Breaking stuff, selling weapons, performing shakedowns and beating up others for fun are the ways of the Grimy Goons, one of the three gangs of Gadgezan and what better classes to represent these violent thugs than warrior, hunter and sham…PALADIN…yes, paladin, because nothing screams paladin more than shakedowns and selling weapons! The Goons, lead by Don Han’Cho, are the street enforcers who use all sorts of weird weapons and have a habit of sticking together, something which is perfectly portrayed in their unique ability to buff other cards in your hand. Today we are going to analyze this tribe and, more importantly, their hand buffing mechanic to see how good (or bad) it really is.
The way of the Goons
At the point of writing this not all Grimy Goons cards have been revealed but enough have been revealed for us to see how this new hand buffing mechanic is supposed to work. Warrior has a way to buff weapons and taunt minions, hunter has cards that buff a single minion while paladin has cards that buff all of his minions. Just by reading this you can see that this mechanic is not equally strong in each class and that one class clearly has a lot better deal going for it than the other two, but the other two have ways of staying relevant.
Hunter is the first of the Grimy Goon classes and so far there are only two cards with the gang mechanic made for it. Those cards are trogg-beastrager and shaky-zipgunner. Both of these cards are similar in a way that they can buff only one minion (trogg being more limiting that zipgunner) and that they have very decent stats for the cost and the effect. A 2 mana 3/2 that buffs a beast in your hand, something that you will most likely have in your hand, is not a bad card and the zipgunner, on top of being a decent 3 cost 3/3 minion, give a huge buff to a single minion in your hand.
While these cards are certainly better than, for example piranha-launcher, I am having my doubts about the Grimy Goon mechanic seeing much play in hunter. It is by no means a bad mechanic and I like the idea of hunter having minions that buff a single random minion as opposed to paladin who has minions that buff all minions in hand, but I don’t think that we will get decks built around it when we already have a crazy synergistic hunter decks in the form of secret hunter and midrange hunter. Zipgunner might find a home in one of those because the deathrattle is too good to pass up but it already competes for a spot with other staple hunter 3 drops and with the newly revealed rat-pack.
When it comes to Grimy Goon mechanic warrior has been faring better than the hunter. Blizzard has been trying really hard for several expansions to push out the taunt warrior archetype but it still isn’t played because the cards are lacking in power and because there are better warrior archetypes out there like control warrior and dragon warrior. Now, with the Mean Streets of Gadgezan, taunt warrior was given some love with the cards i-know-a-guy and, more importantly, stolen-goods.
Goon warrior cards, much like the hunter ones, are more focused on providing a huge buff to a single random minion in your hand though warrior has ways of giving this buff to his weapons in the form of grimestreet-pawnbroker. While warrior does have great Goons cards like grimestreet-pawnbroker, stolen-goods and grimy-gadgeteer it also has brass knuckles which is the worst Goons card that was revealed so far. In summary, warrior’s Goon cards that were revealed so far have more potential than the hunter ones and stolen-goods and grimy-gadgeteer will most definitely find a home in some warrior decks (at least experimental ones).
Now we come to the big daddy of the Grimy Goon mechanic, the one who ironically has the best Goon mechanic despite his Goon membership not making too much sense, the paladin. Unlike the other two previous two classes, paladin fully embraces the hand empowerment mechanic and the results are quite terrifying.
With so many cards that buff all minions in your hand paladin perfectly represents what the Goons are about which is sticking together. Having access to a powerful 2 drop in the form of grimestreet-outfitter combined with a lot of early strong early game minions such as argent squire, knife juggler and even worgen-infiltrator represents a future scenario where we might have to once again deal with a very powerful aggro paladin deck. Playing grimestreet-outfitter on turn 2 with an extra argent squire in your hand and another 2 drop like knife juggler gives you a 1 cost shielded-minibot and a 3/3 knife juggler on turn 3. Out of all three Grimy Goons classes, paladin is without a doubt the most powerful one.
Tri class cards
As you already know by now every gang in the Means Streets of Gadgezan will be getting 3 tri class cards (making it 9 tri class in total). One will discover a card, one will be the gang leader and at this point it is uncertain what will the last one do but judging by the design of grimestreet-smuggler it will most likely further promote the gang mechanic. Now, the three Grimy Goons cards are grimestreet-smuggler, grimestreet-informant and the big boss himself, Don-Han’Cho.
While I do believe that grimestreet-informant will see some play because it is basically a novice engineer which has a chance of drawing you a card which belongs to two different classes, I don’t thing that grimestreet-smuggler will be seeing much play in constructed. Its stats aren’t the best for the cost and while the effect is decent, the main problem is that this card is a 3 drop and all three classes are already packed with good 3 drops.
Don Han’Cho, a 7 mana 5/6 legendary minion with a battlecry effect that gives a random minion in your hand +5/+5 will most likely see some play because its effect is quite powerful. If I were to guess in which deck will this card see play, taking into account the current state of various decks, I would place my bets on midrange hunter. It has a powerful effect, it can hit a lot of high value minions with it and it doesn’t compete for a spot with any other card in the deck. Will this be the case? I don’t know. We will just have to wait and see.
A Grimy future?
So, now that we have seen every Grimy Goons card released so far it is time to try to predict the future and guess how good (or bad) will this mechanic be in the near future. Keep in mind that not all cards have been revealed at this point and that because of that I might be completely wrong with my prediction on the impact of this mechanic.
I would like to begin with hunter. Hunter’s Goons cards are quite decent. trogg-beastrager can be quite good if it hits literally any beast card that is currently seeing play. For reference, hunter beast cards that are currently seeing the most play are the following: fiery-bat, kindly-grandmother, huge-toad, infested-wolf and savannah-highmane. Hitting any of these provides you with huge value. However, it is a 2 drop and hunter already uses 4 of those in its midrange deck but if since some lists that use additional 2 drops like dire-wolf-alpha have found success I guess that it shouldn’t be a problem to make room for trogg-beastrager. Although shaky-zipgunner has a really powerful effect, hunter is already packed with 3 drops. Hunters currently use two copies of animal-companion, eaglehorn-bow, kill-command, unleash-the-hounds and one copy of deadly-shot. Despite this hunter having so many good 3 drops I do believe that at the very least one copy of shaky-zipgunner will find home in hunter decks because its effect is really powerful.
Regarding warrior, well, I don’t really see him using any Goons card other than grimy-gadgeteer and stolen-goods. Warrior is my go to class in Hearthstone, my absolute favorite, and even I am struggling to find a home for its class Goons cards. grimy-gadgeteer most certainly won’t see play in dragon warrior decks, C’thun control warrior already has a powerful 4 drop minion which serves a win condition buffer and an ability activator and control warrior might not care too much about buffing its already huge end game minions. If some sort of tempo warrior deck appears, even experimental one, this card will most definitely see play in it, but current decks don’t really have a place for it. Other Goons card that might see some play at least in an experimental taunt deck is stolen-goods. I am really biased against this card because I honestly don’t think that taunt warrior will ever be a thing and that I would ever want to use it instead of control warrior, but if I’m proven wrong and taunt warrior becomes an actual thing that this card will be a staple in it.
Last but certainly not the least is paladin and I can say, without utmost confidence, that paladin will be THE go to Goons mechanic class. What is better than giving a buff to a random minion in your hand? Giving a buff to all minions in your hand, of course, and that just what grimestreet-outfitter, Smuggler’s run and grimestreet-enforcer do. I feel comfortable saying that the age of aggro paladin is once again dawning upon us. Aggro paladin now has cards like grimestreet-outfitter and Smuggler’s run are a cheap way to buff its powerful low-cost minions, small-time-recruits to fetch 3 1 cost minions for when it is running out of steam and to help you thin your deck and it has other buff cards like blessing-of-kings to buff its minions even further. Right now it does seem like we will be facing a lot of aggro paladin in the near future.
The Goons hand buffing mechanic might seem boring and underwhelming to some but it certainly has its uses and in some cases it is quite powerful. While it is not good enough to create new hunter and warrior decks based around it, it is good enough to elevate aggro paladin to new heights and when a mechanic can make us build an entire deck based around it than I would call that mechanic a successful one (unlike inspire). I am not too thrilled at the thought of facing aggro paladin but at this point I would literally face anything other than midrange shaman. With this article we conclude the Goons week and next week we will explore either Kabal or Lotus. What are your opinions on this new mechanic? Do you agree that we might see a lot of aggro paladin in the near future? Are you excited to play with the Goons mechanic? Do let me know in the comments and if you’ve liked this article do consider following me on twitter https://twitter.com/Eternal_HS. There you can ask me all sorts of Hearthstone questions (unrelated to this article) and I’ll gladly answer them as best as I can. Until next time!