Hearthstone, Set Review

One Night in Karazhan – Set Review

Lets review the cards of Hearthstone’s One Night in Karazhan. I will discuss how the new cards will play into the Constructed and Arena format. I will mention if the card will have special place in the new Wild or Standard format.

As for rating, I am changing it up to a numeric format, to give the reviews a pinpoint answers. The details are in the writing. For the most part, it is clear how the numeric system will work in arena, but lets go over how it will work in Constructed:
5.0: You have to be very prevalent and crucial in both Wild and Standard format. (ex: Emperor Thaurissan)
4.0: You are very prevalent in one or both formats and seen in multiple decks or crucial to certain deck.
3.0: You are a playable card and important in certain decks.
2.0: You might see play in some niche decks.
1.0: You are not see any or very little play.
0.0: HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA. No.
Tech: A special rating for cards that depend on the meta to be played


Prologue

enchantedravenEnchanted Raven
Constructed: 3.0
Arena: 2.0

It is the first time we have seen a one mana 2/2 with no downside so it is bound to cause a stir. However, I don’t think it would overtake the competitive scene as one might expect. It is a far cry from 1 one mana 2/3 Zombie Chow or Twilight Whelp, because it doesn’t survive against popular 2 mana 2/3 such as Alexstraza’s Champion and Flame Juggler. It is the one drop missing from aggressive Druid Beast deck, where it can immediately benefit from a turn 2 Mark of Y’sharrji.

firelandsportalFirelands Portal
Constructed: 2.0
Arena: 5.0

This 7 mana spell is most likely going to be kill something and then summon a minion to the field. It isn’t going trump the 7 mana slot for competitive play since Flamestrike is a needed bulwark against Zoo and other aggro decks, but a copy might slip in once in away. It is going to be an Arena powerhouse through, keeping Mage at the top of the Arena ranking.

menageriewardenMenagerie Warden
Constructed: 4.0
Arena: 3.5

Now this is a strong incentive to play Beast Druid. Imagine on curve play of Stranglethorn Tiger, a stealth five mana 5/5 which couldn’t be interacted, and then when you play on Menagerie Warden, you get three 5/5 on turn 6. That is an immense board presence. Having multiple bodies is very good due to synergy with Savage Roar. Beast Druid also had lacked strong late game beasts, so this is one step into filling that hole.

moongladeportalMoonglade Portal
Constructed: 3.5
Arena: 4.0

Essentially, it is like a one Flash Heal attached to a six cost minion, which sounds like a free bonus but you can’t control the minion you get. Still it would be playable in some sort of control Druid that wants healing, like Yogg Druid. It acts a lot like Shieldmaiden, a GVG card was very crucial for Control Warrior at that time in helping them stabilize.

kindlygrandmotherKindly Grandmother
Constructed: 4.0
Arena: 3.5

A sticky two drop is the sort of card that Midrange Hunter wants. It is resistant to board wipe and is a Beast on both sides. This card aims to replace Huge Toad or King Elk, but it is important to note that it is a slower play on turn 2, since it lacks 3 attack. That might prove crucial as it can’t quickly trade with a turn 1 Tunnel Trogg.

cloakedhuntressCloaked Huntress
Constructed: 4.0
Arena: 4.0

Cloaked Huntress make Kirin Tor Mage sad as the Huntress essentially does the Mage’s job better and the Huntress has the much more preferred stat line of 3/4. It is unfair to compare the two, since Mage’s secret cost more and have more powerful effects and thus Mage’s support can’t be as powerful. The stat line of Cloaked Huntress is strong and that might be reason enough to place it in Midrange Hunter.

cattrickCat Trick
Constructed: 2.5
Arena: 2.0

Essentially, after your opponent plays the spell, you summon a Jungle Panther. So this card is partially good against Control decks since it will be summoned after the AOE spell is casted and the summoned minion has stealth, making it more resistant to removal. However, the meta is very minion oriented, so I don’t expect this card will see much play.

medivhvaletMedivh’s Valet
Constructed: 2.5
Arena: 2.0

3 damage battlecry has proven to be powerful as we have seen in Fire Elemental and Blackwing Corrupter. Having a secret isn’t that difficult, because the Valet is cheap enough, that you can play a secret and play Valet on the same turn after the mid-game. In addition, you can use Ice Block to maintain an extended secret presence. Medivh’s Valet is a very strong card that might lead to a secret heavy tempo mage variant.

babblingbookBabbling Grimoire
Constructed: 1.0
Arena: 3.0

For the cheap cost of 1 mana, you can get any Mage spell in the format. And often that spell is going to be more valuable than this 1 mana minion you just played. However having access to a random spell might not be worth a deck slot. Your deck should already be filled with the spells that you would want to play. There is a slight chance that the Grimoire would give you the third copy of a spell you need, but those are low odds.

nightbanetemplarNightbane Templar
Constructed: 2.0
Arena: 3.0

The Templar is very useful early game for the Dragon Paladin deck. And as seen in the stream, it can also prove to be crucial in the Zoo (multiple tribal themes) deck. Yet this card isn’t much stronger than Blackwing Technician. Paladin Dragons might still prefer the Control style of play and doesn’t need an aggressive 3 cost minion.

silvermoonportalSilvermoon Portal
Constructed: 2.0
Arena: 3.5

If you can use it to win out trade and then create a minion, it can be a possible 2 for 1. You can only use Silvermoon Portal when you have an existing minion but that is not impossible in the right aggro Paladin decks. Aggro Paladins are used to having many 2 cost minions and often run 2 Blessings of the Kings. Just pray for no Doomsayer.

ivoryknightIvory Knight
Constructed: 3.0
Arena: 2.5

Imagine the upsides when you can grab a Lay on Hands or Avenging Wrath from this card. The benefits of Ivory Knight varies greatly due to the number of one cost spells in the Paladin class. You also have to be aware of the greatly lower than average stat line. For control Paladin decks where more healing and card advantage is always welcomed.

priestfeastPriest of the Feast
Constructed: 1.0
Arena: 3.5

The minion is reasonable. It has good stats and its effect can provide multiple heal triggers, which help Priest can survive into the late game. However without Taunt or anything, it is a bit slow in the current meta.

onyxbishopOnyx Bishop
Constructed: 2.0
Arena: 2.5

Once you break it down, it is a 3 drop 3/4 combined with a 2 mana Resurrect. There is a very high stat potential in this card, as long as you can resummons a minion that cost more than 2 mana. Still is a random effect and certain minions like Injured Blademaster has to die before you should play this card. It is inconsistent
but you can play it on curve.

purifyPurify
Constructed: 0.0
Arena: 0.0

It is only useful for situational card like Ancient Watcher and Eerie Statue. Too situational to be good.

swashburglarSwashburglar
Constructed: 4.0
Arena: 4.0

Perfect cheap minion that net you a card from your opponent, thus synergizing with the new Ethereal Peddler. It is also a Pirate to boot. It is meant for the Burgle deck (deck that bases on cards from your opponent class) and maybe Pirate would play it for some card advantage. However the randomness of the effect can’t be count on for Miracle Rogue or other decks.

deadlyforkDeadly Fork
Constructed: 1.0
Arena: 2.5

So when the Deadly Fork dies, you just pick it up and use it as a weapon. Worth mentioning is that you have to pay 3 mana to equip the new weapon. It is not that a 3 mana 3/2 weapon isn’t good. For example Eaglehorn Bow and Rallying Blade does see play. However, since it is attached to a deathrattle, this card isn’t very mana efficient and the base body is very weak.

etherealpeddlerEthereal Peddler
Constructed: 3.0
Arena: 2.5

The Peddler synergies well with Rogue cards like Burgle, Undercity Huckler, Gang Up and also neutrals like Grand Crusader, and Nefarain. Decks that want to play Burgle and Gang Up are going to be more control oriented. Peddler rewards you by discounting the random cards you have taken, thus giving you a tempo advantage. However, due the random and situational nature it has, it isn’t going to make a splash just yet. More cards that grant you cards from another class are needed. In arena, just pick it for its body.

wickedwitchdoctorWicked Witchdoctor
Constructed: 1.0
Arena: 2.0

The witch is too slow. It has the same trigger as Violet Teacher but it loses one health. Only basic Totem means that it can only summon a Totem that can be summoned by your hero power. There is just better cards for Shaman now.

spiritclawsSpirit Claw
Constructed: 2.0
Arena: 1.0

When you have Spell Damage, this card is an insane 3 attack, 3 durability weapon. We all know how good Fiery War Axe is. But what made Fiery War Axe very good is that it was consistent. When you look at all the spell damage cards that are commonly played, it is only Bloodmage Thalanos and Azure Drake. The other spell damage minions are too under the stat curve to be played. While it is true you can get a Spell Damage totem from your hero power (randomly), Spirit Claw’s bonus is too inconsistent.

maelstromportalMaelstorm Portal
Constructed: 1.0
Arena: 1.5

Let’s do a quick comparison with Arcane Explosion. Arcane Explosion doesn’t see play in Mage because Mage has the hero power to do one damage and dealing one damage to all your opponent’s card is always situationally needed. This card does give you a 1 drop but there are some very bad and ineffective1 drops out there. Still given the card quality that Shaman has right now. I don’t see it being played.

malchezaarimpMalchezaar’s Imp
Constructed: 4.0
Arena: 1.0

In a vacuum, Malcheazaar’s Imp is very good, because of the 3 words, draw a card. This perfectly counter balance having to with discard a card. The issue is there isn’t enough cards like Fist of Jaxxuarss that triggers when they are discarded. Thus there isn’t a big reason to play the discard deck, which is like playing a synergistic deck that has to deal with randomly discard their synergistic cards.

karakazhamKara Karzham
Constructed: 3.5
Arena: 4.0

Muster the Furniture! Well cost wise, it is more akin to Force of Nature. Yet a card like this is very exciting for Warlock. Zoo decks gets a new curve topper card that provides multiple minions in one cards which will trigger Darkshire Councilman and Knife Juggler multiple times. Reno/Control decks has a card that gives them a sizable field after boarding wipe with their symmetrical AOE spells. That yields a significant tempo advantage. Kara Karzham is a good card hidden under its silly nature.

silverwaregolemSilverware Golem
Constructed: 4.5
Arena: 4.0

Now this is a payoff that for the discard theme warlock. You can imagine a turn 2 Succubus or Darkshire Librarian into an immediate Silverware Golem. It is a definite must have in discard decks. However I don’t think the discard deck will be better and more consistent than Zoo. But it can have more explosive starts.

foolbaneFool’s Bane
Constructed: 2.5
Arena: 3.0

Since you can attack everything at once, it is a very powerful board clear but that is a lot of health you are using all at once. It is very good against Zoo and swarm synergies since those minions have low health and low attack. However when you have to deal with bigger minions commonly found in Midrange or Control decks, it isn’t very effective when you have to attack something twice to kill it.

ironforgeportalIronforge Portal
Constructed: 3.0
Arena: 3.0

We are tacking on a gain 4 armor to a 4 mana minion, which isn’t bad especially with how important Armor is in Warrior. It remains me a lot like Shieldmaiden. There is good stats in the 4 drop spot, especially that Flamewreathed Totem.

protectkingProtect the King
Constructed: 2.0
Arena: 2.0

This card work much like Unleash the Hounds in Hunter but with Taunt instead of Charge, which makes it significantly worse, as it is not hard to deal one damage to everything in this meta game (Ravaging Ghoul, Wild Pyromancer, Flamewaker). Warrior has Bolster and King’s Defender to work with the Taunt synergy but there needs to be more Taunt matters card both the deck become competitive. This card performs very well Zoo deck (especially against Forbidden Ritual), but not good at all against the other deck types. In fact, I would argue that the Taunt Warrior deck is a only good against aggro decks and suffers in the control matchups.

bookwyrmBook Wyrm
Constructed: 3.5
Arena: 1.5

Book Wyrm is well situated as the control counterpart of Dragonkid Crusher. For more one mana than Stampeding Kodo, you get a targeted effect that can also destroy three attack minions. Notable three attack minions are Fandral Staghelm and Violet Teacher. Great card and still slot in Dragon Paladin, who can combo the effect with Aldor Peacekeeper, Humility and Keeper of Uldaman.

barnesBarnes
Constructed: 5.0
Arena: 4.0

Barnes has a very swingly effect as you can imagine making a 1/1 copy of Tirion is not going to be good for your opponent. Barnes fits well in the Nzoth’s decks that are filled with deathrattles, especially Nzoth Paladin. At worst, it is a just a 3 /4 and a 1/1. That isn’t great but it isn’t terrible either. Barnes’s effect is too random to be good for spell power based combo and others.

thecuratorThe Curator
Constructed: 3.5
Arena: 3.0

This mech is very simpler to Ancient of Lore. Ancient of Lore has proven to be so efficient that it had to be nerfed, so where does that put Curator? Granted Curator pulls a specific group of minions and not all Murlocs are very useful alone, but there are some very useful beasts and dragons (Stampeding Kodo, Azure Dragon) The Curator also Taunt, giving it some immediate impact to the board and helps give you time to play the cards you have drawn. The Curator seem made for some Reno decks, acting as powerful card draw for the diverse deck. In arena, I would only pick it if I had a minimum of 4 possible targets.

moroesMoroes
Constructed: 1.5
Arena: 2.5

By itself, Moroes is a one man army, granting you a free minions every turn. The turn you play it, you get 2/2 in stats. In fact, even if it trades with a AOE card like Demonwrath or Consecration, it is fine, because you are still trading one for one. It would be a very fun card to play with buff heavy Paladin and Priest. In the current meta, it is a bad fit because of how prevalent Warriors and their Ravaging Ghouls are. You also have to worry about random damage from Flamewaker and Knife Juggler.

princemalchezaarPrince Malchezaar
Constructed: 1.5
Arena: 2.5

This is a trigger that we never seen before, able to activate at the start of the game. So you are rewarded immediately by just putting it in your deck. Competitive I don’t believe that having 5 random legendaries is very meaningful. Many legendaries has situational effects and some even have bad stats to go with those situational effects. It does provide you have 5 extra cards in the deck against fatigue, but games rarely goes into the late game due to the overwhelming late game monster of Cthun and Nzoth. For the new player, this is a great card, because they will get to play with Legendaries that they couldn’t get their hands on. I can’t wait to now play the 35 Legendaries deck. In arena, I honestly can’t tell if a 35 card deck with five extra legendaries is going to boost the overall strength of a deck consistently, but a 5 mana 5/6 is still a good card.

medivhtheguardianMedivh, the Guardian
Constructed: 2.0
Arena: 3.5

Medivh can be very strong to break the stalemates in Midrange and Control decks. 8 mana 7/7 doesn’t impact the field right away but at least it demands an answer from your opponent. The weapon, being a copy of the Summoning Stone effect, grants your spells an additional card of value. Since the effect is tied to a weapon, it can’t be easily answered. Your opponent will have to exactly have Ooze or Harrison Jones. If you aren’t a common weapon class like Mage or Priest, then your opponent wouldn’t be saving those cards for their battery. Very exciting card.

arcanegiantArcane Giant
Constructed: 4.0
Arena: 1.0

It has a lot of potential. There are many spell heavy decks right now thanks to Yogg Saron, for example, Yogg Druid. It can also see pay in miracle Rogue, where it is the second or third copy of Edwin Vancleef.There is a huge tempo gained by being able to wipe your opponent’s board with spells and slam the board with an 8/8. It isn’t a necessary win condition but it is playable.

avianwatcherAvian Watcher
Constructed: 2.0
Arena: 1.5

If you control a secret, you gain a 4/7 Taunt which is better than the stat line but not by a crazy amount. For example Feugan was a 4/7 as well. This card isn’t bad, but it isn’t good enough to replace to fit in the competitive utility spot that 5 drops now occupy (Azure Drake, Stampeding Kodo, Harrison Jones)

moatlurkerMoat Lurker
Constructed: 0.0
Arena: 1.0

Basically, it hits the board, eat something and then when It dies, it spits the minion back out. It is a neutral universal removal card, however it is too expensive. Most classes have their own cheaper way to deal with minions.

pompousthespianPompous Thespian
Constructed: 1.0
Arena: 3.5

Actually a fine 2 drop. There are many 1/3 1 drops running around (Tunnel Trogg, Mana Wyrm and Northshire Cleric) and not that many 2/1 1 drops (Fiery Bat, and Abusive Sergeant) being played. It doesn’t provide enough utility so it probably wouldn’t see play, but it is pretty good.

zoobotZoobot
Constructed: 2.5
Arena: 2.5

There is high potential of a 3 mana 3/3 that gives out 3/3 in stats. At worst it is a 3 mana 3/3 which is passable. Shattered Sun Cleric was used to be a 3 mana 3/2 that buffed any minion by +1/+1, but proved to be too good at that time that Blizzard nerfed it to a 3/2. Now in the right deck it isn’t hard to get at least a +1/+1 from Zoobot. It is an interesting deck building challenge to create the right mix of minions for this deck.

netherspitehistorianNetherspite Historian
Constructed: 2.0
Arena: 2.5

With this you can stock up on Dragons In your hand for the late game. One of the worst feeling is not have dragons to trigger your Dragonwing Corruptors and Book Wyrm. This stat line places this card more into Control Dragon decks. Not bad at all.

arcaneanomalyArcane Anomaly
Constructed: 0.0
Arena: 1.0

Imagine Arcane Anomaly into Power Word: Shield for a 2/4. Not bad but not amazing. If I am playing an early one drop minion, I want to usually follow up with more minions, not spells. Mana Wyrm was so good, because it already have good health and can trade up.

pantryspiderPantry Spider
Constructed: 0.0
Arena: 1.0

Seem like this card was made for the Zoobot decks. It is a defensive beast but it trades so poorly, especially with 2 mana 3/2.
.

menageriemagicianMenagerie Magician
Constructed: 2.0
Arena: 1.5

The bigger Zoobot. I don’t think it is as good because you are playing a 5 mana 4/4 that isn’t Azure Drake. If you get the effect of it is immense. Houndmaster is good even when it buffed one thing. If you can play the Magician on two cards, it is very good.

runiceggRunic Egg
Constructed: 0.0
Arena: 0.0

Draw a card is good, but it is pointless on a card that doesn’t do anything else. Zoo doesn’t need it when it already have good one drops as well as the Warlock Hero Power.

arcanosmithArcanosmith
Constructed: 0.0
Arena: 1.5

You start with a 3/2 which is on par for a 2 drop, and then you gain a 0/5 with Taunt that is almost like a 1 drop Shieldbearer. Then when you tie it up, you pay for that 3 mana worth of stats for 4 mana. Not great.

violetillusionistViolet Illusionist
Constructed: 1.0
Arena: 3.0

A useful card that can negate the drawback in using weapons. You can also think about it as a card that healed you. Combined with the Warrior’s Fool Bane, you are prevented a lot of self-inflicted damage. Cool effect but I don’t think it provides enough for decks to see play right now.


Very exciting cards are introduced by this expansion. Mainly we see a spell matters theme run through most of the class. We see expansion of class themes like Beast Druid, Stealing Rogue and Discard warlock. It is great to see the Dragon theme received continued support and a new Tribal Zoo theme is introduced that rewards having multiple different types of minions. The expansion is released August 11th 2016. Stay tuned for more updates and deck lists.

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