A Look at the 15 Most Interesting/Overlooked Cards from GVG

While there are some amazing cards that everyone is talking about, like Vol'jin', there are other cards that I believe has some serious potential. Let's take a look!

Introduction

It’s finally here! After a relatively short wait (compared to a certain floating necropolis) Goblins vs. Gnomes is finally on the horizon and set to be released. The entire set has been spoiled, and with it comes 120 brand new cards. And oh man, these cards. The meta is going to be shaken to its core, and almost every class is now viable in one way or another. Yes, Rogues and Warlocks have both received a nerf, but those classes will have more than enough new options to fill their decks with. I am writing this article because, while there are some amazing cards that everyone is talking about (Vol’jin, Gahz’rilla to name a few) there are some cards that I believe has some serious potential for constructed that are currently flying a little under the radar. This article will be focused on the cards I find most interesting in the set (organized by class and mana cost), and the new decks they could give rise to. Because, while speculation is just that, I know for a fact that the meta is never going to look the same.

Mechwarper

Danger Will Robinson danger! There is not one card I am more scared of (ok maybe Mal’Ganis) in the entire set than Mechwarper. Why? As a long time MTG player, I know a card with this type of effect is just waiting to be broken. Do not make any mistake, Soulfire or not, Zoo is still going to be raiding the ladder in force. This card is going to be a big reason why. Making mechs cost one less may seem trivial at first glance, but the fact that it can also make them cost zero is a very important distinction. Mechwarper is exactly the type of card  Zoo wants; a cheap minion that enables you board presence, but also sometimes wins you the game. I will say, this card is mitigated in that it can only really play Clockwork Gnome for free, but even so, a turn three Piloted Shredder or a turn three Undertaker/Harvest Golem could be a nightmare to deal with.

This card is also not just limited to Zoo, as any aggressive mech deck would love to have this card. This is because an unanswered Mechwarper can lead to so many degenerate things, and aggro decks can only survive in Hearthstone if they are doing degenerate things. Filling the board with minions has never gotten easier, and while there is always the potential for AOE, other mech cards like Harvest Golem and Piloted Shredder merely laugh as they die. I’m not saying this card is broken or over the top, but when your opponent plays this turn one off the coin, and then proceeds to play two free Clockwork Gnomes or a Spider Tank, tell me how you feel.

Puddlestomper

Bloodfen Raptor has never been better. Murlocs, for all of their time in the sun, have gotten a really bad rap lately. Nobody fears them anymore. However, this seemingly bland two drop might change that. I’m not going to say that murlocs are coming back to the top tier of the meta, but if there is such a deck, this card is going to be the reason why. A 3/2 for two is nothing special, but a 3/2 murloc for two really is. There is nothing more important in Hearthstone than a strong curve, and Puddlestomper is just yet another example of that. Murlocs only real options at the two spot are Murloc Tidehunter and Bluegill Warrior, both of which did incremental damage and died to hero powers. Not only does Puddlestomper resist dying to a hero power, but it also hits like a truck. Yes, three damage may not seem too big at first, but follow this up with a Murloc Warleader and you’re hitting for five (or more if you have a one drop) on turn three. It isn’t the end all “murlocs are back” card, but it fills an important part of the deck, brings the beats and gives the deck more options. Really hard to argue with that. Mrgl.

Tinkertown Technician

To continue a list of smaller, seemingly innocuous commons, Tinkertown Technician is a card that has some great potential if you want to bring the beats. A 3/3 for three is nothing special, but a 4/4 for three that also gives you a spare part is another story entirely. There is the drawback of having to control a mech, but in the right list you should always have a mech on the board. I find that cards like this (that look very bad in a vacuum) tend to get overlooked. However, if you build your deck in a way to benefit this card, it will almost always bleed value. Obviously, this card slates into an aggro style deck, and I myself am going to be trying it in the mech-aggro Mage list I have been working on. A three mana 4/4 is becoming more and more important these days with the three drop spot getting crowded with cards like Dark Cultist, Animal Companion and Spider Tank. If mech aggro wants a minion that gives slight card advantage as well as board presence, this fits the bill perfectly. It should also be noted that Mech-Zoo would also love to have this gnome fighting for their side.

Lost Tallstrider

When new sets come out, the hype is always centered around the big, chase legends and epics. People want the bombs, the huge exciting cards that could win games on their own. However, more often than not it is the seemingly innocuous commons (Haunted Creeper, Mad Scientist) that have huge impacts on the meta. Lost Tallstrider has a lot of potential to be one of those commons. It is no secret that Blizzard is trying to make a viable Hunter control deck. While that’s probably still far out of reach, a midrange beast deck is not. Using powerful minions in conjunction with the pressure of the hero power could lead to a new type of Hunter deck that kills people out of nowhere with things like Savannah Highmane, Call Pet and Gahz’rilla. Lost Tallstrider is a card that would fit perfectly into such a deck.

The reason that Lost Tallstrider is so important to Hunter is that it fills a very weak four drop spot. The only other decent four drop beast is Oasis Snapjaw which, while very powerful with Houndmaster, is just too weak on its own. In contrast, Lost Tallstrider is a monster. Five damage for four mana is extremely powerful in Hunter, and if this card isn’t answered it can end games very quickly. True, it might just die the turn it gets played, but that eats removal for you to play your scarier minions. Curves are one of the most important things in Hearthstone, and this fills out the midrange Hunter list in a beautiful way. Not to mention that it can also be played on turn two if you draw it with Call Pet.

Troggzor the Earthinator

Troggzor is not just a card, he is a tank of a legend that is right up there with Loatheb and Trade Prince Gallywix (who I will get to in a little). The bottom line is, spells are a necessary and important part of Hearthstone. Almost every class runs and relies on them to some extent. Cards that shut down or punish your opponent for playing spells are very good. Troggzor does cost seven mana, which I think is very high for all decks except one: Ramp Druid. Druid made out like a bandit in Goblins vs. Gnomes, with so many cards benefiting the ramp style of play. Druid is at its best when it powers out huge creatures early, and goes way over the top. Troggzor the Earthinator is one of the cards that allows it to do that.

Playing this legendary troll on turn five or six is a very strong play that can be then followed up by something like Loatheb, Ancient of Lore, Sylvanas Windrunner or Cairne Bloodhoof. It has six health (dodging Big Game Hunter) and begs to be removed. If your opponent does that by way of spells, it leaves behind three/fives that also grow when you opponent plays spells. There is no downside here. The card is very strong, and will most likely make your opponent either hold back on spells, or two for one themselves to make sure you don’t gain a troll army. The only other class I could running this is Control Warrior, where you can easily live until turn seven to play it.

Sneed’s Old Shredder

Tirion Fordring is back and looking more mechanical than ever. So many people continue to discount this card, and I honestly have no idea why. If I could only craft one legend from GVG I’m pretty sure this would be it. Harvest Golem taught all of us one very important lesson back in beta, cards that leave minions behind when they die are very good. A card that leaves a legend behind, is even better. Once again, eight mana is a lot of mana, making this card only a reality in slower control decks, but it could easily fit into Priest, Paladin, Druid and Warrior. I actually can’t imagine a control deck not wanting this as one of their finishers.

There will be scenarios where you grab something like a 2/2 Edwin Vancleef or Lorewalker Cho, but almost every legend in the game has a big body, with some (Ragnaros the Firelord, Ysera, Tirion Fordring) having abilities that go way beyond that. Sneed’s Old Shredder is a card that seems like it costs too much for its ability, but it is just so hard to deal with. As aformentioned, this card is a lot like Tirion Fordring (in fact sometimes it is a Tirion Fordring) except instead of a 5/3 weapon, it gives you a huge minion when it dies. It is weak to silence, but so are many big legends. This is a great, resilient tool that control wants, and if Druid plays this early, the game is most likely over.

Whirling-Zap-o-matic

The first class-specific card I want to mention, I bring up Whirling-Zap-o-matic for the same reason I am going to mention Crackle below; there is a new Shaman deck on the rise and boy is it scary. Burst Shaman already has a lot of pieces to make a very powerful deck. However, that list was more built as a solid mid-range deck followed up by burst as a finisher. Now, thanks to cards like Whirling Zap-o-matic, Burst Shaman can be a stand alone deck. This card has to be answered, and it has to be answered immediately. There are many cards that need to be answered early in the current meta (Undertaker, Knife Juggler) but none as drastically as this.

At its base, the Zap-o-matic is six damage for two mana, which is crazy in itself. However, if it does live a turn, pairing it with Rockbiter Weapon or Flametongue Totem just blows it out of the water. Doing ten or twelve damage on turn three is crazy powerful for any aggressive deck, and when that damage is backed up by other burst spells it gets even better. While I’m not sure if Murloc Shaman will be a thing (though Blizzard really wants it to be) I am positive burst will have a place in the coming meta. Getting hit by a Zap-o-matic hurts, and then gets intensified against a deck that has access to Crackle, Lightning Bolt, Dunemaul Shaman, Doomhammer and Lava Burst.

Crackle

Just like Whirling Zap-o-matic, Crackle is a card that gives Shaman an insane amount of damage potential. There are many who don’t like Crackle due to the randomness of its damage. However, what many fail to notice is that RNG doesn’t really matter when you’re pointing the damage at your opponent’s face. As it stands Ice Lance/Frostbolt, three mana for seven damage that gets around taunt, is one of the most efficient finishing punches in the game. Crackle/Lightning Bolt is just like that combo but better. Yes, there is a chance you only do six damage, but there is also the potential to do seven, eight or nine. I am not saying to count on this card as a finisher, but there is no reason not to see this card for what it is, a lot of face damage. Shaman is getting closer and closer to a face-only, burst deck, and cards like Crackle are going to make that happen.

Ogre Ninja

With Gadgetzan Auctioneer getting nerfed it seems that many players are lamenting the death of Rogue. However, I think that Goblins vs. Gnomes will give rise to a couple new Rogue decks. This is the reason Ogre Ninja is worth looking at. I will say, this card has one of my absolute least favorite mechanics that I have ever seen in a card game. Anytime a card has a chance of not doing what I want it to I get really mad, and do things like break my laptop. So, why bring it up? Because of aggro. Aggressive decks in Hearthstone have a lot of small, fast cards that all add up to thirty damage in one form or another. This is usually backed up by large finishers, which most of the time are spells (Savage Roar,Lava Burst ,Kill Command etc.). However, Ogre Ninja is interesting because it is a finisher that also happens to be a minion. A 6/6 is nothing to sneeze at, and a 6/6 with stealth is every more terrifying.

While Miracle Rogue has always been the most popular iteration of Rogue, the class plays very well to the aggressive side of the force. Cards like Eviscerate,Sinister Strike,Deadly Poison and the hero ability all work toward killing your opponent as fast as possible. I do think some form of a faster, more aggressive Rogue will come out of GVG, and I think that class will want this ogre in their list. Yes, sometimes it will do something stupid and lose you the game. Yes, sometimes it will kill the 1/1 instead of hitting face, but there is too much upside here to be ignored. An aggro finisher needs to be resilient and powerful, this does both the cost of a mere five mana. Not only that, but there will be some games where it gets around that annoying taunt minion, and gives you the win. Not the best card in the set, but similar to Doomguard (which also looks very bad on paper) it could fill a very niche role.

Trade Prince Gallywix

In addition to aggro, Tempo Rogue seems to have the pieces it needs to be back in full force. The deck was very strong for a small window of time, but Naxx, with all of the deathrattle and efficient minions, sent it out to sea. Goblins vs. Gnomes could change this for two reasons. One, deathrattle may become less popular in the upcoming weeks due to players trying out new cards. This will naturally shift the metagame away from where it is now, and lead to less deathrattle-centric decks. Two, cards like Trade Prince Gallywix.

Gallywix is not just a powerful card, he is an absolute house that will be an intricate piece to Tempo Rogue. He has a very strange, almost confusing ability, which may cause some players to be wary of him. However, when it is all said and done he is very similar to Loatheb . Check that, he might even be better than Loatheb . A bold claim? Maybe, but Gallywix does what Loatheb does, just in a slightly different way. He is a powerful, middle of the game minion that locks out your opponent’s ability to cast spells. However, instead of shutting down your opponents spells, he steals them at the cost of one lost mana. That’s a trade I would do any day of the week. Gallywix is also a five/eight, which means he is very hard to deal with outside of spells. In this way, he is most likely going to draw you at least one card with the potential for more. This fits Tempo Rogue perfectly, as it is a deck that lives off of incremental card advantage.

Grove Tender

It is a general rule in card games that symmetrical effects are bad. Most good cards pull you ahead of your opponent, and cards that keep you on even footing are usually not worth the effect. However, Grove Tender could be an exception to that rule. The only symmetrical effect that has seen real play was Cold Light Oracle during the days of Backspace Rogue. Oracle was good because it gave you a source of card advantage that you could utilize better than your opponent (fast spells and quick damage). Grove Tender reminds me a lot of that, because it gives an effect that Druid can utilize much better than their opponents.

It has almost gotten to the point where if Ramp doesn’t start out with an early Innervate or Wild Growth they are going to have a very hard time winning the game. As such, getting more Wild Growths cannot be a bad thing. True, you never want to give your opponent mana, but the minions you will able to play with your mana should vastly outweigh theirs. Where they might be ramping to play mid-game minions or spells, you are speeding towards Ancient of Lore, Ragnaros the Firelord, Ysera, Sneed’s Old Shredder and Sylvanas Windrunner. These giant minions are what make Druid so strong, and getting two more ways to play them allows you to go all in on the ramp plan. In addition, adding a 2/4 onto the board while ramping is also very important because it can answer small creatures against aggro. Innervating this out on turn one is a very strong opening, and the card draw, while mostly irrelevant, means that this card is never truly dead. Note: the crystal you get is full, meaning you can also play a two-cost card (Wrath)if you play this on turn four.

Metaltooth Leaper

I have talked end on end about an aggro mech-Zoo deck. However, I also think, due to the cheap creatures and great synergy, Hunter mech also has serious potential. If such a deck were to exist, Metaltooth Leaper would be a very important piece. I’ll admit, when I first saw this card I immediately scanned over it. A 3/3 for three is not very exciting, and one that gives a very specific buff seemed pretty weak. However, after re-reading the card I discovered two things. One, the ability doesn’t go away after one turn. This is very important because if you can manage to curve out and get some hits in, the damage potential on the following turn is huge. Two, this card is basically a mech Savage Roar for Hunters.

Hunters are always going to be aggressive because of their hero power. Their class is built in such a way where, if you do manage to get one large burst of damage through, you are almost always favored to win because most decks cannot stand up to two damage a turn and things like Kill Command. Metaltooth Leaper does exactly that, allowing your mech minions a single turn to strike through for tons of damage. And if they live? You basically win the game. Hunter-mech could be a very fast, powerful deck in the future, and if such a deck exists it will be solely due to the sheer power of this card.

Goblin Blastmage

Another card that was really grazed over upon its release, Goblin Blastmage has one job that is does very well. When discussing Tinkletown Technician I postulated on an aggro mech-based Mage deck. This will probably be the first list I make, and this goblin is going to be one of the most instrumental cards in the list. Most cards in Hearthstone usually have to some impact when the turn they are played to be considered good. A 5/4 for four can easily be removed, but a 5/4 for four that casts four arcane missiles across your opponent’s board is really quite scary. Yes, you do need to have a mech on board to get the bonus, but just like with the technician there are more than enough ways to make that happen. However, what makes Goblin Blastmage truly special is that, unlike other cards in the set, it hits enemies not just minions. This means that if you play this and your opponent has no minions, you get a 5/4 for four along with four damage to your opponent’s face. That’s a crazy powerful turn, especially in an aggressive deck.

Darkbomb

While everyone was busy oohing and aahing over the new legends Warlock got a Frostbolt and nobody noticed. Ok fine, its not a Frostbolt (no freeze), but it still a very strong card that will go rather nicely into the new version of Demonlock that is surely going to be popping up. Warlock’s hero power allows the class to play any style of deck, aggro, midrange or heavy control. The latter two play styles will greatly benefit from having access to another piece of solid, cheap removal. Yes, Warlocks have access to Shadow Bolt, but there is a large difference between two and three mana. Not only that, but the potential to go to the face is also very important. Darkbomb is a very good card that slots right into the Wrath cycle, but does it for Warlock. Before this card, Warlock, for all of its removal, never had an efficient way to get rid of things of turn two. This is just the card they needed. Darkbomb won’t fit into every deck, but with Soulfire getting bumped to one, I imagine it will see lots of play.

Shadowbomber

Priest has many obviously good cards that are going to take it to the top of ranked play. However, this little epic should not be slept on. Aggro Priest is not a deck that exists yet. Yet. Mind Blast has always been a great finisher, and cards like Dark Cultist and Undertaker have given the class some untapped aggro potential. The deck has never come together mainly because it has been missing a key piece, teetering on the edge of playable and bad. Shadowbomber may well be that missing piece.

This card has potential to be a powerhouse. Most who have seen this card have merely gone “worse than Leper Gnome, meh”, but that is selling this minion way too short. One turn one in an aggressive deck this card is basically five damage for one mana. I’m going to say that again, five damage for one mana. This concept is really hard for people to wrap their heads around as Priest has never been an aggressive hero, but alongside other one drops like Leper Gnome and Undertaker this could be trouble. It also gives something else that is very important to aggressive decks: reach. Every aggressive deck needs some form of face damage to get by huge taunts, and this card (accompanied by Mind Blast) fills that role perfectly. There is no doubt that Mid-range and Control Priest are going to be very popular (and very powerful), but I do think that this card could also make aggro Priest a huge contender.

Conclusion

GVG is a huge set, and knowing what cards are going to come out on top is a very tall task. However, so many of them just ooze potential, I think there will be more than a few new decks coming to the forefront. The fifteen aforementioned cards are some of my favorite cards that I think will see play in constructed. I will no doubt be cranking out videos every week to see what exactly is going to work in this crazy new world. I have new ideas, and have been writing up a ton of interesting decklists. I just hope that it all doesn’t blow up in my face. As always, thanks for reading and may all of your GVG packs contain legendaries. For Gnomeregan!