Standard Rotation 2018 – Notable Cards That Are Moving Out
With only about 3 months left until the next rotation hits, there’s very little time to play with cards from One Night in Karazhan, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan and Whispers of the Old Gods. The sets have been responsible for some of the most powerful decks to exist in Hearthstone and archetypes like Jade Druid and Pirate Warrior still dominate the current meta. Let’s take a look back at some of the most defining cards of these sets. The cards have been choses based on personal experience and this is by no means a list of ‘best’ cards. Do let us know what cards you will miss the most?
One Night in Karazhan
One Night in Karazhan was the last adventure set we received and until Blizzard changes their stance on Adventure sets, we will not be receiving anything new in the coming years. The PVE content will now be part of expansions like we had in Frozen Throne and Kobolds and Catacombs for free.
Babbling Book: Babbling Book brought forward a lot of randomness in Mage that turned out to be game changing to the point matches in the Hearthstone World Championships were decided by draws from the card. What makes Babbling Book so dangerous is its low mana cost combined with the fact that your opponent is most likely going to play around only two copies of a single card and factoring in cards that do not start in your deck is very difficult.
Maelstrom Portal: Easily the strongest of the Portal cards with Firelands Portal being a close second. It completely changed Shaman’s identity thanks to the class finally being able to control the board efficiently. Before Karazhan, Shaman was reliant on mostly Aggro Shaman to get the job done and before LOE, Shaman was known as the Tier 9 class. With new additions, Mid-Range Shaman became the best deck in the game for several months until the 2017 rotation, bringing the class down in terms of power level and dethroning it as the Tier 0 class.
Swashburglar: Swashburglar is a solid 1 drop that helped Rogue gain access to early game board presence with no other 1 drop seeing frequent play in the class. Southsea Deckhand was always used as an enabler for Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil in the previous metas and the class didn’t quite have a solid turn 1 play up until One Night in Karazhan.
Barnes: Barnes has been a part of several heated discussions and it makes its way into a wide variety of snowballing decks. If you pull a high value minion out of the card, you often can win the game on the back of it. Big Priest, Deathrattle decks, Combo decks and many other archetypes have used the card every now and then and it definitely has been seen as a problem by the developers. Team 5 have openly stated that cards like Barnes are something they do not want to print because of how swingy they can be.
Whispers of the Old Gods
Fandral Staghelm: Fandral Staghelm is one of the strongest cards from Whispers of the Old Gods and it has consistently featured in almost every Druid deck except the latest Aggro Druid lists. Token Druid, Yogg Druid, Jade Druid, Mid Range Druid, Malygos Druid – you name it! It is definitely going to be a big hit to Druid. The card not only provided a lot of added value to already flexible cards but also led to some really good artwork for the Fandral spawned Choose One cards!
Evolve: While the Evolve archetype will live on through the Shaman Death Knight, Evolve is one of the coolest Shaman cards that is going to rotate out. Being able to buff up an entire board to higher cost minions for just 1 mana is quite something (and eventually pulling a Doomsayer to wipe your own board). Hopefully the Wild lists will continue seeing play over time with the larger pool of minions that are available in the format.
Yogg-Saron, Hope's End: Yogg-Saron has been a controversial card with many games being decided by him. It is THE ultimate RNG card that used to win or lose your game upon playing. But with the card facing constant criticism, it led to it being nerfed and it barely sees any play right now. But it still is one of the most iconic cards to be printed in Hearthstone.
N'Zoth's First Mate: Nzoth’s First Mate was one of the primary reasons why Pirate Warrior and Tempo Warrior even became a thing. It synergizes with Patches, Southsea Deckhand, Bloodsail Cultist, Upgrade – the list goes on and on. It is extremely powerful and Pirate Warrior is definitely going to take a big hit with the departure of this card.
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan
Jade Idol: A card that prevents fatigue completely and even though cards have been printed to counter Jade Idol, we saw a total of 0 Skulking Geists played in the World Championships, simply because it’s too reliant on being drawn in time and the Jades keep getting bigger and bigger each turn. Its cost to value ratio is just unbelievable and there is no hope for Control decks in the matchup against Jade decks as long as this card exists.
Patches the Pirate: Patches the Pirate drew a lot of ire for months and it made its way into a variety of decks in classes that have nothing to do with Pirates. Being able to thin your deck and put out a free 1/1 with Charge is exceptionally powerful. Prince Keleseth made Patches a whole lot better and even Corridor Creeper benefits from having Patches in your deck as it’s a free one cost reduction on Creeper if you have Corridor Creeper in your starting hand. While it is getting nerfed, it has left enough of a mark in the meta making it one of the most controversial cards to ever be printed.
Kazakus: Kazakus solidified the presence of highlander decks long after Reno Jackson was gone, it is a must pick in any highlander deck and its powerful effect allows you to get the perfect game changing cards you need almost always. We must wait and see if Blizzard wants to keep this archetype alive or not in the coming expansion, because very few cards warranty specific means of deckbuilding around them and Kazakus is something you definitely want to build your deck around.
Raza the Chained: Raza The Chained at launch was not that particularly powerful but with the arrival of Knights of the Frozen Throne, Shadowreaper Anduin and Raza the Chained’s synergy became ladder defining. Many games are won and lost depending on who draws Raza and Anduin first and it is definitely not a healthy sign of the meta. Thankfully Blizzard is toning down Raza’s power levels and I still reckon it is going to be a decent card to play, except that you won’t be burst down from full health anymore once the nerf patch hits.
We will be back with more insights and deck guides, be sure to keep an eye on our website for updates. What are your favorite cards that are leaving the next rotation, please let us know in the comments below?