Ashes of Outland, new Hearthstone expansion, has just been announced yesterday, and today we already got eight new cards to see! Since the new expansion is coming April 7, we'll have less than three weeks of card reveals, and so you can expect a lot of new cards every day from now on.
Today, nine cards have been revealed to us, and all look quite powerful, so let's take a closer look and try to understand their place in future meta.
First, let's take a look at the new Shaman cards.
Evolve mechanic is back! Bogstrok Clacker looks like such a strong tempo card at first glance. It has a nice three mana 3/3 body with a powerful effect that can make some serious early tempo swings and favorable trades. In the best-case scenario, you can trade your early game minions, they survive with the small amount of health, and then you basically "heal" them, and possibly even far more than that with a bit of luck.
The bigger the minions you evolve, the bigger the value, of course. This card is very good on its own, and it doesn't even need any particular support ar archetype where you want to play it.
It can go into a Tempo deck for the aforementioned early tempo swings, but you can also put Bogstrok Clacker even into Control/Big Shaman decks, where it will act more as a value card. Trade-in big minions, they stay at low health, and then you just play Bogstrok Clacker and watch the magic happen. It will have a role similar to Neferset Ritualist, but in most of the cases, with the even better outcome!
Speaking of evolve mechanics, say hello to Boggspine Knuckles! If you thought that Evolve was strong, this is 2x Evolve - on a stick! This card looks really strong on paper. It's like a Truesilver Champion and two Evolves on a single card for five mana. That sounds great, right? Well... yes and no. True, it does offer a lot on a single card, and it's a great utility tool in general. Don't get me wrong - it will find its place in some strong decks, that's for sure.
But, the huge problem I have with Boggspine Knuckles is its clunkiness. The main power of Evolve is its ridiculously low price, and therefore how easy you can combine the card with minions you want to evolve. Evolve as a perfect combo for any setup right away. You don't need to wait a turn to execute your Evolve+Doppelgangster/Desert Hare play. You can do it right away.
With Boggspine Knuckles, you either need to set up your board and then pray it will stay, or you need to set up your weapon first, and hope it will not get destroyed. In general, it's a slow, mid to late game card, that requires two-turn setup, and historically evolve decks were usually on an aggressive side of the spectrum.
The third Shaman card we saw today is Torrent. Not much to say about it. It is clearly a card meant to be played in Control decks, with a lot of spells. Five mana eight damage removal is not the worst-case scenario, Flame Lance saw some play back in the day, in Reno decks, but the real power comes from its discount.
Being able to deal three damage to a minion for just three mana is a very efficient way of dealing with beefy threats, and something any control deck would love to have in its arsenal. If the meta shifts to big minions, this card will see play for sure, but the question is - will control shaman have a viable deck? That remains to be seen.
Very much like Renounce Darkness, this card "screams" meme decks. But honestly, it doesn't even look that bad. Yeah, the effect is entirely random, but the buff it gives is quite substantial, and for that reason, you might give it a go. If you transform just two cards, this is already 1-mana "kinda" 4/4 in stats, and everything else is just insane.
Another important thing is that with this card, you don't fully commit to anything, unlike Renounce Darkness, where once you play it, you are all-in. This card can act as a fail-safe for Control/Handlock Warlock. In case you have slow/bad hand against the Aggro/Tempo deck, you just roll your dice and see what you get.
But more importantly, it can act as a late-game value card, especially in a Control vs. Control matchup, where at some point you are stuck with cards in your hand that are deadweight. Well, Shadow Council now gives you a chance to transform that dead hand into something actually useful, with +2/+2 on those new minions as a cherry on the cake, which guarantees that even if you get some smaller Demons, they will still have solid stats for the late game.
Now you have hand follow of potential new threats your opponent has to deal with, and yet have the rest of your deck untouched. For me, that's almost always a win-win situation. And that's why I can see this card played in at least some Warlock decks; Highlander Warlock probably is the most prominent candidate.
Rouge as a class didn't have Secrets from the beginning, as you might know if you play Hearthstone from the early days. First Rogue Secrets were introduced with Kobolds and Catacombs expansion in December 2017. T
hose were Cheat Death, Evasion, and Sudden Betrayal. They were "OK-ish" at best, but that was about it. The biggest problem was the small pool of secrets. With just 3 of them, it was effortless to guess which one will usually be in play at any given moment, and therefore they weren't exactly something "secret" at all.
After two and a half years, Rogue Secrets are now back again, with Ambush being the first one introduced in the new expansion. And it's basically one mana cheaper Emperor Cobra, which isn't that strong, though it's almost guaranteed that you'll have Ambusher on the board as soon as you play the secret. So, the first new revealed secret is pretty average, but what will potentially make "Secret Rogue" into a really strong archetype is Blackjack Stunner.
It is an insanely good card. It's so strong that it's absolutely worth to put into your deck even some horrible secrets, jus to enable him. It's a one-mana cheaper Freezing Trap on a 1/2 body, where YOU choose when and what to put back into the hand.
You can even put your minion back if that's something you need at the moment. It works in the same way as Freezing Trap, so if you put back 9 or 10 coast minions, it will be a dead card since it will cost 11/12 mana, and your opponent won't be able to play it. One of the best cards we've seen from this expansion at the moment.
This week we saw some significant changes to Priest Classic and Basic sets.
From these changes, we think that the Priest will develop into two directions. One being good old control Priest, and other some variations of Tempo Priest builds, and Dragonmaw Overseer jumps right into that Tempo archetype perfectly.
If you have any minion on the board when you play it, you can look at this card as three mana 4/4 that will keep snowballing if the opponent doesn't deal with it immediately. Some of us remember how easily Shadow Ascendant snowballed a lot of Tempo Priest games when it was in the meta, and this card might even be stronger, albeit a bit slower. It's basically Iron Sensei, but for any type of minion, and has the potential to be scary in the right meta.
The only neutral card we saw revealed on Wednesday is Mo'arg Artificer. It's a neutral Demon with really strong stats and the effect that's quite unique for Hearthtostone - all minions take double damage from spells. From the design (overstated minion for two mana), it should be seen as a negative drawback.
Still, I can immediately see this card in Aggro Dragon Hunters, for example, where you can deal with an insane amount of damage with Corrosive Breath. Besides that, it has an obvious place in various control decks with a big AoE spell that can double the board clear damage for only two mana and still have Mo'arg on the board. Definitely an exciting card with a lot of implications, and I like it because it is unique and opens up a lot of new ways of deckbuilding.
Finally, we saw two new Demon Hunter cards, but we'll talk about them in our "Demon Hunter special" ones when all Demon Hunter cards are being revealed.
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