldn’t accept that, but this is fine since this doesn’t impact constructed play and helps round out the card pool in arena a little better.
Dragonhawk Rider is a pretty average card which will likely be limited to arena play. It’s not a bad card in that mode though, because a 3 attack Windfury minion is actually a pretty large threat. It won’t always be able to make use of its Inspire, but it’s good because it makes your opponent wary of it, and they might prioritize removing this over one of your larger minions to prevent damage.
It’s not going to see constructed play because there are better Inspire minions out there. It compares unfavorably to Whirling Zap-o-matic which costs just 2 mana for Shaman and it doesn’t even have the condition of Inspire for its Windfury. It’s not the worst card, but it’s just not good enough to warrant inclusion in a constructed deck.
In arena, this card will play a bit like Raging Worgen. It’s above average and can trade into two smaller minions. It also gets additional value in classes that can buff its attack and durability like Paladin or Priest.
That’s it for all the common cards in TGT!
I really like this card overall. I think it’s better than Sneed’s Old Shredder because you can get its effect the turn you play it. However, I’m wary of calling it a must-play for Priest. Priest as a class has no shortage of big late game swings. It can play the Shrinkmeister and Cabal Shadow Priest combo to put out a big board, do a straight swing with Mind Control or just play other game breaking legendaries like Ysera.
This card falls in the latter category, but without the guaranteed consistency. It does have RNG on its side though. In over 60% of potential drops, you’ll get something with 9 total base stats or more. What’s great about the Paletress, unlike Sneed’s, is the potential to continue getting value if it lives. A 9 mana 5/4 is very unlikely to live another turn, but if it’s a top deck scenario or you summoned a completely un-ignorable threat, this can continue to generate insane value and it literally is a must-remove. Even one extra turn of this on board will be devastating, even more than comparable cost threats like Ysera.
For that snowball potential alone, I think Paletress is a great include in a greedy Priest deck. If the meta slows down, this card is going to be one of the most annoying cards to play against and to play yourself when you summon the inevitable Lorewalker Cho.
In arena, this card is great. It’s slow, but with less removal around and incredible snowball potential, it will win you games in the slower arena metagame that is coming.
This card is tough to evaluate. I’m pretty sure that it’s below average because its base stats are so mediocre. Priest also is saturated on 3 drops, and this one has no immediate impact. It is effectively a win-more card since its biggest strength is when used in combo with Northshire Cleric and Circle of Healing for a big draw while you’re ahead on board.
Honestly, I can’t see this card being played over the likes of Dark Cultist or Injured Blademaster. Both of those cards have far superior stats and are much more likely to trade favorably with early game minions. This isn’t a bad card in and of itself and we’ve already seen from Emperor Thaurissan the immense power of discounting cards. However, this won’t discount cards in bulk enough to justify its weak body and I’d be surprised if this makes a meta impact.
In arena, this card is a lot better. It is much more likely to live a turn or two, and if it can reduce the cost of two cards, it has gotten great value. For a 3-drop, it’s above average, and I’d draft it.
Spawn of Shadows
Quite like Shadowbomber, this card doesn’t seem to make sense for Priest. Blizzard seems keen to push an aggro Priest variant with direct damage. However, this card is pretty mediocre with weak base stats that match up poorly with the meta game threats. Ideally, you can keep this alive on board for a few turns and use Priest’s hero power to heal yourself for 2 while dealing 4 to your opponent. However, that seems very unlikely because Priest already has a difficult enough time getting board control in the first place.
It’s a weird card overall because it encourages you to hero power in Priest which is really contrary to an aggro game plan since it doesn’t have any associated tempo the same way that a Rogue or Mage hero power can be used for that purpose. Much like Shadowbomber, it’s just a poor card because Priest doesn’t have the tools to make use of it. If this were a Hunter card, it would be dangerously good, but in Priest it’s really rather bad.
In arena, this card is about average. 5/4 stats for 4 mana are passable and the effect will give you a way to end games quickly. This is a good and a bad thing, but I’d hedge on the side of good, since in a worse card scenario, you can hero power your own face to take only 2 damage compared to the 4 your opponent takes.
This card is pretty cool. It’s another Dragon synergy card that gives Taunt. We talked about this a little further up with the neutral Dragons, and concluded that the card needs to provide real value in order to make Dragon decks viable. This card in a best case scenario is a 2/4 Taunt for 2 mana. That’s a pretty impressive stat distribution and I feel like it’ll be at least tried in a Dragon Priest deck.
Dragon Priest currently struggles because it has too many cards that it wants to fit in and not enough consistency. This doesn’t really fix this problem. A 2/4 for 2 mana is great on paper, but it actually trades evenly with a 2/3 which isn’t the best. It also is reliant on its Battlecry, and not getting a Dragon for this to be played with its effect on curve is actually a pretty big swing. For that reason, I can’t rate this as a good card but I’m happy to try it and see how many Dragons a Priest can realistically fit in without compromising its early game.
In arena, this card is probably below average. 2 mana 1/4s are overall weak, but if you can get Dragon synergy, this card is well above average. It’s quite dependent on your Dragon synergy which I sadly feel isn’t likely to be something you can get with any degree of consistency in arena. Because it’s a 1/4 most of the time in arena, it’s a pretty bad card.
This is another situational Priest spell – exactly what it doesn’t need. I’ve been pretty disappointed in most of the Priest cards revealed so far. I just feel like Blizzard doesn’t understand how to help the class. They’ve introduced a bunch of aggro half-pieces and situational cards that don’t add up to the consistency needed for a competitive Priest deck. This card is of a similar nature. It feels a lot like Resurrect, which isn’t a bad card per se, but it’s just so reactive and doesn’t give you any sort of board control or presence.
What Priest needs is more cards like Dark Cultist. That card is obviously powerful, and it was even better when it first came out in Naxxramas as the first 3 mana 3/4. Priest was played for a time post Naxxramas as a Hunter counter and I feel like it needs a similar revival post TGT. The thing is, Priest needs standalone strong cards that give it early game or reliable card draw. A card like Shielded Minibot would be outstanding for Priest – something that doesn’t need a condition and can be played with an ability to trade effectively.
Instead, it gets this card, and it’ll just join the queue of cards that are cute but not going to be played because it dies too fast to aggro and doesn’t have enough late game impact against control. A sad waste really.
In arena, this card is slightly better. The slower metagame means you will have time to pick a nice target to Convert and potentially get a card that has a key Battlecry or effect that you need. It’s not amazing because it still requires that you use up two mana to draw a card essentially, but your ability to choose that card is better than drawing any random one. It’s about average, no more.
Power Word: Glory
This is a bad card overall. It’s like a Blessing of Wisdom except that it heals instead of draws. I’d say it’s better when placed on an enemy minion because it’s a deterrent to pure aggro and encourages trading which you typically want as a control Priest.. It’s a soft check to all-aggro face decks since this prevents them from attacking gung-ho. However, it suffers from the same problem of Blessing of Wisdom and that’s inconsistency. Slap it on a Leper Gnome, and they’ll just trade it into one of your minions and your card will essentially have just healed for 2 health. That’s a pretty bad return for a whole card.
I would rather play Flash Heal, the new 1 mana 5 health heal if I needed a quick heal or Light of the Naaru if I liked the ability to get a Lightwarden. It’s not better than either of those cards and that makes it pretty bad overall.
In arena, it’s actually just terrible. Healing is valued much less in arena. Board control is by far the most important thing and this card doesn’t even get you much healing overall. Your opponent will kill the minion that gets Blessed, and if he gets Blessed, he’ll trade that minion in for a measly 4 health heal. Even if it gets 8 health worth of healing off, it’s still a card that does nothing to the board state and that’s the definition of a bad card in arena.
Beneath the Grounds
This card seems like it’ll fit into a mill style deck for Rogue, but it doesn’t really. Realistically, you’ll need to draw at least two of the Nerubians in order for this card to have been worth it. When your opponent draws the Nerubian, it summons the 4/4 for your board, and then they draw another card. It doesn’t negate the opponents’ draw. We’ve seen this effect before in Iron Juggernaut, and that card didn’t catch on. The reason it didn’t, is because it’s too much of a tempo hit. This card is worse than the Juggernaut. You pay 3 mana and you get absolutely nothing the turn you play it.
Yes, there will be those odd cases where your opponent draws all 3 Nerubians in a row and you get an army of 4/4s for just 3 mana, but most of the time, these cards will just be little bonuses you get throughout the game that you can’t control. It’s possible that these cards are all left at the bottom of your opponents’ deck and you basically spent 3 mana to do nothing for the rest of the game. That’s the worst case scenario. In short, this card just isn’t reliable enough. Gang Up is good in Mill Rogue because it gives you multiple copies of a key card. The Nerubian isn’t a key card, and is just a 4/4 body. Those are good mind you, but having the time to play these is going to be very tough.
In arena, this card is about the same effectiveness as in constructed. Using a whole 3 mana to do nothing is rarely a good thing to do in arena. However, if the metagame slows down significantly, and games often go to fatigue, this card can be quite good since the value of 3 4/4s over the course of the game is actually pretty good for just 3 mana. You’ll have to draw at least two to make it count though, and even if the metagame slows down, that’s hard to guarantee.
This is one of the best pirate tribe cards in the set and it’s merely average overall. A 3 mana 5/4 is actually pretty strong. The reason this card isn’t great, is because the Battlecry is tough to activate because early game Pirates are so weak overall. It has to be run in a Pirate deck otherwise you’d be better off using a different card like Earthen Ring Farseer in the 3-drop slot.
A dedicated Pirate Rogue deck though is actually bordering on playability, so this card might encourage some playtesting. My initial reaction is that the deck doesn’t have enough to hold it together, but I’m willing to be wrong. This card is one of the better Pirate synergy cards, but ultimately, it’s just a pile of stats, and most 4 mana plays like Death’s Bite or Truesilver Champion will still take it out in one hit. The success of this card is heavily dependent on the overall viability of Pirate Rogue, and the jury’s still out on that one.
In arena, this card is average to above average. If you can get a few pirates (and not ruin your deck haha) it can be a pretty nice turn to combo them together to get a 3 mana 5/4. Most of the time though, it’ll be a 3 mana 4/3 which is decent enough on its own to warrant a draft pick.
This card is a pretty nifty addition to Rogue. It is a mini SI:7 Agent, one of the best cards in the game. This card is slightly smaller and combos only for one damage, so it’s not quite as good. However, it’s still above average and makes Ironforge Rifleman look like complete trash. It’s great to coin this out against 2/1s and other one health early game plays. I can see this potentially being used in an aggressive tempo oriented Rogue deck.
It doesn’t fit all Rogue archetypes mind you. It has no place in an Oil Rogue deck for instance which is focused on early game cycle to set up for a big Blade Flurry lethal. For that reason, I can’t really recommend this as a good card overall but I do think it has potential.
In arena, this card is superb. A 2 mana 3/2 is above average stats, and when you coin it out, you can take care of any one drops your opponent might have played. It remains relevant at all stages of the game too, because a one damage shot when combo’d with your hero power can take out a lot of other two drops. Players naturally keep things at two or more health to escape the dagger, so to have this as an extra little ping is a really nice boost. I would draft this very highly but probably still behind the Goblin Auto-Barber in Rogue commons.
One mana 2/1s have to have a very specific purpose for inclusion in a deck. Many of them have instant effects like Abusive Sergeant or Southsea Deckhand, and the other playable ones have Deathrattles that help facilitate the deck’s win condition. This card doesn’t really do that. It doesn’t have an instant effect, and it doesn’t really offer much value when it dies. As a result, I don’t think it will see play, even if it has a favorable tribal in Pirate.
It’s cards like these that make me reluctant to give Pirate Rogue the benefit of the doubt. The tribe has a lot of these types of mediocre cards that have no value outside of being a Pirate. The cards need to offer some real value not available in other archetypes to warrant play. It needs to be able to fire four free missiles for four mana like Goblin Blastmage or deal three damage for five mana like Blackwing Corruptor. Without these so-called “over-powered” effects, a tribal deck isn’t going to work well. Sadly, this card doesn’t offer amazing value and its body is underwhelming too especially in an Inspire themed expansion where ping hero powers will dispose of these very easily. I’d be surprised if these see play, even if Pirate Rogue becomes a competitive archetype.
In arena though, 2/1s are pretty good and this one is one of the better ones, since it demands removal or else it grows to have 3 or more damage and is suddenly a rather relevant trading threat. I would draft one or two of these in an aggressive curve for tempo. It’s about average overall.
I think this card is a bit average all around. It’s a much more playable version of Naturalize but that’s not saying much. This card isn’t the best at its job, since it does have that drawback, but it’s certainly better than anything Druid has at this point. The chances are that the minion your opponent gets is going to be below average and that trade-off for the potential removal of a game-ending threat like Ysera is worth it.
It naturally fits a slow Ramp/Control Druid, and that archetype has extra incentives now since the introduction of Druid’s new legendary Aviana. It also fits in somewhat in a tempo oriented Druid where the drawback of an additional minion isn’t likely to matter if you can end the game with a big Savage Roar before your opponent can respond. I can see it being experimented with in a few Druid decks as hard removal if the meta slows down. I’m not sure how big of a drawback the free minion is at this point. The playability of this card hinges on that.
In arena, this card is around average too. By using this card, you’re essentially telling your opponent that the card you removed is worth two cards and 3 mana. Maybe that Boulderfist Ogre is worth that, maybe not. But it’ll have its moments, and I do think it’s better than Naturalize since you’re not giving them something from their own deck.
Knight of the Wild
This card looks pretty strong in the right decks, but it’s really not that exciting. In order to get its cost down to fit its stats, you have to summon at least one Beast. In a Beast Druid deck, I guess that’s not too hard to do. But even so, a 6 mana 6/6 is nothing special. This card is always going to be no more than a pile of stats. In order for this to really be worth it, it has to be played for 4 mana or less, and it has to come down early too, and that’s difficult to do with Druid.
I can’t see this card being all that great since it kind of sits in your hand until maybe turn 7 or 8 when it can come down for cheap. By that point though, you either have a strong board to threaten lethal with Savage Roar or are behind and a 6/6 isn’t going to stop damage from hitting your face. If this had Taunt it would be a much better card, but alas it doesn’t. The other problem is, by the time this is discounted enough to be worth the stats to mana ratio, it probably won’t matter in Druid since it’ll be low on cards and will just be playing minions one at a time anyway. Druid has always been a class that plays a few bigger minions over many small ones. This card is one of the big ones, so even if it costs 5 mana, you’re probably gonna just play this and hero power anyway. I don’t think it’ll see play unless a fast Beast Druid comes up that can consistently make this a card that cost 4 mana or less.
In arena, this card is around average. A 7 mana 6/6 is passable I suppose, and if you get any of the number of class beast cards that Druid now has access to, this becomes much more enticing. I’d draft it middle of the pack.
Wildwalker is a 4 mana 4/4 which is below the acceptable vanilla stat line of a 4 drop. So in order for it to see play, it has to have a pretty nice effect to justify its stats. I compare it to Dark Iron Dwarf and it comes in a little behind that in effectiveness. Its effect is clearly aimed at making Beast Druid viable, but I’m not sure that a 3 health buff is what’s called for. If you consider the early game beasts that Druid might play, it has Druid of the Flame which is mostly going to be a 2/5. Adding 3 health to that doesn’t really help it trade more effectively. The same applies to Haunted Creeper since that has just 1 attack.
The one Beast card that could consistently get a good boost from this is the new Druid of the Saber (2 mana 3/2 with stealth). The 3 health boost there is a really welcome addition and allows it to make a nice trade and stay alive. That’s one niche for the Wildwalker, but I think it’s just too specific. There aren’t enough early game Beasts around that this will be able to buff consistently. It also has weak stats so if it doesn’t get its Battlecry off, its a lackluster card to play out on its own.
In that regard, it’s similar to Houndmaster, but Houndmaster’s buff is actually a lot more relevant. A +2/+2 boost with Taunt is a much better buff. It makes Haunted Creeper an offensive threat, it would make cards like Druid of the Flame into formidable 4/7 Taunts instead of the ignorable 2/8s from Wildwalker. I just don’t think it’s a good enough buff and that’s what will make it a poor constructed card.
In arena, this card is a lot more playable. 4 mana 4/4s are below average there too, but they’re acceptable enough and if it can buff a Beast, it actually gets above average value. I wouldn’t count on that, but it’s nice when it works.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my reviews. I’ve had a lot of fun reviewing these cards and I’m really looking forward to actually playing with them in a week’s time. Overall, I feel that the set is interesting but definitely a lot more toned back in power compared to GvG. There are no auto-include cards like Piloted Shredder and Dr. Boom, as far as I can tell, and that’s probably a good thing.
However, a few of the classes got disappointing cards and I’m worried about Priest, Rogue and Warrior (in arena) since their class cards don’t seem to have fixed their inherent weaknesses. Shaman on the other hand got a number of very powerful cards that it needed and the other classes got some nice cards to change up their playstyle.
What classes do you feel will benefit the most from TGT? Let me know and we’ll talk about it!
Thanks for reading and I hope it was entertaining! Feel free to bookmark these reviews and come back to them in a few months. I know I will be, and it will be entertaining reading back and seeing how good I was at predicting (or not!)
I look forward to battling all of you when the new card set hits. Can’t wait!
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.