One of the main features of Hearthstone’s upcoming Scholomance Academy expansion will be dual-class cards: each dual-class card can be used by two classes and they combine some of those classes’ signature mechanics. In the initial announcement, it was revealed that dual-class cards will come for 10 class pairs – so each class will be paired with two others – and that there will be 40 of them: four for each class pair, including one Legendary card for each class pair.
All the class pairs were also revealed. Therefore, while the rest of the cards will be revealed in the coming weeks, we can already speculate on what they may bring to the table for each class pair, and let me tell you, some of those potential options are lit!
We already know the Druid/Hunter Legendary card: Shan'do Wildclaw. Shan’do combines the love for Beasts that both classes share with Druid’s Choose One signature mechanic and an Embiggen-like deck buff mechanic for Beasts.
That means that there will be another three Druid/Hunter cards that we have yet to see. What can they offer?
Druid’s signature mechanics are Choose One and mana ramping. They also have significant healing and armor gain abilities. Hunters, on the other hand, are known for their Beast synergies, aggression, Secrets, and Deathrattle effects.
Could we get a dual-class Secret? I think we will, but I think it’s going to happen for Rogue/Mage, a pair that already uses Secrets. Giving Druid access to a single dual-class Secret would not make it much of a Secret because the opponent would always know what it is.
I would expect at least one Beast minion for this class pair alongside a Deathrattle minion, or perhaps it will be a Beast with Deathrattle.
Given Hunter’s penchant for aggression, it would not seem out of place to get a direct damage spell either. That would be extremely interesting for Druid because of the potential of Malygos Druid that currently only uses Moonfire and Swipe for direct damage. The combo potential might be too much though, so Blizzard may be cautious about giving Druid another good direct damage spell.
We already sort of got to play Hunter/Demon Hunter in the Ashes of Outland storyline that saw Aranna Starseeker gradually transform from playing a Hunter/Rogue deck to playing a Demon Hunter deck. Well, it was mostly just Imprisoned Felmaw in the end, I suppose.
Secrets are unlikely to make an appearance in this class pair either, but Beasts and Deathrattles seem possible, and this pair is almost certainly going to be aggressive. The developers have spoken about their desire to open slower playstyles for Demon Hunter, but this is unlikely to be the class pair to significantly explore that. Perhaps some Deathrattle Demon could support a slightly slower style.
As for the Demon Hunter’s contribution, Outcast is almost certain to make an appearance. A fast Hunter deck, maybe a Face Hunter, with some interesting Outcast card? That could go places.
This pair also seems ideal for a weapon card. Demon Hunters love to attack and with Warglaives of Azzinoth just nerfed, there is room in the class for a new weapon.
Demon Hunters and Warlocks share a love for Demons, and this pair is an excellent place to further explore the Demon theme. It can help Demon Hunter find its way to a slower Big Demon archetype and also support Warlock’s Kanrethad Ebonlocke to find a more solid footing in the class.
I would love to see a new Demon Hero card in this class pair. Being taken over by demonic powers is just another Tuesday for both Demon Hunters and Warlocks, and a new demonic Hero could help both of them establish their slower archetypes better.
On the more aggressive side, imagine a Zoo Warlock with an Outcast card. Seems like a perfect fit.
Warlock/Priest is a curious pair. Both are spellcasters, but other than that, they could not be further apart. Warlock draws like crazy, damages itself, and has a plan in mind to win the game. Priest cannot draw cards at all and relies on removal, healing, stealing, and copying to win games. Where is the common ground?
Priest has a lot to gain in this pair: any card draw or actual win conditions the class could get hold of could make a huge difference. Warlock, on the other hand, could gain some healing to support its slower archetypes. This one is difficult to predict, but also one of the most interesting pairs, because of the potential to really make a difference and open new avenues for both classes.
Surely, it cannot be Zoo Priest? Tempo Priest was attempted during Ashes of Outland with below-average success, but I had functional budget Zoo Priest decks before the last Standard rotation. The concept may not be quite as far-fetched as it would seem. Note that Frazzled Freshman was already revealed, and that would be an interesting one-drop for a Zoo Priest.
When the immovable object meets another immovable object, does something happen? Apart from some Murlocs, neither Priest nor Paladin is known for its ability to close out games. This pair has the potential to be really, really boring, but surely the developers are aware of that and pull off some nice surprises.
I expect at least one buff card because that is what both classes do on a regular basis. I just hope it’s not boring.
However, what I really want to see is a Priest/Paladin hybrid Murloc that goes into Murloc Paladin and together with Warlock/Priest cards into Zoo Priest. Please Blizzard, make it so.
Buffs, healing, and Divine Shields meet armor, self-damaging your own minions, and control. There has got to be a board clear spell somewhere in this mix and this is also one of the most likely pairs to get a weapon given how both classes use weapons a lot. I look forward to the rise of our new Quest Warrior overlords!
Perhaps Paladin can also get access to some major threats. Smiting their foes with the Light and some brawn borrowed from Warriors could give Paladin interesting new win conditions.
The big beefy Warrior meets the fast and agile Rogue.
This is another pair that could have a weapon, but the way Warriors and Rogues use weapons are different. Perhaps it would make more sense to give this pair a weapon buff that can be used in different ways by both classes.
Rogue’s Combo mechanic is also almost certain to make an appearance, but what Warrior mechanic will it be combined with? Rush would be a bit boring, and self-damage would not benefit Rogues. Armor, maybe? The rise of Control Rogue? That is probably still a daydream.
We have already seen the first Rogue/Mage card: Wand Thief. This minion combines Rogue’s Combo mechanic with Mage’s frequent ability to generate additional spells, this time in the form of Discover. The card seems to give more for Rogue than it does for Mage: Rogue wants to combo things anyway, and access to some Mage spells can provide the class with new ways to deal damage or survive. For a Mage to make effective use of Wand Thief, it would have to be of a small-spell variety, which is not very popular right now. Perhaps this is a sign that the new expansion will provide more support for faster Mage decks.
If there is a class pair that gets a dual-class Secret, Rogue/Mage has got to be it. Both classes already have Secrets, so it will not make either class predictable, and a new Secret could help faster Mage archetypes succeed again.
I could see this class pair get a direct damage spell as well to promote more aggressive variants of both classes over the slower builds that are currently dominant.
Shaman brings the downsides so that the other class’s good stuff can be used without regrets, that’s the way it goes, right? Overload is likely to be featured in a card that is otherwise really strong, and for Mage/Shaman I would also expect some heavy Evolve stuff.
We already got a Devolve card for this class pair: Devolving Missiles. Devolve combined with random targets seems spot-on for this pair, the future king of random things. What we still need is some random Evolve card and some random card with Overload.
I have a bad feeling about this pair. Or a good feeling, if you like clowns and fiesta, and well, separately they sound like a lot of fun. Put them together, however…
The first Shaman/Druid card was already revealed: Lightning Bloom.
This is going to be combo time. Are you ready for Malygos Shaman? I hope you are because I see lightning in your future.
Shaman is the one with the most to gain from pairing up with Mage and Druid. Shaman brings the Overload, while Mage and Druid give Shaman some good stuff to actually build decks with. It’s a good time to be a Shaman main.
Conclusions: Breaking the Rules
There is a lot to look forward to with dual-class cards. Perhaps they will help Demon Hunter discover its inner control archetype. Maybe we can play Zoo Priest and be serious about it. Classes may never be the same again after this.
However, the one archetype that has the most to gain is combo. There have not been viable combo decks during Ashes of Outland, and dual-class cards can change that. Combining abilities from different classes is the surest way we have to create some potentially broken combos. Lightning Bloom may enable Malygos Shaman all by itself. Shan'do Wildclaw goes perfectly with Dinotamer Brann to make two copies of King Krush for ten mana. The possibilities are endless.
Of course, whether combo decks can survive long enough to do their thing is a different matter, but the return of an absent archetype to the game is one of the things I look forward to the most when it comes to dual-class cards.
What about you? What class combination are you excited about? What kinds of cards do you think they will get? Let me know in the comments!