The dawn approaches for card reveals. The secrets of The Witchwood, the next Hearthstone expansion, are being revealed one by one. Join us as we share our thoughts and feelings on each one as they appear.
If you have read our previous article, The Witchwood Thus Far, we gave a brief insight into the themes of the new set. One of which is cards that offer effects depending if you have all odd or even cards in your deck. With creativity comes reward, right? Let’s have a look at what has emerged.
First up is Druid with two new spells. Wispering Woods summons 1/1 Wisps for each card in your hand for 4 mana. At first glance it seems to support more aggressive Druid decks. Buff cards such as Power of the Wild or Savage Roar can push damage if they survive. However, with early game support leaving standard, in the form of Mark of the Lotus, it seems difficult to utilize this card without seeing the rest of the set.
Witchwood Apple is 2 mana spell that adds 3 2/2 Treants to your hand. This has synergy with Wispering Woods as you hand will be a minimum of three when cast. Together they seems to aid constant board presence. By using buff cards, whether spell of minion, these cards can provide a fair impact. However, they do fall prone to board wipe cards. Hopefully, further cards reveals alleviates this set back.
Next we have the Paladin card Rebuke. Reminiscent of the Naxxramas card Lotheb, Rebuke is a 2 mana spell that shares the same effect of making enemy spells cost (5) more next turn. Its a powerful effect that allows you to protect your minions from annihilation and keep board presence. Or, prevent the opponent from dealing potential lethal damage from spells. A useful tool that is tipped to see some play given a spell heavy meta. However, it is not really suited towards an aggro meta.
For Priest, we have a 3 mana spell call Vivid Nightmare. By choosing a friendly minion, you can summon a copy with 1 health remaining. This works well with any deathrattle minions you may have or, any that have passive effects such as Malygos, which gives +5 spell damage. Naturally, the additional Deathrattle summon synergises with the Priest Quest card for quicker completion. The question is, is it better than the 3 mana 2/3 Mirage Caller from the Ungoro set? They both have similar effects but, the latter provides board presence. The upside to Vivid Nightmare is that the minion comes in damaged so you can heal it back up and get a possible synergy with Northshire Cleric to draw a card, which is nice.
On to Hunter with a legendary reveal. Houndmast Shaw is a 4 mana 3/6 with an effect that gives your other minions Rush. The stat line is pretty solid and its effect provides good control for the board. If this minion is not removed, the opponent can quickly lose any hope of gaining a foot hold on the board. For mid-range Hunter, this is a powerful utility that keep the pressure especially when you combine it with deathrattle minions.
Warlock have also been given an early legendary reveal. Glinda Crowskin is a 6 mana 3/7 with gives all minions in your hand Echo whilst its on the board. Although the stat line is not great, if it can stay on the board it can allow cards such as Kobold Librarian to be played multiple times a turn and provide a lot of value. It seems a natural fit in both Zoolock and Cubelock at the moment. The former by replenishing lost steam or keeping up the pressure by summoning cheap minions. And, the latter by summoning two Canivorous Cubes off one card for insane value.
With the only Hero card to be released in this set, the last from The Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion, Shaman is getting Hagatha the Witch. As an 8 mana hero card, it grants 5 armour as standard and a new hero power, Bewitch. Every time you play a minion you get a random Shaman spell. As first glance, this seems very powerful. When combining it with elemental Shaman, all those 1 mana minions can provide oodles of value by filling you hand with more fuel. However, not all Shaman spells are going to be useful. For instance, if you don’t have any totems on board, receiving three Totemic Might will not help you win the game. But, on the flip side, you could receive three Lava Burst to finish off your opponent.
In the same light of random spells, they also gain a 1 mana 0/1 taunt called Witch’s Apprentice. It has a battlecry that adds a random Shaman spell to your hand. Very similar to the Mage minion Babbling Book but, shares the same pros and cons as Hagatha The Witch. We shall have to see what spells the rest of the set has to offer to tip the scales.
Lastly, we have the neutral cards. Rotten Applebaum is a 5 mana 4/5 taunt that has a deathrattle that restores 4 health to your hero. The combination of taunt and deathrattle has been generally regarded as a natural fit. This is no different. Not only can this minion tank a hit but, it can also bandage up your face after a pummeling. Depending on how aggressive the meta is will depends on how popular this card is however.
The second neutral card is possibly a personal favorite, Nightmare Amalgam. It is a 3 mana 3/4 that is every type. As far as versatility goes, this is up there. As the set rotation nears, many tribes will lose various support cards. This card will help supplement the loss with a solid 3 mana drop that allows for synergy. Depending on the rest of the set and support, this might see some play.
And that is it for today. With the reveal season upon us, you can expect the wonders and spectacles of The Witchwood to appear think and fast. Keep tuning in for regular updates from the set and our thoughts and feelings on how they will perform. And as always, smile and game.