Running Wild: Kobolds in Wild (Part 1)
Greetings, dear readers, and welcome to another installment of ”Running Wild”, the article series where I cover just about everything related to the wild format. A new expansion is upon us!!! I’ve wanted to wait with this article until I’ve had a lot of stuff to write about and, well, now I do so I can finally give you my card review on all the new cards and how good (or bad) will they be in the wild format. Due to the number of cards, this article is going to be split into three, with the next one coming out tomorrow (don’t worry, this time I wrote them both at the same time). Afterwards I’m going to do one final wild format card review after the rest of the cards are revealed (part 3) and from that point on it is time for deck brewing let me tell you, this set looks AMAZING when it comes to the wild format :O I can’t wait for it to come out 😀
Before we jump into this, because there are so many cards, I’m not going to talk about all of them. Some cards are just so bad that there aren’t even worth talking about. Those cards that aren’t on this list are rated 0/5
With all that out of the way, sit back, relax and let’s just jump into this
From what I’ve seen of druid this expansion, I have do say that I don’t really like what it got and it seems to be pretty weak. Let’s take a look at all the new (yes, even the very, very bad ones) cards that the druid will be getting in Kobolds and Catacombs.
Ixlid, Fungal Lord
Ixlid, Fungal Lord is the first legendary minion that I’m going to review and I will just say it immediately, this card is not as good as you might think that it is. Actually, it is pretty bad. You see, in order to get any value out of this card you need to play something on the same turn that you play it, otherwise it will just get removed and you’ve spent your 5 mana for nothing. The hard part is trying to find anything worth playing along with this card. Keep in mind that you summon minions so battlecries won’t trigger twice. Ok, what minions are there that are actually worth playing with this card. You can get another Druid of the Claw which is good but it will cost you 10 mana to do it. You can get another taunt minion like Dirty Rat for 7 mana or Deathlord for 8 mana. Best case scenario, right now, is that you can get two Piloted Shredder for 9 mana or two Sludge Belcher for 10 mana. However, you see, here is the problem. If you’re playing bigger minions along with this card then you’re actually not getting a lot of discount. Two copies of Druid of the Claw will cost you just as much as if you’ve cloned one with Ixlid, Fungal Lord. Same goes for Sludge Belcher and two copies of Piloted Shredder are actually cheaper than when played with Ixlid, Fungal Lord. Maybe we should look at legendary minions because we can’t have two copies of those in our decks. I’ve found only one legendary minion that you can play with Ixlid, Fungal Lord and that is Leeroy Jenkins because it has charge and it does stuff when it enters the play. Now we’re looking at 12 damage for 10 mana. I really think that this card is not that good but time will tell. Maybe in some sort of zoo druid deck? We will see.
Twig of the World Tree
Oh, look, it is the most overrated legendary weapon in the entire expansion. There are two possibilities with this weapon. One makes the card complete trash and the other makes it one rank above trash level. The first, and more likely possibility, is that this card won’t refresh your mana crystals. It says ”gain”, not refresh. If it is so that the card is utter trash. You’re going to play it, your opponent is going to completely ignore it, you’re going to get 2 mana crystals, at best, 4 turns later. Wow, such a great investment. If it is the second possibility then what is going to happen is that your opponent is going to destroy your weapon, at the point when it suits them the best, you will get 10 full mana crystals which will be completely meaningless because it is not your turn. This can happen at any point, even 3 turns after you’ve played this weapon, rendering it nearly pointless. Now let’s talk about the ”combo” that everybody is talking about. You play this card, you destroys it with Medivh, the Guardian, you get 10 new crystals, you play Kun the Forgotten King, you refresh those 10 crystals and then you play Ultimate Infestation. This combo is awful and 9/10 times it won’t work, don’t even bother with it. First off, you need 4 cards to perform it, 3 of which are legendary cards so digging for them won’t be easy. If you can’t perform it really early, with no setbacks, and instead do it late game then, well, you might as well have not preformed it at all because the impact will be close to what you would have gotten out of playing those cards without the weapon. Bad card, really overrated.
Rate: 1/5 in situation 1, 2/5 in situation 2
Now this is a good druid card. A nice refresher after those awful legendary cards
I will compare Branching Paths to Feral Rage. Feral Rage is a card that is played primarily for the purpose of survival. You play it, you choose your 8 armor and you go on with whatever you were doing up until that point. Branching Paths can get you 6 armor twice, meaning that you get 12 armor for 4 mana, which is strictly better than Feral Rage. It can also give you two cards, if you wish to take that option, which makes it a 1 mana more expensive Arcane Intellect. If you combine those two effects you can easily get 6 armor and get to draw a card which is also a great deal for 4 mana. The only bad option here, in my books, is the +1 attack which is just whatever. Druid has a lot better buff cards that give your minions both attack and health for a lot less mana. Overall, this is so far the best druid card in the expansion.
Lesser Jasper Spellstone
We’ve reached the first spellstone card, the Lesser Jasper Spellstone. I really like this one. Druid has been suffering from the lack of a single target removal for quite a while now so it is indeed refreshing to see a card like this one coming out in the next expansions. Ok, from what I’ve understood, you can’t fully upgrade a spellstone in one instance. It goes from one stage to the other so you need to trigger its upgrade twice. The next step is jasper spellstone (which deals 4 damage) and then the final step is Greater Jasper Spellstone. Don’t underestimate how easy it is to upgrade this card. Earthen Scales can help you out if you have a minion, Feral Rage is usually the more likely option because it is ran more often, can upgrade it quite easily but the best card to upgrade this spellstone is probably Branching Paths, depending on how the interaction is going to look like. If you first gain armor and then make your second choice then you will get to upgrade this spellstone to its ultimate form for only 4 mana. Anyways, this is a very, very good single target removal and I expect it to be played in every druid deck ever.
Ok, I admit it, I might have been a bit harsh on the poor druid. Maybe hunter will be a lot bett…oh, no. Rexxar, what did they do to you?! Hmmm, on the second glance, you’re not that bad after all 😛
Kathrena Winterwisp is desperately struggling to break free from the ”Hunter’s legendary minions suck” curse and while not completely succeeding, it is a step in the right direction. It has the ability to summon 2 beasts from your deck, which is fine, but if you’re going to ponder on the possibility of this card pulling some of your huge beasts then you also need to ponder on the possibility that it will pull some of your little beast cards as well. The effect is very random and there are ways of working around it like severely limiting the number of beasts in your deck. There are some variations of deathrattle control hunter that don’t run many beasts so this card might find a home there, but why would you want to run it, in a control deck, over The Lich King or Ragnaros the Firelord? I’m not sure how I feel about this card in the wild format but it might be good in standard.
No, this card is not an extra Savannah Highmane. I know that I’m being harsh with a lot of this cards but I tend to keep my cool during the previews, not get hyped about the new cards because that will just cloud my judgment, and look at them objectively. While is not an extra Savannah Highmane, what it is is a really amazing card in the wild format! Wait, what? This card is actually good? Well, yes. If we’re talking about the standard format then this card is just meh, nothing special and it probably won’t see any play, but in wild it is a completely different story. There are so many great deathrattles that you can copy with this card that I am quite sure that it will be a staple card in deathrattle hunter. The best part of this card is that it says minion, not beast, so in a deck filled with the best deathrattle minions in the entire game, this card is going to be an all start.
Lesser Emerald Spellstone
The hunter spellstone is Lesser Emerald Spellstone and it is really good. So far I’m really liking these new spellstone cards. This one summons two 3/3 wolves, which are beasts. for 5 mana but it is soooo easy to upgrade it. The only thing that you need to do to upgrade this card is to play a secret. That is it. On the first upgrade it summons three wolves and on the last one it summons four wolves. Four 3/3 minions for just playing two secrets is insane! You don’t even need to play this in a secret hunter deck. Hunters naturally have at least two secrets in their deck. but because secret hunter is leaving standard with the next rotation in April we might see a lot more of it in the wild format. Overall, the card is really grade. Easy to upgrade, decent cost and the ability to give you an insane amount of board presence all packed into one card. This will definitely see play.
This new secret is absolutely amazing!!! No, I’m not on drugs, I’m dead serious right now. At first glance this is a whatever card, a worse Freezing Trap, but once you actually take time to look at all of the 3 cost minions, it get a lot better. A lot of 3 cost minions are quite good, but better yet, a lot of 3 cost deathrattle minions are just amazing! There are 17 3 cost minions with a beneficial deathrattle effect. Those 2-3 who aren’t on the list are the ones that don’t really do anything when they die. So, you actually have a pretty high chance of getting the best deal out of this card. It is not as bad as it seems on the first glance. You can get stuff like Mounted Raptor, Rat Pack, , Dark Cultist, Mountainfire Armor and many, many more. Great card, will see play.
Mage is the last class that we’re going to take a look at today. This class got some pretty good cards, if you ask me, and it seems like it is going to plague both standard and wild for quite some time 😛
Some players might call this a win more card, but I will call it a win card. For 9 mana you get to fill your board with 5/5 dragons and threaten lethal the next turn. ”But this card is bad because it does nothing on the turn when it comes in and you can just die on the following turn. Your opponent won’t care.” said a very bad comment on Hearthpwn today. Yes, you will die if you’re dumb enough to play it without making sure that you don’t die on the following turn. You deserve to die if that happens. It seems like mage and priest got the ”dragon” part of ”exploration” and it feels really good. Great card, has the ability to win games easily, will most likely see play.
Dustuneth is a legendary mage weapon that will draw you three cards and then it will either draw your opponent three cards and go away or it will proceed to fill your hand and try to mill you. It costs 6 mana which is already quite high for an Arcane Intellect but there are some ideas based on it tossed around here and there, mostly about putting it into a tempo mage deck so you will always welcome the card draw and quickly play those card to kill your opponent but I’m honestly not sure. This card looks really, really bad and I don’t think that it will see any play at all or it will see some play when the set comes out and then it will just be forgotten by everyone.
Leyline Manipulator is a card that has a very good chance of actually seeing play, unlike some other cards. Mage has way too many ways of getting new cards from other cards so there will most likely always be some cost reduction. I can see this card seeing play to some degree in casino mage, a deck that hasn’t seen play since forever, or maybe just quest mage because that deck actually wants you to play cards that didn’t start in your deck. Will this card be good? It has good stats and there is value in that ability. It is quite easy to get new cards during the game so there will always be something to hit. Yes, I think that it will see play in a lot of different mage decks. Very good card!
”Powercreep! This is powercreep!” – outraged mob
Powercreep on what? Vaporize? Like that card saw any play ever. Mirror Entity? I would not call it a powercreep. This is a very good spell, one of the best ones that mage has, because it deals with whatever they play and they can’t just play around it. If they play a small minion to play around it then they’ve just got hit to the face. If they play a big minion then that minion dies. In any case you, the mage player, had just placed yourself in a win win situation. Regardless of what your opponent does, you will get something out of it, and that is called value. Secret mage will absolutely love this card.
Lesser Ruby Spellstone
2 mana add 1 random spell to your hand which can become add 2 spells and then add 3 spells. All that you need to do is just play some elementals. Is it good? Well, so far all spellstones have been good and this one does have its value, after you’ve upgraded it, so I would call it good. The problem is not the card itself but the bad deck that has to play it. Elemental mage has not been the best deck in the wild format so I don’t really see that changing because of this card. It is a shame because if the upgrade condition was anything else this might have seen some play. A pity, but there is always some potential that one day elemental mage might just be good enough for this to see play.
It has been quite some time since the last time that we’ve seen a joust on a card. For 2 mana you get a 2/2 beast minion that jousts spells with your opponent and if you win you get to draw that spell. How likely it is that you will win? Mage plays a solid number of spells that cost 3 mana and a solid portion of those that cost 5 or more. I dare say that it plays more 5 cost or higher spells than any other class. With that in mind I think that there is a very high chance that you will win the joust and draw the spell, but we also need to keep in mind will this card be good in the wild format? I think…yes. It might be good. Mage already has some good 2 drops in various decks but a single copy might squeeze in somewhere.
Arcane Artificer is a hard one to judge. The cost is good, the stats are decent for the cost, and the effect is great. The most important question that we need to have in mind is is the armor gain good enough to justify running this card? Well, so far, mage has been relying on Ice Barrier to give them armor that keeps them alive and if the class is in such a need for survival to run that card than I am positive that this will see some play. Recovery is always good in classes that have next to none. Will it see play? Yes, it most likely will, but I’m not sure to what extend. It is a bit above average, in my eyes.
This is it for today. Remember to join us tomorrow for the next two classes and then, after the 7th, I’m going to review all the other cards (plus those from these classes that came out while I was writing this). As always if you’ve liked this article do consider following me on twitter https://twitter.com/Eternal_HS. There you can ask me all sorts of Hearthstone questions (unrelated to this article) and I’ll gladly answer them as best as I can!