What do we think about the 5 new Blackrock Mountain cards?
1. Grim Patron
StoTheX: This is one of the cards that’s really hard to evaluate without being able to actually test the card. Stats-wise it’s comparable to Antique Healbot, but Grim Patron’s effect is hard to compare to any other card. I could see it being played in some kind of Warrior deck, but honestly it will have a tough competition in all the great 5 drops we have so far.
Nydra: This has the potential to be a very cool card but I’m just not convinced. At 5 mana, it already competes with drops like Azure Drake, Antique Healbot and Loatheb but while those three have an immediate effect, Grim Patron needs to be triggered. The obvious inclusions are in warrior with Whirlwind, Cruel Taskmaster or Bouncing Blades, but in the end of the day, what happens if I don’t get an activator.
Skim: Looks like a fun card that has some potential for fun combinations. It technically recycles itself if you play it right, but at the same time there is so much removal in the game, cheap removal as well, most of which deal 3 dmg and more, that I don’t see this card being played. The way the meta works at the moment is that stats are crucial and this card provides none of that. A shift in meta, which will arguably come, could see him played, but that would need more cards to complement his ability.
Dorazion: I like this card. For one, a 3/3 for 5 is awful so the only way to get value is from combos, and combos are fun. Since it as 3 attack, it gets charge from Warsong commander. That means you can turn 3 Warsong. Turn 4 coin Grim Patron, attack with it, kill something small hopefully, summon another Grim Patron, attack more things, summon more Grim Patrons, you get the idea. Even if this wombo doesn't happen all the time, whirl wind effects got battle, Cruel Taskmaster gets better, a lot of cards get better with this printed, and I like that!
Nomlix: Vanilla stats of this card turn out to be horrible compared to established 5 Drops if you are not able to get its effect to immediate use, but it has the potential to swing a game around if ignored or used in a combo with cards like Bouncing Blades or Whirlwinds in Warrior.
A Mage, with the easiest enabler, ends up with only a 3/2 and a 3/3 for 7 Mana.
Overall the main problem is that it doesn’t give you direct impact and needs to be combo’d to get good use out of it.
SylvanHunter: This minion is so easy to kill. Given that it has no Charge, the only way I could see how it would work is not by being a 5-drop unless I have the Death’s Bite’s last charge upon casting it or Inner Rage in hand, then I’d have 2 Grim Patrons at the end of my turn. If not, I’d have to play it with Whirlwind or Cruel Taskmaster at Turns 6-7. If I;d put this in a Rogue deck and then Backstab it, he’d be left with 1HP which is so easy to ping so the way I see it right now is, it works better in Warrior. If I’m playing against Rogues, I’d pray hard they don’t have Deadly Poison and Blade Flurry in hand.
2. Dark Iron Skulker
StoTheX: I like this card, kinda. It’s another 5 drop, which i dislike a bit, but the effect seems to be rather good for Rogue, who normally just have Fan of Knives & Blade Flurry in their arsenal to deal AOE damage. My guess is that this card will find it’s place in Rogue decks, either as just a tech card or maybe as a general one-of.
Nydra: Mass Backstab sounds great, to be fair, but I don’t see this Dark Iron Skulker being more than a one-of. There are some cool things to it, however. Even though it’s a five drop, I see it more as a late-game card, to combo with Fan of Knives for a full board clear, so it doesn’t really compete for the 5-slot. The Backstab limitation is also the reason why we’ll likely not see 2x of it: you don’t want to DIS the board, then draw the second copy and have nothing to do with it.
Skim: I like the concept of the card, a mass Backstab if you will. It’s good that it gives Rogue another way to boardclear. For me the question however is: Is it enough of a boardclear? 2 dmg for 5 mana is not a lot, and even paired with a FoK it’s 3 dmg for 8 mana and 2 cards. In addition, much like the Grim Patron, only 3 HP mean that it can die to a lot of rather cheap removal, so the minion itself is no big deal. In fact, it’s 5 ATK sets it into range of SW:D. I can see it work in some variations, but I doubt we’ll ever see more than one being run in a deck.
Dorazion: I like cards with utility and this card has tons of that. Flavorfully, I love how this card literally backstabs everything in sight the moment you play it, which is great because it has a huge venomous dagger in it's art. That is how I will remind my self that this card is essentially a 4/3 that comes with free backstabs. Important to note, that ironically enough, this card synergies horribly with actual backstab. Any card that involves killing small pesky minions gets a +1 in my book.
Nomlix: Dark Iron Skulker provides Rogues with a AOE backstab. This can be a really strong tool against aggro decks and gives Rogues even more options for keeping the board clear. Often it might only get “one Backstab off” in which case it isn’t horrible because you still get a body on the board. The problem might often be that a 2 Dmg AOE needs follow up, because 3 Health Minions for example in Mech Mage are a staple and in these cases you need a Preparation into Fan or something similar as a follow up to make it useful.
SylvanHunter: It’s hard to imagine using this against Druids, Handlocks and Rogues without a combo card or using it later in the game. It could be a 5-drop when facing Zoolock, Mech Mages and Face Hunters but it won’t clear the 3HP minions (i.e. Snowchugger) and at turn 5, the bigger guys are already starting to come in so I wouldn’t really call this a complete board clear. It’s a cheaper Geddon with a weaker body. I prolly won’t run 2 of this in a deck.
3. Blackwing Technician
StoTheX: Kinda similar to Tinkertown Technician, which is a pretty good card. Stats-wise a potentially 3/5 is superior to a 4/4 in terms of survivability, which makes this a nice sticky minion that works well with the Dragon theme and its synergies.
Nydra: I love the new “hold” mechanic that’s coming to the Dragon tribal, and I do hope that it stays Dragon-exclusive for the time-being. It will make for some strategic choices: do I want to get a 3/5 and communicate to my opponent that I have a dragon or hold on to it and conceal that information? In the end, I like this card more for the opportunity it will create, rather than its value.
Skim: This card is heavily reliant on what kind of Dragons are introduced and how well a Dragon Deck would work. If we consider current Dragons, only Twilight and maybe Azure Drake would be worth keeping in hand, so dropping it on turn 3 for full efficiency may not be that likely. If new cards allow it however, it would be a great card. It’s basically a Violet Teacher for 3. Yes, it would give away the fact that you have a Dragon on hand, but again, depending on what kind of dragons get introduced and how the meta developes, that can’t hurt. If anything, playing it and not getting the buff gives away much more crucial info.
Dorazion: I just want to say that through intensive Journalist efforts, I alone was the only person during the Blizzcon 2014 media panel to ask if a Dragon tribal synergy was on the table, and I got a resounding "that sounds really cool, maybe in the future". Am I responsible for this cool card? Yes. That being said, this is awesome and a 3/5 for 3 is very good. It reminds me of Tinker Town Technician but having a dragon in your hand is, in some ways, easier to pull off than having a Mech on the board. It's hard to explain, but it's true. This could potentially be a huge sleeper hit.
Nomlix: This card might the auto include of Dragon Decks, which didn’t have real synergy yet. How strong the card really is will depend on the other dragons/ synergy cards introduced with the expansion. The stats of the card are good to play with a Dragon, but also not horrible if played without. The downside of it is that you tell your opponent that you are holding a dragon if it gets the buff, which is a mechanic that can end up leading to interesting reads and decision making.
SylvanHunter: This is definitely a shoo-in in Dragon decks. I won’t mind announcing that I have a dragon with it. The fact that it’s only 3-cost and it gets buffed, I’m in already. I’m excited to see the whole list of cards to see what will work with this card.
4. Hungry Dragon
StoTheX: I don’t really know what to think of this card yet, it has great stats for 4 mana and on a first glimpse the downside to the card doesn’t seem too bad, but generally speaking you just don’t want to give your opponent anything, which is why Dancing Swords are pretty much unplayed, even though they have also great stats for their mana cost. We will have to see what the Dragon synergy in the set will bring us.
Nydra: Here are all the 1-mana minions in the game right now. Some of them are terrible to get out of a Hungry Dragon, like Hungry Grab or Timber Wolf if you have no Beasts. Others, though, can mean business. Giving the enemy a free Flame Imp, or Webspinner or Northshire Cleric can be disastrous. In the end, this card will need testing and we’ll have to see how it competes against the other 4-drops in the game.
Skim: I’m not convinced by this card. I’d argue that a lot of cards have shown that giving your opponent anything else than damage has proven to be very unpopular. Looking at all the 1-drops, yes, there is a lot of potential for cards to drop that you are okay with, but it doesn’t change the fact that you give your opponent a minion, that he can immediately use/buff. The stats are good, (once again SW:D range) but overall I think this card is, much like the Blackwing Technician, heavily dependant on how Dragon decks will do.
Dorazion: Other than the fact that this might be the first Hearthstone card that is almost the exact feel and design of a Magic the Gathering card, I think this is very powerful. 1 cost minions aren't very good, and random 1-cost minions can't be good either. a 4 mana 5/6 is the most aggressively costed 4 drop ever and beats chill wind every time. If you already have board control, your three drop can easily kill whatever the Hungry Dragon spawns. This seems like a much better Deathlord.
Nomlix: This card is awesome stat-wise because it trades really well having 5 ATK with all the other drops of similar mana cost having 5 Health like teachers or even with Belchers which are and auto include in many decks. The downside of this card is really RNG dependent maybe it turns out to be the useless Angry Chicken or you opponent gets a Dust Devil to crush you. For classes having a easy way to remove the 1 Drop like in most cases Druid or Mage this card might be a good tempo play, but can also turn out to be just as often used as Pit Lord is, even though it might have potential for future Dragon synergy.
SylvanHunter: The Hungry Dragon HAS to eat something, so the Battlecry makes sense. I mean, I would be ok about my Opponent getting an Angry Chicken. I just hope he/she doesn’t have Houndmaster.
5. Rend Blackhand
Nydra: I hate card design like that. Big Game Hunter is already a fun-killer as it denies my most powerful minions. And now, I get to face Blackhand, who will kill the rest of my finishers while developing a board for my opponent? It might sound like a shameless plug but if we got to review this card in our card design contest, I don’t imagine it ranking very highly.
StoTheX: I really don’t like this card, seems like a pretty crappy legendary to me. The stat distribution is awful, it has 4 health which makes it an easy target for pretty much every mid-lategame minion and a lot of spells and in addition to that 8 attack just puts this card into BGH range. The upside to the card is also not that great, destroying a legendary? Yeah sure, but only if i got a Dragon on hand. That sounds like a card i don’t want in any of my decks, not even casual fun decks.
Skim: Here I thought they couldn’t come up with a worse design than Hemet Nesingwary. Currently popular legendaries get destroyed by BGH and those that don’t can be dealt with otherwise. Even if Cairne was the most popular card in the set, it would still trigger its effect, making this card almost useless as its HP is only 4. Four. So many cards can deal with this one, starting with one Boom Bot. And if Trolden has shown me one thing, it’s that Boom Bots love dealing 4 damage.
Dorazion: A Legendary that destroys other Legendary minions is very good. However, this card has an "if" attached to it, which always makes a card worse. However this particular "if" involves having cards in your hand, and because this is a late game card, it is much easier to hold on to a dragon when the upside is destroying one of your enemies most powerful cards. I think this card will be a necessity in control decks that already plays legendary Dragons. Interesting to note: this card has the potential to get better every time a new legendary card is released.
Nomlix: Situational cards are always a problem if they don’t get any use of the effect and they are heavily dependent on the current meta like BGH or Black Knight, but this card is double situational AND has a really high mana cost. First you need to hold a dragon, then you opponent needs to have a legendary played and even if that turns out to happen and you kill their Ragnaros it takes your whole turn with 7 mana and dies to BGH or any minion or spell dealing 4 damage. If played without the Battlecry, because it is really hard to pull off, it again takes 7 Mana and is really easy to remove.
SylvanHunter: The only way I'd use this card is in a control deck with Sylvanas in play so I could steal my opponent’s minion. I’m not a fan of his HP but given his power to destroy Kel’Thuzad or any of the fearsome Legendaries on sight is already worth the consideration. Its 8 damage is making me wonder how he has the same power as dragons. Is Rend Blackhand as big as dragons? I’m looking forward to seeing the other cards that could possibly synergize with this.
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