Hearthstone: The Witchwood Card Analyses (Part 8)

The card reveals for Hearthstone's Witchwood expansion are underway. Shacknews is diving in with our card analyses by looking at the cards that have been unveiled to this point, including a powerful new Legendary for the Rogue.


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:

Hearthstone: The Witchwood - The GDC 2018 Interview with Dave Kosak & Dean Ayala

Hearthstone: The Witchwood Card Analyses (Part 1)
Hearthstone: The Witchwood Card Analyses (Part 2)
Hearthstone: The Witchwood Card Analyses (Part 3)
Hearthstone: The Witchwood Card Analyses (Part 4)
Hearthstone: The Witchwood Card Analyses (Part 5)
Hearthstone: The Witchwood Card Analyses (Part 6)
Hearthstone: The Witchwood Card Analyses (Part 7)

(4) Totem Cruncher (2/3)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Epic
Taunt. Battlecry: Destroy your Totems. Gain +2/+2 for each destroyed.
Source: Game.Watch.Impress.co.jp

Analysis: This looks really tempting in a lot of ways, but I'm looking at Totem Cruncher as a much, much worse version of Blood Knight, which has a similar effect with Divine Shield minions.

I mean, let's compare the two:

  • Totem Cruncher costs 1 more Mana
  • Totem Cruncher has worse base stats
  • It gains less stats for its effect
  • It removes YOUR minions, while Blood Knight at least leaves your minions standing

If you really want to use Totems for something, shelve this guy and use Windshear Stormcaller instead.

(7) Countess Ashmore (6/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: Draw a Rush, Lifesteal, and Deathrattle card from your deck.
Source: Andeluoni on Huya

Analysis: So The Curator is rotating out, but nature always abhors a vacuum. That's why there's a new 7-Cost Legendary to draw some new cards.

Just the Deathrattle draw alone makes Countess Ashmore useful. Some classes might get some more use out of this one than others. Priest players, for example, can pick up an Obsidian Statue and it'll play nicely into their tempo game. Warlock can use it to pull an Amethyst Spellstone and a Voidlord. There's a lot of potential for this Legendary and in the right deck, it could be killer.

(2) Book of Specters
Type: Spell
Class: Mage
Rarity: Epic
Draw 3 cards. Discard any spells drawn.
Source: Zico39 on Twitch

Analysis: This is a bizarre card to give the Mage. Yes, the Mage, which often lives or dies by the spell. But every so often, you'll see one of these spells, which comes off like a dud in constructed and a dud in Arena.

What this ends up being is a spell that comes out of an RNG effect like the Ruby Spellstone. It's a purposely bad luck draw to make players think twice about using RNG effects. If this shows up, it can be very bad news and it'll definitely pop up here and there over the next couple of Standard years.

(6) Mossy Horror (2/7)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Destroy all other minions with 2 or less Attack.
Source: PCGamesN

Analysis: Priest is losing Shadow Word: Horror in the Standard rotation, so here it is in minion form. This is a pretty decent tool for those same Priest players, because it at least leaves a body on their side of the board.

But because it's a neutral minion, that means anyone can utilize this. That includes the Paladin and minions like Aldor Peacekeeper. I wouldn't expect to see Mossy Horror on any kind of regular basis, but savvy deck builders might be able to work with this.

(5) Festeroot Hulk (2/7)
Type: Minion
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Rare
After a friendly minion attacks, gain +1 Attack.
Source: PCGamesN

Analysis: The Hulk is for the Frothing Berserker player that wants to think a little bit bigger.

The Festeroot Hulk really only works with Warriors running multiple minions at once. Maybe think about the Quest Warrior, which can run multiple Taunt minions and hide this guy behind them. Festeroot Hulk can get out of control fast if not dealt with. I don't expect to see it replace the Frothing Berserker anytime soon, but it has some potential, both in constructed and Arena.

(8) Splitting Festeroot (4/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Deathrattle: Summon two 2/2 Splitting Saplings.
Source: PCGamesN

Analysis: This is a fascinating minion, because the Splitting Festeroot spawns a pair of 2/2 minions upon death, which in turn spawn another pair of 1/1 minions after their death.

My first thought is that it can do some work in Arena. But think of this in something like a Shaman or Druid deck, where it'll ensure there are multiple friendly minions that can be buffed by Bloodlust or Savage Roar. In fact, that makes the 4/4 body the least intimidating aspect of this minion.

The trouble is that it's still vulnerable to polymorph effects, but aside from that, Splitting Festeroot has the potential to be a big pain in Arena and is a decent pickup from spells like Free From Amber.

(8) Tess Greymane (6/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: Replay every card from another class you've played this game (targets chosen randomly).
Source: Blizzard promo email

Analysis: Were you afraid you were going to miss Yogg-Saron and all of the Old God's randomness?

Tess Greymane will bring all of that back and then some! She'll play every single card played from an opposing class and unlike Yogg, the cards will keep coming even if she gets taken off the board. That makes it a shame that Swashburglar, Undercity Huckster, and Shaku, the Collector are heading off into Wild.

The Standard player will have a few other options to work with. Elise the Trailblazer should help out, as should the new Pick Pocket. Another card to watch is Face Collector, which could add a random Legendary from a different class.

The real fun, of course, happens in Wild, where all of the Rogue's tools are available. So grab any one of those aforementioned cards and go nuts!

(3) Blink Fox (3/3)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Common
Add a random card to your hand (from your opponent's class).
Source: Blizard promo email

Analysis: Alright, here's a new tool for that Rogue player looking to take advantage of Tess Greymane's effect. And it's a pretty good one, because it also gives the Rogue player a solid 3/3 body on Turn 3.

Not a lot of downsides to playing this one and it should find a few homes in both constructed and Arena decks. The only issue is deciding which is the more crucial effect for what you're aiming for. Would you rather get that extra card in-hand or get the reliable 2 damage from the SI:7 Agent, which offers the exact same stats?

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 on Thursday, April 12.

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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