In Part 2 of our One Night In Karazhan card reviews, we examine all five legendaries: Moroes, Barnes, The Curator, Prince Malchezaar, and Medivh, the Guardian.
Table of Contents
MoroesAs a three Mana 1/1, Moroes feels pretty weak. Any board clears or even a single ping from Arcane Missiles is enough to make him a waste of mana. His token generation really lends itself to the currently popular Token Druid archetype, but even there it seems a bit sub-par. Keep in mind, Druid is a class that can have a 2/5 for three mana. And the kicker here is that Moroes doesn't even spawn the token until after your turn has ended, so you can't even buff it with Power of the Wild or Soul of the Forest.
We're all for seeing cheaper legendary minions as it's a side of the mana curve that's historically lacking, but we'd much rather see something like Sir Finley Mrrgglton or Bloodmage Thalnos which have very clear use cases. We understand Blizzard's caution here though. Dreadsteed is four mana for infinite 1/1s unless silenced and theoretically Moroes is infinite 1/1s unless you have some way of dealing with a Stealthed minion. But even then there just doesn't seem to be enough reward for the risk you're taking by playing him.
BarnesBlizzard continues its trend of releasing legendary minions that require the proper deck to be good. Most decks will not run Barnes since he'll likely pull a minion that has little to no real effect on the board state. Where Barnes truly shines is in an archetype like N'Zoth Paladin where you summon Tirion Fordring, Cairne Bloodhoof, or Sylvanas Windrunner. There's even added value in N'Zoth, the Corruptor as a result.
This really needs to pay off as well. Fjola Lightbane and her sister are one mana cheaper for the same stat-line and they see next to no play whatsoever. This has led many to conceptualize his inclusion in a Malygos spell damage deck where the dragon is the only minion available. In theory this leaves you with six mana to cast super buffed spells which is great, except for the fact that it really limits your ability to play any other minions.
This is one of the more promising legendaries announced thus far and there's certainly going to be a lot of experimentation with him.
The CuratorWould you run a zoo deck that uses Beasts, Dragons, and Murlocs? Well Blizzard clearly wants you to try. The Curator randomly draws one of each tribe from your deck and puts it into your hand. Not only does this help you find cards you want, it also thins out your deck, and puts you at a card advantage.
Unfortunately that draw isn't exactly cheap. At seven mana, The Curator is one of the more expensive 4/6s in existence. It's right up there with Twin Emperor Vek'lor who actually summons a second 4/6 - very good - and Skycap'n Kragg who pays a lot to have Charge - not very great. Based off of Spiteful Smith and Spectral Knight, minions with that stat-line should cost five mana, even if those two in particular don't really see play. For one mana less Reno Jackson can heal you for up to 29 points of Health. 4/6s can be great between five and seven mana depending on their effect, but where does The Curator fall in this?
Honestly it's a bit tough to imagine. Anyfin Paladin is really crammed full of cards that are essential or nearly so, but another possibility is replacing Malkorok in Tempo Warrior. The archetype already runs Fierce Monkey so that takes care of the Beast synergy. Sir Finley Mrrgglton can be a quick way to fulfill the Murloc side of things, but what do we do about Dragons? There's so many different ways to go and it would certainly require testing. In the end is the card advantage and potential tempo gain better than that of Malkorok? Even if you don't replace him, we're willing to bet the answer is yes.
It's worth noting that you don't actually have to draw from all three tribes. Not running Murlocs? You'll just draw a Dragon and a Beast. And is this all that bad? Pre-nerf Ancient of Lore was a 7-Cost 5/5 that drew you two cards. Here we have a 4/6 with Taunt that kind of does the same assuming you haven't drawn the cards yet. There's precedence for a card like this being good, it's just a matter of finding the right deck to put it in.
Prince MalchezaarThere's a slew of players in the Hearthstone community that think Prince Malchezaar is absolutely broken. We're part of the group that isn't sure this is the case. Malchezaar is primarily useful in control mirrors, helping you stave off the effects of fatigue by five full turns, which can easily be the difference between victory and defeat. Surely this will help the matchup against Priest even more, and it does have Elise Starseeker synergy. But what are the chances you'll get good legendaries? Let's use this popular Warrior decklist as an example:
Excluding the legendaries in this list, there are 55 total legendary minions (including those from One Night In Karazhan). So the chance of getting a specific legendary you want in any of the five cards is actually pretty good at 9.09%. Now we'd like to imagine that most legendaries are good to neutral and it's safe to say that this is really only helpful in a deck that can realistically expect to go to fatigue. This is especially true if you're running Elise as the bad legendaries will be useful later when you summon Golden Monkey.
Verdict: Below Average.
Medivh, the Guardian
We've long been calling for weapons for classes outside of the usual ones since the beginning of 2016. Heck, we even theorized that Atiesh could come to Hearthstone as a weapon for Druids, Mages, Priests, and Warlocks given the staff's nature in World of Warcraft. However, instead we're seeing it introduced as a legendary neutral minion, Medivh, the Guardian, meaning any class now has a weapon it can utilize.
Granted it's not actually a weapon you really want to use to remove enemy minions or push face damage, but it's a weapon nonetheless.
Without any kind of cost reduction, you can either play Medivh on Turn 8 and pass or wait a few turns to get some guaranteed value out of Atiesh with a 2-Cost spell. The same effect as Summoning Stone, it's arguably much better on a weapon which can be a lot harder to remove. We certainly expect weapon removal such as Harrison Jones to go up in value once the final wing of Karazhan is out.
This very much feels like a tempo deck's best friend. We've seen many Tempo Mages start fazing out Archmage Antonidas in favor of minions that give them more leverage on the field. The glory of Medivh is that not only does it do that, but it also grants you a large amount of spell synergy. Even being able to convert your Arcane Intellects into random 3-Cost minions is a huge advantage. There's just no easy way for an opponent to deal with both a giant 7/7 body and the immanent threat your weapon poses.
We certainly expect Hunters, Druids, Mages, and the likes to give this a shot and it very well could end up being a crucial part of many decks. While it's not a win condition, Medivh certainly brings a lot of tempo to the table.
Want more of our thoughts? Part 1 is available here.