Yeah, it’s this time of the year again. Blizzard is torturing us by slowly announcing new cards for the expansion that is supposed to come out in over a month from now. But hey, at least we’re getting some info.
First thing I want to say is that I really love the cards. Not talking about the stats, the effects, but the whole theme. Old Gods is one of my favorite lore parts in Warcraft. Although I wasn’t there to raid C’thun yet (I’ve started playing in The Burning Crusade, which was the first expansion – C’thun was the raid boss in vanilla game). Yogg-Saron, on the other hand, I’ve raided a lot. It was one of the coolest fights in WoW. Even though it had some really annoying mechanics that made us question our life choices of wiping the raid 10 times on the Friday afternoon when we could do something else, boss was INSANE. The visions, the whispers, player needing to refresh their “sanity” meter and stuff like created an incredible mood surrounding the fight.
But, back to Hearthstone. Card reviews. One thing I want to say before I start. It’s very likely that over half of my predictions will turn out to be completely untrue after the expansion. This one is especially hard to gauge, because besides the expansion itself, we’re getting new formats AND nerfs to Classic cards. We have really no idea which Classic cards will be nerfed or how Standard will really impact the meta. Then, the expansion is supposed to have 134 playable cards and we know, what, 20 so far? It makes judging the card’s strength even harder. Let’s give you a quick example – Eater of Secrets. This card would be insane in meta dominated by Secret Paladin. But with Standard coming, like half of the cards used in the deck are rotating out. Right now the Secret Paladin is dead. But! What if they release a new, strong Secret and other early game minions to compensate? Well, then it can come back even stronger. So it’s impossible to say whether the card will be strong or not. Keep that in mind when reading my thoughts, because that’s only what they are – thoughts.
My reviews will be mostly about the Standard format & Arena. It’s very clear that the Standard format will be a more competitive (Blizzcon points, official tournaments will be hosted in Standard etc.) one and writing two separate reviews for Standard/Wild seems excessive.
I’ll review only a few cards in each article. I try to go pretty in-depth on each one and I don’t want these to be too long.
N’Zoth’s First Mate
A new Pirate card. It’s pretty nice, because we haven’t seen a lot of Pirate synergy lately. Warrior and Rogue are the most likely candidates to make the Pirate decks work. But maybe let’s forget about the Pirate tag for a bit, because I don’t think it’s going to be played for it (I honestly don’t even think that Pirate Warrior will be viable).
The stats. 1/1 for 1 is bad, that’s pretty obvious. But another obvious thing that stats on the 1-drops aren’t really important. 2/1 is the most standard statline and the difference between 1/1 and 2/1 isn’t even huge IN THAT CASE. That’s because instead of the additional attack, you get three additional attacks – with your face. You could probably say that it’s a better version of Light’s Justice. You prefer that 1/1 over one charge in most of cases – not only you can contest opponent’s 2-drops more easily, but you rarely used all 4 charges of Light’s Justice if you had more weapons in your deck. The same thing applies to Warrior – with other weapons most likely being present in your deck, sometimes you will switch out the 1/3 weapon after just 1 or 2 attacks. But, that doesn’t tell us much – Light’s Justice isn’t Constructed viable card. Will this one be? I don’t think so either. It’s pretty useless in slower lists. It MIGHT actually be okay in Aggro Warrior, because a 1-drop that guarantees 3 damage is pretty okay. The only problem with him in Aggro Warrior is that it’s very hard to utilize it in the late game. You often have more weapon charges than you can realistically use and weapons get clunky in your hand. There is no way you can swing 3 times with a 1 attack weapon while having Arcanite Reaper in your hand and ready to be played. You just don’t have enough time. So, if you get it on turn 1, it’s a really nice drop. Later in the game, it’s either unplayable (if you have a stronger weapon already equipped) or just a 1/1 (if you drop it and then equip some stronger weapon). If Leper Gnomes won’t be nerfed, they will probably still be supreme 1-drops in Aggro.
I’d dig it in Pirate Warrior, but Pirate Warrior would need, well, more good Pirates to be playable.
Oh, but I really like it in the Arena! After LoE the power of Warrior has significantly jumped, but he’s been still missing one thing – pings. One of the huge reasons Rogue is strong is the Hero Power, which can add a lot of the early game tempo at the cost of health. This 1-drop does a similar thing – you get 3 pings AND a 1/1 at the cost of 1 mana, and that’s nice. What’s also good is that it counters opponent’s 2/1 1-drops openings. And it’s nice against opponent’s 2 health 2-drops – you can kill it with 1/1 and weapon hit and be ahead on the tempo with your own 2-drop AND a 1/2 weapon. It’s really cool in Arena.
Naaaah. This is just bad card. Take a card that’s already rarely played (only one playable Warlock archetype uses it – RenoLock), add 2 to the already incredibly high mana cost and you get a card that just won’t work. High mana cost is the main reason Twisting Nether doesn’t see play. If it was 6 mana or something, every slower Warlock would run it. But at 8 mana not only it comes really late (too late to counter minion rush decks), but even if you’re at 10 mana the card usually makes you lose the initiative. Yes, it will most likely gain quite a lot of value, but you’re passing into opponent’s turn with no board most of the time.
I’ll analyze this card in RenoLock, because that’s the only archetype that might want to use it. If others don’t use Twisting Nether because it’s too slow, they won’t even consider DOOM! Let’s make one thing clear – you would never run both this and Twisting Nether. One is already a dead card a lot of time, it’s hard to utilize. Two of them is a huge overkill. So you have to choose one. And I think RenoLock would stick to Twisting Nether for a few reasons. First one is the mana cost. 8 mana on Twisting Nether is already too high. When you play in Midrange matchups, e.g. against Zoo Warlock or Secret Paladin, you are often forced to Twisting Nether on turn 8. You can’t afford to wait 2 more turns or you’re dead. It’s just impossible.
Then, the card draw. It’s nearly useless. RenoLock is NOT a deck that struggles with card draw. It doesn’t even run any card draw minions, because it just doesn’t need them – Hero Power alone is enough. In slow matchups you stay at 8-9 cards nearly all the time. I was in situations where I was at 10 cards and was forced to play something just to not overdraw, even if I didn’t want to/have to. Not only the draw isn’t necessary, but if it would cause you to overdraw – that’s a HUGE deal in Control matchups, because every card is precious. It’s even bigger deal if you play a combo version – dropping one of your combo pieces against slow deck often just means game over (you might run out of damage to kill them).
Then, the draw might actually be decent against faster decks. There you can’t really tap as much, so you operate with a smaller hand size. But then again – it’s SO EASY to mill yourself against the deck’s I’ve already talked about – Zoo, Secret Paladin. A lot of my Twisting Nethers destroyed like 6-8 minions, and that’s a lot of cards. Okay, I won’t be lying. Overdrawing in those matchups isn’t SUCH a big deal and sometimes you’d like the card draw. But the +2 mana cost makes it much harder to utilize.
Then, DOOM! is way weaker with Lord Jaraxxus. As it happens, the Hero Power costs 2 mana and spawns a 6/6. And as it happens, playing Jaraxxus is a huge tempo loss most of time, so Twisting Nether is often played a turn after playing Jaraxxus if they decide to go all-in and flood the board. 8 mana cost vs 10 mana cost is huge here, because at 8 mana you can still play the Hero Power. At 10 mana you can’t. The difference between having and not having a 6/6 on the board is insane, I would lose a lot of games as Jaraxxus if I had DOOM! in my deck instead of the Twisting Nether.
Not to mention that DOOM! is sometimes unplayable even if you really need it. You’re at 9 cards against Control Warrior. He plays Dr. Boom + Armorsmith. You can’t afford to take 10 damage every turn, so you need to clear it. Your only clear is DOOM. Oh, now you can’t use it, because you’ll overdraw 3 cards. But if you don’t use it, you have no way to clear the board. Or the situations where you’re already going into fatigue, you have a few or even no cards left in the deck. You really don’t want to draw then. That’s the thing – card draw isn’t always positive. The fact that you CAN’T CONTROL it makes it even worse. If you play an Arcane Intellect like card and you don’t want to draw, you just don’t play it. But since this one is your removal you are often forced to do that. You can, however, control how much you draw with your Hero Power. And you don’t care about losing health, because that’s why you play the Reno deck – after you tap a lot, you just play Reno, heal back to full and you’re fine.
To not be completely bashing the card, there are some scenarios where DOOM! would be better than Twisting Nether. For example, you’re pretty much running out of cards, enemy has flooded the board and you’re desperately looking for Reno Jackson, then drawing let’s say 5 cards to get you closer to Reno is actually very good. Or when you want to draw the cards, but you can’t, because that will put you into lethal range from the enemy. E.g. against Druid – you might want to draw the cards (because it’s a high tempo matchup and you don’t have a lot of time to Life Tap), but you’re at 16 health and you can’t get into the Combo range. But you’re pretty much never in scenario where you’re losing on card advantage, if you’re losing in such matchups – it’s most likely because of the tempo, not value. So the scenarios are really rare.
Since DOOM! won’t likely be played over Twisting Nether, and Twisting Nether is already played only in one competitive Warlock deck, I think that tells the whole story. The card is cool, I really want to see the animation (I hope they won’t recycle Twisting Nether’s one), but I honestly don’t see it being played.
Hallazeal the Ascended
Christmas came early for Shamans. Possibly one of the stronger cards in the set revealed so far is a Shaman Legendary. And it’s not an Aggro card – it’s a thing you’d play in Midrange/Control Shaman.
I can’t even stress out how I like this card. A 4/6 for 5 are fine stats – you can drop the card just for the stats in the matchups you want a body on the board and don’t care about the effect. And then again, the effect is INCREDIBLY STRONG in any Aggro matchup. For every point of damage you deal with spells, you heal for 1. While it’s not as good on single target spells, if you follow it with an AoE, yeah, you can heal for some insane amounts. This + Lightning Storm against 5 minions is 10-15 healing. This + Elemental Destruction against 5 minions is 24-30 points of healing. Quite strong, right?
The card is also insane in against any combo deck. Freeze Mage is burning you? No problem, play this + some spells and you heal up AND enemy can’t afford to leave this on the board, so it also eats another burn spell. Some deck is trying to put you into the combo range? Drop this and heal.
The only problem I see with this card is that you actually need to combo it with spells for it to work. It’s a great Antique Healbot replacement in Standard, but Healbot is stronger in certain scenarios. Let’s say enemy rushed you down and you really need healing on turn 5. Dropping just this card won’t do anything. Yes, it has quasi-Taunt, enemy is often forced to kill or Silence it, but there is no point if he has lethal. It won’t work before turn 6 with Lightning Bolt, but that’s only 3 damage/healing. It starts working really well only at 8 mana, when you can combo it with AoE spells. So it’s insane late game healing tool, but it’s way, way worse if you desperately need the healing RIGHT NOW. It’s also worse if you actually don’t have good spells to combo it with. If you have this and no spells in your hand, it’s just a vanilla 4/6 for 5.
Which obviously doesn’t make the card bad. When in the worst case scenario it’s a 4/6 for 5 (good stats) and in the best case scenario it might heal you to full, it’s great. But! Yes, there has to be “but”. While the card itself is strong, the decks that the card belongs to (Midrange/Control Shaman) might be too weak to see play. We don’t know how the Standard meta will look like yet and we haven’t seen any other Shaman cards, so it’s impossible to say right now. The card is good, but if the slow Shaman decks won’t be playable – this card obviously won’t see play. It’s like the Hex, probably the strongest single target unconditional removal in the game and yet it doesn’t see play, because no one plays slower Shaman lists.
I don’t like this card that much. I was pretty hyped at the start, because I thought that you could also copy opponent’s minions. But it’s not the case here. You copy a minion, you copy the stats, but not the effects. Instead it has a Taunt. You can only play it on your own minions. So, when is the card useful?
First of all, if there is a minion with high stats, but with negative effect. Ancient Watcher and Eerie Statue are the ones you’d see in the deck with this guy. But honestly, Ancient Watcher isn’t even that strong. 4/5 with Taunt for 4 is good, but not if it requires you to already have another minion on the board. If you have Eerie Statue on the board, then it’s a whole different story. 7/7 Taunt for 4 mana is amazing. But the bad part is that you need to put it into the same deck you play Eerie Statue in.
Another likely candidates to get copied are Giants. For example, you can drop Molten Giant when you’re low for 0 mana and then get an 8/8 Taunt for 4. It’s a pretty nice value. But then again, if you desperately need a Taunt, you can just Defender of Argus or Sunfury Protector your Argus – those are way more flexible. Especially if you also run the normal Faceless Manipulator – then you can Taunt a Giant AND copy the Taunted one (it was one of the coolest Handlock combos back in the day).
But the limits are pretty striking. First of all, it’s not that good when you run a lot of minions that get their value through Effects instead of the Stats. I mean, it’s still nice to copy a 5/5 Sylvanas Windrunner – a 5/5 with Taunt for 4 mana is nice. But Faceless Manipulator would be way superior here, because what’s more important is the Deathrattle, not the 5/5 stats.
Faceless Shambler isn’t terrible, but I think it’s still outclassed by the Faceless Manipulator. It costs 1 less mana (which is awesome) and it has built-in Taunt (which is good, but in some matchups you might not even need it). Manipulator, however, gains A LOT of flexibility. You can obviously play it in the combo decks with Leeroy or Arcane Golem (you can’t play the Shambler, because he doesn’t gain Charge), but then, the fact that you copy the card’s effects AND you can target opponent’s minion is awesome. For example, when playing Faceless in my RenoLock, one of the common plays against Secret Paladin was Faceless Manipulator on Tirion Fordring + Silence it after. If I had no big minion in my hand and enemy had board I needed to clear with Shadowflame, I’ve facelessed one of his minion and then Shadowflamed it. Even though copying opponent’s minion is pretty niche, it came useful a lot of times.
One thing I really, really like in Shambler is the fact that it works really well with Power Overwhelming. If you PO a 3/2 minion, you end up with a 7/6. It dies at the end of the turn, but it’s still big in terms of stats. If you Shambler it and copy the stats, Shambler becomes a 7/6 for 4 mana. That’s why it has a slight chance to see some play in a Zoo-like deck (or Reno with PO). But then again, Zoo runs a lot of small minions that aren’t a good targets to copy, so outside of the temporary buffs, it doesn’t have a lot of synergy with the deck. And I don’t think it can outclass the Sea Giant if you want to run a big body.
I think it’s also pretty meh in the Arena. Like I’ve said, the fact that you can copy only your minions kinda ruins it. You need to play a big minion, you need it to survive, not get damaged etc. and then you can play the same with Taunt for 4 mana. It sounds really nice, but the fact that it’s a dead card for quite a long time makes it not so good. You will never want to drop it as a 4-drop, even if you have the 3/4 3-drop in play – 3/4 with Taunt for 4 is just a weaker Sen’jin Shieldmasta. You want to copy at least the 4-drop stats, like 3/5 or 4/5. So you need your 4-drop to survive with full health and you can drop it on turn 5. But hey, on turn 5 that 3/5 with Taunt will also be pretty meh. So honestly, I don’t see it having a great use until the late game. For example, on turn 10 you might drop Boulderfist Ogre + this and that will be a huge tempo play. But I think it’s too situational and too often a dead card in the hand to be good. It’s not that bad in the Epic slot, though, so I can see it being played sometimes.
N’Zoth, the Corruptor
Oh. My. (Old) God. This card is INSANE. So far I’m really impressed with the Old Gods, I hope they’re going to keep the power level for the next ones. Both of the cards require you to do something throughout the game and then reward you heavily, but they’re on the 10 mana. 10 mana minions really should have a big impact on the game and those definitely have.
Talking about N’Zoth. Okay, first thing I have to talk about is that the card will be considerably stronger in the Wild than in the Standard. Most of the great, strong Deathrattle cards were in Naxx and GvG and those are going away. But, it doesn’t mean all of them. Two most notable, high value neutral Legendaries in Standard will be Sylvanas Windrunner and Cairne Bloodhoof. They both have pretty strong Deathrattles and if you happen to play even those two by the time you drop N’Zoth, it’s already insane value. Will there be a room to play Cairne? I don’t know, we’ll see. But even the smaller Deathrattles like Loot Hoarder or some of the Deathrattles announced in WOTG might see play just because of N’Zoth.
Then, we also have some interesting class synergies. Two really great ones are Savannah Highmane and Anub’Arak – but it would require both Hunter and Rogue to play Control style. There is also a Paladin and Tirion Fordring – insane value to ress that card and if anything, Paladin will probably play slower style games this expansion.
One thing I’m calling right now is Deathrattle Rogue being viable. Okay, call me crazy, but from what I’ve seen N’Zoth really works well with Rogue so far. Rogue already got Unearthed Raptor that synergizes with Deathrattles last expansion. While some Deathrattles playing in that deck go away, Rogue is still going strong. First of all – Loot Hoarder/Bloodmage Thalnos can still be played. Then we have Tomb Pillager as a 4-drop. Then, Rogue is getting TWO more Deathrattles this expansion so far – Undercity Huckster and Xaril, Poisoned Mind. If you throw in some neutral Deathrattles like Sylvanas or Cairne, you have the late game covered. The deck would basically need to survive until turn 10 and then drop N’Zoth. I don’t see turn 10 N’Zoth spawning less than 3-4 Deathrattles in such a deck and that’s insane value. Not only enemy would NEED to have a big board wipe, you’d still get tons of value back from your Deathrattles. Card here, Coin there, maybe a 4/5 still on the board. It’s going to be one of the first decks I’ll test in Standard. Heck, it might really suck, but I can at least try.
Also, this card will be a huge powerhouse in the Wild. So if you play the mode, be aware of this card. Or just play it yourself.
Oh, and the Arena. Nah. It’s not as good in Arena. Cards that synergize with other cards, but without them are really weak aren’t likely going to find their place in Arena. Okay, the thing is – it REALLY depends on your deck. I wouldn’t pick N’Zoth as the first pick. Average Arena deck won’t likely have more than ~2 Deathrattles. A lot of the decks don’t even have a single one. But if by any chance you happen to have like 5+ Deathrattles in your deck, yeah, then N’Zoth is an awesome pick. Even playing just 2-3 of them before N’Zoth is already crazy value. But like I’ve said – everything depends on the rest of your deck. This card sucks hard as a vanilla – 5/7 is 5.5 mana worth of stats and this costs 10. It catches up in tempo given at 4.5 mana worth of Deathrattle minions and in value with probably just one minion spawned (but remember that Tempo is often more important than value).
This card seems okay in Constructed. I’d say it’s about on the same level as Loot Hoarder, and Loot Hoarder is not a bad card at all. This card is stronger on the board, because 2/2 >>>> 2/1. 1 health means Loot Hoarder can get pinged, can get taken down by a 1/1 token etc. 2 health often requires more attention. Dark Peddler has proven that a 2/2 for 2 with draw is strong. Even though the mechanics are kinda different, I think the Peddler is stronger because of the Discover (you get 3 choices, here you don’t get any; also Peddler is instant draw, this one is a draw from Deathrattle). This might however be stronger later in the game, because the random class card is very likely to be better than one of 3 random 1 mana cards.
“Random class card” is a huge RNG factor. Some classes have little to no unplayable class cards. But then again, the other classes are full or bad cards or cards that just don’t work in Rogue. If this card will be played, “E-sports” memes will be strong once again. Enemy Mage Taunted up and is at 10 health? Rogue has Huckster on the board? Run it into the Taunt, get Pyroblast and win. Just like Unstable Portal, this card might be “get out of jail free” card from time to time. But a lot of times it’s going to give you something useless.
This card is going to have a rather strong synergy with Unearthed Raptor. It’s a Deathrattle to copy on turn 3 that isn’t so likely to die as the Loot Hoarder. Even if the Deathrattle isn’t insane, it’s always something – +1 card is okay even if it’s something situational or just weak.
Overall I’m not sure about this guy. It’s okay, but is it okay enough to be played? One of the biggest downsides is that it doesn’t cycle through your deck. When you play decks like Oil Rogue or Malygos Rogue, you want to cycle through your deck as fast as you can, so you’ll find the burst you need to seal the game. It might find the place in Deathrattle/Raptor Rogue – the list that doesn’t gain a lot from thinning the deck hard. Or maybe a Control Rogue if that ever becomes viable? When you play Control deck in Control matchup you often don’t even want to thin your deck, because of fatigue. Or maybe a completely new Rogue archetype will be created… Or maybe I should stop talking. You see how hard it is to review a card when you have no clue how the meta will look like.
In Arena, the card is very good. 2 attack might be a problem in some classes, but Rogue can rather easily ping off whatever didn’t die after confronting this. Class cards have higher quality than neutral cards on the average, and since you’re most likely to face the strong classes in Arena, the random class card from a strong card is nice. If you play it in a meh deck, the cards you get from Huckster might actually be better than the cards from your own deck. Unless you get an Eye for an Eye or something…
This card is craaaaaazyyyy. And I mean it, it’s really crazy. And I actually have zero idea whether this will be playable or not. Seriously. This is one of those cards that need to be tested.
But, I’ll talk a bit about it anyway. I’ll give my personal feelings, which in this case might be completely off. I think this card is going to suck. For a few reasons, actually. First one is – why would you want to play it? If you play it in a normal Warlock deck like RenoLock or Zoo Warlock – why not just play something that’s actually good in the deck? If you play a working deck, why ruin it?
Then, if you build a deck around it. Play 2 copies, a lot of card draw etc. Okay, you play it. And what now? Yes, your deck is better, because everything costs 1 less mana. But everything is RANDOM. And not Elise Starseeker random – with Elise you get only Legendaries, and average cost of Legendary is probably above 5. So you’re nearly sure that you’re going to get cards that are good in late game. Here? Not so much.
Also, the fact that not only cards are random, but also a class. Let’s say you roll a Warrior and end up with a hand of Shield Slam, Fiery War Axe, Cleave, Frothing Berserker, Mortal Strike, Magnataur Alpha and Siege Engine. I just took a few random Warrior cards (I’ve actually did a roll!) Yeah, great hand. Even if this hand was free it would suck. Yes, sometimes you might get a great roll and end up only with impactful, late game cards. But launch the game, pick your favorite class and look how many useless/situational class cards there are. Since they are all random, you have no clue whether you’ll get the synergies. Like – Shield Slam won’t work without Armor, so you need to get some Armor gain too. Goblin Blastmage won’t work without mechs etc.
My stance on this card is – fun, but not good. Random cards ignore any combo, synergy and stuff you can have in your deck. We also need to count that in every class ~50% of the cards suck. Then, next thing is that you have NO CLUE what’s left in your deck. You can’t say that “oh, I can use that Polymorph on that minion, because I will surely have another removal in the deck. You’re just guessing. Calculating the odds, saving removals when you need it or you know that you have more etc. is impossible.
Then again, some of the games might be nearly unwinnable. Let’s say you roll Priest and get only a few small minions and TONS of spells. Now what? If enemy removes your minions, you can’t win the game. Since you’re Warlock, you’re very likely to be ahead on the fatigue. In this kind of random deck, you have no combos and no synergies, so minions will be your most likely way to finish the game. But well, you get some 1-4 drops and that’s it. Enemy kills them. Game over. The decks aren’t balanced – they are RANDOM, so you might end up with hand full of minions and no removal at all, enemy drops Ragnaros the Firelord and it’s GG, because you have no way to kill it. Then you might end up with a hand full of spells and no minions and you also lose the game.
So as you can see, there are a lot of reasons to not play this card. The only reason I see to play it is that the -1 mana cost might actually matter sometimes. For example, if you get a pretty strong hand and you can win through the tempo given by that mana cost reduction. You get pretty good cards and you can play more of them than you normally could, so you overwhelm your enemy. It’s a pretty rare case, though…
If you want to get your hand reduced, why not just play Emperor Thaurissan? Yes, it doesn’t affect your deck. But it can give you multiple reductions, it has a body you can (sometimes) attack with and then you don’t have to play random cards. But the mana cost isn’t always most important. I’ve lost games where I had 3-4 Emperor ticks on a nearly full hand as Warlock. Just because I had so many situational cards and pretty much nothing good to play. The same thing might happen here – if your hand sucks, even if it’s cheaper it will (most likely) still suck.
Oh and in the Arena. I also don’t like it. The cards you get are also “random”, but you actually get a chance to pick one of 3. Getting RANDOM cards from the other class will most likely lower the average quality of the cards in your deck. You also have to play this card, and that’s -1 on card advantage. Most of the Warlock class cards are pretty good. Then again, if you drafted Demonfire and Sense Demons with no Demons in your deck, 2x Fist of Jaraxxus and your only class minions are 3 Summoning Portals, suuure, the quality of your cards will definitely improve, so you can go for it.
Spawn of N’Zoth
This one will definitely compete with Murloc Tinyfin for the title of the cutest minion in the game. But I don’t think it will really be competing in any different category. It’s just weak. It would be a really strong 2-drop, but as a 3-drop, well, I don’t really see it.
Okay, so, it MIGHT find its niche. Like let’s say in the Egg Druid deck (which will probably no longer be called Egg Druid in Standard, with Nerubian Egg gone) – maybe it will be good enough. Or Aggro Paladin? But the thing is, most of the decks that would like to play it, want to have high early game tempo. This guy is NOT a high tempo. It’s a 2/2 for 3. It’s very hard to drop it on turn 3. If enemy got his own early game tempo, not only it might be your only minion on the board (which obviously sucks), but even if it’s not enemy might just clear rest of the minions before it.
For this guy to really get value, I think that you need at least 3 other minions on the board when it dies. Why? Because you can compare it to Shattered Sun Cleric. Cleric is +1/+1, BUT has 1 more Attack and it’s instant, so you can use the Battlecry and instantly target it. I value this as about another +1/+1. So in my opinion you need to hit 3 targets to outclass Shattered Sun Cleric. Oh, and you also need to remember that Shattered Sun Cleric already isn’t played in any Constructed deck. So “better than Cleric” doesn’t tell much.
Another thing is that when enemy clears your board with AoE, this does nothing. Minions will die before this Deathrattle procs, so you basically get nothing.
So yeah, it’s too slow to be played in fast decks and slow decks don’t care about this, because they don’t have enough minions on the board. Maybe, just maybe it might see some play in really board-centric decks that heavily benefit from the buffs. So something like Aggro Egg Paladin or Egg Druid. But like I’ve said in the beginning, with Nerubian Eggs gone (and most of the Paladin’s early game gone), those decks also might be gone.
In Arena, it’s… below average. But I mean, it’s playable if you draft a fast deck. Shattered Sun Cleric is good in Arena, so if you manage to let’s say buff two targets it’s already nice. But will you? This one doesn’t really help you with getting the board tempo. I see it more as something to drop in the mid/late game when you already have the board, not as a 3-drop that will buff one guy.
I really like the WOTG so far compared to the last expansion – TGT. Even if not all the cards are strong, most of them are following the theme and seem kinda fun to play. I haven’t seen anything completely broken so far – and that’s good! But there are already a few cards that will definitely see play in certain decks.
I thought that I’m going to catch up after the weekend, but it seems that Blizzard is really revealing a lot of cards. It’s about 2 cards per day and I’ve spent last 4 days at home (Easter is a pretty big holiday here in Poland), so I need to increase the speed a bit 🙂
Thanks for reading my reviews, I really hope that you’ve enjoyed them!