The Witchwood Card Review Part 9 – Mistwraith, Pick Pocket, Silver Sword, Bellringer Sentry and The Glass Knight!

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

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!

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Cool card, but I don’t think that it will see play even if for one simple reason – there are already similar Classic cards that have seen play in Miracle in the past, and I feel like they’re better than this one.

First one is Questing Adventurer. It also gains +1/+1 every time you play a card, but it’s not limited to Echo cards. Yes, it starts as a 2/2 as opposed to 3/5, which is quite a big difference, but it also costs one mana less, so it’s easier to start comboing it, and dropping it on Turn 3 with Coin or Preparation + something. Questing’s HUGE strength is that it gains stats from those 0-1 mana cards like Backstab, Coin, Prep etc. AS WELL AS the Echo cards. So while it starts lower, it’s very easy to catch up and then to get ahead of Mistwraith.

And the second card is Violet Teacher. This one is also a 4 mana 3/5 that activates its effect when you play a certain type of cards. But I think that it’s safe to say that Spells are more common than Echo cards. Rogue Echo cards are spells anyway, so it will proc from them, and again, it will also proc from a bunch of other cards. I’d say that value of +1/+1 and a 1/1 is quite comparable and mostly depends on the matchup and situation. E.g. it’s better to get +1/+1 against Defile, and it’s better to summon 1/1 against a single target removal.

While I could see running this over Questing (as it has a bigger initial body, so you COULD drop it on Turn 4 without any other cards, unlike Questing, which needs to be combo’d with at least 1 or 2 cards right away), I don’t see the reason to play it over Violet Teacher. Teacher’s effect is easier to proc. And anyway, neither Questing, nor Teacher have seen play in Miracle Rogue in a while already.

The fact that this card costs 4 mana makes is a bit awkward. The cheapest Echo cards revealed so far cost 2, so if it was e.g. a 4/6 for 5 mana, it would make more sense. Right now, when you drop it on T4, you can only follow it up with 2 Echo cards and float one mana. If it was a 5-drop, you could follow it up with three Echo cards and not float any mana. Also, Rogue already has a card it wants to play on Turn 4 (Fal'dorei Strider) and no real 5-drop (Vilespine Slayer is not really a 5-drop).

All in all, it’s not really a bad card by any means, but I just feel like it pales in comparison with the currently available tools.

Card rating: 5/10

Pick Pocket

I’m really surprised by a pretty high rating of this card. For me, it seems almost unplayable. How many Rogue decks, outside of a dedicated “I steal cards from my opponent’s class” (which was terrible, by the way) used Burgle, which is more mana efficient?

I mean, sure, you COULD spend your whole Turn 8, for example, stealing 4 cards from your opponent’s class. You couldn’t do that with Burgle. But in what world would Rogue want to do that?

“Random cards from the opponent’s class” are mostly underwhelming. I’ve played my fair share of Swashburglar and I can clearly say that most of the random cards from it were bad. They could be straight up bad, they could not fit the playstyle of my deck, or even just require synergies I didn’t have (like Dragon synergies or Beast synergies etc.).

Rogue doesn’t really need pure value cards, like this one, especially since the value is bad. Even if we generously assume that only every second random card you get from this is bad, you still spend 8 mana (following my previous example) to gain two good cards.

Swashburglar was played, because it costed 1 mana and came with a 1/1 body that also pulled out Patches the Pirate out of your deck. Similarly, Hallucination was played, because it costed 1 mana and you could Discover a card instead (and you still were picking from 3 bad options sometimes). Those cards were flexible and could serve as a combo activator too, which is important. Echo cards are not exactly great combo activators, because you want to play them as many times as you can during the turn you play them.

Cheap Shot is better, because it’s a removal, it does something on the board, it HAS a tempo. Pick Pocket is a zero tempo card, it’s a pure value card and a pretty bad value card at that.

I’ve read that you’d want to play this in Tempo Rogue since Shaku, the Collector is rotating out and I didn’t know what to say. Really. This card is the best example of anti-tempo. The only deck you would want to put this in is either some sort of Control deck (and to be honest, there are better ways to generate value than this) or a Burgle deck that synergizes with cards from other classes. But since a lot of Burgle mechanics are rotating out and all we get instead (at least for now) is Spectral Cutlass, I’m not very optimistic.

Card rating: 2/10

Silver Sword

Well, this is a pretty expensive weapon. 3/4 for 8 mana is very, very expensive, actually. We have a weapon like that at 5 mana – Assassin's Blade – and it sees zero play, because it’s too slow. However, this one comes with an extra effect – your whole board gets +1/+1 (Mark of the Lotus basically) when you swing it.

The thing is, I don’t exactly understand what deck you would want to put this into, to be honest. Something like Control Paladin, which doesn’t mind a high cost, doesn’t go wide on the board, so wouldn’t utilize this effect to its fullest potential. On the other hand, for a faster deck like Dude Paladin, Turn 8 is usually pretty late. They rarely have a huge board at this point, because if they did, they would already win the game. Yes, there are some cases in which you could e.g. play this on 8 and then play Call to Arms, one or two more cards and buff everything. It COULD be good, but I don’t think it will.

That’s because I feel like Vinecleaver is just stronger. 4/3 is a better weapon than 3/4 so late into the game in a faster deck – you can deal the same amount of damage over 3 turns instead of 4. While yes, you get one turn of effect less, it’s not that relevant, as the last swing of Silver Sword would come on Turn 11… games would really be over by that point.

Vinecleaver is not only 1 mana cheaper, but it actually actively rebuilds the board instead of snowballing the existing one. From my experience with Dude Paladin and against Dude Paladin, you rarely have a big board so late into the game, and Vinecleaver’s main advantage is that you can get back on the board with the 1/1’s you can further buff etc. And it’s important to mention that Dude Paladin plays only a single copy of Vinecleaver, because two would be too slow.

I could potentially see some kind of Midrange Paladin centered around Dudes (so a bit slower Dude Paladin) wanting one copy of this, but then again, Paladin has LOTS of weapons available already and you don’t want to put too many into your deck. Especially after Vinecleaver rotates out, if we don’t get another good, high cost weapon. Right now? I doubt we will see this card played. It’s not really bad, but we have a better late game weapon option and it’s just slow.

Card rating: 3/10

Bellringer Sentry

It’s like a toned down version of Mysterious Challenger. However, the “toned down” doesn’t mean “bad”. Challenger was pretty broken when it worked, but this is still very good… in the right deck.

One thing to keep in mind that Mysterious Challenger was in Standard for a whole other year (2016) before it finally rotated out in 2017. But he didn’t see almost any play during Year of the Kraken. Why? Because not only was Avenge, arguably the most powerful Secret, rotated out, but the deck has also lost early game tools like Shielded Minibot and Muster for Battle.

The “early game tools” part is somewhat fixed. Paladin’s early game is solid right now, maybe not Minibot & Muster good, but good enough. But lack of good Secrets is still a problem. Right now, after Getaway Kodo rotates out, Paladin will have exactly 4 Secrets in Standard – Eye for an Eye, Noble Sacrifice, Redemption and Repentance. Eye for an Eye is obviously bad, Repentance is very meta-dependent… So we’re basically left with Noble Sac and Redemption, and neither of those is really, really strong.

On the other hand, it’s a 4 mana 3/4 that tutors AND plays two cards from your deck. This part is insanely strong. You pay one extra mana (because those are 3-drop stats) and your payback is worth much more.

Right now I have mixed feelings about this, because the effect is very powerful, but no Avenge or other powerful Secrets makes it much worse. You’d realistically need to put like 4-5 Secrets into your deck to make it work consistently (if you put 2-3, you’d draw them before this too often), and we might just not have enough good Secrets.

If a strong Paladin Secret gets revealed, I could see this being played in lots of Aggro/Midrange lists. With the current pool, I’m not sure. Still, the card has lots of potential – remember that it will be in Standard for the next 2 years, and it’s just waiting for a good Paladin Secret.

Card rating: 6/10 right now, 8/10 if a good Secret gets revealed.

The Glass Knight

It might not seem like it, but a 4 mana 4/3 with Divine Shield isn’t all that bad. It’s better than C'Thun's Chosen and to be fair, that card was often solid to drop on the curve (better against decks with low minion counts, worse against token decks that spammed the board).

What I like about it is that the effect basically means that you can’t abuse it in an aggressive deck. I mean, you CAN, but you don’t really want to put healing cards into your Aggro deck.

However, if you play a slower Midrange, or possibly a Control Paladin, you will probably have some life gain. Truesilver Champion is the best example – after Rallying Blade rotates out, you’ll most likely want to play the 4 mana weapon instead. Given that lots of healing cards are rotating out, you might possibly want to run e.g. Benevolent Djinn too – those synergize nicely, as Djinn replaces the Divine Shield on The Glass Knight every turn. Later in the game, it also combos nicely with Uther of the Ebon Blade – Lifesteal weapons means that you can theoretically restore its shield every turn if it doesn’t die (although it will be much easier to kill it in the late game).

It doesn’t seem like much, but it might be really annoying in the right deck. If you can’t get through the Divine Shield and kill it in a single turn, it will basically re-gain Divine Shield very often if you play a deck with lots of healing.

It also synergizes very well with the buffs. If you buff it, not only it’s harder to take down, but each Divine Shield will be worth even more.

Now, the question is, will a slow Midrange/Control deck with lots of healing exist? It really depends on the meta. Healing is not a great mechanic in lots of matchup. Even against Aggro, you need the board clears FIRST and only then, when you have stabilized, you need to heal up, so putting too much healing won’t do much. It’s much worse when facing Control decks – there are games in which you’re at full or close to full health for the majority of the game and healing is useless. That’s why you can’t pack too much of it into your deck. Realistically, healing is most useful against Combo decks that don’t OTK you or burn decks. So if there will be lots of them in the meta, a Healadin might raise as a way to counter them. But more realistically, if we see slow Midrange or Control Paladin, it will probably run only a few healing cards at best.

So, in the end, I feel like it’s a solid card and that’s about it. It’s not too strong, and I doubt that a deck built around it (Healadin) will exist. Too much healing in a deck is a really bad idea. But it MIGHT be worth to run it with just Truesilver and maybe 1-2 other healing cards. It does not need to regain its Shield every turn, even if you re-bubble it once, it’s still going to be good.

Card rating: 6/10


A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

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