Let’s talk cards. You can check out all about the lore behind “Mean Streets of Gadgetzan” in our previous article, but this is all about the down-and-dirty game mechanics of the upcoming Hearthstone expansion. First, let’s talk about this expansion’s biggest shake-up, tri-class cards.
Somewhere in the middle of class-restricted cards and class-neutral cards, new tri-class cards divide Hearthstone’s nine classes into three groups in Gadgetzan lore: the Kabal gang represents Priests, Warlocks, and Mages; the Jade Lotus gang welcomes Rogues, Shamans, and Druids; and the Grimy Goons take in Hunters, Paladins, and Warriors. Each gang has a handful of tri-class cards, and it’s been confirmed that there will be three tri-class Legendary minions. So far, we’ve seen:
The potential for “multi-classing” in Hearthstone is immense. Imagine a paladin running N’Zoth the Corruptor discovering a Savannah Highmane or even an Infested Wolf from their Grimestreet Informant. What about a Miracle Rogue discovering an Innervate from their Lotus Agents? Still, though these cards may have great potential, the randomness of the discover mechanic and their relatively weak stats (compared to 2-mana 2/3, 3-mana 3/4, and 5-mana 5/6) make these multi-class cards a dangerous gamble.
Worth noting is that all tri-class cards with a discover mechanic are guaranteed to offer you one card from each class, as confirmed by the Hearthstone developers at BlizzCon.
The only tri-class Legendary minion revealed at the convention was Kazakus, the boss of the Kabal gang.
Understand the timing of this expansion’s release. At BlizzCon, it was revealed “Mean Streets of Gadgetzan” will release in December, a couple of months before the new Standard season. In the new Standard season, the Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, and League of Explorers sets will not be playable, leaving Classic, Whispers of the Old Gods, One Night in Karazhan, and Mean Streets of Gadgetzan in the Standard format. The much-loved Reno Jackson will synergize very powerfully with Kazakus… for a few months. Starting in early 2017, Kazakus will be on his own to make “Reno” decks work. (Let’s be honest, we’ll still call them Reno decks even after he’s gone.)
Kazakus’s unusual effect has a lot of potential results, so we’ll let this video explain it. In short; you discover a mana cost for your spell, discover a primary effect, and discover a secondary effect.
Kazakus’s versatility makes it an incredibly powerful card for Mages who might want to make small spells for tempo, Priests who want huge spells with valuable control effects (like the incredible AoE/resurrection spell created in the video), and Warlocks might want… something? It’s hard to tell right now, since not a single new Warlock card has been revealed yet.
Now, a look at the state of each of the classes’ after the BlizzCon reveals, examining their most impactful cards. If you want to see ALL of the new cards revealed so far, check out the complete list at Hearthpwn.
Druids are looking incredibly strong right now, especially token druids that rely on flooding the board with small minions using Violet Teachers, then buffing them with cheap spells. Mark of the Lotus is incredibly powerful, if slightly less versatile than Power of the Wild. Combined with Innervate and strong early game plays like Enchanted Raven and Living Roots, Druids can gain a massive, powerful board very quickly. Using Pilfered Power to ramp instantly into high mana, followed by big plays like Kun the Forgotten King suggests that Druid is off to a great start. Its only weakness is area-of-effect damage.
Speaking of which, Priest. Priest has had a bad time in Whispers of the Old Gods and in Karazhan, but it might be time for a comeback. The problem with Priest is largely that it can’t deal with all the aggressive mid-range decks out there, and it needs proactive cards to secure the board early. Dragonfire Potion is a great comeback card and fits well in existing Dragon Priest control deck. Dealing 5 damage to all minions at only 6 mana, this card might be even better than Flamestrike. Pint-Sized Potion combines well with Shadow Word: Horror from the Old Gods expansion, as well as Shadow Madness from the Classic set, and the new Potion of Madness card to give poor Priest some better board clears.
Paladins and Rogues have both had some very unusual cards revealed, definitely some of the coolest cards Hearthstone has seen in a while. But despite Lotus Assassin’s powerful, control-oriented effect, we just don’t know if the tools for Control Rogue will appear in this expansion. Similarly, the Paladin’s new Legendary minion Wickerflame Burnbristle has an exciting, anti-aggro effect, but will it find a place in the coveted 3-mana paladin slot? Only time will tell—we need to see more cards from Gadgetzan (and some time to play!) in order to be sure. Similarly, we’ve barely seen any Warrior, Warlock, or Hunter cards at all! What’s the deal?
Are you excited for more Hearthstone? Ready to see the end of the Midrange Shaman? Let us know in the comments or tweet to @GeekandSundry! Make sure that you check out Worthy Opponents on Fridays on Geek and Sundry.
Image and Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment