Madness at the Darkmoon Faire was announced a few days ago, and it’s actually releasing quite sooner than we have all expected. Usually, the third expansion of a year launches early in December, but this time it will be November 17. Frankly I’m really happy about that, because despite it being the busiest time for me, I just LOVE reveal seasons and expansion launches, the hype around everything, rating cards, theorycrafting, then testing all the new decks on Day 1 (well… I usually get maybe 1 or 2 hours of play on Day 1, but at least I watch the streamers all the time while I add new decks).
Darkmoon Faire’s new mechanic is Corrupt. Corrupt cards start really weak, but they get upgraded after you play a card that’s more expensive. For example, if you have a 3 mana Corrupt card, playing a 4+ mana card will upgrade it to its Corrupted version. While the Corrupted ones are incredibly powerful, the fact that you can’t play them on the curve is a big downside.
In this article, I’ll take a closer look at the newly revealed cards, 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 – but average does not mean bad. It might be playable in some decks, especially as a filler, but in my mind 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 the card as something with more 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 without seeing all the cards, it’s incredibly hard to review them accurately, since we have no clue what synergies will be printed or which themes will be pushed. Even after knowing all of them, theory is very different from practice, and it’s hard to predict how the meta will look like. A card that’s great in theory might end up seeing no play whatsoever, because the most popular meta deck simply counters it. It might also be useless because it doesn’t have enough support, but once it gets it, it suddenly becomes overpowered. 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!
All Of Our Darkmoon Faire Card Reviews:
- Darkmoon Faire Card Review #1 – Old Gods, Silas, Darkmoon Rabbit, Day at the Faire, Dunk Tank, Fleethoof Pearltusk, Fortune Teller, Kiri, Eclipses, Guess the Weight!
- Darkmoon Faire Card Review #2 – Maxima Blastenheimer, Hammer of the Naaru, Il’gynoth, Ring Toss, Petting Zoo, Revenant Rascal, Ticket Master, The Nameless One and more!
- Darkmoon Faire Card Review #3 – E.T.C., God of Metal, Ringmaster Whatley, Yrel, Occult Conjurer, Grand Empress Shek’zara, Bladed Lady, Fire Breather and more!
- Darkmoon Faire Card Review #4 – Zai, Lothraxion, Deck of Chaos, Rinling’s Rifle, Tengu, Deck of Lunacy, Eys’or, Shadow Clone, Jewel of N’Zoth, Tickatus, Strongman and more!
- Darkmoon Faire Card Review #5 – Palm Reading, Inara Stormcrash, Nazmani Bloodweaver, Inconspicuous Rider, Acrobatics, Swindle, Foxy Fraud and more!
I’ll start my review with Silas, because the card is already out. Of course, it doesn’t mean that the rating will be correct – keep in mind that with new expansion launching, a card that’s good or bad right now might be the opposite after the release. We might get some more synergies for it and – of course – the meta will also change. Silas Darkmoon synergies are specifically minions that you want to give your opponent, ones with negative effects.
The best example is Doomsayer – it’s a 9 mana Neutral Twisting Nether. You play Doomsayer on left or right, drop Silas and spin the carousel. There’s also a chance you might snatch some Deathrattle minion from your opponent so you get whatever comes out of it instead of him. But it’s a bit extreme – most of the classes have better ways to clear the board, it’s a 2 cards combo and it costs 9 mana. So I wouldn’t call it great.
Another combo is one already found out by some people and exploited in Wild to a certain extent – Soulbound Ashtongue + Shield Slam. As a Warrior, you can give Ashtongue to your opponent and then basically Shield Slam face – which was always a Control Warrior’s wet dream. There are also some other niche combos, like giving your opponent Northshire Cleric and forcing them to draw a lot. But outside of Shield Slam, most of those are meme decks. And frankly, they mostly work in Wild, because the potential card pool is so much bigger.
If your opponent has something big on either right or left side, you can use it as a pseudo-Mind Control. You need to donate him something (preferably some 1/1, but even 4/4 is okay-ish to give out) but you get their big minion. It might be good in some cases, like against heavily buffed Paladin minion or let’s say something like Rattlegore. But most of the time it will be clunky. Completely useless against faster decks and still situational against slower ones.
I think that the card will be more useful in Wild (it already became a part of Odd Warrior decks), I’m not seeing it being popular Standard. It’s a cool card, it’s fun to play and it actually makes both of players think about positioning more – but it doesn’t seem good enough. The only decks I could see it fitting into is some Midrange, Token-based build, like maybe Libram Paladin? You have lots of ways to generate small minions that you can “trade” with your opponent. Of course, there’s the Warrior combo in Standard too – you can theoretically play it in an Armor-heavy build with Risky Skippers and Armorsmiths, but I think that the combo is just too hard to pull off consistently in Standard.
Card Rating: 3/10
Huh, as someone who died to Darkmoon Rabbit at least a few times in WoW, I love the inclusion of this card. But it doesn’t really look strong to be honest, at least not at 10 mana.
This card is close to 10 mana “Destroy a minion and minions adjacent to it”. However, it doesn’t go through Divine Shields, which might be a pretty big deal depending on the meta (like, it is in the current one with Libram of Hope being quite popular). Anyway… that’s not good enough. There are far better removals available. It’s not as good as a full board clear, which are usually even cheaper. Yes, the upside is that you can leave your board intact… but lots of time when you need a full board wipe, you don’t really care about your own board or you don’t have it.
I don’t think it will ever be put into a deck without any way to reduce its cost / cheat it out. For example, I COULD see it in a Hunter deck with Beastmaster Leoroxx (but it would have to be a pretty weird deck, alright), or in Ramp Druid with Strength in Numbers. It’s also an AMAZING pull from Jepetto Joybuzz, but you need to play a deck full of good targets for Jepetto to work. Maybe Commencement? But you honestly would rather have a huge minion that actually survives, especially when playing against a slower deck that might not even have minions at the time.
Maybe if we get some more ways to cheat it out, but at this time I don’t think it’s a good card.
Card Rating: 2/10
Day at the Faire
The first Corrupt cards on the list, and a good showcase of the mechanic. At the base level, summoning 3x 1/1 for 3 mana is not good. It’s not the WORST T3 play ever, so if you really have absolutely nothing else to do it, you will live with that. But comparing it to other similar cards like Muster for Battle or Lost in the Jungle really shows that it’s not very strong. However, after you upgrade it, that’s a Stand Against Darkness for 3. Paladin’s Turn 4 is quite packed, so it shouldn’t be that hard to upgrade and then play it on T5 alongside a 2-drop or even a Hero Power. You could also play Righteous Cause into this on T5, summoning 5x 2/2. Really powerful in theory, although still quite weak to AoE.
As for whether it will see play. Right now – maybe? I could see it in e.g. Libram Paladin – it has a really solid Animated Broomstick synergy, not to mention Libram of Wisdom synergy. Combine both and you have 12 damage removal spread between multiple attacks for 4 mana – which can be a massive tempo gain, especially if you add some shots from Pen Flinger. The issue is that Libram Paladin doesn’t really run many 4 mana cards to activate it, so playing it on 5 would be a bit difficult. With the info we have right now, it’s not bad, but isn’t very good either.
HOWEVER, one thing that’s important is that it summons Silver Hand Recruits. While Paladin didn’t have any Silver Hand Recruit synergies in a while, I could absolutely see them making a comeback. If that happens, then this card becomes way more powerful. Summoning 5 Recruits into some good synergy could really be a game-changer.
Card Rating: 6/10, but possibly higher if some Silver Hand Recruit synergies get released
Again, at the very base level, 4 damage for 4 mana is terrible. Of course, comparing stuff between classes (Fireball) is not always a good idea, but even look at the Lightning Bolt. Yeah, 4 for 4 is bad. However, if you add the other effect – 2 AoE damage – it becomes an upgraded version of Swipe. And I mean REALLY upgraded – 1 vs 2 AoE damage is a huge, huge difference.
The first thing I thought about is some Aggro deck, but I scrapped that idea. Two things – not only Aggro deck wants the cards to be playable on curve, it also doesn’t run that many 5+ mana cards to Corrupt it AND the extra AoE damage… is often useless. If it dealt extra face damage, then I could see it, but in the current state – I don’t think so.
But maybe Control Shaman? The deck has been popping up in the current meta from time to time and it certainly is good at surviving. You can stall the game for long, and you can afford to have a few cards with delayed pay-off, because you don’t struggle with value. This would make for a really solid mid-late game removal that could also double up as some face damage in certain cases. But there’s another problem – the deck has more than enough AoE. Lightning Storm (while it’s weaker, it doesn’t need activation and can be played on T3-T4), Hagatha's Scheme, Earthquake, Tidal Wave… AoE damage is one of the things the deck does NOT struggle with.
I think that the card might have some uses, but it’s hard to place it somewhere. Aggro doesn’t really want it, Control doesn’t really need it. Some solid Midrange deck would probably be the best here – you would run enough 5+ mana cards to activate it, you would love removal that doubles up as face damage, and AoE part would actually be useful quite often. Maybe a Spell Damage Shaman? Then both parts would take advantage of Spell Damage – even +1 would make it much better at 5 damage + 3 AoE. Overall, it’s a solid card, but might be pretty difficult to fit.
Card Rating: 6/10
5 mana 8/8 with Rush would be AMAZING, every deck would love it. 8/8 are great stats for the cost, and it would immediately impact the board too… But the problem is that it’s not playable on 5. You first need to play a 6+ mana card, so it’s a T7 play at the earliest. And while 5 mana 8/8 Rush is still impressive at this point, it’s a bit awkward, because it might be hard to fill the rest of your turn now and you need to Corrupt it in the first place. While Corrupting a 3 mana card is quite easy, a 5 mana card is more difficult. If you don’t draw AND play 6-drop, then you delay it even further…
Beast synergy might be its saving grace, but I’m still not sure. Like, Guardian Animals decks don’t want it, because it’s just a 4/4 and the Rush is wasted because GA gives minions Rush anyway. Maybe – again – some Beast Hunter deck with Beastmaster Leoroxx? By the time you get to Leoroxx you should be able to upgrade it, and Leoroxx turns really need some instant board impact or else they’re too slow. It also has a nice Shan'do Wildclaw synergy, as you can play both on T8 for 2x 8/8 with Rush – pretty solid play.
I wouldn’t say that it’s a pack filler, but it doesn’t seem great either. I feel like Corrupt cards need to be at least playable on curve, and this is absolutely terrible – like I was forced to play Doctor Krastinov on curve without a weapon equipped sometimes (or alternatively a Faceless Corruptor with no other minions) and it’s really bad, game-losing bad. That’s why I think that it’s below average.
Card Rating: 4/10
So here’s the thing – how many spells you need to have in order for it to be good? 0-1 spells – I’m not even considering it. 2 spells – nah, 5 mana 5/5 Taunt is bad. 3 spells – okay, we’re entering a playable territory, but you still wouldn’t put a 5 mana 6/6 Taunt with no other effect into your deck. 4 spells – now we’re talking, 5 mana 7/7 Taunt is decent, it’s both a big threat and nice protection. So 4+ spells for it to be good, 3 spells to be passable. And that’s… yeah, not THAT many, but still a few.
While slower Priest builds are spell-heavy, they are usually only holding so many spells against slower decks. Against Aggro, they try to get rid of the board all the time, and are often forced to skip playing minions and drop reactive spell after reactive spell. Making it not a great deal in the matchup where you actually need a big Taunt. And if you’re at 0, 1 or even 2 spells, the card is either unplayable or just bad.
Even if you’re holding those 3+ spells quite commonly, “quite commonly” is not always. The issue here is that the potential downside of not having enough spells isn’t really worth it considering the pay-off is not amazing. Even in super rare scenarios in which you play a 5 mana 8/8 with Taunt on curve, and that’s really an EXTREMELY rare situation (5 spells in hand on curve), it’s honestly not THAT broken by the current Hearthstone standards (as in – you would love to play it, but it most likely won’t win you the game by itself).
All in all, the card looks pretty bad, we would need to get some next level spell generation for Priests to consider running it.
Card Rating: 3/10
Guess the Weight
I really dig this design, I like this kind of skill-testing mechanics. If you know your deck well, keep track of the cards that are already drawn etc. then you should be able to guess correctly more often than not.
But what I like even more about it is that going for a higher chance is not always the correct play. Let’s say that you REALLY need Overflow or Guardian Animals because you have no late game and you draw a 5 mana card with it. Techncially, guessing “lower” might give you a higher chance for a second draw… but that draw might be quite useless if it’s a cheap card you don’t need. You want to look for your expensive plays, so guessing higher might be a better option, because if it is indeed one of the cards you need, you get it. So you pick between a higher chance to get a low cost card and a lower chance to get a high cost card.
What I don’t like about it is that it if you draw a card that costs the same, you can never be right, no matter which option you pick. So e.g. in a deck with a lot of 4 mana cards, it might be much worse to run, because you have a solid chance to draw another 4 mana card.
All of that said, drawing 1 for 2 mana is bad – just cycling is never a good 2 mana play (I mean, you could just play Novice Engineer and have a 1/1 body on top of that). Drawing 2 for 2, on the other hand, is great. This is something in between. It’s probably close to 1.5 cards on average, maybe even more in the right deck. Right now, I don’t think it’s necessary, because Druid doesn’t struggle with card draw. Maybe if you play some Combo deck that wants to cycle as quickly as possible – sure. However, after the rotation, when Overflow will be out, I think that it has a chance of being playable. Not great, but playable.
Card Rating: 5/10
First of all, as a Boomkin main during my few long years with WoW, I really love any Druid cards related to Balance Druid!
The card… looks broken? Like, not as in “oh, this is so overpowered that it will fit into every deck”, but as in “it WILL break the game somehow”. Being able to double-cast a spell for 2 mana is a huge, HUGE mana cheat potential with more expensive spells. Like imagine using this with even a 6 mana spell – that’s 12 mana worth of spells for 8 mana – 4 mana “for free”. Even casting a second Swipe is 2 mana cheaper – and that’s a huge deal in a deck like Malygos Druid (assuming the second spell would be cast on the same target, which makes most sense). For the sake of combo, this is a third Swipe, it also means that you can use one early and then still have two for the combo.
I think that it heavily depends on new spells Druid gets. Right now, I could see Quest Druid wanting it – their spells are really strong after Quest is done, and they need to catch up after the first few turns. So something like a double Starfall to for 10 single target + 4 AoE damage for 7 mana, or 2x Hidden Oasis for 24 healing + 2x 6/6 Taunt for 8 mana… Token/Treant Druid might also want it – double Savage Roar, Runic Carvings, The Forest's Aid – sounds pretty good.
The biggest downside is that the spell is dead by itself. Like, it’s a mid-late game card, because you need to combo it with something else. But I think that its flexibility makes up for it. Any Druid deck running a bunch of strong, 5+ mana spells will definitely want to at least consider it.
Card Rating: 9/10
Just like Solar Eclipse, I dig the theme, and it honestly looks like another powerful Druid card. While Solar Eclipse has a potential for some crazy combos and cheating, this is more… straightforward? But, of course, straightforward doesn’t mean weak. On the contrary – the card is really strong. Assuming that you’re casting another spell on the same turn (and let’s be honest – Druid is quite a spell-heavy class), this is essentialy a 0 mana 3 damage removal. And as we all know, playing stuff for free is always great in Hearthstone.
The biggest downside of “slower” Druid decks is how weak they are during the first few turns. You usually want to ramp up before you can do anything, and spending your turns on just ramping up might lead to some quick losses when you can’t remove your opponent’s minions. Lunar Eclipse will allow you to do both. For example, on T4 you can both remove your opponent’s 3-drop AND play Overgrowth. Removing that minion might have saved you a lot of health and potentially won the game.
The card is actually quite similar to Bogbeam. Both are 3 mana minion removals that are technically free. The issue with Bogbeam is, however, that it’s not free when you need it most – during the early game. On the other hand, Lunar Eclipse doesn’t combo as well with minions, e.g. you can’t play T7 Exotic Mountseller + Lunar Eclipse. Or you can’t fit Lunar Eclipse into your Ysera, Unleashed turn. So while Bogbeam has a clear late game upperhand, I believe that OVERALL Lunar Eclipse is slightly stronger. And given that Bog Beam was a Druid staple, I believe that so will be Lunar Eclipse (possibly pushing the other removal out of some lists).
Card Rating: 8/10
Kiri, Chosen of Elune
As we’ve already established, both Eclipse cards are pretty good, both are cards that you would probably want to put into your deck. So Kiri is a 4 mana 2/2 minion that adds two good cards to your hand. That’s… pretty okay?
Something that I haven’t mentioned when reviewing Eclipse cards separately is that they have pretty good synergy with each other. You can either open with Lunar Eclipse, then play Solar for free and another spell for extra 3 damage. Or, the other way around, Solar Eclipse into double Lunar Eclipse. Now you’ve dealt 6 damage and have 4 mana discount on your next spell – so that 6 damage was basically for free if you play a 4+ mana spell now. Neat, huh?
That said, I honestly don’t think that Kiri will see much play. The card is just a bit too fair. Drawing 3 cards is worth 3 mana, then 2/2 is worth 1 mana = the card seems normal, and normal is not always good in Hearthstone. Druid doesn’t really care for small minions, the 2/2 body is often irrelevant. 4 mana is also a very vital slot, because it’s Overgrowth turn. Yeah, you don’t always have Overgrowth, but if you do, you would never want to drop a 2/2 over ramping up, and later it might get a bit too clunky. Yet another thing is that most of the Druid decks that would consider running it would rather DRAW cards instead of generating them most of the time. Malygos Druid, for example, wants to draw the combo. Guardian Druid also wants to draw cards, since it needs to get to its win cons (Ysera, Mountseller, Survival) as quickly as possible. Generating cards works better for decks that are concerned about value – slow Druid builds really aren’t.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad card and I wouldn’t be surprsied if it was played in SOME deck, like, I don’t know, Highlander Druid? You can’t slow two copies of Eclipses so you might generate them. But I just don’t think that the card will be impactful enough to find mainstream play. It would need to be either 1 mana cheaper (but that would probably be busted) or have better stats, even a 3/3 would already be a solid improvement. 2/2 trades really poorly, especially on Turn 4.
Card Rating: 5/10
C’Thun, the Shattered
Oh my, that’s a really, really slow card. At the start of the game, it breaks into 4 pieces. Each piece is a 5 mana spell – you can find the effects at the bottom of this card review. After you play all of the spells, only then you get an actual C’thun shuffled into your deck.
With 4 cards being shuffled into your deck, the chances that at least one of them is near the bottom of your deck is huge. And then you don’t get your C’Thun immediately – it’s also shuffled, which means that on average you will be able to play him close to fatigue. In other words, it doesn’t matter in majority of the games, because only the slowest matchups go close to fatigue, and not all of them. Talking about fatigue and shuffling, it actually makes fatigue matchups much easier, because you technically start with 34 cards in your deck (30 – 1 C’Thun that breaks down + 4 shuffled pieces + 1 shuffled C’Thun). Anyone who ever played those matchups know how big of a deal those 4 cards can be.
However, whether the card is strong or not heavily depends on the cards that you use to activate them. If they’re good, then shuffling 4 good cards is not really a downside. If they’re bad – then they would be a hinderance. And they’re… honestly average. I’d argue that Heart (3 AoE damage) and Body (6/6 with Taunt) are two strongest ones, as those are cards that you MIGHT consider putting into your deck. Eye (7 damage randomly split) is, well, very situational – sometimes it’s great, other times it’s bad. I would argue that it could be nice burn tool, but Control decks don’t really need burn tools most of the time. And finally, Maw is just an Assassinate – a bad card. Any Control deck has better removal options. No piece is exactly unplayable, but they range from “okay” to “bad”, so I’d say that on average they will make your deck worse. Which is not a good thing.
Realistically, the card makes sense only in the slowest matchups. Against any faster deck, you will finish the game long before you draw the 4 pieces and then C’Thun. But honestly, Archivist Elysiana was also useless vs Aggro and yet it found its place in the meta. I think that C’Thun might slot into slow, Control decks when the meta demands it. Or maybe, possibly, into some combo deck that wants to draw everything as quickly as possible, shuffle C’Thun and then do something interesting with it (but it probably needs some help with killing the opponent, because C’Thun won’t do it if they have any board). Right now the most likely candidate seems to be Control Warrior, possibly a draw-heavy deck like Quest Warlock (and it would have a solid chance of a 0 mana C’Thun after shuffling it). But without knowing how the meta will shape up, it’s impossible to say how good it will be. I see it more as a tech card like Elysiana than something you automatically slot into Control builds.
Card Rating: 6/10
N’Zoth, God of the Deep
The old N’Zoth was one of my favorite cards, and in retrospect we can all tell that it was really powerful in the right deck. Both of them come with some conditions, though. Old one required a Deathrattle-heavy build to work well, this one requires you to play minions from different types (we used to call them minion tribes, but I guess that types is the official name now so we’ll stick with that). While true “Menagerie” decks (back when The Curator was a thing), it doesn’t mean that N’Zoth won’t.
So let’s start with the fact that while you would ideally want to summon a full board, you don’t need to. Summoning 2-3 minions, especially if at least one of them has Rush / Taunt, on top of a 5/7 body of N’Zoth, is already worth it. You don’t need to build your entire deck around it – you can just slot it into some existing decks and maybe tweak it a bit. Many decks already run a big Dragon (Alexstrasza, Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, Ysera, Unleashed) or Elemental (Siamat, Mana Giant, Walking Fountain) and reviving both at the same time would already be a big deal.
While I can’t really come up with many decks from the top of my head, I’m sure that some would already slot in N’Zoth. Especially Highlander builds. They naturally run a Dragon and an Elemental already – Alex & Zephrys the Great (although you would ideally want to run something bigger, a free 3/2 isn’t bad). Many of them run other tribes too – e.g. Beast (Escaped Manasaber), Demon (Imprisoned Vilefiend) or Pirate (Kobold Stickyfinger). And that’s right now, without any changes – add new expansion cards, make some changes, slot in N’Zoth and you have a great late game win condition.
I think that the old N’Zoth had more potential for one simple reason – Deathrattle minions are more resistant to AoEs. Even if they’re cleared, you still get something. In case of minions of different types, they can be anything – so yeah, sometimes you will get some AoE protection (like by running an Imprisoned minion, minion with Divine Shield or – yeah – Deathrattle), those boards won’t be as universally strong vs a board wipe.
That’s why I’m pretty sure that N’Zoth will get slotted into some builds, even without any extra menagerie synergies. If we get some – maybe we will have a whole deck built around that concept, but I’m more inclined to believe that it will just be a finisher in otherwise normal deck. But it doesn’t seem as strong as the old one.
Card Rating: 7/10
Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate
Yogg is back on the menu. You will either love him or hate him – there’s really no in-between. It’s a crazy RNG card – even more RNG than the original one. That’s because the original effect is actually still present, it’s just one of the 6 different, random options you get from spinning the wheel. See all the outcomes at the bottom of this card review.
Of course, unlike the old Yogg, you need to activate this first. But if you ever played the oldschool Yogg, you know that using 10 spells before dropping Yogg were rookie numbers. You were often playing him after 15 or even 20 spells. It means that the new Yogg will be more accessible to decks that not necessarily cast THAT many spells, just enough to reach the 10 total relatively easily. On the other hand, old Yogg could be used as a last resort play even with 9, 8 or less spells played – the chances of it doing something meaningful were lower, but they were still here. This card is useless before the 10th spell is cast.
Let’s get to the effects. Outside of Rod of Roasting, which is a complete meme outcome (and for that reason it has only 5% chance of happening), they’re actually really good. New Yogg, just like the old one, is far more likely to be played when behind – when you’re already ahead, there’s no reason to risk it. And all of the effects work well when you’re behind. Hand of Fate (filling your hand with random spells that cost 0) is, similarly to Evocation, likely to find you some answer, but the mana discount means that you can play any expensive AoE and still do a lot of other stuff (gain more value, summon minions). Curse of Flesh (fills both sides of boards with random minions, gives yours Rush) is seemingly symetrical, but when you’re behind on the board, you’re getting a lot more value from it. For example, if your opponent has 4 minions and you have 1 (Yogg), he only gets 3 while you get 6. Then giving everything Rush is likely to be enough to at least clear a big part of your opponent’s board. You can also get some Taunt / Lifesteal minions. Mindflayer Goggles (3x random Mind Control) is an insane swing that will very often just straight up win you the game if your opponent has a few mid-late game minions. While it’s not as good against board full of small minions, it still takes some pressure from the board and gives you tempo. Mysterybox (the old Yogg’s effect) – it will be AT LEAST a Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron (at 10 spells), and most likely even more. And, as we all know, this kind of effect is very likely to be a board clear, possibly with some extra value / board presence. And finally, Devouring Hunger (destroys all minions, Yogg gains their stats). Not only it’s a full board clear, but you also end up with a big minion – most likely something along the lines of 20/20 even against a few smaller minions. Not only you cleared everything, but you ended up with a huge threat yourself. And – to be fair – even Rod of Roasting is not the worst thing ever when you’re about to lose the game. E.g. if you’re at 12 health and your opponent is at 25, then it’s a 40% chance to win the game and 60% chance to lose the game. Heck, even a 5 vs 30 health split is 25% chance to win vs 75% chance to lose. If you’re about to lose the game, you’d gladly take that.
But what decks might want to run it? Well, the most likely candidate is Mage – Tempo / Small Spell Mage in particular. The deck is known for casting a lot of spells, and I mean A LOT. You could easily get to 20+ spells by turn 10, and then Yogg can be used as a big finisher / comeback mechanic. Priest is another class, which plays a lot of spells right now. Control Priest generates a lot of 1 mana spells (Wandmaker, Cobalt Spellkin), Sethekk Veilweaver often chains for 3+ spells (and if it stays alive you get even more), Renew generates more spells, Raise Dead often brings back the minions that generate spells… That’s a lot. Another potential candidate would be Druid – current slower Druid builds mostly play spells, and a lot of them. E.g. Exotic Mountseller version has a lot of cheap spells to activate those. I could see Yogg being a finisher. And then… any other deck which plays a lot of spells, to be honest. We don’t know how the meta will look like yet, but it shouldn’t be that hard to find a deck which can fit Yogg.
Theoretically you could build a DH deck with lots of spells including Blur, which you play right before Yogg. Then you have a 5% chance to win the game on the spot (Rod of Roasting). But that’s obviously a meme strategy, since you roll it only once every 20 tries on average.
I think that the card is playable. Even more than playable – I think it’s GREAT. I’m not sure what to think about it – when I first saw it, I thought that it’s going to be a meme. But the more I analyze it, the stronger it seems. Many players have underestimated the old Yogg, and then it turned out to be a really strong card. I think that, once again, competitive play will be the biggest problem. Variance is much lower on the ladder when you’re playing dozens or hundreds of matches. But in tournament, when every single game matters a lot, having such crazy RNG swings is not very healthy. I wonder – how many World Championship games will be decided by Rod of Roasting RNG?
Card Rating: 9/10
Y’Shaarj, the Defiler
I’ll be honest – I can’t give the card a proper rating yet, because by itself it’s completely pointless. It entirely depends on the strength of Corrupt cards. I imagine that since it’s the expansion’s new keyword and one of the main themes, we’ll get quite a lot of them. For example, in Scholomance Academy we’ve got 20 Spellburst cards and I think that we can assume that we’ll see similar number. Maybe 15, maybe 25, doesn’t really matter that much. The fact is, though, that we’ve only seen 3. And – in all fairness – 2 of them would already work quite well with Y’Shaarj, but they obviously wouldn’t be enough to run this card.
Here’s the thing. If you play a deck with enough good Corrupt cards, you will most likely want to add Y’Shaarj. Well, the only exception would be Aggro, but I honestly don’t think that Corrupt will be a very Aggro-friendly mechanic, since you can’t play those on the curve. Then Y’Shaarj gives you a massive tempo swing. Just looking at the two cards I’ve mentioned – Dunk Tank and Fleethoof Pearltusk. This kind of Y’Shaarj turn would already be good enough. 10/10 + 8/8 with Rush + 4 damage + 2 AoE damage.
What’s important is that it doesn’t have to be used as tempo tool only – you don’t need to play the card immediately. Yes, it will no longer cost (0) next turn, but if you get a card that is useless at the time (I don’t know, value generator when your hand is full, or AoE clear when your opponent has no board) you can just keep it and use it in the future. Which means that if you have some key Corrupt cards, you can play Y’Shaarj just to get them again – not necessarily play them again right away.
So, if Corrupt cards turn out to be good enough, and a deck will run enough of them (you realistically need like 4-5 strong Corrupt cards to consider it) – it will probably run Y’Shaarj too. If that doesn’t happen, then not really. I know that this review is not helpful, but this card just can’t be reviewed on its own.
Card Rating: ?/10