Scholomance Academy was announced recently and we’re in the middle of the reveal season now. It’s the second expansion of Year of the Phoenix. It brings back the multi-class cards idea from Gadgetzan, but builds upon it and makes the design much more interesting. The new dual class cards will come in 10 different combinations (40 cards in total) and share unique mechanics between each pairing. On top of that, we’re getting a new mechanic – Spellburst – which activates after you cast a spell, but only once (which means that any subsequent spell won’t trigger the effect again).
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, 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. 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!
Check out our other reviews:
- Scholomance Academy Card Review #1 – Devolving Missiles, Lightning Bloom, Rattlegore, Shan’do Wildwalker, Troublemaker and more!
- Scholomance Academy Card Review #2 – Headmaster Kel’Thuzad, Combustion, Infiltrator Lilian, Brittlebone Destroyer, Disciplinarian Gandling and more!
- Scholomance Academy Card Review #3 – Flesh Giant, Ace Hunter Kreen, Mozaki, Master Duelist, Totem Goliath, Glide, Felosophy and more!
- Scholomance Academy Card Review #4 – Archwitch Willow, Doctor Krastinov, Star Student Stelina, Lorekeeper Polkelt, Sphere of Sapience, Vectus and more!
- Scholomance Academy Card Review #5 – Ras Frostwhisper, Groundskeeper, Turalyon, Adorable Infestation, Secret Passage, Jandice Barov, Keymaster Alabaster and more!
- Scholomance Academy Card Review #7 – Ancient Void Hound, Trueaim Crescent, Wyrm Weaver, Demon Companion, Double Jump, Voracious Reader and more!
- Scholomance Academy Card Review #8 – Bloated Python, Teacher’s Pet, Overwhelm, Reaper’s Scythe, Coerce, Wolpertinger, Tour Guide, Raise Dead and more!
- Scholomance Academy Card Review #9 – Robes of Protection, Mindrender Illucia, Twilight Runner, Commencement, Blessing of Authority, Cutting Class and more!
Let’s start this review with explaining what a Soul Fragment is. It’s a “Casts When Drawn” spell you shuffle into your deck. When you draw it, it heals you for 2. Yep, that’s already a decent effect in Warlock. Not so much in faster Demon Hunter decks, but luckily there’s another use. On top of cards that shuffle it, you also have cards that “spend” the Fragments you’ve shuffled. When you do that, one of them is removed from your deck and you get an extra, usually quite strong, effect.
But let’s start with reviewing Spirit Jailer. It’s quite simple, actually. The card is just strong. 1 mana 1/3 Demon is already good. Add an extra upside – shuffling two Soul Fragments into your deck – and it’s great. Now add extra synergies to the same deck and it’s just insane.
Spirit Jailer feels like a card that will get played even in decks that don’t run Soul Fragment synergies. Particularly in Warlock, where healing is really important + Soul Fragments might activate other cards like Flesh Giant or progress towards Supreme Archaeology Quest (although then after you finish the Quest, drawing one with Hero Power sucks, so I’m not sure if the trade-off is worth it).
And when talking about Soul Fragment decks, it’s obviously an auto include. A great way to shuffle them early into your deck and then start benefiting from them quickly. It’s just a great card. Will 100% see a lot of play.
Card Rating: 9/10
Just like Spirit Jailer, another dual class card with Soul Fragment mechanic. But unlike Jailer, which fits into all kinds of archetypes, this feels more like a Control card. Dealing 3 damage for 2 mana to a minion is… not great, but okay, especially in Warlock, a class that doesn’t have many better options. Normally the effect costs 1 mana (Holy Smite), but like I’ve said, Warlock is a bit different.
I think that this card will fit best into Control decks, especially those who run extra Soul Fragment synergies. But even without them, I feel like Warlock might want to play it just because it’s an okay early game removal that has potential to heal them up later down the road.
Aggro decks prefer more proactive options, however if you run a Soul Fragment deck, you probably want to add as many Soul Fragment-related cards as you can, and this will definitely be one of them.
Overall, not as good as Spirit Jailer, but still solid. It’s like 5/10 in decks without Soul Fragment synergies, but quite better in a deck running those synergies.
Card Rating: 7/10
4 mana 4/2 weapon is a baseline, and this one comes with an upside. The upside is pretty small in a deck that doesn’t run Soul Fragment synergies, but it’s still there. Overall the card is similar to Paladin’s Truesilver Champion, but the healing is delayed. It’s not like Demon Hunter particularly needs healing, though, so it’s not a big deal. At the same time, Demon Hunter is much more about attacking than Paladin is.
Marrowslicer curves quite well into your 5-drops like Glaivebound Adept or the new Soulshard Lapidary. This kind of curve is insanely powerful. Over two turns you can deal 12-13 damage and put a 6/4 or 5/5 body on the board. Slow decks will absolutely hate it.
The question is – do you replace another weapon to play it? Because between Umberwing, this and Warglaives of Azzinoth, I think that’s too many weapons. I feel like Soul Fragment decks might want to give up on Warglaives, because they will have additional late game power in a form of aforementioned Lapidary + possibly Soulciologist Malicia.
The card is solid in non-Soul Fragment decks and a must-have in Soul Fragment decks. Great one.
Card Rating: 8/10
This is one of the Soul Fragment cards which just don’t fit into a faster deck. While you can try to run Soul Shear in Zoo Warlock, and you probably will if you build it the way I think people might want to build it, School of Spirits just doesn’t fit there. Since it damages the entire board, including your own, it will only be good when you’re behind. But as a Zoo Warlock, you do everything to NOT fall behind, so you’d rather run cards that help you win the tempo war and not maybe make a comeback.
On the other hand, this is a great card in slower decks. 2 AoE damage for 3 mana is something that has seen play over the years. Reno Warlock used to run Demonwrath back in the day. Then Mage played Volcanic Potion. Now Priests run Breath of the Infinite. While it depends on the exact meta, 2 damage AoEs for 3 are at least solid. And this also comes with an upside – shuffling Soul Fragments into your deck.
Slower Warlock decks with Soul Fragment synergies will 100% run it, it’s a solid card and it does exactly what you want it to do. Slower Warlock decks without Soul Fragment synergies… well, here it’s probably a meta call. If the meta will demand a 2 damage AoE, it will be played. If most of the early game minions will be in 3-4 health range, then it probably won’t be effective enough.
However, the question is – will Soul Fragment synergies be better in fast or slow deck? At this point I think that it’s hard to answer. We might even see both of those being viable in the meta.
Card Rating: 7/10
5 mana 7/8 Taunt without any downside. Well, okay, the downside is that when you Silence it you end up with a 4/5, because +3/+3 stats are a buff. But a very powerful pay-off card and a great reason to play Soul Fragments, no matter if you’re talking about slower or faster decks. It’s an Earth Elemental, but without 3 mana Overload (which makes the card very weak, because if you drop it on curve, then you have only 3 mana on T6).
For slower decks, a 7/8 Taunt is obviously amazing because, well, it has a Taunt. It will stop more aggressive decks in their tracks, and since you can drop it relatively early while it has very high health, it will be hard to pass through. And in slower matchups, it will be used as a big threat. Overall the card is kind of similar in its use to Abyssal Summoner, but it’s 1 mana cheaper and is guaranteed to be a big body, unlike Summoner, which can be tricky against Aggro (because if you tap too much you might be dead before you can even play it).
And in faster decks, the Taunt part is not very important, but it’s just a big threat. 5 mana 7/8 with no downside is amazing and a great reason to put Soul Fragment generators into your deck.
Of course, it’s useless outside Soul Fragment decks. But probably an auto-include in them.
Card Rating: 8/10
Uhhh.. Yeah. Another great pay-off card. Remember Medivh's Valet? The effect was harder to activate, and while it was on a 2 mana minion and not a 3 mana minion, both are well-stated. And Medivh’s Valet still sees play in Wild because dealing 3 damage in the early game on a body is just so, sooo good.
3/4 stats are basically the best you can get for 3 mana, and 3 damage on Battlecry means that you can clear most of the early game minions in one shot. That’s a huge tempo gain. Yes, in order to play it on curve you need to have Soul Fragments in your deck already… but with 2x Jailer and 2x Shear in your deck, it’s not that unlikely. In the worst case scenario, you might just drop it as a 3 mana 3/4 and while not great, it’s good to have that option. And even if you can’t or don’t want to play it on curve, the card is still very strong in the mid game. You can clear some minion, help with a trade or just deal 3 face damage – that part is also important.
If you run Soul Fragment synergies, you run this card, no matter what kind of Warlock deck you play. Period.
Card Rating: 9/10
It’s the new Glaivebound Adept. It’s hard to say which one is better, honestly. 5/5 vs 6/4 – Lapidary probably wins, but not by much. 4 damage vs 5 damage – Lapidary wins again. But unlike Adept, it can’t bypass Taunts, which is a pretty big deal. On the other hand, Lapidary can combo with weapons like Warglaives of Azzinoth – e.g. to clear a big minion and swing face in the same turn. You need to attack to activate Adept, while you need to have Soul Fragments in deck to activate Lapidary. Overall the cards are similar, Lapidary is probably even better… but Glaivebound Adept is still one of the strongest Demon Hunter cards, so this comparison just shows how amazing the new card is.
Now, the question is – will a Soul Fragment variant of DH be better than one without them? Right now, I think that Soul Fragments would make a way into Tempo / Aggro DH builds. But ultimately it really depends on the other cards the class gets. However, if Soul Fragments will be played, so will be this card. It seems pretty strong to say the least.
Card Rating: 8/10
And now this is the card that I find hardest to rate out of Soul Fragment related. You see, this is a great card and I mean it. It’s basically a 3 mana Duskbreaker, one of the best removal cards in the history of Priest class (and that tells a lot, because Priest had many amazing removal). And besides no Dragon tag, this is even better!
But the “problem” is that it’s a Control card. You most likely don’t want to run it in a Tempo or Aggro Demon Hunter. You would be ruining your board too often, and the card would stay dead in your hand. The only way this would see play in a faster deck would be an incredibly tempo-oriented meta, with almost no slower decks. The meta in which you would play against other Tempo decks all the time and board swing like that would come handy if you start losing it.
In all other cases, you play it in a Control Demon Hunter. But the question is – is a Control Demon Hunter good enough? It was already showing some promise this expansion, and maybe the whole Soul Fragment archetype will push it into general viability. While I think that Demon Hunter has some really cute control tools, I feel like it lacks in regards of game finishers. Yes, there’s Magtheridon (and notably, Mystic is a good late game activator for it). And yes, there’s the constant burn damage from cards like Warglaives of Azzinoth or Metamorphosis, but let’s be honest, with how many times the class has been nerfed, those aren’t as strong as they used to be.
Overall, Shardshatter Mystic is 10/10 in the right deck, and I mean it. It’s quite easy to shuffle Soul Fragments with 6 different cards that do it (and a Control Demon Hunter would want to play all of them). But right now, I’m not sure whether this deck is good enough. That’s why I can’t rate it as highly as of yet. That said, it has a potential to be a gamechanger for Control Demon Hunter.
Card Rating: 10/10 in Control Demon Hunter… but I think that the deck still needs more to be viable, so 7/10 for now.
Unlike all the other pay-off cards, Malicia does not destroy your Soul Fragments. It just benefits from them – the more you have in your deck, the better. And honestly, since it costs 7 mana, by that time you should have a bunch in your deck. Yes, you will draw some in the meantime, and you will spend some on your other pay-off cards, but since you shuffle 2 per card, and by T7 you probably draw a few of the shuffle cards, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Now, the question is – how many 3/3’s you need to summon for it to be worth it? I’d say that 2 is the minimum – at 2 you can clear 2 smaller minions or one bigger minion and still have a 5/5 on the board. But more realistically, you would love at least 3-4 for the card to be great. With 3-4, you can easily swing the board while leaving some presence on your side.
While 3/3’s are not as good as 4/4’s, this still sort of compares to Zixor Prime and anyone who played the card knows how strong it is. You can often clear the board and still have some presence afterwards. Here, you get less “Rush” stats, but also a 5/5 on top of them.
If you run a full Soul Fragment deck, you most likely run this. I don’t see much of a downside. No matter whether you play a slow or fast deck, you treat it as a removal / tempo tool in fast matchups (you clear the board + have some left-over) and as a threat in slow matchups (you can just drop it on the empty board and force them to AoE it or take A LOT of damage). Overall a solid pay-off card. Honestly I can’t wait to play around with Soul Fragment decks.
Card Rating: 8/10
Uhhh… This is just great? Like, Vulpera Scoundrel is a really solid card. This is Vulpera with better stats and an extra effect. Similarly, in general it’s better than Marshspawn since you can play it more easily + you can chain it in the late game.
Not including 0 mana spells was probably to fight against the “infinite” lucky chains, especially ones with Lightning Bloom. The card could really mess things up and lead to 10+ card discovers if you get lucky (yep, you would skip your next turn… but honestly, so what if you did SO MUCH previous turn).
In the late game, even without much of a luck, you can easily play 2-3 spells from it and then get another one for next turn. But the best thing is that you don’t have to. If you Discover a good, expensive spell you can just pick it and keep it. You will be happy with a 3 mana 3/3 that gives you Earthquake against some Midrange deck, for example.
It’s not a win condition by itself, but seems like a no-brainer auto-include in most Shaman decks. Faster decks can use it to get some burn (and can possibly chain 2-3 burn cards if they get lucky enough), while slower decks will love it for its flexibility (you will just pick the best card for the matchup). All in all, it’s a really good card.
Card Rating: 8/10
Interesting card. Giving your spells Poisonous means that any damage spell kills a minion immediately (assuming it can damage it – so it won’t kill Divine Shield minions, for example). The effect is really strong, the card also has premium 3/4 stats for 3 mana. And yet right now I don’t think that it would see that much play. Why is that?
First of all – available damage spells. It’s insane with Rapid Fire, great with Arcane Shot and… that’s it? Hunter also has Corrosive Breath, but you want to run Dragons with it. Kill Command combo is okay-ish, but 5 damage is already enough to clear lots of minions + it’s pretty expensive at 3 mana to combo with Slate (and it’s not like 3 mana to remove high minion is some insane tempo gain). Then there are cards like Explosive Trap (it works, but your opponent will clear Slate before triggering Secret) or Multi-Shot (but it’s random and a bad card if you don’t combo it with Slate exactly when your opponent has two bigger minions on the board). Also, Slate does NOT work with cards that deal no damage, such as Unleash the Hounds (I thought it was obvious, but I’ve got a lot of questions like that).
Another problem is – what deck do you actually put it into? Slow Hunter decks that would like a card like that don’t really work for a couple of reasons. Highlander Hunter might want to play it, but you would only be able to put a single Rapid Fire into your deck, reducing your chance for that combo quite significantly. Funnily enough, I think that Face Hunter is the most likely deck to play it, since some builds already runs Rapid Fire & Arcane Shot and it could be used to clear off Taunts or some other big minions.
If we would get another good spell that combos with it well, and find the right deck (maybe some spell-heavy Hunter build?), then I think it can be a strong card. But right now I don’t think that it is be very good.
Card Rating: 8/10 potential, but with the cards we know it’s like 4/10 in practice.
I really like it. It’s a 2 mana minion that matches the best stats on the board. And what’s important that it matches both highest Attack and highest Health. So if you face a 1/7 and 7/1 minions, it will be a 7/7. And… the card is great. It gives you A LOT of tempo on basically any mid/late game board. Dropping this before a board clear, or before Subdue-ing your opponent’s biggest minion (or killing it with Turalyon, the Tenured assuming it will be played) is amazing, because you put a big, but cheap threat. Similarly, something that some people are missing, it also copies stats of your own minions, so dropping it right after buffing your own minion (e.g. with Hand of A'dal or 2x Libram of Wisdom) should also have some great results.
The only downside is that you can’t really drop it on the empty board. If you’re going first, it will suck on T2 (because you will usually copy 1-drop’s stats). Even going second it will be meh, if your opponent has played a 2-drop it will only copy stats, so it might be a vanilla 3/2 or 2/3 for example. But it’s a card that you shouldn’t really treat as a 2-drop – it gets better and better later into the game. Even getting something like a 5/5 out for 2 mana is already good, and it’s not really hard to follow up a buff or drop into your opponent’s big stuff. Or maybe something in between? E.g. if you have a high Health minion and your opponent has a high Attack minion, you will get a really big body.
All of that for 2 mana. That’s why I believe that the card is nearly guaranteed to see play. Dropping it will be tricky at times, but it’s going to win you lots of games.
Card Rating: 9/10
It’s a really cool design, but I have one question – why? I honestly don’t see a reason why would you want to shuffle some spells into your deck. The fact that you play something doesn’t necessarily mean that you want more copies of it. And then you also get the spells your opponent plays, which you can’t control. They might play something that are bad or even useless in your deck.
So you play 2 spells, your opponent plays 2 spells and this card dies. You now have 4 more spells in your deck. Okay? You just played a 3 mana 3/4 with no immediate effect. Even more – you often dilute your deck with stuff you don’t necessarily want to draw. For example, let’s say that you have this on the board against Aggro and you’re forced to draw cards with Arcane Intellect (just an example). Sure, it’s a sweet card, but you don’t want to have another copy against Aggro, you don’t want to spend your mana drawing, you want to get your removals, for example. Or against slower decks, you don’t really want to have another copy of that removal, you want to get to your threats. Yes, sometimes the spells will line up with exactly what you want in a given matchup, but that’s not a given – very often either you or your opponent will play stuff that you don’t want to have more copies of.
I just don’t see any real, non-meme applications. I give it 3/10 just because of the good stats and the effect that MIGHT be an upside in certain scenarios, but I don’t see the hype. Honestly, unless you have some fatigue gameplan that wants to get extra cards to not get there before opponent, I have no idea what deck would want to play it. If anyone has a good idea, let me know.
P.S. Oh wait, maybe Rogue will run it with Secret Passage, just because the card is so broken that getting more copies of it will be worth some random garbage your opponent puts into your deck. I still don’t think so, though.
Card Rating: 3/10
I like Speaker Gidra. She’s like a Siamat, but less flexible, but more flexible. Wait, what? Okay, so she’s less flexible, because you can’t pick Taunt or Divine Shield options – it’s always Rush + Windfury (which is not a bad combo in Siamat, although Rush + DS is usually better). On the other hand, it’s more flexible, because you can adjust the cost to your needs etc. Siamat is 7, end of story. This can be a 5 mana 3/6 with Rush + Windfury. Or 7 mana 5/8 (which is a better stat-line than Siamat, notably). Or a 10 mana 8/11. That’s what I like about it – the card is good throughout the mid and late game. Heck, sometimes just dropping it on 3 to clear a 2/1 and 1/1 is not that bad.
In Shaman, if you have some board on T4, it’s a great play with Storm's Wrath. It becomes 3/6 Rush + Windfury, so you can probably clear whatever your opponent has on the board, while you smack face with the rest of your board. And it has great synergy with Bloodlust assuming it sticks to the board – Windfury really makes it scary. That said, I feel like Totem Shaman doesn’t play enough 4+ mana spells to make it worth it. I think that a slower deck might use it better, BUT the problem is that some of the most expensive spells in slow Shaman deck are Hagatha's Scheme and Earthquake, both of which damage your board too.
In Druid, it seems more flexible. You can play it in a fast / Token deck with Power of the Wild, Rising Winds, Savage Roar, Blessing of the Ancients… Even the new Adorable Infestation is interesting combo. In a slower deck you could add Swipe, Starfall, Nourish, Hidden Oasis… but the combo I like most is the one with Overflow in the late game. For 10 mana and two cards you put an 8/11 with Rush + Windfury on the board, while you refill your hand and heal for 5. The combo is awfully close to Ultimate Infestation, although it requires two cards, so I guess that makes it more balanced already. Oh, and it would be sick with Germination (7 mana for 2x 5/8 with Rush + Windfury, one of which has Taunt). But I don’t believe that you put Germination into your deck just for it.
The card seems really solid, even more so in Druid than in Shaman (because Druid has access to a better variety of spells), but I’m afraid that there might be no good deck to put it into. Right now I’m thinking Token Druid (non-spell variant), Token Shaman, Galakrond Shaman or Midrange/Ramp Druid. It has its upsides in each of those decks, although none of them are particularly powerful right now, so it all depends on how things will look after the expansion launches. That’s why I’m not giving it a better rating yet – I would probably give it an 8/10 if it already fit into a decent archetype.
Card Rating: 7/10
Potion of Illusion
Interesting card, but seems purely like a combo activator. The card is a combination of Echo of Medivh and Shadowcaster / Sonya Shadowdancer. Pretty cool flavor-wise, but also feels quite weak unless you run it in a very specific purpose.
People have already discovered Exodia combo in Standard. You play a Quest, drop Licensed Adventurer to get the Coin. Then you play 2x Sorcerer's Apprentice and 2x Potion of Illusion. Then you drop Antonidas, Coin, 4x Sorcerer’s Apprentice (each costs 1 now) and have fun with free Fireballs. I feel like this combo could actually be viable in a very slow meta, but the truth is that it’s quite a lot of setup. You need to draw Adventurer, two copies of Sorcerer’s Apprentice, two copies of Potion of Illusion and Antonidas. Any piece stuck on the bottom of your deck means that you have to cycle through the whole thing. And honestly, Mage doesn’t seem to have enough cycle or stall in the current Standard meta. You also need to play a pretty useless Quest, unless instead of the Legendary Quest you add one of the Sidequests… but that’s another card you need to draw before you pull off the combo. So it’s fun, but probably not that strong, it will just die to proactive decks most of the time.
Another combo ideas would be Mozaki, Master Duelist in Mage (you play her, Potion of Illusion and now you have a 1 mana version of Mozaki – now you can do some crazy high Spell Damage combos). Or maybe some Mogu Cultist combos in Rogue? But running slow Rogue deck feels like a chore, the class is pretty bad at stalling the game or surviving for extended periods of time.
I feel like this is one of those cards that will be bad until it suddenly breaks the game. I don’t really see much in-between. It doesn’t seem like something you use in “normal” decks, it’s slow and win-more to just try to copy e.g. some Battlecry minions. And in Combo decks, you need to find the exact right Combo that will be fast & flexible enough to win games against Control without losing hard to Aggro.
Card Rating: 2/10 now, but it has potential to break the game, so yeah.
I love this card, honestly. It’s such a cool design that combines two mechanics very well. At the base level, it’s a 1 mana Freeze. Not good, but you might need it sometimes. But if you Combo it, it now serves as a small minion removal. Or you can use it for both – e.g. Freeze a big minion and damage it at the same time, so if you need to remove it next turn, it will be easier. That’s simple, but also a really nice design.
And while I like the design, the card itself is… mediocre. Neither part is really good. Freezing a minion for 1 mana is bad, it’s one part of Ray of Frost. Dealing 3 damage to a minion is really good for 1 mana, but the fact that you need to combo it will make it much harder to use in the early game. E.g. Turn 2-3 when you want to remove some small minion you might have nothing to combo it with, but that’s the time when small removal are most useful. If you Combo it out, it’s 1 mana Frostbolt that can only target minions. But that’s the problem – the need to combo it out. In the late game it doesn’t matter, but it does early.
At the same time, I don’t think that it’s completely useless. It might make a cut in something like Cyclone Mage – the deck loves cheap spells and if you play it with Sorcerer's Apprentice it costs 0 and has the Combo active at the same time. I don’t think that Highlander will want it, I feel like Frostbolt is better pick (yes, it costs 1 more mana, but you don’t need combo and it can go face) and even Frostbolt was cut from most of the builds. In Rogue… Maybe if we get some slower, more Control-oriented build or something, but I don’t think that the faster versions will be able to fit it in. So, like I’ve mentioned previously, seems quite mediocre.
Card Rating: 5/10
High Abbess Alura
It’s an interesting build-around card. If you don’t curate your deck to fit it in, it’s just terrible. I mean, let’s take Galakrond Priest as an example. The Spellburst effect might be pulling out Shadow Word: Pain from the deck and casting it on this minion. Amazing, right? Or let’s say some Paladin deck with Subdue. Great, you now have a 4 mana 1/1. As you can see, all of the cards like that need to go. What you want to have instead is either buffs (since it will be the target 100% of time) or cards that don’t target anything and are just good casts – card draw, spells that summon things etc.
But let’s focus on buffs, since that seems to be the most obvious way to use it. The thing is – High Abbess Alura is not a card you want to build your whole deck around it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good when you pull out a big buff, but it’s only one card, having a bad buff deck just for her is not worth it. However, that might not be a problem. I feel like Pure / Libram Paladin will want to run it. In the current build, you can cast Libram of Wisdom, Hand of A'dal, Consecration, Libram of Justice or Libram of Hope. The worst case scenario is throwing a Consecration or Libram of Justice at the empty board, but it’s not really a big deal. The best case is summoning an 8/8 with Taunt and Divine Shield, possibly as early as Turn 4 if you trigger it with e.g. First Day of School (but at the same time, it will also be in the pool, so it will lower the power level by a little bit).
Same goes for Tempo Priest. Current builds don’t really run removals – they run buffs (e.g. Power Word: Shield, Power Infusion or Psyche Split) and Dark Prophecy. Again, getting any of those would be good. And in case of Priest, it could be triggered with PW:S for 0 mana. For example, Psyche Split means that you now have 2x 4/7 minion on Turn 4. Infusion means that you have one 5/12 minion, which also isn’t bad.
It’s absolutely not a card you will build your whole deck around it, but for decks that can run her, maybe with only small adjustments, she seems good. Pure Paladin already shows its strength in the current meta, and it gets quite a few solid tools this set. Similarly, Tempo Priest might also finally be viable, but I think that it’s too early to tell. Overall, if those decks take off, I suspect that it’s not the last time we’ve heard about Alura. If not – too bad.
Card Rating: 6/10 (it’s a bit too restrictive, but can be great if you find the right deck)
Forest Warden Omu
Okay, mana cheating in Druid. We have never seen that before! But seriously, this is kind of similar to Kun the Forgotten King. Yes, Kun was bigger, yes, Kun had Armor option, but it was usually used for some mana cheats. This is a 6 mana version, but you need to play another spell to activate it. And still, I’m pretty sure that someone breaks it.
There’s already one combo people are thinking about. You play Omu + Germination. Celestalon has confirmed on Twitter that the second Omu’s Spellburst wouldn’t trigger (even though I was nearly sure that it would). So you will have a loaded Omu on the board and 10 mana to work with. Now you drop Malygos, play Moonfire on your opponent. Now Omu triggers and you have 10 mana to work with again, with Malygos already on the board. You can play 2x Swipe + Moonfire for example (for 30 damage in total). Or you can play 2nd Germination + Swipe + Moonfire for 31 damage in total. Either way, Malygos might be back on the menu. And I honestly wouldn’t mind that. The combo doesn’t seem degenerate – you still need to have 10 mana, you still need a lot of Combo pieces, so you basically need to draw through your entire deck. And the combo pieces like Omu or Germination aren’t really flexible.
But even if we ignore that combo… at the very least, if you follow it up with a spell, it’s a free 5/4 minion, that’s already not bad. And if it’s Turn 10, and you e.g. play Omu + Swipe, then you have 10 mana again, then it’s a free 5/4 that also gave you 4 mana. Not bad at all. While it most likely won’t be played in Spell Druid (easy to trigger, but can get discarded with Fungal Fortunes), this seems solid in Midrange / Ramp. And people will definitely attempt to build Malygos deck, possibly some other combos that require a lot of mana on a single turn. Will it break the game? For now, I don’t think so. But Blizzard will need to be really careful with this in Standard.
Card Rating: 9/10
Huuuuh… This just seems very, very strong. Equality costs 4, so 1 mana more, and doesn’t come with a 3/2 body that will also clear the whole board on death. So at the very, very least this is just a 3 mana Equality with a body attached. That alone means that it will see play, because hell, why wouldn’t it when Equality still does in slower Paladin builds? The only downside is that you can’t combo it with Wild Pyromancer – you need to either kill it off (e.g. with Hammer of Wrath) or play Consecration. But even then, it’s still good.
And funnily enough, this seems even better in Warrior. That’s because Warriors don’t need to kill it off at all, or play an expensive AoE. They just play Whirlwind, or any Whirlwind-like effect. And the entire board is dead, for 4 mana, just like the good old Wild Pyro + Equlity combo, which was really good. Or even better, because here you have a 3/1 minion leftover with 1 AoE damage on Deathrattle. How sick is that?
Any slower Warrior or Paladin deck will like this card. As for the faster… I thought about it, but ultimately I don’t think that’s a good idea. For example, if your opponent drops a Taunt and you play Aggro, you can drop this and run a small token into the Taunt. But then, your entire board will be 1 health, so your opponent only has to remove Barov and everything dies. Not that great. But the card itself is – prepare to see it a lot.
Card Rating: 9/10