Hearthstone Journey to Un'Goro Card Reviews (Part 4)

We wrap up our reviews of Hearthstone's 'Journey to Un'Goro' expansion cards as we anticipate this week's big event.

2

The next Hearthstone expansion is coming this week, and this one takes a Journey to Un'Goro. To prepare for Un'Goro, we've been having weekly card reviews, with new editions every Monday leading up to the release. Last week had a final flood of card reveals, and we're catching up with all the remaining cards with this final review session. This edition includes all the remaining class cards revealed during and after the big reveal stream.

Journey to Un'Goro introduces three new notable mechanics that will be seen throughout the card reviews:

  • Quests: Each class gets one of these 1-mana spells, which gives you certain conditions to fulfill for a big reward. Including a Quest in your deck means it will always appear in your Mulligan round, so you can count on it appearing from the start. This also means that each class gets two Legendary cards: one Legendary minion, and one Legendary Quest.
  • Adapt: The plants and animals of Un'Goro have evolved the ability to gain an extra attribute of your choosing. Cards with the "Adapt" keyword can be boosted with extra attack or health, Divine Shield, Taunt, etc.
  • Elemental Tribe: Many of Un'Goro's denizens are part of the new Elemental tribe, and existing cards like Ragnaros will be retrofitted with the tribe.

Be sure to catch up with all of our card reviews for Un'Goro: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


(1) Adaptation 

Spell: Adapt a friendly minion.

It only makes sense that Paladin gets the cheapest, most customizable version of an Adaptation card, with this 1-mana basic spell. The class is known for its buffs and its Quest reflects that. This will certainly be a staple in Paladin Quest decks, and may find a home in others as well. Paired with some of the other synergistic cards, like The Voraxx and Primalfin Champion, it could become very powerful.


(1) Binding Heal 

Spell: Restore 5 Health to a minion and your hero.

This is a great cost for a healing spell, especially one that hits both your minion and yourself at the same time. It comes with a slight drawback, in that you can't use it to heal yourself unless you have a minion on the board–hence the "Binding" part of the heal. As long as you have something around, though, it's about as efficiently costed a healing spell as you can get, and furthers Blizzard's goal of making Priest the healing class.


(2) Biteweed (1/1) 

Combo: Gain +1/+1 for each other card you've played this turn.

It's a miniature Edwin Vancleef! This card could become powerful with heavy combo turns, and its low cost means it could even be used alongside Vancleef in the same turn. This expansion has an odd tenor of giving classes a smaller, weaker version of existing class Legendaries, which may not be the most creative approach, but it is providing some versatile tools for these big powerful effects. It's hard to say if Combo Rogue will still remain in the meta after Conceal moves to Wild, but if it does Biteweed is an auto-include.


(2) Bloodbloom 

Spell: The next spell you cast this turn costs Health instead of Mana.

A step past miniaturizing existing Legendaries, this spell decouples a potentially powerful effect from an underused class Legendary. Bloodbloom is basically Cho'gall without the expensive body attached. The cheaper cost lets you more easily combo it with other spells in the same turn, but two Mana for the cost may be a tough pill to swallow. Unless we see serious combo potential emerge in a specific deck type, Bloodbloom probably won't make it into many decks.


(3) Chittering Tunneler (3/3) 

Battlecry: Discover a spell. Deal damage to your hero equal to its cost.

This minion is basically the anti-Ivory Knight. Rather than restoring health equal to the spell you discover, it punishes you for getting greedy with bigger spells. Ivory Knight is a pretty solid inclusion that plays well into Paladin's archtype, and similarly, Chittering Tunneler fits nicely with Warlock's self-damage mechanic. This may be held back by not being a demon or discard, making it an odd fit for the two major deck types we expect to see in the expansion, but it's solid regardless.


(6) Cruel Dinomancer (5/5)

Deathrattle: Summon a random minion you discovered this game.

This is going to be a staple in the discard deck that fuels the Warlock quest, since it's yet another card that mitigates the damage of the discard mechanic. For a little Mana cost and patience, you can just summon one that you had discarded anyway. This makes it less punishing to lose cards, and adds a neat wrinkle of strategy for keeping track of which cards have been discarded and attempting to maximize your chances of summoning somethin great. 


(3) Devilsaur Egg (0/3)

Deathrattle: Summon a 5/5 Devilsaur.

Nerubian Egg was a staple for a long time following the Kel'Thuzad adventure, so why not add a Mana for a bigger creature as the payoff? The Devilsaur puts this theory to the test, and it's certainly one to watch. We could find a home for Devilsaur in Deathrattle heavy decks, but it's competing for the competitive three-drop spot in most decks. This one may not catch on as heavily as Nerubian Egg did, since there's a much greater variety of cards to choose from in the current meta.


(2) Dinomancy

Spell: Your Hero Power becomes 'Give a Beast +2/+2'

The Hunter Hero Power is one of the most simplistic in the game, because it has no real versatility. It's a two-Mana face damage vehicle, which drives a lot of the meta towards aggression. This expansion seems geared toward turning Hunter into a more viable midrange deck, and Dinomancy may finally be the piece that pushes it over the edge. For a fairly slight investment, you get a powered-up (and frakly unbalanced) Hero Power that still plays well with the class' flavor but makes it more viable for longer match-ups. This is certainly one worth experimenting with.


(5) Direhorn Hatchling (3/6)

Taunt. Deathrattle: Shuffle a 6/9 Direhorn with Taunt into your deck.

Five Mana for a 3/6 Taunt isn't altogether horrible on its own, but the addition of a 6/9 Taunt on top of it makes this minion really stand out. It's made for long matches, which Warrior excels at, and especially so in a Taunt-heavy deck encouraged by its Quest. Plus, in a pinch this gives you two quest-fulfilling minions in one package. Ultimately this helps drive you toward your goal of tossing fireballs while hiding behind your wall of Taunts.


(1) Earthen Scales

Spell: Give a friendly minion +1/+1, then gain Armor equal to its Attack.

This is an odd spell. In a vacuum it's actually a very good spell, providing a pretty fairly costed stat buff and providing armor on top of that. However, Druid already has some tools for armor like Feral Rage, which guarantees eight Armor but also has the flexibility to offer four attack. Plus, unlike Warrior, there isn't anything in particular for a Druid to do with its Armor or to use it offensively. Hearthstone only has so many slots per deck, so it's hard to justify putting Earthen Scales instead of something more useful.


(3) Elder Longneck (5/1)

Battlecry: If you're holding a minion with 5 or more Attack, Adapt.

It's Shadow Rager but sligtly less bad! In an ideal scenario, you're holding a bigger minion and you can buff this to a 5/4 or give it a Divine Shield to protect it long enough to make use of it. You can count on one of those happening roughly 1/3 of the time. The rest of the time it will be a vulnerable 6/2, or a Stealth while you hope your opponent has no AOE or random ping effects. It does help feed the Druid quest, but there are much better ways.


(3) Envenom Weapon

Spell: Give your weapon Poisonous.

This is a really cool card for Rogues that fits the flavor well. Of course only Rogues get a poisonous weapon, which would allow even the smallest dagger to take out the sturdiest dinosaurs. The drawback, of course, is that you'd want to use this against big minions, and that forces you to take face damage to match. It's hard to see where this fits into the Quest Rogue or any current archtype, but it's solid and cheap removal as long as Rogue can find a way to survive after using it.


(5) Feeding Time

Spell: Deal 3 damage to a minion. Summon three 1/1 Pterrordaxes.

This card isn't great. It attempts to balance the bad damage to cost ratio by giving you some minions, but the 1/1s will be too vulnerable on turn five to be of much use. In your best case you can hope one survives to become a sacrifice with a card like Power Overwhelming, but that's not a win condition and it leaves you in a poor board state going forward. 


(2) Fire Plume Harbinger (1/1)

Battlecry: Reduce the Cost of Elementals in your hand by (1).

This is an Elemental staple that may contradict the point of Elementals. Since the new tribal type is all about setting up future turns by playing them on-curve over and over, a cost reduction may just mess up your curve–either leaving you with a dangling extra Mana point or having you play an artificially lowered minion a turn early and then being unable to do anything with it the next. How Elementals will work is hard to tell so far, and a minion like this just throws the predictions into further chaos. My feeling is that it's not going to catch on, unless we get hand-filling Elemental strategies that could reduce lots of cost at once.


(1) Fire Plume's Heart

Quest: Play 7 Taunt minions.
Reward: Sulfuras.

I've been saying for years that Blizzard should stop trying to make Taunt Warrior a thing, because it wasn't happening. With this Quest, they may finally be proving me wrong. This expansion appears to have a critical mass of good solid Taunt minions, but more importantly, this Quest gives a reward with a very clear win condition. The problem with Taunt Warrior was that it could defend but there was no mechanism for finishing off your opponent. This Quest changes that in a pretty significant way.

(3) Sulfuras

Battlecry: Your Hero Power becomes 'Deal 8 damage to a random enemy'

We've been able to steal Ragnaros' power before, but Sulfuras comes without the drawback of setting you at eight healthy. Instead you could Armor up throughout the match, hide behind your Taunt minions, and then turn around and break out your win condition. Plus it's a usable weapon to boot. Once you activate this, your opponent is on a very short timer, as you can fling fireballs indefinitely. Very strong Quest reward and it will certainly lead to a new Warrior type.


(8) Free From Amber

Spell: Discover a minion that costs (8) or more. Summon it.

This new Priest spell is a lot like an existing Priest spell, Forbidden Shaping. That was one of the flexible spells that came at any cost by emptying out your Mana, but many times Priests would save it for the late game when they could get a random 8-, 9, or 10-drop. Free From Amber sacrifices some of that flexibility for more control, thanks to the Discover mechanic, along with the chance of a discount if you spend its eight Mana to find a 9- or 10-cost minion. This could well replace Forbidden Shaping in Priest decks, especially among those that run N'Zoth with the Deathrattle Quest. Summoning the minion immediately means it wouldn't trigger the Battlecry, but you'd still get a Deathrattle effect, so it's best if you manage to pick an expensive Deathrattle minion anyway.


(7) Giant Anaconda (5/3)

Deathrattle: Summon a minion from your hand with 5 or more Attack.

In the best-case scenario, Giant Anaconda serves as a two-for-one, fulfilling two of the Quest conditions. That said, it's not a very good card. The stat deficit is extreme enough that by this point in the game your opponent can likely just ignore it. There's also the not-insignificant chance that it will pull a Choose One card that you didn't want pulled, like Ancient of War. Instead of getting its notable stat boost, you're just left with a 5/5 on the board in the late-game. 


(3) Giant Wasp (2/2)

Stealth. Poisonous.

Another minion outfitted with the new Poisonous keyword, Giant Wasp is a little more hearty than some others with only one health that could be taken out by AOE or random pings. That makes it ideal to serve as a tech card in a meta full of big, hard-to-remove minions like those Adapted with the "can't target" effect. Not terribly original, but a cheap, necessary counter to some of the strong minions being introduced in this set.


(2) Grevious Bite 

Spell: Deal 2 damage to a minion and 1 damage to adjacent ones.

This is a smaller version of Explosive Shot. It's hard to tell if a smaller, weaker spell will take hold in a meta bursting with big beefy dinosaurs that will largely be out of range of this effect, but it's a solid card for use against early game rushes with lots of little minions. Its usefulness will rely almost entirely on how aggressive the meta-game becomes.


(1) Hallucination

Spell: Discover a card from your opponent's class.

It's almost surprising that Rogue has taken so long to get such a basic utility card with the Discover mechanic. Rogue's speciality is turning enemy powers against them, and this gives you a little more control over what you receive on top of the various cards that grant random card-stealing. The card thief has always been more of a for-fun deck than a competitve one, since it's too unpredictable to make a singular late-game strategy, but this is a good inclusion for that deck type regardless.


(3) Hot Spring Guardian (2/4)

Taunt. Battlecry: Restore 3 Health.

Another Elemental for Shaman, and not a bad one. This is a pretty standard Taunt statline for the cost, and comes with a little healing as well. It's pretty vanilla on the whole, but could easily be a one-of in a Shaman Elemental deck as a cheap Elemental activator, healing, and small bit of protection. Serving multiple roles means it's always going to be useful at some point in a match.


(1) Iron Hide

Spell: Gain 5 Armor.

Not much to see here. This is Shield Block, the basic card, but for two less Mana and without the card draw. It may be a smart inclusion for Quest Warriors who need a way to keep armoring up after they swap their Hero Power, especially into the late game when drawing a card starts to get dangerously close to fatigue. Still, it's as basic as basic gets.


(1) Jeweled Macaw (1/1)

Battlecry: Add a random Beast to your hand.

It's Webspinner all over again. The little spiders from Naxxramus would add a random Beast as a Deathrattle, and Jeweled Macaw gives you a little more immediate satisfaction. It's a solid one-drop for the Hunter Quest, plays well with Hunter spells like Dinomancy and Stampede, and is just a generally all-around solid inclusion in a Beast deck.


(1) Jungle Giants

Quest: Summon 5 minions with 5 or more Attack.
Reward: Barnabus.

In case you were wondering why so many Druid cards focus on the attack value this time around, here you go. The Quest is all about summoning high-value minions, which is something the Druid has never struggled with. Paired with some ramp tools to get up your Mana totals faster, you could conceivably be ready to finish this Quest before your opponent even reaches turn 8, which would be a huge swing in your direction. 

(5) Barnabus the Stomper

Battlecry: Reduce the Cost of minions in your deck to (0).

Your reward for that setup is free minions, forever. It only impacts minions in your deck, though, so you'll be replying on top-decking or packing your deck with card draw options. Given how Jade Druid is already overrunning the meta, it's easy to see how Barnabus could augment that deck with big minions of its own, while the Jade mechanic assures you never run out of cards while you dig deep for the freebies. Whether that's stronger than a standard Jade deck, though, it's hard to tell without seeing it in action.


(5) Lyra the Sunshard (3/5)

Whenever you cast a spell, add a random Priest spell to your hand.

Priest has one of the Quests I'm most excited to try out, so I suppose the trade-off for that is a pretty underwhelming Legendary minion. Lyra the Sunshard will probably give you 1-2 random spells on average, and remember, Priest has a glut of bad or situational spells that simply wouldn't be welcome in a random setting. I can't see this one getting any play.


(6) Meteor

Spell: Deal 15 damage to a minion and 3 damage to adjacent ones.

When you absolutely, positively have to take out that giant dinosaur. This expansion has a handful of minions that go above the usual 10-health standard, and if any class would be equipped to deal with them using spells, it's Mage. This is powerful enough to take out just about any minion in the game, though the three adjacent damage is so low that it probably won't have much effect on them. It's probably still going to be more efficient, most of the time, to simply Polymorph big minions.


(4) Molten Reflection

Spell: Choose a friendly minion. Summon a copy of it.

A cheap way to get another copy of big or effective Deathrattle minions, this spell is a lot like others that give you extra copies, but with more immediacy. It's probably most useful in Mage Quest decks, which can pair this with the Reward mechanic to put another Arcane Giant on the board to set up for lethal in your next, extra turn.


(4) Obsidian Shard (3/3)

Costs (1) less for each card you've played from another class.

This Rogue card also plays into the same card-thief deck as Hallucination. In this case, it's rewarding you for playing your ill-gotten gains, by giving you a cheap (or even free) 3/3 weapon. That's a pretty great value, and for those decks that are fueled by copying cards, it's a must-play. But as I said with Hallucination, those decks are likely to remain more fun than competitive, especially when up against the various Quest decks that come with powerful win conditions.


(1) Open the Waygate

Quest: Cast 6 spells that didn't start in your deck.
Reward: Time Warp.

Mage has turned from a sturdy spell-based class to one with a lot of randomness and Discover mechanics, spitting out minions and spells that grant you more spells and then challenging you as a player to make the most of what you get. The Mage Quest acknowledges this trend, and rewards you for embracing the RNG. If you can play six spells that you didn't start with, which actually isn't difficult at all, you get a big reward. Note here that if a minion or spell produces a new Fireball, for instance, that will count as one of the spells even if you have a Fireball in your deck as well–because that copy didn't start in your deck.

(5) Time Warp

Spell: Take an extra turn.

Just when Blizzard nerfs Freeze Mage, it introduces another mechanic that lets you destroy your opponent in what is effectively a single turn. In terms of pure spell damage, this actually isn't as strong as it may seem, because the 5-cost investment for Time Warp makes it more like you're taking a turn and a half. However, as discussed on the reveal stream, the strength of this comes in letting you lay down minions in one turn, then play them without waiting. It's like giving them Charge, basically. So if you lay down two Arcane Giants for free from all the spells you've cast–or if you get an extra one with Molten Reflection, you can cast Time Warp into your next turn and do heavy damage with them. Paired with Alexstraza, that's "one-turn" lethal. This strategy relies on getting the exact right minions at your hand at the same time, but it's not as if Freeze Mage ever struggled to stay alive until it had its combo pieces ready.


(6) Ornery Direhorn (5/5)

Taunt. Battlecry: Adapt.

Another in the string of strong Taunt minions for Warrior in this set, Ornery Direhorn suffers slightly in stats but makes up for it with adaptability. Your ideal scenario is +3 health, which makes it a whopping 5/8 Taunt for only 6 Mana. Divine Shield would be a solid pick too, and at worst, +1/+1 makes it a 6/6 for 6. Other effects, like the bonus to attack, or "can't attack," might be good in very particular situations. The only effect that's just downright bad is Stealth, since it works against your Taunt.


(2) Primalfin Champion (1/2)

Deathrattle: Return any spells you cast on this minion to your hand.

One of the more exciting Paladin cards in the set, this Murloc could actually be run in a deck with no other Murlocs, just to take advantage of its Deathrattle. The Paladin quest relies on buffs, and this essentially lets you double up. You can play some cheap buffs on this minion, use them until it dies, and then get them all back to use on another minion. It helps feed the Quest and doubles your value at the same time, and as we saw in the exhibition stream revealing the card, it can be a huge part of your strategy.


(2) Primalfin Totem (0/3)

At the end of your turn, summon a 1/1 Murloc.

This cute little Totem spits out constant Murlocs. That gives it two types of synergy, since it could be buffed by Totem synergy and it provides Murloc synergy. I'm skeptical about the strength of the Shaman Quest, which is where you'd include a minion like this, but it could also be useful in a regular zoo deck with The Curator and some Murloc and Totem synergy cards. It's worth trying at least.


(2) Primordial Glyph

Spell: Discover a spell. Reduce its Cost by (2).

Unstable Portal was a staple in Mage decks, and Primordial Glyph looks to be the same basic idea, but with spells. Rather than a random spell, you Discover one, and it can actually feed itself if you pick another (free) Primordial Glyph. All this helps feed the Mage Quest, but it's also simply a good value card. You can invest a little in the early game to set up combos made possible by the reduced Mana cost later. Easily a card that could be doubled up in Mage decks.


(2) Radiant Elemental (2/3)

Your spells cost (1) less.

Priest has long lacked a solid 2-drop, and this is basically a Sorcerer's Apprentice with better stats. A 2/3 is much more hearty than a 3/2, especially given the Priest's ability to heal. Priest spells aren't as good on the whole as Mage spells, but it's still a good bonus, and it also has Elemental synergy in case Priest Elemental decks become viable. This should be an all-around standard Priest card that sees plenty of action.


(2) Razorpetal Lasher (2/2)

Battlecry: Add a Razorpetal to your hand that deals 1 damage.

The Razorpetal Lasher is another cheap combo activator attached to a body. This one comes with a small bit of ping damage rather than an arguably more useful Coin, but it's a fine enough addition regardless. Rogues can always use more combo synergy and this one should do fine. Then again, if you don't care about the body, you're better served by the next card.


(2) Razorpetal Volley

Spell: Add two Razorpetals to your hand that deal 1 damage.

The 2/2 body of the Lasher is effectively a bonus to the real point of the card, which is to give a Combo activator. Razorpetal Volley cuts that out entirely and gives you twice the Combo value. As long as you're not fighting hard over the early game, this one will be preferable in almost every situation. 


(4) Shellshifter (3/3)

Choose One - Transform into a 5/3 with Stealth or a 3/5 with Taunt.

The Druid essentially gets a Senjin Shieldmasta with a little more versatility. Rather than a strict 3/5 Taunt, you also get the option of going aggressive with a 5/3 Stealth–which will also help activate your Quest objective. This is likely to see a lot of play for the same reason we see plenty of Druid of the Claw. Having the option to play defense or offense on demand is just extremely valuable, even if the stats themselves aren't boosted.


(2) Shimmering Tempest (2/1)

Deathrattle: Add a random Mage spell to your hand.

This is an extremely weak body for a 2-drop, but you'd essentially be playing it to die. If Mages can squeeze out plenty of non-starter spells to activate their Quest without using Shimmering Tempest, it probably won't see much play, because there's not much point to playing a bad minion for an effect you can already get elsewhere.


(1) Stampede

Each time you play a Beast this turn, add a random Beast to your hand.

Once upon a time there was an intriguing but underused Hunter card called Lock and Load, which offered random cards for using spells. Stampede is basically the new and improved version, giving you Beasts for Beasts, in the midst of an expansion already crawling with Beasts. It synergizes well with a lot of the other Hunter cards in the set, including Dinomancy, and it's just a cheap way to get a lot more minion value out of your hand. Hunter may be a force to be reckoned with and Stampede will be one reason why.


(4) Steam Surger (5/4)

Battlecry: If you played an Elemental last turn, add a Flame Geyser to your hand.

I'm skeptical that many classes will make use of Elementals, but if Mage does, Steam Surger is an obvious and great pick. It's a decent stat-line for the cost, and it gives you an extra spell. That spell then gives you yet another Elemental body to activate elementals later. That ability to keep feeding on itself makes it very valuable, and basically diminishes any reason to actually pack a standalone Flame Geyser in your hand. In fact, giving you a spell that didn't start in your deck may even mean Steam Surger appears in Quest decks.


(5) Sudden Genesis

Spell: Summon copies of your damaged minions.

Warrior cards have attempted to add value to damaged minions by giving you copies, but this one goes a step further and simply copies them directly. Paired with the Quest Warrior archtype that's bound to have lots of Taunt minions on-board, this could be incredibly impactful. If you have three Taunt minions, for example, you could hit some enemies (or cast Whirlwind) and then use Sudden Genesis to summon even more copies. That would put up even more of a defensive barrier, even if it wouldn't count for the Quest.


(7) Tar Lord (1/11)

Taunt. Has +4 Attack during your opponent's turn.

Warrior gets its own beefed up version of Tar Creeper, a huge minion that's weak on offense but pretty great on defense. Tar Lord is expensive, but it's a Taunt that activates the Quest, and the 11 Health makes it hard to take out. Plus, Warrior has the unique ability to buff or otherwise benefit from Taunt minions in a way other classes don't, so you could get extra value out of Tar Lord with a careful build-around.


(5) Tar Lurker (1/7)

Taunt. Has +3 Attack during your opponent's turn.

Finally in the "Tar" category we have this mid-range version between the Creeper and the Lord. It's hard to see where it fits in, however. It's a fine defensive minion for the same reasons that Tar Creeper and Tar Lord are, but those are Neutral and Warrior-specific, respectively. By contrast, Warlock doesn't have any particular reason to lean heavily into strong defense from a Taunt minion, and it doesn't have heavy synergy solutions either. It's hard to imagine why this is Warlock instead of any other class, because it seems fairly arbitrary.


(4) Tidal Surge

Spell: Deal 4 damage to a minion. Restore 4 Health to your hero.

Shaman gets a fine combo spell that can act as both removal and healing. It's perfectly well-costed for utility, and paired with Shaman's spell damage it could do much more damage–but remember, it would still heal for the standard amount. This may make it into midrange decks, though it may be wiser as a Shaman player to stick with Lightning Bolt plus spell damage for small removal and forgo the healing.


(2) Tortollan Forager (2/2)

Battlecry: Add a random minion with 5 or more Attack to your hand.

Chances are, if you're running a Quest Druid, you don't really want to include Tortollan Forager. It helps activate the Quest by giving you a minion that fits, but there are a lot of bad minions in that range, and you're sacrificing control for a tiny body. You'd be better off hand-picking the minions you want to include to activate the Quest, and not risking drawing Tortollan Forager after activating the reward.


(7) Vinecleaver (4/3)

After your hero attacks, summon two 1/1 Silver Hand Recruits.

This new Paladin weapon is the most expensive one so far, but it comes with a fair amount of value. It's meant to pair with cards like Adapt or Lightfused Stegadon, which can give weak bodies a quick buff. The idea appears to be giving Paladin options to put lots of Recruits on the board, and then buffing them for impact. That wouldn't be much of a win condition by itself, but it could fit comfortably into a Paladin Quest deck, fending off your opponent until your Galvadon can finish them off.

Editor-In-Chief
From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 4, 2017 10:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Hearthstone Journey to Un'Goro Card Reviews (Part 4)

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 1:46 PM

      You're greatly overrating Biteweed. What's the best case scenario here, you get a 5/5 or 6/6 Biteweed? Okay, great. Very inconsistent, but more importantly it's worse than Questing Adventurer in almost all situations. QA costs 1-more mana, yes, but it also starts with 2/2 stats and represents an on-going threat that must be dealt with.

      Miracle/Combo Rogue will still exist post-Conceal, but it's likely to change somewhat. It would move back to Malygos if not for Emperor leaving standard, so I expect more Southsea Deckhand + Faceless Manipulator shenanigans.

      Direhorn Hatchling is great, yes, and I think more than people realize. It's a beast, and so it will make The Curator still viable in Warrior with Fierce Monkey leaving standard.

      Don't count out Feeding Time. Warlock often gets seemingly crappy class cards that turn out to be extremely powerful because their card advantage lets them play cards at the optimal time. Cards that deal damage from hand and develop your board simultaneously are usually quite strong too. This might be overcosted, but it could still see play.

      I'm not 100 percent certain about this, but I think Fire Plume Harbinger will be a staple in elemental Shaman. Cards that gives mana reducing affects are always really strong. Being able to play Earth Elemental on turn 4 could basically ruin a lot of aggressive decks, and similarly playing Fire Elemental on turn 5 could be game winning in a lot of scenarios.

      I'm also fairly optimistic about Giant Anaconda. I'm going to test it as a one-of in my Jungle Giants deck. Unlike Voidcaller, you are guaranteed to get something you want out of your hand into play. You're obviously not going to play Ancient of War in a deck running Giant Anaconda either, but you might run Deathwing or Tyrantus. There are a lot of cards in the game that are nearly-unplayable from your hand, but if you can cheat them out by other means (Y'Shaarj) they become incredible. Giant Anaconda is also a beast, so if you copy it with Menagerie Warden, and the Anacondas in, you've completed the quest right then and there. I view Giant Anaconda as a way to accelerate getting Barnabus. How good it is depends on how strong Barnabus turns out to be.

      The 5/3 stat line isn't so bad either. 5-attack is enough to apply serious pressure to the face, with 3-health you can trade it in if you want easily. Most of the time I expect other players to try and ignore it, so the fact that it can pressure on its own is an asset. Would I rather it were a 5/5? Yes, but in this case I think a 5/3 is better than a 4/5.

      Don't listen to the Reddit morons about Lyra the Sunshard. This card isn't bad. Anything that lets you cycle a bunch of spells is good. Think of it like a Gadgetzan for 1-less mana that has more health. The question is whether there are enough cards in Priest to build a deck around it. I suspect not.