Greetings everyone and welcome to 3rd installment of my Arena card reviews for the upcoming Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion. As always the cards are going to be rated from Terrible to Amazing. All cards are sorted by rarity so you can quickly find the card you want using table of contents on the right.
blowgill-sniper is understatted for its effect. We already have murloc-raider and Blowgill Sniper adds 1 damage for 1 mana which isn’t worth it. Compare Blowgill Sniper to elven-archer. Blowgill has 1 attack more in exchange for costing 1 more mana compared to Elven Archer. For 1 more mana usually at least +1/+1 improvement is expected. The murloc tag isn’t worth almost anything in arena as murloc synergies are rare encounters. Overall bad version of Elven Archer.
tanaris-hogchopper will rarely get charge. The opponent is not going to have cards in hand only in very late game when top decking. At that point charge is nice but nothing to be excited about. What saves this card is that even without charge it is still a 4 mana 4/4 which is average stats for 4 mana.
backstreet-leper is awful even in aggressive decks. Compare this card to a leper-gnome which is a bad card already. Backstreet Leper has 2 more health but costs 2 more. 2 attack for 2 health is a bad deal when it’s compared to a bad card already. Just a terrible card.
toxic-sewer-ooze will be played as a 3 mana 4/3 most of the time which isn’t bad. It is going to be quite rare for Toxic Sewer Ooze to generate value for the ability unless playing against Rogue. Yet Sewer Ooze still has a good body for its mana cost.
backroom-bouncer is a solid 4 drop. Even without triggering its effect, 4 mana 4/4 aren’t bad stats. If 2 friendly minions die while Bouncer is on the board, it becomes a great 4 drop, better than lost-tallstrider. Overall Bouncer has no downsides and the potential of it is not bad either.
Rating: Above average
dopplegangster is yet another card that is bad because of non-existent synergies in Arena. Clearly Dopplegangster is meant to be buffed with one of Grimestreet cards and then it would generate huge value. Yet Dopplegangster will rarely get buffed whilst in hand because not only you need to draft buff cards but also play them at the right time. Without any buffs Dopplegangster isn’t great. It’s a worse version of silver-hand-knight as it’s more susceptible to AoE like blizzard or consecration. The only exception when Doppleganster is good is in Paladin. Paladin has 2 commons and a rare which all give minions in hand +1/+1. In Paladin Dopplegangster will be an amazing card if you manage to pick few of grimestreet-outfitter, smugglers-run or grimestreet-enforcer.
Rating: Below average (for anyone but Paladin), Good (for Paladin)
spiked-hogrider is crazy if it gets charge. Compare it to reckless-rocketeer. Hogrider costs 1 less and has 3 health. Even if the enemy doesn’t have a taunt it’s still 5/5 which is average. Taunt minions aren’t too common in Arena yet Hogrider has nice stats even if the effect doesn’t trigger.
Rating: Above average
bomb-squad is a very unique yet bad card. The stats are awful and worth around 2 mana. Bomb Squad deals 5 damage to an enemy minion and can’t even go face. 5 damage is worth around 4 mana. Therefore 2/2 minion which deals 5 damage to an enemy minion should be worth 6 mana. Bomb squad costs 5 in exchange dealing 5 damage to your hero with Bomb Squad’s deathrattle. 5 damage is not worth gaining 1 mana advantage. The deathrattle is too harsh for this card and it well could have been deal 2 or 3 damage to your hero. Overall the downside is too big.
dirty-rat is a very risky card without doubt. Normally at 2 mana you’d expect 2/3 stats. Dirty Rat has 3 extra health in exchange for its effect. 2/6 taunt should be worth around 3.5-4 mana. So the card puts out enemy minion from opponent’s hand into battlefield in exchange for 2 extra mana worth of stats. That means that if the minion that opponent got summoned is worth 2 or 1 mana, you got a good deal. If the minion summoned costs 3+ mana, you got a bad deal. The chance of opponent putting out something at 3+ mana is way higher than 2 or 1 mana. Which means on average Dirty Rat will only make the situation worse. Even though sometimes you will profit off Dirty Rat, most of the times it will go the other way around.
leatherclad-hogleader is worse than both Spiked Hogrider and Tanaris Hogchopper. It is incredibly unlikely for Leatherclad Hogleader effect to trigger. We already have goblin-sapper which from my experience doesn’t trigger 90% of the time. Hogleader is even harder to activate because at turn 6 opponent will start to run out of cards. Overall a 6 mana 6/6 for most of the time.
Rating: Below average
grimy-gadgeteer has some potential. First of all the stats are bad. There are many 3 drops which have 4/3 stats so Grimy Gadgeteer has stats of a 3 drop meaning it’s effect should be worth at least 1 mana. Gadgeteer guarantees a +2/+2 buff for a random minion in hand. +2/+2 buff in hand should be worth bit less than 1 mana. So if Gadgeteer buffs one minion and then dies it still isn’t a bad deal. The best thing about this card though is that it’s a huge threat for you opponent and is unchecked can swing the game by a lot. Getting 2 or more triggers from the card gets crazy value for a 4 drop. Overall a decent card that has big potential.
Rating: Above average
grimscale-chum is not going to buff a murloc. The chances are extremely low. That makes Grimscale Chum exactly the same as murloc-raider which is a bad card in arena. Therefore Grimscale Chum is bad too.
abyssal-enforcer is simply amazing. It combines 6/6 body with hellfire. The 6/6 body is worth around 6 mana. This means you get the Hellfire effect for 1 mana only. Abyssal Enforcer is great catch-up mechanic. Abyssal Enforcer is best used when you are behind on the board and need to catch up. Unlike with many AoE in-game, Abyssal Enforcer not only removes opponent’s minions but also develops a threat and doesn’t take up all mana in the later turns of the game. When you are ahead on the board Abyssal Enforcer isn’t that great, however since this is Warlock life-tap is still available to give more options to choose from. The fact that Enforcer is a demon doesn’t matter too much in arena, however it is still a nice bonus to have. Overall really great common that is going to make Warlock better.
smugglers-run is a better version of grimestreet-outfitter. Smuggler’s Run only costs 1 mana which makes it a lot better than Grimestreet Outfitter. The card pays off itself when it buffs at least 3 minions which isn’t hard at all. Anything more than that becomes a cherry on the top. Smuggler’s Run is best played at 1 mana in the early game, however it isn’t bad in the mid game either. Doesn’t matter when it’s played as along as it buffs at least 3 minions. Overall really strong card which will backfire very rarely.
kabal-lackey is very deck dependant. Obviously how good Lackey is will depend on how many secrets you have in your deck. If no secrets are played with Lackey, it is still a 2/1 minion which is bit below average for a 1 drop. If a secret is played, Lackey generates crazy value. Playing a 3 mana card for free is a huge tempo swing, even more in the early game. The main problem with Kabal Lackey though is that in the mulligan and the early game secrets are not what you want to see. Usually secret like effigy or counterspell are mulliganed in the early game while you always want to get Kabal Lackey in the early game since it is a 1 drop. Unlike with many early game drops however, Kabal Lackey is still really good in the mid and late game if you have secrets. Play Lackey before playing any secret and not only you play a secret for 1 mana but also get a 2/1 body. Overall very dependant on your deck so hard to evaluate.
Rating: Above average
dispatch-kodo in Arena 90% of the time will have 2 attack while in hand. This means we have to look at 4 mana 2/4 which deals 2 damage with its battlecry. Compared to stormpike-commando Kodo costs 1 less even though it has the same amount of stats. In the early game 2/4 stat distribution is better than 4/2 too. Dispatch Kodo has 3 mana worth of stats plus 2 damage which is worth 1 mana usually. Lastly it has a beast tag which is a benefit that needs to be considered too. Overall really great card as it doesn’t even need to get buffed to be good.
grimestreet-protector is a very great designed card and I’m hyped about it. It raises skill ceiling in Arena and Grimestreet Protector will depend on how good your positioning is. First of all the card is 7 mana 6/6 taunt. Compared to bog-creeper it only falls short of 2 health. Bog Creeper is considered to be a really great card. Even without giving any divine shields Grimestreet Protector is already not bad. Giving 2 divine shields to adjacent minions is insane value for a card like this. Grimestreet Protector essentially casts 2 hand-of-protection on adjacent minions without any cost. Since you should be having the board from early on as a Paladin, Protector will very often have 2 buff targets. Overall a very powerful card with an amazing design. Currently my favorite card from the whole expansion.
volcanic-potion is yet another crazy AoE removal for Mage. We already have demonwrath which has almost identical effect in Arena. Demonwrath is already rated highly in Arena even though Warlock decks tend to go aggressive in turn not needing much AoE. Volcanic Potion is going to be amazing for sure. If there are no minions on your side of the board Volcanic Potion is essentially consecration for 1 less mana. Overall really good.
potion-of-polymorph isn’t much better than polymorph. Even though Potion of Polymorph costs 1 less than normal Polymorph, you can’t control what gets turned into a sheep yourself and instead give that power of choice to your opponent. Potion of Polymorph can easily be neutralized by playing a 3 or less mana minion. The fact that it is a secret doesn’t help it much either. Mainly due to mirror-entity being quite popular. The way to play around Potion of Polymorph is the same as playing around Mirror Entity. With both these secrets all opponent needs to do is to play a small minion for it to trigger the secret and render it useless. Because everyone already plays around Mirror Entity, Potion of Polymorph is not going to add any confusion value of being a secret. Overall worse polymorph.
Rating: Below average
seadevil-stinger is meant for constructed and is bad in Arena. There will be no murlocs in hand to benefit from the effect so this card is just 4 mana 4/2. If you have a murloc it’s not great either since most murlocs cost very little so you wont get big tempo lead either way.
bloodfury-potion is bad when used on non-demon and average when used on demon. blessing-of-might gives +3 attack for 1 mana only compared to Bloodfury’s 3. So when applied to a minion which is not a demon Bloodfury costs 3 times more than it should. Playing it on a demon will be a rare scenario since demon synergies aren’t too common in Arena. Even if you manage to buff a demon at a right time it’s nothing spectacular. +3/+3 is what you’d expect from a 3 mana buff when we have mark-of-the-wild as +2/+2 for 2 and blessing-of-kings as +4/+4 for 4. Overall card’s best scenario isn’t even great and worst case scenario is terrible.
felfire-potion is just great. 5 damage is the sweet spot as it kills most minions up to 5 mana. Felfire Potion is best used when behind on the board and it can be a great way to stabilize the board and get back in the game. If ahead on the board Felfire Potion is quite useless as it would kill your own board. A small problem with this card is that it deals damage to all characters and not only minions. As a Warlock health is very crucial. The hero power is the biggest Warlock’s strength and you need health to use it. Dealing 5 damage to yourself hurts a lot. Though we do need to remember that this card is AoE and Area of Effect cards are valued very highly in Arena due to their comeback potential. Felfire Potion will be great even if it has some drawbacks.
kabal-crystal-runner has a condition that is difficult to fulfill. If 1 secret was played, Kabal costs 4 mana which is very nice for a 5/5 body. Yet the bad thing is that it can’t be played on turn 4 unless you play a secret on turn 3. At later turns 4 mana 5/5 is nice but nothing too spectacular. So for Kabal Crystal Runner to be good 2 secrets need to be played before. Drafting and playing 2 or more secrets is a tough challenge. For Kabal Crystal Runner to be consistent you need at least 4 secrets in the deck and that is just a bad idea to do.
brass-knuckles isn’t too bad however the worst thing is that this is a Warrior weapon. The attack and durability aren’t great. 2/3 weapon is worth around 2 mana. Over 4 turns this weapon will give out +3/+3 buffs in total. These buffs are worth around 1.5 mana. So in terms of value this weapon isn’t great. Big problem with it is that Brass Knuckles is just too slow. The only immediate effect is 2 damage. The +1/+1 buffs have no impact on the board on the turn Brass Knuckles is played. On top of that Warrior already has a lot of great weapons and it’s not uncommon to get too many weapons in a draft. At that point there is no use in picking below average weapon. Overall there are many better warrior weapons and Brass Knuckles has no use in Warrior.
rat-pack is not going to get buffed since this is Arena. Now we’re looking at 3 mana 2/2 beast with deathrattle: summon two 1/1s. Best comparison to make is between Rat Pack and haunted-creeper. Rat Pack is essentially Haunted Creeper plus 1 attack for 1 more mana. Although it may look like Rat Pack is bad based on that comparison, it’s not the case. Haunted Creeper is a top-tier 2 drop in arena and being bit worse than an amazing card isn’t too bad.
That’s all for this part. Thanks for reading through. If you have any questions, disagree with my rankings or have feedback in general, feel free to leave a comment below. Stay tuned for part 4 and until next time.