The Comprehensive Ashes of Outland Preview

It’s that time of the season again! In this article, we will review the new cards, evaluate the strength of each class set and rank them against each other. We will also be ranking the classes based on their overall power level to predict the upcoming meta.

In addition, we will be producing a theory-crafting article in which we will present you with ideas on what kind of decks could be successful from each class in Ashes of Outland. It will be released on Sunday, April 5th, a couple of days before the expansion’s launch.

Ashes of Outland brings a new class to the game, with its unique mechanics and traits. Demon Hunter is an unknown quantity at this stage, and it will be exciting to see how it shapes up. Alongside a higher number of Ashes of Outland cards (15), it is also receiving 30 cards from separate basic & initiate sets, which we’ve evaluated in Sunday’s piece.

Reminder: We made it a principle not to watch any early access streams promoting the expansion, to make sure that we’re not influenced by them whatsoever. It keeps our Preview strictly theory-based, which makes it more interesting to read, in our opinion. 

We’ve assessed cards based on their potential strength and scored them accordingly from 1 to 4 based on the guidelines below.

4- Meta-defining, or an extremely powerful card we have great confidence will see play. Translation: Busted!

3- Very strong card that we’re confident will see play. Translation: Nice!

2- Decent, or niche card with potential to see play. Translation: Okay!

1- A card we don’t believe will see competitive play, for whatever reason. Translation: Meh!

For neutral cards that we believe will see play, we’ve also listed the classes that are most likely to use them.

Each class piece ends in final thoughts regarding the class’ prospects and ranks it.

Year of the Dragon Sets rank: How strong is the class based on its cards from the Classic, Rise of Shadows, Saviors of Uldum, Descent of Dragons and Galakrond Awakening’s sets? (For Demon Hunter, this rank applies to its Basic and Initiate set)

Ashes of Outlands Set rank: How strong is the class’ new set, not ignoring impactful neutrals that could supplement it?

Overall Power Ranking: How strong is the class based on the entire standard card pool?

We’ll see you again soon!

The Vicious Syndicate Data Reaper Team



Spoilers: Ashes of Outland Summary of Ranks


  1. You made a small mistake with Starscyer that reads “draw a spell” and not “draw a card”, so it’s not a Loot Horder. Is that a significant difference? Most likely not after Pocket Galaxy rotates out, but it’s still worth mentioning that it can act as a semi-tutor in a minion-heavy deck.

  2. So, next year with Rogue and Hunter dominating meta.
    And they are wondering why Hearthstone is more and more boring.

  3. When talking about the 5 mana 4/6 Shaman card “Shattered Rumbler” you mention the body paying a stat penalty for the effect. Then you say the 5 mana 4/6 Paladin card ” Aldor Truthseeker” pays no stat penalty for it’s effect, why is that?

  4. I loved that bit of A Song of Fiery War Axe and Ice Breaker in the Priest section, as sad as the situation is for Anduin 🙁

  5. Great review. I always enjoy reading these!

    I think the text on Infectious Sporeling (“After this damages a minion” NOT “After this minion attacks and damages a minion”) means that it doesn’t need to attack to get the affect off. That doesn’t mean this card is good, but makes it more interesting. You opponent can trade one of their cheap minions in to gain a copy of this minion?

  6. @CheeseEtc
    I agree with the concerns about DH.
    They are punt in 3rd spot behind Rogue and Hunter yet I feel that they have better tools than both classes because DH has reliable early power plays with the best 1-drop in the game, cheap and effective HP, mini Muster for battle, cheap minion removal with Eye-Beam.
    So typically by the mid-game they will have control over the board when they can start playing their OP/broken cards like Anthean, Priestess of Fury, Skull of Guldan or Metamorphisis.

    It feel like the class has been given all the goods at once: removal, card draw, effective minions and life-gain for the sustain.

    Where the older classes typically miss a part: Rogue typically has no way to regain health but can win the board to compensate, Hunter has typically no real card draw but can compensate with it’s hero power to finish the game, Warlock typically hasn’t too powerful cards but can draw more to get more answers in hand.

    My prediction is Deamon Hunter on 1, Rogue on 2 and Hunter on 3.

  7. Imprisoned Observer isn’t absolute trash tier as you might think.
    It’s still two 4 mana cards for 3 mana in one card. Sure you have to wait two turns for the value yet this doesn’t mean that you don’t do anything for these two turns.
    You can also play into setting up your opponents board in such a way that you can clear it on turn 5. Don’t underestimate that your turn begins with a free Consecration.

    Sure this card becomes worse the longer the game goes and as a top-deck this is terrible.

  8. I’m really concerned about the DH class. It has been demonstrated when Genn was released that 1-mana hero powers are often OP. It’s worse for DH because it’s a ping HP, especially when compared to Druid. The 1 armor never really mattered for Shapeshift which means than DH HP is a strict powercreep. Add to that the OPness of most DH cards…

    I’m also worried about DH’s future expandability. Not only is DH very limited in its theme, its also limited in terms of flavor. All other classes fit into more general D&D/fantasy archetypes and are therefore easily expandable. DH on the other hand is oddly specific and only exists in the Warcraft universe… They should have picked DK or Monk as a 10th class…

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