Hello, everyone! I’ve been doing Hearthstone Top Decks for three years now, and we finally have a card to reveal! I want to say thank you to all of the readers who have stuck with me and the site over the years, as well as my friends and family who have supported me.
Thank you to Blizzard for giving the site the opportunity to reveal a card!
— Evident, HSTD Admin
From here, Roffle is going to take us through the ins and outs of the card!
In Knights of the Frozen Throne, Garrosh appears to be embracing the runeforging aspect of Death Knights. This is apparent with the new Common Warrior spell: Forge of Souls! Forge of Souls draws 2 weapons from your deck, providing the former Warchief of the Horde an interesting targeted draw mechanic.
In previous sets, the Warrior has been fairly limited in card drawing options. Aside from single card cantrips (such as Commanding Shout, Shield Block, and Slam) and neutral minions (like Acolyte of Pain and Harrison Jones) the class’ only dedicated draw spell was the highly conditional Battle Rage. Forge of Souls amends this by providing a two mana option for adding cards to your hand.
With Forge of Souls, immediate comparisons can be made to new Shaman card Ice Fishing. At two mana, both cards are a cost-reduced version of the familiar Arcane Intellect and (less popular) Sense Demons. As we’ve seen with several card changes, a difference of even one mana is extremely impactful on a card.
The reduction in mana for Forge of Souls, however, comes at the cost of having weapons in your deck at the time of casting and the fact that only one weapon can be equipped at a time.
Controlled draws, however, are a universally potent mechanic in card games. Having influence over which cards enter your hand is an important facet of Forge of Souls and should not be ignored. The card has the dual effect of putting powerful weapons into your hand in times of need and thinning your deck to reduce the likelihood of drawing them on inconvenient turns.
As a Warrior especially, the most powerful cards in your deck are often weapons. The chance to fetch them into hand for two mana enables some interesting new possibilities. Fiery War Axe, in particular, is played in just about every Warrior deck since Hearthstone’s inception. Deserving of the nickname of Fiery Win Axe, the card boasts positive winrates when played in both Aggro and Control archetypes alike. Being able to search your deck for Fiery War Axe to more consistently have one equipped in the early game is certainly a formidable prospect.
The addition of Blood Razor makes Forge of Souls an even more interesting consideration with the upcoming expansion release. The power of Blood Razor’s ability, in comparison to the now Wild-exclusive Death's Bite, lies in the immediacy of the effect. Forge of Souls synergizes well with this strategy by helping better dictate when Blood Razor comes into play.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at how the new card might impact different formats!
In Standard, Warrior has a total of eight weapons to choose from, including the ubiquitous Fiery War Axe. Pirate and Control Warrior Variants alike want to have a weapon equipped as frequently as possible, and Forge of Souls offers the opportunity to do exactly that.
At first glance, the obvious place to start with Forge of Souls is in Pirate Warrior. The deck relies so heavily on weapon synergies that it can struggle mightily when it fails to find a one to equip. This is especially true with the possible inclusion of Phantom Freebooter, the newest addition to the Pirate tribe. While Pirate Warrior certainly doesn’t want to be playing Forge of Souls on turn two, it can help fill the curve on awkward turns and utilize mana that would otherwise be spent simply armoring up.
Four weapons may be too few to warrant running two copies of Forge of Souls. However, running a single copy in one of the flex spots in the deck effectively adds a fifth copy of a weapon to your deck. The card also gives Pirate Warrior the draw mechanic it is lacking, which may prevent the deck from running out of steam on turns four or five. While having too many weapons in hand is not necessarily a good thing, Forge of Souls does help thin your deck to prevent top decking unneeded weapons in the late game.
This N’Zoth Control Warriors includes Armorsmith and a handful of Whirlwind effects as a means of accumulating armor. Additionally, the new Deathrattle minion Mountainfire Armor assists with armor gain and forces opponents into uncomfortable decisions.
A massive health pools can then take advantage of Forge of Souls and the full suite of weapons in the deck to systematically grind opponents out of resources. With two copies of Fiery War Axe, Blood Razor, and Gorehowl, this list can be a little more carefree about weapon durability and removal knowing that it can consistently pull weapons into hand.
Eventually, N'Zoth, The Corruptor comes down, bringing back just enough minions to lock out the game. As a secondary win condition, the deck can find victory with a well-timed Alexstrasza. On the following turn, the damage from the dragon paired with a fetched copy of Gorehowl is enough to finish off the opponent.
In Wild, the possibilities for Forge of Souls open up even further with 12 available weapons. While Pirate Warrior lists in the format are tight and unlikely to find room for the new card, the availability of Death’s Bite offers some interesting considerations in format-specific Warrior variants.
The addition of more new self-damage synergy cards brings the opportunity to revisit everyone’s favorite combo deck: Patron Warrior.
Now exclusive to Wild, Grim Patron is joined by newcomers Animated Berserker and Val'kyr Soulclaimer, the latter of which offers a second chance at filling the board through damage effects. In this build, the deck relies on a more token-based approach instead of the OTK turns of old.
Forge of Souls helps thin the deck of weapons and fetches copies of Death’s Bite and Blood Razor to keep the Whirlwinds rolling.
Pair Forge of Souls with another new card from the Knights of the Frozen Throne, Dead Man's Hand, and things can get really interesting. Casting Forge of Souls prior to a Dead Man’s Hand will put at least two weapons back in your deck, allowing you to tutor for them again with your second Forge of Souls. Using Dead Man’s Hand with weapons already in hand puts copies back into your deck to fetch with Forge of Souls later. Either way, you have the potential to perpetually have a weapon equipped. As a result, you should be able to efficiently deal with your opponent’s minions between Brawl turns.
This build runs a total of six weapons, which should be more than enough to get value out of both copies of Forge of Souls; especially when you consider the possibilities when combined with Dead Man’s Hand.
Looking to do your own theorycrafting with Forge of Souls? Great news! We’ve got it and all the revealed Knights of the Frozen Throne cards in our Hearthstone Deck Builder.
In Arena, Warrior is equally reliant on weapons. As a result, pairing a copy or two of Forge of Souls with a high-weapon draft can provide the opportunity to more consistently equip a much-needed weapon to wrestle control over the board.
Of the three competing resources in card games, Tempo and Card Advantage are most critical to accumulating wins in Arena and Forge of Souls provides both. While it’s true that initially the card sacrifices Tempo for the sake of Card Advantage, Tempo can be regained once a tutored weapon is equipped.
One of Warrior’s major weaknesses in Arena is a fairly ineffective hero power. In the early turns, especially, spending mana hero powering gains next to no advantage over the opponent. At two mana, Forge of Souls can help fill in awkward curves and avoid the FeelsBadMan hero powers in early turns.
While you don’t want to choose Forge of Souls before drafting at least a couple weapons, the recent changes to weapons in arena make it more likely that you can get the Fiery War Axes, Blood Razors, and Arcanite Reapers you need in your deck to make Forge of Souls a viable option.
Looking to improve your Arena results? Take a look at our Infinite Arena Guide!
Overall, Forge of Souls has the potential to be an impactful card in all formats. In constructed decks, it can enable new versions of familiar decks and justify the inclusion of several powerful weapons. Likewise, an Arena draft with enough weapons can make good use of the new card.
The art for this card is pretty cool, I’ve sized the art for use as a wallpaper!