We’ve finally gotten the big reveal, and it turns out the speculation was correct, One Night in Karazhan will be the next Hearthstone Adventure. It’s about time to take a look at the cards that were revealed at the announcement, and we’ve got Stonekeep giving us insight on how he sees them fitting in the future!
One Night in Karazhan Information
Discover cards turned out to be very good. Especially if the discover allows you to pick a spell – since there are no neutral spells (class cards are stronger on average) AND spells are often stronger, but more situational than minions – discovering one is a great thing. One of the most notable examples, and the card that I will mostly compare Ivory Knight to is Ethereal Conjurer. As we all know by now, the card turned out to be really good. Now, 6/3 stats are roughly similar to 4/4 (I’d say that health is more important than attack in the deck that would play Ivory Knight). Both discover a spell. Ivory Knight costs 1 more mana, but it adds some healing instead. So, there are two things to consider – whether the healing effect is worth 1 mana here and whether Paladin spells are good enough?
To answer the first question – no, not really. The first reason is that Paladin’s spells are generally cheap. Out of 28 Paladin spells, 15 cost 2 mana or less. When it comes to expensive spells, there are only a few of them – there are only 4 Paladin spells at 6 or more mana. It means that the healing effect won’t be too big. I’d say that you should often expect 4 points of healing, because Paladin’s 4 mana slot is pretty strong. Then, the truth is that healing is NOT something Paladin struggles with. The latest addition – Forbidden Healing – is more than enough when it comes to healing in Paladin. Then, the quality of spells. This one also doesn’t look pretty good. Even when you play Conjurer, something you end up having to pick between 3 bad spells. And Mage has way less bad spells than Paladin. Most notably, Secrets. Having a 4/4 for 6 with Battlecry “draw a Paladin Secret and heal for 1” wouldn’t really be thrilling. On the other side of the chart, there is Anyfin Can Happen, which is great in terms of healing, but gives you a completely useless card (unless you play it in Murloc Paladin, but that’s not likely). 6 mana 4/4 that heals for 10 is probably in line with Antique Healbot, so it’s still ALRIGHT, but definitely not amazing.
Oh, and one important thing to mention – one of the biggest strengths of discover cards is that enemy doesn’t know what you have picked. Even though he might know your deck list, card for card, it will create a situation where he might play into a card that’s not in your deck at all. It’s less probable with this card, because now enemy sees the cost of the card you pick (because you heal for that much). So if you’re at 20 health and go up to 24, enemy might start playing around Consecration and/or Blessing of Kings. Even though it’s probably weaker than Ethereal Conjurer, it’s overall still strong, but overall I think it won’t really see Constructed play. Maybe 1 of in Control Paladin, if Control Paladin will stay somewhat relevant. And definitely include into Reno Paladin. The problem is – this card is about value and healing and both of those are NOT things that Control Paladin struggles with.
Oh, one of those cards that would be INSANE in another class. I mean, imagine this in Zoo Warlock. It would be nearly auto-include, like Nerubian Egg was. While the spawned minion is weaker, it has 1 attack by itself, so you can activate it much more easily. But in Hunter? I’m not sure. Definitely NOT the pick in Face or Hybrid Hunter, because those are all about pressure. This card doesn’t put that much pressure and might let enemy stabilize. Those decks would rather play a 3/2 with some effect straight away. In Midrange Hunter? It’s getting warmer. I can see using it, especially since it’s a Beast. You’d probably also want to play Abusive Sergeant alongside it. This would allow you to trade it into opponent’s 2-drop or 3-drop and you’d still have a 3/2 on the board.
It’s also nice early play if you have Houndmaster in your hand. How many times you’d get a great t4 Houndmaster if you had a Beast on the board? It’s easier now. This one is much more likely to stick – first reason is that enemy doesn’t really want to kill the first half and the second is that enemy needs to kill it two times. Other attack buffs cards like Dire Wolf Alpha would also get a boost in a deck like that. It would promote more Zoo-like gameplay from Midrange Hunter. Would it work? I’m not sure, because we haven’t really seen anything like that yet. And one very likely candidate to play it – N’Zoth Hunter. This card would work really well with N’Zoth in the deck. Biggest counter to N’Zoth is huge board wipe like Brawl or Equality + Consecration. Deathrattles that spawn other things often counter that strategy quite nicely. Overall I think the card itself is really strong and it will surely make it into some of the Hunter decks. Will it be just another 2-drop or Hunters will actually develop a new playstyle around it? That remains to be seen.
It’s hard to judge the whole expansion by just 7 cards, but this one we will surely hear about. I think this card is insanely strong. It just fits into so many deck archetypes. First of all – even at the base it’s not terrible. If you pull something with no effect whatsoever, sure, you get 3/4 and 1/1 for 4 mana. That’s 4/5 stats total across 2 bodies. It’s not playable in Constructed, but you wouldn’t immediately lose the game if you had to play it. But then again, any card with ongoing effect or Deathrattle will be amazing to get. It has some synergy with other effects like Divine Shield, Charge or Taunt, although here it’s not that big. For example, cards like Ragnaros the Firelord (or Ragnaros, Lightlord too, in Paladin) or Emperor Thaurissan are very common and seen across multiple decks. You get them? It’s amazing. Ragnaros adds “at the end of your turn deal 8 damage to random enemy” to this minion’s effect. Emperor adds “reduce cost of all the cards in your hand by 1”. On top of already decent body on the board, it’s amazing. Then, Deathrattles are also good. Nearly every single one will work well. Cairne Bloodhoof, Sylvanas Windrunner, Savannah Highmane, Tirion Fordring are just a few examples of the cards that you’d like to get from it.
I feel like this card might be meta-defining and a lot of the games might be decided by the turn 4 RNG roll. I mean, getting Tirion would most likely just win you the game on the spot. And the thing is – the card summons a COPY of a minion from your deck. So he minion is still there. So even if you get an important Battlecry that will be just a simple 1/1, you don’t lose it and you might still draw it. Also, if the card will work the same way Shadowcaster does, the 1/1 copy will return to it’s original stats after it (by any means) gets back to your hand or after you Silence it. So it might get extra value if you run Silence in your deck. Let’s say in RenoLock – getting a copy of Mountain Giant will be just 1/1, but if enemy won’t kill it and you Silence it, it might become 8/8. But this is just speculation on my side, because I’m not 100% sure if it works like that. Overall, AMAZING card and I expect it to become staple of a lot of decks. It’s like a better Tuskarr Totemic (which is already amazing) – as in that even the worst outcome is good enough, but great outcome might just win you the game. Plus it’s neutral, minus it’s Legendary so you can play only one (thanks Blizzard for at least that).
P.S. I’ve seen some suggestions online and it seems really fun. Malygos. Play this in something like Malygos Shaman. Since you pretty much run only Emperor and Malygos when it comes to the minions, getting 1/1 copy of either of those two will be amazing. The only downside is that Healing Wave would become less consistent (a cheaper minion for the joust mechanic).
Another interesting card, which might be very strong in the right deck. Think of a pre-nerf Ancient of Lore. It was very strong card. This one has comparable stats (5/5 vs 4/6), additional Taunt AND it has the possibility to draw up to 3 cards. However, you would need to play the deck with Beasts, Dragons AND Murlocs to draw 3. That’s why the card is so interesting. The card becomes better if you deliberately put too many tribals into your deck. But I think it’s safe to assume that 2 tribals will be enough to make this card good. 4/6 for 7 with Taunt that draws you 2? Sure thing. And I know exactly one deck that it already fits into. Remember the Ancient of Lore I’ve mentioned at the beginning? Yeah, this card might replace it in Druid. Beast is not a problem – sadly Druid of the Claw (or any other shapeshifting card) is not considered a Beast on the card itself. But Mounted Raptor and Savage Combatant are. Then, the Dragons are already played too. 2x Azure Drake is very common in nearly every Druid deck. If it drew you a Mounted Raptor and Azure Drake, it would be a great card. The only problem is that if you already draw all your Beasts/Dragons, you won’t get that much value out of it.
Another use, besides being a way to refill the hand after you start running out of steam, is to draw a specific card from your deck. It might be mostly important when it comes to the Dragons. I’ll give Malygos example once again. In any Malygos deck, he’s a crucial part of the combo and the main win condition. If he’s the only Dragon you play, congrats, now you have to draw Malygos OR Curator to perform your combos. So both Beasts and Dragons are covered – I could see some decks using it to draw out those. The only problem is Murlocs. Then, for another set of 2 we have Anyfin Can Happen Paladin that runs Murlocs (obviously) and Beasts – Stampeding Kodo. And it’s also slow enough to utilize a 7 mana card like that. So sure, we have another candidate to play it. At 3 draws, this card would be insane. And I mean it – really insane. The problem is that there is no deck currently that runs all 3 tribals as far as I remember. MAYBE something like Control Hunter or Control Rogue – but those aren’t really the most popular decks around.
Most likely, to make it happen, we would need to make this deck slightly worse by putting the cards that you wouldn’t put in otherwise. So, for example, you might throw in a Corrupted Seer into a Control deck that already runs Beasts and Dragons. It’s possible, but I honestly don’t think it’s worth doing it for one more potential card draw from one minion in your deck. To sum things up, I think it might be a decent card. It’s definitely not an auto-include, because it only fits certain decks that run minions of 2-3 of those tribals and are slow and want to play card draw. So yeah, it’s a card that’s great on the paper, but it might be pretty hard to find a viable deck you’d want to play it in, as it’s really conditional. Similarly to Reno Jackson – the main difference is that you don’t have to make AS many sacrifices in deck building, but the potential gain isn’t as big too.
Nice stats for a 5-drop, 5/6 is as good as it gets without negative effect. But the effect… yeah, it’s not that amazing. First, let’s list easiest way for Rogue to get cards from other class. Burgle and Undercity Huckster. Burgle isn’t played, maybe sometimes in Reno Rogue. It just doesn’t fit the classic, heavy tempo Rogue play style. Then, Huckster sees some play now and then, true. Oh, there is also Nefarian, although this one I have NEVER seen being played in Rogue. And I think it will stay that way.
Realistically, I don’t think Ethereal Peddler is enough to push Burgle into the meta. And Huckster alone isn’t enough to push Peddler into the meta. They would need to add another Rogue card that steals things from from the opponent’s class. If they add a strong card like that in this expansion + the Huckster.. then maybe, maybe. Because the card has potential – great stats and decent effect, it just requires to play another set of specific cards and those cards need to be good in the first place if you want to play them. Can’t judge it yet, I have to wait for other Rogue card (because I assume each class is going to get 2) to see if it will work.
Blizzard is trying to push the Beast thing into Druid once again. And honestly, instead of making another card that requires you to have a Beast on the board, this might be a good approach. 1 mana Beast with good stats means that you can combo other stuff much more easily. But, first things first – it will definitely not be a Druid staple, because Living Roots is just better. For the same mana, it can summon same amount of stats (but across 2 bodies, which depending on the situation might be better or worse), BUT it also has the flexibility of being a small removal. Later in the game getting 2 damage immediately is important. You can’t do that with Enchanted Raven. But, where I could see it being played is Beast Druid. Beast Druid has seen some play in WoG so it’s not a big stretch.
The best synergy is the one with Mark of Y'Shaarj. It was usually useless on turn 2, but if you would have 1-drop beast to play it on – it would be really good. It’s a basically a 3 mana 4/4 Beast, as the buff cycles itself. And 3 mana 4/4 Beast with no downside would be very strong in that deck. Or maybe a single copy of Wildwalker would make an appearance, given how easy it would be to proc it now. You’d get 2/5 and 4/4 for 5 mana total, one of which is a Beast for potential future synergies, so I’d say it’s quite nice. Still, this card is still ONLY comparable to Living Roots in Beast Druid (I could see arguments for running either of those) and it’s worse in every other list. So in the end, not so good.
This one is… interesting. On the one hand, “2 in 1 cards” are usually very good. This is like Bane of Doom on steroids. While it doesn’t have a chance to summon a 6/8, it deals 5 damage, isn’t conditional (as in you don’t have to kill anything with it) and it doesn’t have as much chance to summon something useless. But then, it costs 7 mana. Mana cost might be the thing that keeps it down. Yes, it’s a good value for 7 mana, but it’s really slow. So I definitely see it being played in Reno Mage, or other grinder/Control Mage lists, but I’m not sure if it will make to Tempo one. Spell synergies are important, but you can’t really combo a 7 mana spell that easily. But, let’s do a quick analysis of 5 mana slot. I’d actually say that there are more good than bad minions. Bad ones are 4/2’s or 3/3’s like Big Game Hunter or Faceless Manipulator. There are A LOT of good/great ones, however. Nexus-Champion Saraad, Leeroy Jenkins, Doomguard, Corrupted Healbot, Hallazeal the Ascended, even the basic ones like Pit Fighter or Stranglethorn Tiger deliver when it comes to the stats. I’d probably say that the expected (most common) result will be between 4-4 and 5-4, as those are most common in this mana slot.
So, the question is – if we go by that average result, would it be good enough? It’s a 7 mana 5/4 that deals 5 damage with its Battlecry. I’d say that It’s comparable to Fire Elemental. Would it be played in the Mage? It might be. But given the fact that you might get something much better than average (I’d say that the “best” outcomes are really insane, while the “worst” ones won’t likely make you cry – like Doomguard is 10 damage for 7 mana with a 5/7 body on the board…) AND that it’s a spell for the sake of potential synergies & Yogg-Saron, Hope's End, I can see it being played. Control Mage – definitely. Tempo Mage – one copy should be staple, but I think that two might be too much (after all Tempo Mage prefers the pretty cheap spells).
P.S. Why is it common, Blizzard? In Arena it’s bonkers and we already know that Mage is one of the strongest classes. It doesn’t really need to get strong commons pretty much every expansion.