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!
- Part 7 – Chameleos, Witching Hour, Deadly Arsenal, Duskfallen Aviana, Wing Blast 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!
I’m not a big fan of this card. First things first, it’s very meta-dependent. Playing 3 cards in a single turn is actually not that common. Some decks do it all the time – especially combo decks – but others really don’t. Even Aggro decks rarely play more than 2 per turn – early in the game they usually play a minion or two on the curve, and later in the game they just don’t have enough resources to do it. Divine Favor or some early game shenigans with Coin are the counter-points, but I don’t think it’s enough. Against Aggro, you’d much rather have either Explosive Trap or Wandering Monster.
Against Control? Very unlikely. Control decks rarely play more than one card per turn, 3 is rather uncommon. When you’re at the point when they can play 3 cards per turn, they will usually either identify what Secret it is and try to play around it, or have an answer for your 6/6.
This card works best against combo decks. For example, it’s a good way to counter some Miracle Rogue turns, especially Gadgetzan Auctioneer or Edwin VanCleef turns, but even “regular” Preparation turns. Combo Priest also tends to play multiple cards per turn, especially with Radiant Elemental on the board. And so on and so on.
So whether you put this card into your deck or not will heavily be a meta call. The thing is, you really don’t want to spend 2 mana and a card and have to wait 4 or 5 turns for the pay-off. It would be much better if Hunter had a card like Mage’s Medivh's Valet – a card that benefits from having a Secret that is not triggered right away. Maybe something like that will get released?
One thing that is great is if this Secret sees ANY play, people will often think twice before playing their third card if they haven’t triggered your Secret yet. It will make other Hunter versions running Secrets better, as players might have it in the back of their minds. But in reality, I think it will turn into something like Sacred Trial – a Secret that you could play around quite easily.
Realistically, there are matchups in which this card is never going to proc and matchups in which you’ll have to wait at least a few turns. It’s also an RNG card, believe me or not. It’s so much better when going first, because now your opponent has a significantly higher chance to play more than 2 cards, thanks to the Coin. A simple 2-drop + Coin + 1-drop from Aggro will proc it, which wouldn’t happen if they were going first.
That said, the 6/6 you get from it is a pretty big deal. Having a 6/6 for just 2 mana is huge tempo gain if they proc it quite quickly. Depends on the situation, it’s either a great trading machine (you will usually get 2 or 3 for 1 with it in the early/mid game) or a way to push lots of damage.
It seems more like a tech card you can put into your deck when either the meta is right or people forgot about it already, don’t play around it and you might be able to punish them for that.
P.S. King Mukla synergy – give them two bananas they can’t use alongside another card or this will proc! That’s actually pretty funny, but they will know that they have to play around it then.
Card rating: 4/10
It seems a little bit overpriced. 4 damage to a minion is worth around 3 mana, if we go with the Shadow Bolt (a card that’s pretty bad, mind you), then it also casts Convert on it. Theoretically that combo would cost 5 mana AND two cards, which sounds like this one is good, right? Well, the problem is that neither of those cards is good. Convert was never played and Shadow Bolt has only seen play in Reno decks because of no other options.
Another way to see it is a 4 damage for 5 mana (that can only target minions) + a card draw. A card draw that costs 2 mana, which is quite a lot. Depending on the matchup, this effect can be either worse or better than card draw, but I think that on average it should equal to card draw. In faster matchups, you’d generally prefer to draw a card from your own deck – e.g. against Murloc Paladin you kill a Gentle Megasaur and get one. Sure, it’s a great card in your opponent’s deck, but for you it’s just a 4 mana 5/4, you’d rather have a random card from your deck instead. On the other hand, in slow matchups, you can keep it for a high value target like e.g. The Lich King (after trading a minion into it already and leaving it at 4 or less health), and that’s better than drawing – not only do you get another big, high value threat, but you also don’t draw from your deck, so you’re better in a fatigue scenario. But the big downside is that the card draw part is not guaranteed – you need to KILL a minion, so you can’t just hit a big Taunt with it.
One upside is that you can also hit your own minions and kind of “bounce” them back to your hand, but even better, because you’re killing them for the sake of Deathrattles – e.g. you’re left with a 1 health Cairne Bloodhoof in a Deathrattle deck, you can use Holy Water on him and get a full copy back in your hand. But that’s INCREDIBLY slow – Zola the Gorgon is much faster and better for that purpose. Which means that it will be a nice bonus sometimes, but definitely not a reason to put this card into your deck.
So here’s the thing – if it’s a 4 damage to a minion + draw a card for 5 mana, is it really good? I would say no, it’s not really that good. Especially in Priest, a deck known for its potential value. For me, it looks like a worse version of Hammer of Wrath, a card that you also wouldn’t really want to put into most of your decks.
I could see it as a tech card in a very slow meta, like a meta where you face lots and lots of Control decks with many good targets, where you can play a value card like that. But if it’s the late game scenario against Control deck, wouldn’t you be better off with Mind Control anyway? Especially against cards like Voidlord where stealing it gets you extra value (your opponent can’t revive it). Not sure, but it’s something to think about.
Anyway, I feel like it’s slightly below average.
Card rating: 4/10
Blizzard pls. Cards that benefit from playing cards from another class are not good. Rogue does not want to steal random cards from the opponent. Swashburglar, Lotus Agents, Ethereal Peddler, Undercity Huckster and Shaku, the Collector are all rotating out. And if that wasn’t a thing until now, with all of those cards rotating out I can’t see this being a thing either.
Anyway, let’s even assume that there will be more ways to get cards from other classes. Why would you want to use this card? First of all, it’s incredibly slow. You initially pay 4 mana for 2/2 weapon with Lifesteal. To make it better, you need BOTH Attack buffs (because you won’t really do much with a 2 Attack weapon) and cards from different classes to give it more Durability. Realistically it wouldn’t really take off until Turn 6-7 at earliest, and it’s vulnerable to weapon destruction.
The main question is, however, why not just play Kingsbane? Kingsbane + Leeching Poison costs 2 cards, that’s true, but you don’t have to play random cards from your opponent’s deck, it’s faster, it’s not vulnerable to weapon destruction (most of the time), it prevents fatigue in the long run, it works with Doomerang (this would return a BASE copy without buffs), and in case you stack it and you need to use the last charge, you can do it without worrying that you will have to stack your second copy again.
Obsidian Shard is most likely a better card (high tempo, which is great in Rogue), it didn’t see play when there were multiple cards to trigger its effect, AND you can’t even play both in the same deck. I mean, you can, but since you want to keep this alive for as long as possible, Shard will be a dead card most of the time.
Right now the only combo I see is this + Witch's Cauldron, but you basically play 2 bad cards to make this SOMEHOW work.
Unless they decide to print some broken cards that give you stuff from your opponent’s class, you should just play Kingsbane, really.
Card rating: 1/10
I feel like this one is too slow. If you play a slower Shaman deck with Hagatha the Witch you probably already have lots of late game value. Do you really need to play more? Also, we need to look at the average case scenario, not the best case scenario.
This is unplayable on the curve. Well, not completely unplayable, but a 7 mana 4/8 does nothing against Aggro and will be removed by Control before you get the value.
The effect? Well, if you want to draw cards when playing spell, you can already do that – Gadgetzan Auctioneer is a thing, you know. Yes, it has 4 less health and no Elemental tag, that’s a big deal, but one mana cheaper means that it’s easier to cycle with it + you can draw spells too, so you could potentially draw a spell into another spell.
Yes, thanks to the extra health and Elemental tag, I’d say that it’s a little better than Auctioneer, but I wouldn’t say that it’s MUCH better. Also, how many cheap spells will you put into your deck in the first place to take advantage of this card? You don’t have Preparation like Rogue, and you don’t want to play spells like Lightning Bolt or Totemic Might.
Well, you MIGHT have a bunch of cheap spells from Hagatha lying around, but it means that you’ve already played Hagatha and some minions, so it’s way past Turn 10. Which makes it even slower.
Another thing is that this kind of effect is most likely to work in slow matchups, but at the same time, drawing a bunch of cards in the late game might not always be good in the slow matchups. That deck looks like something aspiring to win some fatigue games, and you can’t win fatigue games if you draw too much. But that’s a more minor issue, as only a small fraction of the games actually end up in fatigue.
All in all, I could maybe see this as an one-of in a slower meta to get some more refill in the late game. In a faster meta, it definitely gets out of your deck immediately. Looks like a pretty average card.
Card rating: 5/10
It obviously synergizes with the other cards – both the good old Lesser Amethyst Spellstone and the other two new cards revealed, but… the stats are mediocre – 3/6 for 4 is kind of normal. And then you deal 1 damage to yourself every turn. Yes, if you’re holding lots of cards that benefit from it, it can be nice. For example, upgrading Spellstone means that you get more healing anyway. Upgrading the new Spider means that it gets Lifesteal, so you can potentially heal back. But not only you might not want to play all of those cards (to be completely fair, they are far from auto-include, besides Spellstone), and you might also not have them in your hand.
As a point of comparison – Kobold Librarian also has normal stats (2/1 for 1) and also damages yourself, but it has a huge upside. This one doesn’t.
Right now, this isn’t too good. It might work when more “damage yourself” synergies will be revealed, but I don’t think it will be played with the ones we have right now.
Card rating: 3/10 (more if some good “damage yourself” synergy card gets revealed)
Average card. 5 mana 4/6 with Lifesteal COULD be good in Warlock, but the thing is, it’s conditional. You need to take damage on the turn you play it, so if you don’t have a way to damage yourself on the board (like the Blood Witch), you have to combo it with Librarian on T6 or Life Tap on T7, which means that it’s not always a 5-drop. You absolutely don’t want to drop it without Lifesteal, as 4/6 for 5 with no upside is just bad.
To be honest, I think this card wouldn’t be broken even without the condition – if it just had Lifesteal. 4/6 for 5 with Lifesteal might be something to look out for two expansions ago, but right now it might not even see play.
Right now Warlock doesn’t seem to need more healing anyway. Given that it’s conditional rather than guaranteed, and that it doesn’t even work right away, I’m not sure that it would see play even if Warlock did need more healing. Possibly in some kind of Midrange deck that is too fast to play Dark Pact and such, but too slow to not need any healing? Maybe a deck built around those “damage yourself” synergies? Hard to say. But with our current knowledge, it looks really mediocre.
Card rating: 5/10
I feel like it’s the strongest one of the three Warlock card revealed at once, mainly because it’s not a Control card – it fits in Zoo. And Zoo has more ways to activate it.
While you can’t reliably get it out on Turn 3 (can you do it at all without Coin?), it looks like a very solid 4-drop or 5-drop if you can combo it. Zoo decks run different ways to proc it – Kobold Librarian, Flame Imp, Vulgar Homunculus. You can even Life Tap + play this on Turn 5 if you need.
The worst thing about this card is that it’s a 3-drop you really don’t want to play on Turn 3. If you really have no other play, you can still drop it as a 2/4, but that’s just bad. However, it shouldn’t be that hard to combo past Turn 4.
It’s not spectacular or anything, but Zoo is losing lots of cards next expansion (Malchezaar's Imp, Bloodfury Potion, Darkshire Councilman, Crystalweaver) and it will be looking to fill those gaps with new cards, so I think that it might see play.
Card rating: 6/10
I didn’t expect a card like this in Hunter, to be completely honest. And that’s why it’s super hard to rate. It looks powerful, but at the same time, it might not be something Hunter actually needs.
First of all, this card is pretty slow. +3/+3 for 4 that can only target Beasts is like a much weaker Blessing of Kings in a class with no Divine Shield 1-drops to get extra value from it. By itself it’s not good – it’s slow and clunky. However, shuffling three copies of the card with +3/+3 buff is a quite powerful effect. You can look at it in two ways. You can buff a small minion, like a 1-drop, and then shuffle high tempo 1-drops. This is great if you can constantly cycle through your deck, but if you end up in top deck mode, drawing a 4/4 with Charge is okay-ish, but not spectacular. Otherwise you can buff a bigger minion, like let’s say Savannah Highmane, and get 3 more copies of 9/8 Highmanes in your deck. Really good, but even slower. Better in top-deck mode, but worse if you’re drawing lots of cards and prefer tempo.
The card is bad against Aggro, unless you buff & shuffle a Taunt and then draw it, but there aren’t many Beasts with Taunt Hunter wants to run (you could theoretically use the new Witchwood Grizzly, but it’s a 9 mana combo if you want to play both cards immediately).
On the other hand, the card is quite good against Control decks. They might already have a hard time dealing with your board, and when you start drawing the buffed minions, well, that’s great.
The combo I’ve read about, which is actually interesting, is using this on Stonetusk Boar and then drawing the buffed copies with Tol'vir Warden. 5 mana 3/5 with “draw two 1 mana 4/4’s with Charge” is absolutely insane, but this might be pretty hard to set up.
All in all, the card is very interesting, but I fail to see what deck would really want to play it. Aggro or Spell Hunter are obviously out of the question. Midrange? Maybe, but I still doubt it. Midrange is rarely about the longer game, it’s about the tempo. This card is pretty weak tempo, and since you usually want to close out the game before the late game, you don’t have a very high chance to draw your buffed Beasts. Houndmaster is much better 99% of the time – +2/+2 buff and a 4/3 body is much better than +3/+3 buff and shuffling the buffed cards into your deck, as the initial pay-off is much higher.
It would be best in a slower deck with lots of cycling, one that could afford to not play for the tempo all the time and have enough card draw to get those buffed copies. But the thing is, I don’t think that such a deck really exists. Unless Control Hunter somehow suddenly starts to work. Possibly in Kathrena Winterwisp deck – you could shuffle more big Beasts into your deck. But then again, the big Beasts usually die the turn they show up on the board, so it might be hard to combo it with one before the very late game (+ the deck is losing some stuff).
That’s why I’m going to go against the popular opinion. Even though I like this card, I don’t think it is going to see lots of play.
Card rating: 4/10
Only one good thing could be said about this card – it’s better than Dalaran Mage. But that’s about it.
Neither 1/4, nor 4/1 for 2 mana would see any play. We had minions like that before and they never did. To be fair, I feel like this minion shifting in your hand is a downside not an upside. It would be much better as a 2 mana version of Dalaran Mage – the 4/1 minion is bad, because it dies to any 1-drop, it can get pinged easily etc. 1/4 has a chance of surviving a trade or even sticking. The Spell Damage part is a nice addition, of course, but not enough to make it playable. Both Bloodmage Thalnos and Tainted Zealot seem to be better. The first one cycles, so is more disposable, and the second one is more durable – it will always survive two hits. While technically 1/1 with Divine Shield is worse than 1/4 in some scenarios (e.g. facing two 1/1 minions), it’s still better in the late game, because it’s resistant to AoE and such. But the fact that this can switch to 4/1 when you don’t want it makes it a much worse choice. And Zealot doesn’t see any play right now anyway, it has seen some play in Control Warlock thanks to its synergy with Defile but that’s about it.
So I don’t really see any reason to play this guy right now. Possibly in Warlock after the Zealot rotates out, but I still doubt that, because it’s so inconsistent. The card has good synergy with both Defile (1/4 version) and Shadowflame (4/1), but the thing is that you can’t control which one it is, so it’s super inconsistent…
Card rating: 2/10
Gilnean Royal Guard
It’s probably the most powerful of the swap cards revealed so far, but is it good enough? You obviously don’t want to play it in any kind of Aggro or even Midrange deck, because it costs 8 mana. That’s a lot for a removal. But what about Control decks?
Again, I actually think that this card would be stronger if it was constantly in its 8/3 form. So late into the game, you rarely need the 3 damage to clear something. Divine Shield is much better on the high attack/low health minions too. With 8 damage, you can clear stuff like The Lich King or Mountain Giant or almost clear Voidlord and still have an 8/3 on the board. Even though the 8/3 will be rather easy to clear off, it might still be a 2 for 1 case for you. The 3/8 form might be more useful against Aggro decks, but usually if you’re losing on the board so late into the game, a card like that won’t really help you.
Anyway, I think that this might actually fit into some of the slower decks. Especially those with weak removals. Like, I don’t see Control Warlock or Control Mage wanting to use this, because they have lots of way to remove stuff more efficiently anyway. But how about, for example, some slower Druid deck? Druids have struggled with removing big stuff, and the ramp might make them take advantage of the 3/8 form too – if your opponent is still in the mid game, you might have a good target for the 3/8 Rush.
This is also one of those cards that MIGHT see play in a Lady in White deck. While it might not be the best card ever printed by itself, it’s definitely usable and after Lady in White, it’s going to be 8 mana 8/8 with Rush and Divine Shield – absolutely insane, as it should be able to remove almost every minion on the board and still leave the 8/8 body behind.
The main problem with this card is, again, that you can’t pick the form. It might be 3/8 on the turn your opponent drops The Lich King and 8/3 on the turn you have some 3/3 minion to clear. That’s the reason I still can’t rate it too highly, but I’m quite sure that so far it’s the best “swap” minion revealed.
P.S. And this card looks really busted in Arena. Charged Devilsaur is among the best Epics and it looks as good or maybe even better, and it’s Rare, so it will appear more often.
Card rating: 6/10
I always like to see new mechanics, but I’m not a big fan of this one in particular. It takes the draw RNG to the next level. Not as bad as Barnes, but let’s say that you have 5 great targets out of 20 cards left in your deck. You can either not draw any of them or draw 3 in a row, the difference is going to be massive. But, let’s first rate this card before complaining about it.
You obviously can’t build your deck around this card. It’s only a single card, so you might not draw it. It also doesn’t win you the game right away. So you basically can’t play this + a bunch of cards like high value Deathrattles to synergize. The deck has to work without this card.
And it’s actually quite hard to imagine a deck that would. Realistically you’d want to play this in a deck with BOTH good targets to summon as 1/1 and lots of card draw (or a way to tutor specific card you want to summon).
For example, Aggro Paladin. Or rather, a slightly slower version, some form of Midrange Paladin (maybe the new version of Dude Paladin) maybe? This + Divine Favor would be an insane Turn 8 play. Summoning a bunch of minions, including Divine Shields, or possibly some Deathrattles. Even better if you can draw a Tirion Fordring. However, it’s unreliable, as the combo costs 8 mana and you’d need to be playing against a deck with lots of cards in their hand (while your hand would need to be relatively empty).
In Warlock – you could play this + Sense Demons to get two Voidlords and immediately summon 1/1 copies of them. But it would be useless after you draw Voidlords, it would also make Lackeys useless, making the whole combo very questionable.
Rogue also has some combos. On turn 9, you could play this + either Elven Minstrel or Preparation + Sprint. Elven Minstrel would guarantee two 1/1’s, but then again, Rogue doesn’t really benefit from the small tokens and doesn’t play cards that are good to summon like that. Gadgetzan Auctioneer is one, but now you are left with only 1 mana to work with, not a perfect scenario. Possibly if you run Kobold Illusionist, it could be a way to activate some combos, but that’s a long shot.
Not only would it be very hard to fit into a deck, but it also comes with a downside. You give your opponent lots of information. If it summons a minion – they now know that you’re holding it. It might be a big deal if you get e.g. Sunkeeper Tarim – they will for sure try to remove the whole board now. And if you don’t get anything, your opponent knows that you drew a spell instead, also giving them some form of intel.
This card is really hard to evaluate, as it’s a completely new effect, but I think that it’s leaning towards a “meme” card and not an actual playable Legendary. It MIGHT work in some deck that I didn’t think of, but it would be incredibly hard to find a deck like that. People are looking at the best case scenario too often and ignore the fact that it’s unplayable by itself (5 mana 2/6), you need to combo it with stuff in the late game, it doesn’t really fit anywhere, it’s hard to make work etc. Yes, in the best case scenario you will play this + some powerful card draw in the late game and summon a bunch of strong Deathrattles. But most of the time it will be stuck in your hand and you will question your deck building choices.
Card rating: 2/10
One of the strongest cards from this expansion. I’m really surprised that this one is neutral, as it gives a sort of “hard removal” even for decks that didn’t have a good one before.
Well, let’s start by looking at its power level if you can’t combo it with something. This is a bit like a worse Corruption with a 1/1 minion attached.
It’s delayed and can be countered by transform effects (honestly, that’s not THAT bad – you force e.g. Mage to use Polymorph on your 3 mana card) and Silence (this one is worse). So it wouldn’t really see play like that. If you want to remove something, you usually want to remove it right away. If you don’t, your opponent gets another turn of the ongoing effect (like Ysera card) and another attack (either trades it into something or just deals more damage to you). But it can still sometimes be useful – some Warlock decks used to tech Corruption after all.
However, when rating this card, it’s important to look at the bigger picture. This card can be also cleared by the owner to kill the minion right away. The best example would be Mage – you could play this and ping it with your Hero Power on Turn 5. While you would most likely prefer to run Polymorph before this, it might make sense as an extra single target removal (alongside Poly) in Frost Lich Jaina deck – pinging it results in an extra Water Elemental after all. If Odd Mage somehow becomes a thing, it could also replace Polymorph in that deck.
Another good example is Warlock. There would be two main uses for it – as a single target removal with Mortal Coil (4 mana to destroy anything, quite good) or as a supplement to your AoE turns. It’s especially potent with Defile – not only it can clear a higher health target that would normally stay out of the Defile’s range, but it also has 1 health, so it can start a longer chain if you’re missing a 1 health minion on the board. Later it can also be used with Hellfire. Or with Dark Pact if you need single target removal and healing (it’s like a much better Siphon Soul, but you need to use two cards). Or possibly, after you turn into Bloodreaver Gul'dan, you can ping it with your Hero Power if you need to remove something big.
Warrior deck with lots of Whirlwind effects would also probably want to play this. Since you’re dropping 1 damage AoEs left and right, having an extra 3 mana removal is not too shaby.
However, all of the classes listed above have lots of removal options already. But how about let’s say Druid? A slower Druid deck was often held back by its lack of removal. When opponent dropped something big, you couldn’t really do much. This card can be combo’d with Wrath (1 damage + cycle), or even with Lesser Jasper Spellstone if you really need to kill something right away.
As for the Neutral activators, this could theoretically be combo’d with Elven Archer as a 2 cards, 4 mana neutral removal, which is cool, but since Archer doesn’t cycle and only leaves a 1/1 body behind, it’s not that great. Similar thing with Scorp-o-matic for 2 mana, which MIGHT be used in let’s say Paladin if you also run Aldor Peacekeeper or Humility, although that’s a really long shot.
Yet another application is running it in Spiteful Summoner decks. Since you have to drop most of the spell removals (as they would interfere with your Spiteful), this can substitute them quite nicely, especially if you have some way to proc it.
One more advantage over the regular spell removals is that it can bypass the “Can’t be targeted by spells or Hero Powers” effect, although we don’t really see it often in the current meta.
This card has lots of applications. In the end it might not see THAT much play, because most of the decks that would want to run it have other removal options too, but I really like it and I think that it’s very powerful.
Card rating: 9/10
This is a classic “cool” Legendary. You play your big guy, you get another big guy in your hand and oh it has so much potential. You can copy a Charger and get a huge Stonetusk Boar running at your opponent, or you can copy a card that summons another copy of itself (Saronite Chain Gang) and get multiple copies with 10/10 stats, and oh you can copy another high value card, or another cool Deathrattle and so on.
But realistically, this card is incredibly slow. So slow that I don’t think it will really see play. When you drop it, it’s a vanilla 8 mana 8/8, which is obviously not great. But you can’t just drop it any time you want – you need to have another minion you want to copy on the board already. That’s the main problem with this card – while you can combo it with 1-2 mana minions immediately, it’s not that easy to get that Saronite Chain Gang – that’s usually a two turn combo (or two Innervates combo, which is just as unlikely) and the chances are that your Chain Gang will be dead already.
Yes, you can combo it with 1-2 mana minions, but why would you want to run those? You’re playing this in some slow Druid deck, like Big Druid – this kind of deck plays small minions only if they stall (like Doomsayer), or ramp (like Greedy Sprite).
On the other hand, if you want to copy something bigger that might stick – like something high value like Ysera, you can already play Faceless Manipulator to get an immediate on-board copy or Zola the Gorgon to get another one in your hand.
I mean, it’s okay good in slow matchups, as you’re getting two big bodies for one card, but it’s not flexible at all, it’s hard to get working and it’s slow even when you face another slow deck. And it can be pretty much unplayable in faster matchups unless you’re ahead, and then you’re either winning the game or you need to stabilize your life and not play a big slow guy.
Theoretically, if Druid would want to play Giants, for some of those Giants making them cost 10 wouldn’t matter or would make it an upside. For example, it would make Mountain Giant 2 mana cheaper, and Molten Giant 10 mana cheaper (but remember that it rotates out to Hall of Fame while getting the nerf reversed, so not in Standard).
You can also play it on Arcane Tyrant. It will become 0 mana after you play a 5+ mana spell anyway, and it will be a 10/10 now. But realistically, with 4/4 stats, Arcane Tyrant isn’t going to stick too often and you can’t play both on the same turn. Especially if Splintergraft would be played in some meta Druid deck – then everyone would kill Tyrants right away to play around it.
While there might be some niche combos revolving around this card, I can’t see it being too strong anyway.
Card rating: 3/10
I think it’s the first time we will be able to play cards that are exclusive to Wild in Standard. Which is pretty cool. Getting that Ragnaros the Firelord or Emperor Thaurissan will be a blast from the past.
But let’s rate this card first. No, it’s not good. It’s a meme card. The problem is that it’s just too random. If you were guaranteed to get one of the best Wild Legendaries, then yeah, it would be like an auto-include into every slower Mage deck. But as it stands right now, it’s too inconsistent. Just look at the list of Wild Legendaries. Maybe about 1/4 of them are actually powerful in a Mage deck. For every Sylvanas Windrunner or Dr. Boom you will get a few copies of Hemet Nesingwary, Mogor the Ogre, Majordomo Executus, Twin Emperor Vek'lor etc. Lots of the Legendaries are either bad or require some kind of synergy to work correctly. So you have a much higher chance to get a below average one than an above average one.
Which, in the end, means that you’d much rather draw a card from your deck. 6 mana 5/5 is not particularly powerful statline either, so it’s not like it makes up in the stats.
The card is fun, it has a nice flavor to it, but that’s it. I can’t see it being competitively good – not only its slow, but it has a relatively low chance to give you a good card.
Card rating: 2/10 (would be much higher if I was rating the meme value)