In today’s Card Mania, we will be looking at the bane of all Weapon classes; the Acidic Swamp Ooze and Harrison Jones!
Acidic Swamp Ooze
Oozes love Flamenco. Don’t ask.
From Wowpedia: Oozes are living blobs of slime that consume all that they touch. Oozes inhabit many places in the world of Azeroth, and are usually mindless. They are also blind. Some oozes have the ability to deal acid damage to objects. Oozes eat and breathe but do not sleep.
- Type: Minion
- Rarity: Basic
- Cost: 2
- Stats: 3/2
- Ability: Battlecry: Destroy your opponent’s weapon.
- Class: Any
That belongs in the Hall of Explorers!
Harrison Jones is a gag character based off the famous Indiana Jones. He appears in many ancient ruins in World of Warcraft to lend his assistance to adventurers. He often mimics many of Indiana Jones’ trademarks, including the phrase “That belongs in a museum!”, albeit in an alternate variant.
- Type: Minion
- Rarity: Legendary
- Cost: 5
- Stats: 5/4
- Ability: Battlecry: Destroy your opponent’s weapon and draw cards equal to his durability.
- Class: Any
First off, today’s article is a special issue in which we compare two cards with similar roles in the meta. I feel that this is an apt time to cover the Weapon-destroying tech cards, given how Rogues/Warriors/Shamans are all relatively popular classes on the ladder right now.
As a Vanilla Minion
Both Acidic Swamp Ooze and Harrison Jones pass the vanilla test: they are both decently valued cards even when played without their Battlecry effect. Both of them are solid bodies for their mana cost.
However, Acidic Swamp Ooze has a more favourable stat distribution as compared to Harrison Jones. 4 health is kinda low as it dies to Spell Damage + most 2 cost removal spells, or straight out getting Swiped/Soulfired. The extra attack will likely not see the light of day as he will often die easily the turn he comes down.
Acidic Swamp Ooze however sports the ‘preferred’ stat distribution for a 2 cost minion: at 3/2 it trades upwards with 3 cost minion such as Harvest Golem, Earthern Ring Farseer and the rare Aldor Peacekeeper. As such, Acidic Swamp Ooze is arguably a better vanilla minion for its stat cost.
However, it should be noted that when it comes down to scenarios where card efficiency is the only thing that matters, Harrison Jones will still pull forward in the mid or late-game due to him being a larger body.
In terms of mana flexibility, Acidic Swamp Ooze wins hands down. It is by far the more flexible minion to play: you can combo it with cards that cost up to 8 mana (or 9 if you have the coin, or 13 if you’re a Druid).
Harrison Jones often takes up your entire turn as a play. As a higher cost minion, Harrison Jones often competes with other 5 drops, such as Azure Drake, Gadgetztan Auctioneer and Stampeding Kodo (or Druid of the Claw for Druids).
Due to the way most decks curve out in terms of mana, there will often be less space for Harrison Jones than there will be for Acidic Swamp Ooze.
When we compare the Battlecries, however, it is clear that Harrison Jones is no doubt the superior card. He has the ability to draw cards equal to the durability of the weapon, which can be as many as 7 cards if you use him on Lord Jaraxxus, 6 if you use it on Doomhammer.
That is insane value and can literally win you games. However, more often than not you will at most get a single card draw, as players often attack the turn they play their weapons. The most value you will get out of Harrison Jones is probably a 3 durability Assassin’s Blade or a 2 durability Stormforged Axe.
Doomhammer and Lord Jaraxxus are relatively uncommon cards in the meta. In that aspect, the card draw factor isn’t that big of a deal, since Harrison Jones will usually only pick up one card, making him equivalent in value to an Azure Drake. (Both draw a card; Azure Drake has +1 Spell Damage whereas Harrison Jones has an extra attack stat).
However, as we’ve highlighted repeatedly both in this article and the previous, 5 attack doesn’t really do much in this meta. For card draw purposes alone, Azure Drake is far more flexible.
When to Use Them
I think that at this point it is relatively clear that Acidic Swamp Ooze is by far the more flexible Weapon-destroying card. It is easier to fit into your mana curve and easier to play without wasting away your whole turn.
However, for certain decks, Harrison Jones is slightly better: this is mostly because these decks don’t really have good synergy with Spell Damage and lack their own strong turn 5 plays. On top of that, they are often more late-game focused and can thus afford to have a higher mana curve.
Paladin and Warrior are probably the most common classes you will see Harrison Jones on, though you will sometimes see him being run on Druid as well. (Despite having good synergy with Spell Damage, Druids generally curve more towards the late-game and can afford to run many 5 mana cost creatures.)
Paladin and Warrior generally run control-oriented builds, and often have limited card draw mechanics. (Paladin in particular struggles with card draw and Warrior is limited to getting good value off Acolyte of Pain or Shield Block.)
It is often not feasible to run Harrison Jones on Rogue or Shaman due to the insane value they get from Azure Drake and Gadgetztan Auctioneer. Those 2 cards are often auto-include for these 2 Spell Damage-heavy classes, and including Harrison Jones can potentially clog up your deck with too many mid and late-game cards.
Zoolock aims to curve low: Acidic Swamp Ooze is the obvious choice here. Handlock on the other hand doesn’t actually NEED Harrison Jones bigger body OR his card draw effect. Handlock often has a full hand already, and the deck is full of 8/8 bodies to the point that a 5/4 is relatively unimportant to the board state. Mana flexibility is often the concern for a Handlock, and Acidic Swamp Ooze is the clear winner.
Mage is a class which has a variety of builds, and both Harrison Jones or Acidic Swamp Ooze can be appropriate depending on what kind of deck you play.
Hunter in general has their own niche plan and doesn’t really run tech cards in general. Why destroy your opponents weapon when you can kill them before they get to use it?
While above are some recommendations on when to run Harrison Jones and Acidic Swamp Ooze with respect to the individual classes, do note that it is not a ‘rule’. We are assuming very vanilla and standard decks, with competition coming from common creatures in the same mana slot, such as Azure Drake taking preference.
However, the general rules still apply: Higher curving decks with limited card draw prefer Harrison Jones. Lower curving decks and decks with already plenty of card draw mechanics do not need Harrison Jone’s potential card draw effect and should generally opt for Acidic Swamp Ooze. It is highly possible to play an aggressive Warrior/Paladin deck where Acidic Swamp Ooze makes more sense.
Sometimes, it is better to just run both. You can never have too much insurance against Weapon classes with the number of them running around the ladder right now.
Disclaimer: Bloodsail Corsair might be a viable alternative in Pirate Decks. However, we can only dream that Blizzard Entertainment releases more scurvy mateys to fuel our grog thirst to increase the viability of Pirates in general. Given how Pirates are still considered ‘joke’ decks in this meta, one should stick to the other two options as a form of Weapon removal.
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xNVx is a legend player in Hearthstone, who always think of ways to keep the game fresh by breaking the meta.
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- WaningMoon for letting me ‘spit’ him!