Grading Blackrock Mountain's latest cards, from Dragon's Breath to Imp Gang Boss
Blizzard has revealed more cards for its latest Hearthstone expansion, Blackrock Mountain. And the Daily Dot Esports Hearthstone crew is here to appraise all of them in both constructed and arena value. Have fun! And if you’re reading this months from now, feel free to make fun of us about all the stuff we were wrong about.
Arena: In arena you can rely even less on potent, board-clearing combos to make this spell good. So more often than not, you’ll be paying four mana to deal four damage. To put that in perspective, Shadowbolt deals four damage and costs three mana, and is generally considered to be a mediocre card. Next to say, Ice Barrier, this might be the worst Mage card you could draft.
: Okay, hear me out. Frost Nova/Doomsayer, clearing the board, next turn dropping Malygos for nine and then both of your free Dragon’s Breaths to the face to deal 18 damage! It’s the two-turn, five-card, not-even-as-good-as-force-innervate-savage-savage wombo combo!
Alright fine. I don’t get this card. Once you’re finished scrubbing the board clean to make it good, what are you going to target? Fireball costs four mana and deals six damage, right? Dragon’s Breath costs five and deals four with a very marginal upside. A big, massive pass from me.
Arena: We're 13 cards into this expansion now, and I've found myself saying this a lot—situational cards are generally bad in arena. Cards like Frostbolt, Fireball, Flamecannon and even Ice Lance are just going to be fundamentally better in 90 percent of situations. You have to have killed three minions to make it have even remotely good value. And then what good targets are left in the same turn?
Constructed: If it's hard to see where this could be picked in arena, it's even harder to see what would be cut in favour of it in constructed. Mage has so many good value damage spells that a spell that is only sometimes good value just doesn't make the grade.
Arena: You’re not guaranteed to have a bunch of dragons in your arena draft, which will make this thing a five-mana 5/4 more often than not. That’s Booty Bay Bodyguard status, so you won’t be picking this too often.
Constructed: It’s quite similar to Fire Elemental, a 6/5 for six that deals three immediate damage when it hits the board. So basically you’re trading off one health for a potent battlecry; the only difference is the Corruptor only triggers if you’re holding a dragon which shouldn’t be that much of a problem. I think it’s a must-run in any Dragon archetypes that pop up, which seem to be angling in a more control-oriented playstyle.
Arena: This is a final third judgement call. If you have drafted a bunch of dragons then sure, it might be better than the two other options. Generally this is a Booty Bay Bodyguard without the taunt. The stats are really weak on their own and it dies to too many lower power minions to be a really good value draft pick.
Constructed: We've only seen one dragon out of the 13 cards so far, but if we do get some more in the rest of the expansion this could have legs. We have been shown a lot of dragon situational cards, so it's probably safe to assume another few are coming. If dragon decks do become viable, this is probably a useful tool.
Arena: You spend a lot of time in top-deck wars in arena, and Core Rager might be the best top-deck rare in the game. But, you know, at that point you might as well be spending all of your mana since you’re only playing one card. Still pretty good though.
Constructed: I guess the dream would be to play this and a Jeeves, so you get the immediate 7/7 plus three more cards. The problem is, emptying your hand generally means you’re losing the game, and it’s not like Hunter has a ton of immediate draw post-Starving Buzzard nerf. I don’t know. I still sort of believe. I think maybe a single copy of the Core Rager will make sense in a lot of hunter decks, but we really need to wait and see.
Arena: Not great. Card advantage is crucial in arena and unless your opponent is also top decking for his life, you're never going to be in a good position to take advantage of this card's effect. I don't see the three mana cheaper War Golem really having that much effect, especially since your opponent could have ways to deal with it immediately.
Constructed: Again, if your hand is empty on turns four to six, you have pretty significant problems. In constructed, your opponent is super likely to have a Big Game Hunter or a taunt or something else. Compare it to Doomguard: The big advantage with that card is the charge. Even though it discards and can empty your hand, it has an immediate impact on the board. Core Rager doesn't do that.
Arena: You don’t end up with a ton of spells in arena, but probably just enough to make Flamewaker a decent drop. Now 2/4 for three mana isn’t great, but a semi-Knife Juggler effect seems pretty valuable.
Constructed: I just don’t think the two random damage is enough. Flamewaker might make sense in a Mech Mage that runs a lot of the Spare Parts-generating cards (Clockwork Gnomes, Mechanical Yetis, Tinkertown Techs,) but it just doesn’t excite me. It could become classic filler. But is this thing really that much better than a Spider Tank?
Arena: Not terrible value if you've picked up some decent spells in your draft already. If not, something like a Harvest Golem or a Spider Tank is always better value and even some other situational cards will potentially come out on top.
Constructed: This could be good in constructed with the right deck. It feels pretty slow, but Mech Mage does have spare part synergy. Things like Ice Lance and Frostbolt will also give decent value. It's hard to see how this fits into decks, however, and what would you cut to make room for it? That's of course the problem we're going to have as more and more cards enter the game.
Imp Gang Boss
Arena: This might be one of the best pure arena cards we’ve seen from Blackrock Mountain. Another three mana 2/4, but this time you’re guaranteed at least one additional 1/1 unless it gets silenced. You could read this card as, say, “2/4 Deathrattle: Spawn a 1/1.” You’d draft that! You don’t even need to trigger its effect more than once for it to be good.
Constructed: There could be some combos with this and Demonfire and Demonheart, but I see this card fitting into a classic Warlock Zoo. Just a nice sticky minion to hold down the board and be annoying. We could be really, really hating Imp Gang Boss in a couple months.
Arena: This is a fairly decent three drop in arena, comparable in power level to something like Harvest Golem. It's very similar to that actually, just with the stats distributed in a different way. Definitely prefer it to Imp Master that's for sure.
Constructed: I think this could have a place in Demonlock or Weirdlock decks, adding more options to the midgame alongside things like Mistress of Pain. I don't think it's that good in aggro decks or established archetypes like Handlock, but it certainly could help to develop the newer Warlock decks even further.