The Comprehensive Fall of Ulduar Preview

Runes of Darkness

A 1-mana spell that discovers a weapon is a weak card at its baseline. The upgrade makes the card much better, especially considering that Death Knight Weapons are generally quite strong. However, Runes of Darkness requires us to spend corpses, which means we can’t play it in the early game if we want to utilize its full potential. What’s more is that this is a Blood card. Blood-Ctrl Death Knight usually needs its early game corpse generation for Vampiric Blood and Corpse Explosion. We can see the appeal of Runes later in the game, when the deck usually has a lot of corpses to spend and may appreciate some more weapon damage to close out games, but Ignis might be doing a better job here.

The one deck that might be a strong fit for Runes of Darkness is Rainbow Death Knight, but that’s never been an indication that a card will be played.

Score: 1

Sickly Grimewalker

We can compare this card to Hawkstrider Rancher. Grimewalker only triggers Undead and gives them Poisonous instead. Poisonous is a stronger keyword if we’re looking to control the board, but not so much if we’re the aggressor. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that we will get value from Poisonous, unless the undead minions can attack on the same turn. The easiest way to use Grimewalker is alongside a hero power on turn 5 but spending 5 mana to kill one minion is not the most efficient play.

With one less health than Rancher, Grimewalker is a much slower card that’s less likely to be played in Unholy-Aggro Death Knight. What it does provide Unholy is a potential board clear with Wild Pyromancer, like how Firemancer Flurgl and Toxfin work, but it’s more expensive and requires a spell. Army of the Dead is also available for a mass removal option, but it’s even more expensive.

It’s important to note that Grimewalker does not work with Hardcore Cultist, since the Poisonous keyword is given to Cultist after its battlecry is resolved and it enters play. This card is harder to use than it may initially look.

Score: 1

Sinister Soulcage

A 4-mana, stronger version of Psyche Split. The big caveat is that Soulcage requires a significant corpse investment and only works on undead, which makes it extremely unlikely that we can activate it on curve, let alone develop something worth copying. Psyche Split saw play in Priest thanks to massive mana reduction through Nazmani Bloodweaver, which Death Knight does not have access to either.

For Soulcage to see play, it needs a big target that can get massively discounted through other means. Stitched Giant comes to mind. However, Stitched Giant requires us to spend corpses to discount it, which makes it less likely we’ll have the corpses available to copy it.

Score: 1

Final Thoughts: Forgettable. It’s hard to see Death Knight becoming stronger with this set. None of its current archetypes got major upgrades, while none of the mini-set cards open up a lot of room for new strategies to see play.

1 Comment

  1. On the Mindbender on a outcast DH with a glaivetar can do a lot of dmg and inst to hard to buff the glaivetar and set up a turn lethal since sigil draw 4 cards.
    On Mage, im using Tainted and Meddlesome(since few draw spells) on elemental mage and yap is agro.
    On Rogue i just played on Tendrils since looks like the most fun and random noosenses.
    On Warlock Encroaching Insanity was great on fatigue imp ,really fun doing 7-8 dmg with crescendo,the only problem is if you dont win at turn 7-8 you will die because the amount of self fatigue you did to yourself and Harp cant save you.
    And yap Yogg is good for remove and more random tendrils

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