One Night in Karazhan – First Impressions!

So the Expansion has finally been revealed! And it is One Night in Karazhan (ONK). I woke up 1 hour after the announcement started, 4AM my time, looked at the cards announced, looked at the release date and thought to myself “well, maybe they just started showing the cards, i’ll take a 1 hour nap, […]

Introduction

So the Expansion has finally been revealed! And it is One Night in Karazhan (ONK).

I woke up 1 hour after the announcement started, 4AM my time, looked at the cards announced, looked at the release date and thought to myself “well, maybe they just started showing the cards, i’ll take a 1 hour nap, come back again and start writing” and went to sleep.

Luckily, I slept for 3 more hours, as the announcement ended up being only the few cards shown to us and some pep talk about the prices and themes and everything else.

In this article i’ll talk a little about my impressions regarding what has been shown to us so far and discuss the cards that have been revealed, maybe even understanding a little more about these complex cards.

Just as a heads up, the tone of this article is going to be quite informal, as it is indeed a first-impressions one.

No-cards Related News

Alright, so this first section of the article is going to discuss dates, prices and personal opinion.

The Expansion is set to release august 11, which is the same date as my favorite MMO’s new chapter release date (Star Wars The Old Republic is pretty amazing btw), but I am sure it has nothing to do with anything, just Blizzard trying to drive me crazy, personally.

The expansion being released only 13 days after the announcement is something they wanted to do only so the community figures would have their own card to reveal (we still didn’t get our own card to reveal, which is a shame!).

Alright so, the most exciting news of today’s announcement sure is the FREE WING WE’RE GETTING AT THE RELEASE DATE oh no, we’re not getting a free wing 🙁

What we’re getting for “free” is a prologue, which is a “one boss wing” that we’ll play that is totally linked to the Harbingers trailer of the WoW: Legion expansion:

We’ll be facing that one guy from the trailer, this boss, which will basically be a 30-health lord-jaraxxus(yeah, his hero power summons 6/6 infernals):

For our troubles, we’ll be getting two cards: enchanted-raven and firelands-portal, we’ll be discussing these cards later on in this article.

The Karazhan official website is also up, there you can find the cinematic and other fun stuff regarding the adventure:

http://karazhan.com/

The Revealed Cards

One thing that I noticed about the revealed cards is how puzzling and complex they are. Every single one of these cards can’t be completely evaluated without a full set spoil or a massive playtest. However there are so many interesting things we can discuss about these cards I am sure there won’t be any lacking subject.

Ivory Knight

So we start with this crazy dude. The first thing we think when we see cards like these are the perfect situations in which they apply: in this card’s case, we just managed to stabilize against Aggro, use this guy and get a copy of lay-on-hands or a avenging-wrath in our hands, wouldn’t that feel amazing?

Well, sure it would, but I have to say I am quite concerned about the huge number of 1-cost spells Paladins have. No other class has as many 1-cost spells as Paladins, and that could end up being a problem for this guy. How many times are we getting three very low-cost spells with this guy’s discovery? Will this guy really be better than classic 6-drops? And even if it is, will we be using it over our 6-drop Deathrattle in our Control Paladin? It is really hard to tell right now, but I have to admit this guy has some high odds of being playable – I ran the numbers on this one, we’ll have (currently, not counting possible ONK spells 11/20 of the cards being 2 or 1 cost cards, and 9/20 actual cards we would want from him. I guess given this is a discovery card, the numbers are in our favor.

Kindly Grandmother

Haha! The Red Hood reference is amazing here! What a fun card! At this point you are surely comparing this to their superior Naxxramas models: haunted-creeper and nerubian-egg, and while those cards are indeed better, we have to remember we can’t be playing them anymore and we have to make due with cards such as huge-toad and kings-elekk, and I have to say Kindly Grandmother is quite the upgrade when comparing to these super bad 2-drops.

I like this card, I have to say I love it actually, because it is exactly what Midrange Hunter has been missing: good, consistent, early game cards. With this, Hunters will once again have early game staples to build their deck around, maybe two or even just one more early game card and the deck will be looking quite powerful once again – On the other hand, I guess being too powerful has its downsides, I don’t want to see another Secrets Paladin running around being better than everything else in the game, but I am confident Blizzard knows their stuff.

Another interesting fact about this card is how much it makes cards such as abusive-sergeant and dire-wolf-alpha better, getting to trade with superior cards is such an advantage I just can’t see Midrange migrating to more hybrid versions even more than they have been lately.

All in all, I am confident this is a good card and will surely see play.

Ethereal Peddler

At this point we see that Blizzard is trying way too hard to make the burgle strategy work. I don’t know if they noticed how inconsistent it is, and how anyone playing rogue would very much prefer to have N’Zoth themed Rogue upgrades or even Miracle Updates, but not that crap again.

I dislike the card Burgle because of how inconsistent it is, and making a deck totally themed around it seems terrible enough that I don’t even want to consider it.

Sure, in case Blizzard launches at least two more Burgle-style cards to complete the Burgle-Huckster duo this card might be viable, especially because its body is quite strong for a 5-drop with a relevant ability, but at the end of the day I just don’t think this will ever have a chance of being played over consistent strategies.

Enchanted Raven

Cool! A strong Zoo-ish one-drop for a class that isn’t Warlock! This card is very simply and easy to analyze: its a strong one drop beast that can be curved into mark-of-yshaarj for massive profit, it also makes sure we won’t need innervate that much in order to have good early game as Beast Druid.

Ok, now that the obvious has been left behind, let’s discuss how much this makes Beast Druid competitive: It helps, but how big of a punch it is? The truth is that Druid has always been a Midrange-y class, and without big-minion removal or a big package of early game minions, that won’t change overnight. This dude will surely be played and playtested, as the applications are obvious, but we can’t quite say for sure how much of a difference it’ll make and even if at the end of the day it’ll ultimately make the cut in Beast Druid, but I have to say that I, for one, am optimistic about it.

Fireland’s Portal

This reminds me a lot of fire-elemental – A removal with a body.

I like this card, but to be sure we aren’t missing anything, let’s run the numbers on the 5-cost bodies:

  • We have 6 terrible outcomes: two 3/3s, two 4/2, a 3/2 and a 4/3.
  • We have 8 bad outcomes: 4/4s.
  • We have 30 good outcomes (a lot of variance).
  • We have 9 very good outcomes (from 5/6s to 6/5 and good ability 5-drops).
  • We have 2 game breaking outcomes (earth-elemental and doomguard)

Alright, so, after looking at all the possible cards, I have to say I like these odds. The chances of getting terrible outcomes are very little (6 in 55 seems very low) and even the 4/4s are still ok for the card’s effect, and the fact it is just one card.

So, all in all this card is amazing and will probably be played as a top-of-the-curve card in most Tempo Mages (that is, if they start dropping yogg-saron-hopes-end in favor of more consistent cards, which they might given this card’s power).

Barnes

When I first looked at it I was like “Woaah, so good!”, then I looked again and I was like “Woaaah, so bad!”, but then I started thinking about it with the “run the numbers” mindset, and I ended up noticing this will need quite a lot of thought dedicated to it in order to make it viable.

This isn’t a bad card by itself: a 3/4 and a 1/1 (blank) for 4 mana isn’t the worst of the things, I mean it is similar to a chillwind-yeti but more difficult for Control to deal with because its spread in two bodies. But then the – possible – 1/1’s ability comes into play.

No, you won’t always be getting the effect of that ysera or that emperor-thaurissan, and yes this card is much likely going to be much better in Wild than standard (given the Deathrattles), but I can still see this making an appearance in Standard, mostly on nzoth-the-corruptor based decks, maybe even ones without N’Zoth such as Hunter’s decks (those are full of Deathrattle minions).

I guess this is indeed a fine Hunter card, as the deck has a massive number of Deathrattle minions. Woah, actually, this totally fits Midrange Hunter! Especially now that we’re getting a kindly-grandmother added to our deck!

So, in a few minutes we realized a deck which will instantly benefit from this card, maybe it won’t be that hard to find a home for Barnes after all.

The Curator

And the last card we’ll be talking about today is The Curator.

This dude generates some serious card advantage if you can make it work, and it also comes with a quite decent body.

I like this guy, a lot, but I am also concerned about how we are going to make the best use out of this. We are likely to draw our sir-finley-mrrgglton before playing this, so maybe we would need an extra Murloc to make this work, not to mention I can’t recall a deck that would want to run Dragons and Beasts and Murlocs together, maybe a Ramp Druid?

Much like Barnes, this guy will require quite a lot of work to be viable, but different from Barnes there isn’t even one single deck that instantly benefits from his addition without being turned into a worse version of itself.

I like this guy, drawing 3 cards and putting a 4/6 taunt in play for just 7 mana and only one card feels like cheating, but we’ll need a lot of work to make this possible, and it is highly likely we won’t be able to make that happen.

Edit: I have been discussing this card with a friend of mine, a Paladin expert on the matter, and he reminded me that today’s anyfin-can-happen Paladin deck already run beasts – stampeding-kodo, and having a 7-mana card that would draw a Murloc + a strong 5-drop/removal in addition to having a strong body might be overpowered enough that would make the deck stronger.

Closing

And this closes all the ONK action for today!

Since the expansion is going to be released so soon, you can expect to see an average of 3 cards being spoiled daily, so don’t forget to check out Hearthstoneplayers every day in order to get an update of the expansion course as well as a glance of the metagame that is to come!

I am quite excited about this expansion, especially because i’ll be having to do double job in the adventures because I have an EU and a NA account, maybe I could even do Heroics this time 😛

Love you guys, we’ll be seeing each other a lot this week!

Don’t forget to get recruited by me 😀

Europe: https://battle.net/recruit/RBCZWVSMLJ?blzcmp=raf-hs&s=HS&m=pc

Americas: https://battle.net/recruit/TWGKKFBH92?blzcmp=raf-hs&s=HS&m=pc