Drawing a card for 1 mana is a pretty good deal, especially when it’s drawing a specific kind of card. Moreover, Double Jump has synergy with the Outcast mechanic since these cards are “activated” once they’re drawn. There could be some strategy in playing this card when we have the amount of mana required to play the Outcast card immediately, though it requires us to build our deck differently. We like Double Jump’s synergy with Spectral Sight/Crimson Sigil Runner and think this package is worth exploring in a combo deck. Think of Crystology and Novice Engineer.
It’s rare that 1 mana 1/3 minions with upside don’t see play, especially when they enable a package of potentially powerful cards. If a Demon Hunter deck utilizing Soul Fragments sees play, Spirit Jailer will see play.
Once again, we’re met with a card that carries raw stats that are hard to pass up regardless of the synergy it enables. 4 mana 4/2 weapons with upside are just good. This card is also an incredibly good enabler for Glaivebound Adpet on curve, allowing the Demon Hunter to unleash 12 damage within two turns in the mid-game.
This card is arguably weaker than Illidari Felblade at the 4-mana slot, and Felblade sees no play. Outcast minions can be very awkward to utilize optimally. Vilefiend Trainer is a pile of stats that is best played on curve, and it’s hard for any deck to manipulate its hand consistency to get it off. Even if it does, the effect is hardly game winning. Just not worth.
This card is very slow and a terrible minion to draw at… most stages of the game. We don’t even think it’s particularly good in a Token Demon Hunter deck, an archetype that we have no faith in anyway. Demon Hunter is designed to not have board buffs, which makes it very difficult for this kind of strategy to be competitive.
This is a big damage payoff for Soul Fragments and offers an incredible follow up to Marrowslicer. This 1-2 punch shaves off nearly half of an opponent’s health and that is a win condition that a Soul Fragment Demon Hunter can work with. A 5 mana 5/5 that deals 5 is serious business.
This is a very sad Corridor Creeper. Costs the same amount of mana and is only affected by friendly minions’ deaths. As we said earlier, we’re just not interested in Token Demon Hunter until we see a way to leverage these tokens in a truly threatening and consistent fashion.
Plain, good card. Much like Animal Companion, it always produces a minion that’s worth more than we paid off, at the cost of randomness. The mini-Leokk is a sad outcome on turn 1, but it can be a very strong outcome later in the game once you have a board. If you’re playing Aggro Demon Hunter, you want this in your deck.
Reasonable removal option on turn 2 that should see play in Soul Fragment decks. It doesn’t go face, which means that aggressive decks may not be enthusiastic about running a purely reactive card. Slightly encourages more defensive Demon Hunter decks.
This card seems redundant and worse than Earth Shock or Consume Magic in most situations. If we’re silencing a taunt or a threat, we’re spending too much mana for the effect just to deal 2 damage to whatever we’re silencing. Magehunter mostly shines against buffed targets or small deathrattle minions. We struggle to see how it ever becomes a commonly used card. If it does, whatever it’s intended to silence probably needs to be nerfed!
A 3 mana Duskbreaker seems utterly insane, but we do need to activate it early to utilize it on curve, so it’s not going to be a super common turn 3 play. What’s most interesting about Mystic is that is greatly discourages us from running a purely aggressive deck that floods the board in the early turns. It could warp a Soul Fragment Demon Hunter deck to play out quite differently from the common Aggro Demon Hunter we see today. Since the damage potential of Marrowslicer and Lapidary is so high, Mystic poses an interesting deck building challenge.
Glide has potential to be a meta warping card. It can enable hyper-aggressive decks with a very low curve. You’re encouraged to vomit your hand as quickly as possible, then reload while equalizing the resource advantage of your opponent. Late game strategies could hate playing against this card more than they did against Divine Favor. However, in the context of the entire set, Glide doesn’t look as strong as it looked upon initial reveal. Aggro Demon Hunter is tempted to run a strong mid-game package, and there’s a 2-mana neutral minion that performs a similar reloading role to Glide.
Cycle of Hatred
This card is just too slow and expensive. We need to be playing a removal-focused Demon Hunter deck, and we need to be playing against a board flooding deck for it to become a powerful card. We just don’t see Demon Hunter running a style that would fit with Cycle of Hatred in this expansion. The class can’t afford to have a situational 7-mana card rot in its hand.
This card could enable some powerful openings in an Aggressive Demon Hunter deck. With Battlefiend and Spirit Jailer, we have a couple of 1-drops that can work well with it. The problem is that Felosophy could just fall into an awkward position in our hand, making it harder to use. One interaction we’re intrigued with is Frenzied Felwing, so we wouldn’t count it out.
This weapon can enable powerful board swings, turning your minions into removal when they’re played, or allowing them to perform value trades while still pushing face damage in the process. We would be higher on this card for Demon Hunter if it didn’t already have an all-star 2-mana weapon in Umberwing. Warglaives of Azzinoth was not a good card on day 1 of Ashes of Outland because of Aldrachi Warblades. We have a similar story of weapons conflicting with each other here.
Ancient Void Hound
Potential win condition for Big Demon Hunter. Does this set offer any other indication that this archetype will be anything more than a meme? Not really, so we think this card is likely unplayable.
Ace Hunter Kreen
Ace Hunter Kreen is an AOE Deathspeaker with a permanent aura. Any aggressive Demon Hunter deck should be interested in this card because it’s extremely powerful when you’re ahead on board, which is where the class usually is! Just a single free trade in the early game can snowball things out of the opponent’s control. If Kreen is on the board alongside a minion or two, it’s basically impossible to develop minions before he’s removed. The only reason we’re not giving Kreen the maximum score is that he won’t pull you out of trouble when you’ve fallen behind, so he’s not always insane.
Star Student Selina
A hand disruption card. This would be a powerful card in a slower Demon Hunter deck looking to gain card advantage, but the Outcast requirement really killed it for us. Slower decks struggle to utilize Outcast well because their cards are generally more expensive and reactive. So, an aggressive deck is more likely to utilize Selina optimally, but would it really be happy with a somewhat clunky 4 mana 4/3? Is this effect worth it? We’re skeptical.
This is the biggest Soul Fragments payoff, and one that encourages us to utilize the entire package. Therefore, it pushes us to play a slower game with the promise of a big late game tempo swing. Malicia is already a strong card if she summons two souls. If she summons three or more, she becomes ridiculously strong. Pretty much a no-brainer inclusion if you’re looking to stack those fragments.
Scholomance Academy Set Rank: 3rd
Overall Power Ranking: 2nd
Demon Hunter has dominated most of Ashes of Outland despite being repeatedly nerfed in balance changes, finishing the expansion as almost an arena-like deck with a significant number of generic neutrals. Now, it will be looking to take in some sweet new class cards and seek vengeance once again.
The Demon Hunter set is quite powerful, with the most important package incorporating Soul Fragments. We like the damage potential of Marrowslicer and Soulshard Lapidary and think they could offer a strong win condition for either an aggressive deck, or even the control shell we’re familiar with from AoO. Shardshatter Mystic is a strong support card for the latter.
Another card that could provide a shakeup in Demon Hunter is a neutral: Voracious Reader. It could encourage hyper aggressive Demon Hunter decks with a low curve. Glide is another card that could serve a role in this kind of deck, though it’s very hard to predict how good it can be. The outcome is a bit meta-dependent here.
Other avenues don’t seem to be promising. We don’t believe Big Demon Hunter has a real shot of making it to the meta, and neither does Token Demon Hunter. We believe that Demon Hunter will continue to do what it’s done through Ashes of Outland, which is hit you in the face for a lot of damage. It could just diversify in how it accomplishes this goal.
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!