Zechs Files: Top 10 cards from Knights of The Frozen Throne

Posted by Michael "Zechs_" Radford at 08 August 2017 14:22

This week's Zechs Files investigates the Knights of the Frozen Throne and chooses ten cards (and some honourable mentions) to look out for later this week.

This week's Zechs Files investigates the Knights of the Frozen Throne and chooses ten cards (and some honourable mentions) to look out for later this week.

Life, as the cool kids say, comes at you fast. I took the weekend off from esports to do family stuff and when I come back, every card from the new set is public knowledge. Oh, and the set is out in two days, have fun!

So I pored over the spoilers for a while and came up with about 16 cards that are either sweet or that I expect to see competitive play - or both. Attention spans being what they are, however, I cut it down to ten, with a few honourable mentions. In narrowing an entire set down to ten-ish cards, I will certainly be skipping some competitive powerhouses, so I opted to lean towards “sweet” as a tiebreaker when needed. Luckily, as a Spike myself, sweet and playable are normally the same thing. I also did try to include at least one card from each class, which in some cases (looking at you, Priest), made things a little tough.


This card just seems really good to me. Either it’s the board clear that Druid struggles with against aggressive decks, or it’s pumping your Fireflies and Ravens in an aggressive deck of your own. Druid got a lot of defensive tools in this set but Fatespinner bridges the gap between the class’ alter egos. Whether or not it fits in the grindy Jade deck is debatable, but as the top end of a “go-wide” aggressive deck, I love it.

Honourable Mention: Malfurion the Pestilent

If there is a control deck for Druid, this card must be part of it. It comes down and makes you a couple of taunts to help stabilize, even gaining you extra armor if needed, before flipping the switch to Finish Him mode by attacking for three every turn.

Stitched Tracker

Maybe I’m being a hipster by ignore Rexxar. He’s too mainstream. He’s certainly powerful, but everyone can see that and he was one of the earliest cards spoiled in the entire set. He’s also the poster boy for Hunter decks that can go long. It’s a nice change of pace to see the class get more controlling cards, though I think a lot of them just aren’t very good and don’t synergize with what Hunter has historically been about. Stitched Tracker might be the card to change that. It’s not a beast, awkwardly, but it does get you a beast if you need one and it means you will always have the minion you want when you want it. Sure, a 2/2 for three is pretty poor, but it’s a reasonable price to pay for always having Highmane on turn six.


Name aside, this one is definitely not the coolest card in the set but I think it might secretly be one of the most impactful. Commons often get overlooked during spoiler season, but a 3/4 for three that draws you a card is nothing to sneeze at. Can freeze mage make room for it? I’m not sure. Maybe there is a more aggressive, minion-heavy freeze mage deck that can make use of a reasonable sized body. There are certainly enough freeze effects in standard now to make the Battlecry consistent. Keep an eye on this one.

Uther of the Ebon Blade

Paladin didn’t get much of interest in this set. Given the current state of the class, however, that’s probably a good thing. Uther did continue the trend of getting solid legendary minions however. No, not Bolvar. Uther himself is a monster and gives Paladin something it hasn’t really had in standard since Anyfin rotated out: inevitability. Most Paladin decks tend to end up somewhere on the midrange scale, but with a nine-drop which will definitely end the game, given enough time, they finally have the tools to fight an all-out attrition war. Meanwhile, a 5/3 lifesteal weapon is exactly what you need to keep you alive long enough for the horsemen to take over.

Eternal Servitude

Anduin and Benedictus might be cool (and Anduin is probably very good), but Eternal Servitude is the first reliable reanimator effect Hearthstone has seen. I couldn’t overlook that. I get that we don’t have a graveyard in Hearthstone, but in a minion-light control deck, this is basically “resummon your best minion” a lot of the time. Discover is a sweet mechanic and this is another card that proves it. Sadly, there is no way to deliberately ditch cards in Hearhstone to make a turn four Y’Shaarj, but this card is worth keeping an eye on.

Spectral Pillager

Rogue got a lot of interesting cards in this set. A lot of them are tough to evaluate, but Spectral Pillager is not one of those. This is basically Fire Elemental in a class that needs it more than most. It needs you to put some work in, sure, but the fact that it can scale up past the three damage of a Fire Elemental makes it at least worth testing.

Honourable Mention: Doomerang

Best card name in the set? One mana removal is always worth looking at. This could make for some really strong turns with a card like Perdition’s Blade.

Thrall, Deathseer

Double Evolve on turn five? Sign me up. This card hits both the notes I mentioned in the intro. It is powerful and boy is it sweet. If you were hoping we might finally see a metagame where Shaman isn’t one of the best decks you are going to be sorely disappointed. If somehow none of the other Shaman cards are playable it will still be one of the top classes because this card fits perfectly into the Evolve deck that already exists. Long live Shamanstone.

Bloodreaver Gul’dan

Alright, this is my concession to cool. The hero power is incredible - potentially the best in the game - but the battlecry ability is dreadful in standard. There just aren’t enough good demons right now, and Knights isn’t adding any that you want to play. This actually might be a playable card in Wild, however. A demon-centric Reno deck could make good use of both of Gul’dan’s abilities. If not, well, I don’t know if the hero power is worth ten mana.

Honourable Mention: Blood Queen Lana’thel

I think Kibler covered most of the reasons this card is good but just to reiterate: lifesteal in Warlock is just better than it is in most other classes. You don’t need to build a discard deck to make Lana’thel work.

Scourgelord Garrosh

Warrior gets a lot of interesting cards in this set, but I think Garrosh is the most obviously powerful. Whirlwind on demand is bonkers and a 4/3 weapon that cleaves enemies is in contention for best weapon in the game. As much as I hate warrior’s current state in standard meta, this is a card that might revive good old fashioned control warrior. It probably doesn’t fit in Taunt Warrior, given the game-ending power of the quest’s hero power.

Honourable Mention: Dead Man’s Hand

Fatigue Warrior, anyone?

The Lich King

I guess in the set that’s all about Death Knights, it’s only fitting that The Lich King is one of the strongest cards. At baseline, this is an Ironbark Protector that gives you a Ysera-like effect. Just like Ysera, the card quickly becomes unbeatable if it sticks around for a while. Some of the Death Knight cards are better than others, of course, but all of them are decent. Lich King is a great option for any control deck. In fact, the only thing I don’t like about it is the fact that it slips so nicely into Taunt Warrior.


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