The party cheer is finally dying down with One Night in Karazhan as players look forward to the release of Mean Street of Gadgetzan. Lets take a look back and see what were the impact of cards from One Night in Karazhan, and how it shaped the player experience.
The establishment of Shaman as the top aggro deck was due to two powerful low cost card released in this set: Spirit Claws and Maelstrom Portal. Spirit Claw was a cheap investment that deals with one health minions and more commonly tokens (Living Roots / Imp Gang Boss). With three durability, it could stay equipped for many turns and be ready to swing for 3 damage once you rolled a spell damage totem or play a spell damage minion. It turned out just having three main deck spell power minion, Bloodmage Thalanos, and two Azure Drake, was enough to give enough consistency. Maelstrom Portal seem like an innocuous card at first, when you compare it to the rarely seen Arcane Explosion, but Maelstrom Portal turns out to be a crucial card in forcing out the opposing aggro deck, Zoolock from the meta. The portal’s strength was compounded by fact that more players were playing spell damage in their decks. Aggro Shaman and Midrange Shaman ran through the ladder like lightning, quickly climbing the ranks as the best aggressive decks of the format.
Minor League Deck Supports
Several minor deck types received some serious love from this adventure. Beast Druid gained a 1 drop 2/2 Enchanted Raven, first of its kind. This was a great start for an aggressive deck and it would topped off the curve with a value card in Menagerie Warden. Rogue got Burgle support in both Swashburglar and Ethereal Peddler. Discard Warlock received a key player in Malchezaar’s Imp, allowing the Discard mechanic to lead to advantages. Silverware Golem also was key card. Not all of these decks became hugely popular meta movers. Beast Druid and DiscoZoo was edged out of the playing field by Midrange Shaman. The Burgle Rogue deck was just too inconsistent to be good. Still, having support for the sub themes is great to see. Hearthstone is a growing as a game that appeals to many audiences.
Major League Deck Supports
Netherspite Historian is a staple in dragon decks by providing copies of giant value dragons in the form of Ysera or Chrommagus, or even a copy of Twilight Guardian at the right moments. Because of its battlecry effect, the Dragon deck gained even more value from Brann Bronzebeard. Book Wyrm was a good one-of to deal with cards like Brann or Doomsayer. Ironforge Portal was a good Shieldmaiden replacement in Control Warrior. Secret Hunter became very a popular deck with Cloaked Huntress able to populate your Hunter in green lights as fast as turn 2. Free spells were always very strong, and it breathed some new life into Lock and Load and Yogg-Saron in Hunter. Cat Trick and Kindly Grandmother were also great Hunter cards. Both provided sticky beasts minions that are so important when using Houndmaster. Speaking of spells, Arcane Giant barreled in as in an quickly discounted threat, usable in many decks, like Yogg Druid, Miracle Rogues, and Blood Warrior. Barnes and The Curator were two legendaries that saw play in several decks as a way to tutor out cards straight from your deck.
- Barnes + Y’Sharji Hunter
- Fatigue Warrior w/ Coldlight Oracle + Violet Illusionist Combo
- Pantry Spider + Evolve Shaman