Greetings everyone. Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion has been announced and with bunch of cards already revealed it’s time to take a closer look at them and see how they play out and shake up the meta in Arena. The cards will be sorted by class so you can find a review of any card quickly using the table of contents on the right. In this part I will review all class cards revealed on 4th November. Without further ado let’s jump in and see what MSoG brings to the Arena.
Hunter class cards
Piranha Launcher is a slow, value oriented card. Piranha Launcher is going to deal 8 damage and spawn four 1/1 beasts over the course of 4 turns which is a lot of value, however Piranha Launcher is extremely slow and requires a very late game oriented control deck. One big problem of the card is that it’s distribution of attack and durability is quite bad. 2 attack isn’t enough to kill a lot of 2 drops. Piranha Launcher would be much better of if it had 3 attack which is the sweet spot for the early game. On top of that 4 durability means you will have to take face damage 4 times. Hunter is not a class that has many taunts or healing spells. That means you will have to rely on neutral taunts and heals. Lastly the big downside to this weapon is that we can’t control when it will summon the 1/1 Piranhas and at turn 5 1/1 minions aren’t a big threat especially if you’re losing on the board. The card will be good in some decks but only in rare occasions Overall the card is too slow and requires a late game control deck.
Rating: Below average
Druid class cards
Mark of the Lotus is a really strong card since it doesn’t require a lot to be good. If you use Mark of the Lotus with 2 minions on the board it already generates more value than Divine Strength which is an average card in Arena. Having 2 minions on the board is not hard at all as Mark of the Lotus can be used at any stage in the game and still be effective. Compared to Power of the Wild it seems even stronger as it costs twice as little. Even when used on a single minion to force a good trade it isn’t too bad. The highest potential is for Mark of the Lotus to hit 7 minions at which point it becomes crazy as 7/7 stat gain for 1 mana is unbelievable. Overall Mark of the Lotus is great and what makes it good is the low risk with a possibility of a huge reward.
Lunar Visions is similar to Mark of the Lotus in that it’s a low risk card whose potential is huge. At it’s best Lunar Visions essentially is 1 mana draw 2 cards which is 2 mana less than Arcane Intellect. Specifically in Arena minions are a lot more common than spells and decks will very often have at least 20 minions which makes the card even better in Arena. When you draw at least one minion Lunar Visions becomes a better version of Arcane Intellect most of the time as you will be able to play big threats earlier if you draw them with Lunar Visions. Big taunts like Ironbark Protector can be played 2 turns earlier when drawn with Lunar Visions. There is a small problem when 1 or 0 mana minions are drawn as they don’t benefit fully from mana reduction, however in Arena 1 mana cost minions aren’t common at all. Overall a strong card as it has very low risk of backfiring.
Pilfered Power is a card that is meant for constructed and is very bad in the Arena. Wild Growth isn’t too great in the Arena already as it loses tempo on the board and sacrifices a card. Pilfered Power is even more demanding. For it to be better you’ll have to have at least 2 minions by turn 3 which is hardly achievable. On top of that Pilfered Power contradicts with what deck it’s supposed to be into. You want to have a lot of early game as Pilfered Power needs board early on to be powerful. On the other hand you also need a lot of late game to actually use the gained mana crystals and pump out big threats. Speaking in terms of Arena Pilfered Power is just a worse version of Wild Growth.
Kun the Forgotten King is insanely good in Arena. Since there aren’t many aggressive decks in Arena many games will go to turn 10 and at that point 0 mana 7/7 minion is crazy as it has the same stats as War Golem who costs 7 mana. It doesn’t matter if you are behind or ahead on the board Kun will always be crazy. Kun will be a great way to finish out games in the late game for control decks. The option to gain 10 armor sometimes may save you, however 90% of the time it will be better to refresh mana crystals. Not much to say about this card other than it is crazily good.
Mage class cards
Right off the bat stats are the main reason to pick Manic Soulcaster. 3/4 for 3 mana is really great in Arena as 3 drops with these stats can kill almost all 1, 2 and 3 drops and still survive. The effect on Manic Soulcaster is very situational and hard to evaluate. Since in Arena games almost never come down to fatigue it doesn’t matter if you have 30 or 31 cards in your deck. Soulcaster either increases overall deck quality by a few percent or decreases it by a bit. It all depends on when and what card you copy into your deck. Overall the effect isn’t important and stats are all that matters for this card.
Rating: Above average
Paladin class cards
Getaway Kodo is yet another bad Paladin secret in Arena. The main problem with this card is that you don’t want to have any tokens while it is in play. Getaway Kodo is a wasted card if the opponent kills a Silver Hand Recruit while the secret is in play. Basically with this secret in play you won’t want to use your hero power at all because of the risk of Getaway Kodo triggering on it. Another problem with this card is that it is meant to let you play amazing cards like Tirion Fordring and play them again after they have been killed. The problem with that in Arena is you will rarely have amazing cards in hand that you’d want to play again next turn. If this secret triggers on an average rated minion like River Crocolisk then it wasn’t any better had you just picked a simple 2 drop during the draft instead of Getaway Kodo. Overall bad just because high quality cards are rare in Arena.
2 main problems with Small-Time Recruits. Firstly you won’t draft many 1 drops. Secondly you won’t draft many good 1 drops. Small-Time Recruits requires at least four to five 1 drops in a deck which is straight up not a good idea to do in the Arena. The card is bad in the late game as three 1 cost minions won’t save you then. In the early game instead of drawing and playing those 1 cost minions it would have been better to play during turns 1-3. So it is bad to play this card in both early game and in the late game. There is an upside when you play Small-Time Recruits. it improves the quality of your deck for the late game as you don’t want to draw 1 drops in the late game. Besides that Small-Time Recruits don’t have many good advantages. Overall a card that isn’t meant for Arena therefore it isn’t good.
Rating: Below average
Meanstreet Marshal is another card that is mean for constructed and not Arena. Marshal is straight up a 1 mana 1/2 that will very rarely draw a card. It’s incredibly hard to draft buffs to make this card work even harder to draw them in time to buff Meanstreet Marshal. In the best case scenario even if it draws a card when it dies it is 1 mana 1/2 draw a card which isn’t too far off from a Loot Hoarder just costs 1 mana less and has a worse stat distribution.
Wickerflame Burnbristle should be looked as a 3 mana 2/2 with divine shield and taunt. The healing effect doesn’t matter for Arena and since buffs are rare it’s hard to get a noticeable amount of heal from Burnbristle. There are 2 main comparisons when talking about stats. First of all you can compare Burnbristle with Shielded Minibot. Minibot is clearly a lot better as it costs 1 mana less in exchange for not having taunt, however it isn’t a fair comparison as Shielded Minibot is rated insanely good in Arena. A better comparison to make would be with Scarlet Crusader. The stats are pretty similar, however Scarlet’s 3 attack is quite a bit better with Divine shield. Burnbristle on the other hand has taunt and a small healing ability, which offsets the worse stat distribution. Overall similar to Scarlet Crusader, however since it is a Legendary often time there will be better cards to pick.
Priest class cards
Potion of Madness has crazy potential and is a high risk high reward card. Best case scenario would be something along the lines of stealing opponent’s 2 mana 2/3 and running it into opponent’s 3/2 or something similar. That would gain 3 mana tempo wise and would be 2 for 1 in terms of card advantage. Other times it might be stuck in hand as there is nothing on opponent’s board with 2 or less health. It can be combined with cards that reduce attack like Shrinkmeister, however combos like that are rare in Arena. Overall a situational card with lots and lots of potential but with a high risk of being completely useless.
Rating: Above average
Kabal Talonpriest is completely bonkers in arena. The 3/4 body for 3 mana is already very good addition to Priest in Arena. On top of that it has a crazy good ability. It is basically 3 mana 3/7 in terms of stats. In most, but not all, situations Talonpriest is a better version Dark Cultist as it has immediate effect and doesn’t give opponent time to react to it. Kabal Talonpriest is best used in the early game on turn 3 giving health to a 2 drop played a turn before. Overall amazing early game Priest drop which will definitely somewhat raise Priest from it’s current rankings in the meta.
Unlike with many dragon synergy cards, Drakonid Operative is actually a good play even if you don’t hold a dragon in the hand. It’s 5 mana 5/6 stats are the same as Pit Fighter which is a great 5 drop. The effect of Drakonid Operator is unlikely to trigger in Arena as there aren’t that many dragon cards in general. If it does trigger the battlecry is crazy good as cards in your opponent’s deck are better than random on average. Overall just see this card as a Pit Fighter which may have a crazy benefit from time to time.
Pint-Size Potion is a situational card and very dependent on your deck. It is best used to combo with Cabal Shadow Priest, Shadow Word: Pain and few other removals. Yet it is not required to have any of those in the deck for Pint-Size Potion to have a good effect. All you need is a board advantage. You can use Pint-Size Potion to make enemy minion’s attack low and then trade in your minions into opponent’s. In the end you will most likely clear opponent’s board while having your minions hurt just a little. Even though the card is too situational to be good it’s not far from being useful.
Rating: Below average
Dragonfire Potion is the card Priest needs right now in Arena, sadly it’s an epic. Dragonfire Potion will become one of the best board clears in Arena. Priest is often behind on the board as the early game of a Priest is weak compared to other classes. Dragonfire Potion allows to catch up in the mid game and flip the board in favour of Priest. 5 damage will be enough to finish off most of the minions gaining a lot of card advantage in the process. If you compare this card to Elemental Destruction you can see how Dragonfire Potion costs less mana, deals more consistent damage, and even has synergy with some other Priest cards. Not much to say about this card other than that it will be amazing and best board clear a Priest has.
Rogue class cards
Counterfeit Coin is most likely meant to be used with combo in constructed play. In arena you can’t reliably draft combo cards so this card becomes obsolete in being a combo activator. At that point it only gives 1 mana and that isn’t worth a card when compared to Innervate. Counterfeit Coin is a cheap spell and may have synergy with Violet Teacher or Gadgetzan Auctioneer, however there are even more unlikely to be draft given how low of a chance it is for these to be offered during your drafting. Overall 1 mana is not worth sacrificing card advantage for.
Lotus Assassin is a better version of Stranglethorn Tiger for Rogue. Stranglethorn Tiger is already considered to be one of the best neutral 5 drops so it just shows how cool Lotus Assassin is. If played correctly Lotus Assassin almost guarantees a trade 2 for 1. If you kill a minion Assassin immediately goes back into stealth. Then opponent can either use an AoE removal or do nothing. If Lotus Assassin stays on the board the next turn you can kill another minion giving you a 2 for 1 in card advantage. The best part about it is that it can kill minions with 4 attack like Chillwind Yeti and become stealthed with 1 health remaining. This protects Lotus Assassin from opponent’s hero power and next turn Lotus Assassin can kill another minion resulting in a card advantage for you. Overall the card has strong stats, even stronger ability without disadvantages.
Warrior class cards
I Know a Guy is hard to evaluate without knowing rest of the set. Currently Warrior has 2 very good taunt minions Fierce Monkey and Bloodhoof Brave. 1 mana discover a card isn’t too bad since mid game is the best time to use this card there will often be times when you are floating 1 mana and with I Know a Guy you can use it to smooth out your curve. The fact that it is a taunt doesn’t matter too much as a Warrior since you will always have more than enough health. There is a big variety of both good and bad taunts in the game, however since discover offers class cards at an increased percentage we will have to wait and see what Warrior taunt cards Mean Streets of Gadgetzan brings before completely evaluating I Know a Guy.
That is all for part 1 of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Arena card review. Stay tuned for the remaining parts. Follow me on twitter so you don’t miss part 2. As always thanks for reading and until next time.