Hearthstone continues rolling through the Year of the Dragon, meaning it's time for the year's second major expansion. The League of E.V.I.L. is traveling through the sweltering deserts of Azeroth and now find themselves opposed by the League of Explorers for Hearthstone's latest expansion, Saviors of Uldum. And the publisher is ready to unveil another round of 135 cards to the Standard and Wild rotations.
That means it's time once again for Shacknews to break down each of the expansion's cards, one-by-one. Before the card reveals begin in earnest, we're going to take a look at the cards unveiled earlier today, some of which utilize some brand new mechanics to Hearthstone.
Before we start, a quick recap of what we've unveiled to this point:
And now, let's get started.
(6) Reno the Relicologist (4/6)
Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, deal 10 damage randomly split among all enemy minions.
Source: Hearthstone at San Diego Comic-Con
Analysis: Reno Jackson doesn't have the same game-breaking effect that he used to. He operates the same way, only working in Highlander decks. But instead of restoring all of your health, Reno the Relicologist will deal 10 damage split among enemy minions.
That's not nearly as fun, nor is it particularly useful in the late game when facing down a full board of enemy minions. It doesn't help that Reno's classic 4/6 stat line isn't nearly as charming without a good effect to go along with it.
There are too many good Mage cards right now to justify packing this incarnation of Reno. Maybe Wild Highlander decks can find a place for this.
(7) Dinotamer Brann (2/4)
Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, summon King Krush.
Source: PC Gamer
Analysis: The new-look Brann Bronzebeard has a second lease on life, riding dinosaurs! He's found himself a wild King Krush and will bring it into battle if there are no other duplicates in the player's deck.
This is an interesting one, because it ensures an 8/8 Charge on Turn 7. And most opposing players will be looking to remove that 8/8 Beast before it can cause too much damage. That means Brann himself will likely stay on the board, so if you can use any minion with a Return effect to bring him back to your hand, King Krush might be able to wreak havoc a second time.
(5) Elise the Enlightened (5/5)
Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, duplicate your hand.
Analysis: Elise Starseeker is the first three-timer to join the Hearthstone club. Her effect is a slightly lesser take on some of her previous ones. Instead of changing your deck into Legendary minions or offering a random deck from a certain set, she's giving you duplicates of your own cards.
Elise isn't a top tier Legendary, but she has some potential for Standard Druids.
(2) Sir Finley of the Sands (2/3)
Type: Minion - Murloc
Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, Discover an upgraded Hero Power.
Analysis: Out of the new League of Explorers, the new Sir Finley is the closest to his predecessor. You can still Discover a new Hero Power, but you're going to have to complete a condition first. Like the other new League of Explorer cards, you're going to have to pack a Highlander deck. But the reward is worthwhile. Not only will you get a new Hero Power, it'll be an upgraded Hero Power.
Upgraded Warrior and Warlock powers are going to prove especially strong in Paladin decks, so depending on the Highlander deck you're using, this could prove wildly useful. He's got a nice 2/3 stat line, to boot.
(2) Expired Merchant (2/1)
Battlecry: Discard your highest Cost card. Deathrattle: Add 2 copies of it to your hand.
Source: Valeera on Huya
Analysis: This is a twist on a few other Warlock staples. Instead of discarding a random card or a low-Cost card, it'll discard the highest Cost card. Some might wonder whether that's going to be useful in the long run, but don't forget that Soulwarden is around to make sure those high-Cost cards come back when they're needed most.
But where this might be better served is in Zoo decks. Yes, in Zoo decks! What if you're filling your hand with 1, 2, and 3-Cost minions, but your most expensive card happens to be High Priestess Jeklik? The combination of Expired Merhcant and Jeklik's effects will ensure you get four High Priestess Jekliks added to your hand. That seems pretty sweet.
(1) Murmy (1/1)
Type: Minion - Murloc
Source: Atlas on YouTube
Analysis: Here's a handy new Turn 1 minion for a lot of beginner players, as well as a handful of Hearthstone veterans. Murmy basically gets the old Possessed Villager effect, where it uses the Reborn mechanic to come back to life with 1 Health, even though it's a 1 Health minion to begin with.
This is certain to be a Warlock Zoo staple. Expect to see it a lot there, as well as in Murloc Shaman decks.
(6) Hidden Oasis
Choose One: Summon a 6/6 Ancient with Taunt; or Restore 12 Health.
Source: Firebat on YouTube
Analysis: This is a pricey spell on its own, but it's not really designed to be used by itself. It's meant more to be used with the new Druid quest, which will grant you both effects. And at 6 mana, both effects combined is a pretty sweet deal.
Healing Druids are going to find a good place for this card, with or without the quest. For sure, it's going to play very well with Keeper Stalladris in the late game, so there's no more need to despair if the Druid legendary doesn't show up in your opening hand.
(6) Scarlet Webweaver (5/5)
Type: Minion - Beast
Battlecry: Reduce the Cost of a random Beast in your hand (5).
Source: PlayHearthstone on Instagram
Analysis: It's been easy to forget over the last couple of expansions, but Hunters used to be known for Beasts and not Mechs. And the Hunter still has a handful of really powerful Beasts. So why not discount them with the Scarlet Webweaver? It can turn King Krush into a 4-Cost minion and reduce Savannah Highmane's cost to just one mana.
But if you're looking to go the easy route and get a one-turn kill, try and arrange it so that your Tundra Rhino gets discounted to zero and get ready to go to town.
(6) Wild Bloodstinger (6/9)
Type: Minion - Beast
Battlecry: Summon a minion from your opponent's hand. Attack it.
Source: PlayHearthstone on Instagram
Analysis: These 6/9 stats are nice. It's not often that you'll see stats like this on a 6-Cost minion, but there's a reason for that. As soon as it gets played, it pulls out a minion from the opponent's hand and attacks it. It's a much more aggressive Dirty Rat.
This is meant to mess with two different types of decks: the one packing the Exodia-style win condition and the zoo. This can wreak havoc with zoos, taking out a valuable piece and also leaving a big body on the board. But the Exodia might be a little trickier. Yes, it can wreck any big Battlecry effect by just throwing it on the board. But don't be careless about using this thing, either. If you pull out a Mountain Giant against a Conjuring Mage, you'd better finish that thing off, because the Mage player will simply use Conjurer's Calling on the next turn.
Worse yet, be careful not to pull out something like Deathwing or Mecha'thun. And if you're playing Arena, be extra careful not to pull out the all-too-common Burly Shovelfist. Like Hecklebot, the Wild Bloodstinger is not to be thrown out there carelessly.
(5) Bazaar Mugger (3/5)
Rush. Battlecry: Add a random minion from another class to your hand.
Analysis: The Rogue is looking to maintain its identity as the thievery class, so here's the Bazaar Mugger to help out with that. Its stats don't look all that impressive on paper. If you're playing a thievery deck in constructed, you're going to have Underbelly Fence, which likely gives you 3/4 Rush stats at less than half the cost.
But I will say that this is an enticing option for Arena players. Given how often Sightless Ranger sees play there, I'd say that Bazaar Mugger is a comparable option that should serve Arena users well.
(5) Desert Obelisk (0/5)
If you control 3 of these at the end of your turn, deal 5 damage to a random enemy.
Analysis: *stares intently*
There has to be a catch to this thing.
On it's face, it looks absolutely useless. There are ways to make copies of this thing, like Archmage Arugal, Togwaggle's Scheme, Seance, and Gloop Sprayer. That's not the issue. The issue is that the Desert Obelisk is far too expensive.
If there was a reliable way to get multiple copies of these on-board, it's going to be a heck of a one-turn kill combo. Heck, there could be one of those combos that I'm just not seeing. But until there's a reliable way to lower that 5-Cost on multiple Desert Obelisks, this isn't going to see play.
At least... I don't think it will...
That's all for now! There isn't much time before Hearthstone's next expansion arrives, so that means Shacknews had better get rolling with more card analyses. And we'll have them for you all week! Hearthstone: Saviors of Uldum is set to arrive on August 6.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Hearthstone: Saviors of Uldum card analyses (Part 3)
Kinda off topic but I’ve been thinking about how conjuror’s mage should be nerfed and ray of frost seems like a good candidate. The whole mana cyclone + sorceress apprentice + cheap spell package is really held together by Ray of frost and the card is too mana efficient and card efficient. It’s mana efficient because it only costs one mana and it’s card efficient because it very often keeps mages alive for two turns off one card. And if you look at the other twin spell cards they’re more expensive because they get double use. Ray of frost is broken because it’s too mana efficient. If it cost two mana that whole deck looks a lot more balanced.