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Hearthstone: Scholomance Academy card breakdowns (Part 2)

Class is in session when Hearthstone releases its Scholomance Academy expansion and Shacknews is here to teach you all a lesson with our second batch of card breakdowns.


The bell is about to ring and that means it's almost time for a new Hearthstone expansion. Blizzard is going to school for the latest addition to its long-running collectible card game with Scholomance Academy. Scholomance Academy adds 135 new cards to Hearthstone, a good number of which will introduce some brand new mechanics, like Dual-Class cards and Spellburst cards.

We're continuing our card reveals for Hearthstone: Scholomance Academy, breaking down each card one-by-one leading up to the expansion's August release. If you missed any reveals so far, be sure to catch up with our previous entries:

Hearthstone: Scholomance Academy card breakdowns (Part 1)

Let's get started.

(4) Steeldancer (4/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Rogue/Warrior
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Summon a random minion with Cost equal to your weapon's Attack.

Analysis: If you want to make the most out of this, your weapon had better be pretty hefty. But don't overthink this one. Not every minion has to summon something massive, it's just a bonus Battlecry effect to go along with what's a pretty decent 4/4 body. It should be effective in the early game and can bring out something pretty big when it's flanked by a fully upgraded Galakrond.

There isn't a lot of place for this in a constructed deck, but that doesn't mean it's entirely useless.

(7) Cycle of Hatred
Type: Spell
Class: Demon Hunter
Rarity: Rare
Deal 3 damage to all minions. Summon a 3/3 Spirit for every minion killed.

Analysis: A control archetype for Demon Hunter hasn't been much of a thing yet, but this spell could feed that style nicely. It's not as powerful as Flamestrike, but it's certainly up there and has the bonus of summoning a 3/3 for every minion you manage to wipe out. It's one of the Demon Hunter's better area-of-effect spells so far and one that could see a lot of play, even with its high cost.

(4) Infiltrator Lilian (4/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Rogue
Rarity: Legendary
Stealth. Deathrattle: Summon a 4/2 Forsaken Lilian that attacks a random enemy.

Analysis: Those 4/2 stats aren't the greatest, but Lilian could be a decent value play, especially if you can activate the Deathrattle more than once. Think something like Necrium Apothecary. This card would have been bonkers a year ago before Necrium Blade and Necrium Vial rotated out. But keep this combination in mind should you ever see this mixture of sets in Arena anytime in the future.

(4) Brittlebone Destroyer (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Priest/Warlock
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: If your hero's Health changed this turn, destroy a minion.

Analysis: Here's a dual-class card that's going to benefit both of its classes. Brittlebone Destroyer is bonkers in both Priest and Warlock decks, just because they're constantly using their Hero Powers. A reliable single-target removal minion like this is going to be incredibly useful and will find its way into almost every deck for both of these classes. Thumbs up for Priest and for Warlock.

(2) Boneweb Egg (0/2)
Type: Minion
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Rare
Deathrattle: Summon two 2/1 Spiders. If you discard this, trigger its Deathrattle.

Analysis: This is something of a throwback card, combining the Egg mechanic with the old Haunted Creeper. And even better, you don't even need to play the card to get its effect. You can use one of the Warlock's many Discard effects, like Soulfire, to play the 2/1 Spiders anyway. This could see some play in zoo decks, possibly in Galakrond Warlock decks.

(4) Disciplinarian Gandling (3/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Priest/Warlock
Rarity: Legendary
After you play a minion, destroy it and summon a 4/4 Failed Student.

Analysis: This is a fascinating card and one that fits into a number of archetypes for both Priest and Warlock. The Priest will love slotting this into a Deathrattle build. Use a deck filled with minions like Reliquary of Souls, Evil Conscripter, or even Chromatic Egg and make the most out of their effects while also getting 4/4 minions off of them.

This should also work for Zoo Warlock, because you can turn smaller minnions into 4/4s while also playing minions like Expired Merchant and Serpent Egg and activating their Deathrattles immediately.

You might be able to make a Lackey build out of this, but at that point, consider the pros and cons of using this or Dark Pharaoh Tekahn instead.

(8) Flesh Giant (8/8)
Type: Minion
Class: Priest/Druid
Rarity: Epic
Costs (1) less for each time you hero's Health changed during your turns.

Analysis: Alright, first let's clarify the language here. This is not counting the amount of Health that's changed, but rather it counts how many times your Health has changed. For example, Renew counts for one, not three.

With that said, Flesh Giant can still have a place in a lot of Warlock decks. Warlocks are constantly digging with their Hero Power while also replenishing their Health with cards like Aranasi Broodmother. This could have a place in several different class builds, like the Quest Warlock or the Zoo Warlock.

Priest won't pack this thing into a constructed deck too much, but if you're playing a Galakrond Priest, you're going to love digging this thing out of the Galakrond Hero Power, because it should be free (if not at least close to it) by the time it shows up in your hand.

(4) Cabal Acolyte (2/6)
Type: Minion
Class: Priest
Rarity: Epic
Taunt. Spellburst: Gain control of a random enemy minion with 2 or less Attack.

Analysis: Here's a budget version of Cabal Shadow Priest, where the effect only activates after using a spell. Fortunately for Priest players, there are plenty of cheap spells to go around. Heck, a simple Silence or Whispers of Evil swings a minion around to your side. This is an excellent minion, with or without the Spellburst effect, just for the 2/6 Taunt that it puts up on the board. If you can hold off for Turn 5 and combine this with Renew, a lot of aggro decks are going to have a very bad time.

(5) Mozaki, Master Duelist (3/8)
Type: Minion
Class: Mage
Rarity: Legendary
After you cast a spell, gain Spell Damage +1.

Analysis: Are Mage players going to pack this thing into their deck? Probably not. I can't see it staying alive long enough to take advantage of its effect.

However, you're probably going to see this pop out of at least one Spell Mage build. If you discount your spell book with Incanter's Flow and manage to pull this out of Font of Power, you might have something here.

Mozaki will actually work a lot better in Wild, where the old Freeze Mage archetype with Ice Lance is going to do a lot of work.

(3) Ace Hunter Kreen (2/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Demon Hunter/Hunter
Rarity: Legendary
Your other characters are Immune while attacking.

Analysis: This one is a bit of a thinker. Kreen's effect, assuming you can keep him alive, is pretty bonkers. It essentially means he's free to set off traps like Flame Ward or Explosive Trap and your minions (as well as your face) will take zero damage.

It's a fantastic effect, but again, the trick will be keeping him alive. Aggro Demon Hunter and Hunter players might be able to play him on curve and pull this off. Kreen could do some damage, but it's going to take some effort to make the most of his presence.

(3) Ceremonial Maul (2/2)
Type: Weapon
Class: Warrior/Paladin
Rarity: Epic
Spellburst: Summon a Student with Taunt and stats equal to the spell's Cost.

Analysis: This is a cool novelty, having a weapon that can be used by both Warrior and Paladin players. The trouble just comes in knowing that to make the most of it, you'll need to use higher-cost spells and by the time you reach that point in the game, you'll want more than a 2/2 weapon. For Libram Paladin, specifically, this doesn't really work because your goal is to reduce the cost of your spells as much as possible.

Both of these classes have better weapons they could use in this slot. Livewire Lance should work better for the Warrior while the Paladin player will want to stick with something like Underlight Angling Rod or the old standby Truesilver Champion.

(5) Totem Goliath (4/5)
Type: Minion - Totem
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Epic
Deathrattle: Summon all four basic Totems. Overload (2)

Analysis: This is another minion that's sadly come along a year too late. Imagine popping this thing down alongside Windshear Stormcaller and getting an early Al'Akir the Windlord. You can still pull this combo off in Wild, so if you're playing that format, give that a shot.

Of course, the idea here is to try and fill up the board as much as possible and get board presence to set up cards like Totemic Surge, Totemic Reflection, and the Bloodlust finisher. If you can pull that off, go for it. Just be wary of that Overload cost and know that you may not necessarily want to play the Goliath on curve.

(4) Glide
Type: Spell
Class: Demon Hunter
Rarity: Rare
Shuffle your hand into your deck. Draw 4 cards. Outcast: Your opponent does the same.

Analysis: Here's a tech card that only really works if you're using the Outcast effect and even then, it might not be the best idea. If you're playing against a Handlock or a resourceful Priest or Rogue, you'll probably notice their hand size getting quite large. Trip them up by reducing their hand size from eight or nine to just four. It's great against those classes, much less so against aggro decks like Warrior and Hunter who are playing whatever shows up and going face. You won't want to replenish their hands so much.

Does Glide work as a great option for the Demon Hunter themselves? Not really. I feel like Spectral Sight and Skull of Gul'dan are a much better way to fill your hand up. Glide would only work better if you've drawn a particularly rotten hand to open the game. At that point, try and pick it off a Discover effect from something like Vulpera Scoundrel.

(1) Felosophy
Type: Epic
Class: Warlock/Demon Hunter
Rarity: Epic
Copy the lowest Cost Demon in your hand. Outcast: Give both +1/+1.

Analysis: If you're rocking Demons in your deck, Felosophy could come in handy. Zoo Warlock decks could make some noise by copying lower-cost Demons and playing them with potentially bigger stats. Imagine playing double Frenzied Felwings with 4/3 stats. Or maybe wait for the late game and run double Jumbo Imp.

For Demon Hunter, you're going to want to use this to buff up your bigger Demons. Think something like Wrathspike Brute or Priestess of Fury. Try and wear your opponent down with big Demons that also carry those debilitating effects.

(3) Playmaker (4/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Epic
After you play a Rush minion, summon a copy with 1 Health remaining.

Analysis: The control Warrior may find quite a few uses for Playmaker. This essentially plays double Rush minions for double the control. Picture the late game where you drop this next to Restless Mummy. Or even next to a new Legendary that we'll discuss in the days ahead.

This has its uses, especially if you combine that copy with a boost like Rampage.

(9) Archwitch Willow (7/7)
Type: Minion
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: Summon a random Demon from your hand and deck.

Analysis: This Legendary is only going to work in certain kind of Warlock decks. You're not looking to bog your deck down with small Demons. You're looking for the big stuff. Think Enhanced Dreadlord or Jumbo Imp. It's important to know that this will summon Demons straight out of your hand and then straight out of your deck, so if you're counting on a Battlecry or an effect like Aranasi Broodmother's, you won't get it. You need to pick your Demons wisely, so be very careful about playing Willow. Consider heavily whether she's even worth the investment at all until some bigger Demons come along.

We'll have plenty more card analyses for Hearthstone: Scholomance Academy. Come back over the next week as we continue breaking down each card before the expansion's big release. Hearthstone: Scholomance Academy is set to release in August.

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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