High Priest Thekal is a 3 Mana Cost Legendary Paladin Minion card from the Rastakhan's Rumble set!
Battlecry: Convert all but 1 of your Hero's Health into Armor.
"…and then I beat him with 1 Health!"
High Priest Thekal Card Review
When reviewing Paladin cards that were healing-related (such as Lesser Pearl Spellstone or Zandalari Templar), I’ve always mentioned one thing – the biggest issue with those cards is not that Paladin can’t heal, but that Paladin can’t heal himself when he’s at full life. That was always the problem. Less so when playing against Aggro, but slower deck could not deal any damage to you until the mid or even late game, meaning that your healing-related cards could sit dead in your hand – alongside the healing cards themselves.
It seems that Blizzard has finally recognized that issue and printed this card. Thekal is a solid 3-drop even if we just look at its stats – 3/4 for 3 is the best you can get. If we slap a strong, positive effect on a card like that, it should see some play or at least experimentation. And I believe that this effect is indeed very powerful. Turning all of your Health into Armor is huge, despite no immediate gain in terms of life or anything. Armor is superior to Health in almost any way, even if we ignore Warrior synergies. For example, when you’re at 30 health, your opponent can Alexstrasza you down to 15. If you’re at 1 health + 29 Armor, all he can do it heal you up to 15 (it also works well for your own Alex). 1 health + 29 Armor also means that you can now still heal up to 30, and end up at a maximum of 30 + 29 = nearly 60 life total, making it really hard for some of the combo decks to burst you. And of course, the card will make it easier to activate the healing-related stuff – you can play in a slower matchup and still utilize those cards.
The biggest gripe I have with this card is that it’s Legendary. I mean, it’s fair for it to be of that rarity, but it reduced the consistency at which you will draw it heavily, and you will really need to make some of the other cards work. And another issue is that Control Paladin still doesn’t have a good enough late game win condition thanks to the KFT Death Knights. The card is good, but probably still not good enough to bring the deck back. I think that we’ll honestly have to wait until the next rotation before Control Paladin will make some sense.
P.S. And yes, in Wild you can drop it + 2x Molten Giant on Turn 2 with Coin. But the combo is such inconsistent that I really doubt that anyone would build a deck around it. It will be a nice clip to show on a highlight reel, though.
Card rating: 8/10, but I feel like Control Paladin will still be too weak because the class lacks a way to close out the games in the late game.