It's time to step into the Gurubashi Arena and battle for honor and glory. The next Hearthstone expansion is Rastakhan's Rumble, which sees all nine classes embrace their inner gladiator and battle it out with their Loa, their Spirit, and their troll champion.
That means it's once again time for Shacknews to crack our knuckles and break down each of these cards, one-by-one. However, we're going to do things a little bit differently this time around. This feature will focus on the expansion's cards, with the exception of the aforementioned Loas, Spirits, and troll champions. Those will be reserved for separate features, focusing on how those three cards all help their respective class.
In case you missed it:
It's almost time to rumble, so continue our look through the upcoming cards for the final expansion in the Year of the Raven.
(3) Smolderthorn Lancer (3/2)
Battlecry: If you're holding a Dragon, destroy a damaged enemy minion.
Source: Snoodyboo on YouTube
Analysis: This expansion looks to put more dragons in the Warrior's hand. And while there haven't been a lot of dragons revealed for this expansion so far, that doesn't mean there aren't dragons out there to make this card work. Bone Drake, in particular, is a fine trigger for the Smolderthorn Lancer.
Because of the hodgepodge of dragons out there, Smolderthorn Lancer becomes an enticing Arena pick. Arena's much more likely to include decks packing Bone Drake and Deathwing. And those 3/2 stats aren't too shabby, either.
(3) Raiding Party
Draw 2 Pirates from your deck. Combo: And a weapon.
Analysis: Unless there's serious Pirate synergy going down, it's hard to recommend a 3-Cost spell that draws two pirates over the much more reliable Elven Minstrel, which also includes a 3/2 body.
The combo effect might make Raiding Party a little more enticing. Kingsbane Rogues might want to think about finding a spot for this spell, especially if it draws Captain Greenskin.
(12) Grave Horror (7/8)
Taunt. Costs (1) less for each spell you've cast this game.
Source: Shinichirooo on YouTube
Analysis: Grave Horror works along the same wavelength as a Giant, most similarly Arcane Giant. This minion gets its cost reduced for each spell cast over the course of the entire game. Can a Priest player pull this off? Well, it gets easier with Radiant Elemental, Shadow Visions (especially if it finds itself), and Lyra the Sunshard.
Grave Horror doesn't have a lot of space in a constructed Priest deck, but if Lyra pops up in Arena, then these two will work very well together.
(3) Untamed Beastmaster (3/4)
Whenever you draw a Beast, give it +2/+2.
Analysis: This is an interesting card for both the Hunter and Druid, which aren't short on Beasts. With 3/4 stats, it's a solid tempo play and if it can activate its effect, it's a pleasant bonus. For daring Hearthstone players looking to try out their Quest Hunter decks, Untamed Beastmaster is an easy way to turn those 3/2 dinosaurs into 5/4 dinos.
This should be a no-brainer for Arena, should it pop up. Its 3/4 stats are on the high-end of 3-Cost minions, so it's minimal risk with a potential high-end reward.
(10) Hakkar, the Soulflayer (9/6)
Deathrattle: Shuffle a Corrupted Blood into each player's deck.
(1) Corrupted Blood
Casts when Drawn: Take 3 damage. After you draw, shuffle two copies of this into your deck.
Analysis: This is one of the most interesting Legendaries to come along in this expansion, because it's unlike any other to come along in Hearthstone so far. Unlike similarly-designed minions, like Seaforium Bomber and Iron Juggernaut, the debilitating Corrupted Blood card shows up as a Deathrattle, not a Battlecry. On top of that, it curses both players, with no real way to know who the Corrupted Bloods will take out first.
It would be easier to build around this card if the effect were a Battlecry. As it is, it's easy to silence or otherwise disrupt. But more than that, 10 mana for a 9/6 body is a tough ask. Rogue players can get around this with Kobold Illusionist, so be on the lookout for those combos.
The Deathrattle does add one interesting element. It means that random effects, like evolution effects or summoning effects like Spiteful Summoner can bring Hakkar on board and get the Corrupted Blood flowing.
Clever Hearthstone players will take advantage of some of the Corrupted Blood's properties and keep in mind that it can be cleansed. Skulking Geist can remove all of the Corrupted Bloods from both decks. But if you really want to be a jerk and only remove your Corrupted Bloods, have a Hemet, Jungle Hunter at the ready.
(4) Zandalari Templar (4/4)
Battlecry: If you've restored 10 Health this game, gain +4/+4 and Taunt.
Source: PhenomenGames on YouTube
Analysis: What, no 4 mana 7/7?
This is a solid minion for the Paladin player. Even without the Battlecry effect, 4/4 stats are pretty standard. But it shouldn't be too tough to get to the Battlecry conditions, thanks to the abundance of Lifesteal minions out there. Zilliax, in particular, should help get this ball rolling. If not, Uther of the Ebon Blade is right there.
Of course, there's another Legendary that should help out a lot here. If you missed our analysis of High Priest Thekal over the weekend, why not go catch up with that first?
(2) Firetree Witchdoctor (2/2)
Battlecry: If you're holding a Dragon, Discover a spell.
Source: Hafu on YouTube
Analysis: Going back to the Warrior, if the idea is for the Warrior to get more Dragon synergy, this is going to be a necessary Turn 2 play. But really, each class has some wildly effective spells that can prove useful over the course of any game.
That's why Firetree Witchdoctor is going to be an Arena staple. With the abundance of dragons, like Bone Drake, available throughout Arena, most players should have a Battlecry trigger at the ready. And there are more than enough good spells to make this guy pay off.
(7) Gurubashi Hypemon (5/7)
Battlecry: Discover a 1/1 copy of a Battlecry minion. It costs (1).
Analysis: What the heck kind of troll is packing 5/7 stats? This must be a Level 60 elite or something.
Gurubashi Hypemon's effectiveness is entirely dependent on the Battlecry minion that it discovers. It doesn't quite work in any constructed Rogue decks, but its 7-Cost, 5/7 stats make it perfect for Arena. Think of it as a much-better Sated Threshadon, packing a little extra something that has the potential to swing the game.
There are a lot of solid Battlecry options, including Fungalmancer, Bonemare, and even the aforementioned Deathwing. Pulling out a 1-Cost, 1/1 Tess Greymane also has the potential to turn whole games upside-down.
(2) Revenge of the Wild
Summon your Beasts that died this turn.
Source: MustPlay on Facebook
Analysis: On the surface, it's a spell that a Hunter player can deploy after Unleash the Hounds to unleash the hounds... again. Or it's a spell that allows multiple Huffers to trade in. But those players are thinking too small.
Flark's Boom-Zooka's language means minions can get summoned to divebomb opposing minions and then die off, leaving room for Revenge of the Wild to bring them right back, better than ever! Hunters are going to be using this combination quite frequently on Turn 10, so be on the lookout for this and expect it to bring out King Krush and maybe more than one Charged Devilsaur.
(2) Likkim (1/3)
Has +2 Attack while you have Overloaded Mana Crystals.
Source: FatCatBall on YouTube
Analysis: Shaman hasn't had too many great weapons, as of late. I don't expect Likkim to break that trend, either. It's another one of those weapons that starts off weak, but gets only marginally stronger when a certain condition is met. And while Shaman players will frequently Overload, that's still not quite enough to make this a staple.
I don't expect to see too much of Likkim in the new meta and it'll definitely be on the lower-roll side of random weapon generation effects.
(7) Amani War Bear (5/7)
Type: Minion - Beast
Source: MustPlay on Facebook
Analysis: Amani War Bear isn't a minion that anyone should expect to see played by itself, but that doesn't mean it won't see a lot of action regardless. It's going to be on the higher-end of random Beast generation effects, thanks to its ability to rush a minion out of the gate and stand tall as a defensive force.
Deathstalker Rexxar will love this guy, especially if he can combine it with a Lifesteal minion.
That's all for now. Be on the lookout for more card breakdowns, as well as our individual focuses on the class Loas, Spirits, and Champions. Hearthstone: Rastakhan's Rumble is set to release on December 4.