Welcome to our fifth installment of the Karazhan Card Evaluation, a series in which we review each and every card spoiled before the release of the whole adventure on August 11th. As always we appreciate comments below or via twitter @OtakuMZ1978 and/or @DannyDonuts_HS
Don’t forget, the thoughts presented here are made on what we know already, not what will come. To see how the picture changes with newly released cards please go to the Karazhan Power Rankings.
Disclaimer: You will find the rating used at the end of the article. The Evaluations made are for Standard play mode only. All evaluations are subjective.
Card Evaluation (19-21/45)
OtakuMZ: This gnome is solid for Dragon decks. It is an early drop that generates more dragons. There is the small downside of the hold card mechanic though that forces you to mulligan aggressively and / or put enough dragons in you deck. The stats are poor for a 2-drop as expected and playing this without a dragon in hand would just feel awful. All in all it is enough value though for 2 mana: body = 1 mana, effect= 1.66 mana minus a penalty for being conditional. I hope there is another solid priest dragon in the set which could help priest out of the dumpster.
Danny: I feel that this is actually going to be a surprisingly good card. I predict that this card is going to be used mostly in late game dragon decks, as opposed to the tempo versions. 2-drops for tempo decks are much more powerful for tempo decks in the two main dragon decks, priest and warrior. However, when playing a control dragon deck, it is really useful to have the flexibility to choose the dragon that you would like based on the situation. If you are playing against aggro, you can snag a low costing dragon so you can contest their aggression, or if the game has progressed enough, you could potentially discover Deathwing. Against a control deck, you can discover a lategame threat which can add a lot of value to your deck.
OtakuMZ: This is a tough one to evaluate. In a meta with a lot of Zoo or other flood decks this can be Doomhammer 2.0. It will give you mostly clear board in one turn, but at the cost of a lot of your health. This could be the dealbreaker because against those mostly aggressive decks, health might run out fast. Against control decks, hitting a big body, e.g. a 8/8 three doesn’t feel good either. Between these extreme cases I see a lot of merit playing this card despite the downside of not being able to deal damage to finish off a weak opponent. It is what warrior was lacking for a long time: a way to remove a bunch of small to mid size minions apart from brawl. We have to see if this weapon remains a tech card against decks that are heavy on small minions or if it sees play rgularily, maybe in combination with Spiteful Smith, Upgrade! or other weapon buffs.
Rating: 3, C
Danny: Fool’s Bane may be one of the coolest mechanics that blizzard has released so far this expansion and in the upcoming meta as I see it, I think this card will be amazing. Being able to attack minions as much as you want on your turn is crazy. This is going to be crazy good against aggro, as most of the time the minions that you are going to be attacking with this card will be going face the next turn anyway, so this card will essentially kills them, and you take the damage that you would be taking anyway. Most aggressive minons, especially in shaman, have 3 or less health, and this card will be able to improve against that matchup significantly This will not be as powerful against control decks, as I believe it will feel really bad to beat down a large minion multiple times. However, it will be pretty good against midrange, as being able to twoshot a midsized minion that you would normally need additional removal for, or a minion to trade into it, like Twilight Guardian or Druid of the Claw seems rather good to me. This card seems rather poor in an aggro deck, but in a tempo or control deck it will be rather good, maybe even an auto-include in tempo decks.
OtakuMZ: This is the least flash of the three cards but I think its the best of all. Ramp Druid or slower druid decks in genereal when not getting a good ramp start can need some healing. Before, we had emergency Ancient of Lore for 5 healing which after the nerf isn’t enough value anymore to be competitively viable. Antique Helabot is also out of Standard. Comparing Moonglade Portal to the latter you might notice the merit of playing it. You get two less healing most probably a significantly stronger body (worst would be Coldlight Seer), normally around 4/4 to 5/5. The downside of the card is, taht the 6-man slot is on the weaker side (compared e.g. to the 8-mana slot) and it has a lot of competition with other highly played meta cards (Sylvanas Windrunner, Emperor Thaurissan, Cairne Bloodhoof, …). Again though, the combination of two effects gives this card the edge IMHO being good.
Danny: I believe that Moonglade Portal will be a rather good card in druid. The main 6-drop that is run in druid is Dark Arakkoa, and that doesn’t fit into token/spell druid decks. When you break the card down, there are two components that are to be considered. The first, and easiest to evaluate is the 6 health that is healed. As seen from other druid healing spells, healing 8 health is equal to around 3 mana, so healing for 6 is probably worth around 2.5 mana. A random 6-drop is a bit more difficult to evaluate, as 6-drops are typically the cards that are stacked with battlecry effects. If the card has a powerful battlecry, the body will be small and worth much less than 6 mana. If you get a 6-drop without a battlecry but a powerful deathrattle (Sylvanas Windrunner, Savannah Highmaine) or end of turn effect (Emperor Thaurissan), the value of the card is at 6 mana, or pushing it up a bit. Overall, I would estimate the mana value of a random 6-drop to be around 4.5 mana. That puts the average Moonglade Portal to have 7 mana worth of value, however with variance, you can get crazy swing turns, or roll short.
Whatever the value of the card actually comes to, this card is filling a spot in token/yogg druid that is currently empty, and I feel that it will fit into the deck rather seamlessly.
This concludes our 6th review. After the “meh” cards at the start of the week, we got some pretty interesting ones yesterday and today which leaves us very excited for the rest. We will put a lot of effort into getting the cards, that will be spoiled later today (or early next morning for EU), to you as soon as possible.We expect that they release all remaining cards, so it might take some time but we are confident to bring all reviews to you by the start of next week, if my work this weekend leaves me alone, it maybe earlier.
Reminder: To view the Hearthstone live stream at 7 PM PDT today (tomorrow morning 4 AM for all fellow EU people) follow the link. Don’t forget to check out the links below too.
Until the next time in Karazhan!