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Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons card analyses (Part 2)

Hearthstone reaches the end of the Year of the Dragon, as Shacknews continues our analysis of the full Descent of Dragons expansion.

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Hearthstone is set to release the final expansion in the Year of the Dragon. After hitting the skies and traveling the desert, it's finally time to see some dragons! Blizzard has summoned as many dragons as possible for Hearthstone's next expansion, Descent of Dragons.

Card reveals for Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons have begun and that means it's time for Shacknews to once again break them down one-by-one. Before we start, let's look at one of the big themes for this expansion: Galakrond. Galakrond is a total different animal, so we won't mix his cards in with these analyses. We'll look at each class' Galakrond separately. For now, let's focus on the other cards and how they'll affect the Standard and Wild metas.

If you've missed the analyses so far, take a moment to catch up:

Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons card analyses (Part 1)

Let's continue with more of the cards revealed at BlizzCon.

Hearthstone - Primordial Explorer

(3) Primordial Explorer (2/3)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Common
Poisonous. Battlecry: Discover a Dragon.

Analysis: This is another major upgrade from a Classic card. This may not be a Beast like Emperor Cobra, but it carries the exact same stat line and the exact same cost. And on top of that, it gives Hunter players another Dragon. It's the kind of minion that works on curve and also works in the late game. It's an A+ in Arena and will probably see a good amount of play in Standard, as well.


Hearthstone - Malygos Aspect of Magic

(5) Malygos, Aspect of Magic (2/8)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Mage
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: If you're holding a Dragon, Discover an upgraded Mage spell.

Analysis: This is definitely one of the more fun dragons to come out of this set so far. This upgraded Malygos offers an upgraded Mage spell. Is it a viable win condition? Could be, but there's no telling what spell you'll pull from this, so it's best not to rely on it.

Having said that, Malygos fits nicely into either a Quest Mage, a Highlander Mage, or both. The 2/8 stat line won't impress anybody, but it's still something that can take up some space on the board while you prep your killer spells or follow it on Turn 6 with Reno the Relicologist.


Deathwing Mad Aspect

(8) Deathwing, Mad Aspect (12/12)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: Attack ALL other minions.

Analysis: This is an absolutely incredible card, but not for the reasons you might be thinking. On the surface, it's got wildly high stats and has the potential to clear the board. That could be great... unless it takes out one of your own minions... or hits a Poisonous minion. Things can go wrong, sure. But let's not focus on that.

Let's take a look at what happens if you pull Deathwing off a random effect. Warrior can potentially pull this off The Boom Reaver or Dimensional Ripper. Wild Warriors can use some more reliable tools, like the various Recruit cards from Kobolds & Catacombs to get this 12/12 monstrosity on the board without the Battlecry downside.

Mages are going to love this, too. Yes, this Deathwing is a Warrior card, but it's still fair game to pull this off an Astromancer or Conjurer's Calling effect. That's going to be a sweet high roll whenever it comes.


Hearthstone - Waxadred

(5) Waxadred (7/5)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Legendary
Deathrattle: Shuffle a Candle into your deck that resummons Waxadred when drawn.

Analysis: There's a lot of room for shenanigans in a Waxadred deck. On its face, it looks like there's room to shuffle at least one Candle into the player's deck. Maybe two, if there's some work done with a Faceless Manipulator. But remember, the Rogue has a lot of tools to work with that can be built specifically around this Legendary. Necrium Vial can get the Candles rolling before Waxadred even dies. Shadow of Death can shuffle multiple copies into the Rogue's deck. And then there's Togwaggle's Scheme, which fills the player's deck with multiple copies of Waxadred, each of which can produce their own Candles.

If there's a downside to this, it's that 7/5 stats aren't the most intimidating, especially in the late game. Waxadred won't stand up to any of Hearthstone's myriad of Giants and definitely can't stand up to something like Deathwing. Worse, there's no way to boost Waxadred's stats before putting it on the board, because it gets summoned off a token. But if you can put that aside, this is a pretty good Rogue Legendary.


Hearthstone - Corrosive Breath

(2) Corrosive Breath
Type: Spell
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Common
Deal 3 damage to a minion. If you're holding a Dragon, it also hits the enemy hero.

Analysis: Remember Cobra Shot and how it was too expensive to be of any worth? This is a much better version of that spell, albeit one that requires a Dragon to boost to its full potential. But at worst, it's a three-damage spell that removes a minion on-board and that sounds perfectly fine for a two-mana cost. A good spell for the Hunter player, especially one that wants to go aggro.


Hearthstone - Candle Breath

(6) Candle Breath
Type: Spell
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Common
Draw 3 cards. Costs (3) less while you're holding a Dragon.

Analysis: This is one of those cards that's pretty bad if used as a vanilla card, because a 6-Cost spell to draw three cards isn't particularly great for Rogue players. Not unless they're playing Arena and are at the end of their rope in the late game.

No, the money here is in having a dragon in-hand so that you can roll through your deck early in the game. Or if you're packing that aforementioned Waxadred card, it'll help you pull those Candles in the late game.


Hearthstone - Sand Breath

(1) Sand Breath
Type: Spell
Class: Paladin
Rarity: Common
Give a minion +1/+2. Give it Divine Shield if you're holding a Dragon.

Analysis: This is a fine spell for Dragon Paladin players, especially given the abundance of good 1 and 2-Cost drops in the game. I wouldn't expect this to be a game-changing spell or something that Paladin players actively seek to throw into their decks. But for what it is, Sand Breath is a decent spell that can trade with early-game minions.


Hearthstone - Toxic Reinforcements

(1) Toxic Reinforcements
Type: Spell
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Epic
Sidequest: Use your Hero Power three times. Reward: Summon three 1/1 Leper Gnomes.

Analysis: This is a more roundabout way of playing the Aggro Hunter game, with Hunter players now able to play the longer game in order to bludgeon their opponents with pesky Leper Gnomes. What's interesting about this is that it doesn't fit the Hunter's typical aggro game of running with Beasts or running with Mechs. The Leper Gnomes don't have a tribal affiliation, but still pack a punch nonetheless.

If this Sidequest sees play, don't be surprised to also see Necromechanic hit the board in order to give the Leper Gnomes a double punch.


Hearthstone - Azure Explorer

(4) Azure Explorer (2/3)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Mage
Rarity: Common
Spell Damage +2. Battlecry: Discover a Dragon.

Analysis: Oh, dear lord! Hey, remember when Evolved Kobold used to see a lot of play in Mage decks? Here's something for the exact same cost, but with a better stat line and an extra Dragon! As far as sheer value, this is bonkers and is almost certain to see play in every Quest Mage deck, especially considering the different ways that it can stack with the discounted spells offered by the completed quest.

Needless to say, this will probably find its way into Wild, as well, as part of the old school Freeze Mage deck. Regardless of the game mode, Azure Explorer is one of the biggest winners for the Mage so far.


Hearthstone - Fate Weaver

(4) Fate Weaver (3/6)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Priest
Rarity: Epic
If you've Invoked twice, reduce the Cost of cards in your hand by (1).

Analysis: Emperor Thaurissan isn't going to stay around in Standard forever. In fact, it's probably going back to Wild as soon as this expansion goes live. Fortunately for the Priest player, they're about to get this guy. Fate Weaver can come in very handy in a Combo Priest deck, but it can also offer a nice discount to the more expensive, more potent spells, like Plague of Death and Mass Resurrection. Its 3/6 stats are pretty strong, to boot, so expect to see this a lot on Turn 4.


Hearthstone - Time Rip

(5) Time Rip
Type: Spell
Class: Priest
Rarity: Rare
Destroy a minion. Invoke Galakrond.

Analysis: This isn't just a good Galakrond card, but it also fills a much-needed void for the Priest player. Priests don't have a lot of good solo removal spells in Standard these days. There are some group removal spells, but outside of the Classic cards, there isn't a reliable removal spell for a single target. Time Rip fixes that and should find its way into every Priest deck and maybe even some decks that don't use Galakrond.


Hearthstone - Devoted Maniac

(4) Devoted Maniac (2/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Common
Rush. Battlecry: Invoke Galakrond.

Analysis: This is a Galakrond minion for any class, but it's hard to imagine any classes wanting it. Outside of maybe the Zoo Warlock, the Devoted Maniac is a bad fit in almost every deck. Its stats are way too weak for its cost and it's just pitiful in the late game. Outside of seeing it off a random effect, don't look to see this minion anywhere.


Hearthstone - Dragon's Hoard

(1) Dragon's Hoard
Type: Spell
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Rare
Discover a Legendary minion from another class.

Analysis: There are only so many ways that Rogue players can find cards from another class. So how about finding a Legendary card from another class? This is an excellent Turn 1 play that will almost certainly find its way into every Quest Rogue deck, mainly as an alternative to Pilfer. Given the strength of many class Legendaries, this can set up some shenanigans plays for Rogue in the late game, especially when paired up with Tess Greymane.


Hearthstone - Molten Breath

(4) Molten Breath
Type: Spell
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Rare
Deal 5 damage to a minion. If you're holding a Dragon, gain 5 Armor.

Analysis: Like the Dragon Paladin, here's a spell that can work nicely with the Dragon Warrior. It's a pretty good removal tool, even if Devastate and Execute are cheaper. Well, it's a good removal tool if you have a Dragon in your hand, anyway, because at that point, it's Shield Block that deals five damage. Look for this in every Dragon Warrior deck.


Hearthstone - Nozdormu the Timeless

(4) Nozdormu the Timeless (8/8)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Paladin
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: Set each player to 10 Mana Crystals.

Analysis: Here's an intriguing new Dragon for the Druid player, which fits perfectly into its class identity of ramping....

Excuse me?

Oh, it's a Paladin card! That's... kinda weird.

With that said, here's the newest incarnation of Nozdormu. If you abslutely need a Turn 4 giant now, play this Nozdormu! This definitely lends itself to some interesting Paladin deck ideas, ones that revolve around expensive minions and spells. But that's not going to be the most interesting takeaway here.

Remember what I mentioned earlier about Deathwing and pulling a random Turn 8, 12/12 off a card effect? Now imagine pulling this 8/8 randomly off a card like Conjurer's Calling. Your opponents will be thrilled!


We're just getting started looking at Descent of Dragons cards. Come back throughout the next few weeks as we give the full set the analysis treatment prior to the expansion's release. Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons is set to release in December.

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?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 27, 2019 12:00 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons card analyses (Part 2)

    • reply
      November 27, 2019 4:09 PM

      Nozdormu gives full mana crystals back? So you could play Nozdormu and tirion on turn 4? I’m just glad evolve is leaving so I don’t see it off of desert hare.

      I actually was almost top 50 this month with quest rogue of all decks, but yeah it’s almost impossible to compete with evolve shaman now. And I kinda knew mogu fleshshaper was broken before but now I’m one hundred percent convinced the card needs a nerf.

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