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Hearthstone: Saviors of Uldum card analyses (Part 4)

Hearthstone reaches the desert for its next expansion. Shacknews breaks down each card leading up to next week's release, including a handful of cards better suited for Wild play.


Hearthstone is in the middle of the Year of the Dragon and now it is time for the year's second big expansion. The ongoing storyline for this year continues, as the League of E.V.I.L. journeys to the desert for Hearthstone's next expansion, Saviors of Uldum. Blizzard is unveiling another round of 135 cards to join 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, some of which utilize some brand new mechanics to Hearthstone.

Before we start, a quick recap of what we've unveiled to this point:

Hearthstone: Saviors of Uldum card analyses (Part 1)
Hearthstone: Saviors of Uldum card analyses (Part 2)
Hearthstone: Saviors of Uldum card analyses (Part 3)

Hearthstone: Saviors of Uldum - Plague of Murlocs interview

And now, let's get started.

(6) Riftcleaver (7/5)
Type: Minion - Demon
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Destroy a minion. Your hero takes damage equal to its Health.
Source: Game Watch

Analysis: This is a wildly strong minion for the Warlock player, guaranteeing removal. It's arguably a better version of The Black Knight, but with one painful drawback. If it's a high-health minion, you're eating a lot of damage in exchange.

But Riftcleaver still has a lot of uses, especially if the Reborn mechanic starts to pick up steam. If there's a threatening Rebon minion that suddenly hits the board again, then use Riftcleaver to exterminate it for good in exchange for only one health.

You can use Riftcleaver anywhere else, but you had better have some Lifesteal minions on-hand to help dull the pain it will undoubtedly inflict.

(3) EVIL Recruiter (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Destroy a friendly Lackey to summon a 5/5 Demon.
Source: ThanhHS on YouTube

Analysis: The Lackeys are starting to show up in greater numbers with this new expansion, so their classes are also getting some new synergy cards. The Warlock has an intriguing one here that takes a friendly Lackey and sacrifices it to summon a 5/5 Demon.

There shouldn't be any shortage of Lackeys for the Warlock player. Not when EVIL Genius can add two of them to your hand. And it's not like the Lackeys aren't giving you their effects or anything. Really, once the Lackeys have exhausted their Battlecries, they're expendable anyway. This is a solid card and one that should find a home in more than one Zoo Warlock deck.

(3) Hunter's Pack
Type: Spell
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Common
Add a random Hunter Beast, Secret, and weapon to your hand.
Source: Yaspers Game on YouTube

Analysis: This is a strong resource card, one that sacrifices an early turn and ensures that Hunters have something prepared for the next turn. To make it clear, this isn't pulling a Beast, Secret, and weapon from the deck, like Raiding Party. No, this is generating something entirely random.

Some might see this as a negative, since it's essentially passing on Turn 3. But then again, you could say the same thing about Master's Call. And while those Beast and weapon costs can vary, Hunter Secrets always cost two mana, which means you'll at least have something ready for the next turn.

If you're playing Wild, this is a must-have in your Spell Hunter deck.

(3) Bloodsworn Mercenary (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Choose a damage friendly minion. Summon a copy of it.
Source: SnailArg on YouTube

Analysis: Bloodsworn Mercenary is all about adding to your board presence by duplicating a damaged minion. This can be useful for something like Damaged Stegotron. And while that's all well and good, you're probably wondering how you can exploit this thing for a OTK combo.

Well, let's look at what we can do with Leeroy Jenkins. Assuming there are no Taunts in the way, you can damage your Leeroy with Inner Rage and buff it up further with Rampage. Bloodsword Mercenary gives you a second copy of this Leeroy, which can hit face for 22 damage. That's quite the finishing move and a combo that you should keep in your back pocket.

(8) Tip the Scales
Type: Spell
Class: Paladin
Rarity: Epic
Summon 7 Murlocs from your deck.
Source: Kripparrian on YouTube

Analysis: It looks like the Murlocs are starting to rise again for the Paladin. This will make it easier to go through the various Murlocs in your deck. If you can manage to pull out some Murloc Warleaders and Bluegill Warriors, this can do some damage. Although these Murloc decks don't have quite the punch that they used to without Old Murk-Eye.

But with that said, this is a must-have in a Wild Murloc Paladin deck. Tip the Scales can bring the Murlocs out of your deck and set the table nicely for Anyfin Can Happen. I would expect this to see a lot of play in Wild.

(2) Fishflinger (3/2)
Type: Minion - Murloc
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Add a random Murloc to each player's hand.
Source: Kripparrian on YouTube

Analysis: Fishflinger is something that can come in handy in Murloc decks, largely because it'll keep adding to your Murloc ranks, while adding a Murloc to an opponent's hand. If your opponent is playing something that doesn't involve Murlocs at all, the extra Murloc probably won't synergize well with their decks and just act as a nuisance. So they'll likely try to throw it on the board as soon as possible.

But what happens if the opponent does get a semi-useful Murloc? Well, consider ruining their day with Hungry Crab, which will eat their Murloc and give you a 3/4 minion on the board. Not a bad idea, for sure, and I would expect to see Fishflinger in many a Murloc Shaman deck.

(5) Anka, the Buried (5/5)
Type: Minion
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: Change each Deathrattle minion in your hand into a 1/1 that costs (1).
Source: Hearthstone on YouTube

Analysis: This is going to open the door to some shenanigans. You might be wondering what a Rogue would need with cheaper Deathrattles that only carry 1/1 stats? They'd better have some big-money effects for all that trouble, right?

Well, allow me to point out Mecha'thun, which is much easier for the Rogue player to trigger when it's a 1-Cost 1/1. And it's not like the Rogue has any trouble going through their entire deck, because Myra's Unstable Element is going to make that an easy task.

Expect to see a lot of 1/1 Mecha'thuns triggered by Backstab very soon. Mecha'thun Rogue is about to become very real!

(5) Cloud Prince (4/4)
Type: Minion - Elemental
Class: Mage
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: If you control a Secret, deal 6 damage.
Source: Flurry on YouTube

Analysis: Take a look at Medivh's Valet on steroids. Excuse me, you are on fire.

It's tough to justify Secret Mage as an A-tier deck in Standard now that Explosive Runes is gone. But if you can play Arcane Keysmith, there should be room for Cloud Prince to work as a Turn 5 follow-up.

Needless to say, Wild Secret Mages are going to love this guy. Ice Block will almost certainly work as a guaranteed trigger.

(2) Arcane Flakmage (3/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Mage
Rarity: Mage
After you play a Secret, deal 2 damage to all enemy minions.
Source: Flurry on YouTube

Analysis: Most of what was said for the Cloud Prince will apply to the Arcane Flakmage. However, his uses are going to differ slightly.

Arcane Flakmage's effect doesn't take effect while a Secret is in play. He needs to be played before the Secret. So if you get a Secret off of something like Mana Cyclone, it'll provide a helpful trigger for this guy.

At worst, he's a decent vanilla 3/2 for Arena, with his effect making for good gravy.

(4) Splitting Axe (3/2)
Type: Weapon
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Summon copies of your Totems.
Source: Jordan Tseng on YouTube

Analysis: This is another card that's going to fit in much better with Wild than it will with Standard. There aren't a lot of good Standard Totems, outside of Nightmare Amalgam and maybe the new EVIL Totem.

But if you're playing Wild, get ready to go nuts with Totem Golem and Vitality Totem, while you get ready to power up Draenei Totemcarver or anything else with Primal Fusion.

Beware of shenanigans involving Serpent Ward, because that's an easy eight damage to the face on Turn 8.

(2) Whirlkick Master (1/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Epic
Whenever you play a Combo card, add a random Combo card to your hand.
Source: MKRR on YouTube

Analysis: The Rogue has a lot of Combo cards available, but they all serve such a myriad of purposes that getting a random one may not be as good an idea as it sounds. So while Whirlkick Master might sound like it'll be useful, it's not quite reliable enough to include in an everyday deck. Maybe if the effect involved adding a Combo spell, since the Combo spells are much more potent.

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.

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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