Rather than breaking down and reviewing each individual card, we’ve chosen to take a class based approach which seeks to understand how each one has benefitted from the newest set. We’ll discuss how they stack up to other classes (when relevant, since reveals are still under way), compare them to previous expansions, and where appropriate, discuss what neutral cards really benefit them the most.
As the first class to have all of its Mean Streets of Gadgetzan cards, we’re going to be taking a look at how Paladin has fared in its latest round of cards.
The New Cards
It’s hard to evaluate these cards simply due to the fact that Blizzard is pushing the Grimy Goons mechanic and we can’t yet tell if that push is going to be successful. We believe there’s enough there to certainly make it competitive, particularly if you build a deck where you’re buffing some very good minions. But at the very least we can look at the sheer value and stat lines that these minions and spells offer to help draw some conclusions.
Paladin is very focused on cheap cards in Gadgetzan with seven of the nine costing three or less mana. This obviously favors the likes of Aggro Paladin, particularly with the likes of Meanstreet Marshal and Small-Time Recruits which can help you draw cards and thin out your deck.
The latter is particularly interesting because it’s not like Paladin doesn’t have other means of drawing cards. Divine Favor is probably the most popular simply because of the sheer value it brings against decks that are slower than yours and it’s unlikely that Small-Time Recruits will replace this, but it is an interesting option. Guaranteeing three cards off of three mana is great, even if they’re only one-drops because it eliminates them as the bad late game draws.
Grimestreet Outfitter, in particular, is easily the class’ best hand buffing mechanism as it is by far the most reliable in its specific arsenal.
The more expensive cards, on the other hand, are a bit iffier. Grimestreet Enforcer is a worse version of The Mistcaller as it only buffs the card in your hand and not your deck and only costs one less. On the upside, it can activate turn after turn, but four health is pretty vulnerable to removal.
Grimestreet Protector is a pretty decent board bomb. A seven-mana 6/6 with Taunt isn’t bad but add in the fact that you get to give Divine Shield for two of your minions and this could be a very good card. Get those shields on big minions, give them a free trade into your opponent’s minions and you’ve got a very solid board all of a sudden.
Wickerflame Burnbristle is easily the most dependent on the cards he is played with. Even with Taunt and Divine Shield, a three-mana 2/2 feels lackluster. But get some solid buffs on it through any of the other Paladin class cards, neutrals, or even the tri-class cards like Don Han'Cho and this could be a very scary legendary minion to deal with. That said, it’s probably not reliable enough to be truly terrifying unless a ton of randomness goes in your favor or you really manipulate your hand well.
This one certainly has potential now that it can be buffed in your hand though you can still do so while it’s on the board obviously.
Compared to Previous Sets
Before continuing, please take the time to watch FalconePunch55's latest video below. He goes through much more depth when talking about what the Paladin class has gained and lost with each new expansion. We offer a short written version below but can't cover the breadth that he does in such a short amount of time in a written format.
Whispers of the Old Gods
There are two Paladin cards that most people associate with Whispers of the Old Gods: Forbidden Healing and Ragnaros, Lightlord. Both of these have become staples in the slower Paladin decks that are the only type you see on the ladder.
Plus Ragnaros, Lightlord.
The Grand Tournament
Ah, the set that made Paladin the most powerful deck in the meta with a single card. Mysterious Challenger wasn’t the only notable minion even if it might overshadow the rest. We also got Murloc Knight, Seal of Champions, and Competitive Spirit.
Plus Eadric the Pure.
Goblins vs Gnomes
So where does Paladin stack up this time around? It’s obviously not as good as Goblins vs Gnomes as those were some of the best cards ever released at their mana cost, but it seems as if Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is really trying to make up for that lacking early game. If that ends up happening we could be looking at one of the best expansions for Paladin to date, but our gut feeling puts it behind Whispers of the Old Gods because of how powerful Forbidden Healing and Ragnaros, Lightlord are. The Grand Tournament remains one of the worst expansions for the class as a whole simply because Mysterious Challenger was the only card that has really stuck around. Most of the others aren't bad, but they certainly aren't playable in Constructed.
- Goblins vs Gnomes
- Whispers of the Old Gods
- Mean Streets of Gadgetzan
- The Grand Tournament
How would you rank the expansions? Note that we did not consider adventures since the smaller card pool generally means better cards.
Is this something you’d like to see more of? Let us know. We thought it’d be interesting to take a unique look at how a set stacks up to what we’ve previously seen.