The Comprehensive Rise of Shadows Preview

Toxfin

Plague Scientist is a 3 mana 2/3 that requires a combo to give a minion poisonous. This is a 1 mana 1/2 battlecry with the same effect, restricted by the murloc tribe. Toxfin is completely busted and gives aggressive murloc decks the ability to nuke down taunts with ease. Works so incredibly well in Shaman alongside Soul of the Murloc.

Score: 4

Classes: Shaman

Potion Vendor

A 1 mana Fungal Enchanter, this card made us re-evaluate Heal Druid as well as Control Priest builds. Such good value for what it does at the cost of nearly nothing. Might sneak in.

Score: 2

Classes: Druid, Priest

Arcane Servant

An Elemental River Croc. Nothing to see here.

Score: 1

Hench-Clan Hogsteed

Neat little card that provides pseudo removal. The beast tag makes it a relevant option for Hunter, a class lacking in good 2-drops, but we can see other classes using it as well for their own synergies.

Score: 3

 

Classes: Hunter, Warrior, Shaman, Druid

Dalaran Librarian

Very strong Silence Priest enabler. Might also be relevant in Handlock due to its affinity to Watchers.

Score: 2

Classes: Priest, Warlock

Mana Reservoir

Cute idea but we just don’t believe in minions that have 0 attack and aren’t eggs.

Score: 1

Sunreaver Spy

A Totem Golem for Secret Paladin without overload. This deck also has a Fiery War Axe. Talk about pushing an archetype!

Score: 4

Classes: Paladin

Spellbook Binder

Seems great when it activates but isn’t that easy to fit in a deck. Still a baseline 3/2 for 2, so its worse case scenario isn’t even that bad. Might help its chances of seeing play.

Score: 2

Classes: Mage

Evil Cable Rat

Good value card that’s flexible. Can be considered a serviceable turn 3 play that generates tempo often, so comparison with Novice Engineer is not reflective of its power level. Might be sleeper strong and ends up in multiple decks.

Score: 3

Classes: Druid, Hunter, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior

Faceless Rager

The first competitive Rager minion? This card will usually be very strong if it’s being played in a deck with high health minions. Priest immediately springs to mind as a great fit, and it might help the class establish some aggression in its playstyle. Handlock, if it becomes a real deck, should also play this.

Score: 2

Classes: Priest, Warlock

Flight Master

Worse Spider Tank, because your opponent gets to attack with his 2/2 first. Pretty terrible card.

Score: 1

Hench-Clan Sneak

Not as bad as it looks, but still bad.

Score: 1

Traveling Healer

Cute turtle man. If we cared about healing for 3, we’d play Farseer.

Score: 1

Violet Spellsword

Piques your curiosity, but if we want to play a bunch of stats, it’s less likely we’re hoarding resources in hand. This card is unlikely to find a home that makes sense.

Score: 1

Soldier of Fortune

Priest has a better silence target at 4 mana. We should know by now that we don’t want to give our opponent mana.

Score: 1

Proud Defender

This is a pretty good neutral taunt. Not amazing but may find its way to decks, especially in tournaments.

Score: 2

Classes: All

Dalaran Crusader

A card that’s almost good enough to escape the label of pack filler but is likely not constructed material.

Score: 1

Violet Warden

Strictly better than Archmage, which is outrageous. sToP tHe PoWeR cReEp.

Score: 1

Safeguard

Where is my Sludge Belcher.

Score: 1

Eccentric Scribe

Savannah Low Man.

Score: 1

Heroic Innkeeper

Great waifu material. Will marry. Won’t play in constructed deck.

Score: 1

Burly Shovelfist

So where does he shove his fist, Team 5?

Score: 1

Spellward Jeweler

Good tech card against burn-centric combo decks, so might see tournament play in specialist format. Likely too narrow to consistently see play on ladder.

Score: 2

Classes: All

Arcane Watcher

Another strong Silence Priest/Handlock minion. These two archetypes have received quite a neat package of neutral cards.

Score: 2

Classes: Priest, Warlock, Mage

Portal Keeper

So much effort to write a long battlecry description about pack filler. Impressive.

Score: 1

Hecklebot

Relevant tech card against combo decks utilizing low minion counts. Serviceable taunt against Aggro. Reminiscent of Dirty Rat, but weaker. Don’t put this in your constructed decks on day 1, noobs.

Score: 2

Classes: All

Recurring Villain

If it wasn’t for those pesky, better Hearthstone cards….

Score: 1

Sunreaver Warmage

One of the stronger neutrals in the set. Strong consideration for every deck that plays expensive spells and may even encourage decks to incorporate more of these spells. Enormous tempo swing when played and can hit face.

Score: 3

Classes: Druid, Mage, Priest, Shaman

Mad Summoner

It’s those God damn imps again.

Score: 1

Exotic Mountseller

Violet Teacher on crack.

Score: 1

Underbelly Ooze

Everyone, slither in here!

Score: 1

Tunnel Blaster

Bigger abomination. Probably still not good.

Score: 1

Magic Carpet

If we’re playing a lot of 1-drops, we’re an aggressive deck that wants to kill people. Playing a 3-mana minion with 1 attack doesn’t kill people. Seems like a card that could be mildly relevant in aggressive mirrors, and even then, the body makes it hard to play on curve when behind.

Score: 1

Hench-Clan Hag

This card is almost good enough for many decks, and there’s a chance it could slip into one of them, but it’s more likely to be snubbed. Hunter would run this minion if not for Master’s Call. Shaman and Druid might be tempted but ultimately have better options. Warlock won’t be playing Jumbo Imps.

Score: 1

Azerite Elemental

Earthen Might/Menacing Nimbus nerf.

Score: 1

Portal Overfiend

This thing again? Didn’t we tell you to take a portal out of here?

Score: 1

Unseen Saboteur

Another relevant and potentially powerful anti-combo tech card that will be mostly effective in tournaments and mostly played by noobs on ladder despite countering 5% of the meta. Don’t be a noob.

Score: 2

Classes: All

Whirlwind Tempest

Mega bad.

Score: 1

Batterhead

This card is quite powerful, and has a lot of potential to see play, especially in the scenario of token decks re-emerging in the absence of Spreading Plague. With both Druid and Shaman looking well equipped to leverage Bloodlust and Savage Roar, this card can destroy small and sticky boards generated by Soul of the Forest/Murloc by itself. This minion can also act as another copy of AOE for classes that either lack good board clears or don’t have enough of them. Just a good tech for board flooding decks that might become a consistent choice for some classes.

Score: 2

Classes: Druid, Paladin, Priest

Big Bad Archmage

Power of Creation: the neutral version. We would normally not give this card the time of day, but this is a strong target for both Eureka and Muckmorpher, and since we’re high on this potential archetype, we’re giving this one a tentative ‘maybe’.

Score: 2

Classes: Shaman

Archmage Vargoth

Very powerful card that can be easily abused by multiple classes that have strong non-targetable spells. Any deck that has a package of these spells will strongly consider including Vargoth, and it’s hard to predict where it ends up because its potential is so vast. We will be very surprised if it doesn’t make it into Control Warrior builds, specifically.

Score: 4

Classes: Druid, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior

Barista Lynchen

This card’s flashy effect drives us to immediately scramble for late game combos where it would be busted, and it’s hard to find any combos that are relevant at all. However, this card is just meant to serve as a draw engine for minion centric decks that tend to have a lot of battlecry minions, and in those decks, this card could be nuts. For a 5 mana 4/5, even drawing one card is a good deal. Draw multiple cards, and you’ve done very well for yourself. Zoo Warlock, Midrange Shaman, Dragon Warrior, Conjurer Mage and Burger Rogue are notable mentions.

Score: 4

Classes: Mage, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior

Chef Nomi

A card that’s only good when you reach fatigue is usually a bad Hearthstone card, and this chef takes the cake. We’re aware of Myra’s Unstable Element, and their interaction does not interest us whatsoever. If we play MUE, we’ve already won.

Score: 1

Archivist Elysiana

Probably the most overrated card of the set. It’s another card that’s only relevant in fatigue situations. However, it’s not unplayable, and can be used as tech card in a control deck meant to beat another control deck by extending the fatigue clock. However, we very much doubt that the fatigue clock will be relevant in most matchups in Hearthstone in the new expansion. Elysiana is potentially relevant in tournaments and as a win condition in fatigue style decks, but it’s very weak in any other scenario.

Score: 2

Classes: Priest, Warlock, Warrior

Jepetto Joybuzz

The mother of all combo cards, Jepetto Joybuzz is a minion tutor with a mega-Thaurissan effect, and is a huge enabler of low minion density combo decks. Just imagine this card in Malygos or Togwaggle Druid of the last year and try not to throw up on your screen. It’s very hard for us to envision the next 2 years without seeing Jepetto Joybuzz become a meta defining factor at some point. It explains why Hecklebot and other anti-combo cards were printed in this set. They were probably insurance.

The possibilities of Jepetto are endless, and it may not necessarily only be used in the way we’ve described. It could just fuel a deck with plenty of strong static effects attached to minions. The classes best equipped to abuse Jepetto are the usual suspects with burst damage capabilities: Malfurion, Anduin, Jaina and Valeera love to go un-interactive whenever they get the chance.

Score: 4

Classes: Druid, Mage, Priest, Rogue

 

 


16 Comments

  1. How long do we have to wait before we can make fun of them for whiffing on all the Bomb/Mech/Alysiana cards?

  2. I have a few disagreements
    – Jepetto is completely overhyped and I’m surprised you too fell for it. Everybody seems to forget that one must draw AND PLAY Jepetto BEFORE drawing the minions required for an OTK, otherwise it just falls flat. Tog’s Schema can make Jepetto more consistent. You can cast Tog Scheme on Malygos and then draw two 1-mana Malygoses with Jepetto, which sounds good in theory but is actually worse than Kobold Illusionist + Necrium stuff (not to mention Rogue loses the petals…). If 2018 Maly Rogue wasn’t competitive, 2019 Jepetto Maly Rogue won’t be either.

    – Implock is bad, but imo not totally unplayable. It could fill Odd Paladin’s niche as the hyperswarmy deck. It won’t break the meta but can carve a spot into tier 3 imo.

    – Fiery War Axe and Totem Golem are good cards, but they require you to play a Secret on turn 1…but a true aggro deck want to play a minion on turn 1, not a defensive card! Totem Golem is bused when it follows a Tunnel Trogg, not so much when it follows a Never Surrender. Also, Paladin has no way to refill its hand.

    Besides that, I agree with most of your analysis. Very nice job, and very funny to read too. I too would like to marry Waifu Innkeeper 🙂

  3. Yeah you are pulling a caverns below reveal with the Portal demons, a.k.a massively understimating them

  4. Always fun to see predictions that turn out really bad. There is some lack of vision on some of this predictions but overall they seem spot on

  5. “Barista Lynchen” seems like a great card. Until you watch her reveal video. She actually copies “other battlecry minions you control”. So you need to have minion survive for this to be relevant, so fuck this, this seems 2 at best mostly for the steampunk espresso machine.

    Another one is “Exotic Mountseller”. Compare it to auctioneer, for instance. Greedy goblin friend provides card advantage to win the game. This provides board advantage (for 1 more mana and 5 more stats). Violet teacher is reasonable comparisson, but board of 1/1s does not win games without buffs. Board of 3/3 (on average) just might. It is at least 2 for me in the right class and deck, maybe even 3.

  6. Kudos on a fantastic piece of work! I particularly like the fact that you prepared it without previously having seen other set reviews. I’ve seen several, now, and value your unique perspective. It’s thorough and thoughtful, and I appreciate your focus on each card’s relevancy with respect to ladder-play, as opposed to stream & meme or pro-tournaments. Much appreciated!

  7. I really like the choice y’all made to do ratings out of 4, and how you’re very straightforward with your reasoning/explanations. Definitely the best comprehensive set review I’ve seen.
    I’m skeptical as to whether Waggle Pick really is better than Necrium Blade (even without synergies) in a Raiding Party deck. If you play Pick + Corsair on 4 and attack, then when you attack the next turn and return Corsair to your hand, you lose all the tempo you got playing it for free last turn. I think the deathrattle is really bad when it hits most of that deck and you’d rather just play a 3 mana 3/2 weapon that doesn’t mess up your gameplan. Now if the best Rogue deck winds up being a Lackey/Heistbaron Toggwaggle deck that just runs Raiding Party for consistency/thinning, then maybe you have enough targets that don’t make you sad for this to be better.
    Can’t wait to see what you have to say as we get into the upcoming meta. Cheers

  8. Thank you for all the hard work you put into your content guys! I haven’t played hearthstone competetively for a few months now, but I still enjoy everything you put out, it always gets me hyped to try new things in the game

  9. Plot twist can enable a mechathun otk but it doesnt seem like there will be enough good controlock cards until future expansions.

    Evil genius might be underrated. 2 mana add two random lackeys to your hand seems good so as long as you hit a 2/2 (maybe even a 2/3) or worse it might be worth it.

    Darkest hour might be for a wild deck with voidcaller, lackey, and eggs? Maybe they’re trying to push a deck with spells that summon small minions like scheme (lol) to sac and recruit the big ones from your deck?

  10. Will you do a pre-release poll? It’s a nice tradition, and it would be a shame to have it stopped.

  11. Man this article is a dream come true coming from you guys. And excellent read, I can’t wait for the next article! I certainly hope this become tradition, because this is some seriously quality content!

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