The Comprehensive Rise of Shadows Preview

Mutate

Evolve on a single target for 0 mana. 0 mana cards with this kind of impact should see play, since you’re able to play a high value battlecry minion on curve and transform it on the same turn. Suddenly a card like Former Champ becomes a serious constructed consideration. Hard to imagine Mutate not being a meta relevant card at some point.

Score: 3

Soul of the Murloc

One of the most powerful cards in the set, Soul of the Murloc is basically a stronger version of Soul of the Forest, since it’s half the cost and the most important aspect of both cards is their ability to create a sticky board they can leverage for their finisher. While Druid has Savage Roar, Shaman has Bloodlust. There’s also the added upside of the tokens being murlocs, which makes Murloc Warleader and a tribal deck a scary proposition. Soul of the Murloc is the very definition of a meta defining card.

Score: 4

Walking Fountain

Remember Stormwatcher? A 7 mana 4/8 with Windfury is quite a fair statline. Walking Fountain has Lifesteal and Rush (two keywords with obvious synergy with each other) stacked on top of the body for only 1 extra mana. Walking Fountain is simply busted beyond comprehension, since it can kill two minions and heal you for 8 upon its entrance to the board. We think it would still see play at 9 mana and is arguably better than Obsidian Statue. This is the mother of all Zilliax’ and will likely be played in every Shaman deck that isn’t hyper aggressive. Unity, Precision, Perfection.

Score: 4

Sludge Slurper

On April 9th, Sludge Slurper becomes one of the strongest 1-drops in standard format. It is the best Lackey generator that has been printed and works beautifully with Shaman’s current tools. Its overload still allows it to curve out the Lackey on 2 as a follow up, and it can also activate both Likkim and Thunderhead, which are very powerful cards that haven’t had the chance to shine quite yet. Just comparing it to Cable Rat, which is still a good card, shows you how good Sludge Slurper is. Have we forgotten to mention it’s also a Murloc?

Score: 4

Underbelly Angler

A 2 mana 2/3 murloc with an ability that seems quite absurd. Just generating one murloc off the ability is a very good deal, and it must be removed by the opponent on the turn its played or else. For an early game minion, the threat it imposes exceeds its mana cost by quite a margin. Note that in the late game, Underbelly Angler and a single other murloc can generate an entire board of murlocs since Angler can keeping chaining the murlocs it has generated! This is nuts, and another good reason to believe that murlocs will be important in establishing the aggressive Shaman decks of the future.

Score: 4

Hagatha’s Scheme

This AOE spell is quite nice, though we recognize the card’s weakness as a topdeck. Two turns are needed to make it a reasonable board clear at 3 damage and keeping it in the mulligan to deal 4 damage on turn 5 is well worth it. Shaman needs AOE after the loss of Volcano, so this certainly ticks the box. In our opinion, this is the strongest Scheme that was printed, and we’re most confident about its chances of making it into the meta. The fact it scales so hard into the late game makes it very enticing. Control Shaman decks should always want this card.

Score: 3

Witch’s Brew

This card is basically Forbidden Healing, which can be quite strong in the right deck. This card’s biggest obstacle to competitive viability might be redundancy. Walking Fountain carries a stronger punch and is much more versatile in its use, so Shaman may find no need to run Witch’s Brew. Situationally strong and might see play if there’s an on-demand need for healing.

Score: 2

Muckmorpher

So just like that, Shaman gets a 5-mana Shadow Essence, which is pretty much better in every way. Remember Walking Fountain? Al’akir? Zilliax? Malygos? This card is potentially meta warping and will likely spawn a new archetype of Control Shaman built around both Muckmorpher and Eureka. Shaman may not have the resurrect spells that Priest has, but it does have Ancestral Spirit as well as Big Bad Voodoo, so we would keep an eye on those two enablers.

Score: 4

Scargil

This card has a potentially very powerful effect in a dedicated murloc deck. Even if you cheat out a single murloc such as Murloc Warleader, Coldlight Seer or Murloc Tastyfin, it’s well worth it, and it has combo potential later in the game with Underbelly Angler. The key is that we’re playing a dedicated murloc deck, and not just a small package of murlocs, so that we’re more likely to find use for Scargil. Whether going full murlocs or just running a package of the fish men is stronger, will likely determine how strong Scargil is.

Score: 3

Swampqueen Hagatha

So just like that, Shaman gets a 7-mana Kazakus, which is obviously slower but has no deck building restriction, while Shudderwock is also still a card. Any Shaman deck that doesn’t aim to kill opponents early, and doesn’t run Muckmorpher, will likely play this card. With both Hagatha’s, Shudderwock and Walking Fountain, Midrange Shaman’s late game looks very strong.

Score: 3


Final Thoughts

Year of the Raven Sets Rank: 4th

Rise of Shadows Set Rank: 1st

Overall Power Ranking: 2nd

Shaman has received a completely busted set in Rise of Shadows, far stronger than we’ve ever expected and one which, in our opinion, enables powerful decks through the entire meta spectrum. This is an exciting time for the Shaman class, as we anticipate that its days of irrelevance will come to an end on April 9th. Thrall will enter a new period in Hearthstone’s history, a period in which his portrait becomes a scary sight on ladder once again. Get ready.

 

 

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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