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Hearthstone 'One Night in Karazhan' Card Reviews (Part 3)

As Hearthstone's next adventure comes just days away, we're finishing up our look at the remaining cards in the first of two remaining parts.

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As expected, Blizzard revealed the remaining cards for its upcoming One Night in Karazhan Adventure. It's only days away now, and we're wrapping up our in-depth look at each of the cards with two more review sessions.


(2) Cat Trick

Spell: Secret: After your opponent casts a spell, summon a 4/2 Panther with Stealth.

Yet another Hunter secret, this time in the style of Bear Trap. Instead of summoning an Ironfur Grizzly, this one looks like it will summon a Jungle Panther. It's situational, as both give you decent three-drops after your opponent triggers it. This one is meant to punish spell use, which is a more unique trigger than we've usually seen, and could be useful against the kinds of spell-heavy decks this adventure looks to include. Plus, unlike Ironfur Grizzly, the Stealth means your opponent won't be able to easily get rid of it in the same turn.


(3) Cloaked Huntress (3/4)

Your Secrets cost (0).

Mysterious Challenger, meet your new protege. Cloaked Huntress is one of the best cards of the set, allowing you to play multiple Secrets in a single turn, for free. You could take a shot at packing your deck with Secrets so you have them at your disposal, but the real threat of Cloaked Challenger comes from synergy with cards like Lock and Load and Gadgetzan Auctioneer. We may see the rise of a mid-range Hunter with powerful Secrets protecting it until the late-game when Call of the Wild becomes its win condition.


(5) Ironforge Portal

Spell: Gain 4 Armor. Summon a random 4-Cost minion.

The Portals are becoming a force to be reckoned with, as several classes are getting their own flavor. The Warrior's appears to be a pretty basic utility card, feeding its need to armor up while also putting some presence on the board. If a random minion is generally evaluated at one less mana than the cost, this comes down to giving you 4 armor for 2 mana, which isn't a bad deal before you get a chance to play Justicar Trueheart. It's a good fit for Control oriented decks.


(2) Maelstrom Portal

Spell: Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions. Summon a random 1-cost minion. 

Speaking of portals, the Shaman strangely gets a strictly better version of the Mage's Arcane Blast. Instead of only dealing 1 damage to all enemy minions, it gives you a 1-cost minion as well. That may make it an appealing choice, especially if the Spell Damage Shaman that this adventure seems primed to push takes hold. Even as a basic utility card, though, it's a good tool against zoo decks.


(2) Medivh's Valet (2/3)

Battlecry: If you control a Secret, deal 3 damage.

This minion comes with a fine body, and an effect we've never seen attached to a minion this cheap. Dealing three damage is something we expect from the Shaman's Fire Elemental, or the neutral Blackwing Corruptor, but both of those cost at least twice as much. Medivh's Valet lets you deal the same damaging effect for much cheaper, and it's an especially handy tool in Mage, which has Secrets like Ice Block that can stay on the board for several turns without being triggered. 

The drawback is that, since all Mage spells cost 3-mana apiece, you really can't count on getting the full value from Medivh's Valet on turn two. That makes it a cheap minion more intended for later-game plays, so being costed cheaper than similar effects may not make much of a difference.


(5) Menagerie Magician (4/4)

Battlecry: Give a random friendly Beast, Dragon, and Murloc +2/+2.

This is another minion built for buffing up zoo decks with a great variety of minions on the board. Like the others, it will be difficult to have a wide variety of minions on the board in order to take full advantage of its effect. Unlike the others, though, it gives +2, so even if you only get a single ping, it provides 6/6 in stats for five mana. If you can manage two minions, that goes up to 8/8. The dream is a full 10/10 in stats. That will hardly ever happen, but even the more attainable goals are pretty good. If mixed zoo decks take hold, it will be largely because of this card, which will be a must-include for any such deck types.


(6) Menagerie Warden (5/5)

Battlecry: Choose a friendly Beast. Summon a copy of it.

Blizzard really wants to make Beast Druid a viable deck type, and with strong cards like this one, it just may happen. It's essentially providing a more conditional Faceless Manipulator, for only one mana instead of five. That's an enormous discount for the effect.

Another way to look at it is to compare its stats to Sylvanas or Emperor Thaurissan, but the effect could be much greater. If you played Druid of the Claw on turn five, you could potentially use the Warden to summon another 4/6 Taunt on turn six. That would often be just as good or possibly even better than getting some one-mana discounts or stealing an opponent's random minion.


(6) Moat Lurker (3/3)

Battlecry: Destroy a minion. Deathrattle: Resummon it. 

The stats on this minion are terrible, but its effect might just be unique and versatile enough to give it a home in certain decks. As a simple removal functionality, it's not very useful, since there are plenty of better minion removal options that don't come with such a heavy drawback. If placed in a Deathrattle-heavy deck, though, it can be used to trigger one of your own minions, and then summon a second copy of it after the Moat Lurker dies. That is also too small of an effect on its own, but the ability to use either as needed may prove too good to pass up. You can either get double the value from your Deathrattles, or use it as emergency removal when you're close to death or just need to close that last bit of lethal. Probably a one-of, but still not bad.


(3) Pantry Spider (1/3)

Battlecry: Summon a 1/3 Spider.

It's a spider that basically summons another copy of itself, making for 2/6 in stats for 3-mana. That isn't very exciting, but its Beast synergy could give it some good utility with Houndmaster or the burgeoning Beast Druid decks. It's never going to be the most stellar card in a deck, but it's fine enough for what it does.


(2) Purify

Spell: Silence a friendly minion. Draw a card.

Time will tell what the best new card in One Night in Karazhan is, but Purify is an early frontrunner for the worst. It's overcosted, too narrowly designed, and compares unfavorably to just about every card that has any similar effects. Card draw effects and silence effects are generally valuated at a little more than half-a-mana each, so this card might have passed muster at 1 mana. That would put it on-par with Power Word: Shield for 1 mana, which also draws a card and also gives +2 health. Priest has a more versatile stand-alone Silence spell for 0 mana.

And if you wanted to run a deck based on minions that have significant text drawbacks, like Ancient Watcher, you could just run Wailing Soul. That card allows you to silence several of your ownminions at once and put a decent body on the board as well. You might have noticed no one ever runs Wailing Soul, because even with those benefits, it's not a very effective deck. So we have a spell that does something another card already does, and better, for twice the mana that it should be. Yipes.


(1) Spirit Claws (1/3)

Weapon: Has +2 Attack while you have Spell Damage.

Spell Damage has been overvalued for a while now, and this card isn't likely to do much to change that in itself. However, if there's one class that could benefit from a conditional spell damage effect, it's Shaman. Simply using the Hero power gives it a chance to bring out Spell Damage totem, instantly turning this into a 1-mana 3/3 wrecking ball of a weapon. That's not very reliable in itself, but with one or two Spell Damage minions, it could be a very versatile early game option. It's doubtful that's enough to replace Shaman's current (and powerful) aggressive or mid-range options, but maybe we'll see some experimentation with a new deck type.


(3) Violet Illusionist (4/3)

During your turn, your hero is Immune.

This is a powerful card with fine vanilla stats and a new ability that has lots of practical applications. If you properly protect it, you could use life tap as a Warlock or nullify fatigue damage. At only three health, though, it's pretty vulnerable. Its best use-cases will be when you can play it and take whatever damage you might need to on the same turn.

That combination gives it absolutely perfect synergy with the new Warrior weapon, Fool's Bane. That weapon offers unlimited attacks (with four durability) but can't attack a hero. It's clearly meant to clear threats off the board, but without Violet Illusionist, that meant taking damage every time. Now you can play your Fool's Bane and Illusionist the same turn for eight mana, clear the board (or at least a significant threat), and leave a 4/3 body on the board without losing a single point of health. It's a gift to Control Warriors.

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