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Now that is a LEGENDARY weapon. It’s a Paladin’s weapon if you can’t tell by the border, and it’s just amazing.
But let’s start with the bad thing about – it’s slow. I mean, it’s a high tempo weapon once it starts going, but it’s slow to take off. This will be mostly useful in the Midrange and Control decks, as equipping a 6 mana 4/2 weapon might be too slow for the faster decks. But… that’s about the only downside.
It’s exactly how the “infinite” weapon should be done, not something like Tentacles for Arms. It’s impactful enough, even if it gets destroyed you get a buff, and when you play the minion and it dies, you get this weapon back. So it will be a cycle of Weapon -> Minion -> Weapon -> Minion etc.
The weapon is Ooze-resistant. It’s safe to assume that Paladin will swing with it immediately, so by playing weapon destruction you’re only dealing with a 4/1 weapon. Which isn’t always the worst thing to do, but it’s not that great either. Weapon’s Deathrattle procs and one minion in hand gets buffed.
In order to completely deal with it, you need to Silence (or Transform) the minion after it hits the board. And while it doesn’t seem hard, you need to remember how many good Silence (Transform) targets Paladin runs. 2x Spikeridged Steed and Tirion Fordring are a staple, and if let’s say the new Lynessa Sunsorrow sees play, then it will be even better Silence target than anything previously. I doubt that decks will suddenly start teching in multiple Silences, and with only one Silence and multiple good targets, well, it’s going to work very often.
The +4/+2 buff on a minion is also solid. The low Attack/high Health minions like Stonehill Defender, Sunkeeper Tarim or Primordial Drake will be the best targets to land the buff on. For example, Stonehill Defender will become a 3 mana 5/6 Taunt with the buff, and that’s nuts even disregarding his ability to fetch another Taunt minion. Other goodt argets will be any Divine Shield or Taunt minion (especially those who have both, like Wickerflame Burnbristle and Corpsetaker). That said, you actually DON’T want the buff to land a minion that’s already a juicy Silence target (e.g. Tirion).
Another big selling point of Val'anyr is the handbuff aspect. It synergizes well with the minions that benefit from buffing them while they're still in your hand - think Saronite Chain Gang (which will summon two 6/5 Taunts) and Doppelgangster (which would summon three 6/4 minions). Although it wouldn't fit into the current Handbuff decks, which are generally faster and more aggressive. However, something like a slower Midrange Handbuff Paladin might want to utilize it.
This card seems nuts in the slower matchups. Assuming it doesn’t get Silenced, you will just rotate between infinite weapons and minion buffs. And even if it gets Silenced, it means that your Tirion or other similar cards won’t get Silenced. If opponent won’t counter it, you will get multiple buffs and 4/2 weapons for free. Even if you just attack face with them, it’s already solid win condition, because that’s 4 damage per turn (possibly with breaks for playing the buffed minion).
And in the faster matchups, well, it’s still some board clear and potentially some tempo from the cycling buffs and free weapons. Okay, it’s not great against Aggro, but you don’t play it to be good against Aggro – you play it as a win condition in Midrange/Control matchups, most likely in a Midrange or Control Paladin that has the “anti-Aggro” aspect already covered with other cards.
I like this card a lot, it seems very strong. Maybe even strong enough to see play in Murloc Paladin (especially if you build it a bit slower). The fact that you have to pay for it only once means that it’s a low tempo play initially, but then it gets you more and more tempo as the time goes by. That’s the reason I think it fits slower decks more. If you run it in Aggro deck, you might just give your opponent enough time to stabilize.
Card rating: 4.5/5
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