Hey y’all! Been a while since my last article, but today I’m here to review the new GvG legendaries, in regards to consistency. If you missed that article, you can read it here. My goal is that this article is to analyze all the legendaries, paying careful attention to their consistency. Before we get into the thick of things, here are the 3 categories of consistency for good cards:
- Always good (most consistent).
- Always decent, often amazing (fairly consistent).
- Can be useless, can be insanely valuable (least consistent).
Cards can be consistently bad, so I won’t bother spending much time to categorize those.
This card is really good in exactly one deck: Control Druid. No, Ramp Druid does not equal Control Druid. Control Druid would not run Innervate because it 2 for 1’s yourself. In a Druid deck that consistently made it to fatigue, Malorne would be great as your opponent would just run out of removal. However, Druid rarely makes it to fatigue and in the end paying seven mana for a BGH target that does nothing is a terrible deal as there is currently no consistent payoff.
Verdict: Slow card with inconsistent payoff in the current card pool, has some potential in Fatigue Druid.
This guy is big, and can deal a LOT of damage. However, he is simply slow and inconsistent. Firstly, after you play him your opponent can ping him, bringing him into Big Game Hunter range. Secondly, aside from Wild Pyromancer and Arcane Shot, Hunter lacks efficient ways to proc Gahz’rilla. This means in order to increase his attack, you’ll have to first ram him into another minion more times than not, meaning that it’ll take yet another turn before you can actually use him as a finisher. For a finisher, Gahz’rilla has the potential we want, but not the core ingredients for success in this role. At least it’s a good Call Pet target.
Verdict: Slow and lacking activators, but the card itself is a solid seven drop. Don’t cry if Webspinner gives you one.
Consistency and. Flame Leviathan do not go in the same sentence. It’s a War Golem that has an effect that you cannot in any way control. A mini-Hellfire can backfire in any non-fatigue Mage, and if you end up with this thing in your starting hand, it’s just a War Golem with an orange gem! Maybe this card will be decent if Mage ever gets extensive tutoring capabilities (to ability to search your deck for a specific card/card type, Sense Demons tutors Demons), but between now and then I would advise steering clear of Flame Leviathan.
Verdict: Randuin Mage material, and little more. Uncontrollable randomness is not good on it’s own.
This card’s text effectively reads: “Summon Ironbeak Owl/Big Game Hunter/Aldor Peacekeeper/Earth Shock/*insert_hard_removal_here from your opponent, unless you win the lottery.” This card is just vulnerable to too many answers in addition to its finicky effect to be considered anywhere near consistent. At least Sludge Belcher‘s 3/5 body after a silence is far superior to Bolvar’s 1/7. With the sheer number of prime five drops in the game, it’s not like there’s not a shortage of options. Most five mana arena picks like Stranglethorn Tiger and Spiteful Smith would provide more consistent value in a Paladin deck.
Verdict: Can be a big threat if unanswered, but this card is too inconsistent to be good. Run other five drops like Sludge Belcher, Loatheb or Azure Drake.
Make a list of the top five best six mana minions in Hearthstone. See that Fire Elemental? Now take it and make it five mana. Now make it weaker against small minions, and 10x better against large ones. We’re not finished yet, give it to the class with the most answers to weenie boards. Yes, this is what Vol’jin is. In fact, even using him against a four health minion provides value (compare to Stormpike Commando). If it weren’t for the fact that Control Priest is currently the dominant Priest archetype in the meta, we’d see this guy everywhere in every Priest. Because Vol’jin doesn’t do direct damage, so he’s not off the charts consistent, but there are so many good targets along with the potential for exponential value that this guy is constantly awesome.
Verdict: If you’re playing a midrange or faster Priest deck, this guy should be in it. Also good enough for certain Control Priest decks to use.
Trade Prince Gallywix
Similar to Loatheb in that this guy is just a body if your opponent has no spells, he also serves as a powerful deterrent. Whilst he won’t stop Druid’s beloved Force of Nature + Savage Roar combo, he’ll have your opponent think twice about removing him with a spell. Obviously better against some classes than others, but he aces the consistency test as he also passes the vanilla test, arguable having better stat distribution than Boulderfist Ogre (there are far more five health minion in the meta than six health minions), as opposed to the closest neutral counterpart Troggzor the Earthinator, who also costs one mana more!
Verdict: Not designed for fast rogue decks due to a passive effect, but certainly a solid pick as its rather strong effect is literally free.
Sprint on a stick! This guy not only doesn’t draw from your deck (a big plus for Control Shamans), but also draws cards that are guaranteed to synergize with each other. Whilst the overload is high at three mana, it’s well worth it as the card you draw can swing the game back into your favor, in addition to leaving a 7/7 on the board for your opponent to deal with. Another thing to note is that because the draw is random, it doesn’t care about card rarity. This means you’re just as likely to draw Old Murk-Eye or Murloc Warleader as you are Bluegill Warrior or Grimscale Oracle. Also, because murlocs are swarmy, they tend to additionally synergize well with Flametongue Totem. Yes this card is consistent, even though randomness is involved the fact that it rolls four times helps to stabilize the end results.
Verdict: Shaman loves card draw, and even though it’s only pseudo-card draw the fact that it’s four whole cards make this an auto-include for all but the most aggressive Shamans.
Whilst giving your other demons +2/+2 is nice, it’s not the reason you play Mal’Ganis. You play it for the Immune effect, which makes for a rather interesting card. He has soft-taunt, and your opponent cannot ignore him. He is rather vulnerable to Big Game Hunter, but if you run him in a deck that has a lot of BGH targets (like HandLock) then it’s not as much of an issue. There’s not much to say about this guy, other than he performs as intended. He suffers from the same fault as Alexstrasza in that he usually makes no impact on the board when you play him, but depending on what you’re facing he can still be quite good. His effect itself is consistent, but his consistency in practice is meta-dependent. It’s also worth mentioning that unlike Lord Jaraxxus, Mal’Ganis is a fantastic target for Voidcaller.
Verdict: Auto-include in DemonLock, tech card for HandLock. Strong card that’s a bit reliant on the meta for viability.
For two stat points, this guy gives you a shot at Pyroblasting your opponent for free. Even better is that this card is in Warrior, a class known for being able to consistently go into fatigue and ensure the ten damage. The problem with this is that when you play this guy it does nothing to actually help you get to the end game, and if your opponent never draws the mine then Iron Juggernaut actually hindered you from winning the game. At the end of the day, this legendary is not very consistent, though some try to mitigate the randomness (and hence make it more consistent) by adding Youthful Brewmaster and Coldlight Oracle to the deck. I personally am not a fan of bouncing Iron Juggernaut as it just turns him into a six-mana lotto-Pyroblast. Meh.
Verdict: Too inconsistent to be good on its own, value increases if the deck is centered around it.
Random card is random. Whilst you get to take advantage of the effects of this card first (and instantly), this card is remarkably inconsistent with the ability to screw you over since you can give your opponent Doomhammer whilst you equip your new golden Light's Justice. I don’t need to explain how bad that would be for you. Sure you can combo this card with Acidic Swamp Ooze or Harrison Jones, but the payoff won’t always be worth the setup. Slightly better in aggro decks as all you care about is reducing your opponent’s life to zero, and giving them a weapon actually helps with that.
Verdict: Flashy card with little hope to see use in competitive decks. The range of outcomes is too great to justify the risk of running this card.
If a 5/4 is strictly worse than a 4/5, then a 6/3 is atrocious. Add to the fact that Beasts are not prevalent in the meta, and you have a poor fringe card. Unlike the ever popular The Black Knight, there are few targets for this card and the body is too fragile to be considered valuable. There is little else that can be said.
Verdict: Rest in [arcane] dust.
This card is rather interesting. If you can pull off the effect, it is extremely good. Even if you can’t, a 4/5 for five mana is not terrible compared to other tech cards (The Black Knight or Harrison Jones). Additionally, because it’s a persistent effect you can drop Mimiron’s Head on an empty board then play other mechs later. The problem with this card is that meeting the requirements to trigger the effect is relatively high, meaning that it won’t happen often. Not to mention if you do pull it off, you were most likely already ahead and favored to win. Conceal makes the combo more viable, but even then it’s still a four card combo that’s vulnerable to AoE spells.
Verdict: Has potential, decks with this card are currently not up to par with rest of the metagame.
The effect of this card is relatively strong, and thanks to Spare Parts you don’t have to fill your deck with otherwise bad one drops like Sinister Strike to get value out of this card. On the flip side, you’re paying two mana for no guaranteed draw, not to mention mech decks don’t care that they’re not drawing from their deck. Also, you have to hoard the Spare Parts you get instead of burning excess mana with them (which is otherwise usually the optimal play). Gazlowe is better than Gadgetzan Auctioneer in mech decks, but that’s all that can be said. This guy can definitely be fun to use and he does offer unique card draw, but the real question is if there are other cards that are more deserving of a deck slot.
Verdict: Another six-mana legendary that fall into the “good, but not good enough” category.
Mogor the Ogre
A pseudo taunt, this card is quite funny against weenie boards as your creatures effectively have a fifty-percent chance of having taunt. It’s consistent at what it does, which is disrupt your opponent. However, you can’t rely on it because at the end of the day it’s just a roll of the dice whether or not he actually ends up giving you an optimal outcome. Also, did I mention this guy dies to Big Game Hunter? Ultimately this card is a fun card that exploits RNG to prevent your opponent from making optimal plays, but unlike Piloted Shredder the randomness hits just as hard for you as against you.
Verdict: Randuin material, competitive effectiveness is extremely limited (there is a reason we don’t see taunt-centric decks).
This card is very consistent, as no one would waste a silence on Toshley to prevent the Deathrattle from triggering. This card is one statpoint below vanilla, but in decks that highly value Spare Parts (such as Archmage Antonidas Mech Mage) it’s irrelevant. He’ll never directly be the MVP of a match (unless you get two Emergency Coolants off of him), but he’ll make Spare Part centric combos more consistent. His low impact won’t warrant his use in most decks, but he certainly has his place.
Verdict: Toshley is quite straight forward, use him when you really want two Spare Parts from one card.
My my, this guy was the single most underrated card in the Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion pre-release, and yet he managed to single-handedly make Big Game Hunter a metagame staple. War Golem is completely unplayable in constructed, so no one thought a glorified War Golem would be much better. Truth be told, a pseudo 9/9 for seven mana that also can Darkbomb TWO of your opponent’s minions is really, really good. Additionally, outside of handful of cards like Lightbomb and Twisting Nether, it will almost always take you two cards to deal completely with Dr. Boom. And only a few of those two card combos are mana efficient (Wild Pyromancer + Shadow Word: Death and Wrath + Swipe come to mind). Also, this guy synergizes insanely well with Knife Juggler and Undertaker, providing with a single card three and two triggers respectively. And before I forget to mention it, he also fills the seven mana slot that until now only Druid/Warrior/(and now Shaman with Neptulon) have had good options with which to fill.
Verdict: If you haven’t pulled Dr. Boom from a GvG pack yet, craft him. He’s just that good.
Troggzor the Earthinator
What better to follow one of the most under-hyped cards from GvG than one of the most over-hyped cards. Now don’t get me wrong, Troggzor has a really strong effect, but he proves to be inconsistent as he only is good against certain classes. Priest and Shaman in particular have a difficult time dealing with him without using spells (thought Shaman can put Flametongue Totem to good use here), but aggro decks blitz right past him and midrange decks usually have weapons or some spare damage lying on the board to clean Troggzzor up. Albeit a class card, Trade Prince Gallywix puts Troggzor to shame having a bigger body and costing less mana.
Unless you’re running into a ton of Priest and Shaman, run Dr. Boom instead.
Foe Reaper 4000
This card is really slow, coming out the same turn as Ragnaros the Firelord and not guaranteeing you any value as you have to actually attack with it. This guy is even slower than Ysera for crying out loud! And like Ragnaros, he’s bad against Sylvanas Windrunner. On the flip side, he can generate absurd amounts of value if you do get to attack, potentially three for one’ing your opponent EVERY time you attack with him. He has a few more positives, as he dodges Big Game Hunter, can tank a hit from Ragnaros or a giant, and you can play him out earlier in a mech deck running Mechwarper. This guy consistently can get value, but the meta will determine how consistently you’ll be allowed to get value.
Verdict: Slow but packed with potential. Serves the role of “must kill target” quite well, since he can snowball quite well.
Sneed's Old Shredder
Slow and a bit random. The nature of this guy means that otherwise terrible legendaries such as Nozdormu and Onyxia would be awesome results. On the flip side, Nat Pagle and Lorewalker Cho would be quite disappointing. The current card pool favors getting good results over poor ones, but that random element is still there. Also, Hex and Polymorph will completely ruin your day after you play this guy. This guy is valuable in the long games where minion value matters most, but those aren’t abundant in the current meta.
Verdict: Can be good in Control mirrors, but otherwise is excruciatingly slow.
I honestly want to know how this card made it into the game over almost any other concept. At nine mana, no aggro or midrange deck will run this, and control decks don’t run Leper Gnomes as they’re too low-impact. It has terrible stats, an incredibly weak effect, and to add insult to energy the effect isn’t that easy to proc enough to be useful since one mana removal isn’t necessarily abundant. This card has no potential, and isn’t consistent at anything other than suckage. There aren’t even interesting combos with it like Nozdormu + Lorewalker Cho, unless you happen to get a Whirlwindable board, which only happens once in a blue moon.
Verdict: Craft an epic with his remains, most epics will prove more useful than Thermaplugg. I’m not even talking about good epics.
Here we are at the end, hopefully you’ve gleaned some information that you can use when deciding what to craft or in what decks to use the legendaries you’ve pulled. My opinions are always heavily influenced by the consistency of a card or strategy, and I hope that shined through my writing.
If you have any questions, comments or constructive criticism, please leave a comment below! I want to write articles that you all will enjoy, so any feedback on this article is greatly appreciated! If you want me to talk about something in particular with regards to consistency, simply leave a comment here (or any one of my articles) and I’ll certainly consider it!
Until next time, keep collecting stars and gold!