Who else is exhausted from queuing into Hearthstone Pirate Warriors on ladder and getting smacked in the face for 12 damage on turn 4? I don't know if Journey to Un'Goro will add up to be the aggro-tamer that the majority of us probably hope it'll be, but I can say that there have been some pretty interested cards revealed so far. Hey, there's even a tech card that destroys a Pirate. It's not that bad, either.
Not only does Journey to Un'Goro tease us all with the prospect of control decks finally rising up and forcing aggro into the backseat again, it marks a completely new Hearthstone year and set rotation. With the new cards coming in, old ones will be leaving. It's been nice knowing Azure Drake, but it's time for that big guy to take a hike. Let's get some freshness in this meta!
Here are the 10 best cards that have been revealed so far for Hearthstone's upcoming expansion, Journey to Un'Goro.
Blizzard came out with sleeves rolled up to introduce the new Quest card type -- and who better than Hunter to give the best one to? Hunter has been in shambles ever since Patches the Pirate and Small-Time Buccaneer emerged, but I really think that this card can change that.
The thing about Quest cards is that they're supposed to incentivize the player to go out of their way and do things they normally wouldn't, but almost every Hunter archetype in the past year has had five or more 1-Cost minions being played anyway.
Doing this quest is just playing the game for Hunter, but there's still that drawback of effectively starting the game with one less card than your opponent (as the Quest card always starts in your hand). The upside is that when you get Queen Carnassa, you win the game.
The 15 Raptors that Queen Carnassa shuffles into your deck are all 1-Cost, 3/2 tokens with a Battlecry that draws you a card. Absolutely insane.
North Sea Kraken is one of the most crushing late-game Arena cards, but it never really saw any play in Constructed (apart from a few Astral Communion decks). Blazecaller is a much better version of that card, and it's going to be very different. You will see this one in Constructed.
Cards that immediately have an effect on the board state are incredibly powerful, and this is practically a requirement for 7-Cost cards and higher. The swing that happens when Blazecaller's Battlecry goes off will be enough to put Elemental Druid decks into a comfortable position in the late game. And from there, cards like Kalimos are just going to choke the opponent out.
This card is great: high-impact and statted nicely.
If you aren't happy to see this ugly little guy, chances are that you've been one of the Aggro Shaman or Pirate Warrior players dominating the ladder for the past few months. Guess what happens when you equip that Arcanite Reaper and buff if to a 7/4 now? People are going to be spending less than half the mana you did to destroy it, get 7 Armor out of it, and put a respectable-sized minion on the board.
Weapon removal is so important in Hearthstone, and this card is going to be played even more than Acidic Swamp Ooze. It's the new standard of this card type.
Reno Jackson is rotating out of Standard when Journey to Un'Goro drops. You thought that meant no more "getting rich" and going from 4 to 30 Health on turn 6, right? Well, now Priests are going to be going to 40 Health instead. It won't be as soon as turn 6 -- but when this Quest gets completed and Amara comes into play, it's not going to be a fun time for the opponent.
This Quest is going to make N'Zoth Priest a serious contender as a top-tier deck. Amara is going to have people building sticky decks with Deathrattle minions that are tuned for the early and mid game, and then N'Zoth and Amara are going to come down and enable disgusting swings. If a Priest gets one or two more dangerous Deathrattles in this expansion, this archetype will be a powerhouse.
Kalimos is another part of the new Elemental card tribe. Shaman becomes the first class on my list with two cards, and both are of this tribe. Both work beautifully together, too.
On turn 7, Blazecaller comes down and drills a minion for 5. On turn 8, Kalimos has free reign to do whatever else is needed. Here are the Elemental Invocations:
This card's flexibility makes it ridiculous. Following my example of the Blazecaller-into-Kalimos line, you can start to push for tempo with Air or Earth. The only questionable Elemental Invocation, to me, is Fire. Face damage just doesn't seem like the right direction for a deck playing a card like this. However, spending 8 mana for a 7/7 and nearly a Flamestrike sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Water can also help you claw back and put yourself out of range of being threatened for lethal.
This card will definitely see play in the competitive sphere.
Don't let this card fool you. It looks small and simple, but it's not. There is insane value in being able to effectively trigger an exact draw in Constructed. You can build your deck around one or two different Secrets, and this card is your ticket to getting to it.
It's not Mad Scientist, but it's pretty close. Mad Scientist created the problem where you'd sometimes be forced to play out a Secret at less-than-optimal times. While you don't get a 3-Cost Secret for free, you are given that card draw and you get to choose when to put it into play.
Now, that's not too beneficial when you consider that the two most-played Mage Secrets are Ice Barrier and Ice Block (which can be played at almost any time and be fine), but there are secrets like Mirror Entity and Mana Bind. There may even be another new Secret that we've yet to see revealed. This card is strong either way. Don't overlook it.
I think a lot of people shrug their shoulders at Sunkeeper Tarim because Paladin has had a similar 3/7 Legendary that turned out to be a dud. This one's different though. Paying 6 mana for a 3/7 isn't ideal, but it's far from back-breaking.
This card has some real potential in token-based Paladin decks. The Battlecry effect is flexible in that it can empower your minions and/or deflate your opponent's. The body on Tarim is really strong due to the fact that it's going to require two hits from those 3/3s, and a Hero Power, to take care of. The card is statted perfectly for what it's put out there to do -- defensively at least -- but I'm really interested to see where this card gets used offensively.
Lost in the Jungle is another new Paladin card, where for 1 mana you summon two 1/1 Silver Hand Recruits. If you combo this with Tarim on turn 7, you're getting 9/13 worth of stats, on three bodies, for 7 mana, with the potential to cripple your opponent's 6-drop.
Blizzard has made it clear that they intend to continue to push the discard mechanic for Warlocks, being that both of the revealed Legendaries for this class revolve around it. Clutchmother Zavas is perfect for a Zoo Warlock deck that revolves around this mechanic -- because not only does it get stronger on discards, but it never actually discards.
Zoo players have been fine with the trade-off of discards, being that there are cards right now that let you draw or play cards based on discards. But Zavas wraps up a negation of the effect and allows you to strictly benefit from it. Keep in mind that Doomguard is a 5/7 minion, with Charge, for 5 mana. It's supposed to discard two cards. If Zavas is one of those cards, there's no downside to Doomguard. Who cares about a single withdraw when you're just generated 7/9 in power for 5 mana?
Ah, an unfairly-proportioned body on a mid-range card. That's exactly what Priest needed more of, right? Priest has become a class of "fat-bottomed" cards with 2/6 and 3/6 stat lines, and it's a nightmare for aggro decks. To make it even better, this guy has Taunt and a Deathrattle effect that empowers another one of your minions.
So, breaking that down:
Don't let the Common rarity fool you -- this card is powerful.
Last but not least, we've got another interesting board clear for Warlocks. DOOM! may have been unplayable, but this one's not.
Corrupting Mist is a really slow board clear that control-based Warlock decks are going to fit into their list. It can affect your own minions -- and it isn't like Doomsayer, where it discourages the opponent from playing a card on their next turn. Also unlike Doomsayer, this card is pretty much guaranteed to go off.
The combo of Corrupting Mist and then a Taunt might just be strong enough in the late game to give Warlocks the breathing room they need to catch up on board and start slamming down power plays like Lord Jaraxxus.
With just 61 of Journey to Un'Goro's 135 total cards revealed so far, we've seen a promising start and I'm hoping for an exciting finish. Journey to Un'Goro is set to launch in early April, so get to grinding that gold so you can get those packs!