Hey everyone. I’m back here to pick up where I’ve left with the reviews. If you want to check out the previous ones, they’re all linked on my Twitter.
I’ll do a little catch-up first and talk about the cards released a few days ago, and then continue onto the ones from the stream reveal.
Stay tuned for the quick brews I’ll be doing on the day 1 of the expansion too!
Name would suggest that the card might work in Zoo Warlock… But if you want this card to work, you need to make a real ZOO deck and play a lot of different tribals. While the effect is similar to The Curator, as in it affects 3 different tribals, I think the card is way worse. First of all – 3-drops that buffs minions won’t likely fit into the same decks that Curator will. Maybe I don’t know, some Midrange Paladin or Hunter would also like the buffs, but Zoobot would work best in Aggro/Zoo style decks, but that play at least two out of 3: Murlocs, Dragons and Beasts.
The big difference between The Curator and Zoobot is that The Curator works when you have those tribals IN YOUR DECK. With Zoobot, you need to have them ON THE BOARD to work. So basically, when you drop it on turn 3, there is a big chance that it won’t do anything. Just a vanilla 3/3. Maybe give +1/+1 to a minion. That’s an expected effect. If you could get +3/+3 from the card, even +2/+2, it would be really good. But on average, this is a Shattered Sun Cleric with 1 more health, but more situational effect. Because you won’t be able to buff that 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit in Paladin. You won’t be able to buff Demon in Warlock. Basically, you can’t buff anything that’s not of those 3 tribals.
That’s why I think the card won’t likely see play right now. But it’s not a bad card, I could see it playing in a deck that mixes 2 archetypes mentioned above. And “mixes” as in mixes quite heavily, not plays 2 cards from each of them. If you had 5+ Murlocs and 5+ Beasts in your deck (that’s Aggro/Zoo), sure, this would be really nice. But since deck like that is not likely, this card is also not likely to see play.
Medivh, the Guardian
The host himself also showed up for the party. It’s the younger version of a playable Hero we already have in the game. Medivh (minion) will probably have some cool interaction when played in Medivh (hero), but that’s kinda off-topic. Honestly, on the one hand the card is really amazing, because we’ve finally got a neutral weapon – and that’s a neutral CASTER weapon. I’ve seen custom creations similar to that one a lot of times already and I’ve always liked them. On the other hand, the card – sadly – is too slow.
Even though it has a powerful effect that will likely get you A LOT of value – let’s say summon a random 2-drop, 4-drop and 5-drop (some average scenario) – it does nothing immediately. And that’s bad for 2 reasons. First reason is that you play 8 mana 7/7 with no immediate impact. Second reason is that you give enemy time to react. If this minion would ever get popular, people would play weapon destruction in every deck. So this weapon would instantly get countered by Harrison Jones or Acidic Swamp Ooze.
The card will definitely be tested in certain decks, just because how powerful the effect is. Maybe let’s think about the decks that might play it:
- Most likely candidate is any build of Control Mage (so Grinder, Reno etc.) – those decks are HEAVY on spells and a lot of those spells aren’t cheap. Even the most basic things like Fireball or Flamestrike would get a lot of value.
- Another deck I could see this played in is Yogg/Token Druid. Even though Druid has much less high cost spells, it can utilize the minions in a better way. Casting a 0/1 mana spells isn’t a big problem here, because it will give you another small body on the board to buff etc. Imagine dropping this on turn 9 and then following with Living Roots (2x 1/1) + Power of the Wild (3/2 Panther) + Wisps of the Old Gods (+2/+2 buff). A great way to flood the board.
- Control Priest. Priest is kinda low on minions and high on spells. And while a lot of spells are rather low mana cost, there are some highest cost ones – Holy Nova, Entomb, even Shadow Word: Death could probably make it. Then again, Control Priest will most likely be unplayable given how bad this expansion has treated the class…
- RenoLock? Not sure here, because the deck doesn’t run many big spells, but even getting 3-drops and 4-drops could good enough. And RenoLock can often afford to lose some tempo because of all the comeback mechanics it has.
Overall I think the card is amazing and fun, but there might be a problem called “meta”. It will most likely be good on the first days, when everyone plays fun stuff and meta is slower, but when people start playing Aggro decks again… You know, a 8 mana 7/7 that does nothing immediately might be too slow. That’s the reasons why people have generally removed the slowest minions from their decks. Like, no one plays Ysera anymore, even though it’s a great card with amazing value… it’s just a dead card in so many matchups. I can definitely see running it if you don’t face a lot of Aggro, so maybe it will be quite popular in Legend, when a lot of people drop the Aggro and play slightly slower stuff. But on the lower ranks it might be really hard to run it when every second game is against fast deck…
Then – like I’ve said before, if this card even becomes popular, prepare to people playing Harrison or Ooze in every deck. Maybe even both, actually.
I’ve seen this card and my first thought was – “that’s freakin’ broken”. After thinking for a bit I’ve changed my mind – it might not be broken, but it’s definitely a great card. The reason it might not be broken is because Warlocks already have nearly broken 3-drops – Imp Gang Boss and Darkshire Councilman. So it won’t likely see any play in Zoo Warlock right now. It’s less consistent than both of the 3-drops I’ve listed, so I see no reason. But then, a wild Discolock (or Discardlock, meh) appears.
We all know that it doesn’t take much from a nearly unplayable archetype to get into playable or even “great” range. Sometimes 2-3 cards is all it takes. I’d say that Discard Warlock was nearly playable last expansion. I’ve seen Kolento piloting it pretty successfully. Obviously, no one has played it, because the deck was similar to Zoo and Zoo was just stronger. So why play it? But now, there might actually be an incentive. With Malchezaar’s Imp and Silverware Golem, it got buffed quite nicely. Before, the only thing you’ve even wanted to discard was Fist of Jaraxxus. But you generally ended up discarding other random cards much more often. With Silverware Golem, you have another card that you just DON’T play and it sits in your hand and waits to be discarded. And once it does, not only it prevents something else from being discarded, but you get a 0 mana 3/3 on the board. It’s very similar to the Madness mechanic from MTG and I have to say that my favorite deck was Black Madness, so I’m really hyped for it.
So the best case scenario, which actually isn’t that hard to imagine, would be something like: You play Malchezaar’s Imp, you play Soulfire to kill an Azure Drake, you get a 0 mana 3/3 on the board and you draw a card. In this scenario, for 2 mana and 3 cards you’ve: played 1/3 and 3/3, killed a 4/4 and drew a card. I can recognize a good tempo play when I see one. And that’s what this deck is about – it can make amazing tempo moves. Cards that discard something are generally great in terms of tempo, but with an obvious downside of, well, discarding a card. Malchezaar’s Imp can prevent that disadvantage by allowing you to cycle the discarded card and Silverware Golem turns that disadvantage into advantage.
I don’t know whether the deck will be stronger than the standard Zoo, I actually think that it might not be, but it’s really hard to tell without playtesting. It’s an unique play style so at this point it’s just guessing. I’ll definitely test it and show you the results!
Dragon decks also got some love this expansion, which is really cool. If they want to keep Dragon archetype alive, they need to release more Dragons/Dragon synergy cards, because once BRM gets taken down in Standard next year, A LOT of them will be gone.
This card is very good. Discover might be my favorite mechanic in the whole game. It adds a dose of RNG and unpredictability, but doesn’t take away the skill and doesn’t leave everything in the hands of RNGesus. That’s why I’m glad to see every new Discover card. This one reminds me of the Priest’s Museum Curator, which turned out to be a great card. It got nerfed quite heavily with Standard, because a lot of good Deathrattles were gone, but it’s still okay. This one is similar in a way that it gives you a turn 2 play and allows you to choose something + adjust the play accordingly already. But at the same time, it’s an amazing late game card – it lets you pick whatever you need in a given scenario. You need Taunt? Sure, you might get one. More card draw? Azure Drake can show up. Some big, late game threat? There are A LOT of them. It also makes Deathwing much more playable in any deck. You rarely want to put Deathwing into your deck, because it’s often a dead card. Completely dead when you’re winning, pretty bad when you have a lot of cards. But if you can actually choose when to get him, well, it’s much better. Enemy starts getting a huge lead on the board? You pick Deathwing and crush it. You’re running out of cards and you’ll end up discarding one card? Deathwing is also amazing, board clear + 12/12 at the cost of 1 discard – crazy.
Then, the cards that you get are Dragons. Even if you get something big that you won’t be able to play soon, it’s a Dragon for the sake of synergies. You can keep it in your hand and it will act as the activator for other things. So you won’t have to keep that last dragon you have in your hand to activate Blackwing Corruptor.
There are 3 main concerns I see when it comes to this card. First of all – it requires you to hold the Dragon already. So it’s going to be a terrible topdeck if you don’t have a Dragon in your hand, basically a dead card until you have a Dragon in your hand. Second thing – in the current state, Dragon decks want to play a more proactive style. They want the early game tempo and are pretty aggressive. This card is something that fits a Control deck more than a Tempo/Midrange. It might be hard to fit it into faster build of something like Dragon Warrior or even Dragon Priest. You’d want to play a slower Dragon Warrior, maybe a Dragon Paladin… but the last one is pretty unplayable. I can also see a Dragon Warlock playing it, maybe I’ll actually make a Dragon version of RenoLock with the new cards. And the third concern is that around 1/3 of the Dragons are high cost ones. Playing this on turn 2 might quite often leave you with 3 choices of expensive, late game dragons. And those are quite unplayable in some matchups. You’d much prefer a Faerie Dragon for a tempo move, a Twilight Guardian for a Taunt or something like that. Not Onyxia, Deathwing, Dragonlord and Nefarian choice.
I think the card is going to find its place in some Dragon decks, because it’s really strong in such an archetype.
I’ll start with saying that I haven’t done the math and I followed a list that someone posted on Reddit, so I can’t say if it’s 100% accurate. But according to that list, you have about 40% chance to summon something good/great, about 30% to summon something average and then next 30% for bad/terrible. So on average, you have slightly higher chance for a good minion than a bad minion, but I’d say that it’s pretty even across the board. Let’s start by identifying the deck that would like to play this card. Aggro – nope, Beast – nope, Midrange – nope, Astral Communion – nope, Token – nope, Ramp – maybe. So we’re left with maybe Ramp.
First let me explain why faster decks wouldn’t want to play this. Because they don’t value healing too highly. Faster decks want to be proactive, they want to play for the tempo, healing and summoning a random 6-drop isn’t really that. They also don’t have enough big minions that could benefit from the healing. I said nope with Astral Communion, because even though it’s a Ramp deck, it also wants to play proactively. If you get this after playing Astral, healing is pretty bad at this point and you prefer to play something you actually put into your deck – you can’t hope that the 40% roll will give you something strong.
I thought about Token for a moment, but I’m not sure about it. It gets a + for being a spell, but it’s a high cost spell so it’s hard to combo it immediately with let’s say Violet Teacher. The healing part might be useful from time to time, but I think that Feral Rage is better for this niche, because it’s cheaper and Armor > healing generally. Plus Token Druid doesn’t really have big minions to heal up. So I don’t see it there.
Meaning we’re left in Ramp Druid. I actually think it might fit Ramp Druid. It all depends on how much you value the 6 points of healing. It’s 6 points of healing vs GUARANTEEING that you have a good minion in your deck. Yes, if you’re incredibly lucky and get Emperor Thaurissan, Sylvanas Windrunner, Savannah Highmane every time, the card will be worth it. But the “great” minions, so the ones you’d really want to put into your deck, are about 16% of the 6-drops. So 84% of time you get something you wouldn’t play in your deck. And 28% of time you get something outright bad – like a 4/4 minion. So it comes down to you being sure that you’re going to play that Sylvanas or something else that’s good or having a chance to get a 4/4, but with Battlecry that heals for 6. And honestly – 6 mana 4/4 that heals for 6 wouldn’t be that good.
But there is one big reason why I might try this card in Ramp Druid. It’s because of how many big drops the deck has. Healing your face for 6 might be great vs Aggro, sure, but it might be utterly useless in slower matchups. So if you play in slower matchup, you end up with a 6 mana for a random 6-drop – something you would never play. But the fact that you can choose the target allows this to be useful in a lot of different matchups too. For example, you have a 5/10 Ancient of War on the board. You trade it into a 5/5 minion and then heal it back to full. It’s a great move, because now you got 5 extra health on your AoW and summoned a random 6-drop. So basically it allowed you to kill a 5/5 for free on top of that random 6-drop. It’s impossible when your minions are all pretty low health, but with big minions from Ramp Druid it’s much easier.
I don’t think the card fits any Druid besides Ramp Druid, but in Ramp Druid it might be decent. Maybe even good, I’ll have to get a feeling of it in the game first, but I kinda like it in that deck.
That’s an interesting card. And it’s very hard to rate. I’ve seen a lot of polar opinions – some love it, others hate it. I’m more in a “hate” camp, although I don’t say that it’s completely unplayable. I just think that this card is kinda redundant. For killing low amount of 2-3 health minions, you already have Fiery War Axe. And then you have some other cards like Blackwing Corruptor in Dragon Warrior or Disciple of C’Thun in C’Thun Warrior. For killing 1 health minions, Warrior already has Ravaging Ghoul. Then for killing more minions than 3-4, Warrior has Brawl. Maybe even Revenge if you play against an Aggro deck and it gets you too low. It might still find its niche, like guaranteeing a board clear against 3-4 minions when you face Zoo Warlock. Sometimes it’s pretty decent. But the key word is – sometimes. I think the card is pretty situational.
My main beef with the card is that it’s 5 mana. Most of the Midrange/Control decks won’t play a lot of low health minions at this point. Heck, even Zoo has 4-5 health 3-drops. 3 attack weapon isn’t that strong on turn 5. You’ll have to attack a lot of things twice, thus taking A LOT of damage. And that’s another problem – taking a lot of damage. While this might clear the whole board, it will most likely make you take 10+ or even 15+ damage doing so. That’s a lot of health, sometimes just too much.
Then it also depends on the meta. I’m mentioning Zoo all the time, because it’s most likely the best deck you can play this against. Shaman (Aggro or Midrange) also seems fine – Tunnel Trogg, Feral Spirit, Tuskarr Totemic, some random Totems like Flametongue Totem or Mana Tide Totem – Shaman has a lot of 3 health stuff and this weapon lines quite nicely with those.
It might be a tech card, something like a meta call – people might put one copy (I think that 2 would be too much) if they face too many Aggro/Zoo. After all, even taking some damage AND removing their stuff is better than leaving them on the board.
That’s it for the catching up. There is still a lot more to come, there are some cards I just LOVE among the ones that were revealed. I also can’t wait to start making first brews. Sadly, we’ll have to wait 4 weeks to see some cards in the game. That’s the main reason why I prefer card pack expansions over the adventures. I’m really impatient and knowing what decks I will play 3 weeks from now, but not being able to test them is nerve-wracking.
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Good luck on the ladder and until next time!