The Lich King instills the fear of death into his foes. He's recruited Hearthstone's most impressive heroes to do his bidding including our beloved Jaina Proudmore who now lives on as Frost Lich Jaina. She's received a plethora of new abilities since joining the forces of evil including the loyalty of Sindragosa. Today, the Lich King gives her another tool which will help her foes understand the true meaning of fear: Simulacrum.
Simulacrum is a new Mage card that allows players to copy the lowest Cost minion in their hand. It's a one for one trade - you lose this spell, but you get an extra copy of a given minion. While copying the "lowest" cost minion might not seem very impactful, the card holds a lot of potential.
It appears to be inspired by World of Warcraft's Death Knight ability Dark Simulacrum. The description reads, "Places a dark ward on an enemy that persists for 12 sec, triggering when the enemy next spends mana on a spell and allowing the Death Knight to unleash an exact duplicate of that spell. Against nonplayers, only absorbs some harmful spells."
Playing it in the early game will most likely result in copying a cheap minion, which might not exactly be what you want. However, the card gets better and better as the game goes on - when you have more mana, you can simply play the low-cost minions and isolate the one you want to copy. Especially if you play a spell-heavy deck - then a big drop might be the smallest minion in your hand! Other times you don't even have to do that because copying a "low-cost" minion is not always that bad. Here are some cards that potentially synergize with Simulacrum:
Big, impactful minions like Archmage Antonidas, Medivh, the Guardian or Alexstrasza - If you play a slower Mage deck, you often run those big minions as finishers. What does it have to do with this card? Well, you often end up with a hand with that card and a bunch of spells. Even if you have a small minion or two, you can simply play them first before using this spell. We all know how impactful those cards can be, and having another copy of them might make your win much easier. Imagine six charges of Atiesh or being able to Alexstrasza yourself without making it impossible to use her on the opponent later!
Arcane Giant - Who said that the "lowest Cost minion in your hand" has to be small? If you happen to play the deck with Arcane Giants, it's very common to get them down to only a few points of mana, maybe even zero. If that's the case, you can get an extra copy of it for just three mana. 3 mana 8/8 doesn't sound that bad. Similarly, the card can work well with other Giants like Molten Giant or Sea Giant, but Arcane is most common in Mage.
Doomsayer - A very basic minion that nearly every slow Mage deck uses. In some matchups, having an extra copy is very good. If you happen to have a lot of Freezing effects (e.g. Frost Nova, Blizzard), but only a single Doomsayer, you might want to get a second copy.
Sorcerer's Apprentice - This card can be played as an extra Apprentice in the Exodia Mage deck (which features Open the Waygate Quest). The goal is to play two copies of Sorcerer's Apprentice, get two more with Molten Reflection, finish the Quest (Time Warp). On the next turn, you can play Archmage Antonidas and cheap spell for infinite Fireballs (since they cost 0 mana each). The problem is that the deck's strategy can be easily disrupted by some cards, most notably Dirty Rat - pulling out one of the Apprentices is common and then it might be very hard to finish the combo. Simulacrum can counter that by adding one more copy of Apprentice to your hand.
Pyros - This guy is a great target to copy. He's cheap, so isolating the first body in the hand shouldn't be hard. But the total value he brings is worth a lot. If you're not convinced whether it's worth, imagine playing two copies of Pyros in a N'Zoth, the Corruptor deck. Now N'Zoth will bring back two 2/2's and two 6/6's, both with the Deathrattles to get even more value. That's pretty much enough to justify running N'Zoth as a finisher in your Control Mage deck!
Tech Cards - You play tech cards in order to improve some of your matchups. For example - Gluttonous Ooze is a rather common tech card in slow Mage decks. You play it against weapon decks, however, it's pretty poor against those which don't run them. That's why you don't want to put two copies - it would be an overkill most of the time, but not if you play against some deck with a lot of different, strong weapons. Then having an extra copy might come handy and you can get it with Simulacrum. The same goes for other techs like Dirty Rat or Eater of Secrets. You can have only a single copy of them, but get an extra one in the matchups you need.
Emperor Thaurissan (Wild) - Thaurissan is another one of those big, impactful minions you might want to copy. However, it's on the list for other reasons. It reduces the cost of every card in your hand, and cards copied by this keep their reduced mana cost. It means that if you happen to play Freeze Mage with Evolved Kobold and you reduce it to three mana, you can quite easily get an extra copy with this. Not only it means that you can have two huge burst turns, but it also means that OTK becomes much easier, as you can have +4 Spell Damage for just 6 mana.
Highlander Decks (Wild) - While some of those cards are still available in Standard, most people enjoy the Highlander decks in Wild now that Reno Jackson has rotated out. And yes, Reno is a great target to copy if it happens to be the cheapest minion in your hand. If one Reno is not enough, two are the best counter to any Aggro deck out there! But he's not the only one - Reno Mage runs many more impactful minions, and some of them are rather cheap. An extra Brann Bronzebeard or Kazakus can be pretty solid in those value-oriented matchups.
And more! There are almost certainly more synergies with existing cards (which we're sure you will find quickly), but there are more cards to come in this set. Not only that - the card will stay with us in Standard until 2019, which means that its potential will continue to grow.
As an extra note, remember that this spell will be added to the pool of spells you can get from the random effects like Babbling Book or Primordial Glyph. So knowing how to utilize it might come handy even if you don't actually put it into your deck.
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