The final Rare Mage card from Hearthstone's Kobolds & Catacombs is Leyline Manipulator. Revealed by InvenGlobal, it's one heck of a card, particularly if you're a fan of Exodia Mage because this minion's Battlecry makes any cards in your hand that didn't start in your deck a full two mana cheaper!
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This card is nuts. There is simply nothing bad about it. Even dropping it on Turn 4 without activating its effect at all makes it an Elemental version of Chillwind Yeti, which is passable if you run an Elemental deck (since it lets you activate more synergies). So, the effect is just a cherry on the top? No, not at all. The card has really good body AND an insane effect.
The first thing I would compare this to is Ethereal Peddler from Rogue. Both have similar effects and similar, very good stat-line. This is a bit better, because if you have a similar effect and comparable bodies, you prefer to have it on a lower cost minion. However, the thing is, in order to generate many cards from other classes, Rogue had to go out of their way and play multiple cards that were questionable at best. Of course, Swashburglar is great, Shaku, the Collector is also fine, but the rest of the bunch was meh. In case of Mage, however, generating cards from outside of the deck is much easier and much more viable.
There is Babbling Book, Cabalist's Tome (and the new Lesser Ruby Spellstone), Primordial Glyph, Simulacrum, Pyros (6 and 10 mana version), basically any Discover minion like Stonehill Defender or Servant of Kalimos and random cards generated from effects like The Lich King.
As you can see, there are many VIABLE ways to do that, and even hitting this effect on one or two cards will be great. This will surely see play in Elemental Mage, and Elemental Mage might be a really powerful pick in the upcoming meta, simply because of the power of cards its getting now. Elemental Mage was already close to being viable in KFT and I simply can’t see how those cards won’t push it into a high tier (maybe even Tier 1).
But that’s not all. Besides being an Elemental and all, the effect alone can find its place in a whole another deck – Exodia Mage. The current version generates a lot of random spells from outside of the deck, and having a card to discount them all could be solid. But that’s not all. This card actually allows you to assemble Exodia WITHOUT playing the Quest at all. How? You run two copies of Simulacrum, copy your Sorcerer's Apprentices two times, then play this. Now you have 2 mana Apprentice and two 0 mana Apprentices. You drop Archmage Antonidas (7 mana), 2x 0 mana Apprentice (7 mana), 1x 2 mana Apprentice (9 mana), then play Molten Reflection on one of your Apprentices (10 mana). Here you go, Exodia assembled – you just OTK your opponent. And you don’t need to run those clunky Cabalist’s Tomes, you can rather focus
The only problem with the “new” Exodia is that it’s more susceptible to Dirty Rat – ratting out a copied Apprentice ruins the combo. But at the same time, without having to keep the Quest in the starting hand and run a lot of spell generation, it gets much less clunky – it can focus more on surviving instead.
This card is just dirty. Full vanilla stats, super powerful effect AND an Elemental tag to top that. It’s on the level of Drakonid Operative and if this won’t push this archetype, then I don’t know what would they need to do.
Card rating: 5/5
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