Hearthstone’s Scholomance Academy expansion is less than one week away, bringing with it 135 new cards to shake up the meta.
Out of those 135 cards, 40 of them are introducing a new mechanic that’s long been requested since the early days of Hearthstone: dual-class cards. While multi-class cards aren’t new, with Mean Streets of Gadgetzan being the first expansion to bring tri-class cards, the number of tri-class cards originally made (nine out of 132) pales in comparison to the amount of dual-class cards that are aiming to leave an impact on Hearthstone’s history.
Here are 10 of the best dual-class cards that were added to Hearthstone’s Scholomance Academy expansion.
10) Cutting Class
Though Cutting Class was one of the last cards revealed during Scholomance Academy’s reveal season, it’s certainly not one of the weakest. As a five-mana, draw two cards spell that can discount itself, Cutting Class needs to cost one or two mana for it to realistically be considered strong. Luckily for this card, both Rogue and Warrior have access to strong weapons and a plethora of cards that can buff their weapons to powerful numbers.
If Warrior and Rogue decks are tailored properly, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched for either class to get a weapon with four or five Attack out, making this card cost little to nothing. Warrior is already considered one of the best classes in the Standard format right now and Cutting Class is looking to accentuate that lead by providing more cheap draw.
9) Potion of Illusion
When Potion of Illusion was revealed, it spawned the shrieking of multiple people who fear the existence of combo decks. At first glance, this card can help reinvigorate Mage combos involving Archmage Antonidas, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and infinite Fireballs. But it can also be a potential refuel engine for midrange decks using Spellburst or high-value minions with powerful effects.
Landing this on Shifty Student, Mozaki, Master Duelist, or Jandice Barov allows you to set up future turns where you can activate their effects again. Even if this card fails to make a dent on the Standard ladder, if aggro is too strong or combo-hate tech cards are running rampant, Wild players will have to worry about this card since hitting Archmage Vargoth or other combo pieces will make players think twice about how they approach the Mage matchup.
8) Shield of Honor
Shield of Honor is another Warrior card that makes this list. It looks to increase the potency of Enrage Warrior by granting sturdiness alongside aggression. Guardian Augmerchant was a card that’s already made appearances on decks in the meta due to its ability to provide Divine Shield for one mana at the cost of dealing damage to your own minion. Shield of Honor looks to take that idea and bundle it with more Attack to allow you to race your opponent even faster.
When combined with other Warrior damage synergies, like Bloodsworn Mercenary, the amount of mileage you can get out of this one card will be twofold. Whenever you’re given the chance to wound or kill a Warrior minion, always look to kill it. Otherwise, you’re at risk of facing payback from the Shield of Honor.
7) Brain Freeze
There are only two functions to Brain Freeze: Freeze or removal. The fact it can do both fairly effectively for such a cheap cost without being flashy safely grants it a spot on this list. For Mage, as a one-mana card, it can be combined with other multicast card synergies like Mana Cyclone or Mozaki, Master Duelist. For Rogue, it helps keep tempo for such a cheap price and it can activate the combos of your other cards.
6) Ras Frostwhisper
Spell Damage is an archetype that was pushed onto Mage and Shaman a bit more when compared to other classes in this expansion. Ras Frostwhisper serves as a payoff card for the cultivation of every Spell Damage card given to both classes. Anytime Mage or Shaman play a card with Spell Damage, it’ll also effectively have Taunt and a huge need to remove it for the opponent due to the existence of this card.
Aside from being efficient at clearing the opposing board and maintaining a board lead, it also deals a bit of extra face damage to an opponent. This grants you a little extra damage that puts your opponent on another clock.
5) Wand Thief
One mana random generation cards are often powerful when they’re given to any class. Wand Thief amps that up to 11 with its Discover effect that grants you high-quality Mage spells. While it’s slightly more difficult to activate than other one mana random generation cards due to its combo requirement, it’s still a fairly easy condition to meet.
Besides having a tiny body early to help contest the board a bit, it also lets Rogue players discover spells outside of their class to shore up any potential weaknesses. If there’s a wide board, discover a Flamestrike to clear it. If there are multiple minions, Frost Nova or Ray of Frost can help stall. Powerful Deathrattles can also be hit with Devolving Missiles or Polymorph.
4) Spirit Jailer
The first Demon Hunter card to make the list, Spirit Jailer (and his Soul Fragment friends he helps enable) will have a notable presence in the upcoming meta. The Soul Fragment archetype can go either aggressive in tempo lists or controlling in slower lists—and Spirit Jailer serves as an intermediary between the two strategies. Aggressive lists will appreciate another 1/3 body to help control the board early and defensive lists will want as many Soul Fragment activators as possible. It’s also an early body to help contest aggressive matchups.
3) Ace Hunter Kreen
As a card that was made to be commemorative for the previous world champion, Hunterace, this card lives up to the Standard hype of taking its name after a champion. Ace Hunter Kreen will be the king of aggressive and midrange mirror matchups. Due to his ability to make every other minion Immune when they attack, keeping an empty board against either Hunter or Demon Hunter will be imperative starting at turn three.
If Kreen can be summoned onto a wide board, it’ll be tough to get rid of him outside of using spells since every other minion can keep him alive through constant trades made free with “Immune while attacking.”
2) Lord Barov
While both Paladin and Warrior are probably the weakest at killing Lord Barov instantly to provide a consistent board clear, they’re some of the best at following up his Equality-like ability to make an asymmetric board clear for the opponent. Warrior is already one of the best classes leaving the Ashes of Outland meta, so Lord Barov will only help enforce that concept going forward.
The potency of cards on this list looks at how they serve their best class as well as how much they can aid the other weaker class attached. Lord Barov also assists Paladin immensely since it’s far and away better than the nerfed Equality. Any slow or midrange list from both classes will appreciate the raw utility and strength that Lord Barov brings to the table.
1) Lightning Bloom
As anticlimactic as a common card taking the top spot on this list looks, the power level of Lightning Bloom is undisputed. When thinking back on Hearthstone’s history, the original-unnerfed Innervate was one of the strongest cards of all time, if not the strongest. Being able to cheat out powerful cards multiple turns earlier than expected, or weave together multiple cards in a turn with the extra mana provided, is unprecedentedly powerful. While the Overload for two may look extremely detrimental, if you can accrue a large enough lead early with this card, your following turn will matter much less since you set yourself up for victory faster than your opponent can respond.
In Standard, as soon as you hit turn three with just one copy of Lightning Bloom, Shaman can use this and Cumulo Maximus to summon a 5/5 and deal five damage to anything, allowing you to cement an early board while removing an early threat from the opponent. With two copies on turn three, Druids can summon an early Winged Guardian, which can be a quick death sentence for any aggressive decks. Lightning Bloom can also make Kael’thas’ nerf merely a setback and include him in spell-based Druid combo decks as another cheap card to summon earlier than expected.
As a powerful card, it also encapsulates the true goals of a dual-class card by being a strong inclusion for both classes. This card will keep pushing Druid to new heights in Standard while also single-handedly bringing Shaman from the depths of a low win rate tier to a higher-tier class.
Aside from being one of the best cards to tear up the Standard meta, it’ll also be another powerful tool that affects the Wild format. Druid already has a ton of combos to look out for in Wild. The fact that Lightning Bloom can help accelerate them means that opponents will have to worry whenever they queue up against a Druid deck.
Hearthstone’s Scholomance Academy will be released on Aug. 6. Fans can pre-purchase the expansion in one of two different bundles from Blizzard’s online store or in the Hearthstone client before the expansion goes live.