ONIK Preview: The Final Week (4)
The final wing of One Night in Karazhan is opening soon, and it’s time to go over the cards that will be released. How impactful will they be? Our Data Reaper contributors chime in.
The scoring is as follows:
5- Staple core card, Meta-defining.
4- Strong, will see play.
3- Decent, has potential to see play.
2- Weak, situational, niche.
1- Terrible, unplayable.
Below is a spreadsheet that summarizes all of our contributors’ scores.
“Stat line is not as good in this meta. However, the battlecry is incredibly overpowered. Not sure if this slots into Tempo Mage, but the effect is powerful enough that it may be worth it as a build-around-me card.”
“Obviously powerful battlecry with a decent body. Getting the battlecry off will be more difficult because it takes 3 mana most of the time to develop a secret. Could be used as a one-of in Freeze Mage. 3 damage for 2 mana is pretty powerful and you usually have an Ice Block up.”
“A really strong card for the current meta, comparable to Blackwing Corruptor and Fire Elemental that are already ran in top tier decks. This card deals with a lot of strong early and mid-game minions with its battlecry. We will most likely see more secrets played in both Tempo and Control Mage because of the power level of this card.”
“This card is insane when the battlecry condition is met. The body takes even less penalty than that of Blackwing Corruptor. However, Freeze Mage may not have room for this, and Tempo Mage still can’t afford to play secrets from hand for full cost.”
“Getting the battlecry off this card is nuts, it just seems like fitting the curve will often be difficult with it seeing that it’ll be run in a heavy secret deck. Fitting this card into the curve while also providing board stat value with the rest of your mana on the current turn, and turns before and after might prove too difficult. It’s a strong overall card, which unfortunately does not really ever fit into a winning gameplan.”
“This is a two drop that you never really want to play on turn 2, which reminds me of Fallen Hero (though it is better). Yes, in theory, this card is bonkers, but how often will it actually happen?”
Average Score: 3.2
“I may be overhyping this card but it is one of my favorites of the expansion. I would be a little more conservative with my estimate, but because Shaman has a built in hero power for an activator, this card is a lot more consistent. It is light’s justice at its worst, and that is justifiable considering it only costs one mana. This could make Mid-Range Shaman even slower because now you can play Claws on turn 1 instead of Trogg, which protects you from losing to Fiery War Axe”.
“Interesting card that in the best case scenario is a Win Axe but in the worst case, it is Light’s Justice. By itself it helps the Zoo matchup even without the buff. Shaman usually has some Spell Power minions like Azure Drake. Could see play in Aggro Shaman with a Thalnos.”
“A potential 1 mana Fiery War Axe with an extra charge. This might be good in a spell heavy Mid-Range Shaman build that is more control oriented with more overload cards. The problem with this card is that the current archetypes don’t necessarily need it, though it really benefits slower Shaman builds in the early game. Another problem is the only spell-damage-viable (solid) minions for Shaman are Azure Drakes, Bloodmage Thalnos, and hero power for Wrath of Air Totem.”
“Even if this weapon never gets buffed, 1/3 for 1 mana is still good. So any time you have spell damage you get pure profit. Obviously you have a chance to get it whenever you summon a random totem, but you can also run Bloodmage Thalnos and Azure Drake as surefire ways to get it.”
“This card will work. Thalnos/Drake for late game draw works nicely in Shaman and 25% totem roll is a justifiable enough risk considering the 3 durability of this weapon. That’s where this card truly shines; that whopping three charges you’ll be getting. I think it’s definitely strong enough to make a real impact.”
“In a perfect scenario this card is amazing, but it’s not easy to activate it at the most critical turn, which is turn 2. Will you run Kobold Geomancers for this? Likely not, which means it could be a decent one-of in slower Shamans that run Azure Drakes.”
Average Score: 4
“A better Museum Curator for dragon decks, this will slot in nicely to more control-oriented dragon lists. Wouldn’t recommend using this in Tempo Dragon Warrior, however.”
“Fit for more control Dragon decks. Might be too slow in the current Meta though.”
“A valuable card for slower dragon decks like Dragon Priest and Dragon Paladin.”
“This may see play in a control dragon deck. It is similar to Museum Curator, except the dragon selection isn’t as good as the deathrattle selection, so it’s harder to adapt to your opponent with this card.”
“See Babbling Book and Swashburglar, and you’ll know I love early stats that can still provide value in the late game. I think this card is just too good not to get played. 1/3 on turn 2 does not do a lot, but enough to fight off some early aggression to be justifiable considering discovering a dragon is just plain amazing. This card is just about never a dead draw in the late game, and oozes value. I think it’s nuts.”
“Dragons are generally very strong minions, so discovering one carries a lot of value. The only problem is the lack of 3-mana Dragons, which would have made this card even better. Still, this is a solid 2-drop in Dragon Paladin or Dragon Priest; the latter will likely become the only decent Priest deck out there.”
Average Score: 3.3
“Pretty much a slightly better Kodo at a slightly higher price. Kodo is decent, so this card should be decent as well.”
“By turn 6 there isn’t usually a target for the battlecry. Playing this as a 3/6 on turn 6 kind of sucks and there are cards that can help control the board better like Sylvanas. On the other hand, this is another Dragon for the deck. In Control Dragon Warrior, there are better removal options. In Dragon Priest, Cabal is at the same mana cost so the 6 slot could get clunky and it doesn’t help in the early game of Priest. Fits Control Dragon Paladin the best because the effect is similar to Kodo and there are synergies with Aldor and Humility.”
“A way better version of Kodo for 1 extra mana, there are a lot of 3 attack minions being played, so this might be a really good card for slower decks to swing the tempo back.”
“This should become a staple in any control dragon deck.”
“A different take on Cabal with a dragon tag. It’ll probably just work, but it isn’t anything too special, just a nice, average, playable 6 drop.”
“This is the kind of minion slower dragon decks needed to be competitive. A decent body that’s worth 4-mana with a built in Shadow Word: Pain. Good board development with a powerful removal. Curves out nicely after an Azure Drake or a Blackwing Corruptor and provides more consistency in having a dragon in your hand for the early game. Great minion.”
Average Score: 3.7
“Good statline against most classes, effect is definitely relevant if it happens even once. Not sure if this card in conjunction with Silverware Golem is enough to make Discardlock better than Zoo in its current form, but it’s strong enough to at least try out.”
“Good statline for a 1 mana card. Powerful effect that might go into current Zoo (2 Doomguards, 1 Soulfire) but don’t think Discardlock becomes super powerful due to RNG.”
“1/3 body for 1 mana isn’t bad, and this card’s effect synergizes with Soulfires and Doomguards that Zoolocks are playing. It helps recover the drawbacks of discarding. This card will replace Argent Squire’s spot in Zoo, and we will definitely see this being played. Maybe it is good enough to justify playing Darkshire Librarian or other cards with the discard mechanic in Zoo.”
“Discard Warlock may become viable with this card.”
“I’m not sold on the discard mechanic totally, but I am probably wrong about it. Nice statline, this pushes the discard mechanic in the right direction that’s for sure.”
“The stats are strong and the effect is potentially very powerful. The only question is will Discard Warlock be a thing. If the answer yes, this minion will be a staple in it.”
Average Score: 3.7
“Any Warrior deck you are considering can find 30 cards better than this one. It is a bad Healbot in a class that already has a plethora of ways to gain life/armor.”
“Just bad. Any archetype that wants the minion doesn’t really care about the armor and vice versa.”
“5 mana 7/7 gain 4 armor, the dream. This card is too slow for tempo/midrange Warrior decks, and control archetypes already have refined lists with really tight spots for cards.”
“This is the worst of the portals. 4 armor is only worth about 1 mana, so the minion needs to make up for 4 mana. There are many 4 mana minions with huge battlecries and weak bodies, which is one of the reasons why Piloted Sky Golem was nowhere near as good as Piloted Shredder. Of course, there is a certain 4 mana shaman card that is very good when summoned, but there is also Faceless Shambler. Evolved Kobold is also very bad unless you have a Bash ready to go. Midnight Drake also adds to the list of atrocious 4-cost minions to be summoned randomly, and there are a couple of new 2/4s as well, while getting just the deathrattle from Xaril, Poisoned Mind is not enough to make up for its weak body.”
“This card is probably just auto include in Control Warrior – see Shield maiden. Yes there is some RNG here but armor is too valuable not to be running this card in Control Warrior.”
“Warrior already has a lot of ways to gain armor, and Control Warriors that would be interested in armor gain care less about minion development than other archetypes, so I don’t think this spell is a good fit.”
Average Score: 1.7
“Decent effect but weak body. It could fill the turn 3 void in Rogue, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that“.
“Not many decks can take advantage of the card’s effect except maybe Mill Rogue which kind of sucks. Bad body for 3 mana because of 3/2’s in Meta and 3 attack weapons.”
“Mill decks are coming back, I guess now we can see why Master of Disguise is nerfed.”
“This can act as extra hero health for weapon classes and Warlock.”
“By no means an incredible card; average stats for a 3 drop, an interesting mechanic with upside, seems fine. This card probably doesn’t see too much play, but I actually think it’s not too shabby.”
“There are two classes that may benefit from this: Warlock and Rogue. For Warlock, I can’t see this being played much. It’s just too clunky to use optimally and there are better cards out there for sustainability. For Rogue, it’s difficult to fit in because other minions are so competitive. This might have a niche in Mill Rogue, allowing you to fatigue your opponent without the fear of killing yourself.”
Average Score: 2.3
“A 5/6 statline for 5 is decent, the effect can be good if it hits 2 or more cards. Too inconsistent at the moment however as Burgle just isn’t playable.”
“Strong body for 5 mana but there might not be enough synergy for this card to be strong right now. Based on how Rogue plays, it doesn’t really fit. Could be strong in the future with more cards to support it.”
“It might be a good card; I just don’t think Control Rogue role playing as Priest will be a viable archetype.”
“This card will enable two-faced rogue. You sacrifice tempo to hoard cards from your opponent’s class. Then after you play this card, you can catch back up. This will be very fun if it works.”
“Really strong statline, and with how I’ve valued the pirate, its ability might be able to hit when people catch on to the strength of said pirate. Probably needs another set of cards with more steal effects for Rogue before it actually sees play, but the potential is definitely there.”
“I understand the dream. Play the Pirate 1-drop, play Huckster, play Burgle, then slam this on turn 5 and you have incredible cost reduction. Meanwhile, you’re at 10 life because you lost the board and your hand is full of cheap class cards that people mostly don’t want to put in their decks. That’s incredible! *Doomhammer swing*”
Average Score: 2.7
“Not bad, but not great either. 6 drops are a great pool of cards, although it is getting slightly weaker with the addition of so many battlecry 6-drops in ONiK. Comparable to Antique Healbot, but Druid never really needed Healbot so this card takes a small hit.”
“Not good enough to earn a slot in Druid as it doesn’t help with the problem of dealing with early game aggression. Not really a card you want to play on curve but would be okay with. Random 6 drops have a pretty good statline overall. This is amazing off Raven Idol / Yogg when trying to stabilize so it does help Druid overall.”
“This card looks to be really good, specifically in Ramp Druid since it runs a lot of taunts and big minions. The healing is good comeback resource for slower Druid builds to restore health and stabilize, whether it is a minion or your own health total. This card doesn’t seem to fit Token/Beast Druid as it is too slow for these archetypes.”
“This card has very good value most of the time. It only needs to summon approximately a vanilla 4/4 to break even. Anything beyond that is pure profit, and there is a lot of profit out there to be had. The worst case scenario by far is Corrupted Seer, which is only a vanilla 2/3 when summoned. The next step is already vanilla 4/4 or 5/3. There are many vanilla minions with much more stats, and there are many minions with very special effects, like Sylvanas and Thaurissan. The only problem with this card is that it’s just a bunch of value with no real synergy with a particular archetype, like the other two Druid cards with the beast archetype. So it has the Faceless Summoner status, it’s a filler card if you have nothing better to put in that mana slot.”
“This card can work. A class that has never really had any huge natural heal will feel the benefit of a card like this. Druid with playable heal is actually a really scary concept, since often times the win condition against the class has always been just to pound them to death knowing that their health only really is increased by the hero power. This is probably a sleeper card, the majority of the time the minion will hit fine, the heal for a class devoid of other strong heal options is what really makes me think this card has an opportunity to shine.”
“It’s fair to say that a random 6-cost minion is worth about 5 mana, so 1 extra mana for 6 health is a pretty good deal. Considering that Feral Rage often sees play in Druid, this card is much better. One of the weaknesses in healing cards is their lack of impact on the board. This spell allows you to heal as well as develop a minion, which makes it a much better option against control decks.”
Average score: 3.2
“Really only fits in control decks to help improve deck size. Makes your deck less consistent into drawing removal. Better options available like Elise. Could be weird tech if the Meta is all control.”
“Arena God card, in constructed it just adds inconsistency to your deck. For 5 mana, it is a strong body; maybe it is an extra Elise for control decks when playing control mirrors into fatigue.”
“Much has been said about this card. If you’re a non-competitive player with very few legendaries, you can easily be excited about it. You can have fun playing with legendaries you don’t own. But in the competitive scene, this card has almost no place. Even in its best use case, a fatigue war, it’s not very good. In anything other than a control versus control matchup, this card and the 5 extra ones are completely useless.”
“It’s a win condition for fatigue decks, so automatically it deserves at least a 3 because it is playable. Strong statline, and a demon adds more value to an already interesting mechanic, so in the right deck this card should just be good so I am boosting it to a 4. Odd card because it might simply never be played, because there might not be the right deck in the right meta for it at a given time, but I’m convinced the card’s power level is actually really strong.”
“Control decks can’t afford to make their draws more inconsistent with random legendaries for the benefit of winning games in fatigue. You need to draw your answers in order to survive and this card is detrimental to it. I don’t think the Meta will change for this card to be good.”
Average Score: 2
Medivh, the Guardian
“Most spells you play nowadays besides Call of the Wild are cheap. Cheap spells means cheap minions which means not a ton of value off Atiesh. Could be not terrible in control mirrors but that doesn’t make up for Medivh’s ridiculous clunkiness against faster decks”
“Why play this when there is a 4 mana 7/7. But seriously, this card is too slow and doesn’t have an immediate impact unlike cards like Rag. 1/3 weapon isn’t going to help that much on that turn and the staff’s effect can only be taken advantage of the turn after most of the time.”
“You can now choose to either play Rhonin or Medivh in your Control Mage. This might be alright in spell heavy control decks like Control Rogue or Control Priest too if they still exist.”
“This is Summoning Stone on a stick, literally. It can work in slow games.”
“An incredibly slow card, riddled with RNG. 8 mana cards are win conditions, I don’t trust this card to win me any games, I forsee it as probably un-playable for that reason.”
“I love this card, and it presents incredible late game value. The problem is that in most matchups you don’t have time to play it and utilize it to its potential. I can see it being played to some extent, but never be ubiquitous. A Harrison or Ooze can be so punishing against it too.”
Average Score: 2.3
This article was brought to you by the following members of the Data Reaper Team:
Wwlos ranking is absolutely abusurd. I can’t wrap my head how majority of obviously mediocre cards are meta definity to him.
Give me some actual rebuddle, I’d love to discuss it! Edit* 25 Days later – Every card I gave a 5 for Meta defining has seen extensive play. FeelsGoodMan.
Look at your arguments for Malchezaar for example. “It’s a win condition for fatigue decks, so automatically it deserves at least a 3 because it is playable.” But the stats this site puts out shows fatigue decks are already niche, and unless you think this card is suddenly going to make fatigue decks good, this card can at most be considered bad/niche, which would be 2. Just because it’s ‘good’ in a niche deck shouldn’t make it a 3 according to your scoring guideline. And then you think being a demon makes it a 4, because uh… warlock fatigue decks are a thing? And then you say it might not fit in any deck that actually works right now, but it’s good man, I feel it. So… your assessment isn’t actually based on any facts or evidence given current circumstances, but you claim the card is “strong, and WILL see play”. If you’re going to contribute to the site, at least follow the guidelines of the site.
I am seeing this way late. Opps. Anyways, When I evaluate cards I look at them at a much grander scale then the current meta at the time of the Release. Just because Fatigue decks were weak three weeks ago doesn’t meant they will be the entire time this card exists in standard so I look at it like that. That’s why I mention the Demon tag as well, Demons very well could make a comeback over the years so I can see that actually being impactful. So while it might be “Niche” a lot of really strong 4 level cards are “Niche” (Shit C’Thun is Niche right? It can only be played in C’Thun decks, but no one will argue its a 4 or higher) I honestly didn’t pay attention to that word in the ranking chart. Also I never use the words, “I feel it” the entire short review is listing things I think make it great and I end with “I’m convinced it’s power level is really strong”. I mean these are opinionated card reviews so I am confused with what issue you are having with that considering I listed the reasons I thought it was strong. Oh well, I hope this lets you in a bit more on my process. That being said I did get quite a few cards wrong this review set, and I can admit that (Because I also got A TON correct – as card reviews go), Ironically I don’t think Prince Mal was one of them, his time will come and he has seen some high level play already even without the right tools around him.