The Comprehensive Rise of Shadows Preview

Data Reaper Report - Druid

Acornbearer

A value 1-drop which is reminiscent of Fire Fly. Not as strong as Fire Fly because it’s a deathrattle effect and has a weaker body. However, it provides Druid with a turn 2 play if it dies, and the class has obvious synergies with token-based strategies. Any deck that runs Savage Roar and Power of the Wild will want this card, and it should become one of the stronger 1-drops in Standard format.

Score: 3

Crystal Power

Holy Smite or Flash Heal, in one card. This versatility makes it more valuable than the separate choices. The healing effect might be important in a Druid deck built around healing which is promoted in this set, making Crystal Power the best enabler available. But regardless of whether a healing Druid turns out, Crystal Power is a strong enough card on its own and provides Druid with removal, something it never has too much of.

Score: 3

Blessing of the Ancients

This card is expensive for what it does, though it has a chance of seeing play in Token Druid just because board buffs are so important to the deck. Compared to Mark of the Lotus, this card looks very weak, but that MotL was just unfair. At 2 mana, Blessing of the Ancients might be too strong. At 3 mana, it’s borderline. The card’s playability becomes a factor of just how good its archetype is.

Score: 2

Dreamway Guardians

Pretty well-rounded 2-drop that synergizes with a Druid deck that is focused on spells, generating tokens or just survival. Annoying to deal with for most aggressive decks and helps complement Druid’s removal kit. We can see different kinds of decks running this card because it’s so versatile and allows the class to fight for the board in the early game.

Score: 3

Lifeweaver

Decent stats for 3 mana. Great follow up to Dreamway Guardians. The question becomes whether there are enough healing effects to make this card worth running, and it’s very likely that a deck with Lifeweaver will require neutral healing. Keeping Potion Vendor in mind, it might be worth considering because it’s such a strong effect for basically no stat penalty. This card is likely to get better with future sets.

Score: 3

The Forest’s Aid

The strength of token generating Druid decks usually lie in their ability to produce enough threatening boards, beyond the opponent’s ability to clear them. Taking that in consideration, this card is extremely powerful. With Wispering Woods and Soul of the Forest, Token Druid will be able to constantly reload the board in slower matchups, and one unanswered turn is all that’s necessary to Savage Roar into a victory. This card should also close games in aggressive matchups provided the Druid survives to that point.

Score: 3

Crystalsong Portal

2 mana for 3 class minions is an incredible deal, making Crystalsong Portal one of the strongest and most efficient value generators in the Year of the Dragon. The restriction isn’t that difficult to comply with, since Druid has plenty of spells that generate boards, and it can still use cheap minions that are easy to get out of hand. This is the kind of card that could warp an entire archetype around it, much like Master’s Call.

Score: 4

Crystal Stag

When activated, this card is absurd. 5 mana for two 4/4 rush minions is an amazing deal, and only requires a single use of Crystal Power to get online. This card helps Druid’s historical weakness, before Spreading Plague was around, of fighting off board pressure when behind. The problem is that it requires us to run a more dedicated healing deck to ensure its consistency. Whether Healing Druid is strong enough in this expansion is difficult to say, but this card’s entrance to the meta might be just a matter of time. We can easily see it becoming more powerful with further support in future sets.

Score: 3

Keeper Stallandis

Fandral 2.0 or mini-Fandral. Whatever you want to call it, this card will likely be played in nearly every Druid deck for the next 2 years. A 2 mana 2/3, paying no stat penalty, for an incredible card draw effect. Wrath, Crystal Power and Power of the Wild are all very cheap spells that get a big boost with Keeper Stallandis, and there are others to consider, such as Mark of the Loa in a Token Druid deck. Just good.

Score: 4

Lucentbark

This card is probably the biggest reason why we’d be skeptic about a Druid deck that’s entirely built around healing. The idea is cute: we play Lucentbark, copy it and resurrect it until we have a wall of 4/8 taunts that make Sherazin look tame. We can play Zilliax, Rotten Applebaum, Ancient of Lore and Potion Vendor to further fuel the synergy. The problem? Sap, Hex, Polymorph or a single silence can easily ruin these plans, leaving us with a 4/8 taunt that we paid 8 mana for. Suddenly, Ironbark Protector doesn’t look that bad in comparison. Flobbidinous Floop might save the tree man from being unplayable, but this card might be all Lucentbark, and no Lucentbite.

Score: 2


Final Thoughts

Year of the Raven Sets Rank: 5th

Rise of Shadows Set Rank: 2nd

Overall Power Ranking: 3rd

Druid got a great set of cards that will get stronger in future sets but should already be quite effective on April 9th. We can see multiple playstyles of Druid having success with Token Druid being the most obvious suspect. Malygos Druid could also be revived through Jepetto or other means. There is life after Ultimate Infestation.

 

 

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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