camzee-gvg-top-rated-cards

Introduction

Hey all,

Camzeee here with my top 10 most underrated GvG cards.

It’s now a whole month since GvG’s release and the meta has officially been shaken up.

However, some cards have already far exceeded expectations and made a name for themselves.

Surprisingly, a lot of the best cards in the expansion (so far) are ones which were overlooked.

I’m going to write-up a little bit for each card and why it’s underrated and also include a list of decks where it’s most effective.

Here’s the list.

10. Annoy-o-tron

This card surpassed my expectations and a lot of other peoples’ as well.

A 1/2 with divine shield is like a slightly more buff Goldshire Footman

 right?

Wrong.

The Divine Shield  on this makes it able to tank at least two hits and in the early game, taking two hits before going down as a taunt can give you great tempo.

It’s also a Mech and is a staple in those tribal builds for its early game durability and late game utility for pushing tempo.

On paper it’s weak, but like Force-Tank MAX

, Divine Shield is an often overlooked ability and is very powerful.

Perhaps we should have learned with Sludge Belcher

that an additional Goldshire Footman body is not to be trifled with!

Good in: Any Mech Tribal Deck, Hobgoblin Druid, Blood Knight Paladin

9. Bomb Lobber

This card had the word random in it which turned a lot of people off it.

However, they were all proven wrong because Bomb Lobber is a strong card that gives great tempo.

One of the big reasons it’s a good card is that its Battlecry specifies minions rather than enemy characters. This means you can manipulate the board so that there is only one target that Bomb Lobber can hit.

The Lobber looks overpriced or at least dead-even in the vanilla test since it has a 3/3 body which is the standard for 3 mana and the effect of Flamecannon

a 2 mana spell.

But its strength is in its duality. This is a pattern with some of the cards that make it on the list.

I didn’t think much of Bomb Lobber either, but if you can control where the 4 dmg goes, I see it now as an Argent Commander

for 5 mana which is fabulous value.

Sadly, Bomb Lobber has yet to make a big splash in the competitive scene instead making a name for itself in arena.

I do think however it can become a card that sees competitive play because of its excellent tempo possibilities.

Good in: Arena, Midrange Paladin, Midrange Shaman

8. Hobgoblin

A 2/3 for 3 mana? That’s atrocious.

Thankfully, Hobgoblin has a really interesting and powerful effect which has made it surprisingly effective in custom decks.

I recently got wrecked by a Hobgoblin Warrior deck that buffed up Warbot

s. I really thought this card wasn’t going to be good enough, yet tales of Hobgoblin Druid decks making it all the way to legend are rife among online boards.

The card might just be one of the expansions’ defining cards since it gives previously overlooked cards some serious boosts and could work better and better as the game expands and gets more cards.

I’m not going to say it’s an amazing card, but it’s certainly performed above expectation and I love that people are experimenting and finding success.

Now if only they could make

viable…

Good in: Hobgoblin Druid, Hobgoblin Warrior

7. Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil

Officially the most annoying card in the game to say or write out in its entirety.

Jokes aside, this card looked extremely mediocre going into GvG. It gives a tiny bit more attack than Deadly Poison

yet costs a whole 3 mana more.

However, this card allows some extremely powerful turns and combos very well with Rogue’s current spell set.

Blade Flurry

in particular is going to really hurt with this out and I’ve taken 9 dmg to face from a buffed Assassin's Blade
followed by a blade flurry which ended me on the spot.

It’s also really strong in arena where the additional damage especially when comboed can lead to some devastating turns. It’s a fantastic card to play when you have the board and tempo, and it suits Rogue well.

The one weakness with it is that it’s costed a little bit high for a Rogue spell and as a result doesn’t really fit into a Miracle Rogue playstyle (although the archetype is dying anyhow).

Still an underrated card though, and can certainly pour damage on in the right circumstances.

Good in: Arena, Tempo Rogue

6. Bolvar Fordragon

I’ll have me some of that humble pie, please. I was quite wrong on Bolvar and I’ll admit it.

In my initial review, I gave Bolvar a C and said that it’s one of the worst cards, never mind Legendaries, in the expansion.

A month on, and I’ve put Bolvar in my Paladin decks quite often, and I’ve been surprised almost every game at how decent he is.

On paper, he really doesn’t look good though to be fair. He’s a huge silence target, is situational, and needs to sit in your hand to be effective.

To top it off, he doesn’t have any special attributes that aid him once he’s on the battlefield.

However, one of the things I majorly overlooked when reviewing Bolvar, is the fact that you can control when you play him and therefore control his power level.

Need a card to play on 5 as a body? Sure a 4/7 or 5/7 is alright. Want to keep him out of BGH range? Play him as a 6/7 five mana Boulderfist Ogre

.

Opponent exhausted silence or you want to bait it out? how about a 10/7. Sometimes, you can even build him up so big that he’s a game-ender in fatigue.

My record so far is a 32/7. He does a good job in a late-game Paladin where you have numerous high-value targets and Bolvar is one of the more expendable ones.

Yes, it’s not exactly the glorious role he was envisioning, but someone has to take those Polymorphs and Hexes, and for 5 mana, he’ll make your opponent reach for those options much more often than the likes of Sludge Belcher

or Loatheb
.

Good in: Late-game Control Paladin, Midrange Paladin

5. Muster for Battle

While I’m eating humble pie for Bolvar, I’m firmly in the ‘I told you so’ camp for this card. I knew this one was good.

Muster for Battle has far exceeded many people’s expectations for a number of reasons.

First off, it’s that term duality again. Combining two lesser card effects into one can have powerful outcomes.

Yes, playing 3 wisps by itself is a terrible play and Light’s Justice isn’t going to make a comeback anytime soon, but this card delivers because it does all of these things at once.

The effect of combining all these cards is an instant board presence which allows for far easier Equality

clears, combos with Quartermaster
and a nice 1 dmg ping on arrival.

Seeing an opponent Muster for Battle makes me groan every time if I’m playing anything but Control Priest with Pyromancer.

Granted, since Quartermaster was a last minute reveal, people couldn’t have foreseen the combo potential between those cards, but I still maintain that Muster for Battle is an underrated card even without the Quartermaster because it accomplishes things that Paladin traditionally struggles with.

It also works great with Knife Juggler

, and that synergy has proven extremely handy time and again for me.

Good in: Midrange Paladin

4. Shieldmaiden

Admittedly, this one really slipped by me. This card was very underrated going into the expansion and it has already secured a spot in Control Warrior as a staple.

Much of my reluctance to give this card a better grade is its somewhat underwhelming card text. A 5/5 for 6 mana that gives 5 armor. It looks so bland and unexciting.

It’s also quite a bit like other cards in the game which have traditionally been overlooked like Priestess of Elune

and Guardian of Kings
(to a lesser extent).

However, Shieldmaiden stands out from them because it gives ARMOR rather than health. This is incredibly useful to a Warrior especially in a fast metagame.

Armor allows them to utilize Shield Slam

easier, it gives them more leeway to attack with weapons and it works better combined with Alexstrasza
. There are so many ways that armor is beneficial to a Warrior player.

In addition, the 5 mana 5/5 body holds up very well against popular threats like Sludge Belcher

or Mechanical Yeti
. It trades with other 6 drops as well like Sylvanas Windrunner
and generally is pretty sturdy.

It may seem unexciting, but it’s effective and that’s all the incentive you need. It’s also a great reminder of that term – Duality again. Two lesser effects accomplished by other cards that works very well when combined.

Good in: Control Warrior

3. Antique Healbot

This card is one of my favorites from the set as a Handlock and control player. It’s also performed much better than I could have anticipated.

An 8 health heal is a huge amount, and I didn’t quite register that when looking at it on the surface. Often, this card can straight up save you in aggro matchups, and it does splendid work in any deck that is interested in playing a longer game.

The dual offerings of 8 health and a 3/3 body are combined to great effect in Healbot, and it also fills a niche that hasn’t been filled yet in effective neutral healing.

I love that this card is a part of the game and it opens up the possibility of playing slow control decks even in a faster metagame.

It also gives Shaman it’s first legitimately big heal and enables some different playstyles for the class.

I hope more cards like this that encourage control decks are introduced to the metagame in future because right now, it’s holding the fort practically alone.

Good in: Handlock, Mid-late Shaman, Late-game Paladin, Tree of Life Druid, Ramp Druid, Fatigue Mage

2. Imp-losion

I’ve been continually amazed at how fantastic this card is.

Yet again, there’s that word ‘random’ in it which puts players off, but it’s so consistently good that even if it hits for just 2 dmg, that’s often good enough.

The reason this card is propelled to almost broken levels in Zoo or aggro Warlock decks, is its board swinging potential. 1/1 imps are not easy to remove outside of AOE and there’s only a limited amount of that in most decks.

Zoo decks, in which this card features, are also the best suited to leveraging the power of the imps to get full value.

Cards like Abusive Sergeant

and Defender of Argus
can augment the measly 1 attack of the imps to more respectable levels and make trades with minions much higher up the ladder.

There’s been talk among players about impending nerfs for this card. I for one am on board with reducing the number of imps that get generated or more practically, giving fewer imps for higher damage rolls.

The sheer fact that Imp-losion is getting nerf calls  is a sign that it’s making a real impact and it most certainly is leaving a rather large zoo-like crater on the metagame.

It’s caught many people by surprise, and I’m going to bang on this gong again – duality.

Good in: Zoolock, Aggro Warlock

1. Dr. Boom

Who else but the good doctor himself? This card was consistently overlooked by both pros and the community at large in the lead-up to GvG’s release.

The smokescreen here is the 7/7 *War Golem

* body of Dr. Boom. People took one look at the main body, saw a really poor card that’s never used in constructed play, and wrote it off even with the little Boom Bot
s tagging along.

It turns out that those little fellas make a world of difference.

Not only are they controllable 1/1 tokens, they explode for even more damage. This makes them extremely tricky to remove and they are very effective at dealing with a board of mid-range creatures.

Dr. Boom’s bots also have the favorable ‘Mech’ tribal designation which synergizes with the likes of Tinkertown Technician

and Goblin Blastmage
really well.

To cap it off, providing extra bodies is useful in a number of decks like Combo Druid and any control deck running Defender of Argus

.

Dr. Boom fits into almost all mid-range and late-game decks just for the raw stat output (9/9 for 7 mana) and the additional damage from the bots is just the gravy on top.

So far, there has been no card in GvG more complained about (the random nature of the damage doesn’t help either) and it’s a testament to just how powerful Dr. Boom is that its impact has been this large.

What’s more amazing than that though is how few people saw it coming. It truly was the most underrated card in GvG.

Good in: Combo Druid, Control Warrior, Control Paladin, Mech Mage, Handlock, Mid-range Shaman, everything but aggro basically.

Conclusion

To cap off, I want to stress a few key features among the cards that overperformed their expectations.

  • Duality – Cards that performed the role of two other weaker cards combined were very consistently overlooked.
  • Poor base stats – A number of the cards on the list have base stat values that are much weaker than the mana cost at which they’re positioned. This made them easy to write off.
  • Random effects – This was the primary criticism of the GvG expansion pre-release. Random effects can cause players to overlook a card despite it having higher than average potential.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it.

If you want to see my initial review impressions, just click on my name “Camzeee” and you’ll spot the impressions spread over 6 parts.

Share your most underrated cards below in the comments. Any and all feedback is appreciated.

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