We're back for some more theorycrafting of The Grand Tournament cards and this time we're tackling the four revealed Mage cards. Two of them: Coldarra Drake and Fallen Hero focus on the hero power while Effigy adds a new secret to the arsenal, and Spellslinger looks to incorporate more spells.

Back to Top Coldarra Drake

Out of all the cards we've seen in action thus far Coldarra Drake looks to be one of the most game changing. Though the quicker meta may not permit it, it brings about a whole bunch of potential combos. One of the first to consider is Fallen Hero that would theoretically allow you to cast a Pyroblast for five mana. And while that may not seem realistic, it certainly does give you the opportunity to board clear.

The dream involves Nexus-Champion Saraad and you'll want to be able to cast your hero power a few times to get value right away. That said, at the very least it is a seven mana 4/5 that gives you one random spell, probably worth on average around two to three mana. And that's not terrible, but it's also not fantastic. Comparing it to Nefarian, it's strictly worse as it has a weaker body and requires you to hero power multiple times. However, with other cards new cards that make your hero power cost less like Maiden of the Lake your value skyrockets. A lot needs to come together to make this happen, but one thing is for sure Coldarra Drake is almost certainly good in Arena.

Back to Top Fallen Hero

For a 3/2 Fallen Hero just might be competitive enough to see play. You'd most likely see it either coined out or played on turn two in expectation of pinging the opponents 3/2 and saving your own. This is fantastic in arena as it allows you to completely control the tempo and trade up into a five health minion given the chance. The real reason you might see it played in constructed however, is that even towards the late game there's a possibility of it being useful. One damage is oftentimes the difference between removing that large or pesky minion or dealing the final point of damage.

Combined with the new Inspire mechanic and cards that give you benefits for utilizing your hero power like Nexus-Champion Saraad to also gain a ton of spells. As more cards are revealed that might fit well in a Freeze, Tempo, Echo, or Grinder Mage deck, it'll be interesting to see what makes the cut and what doesn't. And when that time comes, what cards will we see fall out of favor?

Back to Top Spellslinger

Out of all the revealed Mage minions thus far, I think Spellslinger is tough to judge due to a few factors. In a Flamewaker Tempo Mage, more spells is strictly a good thing as it means more damage output. It's worth noting that if played on curve, your opponent gets to use their spell first so it's a roll of the dice.

Many have said that this makes it unfavorable in constructed but plenty of other random cards do, so that's not really a valid excuse. The body itself is comparable to Spider Tank which doesn't really see play outside of Mech decks, so we know for a fact that the cost for stats isn't broken. That said, the Tempo deck would have to be pretty aggressive for this to work: we're talking the kind that runs Mirror Image and such. It's hard to tell which card it would possible replace, particularly because it's inclusion means you could drop a spell. In hindsight, that would be less aggressive not more, so I suppose the question remains as to if you could cut another minion for this, and that might not be entirely possible. Time will tell.

Back to Top Effigy

Alright, so lets take a look at the Mage secrets already in Hearthstone. Most decks have a hard time differentiating between the next best secret. Aside from Freeze Mage, there's a lot of variance in what is currently being run. At the front of the pack is Mirror Entity as the most commonly seen card when playing against Mage. Ice Block and Ice Barrier are explicitly Grinder and Freeze Mage. So what does the average Mage deck run as the second best secret? You'll always see some Duplicates, particularly in Grinder and Echo Mage but aside from that you only see the occasional Counterspell or the even rarer Spellbender. No one ever expects Vaporize at this point.

All that considered, I think it's easy to see Effigy taking the title of second most common secret, only to Mirror Entity, as far as universal play goes. The Recombobulator effect is certainly a good one, especially if you trigger it on a minion that costs five mana or more. Any than three mana and you're technically losing out on value, so that's worth noting when considering adding it.

I don't really see it being run in Echo/Grinder/Freeze Mage though that's where it stands to earn the most value. Those decks tend to be secret heavy already and adding another two would continue to dilute its consistency. That said, maybe there's a way that you can compromise a one for one trade off. In Tempo decks it might get enough value to justify inclusion even though this deck is the one searching hardest for another great secret to run. This is particularly strange since it's clearly better than most of the other Mage secrets, but if it doesn't see play there, it's tough to say where else it could make the cut.