Hearthstone: The Witchwood Card Analyses (The Rest)

The card reveals for Hearthstone's Witchwood expansion have come to and end and Shacknews is diving in with our analyses of the last batch of cards.

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Blizzard has finally completed card reveals for Hearthstone's next expansion. The Witchwood introduces 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. To wrap things up, we do a "Best of the Rest" breakdown for the cards revaled by Game Director Ben Brode and Sean 'Day[9]' Plott on Monday.

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)
Hearthstone: The Witchwood Card Analyses (Part 8)
Hearthstone: The Witchwood Card Analyses (Part 9)


The MVPs

(9) Shudderwock (6/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: Repeat all other Battlecries from cards you played this game (targets chosen randomly).

(5) Prince Liam (5/5)
Type: Minion
Class: Paladin
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: Transform all 1-Cost cards in your deck into Legendary minions.

Notes: Shudderwock is downright frightening, especially if it's given powerful Battlecries from other minions like Saronite Chain Gang, The Black Knight, or any selection of Discover minions. This has the potential to be heavily abused.

Prince Liam is great for the Murloc or Dude Paladin who typically runs out of gas in the late game. If the Paladin player has their board cleared, Prince Liam can act as a great last gasp.


Ladder Climbers

(These are cards that will likely appear in a majority of constructed/Ranked decks, since they'll work well with both new/returning cards.)

(2) Divine Hymn
Type: Spell
Class: Priest
Rarity: Common
Restore 6 Health to all friendly characters.

(2) Earthen Might
Type: Spell
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Rare
Give a minion +2/+2. If it's an Elemental, add a random Elemental to your hand.

(1) Blazing Invocation
Type: Spell
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Rare
Discover a Battlecry minion.

(1) Dark Possession
Type: Spell
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Rare
Deal 2 damage to a friendly character. Discover a Demon.

(2) Baleful Banker (2/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Choose a friendly minion. Shuffle a copy of it into your deck.

Notes: Nobody comes out the bigger winner here than the Shaman player. Baleful Banker will work with just about any class in the game and fits much better on curve with its 2 mana cost. But with Shaman able to drop Shudderwock, having it swipe the Baleful Banker effect is crazy powerful. Shamans also have two great new spells with no Overload drawback and that's definitely something to rejoice about.

Lastly, there's Dark Possession, which can slide into the Dark Pact slot, if the Warlock player so chooses. It can be used to activate the Possessed Lackey Deathrattle, but the card's language also means it can be used on the Warlock to not only Discover a new Demon, but also boost the Amethyst Spellstone. This is a strong spell and has a chance to only get better going forward.


Situational Wonders

(These are cards that won't quite be constructed/Ranked staples, but will definitely support one or more decks in the current meta.)

(5) Curio Collector (4/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Mage
Rarity: Rare
Whenever you draw a card, gain +1/+1.

(3) Cutthroat Buccaneer (2/4)
Type: Minion - Pirate
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Common
Combo: Give your weapon +1 Attack.

(2) Ghost Light Angler (2/2)
Type: Minion - Murloc
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Common
Echo

(3) Ratcatcher (2/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Epic
Rush. Battlecry: Destroy a friendly minion and gain its Attack and Health.

(4) Sandbinder (2/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Draw an Elemental from your deck.

(4) Lifedrinker (3/3)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Deal 3 damage to the enemy hero. Restore 3 Health to your hero.

(1) Swamp Dragon Egg (0/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Deathrattle: Add a random Dragon to your hand.

Notes: These cards all fit into a different deck type. In particular, I like the idea of the Egg Warlock getting Ratcatcher and the Swamp Dragon Egg to go along with the other eggs in both Standard and Wild. Ratcatcher will also go great with Possessed Lackey.

Meanwhile, don't sleep on Ghost Light Angler to boost the Quest Shaman in a pinch. Its standalone stats also make it a perfectly serviceable 2-drop.


An Incredible Discovery!

(These are cards that don't quite fit in constructed/Ranked decks, but ones that you won't mind seeing off a Discover or RNG effect.)

(2) Snap Freeze
Type: Spell
Class: Mage
Rarity: Common
Freeze a minion. If it's already Frozen, destroy it.

(3) Cinderstorm
Type: Spell
Class: Mage
Rarity: Rare
Deal 5 damage randomly split among all enemies.

(1) Hidden Wisdom
Type: Spell
Class: Paladin
Rarity: Epic
Secret: After your opponent plays three cards in a turn, draw 2 cards.

(7) Nightscale Matriarch (4/9)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Priest
Rarity: Rare
Whenever a friendly minion is healed, summon a 3/3 Whelp.

(0) Zap!
Type: Spell
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Common
Deal 2 damage to a minion. Overload: (1)

(8) Cauldron Elemental (7/7)
Type: Minion - Elemental
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Your other Elementals have +2 Attack.

(2) Vicious Scalehide (1/3)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Lifesteal. Rush

(1) Swamp Leech (2/1)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Lifesteal

Notes: Snap Freeze is a great Mage spell, superior to Shatter in every way. Both this and Cinderstorm are great Mage pickups off a Discovery effect.

Nightscale Matriarch has some decent stats for its effect and will make a good Arena card. But finding it off an effect in the late game is certainly nothing to sneeze at on the ladder and nobody's going to turn down a potentially free 3/3 Whelp.

Don't look for me to dismiss any Neutral Beasts, especially for Hunter players. Vicious Scalehide could potentially be a great pickup off a Turn 1 Jeweled Macaw.


Arena Champions

(These are cards that don't quite work in constructed/Ranked decks, but will work beautifully in Arena mode.)

(5) Vilebrood Skitterer (1/3)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Common
Poisonous. Rush

(5) Carrion Drake (3/7)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: If a minion died this turn, gain Poisonous.

(5) Ghostly Charger (3/4)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Paladin
Rarity: Common
Divine Shield. Rush

(5) Quartz Elemental (5/8)
Type: Minion - Elemental
Class: Priest
Rarity: Common
Can't attack while damaged.

(3) Rabid Worgen (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Common
Rush

(5) Chief Inspector (4/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Destroy all enemy Secrets.

(4) Night Prowler (3/3)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: If this is the only minion in the battlefield, gain +3/+3.

(8) Deranged Doctor (8/8)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Deathrattle: Restore 8 Health to your hero.

(7) Furious Ettin (5/9)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Taunt

(3) Hench-Clan Thug (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
After your hero attacks, give this minion +1/+1.

Notes: These minions offer either some great effects or some sturd late-game bodies. Hunter, especially, gets a nice one with a Poisonous minion that can immediately eliminate any large minion on the opposing side of the board.

Meanwhile, it's hard not to imagine many Arena players trying to grab Deranged Doctor whenever it's available. A good 8/8 body, along with all that healing is going to be a highly-desirable pickup.


Bottom of the Deck

(These are cards I don't foresee seeing much play in either constructed or Arena.)

(2) Squashling (2/1)
Type: Minion
Class: Priest
Rarity: Common
Echo. Battlecry: Restore 2 Health.

(2) Curse of Weakness
Type: Spell
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Rare
Echo: Give all enemy minions -2 Attack until your next turn.

(4) Fiendish Circle
Type: Spell
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Common
Summon four 1/1 Imps.

(1) Witchwood Imp (1/1)
Type: Minion - Demon
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Common
Stealth. Deathrattle: Give a random friendly minion +2 Health.

(4) Mad Hatter (3/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Randomly toss 3 hats to other minions. Each hat gives +1/+1.

(7) Darkmire Moonkin (2/8)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Spell Damage +2

(7) Wyrmguard (3/11)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: If you're holding a Dragon, gain +1 Attack and Taunt.

(4) Unpowered Steambot (0/9)
Type: Minion - Mech
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Taunt

(4) Felsoul Inquisitor (1/6)
Type: Minion - Demon
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Lifesteal. Taunt

(3) Marsh Drake (5/4)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Summon a 2/1 Poisonous Drakeslayer for your opponent.

(3) Walnut Sprite (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Echo

(3) Tanglefur Mystic (3/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Add a random 2-Cost minion to each player's hand.

(2) Lost Spirit (1/1)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Deathrattle: Give your minions +1 Attack.

Notes: There's not a whole lot to get excited about with any of these cards. Maybe there's some potential in Mad Hatter if played in a Murloc/Dude Paladin deck.

I certainly don't know why Warlock, of all classes, is getting the Attack reduction spell. That's a round peg in a square hole. The Fiendish Circle spell isn't so much baffling as it is uninspired, as it's basically Imp-losion without the helpful damage effect.

Lastly, what can you say about a 7-Cost 2/8 other than, "Junk?"


And that's it! We've reached the end of all 135 cards. However, there's still one last piece of business to attend to before the expansion arrives. Come back tomorrow as I take a more detailed look at Hagatha the Witch. Hearthstone: The Witchwood officially releases 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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