CM1 - Loot Hoarder Long 1
In our first ever edition of Card Mania, we will be looking at an all-time favourite; the Loot Hoarder!

Always roll need.

Lore

For those of you who have never played an MMORPG in your entire life (I find that hard to believe), a Loot Hoarder is someone who, well… hoards loot?

In MMORPGs, raid bosses often drop equipment which has to be “rolled” on. All players involved in the boss kill get a chance to “roll” a virtual dice for the piece of loot which drops. Often, players will “pass” on the chance to get the loot if they already have a better item/the item doesn’t suit their needs.

Well, normally that would be the case… until you get a Loot Hoarder in your party. Needless to say, they aren’t exactly popular.

Stats

  • Type: Minion
  • Rarity: Common
  • Cost: 2
  • Stats: 2/1
  • Ability: Deathrattle: Draw a card.
  • Class: Any

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Strategy

Once upon a time, Novice Engineer was a 1/2 minion who drew you a card when played. Those days however, are long gone; the little gnome is now unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see it) a 1/1 minion.

Having 2 health meant that she could not be killed by most Hero Powers, making her almost always a better pick than Loot Hoarder in a deck for card cycling. On top of having a better stat distribution, her card draw was also guaranteed and immediate.

Loot Hoarder, however, comes with a few more flaws. Having 1 health means he is vulnerable to all Hero Powers, including Paladin and Shaman tokens.

His card draw is NOT guaranteed, as he can be Silenced before being killed (though it is unlikely you will see a Silence wasted on a Loot Hoarder outside of Shaman’s Earth Shock).

Despite this, he does have his perks. Having 2 attack means he deals slightly more damage and has the ability to trade upwards with some 2 mana creatures. Having a delayed card draw is worse than having an immediate one, but arguably better than having none at all.

Having a smaller deck size by virtue of card draw increases your deck’s consistency: that power alone makes Loot Hoarder viable despite having low stats for his cost (he fails the vanilla test for a 2 drop). While being pinged off by a Hero Power is an issue, it does actually slow the opponent down by 2 mana for a turn.

In that respect, he is actually better than Novice Engineer, because aside from Mages, Druids and Rogues will take more damage from killing off a Loot Hoarder.

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Loot Hoarder in the Current Meta

Loot Hoarder is a fantastic card in decks which want to reduce their effective deck size while playing a tempo-oriented game. He can also be played in swarm decks, as opponents usually won’t have the time to kill him while they are busy dealing with other more threatening minions on the board.

Thus, Loot Hoarder often fulfills 2 roles at once when played in a tempo-oriented deck. He acts as a card draw and also places a relatively annoying (yes, they are annoying in both MMORPGs and Hearthstone) body on the board. He can often be used to bait out Area of Effect (AoE) removal as he replaces himself with a card even if he dies.

Due to the nature of his Deathrattle, Loot Hoarder is a minion you almost always want to use to trade; this makes temporary buffing cards incredibly strong on him. Dire Wolf Alpha/Flametongue Totem conga line + Loot Hoarder as a buffing body is incredible value!

Therefore, he is sometimes seen on Warlock, Hunter or the rare Shaman with Bloodlust. He also has an interesting synergy with Void Terror, though the card is often gimmicky to work in the current meta.

Tempo Rogues also make use of Loot Hoarder due to his ability to trade with the opponent’s two mana minions; they aim to establish early dominance and snowball off that early board presence.

As such, an even mana trade is often in a Tempo Rogue’s favour as Valeera can usually pull slightly ahead through efficient Combo cards and weapons. He is also a relatively low costing minion, and serves as a decent mid game Combo activator.

The deck Loot Hoarder is most commonly seen in, however, is Token Druid. Token Druid often presents a 2 way problem for the opponents to deal with when Loot Hoarder is played.

Not dealing with the Loot Hoarder may result in the Druid buffing him up with Power of the Wild or Savage Roar. Killing it in the early game with your Hero Power often clamps up your mana, preventing you from playing minions, letting the Druid populate the board on turns 3-4 with his Harvest Golems and Violet Teachers.

Thus, Loot Hoarder is perfect on Token Druids due to their limited card draw engines (Ancient of Lores, Azure Drakes) and over-reliance on a few particular cards to close out games (Savage Roar, Force of Nature).

I have sung many praises for this little bugger, but he is not without flaws. Against Shamans, he might end up providing terrible value, trading your 2 mana for his 1 mana, without you replacing a card due to Earth Shock’s Silence effect.

Having no immediate card draw effect makes him a terrible card to draw in a “topdeck war”. His small body means he is of little value to heavy control decks, as he often doesn’t offer enough raw power to justify his card replacement, and is often passed over in favour of other minions with higher draw potential or bigger bodies (Acolyte of Pain and Azure Drakes are great examples).

Looking towards the future and Baron Rivendale’s doubling of Deathrattle effects, we can definitely see Loot Hoarder as a staple in Deathrattle decks. 2 cards for 2 mana is like an Arcane Intellect with a 2/1 body. That value.

Loot Hoarder might not be as good as pre-nerf Novice Engineer, but as long as we are playing a card game (I am still waiting for the day Milling Decks become top tier), he will find his way in the meta as a form of cheap card cycling.

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Synergy

Good Against/With

  • 2 Health Minions
  • Baiting out AoE
  • Early-Mid Game Decks which Lack Reliable Card Draw Engines (Tempo Rogue, Aggro/Midrange Paladin, Token Druid, Aggro Warrior)
  • Token Decks

 Bad Against/With

  • Shaman’s Earth Shock
  • Sucks in Top-Deck Wars
  • Heavy Top End Control Decks

Interestingly, Loot Hoarder has maximum value against Raid Leader. Not only does he trade 2 mana for 3, he also draws a card!

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- xNVx

xNVx is a legend player in Hearthstone, and always think of ways to keep Hearthstone fresh by breaking the meta.

Image Credits:

  • Silfer
  • Blizzard Entertainment
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