Karazhan Reviews – Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest

In this article I’ll cover the Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin and Priest cards that I haven’t talked about yet. If you want to see previous ones, check out my Twitter! Beast-freakin-Druid. If there is a card that would make the archetype way better, I think this might be it. This card is really insane. Heck, […]

Introduction

In this article I’ll cover the Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin and Priest cards that I haven’t talked about yet. If you want to see previous ones, check out my Twitter!

Menagerie Warden

Beast-freakin-Druid. If there is a card that would make the archetype way better, I think this might be it. This card is really insane. Heck, maybe not even in strictly Beast Druid decks – I can see this being played in Midrange Druid with some Beasts too. Druid has needed a strong 6-drop and it got Moonglade Portal for Ramp and this for Midrange/Beast.

Why is this so strong? Let’s start with stats, 5/5 for 6 mana is decent. I’ll compare it to Sylvanas Windrunner. 5/5 are stats of a 5-drop, so you pay 1 more mana for such a strong effect. And this effect is incredible. All you need is a Beast on the board. Let’s even take the on-curve Druid of the Claw. It’s quite common that turn 5 Druid of the Claw (Taunt mode) survives at full health. Not always, but it happens, right? So, if you follow it up with Menagerie Warden on turn 6, you get a copy of it. Basically, a free 4/6 Taunt. So you end up having a 5/5 + 4/6 for 6 mana, in one card. But, that’s a bold scenario. It will happen, but you can’t always count on it. There are however more Beasts you can play. Mounted Raptor and Savage Combatant are another strong Beasts you can play in such a deck. And both of them can be combo’d with Warden in a single turn, so enemy can’t really counter it.

Then, we also have Mark of Y’Shaarj shenanigans. While you don’t play it in Midrange Druid, in Beast version 2 copies are auto-include. And now, on 8 mana, when you end up with a Beast on the board at the start of your turn, you can give it +2/+2, draw a card AND copy a buffed version. Copying a 4/6 is great, what about copying 6/8? I know, I know, best case scenario. But when it comes to Mark of Y’shaarj, basically anything you copy will be amazing. Druid of the Saber (Charge) + Mark + Warden = 5/5 + 2x 4/3 Charge (which are worth 4 mana – Kor’kron Elite) for 2 cards and 10 mana. Great tempo and great value + can act as yet another way to push the enemy.

I love this card and I’ll definitely use it.

Cloaked Huntress

I think it’s a pretty strong card that MIGHT make Hunter play the Secrets again. After Mad Scientist was gone, Hunter started using less and less Secrets, a lot of the decks didn’t even include any of them, for a simple reason – they weren’t a nice tempo gain any more. Sure, Mad Scientist was broken card, because besides the tempo gain it basically drew the Secret. This doesn’t draw, only gives you the tempo, but it might be enough.

There is a quite similar Mage card already – Kirin Tor Mage – but I’d say that it’s weaker for 2 reasons. First – stat distribution (3/4 > 4/3) and second – it’s limited to “this turn” and only a single Secret. This one makes your Secret cost 0 as long as it’s on the board. So you can play one immediately. If you draw another next turn or 2 turns from now and it’s still on the board, you can still play it.

The card is strong. But will it see play? This one is harder question. The thing is, you want to play it in the deck with quite a lot of Secrets. Maybe Midrange Hunter? But you don’t really have enough slots to put A LOT of Secrets into the deck. You might get value from a single Secret, but this card gets great only if you play multiple, different ones. You can’t play 2x Freezing, you can play Freezing, Bear and Explosive. But, there is a deck that was quite popular after WoG – Yogg’n’Load Hunter. It combines the Lock and Load and Yogg-Saron, Hope’s end into one deck. The deck plays A LOT of spells, including Secrets. The list I’ve seen often play 2-3 different, unique Secrets (so up to 4-6 Secrets in total). I think that’s enough to justify playing this one. Not to mention that besides the Secrets you have in your deck, you often get more Secrets from the Lock and Load.

And here comes interesting thing. If you have 3 unique Secrets in your hand, you can make insane combo with Lock and Load. You play this + Lock and Load for 5 mana and then play 3 Secrets for 0 mana each. You get 3 card draws + if you get another unique Secret, now you get yet another one. It can lead to even more insane Lock and Load turns + playing a bunch of Secrets is very good if you have Eaglehorn Bow equipped + it’s a very nice tempo move + you still have a 3/4 on the board that enemy might want to kill, because once he procs the Secrets you might replay them again.. for free.

So I can definitely see this being played in Yogg Hunter, but then I might also see it in more heavy-Secret Midrange version with 2x Bow and let’s say 3-4 unique Secrets.

Cat Trick

It’s pretty similar to Bear Trap, in a way that you summon a 3-drop for 2 mana when some action occurs. So on the one hand, you get a nice tempo move, but on the other, you aren’t in control of when the minion will be summoned. Jungle Panther and Ironfur Grizzly are comparable. I’d say that Panther is stronger against slower decks (because of Stealth, so it’s nearly guaranteed damage) but worse against faster decks (because it’s not a Taunt and enemy will very likely trade up into a 4/2 minion).

If Mad Scientist was still there, I’d say that it might be a quite strong card. Getting it for free would be amazing tempo move. But playing it from hand is pretty tricky. Most often you’d just prefer to spend that 2 mana and play, you know, a 2-drop which isn’t that much weaker then a Jungle Panther. You get a bonus of additional charge to Eaglehorn Bow (in case you have one equipped). But the most interesting thing is the way you proc it. It procs when enemy casts a spell. Pretty much every deck has some spells, so this part shouldn’t be that tricky. However, it might happen that this will be unprocced for many turns in a row against certain decks. For example – Zoo Warlock. The deck is pretty low on spells and they’re kinda situational, so that Secret might stay in play for multiple turns. Meaning Bear Trap is most likely better.

But then again, this Secret gets one big bonus – it’s a great counter to board clears. Since it procs AFTER enemy casts a spell, if you have a board lead and enemy decides to clear your board, you still end up with something. So you immediately have a 4/2 after that Brawl or Hellfire you can immediately put pressure with and not let enemy regain the board. I think it’s one of the cards that fit into Midrange Hunter more than others – in Face Hunter it’s too slow and in Yogg Hunter you don’t really need minion presence that much. At this point I don’t think it’s going to be played, but we might see.

P.S. If this card will be played, even very rarely, it will make playing around Hunter Secrets even harder. Now it will give you another thing to consider when proccing Secrets. And that’s actually a buff to Secrets in general – enemy will be less likely to play around the ones you play if he tries to play around everything. However, if this won’t see any play, people will just ignore it. See Dart Trap – no one plays it, so people don’t play around it.

Medivh’s Valet

Insane card. And I mean it. Flame Juggler – that’s how damage on a 2/3 2-drop looks like. 1 random point. That’s balanced. This one? This is unbelievable. Yeah, sure, it requires a Secret in play. That’s true. And that’s the only reason why this card will be somehow balanced. It means that it won’t be utilized by more aggressive builds like a Tempo Mage, because they simply don’t play Secrets (and more so long-lasting Secrets). But I think it’s going to be auto-include in every deck that runs Ice Block. After all, you have a 2-drop with a free Darkbomb attached to it. For example, Freeze Mage. Even though the deck is really low on minions, I can’t see it passing something this strong. It will serve as another board control tool AND possible more burst damage at the same time. Since Ice Block is usually up for huge part of the game, this minion should be activated in the mid and late game all the time. Using Frostbolts as a board control tool might be awkward. One? Sure. But second is really necessary for your burst combo, otherwise one Ice Lance gets completely useless. You sometimes end up with a weird scenario where you really need to use Frostbolt, but really don’t want to. This card comes for the rescue.

Then, pretty much any Control Mage deck (like Reno Mage), which runs Ice Block will most likely want to play it. Because why not? In the worst case scenario it’s a 2/3 for 2 and you have a 2-drop that gets really good mid/late game scaling. That’s the best part – you won’t feel terrible for dropping it on turn 2 as a vanilla 2/3 minion in matchups that you need the early board presence. And then you won’t feel terrible for drawing it in the late game when you have a Secret in your hand / in play.

It might also make some people try a Secret Mage. You know, with a bunch of Secrets, Medivh’s Valet, Kirin Tor Mage, maybe even Ethereal Arcanist. Even though it might not work at all, it will definitely be something fun to try. I can see something like a turn 5 Kirin Tor Mage + Secret + Medivh’s Valet an insane tempo turn. 4/3, 2/3, a Secret and 3 damage all for 5 mana.

Even though this card won’t be playable in every Mage, it might fill a niche and make Mage Secrets stronger. Because Mad Scientist getting out of Standard was a HUGE hit to Mage Secrets.

Nightbane Templar

I’m not sure about this one. This card makes sense to play only in Dragon Paladin. But on the other hand, right now the archetype is pretty weak. So the card needs to be REALLY insane to put it into the right tracks. Is it insane, though?

It’s definitely good, but I don’t think it’s good enough. I have two comparisons here. First one is Blackwing Technician – a 3/5 for 3 when you’re holding a Dragon. That’s already a strong minion. I’d say that 3/5 is probably slightly weaker than 2/3 and 2x 1/1, but it really depends on the situation. Nightbane Templar might be followed by opponent’s Ravaging Ghoul and, given no more sources of damage from Paladin, killed for free, leaving Warrior with a 3/1 Ghoul. If enemy drops a 3/5 4-drop, 2/3 + 2x 1/1 can’t even trade into it – 3/5 on the other hand can get 1 for 1. I’d say that 2/3 + 2x 1/1 might be better against multiple small drops, but overall saying that the cards are similar isn’t a big stretch.

Then, we have a Razorfen Hunter. Neutral card, with no Dragon requirements, that gives you a 2/3 and 1/1. Which sees NO play at all, because it’s really weak. I know, additional 1/1 makes it significantly better. And Nightbane Templar is definitely good. But is a 1/1 enough to turn an completely unplayable card to a card that makes a whole archetype viable again? I wouldn’t be so sure. Not to mention that the requirement basically means that if by turn 3 you don’t have a Dragon in your hand (rare cases, but might happen), it’s just a vanilla 2/3 for 3. More than unplayable.

Maybe playing both this and Blackwing Technician will make Dragon Paladin’s early game more consistent. But I’d rather see a good 2-drop for Dragon Paladin, because THAT’S what they were lacking. Dragon Paladin is often forced to Hero Power on turn 2 and that’s very slow. If Dragon Paladin was given something like the Alexstrasza’s Champion or the Wyrmrest Agent, then it would be way better.

Come to think about it, I think that this card is actually comparable to Alexstrasza’s Champion in terms of power level. Probably slightly stronger than Wymrest Agent, but only slightly. Yet, those are 2-drops and this is 3-drop. It would be way better if they made this card a 2/2 and turned it into a 2-drop. So 2/2 + 2x 1/1 if you’re holding a Dragon would make Dragon’s Paladin early game much better and put it int he line with other Dragon classes.

Or even more extreme example – Priest’s Dragon 1-drop – Twilight Whelp. It the “hold a dragon” requirement is met in both cases, it’s 2/3 for 1 mana vs 2/3 + 2x 1/1 for 3 mana. I know it’s an extreme comparison, but that’s… 2 more mana for 2x 1/1. I’m not really sold. All the early cards that require Dragon synergy are on the same level or stronger than this.

I’d really like to play Dragon Paladin, I’ve tried to make it work every expansion, but it just falls short every time. I hope this time it will be different, but I’m not expecting too much.

Silvermoon Portal

Hm, I don’t really like this one. Just like with other portals, you need to look at it this way. Let’s say that average stats of a 2-drop is 2/2, I think that’s fair assumption. So on average, you get a 4 mana 2/2 that with a Battlecry that gives minion +2/+2. Not really great, isn’t it?

Yes, some 2-drops have extra effects. For example, getting Loot Hoarder means you get to cycle a card, which is nice. You might get something like a Totem Golem or even Millhouse Manastorm and then this card is great. On the other hand, Doomsayer is still a thing, so rolling a random 2-drop will always be scary. And there are also some 1/1’s or 1/2’s with no effect whatsoever on the other end.

You wouldn’t really pay 2 mana to summon a random 2-drop. Then you wouldn’t really pay 2 mana to give a minion +2/+2 (it’s like a worse Mark of the Wild). I know that combining 2 effects into 1 card is strong, but I still don’t think that you want to do both of those for 4 mana. If that costed 3, it would be a great card. At 4, not so much.

Priest of the Feast

Weeelll… I really hoped that Priest will get some insane cards. And while I disagree with all the hate for the cards (I’ve heard a lot of voices that they’re unplayable), because I think that 2 of the cards Priest got are decent – they’re only DECENT. Not something that will make Priest a competitive class again. I might try some Dragon Priest because of the neutrals, but hey, Control Priest really got screwed.

But let’s start with the reviews. This card is okay, actually. First the stats – 3/6 might be the best 4-drop vanilla stat line. 4/5 is comparable, but I actually think that 3/6 is stronger right now. Then, all the card needs, besides 3/6 stats is a nice effect. Like you know, Taunt in Twilight Guardian or Freeze in Water Elemental. I actually think that this effect is quite nice. Priest usually loses the game by being rushed down. This seems like both a good card to play on turn 4, because it might very likely get 2 for 1 (or even 3 for 1 against small minions), extra healing is nice. Priest decks are quite heavy on spells, so activating the effect shouldn’t be that hard. I think that you can consistently get those 6 or even 9 points of healing when you need, if it stays on the board. It might actually act as a quasi-Taunt against Aggro decks, as in when you drop it on turn 4, they really want to take it out or else you’re going to cash in on the effect multiple times. Something as simple as Power Word: Shield + Shadow Word: Pain is already +6 healing. It can also turn a Coin or even Circle of Healing into 3 points of healing if you desperately need it and have no more mana to play something.

The card isn’t half bad. It’s actually quite good. But it doesn’t really fix the Priest problems. This card is amazing to play AFTER you board clear already, after you stabilize and when you want to heal back up quite quickly. But if you pass turn 2 and 3 as a Priest, then drop this on turn 4, it’s WAY too slow. And it’s not a problem with this card, but with Priest in general, sadly.

Onyx Bishop

Second Priest card that’s quite strong. We have a 3/4 minion (3 mana) + Resurrect (2 mana) in one card, for 5 mana. Like I’ve said before, combining two cards is quite strong and in this case both cards are worth their mana cost. I actually think that this is a very strong card. It’s kinda meh if you resurrect a Northshire Cleric or Wild Pyromancer (or rather is situational, not meh), but then ressing any 3+ drop might be much more interesting. The dream on turn 5 would be to resurrect an Injured Blademaster. Since the -4 health is a Battlecry, it doesn’t proc and you get a 4/7 minion. 3/4 + 4/7 for 5 mana is a great deal. It might also be a great fit into the N’Zoth Priest. The deck runs quite a lot of high value targets. 2x Shifting Shade, Sylvanas Windrunner, Cairne Bloodhoof etc. Getting any of the Deathrattle cards is pretty cool. And if you hit let’s say Cairne and it dies second time, when you play N’Zoth you might even get two copies back!

What I dislike about this card, or maybe the Resurrect effect itself, is that it means that Museum Curator becomes a way less viable option now. You really DON’T want to resurrect a 1/2 minion. 3/4 + 1/2 for 5 mana is a worse version of Silver Hand Knight – terrible stuff. And also the inherent RNG nature of this card. Sometimes it might straight up win you the game by ressing a Sylvanas. But then other times you get a Northshire Cleric when you don’t even want to draw the cards and you end up with a 3/4 and 1/3. The range of possible outcomes is so big. But honestly, Resurrect has been already tested by Zetalot in many different decks, often pretty successfully. Those decks usually dropped Museum Curator and tried to not play many small minions. And this card is probably even stronger than Resurrect.

We’ll see – I think there is a potential in this card. But once again, so what if Priest will still likely be the worst class in the game?

Purify

While the last 2 cards were okay, this card has to be a joke. It was a chance for Blizzard to save Priest. If the class has got the 2 previous card and some crazy ass dynamite card here, no one would complain. But this is pouring salt into the injuries.

Sooo… Let’s take a moment and compare it to the Silence. A card that NO ONE plays. It costs 2 more mana, so it has to be so, so much better, right? Hmm… It can target only your own minions. Shit. It’s actually a nerf compared to the 0 mana version of Silence. Then, it adds a card cycle… for 2 mana. REALLY? You get a worse version of the 0 mana card for 2 mana, but hey, we’ve added cycle so it’s okay. No, it’s not freakin’ okay. This card sucks.

Heck, reduce it to 1 mana and it will still be unplayable, but AT LEAST might be considered. If you can reduce the card’s mana cost by 1 and it’s still bad, everything’s wrong with the card. To make it good you’d need to reduce mana cost to 1 AND lift the stupid “your minions only” restriction. I wouldn’t mind a card like that. 1 mana Silence + cycle. That wouldn’t fix Priest problems either, but it would be step into the right direction.

But okay, let’s say that someone wants to play this card. In which deck? The one that wants to Silence own minions. I mean, sure, you might get occasional value of silencing off the Aldor Peacekeeper effect or something from your minion, but that’s rare. You most likely want to play it alongside minions like Ancient Watcher or Eerie Statue. But you know what? It sucks even in the deck like that. In the first case you end up with a… 4 mana 4/5, that requires 2 card combo. Okay, I can see that coining out Watcher on turn 1 and then following by this on turn 2 might be a decent combo. But that’s like one of the only times where this card is going to work at all. And the Eerie Statue thing is basically a Flamewreathed Faceless… but it also requires 2 cards. Shaman just drops Flamewreathed Faceless and that’s it. In such a Priest deck, Eerie Statue alone, without any activator, would be useless.

Even if you play this in a perfect deck (which is most likely even worse than the standard list) it’s only passable. It really shows how terrible this card is. And how hopes of Priest being viable again were completely shattered.

Closing

I’ll end this part with this rant about Priest. I mean, come on, Blizzard, I’m not even designing cards and I could fix Priest in 30 minutes. You have MONTHS to develop an expansion and you still manage to screw it up so hard. How is it even possible? Thankfully Priest is not my favorite class, but Zetalot is probably crying in the corner right now. His level of salt were already at dangerously high level, I think he’ll actually have to play some other class now or maybe drop Hearthstone completely. Sad days for Priest mains… But back to card reviews, there will be 2 more – one covering rest of the classes and one covering neutral cards. Stay tuned for those.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. If you want to be up to date with my articles, you can follow me on Twitter.

Good luck on the ladder and until next time!