Hearthstone Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Review #4 (Part 2): The final new cards

Furnacefire Colossus

6 Mana 6/6

Epic Neutral Minion

Battlecry: Discard all weapons from your hand and gain their stats.

Our Take: Ever been in a match where you were dead in the water because you had a whole bunch of good weapons but no minions to play to the field to back them up? Furnacefire Colossus solves that problem. Now those extra weapons become stats! Most of the time you don’t want to do this because weapon charges are better than stats, but who know? Maybe a slower version of Pirate Warrior will be more viable in this control-based meta and Furnacefire Colossus will become a must-run card.

The Lich King

8 Mana 8/8

Legendary Neutral Minion

Taunt

At the end of your turn, add a random Death Knight card to your hand.

Our Take: The Lich King is the new Ysera, a minion that just keeps generating value if you keep it alive. Expect this to be played as a win condition in control and stall decks. It works quite well in Quest Warrior, Control Priest, Singleton Priest, and even Taunt Druid. It’s very versatile and will likely be the must-craft card of the set, before any of the other class Legendaries and heroes.

Death Revenant

5 Mana 3/3

Rare Warrior Minion

Battlecry: Gain +1/+1 for each damaged minion.

Our Take: It’s another card that uses Warrior’s “damaged minions” synergy, but it’s really restrictive. You have to have at least three other damaged minions on the board to see this get you any sort of appreciable value, and that’s going to be a rare occurrence, too rare to dedicate deck space to this card.

Scourgelord Garrosh

8 Mana 5 Armor

Legendary Warrior Hero

Battlecry: Equip a 4/3 Shadowmourne that also damages adjacent minions.

Bladestorm

2 Mana

Warrior Hero Power

Deal 1 damage to all minions

Our Take: Scourgelord Garrosh is an interesting card that doesn’t quite fit into any archetype right now. His weapon allows him to cleave through enemy minions and easily control the board, making him a good fit for Control Warrior, but Control Warrior loves to sit on the button and he has to trade in his button for a more aggressive one. Perhaps he will see play in decks that utilize hero power synergy to make the most of cards like Rotface, but in general it seems like Warrior is better off using the Ragnaros hero power that they get from their quest.

Dreadscale Knight

1 Mana 1/1

Common Neutral Murloc Minion

Lifesteal

Our Take: 1 mana 1/1s just aren’t very powerful and this is no exception. Notice how no one plays the 0 mana 1/1 Murloc because it doesn’t do enough. Lifesteal isn’t enough to warrant a one mana increase. It’s just more pack filler.

Drain Soul

2 Mana

Common Warlock Spell

Lifesteal

Deal 2 damage to a minion.

Our Take: This is basically Drain Life except it heals you more when you buff it with spell damage effects, it costs one mana less, and it can’t target the opponent’s face. Is a one mana discount enough to make a Drain Life effect playable? Most likely not. In general you are looking for 3 damage for 2 mana, making this fall well below the power curve.

Drakkari Enchanter

3 Mana 1/5

Epic Neutral Minion

Your end of turn effects trigger twice.

Our Take: We have seen Deathrattles trigger twice, Battlecries trigger twice, and now we are seeing EOT effects trigger twice. All of these effects are super powerful and this is no different. It’s also cheap enough to be played alongside minions that will give it an immediate effect, and has enough health to stick around and survive a turn or two. Expect some hefty experimentation with this one, and it might even find its way into a tier 1 combo deck of sorts.

Arrogant Crusader

4 Mana 5/2

Rare Paladin Minion

Deathrattle: If it’s your opponent’s turn, summon a 2/2 Ghoul.

Our Take: This is another one of those cards that wants to go for the face and only the face. It’s very fragile and will likely die before it even gets a swing, but at least you get a consolation prize. Still, this makes it only slight better than Frost Rager, which is still awful. It will see some experimentation in aggressive decks and then fall out of play.

Dark Conviction

2 Mana

Common Paladin Spell

Set a minion’s Attack and Health to 3.

Our Take: It’s the Sunkeeper Tarim and Keeper of Uldamann effect on a spell, except these effects are great because they also summon a body that is bigger than a 3/3. Most likely the effect alone isn’t really good enough to be worth playing, even in the Paladin Quest deck which wants to cast as many spells on its own minions as possible.

Bloodworm

5 Mana 4/4

Common Beast Minion

Lifesteal

Our Take: This minion exists solely so that Death Knight Rexxar can add Lifesteal to his build-a-beasts. Otherwise it’s just pack filler. Interesting note, however, Arfus can also be used in the build-a-beast formula. It’s a rare occurrence but it’s fantastic when it happens.

Bloodreaver Gul’Dan

10 Mana 5 Armor

Legendary Warlock Hero

Battlecry: Summon all friendly Demons that died this game.

Siphon Life

2 Mana

Warlock Hero Power

Lifesteal

Deal 3 damage.

Our Take: Say hello to the new control Warlock finisher. Playing this card gets you armor, fills your board with high value cards, and trades in your card advantage for the best damage dealing hero power in the game which ALSO heals you at the same time. Prepare to die to slow attrition victories at the hands of Warlock, no Reno Jackson required.

Strongshell Scavenger

4 Mana 2/3

Rare Druid Minion

Battlecry: Give your Taunt minions +2/+2

Our Take: This is Bolster with a body and the body isn’t that good… and Bolster isn’t that good… In short, it won’t be played unless Taunt Control Druid becomes an overwhelmingly powerful archetype.

Tuskarr Fisherman

2 Mana 2/3

Common Neutral Minion

Battlecry: Give a friendly minion Spell Damage +1.

Our Take: It’s a pretty bad body with a mediocre effect. Compare this to Cult Sorcerer, which has a better 3/2 both with Spell Damage +1, and has fallen out of play since the latest standard rotation. Pass, even in Spell Damage decks.

Bone Baron

5 Mana 5/5

Common Rogue Minion

Deahrattle: Add two 1/1 Skeletons to your hand.

Our Take: It’s a five mana 5/5 that gets you two one mana 1/1s. It’s, essentially a 7 mana 7/7, which is below the power curve in terms of value. Yes, these cheap minions can help you activate combo synergy, but Rogue already has plenty of combo activators and doesn’t need this overcosted one.

Doomerang

1 Mana

Epic rogue Spell

Throw your weapon at a minion. It deals its damage, then returns to your hand.

Our Take: While we still aren’t sure that Weapon Rogue will eventually become a widely played archetype, Doomerang does open up the gates to a possible “Control Weapon Rogue.” For example, Shadowblade can swing three times with Doomerang without costing you a single HP. Keep your eye on this one, because it has the potential of defining a meta, even if it’s not necessarily this meta.

Vryghoul

3 Mana 3/1

Deathrattle: If it’s your opponent’s turn, summon a 2/2 Ghoul.

Our Take: This is another one of those aggressive cards that does nothing but go for the face. Unlike most cards with one health, Vryghoul actively dissuades your opponent from pinging it out with a hero power or cheap spell because they don’t want it to summon a 2/2 in its steal. It’s going to be a great arena card, but it’s probably not powerful enough for constructed play.

Exploding Bloatbat

4 Mana 2/1

Rare Hunter Beast Minion

Deathrattle: Deal 2 damage to all enemy minions

Our Take: On one hand, this is four mana for a 2 damage enemy board wipe, which falls right in line with Paladin’s Consecration, and adds a 2/1 to the whole formula. On the other hand, a 2/1 body for 4 is so incredibly behind the curve and Hunter 4 drops are so powerful that I can’t see this being run in any Hunter archetype. It’s a better board wipe than Unleash the Hounds, but not by much.

Wicked Skeleton

4 Mana 1/1

Common Neutral Minion

Battlecry: Gain +1/+1 for each minion that died this turn.

Our Take: Chillwind Yeti is a 4 mana 4/5 that isn’t even playable. For this to even come close to seeing value, four minions would have had to die, bumping it up to a 5/5. It’s difficult to guarantee that sort of board state, and even then a 4 mana 5/5 isn’t all that impressive, so keep Wicked Skeleton in the closet.

Skelemancer

5 Mana 2/2

Common Neutral Minion

Deathrattle: If it’s your opponent’s turn, summon an 8/8 Skeleton.

Our Take: Possibly the epitome of the new “go for the face” cards, Skelemancer gives you extreme value… if you can get your opponent to kill it. 10/10 of stats for 5 is way above the curve. 2/2 for 5, however, is way below the curve. So unless you can be absolutely sure that your opponent will kill Skelemancer, it won’t be worth playing. Treat it the same way you would treat, say, an egg. Give it taunt or something similar and it will do quite a bit of work for you.

Archerus Veteran

1 Mana 2/1

Common Neutral Minion

Battlecry: Give a friendly minion +1 Attack

Our Take: Archerus veteran is a 2/1 that gives a minion +1 attack. Abusive Sergeant is a 1/1 that gives a minion +2 attack. Simply put, Abusive Sergeant is better.

Wretched Tiller

1 Mana 1/1

Common Neutral Minion

Whenever this minion attacks, deal 2 damage to the enemy hero.

Our Take: It’s a Leper Gnome that can squeeze out more value if it’s survives. Unfortunately, it’s really hard for a 1/1 to survive meaning this is likely far worse than Leper Gnome.

Toxic Arrow

2 Mana

Epic Hunter Spell

Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it survives give it Poisonous.

Our Take: Toxic Arrow is a direct damage spell for Hunter which is nice, but if there was ever a class that didn’t need another direct damage spell, it’s them. Hunter likes to go face and, as we said before, Control Hunter just isn’t an archetype that works right now. This would make Control Hunter better, except it only kills low mana minions and buffs basically every other minion in the game. It’s simply too weird to see play in any serious deck.

Gnash

3 Mana

Common Druid Spell

Give your hero +3 Attack this turn. Gain 3 Armor.

Our Take: Much like Bite, Claw, and all the other Druid spells that give you attack and armor temporarily, Gnash has a decent effect that just won’t be used often in existing archetypes. Druid already has plenty of direct removal in Swipe and Wrath. It simply doesn’t need to add these lesser powered removal cards to any of its lists.

Deathaxe Punisher

4 Mana 3/3

Epic Neutral Minion

Battlecry: Give a random Lifesteal minion in your hand +2/+2.

Our Take: Handbuff already doesn’t work super well. This is just another handbuff card with a much stricter condition and a worse body. In short, there’s no reason for thinking this will work when everything the Grimey Goons had to offer did not.

Keening Banchee

4 Mana 5/5

Rare Neutral Minion

Whenever you play a card, remove the top 3 cards of your deck.

Our Take: It’s a Chillwind Yeti with one extra attack and a huge drawback… yeah… no… next!

Spectral Pillager

6 Mana 5/5

Epic Rogue Minion

Combo: Deal damage equal to the number of other cards you’ve played this turn.

Our Take: Now this card has some potential. Granted it’s a six mana minion, which reduces its ability to rack up huge combo counts, but with a few counterfeit coins and backstabs, this can easily end up doing upwards of 5 damage, either to the face or a problematic minion. It comes with a 5/5 body to boot, making it a cheaper Blazecaller, in the right circumstances. Expect Miracle Rogue to toy around with this card quite a bit.

Tainted Zealot

2 Mana 1/1

Common Neutral Minion

Divine Shield

Spell Damage +1

Our Take: Do you know of any two mana 1/1s that are played in this meta? Neither do we, and this one certainly isn’t going to change that. Too little body and too much mana add up to a failure of a card.

Venomancer

5 Mana 2/5

Common Neutral Minion

Poisonous

Our Take: While this says it’s a 2/5 it’s really sort of an ∞/5 because it will kill anything it hits. The idea is that this will trade with at least two minions, if you can protect it. The reality is that anything on turn five or six will easily take the Venomancer out. This is another one of those cards that is fantastic in arena but that just doesn’t do enough in constructed to see high tier play.

Spellweaver

6 Mana 4/4

Common Neutral Minion

Spell Damage +2

Our Take: Spell Damage has only worked if it was coupled with card draw or some other good effect. Some other fringe Spell Damage cards also worked because they were cheap to play and lead into pseudo one turn kills. Spellweaver costs a bunch to play, negating those combos. It just has nothing going for it.

Grim Necromancer

4 Mana 2/4

Common Neutral Minion

Battlecry: Summon two 1/1 Skeletons

Our Take: If you think about it, you are paying for a 4 mana 4/6 worth of stats, which is above the curve, but spreading the stats out so wide is just asking for trouble. Maybe Grim Necromancer will find a home in Evolve decks, since she calls so many creatures into play, but for one mana extra you can play Dopplegangster which is a far better Evolve target.

Grave Shambler

4 Mana 4/4

Common Neutral Elemental Minion

Whenever your weapon is destroyed gain +1/+1

Our Take: We would have really liked to go out with a bang, but honestly Grave Shambler is kind of disappointing. Sure, it can gain stats quite quickly If you play it on the same turn your weapon shatters, but the chance of it sticking around for another +1/+1 of stats is slim to none. In the end, it’s just another 4 mana 5/5 which isn’t that impressive at all.

That’s all we have for you today. Tune in after Knights of the Frozen Throne releases to take a look at some of the new decks and strategies that it brought to the meta.