Hearthstone: Witchwood cards that are better than we thought
Now that Hearthstone’s new expansion, The Witchwood, has been out for a month and the meta has started to solidify, it’s time to look back on our predictions and see where we were wrong. The following cards ended up being major players in the meta, despite flying under our radar during the preview period.
If you still have the dust left, you might want to add these to your collection.
Healing everything for six just didn’t seem like it was all that impressive, and two mana seemed too steep considering you could heal four points of damage for zero mana with circle of healing. However, it turns out that Divine Hymn has a place in a new archetype we didn’t see coming: Mindblast Priest. With the exit of Raza, Mindblast Priest just tries to kill you the old fashioned way, Alexstraza, Mind Blast and a lot of self-heal. Divine Hymn just fits the bill. It also creates a decent card-draw engine with Northshire Cleric and Wild Pyromancer.
Hagatha the Witch
When we had a choice of Shaman legendaries to peg as a must craft, we obviously chose Shudderwock. It turns out that the best Shudderwock decks run Hagatha as well. Her board wipe and ability to add spell support to decks focused on drawing cards is hard to pass up when you are looking to hit an infinite combo. The extra five armor she gives you also does a decent job of helping you survive long enough to pull off your combo.
Cards that do something when your hero attacks are usually only good for arena.
However, it turns out that a +1/+1 effect on a decently sized body is good enough for Rogue. With their hero power, they can rely on a hero attack every turn, which means Hench-Clan Thug just grows and keeps growing unless the opponent can deal with it. It’s an incredible threat wrapped up in an unassuming card, and it essentially allowed more tempo focused Rogue decks to survive, even though Quest Rogue is currently the best Rogue deck in the meta.
Shudderwock needed some way to kill the opponent, and it turns out this is it. Not only does Lifedrinker’s battlecry eventually kill the opponent when repeated over and over, it also acts as a decent healing measure to stall before the combo comes out. Overall, it’s just a good utility minion.
When Marsh Drake was revealed, I didn’t think it stood a chance to get run in any list because of its incredible battlecry drawback. As it turns out, many decks can easily handle the drawback at very little cost, which means Marsh Drake is just a 3 mana 5/4, which is way above the power curve. It’s also a dragon, and since many powerful dragons were removed from the game in the last standard rotation, it fills the gaps in dragon synergy decks.
Originally we thought that Even Shaman decks were too weak to see any play in this meta. Well… we were right, but people are still experimenting with the archetype, and it is decent as a tier 3 deck. After the inevitable round of nerfs, even Shaman decks might have a chance to survive, and Murkspark Eel will be a must-run.
A vanilla three mana 3/4 didn’t seem like much to talk about. However, many good dragons and Murlocs have rotated out of standard, and Nightmare Amalgam can take its place. We originally thought that the dominant Murloc Paladin was going to disappear after rotation, but it turns out that subbing in Nightmare Amalgam for these lost murlocs was enough to put it back in Tier 1 status. The same goes for any tribal deck that is missing tribe members.
We didn’t think that there was going to be much room for control decks in the upcoming meta, outside of Cubelock. Once again, we were right, but Rotten Applebaum is seeing play in some Tier 2 and 3 decks like Taunt Druid and Warrior. Once again, when the inevitable nerfs come, Rotten Applebaum will be run in many more high tier decks. Either that, or we’re all going to switch to Artifact.
Scaleworm isn’t a great minion, but once again, dragon synergy decks are hurting for anything that makes dragons better. Since Dragon Priest is still barely hanging on, Scaleworm eventually found a home.
The Glass Knight
We were way off on this one.
We thought that Secret Paladin was going to be one of the best decks in the meta, and that Liam would be the must-craft Paladin legendary. While Secret Paladin is good, it turns out that Baku and Genn Paladin were even better. Heck Murloc Paladin was better. Even midrange Paladin was better. Yes, we exist in a meta where four viable Paladin builds are at the top of the tier list.
The Glass Knight ended up being good because of synergy with Truesilver Champion, but flew under everyone’s radar because that just didn’t seem to be enough synergy to make a deck work. It turns out that it had some additional synergy in Vicious Scalehide and Corpsetaker that makes it just good enough to include in other powerful Paladin lists.
Vex Crow is the only reason Mage has managed to stay active in this meta. After the very powerful Secret Mage was demolished by the last standard rotation, Tempo Mage came back into the spotlight with Vex Crow’s ability to general minions using small spells. This combined with Archmage Antonidas allowed Mage decks to generate a considerable amount of value which contended with both Paladin and Warlock decks.
Vicious Scalehide wouldn’t be much to talk about on its own. However, it’s an even card, it can be summoned by Call to Arms, and it loves being buffed by cards like Spikeridged Steed. This, along with its ability to activate The Glass Knight, made it an include in several Even Paladin builds.
The biggest problem with Witching Hour was that there wasn’t a beast that was strong enough to be worth recalling. Of course, we were wrong. That beast was Hadronox. Once again, Carnivorous Cube ruins everything. Hadronox and Cubing Hadronox creates a wall of taunts that is very hard to overcome. If Hadronox gets silenced and destroyed, no problem, just recall it back with Witching Hour.
Finally, Witchwood Piper turned out to be a very powerful tutor effect. Primarily it was used in Shudderwock decks, but it also saw some play in Hunter decks that focused on buffing small minions with Dire Frenzy.
What are some Witchwood cards that ended up being better than you thought? Let us know in the comments.