Fuskee’s Witchwood Preview, Part 1
What’s up everybody! We are about half a month away before the next Hearthstone expansion, Witchwood, and a good amount of the cards have started to be revealed by Blizzard so it’s that time to make our predictions about potentially good cards and discuss the kind of stuff we can expect in the upcoming meta. So far 33 of the 135 cards have been revealed including some pretty crazy legendaries so let’s take a minute to check out what we have been shown so far.
I’m breaking down this article by sections based on rarity, starting with what everyone wants to see first, the legendaries, and moving down towards the commons. Since going over every single card might take too much time I may end up cutting some of the basic commons from the end but if you want to see the entire list of card reveals you can always head over to Hearthstone’s subreddit on Reddit.com and check out the Witchwood reveal thread stickied at the top. I will only be cutting out cards that don’t really have any potential value but so far it seems like every card that has been revealed shows some sort of use.
I do want to mention that the pictures that have been posted are quite large and I didn’t want to resize them too much since I was worried people might not be able to read the card text so I’m leaving them huge for the time being. If they cause any problems for anyone please let me know in the comments below, ok? Well, let’s not waste anymore time and jump right into it!
They made the Rush mechanic pretty safe by making sure you can’t attack your opponent but one of the things that you can use this for is with Deathrattle effects. It won’t live long on its own so it won’t be safe to play on Turn 4 or anything like that but I predict it will kind of be used like Fandral Staghelm where you play him and then immediately play the cards that you want to give Rush to afterwards. Like I said, the best use of this is with Deathrattle effects since it’s the only real thing that can get a big use out of the Rush mechanic unless you’re just trading cards with your opponent. My prediction is that it won’t be used because the Rush mechanic can’t really be abused that much. There might be use in a combo deck so that’s the only reason for a 3.
This is an INSANE card to add to Rogue. First off it already gives you a great benefit for the 3-mana cost by giving you a free legendary while also giving you a pretty decent sized body for 3-mana but then allows you to play it 2 more times for a max of three free legendaries. The other insane thing I see with this card is the potential use of Shadowstep to put it back into your hand, allowing it to be used on a future turn for three MORE legendaries. Turn 9, cast him three times for three 2/2s and three legendaries, then Shadowstep at end of turn to get him back into your hand for later. My prediction is based on the fact that it’s an efficient body for 3 mana while giving you free legendaries, and the late game use of this is ridiculous with Echo, allowing you to create multiple legendaries out of nowhere which makes it a pretty crazy card.
Hagatha the Witch
Wow, I did not predict that the “Deathknight” mechanic would return but I’m kind of glad it did. This is the closest I think we’ll get to new “classes” in Hearthstone and I’m kind of okay with that. Like most Deathknight cards Hagatha seems really good since she does multiple things for one card, she heals you for 5 by giving you 5 armor, she helps wipe the board by dealing 3 damage to all minions for only 8 mana which isn’t that bad since Abyssal Enforcer does the same for 7 mana and it was used for awhile, but her hero power is insane to me since it costs no mana and just automatically happens every time you play a minion. This can be pretty insane in something like a Murloc deck where you’re playing tons of cheap cards and getting free Shaman spells which can be deadly since Shaman has some pretty good direct damage effects like Lightning Bolt. My prediction is based on the fact that pretty much all Deathknight cards are usable because of their insane value for one card and with the free mana cost hero power, this is definitely going to be used.
Giving minions in your hand Echo is really only good for one thing, Battlecry/Deathrattle effects. Like I said above with the Rush minion, this card is only usable in the turn you play it since most decks will be able to just kill her the next turn if you play her without any sort of defense. I don’t predict Echo will make that much of a difference with just 4 mana unless someone figures out a combo to use with her so that’s why my prediction is so low.
What is there not to like about this minion? For those familiar with Defile, you know that this type of effect is really good at clearing the board and if you’re able to give yourself a free 4/4 at the same time that is just insane. Since Defile was so popular I don’t see how this won’t be just as popular since it has a bigger effect while also giving you a free guy at the same time.
Baku the Mooneater
The insane thing about this card is that you can get the value from it without ever having to play it. By just having it in your deck you can get a free Hero Power upgrade at the start of the game which can be insane for classes like Warlock who get free cards. I think the biggest use of this will be Warrior since it used to use Justicar Trueheart the most back when she was around. 4 armor a turn allows for Warrior to return to being a heavy control deck and being able to start doing that on Turn 2 is INSANE. My prediction is only at a 7 because only a few classes will be able to use it effectively but I would be very surprised if Warrior Control didn’t come back and use this card in every single deck.
This is a pretty straightforward card, you get a copy of your opponent’s hand. The problem is that this card comes out so late that the only decks it will be good against is Control and that’s if they have a big handful of cards. The mana cost is too big to do anything after you play her and as a 3/3 she isn’t even a good body for 7 mana. I really don’t see this card being used at all.
Lowering your Hero Power to 1 mana doesn’t really do anything too crazy and what’s even worse is that it only does it to your starting hero power so things that give you a new hero power don’t work with it, such as all the Deathknight cards. There may be a potential combo to use with this guy but I don’t see it yet and restricting your deck to just even numbered mana costs is too much of a hindrance to make good use of a 1 mana hero power. Probably won’t be used but there might be combo potential.
This card will only be used as a 5-mana 4/8 Taunt so when considering that, this card isn’t bad. The only problem is if the odd/even numbered decks even become popular but it looks like they’re printing a lot of cards with that theme so it should be pretty viable. Dark Arakkoa is a 6 mana 5/7 Taunt that was used quite a bit as a big Taunt minion back in the day and Jade Behemoth, even though it was used mostly for the Jade Golem, was also quite used as a Taunt minion so when we consider those, this card is pretty powerful. Costs less and has a bigger health while still having a decent amount of attack to be a threat, as long as the even/odd numbered decks become used, this card will see play.
People are predicting this card will be good because it’s “potentially a 4 mana 7/7” since you can usually get seven 1/1s on Turn 4 with it but I disagree because there is just so much cheap board wipe removal right now with Defile and other cards that a board of 1/1s is not that powerful on curve. With cards like Mark of the Lotus rotating out as well, it’s hard to get a good board buff on these guys without having to wait until later turns to combo it with things like Power of the Wild. Still has potentially good aggro use but I don’t think it’s THAT great.
A 5 mana 4/4 isn’t bad as a body but the ability could be pretty deadly. As a Priest card this could make even your cheap minions such as Northshire Cleric become a 1/6 that is very hard to remove. This also fits well in the current Priest craze which is using high health minions and the combo cards Divine Spirit + Inner Fire to make HUGE minions out of nowhere but the restriction of the odd-cost cards is what kind of kills it. It had potential without that effect but taking out Divine Spirit and making this the only double effect doesn’t quite go well with the deck and also as a minion it doesn’t get the effect of Radiant Elemental so I’m not sure where this card will fit in.
Another popular Priest deck right now is Big Priest and this card fits PERFECTLY with that theme. This card allows them to do things like Eternal Servitude a huge minion with an end of turn ability like The Lich King or Ysera and then make another copy to get double the cards. Also since this is Priest we’re talking about, they have the potential to heal it up that turn. Because it fits so well with the current Big Priest deck I think it will be used a little bit.
This is basically a kill spell that has a little bonus attached to it for extra mana, but I’m not sure how useful that will be. The 4 mana cost for only 3 damage is quite a lot and since you have to kill the minion in order to get the coin, I’m not sure how useful it will be. Currently, the Coin isn’t that useful in current Rogue decks but it could potentially have value depending on how Rogue changes in the new meta. One thing it could be used for is ramping into a big cost minion/spell by killing stuff on Turn 4/5, maybe comboing with Backstab to kill 5 health minions and then using those coins to summon big stuff around Turn 7/8. This will all depend on if Rogue has anything huge it wants to cast in the new meta.
This is a very interesting card but I’m not sure if it will find a place in the meta. It’s a good curve minion, a 3/4 for 3 mana is one of the best things you can get as a body, so things that pump up certain minions can have a good effect on this card such as Murloc abilities. This will probably fit in with any minion theme deck such as Dragons or Elementals since it allows you to get those triggers off of having this in your hand or playing it on Turn 3. Basically just a great card for any theme deck.
This is basically a Leeroy Jenkins without the ability to kill your opponent before they can use the minions you just gave them. It could be good against an opponent with a full board since you will summon them nothing and get a free 5/8 but if your opponent has a full board you’re already in trouble. Best case scenario is you use this to kill something big like a 4/5 or 5/5 but then you have a 5/3 that gets killed by their Mucklings. Unless someone finds a good use for Rush I don’t see this card being good at all, it just gives your opponent too much without having a good use for itself.
I am making a bold prediction here that some sort of Mill Druid deck will become popular in the new meta. Druid Mill was around for a little while using cards like Naturalize to make your opponent draw cards while also killing their big minions. Without Coldlight Oracle it’s not super viable to run mill anymore but this card could give it a huge comeback. One of the best parts of this card is that it has an “end of turn” effect which means you’ll get the card on the turn you play it, so if anything it’s still a draw effect that your opponent has to deal with immediately. After seeing this card I’m already excited to see if I can build a potential Druid Mill deck.
This card has potential use to get huge things with Deathrattle into play but currently there’s nothing with a big Deathrattle that needs to come out on Turn 7/8. Hopefully there will be some new cards revealed that have high costs but ridiculous Deathrattle effects that can make this card good but until then there’s nothing I can think of that this card combos well with.
This card is RIDICULOUS considering it will almost always be a 2/3 that deals 2 damage when it comes into play, making it great on curve and also giving it minion kill potential or at least 2 damage to your opponent’s face if you want to get aggressive. Once again it does limit your deck to just even cost cards but if Shaman is capable of doing that, this card is insanely good. It’s a little bit weaker than Medivh's Valet but doesn’t require you to have cast something before it, so it’s a lot more reliable. The only downside is the card limitation but if Shaman can make it work, this card will be pretty good.
I already went over this card in one of my previous articles but let’s just go over it quickly again. Rush effects aren’t that crazy except to be used as creature removal and I think that’s all this card will do, potentially trade with something that has 5 health. They made sure that the Rush mechanic couldn’t be abused that much by limiting it to just creatures so I don’t think any of the Rush cards are that great actually.
Another Rush card with a mediocre ability. It’s good that this minion can Rush and attack something and then make itself a 2 mana 4/2 or 4/1 but it’s rare that your opponent will playing something with 1 health, especially if you’re high up in the ranks and people know to play around this card if it becomes commonly used. It’s great in the best case scenario where your opponent plays a 1/1 or 2/1 and you can attack into them immediately but like I said, if it becomes that good then people will learn to play around it and then it becomes a very mediocre card. Another use might be to play this and some Whirlwind effect in order to make it a 4/2 that can trade with your opponent’s 5 health minion (4 health because of the Whirlwind effect) but in that case you’re using 2 cards to get rid of 1 of theirs.
In constructed I’m not sure if this will be used that much, possibly in control decks, but in Arena this will be an insane card with crazy amounts of value since you can get lots of Taunt minions depending on where you are in the game. Early on it’s an okay Taunt if you’re against aggro but late game it allows you to get multiple decently health sized Taunt minions with just one card. This is Echo’s best use, allowing a card to be usable early and late in the game.
Once again, this is another card that is ruined by Rush’s limitations. At best, this is a card that allows you to play it and kill one of your opponent’s minions but most of the time when you’re attacking something with 5 health to kill it, it’s also killing your minion in return. On top of that, this card isn’t a Dragon itself so it doesn’t trigger other Dragon abilities which makes it pretty hard to fit into a Dragon deck. Even in a Dragon deck, I don’t think this provides anything new and useful to that deck so I doubt it will even be put in over the better Dragon cards.
I don’t like this card. You’re spending mana to get more cards in your hand that you need mana to cast. What’s worse is that the 2/2s cost 2 mana which makes it very difficult to even play all of them and it’s not even much of a benefit. This is probably my lowest rated card in this set and I’ll be very embarrassed if it becomes a usable card, haha.
This is probably the best Rush card in the set because it does what Rush is mainly going to do, trade minions. Except this card does it best by making it all about that idea in mind, low health and low mana cost so it is effective at just coming into play and killing something. What makes it even better is that it has Echo so you are able to cast a few of them in the same turn and either trade with big minions or potentially kill lots of small minions. I’m not sure if it will be used but it definitely has good potential and is correctly mana costed for its use.
This card is AMAZING except for the limitation of cards on it. Limiting your deck to just odd-cost cards is rough since you’ll be unable to use really good cards like Fireball and Frostbolt but a tiny version of Azure Drake is nothing to ignore. The Spell Damage is great in Mage and the free card draw is always nice to see. Not to mention it has a decent sized body for its cost so it has good use in all ranges of decks. Once again, as long as Mage is able to make an odd mana cost deck, this card will be very much used.
This card has a pretty high mana cost which will make it hard to use since you’ll want to cast it and then immediately cast spells after it in order to get minions. If you try to drop this on Turn 4 to set up for Turn 5, most decks will know to get rid of it right away. The other downside is that when you do start casting spells and getting minions, your opponent still has a turn to react and try to wipe your board in response. It’s too hard to set this card up to get a good use out of it so I don’t think it will see much play.
WOW. The return of Loatheb as a cheaper spell. This card is insanely good as it will allow Paladin to set up a huge board full of minions (which it already does) and then use this card to basically restrict your opponent from having any good board wipe against you. By shutting out all of the 6+ mana cost board wipe spells, you’re safely guaranteeing yourself 1 to 2 more turns to just attack your opponent in the face. Wow.
I originally wanted to predict this card as a 10/10 since it should be in pretty much every Shaman deck but after looking again, I decided that the 0 attack was a big difference from Babbling Book. Without attack, this minion poses no threat to your opponent and also to your opponent’s creatures when they attack into it to get it out of the way. The free Shaman spell is definitely great but the lack of attack is a HUGE difference from Babbling Book so I don’t think it will see as much play as I thought at first glance.
Whirlwind effects are always good in Warrior but adding an Echo to the card and allowing it to be a 6 mana 3 damage or 8 mana 4 damage to all minions is pretty insane. Also you have to remember that it will be 1 damage each time so things like Armorsmith and Frothing Berserker will get tons of triggers and be super abusable with this card. Like I said with the Baku the Mooneater card above, I think Control Warrior is going to make a comeback and this card is going to find a place in that deck.
Conclusion: Still Unimpressed
Of all the cards revealed there are 4 Neutral cards that I didn’t go over but they weren’t anything super crazy so I’m going to save them for Part 2 of this series once more cards get released. But for now, let’s go over my thoughts on the cards revealed so far.
I am very unimpressed. So far we have seen nothing really NEW from this expansion. A lot of the potentially good cards are just cards that are revamps of older cards such as Rebuke being Loatheb or Black Cat being Azure Drake. The “new” mechanics aren’t even that new, Rush is just a worse Charge and nothing has shown to make it different from that, and Echo is just being able to play the same card over and over which is also nothing that new. The even and odd deck cards are just cards that are better when your deck is limited which will prove to be fun when it comes to deckbuilding but doesn’t change how the game is viewed or played in general. There are no new “tribes” which are the different minion types, we’re still stuck with Dragons and Murlocs and Beasts.
The only card so far that is saving this set, to me at least, is Hagatha. I love the fact that they’re still keeping that type of card around, the Deathknight-type cards, because like I said above I think that’s the closest we’ll get to having new classes in this game. I like that decks will probably be focused on building around her to get the maximum effect from her hero power and I think that will be a lot of fun.
However, for having 25% of the set revealed and literally no new mechanics or ideas have come forth, I’m very disappointed. I know that there is so much you can do with this game in the current way it is played but it’s Blizzard’s job to find ways to make the game interesting and fresh, and this expansion is not doing that for me. I will still play and I’m still excited to try a few new things out but I don’t predict the game will change that much with this expansion from what I’ve seen so far. I hope I’m wrong.
Anyways! As always you can follow what I’m up to on Twitter at @whoisfuskee or drop by sometime and catch me on Twitch at twitch.tv/whoisfuskee. Lately I’ve been playing a LOT of Path of Exile which is basically a better Diablo 2/Diablo 3 so if you’re into that game you should come by and say hey to me sometime. I’m currently looking to reach my 50 followers and 3 average viewers benchmarks to become an Affiliate with Twitch so all help is greatly appreciated!
Thanks and I’ll see you guys again for Part 2!