Felosophy? Nah. Not worth it.
Swing card for decks that can generate multiple bodies in one turn. A one turn, unconditional Magic Carpet for 1 mana doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
Classes: Board flood decks.
This card is one of the biggest sleepers of the set. Any aggressive deck with a bunch of cheap spells will run it. Other aggressive decks will strongly consider adding cheap spells just to enable it. Intrepid Initiate gives us the Small-Time Buccaneer vibes, though Initiate doesn’t come with a Patches attached.
Classes: Aggro decks
Interesting little card that makes us think of Libram Paladin decks using it as a machine gun win condition alongside Libram of Wisdom. Might be a meme but a good one, nonetheless.
Another extremely powerful and influential 1-drop. This will become a staple in Totem Shaman where it’s just a strong tempo play. In Warlock, this is a worse Kobold Librarian, which is still good enough to see play in every deck. It might still be good enough in Paladin even though it doesn’t currently have strong recruit synergies in the format. There are also other classes that could appreciate a free hero power due to deck building synergies (Phase Stalker/Dragonbane, Deckhand/Deadly Poison). Monumental card.
Classes: Hunter, Paladin, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock
Strong neutral card draw for Demon Hunter, as if card draw were ever an issue for this class! Vulpera Scoundrel has seen play in Demon Hunter, and Panthera is clearly better. For 3 mana, we get to draw a card instead of discovering a spell, and get the +1-attack buff of our hero power on top of it. Has synergy with Tour Guide in other classes, though that requires a bit more work to pull off. We don’t like this too much alongside a 2-mana hero power.
Classes: Demon Hunter, Hunter
Rogue players may frown upon this when looking at the Spymistress in their collection, but Delinquent is just a stronger card than the hapless Skyvateer. If we’re playing a Stealth Rogue deck, we prefer Delinquent as a Greyheart Sage activator as it’s much more impactful on the board. This card is worth 6 damage for 4 mana.
Cobalt Spellkin saw play, and this card is stronger. But, the 1-mana spell pool has gotten worse for Demon Hunter with this set, and Wandmaker looks strictly inferior to Manafeeder, so it might not make the cut.
Hothead’s best chance of being played is in a Spell Druid deck running Breath of Dreams, but we’re not sure it’s worth it. Hothead is just very weak when it’s not activated on 4 and using up a spell just to trigger its Spellburst feels like a waste of resources.
Good meme. Bad card.
Doesn’t seem great but this one probably goes into Murloc decks as it offers removal to a tribe that doesn’t have much of it.
Big Wild Pyromancer. The most important thing about this card is that is offers AOE to classes that normally don’t have it, like Rogue and Druid, but it probably needs a better reason than that to see play. We think it could eventually fit into a control shell.
Classes: Control decks.
The only reason you’d run this card is if you’re playing a Druid deck with Guardian Animals. It was pretty much printed for this purpose, as it offers pseudo-AOE capabilities. Pretty terrible to play this from your hand.
This card’s no Troggzor.
Steward of Scrolls
The return of Azure Drake, except this card sucks because drawing a card is so much better than discovering one. Also, why would we ever play this over Vulpera Scoundrel? Spell Damage synergy? If spell damage decks need to play this card, that’s not a good sign for their competitive viability.
Nuts off Power of Creation. Not nuts when you run it in a constructed deck. Just way too slow.
Being good in arena is not a good enough reason to be smug.
This card offers a payoff to spell damage decks, but it’s not something that makes us excited about playing them. Better in Shaman than Mage because of Rune Dagger.
Classes: Mage, Shaman
Probably not good enough to be played in the big decks. Can’t find another purpose for it.
This is an intriguing card for aggressive decks. Denying an on-curve removal or another key turn of a slower deck could be very impactful, but the card is very weak in faster matchups. Might see some meta dependent play.
Classes: Aggro decks.
The most busted neutral of this set. This card is a 2 mana Jeeves, but better because it doesn’t even affect your opponent. Will change the way we build and play aggressive decks in Scholomance Academy. Could seriously help several archetypes in classes that lack card draw too. Just unequivocally meta defining.
Classes: Aggro decks.
Robes of Protection
This is another neutral in this set that looks potentially powerful in aggressive decks. A 3 mana 2/4 that carries the “evasive” tag is already on par with vanilla stats, but carrying it as a persistent aura? Very intriguing.
Classes: Aggro decks
We’ll probably see less of this guy after the launch of the expansion since decks will be more focused on maximizing synergies and Transfer Student isn’t a synergy card. It’s good filler if you have nothing else to play, or you’re playing a Highlander deck.
Classes: Highlander decks.
Cool card but shuffling value into your deck is rarely a good strategy and we can’t think of an application in which this looks remotely powerful.
Hearthstone highlights video generator.
Sphere of Sapience
There has been a lot of discussion about this card. It’s important to understand that Sphere’s supposed improvement of “draw consistency” comes at a significant cost of a card, which negatively affects draw consistency. Think of how quest decks in Journey to Un’Goro struggled for viability due to the steep price of running a dead card.
With that being said, we could see some decks utilizing Sphere, but they need to have a few unique traits that most Hearthstone decks do not share. They’d either need to be extremely fixated on a specific draw or draw order that is critical to their win condition (for example, a deck that runs 29 spells and King Phaoris), or they have to be very linear combo strategies that usually need to draw through their entire deck to find their win condition. We might be missing another weird deck archetype, but you get the gist.
Classes: Weird decks.
This feels like a card that’s going to become broken at some point, but its power isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. The idea of playing this in the late game to draw your big late game threats sounds very good in theory but does run into an issue. We need these threats to require minimal set up (playing Polkelt when our Galakrond isn’t upgraded or when our Giants aren’t discounted, for example, isn’t great), and we need the cheap cards in our deck to not be critical to the way we win games. Otherwise, Polkelt might end up being an awkward draw in practice.
Having said that, it’s hard to assume that a deck will never take advantage of this card in some powerful fashion due to how Polkelt opens deck building possibilities. It’s a card to watch out for and could end up being meta defining eventually. Our best bet for an immediate impact upon release? Highlander Hunter.
Classes: Hunter, Mage, Rogue, Warlock
This is a very powerful card in decks that have cheap, yet high impact removal. Cards like Shadow Word: Death, Shield Slam and Torrent are good examples of ways in which Kel’Thuzad can swing the game drastically in your favor. However, we don’t necessarily need to kill that big of a minion for Kel’Thuzad to represent strong tempo, and we can sometimes play it on curve in order to put our opponent in an awkward position, where it’s hard to develop a board before removing this threat.
Classes: Shaman, Rogue, Priest, Warrior
Vectus can represent a very powerful turn when played in a deck with high impact, early game deathrattles. We’re less enthusiastic about playing Vectus to generate value deathrattles because that would make it slow. Give us Bloated Pythons rather than Skyvateer and we can get behind it.
Classes: Hunter, Priest, Rogue, Warlock
For this card to be worth it, you must get a big discount from your opponent since you can’t even play the card immediately (and your opponent will know of it). But even the slower decks don’t run many expensive cards, making your average outcome hardly game-winning. In contrast, the price to pay for that outcome is big. A 7 mana 6/8 with no immediate impact on the board is horrid, and this is just unplayable against aggressive decks. No thanks.
Just agreeing with a lot of the comments already posted. Lots of time and effort into analyzing each and every card. Great work.
The more I read/hear from Vicious Syndicate, the deeper my respect. 10/10.
Paladin have a zero cost spell. Time is money friend!
The gold standard of HS articles
most important hearthstone content second to the game itself! love vS
Great job! Thanks Guys!
Fantastic work, super helpful! Thanks
Awesome review guys! I can’t believe how much effort went into this. Keep up the great work!