Knights of the Frozen Throne – Top Cards Overview
With only 2 days to go until the expansion hits it’s time to take a look at all of the remaining cards that were revealed on yesterday’s stream and card dump on the official website. Now that we have a clear picture of what the whole set looks like, it’s time to go through them and discuss how we think the cards are going to pan out in new or existing archetypes. We have put together cards that we feel are going to make an impact, be it in constructed or in Arena. We’ve picked 2 cards from each rarity type for Neutrals and 2 class cards from each class in our compilation.
Bonemare: Another absolutely bonkers arena card that offers 9/9 worth of stats and Taunt for just 7 mana. It is definitely a card that’s going to be picked a lot in the Arena meta, while its constructed viability is questionable.
Hyldnir Frostrider: If you unpack Moorabi (the new Shaman legendary) or want to make him work, you should consider using Hyldnir to combo it to get all other minions on your board (as copies) back to your hand.
Bone Drake: This is going to make it into Constructed Dragon decks quite handily and it also happens to be an amazing Arena card knowing how powerful drawing outside your deck is. While most Dragon synergy cards rely on adding tempo and do not always focus on value, Bone Drake is more of a value card and doesn’t have exceptional stats for a 6 drop.
Phantom Freebooter: If you want to run an aggressive Pirate deck you can consider packing this guy in for insane stats for 4 mana. Even with a Rogue hero power it is a 4 mana 4/5 which is standard stats and any high value weapon you have equipped can buff this guy up by a lot. Arcanite Reaper and Fiery Axe are high value cards that you can combo this card with, or even Doomhammer or Hammer of Twilight if you want to play Shaman.
Corpsetaker: A great card with great design and you can consistently get value out of the card if your deck contains minions with the required effects. Al’akir is a solid minion to support this minion and even if you get just Divine Shield and Taunt, it’s quite a bit of value on its own.
Rattling Rascal: This card might seem weird at first but when you think of synergies that you can get with things like Evolve or Treachery, it opens up a whole new ball game. Evolve decks are definitely going to be happy about this one and with the Shaman Death Knight allowing you to change your hero power to evolve your minions, Rattling Rascal is a great minion to put into the deck essentially allowing you to hero power the 4 mana 2/2 into a 5 drop while also getting a 5/5 on the side (Two five drops for 6 mana!).
The Lich King: It is comparable to Ysera and is more aggressively costed with a larger pool of cards to choose from. While it is unlikely that you will be able to get more than one card out of The Lich King as your opponent will most definitely have to deal with the minion no matter what, if it sticks around however for a few turns you are pretty much guaranteed to win the game. Do note that these Death Knight cards are not the same as Death Knight hero cards, you can check out all of the Death Knight cards below.
Arfus: Arfus is The Lich King’s pet and it is the only other card other than The Lich King that allows you to draw a Death Knight card. While the stats are underwhelming, you can afford to run it in a slow control deck as pretty much all of the Death Knight cards are extremely under-costed and can help you regain the tempo you lose by playing Arfus.
Gnash: This is definitely going to be a good pick for Druid in Arena. While the card is just a toned-down version of Bite, the fact that Bite is a Rare and this is Common – it is much more likely you will draft a copy of Gnash in Arena than Bite and with very limited Druid removal options in Standard you can definitely look forward to getting this card offered a lot in Arena drafts.
Ultimate Infestation: Everything you know about the word ‘value’ goes out of the window when you take a look at this card. Ultimate Infestation is pretty much the ultimate value card you can get. Card draw of 5 is probably worth around 8.5 or 9 mana and over that you get 5 damage, 5 armor and also summon a 5/5 for just 10 mana! Moreover, since it is a Druid card you can ramp to 10 mana faster than all other classes through various ramp tools and you also have access to things like Innervate which allow you to cheat out the card earlier that you should be able to play it.
When it comes to the legendaries I’m not sold on the Druid Death Knight hero, especially when you compare the hero power to what Warlock received. Warlock can heal for 3 and deal 3 damage while Druid only gets one side of the bargain. The battlecry of the legendary also pales in comparison to other Death Knights. When it comes to Hadronox, its value completely relies on your opponent not being able to answer the minion through a silence or transformation effect, which means the value of the legendary is not assured and it is completely reliant on how popular such hard removals are in the meta once things stabilize.
Bearshark: While the constructed options for 3 mana cards are completely overloaded for Hunter, Bearshark is a great pick in Arena due to its great stats and effect of not being able to be targeted by spells or hero powers. It might make it into constructed decks if you can make room for it.
Stitched Tracker: A very good card in not only Hunter decks in general but specifically in Secret Hunter too because you run very few minions in general. Hunter is known to be poor at card draw and Stitched Tracker tries to help out by getting you to squeeze out extra copies of cards you have in your deck.
Both Hunter legendaries are underwhelming in the set. The Death Knight Hero is pushing a control style archetype which just doesn’t fit the way Hunter decks play out. Since the class does not have enough fuel to push through in the super late game, you have to rely on your hero power and topdecks to keep applying pressure and close out the game. Professor Putricide is also underwhelming because of the mana costs involved and playing it as a standalone 4 drop hoping to squeeze out value is not ideal. If you’re playing Secret Hunter you want to play your Secrets early with Secretkeeper or Cloaked Huntress.
Frost Lich Jaina: A perfect addition to grinder style Mage decks and it definitely has a lot of potential to get massive value out of your hero power. Elemental Mage decks just might be a thing because of the card and even if you do not load your deck with elementals, simply being able to summon Water Elementals if you finish off minions with your hero power is quite great on its own.
Sindragosa: A very slow value legendary reminiscent of Medivh. While Medivh can be countered by simply destroying your weapon, it is very unlikely people are doing to silence or transform your Frozen Champions. If you are in Death Knight mode you can also ping off your 0/1s and get Water Elementals while also drawing a random legendary minion.
Dark Conviction: Reminds us of Keeper of Uldaman and being able to shut down minions for just 2 mana and deal with them with your board or weapons is just a great effect. One of the drawbacks of Aldor Peacekeeper is that sometimes you might land him on a high value target but you may not have enough damage to kill off the minion which is negated to a great extent by the spell. And the card being common also means it is going to show up in arena a lot and shut down big threats extremely efficiently.
Uther of the Ebon Blade: One of the most hyped up legendaries in the set and for good reason. Even if you ignore the fact that the alternate win condition exists, the weapon by itself is worth about 6.5 mana and you also get an upgrade on your Silver Hand Recruits from being 1/1s to 2/2s. In slow grindy games you are going to outvalue pretty much every hero power in the game and you can even try things like Auctioneer Beardo or Burgly Bully to get multiple hero powers off.
Eternal Servitude: While the card might not be the flashiest or the strongest, it does open up a lot of fun potential with OTK decks. Shadow Visions allows you to draw a lot of burst damage and Prophet Velen being the core win condition means that you are very likely to draw him out with Eternal Servitude once he dies. Having a Barnes thrown into the deck means you have an additional shot at drawing Prophet Velen out.
Shadowreaper Anduin: A hard removal card that can take out multiple big threats at the same time and the hero power is a much better interpretation of the current Shadowform as you can reset it each time you play a card.
Moorabi: Moorabi has a lot of potential with so many freeze effects already revealed and available for use for Shaman from older sets. If we get a mass freeze effect, Moorabi can be a powerful card draw tool for the class. If Frost Shaman is a viable deck, you definitely want to include this minion. Hyldnir Frostrider is a good combo card to work with Moorabi as well.
Thrall, Deathseer: One of the best Death Knight cards of the set as it allows you to evolve your minions twice while also getting a fancy hero power that allows you to evolve single target minions. Its low mana cost definitely makes it a worthy addition to Evolve Shaman decks.
Shadowblade: Shadowblade seems like a decent weapon at first glance as it allows you to control the board without taking damage on the first turn you play the weapon. Rogue is notorious for being bad against aggro decks and this card allows some breathing space when using weapons to control the board.
Valeera the Hollow: Valeera is high on my wishlist because of how much potential the card has and it just might be the core of the next best deck Rogue has this expansion. Being able to save yourself for a turn and setup combos makes it a very interesting card and its passive hero power makes it the only Death Knight hero with a passive ability.
Defile: A very interesting early game AoE spell to counter aggressive token decks. It is a Whirlwind that keeps repeating itself if you kill any minions when the effect goes off. It can be extremely effective with spell damage thrown in and you can use your board to make correct trades to squeeze out maximum value out of the card.
Bloodreaver Gul'dan: A highly powerful Death Knight hero and with a reasonable amount of high value demons in Standard and plenty of big boys in Wild like Mal’ganis, I am definitely looking forward to this one. While it may be very slow, the hero power can help you recuperate a lot of HP very quickly and the battlecry is just insane and cannot be stopped.
Rotface: With a ton of cards that can damage Rotface, getting at least 2 legendaries out of him is not unlikely at all. Whirlwind effects come in plentiful when it comes to Warrior and with things like Blood to Ichor, Blood Razor and Fiery Warrior – this card can get quite a bit of value out. Even if you do not get the best of legendaries, you can definitely pull out a wall of stats at the very least in the lategame.
Forge of Souls: Since most card draw options are low tempo for aggro decks, you do not see them run any card draw at all but when it comes to Forge of Souls you draw specific cards out of your decks. Weapons pretty much translate to burst damage for Pirate Warrior and Forge of Souls gives you just that!
That’s all for our top picks from the expansion. What cards are you excited about? Do let us know in the comments below!