Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Part 10)

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. (The final cards reviewed!)

1

Hearthstone's next expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne, is slated to release later today. While the main attraction will be the new Death Knight heroes, the expansion is also set to receive 135 new cards. Shacknews is going to do its part to march towards this new expansion by analyzing the last of the new cards right up until Blizzard flips the switch.

For anyone that needs to catch up:
Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Week 0)
Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Part 1)
Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Part 2)
Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Part 3)
Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Part 4)
Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Part 5)
Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Part 6)
Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Part 7)
Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Part 8)
Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews (Part 9)

Analyzing Frost Lich Jaina
Analyzing Thrall, Deathseer
Analyzing Valeera the Hollow
Analyzing Shadowreaper Anduin
Analyzing Malfurion the Pestilent
Analyzing Uther of the Ebon Blade
Analyzing Scourgelord Garrosh
Analyzing Bloodreaver Gul'dan


(1) Acherus Veteran (2/1)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Give a friend minion +1 Attack.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

This is an odd 1-mana minion, simply because of its Battlecry. It gives a friendly minion +1 Attack, but if it's played on Turn 1, there is no minion to give that buff to.

Between that and its one health, Acherus Veteran becomes one of the bottom-tier Turn 1 players and its Battlecry isn't very useful in the later game. Give this a pass.


(1) Deadscale Knight (1/1)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Lifesteal
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

This is one of the few Murlocs to hit this expansion, but it's also the only one in the game to feature the new Lifesteal mechanic. Sadly, it's on a 1-mana 1/1, which is about as useless as it gets. Players don't need Lifesteal at Turn 1 and they certainly have better early Murloc plays than this.

It might be a decent pickup from Primalfin Lookout and it certainly isn't something to sneeze at if it comes out of Megafin (or Neptulon in Wild). It's just not something to pack into a constructed or Arena deck, is all.


(4) Strongshell Scavenger (2/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Druid
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Give your Taunt minions +2/+2.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

Blizzard really seems to want to make Taunt Druid happen in this expansion. It's gotten some incredibly useful tools like Spreading Plague and Crypt Lord to go along with neutral staples like Tar Creeper. So it's certainly enough to warrant giving Strongshell Scavenger some consideration for its Battlecry effect.

The problem is, this is clearly nothing outside of that effect. Without any Taunt minion on-board, it becomes a mere 2/3 minion. Druid already has enough stat-boosting spells if it really wants to bolster up its minions. This one doesn't seem like it'll see much play.


(3) Gnash
Type: Spell
Class: Druid
Rarity: Common
Give your hero +3 Attack this turn. Gain 3 Armor.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

It's Diet Bite! Or it's Claw with more caffeine! Glass half-full or glass half-empty.

This is a serviceable spell, but not one that's going to find its way into the current meta. Feral Rage is honestly a much stronger spell, especially when combined with Fandral Staghelm. Stick with that one, instead.


(2) Toxic Arrow
Type: Spell
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Epic
Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it survives, give it Poisonous.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

This is a truly bizarre spell. Toxic Arrow is basically a more expensive Arcane Shot with a potentially big downside. If the target minion survives, it can come right back to trade in with any other minion on-board. That doesn't sound particularly great.

One use I can see for Toxic Arrow is using it on a friendly Acolyte of Pain for a card draw and then sending it into another minion and taking it out, getting another card draw in the process. This is a very situational play, especially given the strong Hunter options in the early game. I wouldn't expect to see much of this spell, but it's going to be crazy to see this come out of Yogg-Saron.


(4) Exploding Bloatbat (2/1)
Type: Minion
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Rare
Deathrattle: Deal 2 damage to all enemy minions.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

Exploding Bloatbat is what happens when Fiery Bat has had too much to eat. This guy has identical stats to its predecessor, but its Deathrattle hurts a lot more. In the early game, it's a potential board clear and a nightmare for zoo decks.

Priests have the perfect answer for this with Potion of Madness, but opposing classes will have few answers for the Exploding Bloatbat and its devastating effect. This minion might have some legs.


(4) Arrogant Crusader (5/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Paladin
Rarity: Rare
Deathrattle: If it's your turn, summon a 2/2 Ghoul.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

Think of Arrogant Crusader as an Infested Tauren, only without the Taunt and with slightly better offensive stats. The Taunt on Infested Tauren makes it a more valuable play compared to this guy, especially since Arrogant Crusader's two health make it easy to deal with.

Paladins have better Turn 4 plays on top of Infested Tauren, but it's hard to imagine Arrogant Crusader finding a home in any kind of Paladin deck.


(2) Dark Conviction
Type: Spell
Class: Paladin
Rarity: Common
Set a minion's Attack and Health to 3.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

Dark Conviction brings back some precious memories of Keeper of Uldaman, offering the same 3/3 conversion effect at half the cost and without the 3/4 body. That makes it something of a bummer, but it's not exactly a dud.

Because it's only 2 mana, it actually makes for an intriguing Turn 2 play, especially when opposing classes open the game with minions like Mana Wyrm or Northshire Cleric. In fact, following this up after an opening Righteous Defender play gives the Paladin a second turn 3/3 with Divine Shield and Taunt. That's just ridiculous. It's too early to say whether this will be a staple, but it definitely has its uses and will be seen in more than one Paladin deck.


(6) Spectral Pillager (5/5)
Type: Minion
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Epic
Combo: Deal damage equal to this number of other cards you've played this turn.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

This is an interesting trial balloon for the Rogue. It uses the Edwin VanCleef effect, but instead uses it to apply immediate damage to a single target. That's an idea that could have legs on a cheaper minion, but on a 6-mana 5/5, it doesn't quite work. Constructed decks will instead focus their many cheap cards on building up Edwin or Questing Adventurer.

It's a good Arena pick for the Rogue player, since at the very least, they might be able to get one damage off this thing. Even if they don't, it's a vanilla 5/5 at Turn 6 and that's certainly not the worst thing in the world.


(1) Doomerang
Type: Spell
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Epic
Throw your weapon at a minion. It deals its damage, then returns to your hand.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

Doomerang is an intriguing card with a lot of possibilities to do some real damage. The idea is that it essentially allows the Rogue player to "destroy" their weapon, chuck it at a minion and damage them for the value of the weapon, and return the weapon intact to the Rogue's hand. That can have some interesting uses.

The first thought is combining this with the new Shadowblade weapon, since the Rogue can utilize its immunity and attack, use Doomerang afterwards to damage another minion, and prepare to utilize its immunity again by playing it on the next turn. Another possibility is Perdition's Blade, which can get chucked at a minion for 2 damage, and re-equipped on the same turn to cause additional damage.

It should be interesting to see how Rogue players opt to experiment with Doomerang. It could be extra fun in Wild, where Oil Rogues are still running around.


(5) Bone Baron (5/5)
Type: Minion
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Common
Deathrattle: Add two 1/1 Skeletons to your hand.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

Whoa! Hello, Bone Baron! Miracle Rogue is going to love you!

On top of being a bulky 5/5 body for Turn 5, the two 1/1 Skeletons are going to be a huge help for Rogue players looking to build up Edwin VanCleef and Questing Adventurer. If the Rogue's hand is running low, at the very least, the two 1/1 Skeletons allow the Questing Adventurer to hit at least 4/4. This is a potentially big addition to the Rogue arsenal, across both constructed and Arena.


(4) Avalanche
Type: Spell
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Rare
Freeze a minion and deal 3 damage to adjacent ones.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

Here's another one for the growing Freeze Shaman deck and one that will make minion positioning matter much more than it already does.

Avalanche will freeze one target, but any minions surrounding him will take 3 damage. Those zoo decks that thought to bolster their minions with Defender of Argus might have quite the surprise coming their way. This is also a good way for Shaman players to do some damage to some minions while freezing a bigger target, possibly stealing a copy of that target for themselves with Moorabi.


(2) Drain Soul
Type: Spell
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Common
Lifesteal. Deal 2 damage to a minion.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

Drain Soul is essentially a cheaper version of Drain Life, except it can only target minions. Given how much Life Tap the Warlock will use, this isn't bad to have in a deck.

Not much else to say about this one. It is what it is.


(5) Death Revenant (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Gain +1/+1 for each damaged minion.
Source: Knights of the Frozen Throne live card reveal stream with Ben Brode & Brian Kibler

Death Revenant has the potential to be a strong card and it presents a conundrum to the Warrior player. There are already some strong 5-mana cards, so what makes this worth playing over those?

The important takeaway from the Battlecry text is that it offers a +1/+1 boost for each damaged minion on the board, period, not just the friendly ones. So that gives it potentially awesome combo potential with Whirlwind or Ravaging Ghoul. Warriors running Scourgelord Garrosh will likely have this as an automatic pack-in, given its potential.

All other Warriors? It's hard to make a case for this over Direhorn Hatchling or Alley Armorsmith, both of which are strong Taunt minions with awesome effects. Quest Warriors, in particular, will have no time for Death Revenant.


And we're done! Get ready for Knights of the Frozen Throne. It's set to release later this afternoon.

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?

From The Chatty