In every expansion, there are cards that are undervalued at launch but excel when tested out. Cards that are misjudged by casual and pro players alike but find a spot in the meta. Now, since the dust has settled and the cards have been analyzed, we will be talking about those cards.
I’m Sempok, and due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback I got on my article regarding Top 5 Most Surprisingly Good Cards of WoToG, I have decided to make this topic into a series. So without further ado, here are the Top 5 Most Surprisingly Good Card of One Night in Karazhan!
1. Firelands Portal
It seems that at launch, most portal cards were considered average and have exceeded expectations. The best ONiK card for arena is the first special mention on this list. Firelands Portal found a spot for itself in most Tempo Mage decks at the start of the Karazhan meta. Sjow called the card,”Absolutely Broken” after some initial testing and after playing with card for a while, the general consensus shifted from “Meh” to “Seems pretty good”.
2. Babbling Book
The second card in the special mentions category also happens to be a Mage card that was played in Tempo Mage. The argument most players gave for Babbling Book was that you would rather just have a consistent spell in your deck rather than a random spell. What people missed out about the cards were 2 main things: It increases the early game that Tempo Mage has, and can often find situational cards that are really good for the situation. Since Tempo Mage already have a multitude of early game spells and removal, having too many can often become a problem and Babbling Book often helps as a band-aid solution. It become a staple in Asmodai’s Tempo Mage that runs the Emperor Thaurrisan/Antonidas Combo to ensure better late game against control decks.
5. Ivory Knight
It often seems that whenever a new expansion is released, Control Paladin seems to be really good but consistently drops of in popularity. The initial assessment of Ivory Knight was that there were simply too many 1-Mana spells in Paladin for it to be consistently good enough. Furthermore, most people thought that your opponent being able to discern the card you picked due to the healing was a concerning drawback. However, people overlooked the fact that simply put, healing is good in slow decks. Ivory Knight also has the added benefit of picking up a crucial spell such as Consecration, Equality or the dreamy Anyin Can Happen Ivory Knight provides slower Paladin decks with a fairly decent body for midgame while often picking up a really good spell. The card has replaced Lay on Hands in most Paladin lists and is definitely not weak by any means.
4. Ironforge Portal
For our second portal card of this list we have the Warrior spell, Ironforge Portal. It’s really curious how most people thought of this card and rated it in the mediocre category since we had already seen the same mistake be made earlier. Shieldmaiden was a card from GvG that was also thought of to be okay at best but turned out to be good. The case is the same with Ironforge Portal, since it is essentially just the little sister of Shieldmaiden. Control Warrior lists utilize this card to its fullest potential since gaining armor and slowing down the game is something Warriors love to do. This card also spawned a new variant of Control Warrior that runs Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End. Suffice to say, this card was definitely not on many people’s radar when it was revealed but turned out to be a staple in a meta list.
3. Moonglade Portal
Our final portal card on this list is Moonglade Portal. Essentially the big brother of Ironforge Portal, many people saw the potential that this card had in Yogg Druid. However, most people did not seem to realise just how good it would be. This card in conjunction with Arcane Giant helped formed a pivot of the older more flood oriented Yogg Druid list and created a Malygos Druid. The thing about 6-drops is that for the Mana cost, they are extremely well statted. The card helps feed Yogg, discount Arcane Giants, and heals. This card singlehandedly turned Aggro Shaman, the worst matchup for Yogg Druid, into a fairly decent one. It is fair to say that this card has far exceeded the expectations of most people.
Rogue’s new favorite Pirate, Swashburglar comes in at number 2. An extremely overlooked card, people seemed to be irked but Blizzard’s decision of pushing Thief Rogue, an archetype nobody asked for. People looked at this card and dismissed it as an inclusion in StealYoGirl Rogue and not much else. However, this little guy has sneaked into every single meta Rogue deck present right now, and for good reason. Swashburglar fits into the more minion-centric approach that Rogue has been digressing towards. It is a cheap enabler for combo, and helps in finding cards that are not as situational as most Rogue cards, and buffs Edwin VanCleef and Questing Adventurer. Though it first was included only in Questing Adventurer based miracle lists, Swashburglar soon also found its way into other builds such as Malygos Rogue, and has stayed as a 2-of in it ever since.
1. Spirit Claws
In first place is everyone’s newest card to hate, Spirit Claws. Spirit Claws has managed to singlehandedly shape the entire metagame. It has been the catalyst for the recent popularity of Midrange Shaman and definitely deserves the first spot on this list. When revealed, people didn’t think much of Spirit Claws. Everyone saw that it had potential, but it was simply not consistent enough. You had a 1/4 chance to roll a spell power and just 3 other activators for it otherwise. Trump thought it might have some possibility of being good in Control Shaman, but nobody really realised how good it would be in Midrange Shaman. What people failed to take into account were 2 things: Shaman hero powers a lot, and Shaman maintains board control a lot. Along with Maelstrom Portal, a card everyone thought of as really strong, Spirit Claws pushed a Spellpower based Midrange Shaman over the edge, making the deck so powerful that it seemingly has no counter, a feat barely any deck has managed in the history of Hearthstone. While accomplishing a lot in Hearthstone, it has also really flourished in the chemical and food industry, being the lead producer of NaCl due to just a Hero Power.
Thanks for reading guys! If you have any questions, you can ask me on twitter @Sempok_HS or in the comments below! Let me know any cards that you think deserve to be on the list and that I may have missed out! Cheers.