The Comprehensive Rise of Shadows Preview

Rapid Fire

Pretty simple card and quite flexible, though it might not be impactful enough to make it to a constructed deck. Compare it to Candleshot and you’re immediately underwhelmed. Needs synergy to get going but we’re skeptic about a Vereesa deck. Would have been great in Mage or Rogue. In Hunter, not so much. At least it hits face.

Score: 1


Pretty good card with a deckbuilding restriction that’s not too difficult to pull off and is quite advantageous in a Mech deck. If Deathrattle Mech Hunter makes it to the meta, this is one of its most powerful enablers.

Score: 3

Marked Shot

The replacement for Flanking Strike in a Hunter deck’s curve. Granted, this card is nowhere near as good, because it doesn’t put anything on the board or generate a tempo swing. Still, discovering a spell is nice, and it has synergy with Zul’jin. Hunter could take whatever decent removal it can get.

Score: 2


Another serviceable card that’s not outstanding. This card will likely see play because 1-mana beasts are highly sought after by the Hunter class. Promotes a beast deck that runs Zul’jin and Master’s Call. Hunter will play this until it finds something better than a worse Babbling Book. Do you want to cast a spell? I want to cast a spell!

Score: 2

Unleash the Beast

Hunter highly values comeback mechanics, and this card serves that role well. 5/5 rush beast is very nice to have and being able to sequence it over two turns can help Hunter decks assert themselves in the mid-game. This card also has tremendous synergy with Zul’jin since it’s a spell that generates board (alongside value in hand), which is something that is sorely needed after the loss of Emerland Spellstone. The only problem with this card is that it competes with Savannah Highmane at the 6-mana slot. Both cards could be so important that they might still make it into a deck together.

Score: 3

Hunting Party

More card draw for Hunter? Sign us up. We like the synergy this card has with Master’s Call and think there’s a good reason to consider this card due to the departure of Deathstalker Rexxar. The problem with Hunting Party is that it’s very difficult for Hunter to spend so much mana on a card without developing a board, and you generally want to play your beasts rather than hold on to them for more value later. Might be a 1-of in Midrange Hunter lists and has synergy with Zul’jin.

Score: 2

Nine Lives

Nine Lives seems like a powerful card without a powerful deck to go with it. Most of Hunter’s deathrattle synergy will leave standard, and we’re questioning whether the high value deathrattles that will remain are worth building a deck around. If Deathrattle Hunter makes a return, this card is a staple in the deck, and there’s a chance a Hunter deck will incorporate a small package of deathrattle minions to take advantage Nine Lives.

Score: 3

Arcane Fletcher

We really like the fact that after many years, Team 5 is now open to printing card draw for Hunter, and it has really helped the class step out of its one-dimensional playstyle. Arcane Fletcher is a nice card that synergizes particularly well with Springpaw and Halazzi and is clearly designed for a Hybrid Zul’jin deck. The problem is that it competes with Master’s Call and is much slower. That makes it a tough sell.

Score: 1


Such a strangely specific card with very narrow use. So, we want to play Mechanical Whelp, Spider Bomb, and… what else can we cheat out? Weaponized Pinata? Replicating Menace? We’re sorry Team 5 but you’re going to have to try harder, and even if you do, this card is so painfully slow that it may not make it to a Deathrattle Hunter deck even with more support.

Score: 1

Vereesa Windrunner

The little sister leaves a lot to be desired compared to her older sisters. This is a 7-mana card that doesn’t scream “game winning”. In the Hunter class, if you’re an expensive minion, you better do something very powerful. Sure, spell damage can be useful but Hunter’s access to burn doesn’t suggest it can realistically pew pew opponents like an Aggressive Mage deck. There are also not many removal cards that are playable and support this. Finally, we need a very good reason to drop Master’s Call, and Vereesa ain’t one.

Score: 1

Final Thoughts

Year of the Raven Sets Rank: 7th

Rise of Shadows Set Rank: 7th

Overall Power Ranking: 7th

Hunter should significantly suffer from the upcoming rotation and the loss of some of its most powerful cards. Its Rise of Shadows set doesn’t seem to be strong enough to make up for these losses, and the most promising cards might need another expansion to truly shine. Expect Hunter’s days of dominance to be over.




  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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