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Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons card analyses (Part 4)

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

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Hearthstone is roughly a week away from releasing its third and final expansion for 2019. After visiting the floating city of Dalaran and wandering the deserts of Uldum, the Year of the Dragon wraps up by taking flight with dragons! Blizzard has summoned every dragon it could bring together 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)
Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons card analyses (Part 2)
Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons card analyses (Part 3)

Let's continue with more card reveals from the Hearthstone community.

Hearthstone - Abyssal Summoner

(6) Abyssal Summoner (2/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Common
Battlecry: Summon a Demon with Taunt and stats equal to your hand size.
Source: Hearthstone on Instagram

Analysis: Say hello to my little friend!

In actuality, Abyssal Summoner has the potential to be an even better Big-Time Racketeer, especially in Handlock decks. Picture a 2/2 flanked by a big 10/10 with Taunt. Yes, that sure is as big as that Demon can get. It's not like Hearthstone lets you hold more than 10 cards at a time.


Hearthstone - Valdris Felgorge

(7) Valdris Felgorge (4/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: Increase your maximum hand size to 12. Draw 4 cards.
Source: Hearthstone on Instagram

Analysis: Oh. Hey, would you look at that. A minion that lets you hold more than 10 cards at a time.

This is the Handlock player's dream. And it works excessively well with a number of cards. The Warlock Quest fits right in with this card. Fel Lord Betrug and Dollmaster Dorian will find this quite fabulous. So will the Augmented Elekk/Plot Twist combo.

A simply outstanding Legendary, only losing points for its mediocre 4/4 stat line.


Hearthstone - Chromatic Egg

(5) Chromatic Egg (0/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Secretly Discover a Dragon to hatch into. Deathrattle: Hatch!
Source: IGN Australia

Analysis: This is a twist on the usual egg mechanic, as whatever's surprise is essentially a surprise. This is going to make for some fun meme decks, but for as many awesome dragons that are in Hearthstone, there are also a lot of lower-level dragons. A 5-Cost egg can be very costly in Standard and Arena, especially if there's no incentive for the opponent to go after it. So it's hard to see a lot of players taking a chance on this.

But hey, the memes will be fun.


Hearthstone - Dragon Breeder

(2) Dragon Breeder (2/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Choose a friendly Dragon. Add a copy of it to your hand.
Source: PlayHearthstone on Instagram

Analysis: Take a closer look at the Dragon Breeder. Yes, it's basically Zola the Gorgon for Dragons. And it's got better stats and a cheaper cost, to boot.

Given that a lot of Dragons have helpful effects, there are a lot of Dragons worth duplicating, especially the Legendary ones. The Dragon Breeder will be a must-have for any Dragon deck and a lot of Highlander decks. Highlander Mages in particular might want this to go along with Malygos, Aspect of Magic.


(3) Scion of Ruin (3/2)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Epic
Rush. Battlecry: If you've Invoked twice, summon 2 copies of this minion.
Source: Brian Kibler on YouTube

Analysis: Here's another card indirectly inspired by something out of an older set. In this case, it's Doppelgangster. Galakrond decks that manage to Invoke twice can get a trio of 3/2 Dragons, which should come in handy.

But better than that, they're Rush Dragons, which means they're a strong control option. They won't be able to take out a lot by themselves, but they'll be immensely useful in the early-to-mid game.


Hearthstone - Chenvaala

(3) Chenvaala (2/5)
Type: Minion - Elemental
Class: Mage
Rarity: Legendary
After you cast three spells in a turn, summon a 5/5 Elemental.
Source: Gamespot

Analysis: The designs based on older cards continue. This is a minion with a design similar to the Priest weapon Dragon Soul. The difference is that this is much more suited to the Mage player, especially given how many cheap spells the Quest Mage can stumble onto.

The trick is going to be keeping this thing alive over the course of multiple turns. This 2/5 will be the top priority for removal once it hits the board, so the best thing you can do is make it count once it's played. Maybe pair this with a Sorcerer's Apprentice to get more cheap spells out the door.


Hearthstone - Dragonqueen Alexstrasza

(9) Dragonqueen Alexstrasza (8/8)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, add 2 random Dragons to your hand. They cost (0).
Source: Alliestrasza on YouTube

Analysis: This is built primarily for Highlander decks and what a Legendary this is. This new incarnation of Alexstrasza will put two more free dragons into your hand. It has the potential to swing the game in the later turns, especially given how potent the new dragons in this set are. More than that, this can generate dragons from any class, which opens up a parade of potential.

There are a few downsides, like getting a lower-tier dragon or a Deathwing that just wipes out your hand. But the benefits far outweigh the risks. This will find its way into every Highlander deck.


Hearthstone - Diving Gryphon

(3) Diving Gryphon (4/1)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Rare
Rush. Battlecry: Draw a Rush minion from your deck.
Source: Snowkiss on Huya

Analysis: This is a strong new card for the Hunter players and is unlike a lot of minions that the class has had to this point. There haven't been a lot of Rush minions that draw a specific card from the deck. And another Rush minion, no less. This is something every midrange Hunter player will want to keep handy as they go through their deck. And it's a reliable way to pull something like Zilliax.


Hearthstone - Transmogrifier

(2) Transmogrifier (2/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
After you draw a card, transform it into a random Legendary minion.
Source: Gamespark.jp

Analysis: This is a bit of an oddball card, because it essentially asks you to forego whatever is in your deck. And are you really building a deck that's worse than random Legendaries? Well, you might wind up doing that in Arena, so there's that to think about.

But where would this fit into Standard? Maybe the answer comes with the Warlock. If you don't want to go full Legendary with Arch-Villain Rafaam, maybe you'll want to use this instead. Try combining this with Impbalming and Witchwood Piper to turn one of those useless Imps into something much more usable.


Hearthstone - Ancharrr

(3) Ancharrr (2/3)
Type: Weapon
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Legendary
After your hero attacks, draw a Pirate from your deck.
Source: Bastletante on YouTube

Analysis: Old-school Pirate Warriors rejoice! This new weapon will make sure you get through all of your Pirates quickly. At the moment, it's hard to look at the current crop of Standard Pirates and imagine that they'll work in an aggro deck. But given that this weapon will be around for a full Standard year, there's room throughout 2020 to add a slew of new Pirates.

Wild Warriors, on the other hand, can hit the ground running. There are a lot of top-tier Pirates that will slot right into your favorite aggro lineup. This should be a major addition to the Wild Pirate Warrior lineup and will find its way into all of those decks.


Hearthstone - Breath of the Infinite

(3) Breath of the Infinite
Type: Spell
Class: Priest
Rarity: Rare
Deal 2 damage to all minions. If you're holding a Dragon, only damage enemies.
Source: Phenomen on YouTube

Analysis: The Priest is getting some great spells in this expansion and this is one that should excel at taking out multiple enemies in the early game. On its face, this is Volcanic Potion. But if you have a Dragon in-hand, it won't hit any of your minions, which could give you a big advantage.

Unlike some of the other Breath spells, the vanilla version of this works just fine, especially on an empty board. It's just that having a Dragon makes it that much better. This will fit nicely with any Priest deck, whether it has a Dragon or not.


Hearthstone - Kobold Stickyfinger

(5) Kobold Stickyfinger (4/4)
Type: Minion - Pirate
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Steal your opponent's weapon.
Source: Tarreo on Instagram

Analysis: Holy cow! This is a brand new mechanic for Hearthstone. Minions and spells that destroy weapons are one thing, but we've never seen an effect that steals the opponent's weapon before.

That makes Kobold Stickyfinger a precious commodity, one that rivals Harrison Jones. If your opponent has gone to all the trouble to upgrade their weapon and make it into something frightening, don't destroy it. Steal it and turn the tables! This stands to be one of the major standout cards of this expansion and will see play for the entirety of its Standard run.


Hearthstone - Dread Raven

(3) Dread Raven (3/4)
Type: Minion - Beast
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Has +3 Attack for each other Dread Raven you control.
Source: BasarCos on Twitch

Analysis: Dread Raven's success will obviously come if you can get more than one of these things on board. So the trick will be in making multiple copies and reducing their costs. So for Hunter players, they'll want to use something like Scarlet Webweaver, Tundra Rhino, and Hunting Party.

Other classes can take advantage of this, too. Rogue players, for example, can use Togwaggle's Scheme to make an army of these. But there's nothing quite like Tundra Rhino out there for other classes, so look for the Hunter to get the most use out of this minion.


Hearthstone - Cumulo-Maximus

(5) Cumulo-Maximus (5/5)
Type: Minion - Elemental
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: If you have Overloaded Mana Crystals, deal 5 damage.
Source: Hearthstone Thailand

Analysis: The abundance of Quest Shaman decks have drowned out another effective Shaman deck. The aggro Shaman has found new life in the current meta, largely thanks to cards like Vessina and Likkim. Now you can add Cumulo-Maximus to this list. If you manage to Overload to trigger Thunderhead, you can then do direct damage on the next turn with this new minion.

Aggro Shaman might just be the new hotness in the next expansion, so keep an eye on this minion.


Hearthstone - Zzeraku the Warped

(8) Zzeraku the Warped (4/12)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Legendary
Whenever your hero takes damage, summon a 6/6 Nether Drake.
Source: Taijijian on Huya

Analysis: Here's the next big bad dragon to hit the block. It's got the 4/12 stats that every good dragon has and it also has one heck of an effect. If the Warlock player takes damage at any point, it'll give you a 6/6 Dragon. Think of it as a more expensive, but more reliable Diseased Vulture.

If the Warlock player has enough tools to keep his health afloat, Zzeraku could do a lot of damage over the course of the game. It probably won't be the Warlock's first Legendary option, but it's a pretty good one, especially on Turn 10 with the Warlock Hero Power.


We're a good chunk of the way into looking at Descent of Dragons cards. Come back throughout the next few days as we give the full set the analysis treatment prior to the expansion's release. Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons is set to release soon.

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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