Over the last 72 hours every man woman and child in the Hearthstone community has recorded a savage takedown of an underpowered new Priest spell called Purify. Ben Brode, the face of Hearthstone and a generally affable dude, put out a YouTube video where he essentially apologized for the design, which is unprecedented considering the card isn’t even out yet.
So, we here at Dot Esports could write a big editorial about why Purify sucks, but here’s the thing, there are plenty of other suspect cards in the upcoming One Night in Karazhan expansion. Yes, none of them reaches bottom-tier quite like a two-mana silence your own minion effect, but that doesn’t make them exempt, okay? Here are our picks for the five worst Karazhan cards not called Purify.
Let’s be clear, I’m okay with Warrior not getting a great spell. The class has dominated Hearthstone since Whispers of the Old Gods, and the last thing we need is another Shield Slam enabler, or another tempo spell. Ironforge Portal seems deliberately underpowered when compared to Moonglade Portal (heal for six, summon a random six-drop) considering you’re only gaining four armor and only earning a four-drop for five mana, but again, you’re sure not going to hear any complaints from me. I do think there is a slight chance we’re underrating this card, because people thought Shieldmaiden was bad before Goblins vs. Gnomes, but it certainly doesn’t look scary from here.
Okay, this minion isn’t necessarily bad. A two-mana 3/2 with taunt is pretty standard. We’ve seen it before with things like Anodized Robo Cub in Goblins vs. Gnomes, and much like that card, Pompous Thespian will be above average in arena and won’t see any competitive play. That’s fine. We need flotsam in Hearthstone. The commons in the major expansions like The Grand Tournament and Whispers of the Old Gods are filled with the uninspiring likes of Eldritch Horror and Captured Jormungar. However, One Night in Karazhan is a specialized, 45-card injection. Why are we wasting one of those slots on something so vanilla? At least Purify—as bad as it is—has a mechanic we haven’t really seen before. The fact that I’m going to spend money on a wing and be greeted by a 3/2 with taunt is kinda frustrating. I mean, I guess I’ll be able to finally take Frostwolf Grunt out of all my decks.
I actually have some respect for Arcanosmith. It’s an interesting design! We haven’t seen a 0/5 with taunt in Hearthstone before, which makes the card weirdly tough to evaluate. It’s the same reason a few of us thought Eerie Statue might have potential back when League of Explorers was announced. Unfortunately in regards to Arcanosmith we’re talking about a big, dumb token your opponent can trade into for free while losing minimal tempo. Sometimes it’s fun to win with bad cards. And I have no doubt that there’s a legion of Hearthstone addicts out there eager to construct a Protect The King/Arcanosmith/Bolster abomination that will work roughly 20 percent of the time.
Pantry Spider is going to be amazing in Wild. I can’t wait to take this thing to a super noxious Hobgoblin aggro deck and make everyone in my way beg for mercy. You play Hobgoblin, you play your Pantry Spider, and all of a sudden you’ve got two 3/5s for three mana. That’s near-Twin Emperor Vek’lor levels of value.
Unfortunately no one plays Wild, and in Standard this thing will be bad. Yes, technically it’s a combined 2/6 in stats, but as we learned from Echoing Ooze, cards get a lot worse when you’re splitting the stats down to one-attack shares.
It’s at least clear that Blizzard has learned its lesson.
If it was tuning Wicked Witchdoctor for The Grand Tournament, League of Explorers, or even Whispers of the Old Gods when Shaman was still low-tier, I bet the battlecry would summon any random totem. Of course we’ve all been well-acquainted with Aggro Shaman, Midrange Shaman, and the delectably unfun randomness of Tuskarr Totemic, so the Witchdoctor only spits out a basic totem. There is a design doc out there where this thing was pumping out an endless supply of Totem Golems and Flametongues (which would’ve probably lead to the end of Hearthstone as we know it,) so this is… better. Finally a Shaman minion that doesn’t come with an outside chance of a totally broken tempo swing! Hooray!