If you’re anything like me, then reveal season is your favorite time of the year (alongside the first days of a new expansion). With nothing figured out, new cards coming every day, wild theories and early deck builds (which most likely won’t work) popping up everywhere, and that surprise when you look at some card and think to yourself – “what were they thinking when they’ve designed it?”
In this article, I’ll take a closer look at some of the recently revealed cards, reviewing them and rating from 1 to 10. The scale itself should be quite obvious, but just to quickly explain my point of view: A card rated 5 is average – it might be playable in some decks, but it’s nothing special (think something like Plated Beetle from Kobolds & Catacombs). 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 this card as something with a lot of 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.
Previous Card Reviews
- Part 1 – Initial Reveal: Phantom Militia, Pumpkin Peasant, Militia Commander, Genn Greymane, Azalina Soulthief, & Baku the Mooneater
- Part 2 – Black Cat, Gloom Stag, Murkspark Eel, & Glitter Moth
- Part 3 – Warpath, Face Collector
- Part 4 – Houndmaster Shaw, Glinda Crowskin, Hagatha the Witch, Lord Godfrey and More!
- Part 5 – Scaleworm, Vex Crow, Coffin Crasher, Darius Crowley, Emeriss, and More!
- Part 6 – Blackhowl Gunspire, Lady in White, Cursed Castaway, and More!
Remember that with only a part of the whole expansion revealed, it’s incredibly hard to review cards accurately, since we have no clue what else will be released, what synergies will be pushed or how rotation will shape the meta. 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 with 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!
Probably my favorite card from The Witchwood so far. It’s like a much better version of Shifter Zerus, which was actually a pretty fun card, although not that powerful. But why is it better?
The most important thing is when it comes to this card is gaining information. Every turn you see one random card from your opponent’s hand, meaning that you can gain a lot of intel about them. If it’s the early game, you can learn what deck they play (it might not always be obvious for the first few turns – e.g. whether you play vs Combo Dragon Priest or Control Dragon Priest, those can have exactly the same early game). Later, you can learn about the tech cards they’re holding, about whether or not they drew their combo piece, if they have an AoE clear in their hand etc. Just a basic example – this card turns into a Twisting Nether against Warlock. Simple – now you’re sure that they have one instead of just guessing and you play around it, or try to bait it with refill still in your hand.
However, that alone wouldn’t likely be worth a card slot. Good players already have solid reads on their opponents – depending on how long they’re holding each card, what plays they make, or even what cards they hover over (really!). But what if you could use that card as well? No problem, because you can.
The problem with cards like Zerus I’ve mentioned at the beginning or Molten Blade, or even Shifting Scroll, is that they’re pulling from a certain, fixed pool of cards. In this pool, there are great cards, but there are also bad cards. I’d even say that there are more bad ones than good ones. With Chameleos, you’re pulling cards from your opponent’s deck – and people only put good cards into their decks. Yes, there will be some synergy issues – like Deadly Poison against Rogue might be unplayable, or you won’t really be able to utilize Divine Favor against Paladin, but MOST of the cards will be at least playable, and sometimes even very powerful.
This will be especially powerful in Control matchups, where you will be able to gain a lot of intel about their hand and then play one of their big threats before they do. Copying high value cards is a great way to get ahead in such a matchup. It will be slightly less useful against Aggro, but not useless. Some Aggro deck minions are good – I mean, they’re running Taunts like Righteous Protector, Tar Creeper or Saronite Chain Gang sometimes. Their burn/weapons can also be used against them to control the board. Since you’re more likely to put this card in instead of a big threat, like Ysera (because it will eventually become a big threat in Control matchup anyway), you’d still much rather have this than Ysera in the early/mid game, and that’s what matters against Aggro.
The biggest issue, however, is that it shifts every turn no matter what. You can’t stop it. You can’t plan ahead for it. E.g. if you know that you have a Voidlord in your hand that you stole through other means, it is there and it won’t disappear. Now picking Bloodreaver Gul'dan as your next Discover option from Drakonid Operative might be great, because the Voidlord will get resummoned. If you get Voidlord from Chameleos and you can’t play it immediately, you can’t plan for it. It might be something completely different next turn, and your opponent might already drop that Voidlord. Another negative is this being a 1/1 on the turn you draw it, but that’s not THAT big of a deal.
So while I don’t think this card is AS strong as some people are selling it, it’s my favorite of the set so far. I hope that they come up with more cleverly designed Legendaries like this – with both upsides and downsides, ones that promote thinking and making correct decisions depending on the information you get. I like it!
Card rating: 7/10
This isn’t really too exciting. The whole stat switching thing is not great, because you can’t control it. It’s not like Druid of the Flame, where you can pick 2/5 or 5/2 WHENEVER you want.
The thing about 3-drops etc. is that you want to drop them on, well, that turn. If it’s your only 3 mana play, or your best 3 mana play, you’re going to drop it no matter whether it’s a 2/5 or 5/2 – it’s random, you have no control over it. Yes, in the late game, you can often just wait one turn, but it’s not always possible. You won’t float 3 mana just because you wanted this in another form, it’s not going to work.
Most of the time, this card only gives you an illusion of control, but realistically it often might as well be “the form is picked at random”.
I don’t really like this card in Hunter. Not only Hunter already has lots of good 3-drops (even those that are NOT rotating out), but those are not Beasts. Playing a Beast on Turn 3 is quite important, as it sets up a Houndmaster, which is a card that is basically in every minion-based Hunter deck.
I think it’s safe to say that a 5/2 with Stealth is better than a 2/5 with Stealth. The 2/5 doesn’t really need Stealth most of the time, while high attack minions with Stealth make sense – without Stealth they would die too easily. But is the 5/2 with Stealth really better than Jungle Panther? You lose one stat, but you gain the Beast tag, which is very important in Hunter. I’d honestly rather play the Jungle Panther most of the time.
I don’t like this card, because you can’t actively control which form you play it in. I’d rather put a 3-drop that is more consistent and I can build a part of my game plan around, rather than this.
Card rating: 2/10
This one is very interesting and INCREDIBLY hard to rate. On the one hand, if you can get the synergies going, it’s absolutely insane. On the other, it can be a completely dead card at times.
Giving every 1-drop you play Poisonous is a very strong effect, especially on cards with Divine Shield, Rush/Charge and other ways to deal damage. The best combo here is Elven Archer – it was confirmed that its Battlecry will work with this card. So, for 5 mana, you remove ANYTHING, then put a 2/4 and 1/1 with Poisonous on the board. That sounds a bit like Vilespine Slayer, but it’s even better, because the 2/4 has to be immediately dealt with, or you can remove something else next turn. Not only that – the 1/1 with Poisonous also has to be pinged / removed by some cheap spell or else it will just hit a bigger target and clear it immediately.
It also works very well with Stonetusk Boar, which becomes a 1 mana removal, although nothing stays behind on the board. Argent Squire is also solid – even though it has no immediate impact, a 1/1 with Poisonous and Divine Shield has quite a bit of value, especially when there is an even higher priority target to clear on the board. Fire Fly can work too, but you’d have to move the combo back by one turn, to give Poisonous to both 1/2’s.
As you can see, the combo is insane. However, the problem is, that those cards don’t work individually. I mean, Elven Archer is not a good 1-drop, it’s not a card you’d normally want to put into your deck. And this too – 4 mana 2/4 is unplayable if you don’t combo it right away. So you put a few cards that are very weak individually and work only if you combo them with each other. It also incentivizes you to hold onto your 1-drops in the early game, which often will be a bad decision – fighting for the early game board control is very important, since Hunter doesn’t have lots of comeback mechanics.
And what deck would you want to slot it into? Control doesn’t really want to play a bunch of 1-drops, while a faster deck definitely doesn’t want to play BAD 1-drops that work only when you combo it with another card that is bad by itself.
I feel like the only deck that might want to play this is Quest Hunter, which is full of 1-drops, including the 1 mana 3/2’s you get from finishing the Quest. Giving them Poisonous could be pretty powerful, and might be a way for the deck to assume the board dominance in the mid game, where they usually struggle a lot. It has nice synergy with Tol'vir Warden too, and Quest Hunter probably wants to play that one.
Outside of Quest Hunter? Looks like a fun card in theory, but I don’t believe it will work. It’s just too unreliable. You combo it with the best 1-drops like Archer, then it’s great. But in 70-80% of the matchups you’d either draw the 1-drops first and have to play sub-optimally or draw this without getting the right 1-drops and this will be a dead card. And I still don’t believe that Quest Hunter will be a thing, but maybe they want to add more support to the deck in the upcoming expansions.
Card rating: 3/10
This is my favorite card art in this expansion, it’s just beautiful. As for the card, it’s far from my favorite, but I can’t say that it’s terrible.
Summoning a random friendly Beast that died this game doesn’t sound great, but how about Eternal Servitude? Is it a bad card? Of course it’s not, in Big Priest it’s usually 4 mana for a big threat. And you should look at this card in a similar manner.
And no, you don’t even have to play Big Druid to make it work. You just have to build your deck around it. You need to remember that this card only revives Beasts. It means that, unlike Big Priest, you can run all sorts of other minions and they WON’T disrupt this card. It’s not like you can randomly revive a Greedy Sprite in the late game or something.
If you play only a huge Beast in your deck, possibly a specific one, you can guarantee that you will revive it with this card. For example, the newly revealed Witchwood Grizzly. Since Battlecries don’t proc when summoning, you will get a 3 mana 3/12 Taunt – amazing! Even better, if you can somehow play an even bigger beast, let’s say something like Tyrantus or Hadronox, then this could revive it for 3 mana. However, those cards are pretty bad by themselves, so yeah.
The best one would probably be Charged Devilsaur. If you SUMMON it, as opposed to playing it, you can immediately go face. Devilsaur + Carnivorous Cube combo is already kind of a thing, and this could make it even easier. Being able to revive extra Devilsaurs for just 3 mana could be very powerful, even without any discounts (like Quest), this + Cube + Naturalize combo would be 21 damage to the face, with 2x 7/7s left on the board. It’s definitely an off-meta deck, but hey, it might be worth trying.
But there’s a catch. The Scarab tokens you get from Spreading Plague and Malfurion the Pestilent are also Beasts. It means that if you want to make it work reliably, you’d have to drop those cards, especially Spreading Plague, which would flood the revive pool with lots of 1/5 Taunts. I mean, 3 mana for a 1/5 Taunt is not the end of the world, but if you build your deck around reviving some big Beasts, it’s not really going to work.
I think that this card has lots of potential. Yes, you will sadly have to make some difficult cuts for it, but the same can be said about Big Priest. The deck could not run any other minions beside the few it did, and it still worked. Right now there probably aren’t enough cards to support the archetype, but it’s something we might see in the future. Or even this expansion depending on the other Druid cards that are waiting for us. “Potential” is not enough to get a high rating from me, though, as it might be difficult to apply in an actual deck.
Card rating: 6/10
At first I was sure it’s a Druid card, I even labelled it as such. But it’s Neutral – how cool is that? It’s the second solid Neutral anti-Aggro tool we’re getting after Rotten Applebaum.
Scaling with the number of cards in your opponent’s hand is a very cool mechanic. The best case scenario is this being a 3/12. Worst case – 3/2, but more realistically 3/3, because your opponent won’t likely keep 10 cards in their hand, as that would burn their draw. 3/12 for 5 mana is insane, 3/3 is completely unplayable. So how good is this card?
First of all, we need to understand why you’d run it in the first place. It’s an anti-Aggro tool. You play it when you face lots of Aggro decks. And it does its job – on Turn 5, your average Aggro deck isn’t likely going to have more than 2-4 cards in their hand, so it becomes a 3/10 to 3/8 Taunt for 5 mana. First is amazing, the second one is still good for the mana cost.
On the other hand, if you play against a Control Warlock, this will most likely be a dead draw. They rarely have less than 6-7 cards in hand, so no matter when you want to drop it, it will be bad. Maybe after they’ve played Bloodreaver Gul'dan and are slowly running out of cards already, but it could sit dead in your hand for 10 turns or so until that happens.
However, to be honest, if that would be it, I think this card wouldn’t really be used a lot. The upside against Aggro is not big enough, it can also be countered by Divine Favor against Paladin. Aggro decks usually run some sort of Silence or ways to deal with big Taunts anyway (Sunkeeper Tarim…). And it’s just bad against Control.
However, there are some cards that might make it better. Much better. One of the synergies is Witching Hour – you can resummon this as a 3/12 Taunt for 3 mana. Another synergy is Master Oakheart – pulling it from your deck and bypassing the Battlecry, so you get a HUGE minion for your trouble. And finally, Lady in White. Once you play her, this becomes a 12/12 when in your deck. Of course, when you drop it on the board, it will most likely lose some attack, but it’s still going to be great. Let’s say against a Control deck with 7 cards in the hand, so average vs Control scenario, instead of a 3/5 Taunt, it will be a 12/5 Taunt – huge threat that they have to deal with immediately, as opposed to something they can easily ignore for a few turns. If you play it in a Kathrena Winterwisp deck, you can pull out a 3/12 Taunt on a Battlecry or Deathrattle, definitely a great option. On top of that, Hadronox would also be amazing synergy, but it means that you’d have to run this card in the first place, and that might not be good enough.
I like the card, and while I don’t think it’s going to be auto-include, it will be great in the right deck – a deck that can combo it with something.
Card rating: 8/10
Shielded Minibot? With an upside? What? Oh, the Dragon synergy is required. That’s good.
But wait, is it good? While it’s still theorycrafting, the synergy might actually be activated quite easily.
First option is obviously a full Dragon Paladin deck. Something that was attempted in the past before. There were even some Paladin Dragon synergies – Dragon Consort and Nightbane Templar, although the second one wasn’t really great. Right now, this will be the only Paladin Dragon synergy in Standard, but that might be enough, as its honestly the best one out of three.
But is it worth it to build a Midrange Dragon Paladin? To be fair, I don’t think so. Netherspite Historian rotates out, as well as some strong Dragons like Book Wyrm. And Midrange Paladin is kind of a thing of the past – aggressive builds are just better now with the cards the class has.
But maybe some Aggro Paladin, with just some Dragons here and there? Maybe? That might actually work. The new card – Nightmare Amalgam – should be great for this kind of deck. Then, Cobalt Scalebane is a thing, and even though it hasn’t seen much play recently, it’s not a bad card by any means. Faerie Dragon could also be used in a 2-drop slot, it’s a solid activator and also a good thing to pull from Call to Arms.
One of the issues with this card is that Gargoyle itself is not great to pull from CtA. Vanilla 2/2 would probably be your worst option, but to be fair, it’s still not bad. Even if CtA gave you 3x 2/2, it would still be a great card.
This card is obviously busted if the right deck for it will be found. I feel like we’re one strong Dragon / Dragon synergy card away from building a deck around it. With the cards we have, it might just not be consistent enough in an Aggro deck with 4-6 Dragons added in (remember that you want to activate it on curve as often as you can), and I can’t really see a slower Dragon Paladin build being too viable.
I have to rate it highly, because I feel that someone will definitely make it work. And when it works, it’s one of the most busted cards in the game. I will give it a 8/10 and not a full 10/10 because activating Dragon synergy on Turn 2 might not be as consistent as some people think, and because it doesn’t synergize that well with CtA. But other than that, it’s flawless.
Card rating: 8/10
They’re really pushing the Rush mechanic for Warrior this expansion, and it can actually work. Tempo Warrior used to be pretty strong back in the day, and all of these Rush cards can revive it.
This card is obviously super powerful. While a 2 mana 2/2 weapon is not something you’d normally run in your deck, the fact that it Deathrattles with a +2/+1 buff to a random Rush minion is great. The weapon itself can’t be underestimated either – after all, Jade Claws have proven that having a 2/2 weapon is not terrible in the early game. While yes, there are lots of 3 health targets, you are often able to clear a 1 or 2-drop.
And as for synergies – it’s good with every Rush Warrior card revealed so far. Starting with the Redband Wasp, it turns it into a 3/4 minion with Rush, that gains +3 Attack while its damaged. With 3/4 stats, it will be so much easier to bump it into something and ensure that it survives, leaving you with a big threat on the board. Let’s say that you run it into a 2/3 minion – you kill it and you still have a 6/2 on the board. Quite good, isn’t it?
Then, Militia Commander’s biggest issue was that after the initial burst of +3 Attack, it has quite weak stats. For example, if you clear a 3/3, it ends up being a 2/2 minion on the board. Not terrible, of course, given that it already removed something, but not amazing. With this, that 2/2 would turn into a 4/3, and that’s a solid threat by itself. Then, Darius Crowley is probably the best synergy for this card. Giving it +1 Health means that it now has a higher chance of killing something and surviving, so a higher chance of getting buffed and snowballing.
The weapon could also see play in Pirate Warrior, as it would seriously want a 2 mana weapon, but the problem is that Pirate Warrior is losing Patches the Pirate, N'Zoth's First Mate and Bloodsail Cultist all in one go, so I doubt that it will be a viable deck in Standard after the rotation.
All in all, if you use some Rush minions in your deck, you definitely want to play this. Would work best in some kind of Tempo/Midrange Warrior, but even a Control deck with some Rush cards would want it. Strong card, but it’s still hard to say whether Warrior will be good enough to see play. Because obviously, if Warrior doesn’t see play, this doesn’t see play either.
Card rating: 7/10
Interesting concept – it’s like Dragon's Fury for Warrior, except that it looks at the weapon’s attack instead of its cost. It basically means that if you play it, you don’t really want to run a weapon with less than 5 attack. Maybe 4 if the weapon is really good, but we don’t have 4 Attack Warrior weapons in Standard anyway. You absolutely don’t want to pay 6 mana for 2-3 damage AoE (why not just play Warpath instead, then).
In order to run this card, you need to drop the Blood Razor, as well as any other “cheaper” weapon you could have – e.g. Fiery War Axe or the new Woodcutter's Axe. Blood Razor, however, is the most severe loss in any kind of Control-oriented Warrior. The weapon is just great, especially in a meta with lots of token-oriented/board flood decks.
Right now, this card only works with Arcanite Reaper and Gorehowl. However, Arcanite Reaper is more of an aggressive weapon, and Gorehowl is a bit difficult to run more than one copy of (even one copy can be slow and clunky at times). In order for this to be consistent, I’d say that you’d need to run 3 copies in total – maybe 2 at lowest, because Dead Man's Hand could shuffle more back into your deck when you draw them.
Right now, I just don’t think it’s worth it. This card could be much better as an Odd-Cost card instead. In Odd Warrior, you wouldn’t be able to play the 2 or 4 mana weapons anyway, so this would make sense. But since it’s Even, you can’t put it into an Odd deck. So what’s the point?
While it’s true that Sleep with the Fishes rotates out and Warrior will be looking for another board clear, I will most likely stick with Brawl and try out both Warpath and Reckless Flurry before this. Maybe in the future, if we get some strong 4+ Attack weapons for Warrior, but I just don’t see it right now. Like, if we could replace Blood Razor with Death's Bite, then I’d dig it.
Card rating: 4/10
I thought that it’s some kind of April Fools joke, but no, it’s real. This card reminds me of another – Millhouse Manastorm. You know why no one plays it, despite it having the best 2-drop stats in the entire game? The reason is simple – it can lose you the game on the spot.
And this card is exactly like that. Remember that after playing this, you’ve already played your first card that turn. It means that you don’t get that effect right away. But you know who does? Your opponent.
Their first card will cost 0 mana. Which means that yes, exactly, they can play a big drop for no cost at all, and then possibly even remove this minion. If you play vs another Control or Midrange deck, they will most likely have a way to clear it while also getting lots of free tempo. For example, they might drop some expensive minion first for 0 mana and then use the rest of their mana for a removal. They might turn into the DK first and then remove it (imagine Mage getting a Jaina DK for free on Turn 5-6…).
This feels better in Aggro matchups, but not by a huge margin. They still get to act first, so they can e.g. drop a Spellbreaker for free and then continue their turn like usual. They might be able to kill it with a weapon/minions on the board, and if they can, it’s like you’ve played a 5 mana 3/7 Taunt that gave them some free mana. The best case scenario for you is when they can’t kill it and you have a huge bomb in your hand, or when they’re topdecking and would play the card they get anyway.
I just can’t find any use for it. Yes, sometimes it’s going to win you the game if your opponent can’t abuse the effect AT ALL, but 9/10 times you will come out behind when playing it.
This is a meme card at best, but it’s not even a good meme card, because it’s not particularly fun or innovative.
Card rating: 1/10
Sure? Random Shaman spells again? As much as it makes sense on a Hero card like Hagatha the Witch, I just can’t see it working too well on this one.
It’s pretty much unplayable by itself. 3 mana 0/4 is useless, it dies for free. You need to play it when you trade something. Realistically, most of the time, you will get like 1 or 2 random Shaman spells from it. Is it good enough? I honestly doubt it. Like I’ve mentioned when discussing Hagatha – there are lots of situational/bad Shaman spells and if you get only one or two, the chance to low-roll is quite significant.
Another thing I dislike about this card is that it doesn’t really fit anywhere. If you play a fast deck with lots of minions, most likely some sort of Token/Aggro deck, do you really want to play a 3 mana 0/4 or get a bunch of random Shaman spells? At the same time, if you play a slower deck that could actually benefit from it – you don’t really have lots of minions to trade in order to get value from it.
It reminds me of Cult Master, but Cult Master makes more sense, because fast decks prefer to draw cards from their deck instead of getting some random spells. 4/2 stats are also a better fit into an Aggro deck than 0/4, to be honest, even though the latter is harder to remove.
The card has a nice flavor, but I just can’t see it being too good. Maybe if we see some powerful Shaman spells this expansion that will make the pool this card draws from better.
Edit: Wait, with the current wording, it MIGHT mean that the card also procs from itself. If that’s the case, it’s better, as you always get at least one guaranteed random Shaman spell. Still not good, but if that’s the case it might make some sense. However, there was no official confirmation, so I’m sticking with my initial review for now.
Nope, the initial translation said “WHENEVER a friendly minion dies”, but the official one is “After” – definitely not proccing from itself.
Card rating: 3/10
Remember an old, BRM card called Dragon's Breath? It’s like a much, much better version of it, except the fact that you can’t use it on your opponent’s face. Still, this is a very powerful card.
At the base, 4 mana for 4 damage to a minion is bad. It’s a more expensive Shadow Bolt, which is a mediocre card already. However, once you meet this card’s condition, it suddenly becomes quite powerful. 1 mana for 4 minion damage is way different – it’s a very high tempo and super powerful removal. Remember how good Arcane Blast with Spell Damage was? Or how high tempo an upgraded version of Lesser Jasper Spellstone can be? Exactly.
Right now I see two decks that would want this card. First one is Midrange Hunter. Even though it’s pretty aggressive for a Midrange deck, it still wants to fight for the board control. You can e.g. trade one minion and clear a second one with this card for almost free. Or maybe trade your small minion + this into a bigger Taunt. When playing the deck, you’re often forced to use Kill Command to clear minions, while you would prefer to keep it for the burn damage. Wing Blast is much better for killing minions – no Beast requirement, 1 vs 3 mana, the only downside is the 4 instead of 5 damage, which might make a difference quite often, but it’s still better for the board control.
And the second deck I would see this being played in is obviously Spell Hunter. While the deck is losing Barnes + Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound combo, it doesn’t mean that it will be completely dead. Every strong spell is a big buff to Spell Hunter, and this is exactly that. Activating the condition shouldn’t be hard. While you don’t run lots of minions, between the cards that summon minions (e.g. Unleash the Hounds, Lesser Emerald Spellstone) and the fact that you remove stuff often with weapons/other spells, this will be a high tempo removal for the deck.
Why no Control Hunter you might ask? I mean, if Control Hunter was a thing, then this card would probably be played in it. But, again, unless they absolutely go nuts on that theme and push it hard, it’s not going to become viable.
While this card is not flashy or anything, it just feels very powerful. I would be very, and I mean VERY surprised if this didn’t see any play.
Card rating: 9/10