Welcome to the first ever installment BlitzBotv2’s Eccentric Emporium of Provocative Picks, otherwise known as BEEPPs! Every week I will be going over three cards that are underplayed, yet have potential. These are cards which aren’t used as often as other cards due to either the difficulty of playing these cards or the fact that these cards may be too situational for the current meta.
Recombobulator is possibly the funnest minion to play with in the game of Hearthstone. While on the surface, he may appear to be a total RNG fiesta there are ways to use Recombobulator to take advantage of his battlecry, namely with other battlecry minions. He also synergizes well with high health minions, as you can trade, and recombobulate the minion to get a new and fully healed minion. There are certain mana costs to look for minions when recombobulating them, and mana costs to avoid. Minions with mana costs 3 or lower generally have either too low statlines or mediocre continuous effects to make a Recombobulator battlecry effective. Minions costing 4-5 mana start having better continuous effects and statlines, yet the Recombobulator effect can whiff horribly, with 4 drops being turned into a 2/3 (Defender of Argus), and a variety of 5 mana 3/3s (Bomb Lobber, Antique Healbot) or even a 3/2 (Starving Buzzard). 5 mana minions also include the Fel Reaver, so keep that in mind before recombobulating your Azure Drake. 6 mana minions are a hotspot for high value continuous effect minions. Between Illidan, Sylvanas, Hogger, and many others, 6 mana minions generally have either good stats or insane effects.
Once you reach to minions with more than a 6 mana summoning cost, the potential return on Recombobulator is critical. 7 mana minions, however are a bit dicey, as there are many of them which have the majority of their value locked within their battlecry, I recommend avoiding this mana tier unless you are using some of those battlecry cards yourself. 8-9 mana minions are generally high value or high impact minions, so recombobulating one on the verge of death is always a good idea and can win you the game right there. 10 mana minions will always net you either a Sea Giant or Deathwing, and for the other giants, recombobulating them will essentially “refresh” the giant, returning it to full hp. Recombobulator takes a while to set up, especially with the more expensive minions, but Emperor Thaurissan can help with that, and the results can be absolutely hilarious and game winning to boot!
Echo of Medivh
If Recombobulator is one of my favorite minions, Echo of Medivh is my favorite spell in the game, hands down. There are many reasons why I love this spell, so many potential uses that it has. It can be used in an aggressive deck to refill your hand after flooding your board; it can be used in a slower deck to create multiple copies of high value minions such as Sylvanas or Emperor Thaurissan. Yet, the variety of uses isn’t just what attracts me to the card, but because each potential use requires a different strategy meaning you have to approach the card in a different manner each way you want to use it. If you have Echo in your hand you play more conservatively (if looking to play from a value perspective), trying to conserve your board until you play Echo, while aggressive decks will go all in because if there are no area of effect abilities, the pseudo draw provided by Echo will give you enough gas to push for lethal. Emperor Thaurissan increases the effectiveness of this card as it allows you to play this card for cheaper, letting you set up a higher value return on Echo. A good Echo can single-handedly win you games, and the definition of a “good” echo changes depending on matchups and opponents. For example, echoing Sludge Belchers seals you games versus aggressive decks while echoing Antique Healbots can save your hide from Freeze Mages or Druids with their combo. Recurring Loathebs to lock out spells or even Azure Drakes to draw through your deck isn’t even that bad of a play either. The versatility of Echo makes it potentially the strongest spell in the game, and it sees play in decks ranging from highly aggressive to super grindy, and anywhere in between.
Most players look at Echo of Medivh the wrong way. It is not simply a draw spell, nor a value spell. It creates a copy of minions that are already within your deck, unless you also run Unstable Portal, as such, before deciding whether or not you want to run it, you have to take a look at your deck. Getting multiple copies of Spider Tank is not as effective as getting multiple copies of cards such as Knife Juggler, Loatheb, Sludge Belcher, and Flamewaker, for example. Since Echo places a copy of each minion you have out on the field, you have to be confident that you can make the most of having extra copies of all the minions in your deck.
As you all have probably noticed by now I am a big fan of value cards and cards that can reap additional value from the cards that you play. Saraad is no different from cards in this category. Much like Ysera, he is a card that generates continuous card advantage as long as he remains on the field, making it a high priority target, but without the statline that Ysera brings. What Saraad has over Ysera is that it can potentially come out 4 turns earlier, and if you wish to guarantee an activation of Saraad’s inspire effect the same turn it comes out, then it can come out turn 7. He is much more difficult to protect than Ysera, but in return you get a much larger variety of cards that you can generate off of Saraad. From token creators, removal, life gain, and even damage cards, Saraad can get you whatever it is that you need, provided it isn’t Totemic Might.
Although Saraad adds a random spell that you cannot prepare for each time you activate his inspire ability, there are ways in which you can build your deck to make the most out of Saraad. For example, running Saraad in a weapon class allows you to effectively utilize the Rogue spells that rely on having a weapon, while running him in Mage allows you to utilize the the many minions that Mage has that synergize with spells (Antonidas, Mana Wyrm, Flamewaker, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, etc.) Many people deride Saraad for being a “bad” RNG card that doesn’t reward skill, but I argue otherwise. You can look through the collection of Hearthstone cards and find all the spells in the game and make a deck that can utilize the majority of the spells effectively.
Fun, but at what Cost?
I like cards that make you think. Now while that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I like being faced with decisions and hard choices. I enjoy being forced to choose the best play out of a series of good plays, and having to set up plays 3 turns in advance. This is what makes Hearthstone “fun” for me, and I hope I can confer the same joy onto you!
Blitz also writes for T/S and ESL, so make sure to stay up-to-date with BlitzBotV2 by following him on Twitter @BlitzBotV2.