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Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs Card Analyses (Lightning Round)

Blizzard has begun new card reveals for Hearthstone's next expansion. Kobolds & Catacombs will introduce 135 new cards, utilizing a new Recruit mechanic and introducing a new Dungeon Run single-player adventure. It'll mark Hearthstone's seventh expansion and will be the final one issued in the Year of the Mammoth.

As is tradition, Shacknews is breaking down the cards by the batch. Two weeks ago saw the card reveals from streamers and press outlets begin in earnest. Today, we hit the end, but we're actually going to do things a little bit differently. On Monday, Ben Brode and Sean "Day9" Plott got together to unveil the last of the expansion cards, revealing well over 40 cards.

That's a whole lot of cards, so we're going to hit each of these cards in more of a "lightning round" format, giving one-to-two sentence quick hits on each of them.

First, a recap:

Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs Card Analyses (Part 1)
Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs Card Analyses (Part 2)
Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs Card Analyses (Part 3)
Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs Card Analyses (Part 4)
Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs Card Analyses (Part 5)
Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs Card Analyses (Part 6)
Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs Card Analyses (Part 7)

Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs - Analyzing Dragon Soul
Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs - Analyzing Aluneth
Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs - Analyzing Twig of the World Tree
Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs - Analyzing The Runespear
Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs - Analyzing Val'anyr
Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs - Analyzing Kingsbane


(1) Dark Pact
Type: Spell
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Common
Destroy a friendly minion. Restore 8 Health to your hero.

Quick Analysis: A much nicer Siphon Soul that works on friendly minions. It's one I would use on useful Deathrattles or something like Devilsaur Egg.


(4) Flanking Strike
Type: Spell
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Common
Deal 3 damage to a minion. Summon a 3/3 Wolf.

Quick Analysis: More fodder for minion-less Hunter, but this is a spell that should work in just about any Hunter deck. It's a solid removal option, maybe one of the best the class has had in a while.


(3) Kobold Barbarian (4/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Rare
At the start of your turn, attack a random enemy.

Quick Analysis: A fascinating minion, in the sense that it attacks aimlessly at the start of a turn. Should be interesting to see how many times it barrels past Taunts, should it ever see action.


(9) Sleepy Dragon (4/12)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Taunt

Quick Analysis: It's Ysera without the effect. Taunt should make it okay as an Arena pick, but it's in something of a no man's land between Giant Mastodon and Primordial Drake. A decent Discover option, but not much else.


(3) Cave Hydra (2/4)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Common
Also damages the minions next to whomever this attacks.

Quick Analysis: One of the few solid new minions for Hunter. Its 2/4 stats make it a decent Turn 3 play, but buff this thing with Houndmaster or Crackling Razormaw and it could single-handedly control the board.


(4) Astral Tiger (3/5)
Type: Minion
Class: Druid
Rarity: Epic
Deathrattle: Shuffle a copy of this minion into your deck.

Quick Analysis: A wildly strong 4-drop for Druid players, especially because of its ability to keep shuffling itself into Druid decks. With Jades rotating out, it helps protect against pesky Mill Rogue decks. Thumbs up!


(9) Master Oakheart (5/5)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Legendary
Recruit a 1, 2, and 3-Attack minion.

Quick Analysis: To make the most out of the middling 5/5 option, one would have to have 1, 2, and 3-Attack minions all remaining inside a deck in the later stages in the game. Far too unlikely to be any kind of effective.


(2) Cavern Shinyfinder (3/1)
Type: Minion
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Draw a weapon from your deck.

Quick Analysis: A stunningly good play for Rogue players, especially when combined with that handy new Rogue Legendary weapon. This is going to prove much better than its 3/1 line will suggest.


(4) Shimmering Courser (3/3)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Only you can target this with spells and Hero Powers.

Quick Analysis: Don't say "neigh" to this card. This could be the backbone of a lot of Buffadin decks. Boost this with Smuggler's Run, Grimestreet Outfitter, Grimestreet Enforcer, or Val'anyr and watch opponents squirm when they realize they can't use any kind of single-target removal on it. But YOU can certainly buff it with Blessing of Might and Blessed Champion and take your opponent for a ride.


(4) The Darkness
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Legendary
Starts dormant. Battlecry: Shuffle 3 Candles into the enemy deck. When drawn, this awakens.

Quick Analysis: Could be deadly in the hands of a Mill Rogue, though the opponent will likely draw into a hard removal by the time it's active. It's also a completely dead draw if it gets pulled by Dirty Rat, so keep that in mind.


(2) Potion of Heroism
Type: Spell
Class: Paladin
Rarity: Common
Give a minion Divine Shield. Draw a card.

Quick Analysis: A strong Turn 2 play for Paladin players and a nice way to buff up Lynessa Sunsorrow for the later turns. The card draw makes it an especially alluring play.


(1) Psionic Probe
Type: Spell
Class: Priest
Rarity: Common
Copy a spell in your opponent's deck and add it to your hand.

Quick Analysis: A good addition to Highlander Priest. Everyone else, just flip a coin and pick between this or Mind Vision.


(4) Cursed Disciple
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Deathrattle Summon a 5/1 Revenant.

Quick Analysis: Even with a Deathrattle that re-summons itself, these are terrible Magma Rager stats. Don't use this.


(5) Fungalmancer (2/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Give adjacent minions +2/+2

Quick Analysis: Really weak stats, but could be a high-value play in zoo decks. Could potentially find a home in Arena, but don't pick this over Sunborne Val'kyr.


(5) Ebon Dragonsmith (3/4)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Reduce the Cost of a random weapon in your hand by (2).

Quick Analysis: A decent 3/4 body with an intriguing effect that could be useful to Rogues, Warriors, and Paladins. This might have legs in constructed decks. Stay tuned.


(3) Kobold Apprentice
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Deal 3 damage randomly split across all enemies.

Quick Analysis: It's a minion packing its own Arcane Missiles. These are some weak stats, but it should be a good Arena pick. It'll be nice to have a Mad Bomber without the drawback.


(1) Candleshot (1/3)
Type: Weapon
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Common
Immune while attacking.

Quick Analysis: Somebody shrunk the Hunter's Gladiator's Longbow. Without any real way to buff up Hunter weapons, this feels like a dud. Go with Eaglehorn Bow instead.


(2) Plated Beetle (2/3)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Deathrattle: Gain 3 Armor.

Quick Analysis: Not a bad option for Hunters looking to play defensively, but who still need Beast synergy. This is also a good play for Druid players that need a quick way to upgrade their Spellstones.


(1) Dire Mole (1/3)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common

Quick Analysis: Dire Mole's Beast synergy could make it an underrated Turn 1 Hunter play, just because a Turn 2 Crackling Razormaw could quickly turn it into an early nuisance.


(1) Barkskin
Type: Spell
Class: Druid
Rarity: Common
Give a minion +3 Health. Gain 3 Armor.

Quick Analysis: Another quick Armor option for the Druid, but also one that gives a big health buff to any of its minions. I would have expected this to be a "Choose One" effect, but the fact that Druid players get both benefits is huge. Another strong Druid card in a series of them.


(2) Crushing Hand
Type: Spell
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Common
Deal 8 damage to a minion. Overload: (3)

Quick Analysis: A cheap removal spell for Shaman, but one clearly meant for the later game. Still, it's not a spell I can see in many Shaman decks over Jade Lightning or Volcano.


(3) Boisterous Bard (3/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Give your other minions +1 Health.

Quick Analysis: Decent for zoo decks, even if its own stats aren't the greatest. Should find its way into a good number of Arena decks.


(7) Corridor Creeper (5/5)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Costs (1) less whenever a minion dies while this is in your hand.

Quick Analysis: This will definitely find its way into a lot of zoo decks and control decks. It should be easy to reduce this minion's cost to (0) in just a matter of turns. Beast synergy is a huge plus for Hunter and Druid.


(5) Corrosive Sludge (5/5)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Destroy your opponent's weapon.

Quick Analysis: Surprisingly, the first of the new Oozes in this weapon-themed expansion. This is simply a bigger version of Acidic Swamp Ooze. For its 5-cost and these stats, just swap this out and use Harrison Jones instead.


(3) Dragonslayer (4/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Deal 6 damage to a Dragon.

Quick Analysis: Another of those cutesy effects that only works on a certain tribe. Don't expect to see too much of this guy in constructed or in Arena.


(3) Fungal Enchanter (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Restore 2 Health to all friendly characters.

Quick Analysis: This is a less expensive Darkscale Healer. And because of that discount, this feels slightly more viable. Consider packing one of these into your zoo deck of choice.


(6) Gemstudded Golem (5/9)
Type: Minion
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Common
Taunt. Can only attack if you have 5 or more Armor.

Quick Analysis: Could fit well into Control Warriors that are racking up the Armor, but the worst case scenario for this guy is a 5/9 wall. That's not terrible. Don't sleep on Quest Warriors finding room for this guy in their decks, either.


(3) Gilded Gargoyle (2/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Priest
Rarity: Common
Deathrattle: Add a Coin to your hand.

Quick Analysis: That Coin is going to do some big work for Priests, whether it's the Highlander Priest or any other Priest simply looking to trigger their Priest of the Feast. That Deathrattle makes this worth an inclusion in any Priest deck.


(1) Gravelsnout Knight (2/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Summon a random 1-Cost minion for your opponent.

Quick Analysis: You might think you'll have an advantage opening the game with this 2/3 body. But what if that 1-Cost minion you summon for your opponent is another Gravelsnout Knight? You'll feel pretty silly then, won't you?


(5) Green Jelly (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
At the end of your turn, summon a 1/2 Ooze with Taunt.

Quick Analysis: It's a slightly weaker version of Hogger. And much like Hogger in the current meta, I don't see Green Jelly seeing a lot of play.


(3) Healing Rain
Type: Spell
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Common
Restore 12 Health divided randomly among all friendly characters.

Quick Analysis: It's a healing Volcano! At worst, it's a self-heal for 12 Health on an empty board, so that's certainly not the worst thing in the world. It's also a pretty good pull off a Runespear attack.


(4) Hooked Reaver (4/4)
Type: Minion - Demon
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: If you have 15 or less Health, gain +3/+3 and Taunt.

Quick Analysis: If you meet the Battlecry conditions, this becomes... you guessed it... a 4-mana 7/7! The memery continues! Assuming you have a contingency plan, like Dark Pact and the Amethyst Spellstone, going down to 15 for a Turn 4 7/7 Taunt certainly sounds like it's worth a dice roll.


(4) Kobold Monk (3/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Your hero can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers.

Quick Analysis: This is a nuisance against Priests and Mages. And don't think it won't see play, because that 3/6 stat line is pretty sweet. Handbuff Paladin might want to give this guy a closer look.


(2) Scorp-o-matic (1/2)
Type: Minion - Mech
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Destroy a minion with 1 or less Attack.

Quick Analysis: Speaking of Paladins, here's something that's going to play really nicely with Aldor Peacekeeper. It's a less expensive combo than Aldor/Stampeding Kodo, making this a potential new go-to combo for Paladin players.


(3) Sewer Crawler (1/1)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Summon a 2/3 Giant Rat.

Quick Analysis: It's a reverse Razorfen Hunter. And it'll probably see just as much play in the new meta.


(*) Shifting Scroll
Type: Spell
Class: Mage
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Each turn this is in your hand, transform it into a random Mage spell.

Quick Analysis: This is Shifter Zerus, but for Mage spells. And while Mage spells are pretty good, I can't see this starting out in any constructed or Arena deck. But I do expect to see plenty of them come out of Cabalist's Tome or the Mage's new Ruby Spellstone.


(3) Shrieking Shroom (1/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
At the end of your turn, summon a random 1-Cost minion.

Quick Analysis: This is like getting attacked by a bunch of really weak guys. And let's face it, nobody's expecting a 1/2 to survive multiple turns. This one's another dud.


(4) Shroom Brewer (4/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Restore 4 Health.

Quick Analysis: There aren't a lot of straight-up healing minions, aside from Earthen Ring Farseer. That makes a minion like Shroom Brewer quite the commodity. I'll expect to see him in a lot of Warlock decks.


(4) Sneaky Devil (2/2)
Type: Minion - Demon
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Stealth. Your other minions have +1 Attack.

Quick Analysis: What makes this guy different from Raid Leader, aside from his slightly more expensive cost? It's covered with Stealth. That could be a devious addition to Aggro Druid or Aggro Shaman looking to shave off their opoonent's Health.


(3) Stoneskin Basilisk (1/1)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Divine Shield, Poisonous

Quick Analysis: A 3-mana 1/1 won't be anyone's first choice, but Beast synergy should help prevent it from being completely useless. Assuming it survives the next turn, Hunter players can give it a nice Houndmaster or Crackling Razormaw boost.


(3) Toothy Chest (0/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
At the start of your turn, set this minion's Attack to 4.

Quick Analysis: This is the second minion to feature an effect like Validated Doomsayer's, in that it starts off at 0 Attack and sets itself to a set amount at the start of every turn. That doesn't make this any good, though. It's far too easy to remove this before the effect kicks in and any Attack buffs get undone at the start of every turn. This minion isn't really worth giving a second look.


(5) Trogg Gloomeater (1/5)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Taunt. Poisonous

Quick Analysis: Taunt makes this slightly more useful than Venomancer, but Trogg Gloomeater won't see a lot of action in constructed decks. It's a half-decent Arena pick, though. Think of it as a bigger Stubborn Gastropod.


(8) Violet Wurm (7/7)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Deathrattle: Summon seven 1/1 Grubs.

Quick Analysis: It's the age-old Reddit question. Would you rather fight one 7/7 minion or seven 1/1 minions? In the case of Violet Wurm, you'll eventually face both. There's potential for trickery here in Shaman and Druid decks, because if the 7/7 gets removed, the 1/1s can potentially finish the game with Bloodlust/Savage Roar. I wouldn't dismiss this minion right away. It's certainly going to be a winner in Arena.


(1) Wax Elemental (0/2)
Type: Minion - Elemental
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Taunt. Divine Shield

Quick Analysis: It's a toothless Annoy-o-Tron. And what good is an Annoy-o-Tron that can't cause any damage? It's good for stalling, but won't do much else.


And that's it! All Kobolds & Catacombs cards have been analyzed... with the exception of two Legendary weapons. Those analyses are coming later today. Once those are up, everyone reading these should be all set for Hearthstone's next expansion, which is set to arrive tomorrow.

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