Hearthstone 'One Night in Karazhan' Card Reviews (Part 4)

We wrap up our look at Hearthstone's "One Night in Karazhan" adventure with the fourth and final part of our card reviews.

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As expected, Blizzard revealed the remaining cards for its upcoming One Night in Karazhan Adventure. With only a few days remaining, we're wrapping up our in-depth look at all the upcoming additions with the last dozen cards.


(1) Arcane Anomaly (2/1)

Whenever you cast a spell, give this minion +1 Health.

Given the generally magical theme of this adventure, it makes sense that plenty of its minions revolve around spell use in one way or another. Arcane Anomaly is a basic but solid example, rewarding you with a heartier body as you pair it with board control and removal spells. The clearest pairing is with Priest, who could easily use a Coin and Power Word: Shield combo to make this a 2/4, plus draw a card, on turn one. That's an opening that's hard to come back from.


(12) Arcane Giant (8/8)

Costs (1) less for each spell you've cast this game.

Another in the trusty Giant type, Arcane Giant similarly feeds on spell use. Molten Giants got a bit debuffed with the cost change, making it much more risky to get a free or low-cost Giant. Arcane Giant may be the logical replacement, especially in Handlock decks that have gone out of fashion lately. As long as Warlocks use spells for most of their removal, they could summon an Arcane Giant easily. Another simple option is Yogg-Saron based mages, which tend to pack their decks with 20 spells or more. Putting down a few Arcane Giants along with Echo of Medivh to bounce more back into your hand could make for a killer late-game play.


(4) Arcanosmith (3/2)

Battlecry: Summon a 0/5 minion with Taunt.

Taunts with 0 attack are usually pretty useless. They're stalling mechanisms at best, which is why the barely ever see play. Arcanosmith combines a hearty 0-attack Taunt minion with a separate, 3/2 body, which in theory makes it a 3/7 in stats for four mana. That might seem fine in pure vanilla-test terms, but you're really just putting up a brittle shield in front of a weak body. There may be some potential with a card like the Priest's Inner Fire, but that's such a fringe case it's not likely to see much play.


(5) Avian Watcher (3/6)

Battlecry: If you control a Secret, gain +1/+1 and Taunt. 

This minion is most easily comparable to Twilight Guardian. For one extra mana it gets one extra attack, and if it fulfills its condition, it gets two more stat points in attack and health, respectively. Essentially, it seems engineered to give players a versatile Taunt minion like Twilight Guardian, but without forcing them to play a Dragon-based deck. It has plenty of competition at the five-mana spot, though, and tying it to Secrets means only a third of the classes can make use of it.


(3) Deadly Fork (3/2)

Deathrattle: Add a 3/2 weapon to your hand.

Watch out, she's got a fork! At three mana, this minion is a low on stats, but its Deathrattle essentially gives you a Rogue version of the Fiery War Axe. It won't be as good as the War Axe for early game removal, since it's attached to a later minion as a Deathrattle, but Rogue has more opportunities to power up its weapons. Starting with a 3/2 base for relatively cheap could make for some big swingy plays in conjunction with minions and spells that raise a weapon's attack value.

Plus, the flavor is just great. Once the sentient fork "dies" the Rogue picks it up and starts stabbing people with it. How can you get any better?


(3) Nightbane Templar (2/3)

Battlecry: If you're holding a Dragon, summon two 1/1 Whelps.

Despite being the only class to get its own firebreather from Blackrock Mountain, Dragon Paladin never took off like many expected. Priest was the go-to class for dragons, thanks to some early-game minions with high health that work especially well with his Hero power. Nightbane Templar appears to aim for the same goal: give Paladin some early game Dragon synergy that capitalizes on its strengths.

The cost is awful without the effect, but with it you're getting 4/5 in stats spread across three bodies. Plus, having a board full of smaller bodies helps facilitate the Paladin's natural strength of buffing smaller minions. This might be the card that helps push Dragon Paladin over the edge.


(5) Onyx Bishop (3/4)

Battlecry: Summon a friendly minion that died this game.

Resurrect never seemed to take off on its own, so why not attach it to a body? Onyx Bishop doesn't make for very exciting stats, but if you can resurrect a powerful body like Injured Blademaster, it's essentially like playing two minions at once. Plus, if you play a N'Zoth heavy deck, you can get a nice bonus with a chance of double the value on any Deathrattle minions that have died.

Priest's cards in this expansion aren't great on the whole, but Onyx Bishop is the best of the lot. It plays well with an existing deck type that's almost in the competitive tiers, and it brings back an underused mechanic in a new way.


(4) Priest of the Feast (3/6)

Whenever you cast a spell, restore 3 Health to your hero.

Priest isn't exactly in dire need of more healing, thanks to powerful spells like Flash Heal and the upgraded ability of Justicar Trueheart. That puts Priest of the Feast in an odd spot. Its stats are fine, if a little bland, and its effect could be strong under the right circumstances. But with so many options, many of which are already spells, you're not likely to need it all that often. Unlike the Warrior's armor ability, you can only heal up to 30 health, and past that you're not getting any benefit from it. That makes this hard to justify a deck spot.


(1) Runic Egg (0/2)

Deathrattle: Draw a card.

There is no reason to ever run this card. It takes up a deck slot, only exists to cycle itself out, and any benefits gained by buffing it would be better if applied to a minion that isn't useless pre-buff. It would be the worst card of the expansion, if not for the Priest's Purify, so it only dodges that dubious honor by not actively making your other cards worse.


(2) Silvermoon Portal

Spell: Give a minion +2/+2. Summon a random 2-Cost minion.

The Paladin version of the new "Portal" spell type is likely the most underwhelming of the bunch. That's largely due to its random effect being lower-stated than the other portals. Most of them summon a random minion at a cost one less than the portal itself, which means you're spending an extra one mana for whatever effect it has. In this case, if you subtract the random element, you're paying two mana for a 2/2 buff, which is about as vanilla as buffs can be. It plays well into the idea of buffing small minions that we saw with the Nightbane Templar, but it could've used an extra stat here or there to make it a little less ho-hum.


(1) Swashburglar (1/1)

Battlecry: Add a random class card to your hand (from your opponent's class).

When we saw Ethereal Peddler, we figured something like Swashburglar must also exist. Discounting cards from other classes is such a specific effect that it couldn't just be up to Undercity Huckster and Burgle to fill your hand. Enter Swashburglar, a cheap and easy way to get a few cards to fuel your Peddler. Its stats are weak, but it's essentially an investment minion that still allows you to have a pesky body on the board. Plus, don't underestimate the Pirate tribal as a cheap way to activate synergy effects.

The Peddler Rogue may not be competitive, since it's so random and can have such wild swings based on what you get. It should be fun to experiment with, though, and Swashburglar will be a part of it.


(4) Wicked Witchdoctor (3/4)

Whenever you cast a spell, summon a random basic Totem. 

Its stats are weak and its effect isn't great. Tuskarr Totemic, by comparison, provides a fine body for the cost and can summon any Totem in the game, including extremely valuable ones like Flametongue, Mana Tide, and Totem Golem. Wicked Witchdoctor puts a weak body on the board, requires a spell investment that will usually Overload you, and can only give you one of the four basic Totems. It might be nice if you really need a specific one for a certain play and can dig out the one you want, but how often will that really happen?

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