Just a week before the release of the next Hearthstone expansion -- Journey to Un’Goro -- Blizzard has finally revealed all 135 new cards from the set. Now we can estimate the impact of some of these cards on the meta, and decide which of them should be crafted immediately.
As usually, Journey to Un’Goro includes many new legendaries, and this time we even have the first legendary spells -- the so-called Quests. These spells offer some exciting fresh mechanics, so they are truly the most powerful cards of this set.
Apart from legendaries there are some great cards of other rarities as well. Here is what this top selection includes:
On its own this little beast may not be that appealing, but if you include it in the Marsh Queen deck, then things suddenly start to look very intriguing, because you get two 1-mana minions and one of them has 4/3 stats, which is nuts.
In Arena this card is more than welcome, as you need as many cheap and strong minions as you can get. So this card will definitely see play in most Hunter decks.
Elemental-based decks are obviously going to be OP in this meta. There are tons of new Elementals in Journey to Un’Goro and they synergize very well with each other. Like this minion for example, that gives you a strong Taunt for only 4 mana.
It will be auto-included in all Elemental decks, since it is a neutral minion. However, in the Arena it may be a bit difficult to get too many Elementals, but who says you can’t try it out.
Here is another example of a great Elemental card that discovers another Elemental and thus keeps the Elemental-train going. It is possible that with the help of cards like this your Elemental-based deck will never get short of strong minions.
Shaman will especially gain tons of value from this mechanic that will procure many more players to play it and make it a dominating class for at least another whole year.
This card is very similar to Lock’n’Load spell that rotates out in the Year of the Mammoth. But instead of generating a spell it adds a new beast to your hand, which becomes extremely handy in this minion-heavy meta.
It is a truly great spell that will make Hunter class even stronger, especially with this new swarm of all the cheap 1-mana minions in Journey to Un’Goro.
One could say that Hunter doesn’t need to change his hero power, because it’s already the best hero power in the game. But with the recent surge of huge minions and control decks, Dinomancy will actually have a huge impact on the Hunter class.
You can keep buffing your beasts each turn and increase the value of each minion to an insane degree. Obviously this will be huge on Arena, too.
When this card was revealed during the special event with Ben Brode, the game’s director, it demonstrated an incredible power and dominance over the entire course of demonstration. You just keep stacking it with more and more buffs until it dies and returns all those spells back to your hand.
Paladin didn’t get that many good cards this expansion, but this one little Murloc fully compensates for the rest of the underwhelming minions in Un’Goro.
At one point in time Mage class had an Unstable Portal spell, a card that added a random minion to your hand. This is something similar, but instead minions you Discover more spells, which is a much better mechanic than the random effect.
On the other hand, it works great with the new Mage Quest that can give you an extra turn -- which gives you an absolutely massive advantage over any opponent.
Here comes the dread of all Pirate Warriors! This Ooze not only destroys your opponent’s weapon, but also gives you armor equal to its attack. Considering that most Warriors buff their weapons to unbelievable numbers, gaining all that armor will be especially satisfying.
On Arena this card may not be as impactful, because it’s not that easy to get any weapons at all. But it will see play nonetheless, although a vanilla Ooze for 2 mana may be a better choice in this case.
Basically, Blazecaller is a buffed Fire Elemental, but since it is a neutral minion, it can be played by any other class and not just Shaman. It has a super strong effect, and at this point in meta having a 5-damage Battlecry is truly OP.
Its only drawback is the requirement of a previously played Elemental that makes it that much weaker on Arena, but this seems to be the case with most other cards from Un’Goro.
This Priest Quest is the only hope for people who lose Reno Jackson after the rotation. If you accomplish the quest, you get to play Amara -- a minion that sets your hero’s health to 40. So it not only heals you fully, but adds extra 10 HPs.
In this regard it is even stronger than Reno Jackson that required you to have only 1 copy of each card, but with Awaken The Makers you can play 2 copies without hesitation.
There is a hope that Control Warrior will return to the meta with the help of Sulfuras -- a reward-weapon that gives you the Ragnaros hero power. So even if you’re out of minions and damage spells by the end of the match, you’ll still be able to deal 8 damage to your opponent every turn.
The coolest thing is that Sulfuras is extremely cheap -- only 3 mana, and can be played along with other cards, unlike most of the other expensive legendaries.
Kun/Aviana Druid has gained some strong popularity and respect in the last few months. Unfortunately, Aviana is rotating out, but this new Druid Quest is a much better deal, since its reward-minion -- Barnabus -- makes all other minions in your deck completely free.
The only problem that this deck will have is: How to get the card-draw engine going? So, if you’re planning on playing this Quest, don’t forget to include two Nourish spells in your deck.
At first you think that this would be a great choice for Control Warlock, but after a short consideration you realize that it best fits in the Zoolock archetype.
Discardlock has become the thing recently, and since Zoo needs to have minions on board at all times -- Lakkari Sacrifice suddenly looks very yummy.
But who knows, maybe people will come up with some sort of Hybrid Midrange Discard Warlock that will work wonders in the Year of the Mammoth.
This Mage Quest probably has the highest potential of them all. Extra turn can be a serious threat for any class, considering that most Mage decks will have some sort of OTK combo associated with it from now on.
Currently, there are two options you could explore. First involves Alexstraza and Arcane Giants, and the second one involves Antonidas, Sorcerer’s Apprentice (4 copies), Molten Reflection (2 copies) and some cheap spell to generate Fireballs -- the result would be the famous Exodia Mage combo.
At last, Hunter will return in full force this time, after a long period of absence from the meta. This quest is easy to do and the result is overwhelming. As of now, this new archetype has been proclaimed the Zoo Hunter, and that is a truly suitable name for it.
The great thing about this Quest is that it will be viable in Arena, because Hunter will have a decent amount of 1-drops to choose from.
This and the new Warlock Quest can turn Discardlock into one of the most dominating classes in this meta. Suddenly, all those cards with Discard mechanic, which you never wanted to play before, look awfully appealing.
There is one odd thing about this card -- it’s a beast, which is a rare breed for Warlock class. Maybe, just maybe, Blizzard wants us to play Curator in Warlock. But that’s just an idea.
Some people compare Umbra to Brann Bronzebeard that leaves the Standard format, but instead of a minion’s Battlecry it sort of triggers the Deathrattle twice -- one time alongside Umbra and second time after it dies.
Just imagine playing Aya Blackpaw or Tirion Fordring when this is on board. Yeah, you got it right -- it’s already broken!
If you enjoyed playing Djinni of Zephyr, then you will be a fan of The Voraxx, too. More than that, it’s much cheaper and you can play more buffs on it in one turn. Since Paladin is the class with the most amount of buff spells, it will suit the class perfectly.
Another possibility is Hunter with Explorer’s Hat spells -- as a result you will have many more Explorer’s Hats in your hand.
Consider that the Un’goro Pack rewarded by this legendary minion can be opened and played right away during the match, and the developers have reassured us that it will have a higher rate of legendary and epic cards than your usual packs.
This makes it a great card to play in Mage and Druid. Mage has a new Quest that grants it an extra turn, which can be used to play the new cards. While Druid’s Quest makes all minions cost 0, so it’s a win-win situation for both of these classes.
There are four types of Invocation that can be cast by the Kalimos: fire, water, air, and earth. Fire Invocation deals 6 damage to the enemy hero; Water Invocation restores 12 health to your hero; Air Invocation deals 3 damage to all enemy minions, and Earth Invocation fills your board with 1/1 Elementals.
This is by far the most versatile legendary in the entire set, and it belongs to Shaman, unsurprisingly. It does look like Blizzard is still focused on keeping this class very strong, and we don’t mind if it gets cards like Kalimos.
What are your favorite cards from Journey to Un’Goro? Do you like the overall flavor of the new set? Share your thoughts in the comments section.