There is one star in the Onyxia’s Lair mini-set above all others. Kazakusan has taken the meta by storm and is currently the most popular card in the game. More than one-third of the decks queueing on the ladder right now have Kazakusan in them!
There are two types of decks that use Kazakusan:
- Midrange decks that race to Kazakusan, play it as soon as possible, and try to overwhelm their opponent with the power of treasures. Spell Druid and Quest Demon Hunter are examples of this approach. They are strong against slow decks and weak to fast aggression.
- Control decks that use Kazakusan as a late-game win condition. Thanks to ample removal, they are strong against aggro decks, but they struggle against faster Kazakusan decks that can overwhelm their removal with treasures.
These two approaches to the card are also visible in its performance statistics:
- Kazakusan is most commonly played on turn five or six. These are also the most effective turns to play it for a fast Kazakusan deck. Even if you can play Kazakusan on turn three or four, you need to consider whether you have an appropriate follow-up so that you don’t end up with an 8/8 on the board but nothing else happening for multiple turns. If you are against a slow deck, this is generally still fine. If you’re up against an aggro deck, an early Kazakusan with no follow-up may lead you to be raced down easier, especially if you need to Overload yourself to play it.
- The control decks, on the other hand, are in no hurry to play Kazakusan. Stabilize your position first, and then play Kazakusan to get win conditions.
The Best Kazakusan Treasures Tier List
When you play Kazakusan, you get to Discover five treasures and will get two copies of each treasure into your deck. You cannot pick the same treasure twice. The ten treasures from Kazakusan will replace your deck, so everything you will draw from there will be treasures.
There are 29 treasures in the treasure pool, and their power level varies a lot! Some of them can just win you the game straight away, whereas others are hardly worth it. With a single Discover, your chance to find a specific treasure is around 10%, so over five Discovers, the probability that you see a specific treasure is around 44%.
The very best Tier S treasures:
Dr. Boom’s Boombox (4 mana): Summoning a boardful of Boom Bots can never be wrong. They can clear boards, apply a lot of pressure, and serve as targets for buffs, especially Canopic Jars.
Pure Cold (5 mana): Eight damage to the dome, double that with Solar Eclipse. Freeze on top. Nice. While Pure Cold alone does not win the game, it gets you one step closer to victory.
Annoy-o Horn (8 mana): A full board of Divine Shield Taunt minions. Summons a variety of Annoy-o-Trons, Annoy-o-Modules, and Psych-o-Trons. These minions are hard to remove, can deal significant damage, protect you, and serve as a platform for further buffs.
LOCUUUUSTS!!! (8 mana): Win the game. Essentially. 14 damage to the face on the first cast, and another 14 on the second. And you have two copies in your deck.
Embers of Ragnaros (10 mana): Win the game if your opponent does not play minions. Sometimes win even if they do. You need to be Guff to cast this twice, but even one cast is 24 damage against an empty board.
Book of the Dead (14 mana): Deal 7 damage to all enemies. Clears boards. Hits face. Awesome whenever minions have been killed in the game to discount it. There are sometimes situations where you do not want to pick the book, but those are few and far between. Even if no minions have yet been played, you can pick the Book if you get a spell to fill your own board first: either that board will win, or it will discount the Book.
More situational, but still strong Tier A treasures:
Canopic Jars (3 mana): A powerful Deathrattle buff to all your minions. Amazing if you can fill your board, weak if you cannot. If you can find any board-filling spell, this one is the next treasure to pick.
Crusty the Crustacean (3 mana): Removal combined with a potentially big body. Very strong if you face individual big minions, weaker otherwise.
Looming Presence (3 mana): Draw 2 cards. Gain 4 Armor. The cards you draw are more treasures. The more treasures you play, the faster you win. Very strong pick if you do not have any card draw in hand, but obsolete if you already have a way to get to your treasures quickly.
Wax Rager (3 mana): Can never be removed without Silence or a Sap effect. Fights for the board, deals damage to the face, and absorbs random damage. The only thing this minion cannot do is win the game in a turn or two.
Ancient Reflections (4 mana): There has to be some minion on the board for this, but it does not have to be yours. A boardful of Wax Ragers is pretty good too. If you have this and Canopic Jars, you can make a crazy board from a single enemy minion.
Banana Split (5 mana): Three big minions is better than one. Great synergy with multiple treasure minions. As a downside, you need a minion to use it, but sometimes you can even just land it on your Kazakusan.
Bubba (5 mana): Instant board against a slow deck. Removal when needed. Almost always a good boy.
Staff of Scales (5 mana): Removal that usually leaves you with some minions to be buffed.
Wand of Disintegration (5 mana): The ultimate board clear that only hits the opponent’s minions. Does not kill the opponent though, so you need some ways to fill the board too.
Holy Book (8 mana): Hard removal that also summons a huge body. A bit expensive.
Even more situational, but sometimes useful Tier B treasures:
The Exorcisor (1 mana): 3/3 weapon with Silence can be useful if you know you need to deal with powerful buffed minions or Deathrattles, but you almost always want to pick something else.
Mutating Injection (2 mana): +4/+4 buff and Taunt can help against aggression but does nothing to build a board for you in the first place.
Clockwork Assistant (3 mana): If you have played a bunch of spells, this can be a big boy. It is still just one minion though and one minion is way easier to remove than a wide board.
Grimmer Patron (3 mana): A replicating minion, but slow and with low stats. Good only if you can combine it with buffs (like Banana Split or Canopic Jars).
Hyperblaster (3 mana): Four Poisonous swings while immune are excellent for removal, but it does not help you develop your own threats.
Puzzle Box (3 mana): Revolve on steroids. Hurts unless you have board control. Pick only if you know that you will be winning on the board.
Gnomish Army Knife (5 mana): Almost all keywords in one, but no additional stats. Needs a good target. Lots of potential healing with the right target. You can Stealth your opponent’s Taunt with this to hit their face.
You should generally avoid these Tier C treasures:
Blade of Quel’Delar & Hilt of Quel’Delar (1 mana): I’m not a fan of relying on random events. Blade and Hilt are weak alone, but if you pick them both, you get the full Quel’Delar, which is a great weapon – a 6-mana 4/4 that deals 4 damage to all enemies after your Hero attacks. If you pick both Blade and Hilt, they combine into two Quel’Delars in your deck, so you will only have eight cards in your Kazakusan deck. The math just does not check out. If you find one of the pieces on your first Discover, you have a 38% chance to find the second one. If you find the first piece on your second Discover, the odds fall down to 31%. A third pick for the first piece leaves you with only 23% to find the second one. I don’t like those odds.
Spyglass (1 mana): A copy of a card in your opponent’s hand is usually weaker than any treasure you could have picked instead of this.
Necrotic Poison (2 mana): Cheap hard removal, but only hits one target. Ineffective compared to alternatives.
Beastly Beauty (3 mana): Minor removal that leaves a nice 8/8 body if used on a small target. Does not really help defend or create a major threat though.
Vampiric Fangs (3 mana): Removal and healing. Only a single target. Can be decent if you’re worried about dying, but most of the time there are better picks.
Kazakusan generally has enough power to win a game on its own. This is not readily apparent because there are so many different treasures and you will not get any specific one even half of the time.
However, when you try to fill your board with threats, you can usually find some way to do it, whether it is locusts, annoying minions, or Boom Bots. Add some direct damage on top of those threats, and the path to lethal is wide open. Sprinkle in some removal or buffs – unless you hit a jackpot of boards and direct damage – and you’re good to go!