Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows card analyses (The Rest)

Hearthstone's next expansion, Rise of Shadows, is out tomorrow, so Shacknews' card analyses hit the Lightning Round.

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Hearthstone is days away from officially kicking off its new Standard year. The Year of the Raven is ending and will be replaced by the Year of the Dragon. The new Standard year starts with the arrival of 2019's first expansion, Rise of Shadows, meaning a whole new set of cards are about to take Hearthstone into a brave new world.

We started off our analyses in March with the official reveal of the Rise of Shadows expansion. If you've missed the card breakdowns, here's what we have so far:

Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows card analyses (Part 1)
Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows live stream cards and analysis
Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows card analyses (Part 2)
Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows card analyses (Part 3)
Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows card analyses (Part 4)
Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows card analyses (Part 5)
Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows card analyses (Part 6)
Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows card analyses (Part 7)

Today, it's the Lightning Round breakdown, as we check in with the rest of the cards featured during last week's final card reveal stream. Let's get into it:

The MVPs

(These are potential meta-definers and will fit like a glove in at least one meta deck.)

(2) Magic Dart Frog (1/3)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Mage
Rarity: Common
After you cast a spell, deal 1 damage to a random enemy minion.

(5) Convincing Infiltrator (2/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Priest
Rarity: Rare
Taunt. Deathrattle: Destroy a random enemy minion.

(2) Sweeping Strikes
Type: Spell
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Rare
Give a minion "Also damages minions next to whomever this attacks."

(6) Safeguard (4/5)
Type: Minion - Mech
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Taunt. Deathrattle: Summon a 0/5 Vault Safe with Taunt.

Notes: The Magic Dart Frog is going to be a Turn 2 play in almost every Mage deck, thanks to its ability to pick off minions with every spell. With Obsidian Statue rotating out, Convincing Infiltrator fills a very desirable void. Then there are two cards that will fit in beautifully with Warrior decks running Dr. Boom, Mad Genius. Sweeping Strikes ensures some of those Rush mechs can take out more than one target, while Safeguard can slide into almost any deck running Taunts. Not only is it a good stopper, like the old Sludge Belcher, but because both the Safeguard and the Vault are mechs, they can both be magnetized with Zilliax. It's just a winner in every way.


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.)

(3) Blessing of the Ancients
Type: Spell
Class: Druid
Rarity: Common
Twinspell: Give your minions +1/+1.

(5) Hunting Party
Type: Spell
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Rare
Copy all Beasts in your hand.

(2) Mysterious Blade (2/2)
Type: Weapon
Class: Paladin
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: If you control a Secret, gain +1 Attack.

(4) Unsleeping Soul
Type: Spell
Class: Priest
Rarity: Common
Silence a friendly minion, then summon a copy of it.

(2) Soul of the Murloc
Type: Spell
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Common
Give your minions "Deathrattle: Summon a 1/1 Murloc."

(10) Jumbo Imp (8/8)
Type: Minion - Demon
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Epic
Costs (1) less whenever a friendly Demon dies while this is in your hand.

(3) Arcane Watcher (5/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Can't attack unless you have Spell Damage.

(2) Vicious Scraphound (2/2)
Type: Minion - Mech
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Common
Whenever this minion deals damage, gain that much Armor.

(5) Sunreaver Warmage (4/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: If you're holding a spell that costs (5) or more, deal 4 damage.

(2) Dalaran Librarian (2/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Silence adjacent minions.

Notes: There's a lot to like here for existing meta archetypes, with Hunting Party sliding right in to Hunter decks running Scavenging Hyena. Soul of the Murloc could be a big boost to Elemental Shaman decks or any other Zoo Shaman deck that's looking to get Bloodlust off the ground as a win condition.

Then there's a slew of new options for what's going to be a resurgent Silence Priest archetype. The Silence Priest will be able to get off to a strong start, with Unsleeping Soul also having the benefit of duplicating vanilla minions with no drawback.


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. You won't build around these, but they're worth experimenting with.)

(3) Ursatron (3/3)
Type: Minion - Mech
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Common
Deathrattle: Draw a Mech from your deck.

(4) Kirin Tor Tricaster (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Mage
Rarity: Rare
Spell Damage +3: Your spells cost (1) more.

(4) Waggle Pick (4/2)
Type: Weapon
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Epic
Deathrattle: Return a random friendly minion to your hand. It costs (2) less.

(1) Daring Escape
Type: Spell
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Common
Return all friendly minions to your hand.

(8) Whirlwind Tempest (6/6)
Type: Minion - Elemental
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Your minions with Windfury have Mega-Windfury.

(5) Azerite Elemental (2/7)
Type: Minion - Elemental
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
At the start of your turn, gain Spell Damage +2.

(7) Underbelly Ooze (3/5)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
After this minion survives damage, summon a copy of it.

(5) Recurring Villain (3/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Deathrattle: If this minion has 4 or more Attack, resummon it.

(4) Violet Spellsword (1/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Gain +1 Attack for each spell in your hand.

(3) Faceless Rager (5/1)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Copy a friendly minion's Health.

Notes: There are some good cards here that might fit into a few meta decks, along with a handful of potential sleepers. Recurring Villain could be a much better card than anybody thinks, just because there are a lot of tools out there to buff up a minion's attack. I had to think hard about Whirlwind Tempest, but the Shaman's Windfury spell means there's potential for anything to get Mega-Windfury.

The last thing to note here is that the Faceless Rager could be the best of the Ragers to date. Priests running Divine Favor might have something dangerous on their hands.


Wild Stallions

(You might not get a lot of mileage out of these in Standard Ranked play. But if you're playing Wild, you might want to consider these.)

(4) Scargil (4/4)
Type: Minion - Murloc
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Legendary
Your Murlocs cost (1).

(2) Underbelly Angler (2/3)
Type: Minion - Murloc
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Rare
After you play a Murloc, add a random Murloc to your hand.

(4) Arcane Fletcher (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Epic
Whenever you play a 1-Cost minion, draw a spell from your deck.

(1) Toxfin (1/2)
Type: Minion - Murloc
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Give a friendly Murloc Poisonous.

Notes: The big Murlocs are going here, mainly because the Un'Goro expansion is rotating out to Wild. Un'Goro was very good to Murlocs, between Rockpool Hunter, Primalfin Lookout, and the Unite the Murlocs Shaman Quest. Scargil will work beautifully with the Wild Murloc cards, potentially setting up big OTK combos with Old Murk-Eye and Everyfin is Awesome.

Arcane Fletcher is going in this slot, largely because Quest Hunters might find some good use for it. Whether that pans out remains to be seen.


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.)

(1) Rapid Fire
Type: Spell
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Common
Twinspell: Deal 1 damage.

(0) Mutate
Type: Spell
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Common
Transform a friendly minion into a random one that costs (1) more.

(7) Tunnel Blaster (3/7)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Taunt. Deathrattle: Deal 3 damage to all minions.

(8) Heroic Innkeeper (4/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Taunt. Battlecry: Gain +2/+2 for each other friendly minion.

(4) Proud Defender (2/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Taunt: Has +2 Attack while you have no other minions.

(1) Potion Vendor (1/1)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Restore 2 Health to all friendly characters.

Notes: There are some strong Taunt options to be found off of various RNG effects. Sadly, Stonehill Defender is off to Wild, but there will be other ways to discover these cards and they'll be good finds each time.


Arena Champions

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

(4) Hench-Clan Shadequill (4/7)
Type: Minion
Class: Priest
Rarity: Common
Deathrattle: Restore 5 Health to the enemy hero.

(6) Portal Overfiend (5/6)
Type: Minion - Demon
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Shuffle 3 Portals into your deck. When drawn, summon a 2/2 Demon with Rush.

(4) Portal Keeper (5/2)
Type: Minion - Demon
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Shuffle 3 Portals into your deck. When drawn, summon a 2/2 Demon with Rush.

(9) Burly Shovelfist (9/9)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Rush.

(6) Eccentric Scribe (6/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Deathrattle: Summon four 1/1 Vengeful Scrolls.

(6) Violet Warden (4/7)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Taunt. Spell Damage +1

(5) Dalaran Crusader (5/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Divine Shield

(4) Soldier of Fortune (5/6)
Type: Minion - Elemental
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Whenever this minion attacks, give your opponent a Coin.

(3) Hench-Clan Sneak (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Stealth

(3) Flight Master (3/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Summon a 2/2 Gryphon for each player.

(2) Sunreaver Spy (2/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: If you control a Secret, gain +1/+1.

Notes: Portal Overfiend and Portal Keeper could be very strong in Arena play, thanks to the assistance that those 2/2 Demons could provide. Burly Shovelfist is going to be a very helpful big body that can spring into action immediately. Violet Warden is a nice power creep version of Archmage. Sunreaver Spy's vanilla stats mean its Battlecry will be a nice bonus, should it ever apply.


Bottom of the Deck

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

(6) Darkest Hour
Type: Spell
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Epic
Destroy all friendly minions. For each one, summon a random minion from your deck.

(3) Impferno
Type: Spell
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Rare
Give your Demons +1 Attack, Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions.

(3) Magic Carpet (1/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
After you play a 1-Cost minion, give it +1 attack and Rush.

(6) Mad Summoner (4/4)
Type: Minion - Demon
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Fill each player's board with 1/1 Imps.

(2) Arcane Servant (2/3)
Type: Minion - Elemental
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common

(2) Spellbook Binder (3/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: If you have Spell Damage, draw a card.

(2) Mana Reservoir (0/6)
Type: Minion - Elemental
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Spell Damage +1

Notes: I racked my brain trying to think of a good use for Darkest Hour. My only idea was for Mecha'thun decks, but with Cataclysm rotating out, it doesn't work there either. It's almost a dud on every conceivable level.


That's all, folks! We've broken down every card in the new Hearthstone expansion. All that's left is to play it. Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows is set to release this Tuesday, April 9.

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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