Welcome to Hearthstone’s Blackstone Mountain Adventure Set Review. I will be looking over the cards as they are release and going over their place in constructed meta and in arena. Keep in mind that these are my thoughts and my initial impression on the card. The meta will reveal all in time. That being said, lets just all have fun playing with awesome new cards.
A breakdown of the cards to see:
Class: 18 (One common, one rare for each class)
The cards would be discussed in the order of the wings they are from.
This card holds a very powerful advantage creating ability, at a significant cost. 5 mana for 3/3 is not good at all. So this is a combo piece. And the strongest place for it right now, is in Warrior. Whirlwind, Bouncing Blade, and Cruel Taskmaster are all good ways to trigger this card. When you combo it with Warsong Commander, you get a charged minion that can get you more charging minion. In arena, this card hinges between don’t play and below average. Even for Mage, which can use her hero power to activate this effect, you are a 3/2 and a 3/3 for 7 mana. If you compare that to Silver Hand Knight, it is pretty bad. There could be some situations where the board condition allows you to punish your opponents but it is conditional and it is bad for high cost cards to be conditional.
The cool thing about this card is that you can choose your opponent’s minion and add 3 copies of it into your deck. However, don’t mistake this card for card advantage. It doesn’t actually give you 3 cards of advantage because those cards aren’t given to you right away. It doesn’t affect the board and you may never even draw those cards you added. It is like a bad Echo of Medivh.
For the cost of two, you can summon a random minion that had died earlier. The majority of minions in a priest deck cost more than 2 mana so it is easy to get value from this card. For example, if you summon Injured Blademaster, Blademaster comes back as a 4/7. However remember this effect is random, thus making it hard to plan around it. Unless, we limit the minions we play in our deck. Imagine a Priest Control card where all your early cost cards are spell removal and then you pack big game winning threats, like Ragnaros and Sneed’s Old Shredder. Then you can maximize the value of this card. It is an interesting deck, and I wonder if you can make a control deck in the meta that will get to that point. In arena, it is like have another monster, just one that don’t know what it would be.
The most interesting thing about this card is that this card’s effect is cumulative. Every turn, the cost of cards in your hand will be reduce by 1 even if it has been reduced before. There can be some serious tempo gain from being able to play 2 6 drops on the same turn. This card has a lot of potential for enabling combo. Rogue wouldn’t find any reason to run this card because they already have Preparation. However other class such as Warrior or maybe even Mage can find use for this card. There is much potential for this card and the many combinations of cards interactions make it hard to evaluate it correctly. In addition, you can play this in Control. Control always have many answers, but never enough mana to play them all. Thus a single trigger from this card can really help out the Control deck, since they also usually have a big hand. For a legendary, it is a pretty good arena pick. Mainly, the stats are okay in the limited format and we can benefit from the tempo gain. Nothing special but better than many other legendaries.
I am confident to say this card is for the Midrange / Control Hunter and not for the aggro hunter. This is because Glaviezooka is already a more effective damage to cost ratio. Glaviezooka does 4 (maybe 5 due to Battlecry) damage for 2 mana. Just like how Darkbomb is used in Warlock Midrange, this card fills that void in Hunter Midrange. The ability to draw a card is good but it is likely for your deck to be empty when you want to play it due to the need to hold Kill Commands and Iron Beak Owl. In arena, removal is always good and of course, you can always shot your opponent’s face. It is hard to say how popular Hunter Midrange or Control will be, but I like how Blizzard makes pushes in that direction.
4 damage for 5 cost is not very good. So at what point does this become good? A similar benchmark would be Shadowbolt, a Warlock 3 cost spell card that deals 4 damage. Seeing as how Dragon’s Breath must cost more than Flamecannon to be fair, let’s say that 3 mana is a reasonable cost for 4 damage. By trading one of your minion for an enemy minion, you get this card down to 3 mana. Seems easy, so why would this card underplayed? Because without minions to trade, it is too overcosted. In the constructed format, decks will be focusing on board clear, making it lots harder to get a discount on this card. Also Mage has much competition for spell damage, making it hard for this card to be a worth a spot in decks. In arena, boards tend to be more cluttered with minions. Spell removal is also more important in this format. But of course, Flamecannon, and Frostbolt are better picks.
This card gives some of the biggest stats for 3 mana, but I am comfortable to say that this card wouldn’t see play in Constructed play. Lets take a look at the usefulness of the 2 forms. As a 5/2, it allows it trade with most 3 drops and 4 drops and even some 5 drops. But it also becomes very valuable to 1 drops and 2 drops. Or we can play it as a 2/5, allowing it survive against any low drop monster. Yet this form will have low impact. It can’t finish off Mechwarper, or Acolyte by itself. Both forms aren’t what Druid is looking for in the 3 drop slot. Shade of Naxxramas still refuse to hand over its place in Druid decks. In arena, it is better good in raw stats. But I feel as through have a 3/3 is more impactful.
Being able to be a 3/5 for 3 makes it a very strong turn 3 play. It is similar to Spider Tank for mech decks. A simple solid turn 3 play, if you have a Dragon in your hand. This makes an interesting mechanics because it allows you to have a Dragon deck with high cost dragons and still get some use of them being stuck in your hand. However the question is whether or not you will keep a high cost dragon in your opening hand. I don’t think it would be worth it to have a clunky hand. But if you have the 4 drop Hungry Dragon, it seems good. So this card is good in the Dragon tribal deck, but who knows if the dragon deck will be as good as the mech ones?
This card reminds me of Imp Master, which is another 1/5 which makes 1/1 Imps are the end of the turn. However, Imp Master isn’t used in Demonlock deck. Will this card see play? Well this card itself is a Demon which is a plus and it has enough attack to defeat 3/2 which is also important. Demonlock could use this 3 cost demon that doesn’t have a conditional battlecry. Having more ways to make Imps is very helpful when running buffs like Power Overwhelming, Abusive Sergeant and Defender of Argus. Also having 4 health makes it easier to get multiple triggers off. In arena, it is a solid card. But really, I expect it perform like a Razorfen Hunter which is mediocre.
The hero Ragnaros is an 8 health hero with the 2 cost hero power of dealing 8 damage to a random enemy. That hero power is insane, but the health is so low. You can burst down by any class at that point. In addition, it is hard to time when you want to do the hero change because the effect is a deathrattle. In a way, the hero change can be seen as disadvantage since people can use It drop your health to 8 and finish you off. This card could exist in a fun deck to build with Mage and use Ice Barrier and Ice Block to protect Ragnaros’s low health. But competitively it is not viable. Still what a cool and fun card. YOLO RAG for the win.
Looking at a card with this effect, you want it to be in a warrior aggro deck, so that you can really apply pressure with the effect as through you were a hunter. However, the issue is to get multiple triggers off, this card needs combo pieces like Wild Pyromancer, Bouncing Blade or Whirlwind. However combo pieces makes aggro decks less consistent and slower. In the aggro shell, other existing 4 drops such as Korgen Elite and Arathi Weaponsmith fits better. As far as a combo deck is concerned, I feel that the Raging Worgen decks or the upcoming Grim Patron decks will be better. In arena, stats are very important. A 4 drop with 2 attack isn’t going to cut it. I wouldn’t choose this card much at all.
A very nice card that finally interacts with overload crystals. It unlocks all currently locked crystals, allowing you to use them and prevents new locks from being active on the next turn. (This has been confirmed by Ben Brode but of course keep in mind, the order in which you play your cards). In a way it is sort of like Innverate because it gives you access to mana that you wouldn’t normally have. It helps Shaman not have to worry about overloading on turn 5 and not being able to play Fire Elemental on turn 6. The card would be most effective in the Zeus Shaman decks, the one with a ton of spells and spellpower. This is so that we can scale Lava Shock’s mediocre damage and do away from heavy overload from spells like Forked Lightning and such. In arena, this card is dependent on the number of overload cards you have. It is mediocre removal and let’s not forget that the unlocking effect is still conditional at times.
While you might think that this is a good card for face hunter, since aggro deck run out of cards early, it is not. This is because face hunter often do hold onto Kill Commands when they don’t have a beast or hold onto Ironbeak Owl in case of Taunts. In addition, by the time face hunter is in top deck mode, you are either going to win with what you already have or are in need of direct damage spells or minions with charge. There isn’t a need for this card. In midrange or control hunter deck, you wouldn’t have an empty hand often at all. In arena, where the format is slower this card’s effect might be useful. Also having good beast synergy is great for hunter in arena, so it might be a worthwhile pick.
Imagine turn 5 Dragon Consort. And then turn 6, you play an 8 cost dragon (such as the new 8 cost dragon in this adventure). The tempo gained from this card is solid and it just helps you curve out the high cost of your dragon deck. The 2 cost discount doesn’t have to be used on the same turn, and lasts even if Dragon Consort dies. In arena, you probably wouldn’t get the synergy off, but the body is solid.
This card is much like Nerubian Egg. You use some way to activate it, and then you get a minion, which in this case is a 2/1 Whelp, Dragon-type. Turn one Egg allows for turn 2 activation, which could come in the form of Warrior’s Cruel Taskmaster, Druid’s Mark of the Wild, or just Dire Wolf Alpha. It is okay on the early game (but doesn’t do too well against 2/3’s) but gets worse in the late game, when a 2/1 isn’t all that impactful. In comparison to the Nerubian Egg, a 4/4 has much more impact than even multiple 2/1’s. Also I don’t think it is likely that players are going to run both Dragon Egg and Neurbian Egg together. This because having too many cards that depend on activators will slow the deck’s aggression down. Priest can get multiple triggers of this card. However, I view that as being much slower and least mana-efficient than running Violet Teacher. In arena, due to the dependence this card has to others, you wouldn’t want to pick it up. The value of the Dragon Egg does go up if we begin to see more Dragon matter cards.
Being able to destroy a Legendary is very good because it allows you to pick off more annoying cards like Kel’ Thuzad, Archmage Antonidas, and Ysera. So already it is a conditional tech cards against the archtypes with use these legendries but it is even more conditional in that you need a dragon in your hand to use the effect. A situational card like this makes it feel even more awkward when we have to debate over whether or not to play the dragon in our hand or hold it for this card. It gives the dragon deck a competitive tech but I don’t it see it in play outside of the heavy dragon decks. The stats make this card very fragile, so never pick it up in arena, even if you have many dragons.
Druid is all about the big minions and I love it for that. This is a big monster that can become easier to play. Great for arena, where efficient cards are stars. However, is it good enough to see competitive play? Hmm, lets say you cast Swipe and kill 3 minions. This would discount this card to 6, meaning you need 10 mana for to pull this off. Still seem pricey. We want very impactful late game cards in Constructed, simply playing a wall isn’t enough. No matter how you much you discount this card, it is still a late game card, because of the setup needed for it. It has a similar issue as to why Druid don’t play Mech-Bear-Cat much. Both are highly efficient cards in terms of stats, but they don’t have the impactful effects that other Legendary cards do. This is why I hesitate to give up a space in my deck for a card like this. Because there will be those times, when you have to hard cast this card for 9, and that inconsistency is something we want to avoid in Constructed.
So with the effect, this cute little dragon becomes a 2/3, comparable to Zombie Chow. However, it will never replace the job of Zombie Chow. Both cards can do the job of holding off early game aggression, but Zombie Chow does it more consistently while Twilight Drake depends on your opening mulligan. In additional, Zombie Chow can combo with Auchenai Soulpriest to do 5 damage in later stages of the game. Twilight Drake does bring dragon synergy but it is such a small body that it is insignificant in the late game. Too little impact to be worth a place in the dragon priest deck.
Above 12 health, this is just a bad whirlwind, which is pretty bad. 12 health and below, it becomes a sort of board wipe. When you have 12 or less health, you are probably behind and need comeback mechanics, cards that will stabilize the field for you. This card can do that, but I am not sure the condition can be easily made. I am unsure If Control Warrior would try this card, since usually the Control Warrior doesn’t end up below 12 health due to mitigation from armor. In addition, it is awkward when you are slightly above 12 health and still in damage of being bursted down.
A very powerful mage card that places a lot of pressure on the board whenever you cast a spell. Being a 2/4 makes is very strong against aggressive 3/2 2 drops but bad against the 4 attack 4 drops, aka Piloted Shredder. Its effect favors cheap spells like Flamecannon, Frost Bolt or Unstable Portal, but it also activates on Spare Parts. The interesting thing is that I don’t predict that this card would be used in mech mage (where it has to compete with other 3 drops like Tinkertown Technician and Spider Tank) or in secret mage (where it has to compete with Kirin Tor Mage and all the other 2 cost secrets), but rather it would have its place in its own tempo deck. Keep an eye on this card and experiment away, it is going to be a strong card. However, notice that in this adventure, there seems be many minions that have effects that activate when taking incremental damage. So despite how strong this card seems, it might already have answers in place.
Chillwind Yeti is so old news. A 5/6 for 4 is amazing because you can straight defeat up a Chillwind Yeti and Sludge Belcher. The question is how much a drawback is the 1-Cost minion. Some 1 cost minion have 1 health so you can deal with it using a hero power for some classes. The strongest 1 cost minion right now is Zombie Chow, Flame Imp and Dust Devil. Zombie Chow even offers you some life gain so it is not that bad, and Dust Devil only have 1 health. On average, it is well worth the stats it provides, making it an arena powerhouse. The strongest place I believe that this card falls into is a midrange Dragon Druid Deck, where it can really shine with Innverate.
Destroyer is the right name for this. Drop on turn 4, win game. This card is an insane amount of stats. A 4/6 is great for 4 mana, even okay for 5 mana, which when you consider the overload, this card is kinda like 5 mana. But it can be a 7/6 sometimes, and totally crush most minions and your opponent’s health. Shaman have been missing a good 4 drop to hold the field until they can reach turn 6. This card greatly fill that gap. Also the overload doesn’t interfere with turn 6 Fire Elemental play. I dread having to pick between this card and Fire Elemental in arena. Once again, I want to make sure that it is clear that this card is going to be amazing.
This dragon’s effect screams put me in a control deck. It reminds me a lot like Ysera. You keep the dragon alive and the dragon will reward you with incremental card advantage. The longer you keep it alive, the more likely you will win. You get 2 cards to your opponent’s every one. Chromaggus also is safe from Big Game Hunter, but 8 health is of course more vulnerable than 12. Ysera fell out of play because players found 9 mana was just a bit too slow, so now how will this 8 mana do? It is hard to say if Control decks will pick up this card as a late game threat, but it is definitely worth a try. In arena, just protect it and the game would be yours.
I am pleasantly surprised to see that this card’s effect is not a Combo effect. This card adds to the Rogue’s repertoire of board control and gives another option aside from Blade Flurry and Fan of Knives. It is a great card in design because it pushes Rogue a bit out of just relying on spells and weapons and actually play with minions. This card will receive more play if aggro decks are running rampant. In arena, this effect is great for advantage and will help ease trades. I would pick this card up almost over everything (Azure Drake and Argent Commander are other cards that would compete with it).
In the Demonlock deck, this card is similar to Consecrate but for 3 mana. That sounds good at first, but this card competes with the other Warlock’s board clears, Hellfire and Shadowflame. Both Hellfire and Shadowflame cost one more mana but can do 3+ damage. There is a big difference between 2 damage and 3 damage. 2 damage doesn’t kill Mechwarper or Piloted Shredder or Acolyte of Pain or Quartermastered Silver Hand Recruits. However, this set have additional minions that gain benefits from incremental damage, making it even more crucial that damage is enough to completely wipe a creature. The reason why Paladin can still afford to play Consecrate is because they can scale Consecrate with Equality. I don’t believe that Demonwrath have the damage to be useful. For arena, board wipes are king. While your arena deck might not be all demons, you should still be able to pick the optimal situations to play this card.
6/4 for 6 is a bit on the weak side; the 4 health makes it rather vulnerable. However on curve is capable of trumping Sludge Belcher’s first form, which is very important for tempo. In addition it has the ability to cost less. Imagine trading your 3 drop with your opponent on turn 4; this makes Volcanic Drake cost 4. A 6/4 is turn 4 is great. It isn’t what overpowering as 4 health means many minions and spells can trade with it. But it places a lot of pressure on your opponent’s health. Without being able to take advantage of this card’s effect, it isn’t worth its cost. Thus in order to maximize this card’s potential, I would recommend to only use it in a Dragon deck. A dragon that can cost less is great for our holding dragon mechanic, and helps with our curves. In arena, it is likely that you can get a discount, but even then the stats aren’t the best. The scariest thing about this card is if you can clear the field of an aggro deck (a field of Haunted Creeper and such) with a board wipe and then being able to stabilize by dropping this monster.
In a Dragon deck, this card is an instant two-of. Stormpike Commander just got outclassed. Well not completely, since this card’s Battlecry is more situational, but in a Constructed deck, it is a reliable condition to achieve. Its stats are playable / on curve for a 5 cost minion. And its effect is as strong as Fire Elemental, a Shaman monster. The fact it can come down a turn faster might make it an even stronger tempo play. Definitely a strong part of the Dragon deck.
Drakonid Crusher (6) (6/6) Dragon
Battlecry: If your opponent has 15 or less health, gain +3/+3
Constructed: Maybe Playable (Tribal)
So during the first half of the game, you get a 6 mana 6/6, which is respectable and better stats than many other 6 drops currently being played, such as Sylvanas Windrunner, Shieldmaiden, and Savannah Highmane. However the reason, why Boulderfist Ogre isn’t played is because stats aren’t everything. Powerful effects that stabilize the field or create threats are expected in turn 6. And Drakonid Crusher just doesn’t do that. In the late game, when your opponent has 15 or less health, it becomes a 9/9 that take out Giants. People like to say that cards are useless because they die from Big Game Hunter but one Big Game Hunter used, is one less for your other cards. Still I don’t think this card is really great for the constructed scene. It is a good cost for a dragon and thus might makes its way into a dragon deck. But we really would rather have a powerful effect for 6 mana.
This card is similar to Violet Teacher in some way. The cost and stats make it very comparable. And the triggers of their effects are similar. Violet Teacher creates a 1/1 whenever you play a spell. And DragonKin Sorcerer gets +1/+1 when you play a spell that targets it. In other words, it works best in a buff based deck. We see a few targeted buffs in the meta, like Power Word: Shield, or Cold Blood and even Spare Parts. But for the most part, single targeted buffs aren’t good because you are just putting all your eggs in one basket. In Priest, it would be harder to kill, and might allow Velen’s Chosen to see more play. But in the end, I don’t believe it is a very competitive card, because it leads to an inconsistent deck type. Violet Teacher is much better because it diversifies the threat into a group of 1/1’s and is easier to trigger. In a dragon deck, it would probably see some play because we like mid-cost dragons, but I wouldn’t see it as a crucial piece and it could be easily replaced when better dragons come out.
This dragon’s effect is like giving every class a Thoughtsteal but specifically grabbing spells, which is the most unique part of class. Every class have amazing cards to take, such as Mage’s Flamestrike, Paladin’s Equality, Priest’s Shadow Words, and Rogue’s Preparation. It is certain a fun and cool card. (Brace yourself for the thread of Nefarian taking Savage Roar and Force of Nature). But is it viable for Constructed play? And the answer is no. It is not going to see the play for the same reason that Ysera doesn’t see play right now. Both dragons are 9 cost cards that grants card advantage. But it is card advantage that can’t be used on the same turn. This is unless Nefarian grabs a Preparation or an Innervate of course. Let’s say even if the meta gets slower, which dragon would I rather run, Ysera or Nefarian? Right now, I am leaning towards Ysera, because she fits better into the control shell. She is harder to remove and the longer the game goes, the more card advantage. In arena, big threats and card advantage is key for winning games and this card provides both.
This is the draw power that Control Paladin want. Lay on Hands cost too much, and Divine Favor is too situational. Solemn Vigil does look like a lot of mana but in the Paladin class, it may be very easy to have minions dies thanks to the hero power and Muster For Battle. Pure card advantage is very good for the control deck. In arena, it can be overcosted at times, which is why is only slight above advantage, but card advantage win games.