With another day comes another Blizzard expansion! Knights of the Frozen Throne releases on Thursday, August 8th 2017 and brings with it 135 new cards. If you listen to our silverware show, The Spoon Deep Podcast, then you know that we have only mentioned Hearthstone a few times. Nevertheless, we have reached out to our resident expert PandaExpress to give you details on which cards you should craft with all that extra Arcane Dust. Here are the Top 5 cards that will impact the Hearthstone meta in huge ways.
One of the most exciting things about Knights of the Frozen Throne are the new Death Knight Hero cards. These cards replace your hero and give you a new hero power, similar to the now retired Lord Jaraxxus. One of the more exciting Death Knight cards is for the Hunter class. Hunter has not been the best performing class in Un’goro Standard and I’m excited to see what changes helped this class in Frozen Throne. I think that this is one of the better Death Knight Heroes available. First it has an immediate effect on the board that deals 2 damage to all enemy minions, which is a great way to catch up on a losing board. One of the downsides to playing hunter is that it has little card draw. However, the most exciting part of this card is the new Hero Power: Craft a custom Zombeast. This hero power is able to create card advantage from cards that have died this game. Being able to “Create a beast” out of the keywords that were on the cards that died is very strong. I think this pushes Hunter into a more Midrange/Control list rather than an aggressive list. I definitely see this card in just about every hunter list, maybe being cut if the list is more aggro.
Probably the most powerful weapon in the game is Death’s Bite. Unfortunately we don’t have access to that card in standard, but we do have the new Warrior card Blood Razor. The attack on the weapon is a little disappointing at 2/2 but, if we add the 1 point of damage from the Battlecry it is pretty powerful. And then don’t forget the additional 1 point of damage from Deathrattle! Damage to your own minions is not usually a big deal in Warrior since a lot of your minions want to get damaged, such as Acolyte of Pain, Armorsmith, and the new Val’kyr Soulclaimer. The whirlwind effect is a great execute and sleep with the fishes enabler. I don’t see this card in pirate warrior, but I think this will be played in Quest Warrior, and maybe a new enrage deck in Frozen Throne.
Warlock is another class that has been having a hard time finding its way into the meta. Not even zoo lists are popular today. Quest Warlock is very inconsistent sometimes discarding your win-condition and HandLock gets run over by token druid and pirate warrior. We do have some new tools in Frozen Throne that I hope will help the class. Let’s look at the worst case scenario of the new Defile. This is 2 mana deal 1 damage to all minions. If this kills a creature you are using one card to kill one of their minions for 2 mana. Not bad, a poor whirlwind effect. Now let’s say you killed one of your opponent’s minions, now it becomes a 2 mana deal 2 damage to all minions, a better volcanic potion. If the second round kills another minion you get 3 damage to all minions! And so on! So this card can get a lot of value but I do think that this requires a little deckbuilding restriction. Obviously this card damages your own minions so early creatures will probably be unwise unless you want them to get hurt (Acolyte of pain, eggs, Deathrattle minions). This is a pretty powerful early game removal that can scale later in the game. This might be what a handlock is missing to survive the pressure from aggro decks.
So this card hasn’t been talked about too much, but I think that it might be a sleeper card in Knights of the Frozen Throne. We all know how much of a pain Lotheb was when he was around, taxing your opponent for that one turn really could lock them out of the rest of the game with that tempo swing. Now this card is obviously not Lotheb, it is a little bit more expensive and it also affects you as well. But, with a little deckbuilding and reducing the amount of spells in your deck, I think this could find its way to counter some of the more spell based control decks. Taxation effects haven’t really found too much popularity in Hearthstone yet, other than Lotheb, but I think that this card has actually good stats and might find its way into a midrange deck. It’s one of those cards that you’re not sure of how much it is actually affecting your opponent without being able to know their hand, which makes it hard to evaluate the value you’re getting. I look forward to seeing if it makes it into any lists.
A ten mana card has to do a lot in order to see play in constructed. It has to impact the board the turn it’s played and put you in the position to win the game. Ultimate Infestation does this and more. So what does this card do? Deal 5 damage and summon a 5/5 is already a powerful mechanic that removes an opponent’s minion and gives you a minion, flipping the board control.
Gain 5 armor is another great way to pull from behind if you are low on life. Even though this is a druid only card you might take some damage getting to 10 mana. And oh yeah, draw 5 cards! Wow this card has a lot going on and is oozing value. Getting to 10 mana is not even that hard because you’re playing Druid that has Innervate, Wild Growth, and a lot of lists are playing Nourish. So this card could end up being played on turn 7 or 8.
I think decks will include at least 1 copy in the current Jade Druid list and we might see just a large Ramp Druid list come up with this as one of the best payoff cards you can play. I don’t see it as an auto include 2 copies just because of its mana cost but, some greedy lists might be able to squeeze it in.