Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Part 1)

The card reveals for Hearthstone's next expansion are flying in furiously, so Shacknews is taking time to analyze each of the Knights of the Frozen Throne cards.


Hearthstone's next expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne, is slated to release in mid-August. While the main attraction will be the new Death Knight heroes, the expansion is set to receive 135 new cards. Shacknews is going to do its part to march towards this new expansion by analyzing the new cards throughout the week.

For anyone that needs to catch up:
Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Week 0)

Analyzing Frost Lich Jaina

(4) Ticking Abomination (5/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Deal 5 damage to your minions.
Source: C4mlann on Twitch

Due to server issues, this wound up being the first of the new card reveals, instead of a far more appropriate card that will be seen later. Nonetheless, the ball gets rolling with Ticking Abomination and it poses the question: Just how badly do you want a 5/6 body on the board? The stats are reminiscent to the old Hungry Dragon, with the main difference being that this has no cool synergy and it has the potential to wipe out your entire side of the board. So are there any uses for Ticking Abomination?

As the reviews go on, one will start to see the Egg Warlock archetype start to pop up, which includes cards like Devilsaur Egg and Runic Egg for Standard and Nerubian Egg for Wild. However, Void Terror and Ravenous Pterrodax serve that need much better without the drawback. So with that idea ruled out, there isn't much other reason to play this guy, since its damage drawback is far too extreme for Enrage decks or effect triggers.

(3) Plague Scientist (2/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Common
Combo: Give a friendly minion Poisonous.
Source: Chinese forum NGA

As a Battlecry, Plague Scientist's effect would make it a Rogue staple, since he could simply give the Poisonous effect to Jade Swarmer and make opponents cry. As a Combo, it's only slightly less useful. It's still a pretty great effect, though, and can be immensely useful in the late game, especially if the opponent doesn't think to remove that seemingly-harmless Swashburglar or Razorpetal Lasher from the board. Expect to see this guy a lot, giving Rogue some additional board removal options to go along with the pesky Vilespine Slayer.

(3) Ice Breaker (1/3)
Type: Weapon
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Rare
Destroy any Frozen minion damaged by this.
Source: Autumn Day via Panda.tv

Here's the card that probably should have led off the reveals, simply for the wordplay. Oh well, c'est la vie.

Shaman had better get some healing options ready, because this weapon could become useful with all the freeze options the class appears to be getting for this expansion. It's going to be easy removal, especially in the late game, but given how much bigger the minions are going to get, this could start to smart after a while. If Shaman packs enough healing options like Tidal Surge, Hot Spring Guardian, or even Earthen Ring Farseer, it's a worthwhile inclusion. Without those healing options... just make sure to watch your health before you go taking out the frozen opposition.

(5) Blood-Queen Lana'thel (1/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Legendary
Lifesteal: Has +1 Attack for each card you've discarded this game.
Source: PCGamesN

Discardlock hasn't quite taken off as much as Blizzard would like. The Lakkari Sacrifice Un'Goro Quest fell out of favor quickly and it looks like one of Blizzard's plans to try and revive it is... Warlock's answer to Bolvar Fordragon. Eesh!

The important thing is that the card doesn't need to be in the player's hand to get the additional attack effect. Still, it's hard to imagine it becoming much bigger than a 5/6 or a 6/6 at the end of the day. Even then, it's subject to simple removal spells. Discardlocks will probably give this a chance, just for synergy's sake. It's more likely to become a lower-end 5-draw minion a Mage gets off a Firelands Portal play; the one that pops up at the worst possible time.

(4) Blood Razor (2/2)
Type: Weapon
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Common
Battlecry and Deathrattle: Deal 1 damage to all minions.
Source: The Legend of Slag via Weibo

Knights of the Frozen appears to be giving Warriors ample opportunities to enrage their minions. So anyone that utilizes the "Enrage" mechanic should find this weapon pretty decent, given its liberal use of the Whirlwind effect. Of course, remember that there's some serious work to be done when minions are damaged. This weapon could prove useful with Acolyte of Pain, Battle Rage, or Blood Warriors.

It should also help clear off some of those pesky zoos on the opposite side of the board. Shaman will particularly be unhappy to see this guy, given that class' use of low-cost minions and totems.

(3) Prince Taldaram (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: If your deck has no 3-Cost cards, transform into a 3/3 copy of a minion.
Source: Hearthpwn

The Princes in this expansion aren't very good so far, are they? They don't seem to be half as useful as Prince Malchezaar.

Like the last Prince, this one poses the question of whether players are willing to part with 3-cost cards for this particular Battlecry effect. The answer to that should be... are you nuts? Why would Mages part ways with their Secrets? Why would Hunter dump Animal Companion? Why would Druid throw away Jade Blossom? Why would Priest get rid of Shadow Word: Death and Mirage Caller, especially when the latter offers a very similar effect?

The only instance where this Prince becomes semi-useful is in the late game when most of the 3-Cost cards have either been drawn or played. Even then, it's basically Diet Faceless Manipulator. Sorry, Prince, but go join your brother on the bench.

(6) Nerubian Unraveler (5/5)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Spells cost (2) more.
Source: Tempo Storm's Reynad and Eloise via YouTube

This is a pretty good card, assuming the other end of the board is clear. Removal via spell will cost a lot more, giving the opponent less of a chance for a follow-up play. Priests could even pair this guy with Mirage Caller to up the opponent's spell cost by 4 (!) and make it even more of a pain to deal with. It'll hit Mages particularly hard, and though they might still be able to play Secrets by using Kirin Tor Mage, they won't be able to finish the game with Pyroblast until this guy is dealt with.

On top of that, Nerubian Unraveler could be a beast in Arena. Its 5/5 stats make it a hard body to deal with and will stave off any surprise spells. And given that Mages have been ruling the roost in Arena since the Un'Goro expansion, Nerubian Unraveler could be a rude wake-up call for those classes.

(3) Mountainfire Armor (4/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Rare
Deathrattle: If it's your opponent's turn, gain 6 Armor.
Source: Canalstart on Twitch

Here's the Deathrattle mechanic turned somewhat on its head. The onus is now on the opponent to remove this 4/3 minion, because the player has no incentive to trade it into another minion. The 6 Armor effect only kicks in on the opponent's turn, so the idea is to keep poking away at it until the opponent has to deal with it. It either becomes so much of a nuisance that it must be removed or the Warrior builds up so much of a board presence that the opponent must use an area of effect removal. Regardless, the end result is a free 6 Armor. And lord help that opponent if they're dealing with an N'Zoth deck.

The easy solution for the opponent is to play Taunt minions and either force a trade-in or a Brawl play, at which point the Warrior gets nothing. However, given the Whirlwind effects that Warrior keeps getting, there's nothing to stop that player from buffing this minion up with something like Rampage, making it an even more dire threat.

This should become a staple for Control Warrior decks, especially the ones packing N'Zoth, and presents some fun new conundrums for anyone playing against these particular Warrior decks.

That's all for now. Come back tomorrow for another round of card analyses. Plus, remember that Blizzard is promising Death Knight reveals for this week, in what is being billed as "Death Knight Hero Week." Shacknews will do deeper analysis on those individual Heroes as they are revealed.

Any synergy ideas or thoughts? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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