Journey to Un’Goro spoiler season is finally here and we are finally getting to see some really cool cards from the expansion. With new mechanics like Quest and Adapt, there is plenty to look forward to from the expansion. Let’s take a look at the cards revealed so far!
New Mechanic – Adapt
Adapt is a new mechanic that allows you to Discover one of 10 ‘abilities’ and add them to your minions. When you use ‘Adapt’ you will be offered 3 out of 10 Adapt abilities and you can pick one of them to power up your minions. Here are the 10 options available:
- Divine Shield
- +3 Attack
- +3 Health
- Stealth until the end of next turn
- Can’t be targeted by spells and hero powers
- Deathrattle: Summon two 1/1 plants
- Poisonous (Destroys any minion that the Poisonous minion attacks/gets attacked by)
New Mechanic – Quest
LEGENDARY SPELLS ARE FINALLY HERE! After the player base wanting them for ages, we finally have Legendary spells in Hearthstone. With every class getting a Legendary spell and a legendary minion, this expansion is going to bring forth the new Quest mechanic. Every Legendary Spell has a Quest you need to complete in your game and if you manage to pull it off you get rewarded with extremely powerful minions that are stronger than anything we’ve ever seen!
Quest spells cost 1 mana and they always pop up in your starting hand (you can put them away during the mulligan if you want), this makes the mechanic even more fun to play because you are pretty much assured you start off your quest on turn 1 if you wish to. Once you play the Quest spell, a ticker will pop up on your hero portrait showing your progress. As soon as you ‘complete’ the quest you will be rewarded with very powerful cards that you can play. So far the ones we have seen seem really powerful and could definitely shape the meta.
Awaken The Masters : First up we have , the Priest Quest that requires you to play 7 Deathrattle minions and if you do so you get access to Amara, Warden of Hope – a 5 mana 8/8 Taunt that sets your hero’s health to 40. It is an extremely powerful card but you need to pull off the Quest to get value. It is comparable to Reno Jackson but there are several tradeoffs here. For starters you need to play 7 Deathrattle minions and the Quest card itself for 1 mana to activate the effect, unlike Reno which is active as long as you meet the card text requirements and build your deck around it. The plus side is you do not need to build a singleton deck, allowing you to run multiple copies of the same card and thereby allowing you more choices when it comes to including Deathrattle minions.
Lakkari Sacrifice: Lakkari Sacrifice seems like a perfect fit for discard Warlock decks by allowing you to trade the drawback of losing your cards by playing powerful discard themed cards in exchange for an infinite pair of 3/2s on the board every turn after you play the Quest reward Nether Portal. Do note that Nether Portal will take up a slot on your board and it cannot be removed in any way whatsoever.
Unite the Murlocs: Unite the Murlocs is the Shaman quest and you need to play 10 murlocs to activate its effect. The quest reward is Megafin which is a 5 mana 8/8 that fills your hand with Murlocs. Murloc decks have been known for not being able to compete against grindy decks because you do not have powerful card draw and tend to use up too many of your resources in the early turns. Megafin allows you to potentially generate 10 Murlocs in your hand and allow you to refill the board if you get behind in board presence.
The Caverns Below: This is the most unique and polarizing Quest card released so far. It’s hard to assess this card without knowing what other cards in the new set support it but it is definitely a good move away from the generic ‘Play X cards’ to get your quest done. You can use cards like Shadowstep, Shadowcaster and Brewmasters to make it work. While it doesn’t seem like the most powerful card on paper, it definitely
Tar Creeper: A very interesting card that offers you a 3/5 taunt on your opponent’s turn while being a 1/5 on your own turn. It seems to be a great option for control decks as an anti-aggro tech card.
Fire Fly: It’s good to see powerful 1 drops that don’t feel oppressive, while also being solid enough to warrant an inclusion. It also has the elemental tag and being able to have 2 Elementals in your deck in one card slot makes Fire Fly a really interesting card that people should consider running in tempo oriented Elemental decks.
Primalfin Lookout: As we mentioned earlier, Murloc decks don’t really have the privilege of being able to maintain a good hand size or have a good card draw engine going for them. Primalfin Lookout is a card I’d definitely want to run in a Murloc themed deck to generate more Murlocs. Wild Murloc decks are going to be a blast to try out with many powerful cards available in the non-Standard format.
Golakka Crawler: Pretty much every expansion has niche tech cards to counter ‘meta decks’ and Golakka Crawler is targeted at Pirate decks. While the card might not be something you want to include on a regular basis, if there is a pirate infested meta and you’re having a hard time dealing against them – you know you can just pick up Golakka Crawler as a tech card.
Tol'vir Stoneshaper: A great card to play in an Elemental deck. It’s pretty much a Sen’jin Shieldmasta with Divine Shield for the same cost if you play an Elemental card in the turn prior to playing Tol’vir.
Gentle Megasaur: The Beast tag and Murloc synergy points toward the ‘menagerie’ theme Blizzard has been trying to push. If I am not mistaken Gentle Megasaur will work exactly like other Adapt cards and you will be able to choose an Adapt effect that will be applied to all your murlocs on the board.
Elise the Trailblazer: We all know how powerful Elise Starseeker can be in Control decks and though we will lose her in the upcoming rotation, we’re getting a completely different avatar of Elise to play with. Just like the Map you get from Elise Starseeker, you get access to an Un’goro pack that you can open for 2 mana. You will get access to 5 cards, just like you would from a real pack, but you can use the cards only during the game you open the pack in. The drop rates on the ‘packs’ will be high and on an average you should be pulling a legendary with an epic being guaranteed in every pack.
Ozruk: While it does seem like a powerful card, Ozruk hasn’t been the most appealing reveal for me to far. With hard removal being available to pretty much all classes Ozruk doesn’t seem like a card that has the potential to be a must craft. Soggoth The Slitherer is a much better card in that regard because you cannot target it with spells and even then he doesn’t see too much play due to the slow nature of the card.
The only Druid card we’ve seen so far is Verdant Longneck, a 5 mana 5/4 with Adapt. It does have the Beast tag attached and if Adapt cards have good synergies with Beast Druid decks then we might see this card in action in such decks.
We’ve only seen Swamp King Dred, the Hunter legendary so far. It does seem like a good pick in the 7 mana slot – a turn Hunters generally do not have anything to play. Being able to automatically deal with potentially several of your opponent’s minions seems like a great effect. But on the other hand, it’s probably a card that’s better off in classes that play lategame decks and want as many removals as possible.
Hunter’s position in the current meta is not too great and the class has been struggling a lot in the recent past, if Mid Range Hunter makes a comeback on the back of the new cards then we definitely might see Swamp King Dred in action in the upcoming future.
After dominating the 2 drop slot for Mage, Mad Scientist finally has a more balanced substitute in form of Arcanologist. Mad Scientist was one of the most powerful cards in the meta and pulling out 5 mana worth of value was just too oppressive in cases. Blizzard has been trying to push a Secret Mage archetype in Gadgetzan and if we have sufficient support cards Secret Mage just might become a thing.
Flame Geyser is the second card we’ve seen for Mage. It does hint that Mage will get cards to support an Elemental Mage archetype and it does seem like a pretty nice removal cum Elemental synergy card to have in such a deck.
Talking about Elementals, the Mage legendary Pyros is the third Mage card we’ve seen so far. While you get vanilla stats several times over and it doesn’t have any added effect outside its deathrattle. I would definitely like to try it out in a slow Control style Mage deck and if we have access to more powerful deathrattle minions then N’zoth Mage just might be a thing.
Secret Paladin might be gone for good once the new set comes and several cards that made the archetype move out , but Blizzard is not done with the archetype it seems with Hydrologist being one of the newest additions to a Secret themed Paladin deck. It allows you to discover a secret (only Paladin secrets) and adds it to your hand. It seems like a reasonable card, and particularly powerful in Wild with Avenge being available.
Dinosize is a card that a lot of people are probably overlooking but it has a lot of potential to work as a finisher. We all know how Grommash Hellscream and Cruel Taskmaster were used as a popular finisher combo. You can simply run any cheap charge minion or use an existing token on your board and buff it up with Dinosize for an instant 10 damage while retaining a better body than Grom.
Sunkeeper Tarim is a beefed up version of Keeper of Uldaman and it’s very hard to judge this card considering its effect doesn’t do much to prevent the onslaught of aggressive decks as they’ll be able to push a lot of damage even if you transform them to 3/3s. But it does hold a lot of potential in a token style Paladin deck and if ‘Spam Paladin’ becomes a thing then it can actually serve to be a viable finisher.
With Awaken The Makers being all the rage in the community, Priest received Crystalline Oracle which just might make the Quest card absolutely viable since it’s extremely cheap to play and get your Quest done very quickly. It also has the Elemental tag, meaning if there are Elemental themed Priest decks it can add another layer of synergy.
Tortollan Shellraiser is another Deathrattle inclusion to the Priest set and it might see play in Standard to support the Quest card. The stat line is not the best but if aggressive decks run a lot of 2 HP minions, then the card can definitely make an impact.
Priest has had trouble with card draw and there are no good class options aside from Power Word: Shield. Shadow Visions tries to mitigate that by allowing the class to Discover spells from your own deck and it adds a copy to your hand.
Mimic Pod is the first card that tries to push the Rogue Quest and it’s definitely a step up from Thistle Tea which feels a tad too slow. We are better off waiting a little more to see what cards we get to support The Caverns Below to know the full potential of the class quest.
Sherazin, Corpse Flower is a very unique card and it’s the first card in hearthstone that can become dormant on board instead of dying. It is a very interesting deathrattle minion that just might make the cut in Deathrattle Rogue decks but having to play 4 cards in one turn is not easy at all and you would need to run a lot of card generation or card draw in your deck to get full value out of the legendary minion.
Volcano is a new AoE spell for Shamans that deals 15 damage randomly split among all enemies. Upon first sight the card does feel like an unrealistic addition to the class that already has a ton of powerful board clears available to them.
Shamans have always been about Elementals and the class might retain its popularity even in the coming year as well! Stone Sentinel is one of the first inclusions in the Elemental army and it allows you to generate 8/10 worth of stats for 7 mana if you play an Elemental in the turn prior to playing Stone Sentinel. It’s no surprise that the Shaman legendary is also an elemental as well. Meet Kalimos, Primal Lord – a 8 mana 7/7 that can cast one of 4 spells if you trigger its condition.
You can cast the invocations for 0 mana and they include a 3 damage board clear, 12 HP worth of healing for your hero, 6 face damage to the enemy hero or fill your board with 1/1 elementals. It is not a random effect and you can choose which one you want from the 4 spells!
Warlock is getting a big push with the Discard Warlock theme through the legendary quest Lakkari Sacrifice. First up on the charts is the Lakkari Felhound, a powerful taunt minion that discards two of your cards in exchange for a beefy stat line that can be a very good inclusion against aggressive decks.
It’s hard to see which direction Discard decks are headed as of now and it’s more than likely that aggressive lists will get better advantage from the play style compared to mid range or control decks. Clutchmother Zavas, the Warlock legendary is absolutely insane! You do not necessarily need to lose good cards from your hand when playing discard themed cards as Zavas can allow you to prevent you from losing cards while also buffing up her own statline. There is no cap to how big Zavas can become and it is only limited by your decklist and how lucky you are at discarding Zavas each time you play a discard card.
Warrior has seen only one reveal so far which is , a card that completely replaces your deck with copies of ‘Discover a card’ for 2 mana. It is reminiscent of Renounce Darkness but for Warriors and it can lead to some fun games for people looking for lighthearted fun and crazy moments!
This is all we have for this week’s roundup; I’ll be back with another set of reveals next week with more crazy legendaries and powerful spells. In all honesty the Elemental theme and Quest mechanics seem really strong and we’re definitely looking forward to play with the new cards once they come out next month!