Hearthstone, Set Review

Hearthstone – The Grand Tournament Review: Class Cards

Let’s review the class cards of Hearthstone’s The Grand Tournament. I will discuss how the new cards will play into the Constructed and Arena format. Remember these are just my thoughts and you are free to disagree and share your own opinions. This review is also written before the set is officially released. Time will tell which of these cards are actually the best.

Arena cards fall under top pick, above average, average, below average, or don’t pick. Constructed is more complicated but roughly falls under staple, playable, build around, tech card, or underplayed.

Link to The Grand Tournament: Neutral Review


Druid

astralcommunion
Astral Communion
Constructed: Build Around
Arena: Don’t Pick

Absolutely jaw-dropping effect. Of course, they had to balance it by making it discard your entire hand. Without any card to play, it doesn’t matter how much mana you have. Still afterwards, you can play any card you draw. You can try to set up with Novice Engineer, Acolyte of Pain or Jeeves. An disadvantage is that this card does less and less as the game naturally progresses to ten mana. The deck building process will be tricky with this card since you have to find the right balance between early game setup and late game powerhouses. There will be some crazy games with this card, but overall, it is too inconsistent to be good.

aviana
Aviana
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Slightly Above Average

In Ramp Druid, if unanswered, this card will take over the game, as you slap down every high cost minion in your hand. It also has an added bonus of giving more use into late game Innervate. This way you could play a turn nine Aviana, and then Innervate out 2 big minions. Otherwise, you would play it on turn ten and play it with an additional big minion. For example, you can protect Aviana with an Ancient of War or Kel’Thuzd. However the reality is that your hand might not consistently have the minions or Innervate to play after you get Aviana. The more high cost minions you put in to make sure of Aviana, the less consistent the deck gets. It is hard to justify playing a 9 cost minion that doesn’t have an immediately effect. A lot of potential but not practical.

darnassus
Darnassus Aspriant
Constructed: Staple
Arena: Above Average

An interesting temporary ramp choice. By playing it on turn 2, you can then ramp out a four drop on turn 3. Mostly likely Darnassus would die after that, but you could get already some value out of this card. It also gives you some early board presence, while also ramping up. In arena, it is above average 2 drop with great upsides. If you end up with a top heavy arena deck, this card might even become a top pick.

druidsaber
Druid of the Saber
Constructed: Playable (Face)
Arena: Above Average

One of the strongest 2 drop minion in arena because it is either a 2 drop removal, or a resilient 3/2 with stealth. Much better than Anodized Robo Cub. In constructed, I can see this card in a full aggressive Druid deck that plays many tokens and early game cards to finish with Savage Roar. This is because all Druid ramp and combo decks want to play a card to gain mana in the two slot, especially now with Darnassus Aspriant. I don’t expect the Face Druid deck to be very successful yet like Face Hunter or Aggro Paladin but this is a small step in that direction.

knightwild
Knight of the Wild
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Below Average

Even for the beast tribal decks, I wouldn’t to run a card with this effect. The problem is that it has to be in your hand when you play the beast. So are you going to keep it in your opening hand even when you don’t have many beasts? Do you mulligan your spells just to get more beasts? And if you draw it late, it would be a 7 mana 6/6 and you wouldn’t be able to abuse the tempo advantage from this card’s effect. Not consistent enough. In arena, there is a high chance that you are just playing a overcosted 6/6 since you can’t guarantee that you will have the critical mass of beasts in your draft.

livingroots
Living Roots
Constructed: Playable (Token)
Arena: Average

A good spell of the token Druid deck, since it is both a cheap spell that can trigger Violet Teacher and create two tokens on its own as well. However, I don’t think believe that it would be universal enough to replace Zombie Chows. The 3 health on Zombie Chow gives it the edge to deal with 2 attack minions and survive.

mulch
Mulch
Constructed: Maybe Playable
Arena: Below Average

The strength of this card is unconditional removal of a valuable minion. Of course, the minion is replaced by another random minion. However, the replacement is placed in the hand, thus making the card act much like a Sap, which gives you a large amount of tempo. But in addition, if used optimally, there should be a small number of card better than the card you set back. It has a chance of seeing play but most Druid decks rather use minions as removal or just burst through with combo. In arena, the lost of card advantage isn’t worth playing Mulch. I will pick if I don’t have any spell or any removal, but wouldn’t really be happy about it.

savagecombatant
Savage Combatant
Constructed: Playable (Tribal)
Arena: Above Average

The Inspire on this card is pretty good because it grants your Hero Power enough attack to remove an meaningful number of 3 drops and below as well as facilitate in trades. 5 attack is also good for dealing with turn 5 Sludge Belcher and Emperor Thaurissan. However 4 health is very vulnerable to Piloted Shredder and 4 attack weapons, so there are strong tradeoffs on both sides. Not being as resilient to removal probably keeps this card out of being in all the Druid decks, but it does find a good place in the Beast Druid decks. Turn 4 Savage Combatant into turn 5 Druid of the Fang is a good curve, even without ever using Inspire.

wildwalker
Wildwalker
Constructed: Playable (Tribal)
Arena: Average

The stats of this card isn’t every good, especially when Piloted Shredder is roaming around. Despite that, granting health is always great for trading. Possible 3 cost beasts include great choices like Druid of the Flame, Emperor Cobra, and Mukla. It is questionable how strong the beast deck will be, but this is an okay card for the deck for now.

Hunter

acidmaw
Acidmaw
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Below Average

The power of this card is what once you play it, all your minions, no matter how weak, can now trade on for any minion and your spells, no matter how little damage they do, can slay any minion. Combo with Unleash the Hounds or the new Dreadscale to wipe the field. What holds this card back is that is cost so much, making the board clear come very late into the game. Emperor Thaurissan does help with that issue, so maybe it wouldn’t be that bad. It is impractical to think that you will have the board setup where you can just use minions, through a card like Snake Trap does help. In arena, it falls because you can’t guarantee the combo or the board state.

ballofspiders
Ball of Spiders
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Don’t Pick

6 mana for three 1 mana minions feels very underwhelming. Since the minions are Webspinners, you can think about as deal 3 damage and draw three cards. If a card did do that, it probably would have to cost 6 mana (compared to Nourish and Sprint). But in reality, this card is much slower than that. I don’t see Hunter wanting to use this high cost slow card as a means of card draw.

beartrap
Bear Trap
Constructed: Playable
Arena: Above Average

It is very easy to trigger this trap. Playing a 2 cost 3/3 with Taunt is efficient for the cost. Bear Trap does well against aggressive decks that runs Haunted Creeper or a lot of 1/1 tokens, stopping many successive attacks. There is also ways to take advantage of the beast synergy. Against Hunter, with this new trap, you now should always attack with the weakest minion first, so they can sneak through the taunt.

bravehunter
Brave Hunter
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Don’t Pick

Brave Hunter is much weaker Leper Gnome in the early game, but stronger in the late game. However it’s effect can’t be activated for most of the game, making it a poor card. Great visual design through.

dreadscale
Dreadscale
Constructed: Playable (Control)
Arena: Average

Like mentioned above, you can combo with Acidmaw to wipe the field on turn ten. Yet, Dreadscale is still good by itself. It deals with the aggressive one health minions once it comes into play and can even scale into the late game with Hunter’s Mark. Great tool for the Control Hunter deck.

kingelekk
King Elekk
Constructed: Playable
Arena: Above Average

If you win the Joust, King Elekk becomes a 2 drop that draws a card. It also has fine stats for a 2 drop and is a beast. It is easily one of the best 2 drops in arena. The card advantage is also very valuable in constructed, especially when you can take advantage of the beast synergy.

lockandload
Lock and Load
Constructed: Staple (Build Around)
Arena: Below Average (Very Deck Dependent)

The card advantage that Lock and Load can create is ridiculous. Since you can get a spell from this card, it can fuel itself until you run out of mana. Tracking is already talked about being amazing with this card, and perhaps Hunter’s Mark and Arcane Shot will see a resurgence. This card can greatly change what sort of decks we see from Hunters now. Keep an eye out of this potential new combo menace.

powershot
Powershot
Constructed: Staple (Control)
Arena: Above Average

Definitely made with the agenda to make Control Hunter a thing. It is a great answer to the early swarm of minions. For the arena, removal is always welcome.

ramwrangler
Ram Wrangler
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Below Average

Ram Wrangler can straight win the game by dropping King Krush or be a total flop by creating a Young Dragonhawk. Its high cost, reliance on another beast on the board, and the unreliable variance makes this card too inconsistent for serious competitive play.

stablemaster
Stablemaster
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Below Average

While Immune is an interesting keyword that we don’t see much, practically, Stablemaster wouldn’t be seeing much play. This effect prevents a Beast from taking any damage, which is an effect that works best with large attack minions so that it could trade with impunity. However the only high attack beasts that is good enough to see any play is Savanna Highmane and maybe Gahz’rilla, creating very few options for this card. Houndmaster does a better job at buffing beasts in general, because most beasts start with low stats.

Mage

arcaneblast
Arcane Blast
Constructed: Build Around / Underplayed
Arena: Slightly Above Average

2 damage for 1 mana is fine, but these spells doesn’t see play because they don’t scale well into the late game. Arcane Blast hopes to deal with this issue by offering double scaling with spell damage. This means that +1 spell damage gives this card 4 damage, and +5 spell damage gives it 12 damage. But the drawback is there is a lot of effort to build up your field to have multiple minions with +1 spell damage, and that makes it nonviable in a highly contested board. The card would be much better if there existed a minion that simply gives +2 spell damage.

coldarra
Coldarra Drake
Constructed: Build Around / Tribal
Arena: Slightly Above Average

Just like the show match displayed, this dragon works great in a slow Inspire themed control deck. Combined with Maiden of the Lake and Saraad would nets an incredible amount of card advantage. The pieces together costs a lot amount of mana, so it might not have strong competitively applications. Still Coldarra Drake does hold a lot of potential in a Mage Inspire Deck. It is also a buff to the Mage Dragon decks, which already plays a control game with Chrommaggus and Ysera. In arena, 6/6 for 6 is good stats and being able to use your Hero Power multiple times is a slow but good way to get value.

dalaranaspirant
Dalaran Aspriant
Constructed: Playable
Arena: Below Average

It is too slow to be build up spell damage once per turn. You can try using Coldarra Drake or Garrison Commander to speed up the spell damage stacking but then you would be investing cards into just the combo piece and not the win condition of your deck. Not worth it.

effigy
Effigy
Constructed: Playable
Arena: Slightly Above Average

With Effigy, any creature you control can become a pseudo Piloted Shredder. This can be very good with high cost minions, with powerful Battlecries but weak bodies like Antique Healbot. Of course it is random, but it still allows you to maintain a presence on the board. It has the same trigger as Duplicate so it can still be played around by your opponent. Good enough to be played in Secret decks and even Tempo decks.

fallenhero
Fallen Hero
Constructed: Maybe Playable (Tempo)
Arena: Above Average

For 4 mana, Fallen Hero can be a 3/2 with Battlecry: deal 2 damage. This makes it competitive in arena, since there is a chance to two for 1 by pinging off a 2 cost 3/2 and then trade with a 3 cost minion. But is it good enough for Constructed? It feels good in a Tempo Mage deck where you are threaten the 2 damage to creatures early. The drawbacks are that it is easy to remove from the field and the effect isn’t as meaningful when minions gain more health later in the game.

flamelance
Flame Lance
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Slightly Above Average (Strong pick 1 if needed)

8 damage kill most minions played in the meta. But do we need another removal card for Mage? Most mage decks now plays 2 Fireball for the versatility to go for face or remove a minion. They might run Polymorph to remove any troublesome minion. And that is where the issue is, Flame Lance in most situations is not any better than the cheaper Polymorph, especially when you consider that Polymorph gets around Deathrattles. In arena, you will pick it more highly if you are in need for removal. I would pick the 1st copy very highly but hesitate on a second one. Mage already have a lot of removal and 5 mana is a lot.

polyboar
Polymorph: Boar
Constructed: Maybe Playable (Tempo)
Arena: Average

Polymorph: Boar is a more versatile version of Polymorph, allowing you to weaken a big monster or transform your weak minion into a four attack charger. Giving your opponent a 4/2 isn’t that bad. Two health can be easily trade with Mad Scientist. Flamewaker helps dealing with 2 health. You can also change your Mirror Images into Huffers. There is also a strong synergy with the new Mage card, Fallen Hero. Control will probably still use the regular Polymorph which is a guarantee six mana kill anything. It is for that reason Polymorph remains superior to Polymorph: Boar in arena.

rhonin
Rhonin
Constructed: Playable
Arena: Above Average

Usually a 7/7 screams that it wants to be killed by Big Game Hunter, but Rhonin comes with a Deathrattle. Upon death, you get 9 random damage for 3 mana, which is a good deal. Yet it can be even better since each copy of Arcane Missiles can scale off of spell damage and provide spell triggers for Flamewaker or Archmage Antonidas. Rhonin provides a threatening body with some insurance when it is killed, making it a great competitive card.

spellslinger

Spellslinger
Constructed: Playable
Arena: Above Average

There is some major risk in giving your opponent a great spell. However imagine if the spell you gave them can 1 for 1 remove Spellslinger, like for example, Flamecannon. Well then you are still have the spell that you were given. So you lost nothing. It only hurts more, if they were given a strong AOE spell, but that is variance. In additional, Mage can take advantage of actually playing spells in the use of spell damage, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and Flamewaker. In constructed, it needs the right deck. You don’t want it in mech mage, since Spider Tank has more synergy. Tempo Mage might fit in together alongside Flamewaker. The make or break of this card will depend on if there is space available for it

Paladin

argentlance
Argent Lance
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Above Average

In Constructed, this card has two issues. First, it has to compete for space with weapons like Truesilver Champion, Coghammer and even Muster of Battle. In that case, gaining durability might not be a good effect. Second, a 2/3 weapon isn’t that good. There just isn’t enough valuable 2 health minion to remove in the meta. Even against Hunter do you really want to use your face to remove their creatures? Nah let Shielded Minibot do that job. Shaman’s Stormforge Axe doesn’t see play because of these reason either. In arena, weapons are always valuable (except for Light’s Justice)

competitivespirit
Competitive Spirit
Constructed: Playable (Token)
Arena: Below Average

The first secret to activate on your own turn. It also doesn’t activate if you have no minions in play. Your opponent can’t stop the activation of the secret unless they kill all your minions, which they might not want to do, because they fear triggering other secrets like Avenge. The buff from Competitive Spirit isn’t worth it on just one minion; On two minions, it is okay, and then it gets better as the number of minions increase. Thus it for decks that go wide and play many small minions. In arena, it is more likely that you just get the buff on one minion as you contest for board, so it is not worth that inconsistent in arena.

eadric the Pure
Eadric The Pure
Constructed: Playable (Control)
Arena: Above Average

A powerful tool for the Control Paladin deck. Setting the attack of all your opponent’s minions to 1 is essentially removal as it allows you to gain board control and stabilize with minimal lost of your own minions. In fact, you can argue it is “removal” that is good regardless of the health of the minion and the deck type. If it is used against aggro, this effect will have the potential to activated on many targets. It if is used against control, then you are more likely to shut down large attack units. Eadric The Pure also has the large health that allows you to facilitate multiple trades, especially after the effect is triggered. Great card that acts as the late game board control for the control deck and helps drags the game out.

entercoliseum
Enter the Coliseum
Constructed: Probably Underplayed
Arena: Slightly Above Average

This spell isn’t that good against the aggressive decks, since Consecration got that mostly covered. It does do well in the midrange matchup. After the spell resolves, you can use Aldor Peacekeeper or Humility on the remaining monster. Yet I think that the current use of Consecrate and Equality is enough removal in the Midrange decks at least. Control Paladin might find space to run a copy.

murlocknight
Murloc Knight
Constructed: Staple
Arena: Average

A four drop that makes the Paladin Hero Power become summon a random Murloc and a Silver Hand Recruit. When you take into account the Murloc synergy and the new Paladin secret, Competitive Spirit, you actually have the workings of a Paladin Murloc deck. I don’t believe the deck has enough to be very competitive. Paladin is missing a team wide attack buff like Savage Roar or Bloodlust. Yet it is still good by itself. Murloc Knight, if it survives, can create the Murloc army for you.

mysteriouschallenger
Mysterious Challenger
Constructed: Staple (Build Around)
Arena: Below Average

Mysterious Challenger’s battlecry grants multiple card advantage and tempo, making it a very valuable card. The only issue is that since it comes at 6 mana, you might have either played or draw into some of your secrets already. Still it brings a lot of pure value and just free stuff on a battlecry, and it is not even losing a lot of stats for it either. In arena, I am not very excited to pick up any of the Paladin’s secrets by themselves. So I wouldn’t be ranking Mysterious Challenger that highly.

sealofchampion
Seal of Champions
Constructed: Playable
Arena: Slightly Above Average

Seal of Champions is like a combination of Blessing of Might and Hand of Protection and then one extra mana to tie them both together. This creates a strong combination, as the attack buff gives the Divine Shield more trading potential. The Seal of Champions has potential to replace Blessing of Kings in aggressive decks. In arena, it is similar to removal that needs a minion to play.

tuskarrjouster
Tuskarr Jouster
Constructed: Playable
Arena: Above Average

This card has the potential to replace Antique Healbot. Like the Healbot, it is a 5 mana card that heals you. Yes the heal is situational, but against the aggressive decks, you are going to win most of the time. In the other case, against more control or slower decks, the Jouster is a 5/5 which is much more efficient than Healbot in that matchup. The strength of this card is that it is on average better against any type of deck, while Healbot is better against aggressive deck but not as good in control.

warhorsetrainer Warhorse Trainer
Constructed: Maybe Playable
Arena: Slightly Above Average
More Silver Hand Recruit synergy is always welcome. This comes out earlier than Quartermaster and helps your Silver Hand Recruits trade better. Imagine being able to on turn 2, Coin and Muster for Battle, and then turn 3, Warhorse Trainer. Even by itself, a 2/4 is acceptable to deal with early game aggro minions. Yet this card might not be that competitive, because unless you have Silver Hand Recruit already existing on the field from last turn, you can’t immediately trade them. And having Recruits left on the field is hard, because most opponents would try to remove your Recruits when possible. If simply buffing the attack of Recruits was good, people would be playing Dire Wolf Alpha a lot more, but people aren’t. So while this card have better stats, it does come with a less reliable effect.

Priest

confessorpaletress
Confessor Paletress
Constructed: Probably Underplayed
Arena: Above Average

With Confessor Paletress, your hero power becomes heal 2 health and summon a random legendary. It’s effect is so important that you would wait until turn 9 to play it and summon a random minion. The raw advantage this card can give is pretty crazy. But that is made up by the low health and high cost of this minion. I predict that the card is too slow to be played. Unlike Ysera, it doesn’t have the resilient consistent body.

confuse
Confuse
Constructed: Underplayed / Build Around
Arena: Don’t Pick

A very situational card that may be helpful at times. You can do trades that you normally couldn’t, activate cards Shadow Word: Death or Cabal Shadow Priest, or even enable your large health minions into becoming big attack threats. Crazed Alchemist saw some play because of this reason. Yet, Confuse is even more situational because it affects all minions. Do you really want to activate players’ Neuriban Eggs? If it is to be played, it has to be fully supported by the deck.

convert
Convert
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Slightly Above Average

A Priest tech in the Control vs Control matchup. It does very little in the aggro matchup. It can be very valuable in copying cards like Dr. Boom and even Thaurissan. You can even look it as get a copy of any minion, but you have to pay two mana more. Well, it not really that versatile since it has to be your opponent minion that is already in play. This makes it a rather slow card, since you are not really taking any initiative with the card.

flashheal
Flash Heal
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Don’t Pick

A cheap heal spell greatly helps the combos of Priest. Already it is easy to see that this card is very useful with Auchenai SoulPriest, as cheap removal or burn. In addition, it is another card to trigger the effects of Lightwarden, Holy Champion and the such. The only issue is that this card is too dependent on one card, Auchenai SoulPriest, to act as removal. It doesn’t have the utility without being comboed. In arena, healing is not worth the space of one card.

holychampion
Holy Champion
Constructed: Playable (Midrange)
Arena: Above Average

A good 4 cost minion for priest. Holy Champion pulls deck construction in the other direction of Auchenial Soulpriest in that you want to keep your hero power around. Holy Champion can be seen as Lightwarden’s older brother. Like Lightwarden, +2 attack can quickly get out of hand, but unlike Lightwarden, it has 5 health, making it much more resilient to removal. It has potential in a more midrange focused deck.

powerwordglory
Power Word: Glory
Constructed: Playable
Arena: Don’t Pick

Cheap repeatable healing is exactly what Priest wants. This allows it be trigger Lightwarden and Holy Champion multiple time. In fact, placing it on the mentioned minions and attacking will heal you first and then boost the minions’ attack before the damage goes through. It also sort of gives that minion Taunt, since it has to be answered by a face focused opponent. In arena, it is not reliable to pick up combo pieces when the pieces themselves do very little.

shadowfiend
Shadowfiend
Constructed: Probably Underplayed
Arena: Average

Shadowfiend is like a miniature Emperor Thaurissan, except that you have to do some work to make it work efficiently. Combining it with Power Word: Shield on turn 4 isn’t bad at all. However, it set take up some setup to prepare a card that can easily be removed. Emperor Thaurissan is so good because the first activation of the effect can’t be stopped and effects multiple cards. Shadowfiend might be used in aggressive Priest decks that can benefit from having an early way to discount its cards.

spawnofshadows
Spawn of Shadows
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Average

With Inspire, you can think of it as deal 2 damage to yourself and deal 4 damage to your opponent. While it is a card for the aggressive Priest deck, aggressive decks aren’t going to want cards that don’t do anything on the turn coming in. That is why Spawn of Shadows isn’t a very key card for the Aggro Priest deck.

wyrmrestagent
Wyrmrest Agent
Constructed: Staple (Tribal)
Arena: Below Average

Wyrmrest Agent is a valuable two drop for the Priest dragon deck. It can be an early game Taunt backed by a 2/4 body. It also helps that there isn’t many strong Priest two drops in competition for the space. Definite fit for the Dragon deck.

Rogue

anubarak
Anub’arak
Constructed: Underplayed / Future Potential
Arena: Above Average

Anub’arak is very powerful for the control deck. It is a threat that never goes away (given no Polymorph or Hex), and even when it is removed from the field, it leaves a 4/4 in play. The only issue is that Rogue doesn’t have enough tools for the control deck yet. Rogue’s style is currently too heavily in the tempo play and it doesn’t have the late game board control cards that a control style will require. I have high hopes that this card will see success one day, but today is not the day.

burgle
Burgle
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Average

It is very cool for Rogue to get a cheap draw spell but you draw cards that belong to your opponent’s class. That is fun, but does it fit well into existing decks? Rogue decks often rely on many combination of cards that synergize well with each other. Introducing random cards from other classes isn’t going to help a deck run smoother. Thus this card is only good if Rogue Control becomes a thing. Looking at the Rogue cards that we have right now, that is still far off from being a thing. In arena, drawing cards is card advantage. Fun card at least.

beneathgrounds
Beneath the Grounds
Constructed: Underplayed / Maybe Playable (Mill)
Arena: Don’t Pick

Beneath the Grounds can potentially grant you three 4/4 s which is an amazing value, but there is no guarantee that your opponent will ever draw them. So would Beneath the Grounds be good against the Control deck? Yes, but that would mean that you, the Rogue, chose to play the long drawn out Control game with them, which is not a strength for Rogue right now. But it does have potential in the Mill Rogue decks that forces your opponent to draw with Coldlight Oracle. However Mill decks shouldn’t really be depending on 4/4 s to win the game or do any damage at all, so there is some clash of interest there. Also keep in mind, the opponent will draw another card to replace the Ambush that they drew.

buccaneer
Buccaneer
Constructed: Playable (Tribal)
Arena: Above Average

Turn 1 Buccaneer into turn 2 hero power isn’t bad for applying early game pressure. That is especially valuable for arena. For constructed, Buccaneer isn’t good enough universal for all Rogue decks. 1 health means it offers no board presence since it can be picked off with hero powers. The best place is in Pirate decks, where the Pirate tag can be taken advantage of.

cutpurse
Cutpurse
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Average

The Coin can be so valuable in Rogue. It is a free combo enabler, and it helps ramp. This is why Cutpurse is very exciting. The problem is it is very hard to get a 2/2 to attack the opponent’s face without getting it killed off immediately. Cutpurse can most likely get through in the early game, but that is not consistently enough.

poisonblade

Poisoned Blade
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Don’t Pick

Yes, I can use my Hero Power even when I have a weapon so I can get Inspired triggers. But you want me to give 4 mana for that benefit? No thank you.

shadopancav
Shado-Pan Cavalry
Constructed: Underplayed / Future Potential (Midrange)
Arena: Above Average

3/7 for 5 mana is only one stat under the curve (compared Feugen). However with combo, you can get a 6/7. Being able to get it off at on turn 4 with coin makes it a big threat. Even in the late game, it is a sizable monster. That is why this card would be amazing in arena, because it offers a large amount of consistency to the combo based rogue class. In Constructed, this card doesn’t fit neatly into any deck. It is more in a minion-centric midrange Rogue deck. It is questionable if there is enough cards for that sort of playstyle out of Rogue. Just this one card isn’t enough right now.

shadydealer
Shady Dealer
Constructed: Playable (Tribal)
Arena: Average

Despite not being a Pirate itself, Shady Dealer fits into the Pirate Rogue deck by becoming a respectable 5/4 threat in the early game. The stats favor the aggressive plan that Pirate inclined to.

undercityvaliant

Undercity Valiant
Constructed: Probably Underplayed
Arena: Top Pick

SI: 7 Agent’s little brother is not that good in Constructed. This is because the 1 damage isn’t as valuable as 2 damage. In Constructed, a card has to try to efficient at all stages of the game. However in arena, this card is amazing. In this format, 1 damage is more valuable because trades with randomly drafted minions are going to more likely leave 1 health minion behind. Definitely helps the curve of the early game while providing support into the later stages of the game.

Shaman

ancestralknowledge
Ancestral Knowledge
Constructed: Playable (Combo)
Arena: Average

A good draw spell for Shaman. At ten mana, it means you have 8 mana to play anything your drew. The overload cost has minimal effect late game. In the early game, well you shouldn’t be playing draw cards in the early game anyway. This card fills a much needed spot in the Malygos combo decks. Maybe we will see Shaman control crop up or even Midrange will resurge thanks to this card. There is much potential in introducing a draw card into a class.

chargedhammer
Charged Hammer
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Average

If people aren’t even playing Stormforged Axe which is a 2 mana 2/3 weapon, then you know that 4 mana 2/4 weapon is probably pretty bad too. Yet, the effect of the Charged Hammer is good. Having the ability to do 2 damage does grant you more immediate board control than making 0/2 totems. In the best case scenario, you play it on turn 4 and then gets the Deathrattle effect the earliest on turn 7. That might seem acceptable but anytime after the fourth turn, this card is way too slow. The quickest way to get the effect would be by replacing your weapon, but that isn’t very efficient.

totemcarver
Draenei Totemcarver
Constructed: Maybe Playable (Tribal)
Arena: Average (Deck Dependent)

So if you have at least one totem on the field by turn 4, you can make a 5/5. Not bad. However a 5/5 on turn 4, while it is over the curve, might not be enough to be consider super strong in Constructed, especially when you consider that Flamewake Elemental isn’t enough to push Shaman up the tier rank much. It is dependent on Shaman’s early game and avoiding overload to make sure it is on curve. We will have to wait and see if there are more early game totems.

elementaldes

Elemental Destruction
Constructed: Maybe Playable (Control)
Arena: Above Average

At first overload 5 seems ridiculous, but when you think about Flamestrike is 7 mana, this card seems more reasonable. The biggest advantage is that you can wipe the board and immediately play a threat. That sort of tempo is why valuable as it reset the board into your favor. Thus it fits very well into late game control play. You are going to get set back next turn but playing this card well is all about mastering that timing.

Healing Wave
Constructed: Staple (One of)
Arena: Don’t Pick

As a base, healing seven health for three mana is fine. In comparison, it is only one less heal than Druid’s Healing Touch. Healing Wave has the additional benefit of if you win the Joust, you get 14 points of healing. That is an immense swing of health, easily upsetting any aggro deck’s plan. I can easily see it in the Ancestor’s Call/Malygos decks, and I wouldn’t be surprise to see it in Midrange and Control decks. In arena, I would favor one if I had pick up multiple weapons or a Doomhammer.

themistcaller
The MistCaller
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Above Average

Mistcaller’s effect is cool and unique because it is really an effect that can only be done in a digital card game. It is an immediate effect that makes all your minions better but requires you to have a weaker board. You are very inclined to play it early to get the most value from it, but doing so will result in a weak turn and most likely concede the board control to your opponent. However if you play it too late, you wouldn’t have the minions to get buffed. Additionally, there is no return you will get any return from playing this card, since you might might draw any minions. The effect is too slow for constructed, but in arena, where games are all about minions and are more drawn out, Mistcaller will grind out a victory.

thunderbluff
Thunder Buff Valiant
Constructed: Underplayed / One of in Tribal
Arena: Slightly Below Average

I am very happy to see Totem tribal support. It’s stats remind me of Stampeding Kodo. The Kodo however did have an immediate impact on the board, but this card doesn’t unless you play it on Turn 7. It is similar like Quartermaster, but it trades having an immediate impact for a more snowballing effect. This minion is incredible when you are ahead and have many totems on the field, even if you have to play it at 7 mana. But its value decreases by a lot when you behind on board. and very weak when you are behind. Right it is a good tribal support, but the Totem deck will need some more to make a huge impact.

totemgolem
Totem Golem
Constructed: Staple / Tribal
Arena: Above Average

Talk about early game. You can get a 3 drop (aka Spider Tank) on turn 2. The next turn, you get one less mana to play with, but this card can definitely be worth. We can compare it to Shielded Minibot’s influence on Paladin. A resilient 2 drop is very important in maintain early board control against aggro and define the place against midrange or tempo decks.

tusktotemic
Tuskarr Totemic
Constructed: Staple / Tribal
Arena: Top Pick

The ANY is to emphasize that you can summon any card with type Totem, not just those summoned your Hero Power. The best outcome is the Totem Golem, so it is possible to get a 3 /4 and a 3/2 for the price of one card. That is amazingly powerful. Even if you don’t get Totem Golem, there is a great amount of value, because every totem is at least 2 mana.

Warlock

darkbargain
Dark Bargain
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Below Average

Dark Bargain allows you for 6 mana to trade 3 of your cards (including the Dark Bargain itself) for 2 of your opponent’s cards. Doesn’t sound like a bargain to me. Of course if your hand is empty, then it is a 6 mana destroy two random minion, making it a double Deadly Shot. The aggressive decks have the ability to reach an empty hand but those aggressive decks wouldn’t want to run an expensive card like this.

demonfuse
Demonfuse
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Don’t pick (Heavily deck dependent)

High risk, and not enough of a reward. There are a couple of problems with this card. First, you are type locked into demons and second, you literally handing your opponent the mana to deal with your buffed minion. As long as your opponent trades 2 cards on your buffed minion, they will break even and maintain having the mana advantage. Silence will cost you dearly. Through the turn one Voidwalker into Demonfuse is pretty tempting. Perhaps this card could be a very rush heavy face warlock deck, but it is hard to imagine it being competitive. In arena, it much harder to guarantee that you will have a demon on the field. Don’t pick it.

dreadsteed
Dreadsteed
Constructed: Build Around / Future Potential
Arena: Don’t Pick

Recurring reanimation are so good, especially in Warlock who has sacrifice cards like Void Terror and cards that deal damage to the entire field like Hellfire. This allows you to not lose out in card advantage. Of course, Dreadsteed is only a 1/1 so it wouldn’t be overwhelming. It fits nicely as a combo enabler but not a finisher. It could only get better as Blizzard make more cards. For now, it is just for fun.

fearsomedoomguard
Fearsome Doomguard
Constructed: Tribal
Arena: Average

It is likely that Fearsome Doomguard would replace the regular Doomguard in more Mid-Range Demonlock deck. In that deck, the overall stats of this card are value over the Charge and also the Fearsome Doomguard could be summoned without discarding any cards. Normally a 7 drop without any effect wouldn’t really be considered in a deck. It is only the fact that it has synergy with Voidcaller that it is playable.

fistjaraxxus
Fist of Jaraxxus
Constructed: Future Potential
Arena: Below Average

The ability to activate an effect even when the card is discarded is very powerful in terms of tempo. You are basically playing a 4 cost spell for free. Of course Blizzard knew this and made the damage of this card less than what you would expect from a 4 cost card and random. Still it has the potential to be very good as long as more cards come out that discard cards, and more cards have the same trigger.

tinyknightofevil
Tiny Knight of Evil
Constructed: Build Around (Discard Heavy)
Arena: Average

What a very cute name. It is a nice effect for the discard deck. Still there needs to more cards that can discard. There isn’t a 3 cost card that discards, thus there is no support for this card on curve. So for now, it is still a tiny knight.

voidcrusher
Void Crusher
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Below Average

Void Crusher’s effect is best using in decks that run both Imp Gang Boss and Imp-lsion, so that you can use the tokens to pay for the cost. But the effect is random. Let’s say you play it on turn 8 to guarantee the Inspire trigger. You are playing 8 mana to destroy a random minion. Something that is very overcosted when you can use Siphon Soul for 6 mana and that spell is targetable. Void Crusher’s advantage comes in that it is repeatable removal, but with 4 health, it is too easy to remove, considering that you are paying 6 mana for it. However you can cheat it with Voidcaller, but still a very risky card.

wilfred
Wilfred Fizzlebang
Constructed: Maybe Playable
Arena: Average

The effect is awe-inspiring, fitting of a legendary. The body of the minion is weak but its effect can be potentially very good, making the card very high variance. How much value will you get for playing it on turn 8? Let’s break it down by costing a 4/4 as being 4 mana. Considering the rest of the cost of this card and the hero power, the card you draw must cost at least 4 mana to worth. So what Warlock deck is going to have cards that cost on average 4 or more? Maybe Handlock will play it but the Giants already have their own way of discounting yourself. Perhaps Malygos – lock can abuse it to set up huge combos. Wilfred does face some hard competition from Emperor Thaurissan. Wilfred’s effect can create huge swings but slower and with more variance, while Emperor Thaurissan’s is immediate and with better stats.

wrathguard
Wrathguard
Constructed: Staple (Zoo variants)
Arena: Slightly Above Average

Let’s compare it to Succubus, which has the same stats but has to discard a card instead. Since life is merely a resource, this card is much better since it doesn’t causes card disadvantage. So is there a reason to have a 2 mana 4/3? Why not include it all aggressive warlock decks? The drawback of this card is minor, and despite that it trades for many 2 drops, it also trades against most 3 drops as well, including Spider Tank, Dark Cultist and the new Spellslinger.

Warrior

alexstrazachamp
Alexstrasza’s Champion
Constructed: Maybe Playable (Tribal)
Arena: Slightly Above Average (Deck Dependent)

Very good pay off if you are holding a dragon. On turn 2, you get a 3/3 with Charge that can trade off with some early minions and still live versus some minions like Mechwarper. However does a Control deck, where most Dragons see play, need an early game Charger? I don’t expect so but perhaps the Champion will find its place in a Midrange Dragon deck.

bash
Bash
Constructed: Maybe Playable
Arena: Slightly Above Average

Warrior don’t have many great removal spells. So this card isn’t that bad. It is still a bit costly for only 3 damage. I suspect that 3 Armor doesn’t really make up for the deficit either. It is comparable to Shield Block which gives 2 more Armor and draw a card. Rather than draw a card, you deny your opponent a card. Control Warrior favor the Shield Block more because it gives them more survivability and draw power. It also gives them more reach with Shield Slam. So it is questionable if Bash can replace it or even finds it own place.

bolster
Bolster
Constructed: Build Around
Arena: Below Average

Blizzard is adding a Taunt matters mechanic to Warrior. It is an very efficient buff especially because it buffs all Taunt minions you have. As long as if you have two Taunts in play, playing Bolster is efficient. Right now, it can’t fit into existing Control Warrior or Grim Patron Warrior decks. It needs to be in a specific deck.

kingdefender
King’s Defender
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Above Average

In Arena, weapons are a warrior’s lifeblood. Pick up what you can until you reach a critical mass of weapons. In Constructed, this card fits needs to fit in a specific deck: That is because you don’t want to have to compete with turn 2 Fiery War Axe or turn 4 Death’s Bite. Perhaps you want to do Turn 2 Unstable Ghoul or Annoy-o-Tron, and then turn 3 King’s Defender. It is probably not going to be played much. The card itself is not bad. It just suffers that Warrior already have such good playable weapons.

magnatauralpha
Magnataur Alpha
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Average

It is important to note that effect of Magnataur Alpha only works when it attacks. This means if you don’t have that first turn priority or have coined it out, it would be hard to actually even use the effect. Against the aggressive deck, it does force them to trade so that they don’t use lose their field for free, but Magnataur Alpha has such low health, that there are so many ways it can be removed. For example, aggro Hunter can just use Eaglehorn’s Bow or Quick Shot to remove the Alpha without losing their field.

seareaver
Sea Reaver
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Slightly Above Average

Sea Reaver brings the fine baseline of a six drop with the added benefit of possibly dealing one damage to your minions. I consider it a benefit because it synergize well with popular cards that Warrior plays such as Frothing Berserker, Armorsmith, Grim Patron or Acolyte of Pain. However, due to the randomness of the effect, it is hard to plan around this card. In additional, a 6/7 for six just isn’t enough to see play in constructed. In arena, the stats are great, but it is more likely that the effect become a hindrance instead of a benefit.

sparringpartner
Sparring Partner
Constructed: Playable (One of)
Arena: Slightly Above Average

The Sparring Partner is a very versatile card. One: you taunt another creature, creating two taunts on the field, much like a Sunfury Protector. Two: give an opponent’s minion taunt to bring it out of another minion’s taunt protection. Three: give an opponent’s minion taunt to combo with the Black Knight. More synergy for Warrior around Taunt seems to be coming around, so this card has much room for growth. Being very versatile makes it a consistent addition to any deck.

orgrimmaraspirant
Orgrimmar Aspirant
Constructed: Underplayed
Arena: Slightly Below Average

The criteria to be a good in Constructed is very strict. A 3 mana 3/3 without an immediate effect isn’t that great on turn 3. In additional, the Inspire effect is situational because you might not even have a weapon equipped. Turn 2 Fiery War Axe can’t even be inspired given that you use both charges on turn two and turn three. In arena, it is better meh, given once again that you might not have a weapon.

varianwrynn
Varian Wrynn
Constructed: Staple (Control)
Arena: Top Pick

Varian Wrynn is a perfectly design late game finisher for Control Warrior. Either I flood the field with high cost legendary minions that will close out the game or I draw multiple spells that grant me even more board control. Who cares it if dies to Big Game Hunter? I already drew three new cards. This is going to a fearsome card to face and the Control Warrior deck has gotten even more deadly.


Link to The Grand Tournament: Neutral Review

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2 thoughts on “Hearthstone – The Grand Tournament Review: Class Cards”

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