Blizzard is kicking off card reveals for Hearthstone's next expansion. The Witchwood will introduce 135 new cards, using new Echo and Rush mechanics and also introducing a Monster Hunt single-player mode. The Witchwood marks Hearthstone's eighth expansion and the first one for the Year of the Raven.
As is tradition, Shacknews is stepping into the murky forest to break these cards down by the handful. We continue by looking at the first of the cards revealed by various outlets, including YouTube content creators, Twitch streamers, and news sites.
Need a recap? Here's what you may have missed:
(6) Coffin Crasher (6/5)
Deathrattle: Summon a Deathrattle minion from your hand.
Source: sonecarox on YouTube
Analysis: Isn't that art just amazing? It just screams "Gang way! I'm a crazy guy wearing a coffin!"
The Coffin Crasher is also going to see a lot of play in a variety of Priest decks, particularly any Priest packing Obsidian Statue. Those 6/5 stats are perfectly serviceable for a 6-Cost minion and if it isn't silenced, the Coffin Crasher could bring out something like a Bone Drake.
Wild players will be able to do even more with Coffin Crasher, especially if they pack Deathwing, Dragonlord into their deck. With or without the Un'Goro Quest, the Coffin Crasher will be a strong addition to the Priest arsenal.
(5) Darius Crowley (4/4)
Rush: After this attacks and kills a minion, gain +2/+2.
Source: Dog Thief on Douyu
Analysis: This is a rare midrange Legendary for the Warrior, but it's not one that I see doing very well, even in a Control Warrior deck. Darius Crowley relies on dispatching a minion on its first-turn Rush, but the trouble is that midrange minions are starting to get stronger these days. A Legendary with 4 Attack and 4 Health won't actually be able to take out too much.
I wouldn't expect to see too much of Darius Crowley. Even in Arena, it feels like a wasted Legendary pick. It'll make a half-decent pickup off an RNG effect, but not much else.
(10) Emeriss (8/8)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Battlecry: Double the Attack and Health of all minions in your hand.
Analysis: This is a really strong Legendary that fits into a lot of Priest archetypes. Combo Priests and Dragon Priests will particularly get a big boost out of... I'm sorry, what's that? This is a Hunter Legendary? Huh... how about that... okay, let's try this again...
So Emeriss is an interesting card for Hunter, which typically isn't known for any kind of Dragon synergy. For 10 Mana, this had better be one amazing effect and that effect would fly with a lot of other classes. Hunters, which typically like to strike hard and fast with lower cost minions, may not be able to make the most out of this Battlecry. Emeriss has the potential to be a strong Legendary, but not for Hunter.
(3) Ravencaller (2/1)
Battlecry: Add two random 1-Cost minions to your hand.
Source: Alliestrasza on YouTube
Analysis: Ravencaller has the potential to be a sleeper hit. It's not going to impress anyone with its 2/1 stats, but the Battlecry can serve a couple of functions. Zoolock players will be able to keep the minions coming out fast and keep their side of the board packed. This can also help the rare Quest Hunter, who's looking for some tools to help make their deck a little more viable.
This is also a strong choice for Arena, with dual 1-Cost minions able to maintain a board presence. This one's certainly not a terrible minion and has its uses.
(2) Sound the Bells!
Echo: Give a minion +1/+2.
Source: Blizzholics on YouTube
Analysis: A skilled Paladin player can put Sound the Bells! to some great use. For one thing, Primalfin Champion can be equipped with multiple copies of this spell in a single turn and the player will be able to get each of those copies of that spell back in their hand.
What else does one do with all of those copies of this spell? Well, it makes it very easy to complete the Un'Goro Quest and pick up Galvadon. And if Galvadon goes down, this will be an awful lot of buffs going towards Lynessa Sunsorrow. Sound the Bells! can be effective on a good midrange Paladin, if played the right way. It'll be interesting to see if this finds its way into any Pally decks, given the current trend of Dude Paladins and Murlocadins out in the meta right now.
(2) Cheap Shot
Echo: Deal 2 damage to a minion.
Source: Yahoo Esports Taiwan
Analysis: Miracle Rogue shall never die. No matter what cards rotate out of Standard, what cards are balanced, or even if Gadgetzan Auctioneer himself gets whacked with the nerf bat, the Miracle Rogue will persist and thrive.
And so we reach the latest tool for the Miracle Rogue player: Cheap Shot. This isn't quite Backstab, which only works on undamaged minions. But if a Gadgetzan Auctioneer is left standing, it's fully capable of helping Rogue players draw cards multiple times, especially if that first use is discounted with Preparation. Get ready to see it a lot.
(7) Blackhowl Gunspire (3/8)
Can't Attack. Whenever this minion takes damage, deal 3 damage to a random enemy.
Analysis: This is an interesting Legendary for the Warrior. It's a 3/8 that... can't move. It'd be one thing if this was a Taunt, but it isn't, which means most players should simply be able to just get around it.
So that puts the onus on the Warrior player to make sure the Blackhowl Gunspire gets triggered. Whirlwind, the Scourgelord Garrosh Hero Power, and Warpath are among the ways to ensure this Legendary's effect is activated. Wild players will have several more options, including Bouncing Blade.
This has the potential to be a good Legendary, but the Warrior player's going to have to plan carefully to maximize that potential.
(6) Lady in White (5/5)
Cast 'Inner Fire' on every minion in your deck (set Attack equal to Health).
Source: DDaHyoNi on Twitch
Analysis: Holy cats! Because the Priest player hasn't had enough insane tools at their disposal. Just looking at this, it looks overpowered and that may be true. It turns Obsidian Statue into an 8/8, it turns Grand Archivist into a 7/7, and it turns Ysera into a frightening 12/12. Even a Northshire Cleric can turn into a 3/3.
Now there are a few things to think about with this Legendary. First off, it casts Inner Fire on minions in a player's deck, not in their hand. Secondly, it's not a permanent buff. In theory, removing the minion with spells like Vanish or Psychic Scream will revert those minions back to their original stats.
Lady in White can be scary and will swing more than one game, but this effect is not impossible to overcome. It just won't be easy.
(6) Cursed Castaway (5/3)
Type: Minion - Pirate
Rush. Deathrattle: Draw a Combo card from your deck.
Source: YawgMoth87 on Twitch
Analysis: Normally, a 6-Cost minion with 5/3 stats sounds like a waste, but the Rush mechanic doesn't quite make that the case anymore. The Cursed Castaway's effect also makes it enticing for most Rogue players, since it'll put a fresh Combo piece in their hand. If this is played on Turn 10, it could draw out an Elven Minstrel, which will replenish the Rogue's hand further.
At worst, the Rogue player can trade this in and use it for removal, while also drawing a card. That's not a terrible scenario, particularly for Arena players. It won't be in every Rogue deck, but I can see Rogue players experimenting with this.
(1) Chameleos (1/1)
Type: Minion - Beast
Each turn this is in your hand, transform it into a card your opponent is holding.
Source: Omnislash on YouTube
Analysis: How does the Priest keep getting all these crazy good Legendaries?
Yes, Chameleos is insanely good. It's a much better version of Shifter Zerus, just because of the secondary function it serves. Not only does it mean Priest players can use the opponent's cards against them, but even if they don't play Chameleos on that turn, at the very least, they'll know what their opponent is holding. That way the Priest can either prepare a counter or brace for the eventual onslaught.
What's most intriguing about Chameleos is the language on the card, which says that he can turn into any card your opponent is holding. That means Chameleos can feasibly become a spell or even a Hero Card. That means the Priest has yet another tool in which he can swipe the opponent's Death Knight, which can lead to some wild scenarios.
That's it for now! Keep it on Shacknews for the next few weeks for more card breakdowns for the Witchwood, leading all the way up to the expansion's release in mid-April.