So, a stream from Blizzard had all the cards revealed…
Where was I during the stream?
Sleeping. It was freakin’ 1 am when they streamed…
Nonetheless, I bring you something I’m hyped about despite the Holy Week’s, well, holy nature. And it’s the second adventure in Hearthstone! Blackrock Mountain!
Most information about this post are my opinions on the cards and prevalent shift to the metagame of Hearthtone, hopefully, but any facts I’ll mention would be coming from the ever reliable folks over at Hearthpwn.
So, there are 31 new cards to be added over the course of 5 weeks, where every week, our wits and RNG are tested at unspeakably low odds against foes unlike the 9 classes available in the game, along with their own cards we can’t even collect + existing cards that completely synergize with them. The releases per week are located at Hearthpwn.
Now let’s take a look at the cards!
By class (alphabetically) and by rarity (descending), here they are:
And to make this fun, since the release of Blackrock Mountain is on April 2, I’ll review the cards in 42 words! Sounds familiar?
All links are from the Hearthstone SEA Facebook Page. Check ’em out for yourself and Like the page while you’re at it. XD
Volcanic Lumberer (9 Mana, 7/8, Rare)
Taunt. Costs (1) less for each minion that died this turn.
This mechanic sums up Blackrock Mountain… Basically an Ironbark Protector for irrelevantly 1 less Attack for valuably 1 less Mana. Sure, Big Game Hunter target, but by playing this, you probably are playing something bigger. Looks good on paper, though, I guess.
Druid of the Flame (3 Mana, 2/2, Common [turns into Beast])
Choose One: Transform into a 5/2 minion, or a 2/5 minion.
When would you want a Magma Rager for +1 more Health? Druid cards from all expansions have pretty mediocre to confusingly inconsistently good effects, and this one I don’t see it playable. The Druid decks usually ramp into better cards than this.
Core Rager (4 Mana, 4/4, Rare, [Beast])
Battlecry: If your hand is empty, gain +3/+3.
The “hand is empty” mechanic. This incentivizes Hunters to play the TopDeck war, further encouraging Face Hunter… Was that really the best mechanic to give to a class that was already hard to deal with? Still a bad card for Face Hunter.
Quick Shot (2 Mana, Spell, Common)
Deal 3 damage. If your hand is empty, draw a card.
Okay, RIP slow meta. Face Hunter is going to become even more of a thing. It’s a carbon copy of Darkbomb but better, since it synergizes with a Hunter that’s losing steam, and it costs 1 less than Kill Command. Nerf please.
Flamewaker (3 Mana, 2/4, Rare)
After you cast a spell, deal 2 damage randomly split among all enemies.
Think Wild Pyromancer, but a bit bigger, and when you send your spells flying, the only burns you see are on your opponent’s side of the board. There’re a lot of 3 Mana 2/4s already. Would this see play in spell-oriented decks?
Dragon’s Breath (5 Mana, Spell, Common)
Deal 4 damage. Costs (1) less for each minion that died this turn.
Remember the cost mechanic? Here it is again! More often than not, this spell would be a 3 Mana Deal 4. 3 Mana Spell? Just like most of the Mage’s spells prior to this! With this, Flamestrike now clears better than ever!
Dragon Consort (5 Mana, 5/5, Rare, [Dragon])
Battlecry: The next [Dragon] you play costs (2) less.
Why only Paladins!?!?!?!?!? Take note: The next Dragon! So it means even if you don’t play a dragon on the same turn this guy’s played, Hell, even 10 turns later, the next Dragon will cost 2 less mana! Why only Paladins!? WHY!???
Solemn Vigil (5 Mana, Spell, Common)
Draw 2 cards. Costs (1) less for each minion that died this turn.
Basically an Arcane Intellect. It’s worse by 2 Mana, but as a Paladin, exchanging your Silver Hand Recruits into something that it could kill is usually an opportunity that presents itself. I see this as a playable card draw mechanic for Paladins.
Resurrect (2 Mana, Spell, Rare)
Summon a random friendly minion that died this game.
Think of Yu-gi-oh!’s Monster Reborn, but random, and only the creatures in your Graveyard. For 2 Mana, this incentivizes the Priest to play bigger minions to get value out of this card. This, though, makes the Priest conscious of what to steal.
Twilight Whelp (1 Mana, 2/1, Common, [Dragon])
Battlecry: If you’re holding a [Dragon], gain +2 Health.
When would a Priest need a 1-drop other than the Northshire Cleric in a card slot in the deck? When? That’s the main reason why Shadowbomber and Lightwarden will never be in a card slot in competitive Priest decks. I’d pass.
Dark Iron Skulker (5 Mana, 4/3, Rare)
Battlecry: Deal 2 damage to all undamaged enemy minions.
It’s a new AoE for Rogue, but it’s overcosted because of the 4/3 body you get. Not to mention, it’s pretty specific because it’s essentially an AoE Backstab. 4/3 bodies are usually 3 or 4 Mana. Never 5. Nonetheless, a decent-looking card.
Gang Up (2 Mana, Spell, Common)
Choose a minion. Shuffle 3 copies of it into your deck.
I’ve seen how Blizzard defines “shuffle into deck”. As a computer scientist-to-be, I look at a deck as an array, and shuffling into that array is simply inserting the cards somewhere specifically without changing the original contents. Seen the Burrowing Mine clips?
Lava Shock (2 Mana, Spell, Rare)
Deal 2 damage. Unlock your Overloaded Mana Crystals.
That also means the ones that will be locked on your next turn. A Lightning Bolt into Lava Shock will leave you no Overload next turn. If you’re running a lot of Overload, HYPE. But Shamans aren’t like that at the moment.
Fireguard Destroyer (4 Mana, 3/6, Common)
A Shaman’s personal Water Elemental, but still on fire and doesn’t freeze. This guy’s essentially a 5.5/6 in terms of stats, and while you don’t usually want a 7-Attack minion because of Big Game Hunter, it suits as bait for that card.
Demonwrath (3 Mana, Spell, Rare)
Deal 2 damage to all non-[Demon] minions.
Encourages [Demon] gameplay, and lucky enough for me, I am playing a hybrid Demonlock/Midrange Warlock. Essentially an earlier Consecration minus 2 face damage. You can also use it to trigger damage to things on your board like a Nerubian Egg. Archetypically playable.
Imp Gang Boss (3 Mana, 2/4, Common, [Demon])
Whenever this minion takes damage, summon a 1/1 Imp.
Another 3 Mana 2/4 into the collection. Great. In the Demonlock archetype, this fits the 3 Mana slot better than the Felguard because you can drop it as is without drawback unlike the latter. This generates more value as a trading minion.
Revenge (2 Mana, Spell, Rare)
Deal 1 damage to all minions. If you have 12 or less Health, deal 3 damage instead.
Like Mortal Strike, for it to be valuable, you have to be playing from behind. That’s exactly the reason why I don’t think running this card would be viable. Although, Mortal Strike is bad because it’s direct damage, but Revenge is AoE.
Axe Flinger (4 Mana, 2/5, Common)
Whenever this minion takes damage, deal 2 damage to the enemy Hero.
If Face Warrior was ever a thing, this card does the job as effectively, but more slowly. With Ancient Mage stats, how would this see any other play other than Face Warrior? It’s significantly mediocre than the other 4-drops currently available.
Chromaggus (8 Mana, 6/8, Legendary, [Dragon])
Whenever you draw a card, put another copy into your hand.
A value-generating card. Essentially out of Big Game Hunter range. Useless in aggro, but great value for control if it stays alive and/or you have card-generating minions on the board like the Acolyte of Pain. Ysera’s effect gets changed due to this.
Emperor Thaurissan (6 Mana, 5/5, Legendary)
At the end of your turn, reduce the Cost of cards in your hand by (1).
Hello, combo decks!!! My OTK Warrior needs something like this!! Sylvanas stats, and if you’re playing the Control gameplay, this generates the most value ever. Think of this surviving even at least 2 turns! Immediate value just by playing it. Must have!
Majordomo Executus (9 Mana, 9/7, Legendary)
Deathrattle: Replace your hero with Ragnaros, the Firelord.
Yes. The 8 Mana 8/8 to deal 8 at the end. Your health is capped to 8. Your hero power is deal 8 randomly, but you can use the effect on your turn, not at the end. Expensive, game-changing, timing-dependent minion.
Nefarian (9 Mana, 8/8, Legendary, [Dragon])
Battlecry: Add 2 random spells to your hand (from your opponent’s class).
I see value. I see a crazy form of Thoughtsteal from this card. A doubter would see this as getting 2 0-cost spells depending on your opponent’s class, but I see the ultimate value in this in a mirror match of Priest.
Rend Blackhand (7 Mana, 8/4, Legendary)
Battlecry: If you’re holding a [Dragon], destroy a [Legendary] minion.
This looks absolutely terrible if you just think about the body and prerequisite, but the effect looks pretty good for me. When has it not been tempo-changing when you kill a Legendary, especially without the use of usual hard removal like Polymorph?
Dragon Egg (1 Mana, 0/2, Rare)
Whenever this minion takes damage, summon a 2/1 Whelp.
At 1 Mana, we cannot help but compare this to Nerubian Egg. You can look at it as essentially two 2/1s, equating to a 4/2 for 1 Mana versus a 4/4 for 2 Mana. Health buffs help this card. Aggro option? Considerable.
Grim Patron (5 Mana, 3/3, Rare)
Whenever this minion survives damage, summon another Grim Patron.
It looks good on paper, but it’s yet another 5 Mana 3/3… When does this survive against 5-drops in the game? Never. At least in Constructed. As a 5-drop, it’s supposed to have an impact to the game state, but this doesn’t.
Blackwing Corruptor (5 Mana, 5/4, Common)
Battlecry: If you’re holding a [Dragon], deal 3 damage.
Hey, 3 damage is a big thing, and by playing this, you’re more likely to be using a Dragon archetype deck, making the prerequisite considerably easy to pull off. A Fire Elemental for everybody and for 1 less Mana? Sign. Me. Up.
Blackwing Technician (3 Mana, 2/4, Common)
Battlecry: If you’re holding a [Dragon], gain +1/+1.
Same with the previous card, you’ll be likely playing this in a Dragon-themed deck, and in that case, this minion is a huge minion on the 3 Mana slot. It’s like a Turn 3 Sen’jin. It’s kinda like a Dragon-themed Spider Tank.
Dragonkin Sorcerer (4 Mana, 3/5, Common, [Dragon])
Whenever you target this minion with a spell, gain +1/+1.
You think this card will become pretty big with all the buffs and all, but when will that be relevant? It becomes an immediate target for Silence, and an ultimately tempo-changing target when it gets Silenced. Probably a learning tool against overcommitting.
Drakonid Crusher (6 Mana, 6/6, Common, [Dragon])
Battlecry: If your opponent has 15 or less Health, gain +3/+3.
A solid finisher? More like a bait for Big Game Hunter, but him baiting is, again, a good thing. Even as not bait, a 6/6 body for 6 puts it in line with cards like Dread Infernal for all. The prerequisite, though.
Hungry Dragon (4 Mana, 5/6, Common, [Dragon])
Battlecry: Summon a random 1-Cost minion for your opponent.
4 Mana? 11 stat points compared to 9? SUCH VALUE! The drawback, though, may be game-changing if you have no plans on killing it when you play this card. For a safe play, this feels like it’s leaning onto the 5-Mana slot.
Volcanic Drake (6 Mana, 6/4, Common, [Dragon])
Costs (1) less for each minion that died this turn.
Essentially a 4 Mana 6/4. Not too sticky on the board, but there’s something to play after a board clear. In a Dragon-themed deck, this would be a one-of, but because of its 4 Health, I can’t be sure of its playability.
And a metagame shift? I think this would only be temporary because of the players trying out the cards for themselves, and if they don’t seem fitting, then the metagame goes back to the normal aggressive nature. Hope it switches to the midrange/control soon.
And that’s it for the review! I hope you’re as hyped as I am about this! XD
Until next time!