Fuskee’s Witchwood Preview, Part 3
Hey all! As I’m writing this up and finalizing everything, we are less than 24 hours away from the next Hearthstone expansion, Witchwood. By the time this is put up on the website the set should be out and ready to be played but just for completion sake, I want to go through some of the last bit of cards that we haven’t seen yet and kind of discuss the possibilities and my predictions on how useful they will be in the upcoming metagame.
In parts 1 and 2 of my preview of Witchwood, we only went over the first half of the expansion, so because there are still over 100 cards left, this article won’t be able to cover EVERY card that is coming out. To save space, I am going to focus on the legendaries and epics since those should have the most importance due to rarity and then try to hit up any notable rares and possibly commons that might need mentioning.
I also want to add that starting next week I will be back to deckbuilding and providing you with the important decks of the meta. As usual with most expansions, I like to start off with some personal deck ideas along with some gameplay footage from my Twitch stream but in about two to three weeks I should be back to playing what is currently competitive and also highlighting any notable high-ranking obscure gems I can find on Reddit. Come back and check out my articles every Thursday if you’re craving something new to play, I always try to provide some interesting decklists that are also competitive.
Let’s not waste anymore space and get right into the final thoughts on Witchwood!
This seems like a powerful card in Mage decks. First off, it has a really cheap mana cost so it can be played late in the game and then followed up with stuff like Arcane Intellect to immediately get the effects of the card. This way, if it dies next turn to something, it already did its job. It also works really well with the deathrattle draw effects like Bloodmage Thalnos and Loot Hoarder because now your opponent has to worry about leaving them in play or else you might get multiple minions off of the card draws. The second big benefit is that it can copy legendary minions which means if you’re lucky you could get doubles of certain things like The Lich King or Dragoncaller Alanna. I could definitely see this card being used not as something a whole deck is built around but as a great support card for any minion-based deck.
The Glass Knight
This is a pretty mediocre card with not much of a crazy ability. The 4 mana cost is a bit much, if it was a 3 mana 4/3 which is a normal cost for a minion that size I think it would fit in the “legendary” category a bit more but since the mana cost kinda sucks I don’t know if it will really be used. I think it works best in an aggro deck but this card was definitely made more for a control deck that can abuse the divine shield every turn and then gain life to give it back. I think it will be too difficult to sustain though and all it takes is two minions to double trade into it, or even just a 1/1 to take the divine shield and then your opponent can kill it easily. Still giving it a 6 because it’s a decent card, just nothing crazy.
The attack/health of this minion is really good for 5 mana, it’s the normal size of something you want that is a legendary with an ability but the ability is where things get kind of weird. While the idea of getting a bunch of legendaries sounds good, if you’ve played at all you know that getting random legendaries doesn’t always work that well. Most of the time you get stuff you can’t even use and it ends up just sitting in your hand for the rest of the game. There’s still potential to just put like 5-10 1-mana cost things in your deck and take the chance you get something good but for the most part, “random” legendaries isn’t really that powerful, especially when they still have the same mana cost.
I really want to rate this card higher because I think it has potential to be great with how many “steal” cards Rogue has now but it’s too unpredictable to really give a super high rating. That being said, I still think it’s a super powerful card and can be super deadly if you get the right stuff from your opponent to play early and curve into this minion. It’s still not bad even if you don’t get great cards because they are still free cards that you get off of an 8 mana 6/6 which is still a big minion. I think there will be decks built around this card, for sure.
This is another card that is definitely getting a deck built around it. Anything that allows you to get multiple effects off of stuff you did earlier in the game such as Yogg-Saron, Hope's End is just way too powerful. While Tess Greymane is unpredictable, Shudderwock is much easier to build around and make sure you have things that totally wreck your opponent. I’ve already seen deck ideas being built around this that use direct damage battlecries as well as one of the new cards in this expansion that deals 3 damage and gains you 3 life as its battlecry. This card will DEFINITELY be used.
There is no doubt that this card will be used, especially as a neutral minion. This is much like The Curator which is a great minion for its mana and size, while also giving you 3 free card draws out of nowhere. The Deathrattle draw is already very effective on its own, getting a free Rush is like getting a free kill spell since Rush minions are mostly just going to be used to play and attack that same turn into a minion, and then the free Lifesteal is basically longevity for control decks to play and hopefully gain some life back. It’ll be nice to see what minions people end up drawing with this card.
Book of Specters
This is a GREAT spell that works well with Archmage Arugal since it focuses on minions rather than spells and when combined with him, will give you copies of the minions you draw. This card will be amazing if there ends up being a good aggro minion based deck for Mage, but since Mage decks like to focus on spells, if not used with Archmage Arugal I could see this being ignored altogether.
WOW. I love this card so much. This is awesome for mage since it basically allows you to pick a good Secret and allow for it to be very mysterious when fighting your opponent. They can’t read into what kind of secret it is based on your deck and what you’ve played, it will be completely random and a mystery to them which means you can really bait and trick your opponent into a bad play. Secrets are meant to be like this, truly a secret, and this card is much like Hydrologist in that it helps keep the identity of the secret unknown by not being part of your deck and being predictable.
I want to rate this card much higher because it has a great effect but the problem with most secrets is that once they start being used, people in the higher ranks know to play around them and avoid them. If you see an Paladin play a secret early in the game, you know that it could possibly be this card so all you have to do is focus on playing just 2 cards a turn which is pretty easy to do. Great effect, but way too easy to play around and avoid.
This card is cute and has a tasteful battlecry but it’s nothing more than that, cute. There is a possibility to make lots of totems and then destroy them all but a giant minion with nothing but Taunt will just get killed by your opponent’s spells or other kill effects. The mana cost is also too high to really play early and effectively so your opponent has plenty of time to be ready for your 10/11 Taunt on Turn 6 or so. Good idea for the card but I don’t think it works in most high ranks.
This card has potential to use with Deathrattle effects but other than that it’s just a pretty crappy Rush minion. Like I’ve said before in my other previews, to me, Rush is mostly just used in the same way as Argent Commander where you play it and immediately kill something with it. Unless the Rush minion has a way of surviving after the attack, it’s just a kill spell to me, and a kill spell that requires you to sacrifice another minion just seems like a bad trade in my opinion.
The size of this minion isn’t too great for the cost, a 1/3 would have been perfect, but the effect is way too good if certain Rush minions become part of the new meta. If even one Rush minion becomes overpowered, control warrior decks can run this card just to guarantee drawing it into their hand. I’m rating it low because I’m unsure if Rush will become that strong but the effect of a free draw with a cheap minion is still always good.
I think this card is pretty good for things like Arena but for constructed I don’t see much place for it except for maybe a Warrior deck that uses Whirlwind effects. I will say though, it’s easy to set up for this minion since it will only trigger on your turn so that lets you make the proper trades to ensure your stuff survives and your opponents stuff takes damage. I just don’t see it living longer than one turn though and other big minions like this that have semi-decent end of turn effects never seem to hit most constructed decks.
This card makes me think of Spreading Plague since it’s basically a card for 6 mana that can completely ruin any small minion aggro based decks. It has the potential to wipe your opponents board while still leaving yours populated with bigger minions. I’m rating it high because it will fit good in control decks and can kill pesky things like Doomsayer so I think it has potential to be pretty good as a singleton in decks, kind of like Skulking Geist.
This is a big minion that dies and becomes smaller minions that die and become smaller minions. Great in any minion-based deck since board wipes don’t really work on it and will continue to split it into smaller creatures. There wasn’t a link for a picture of the Splitting Saplings but if I remember right they are 2/2s with Deathrattle: Summon two 1/1 Saplings, so they basically spread their damage out again once they die. Very good card really for any deck, aggro or control, because in control this is a single minion that lives through 2-3 kill spells and still has the same attack potential when it gets smaller, basically an 8 mana 12/12 worth of attack/health.
This is another card that I actually want to rate higher but I’m holding back for now. We’ve already had a card like this before, Manic Soulcaster, but that was Mage-only and this is a neutral minion so there might be better use for it now. This also has a cheaper cost by 1 mana which is actually a huge difference because it means you can use it the same turn as you play an 8-mana minion like The Lich King which will give you a free one into your deck to use later, which is good for control decks. I have a feeling it might be used but since Manic Soulcaster was kind of ignored for the most part, I don’t think it will based on just previous facts.
Much like the Warrior card mentioned above, Town Crier, this is a card with a not so great attack/health for its cost but has a great draw ability that can pull really important cards from your deck. If certain elementals become overpowered, this card could be amazing, and Shamans also seem to be leaning towards elementals again so there is a possibility it will be used in that deck as well but the mana cost is just so bad for curving that I don’t really think it will be used. Only rating it a 6 because of the possibility that an elemental becomes super useful and people run this card just to ensure they draw it every game.
I’m already running out of room in my article so I’m going to shorten this section to just the notable rares that I think are coming out. I don’t think I will have room for the commons so if you’re curious to see what is coming out, make sure you head over to Reddit.com and visit the Hearthstone subreddit to see all the new cards in the “Prerelease Reveal Chart” thread.
If this was a neutral card it would be AMAZING but since it’s a Druid card it kind of takes down the usefulness a bit since most Druid decks don’t really play control or keep cards in their hand, especially with Jade Idol leaving standard. It still has potential to be great in druid control but because druid likes to play early cards to mana ramp this card won’t really have its full effect until later when you can Ultimate Infestation.
Weird card for Hunter, has a high-ish mana cost and a weird attack/health for a class that usually wants to attack quickly. It can gain Poisonous pretty easily by trading a minion the turn it comes out but other than that, you’re not doing much with it. Not really a great card but the fact that its a Dragon makes me question that it might have a better use somewhere.
If elementals come back for Mage this card could be pretty good considering its a decent size for its mana cost and it gives you a free draw. Elementals have been strong before and Frost Lich Jaina is still pretty good so there is a chance this card will be heavily played if that deck comes back. I predict it will since there are a lot of minion-focused cards in this set but we will have to wait and see.
Decent mana cost for dealing 5 damage and has the potential to kill multiple enemies. Still relies on RNG which is why it’s only a 7 but in the right situation and luck, it’s definitely more like a 9. I definitely think this will be used in the new meta as one of Mage’s main removal spells.
Paragon of Light
For Paladins it should be really easy to buff this minion up to 3 attack and giving it free Taunt and Lifesteal is pretty nuts, especially since it already has a great amount of health to survive most things. Amazing to combo with Spikeridged Steed!
Dragons have always been pretty good to Priest but this card could be pretty insane when combo’d with Circle of Healing. I dropped it from an 8 to a 7 for one reason, if you play this on turn 7 and even if you combo it with Circle of Healing, the most you’ll really get is three 3/3s if you heal 3 of your minions up because of how much space those minions will take up so it’s not SUPER effective but still a pretty great card.
This goes really well with the shaman legendary Shudderwock since it will help you find more battlecries to trigger again later. It all depends on the possibilities of things you can discover though so it will require some playtesting to find the true potential of this card but I think it will do well since it only costs 1 mana and gives you something to do early in the game, while getting a free mystery minion that your opponent can’t see coming.
Shamans have always been really good with elementals and there seem to be a lot coming around in this set so I could see this card being used. Getting a free card while giving a minion +2/+2 makes me think of Mark of Y'Shaarj but kind of worse since the card you get might not always be useful.
The only reason I’m rating this so high right now is because of Possessed Lackey. Cubelock is already a powerful deck in this meta and giving it another 1-mana way to kill their Lackey while giving you more cards is just ridiculous. If that deck is still powerful after the standard rotation I think we will see this card being added to it immediately.
Ok hear me out on my prediction for this card, the reason I’m rating it so high is because of combo potential. If your deck is full of spells like a control deck and only has 1 of this minion and a few other big costing minions like The Lich King or some other stuff, this minion can guarantee drawing those into your hand. I think that usefulness is CRAZY good and in control decks this is basically a 4 mana 3/3 draw spell that guarantees you one of your bomb legendaries. This is one of my bold predictions in this meta, this card will be VERY useful in control.
This card is amazing for aggro decks. If you can trade with your opponent on Turn 4 and make sure that they have nothing in play while you have some 1/1s left over, you can make a pretty big army with just this card. The attack/health isn’t that bad either for 4 mana and even if you just get two of the hats on your minions that’s still basically a 5/4 for 4 mana spread out over your stuff. Best case scenario, your opponent has nothing and you have an army already going and this just curves perfectly on turn 4.
4 mana for a 3/3 is an average cost/size ratio but the battlecry is what makes this card nuts. It will definitely be used in that Shudderwock deck but even just as a normal card, gaining life and dealing direct damage at the same time for a decent cost is pretty good! I think this card can be used in standard as well as definitely being used in arena.
We’ve already had minions before that did this effect and they weren’t used too heavily but seeing the new Mage secret discover card might change that. Hunter and Paladin got new secrets as well even though they are easy to play around but if they become too annoying I could see this card being added to decks as a singleton like people do with Skulking Geist to have an answer for those situations.
Conclusion: Not bad
I know I didn’t go over the commons or some of the rares but honestly we pretty much hit most of the important cards that you’ll be deciding to keep or disenchant when you open your packs today. Please don’t take my predictions as professional advice but hopefully my thoughts will give you an idea of what to expect and what cards you might not decide to keep if there are certain cards you really want to craft for upcoming deck ideas, like Shudderwock.
I’m still not SUPER excited for this expansion, we’re still seeing the same kinds of cards that have come out in previous expansions and not much change in the meta. I think aggro still has its place in the meta and even worse now that Mage will probably move from playing spells/control with its loss of Ice Block and with the new additions of minion-focused cards and elementals. There are some control capabilities but nothing super powerful so I think aggro is still the way to go if you’re trying to come up with some new deck ideas.
That being said, I hope you guys enjoyed my previews and it’s time for me to start thinking about what decks I want to build and try out today when I get on my Twitch stream so I can have some gameplay footage for next week. Next Thursday I will have picked out one of my deck ideas and I will have a deck guide for that deck as well as videos on my Twitch showing how well that deck works out, so I hope you come back around and come check it out!
As always you can come follow me on Twitter at @whoisfuskee to see what I’m up to and keep up with my activities or come follow me on Twitch at twitch.tv/whoisfuskee to check out my videos and watch my gameplay footage. I haven’t been playing ANY Hearthstone recently but with the new expansion I should be playing a ton again and I’ll try to be on daily until I get a new job. I hate to be this person but I REALLY REALLY need followers and daily viewers if I want to reach Affiliate Status with Twitch so ALL FOLLOWERS/VIEWERS ARE HIGHLY APPRECIATED. I don’t like to beg but I do stream a decent amount but the Hearthstone section is so saturated with players that its hard for new streamers to get people to stick around so please please, come check me out and decide for yourself if I’m worth watching. I talk the entire time I play with my thoughts on what I’m thinking about doing next, or predicting what my opponent has/is going to do. I also chat the entire time with my viewers but only if they are talking so if you’re the quiet type or the chatty type, my channel is for you, I don’t force anyone to talk but I will always reply to people talking.
Come back next week to check out what deck I decide to try out at the beginning of this expansion and GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR PACKS! See you next time.