Introduction


Great news everyone, it seems that the new cards are being dropped really quickly this time around! With 5+ cards every day, we’re bombed with tons of new content and we can already start theorycrafting. Just like every time, I’ll try to review most of the cards – give you my thoughts about how powerful they are, whether they will see play or not etc.

I’ll rate every card from 1 to 5, where 1 means “the card is garbage” (unplayable in Constructed), through 3 – “average card” (might see some Constructed play, but it’s not really amazing) to 5 – “insane!” (a card that will almost surely see Constructed play and be powerful). Remember, however, that at this point I’m still reviewing the set without knowing all the cards. Even with the knowledge of every card it’s sometimes hard to predict whether one is good or bad, so take the ratings with a grain of salt.

If I made a mistake somewhere, took the wrong version of the card (sometimes the early translations aren’t 100% correct) or misunderstood the effect, let me know in the comments and I’ll fix it as soon as possible!

Other Un’Goro reviews:

  • #1 – Initial Stream Release

Card Reviews


Crystalline Oracle

A very powerful card. It’s in a line with things like Swashburglar

and Babbling Book
– a 1 mana 1/1 with a valuable effect. However, at the same time it’s a bit different – it doesn’t give you a card on Battlecry, but rather on a Deathrattle. However, the card it gives you should be on average more valuable than the card you get from the other two, because you actually pull a card from your opponent’s deck (and people don’t put bad cards into their decks). Of course, there are situations where you’d rather pull a class card (e.g. against Pirate Warrior you have a chance to pull Shield Block
with Swashburglar, you can’t do that with this card), but on average it should be better effect.

On the other hand, it’s worse, because it doesn’t give you a card immediately (so you have to wait until next turn or even longer to use it) and it’s also susceptible to counters like let’s say Cabal Shadow Priest

or Potion of Madness
. That might be significant in the mirrors, maybe in some other matchups too.

But probably two most important things are: a) this is a Deathrattle card for the sake of the Priest’s Quest – Awaken the Makers

. Cheap Deathrattle means that you can activate it more quickly. And then, it’s also an Elemental. 1 mana Elementals should be perfect for activating the synergies – in order to proc one you need to play an Elemental in previous round. We still don’t know what Priest Elemental synergy will be, but if it will be powerful enough, this card might be played in some kind of mix Deathrattle/Elemental deck.

Card rating: 4/5

Sunkeeper Tarim

It’s like Keeper of Uldaman

but on every minion on the board. The effect is incredibly powerful and the best case scenario makes it not 6, but 20+ mana worth of value. However, as powerful this effect is, it’s also pretty situational.

The best case scenario is your opponent having a board that’s on average bigger than 3/3 and you having a board that’s on average smaller than 3/3. So a few plausible scenarios in which this minion could work: Your opponent has 2-3 mid sized minions on the board while you have no board at all, you play it and it’s a great swing. You have a bunch of 1/1’s on the board – you play it and they all turn into 3/3’s (with a possibility to trade into your opponent’s 3/3’s if necessary). Even against a single, big minion it might be good enough – e.g. your opponent plays a 3/3 and you play this guy. 3/7 Taunt should cost around 5 mana, so you only pay 1 mana for the effect – so against single targets it’s similar to Keeper of Uldaman.

And the thing is that I don’t really know which deck this Legendary would fit most into. Historically Keeper of Uldaman was played in EVERY kind of Paladin – Aggro, Midrange and Control. And I think that this card might fit into each of those archetypes once again. When you play Aggro, you usually have a board flooded with small minions and your opponent, on average, plays bigger minions than you do, so the effect is worth it. Then, Midrange Paladin often plays multiple Silver Hand Recruits, so the effect could be similar to what Quartermaster

used to do. And Control Paladin can use it as a Control tool to deal with big boards.

The effect is a great counter to late game Jade decks too, you can turn all the 10/10’s into 3/3’s. And the fact that it’s a 3/7 with Taunt, it means that without any other outside help, your opponent needs to bump 3 of those 3/3’s to kill it.

I’m pretty convinced that the card will see some play IF Paladin won’t be garbage this expansion. Sunkeeper Tarim is not enough to make the class good, that’s for sure. It’s a nice addition, but it’s more of a “situationally powerful swing card” and not a force that pushes Paladin forward.

Card rating: 4/5

Shadow Visions

Even though I don’t think the card is too powerful, I really love the effect and I’d like to see more cards like that in the future. Effects that can help you to pull a card from your deck more consistently are always welcomed. And the Priest is the best class for this specific effect.

Priest is a class with tons of interesting and possibly powerful spells, but they all share a similar downside: they’re conditional/situational. A card like Shadow Word: Horror

can win you some games, but most of the time it will sit dead in your hand. Shadow Visions allow you to pick the best card for the occasion and get an extra copy of it. So if you play against Aggro you might pick that Shadow Word: Pain
or maybe Potion of Madness
or whatever fits the situation. And against Control you can pick let’s say Shadow Word: Death
if you need more removal or Thoughtsteal
if you need more value.

The card is very powerful in slow matchups, but the main problem is that the cost of flexibility is +2 mana cost on the card you pick. While this won’t matter that much in slow matchups, in the late game (where you have enough mana anyway + you care more about value than tempo most of the time), this will have huge implications against Aggro, because it’s a big tempo loss most of the time. I would imagine this card seeing solid amounts of play in any slower meta, but against Aggro it’s just too slow. I mean, it MIGHT be good in some cases – let’s say you play the Auchenai Soulpriest

+ Circle of Healing
combo and you drew Auchenai. You have a much higher chance to snatch the Circle if you play this on turn 2 or 3, and then wipe the board on turn 4. And it’s still better than Hero Powering in case you don’t have the t2 play. But overall I think that the slower the meta will be, the more we will see of that card.

Oh, and it has also some combo potential. Historically Combo Priest was a semi-viable deck and it can help with getting the Combo cards like Mind Blast

… but with Emperor Thaurissan
out of Standard it seems like the deck won’t really work.

Card rating: 3/5

Clutchmother Zavas

Last time around I was saying that the Warlock’s quest is really powerful and while we have enough discard cards to accomplish it quite consistently, we don’t have enough cards you WANT to discard. You can’t play deck full of discards without stuff like Silverware Golem

. And this is kinda an answer – while it’s only +1 card, it will still increase the consistency of your discards by quite a lot, because you can actually discard it multiple times.

The card is insane and will be auto-include into every Discard Zoo Warlock (Discozoo). I mean, even after you discard it once it’s already worth it – not only you’ve saved yourself a card, but you’ve also got a 2 mana 4/4. If you hit it early with Soulfire

or something, it will be INSANE card to curve out with. And if you have other good plays, you can keep it and discard it some more – make it let’s say a 2 mana 8/8 and hit a powerful tempo turn while bumping your Quest all the time.

What I hate about this card, and about Discard Zoo in general, is that the deck is so RNG. It’s probably one of the most RNG decks in the game. It’s not a Firelands Portal

kind of RNG, but more like – you have a hand of 2x Soulfire
and Clutchmother Zavas
(let’s say it’s a 4/4). Now, it’s only a 50/50 roll, but it’s a roll that can change the outcome of a whole game. If you get a low roll and hit second Soulfire – now your hand is 4 damage and 4/4 minion. But if you get a high roll, your hand is 8 damage (2x 4 so you can hit 2 targets) and 8/8. That’s INSANE difference, a 50/50 to basically make your hand twice as good in terms of both tempo and value. When playing Discard Zoo, those small rolls like 1/2 or 1/3 usually influence the whole match. While every deck has games decided by coin flip every now and then, Discard Zoo has such games way, way too often.

But yeah, the card is good, it’s insane, IF Discard Warlock will be good enough in the meta (it’s something that’s impossible to predict), this is clear 5/5.

Card rating: 5/5

Ozruk

The card has seen a moderate amount of hate and I sadly have to agree with it. 9 mana cards need to be REALLY powerful in order to do see play. And while this card is quite powerful in terms of stats, the main problem here is that it has no immediate value which is very necessary in Control matchups.

Given how many other Elementals we have seen already, and that we have multiple small Elementals, I think that it will be pretty easy to make it a 9 mana 5/15 or 5/20 Taunt. Which might seem insane, and it is in some matchups, but… Against Aggro, where a huge Taunt would be auto-win, turn 9 is usually too late – at this point the game is mostly decided. Aggro has no board so you don’t really need a huge Taunt or you’re dead. And against Control, each deck runs multiple hard removals which makes this card, well, a little bit weak. Soggoth the Slitherer

is better in those matchups, because even though it doesn’t have as much health, it’s way harder to remove.

But, I see a glimpse of hope for this card. It’s one of those cards that would be insane in Midrange matchups. Those are the matchups that last long enough so you can play it, but at the same time Midrange decks don’t run as many hard removals – usually 1 or 2 in total. If you play this in a slow deck, there is a high chance that you have baited that Hex

or Mulch
or Deadly Shot
before. And if you play against a Midrange deck that has no removal left in his hand and you play this as a 5/20… well, you most likely won the game. But remember that making it 5/15 or 20 is not as easy – if you’re in topdeck mode, this card is probably a 5/5 or 5/10, which isn’t that impressive. You need to set it up properly.

Oh, and also – it might be a win condition for the Control Priest. This + if it’s not removed you play Divine Spirit

+ Inner Fire
next turn and it’s game over.

So yeah, there ARE some metas where this card might be good. I imagine that it might be quite solid against most of Midrange decks (let’s say Midrange Paladin would wreck it), but besides that, I don’t think it’s that good. I’ll give it 2/5 because it has SOME potential, but most of the time you’d be better off playing Soggoth the Slitherer

.

Card rating: 2/5

Stone Sentinel

This card is pretty alright. It’s like a 4/4 (3.5 mana worth of stats) that draws Feral Spirit

and plays it without any Overload – if you think about it this way the card’s actual value is around 8, making it quite solid 7-drop. Depending on the situation, 2x 2/3 Taunt might be really powerful. It’s not that weak against AoE, as it’s out of range of most of them (even against 3 damage AoEs the 4/4 still survives). It’s good against single target removals, because well, you can clear the 4/4 but Shaman will still have 2x 2/3 Taunt. And it’s an Elemental itself, so you can curve out into another Elemental with it. It also curves nicely after the turn 6 Fire Elemental
and before turn 8 Shaman Legendary (which I will talk about later).

But at the same time it’s nothing to go crazy about. If Jade will still be a thing, maybe even Jade/Elemental Hybrid, Jade Chieftain

will be much stronger than this. It’s also really bad if you don’t have another Elemental to activate the synergy – if you’re out of Elementals and draw that, it’s a 7 mana 4/4, which is pretty much unplayable.

We also need to see other cards that will be played in that mana slot. Whether this card works well against other 6-drops or 7-drops of the meta. But overall I think this will be playable in Elemental Shaman (if the deck takes off), but maybe as one-of to have a decent defensive option.

Card rating: 3/5

Flame Geyser

If you just play this card and the token right away – that’s a 3 mana for 1/2 minion + 2 damage. It’s like a Disciple of C'Thun

which would never be played outside of the C’Thun decks.

But that’s not really how you should look at this card. The thing is, Elemental synergies depend on you playing an Elemental last turn. With this card, you can generate a small Elemental token to activate your synergies any time you want. Since it only costs 1 mana, you can squeeze it into a turn before you plan to play your big Elemental quite easily. Let’s say that you play Ozruk

in your deck – that 1/2 Elemental is not only a 1/2 minion, it also adds +5 Health to your Taunt.

The card seems decent if you decide to play Mage with Elemental synergies, but… right now it’s impossible to say whether it will be worth to do so or not. At the time when I’m writing this, we don’t know a single Elemental synergy for the Mage yet. If the Elemental synergies will be good enough, the card might be pretty good (maybe even 4/5). If the Elementals will be bad, it will probably be 1/5. So right now it’s really hard to rate it. I’ll give it 3/5 now and wait for the more Mage cards to show up.

Card rating: 3/5

Fire Fly

Without the Elemental tags, this card would be just “ok”, probably not good enough to see Constructed play. Like, Echoing Ooze

has seen some Constructed play, even in Zoo Warlock, but mostly because there were some extra shenanigans you could do (let’s say Defender of Argus
). With the current power level I don’t think this would see play as vanilla. HOWEVER, what is important, is that the card gives you 2 small, 1 mana Elementals which are pretty flexible.

Let’s say you can play this + 2-drop before turn 4 Tol'vir Stoneshaper

and then you still have another small Elemental to activate next synergy.

It really depends on how many other activators we will have. But if some classes that have strong Elemental synergies will not have enough minions with Elemental tag to put into the deck, this will definitely make an appearance.

Also, in case they release some “faster” Elemental synergies, like on 2-drops or 3-drops, it might make its way into the Aggro or fast Midrange decks.

Overall the success of this card is heavily tied to how powerful will Elementals be in the end. I think that if Elementals will turn out to be good, the card will definitely see some play. If not – it’s pretty meh.

Card rating: 4/5

Unite the Murlocs

So… the Shaman’s Quest. I honestly didn’t expect that. They’ve been trying to push the Murloc Shaman archetype time and time again, especially with cards like Siltfin Spiritwalker

or Everyfin is Awesome
, but well, it never really worked out that well. Maybe with this Quest, though…

So, if the Murloc Shaman archetype will be even decently powerful, I think the Quest might push it into viability. The Quest is relatively easy to finish – I mean, you play a Murloc deck. And if you play cards like Finja, the Flying Star

or Call in the Finishers
, there is also a Murloc Tidehunter
that summons 2 in 1 card – summoning 10 Murlocs might not be that hard. And the reward for this quest is insane. By the time you summon 10 Murlocs, you should be running out of steam. And thanks to the Quest, you might pretty much Start again, with a full hand of Murlocs. That’s right – the Quest’s reward is insane in this kind of deck.

You play bunch of Murlocs to finish quest, you run out of steam, then you drop a 5 mana 8/8 that fills your whole hand with Murlocs and you should have enough steam to fight for another couple of turns. And not just fight, to potentially put TONS of pressure on the board. Up to 10 random Murlocs means that you have a solid chance to get some Murloc Warleader

(s), maybe another Finja, maybe more value Murlocs (the new one that discovers a Murloc…). One of the deck’s biggest problems was that Murlocs aren’t too strong in terms of value, so if you didn’t kill your opponent fast, you had no way to do that at one point. Topdecking with a Murloc deck just sucks because your cards rely on synergies to be good.

I’m not calling anything yet, but Murloc Shaman MIGHT finally be a thing. The Quest itself is really strong, that’s for sure. Neptulon

was a decent card and this is like 10 times better. Now, we need maybe 1 or 2 more good Murlocs to make it work. I know that I might be overrating it, but the Quest itself is 5/5 – but for it to be real 5/5 the Murloc deck will need to be powerful enough.

Card rating: 5/5

Primalfin Lookout

And here’s the Murloc to support the Murloc Shaman “dream”. It’s another answer to the main Murlocs problem – running out of steam. It’s similar to what Gorillabot A-3

was to the Mechs – it has seen significant amount of play in Mech decks, because it allowed to refill. Murlocs need that refill even more. 3/2 for 3 that draws a card is quite solid considering that it also has Murloc tag – it means that in reality it will probably be buffed or buff something else.

Outside of the Murloc decks, this card is clearly useless, but it might be an auto-include in Murloc decks (if those will exist). In rating, I take the best case scenario and assume that there will be a viable Murloc deck. If yes, the card will very likely see play. If not, the card is completely useless.

Oh, and I forgot about one card that leaked earlier – Gentle Megasaur

. It’s another reason why playing Murlocs might be a thing. Solid stats and effect that’s really powerful in the Murloc deck.

Card rating: 4/5

Kalimos, Primal Lord

Oh well. It’s THE reason why you might want to play Elementals in Shaman. The card is so, so powerful. Let me first start by listing the possible effects:

  • Deal 3 damage to all enemy minions.
  • Fill your board with 1/1 Elementals.
  • Restore 12 health or your Hero.
  • Deal 6 damage to the enemy Hero.

And you get to pick the effect every time, depending on what you need. Need big board clear? Sure thing. Need a refill? Well, you have a cheaper Onyxia

. Need healing? +12. Need the burn? Here you go, 6 damage.

To be honest, the card with the first effect – 3 damage AoE – would already be good enough. And the fact that you get to choose makes it just insane.

The only reason why this card is not completely busted is that you need to play Elemental PREVIOUS turn to get his effect. And you can’t always plan whether you will need this card or not next turn. For example, let’s say that Freeze Mage is a thing. Healing for 12 is a great counter to Alexstrasza

turn. So, to play around that, Mage can wait and play Alexstrasza after the turn when you didn’t play any Elementals. And now you need an extra turn to set it up, which might mean that you’re already dead to burst.

Same goes for flooding the board – in order to play around this card, decks will probably flood the board only after the turn where Shaman didn’t drop the Elemental. So yes, there is some counter play. But I still think that this card will be busted. Big body, powerful IMMEDIATE effects, flexibility – that’s what you expect from an 8-drop. If Shaman will play Elemental synergy, it’s probably because of this card.

Tol’vir Stoneshaper

It’s the first relatively small card that synergizes with Elementals. It’s either a vanilla 3/5 for 4 or the most busted 4-drop in the game. If you can activate his effect consistently on turn 4, it’s insane. I mean, Taunt + Divine Shield is a powerful combination. This one is something between Psych-o-Tron

and Sunwalker
. It’s like 5.5 mana worth minion for 4 mana.

For example, it can make a great anti-Aggro curve if you play turn 3 Tar Creeper

and turn 4 Tol'vir Stoneshaper
. That’s 3/5 Taunt + 3/5 Taunt with Divine Shield.

I think that it’s powerful enough to make its way into Elemental decks and might boost those deck’s mid game power by quite a lot. And the thing is, while obviously not optimal etc. sometimes even dropping it as a 3/5 might be good enough.

What I’m afraid of, however, is that it might be good enough to actually put in Aggro decks. If you combine the early curve of Aggro deck and 4 mana 3/5 Taunt Divine Shield, it might make for a really nasty opener. But we would need some more early game Elemental activators and probably at least another one strong early game Elemental synergy for that to make sense. I mean, I wouldn’t mind a strong Aggro deck in the new meta, but I just hope that we won’t see Elementals becoming new Pirates.

Card rating: 4/5

Hydrologist

It’s like a Dark Peddler

, but weaker. I think that average Paladin Secret is worse than the average 1 mana card from Peddler considering that the Warlock cards had higher discover rate (and they’re really good). Right now, we have only 5 Secrets in Standard: Repentance
, Noble Sacrifice
, Eye for an Eye
, Getaway Kodo
and Redemption
and let’s be honest, those aren’t thrilling options. Okay, one thing that’s definitely a boon is flexibility. Normally you probably wouldn’t put Repentance
into your deck, because it sucks in so many matchups. But if you happen to play against slow deck, you can snatch it later into the game and get a lot of value. Or let’s say Getaway Kodo
/ Redemption
right after you’ve played a powerful minion (like Tirion Fordring
or Ragnaros, Lightlord
).

Another thing that MIGHT make this card playable is the lack of 2-drops in Paladin. After the Shielded Minibot

, they haven’t really printed any more busted 2-drops. And while this is not busted, it’s definitely okay turn 2 play and turn 3 play (if you get a Secret you want to play immediately). I could see this being played in faster Paladin lists, especially if a) Paladin gets some Secret synergies b) Paladin gets some Murloc synergies c) Paladin gets some powerful Secret that you actually want to snatch with this card quite consistently.

With the current info, I’ll give the card 3/5. But I think there is a solid chance that we’ll see a new Paladin Secret and if it’s good enough, then maybe this might be a 4/5.

Card rating: 3/5

Closing


That’s all folks. Thanks for reading and thank you for so many comments on the last review! The new cards are popping out very fast, so I’ll try my best to keep up with the releases and give you reviews that are as fresh as possible

:)

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. And if you want to be up to date with my articles, you can follow me on Twitter.

Good luck on the ladder and until next time!