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Hearthstone: Scholomance Academy card breakdowns (Part 4)

Class is in session when Hearthstone releases its Scholomance Academy expansion and Shacknews is here to teach you all a lesson with more card breakdowns, fresh off our time with the recent Theorycrafting session.

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There's less than a week before school starts for the new Hearthstone expansion. Class is almost in session for the latest addition to Blizzard's long-running collectible card game, which takes players to Scholomance Academy. Scholomance Academy adds 135 new cards to Hearthstone, many of which bring out 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)
Hearthstone: Scholomance Academy card breakdowns (Part 2)
Hearthstone: Scholomance Academy card breakdowns (Part 3)
All 59 cards revealed during the final Scholomance Academy livestream

Let's get started.

(6) Devout Pupil (4/5)
Type: Minion
Class: Paladin/Priest
Rarity: Epic
Divine Shield. Taunt: Costs (1) less for each spell you've cast on friendly characters this game.

Analysis: While there are so many good cards out there that it might be hard to find a place for this, there are certain Paladin and Priest builds that should heavily consider this. This is a no-brainer for the Libram Paladin, especially if they've discounted their Libram of Wisdom to zero.

Meanwhile, the Priest rocking Sethekk Veilweaver should easily be able to discount this to zero in no time. And even if you can't find room in your deck for the Devout Pupil, pulling it off a Galakrond effect (by which point it'll likely be close to free) will be pretty sweet.


The Soul Fragment cards (the whole lot of 'em!)

Analysis: We're going to do something a little different for this next batch of cards and just analyze them all as a whole. The Soul Fragment cards all feed into a single mechanic, in which Warlock or Demon Hunter players can shuffle Soul Fragments into their deck and use them to either recover health or sacrifice for an amazing effect.

So Shacknews recently got a chance to take part in Thursday's big Theorycrafting event, where we took the Soul Fragment cards out for a spin. As a whole, they work beautifully on Warlock. Shadowlight Scholar is good for individual control or for a quick face-burst in a pinch, but the big money for Warlock players is Void Drinker. If you have enough Soul Fragments to go around and if you can keep bringing this puppy back through new cards like Felosophy and Raise Dead, it's inevitably going to be too much for the opposing player to overcome. I'll have more to say about this next week when we talk about Day 1 expansion decks.

I did not focus so much on the Demon Hunter end, but Shardshatter Mystic is an amazing control tool for just three mana. Meanwhile, Soulshard Lapidary is going to play beautifully with Warglaives of Azzinoth, which might explain that weapon's recent nerf.

Spirit Jailer is not only the key opening play for the Soul Fragment user, but it's also a great Felosophy candidate, just because you need as many Soul Fragments as possible in order to make this deck really work. Soulciologist Malicia is a great Legendary because she doesn't actually use Soul Fragments. The one thing players should note is that they'll need to mentally track how many Soul Fragments remain in their deck themselves. I've played Malicia more than once and wound up with one or zero 3/3s to go along with her.


(3) Instructor Fireheart (3/3)
Type: Minion
Class: Shaman
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: Discover a spell that costs (1) or more. If you play it this turn, repeat this effect.

Analysis: Take a look at one of the single best Legendaries of this expansion. It looks so unassuming. It's a 3-Drop that lets you cast multiple spells, as long as they're the ones you've discovered off of its effect. That doesn't seem so bad, right? But as we found out during our Theorycrafting session on Thursday, what happens when you combine this with Dwarven Archaeologist and get those Discover spells discounted? It potentially means a parade of cheap spells and cheap Shaman spells are pretty good. So behold the backbone of the new Miracle Shaman deck. At worst, it's a board clear. At best, it ends the game right then and there.


(3) Professor Slate (3/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Hunter
Rarity: Legendary
Your spells are Poisonous.

Analysis: This is a Legendary that isn't going to make a lot of noise in this expansion, but it's one that's worth monitoring in the future. Right now, the best spells that can make the most out of a Poisonous quality are Rapid Fire, Marked Shot, Multi-Shot, and... yeah, these options are getting pricey. So yeah, Professor Slate doesn't really work in the current meta. But there are four more expansions coming before he rotates out, so he could yet be a force.

If you're playing Wild, your options are obviously much greater, thanks to spells like On the Hunt, Bomb Toss, and Grievous Bite just to name a few.


(2) Argent Braggart (1/1)
Type: Minion
Class: Paladin
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Gain Attack and Health to match the highest in the battlefield.

Analysis: The Argent Braggart has a myriad of uses. If you're running a Libram Paladin, you can set him to match the 8/8 stats of your Libram of Hope. But the better use of this minion will probably be copying the stats of whatever your opponent has put on the board, like a budget version of Faceless Manipulator, and then subduing the opponent's big boy by using a spell like... er... Subdue.

The Argent Braggart won't copy qualities like Divine Shield, but if you just want raw numbers, this will serve you well for just a 2-Cost drop.


(4) Potion of Illusion
Type: Spell
Class: Mage/Rogue
Rarity: Epic
Add 1/1 copies of your minions to your hand. They cost (1).

Analysis: On the surface, this might look to do more for the Rogue player, since the Rogue has so many effective Combo minions and Lackeys, as well as different ways to draw minions at a discount through Galakrond and Heistbaron Togwaggle. And it will most definitely be useful in Galakrond decks.

Does it work as well in a Mage deck? The answer is very much yes. It could slide into a Pure Spell Mage deck, you could discount it with Incanter's Flow, or you could get it off a random effect from something like Solarian Prime. And if you get it off Solarian Prime, count yourself lucky. The difference with Mage and Rogue is that you might not necessarily need to pack it into your Mage deck to make the most of it.


(3) Educated Elekk (3/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Whenever a spell is played, this minion remembers it. Deathrattle: Shuffle the spells into your deck.

Analysis: This might be one of the most underrated minions of the expansion. It's got great 3/4 stats for a solid Turn 3 drop, but the effect is what makes it amazing. If the opponent uses a spell to remove it, it goes into your deck. If you use any spells to buff it, it goes back into your deck. If you play it and follow it up with removal spells, they go back into your deck. The catch is, it has to actually die in order for those spells to make it into your deck. If it gets Silenced or bopped by Devolving Missiles, you're out of luck.

This could be a tricky tech play for opponents to deal with, especially in the late game. Priest players, in particular, can drop it and start healing themselves with Renew and a host of other spells and then get those spells back while the opposing player's deck starts to run thin. Clever players may be able to find a good place for this in their decks.


That's it for now. We only have a few more cards left and we'll take this home next week. Hearthstone: Scholomance Academy is set to release on Thursday, 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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