The winners and losers of The Grand Tournament

Hearthstone Stefan “Sumadin” Suadicani

 

Winner: Druid


Druid has been a class in stasis for the last two years. You knew what a druid deck was and pretty much knew how it planned to play out. Ramping up, slowly. Making value plays and winning out on the tempo thanks to [card]Innervate[/card]. Well no more, Druids, it is time for some innovation.

Nine cards is what Druids are getting and all of those nine seems to be cards that could see competitive use in constructed ladder.

[card]Aviana[/card] is crazy! Potentially game winning on her own when supplemented by an Innervate and the right minions. A powerful legendary.

The new Druid beast synergy leaves hunters in tears as they could only wish their own beast support was this reliable *cough* [card]Ram Wrangler[/card] *cough*. And their new beasts aren't half bad either with [card]Druid of the Saber[/card] being a solid 2 drop and [card]Savage Combatant[/card] being one of the better inspire cards.

Finally, we got [card]Astral Communion[/card], a game-changer if there ever was one. People call this strategy “Yolo ramp” but any decks that end up using this are probably going to know exactly what they are doing. It could lead to strategies that sweep away their opponent in raw value, purely off the top of the deck.

The biggest point to all of this is that alot of these cards will not just shake up Druid decks but create new decks all on their own. The only card that can be considered a supplement would be [card]Darnassus Aspirant[/card], but it too is a fine card espicially due to Druids trouble with [card]Mirror Entity[/card].

Overall a rock solid expansion for Druids.

 


 

Honorable mention: Shaman


Of course Shaman has to be mentioned. The class was hyped by getting massive boost from the very start of the TGT reveals with cards such as [card]Totem Golem[/card] and [card]Tuskarr Totemic[/card], really solid cards by themselves

There are  other goodies as well, [card]The Mistcaller[/card] being a really potent legendary and [card]Ancestral Knowledge[/card] offering Shamans the card draw they so desperately craved for.

What keeps Shaman off top is the fact that some of their cards have really questionable viability like [card]Draenei Totemcarver[/card] and [card]Charged Hammer[/card]. Totemcarver is essentially a more restricted [card]Frostwolf Warlord[/card] at 1 less mana and Charged Hammer is just weird.

For a class that has spent the last months on roughly the same class tier as priest, I would have expected slightly more in this expansion. It is really only the Totem golem Their cards just goes slightly below the mark compared to druid.



 

Loser: Warlock


I am having a really hard time suffciently expressing how much shit Warlocks got this expansion.

Gimmicky, unreliable, random, junk. These are the best words to describe the cards that are given to Warlocks. There is a time and place for wonky cards but Warlocks would probably have wanted something that is solid on its own at least some of the time.

We have [card]Dark Bargain[/card], which makes [card]Deathwing[/card] seem like a better bargain; [card]Demonfuse[/card] whose sole intention seems to make your opponent defeat you even faster and [card]Dreadsteed[/card] which would be a questionable card even in a world where neither [card]Ironbeak Owl[/card] or [card]Cabal Shadow Priest[/card] were a thing.

Asside from that junk, they also got cards like the [card]Fearsome Doomguard[/card], the first effect-less class minion. It will bolster the odds of a good [card]Bane of Doom[/card], but that is it. And they got [card]Void Crusher[/card] which is put there to remind you how great of a deal it is having to pay 6 mana for a targeted removal in [card]Siphon Soul[/card] when you could be paying 8 for a random unreliable removal.

Sad days to be a Warlock.
 


 

Dishonorable mention: Paladin


Paladin's card reveals were withheld for quite a while leaving people wondering if there was something really amazing that they wouldn't show it yet. Truth be told, there really wasn't. The paladin cards are not bad per say, but a lot of them fall in the category of “more of the same” with cards like [card]Enter the Coliseum[/card] and [card]Eadric the Pure[/card]: Cards which can handle midrange to control decks in much the same fashion [card]Equality[/card] /  [card]Consecration[/card] currently does. They also got [card]Argent Lance[/card] to bolster their already ludicrous arsenal of early low attack weapons. They just can't be allowed to deal 3 damage at once it seems.

Paladins also got the murloc card of this expansion, which seems to be a good indication of which class drew the short straw. It will not advance existing Paladin decks for sure, something desperately needed for the class.

Most of the paladin gifts of this expansion actually come from the neutral pool with [card]Justicar Trueheart[/card] offering arguably the highest upgrade of Hero power and [card]Silver Hand Regent[/card] bolstering the general strategy of paladins in a meaningful way as well. [card]Grand Crusader[/card] also offers paladins essentially a draw effect of one of their class cards, a very unreliable one though.

The one positive thing for Paladins is the new secret and the [card]Mysterious Challenger[/card], a super strong support card for Paladin secrets, but that still requires you to actually add Paladin secrets to your deck, which is a huge liability on its own. Overall I think Paladins needed a bit more given their current rank on the tier lists.

 

Ending notes
 

The class with the strongest new card is likely going to be Warrior with [card]Varian Wrynn[/card]. The rest of their cards are not really worth a special mention, though.

The class with the worst new card is Rogue with [card]Poisoned Blade[/card]. But there are intriguing elements and potential in their other cards which combined with their solid position in current tier lists eludes them of a dishonorable mention.

Hunter would be the class most hit by the new cards in TGT. Lots of healing and punishment for low curves will mean rough times ahead for existing hunter decks. Them getting an extra legendary along with strong cards makes for a different style of hunter means we cannot really place them as a loser though.

Which classes do you think are the winners and losers of TGT? Vote in the polls!

Stefan “Sumadin” Suadicani
Former Editorial for Gosugamers Hearthstone