The Grand Tournament – First Card Impressions Part 2
View list of cards released so far in this dedicated post.
I’m Camzeee, a multi-legend ranked Hearthstone player and long-time contributor to HearthstonePlayers.com. I’m a Hearthstone Coach with hearthstonecoaching.com too so check that out if you’re looking for someone to help your game.
Welcome to part 2 of my card review/predictions of the new Hearthstone expansion – The Grand Tournament. If you haven’t already, check out part 1 for the first batch of reveals.
For each card, I’m going to rate it from a scale of Terrible, Bad, Average, Good and Great. It’s hard to predict just how well certain cards will do, but I’ve done them for the last expansion and also expanded my knowledge of Hearthstone a considerable bit so I’m willing to stick my neck out and make my predictions for how each card will perform.
Let’s get into part 2!
This is a really strange card. I’m not sure what to make of it. On the one hand, you have great stat distribution with a 3 mana 2/5. However, the drawback is pretty large and not being able to use your hero power at risk of returning this card is a big price to pay.
Theoretically, you could use this card on turn 3 to make a nice trade then hero power to return it, but sadly, its stats aren’t even that impressive to make up for it. It has only 2 attack, and that makes it sadly inadequate for dealing with the slew of 3 health minions that pepper the board on turns 1 and 2. If this were a 3/5, I’d look on it much more favorably, but as a 2/5, its value is lessened considerably. I don’t expect this card to see play, particularly if the Inspire mechanic is geared towards incentivizing players to use their hero power which the other released cards seem to do.
In arena, this card is a little better but still not great. It helps your curve for sure, and if you have a perfect 2-3-4 open, this card is pretty good since using your hero power isn’t going to be used for a few turns. I’d draft it around average for the body but the drawback is still pretty big and losing that much tempo for merely using your hero power is potentially crippling in a fast paced arena metagame.
This card doesn’t stack up well compared to others. Mad Bomber does 3 spread damage but this only does 1. The good part about this is that it’s guaranteed damage on an enemy which means it lowers the odds of this backfiring.
However, it does say enemy characters rather than minions which makes this still a frustrating card to use. On the surface it looks like a slightly improved Ironforge Rifleman which sadly just isn’t good enough overall to see play in constructed. It’d be interesting if this was an Inspire mechanic, but it’s just a Battlecry.
In arena, this card is above average but only just. Mad Bomber I’d still pick higher than this because it has the potential for bigger plays. It is however a stable 2 mana 2/3, and the Battlecry is guaranteed to at least hurt your opponent in some way so it has that going for it.
I wouldn’t play this card in a constructed deck at present. It’s a 5 mana 5/5 which is baseline stats. Giving +1/+1 to a Mech is a nice boost to a deck focused on that synergy but often by that stage, you’re either very far ahead where this card doesn’t do much or behind and this card doesn’t help you come back. It hurts doubly that this card is in the very competitive 5 mana slot where you have a ton of top tier options such as Azure Drake and Sludge Belcher not to mention the other 5 mana 5/5 – Loatheb.
In Arena, this card is slap bang average. Because its Battlecry requires synergy to activate, it often won’t be able to be more than a 5 mana 5/5. This is decent for a card in arena, but nothing really special and I’d pick it only slightly higher if you had some Mechs in your deck already. The +1/+1 isn’t game breaking and neither is this card.
This card is pretty good but actually not as great as it seems.Giving itself Divine Shield is a nice effect, and in a good Priest deck, this can be an incredibly difficult card to remove. However, because you can’t stack its effect, it becomes a bit conditional and likely won’t get more than 1 trigger. 3 mana 3/4 is very respectable, and the upside can be incredible when combined with Spare Parts. I can see this card being a regular addition in the right decks with self targeting spells.
At first glance, it looks like it might also find a home in Mech Mage or other decks that generate a ton of spare parts, but it’s not really a good fit when it doesn’t have innate synergy. I could see it working in super slow Druid or Paladins. It’s not a lock, but a possibility. Priest is definitely where it could find a home. I’m just not sure if it’s good enough to replace Dark Cultist, and that’s what it needs in order to warrant inclusion.
In arena, this card is a little worse. The pool of legendary cards you might pick up in arena is large enough that you’ll likely get a better choice than Fjola. She will likely represent no more than a 3 mana 3/4 which is decent but not well above average.
I rate Eydis higher than Fjola because I feel her effect is more powerful. Being able to deal 3 damage is board changing and if you can string a bunch of spare parts together, it can really do some damage. By nature, she’s a strictly combo oriented card but we’ve seen these before (Flamewaker) and they can really hurt. I wish you could target the damage, but I’ll take 3 damage untargeted since 3 is actually quite a large amount. She doesn’t fit in any current archetypes, but it’s not too hard to see a Mage spare part deck or a spare part Mech Druid succeed with it.
It’s not guaranteed to be an all-star, but of the two revealed legendaries, I’m inclined to favor Eydis as the one that’s going to be more viable. I like that the effect can be used multiple times in the same turn unlike Fjola and 3 damage is nothing to scoff at.
In arena, this card is in a very similar spot to Fjola and at a push, slightly more valuable in a vacuum. Dealing 3 damage in arena is a big deal, and this card can be used for its body and potential removal.
I might be in the minority in thinking this card has a niche to fill. In terms of raw stats, it’s a Shielded Minibot with Stealth. Considering that the Minibot is one of the best two drops in the game, this card is actually around fair. Priest occasionally runs Gilblin Stalker to guarantee a Velen's Chosen. This card one-ups it by basically ensuring it survives against any AoE spells with the shield.
However, its drawbacks are pretty glaring namely a weak 2/2 body. This doesn’t allow it to trade well and it costs 3 mana which is a pretty hefty amount. The question in constructed is: would you rather play this or Shade of Naxxramas? I would go with Shade most of the time and this card just can’t compete as well with it.
In arena, this card is average. Compared to the other 3 mana Divine Shields – Scarlet Crusader this card is around the same value. What it really shows, is that Shielded Minibot is insane in arena since that’s one of the best cards in the game and this has the same stat and effect distribution. It gets better value in decks that can buff its minions. Paladin and Priest can put the shield to good use since your opponent is very unlikely to be able to break it through Stealth.
I really want to like this, but its text makes it very tricky to use correctly. Think about your early game curve. If you play this on turn 2, you’d need to hero power on turn 3 in order to attack and that leaves you with a very awkward 1 mana left over which most decks can’t efficiently utilize. If this card was a 2/3 that cost 1 mana or a 3/4 it could actually be a pretty decent card that rivals Zombie Chow but as is, it’s not quite good enough stat wise.
I love the Inspire effect. It’s smart and innovative, but the body you get just isn’t good enough. A lot of early game 1 and 2-drops have 3 health which means that this card can’t get good trades. In constructed where you need to get fast and clean trades, this card falls short. There are possibilities in a Wailing Soul deck, but again, a 2/4 in body just doesn’t justify the fairly hefty drawback.
In arena, the condition of this card makes it tough to justify over other cards. It’s also a rare which means it should have a little stiffer competition in terms of picks. I’d draft it below average but not quite in the garbage tier. It gets extra value if you have Taunt givers or Silence effects naturally.
Bluegill Warrior meets Argent Commander. This card is rather plain. I wish that wasn’t a recurring theme with the expansion so far, but it unfortunately kind of is. They’re not bad cards per se, they’re just cards that fill a niche and that means they’re not cards that are likely to significantly change the metagame. Well, most of them anyway.
Back to Argent Horserider, this card is a 2 attack charge minion that leaves a 2/1 body on the board. If you think about it separately, consider it as Arcane Shot + any 2/1 minion. Individually, they’re worth just 2 mana, but together with Charge, this gets bumped to 3 mana. Of course, the Charge is pretty important and enables some nice combos with spell buffs such as Velen's Chosen, Blessing of Kings and Blessing of Might. I can see this finding a home in aggro Paladin where the stickiness of a 2/1 Divine Shield can leave opponents in the dust. Other than that, this card just doesn’t fit very well with any of the other classes at present.
In arena, this card is above average. Charge minions have far less value in arena generally because you’re less likely to be able to get a big burst from it and they are usually far understatted. This card is similar but on 3 mana, you often line up against an opposing 3/2 and this minion does a great job against those, getting an immediate 2 for 1. I’d value it around the Scarlet Crusader.
This card is pretty decent but not amazing. Blizzard seems intent on making some real beast synergy for Druid. This appears as a card that could be great in the right archetype, but the synergy just isn’t there yet.
Look at the Hunter class for beast synergy. They have a spell that does 5 damage for 3 mana with a beast (Kill Command), a card that gives +2/+2 to a beast (Houndmaster) and a card that basically starts and feeds all these synergies (Unleash the Hounds). Druid meanwhile basically has one real synergy card and it’s Druid of the Fang. This does not entice a Druid player to drop everything and build a deck around beast synergy.
With that said, would you play Savage Combatant in a non-beast deck? My answer is no. It’s a 4 mana 5/4 which is okay but not amazing. The only other 4 mana 5/4 I can think of that sees play is Goblin Blastmage. That card is in a similar vein – a tribal synergy card – but the difference is, you get an extremely powerful effect with its Battlecry versus this one whose effect is non-synergistic.
I am going to be generous though and give this one ‘average’ as opposed to ‘bad’ because of the potential synergies it might have with the yet to be released new cards. Giving +2 attack to a hero power is tremendous value and if there’s a way you can activate it often and for cheap, this card could see play.
In Arena, this card is very good. Not only does it provide a very decent sized body that trades well, its effect is usable much more often due to the comparative lack of removal. It allows Druids to snowball a game and that’s something they can’t often do. This could be a “great” card in arena, but without being able to take other Inspire based cards, it can often be a sitting 4 mana 5/4 which is merely average.
On the one hand, being able to immediately draw a spell is pretty useful. On the other hand, giving your opponent a spell can be a big mistake. Grove Tender is a pretty good approximation of what this card is like. Sadly, as with Grove Tender, I can’t see this card making a significant meta impact because of the unpredictability of its effect. Cards that give your opponents a chance at a big comeback are rarely played because any really competitive Hearthstone decks want to maximize their control over proceedings and minimize the RNG involved.
As for actually fitting in, Mage isn’t short on decent 3 drops. Their secrets for one all cost 3 mana and they also have more reliable and arguably more powerful class cards in Flamewaker and Kirin Tor Mage. I can’t see this card being justified in a Mage deck over the other two. I don’t anticipate this will see play at all.
In arena, this card is much more playable. A 3 mana 3/4 is very decent just for the body alone and the effect while random is less likely to cause a catastrophe since your opponent likely won’t have some innate deck synergy to leverage the spell’s effects. I’d draft it fairly highly probably on par with your other strong bodies like Ogre Brute.
What was Blizzard thinking when they made this card? I actually think this displaces Poisoned Blade as the worst card revealed so far in the expansion. Not only does it have a specific condition of needing a Demon to target, it has a huge drawback in gifting your opponent a Mana Crystal. Demon decks don’t run on early game synergy, and even if they did, you’d be throwing it all away by giving your opponent more mana to counter you. Late-game, this is just as bad because a 2 mana +3/+3 isn’t really gonna make a big difference and it still has that awful Demon clause.
I don’t understand what Blizzard was thinking with this card and as a Warlock main, this makes me rather unhappy. I really wish it did something more interesting like give any minion +3/+3 with a Deathrattle: opponent gets a mana crystal. Heck, if this card cost 0 mana in its current form I still don’t think it would be played. Sacrificial Pact blows it out of the water and that’s laughed at as one of the worst cards in the game.
The real sad part about this card is what this means for Warlocks in arena. They now get this abomination of a card as one of their options in the common pool which means that Warlock as a class in arena suffers since this is flat-out a NEVER pick in arena. Honestly, I would have preferred if this card was never made. I’m usually willing to give cards a chance, but this one I’m absolutely certain is atrociously bad and you should never craft or draft it.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the review. Feel free to leave comments and feedback. Is Demonfuse really a sleeper card or is it utter garbage like I think it is? Let me know and we’ll talk about it.
See you soon for more card impression from The Grand Tournament!
I am a multi legend-ranked player with Level 60 heroes for every class. My favorite card in Hearthstone is Lord Jaraxxus (gold of course!) and I’m also an arena infinite player with over 800 arenas completed.