Starting this week, we're going to be switching over the remainder of our One Night In Karazhan card reviews to a wing by wing format. We'll even go ahead and grab cards that have already been reviewed and update them now that they've been released and had time to figure out their place in Hearthstone. The Prologue and first wing, The Parlor, released this week and we've reviewed each and every card included. Here's a quick breakdown of our scoring system:
  • As a whole, cards that score a 10/10 are Dr. Boom levels of caliber in that they'll extend to just about every single archetype out there.
  • 8s and 9s are on the verge of being overpowered, they're incredibly strong and will have an immediate impact on their decks.
  • 7: Strong but not overpowered. These cards will most likely see play in their target archetypes.
  • 5 - 6: Playable but not great. They will probably see limited play, may not be in the most competitive of decks.
  • 3 - 4: Just weak cards overall. Not absolutely terrible, just not notable.
  • 2 and below : Too niche or really weak, don't expect to see these played at all.

Table of Contents

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Enchanted Raven

Aside from Forbidden Ancient, Enchanted 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.

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: 7/10.

Firelands Portal

It'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 are a total of 56 5-Cost minions in Standard as of publishing. The average stat-line is: 4.1/4.7 [Ed. note: Does not include Karazhan minions] 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:
keywordsandeffects.jpg

Note: Does not include the new Karazhan 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: 6/10.

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Cloaked Huntress

As a whole, Hearthhead has played a lot of Midrange Hunter in the past. Because of this Cloaked Huntress really, really excites us. One of the large reasons the class as a whole trended downwards with Standard and Whispers of the Old Gods was the loss of Mad Scientist. Actually casting your secrets has never been the best feeling in a class that needs to be hero powering as often as possible and we once again have a way of doing so.

There are plenty of three mana 2/4s that see play and we very much expect a 3/4 to be popular as a result. Pirate Warrior's Bloodsail Cultist is something that has really grown in popularity and this effect is equally if not more worthy of inclusion.

Early reports have this being an essential part of the ressurrection of Face Hunter! With Snake Trap and Freezing Trap now being free, you're able to push even more face damage. We played an hour or two of this last night and saw really good results

Verdict: 8/10

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.

As you can see, the class is somewhat hamstringed 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: 6/10.

Priest of the Feast

Despite all the doom and gloom surrounding the Priest class, Priest of the Feast isn't actually all that bad. Sure it's not stupendous and it certainly won't be the card to restore the class to its former glory, but it's also not trash either. The community has been asking for more healing since Paladins seem to be getting plenty of that these days and that's at least one thing this accomplishes. The stats aren't terrible but it is indeed another reactionary card. The benefit here is that you can at least play something and then worry about the spell healing later.

Early reports have this being a pretty good card for Priests overall. The four mana spot is awfully crowded at the moment which makes this a little worse than it would be otherwise.

Verdict: 6/10

Deadly Fork

Fiery War Axe is insane. Easily one of the best weapons in the game, what if Rogue had a way to get that type of value?

Good in theory, average in execution, Deadly Fork is a 3-Cost 3/2 that's sub-par on stats but tries to make up for it with by giving you a 3/2 weapon. Unfortunately that weapon also costs three mana making this a pretty expensive two turn combo to get a single good weapon. We aren't sure why Blizzard couldn't make the weapon any cheaper, especially given the amount of weapon buffs that Warriors now have at their disposal, but because of that and the slow nature of this Rogue card, we don't really expect a ton out of this.

Verdict: 5/10

Maelstrom Portal

The weakest of Karazhan's portals, Maelstrom Portal does a piddling one damage to all enemy minions and summons you a 1-Cost minion for two mana. It's worth noting that dealing two damage to all enemy minions is valued at four mana through Consecration with effects adding cost on top of that. But here we have a one mana token wipe which Blizzard clearly seems to think will be saved for instances when you have a spell damage totem. At that point it would be undercosted by two mana and would summon you a 1-Cost minion for good measure. That doesn't seem too bad at face value, but Shamans can't afford to continually roll the dice. Maybe Midrange versions of the class could get away with it, but more and more we're seeing Shamans move away from RNG heavy spells in favor of its really solid minion base.

Verdict: 4/10

Silverware Golem

One Night In Karazhan very clearly marks the biggest push Blizzard has made towards Discard Warlock. Silverware Golem is way more impactful than Fist of Jaraxxus simply because it's a minion. Imagine a Turn 2 where you play either Darkshire Librarian or Succubus for a massive 7/6 of stats (in the case of the latter) so early on in the game. The only other class in the game that can even come close to that is Druid thanks to its many ramping methods.

We're certainly getting close to a world where Discardlock is very much a thing, regardless of whether it's truly competitive or not. Our only concern is in regards to whether or not the archetype has enough greedy minions to get away with the amount of discarding. Without those, it'll simply run out of steam or get punished too hard by early removal. If the community can develop a list that manages to get away with that Silverware Golem should be a large part of why it's proven worthy.

Verdict: 6/10.

Protect the King!

Unleash the Taunts! In the right world maybe this is a good card. The reason Unleash the Hounds is good is that you can immediately use the minions you spawn to trade or push damage. Save the King leaves you hoping they survive until the next turn. Not even Bolster guarantees their survival as there are plenty of three damage board clears in the wild right now.

Most control decklists would rather spawn one large minion with Taunt over a bunch of tokens. There's certainly a world where this is usefully blocking a ton of damage from a couple of large minions, but with how many pings are in Hearthstone right now, it's hard to imagine that happening anywhere near consistently.

We initially underrated Protect the King at a 4/10, but Trump has developed a somewhat successful Bolster deck that won a significant number of games, granted it was around Rank 15. Perhaps we wrote this one off too soon, time will tell as the wings continue to release.

Verdict: 5/10.

Arcane Anomaly

An (almost) reversed Mana Wyrm, is the prospect of gaining Health and keeping a two Attack minion alive worth the risk? Some seem to think so. Would players utilize a Zombie Chow that didn't have the drawback of healing the enemy? We'd say so and that's probably where Arcane Anomaly's future lies. When heavier aggro decks - that run lots of smaller minions, unlike Aggro Shaman - are popular, we'd expect this to see some play.

If you're flat out on your heels trying to ward off a push, it's not implausible that we see this one Turn 1 followed by a bunch of controlling spells to help delay into the late game. Growing Attack values are much scarier obviously so it'll be interesting to see what scaling Health has an impact on.

Verdict: 5/10

Moroes

As 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.

Verdict: 2/10.

Pantry Spider

A total of 2/6 worth of stats on a 3-Cost minion seems good at face value, but one of the biggest rules of Hearthstone is that when dividing stats the card as a whole generally becomes weaker. Two 1/3 Pantry Spiders really don't accomplish all that much. Maybe in some sort of token buffing deck this could potentially see some experimentation, but as a whole it's entirely underwhelming given the current value available at the same mana cost.

Verdict: 3/10

Arcanosmith

The idea of having a minion spawn another minion to protect itself in a Battlecry is something Blizzard really hasn't explored a ton. Bilefin Tidehunter comes to mind as one that was semi-successful, so the developers may have tried to push that a little further. If we make the minion more expensive and upgrade it to a 3/2 while making the Taunt minion larger, is that something that players could potentially utilize? At first glance the resounding answer is no. A 0/5 with Taunt is essentially useless. There's not a single minion in Hearthstone with zero Attack that doesn't have a significant impact on the board state and still sees play. Again, token decks are the only thing that would have interest in such a thing and let's be honest, there are a lot better options out there already.

Verdict: 3/10