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C’Thun, Cultists, and Competition- Will C’Thun see Play?

Reviewing the competitive viability of C'Thun and the cultist cards that power him up.

Photo via Twitch

Whispers of the Old Gods is the newest expansion soon to bereleased in Hearthstone.  Blizzard and many Hearthstonestreamers/personalities released a few of the new cards to thepublic.  While they haven’t released all of them, I wanted totake this time to review the new cards and analyze theircompetitive viability.  In this article I’ll analyze thelegendary card C’Thun and the four neutral minions related to him-Beckoner of Evil, C’Thun’s Chosen, Twilight Elder, and SkeramCultist.  Let’s start with talking about C’Thun:

 

C'Thun

 

The first thing to point out is that this card is worth 10 mana. With the exception of the “Giants” cards, minions that cost10 or more mana have never been viable.  Cards like Deathwingand Varian Wrynn have really cool effects, but cost so much for ahigh risk play at the expense of all your mana.  They don’tleave room for too many options in one turn, and C’Thun is nodifferent.  However, an upside to C’Thun is that he has animmediate impact on the board that only affects your enemy. With the right amount of power C’Thun could put on a lot ofpressure, and the way he gets this power is through these cultistcards.  Here are the neutral cards released so far that powerup C’Thun:

Shekram Cultist Beckoner of Evil C'Thun's Chosen Twilight Elder

 

These cards are meant to power up your C’Thun during the earlyand mid game.  The stronger you make C’Thun the more impacthe’ll have on the board.  At the North American HearthstoneWinter Championship, Lead Designer Ben Brode mentioned in testingC’Thun would be on average 14 attack and health.  Dealing 14damage randomly split among all enemies is incrediblly powerful. C’Thun alone can push the tempo of the game in your favor andpotentially set up lethal.  However, there are a few problemsI have with the consistency of C’Thun and his cultists:

1.  Since there is only one copy of C’Thun that you may putin your deck, how often will he be played to justify using him? Will you survive long enough to play C’Thun?  Is C’Thuntoo susceptible to silence?

2.  If you’re not able to draw C’Thun, will his supportingminions be able to pick up the slack and provide alternative winconditions?

3.  Will you have to sacrifice too many significant cardsin order to build C’Thun decks?

Ultimately C’Thun’s design is meant to be an investment, andwhile the downsides are pretty apparent I still think it’s a reallycool card.  The idea is that the faithful shall be rewardedwith this massive Old God that will send enemies to their doom. The cultists and C’Thun are dependent on each other, whichmakes for simple deck building for new players.  In defense ofC’Thun, there’s also a lot we don’t know about the state ofHearthstone after Whispers of the Old Gods is released.  Wehave no idea how Curse of Naxxramas and Goblins vs. Gnomes leavingthe meta will impact deck building.  We also don’t know muchabout the upcoming nerfs to Classic set cards.  If Big GameHunter takes a heavy hit, then C’Thun’s potential success ratecould rise.

 

With all this in mind let’s take a look at what classes andtypes of decks could use C’Thun.  Classes that survive overlong periods of time, such as Warrior and Priest, seem to fit thebill quite nicely.  Their cheap and abundant removal can helpthem keep control of the early-mid game and build up C’Thun. Ramp Druid would also be a good option- cheat out thecultists early on with Wild Growth, or surprise the enemy with aturn 8 C’Thun with Innervate.  Some more fun options would beRogue using Shadowstep on cultists to build up C’Thun more, Shamanusing Far Sight to make cards cheaper, and Warlock with SummoningPortal.  Neutral cards that have nice synergy with C’Thundecks are Emperor Thaurissan and Youthful Brewmaster.

 

My final verdict for C’Thun’s viability at the moment leanstowards no.  There will most likely be exceptions for classeswith a higher survivability rates, but overall I don’t think everysingle class will have a successful C’Thun deck.  I’m morethan willing to review C’Thun once more when Whispers of the OldGods is released.  However, there seems to be a lot fightingagainst C’Thun.  The card costs a lot of mana, you can onlyput one copy of it in your deck, the card is hindered by silence,and it relies on other cards to make it stronger.  I’m stillreally hopeful about C’Thun.  I think the battlecry effect andinvestment will feel rewarding.  I’m excited to test C’Thunout and review him when the new Hearthstone meta peters out.

 

About the Author- I am a writer that follows competitive esportssuch as Hearthstone, League of Legends, and Super Smash Bros.Melee.  Follow me @Kenny_Humiston on Twitter for contentupdates.