If you’re anything like me, then reveal season is your favorite time of the year (alongside the first days of a new expansion). With nothing figured out, new cards coming every day, wild theories and early deck builds (which most likely won’t work) popping up everywhere, and that surprise when you look at some card and think to yourself – “what were they thinking when they’ve designed it?”
Sadly, we’ll have to wait two more weeks until the reveal season starts in full force, but we’ve already got some cards and very interesting mechanics to talk about. I’ll take a closer look at them in this article, reviewing them and rating from 1 to 10. The scale itself should be quite obvious, but just to quickly explain how do I see it: A card rated 5 is average – it might be playable in some decks, but it’s nothing special. Cards below 5 might see some play in off-meta decks, or as obscure techs, but the closer we get to 1, the lower chance it is that they will see play. When I rate card 1 or 2, I don’t believe that it will see any Constructed, non-meme play at all. On the other hand, going above 5 means that I see this card as something with a lot of potential. While I can’t guarantee that it will work out in the end, I believe that the cards with 6-8 are likely to see at least some Constructed play, while cards rated 9 or 10 are, in my mind, nearly sure hits. 1 and 10 are reserved to the worst or best cards I can imagine, meaning that they won’t be used often.
Remember that with only a handful of cards seen, it’s incredibly hard to review them accurately, since we have no clue what synergies will be printed or which themes will be pushed. I advise you to pay more attention to the description than the rating itself – I will try to explore some of the potential synergies and reasons why a given card might or might not work. I also encourage you to share your own predictions and reviews in the comment section. Even if you aren’t sure, don’t worry, no one is! There is nothing wrong about being wrong, I have never seen anyone who nailed most of the card ratings before the release. But, without further ado, let’s proceed with the reviews!
The first, and the only card so far featuring a new keyword – Magnetic. You can read more about it in our guide, but to give you a short introduction – Mechs with Magnetic can work in two ways. First, as a normal minion – you drop it and it has its own stats and effect. And second – as a buff to another Mech. You can “fuse” it with an existing Mech, and if you do it, the one on the board gains the stats and effect of the Magnetic one. Sounds a little bit complicated, but it’s actually simple. It’s like two cards with one – a regular minion and a 3 mana “Give a Mech +2/+2 and Deathrattle: Destroy a random enemy minion.”
Which is why I think that Magnetic mechanic has lots of potential. One of the biggest downsides of buffs is that they’re dead in hand when you have no right minion to buff on the board. If you’re behind, or just building a board, or a buff won’t give you any advantage in a certain scenario, you can decide to drop that Mech as a minion instead. You can’t do the same thing with buffs.
Obviously, Magnetic mechanic works only on other Mechs, which means that it will realistically work only in a dedicated Mech deck. The Mech part can be played just like a normal minion would, so it’s not out of question that a Magnetic card might see play in a non-Mech deck, the Magnetic effect just won’t be relevant (because it will rarely be used). The biggest problem with Mech decks is, obviously, lack of good Mechs. Back in the day, when there were no formats and GvG was a thing, it wouldn’t be a problem. The expansion produced LOTS of great Mechs. But right now, we have only a handful of them in Standard. And honestly, Harvest Golem and Nightmare Amalgam seem like only two that could fit well into a Mech deck, which are usually pretty tempo-based (well, unless something changes). Which makes it incredibly hard to rate Mech synergies, as we have no idea what new Mechs we will see. That said, it looks like even if Magnetic won’t be big in Standard, there is a very high possibility that it will work better in Wild, with all of the GvG stuff.
This particular Mech is basically a delayed Deadly Shot with a body. You get a 2/2 Mech, or +2/+2, but the Deadly Shot is delayed. It can be both a good thing and a bad thing. On the one hand, you can set it up before your opponent’s key turn – like playing it on empty board before Turn 8, when your opponent might drop The Lich King or a Primordial Drake. On the other hand, he won’t do it if he’s given a heads-up – he can clear it before playing a big minion, Silence it, or just flood the board with smaller ones. At the same time, if you already have a small Mech on the board, you can use it to buff it, sac it into a big minion and kill it immediately, which can be valuable. Delaying your opponent’s big plays is also pretty good by itself – it’s a bit like dropping a minion with Poisonous. Not necessarily going to always get a big value trade, but it can mess your opponent’s game plan.
Since it’s a Deathrattle, it also gets potential extra value in any deck running Play Dead and/or Carnivorous Cube. So it might be played not for its Mech synergies, but for the Deathrattle, in something like Egg/Cube Hunter.
All in all, like I’ve mentioned, it’s far too early to judge the whole Magnetic after seeing a single Mech, but I have pretty high hopes for it. This card seem above average, since it has a solid use both as a regular minion and as a buff. But I wouldn’t call it “great”.
Card rating: 6/10
This is another level of ramp. 1 mana for +2 mana crystals, for both players. This card basically reads “skip the early game and proceed straight to the mid game”. Which is actually, despite it using a card, something Druid MIGHT want to do, and that’s what makes it so interesting. Yes, I’ve read everywhere about the insane potential, nuts draws. Like 2x Biology Project, some Wild Growth, Nourish or something and then UI on Turn 3-4. But rating a card around nuts draw that will happen once in 50 games is definitely incorrect. Still, it doesn’t mean that the card is bad – we just have to look at a more average scenario.
And the thing about slow Druid deck is that they, on average, suck in the early game. You can play stuff like Doomsayer, but it would ruin your Oaken Summons, so most of the Druid decks just don’t want to do it. Skipping Turn 1-3 is pretty common in Druid, unless they get a Wild Growth. But if they could get straight to Turn 4 (or even Turn 5 if Wild Growth is also present)? Guess which deck would benefit more on average – Druid’s or the opponent’s? Most of the Control decks won’t really take a big advantage of that (it just speeds up the game a bit), and while Aggro decks can rush you down more easily, you start dropping your Oaken Summons, Swipe and Spreading Plague.
Important thing to highlight when talking about this card is that the mana crystals are full, not empty like in case of WG. It means that you can use those 2 mana immediately, even just to Hero Power down a 1-drop. Since the Mana Crystals are full, later in the game you can use it as the Innervate. You pay 1 mana, gain 2 – you’re 1 ahead. That said, if your opponent still isn’t at 10 mana, you might ramp him in the process.
Losing card advantage is not a great thing, but Druids have so much cycle that it might not matter. UI alone can bring you back into the game even if your hand is nearly empty by the time you end up ramping. So my prediction is that it’s not going to see play in a lot of decks, but it’s going to be staple in Druid decks that would really benefit from heavy amounts of Ramp and can stop the Aggro deck’s board flood, such as Big Druid or Malygos Druid.
Card rating: 7/10
That’s a pretty interesting concept. It takes the “late game scaling” to another level. Generally, cards that are solid in the early/mid game, but also useful in the late game are great. This is a bit different. It’s average on the curve, but insane in the late game. 4 mana 12/6 Taunt is just nuts, but 4 mana 2/6 Taunt is literally Stegodon, a card that has seen exactly zero Constructed play.
When it comes to Omega cards, it’s clear that Druid will have a massive advantage at activating the Battlecry. After all, it’s the class that can get to 10 mana most easily, and now with the Biology Project it might be even easier. This card in particular doesn’t even ruin your Oaken Summons if you want to play it. While it’s worse than Ironwood Golem, a 2/6 Taunt with 6 Armor for 4 mana is still alright. So Big Druid might want to play it. On the other hand, it kind of messes up with your Master Oakheart, since it can be pulled out instead of Dragonhatcher, and that combo is obviously nuts.
Another deck that might want to run it is Taunt/Quest Warrior. Okay play on the curve, but gets a massive boost in the late game. That said, think that Taunt Warrior is already good enough after it finishes the Quest, so it might not need it.
Then again, Omega cards (not this one in particular) can be decent in Shudderwock Shaman. Not the current, combo build, but more like a Midrange/Control deck with Shudderwock finisher. Shudderwock will be most likely played when you already have 10 mana crystals, so all of the effects would go off. So you’d end up with +10 Attack on your Shudderwock in that case. Yes, this doesn’t seem very good, but other Omega cards might do something else – like heal you, deal damage etc.
Omega Defender is a really, really powerful Arena card. I mean, Stegodon is an okay 4-drop to pick. It’s above average, and Arena decks are filled with above average cards. So you basically get a Stegodon that gets a MASSIVE boost in the late game. Not only it’s a solid card on the curve, but it becomes a game-winning topdeck.
But in Constructed? Omega cards might have some potential if the effects will be really powerful. This one… isn’t THAT good. Of course, I’m not saying that a 4 mana 12/6 is bad, but a bunch of stats isn’t really something you want to run a suboptimal mid-game card for. I just don’t see a deck that would want to run it. Maybe some Druid deck instead of Ironwood Golem, but it heavily depends on the meta – the extra point of attack on Golem makes a big difference against lots of the early game minions. Also, remember that Turns 1-9 are usually majority of the game. So for the majority of the game this card is… pretty meh. So I don’t think that a pile of stats is worth that kind of sacrifice.
Card rating: 3/10
This is definitely the strongest of the 5 cards of the initial reveal. It’s a cheap Legendary with decent stats, Elemental tag and a powerful effect. The card has pretty much no downsides. Doubling your next spell can be an incredible effect in basically any Shaman deck. Just looking through the list of Shaman spells, here are some examples of the cards that are good by themselves, but would be even better if doubled in the right scenario:
- Lightning Bolt – Simple use, but it increases the damage from 3 to 6. Can be used to kill bigger threats or for more burn damage.
- Earthen Might – You can even use it on Electra, since it’s an Elemental. 2 mana for +4/+4 and two random Elementals. It’s 5 mana and 2 cards for a 7/7 minion AND two random Elementals, so you end up with no card disadvantage. Even better if you already have another Elemental on the board – let’s say if you have Tar Creeper, you can buff it to 5/9 (on your Turn) and attack immediately.
- Rockbiter Weapon – Kind of a niche use, but if you run it in Aggro deck with Doomhammer, it’s 6 extra damage for 12 damage in total.
- Far Sight – You draw two cards instead of one, and both get discounts.
- Healing Rain – I mean, what more can I say? 24 healing instead of 12 healing, it’s almost like a Reno Jackson for Shaman.
- Lightning Storm – How often you face a board that’s out of range of Lightning Storm and you have to play two – if you have them? Well, this lets you play two even if you only have one.
- Lava Burst – 5 extra damage, great in some kind of Aggro Shaman.
- Bloodlust – Yeah… one Bloodlust is usually devastating if you play some kind of Token Shaman. Two? Even assuming you only have 3 minions on the board, it bumps the damage from 9 to 18. With 4 minions, the total damage is 24.
- Volcano – 30 damage spread among all of the minions, but since this will die too, it’s really 27 damage. Still, should be enough to clear most of the boards.
To be honest, even doubling The Coin can be useful in some scenarios. Let’s say when you’re on 3 mana, but you need to drop Flametongue Totem to trade up. You also want to push the tempo and you have coin. You can play this + Coin + Flametongue, then Coin basically becomes a pre-nerf Innervate.
As you can see, the card has lots of uses in all kinds of decks. In Aggro – it’s burst. In Control – it’s more AoEs or healing. In Midrange – a bit of both. I really don’t see a reason to NOT run this card in a Shaman deck. Since it has an Elemental tag, it also gets extra value in any Elemental build.
Literally, the only downside of this card is that it stacks overload. But then again, playing two copies of some Overload spell also does… Let’s say that when you play 2x Lightning Storm, you still get 4 mana overload, it’s not like it magically disappears. But with this card, you get an extra 3/3 minion (not to mention lots of flexibility, as it can double any other spell in your hand too depending on the situation).
I’d say that it’s an auto-include into any Midrange and Control deck. Not sure about Aggro, maybe doubling burn is not enough, since you wouldn’t exactly want to keep it until the late game and you usually use your burn to finish the game. But if a Token deck with Bloodlusts pops out, especially if it was more on a Midrange side, it would make more sense. Oh, the only deck that definitely won’t play it is Even Shaman… obviously. Other than that, looks insane.
Card rating: 9/10
Myra’s Unstable Element
First of all – Legendary spells! It was only a matter of time until we get them, and finally, it’s time. If other will be as crazy as this one, I’m not sure if it won’t hurt my mental health.
This is one of the most insane cards in the entire game. Yogg-Saron, Hope's End is probably the only more crazy card, at least it was before the nerfs. Drawing your ENTIRE deck for 5 mana is an effect that is incredibly powerful (as it fills your entire hand for just 5 mana) and punishing at the same time (as you burn most of the cards and land straight into the fatigue). Which makes it a hardest card to rate out of that bunch too.
Normally, massive cycle cards are best in combo decks. If you can cycle fast, you draw your combo pieces and finish the game. In this case, however, you literally cycle through your entire deck. Even assuming that it’s the only card in your hand (very unlikely) and you have 15 cards left in your deck, there is a very high chance that you will burn a vital card, sucha as Malygos or Leeroy Jenkins.
Maybe Miracle Rogue? Well, it makes some sense. But I think that this card would need to be powerful is more Fal'dorei Strider-like cards to be played in this kind of decks. Cards that shuffle extra stuff that does something when drawn. In that case, this card could be a massive finisher. First fill your deck with such effects, then pretty much activate most of them at once. Sure, you would not activate the ones you burn, but you would still most likely end up with a few 4/4’s and whatever other effects they introduce. As well as full hand, of course.
Technically it would be amazing with King Togwaggle, but you really have no way to burn their treasure…
Fatigue is a big deal, but not for the first few turns. Like, you can play 4 turns into fatigue and only take 1 + 2 +3 + 4 = 10 damage. It’s not a big deal in most of the cases. It starts ramping from there, but you still have some time to finish the game. You can also be pretty sure that you won’t run out of resources by that time, since 10 cards is a lot to go through.
Right now, even disregarding any kind of crazy combo, I see another use for it – a finisher in aggressive Rogue, such as the Odd build. Like a massive Divine Favor, or all-in Aluneth. When you’re running out of steam, you lose the game anyway. Casting this gives you a few extra turns and LOTS of resources to close out the game. The worst thing about it is that it’s a dead card most of the game, and it costs 5 mana, so you aren’t doing that much on the same turn you play it. Still, same could be said about Aluneth, and yet the card was insane, because dying to fatigue after 5-6 turns is much better than being in topdeck mode when it comes to Aggro decks.
So, like I’ve said, this card is insane. It’s really broken, no matter how you look at it. It’s one of those cards that will either be deck-defining or useless. Right now, I would say that it SHOULD see play in aggressive Rogue decks. Despite the fact that you end up in fatigue, you have a very high chance to draw your high tempo cards, burst damage etc. and just finish the game. If you’re in top deck mode for 3-4 turns you’re pretty much guaranteed to lose anyway, and this can turn the tides. In the future, though? Sky is the limit. Current theorycrafts, like Toggwaggle and Malygos decks look terrible, but I’m pretty sure that this card will be a part of some crazy deck at one point. Even if not this expansion, even if not in Standard, then maybe a few years from now in Wild. This is just such a powerful effect that it will definitely find a home in some high tier deck at one point.
Card rating: 9/10, even if not immediately
No matter if this card sees play or not, I just love them exploring mechanics that wouldn’t be possible in a regular card game, like this one. In MTG, Yu-Gi-Oh etc. you can constantly change the order of cards in your hand, so a card like that would make no sense. But in Hearthstone, where the order is fixed? Exactly.
The effect is interesting, because with this card in play, you might be given a very difficult choice. For example, should you go for the best play this turn, which is NOT the right-most card, or go for a slightly weaker play, which will also draw you a card? Also, effects that generate extra cards (such as Fire Fly) also give you an extra choice. Do you use those to draw an extra card or go for something else? Or even deeper – do you keep such a card to combo with Luna or go off with them earlier? Yes, those choices will sometimes be simple and not really worth thinking about, but eventually players will be put into harder situations. And that’s great.
But, enough about the effect being cool, let’s focus on how useful this card is going to be. First of all, she doesn’t really fit into a slower deck, with a higher mana curve. On average, the card you just drew will cost quite a lot, usually preventing a chain of draws. Slow Mage decks, such as Big Spell Mage, aren’t really struggling for card draw anyway – with such a high mana curve, their hands tend to be rather clunky anyway.
It might seem like a great fit into an Elemental Mage – lots of cheap cards, generating extra cards in your hand etc. could give you a lot of extra draws. But Elemental Mage isn’t struggling with card draw either. If you play the deck, you will notice that running out of cards is actually pretty difficult. So that’s also a no.
In the end, the only deck that this kind of card might fit into is a faster, aggressive version of Mage. Namely, decks that already run Aluneth – decks that need a lot of cycle and can get through the cards quickly, because they’re cheap. And so, this is kind of card that might fit into a Burn/Tempo/Secret Mage (however it will be called after the expansion lands) or maybe even Murloc Mage. Average cost of a card in those decks is rather low, so if you’re in a mid or late game scenario, it might be possible to chain 2-3 top decks. Since your deck is mostly spells, it also synergizes really nicely with Sorcerer's Apprentice, making a lot of your topdecks cheaper. The stat-line, while not impressive, might be good enough to drop it on the curve too if you need to. It’s definitely better than playing a Turn 3 Arcane Intellect (in Tempo Mage, you always want minions in the early game, and skipping Turn 3 gives your opponent some opportunity to come back), and if it survives, it can give you even more value. Alternatively, if you get it in the mid game, you can pretty much guarantee a card draw at one point, and 3 mana 2/4 that draws a card is very good. Even more so if it will draw 2 or 3, which can happen from time to time.
The only situation in which this card is really bad in such a deck is a full topdeck mode. When you draw this as your topdeck and have nothing else in your hand. Then you either skip a turn completely or just drop it as a vanilla 2/4 that will most likely die before you get any value out of it.
I’ve seen people comparing this to Flamewaker, but I wouldn’t go that far. Tempo and damage is much more important in Tempo Mage than more cards, not to mention that Flamewaker is easier to use – you don’t always have to play the right-most card, you can pick any cheap spell from your hand and use it. It doesn’t mean that Luna is bad, it’s just a completely different type of card.
I feel like it might be replacing a single Arcane Intellect in Tempo Mage. And possibly something in Murloc Mage, although Murloc Mage already has some powerful card draw with Book of Specters and it cares even more about the tempo, so I’m not sure. Still, it’s a solid card, but I don’t believe that it will be any kind of metabreaker.
P.S. It might be significantly better if they feature some cheap generated cards that will let you utilize this effect more consistently. Something like a better version of Flame Geyser would go a long way to make this card better.
Card rating: 7/10