Hey there and welcome to the first part of our card review for One Night In Karazhan: A Hearthstone Adventure! This is going to be the fourth adventure for Hearthstone and the seventh overall expansion since the game launched in 2014. My name is Jacob, but feel free to call me MITH, and I’ve been a ravenous consumer of Blizzard games since I was a young teenager! Hearthstone is where a lot of my time (and money) goes these days, and I’m super excited for this new adventure! I hope you all are too, so without further ado, here’s the card reviews!
1 Mana 2/2 Beast
We all know that Blizzard has been slowly trying to push Beast Druid to become a thing for a while now. Blackrock Mountain gave us Druid of the Flame. The Grand Tournament brought with it Knight of the Wild, Savage Combatant, Wildwalker, and Druid of the Saber. League of Explorers introduced both Jungle Moonkin and Mounted Raptor. Finally, Whispers of the Old Gods brought to us the Addled Grizzly as well as the Mark of Y’Shaarj. Enchanted Raven gives us another push in the direction of Beast Druid, and could be just the card that becomes the tipping point. Mark of Y’Shaarj already brought us a semi-playable deck, but it was only popular for a few short weeks and unfortunately fell out of favor as it wasn’t fast enough to compete with the aggressive likes of Aggro Shaman and Zoo Lock, but didn’t have the midrange or lategame control cards that N’zoth Paladin and C’thun Warrior carry with them. It’s fully possible that the Enchanted Raven, which brings with it a unique statline never before seen in Hearthstone, plus the Beast tag, could be just what Beast Druid needs to tip the scales and become very, very playable. The ideal dream curve of course would be to drop turn 1 Enchanted Raven into a turn 2 Mark of Y’shaarj, in order to have a 4/4 on board that cycled a card and can easily trade with any one- or two-drops your opponent plays (even the dreaded Tunnel Trogg into Totem Golem can’t stand up to this mighty beast!), or even many popular three-drops. Failing that, turning the deck into a highly tempo-oriented one that maintains its hand size by cycling Mark of Y’shaarj and cheating out big threats early through the likes of Innervate could make it more than just playable — it could be the next deck that we complain about for six months until the next expansion. It’s difficult to predict just what effect this card will have on the metagame without knowing all the cards that ONIK will bring, so stay tuned for further reviews on how this will impact Constructed play.
In Arena, this is a one mana 2/2 card; the tribe is largely irrelevant, but the fact that this will trade with any one-drop and about 50% of two-drops makes it hugely important. This will be a high power pick card for any Druid draft.
2 Mana 1/1 Beast
Deathrattle: Summon a 3/2 Big Bad Wolf
Kindly Grandmother is a gentle return towards the pre-Standard era of sticky minions that you want to kill off as soon as you can once you’ve played it, but your opponent would like to avoid. This card brings with it a similar feel that harkens back to Naxxramas’ days of Haunted Creeper and Nerubian Egg. With people already having predicted a competitive N’zoth hunter deck at the launch of WOTOG, I fully expect this card to have a place in it, should that deck manage to rise above a tier 4 build. The fact that this carries a Beast tag with it (and so does the Wolf it spawns) is important, as it means that even outside of a N’zoth deck, this could see play in a tempo or midrange Hunter deck. It could be that the card proves too slow, which is fully possible, but personally if I were building a midrange deck for hunter that already included some of the standard favorites (2x Savannah Highmane, 2x Infested Wolf, 2x Huge Toad, 2x Fiery Bat), I would absolutely find a slot for this — perhaps swapping out one of the Huge Toads and having it be a one-of include.
In Arena, Kindly Grandmother is very likely to be too slow to make an amazing impact, despite it carrying a net 4/3 worth of stats for 2 mana. Time will tell, of course, but I predict it will be a subpar two-drop and it will be difficult to justify making this selection if even one of the other two cards is remotely playable in your deck.
Raving Grimoire (Babbling Book, Blizzard Confirms)
1 Mana 1/1
Battlecry: Add a random Mage spell to your hand.
Casino Mage rises once again! A one mana 1/1 is below statline, of course, but the fact that it effectively cycles itself is excellent. In addition, a random Mage spell is an amazing possibility — there’s any number of things you could get from it. On the high end, you have Fireball, Flamestrike, Blizzard, and of course the #1 pick, Cabalist’s Tome. On the low/unfortunate end, you could wind up with something like Shatter, which not only is conditional but has a high chance of having little-to-no synergy with your deck, potentially being forever uncastable. That being said, it is my opinion that far more likely that you get an excellent result from this card than a poor result. Not only is it playable on turn 1 for early tempo, it’s potentially a fantastic card to topdeck lategame since it only costs 1 so any spell you generate from it (with the notable exception of Pyroblast) will be playable immediately following it on the same turn, and generates much more tempo and value for you than many other topdecks could. I predict seeing at least a one-of inclusion of this card in Tempo mage decks, and two-of in more value or grinder oriented decks. And, of course, Casino Mage.
In Arena, this card will be a high value pick for Mage early game. Being a Rare, you won’t see every mage with it, but the chances of it providing synergistic effects are excellent and I would highly value its selection.
7 Mana Spell
Deal 5 damage. Summon a random 5-Cost minion.
Whoever decided firelands portal should be a common card definitely never played any–
Okay, okay, I’ll stop circlejerking. But seriously, this card is CRAZY. Constructed it may be playable, it may not, who knows? The fact is that in Arena, a card that functions as removal (which is at a premium) while also generating a minion (excellent) is inherently going to be a must-have. North Sea Kraken was an excellent addition to the game from TGT, as it gives you a nine-drop that’s got a solid, beefy body attached to it and also blasts something on the board for four damage. This card comes in two turns earlier, hits for one damage more, and generates a random 5-drop. Now, a random 5-drop may or may not be an amazing result — on the low end of things are minions that have a lot of value invested in a Battlecry effect, such as Antique Healbot (3/3 of stats, gross), Big Game Hunter (4/2), Blingtron 3000 (3/4), Bolvar Fordragon (1/7), and Bomb Lobber (3/3). However, the 5-drop slot also has a number of powerful selections, such as those with Deathrattle effects (Abomination, Anubisath Sentinel), lingering aura effects (Azure Drake, Hallazeal the Ascended, Kvaldir Raider), immediate impact(Leeroy Jenkins, Doomguard) or just huge piles of stats (Earth Elemental). The average value of a random five-drop was calculated to be approximately the stats of a Chillwind Yeti (baseline four-drop), but as we learned back in Naxxramas, stapling multiple card effects onto a single card can become immensely powerful very quickly. One thing is absolutely certain once ONIK releases — if you’re playing Arena, prepare to see a lot of Mages and prepare for them all to have at least one copy of this card. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the rage you’ll feel when this gets generated for them from Babbling Book.
6 Mana 4/4
Battlecry: Discover a spell. Restore health to your hero equal to its cost.
This is a new use of the Discover mechanic that we haven’t seen before, and an interesting one at that! Paladins getting one more healing effect can already be useful — while it’s not necessarily a competitive deck, a Healadin style is very fun to play (at least for me), and this card can provide even more of it. Furthermore, the fact that it generates a new card for you to select in the Discover mechanic means that you have tight control over how much you heal. Turn ten vs a Zoolock and you’re at 10 life? Do you pick the Anyfin Can Happen for a huge immediate heal, or do you take the Consecration and heal for four, but also manage to clear a huge chunk of his board? Discover means that you can pick the best option for the situation! Now, of course, Paladin has more cheap spells than any other class in the game, which means this could backfire quite badly if you get offered, say, Humility, Forbidden Healing, and Blessing of Might. However, on average you’ll get at least a decent heal. It’s hard to say if this card will see play in a competitive deck or not, but I’ll definitely be running one in my Reno Paladin, for certain.
In Arena, I don’t see this card being amazingly highly valued. It’s a Rare, which means it won’t be seen but perhaps one in two or three drafts (or less), and it’s a 4/4 body on turn 6, which could be very bad since Arena is such a tempo-oriented format. The spell could be useful, but I don’t necessarily see it being so. If nothing else, it can provide some decent card draw options, so it’s likely at least playable depending on what it’s up against in the Draft phase.
5 Mana 5/6
Battlecry: Reduce the Cost of cards in your hand from other classes by (2).
Ethereal Peddler is helping to push the class identity of stealing cards onto Rogue so that we can finally take back what Priest stole so long ago! Thief-Rogue isn’t really a thing right now unfortunately, but it certainly could be. The only two cards we currently have that generate cards from your opponent are Undercity Huckster and Burgle. It could possibly be that a deck comes to be once this card is launched — a possible curve of turn 2 Huckster, turn 3 Burgle, then turn 5 Peddler means that it would hit three different cards in your hand (assuming you don’t play one on turn 4). It would have to be highly value oriented, which means a slower deck; possibly turning it into a N’zoth archetype would work well, since you could have double Huckster die and be brought back, then play out the Peddler later on. In Wild, it would be absolutely worth throwing in Trade Prince Gallywix to this deck, since you’ll frequently draw a removal spell to get rid of him, and Peddler can hit that as well. To be quite honest, with a 5/6 statline, the card is playable even without the effect as it matches the vanilla statline. Granted, Pit Fighter isn’t included in any constructed decks, but at least it means if you wind up matching against a Rogue or using the stolen cards earlier before you draw Peddler, it doesn’t feel completely awful to play. Finally, it’s cheap enough that it could potentially even be used to combo other cards, such as SI:7 Agent. Definitely worth playing around and seeing how well it works.
In Arena, Peddler will be a very high-value pick. With Pit Fighter already being a great pickup for any deck as it moves towards the mid/late game, this cards is a Pit Fighter that sometimes also double-dips on tempo for later on, if you were fortunate enough to draft either a Burgle or a Huckster.
1 Mana 1/3 Demon
Whenever you discard a card, draw a card.
Discard Warlock Go? Blizzard, this isn’t what we meant when we said we wanted another 1 mana 1/3. I suppose it will be okay, since there -do- exist plenty of Discard effects for Warlock, but I don’t know that this will see any play whatsoever. Zoo frequently doesn’t want a statline this weak, and Handlock archetypes want a big hand, not a small one, so this won’t see any value. If we ever see a mechanic in Hearthstone that allows us to discard a specific card, then this could be very valuable, but as long as they remain random, this will be subpar. The only time this becomes good is if you play it lategame in combination with a Doomguard, as it could potentially let you draw twice more into additional high-value burn cards such as Power Overwhelming or Soulfire. Overall, unless something highly synergistic comes out with ONIK for this card, I don’t see this card seeing any play in Constructed whatsoever. At least it has a Demon tag, I suppose?
In Arena, it’s a one-mana drop, so maybe it’s playable. Probably not though, since you really want to avoid Discarding in Arena.
6 Mana 3/6 Dragon
Battlecry: If you’re holding a Dragon, destroy an enemy minion with 3 or less Attack.
Dragon decks were sorely missing a neutral 6-cost Dragon for their Midrange/Control brothers, and here it is! An okay (fine, below-average) body that has a Shadow Word: Pain stapled to it? Sign me up immediately! It isn’t much of a powerhouse, but the immediate board impact it carries with it versus more aggressive decks could make it more than playable. Definitely worth testing out, and I see it bringing a lot of success to Dragon decks, which will frequently have drawn at least one of their lategame dragons (such as Nefarian or Ysera) by turn 6, almost always guaranteeing an activator.
In Arena, this is a subpar body with a difficult-to-activate battlecry. Below average and unlikely to see much, if any, play.
3 Mana 1/1
Stealth. At the end of your turn, summon a 1/1 Steward.
Well, I guess it just wouldn’t be a Hearthstone adventure without at least one bad legendary. Moroes will die to literally any AoE effect. He will die to a stray Flamewaker missile. He will die to a random-damage effect. He will die if Garrosh so much as sneezes in his general direction. Perhaps it might see fringe play in Token druid/paladin in combination with Addled Grizzly or Steward of Darkshire, but otherwise Moroes is going to very quickly become 400 dust in most players’ pockets.
In Arena… No. Just no. Lorewalker Cho is better than this card. Cuddle your panda friend while you cry into your pillow at night.
4 Mana 3/4
Battlecry: Summon a 1/1 copy of a random minion in your deck.
Barnes is very, very fun looking. The dream, of course, is dropping him and pulling some high-value Deathrattle or Aura effect onto the board — as Blizzard showed us in the demonstration video, something like Archmage Antonidas would be amazing. I could see Barnes seeing some play in most N’zoth decks which love their Deathrattle effects, and particularly in a N’zoth Rogue deck — imagine with me, for a moment, the dream scenario: Going second, turn 3 Brann – coin – Conceal, turn 4 Barnes into Sylvanas and Cairne tokens. Even outside of that dream, if you were able to generate some sort of infinite-value chain with Brann and Shadowcaster (as we saw one particularly intrepid deckbuilder, Dane Hearthstone, do), Barnes could be played on a followup turn lategame for absolutely enormous value. Can you imagine dropping this guy after you’ve played Golden Monkey and him pulling a 1/1 copy of a random legendary? Something like Confessor Paletress or Nexus Champion Saraad would be INSANE! Of course, those are dream scenarios, and for every time you pull a Paletress, there’ll be a Darkfisher Nat and a Majordomo Executus, but hey, who’s judging? At worst, this guy’s a Yeti split across two bodies, so at least he’s got that going for him.
In Arena, I think Barnes will be very much a below-average legendary. The vast majority of the time, he’ll be a Yeti split across two bodies. Granted, that could be valuable, but most of the time it won’t be, especially with how many Mages you’ll see who all have the ability to instantly ping off the 1/1 copy. Rarely will he be likely to pull a deathrattle or an aura effect, so his power will be greatly diminished. Still better than Moroes, though.
7 Mana 4/6 Mech
Taunt. Battlecry: Draw a Beast, Dragon, and Murloc from your deck.
THE MENAGERIE IS FOR GUESTS ONLY.
Curator seems like a troll card at first, but the more you look at him the more you think about how he could potentially be very good. There’s every likelihood for him to be included in a Reno deck, especially a Paladin — many run a Dragon as some sort of lategame finisher (such as Ysera), many run a Beast as some form of removal (Stampeding Kodo comes to mind). Murlocs… who knows. As it is, if the Curator draws one card, he’s just barely acceptable; if he draws two, he’s excellent. Highly possible to see play at least somewhere, and I’ll absolutely toy with him in my aforementioned Reno Healadin deck.
In Arena, he’s a seven mana 4/6 body with Taunt. He’s not a proactive play and has almost no immediate board impact. If you’re lucky, you might get one draw off him; rarely if ever will you get two, and the day the Curator draws three cards and you haven’t already lost the game anyways is the day the Apocalypse cometh, so you’d better quit playing and duck under your desk before Satan rears his head. Better than Moroes and Lorewalker Cho, unlikely to be as good as Barnes, the Curator will see very little play in Arena if any.
5 Mana Spell
Summon a 1/1 Candle, 2/2 Broom, and 3/3 Teapot.
Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test! This is basically a Silver Hand Knight with the main body broken up into a 3/3 and a 1/1, but with spell synergy instead of minion-played synergy. What does that mean for Warlock? Well…. not much, to be honest. Silver Hand Knight isn’t played in any decks, so unless there’s synergy with kitchen utensils, this won’t see any play in constructed. Fun card, however.
In Arena, Silver Hand Knight is a pretty solid pick. It’s hard to say if splitting the 4/4 into a 1/1 and a 3/3 is better or worse — my wager is that it’s worse on the whole. Having more minions is fine and dandy, but I’d rather have them less vulnerable to AoE personally, so I think this will have a middle-of-the-pack tier score. Definitely draftable, but far from top tier.
Protect the King!
3 Mana Spell
For each enemy minion, summon a 1/1 Pawn with Taunt.
BOLSTER BOYS! Taunt warrior is a thing, maybe? The mana cost and conditional is very reminiscent of Unleash the Hounds, which is definitely a thing in many Hunter decks — the current Midrange Hunter decklist that Tempostorm lists at tier 2 as of this writing typically runs two copies of it. It’s hard to say if Taunt or Charge is better, but if you can pull off the five-mana combo to get a board of 3-5 3/3 Taunt Pawns vs a Zoolock, you can sit back and relax, assured that the next thing you’re about to hear will be “You win…. this time!”
In Arena, this could function as a catch-up card, especially in the lategame, where you drop this and follow it up with a larger minion in the same turn to help regain some precious tempo. Being a Rare, it won’t be seen every time, and honestly there are probably a lot of other Rare cards that would be a lot higher on the selection list — you’d much rather be proactive than reactive in Arena, and Protect the King! is the absolute definition of a reactive card.
5 Mana 5/6 Demon
When the game starts, add 5 extra Legendary minions to your deck.
Malchezaar may be a prince in name, but he’s about to become the King of free-to-play decks. Players who don’t want to commit much money to the game will rejoice as they get to play every single game with five random legendaries in their deck! Furthermore, this means that any deck who wants to go to fatigue can have a HUGE advantage from the very start of the game, since they’ll be playing with a 35 card deck instead of 30. It’s hard to say if Mill decks will want this or not — on the surface it looks like they would for the same reason Fatigue decks do. However, Mill decks rely on being able to consistently draw their combo pieces — Gang Up, Naturalize, Coldlight Oracle, etc. Having five additional cards in the deck reduces the consistency, which could harm it. By the way, it was indeed confirmed that Malchezaar will conform to standard deckbuilding requirements — you can’t get legendaries from classes other than your own, and you can’t get duplicate legendaries inserted into your deck. So Reno Decks rejoice, because with all the money you saved on buying packs for legendaries, you’re gonna be rich!
In Arena, Malchezaar will be a high-value pick. Not only is he a 5 mana 5/6, meaning he meets the vanilla statline requirements, but having five extra random legendaries will be hugely beneficial. The only big question is whether you — or a deck tracker — will know what legendaries get shuffled in at the start of the game or not. Knowledge is power, as they say.
Wow! Those are some seriously cool cards! I don’t know about you guys but I am SUPER PUMPED to play some new Reno decks and toy around with Malchezaar. Definitely interested in doing a N’zoth Rogue with Barnes, too! What decks do you think will become popular? Leave your comments below, and until next time, just remember to boogie down!
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