The first part of our Karazhan review looks at four class cards.

Enchanted Raven

Aside from Forbidden AncientEnchanted Raven is set to be the only 1-Cost Druid minion released to date. Before we even take a look as to if this is good or not, let's consider what this card actually does. For the first time ever Druid will be able to make a Turn 1 play without simply casting a spell or passing. This is important because, without a solid curve, it's really hard for classes to branch out beyond the mid to late game style decklists.

Aggro Druid lost a significant number of cards when Standard first came out, and Raven certainly looks to leave some room for a revival. It'll be interesting to see if this actually ends up seeing play, at the very least we expect it to see some experimentation. 
Enchanted Raven Card

Despite all the pleas to move away from Beast Druid, Blizzard is again doubling down on the archetype. It's a significant buff for Mark of Y'Shaarj as you can immediately follow up your Turn 1 play with this and get yourself an early card advantage before potentially buffing it again with Wildwalker . We still don't expect Knight of the Wild to be relevant, however.

From a stats perspective, the 2/2 makes is a bit more healthy than most 1-drops. Of those with two or more Attack, Enchanted Raven is only bested by Flame Imp when played from the hand. It certainly isn't a stat-line to be scoffed at and the Beast tag potentially opens it up to much, much more. We're really hopeful for this one.

Verdict: Playable.

Ivory Knight

Ben Brode said it best in the announcement stream, Ivory Knight is supposed to encourage greater variety between what Paladin spells players choose when Discovering them. But you also don't want to take a relatively sub-par spell simply because it's better. Sure this gives you some flexibility, maybe you don't care what card you get as long as you regain some health, but as a whole, we're relatively uncertain about this card's future. Let's take a look at the mana distribution of Paladin spells.


The Cost of Spells In Paladin


As you can see, the class is somewhat hamstrung by the 1-Cost secrets and spells it so frequently relied on in the past. Just by odds alone you're likely to be healing for five or less Health so on that basis we're looking at an effect similar to Darkshire Alchemist, which does see some play. However, you also have the added benefit of discovering a random Paladin spell, and class cards as a whole are very valuable in general. As a whole, if you're playing a control archetype, we think you're happy to Discover any spells with the healing just being an added benefit.

That said, we can't overlook the fact that you're paying six mana for a 4/4 body. Those stats for the cost are notoriously bad - hello, The Mistcaller - and even in Control Shaman that card never sees play. Is the potential for cards like Lay on Hands enough to make up for the fact that you're essentially playing a dead minion on curve to heal a bit and gain a spell? Only time will tell.

Verdict: Hesitant.

Kindly Grandmother

Also known as "so we heard you miss Haunted Creeper."

In general, this is a well-designed card. We now live in a world where Midrange Hunter is really the only routinely competitive archetype, but it's still well known for having slow starts which can get it into trouble. Hence why Doomsayer  was so frequently teched in. Without it, the Hunter leaves itself open to easy clears and trades. Don't get us wrong, it does have early game minions, but they're easily dealt with. Sticky minions used to be a defining feature of the class, but most of that was cycled out with Naxxramas. 

The beauty of Haunted Creeper is that it's a relatively harmless 1/2. But it is a Beast that can be buffed and it does spawn two 1/1 tokens. You never really want to trade a 3/2 into it since the spectral spiders will easily clean it up and that doesn't really feel like good value. 

Kindly Grandmother channels some of this but offers its own twist. Again you have a small body (1/1), but this time around it summons a single 3/2 Beast. This changes things a bit. It suddenly doesn't seem so bad to throw your own 3/2 into it, hoping that the Hunter will be forced to trade his own into yours, effectively earning you a one for one trade. However, there is the significant risk in that. Do you just ignore it and be greedy? Do you trade and hope they have no other answers?

Against today's Zoolock decklists which are densely populated with one health minions, it seems like Hunters just got a bit stronger.

Verdict: Auto-include.

Firelands Portal

Firelands Portal CardIt's the Mage version of Holy Fire! Unfortunately, Holy Fire isn't all that great of a card. It's used occasionally, but not too often and we can't even really compare what Priest archetypes it's run in since the class really only has one that's even somewhat competitive. However, it's pretty safe to say that a random 5-Cost minion is better than healing for five health.

There is a total of 56 5-Cost minions in Standard as of publishing. The average stat line is 4.1/4.7 which is just about a Chillwind Yeti's worth of value, which doesn't seem all that impressive until you examine this as spending five mana to summon a random 5-Cost minion and then the five damage really only costs two mana, which is pretty nuts. This is especially true in Arena, something the community has been none too pleased about.

But you also have to take into account the various keywords and effects associated with these minions, and since Battlecry is automatically irrelevant we've not included it in the following graph which goes over the possibilities:


The Effects and Keywords of 5-Cost Minions


In total, there's almost a 50% chance that you'll be given extra value out of the minion through a beneficial keyword or effect. That's much, much higher than we would have anticipated when first thinking about the card.

As a whole Control Mage has been lacking. This is positively something it can lean on to help bolster itself back up into relevancy. It's still too expensive/slow to be played by the likes of Tempo Mage and Freeze Mage is probably too solid for there to be any room for this, so we wouldn't expect it to make waves in a current archetype.

Verdict: Playable.

There have been a ton of other card reveals which we're yet to review. For a look at them, head on over to our official guide!