Pay nine mana to Recruit a Dragon from your deck?

Brian Kibler, Frodan, Firebat and Zalae of the Omni/Stone Podcast have revealed the latest Kobolds & Catacombs card: Dragonhatcher.

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This card is way too expensive for its effect to matter when combined with those stats. While it’s a mini-Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound for Dragons, the word “mini” is important here. Y’Shaarj is hard to clear, it’s a huge 10/10 threat etc. This pretty much just recruits a Dragon and dies next turn. So why not just play that Dragon instead?

While having an extra 2/4 body on the board AND a target that needs to be taken down, because it can summon more might seem solid, there are few catches.

First – you can’t play small Dragons, because it will make this card bad. Even Cobalt Scalebane is not really worth it, as it’s “just” a 5/5.

Second – you can’t pick what Dragon you want each turn. You get a random one. Maybe you need the Taunt from Primordial Drake, but you get Deathwing instead and you die? Well, it will happen often.

Third – recruit doesn’t proc Battlecries. While in some cases it’s actually a good thing, not really when you’re playing a deck with big Dragons. For example, Alexstrasza is mostly played for the Battlecry, and Primordial Drake’s 2 damage AoE is also important.

Fourth – end of turn effects won’t proc. Recruiting something with end of turn effect won’t activate that end of turn effect. So if you recruit Cobalt Scalebane or Ysera, you don’t even get the +3 Attack buff or the extra Dream card.

As you can see, there are a lot of downsides, all of which will most likely make this card unplayable. There is only one deck I could imagine playing this in, and it’s a Big Dragon Priest. Or well, any Big Dragon deck, but Priest would probably work best. It adds another great outcome to the Barnes / Shadow Essence, as getting it for cheaper + it recruiting a big Dragon might be worth it. It’s worse than Y’Shaarj, but you can play two and Y’Shaarj will rotate out soon.

One extra thing is that it might be pulled out by Meat Wagon if you run it in a deck with buffs, or handbuffs. For example, Handbuff Paladin could put it into their deck as the only 1-2 Attack minion besides Meat Wagon and then put a bunch of big Dragons. But a few issues – not running any 1-2 Attack minions is almost impossible (since those are usually the best handbuff targets), you need to put a bunch of expensive Dragons into your deck that you don’t want to draw, and finally Meat Wagon can still flop and pull another Meat Wagon, which will be only 1 Attack, so it won’t pull this out and your whole combo will be gone. So yeah, not that good.

I’m not completely dismissing this card, as it makes some sense in the Big Dragon Priest I’ve talked about, especially next year after Y’Shaarj rotates out. But right now I don’t think that’s going to be a good card.

P.S. Oh yes, I forgot about one thing. Maybe, just maybe, there will be another Dragon that’s powerful, but has a negative Battlecry. Then it would make more sense to recruit it instead of just playing it. Like, you sometimes prefer to recruit Deathwing than have its Battlecry proc.

Card rating: 2/5

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