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Rating  11

Contributed by

Stonekeep

Guide Type

Last Updated

August 6, 2015

Table of Contents

HSP reviews TGT: Gamescom megathread

View list of cards released so far in this dedicated post.

Introduction


This is the series where our contributors – high ranked ladder and Arena players – and players from Team HSP review the new revealed The Grand Tournament cards. We rate every card both in Constructed and Arena, then give you our thoughts about them. This post will be updated every time we’ll get a new review!

When it comes to the rating, we rate the cards from 1 to 5:

1 – Very Bad – The card will see no play in any kind of deck. It won’t be drafted in Arena unless you’re present with other terrible options. E.g. Magma Rager, Dalaran Mage.
2 – Bad – The card might see some occasional play in low tier or budget decks, but isn’t good enough to be played in top tier decks. It will rarely be drafted in Arena – either it needs to synergize with the deck or you need to be present with other bad options. E.g. Boulderfist Ogre, Frostwolf Warlord (Constructed), Ironforge Rifleman, Ancient Mage (Arena)
3 – Average – The card might fill some niche and see play in couple of decks. Not an especially strong card, but can be used to fill gaps in the deck after putting staple cards. In Arena, it’s the card you’re gonna draft pretty often – the card is good enough to not ruin the quality of your deck, but nothing impressive. E.g. Gnomish Inventor, Sen'jin Shieldmasta (Constructed), Bloodfen Raptor, Archmage (Arena)
4 – Good – You’re gonna see this card in a lot of decks. Either it fits into a certain archetype or is overall a good card. Your Constructed deck are mostly filled with cards of those quality. They’re strong and definitely serve their purpose. In Arena, those are the cards you actually want to see and draft – every great deck will have at least couple of those. E.g. Azure Drake, Defender of Argus, Haunted Creeper (Constructed), Harvest Golem, Mechanical Yeti, Stormwind Champion (Arena)
5 – Very Good – This is THE card that will be auto-include or at least a very strong contender. The card that is gonna be really strong and see a lot of play in many decks. Card that is often best in its role, the one that you can’t really pass. In Arena, this is the card you want to see most in the draft, the base of 12 wins Arena decks, one that you instantly pick when you see it. E.g. Dr. Boom, Mad Scientist, Piloted Shredder (Constructed), Flamestrike, Truesilver Champion, Fire Elemental (Arena)

This time we’ve got a lot of reviews going on. First, we’re gonna review the Bash and Brave Hunter that were shown 2 days ago. After that we’re gonna go through the cards revealed at Gamescom. A lot of cards!

Bash


Falathar

Constructed: Average/Good (3.5)
Arena: ?

Blizzard is afraid of giving Warrior good draw/cycle effects, because of Grim Patron Warrior. So I doubt we will see any of those. The pre TGT Patron Warrior will be the as the post TGT, because the deck is very close to the old Miracle Rogue and Sunshine Hunter’s brokenness, so one more good card could push it over the top. I highly doubt that Bash will make it into Patron Warrior. The entire point of Patron is to stay alive (which it does really well already), and draw a bunch of cards to draw into a combination of your key cards. Bash does not help greatly with either.

Nevertheless Warrior still has Control Warrior as another viable archetype. Bash is a very simple card, but I think it is a good one. It is a slightly more expensive Darkbomb, with a little bit of healing attached. It helps dealing with Warrior’s Control current biggest nightmare: Piloted Shredder. Bash will help killing the Shredder while a weapon will deal with the leftover (some exceptions ofc).

But that alone is not enough to warrant a spot in Control Warrior. The reason for that is that there is already a similar card that has a Darkbomb like effect: Slam. Slam is cheaper and replaces itself when you try to kill a bigger minion.

So overall the playability of this card depends on the metagame. Control Warrior is a reactive deck and has to run the best possible answers in any given metagame to be as effective as possible. If the metagame is very aggro heavy with a lot of 3 toughness must kill minions like Mechwarper, Bash becomes a staple. On the other hand if there are more Control and Midrange decks, Slam is a clearly better choice because you don’t want to 2 for 1 yourself when setting up an Execute in a bigger threat.

Another comparison people could make is Shield Block. Cutting this card for Shield Block is absurd in my eyes because Shield block cycles and gives more armor. Card draw and cycle is really powerful in any card game, especially when they are attached to synergy cards.

Although it is a simple card a lot of testing has to be done with it, to find a good spot for it. Another possible cut for it could be Armorsmith which is a very lackluster card without any support, but Armorsmith is still a minion while Bash is a spell without card draw attached and costs more.

I won’t rate it in the Arena. I simply never liked Arena. I have a 12 wins key, but played less than 100 games. It is not for me, so I have no idea.

Stonekeep

Constructed: Average (3)
Arena: Average (3)

This card is pretty average. It’s great when you compare it to Drain Life, but that’s it. All the classes are getting 3 damage removals – Warlock got Darkbomb in GvG, Hunter got Quick Shot in BRM and now Warrior gets Bash in TGT. The problem with this card is not that it’s bad – the Warrior just doesn’t need more single target removal. Between weapons, Execute and Shield Slam – Warrior already has enough. Maybe it’s gonna be used as an one-of in Control Warrior instead of I don’t know – Shield Block? Shield Slam? Armorsmith? I’m not sure. In Arena it’s not bad, but nothing exciting either. You don’t really care about Armor that much in Arena as you do in Constructed and 3 damage for 3 mana is pretty average.

Brave Hunter


Stonekeep

Constructed: Very Bad/Bad (1.5)
Arena: Bad (2)

I’m not sold. The card fits a hyper-Aggro Hunter deck, aka Face Hunter, but all the 1-drops Hunter uses are better. This one you can compare directly to Leper Gnome. The good thing about Leper Gnome, though, is that it deals 2 damage when it dies – you don’t need an empty hand for that. If you want guaranteed 2 damage – Worgen Infiltrator or Abusive Sergeant are another 1-drops you want.

This one can in theory get more value than 2 damage. But in the early game you don’t have an empty hand and in mid game where you actually can have empty hand – those don’t stick into the board for long.

Not to mention that you often keep situational cards like Ironbeak Owl, Unleash the Hounds or burn like Kill Command  and Quick Shot – your hand is often not empty. And if it’s not, it’s just a 2/1 for 1, which you run a lot of, but with better effects. So definitely not good.

In Arena, it’s just a 2/1 for 1. The Inspire effect will RARELY even proc. And when it procs, it won’t often even matter. If you use this, it’s only for a 2/1 for 1, which definitely has it’s uses. Way worse than many other 2/1 1-drops, though.

Gadgetzan Jouster


Hoarth

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Good (4)

Similar to Zombie Chow, except that in most situations the 5 health given by Chow isn’t relevant as Chow generally is played in control oriented decks. This card might see play over Chow in some Midrange decks such as Shaman or Paladin, but even then I think they will tend to favor Zombie Chow for its consistency. Not a bad card, just has better alternatives.

Sixis

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Bad (2)

Gadgetzan Jouster is like an inconsistent Zombie Chow, because if you lose the joust is just so poorly statted. I don’t see the point of running this card in any deck. Even if your deck is control heavy so you would win joust, you don’t care about Chow effect anyway.

Stonekeep

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Bad (2)

This card is pretty meh. Obviously you play it as an anti-Aggro tech, but if for some reason it fails (you never have 100% to win the Joust, even against Aggro you’re gonna lose sometimes), the 1/2 just dies for free a lot of times. I don’t see it being used over Zombie Chow. When you play against Aggro – Zombie Chow’s healing effect is more often than not meaningless, because you don’t hit enemy Hero early anyway. Dropping Zombie Chow on 1 means that you have guaranteed 2/3 minion without pretty much any flaws. The only problem with Zombie Chow is that in slower matchups you rarely want to drop him in the late game when you’re close to lethal to not heal opponent. This one you can drop anytime you want, but if you play in a slower matchup, there is a big chance that he’s gonna be just 1/2 for 1.

In Arena – it’s the same. Zombie Chow is almost always better. If you win the Joust, it’s good – 2/3 for 1 is nice. But on the other hand, 1/2 for 1 sucks a lot. It usually dies for free and rarely trades into anything. I’d say that it’s too risky.

Bolster


Hoarth

Constructed: Very Bad (1)
Arena: Very Bad (1)

Seems weak and very conditional. Currently there aren’t many Warrior decks that actually play lots of taunts, and this card requires you to already have taunt minions in play. Very conditional card overall, but could see play in niche Taunt Warrior brews.

Stonekeep

Constructed: ?
Arena: Very Bad/Bad (1.5)

I can’t rate it in Constructed yet. In the current decks – Control Warrior and Patron Warrior, this card is completely useless. It just sucks. But if by any chance the Taunt Warrior becomes a thing, it’s gonna be really good. If you buff 2 minions – that’s value already. And if you run like 10 Taunts in your deck, having 2 at the same time on the board isn’t gonna be hard. Especially with Sludge Belcher that leaves the Slime behind and Sunwalker that is really sticky. With 3 or more Taunts – it screams value and it would be insane. I’m actually gonna test a Taunt Warrior just to see if it works. The card has potential. I don’t think it’s gonna become a thing, but who knows? So, if the Taunt Warrior becomes a thing – it’s 4/5, if it doesn’t – it’s 1/5.

In Arena it’s really bad. You often don’t even draw a single Taunt in your whole draft – so it can make the card completely useless. If you draw only one or two Taunts, which is probably most common scenario – you actually have to combo them together which also won’t all the time, making it completely dead car. The cards that are 100% dead if you don’t meet conditions are bad. For example – Blackwing Corruptor is a conditional card, but even if the condition isn’t met, you can still play it as a 5/4 for 5 – not good, but fair enough. This, however, does completely nothing if you don’t have Taunts.

So if you by any chance draft like 5+ Taunt deck (especially cards like Sunfury Protector or Defender of Argus), you might pick it and it might work. Otherwise it sucks.

Ancestral Knowledge


Hoarth

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Good (4)

Finally! Shaman has card draw! …… kind of? So Blizzard was half listening when we were telling them how to make Shaman viable. First off, they needed to give the deck card draw to add to its consistency, and second they needed to reduce how taxing Overload can be to your gameplan. They got the first part with this card, but unfortunately I think this card has too much overload to be viable.

Stonekeep

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Average/Good (3.5)

Everyone knows that Shaman needed card draw.. But why it had to be so bad? 2 points of Overload are much. You don’t want to use it in the early game – getting Overloaded so hard is pretty bad. Over the 2 turns it costs 4 mana, compared to 3 of Arcane Intellect. If it was Overload 1, it would be so much better and still balanced.

The only strong point I see over the Arcane Intellect is that let’s say if you play it on turn 8 and draw Fire Elemental, you can play it right away. But if you have no good play on the turn you draw cards – having 2 Overload on next is gonna suck much harder than just spending more mana this turn.

In Arena it’s slightly above average – card draw is generally good in Arena. I think this card is weaker than Arcane Intellect, but since Shaman didn’t have access to that much card draw – it’s not that bad actually.

Mukla’s Champion


Hoarth

Constructed: Very Bad (1)
Arena: Bad (2)

This card relies on you first to have a board, and then to be able to hero power to buff your board. I think that this card is much to slow for the stats. Almost every time, I’d rather have a Stormwind Champion over this card just because of the more significant stats on the card.

Stonekeep

Constructed: Very Bad (1)
Arena: Bad (2)

Wow… I mean… 4/3 stats are bad for a 4-drop. But this is a 5-drop. You’d expect it to have an INCREDIBLE effect. But it doesn’t. +1/+1 for all minions as an Inspire is not strong enough to justify playing a 4/3 5-drop. Even if it sticks on the board, which is almost impossible, because it even dies to early removals and 2-drops… But even if it sticks to the board, the effect isn’t really that good because it requires you to have a lot other minions on the board to get value. So, to make a long story short, the minion is underwhelming in terms of stats and underwhelming in terms of effect. Trash tier.

Since the Arena is slower, you may actually get some value from it if you draw it in the late game. If drop it when you already have the board control – you can strengthen it and get your minions out of AoE removal range. It’s still too slow and the base stats are way to weak for it to be good.

Injured Kvaldir


Hoarth

Constructed: Average (3)
Arena: Bad (2)

Similar to the Injured Blademaster, this card is overstatted but requires you to heal it up. I could see this being played in Priest, but Zombie Chow might still just be a better card because of its early trading potential. That being said, Injured Kvaldir into Northshire Cleric + Coin + Hero Power could be pretty sick!

Stonekeep

Constructed: Bad (2), Average (3) in Priest
Arena: Bad (2), Average (3) in Priest

A small version of Injured Blademaster. If any class would run it, it probably would be Priest. But I still don’t see it being better than Zombie Chow. To make it a Zombie Chow you need to pay 3 mana, and since the maximum health is 4, it can’t get much better. It has obvious combo with Northshire Cleric – you can heal it up early to draw cards. It also combos with Circle of Healing – obviously you won’t use it just for this card, but if you can fit him alongside Injured Blademaster, having a 2/4 for 1 is very good.

But I still don’t think it’s gonna work. It starts as a 2/1 without any effect. Against Aggro, you prefer instant 2/3 – Zombie Chow. Against Control – you don’t even care about 1-drops.

In Arena, the 2/1 for 1 without any additional effect is pretty bad. A little better in Priest because he can actually heal it up if he needs to so it doesn’t die to pings or tokens in the late game, but I still don’t see it being too good.

Argent Lance


Hoarth

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Good (4)

At best, this weapon is a 2/3 weapon for 2 mana. At 3 Mana, Coghammer is much more reliable and the buff it gives is really strong in Constructed where it allows you to trade (or get more face hits in) more efficiently with divine shield and taunt. Additionally, Midrange Paladin isn’t really hurting for 2 drops. It hits its early game fairly consistently with Knife Jugglers, Shielded Minibots, and even Ironbeak Owls. The only way I’d see this card being played is as a budget Coghammer.

Sixis

Constructed: Very Bad (1)
Arena: Average (3)

This card is not only underwhelming but very redundant with all the weapon charges Paladin has to get rid off. This card has no place in constructed at all. In Arena its pretty decent because of the 3/2’s that are run in that format.

Stonekeep

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Average/Good (3.5)

In Constructed, Paladin has a lot of weapons to choose from. Let’s call this one 2/2.5, because you aren’t guaranteed to get 3 Durability. It’s pretty good against faster decks to kill enemy 1-drops and 2-drops. But Paladin already has good turn 2 with Knife Juggler against slower decks or Shielded Minibot against… everyone. Then on turn 3 he already has different weapons – either Coghammer or Light's Justice (from Muster for Battle). I think those are better and I wouldn’t really run Argent Lance over them. Obviously it doesn’t fit the Aggro Paladin because of the Joust effect – you want to play it in slow deck. And slow deck doesn’t really need this one. You can’t run all the weapons, because they’re gonna clog your hand. And since this one isn’t exciting, I doubt it’s gonna be played.

In Arena it’s not bad – Stormforged Axe in Shaman is great. The Axe has guaranteed 3 Durability, but it gives you 1 mana Overload instead. They’re comparable. Obviously the slower deck you run, the better Argent Lance becomes, but it’s pretty nice overall.

2 attack is often enough, but if Blizzard prints couple of good 2/3 2-drops, the value is gonna drop down significantly.

Burgle


Hoarth

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Good (4)

Thoughtsteal for Rogue, but worse! For the most part when playing Rogue, your cards are much more valuable than your opponents because you rely heavily on the synergy between your weapon buffs, Blade Flurry, and cheap removal to gain tempo. This card is very likely to give you cards that you wouldn’t want. I think it would be really tough to fit this card into a Rogue deck, but it might see play in a fatigue oriented Rogue deck which seeks to expand how long its deck will last.

Stonekeep

Constructed: Average (3)
Arena: Good (4)

Really fun card! It doesn’t fit a Tempo or Combo Rogue decks, that’s why I’m giving it 3/5. But if a Control Rogue becomes a thing, it’s actually gonna be 4/5. Getting random cards from enemy class is not bad for couple of reasons. First of all – it gives you card advantage even if the cards are mediocre. Second – class cards on average are pretty good. Even something like Moonfire can be used as a cheap combo activator. You can find use for most of the cards. There are a lot of great class minions, especially Legendaries. This single card can get A lot of value. Third – it gains card advantage without actually getting further into your deck. When you play a combo deck, you want to thin it, you want to draw to get your combo pieces earlier. But when playing slow, control game – you actually prefer to have more cards in your deck in case you play a Control mirror and the game goes to fatigue.

The good comparison is Thoughtsteal. It’s a little more risky than that, however. Thoughtsteal always draws from enemy deck – so not only it gives you some information, but enemy rarely puts bad cards into the deck. But on the other hand, the cards in enemy deck might be useless in the given situation. For example, when you play against Zoo Warlock and you need to copy some AoE to clear their board – Thoughtsteal is bad. But with Burgle you can get Hellfire or Shadowflame and it can actually save you. But besides that, both of the cards are pretty similar. I like it.

In Arena, it’s pretty strong – average quality of class cards is probably higher than average quality of Arena deck. So it’s often gonna be much better than just drawing 2 cards. And drawing 2 for 3 mana is just standard. This one obviously depends on your luck, but on average it’s gonna be nice.

Armored Warhorse


Hoarth

Constructed: Very Bad (1)
Arena: Average (3)

An interesting card in that the joust mechanic and the card have conflicting purposes. The joust mechanic is centered around making slower, Control decks stronger by allowing the slower decks to more consistently win jousts because of how heavy their curve is. In contrast, Charge is a very aggressive mechanic which allows you to burst your opponent down. Not a bad card in theory, just doesn’t fit a specific gameplan.

Sixis

Constructed: Average (3)
Arena: Average (3)

This card is a little bit weird. He is very offensively statted and it can get charge, despite having the joust mechanic attached to it. Of course this card is really good when it has charge, not only to push a lot of damage but to remove threats such as Emperor Thaurissan, Loatheb or Fire Elemental.

Stonekeep

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Average (3)

This card is pretty counter-intuitive. 5/3 Charge would be really strong in Aggro or maybe some Combo decks, but you won’t reliably roll higher cost minion in such a deck. On the other hand, you don’t really care that much about 5/3 Charge in slow, Control deck. Warrior has the access to 4/3 Charge that works 100% of time (Kor'kron Elite) and he doesn’t use it. Armored Warhorse has 1 attack more, but you risk it being just a 5/3 for 4, which sucks a lot.

In Arena – it depends. If it rolls the Charge, it’s easily rated 4/5, but it it doesn’t – it’s 2/5. 3 health 4-drop is so easy to remove, but if he gets a Charge it’s an upgraded version of Reckless Rocketeer – not only it allows you to push for a lot of damage, but can act as a nice removal. That’s why I rate it 3/5, because it really depends on whether you win the Joust or not. More RNG, yay. Obviously the slower Arena deck you run – the stronger it gets. The 5/3 Charge for 4 is great even in really slow Arena decks.

Tuskarr Jouster


Hoarth

Constructed: Very Good (5)
Arena: Good (4)

This card is amazing! Unfortunately, it’s Paladin only. I think it will see play in Control/Midrange Paladin, but I’m not sure that this is enough to make those decks a tier 1. Paladin and Shaman are famous for getting some of the best cards, but they both lack the card draw mechanics to make them strong enough to make them top tier (Hex, , Dragon Consort all have great value). Maybe this card will be enough of a buff, we’ll have to see when TGT comes out!

Sixis

Constructed: Good (4)
Arena: Average/Good (3.5)

This card is pretty OP when you get the effect off, which is ok because it’s a class card. Tuskarr Jouster can really push the old school Control Paladin back into the spotlight. Only time will tell how often can this card win jousts and be competitive. For now, I’m optimistic about this card. It can have a competitive future

Stonekeep

Constructed: Good/Very Good (4.5)
Arena: Good (4)

Very strong card in slower Paladin decks. I think it’s much stronger than Antique Healbot – obviously it can fail, but it rarely will against Aggro decks, and that’s where you need the heal most. When you win the Joust, it’s like a Guardian of Kings for 2 less mana – crazy. The 5/5 stats on 5-drop are also good enough, especially when you compare it to a 3/3 Healbot. The only problem with this card is that it fits only a slow Paladin deck – Control Paladin, maybe Dragon Paladin – I don’t think that Midrange Paladin is actually slow enough (you won’t drop cards like Knife Juggler or Shielded Minibot). So while the card is strong in the vacuum, if the slow Paladin deck won’t become a thing, the card won’t be used, because it won’t fit into faster decks.

In Arena, the vanilla 5/5 for 5 is pretty strong – if you add a possibility to heal for 7, yeah, why not? A strong card. Obviously, the slower deck you run, the bigger value you’re gonna get from it, but the 5/5 for 5 itself is good enough to draft in Arena.

Master Jouster


Hoarth

Constructed: Very Good (5)
Arena: Very Good (5)

Another awesome card! A stronger Sunwalker. I think this card will see a lot of play in decks like Ramp Druid or even Handlock. Both of those decks can pretty consistently win jousts (keep in mind that joust is reveal a MINION, not a card from each deck) so that each of these decks should tend to win off of how heavy their minion curve is.

Sixis

Constructed: Good (4)
Arena: Average/Good (3.5)

This card is absolutely nuts when it wins joust just as Tuskarr. Now the important question is – what decks can actually play this card on a competitive level? Taunt Ramp Druid and Control Paladin come to my mind.

High end taunts go very well with Druid and Paladin has always lacked a good 6 drop to play (Sylvanas Windrunner lacks synergy in Paladin).

Stonekeep

Constructed: Good (4)
Arena: Good (4)

Absolutely insane IF you win the Joust. Sunwalker is already a strong card and in case you win – this is a Sunwalker with +1/+1. It may not seem much, but actually is. The difference between 4 and 5 attack is huge. 5 attack means it takes out a lot of popular drops like Sludge Belcher, Loatheb or Emperor Thaurissan. 6 health is also better than 5 for the same reason – the 5 attack minions can’t easily remove it.

The problem is that if you don’t win, the vanilla 5/6 for 6 is pretty bad… Could be used in really slow decks like Ramp Druid or Control Paladin. I thought about Control Warrior too, but 2x Armorsmith, 2x Cruel Taskmaster and 2x Acolyte of Pain ruin your jousts a little. I think it still could fit it, though.

In Arena, again – it depends. If it doesn’t win, 5/6 for 6 is pretty meh. -1/-1 compared to Boulderfist Ogre hurts. It also dies to Drakonid Crusher without killing it. So without the Joust, it’s probably around 2.5/5. But if it wins the Joust, it’s easy 5/5. Sunwalker is crazy good in Arena and upgraded Sunwalker is even better. If you play a slow Arena deck – definitely a great pick. But I think I’d still pick Sunwalker over it most of the time.

Gormok the Impaler


Hoarth

Constructed: Average (3)
Arena: Good (4)

Very situational, and it’s unlikely that you will get 4 minions on board by turn 4. Could be possible with Zoo, but still rather unlikely. That being said, it has decent (not good, but decent) overall stats and so that even when you dont get the Battlecry off, you don’t lose that much tempo.

Stonekeep

Constructed: Good (4)
Arena: Bad (2), Average (3) in Paladin/Shaman

So.. This card is either gonna be completely bonkers or it’s gonna suck. The base stats – 4/4 for 4 – are rather bad. You definitely don’t want to run that in Constructed. But if the effect procs – it’s probably the best 4-drop in the game. Is it worth the risk? I’m not sure. I can see it having a potential in Zoo Warlock or maybe Midrange Paladin. I especially like the Zoo for the same reason it uses Sea Giants. Haunted Creeper, Nerubian Egg, Imp Gang Boss, Imp-losion – they all give either things that stick to the board or more than 1 minion from a card. As the Zoo, you often have 4+ minions on the board in the mid game. Obviously the minions don’t even have to be strong – even if it’s just 4x 1/1 Token, the board itself isn’t strong, but you can still proc the effect. In Paladin you sometimes Shielded Minibot on 2 into Muster for Battle on 3 and if enemy has no way to deal with it, you can use Gormok on 4 for immense value.

In Arena, you rarely have 4 minions on the board or more unless you’re Paladin or Shaman. Usually if you have so many minions on the board you are either winning the game already or you don’t want to put more to not get destroyed by AoE (like Flamestrike). Dropping it as a 4/4 for 4 is rather bad, especially for a Legendary – there are TONS of better Legendaries and I’d rarely pick it.

The Skeleton Knight


Hoarth

Constructed: Very Bad (1)
Arena: Bad (2)

Quite frankly a bad card, too easy to remove with a weak Deathrattle. At best it’s about as good as Malorne is (which isn’t very good).

Smashthings

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Good (4)

This guy functions as card draw, which is great. But here’s the problem: In aggro matches life/tempo matters and in control Card advantage matters.

The problem is that in the matches where the Deathrattle is likely to resolve (ie. Aggro) a 7/4 is probably too slow and nowhere near defensive enough; you probably played it on Turn 6 because you were desperate and had no better option.

Meanwhile, in the control Match-ups (where getting the card advantage matters) is also the match-up where the ability is less likely to trigger.

The final nail in the coffin for me is that this card is competing against a number of other decent 6-drops (e.g. Sylvanas Windrunner, Emperor Thaurissan), and it just doesn’t seem to make the grade.

In Arena, I think it will do better (in the right deck) since a 7/4 needs to be removed and then will need to be removed once more when it is played for a second time. There will be games were this card just wins almost by itself.

Sixis

Constructed: Very Bad (1)
Arena: Very Bad/Bad (1.5)

This card is super bad, the stat distribution is poor and its vulnerable to Big Game Hunter. Pretty much unplayable.

Stonekeep

Constructed: Very Bad/Bad (1.5)
Arena: Bad (2)

The card is pretty terrible. 7/4 for 6 mana sucks. And the Deathrattle might put him back into your HAND – it means that you have to spend 6 mana again. Huge tempo loss and the Deathrattle isn’t even guaranteed. In Arena if Deathrattle procs it’s not terrible, but too easy to remove for a 6-drop. If the Deathrattle won’t work and this just dies, it’s a Salty Dog for 1 more mana… For it to be good the effect would have to be “resurrect this minion” instead “put him back into your hand”. Then I’d actually consider it. But I say big no to a 6 mana Salty Dog.

Eadric the Pure


Hoarth

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Bad (2)

The super Aldor Peacekeeper! It’s not necessarily a bad card, but we’d need to see a major meta shift towards Handlock for it to be really viable. As it stands, this card would be played in Midrange/Control Paladin which generally already runs two Aldor Peacekeepers and a Big Game Hunter. Additionally, Eadric is understatted for his mana while Peacekeepers are slightly below average stats for their mana cost. I think it will be tough to fit this guy into decks where answers to high attack minions are already so saturated.

Sixis

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Bad (2)

The problem with this card is his effect is very powerful but extremely situational which makes him very understatted for the cost. Basically I think it’s too Control oriented for it to be used in Constructed, because it’s good only in slow Paladin deck and only against another slow deck.

Stonekeep

Constructed: Average (3)
Arena: Average (3)

The effect is pretty good, but the stats are pretty terrible. 3/7 for 7 mana would need to have INCREDIBLY strong effect to justify the poor stats. As it turns out, this effect is not strong enough in my opinion. In best case scenario, let’s say you play against Druid with 6/6 Shade of Naxxramas in Stealth, Druid of the Claw and Loatheb on the board. Yeah, in case like that, the card is very good. You almost nullify enemy board, make your trades easy and protect your health. But on average, enemy rarely has more than 1 or 2 higher attack minions at the same time. Aldor Peacekeeper is good because its also flexible – 3/3 for 3 is not bad, so using it on turn 3 as a tempo play is fine. For this one, you have to wait for a good opportunity – just dropping it on turn 7 to affect let’s say one minion is bad – you’d much rather just use the Peacekeeper. Anti-Handlock card, but does the slow Paladin deck really need anti-Handlock tech?

In Arena it’s also average – if you’re behind it can save the day, but once again, the 3/7 stats for 7 mana are crippling. War Golem is often much better than this one and it tells you the story. Very situational.

Smashthings

Constructed: Good (4)
Arena: Very Good (5)

I like this card, I like it for the fact that it feels like a card you might tech in against say Handlock but is actually probably just strong versus almost anything that wins via board control (baring Bloodlust/Savage Roar decks). Against both Aggro and control it he buys you time and saves you a lot of health (yours and your minions).

Its one of those cards that is good when you are both ahead and behind on board. This flexibility makes him great, in my opinion.

Also note the potential ‘stealth buffs’ to Stampeding Kodo and Acolyte of Pain.

In arena, I think his effect is even more pronounced since that game mode is all about board control.

Anub’arak


Smashthings

Constructed: Average/Good (3.5)
Arena: Very Good (5)

Anub is kinda cool, his Deathrattle leaves a nice minion AND functions as card draw (potentially lots of card draw!). In slow meta-games I foresee this guy being an annoying menace.

But with that said he doesn’t have taunt, and in my mind that is a pretty big deal. With no defensive capabilities he ends up being a super slow card and you may struggle to find the time to play in many match-ups. This is also why Malorne sucks.

In Arena, this card is probably going to be fantastic. Lots of arena games end up being top-deck wars near the end, and once you draw this card you are going to be able to outspend your opponent until the end of game.

In short; this guys is a one-man army! But unfortunately is probably too slow nonetheless.

Lucky

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Very Good (5)

Very powerful Deathrattle effect from this minion, but that’s it. 8/4 stats without immediate impact on the board is not what you want for 9 mana. As a result, it is really weak to Silence and very slow so it will be difficult to find a suitable deck for it. In Arena, on the other hand, this guy is the ultimate finisher.

Stonekeep

Constructed: Bad (2)
Arena: Good (4)

On the other hand, this is the effect that you probably DON’T want to see from a 9 mana Legendary. It’s not as game winning as you’d want it to be. The problem with Anub’arak is how slow it is. Yes, if you get to play it couple of times in a row, the value you’re gonna get is HUGE. But you sacrifice a lot of tempo, because 4 health 9-drop is soooo easy to remove (even if it leaves the 4/4 behind, that’s not enough). It’s also so bad against Silence. One Silence means that it’s just a 8/4 for 9 mana. Pretty much a Salty Dog – for NINE MANA. It won’t work. Maybe if there were no Silence and the meta would be really slow – yeah, then sure. But not right now. Also, once again, we’d need a Control Rogue for it to even be considered – in current decks it’s waaaaaay too slow. So in Control Rogue vs Control Warrior, it could actually work! But let’s say Handlock could just Ironbeak Owl + Big Game Hunter and get rid of it completely.

In Arena, however, it’s a little different and much better. Silence and Big Game Hunter aren’t that common in Arena. If you aren’t completely behind on the board and get it rolling, you win the game unless enemy rushes you down. If you drop it against enemy full board on turn 9 – you’ll get out-tempo’d. But Arena games tend to be longer – if you draft slow Rogue deck, Anub’arak would be really great addition.

Aviana


Smashthings

Constructed: Very Good (5)
Arena: Good (4)

In any other class this legendary would probably be mediocre but in Druid I predict that this will be totally insane: On turn 10 you can play this and any other minion of your choosing. Add in an Innervate and you can get 3 extra creatures with this guy.

For example (Turn 10): Aviana + Innervate + Ragnaros the Firelord + Faceless Manipulator x2

This crazy combo leaves you with an incredible board and a potentially huge amount of damage. All this without her even having to survive the turn!

Moreover, think about how this card works not just with Innervate but also with Emperor Thuarissan as well: with just one proc you would play 2 minions alongside Aviana on Turn 10.

In Arena, the deal is almost as good; so long as you have the cards and the big fatties in the hand Aviana will seal the game (e.g. Turn 10 Aviana + Ironbark Protector). You will have to be a little careful however in Arena; she doesn’t do very well in ‘top-deck’ wars.

In short: potentially very, very powerful. This is the sort of card you build entire decks around. With all this said, to see play this card probably needs a slow meta-game and only time will tell how fast the game ends up being.

Lucky

Constructed: Good (4)
Arena: Bad (2)

Interesting minion for control Druid archetype, playing this card on turn 10 together with a taunt or high-cost minion is good enough tempo play, while she must still be removed. Combine it with Innervate plus more big minions and the tempo gain will be amazing. The challenge will be building a truly competitive control Druid deck, but I think this legendary card has potential.

Stonekeep

Constructed: Good (4)
Arena: Average (3)

That’s what I expect from the 9 mana Legendaries. This card could basically state: “If it doesn’t die until your next turn, you win the game.”. That’s how strong it is. You’d obviously run it in a slow, Ramp Druid deck. Imagine following this with 3 big Legendaries and 2 strong Taunts next turn. If enemy doesn’t play a complete board wipe (like I don’t know, Brawl) he just loses. I love this card. And I’m not sure whether it’s gonna be good – but that’s how the 9-10 mana cost legendaries should look. The effect should be really, really strong and it is in this case.

The dream would probably be playing this on 10, followed by Innervate and three more minions. Even playing this + Kel'Thuzad on 10 would mean enemy has to deal with BOTH of them on the same turn. And neither of them is in Big Game Hunter range, which is important.

I fear, however, that the card might be too slow. It’s great in Control matchups that tend to last way over 10 turns. But against Aggro it would suck a lot – you wouldn’t have time to play it, like, ever.

In Arena – I think it’s a little too slow. In the late game you’re usually top decking anyway – your hand size is probably low, so this card might end up not doing anything, because when you top deck you (most often) play only 1 card per turn anyway. You’d usually much rather play some individually very strong Legendary like Ragnaros the Firelord or Ysera than this. Obviously, it’s not completely bad – but I’m not sold when it comes to the Arena.

Enjoyed this article?



Playing Hearthstone since September 2013. Infinite Arena player. Hitting Legend rank on EU each season, with multiple high Legend climbs during the season and top 200-300 finishes.

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4 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    One of my favorite things about Smashthings (apart from his dedication to the Hearthstone community in general) is his inherent optimism.

    Smash, almost across the board you rate new cards higher than your compatriots, but not because you don’t know what you’re taking about– instead it’s because you have such hope for all the possibilities inherent in each new card.

    You’re like “well this *might* suck, but what if we build this kind of deck with it? Oh, and we could add this other thing too! Oh man, this could be awesome! I’m gonna try it!”

    I really dig that optimism and sense of excitement.

    • Smashthings says:

      thanx for the kind words.

      I have been assessing cards for a long time (as far back as Naxx) and it is often a hard business. So far I have been pretty accurate (my biggest mistake to date was thinking Shade of Naxxrammas would suck).

      I think there are two very basic traps people fall into when assessing cards:

      1) People often overvalue cards that fit in current decks and typically brush to one-side potentially new strategies and archetypes. E.g. If ‘Beast Druid’ becomes a thing then most of our Beast card evaluations will probably turn out to be too low.

      2) People forget that designers have ‘intent’ behind the making of cards: the balance team have been playing & testing with these cards for months. And while they do of course make ‘bad cards’ (deliberately or by accident) a lot of the time they are trying to add interesting cards. But for cards to be ‘interesting’ they typically need to be playable as well. Ergo, most of the time the cards (especially class legendaries) are probably going to be decent, even if they look bad.

      For example, the designers know shaman is in a weak place right now. And so therefore I find it almost inconceivable that they would release a bad legendary for them. Given this assumption, if a shaman legendary “looks bad” we are probably just wrong in our evaluations; the designers just wouldn’t do that to the class.

      Long Story short, I think lots of evaluations consider the game ‘as is’ rather than contextualising the cards in terms what ‘may be’. This error typically leads to lower evaluations than the cards deserve.

      “Dr. Boom is bad because of BGH, Meanwhile Troggzor is really powerful” <— Yeah, look how right the community was on that one. :)

      • Stonekeep HSP says:

        I prefer the middle ground approach. Some people are reviewing every card as “traaaash”, others are (in my opinion) too hyped and too optimistic.

        I try to evaluate every possible scenario and try to assume the best case scenario – that the card works, that there is a deck created around this card etc. But even then, some of the cards seem really, really bad.

        I think that Camzeee’s reviews are really solid – he’s looking at the card from a lot of angles and tries to show the possibilities. He’s neither extremely pessimistic nor optimistic. I see the reason behind most of his predictions even if I don’t agree with some of them.

  2. Smashthings says:

    also guys, don’t forget to check out camzee’s review here:

    http://hearthstoneplayers.com/grand-tournament-first-card-impressions-part-3/