Kobolds and Catacombs Pre-Release Impressions
With just two days to go for the launch of 2017’s last Hearthstone expansion, we now have seen all of the revealed cards. There are some new archetypes and mechanics being pushed and with over a hundred cards coming out, we have handpicked some of the most interesting cards we’d keep an eye out for.
Druid in this expansion mostly got cards that have to do with armor gain and Recruit. We received one card each for Ramp Druid and Beast Druid and that’s about it. Token decks got support in form of Branching Paths which is a highly flexible card on paper and is the first ‘Choose Twice’ card. Astral Tiger is a very interesting card that allows you to have infinite 4 mana 3/5s in your deck. When it comes to the legendaries Ixlid, Fungal Lord is quite interesting and you can pull off some combos with Aviana and Kun. The legendary weapon is however not too appealing with no means of destroying your own weapon yet in Standard and in Wild you can try getting the Rogue hero power from Sir Finley or play Blingtron 3000 after you play Twig of the World Tree to instantly ramp up.
Hunter is being aggressively pushed towards a spell-only archetype and it’s uncertain if it will be any good. With the legendary allowing you to fill your hand with Hunter spells if you have no minions in your deck and plenty of spells that allow you to control the board, there is a lot of testing that needs to be done. When it comes to the cards that are outside this new archetype Blizzard is trying to push – Candleshot and Kathrena Winterwisp are two cards to watch out for in your Standard Hunter lists.
Mage is being pushed towards high-cost spell heavy-deck building and there are multiple cards that support the archetype including the legendary Dragoncaller Alanna. Aluneth, the legendary weapon is quite powerful on paper as it can allow you to draw 3 cards every turn until it is destroyed. The guaranteed draw of 3 cards makes it quite appealing to run in a Mage deck and it is a card that players in the community are keeping an eye out for.
Paladin has received several cards for a Silver Hand Recruit themed paladin deck. With cards like Drygulch Jailor, Crystal Lion and Level Up! allowing synergies to exist for the deck. The two legendaries however are focused on buffs and both Val'anyr and Lynessa Sunsorrow fit the Buff Paladin archetype. Even with just two copies of Spikeridged Steed played, Lynessa can offer tremendous value. With enough silence targets in most Paladin decks, you can drain your opponent out of hard removal before playing Lynessa to get decent value out of the card.
Most of the focus for Priest this expansion has been on Dragon Priest and Big/Resurrect Priest. Both archetypes got great cards to work with and the set will definitely push both decks higher up in power levels. Dragon Priest’s most notable inclusions are Duskbreaker and Dragon Soul, two extremely powerful cards that we should watch out for. Big Priest is getting access to Lesser Diamond Spellstone which can easily be activated since the deck runs very few minions and mostly spells.
Rogue for me is the highlight class of this expansion when it comes to getting flavorful and interesting cards. The class is now getting access to secrets and various cards in the Rogue class set as well as the Classic set point towards a Mill Rogue archetype with new cards thrown in. The legendary weapon Kingsbane has plenty of support cards and we might see decks that play to the strengths of the card and get value out of it. Faldorei Strider is an excellent card that we recommend trying out. Elven Minstrel is also a card we recommend using in spell heavy Rogue decks to help you get to cards like Gadgetzan Auctioneer and Edwin VanCleef in time and then use spells to chain combos or work towards your win condition.
Shaman got access to mostly Totem based synergy cards and Windshear Stormcaller is by far my pick of the expansion when it comes to playtesting. It is a very interesting card that and with cards like Primal Fusion, Wicked Witchdoctor and Totemic Might, it can be a fun deck to play around with. Grumble World Shaker is an interesting legendary that can help you get additional value out of your Battlecry cards. Other than the Totem Shaman support, the class has received Unstable Evolution to help Evolve Shaman and the legendary weapon The Runespear has some random fun thrown in.
Warlock got access to a lot of new demons in the expansion with Hooked Reaver and Vulgar Homunculus being exciting options. Cataclysm is a card that you can keep an eye out for if Quest Warlock is something you want to mess with as it can potentially complete your quest in a single turn. Combo-ing Cataclysm with Malchezaar's Imp can also refill your hand for 5 mana while also completing your quest. When it comes to the legendaries Rin, the First Disciple is a ‘meme’ legendary and it’s unlikely you will be completing fast enough to get value out of the card. The weapon on the other hand is powerful when it comes to the effect but you have to rely on your opponent not dealing with your weapon for a turn to get any value out of it while also losing tempo in the process.
Warrior’s set in the expansion is very control heavy and we received no aggressive cards. With plenty of cards that work around with Armor and Recruit, control-themed decks should be better with the new cards. Control Warrior has been out of the picture since 2017’s rotation and the new cards will hopefully revive the long dead archetype.
This expansion, the biggest highlights when it comes to Neutrals are the epics. There are multiple interesting epics this set unlike past expansions which tended to have mostly weak epics. Cards like Grand Archivist, Shimmering Courser, Spiteful Summoner and Rummaging Kobold are interesting and can be tried out in a variety of decks. Lone Champion and Shrieking Shroom are two Rares that have potential and should be tried out.
Dungeon Run is a PVE mode that will allow players to battle AI bosses in a roguelike format and will have non-collectible cards that you can play around with to build decks specifically for the mode. There are some extremely powerful cards that you can use to beat the bosses and you earn rewards only if you manage to beat all bosses without losing with each class.
Hope you guys have a great pack opening tomorrow and get all the legendaries you want!