Witchwood’s final cards and everything else we know about Hearthstone’s expansion
It’s almost here! Hearthstone’s Witchwood expansion will be arriving on April 12, and we now know every card to come. You can find out everything you need to know about the expansion below, or just jump straight to what you’re most interested in:
- The final card reveals!
- Even and odd cards!
- Worgen cards!
- Echo cards!
- Rush cards!
- Legendary cards!
- All the other cards!
- Single-player Monster Hunt mode
But if you’d rather start at the beginning, let’s start at the beginning. After a week of teasing, the Hearthstone team finally unveiled the next expansion: The Witchwood. It’s been a bumpy ride to get here, as the Hearthstone devs have gone one by one into the wild woods outside Irvine, California to track down the expansion… and each of them vanished. But after journeying into the woods (and getting slightly lost), the team managed to find some cool new Hearthstone cards. Yeah, just laying around on the ground. That’s how Hearthstone expansions get made. Everybody knows that.
Collect 135 creepy new cards
It’s a Hearthstone expansion, so of course there are new cards to collect. 135 of them, to be precise, but if you’re like me, you’ll get the first five or ten cards and then get nothing but duplicates until the next expansion. However, like Kobolds and Catacombs, logging on after the expansion launch will give you a free class Legendary card (as well as three free expansion packs), so you aren’t completely doomed to fight only with common cards. (Only mostly doomed.)
If you want to boost your card collection (or at least your dust collection), the Witchwood’s pre-order offer is the best we’ve ever gotten. While previous pre-orders have sold 50 packs for $50, this sweetens the deal to 70 packs for $50. That’s 350 cards, so someone who’s much luckier than I am could theoretically pick up every card in the set right there. (Note: no one is actually that lucky, but it’s still a heck of a lot of cards.)
The expansion is due out on April 12, which is just around the corner!
The Witchwood’s cards so far
Now let’s get to the important stuff: the cards. There are some interesting cards in the expansion that cater to decks of all even or all odd cards, plus the new Echo and Rush keywords. We’ll start out with the last round of expansion card releases, revealed by Ben Brode and Day9 in a pretty fantastic livestream.
The final card reveals
- Neutral: Baleful Banker, a 2-mana 2/2 minon with a Battlecry that lets you choose a friendly minion and shuffle a copy into your deck. A solid value that you can use to add extra copies of your favorite minions to your deck. As always with such cards, my choice would be to use this on Prince Keleseth. Lady in White is also an excellent choice for Priests. TLDR: There are a lot of cards that could benefit from this.
- Neutral: Cauldron Elemental, an 8-mana 7/7 Elemental that gives your other Elementals +2 attack. It would certainly be strong in an Elemental-heavy deck, but I wonder if you can maintain enough Elemental presence on the board to make this worth eight mana.
- Neutral: Chief Inspector, a 5-mana 4/6 minion with a Battlecry that destroys all enemy Secrets. It has decent stats and its Battlecry will certainly prove useful in certain situations, but I’m not convinced this will see regular play.
- Neutral: Darkmire Moonkin, a 7-mana 2/8 minion with +2 Spell Damage. It’s pricey, but with that much health it’s also likely to stay around for long enough to take advantage of that Spell Damage. Still, the mana cost seems to make it a hard sell when you have a lot of other options that late in the game.
- Neutral: Deranged Doctor, an 8-mana 8/8 minion with a Deathrattle that restores eight health to your hero. A strong card for both offense and defense.
- Neutral: Felsoul Inquisitor, a 4-mana 1/6 Demon with Lifesteal and Taunt. This is an interesting card which seems like a good fit with a Warlock deck, but I wonder how much play it will see elsewhere.
- Neutral: Furious Ettin, a 7-mana 5/9 minion with Taunt. A reasonable Taunt minion, though there are stronger cards to play this late in the game. Still, it’s a common card and may have a place while you flesh out your collection.
- Neutral: Hench-Clan Thug, a 3-mana 3/3 minion that gains +1/+1 every time your hero attacks. This will scale beautifully for any weapon-based deck, and I see this doing very well for Rogue and Warrior.
- Neutral: Lifedrinker, a 4-mana 3/3 Beast with a Battlecry that deals three damage to the enemy hero and restores four damage to your hero. Doing damage and healing at the same time? That’s my kind of card.
- Neutral: Lost Spirit, a 2-mana 1/1 minion with a Deathrattle that gives your other minions +1 attack. The only problem I can see here is making sure you have a board full of minions when it dies… which won’t always happen.
- Neutral: Mad Hatter, a 4-mana 3/2 minion that randomly tosses hats to three random minions. Yes, hats. Each hat gives +1/+1, but since it can buff enemies or allies, this poses some risk. Ideally you would play it after you’ve cleared your opponent’s board.
- Neutral: Marsh Drake, a 3-mana 5/4 Dragon… and with stats like that, you know there has to be a downside. Its Battlecry summons a 2/1 Poisonous Drakeslayer for your opponent. I can’t see this getting a lot of play, as you’re spending three mana for something your opponent can immediately kill at the start of their turn. Without a strong lineup of Taunt minions or other serious threats, your opponent will take this drake down before it has a chance to attack.
- Neutral: Night Prowler, a 4-mana 3/3 with a Battlecry that gives it +3/+3 if it’s the only minion on the battlefield. That’s a pretty strong Battlecry… if you can meet the conditions.
- Neutral: Sandshaper, a 4-mana 2/4 minion with a Battlecry that draws an Elemental from your deck, adding more Elemental synergy to the expansion.
- Neutral: Swamp Dragon Egg, a 1-mana 0/3 minion with a Deathrattle that adds a random Dragon to your hand. I have mixed feelings about these egg cards, because they sometimes seem to just sit on the board — but there are deck designs that make great use of them.
- Neutral: Swamp Leech, a 1-mana 2/1 Beast with Lifesteal. Not great, not bad.
- Neutral: Tanglefur Mystic, a 3-mana 3/4 minion with a Battlecry that adds a random 2-cost minion to each player’s hand. Though it has good stats, I’m always wary of random mechanics — not to mention one that could give my opponent a buff. We’ll have to see where (and if) this fits in the meta.
- Neutral: Unpowered Steambot, a 4-mana 0/9 minion with Taunt. That gives it enough health to hold off enemies for a while, and if your deck has tools to buff it, that means a strong presence early in the game — I’m thinking Inner Fire.
- Neutral: Vicious Scalehide, a 2-mana 1/3 Beast with Lifesteal and Rush. With only one damage, this card doesn’t make best use of its Lifesteal or Rush abilities, but its stats are a good value all in all. This could fit in a handbuff deck like Paladin or Priest.
- Neutral: Walnut Sprite, a 3-mana 3/3 with Echo. A perfectly serviceable Echo card, with reasonable stats and a decent mana cost.
- Neutral: Wyrmguard, a 7-mana 3/11 minion with a Battlecry that gives it +1 attack and Taunt if you’re holding a Dragon. A solid defensive pick for Dragon decks.
- Hunter: Carrion Drake, a 5-mana 3/7 Dragon with a Battlecry that gives it poisonous if a minion has died this turn. With its high health, this drake will prove hard to kill, giving it a chance to get plenty of minions down with its poison.
- Hunter: Vilebrood Skitterer, a 5-mana 1/3 Beast with Rush and Poisonous. This card has a pretty high mana cost for a 1/3, and even though you can put it on the board and take out a minion immediately, with its low health it seems unlikely to survive more than a turn. I don’t see it, but the minion removal combined with Beast synergy could be worth it.
- Mage: Cinderstorm, a 3-mana spell that does five damage split randomly among all enemies. That’s a good deal for three mana, and it will fit nicely into odd-card decks which lose some of Mage’s usual AOE board clear options.
- Mage: Curio Collector, a 5-mana 4/4 minion that gains +1/+1 every time you draw a card. This will scale nicely whether your deck has strong card draw… though your opponent is likely to target it for takedown quickly.
- Mage: Snap Freeze, a 2-mana spell that freezes a minion or destroys a frozen minion. This is a lot like Ice Lance, which freezes a minion or deals four damage to a frozen minion, though Snap Freeze certainly works better for powerful minions you couldn’t take down with four damage. Not to mention that it will fit in the even card decks that can’t use Ice Lance.
- Paladin: Ghostly Charger, a 5-mana 3/4 Beast with Divine Shield and Rush. Though the Charger doesn’t have a lot attack, Divine Shield will certainly help keep it up and doing damage.
- Paladin: Hidden Knowledge, a 1-mana Secret that draws two cards after your opponent plays three cards in a turn. A reasonable option for extra card draw.
- Legendary! Paladin: Prince Liam, a 5-mana 5/5 minion with a Battlecry that transforms all 1-mana minions in your deck into Legendary minions. But will you get awesome Legendary minions or terrible Legendary minions? That’s up to RNG.
- Priest: Divine Hymn, a 2-mana spell that restores six health to all friendly characters. That’s a tremendously powerful heal.
- Priest: Squashling, a 2-mana 2/1 minion with Echo and a Battlecry that restores two health. That’s a great way to both get modest minions on the board and buff up your health.
- Priest: Nightscale Matriarch, a 7-mana 4/9 Dragon that summons a 3/3 Whelp whenever a character is healed. Even that late in the game, a 3/3 is nothing to sneeze at. Combined with Circle of Healing or Holy Nova you could seriously increase your board presence with this.
- Priest: Quartz Elemental, a 5-mana 5/8 Elemental that can’t attack while damaged. Just an all-around great card. It has good stats and Priests have a lot of tools to keep it healed.
- Rogue: Cutthroat Buccaneer, a 3-mana 2/4 minion with a Combo that gives your weapon +1 attack. A good value card all around.
- Shaman: Blazing Invocation, a 1-mana spell that Discovers a Battlecry minion. I like it, particularly with Shudderwok.
- Shaman: Ghost Light Angler, a 2-mana 2/2 Murloc with Echo. Go go Murloc Shaman! But even if you don’t play a Murloc deck, this card is a pretty good value.
- Shaman: Earthen Might, a 2-mana spell that gives a minion +2/+2. If it’s an Elemental, it also adds a random Elemental to your hand. I do love a good handbuff deck, though I’ve admittedly never seen a handbuff Shaman.
- Shaman: Zap!, a 0-mana spell that deals two damage to a minion, with a 1-mana Overload. Basically the Shaman’s version of Backstab.
- Legendary! Shaman: Shudderwock, a 9-mana 6/6 minion with a Battlecry that repeats every Battlecry you’ve played this game with targets chosen randomly, which will neatly amplify the power any deck with Battlecries. Plus these hyper random cards are always fun to play.
- Warlock: Curse of Weakness, a 2-mana spell with Echo that gives all enemy minions -2 attack until your next turn. That’s a solid way to either neutralize your opponent’s board for a turn to buy yourself time or to take out minions without sacrificing your own.
- Warlock: Dark Possession, a 1-mana spell that deals 2 damage to a friendly character and Discovers a Demon. Hopefully a really good Demon.
- Warlock: Fiendish Circle, a 4-mana spell that summons four 1/1 imps. Four damage for four mana isn’t bad, but I’m undecided on this card. A 1/1 isn’t too tough to take down by turn four… though it does provide a lot of Demon synergy for your other Warlock cards.
- Warlock: Ratcatcher, a 3-mana 2/2 minion with Rush and a Battlecry that destroys a friendly minion and gains its attack and health. Because it will scale based on the power of your other minions on the board, this could prove incredibly powerful at any stage of the game.
- Warlock: Witchwood Imp, a 1-mana 1/1 Demon with Stealth and a Deathrattle that gives a random friendly minion +2 health. Though there’s nothing wrong with this card, I inevitably have bad luck with Deathrattles that buff other minions — if your opponent will likely aim to clear your board before dealing with this guy. And considering he’s a 1-cost card that you’re likely to drop early, that might not be particularly hard.
- Warrior: Rabid Worgen, a 3-mana 3/3 minion with Rush. This seems like a solid card to take down early minions on the board or just beef up your board presence.
New mechanic: evens and odds
We’ll start out with cards using the expansion’s interesting new even and odd mechanic:
- Neutral: Baku the Mooneater, a 9-mana Legendary 7/8 Beast with an interesting ability: Start of Game: If your deck only has odd-Cost cards, upgrade your Hero Power. (Note: 0-cost cards count as even.) With the right deck (and the right class), the ability to immediately buff your Hero Power could be amazing.
- Neutral: Genn Greymane, Baku’s counterpart. A 6-mana Legendary 6/5 minion with an interesting ability of his own: Start of Game: If your deck only has even-Cost cards, your starting Hero Power costs (1). (Again, note that 0-cost cards count as even.) This means you won’t have any 1-mana cards to open the game with, but since your Hero Power costs 1, you can jump right in with it.
- Mage: Black Cat, a 3-mana 3/3 minion with +1 spell damage and a Battlecry to draw a card if your deck has only odd-cost cards.
- Priest: Glitter Moth, a 5-mana 4/4 minion with a Battlecry that doubles the health of all your other minions if your deck has only odd-cost cards. While you can’t have Divine Spirit in this deck, this card will still be crazy with Power Word Shield and Inner Fire.
- Druid: Gloom Stag, a 5-mana 2/6 minion that gains +2/+2 if your deck has only odd-cost cards. Basically a 5-mana 4/8. Not bad.
- Shaman: Murkspark Eel, a 2-mana 2/3 minion that does 2 damage to a target if your deck has only even-cost cards.
But before you start planning your killer even or odd deck, be aware that there won’t be many of these cards in the Witchwood — and not every class will have them.
New mechanic: Worgen
While there’s no keyword for this one, there are a number of cards that shift their attack and defense stats every turn they’re in your hand. (And, of course, they switch their art, too: human to worgen.) These cards give you a lot of options, letting you play aggressively or defensively as needed.
- Neutral: Gilnean Royal Guard, an 8-mana 3/8 minion with Divine Shield and Rush. The Royal Guard is certainly the strongest card of this type we’ve seen so far.
- Neutral: Pumpkin Peasant, a 3-mana 2/4 minion with Lifesteal.
- Neutral: Spellshifter, a 2-mana 1/4 minion with +1 Spell Damage. It’s not a bad card for two mana, but with one damage or one health, it doesn’t feel like it makes the best use of the worgen mechanic because of its fragility. But there’s no doubt someone will prove me wrong.
- Neutral: Swift Messenger, a 4-mana 2/6 minion with Rush. A solid worgen option with a balanced amount of attach and health.
- Hunter: Duskhaven Hunter, a 3-mana 2/5 minion with Stealth. Five damage for three mana is awfully strong, so this card seems like a keeper.
New Keyword: Echo
I find Echo particularly interesting, as it allows you to play a card repeatedly as long as you have the mana to do so — meaning low-cost cards could get new life late in game, where you can fill the board with duplicates.
Here are the Echo minions revealed so far:
- Neutral: Face Collector, a 3-mana 2/2 Legendary minion with a Battlecry to add a random Legendary to your hand. While the allure of Legendary cards is strong, the mana cost of earning these Legendaries is high. When you play Face Collector, you get a Legendary in your hand… which you then need the mana to play. Making use of its Echo ability only means you have less mana to play the Legendaries it gives you, so it will require careful thought (and good luck) to use well. I’m going to be skipping it — I never seem to get the luck to make cards with such a random element work in my favor.
- Neutral: Phantom Militia, a 3-mana 2/4 minion with Echo and Taunt. That’s a respectable Taunt minion to get down early… but if you hold it until you have 6 mana or 9 mana, you could make a real shield wall of Taunt minions. While there are better 9-mana minions you could put in your deck, Echo minions seem to have utility whether you draw them early in the game or late in the game. I’m not sure if this will go in my decks or not, but it’s an interesting concept.
- Hunter: Hunting Mastiff, a 2/1 Beast with Echo and Rush. This seems extremely powerful, whether you draw it early or late game. Playing a board full of these could help you bring down some big minions.
- Paladin: Sound the Bells, a 2-mana spell that gives a minion +1/+2…. but here’s the good part: it has Echo. Depending on how much mana you have, you could buff the heck out of your board. It’s a common quality card which will absolutely be finding its way into my Paladin deck.
- Rogue: Cheap Shot, a 2-mana spell with Echo that does two damage to a minion. That could be a very effective board clear, whether emptying out a board of small minions or taking out one big one.
- Rogue: Mistwraith, a 4-mana 3/5 minion that gains +1/+1 whenever you play an Echo card. This could make for some interesting Rogue Echo decks. Will this be competitive, considering the Echo cards we’ve seen so far? We’ll have to wait and see.
- Rogue: Pick Pocket, a 2-mana spell with Echo that adds a random card to your hand from your opponent’s class. This is pretty solid card draw and a cheap Echo card like this will play very nicely with Mistwraith.
- Warlock: Glinda Crowskin, a 6-mana 3/7 Legendary minion that gives all minions in your hand Echo. Note that this is not a Battlecry: any cards in your hand will simply have Echo while she’s on the board. This seems like an extremely good card that will easily improve any deck you put it in.
- Warrior: Warpath, a 2-mana spell that deals 1 damage to all minions. It’s reminiscent of Warlock’s Defile, which recasts if it kills a minion, but Echo offers more control over the mechanic. This card could prove to be a fairly solid board clear.
- Warrior: Woodcutter’s Axe, a 2-mana 2/2 weapon with a Deathrattle that gives a friendly minion with Rush +2/+1. A great way to buff up your Rush minions, and Warrior may have enough Rush cards for Rush Warrior to be a thing.
New Keyword: Rush
Rush seems like the less interesting keyword this expansion, but Ben Brode argues otherwise. It’s essentially Charge, but instead of being able to attack anything, Rush minions can only attack minions on their first turn, which shakes up the strategy. Powerful Rush minions will be useful for thinning out your opponent’s board.
Here are the Rush minions revealed so far:
- Neutral: Muck Hunter, a 5-mana 5/8 minion with a Deathrattle that summons two 2/1 Mucklings for your opponent. The ability to jump in there and Rush down a 5-attack minion is going to be great, and the Muck Hunter’s high health will help keep it alive… but you’re still handing your opponent a potential 4 damage when it dies.
- Neutral: Scaleworm, a 4-mana 4/4 Beast with a Battlecry that gives it +1 attack and Rush if you’re holding a Dragon. This could be a good removal card for a Dragon deck, though with a bunch of Dragon cards going out of the rotation this Year, we’ll have to see whether Dragon decks remain competitive in the meta.
- Druid: Duskfallen Aviana, a 5-mana 3/7 minion that causes the first card each player plays each turn costs zero mana. I would have concerns about adding this card to a deck. Once you play it, your opponent will benefit from it immediately when their turn starts… while you’ll have to wait another turn to take advantage of it. There are a lot of ways for that to backfire spectacularly.
- Hunter: Houndmaster Shaw, a 4-mana Legendary 3/6 minion that gives all of your other minions Rush. Shaw could prove a very strong board clear, letting every minion you play immediately attack opposing minions. As long as you keep him alive (and have a hand full of minions), you should have good board control.
- Hunter: Hunting Mastiff. I mentioned this in the Echo section above, but since it has both keywords, here it is again! This is a 2/1 Beast with Echo and Rush. This seems extremely powerful, whether you draw it early or late game. Playing a board full of these could help you bring down some big minions.
- Rogue: Cursed Castaway, a 6-mana 5/3 Pirate with Rush and a Deathrattle to draw a Combo card from your deck. This will be a solid way to take down a good-sized minion and immediately get the benefit of the Deathrattle.
- Warrior: Darius Crowley, a 5-mana 4/4 Legendary minion with Rush that gains +2/+2 every time it kills a minion. Crowley could be really devastating if you can keep him on the board for long. With Rush, you could play him and immediately kill a minion to boost him right away — but you can count on your opponent doing everything they can to take him down fast.
- Warrior: Redband Wasp, a 1/3 Beast that has +3 attack while damaged (i.e. Enrage).
- Warrior: Town Crier, a 1-mana 1/2 minion with a Battlecry that draws a Rush minion from your deck. A 1/2 for just one mana is decent by itself, and with that Battlecry it’s a bargain as long as you have any Rush minions. Warriors have a powerful Legendary Rush minion in Darius Crowley… and this could help get him out on the board early.
- Warrior: Unearthly Rage, a 4-mana 2/5 minion with Rush and a Battlecry giving it +3 attack on its first turn. While it can’t attack a hero, that makes for a beefy 5/5 minion you can use to help clear the board of threats.
The rest of the Legendaries
We talked about Baku and Genn (as well as some Echo and Rush Legendaries), but here are the expansion’s other Legendaries.
- Neutral: Azalina Soulthief, a 7-mana Legendary 3/3 minion with a Battlecry that replaces your hand with a copy of your opponent’s hand. This card strikes me as a real gamble — what if your opponent has a terrible hand? — but if your hand is low or empty, why not? Plus you’ll know exactly what tricks your opponent has in store for you… which could lead to some interesting strategies.
- Neutral: Countess Ashmore, a 7-mana 6/6 minion with a Battlecry that draws a Rush, Lifesteal, and Deathrattle card from your deck. Basically this is Curator 2.0, and a great way to get minions in hand if you need them.
- Neutral: Dollmaster Dorian, a 5-mana 2/6 minion that summons a 1/1 copy of every minion you draw. There are a lot of options with this card, and it will play nicely in a lot of different deck types. Any card with ongoing effects or Deathrattles will be great — and combining this with anything to improve card draw will only make it stronger. For five mana, it’s a very solid Legendary.
- Druid: Splintergraft, an 8-mana 8/8 minion with a Battlecry that lets you choose a friendly minion and add a 10/10 copy of it to your hand. The list of cards that would be handy as 10/10s is endless, but the high mana cost does mean you won’t get it on the board quickly. Still, with Druids’ abilities to gain mana crystals you may be able to ramp up to this card in play sooner than you think.
- Hunter: Emeriss, a 10-mana 8/8 Dragon with a Battlecry that doubles the attack and health of all the minions in your hand. But while that’s an amazing Battlecry, I don’t see Emeriss getting a lot of play. Sure, it buffs the heck out of your minions, but you can’t do it until you have 10 mana. Once you’ve spent all of your mana, you have to wait a turn to play your newly supercharged minion(s). And unless they have Charge or Rush, then you have to wait another turn to attack with them. That’s a lot of turns for your opponent to beat the snot out of you while you wait patiently for Emeriss’ Battlecry to save you.
- Mage: Archmage Arugal, a 2-mana 2/2 minion with an interesting ability: every time you draw a minion, Arugal adds a copy of that minion to your hand. For two mana, you really can’t go wrong with this card — even if you don’t draw a single minion. Putting Arugal on the board is a threat your opponent will either immediately deal with (thus buying you some time) or won’t deal with (thus letting you grab some extra minions). Still, it’s an odd fit for a Mage deck, which are typically more spell heavy.
- Mage: Toki, Time-Tinker, a 6-mana 5/5 minion with a Battlecry that adds a random Legendary minion “from the past” to your hand. Yep: this card will give you a Wild Legendary. Maybe you’ll get a Dr. Boom… and maybe you won’t. This is a fun idea, but not knowing what you’ll get means it’s a crapshoot. Maybe this is a great card and maybe it’s a terrible card.
- Paladin: The Glass Knight, a 4-mana 4/3 minion with Divine Shield. Whenever you restore health, the Knight will gain Divine Shield again. Anyone who’s had to deal with Divine Shield minions knows how annoying they are to get rid of. And this minion has the potential to get Divine Shield over and over. As someone who tends to play Paladin decks that are very aggressive, I’m curious to see how the Glass Knight will fit in — your deck will need a good amount of healing to make best use of it. I haven’t had luck with defensive Paladin decks, but there are a lot of possible synergies for this card. I look forward to seeing it in play.
- Priest: Chameleos, a 1-mana 1/1 minion, but its stats aren’t important. Every turn Chameleos is in your hand, it changes into a card from your opponent’s hand. This card is a real multitasker, as it lets you take advantage of your opponent’s strongest cards and also lets you know what they have in their hand. But it’s also a card where you’ll need to be lucky to get the right card at the right time. We’ll see how it works in the meta when the expansion is released.
- Priest: Lady in White, a 6-mana 5/5 minion with a Battlecry that casts Inner Fire on every minion in your deck, setting their attack to be equal to their health. Load your deck up with high health minions (and Prince Keleseth for good measure) and your minions will be awfully hard to cope with. And at six mana, you can get her on the board pretty quickly.
- Rogue: Tess Greymane, an 8-mana 6/6 minion with a Battlecry that replays every card from another class you’ve played all game, with random targets. Rogues have tons of opportunities to draw cards from other classes, which will make this Battlecry very interesting… though its random targeting could be good or bad. Will you get lucky or will it kill you? Who’s to say!
- Shaman: Hagatha the Witch, an 8-mana Shaman Hero with a battlecry that deals 3 damage to all minions. But beyond that board clear, Hagatha has a passive hero power that adds a random Shaman spell to your hand every time you play a minion. We first saw a preview of this in the original Witchwood announcement video when Ben Brode declared it “too OP” and Kosak shouted “Nerf it to hell!” In fairness, Hagatha does seem pretty powerful… and she’s the only hero card in the expansion. Take a look at this terror in action below.
— Hearthstone (@PlayHearthstone) March 27, 2018
- Warlock: Lord Godfrey, a 7-mana 4/4 minion with a Battlecry that deals 2 damage to all other minions — and if any die, the Battlecry is repeated. Basically, it’s Defile, but more powerful — and it could be a very strong board clear.
— Hearthstone (@PlayHearthstone) March 29, 2018
- Warrior: Blackhowl Gunspire, a 7-mana 3/8 minion that can’t attack, but does three damage to a random enemy whenever it takes damage. You’ll want to give it Taunt or count on your opponent’s AOE to hurt, but not kill it. By itself, however, it’s fairly weak for seven mana.
- Warrior: Darius Crowley, a 5-mana 4/4 minion with Rush that gains +2/+2 every time it kills a minion. Crowley could be really devastating if you can keep him on the board for long. With Rush, you could play him and immediately kill a minion to boost him right away — but you can count on your opponent doing everything they can to take him down fast.
And everything else
These cards aren’t Legendary and they don’t have any awesome new keywords, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth playing. Here’s the rest of the lot.
- Neutral: Blackwald Pixie, a 3-mana 3/4 minion with a Battlecry that refreshes your hero power. While a decent card, its 3-mana price tag means you’ll have to have a good amount of mana to make use of it: two to use your hero power, three to cast the Pixie, and two more to use your hero power again… but there are some good synergies here. It would be great paired with Baku, where your hero power only costs one mana, and the Clockwork Automaton (below) would also make this even more powerful.
- Neutral: Clockwork Automaton, a 5-mana 4/4 Mech that doubles the damage and healing of your hero power. This would make for a solid card for any deck that relies on its hero power, but it would work very well with Baku and the Blackwald Pixie.
- Neutral: Mossy Horror, a 6-mana 2/7 minion with a Battlecry that destroys all other minions with two or less attack. I wonder how useful this will be by the time you get to the mid game, when you’re likely facing bigger, badder threats. (Also the art kind of creeps me out. This thing is not going in any of my decks.)
- Neutral: Nightmare Amalgam, a 3-mana 3/3 minion that is everything. No, really: it counts as an elemental, mech, demon, murloc, dragon, beast, pirate, and totem. That makes it an extremely flexible card you could throw into any deck that’s built around a particular minion type.
- Neutral: Ravencaller, a 3-mana 2/1 minion with a Battlecry that adds two random 1-mana minions to your hand. It’s an interesting card, but those random minions could be gamechangers or they could be total garbage. In the end, you’re paying five mana for a 2/1 and two unknown quantities. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and sometimes you won’t.
- Neutral: Splitting Festeroot, an 8-mana 4/4 minion, which sounds like a terrible value. However, when you kill it, it summons two 2/2 Splitting Saplings, and when you kill them it summons two 1/1 Woodchips. That’s a decent amount of damage and it will be hard to clear off the board.
- Neutral: Witch’s Cauldron, a 3-mana 0/4 minion that adds a random Shaman spell to your hand whenever one of your minions dies. This is an interesting one, because it gives any class a chance to play around with Shaman spells. But that’s kind of the problem, too. Shaman’s Overload-heavy lineup has synergy with Shaman cards, but could be a big drawback anywhere else. With the randomness of this card, I think other 3-mana drops are likely to be useful.
- Neutral: Witchwood Grizzly, a 5-mana 3/12 Beast with Taunt and a Battlecry that reduces its health by one for each card in your opponent’s hand. This could be quite a nice Taunt minion late game when hands have started to empty. And I can’t help but think how handy it might be with a Lady In White-supported Inner Fire Priest.
- Neutral: Witchwood Piper, a 4-mana 3/3 minion with a Battlecry that draws the lowest cost minion from your deck.
- Neutral: Worgen Abomination, a 7-mana 6/6 minion that deals 2 damage to to all other damaged minions at the end of your turn. He could be useful for clearing the board: a low-power AOE (like Arcane Explosion or Consecration) could soften up enemy minions for the Abomination to finish them off. Except by the time you can play the Abomination, two damage isn’t exactly a board clear. I think this card would be much more interesting with a smaller body and a lower mana cost. Even if it did less damage, it would be more versatile if you could get it on the board earlier.
- Neutral: Voodoo Doll, a 3-mana 1/1 minion with a Deathrattle that destroys a minion of your choice. If this fragile minion dies quickly, it’s easy (and relatively cheap) board removal. But it could be easily shut down with silence (or just by ignoring it), so it’s hard to tell how much play this will see.
- Druid: Bewitched Guardian, a 5-mana 4/1 minion with Taunt a Battlecry that gives it +1 health for every card you have in your hand. You’ll have to meet a couple of conditions for this to be a good value: either have a lot of card draw and a fairly full hand or you ramp up your mana crystals quickly so you can play this early (when you’re more likely to to have more cards in hand). This could fit neatly into certain decks.
- Druid: Druid of the Scythe, a 3-mana 2/2 minion… but this is a Choose card, so that doesn’t much matter. You can pick whether it becomes a 4/2 with Rush or a 2/4 with Taunt. That’s a very solid 3-mana minion.
- Druid: Ferocious Howl, a 3-mana spell that draws a card and gives you 1 mana for each card in your hand. With decent card draw, this could be a great card… the trick will be keeping a few cards in-hand to get the maximum armor, and that gets harder late in the game. Still, with two cards in hand, when you draw one you’ll earn three armors, and that’s a fair trade for three mana.
- Druid: Forest Guide, a 4-mana 1/6 minion that has both players draw a card at the end of your turn. This card doesn’t strike me as spectacular due to the timing of the card draw. You’ll get a card at the end of your turn, which may be useful for your next turn. But your opponent will have an extra card at the beginning of their turn, giving them an immediate advantage. It’s a card that might not be worth the risk.
- Druid: Wispering Woods, a 4-mana spell that summons a 1/1 wisp (get it? wisp? wispering?) for each card in your hands. It’s a solid choice to fill up your board, especially if you have a decent set of buffs to support it with.
- Druid: Witching Hour, a 3-mana spell that summons a random friendly Beast that died during the game. This isn’t exactly a bad card, but Druid may not have enough Beast synergy to make it useful.
- Druid: Witchwood Apple, a 2-mana spell that adds three 2/2 Treants to your hand. That gives you a good collection of lo minions to put down early in the game. Depending on how much mana these Treants cost, you could have a very nice hand for turn 3.
- Hunter: Dire Frenzy, a 4-mana spell that gives a Beast +3/+3 and adds three copies of that beast to your deck, with the +3/+3 buff. That gives you an extra three damage immediately, and some potentially powerful Beasts later in the game. Depending on how lucky you get with your draws, the value of this card will range from good to amazing.
- Hunter: Rat Trap, a 2-mana Secret that summons a 6/6 rat when your opponent plays three cards in a turn. Six damage for two mana is a great deal, but it’s hard to say how long it will take to trigger and whether it will land on the board when you really need it.
- Hunter: Toxmonger, a 4-mana 2/4 minion that gives every 1-mana minion you play Poisonous. It’s a handy ability to be sure, but I wonder how often you’ll be playing 1-mana minions you’re really going to be playing that late in the game. It would fit neatly into a zoo-style deck that’s packed with low-cost minions, but I’m not sure this will be a card to build a deck around.
- Hunter: Wing Blast, a 4-mana spell that deals four damage to a minion. That’s pretty average, but if a minion has died this turn, the spell only costs one mana. That’s a pretty easy condition to meet, and one mana to take out a 4-health minion is a good deal.
- Mage: Arcane Keysmith, a 4-mana 2/2 minion with a Battlecry that lets you Discover a Secret and put it on the battlefield. As a minion that gives you a spell, the Keysmith will have some nice synergy with a minion-heavy Mage deck, and there are a few cards that will support that playstyle. I’ll be interested to see whether this kind of deck actually makes it into the meta.
- Mage: Book of Specters, a 2-mana spell that draws three cards but discards any spells. When I first wrote this description, I said this felt like an odd fit for a Mage deck. But then Blizzard released Archmage Arugal, and I wonder if they’re trying to encourage a minion-heavy Mage playstyle. Like spell Hunter — another unintuitive playstyle that turned into a powerful deck with Rhok’delar — a minion Mage is an interesting idea. We just have to see if there will be more Witchwood cards to support it.
- Mage: Bonfire Elemental, a 5-mana 5/5 Elemental with a Battlecry to draw a card if you played an Elemental last turn. A decent card for an Elemental-centric Mage deck.
- Mage: Vex Crow, a 4-mana 3/3 Beast that summons a random 2-cost minion whenever you cast a spell. While its random nature could prove problematic (what if you summon a Doomsayer and wipe your own board?), there are a lot of great 2-cost minions that can help you control the board. It will probably be a good fit in Tempo Mage decks, where it will keep up the pressure on your opponent.
- Paladin: Bellringer Sentry, a 4-mana 3/4 minion with a Battlecry and Deathrattle that puts a Secret from your deck into play. Is it time to bring back Secret Paladin? Hm.
- Paladin: Cathedral Gargoyle, a 2-mana 2/2 minion with a Battlecry that gives it Taunt and Divine Shield if you’re holding a Dragon. That’s very strong if you have a Dragon in hand… but is Dragon Paladin actually a thing? Will it become a thing? We’ll find out.
- Paladin: Paragon of Light, a 3-mana 2/5 minion that gains Taunt and Lifesteal when its attack is greater than or equal to 3. With the number of ways Paladin has to buff up minions, this is likely to be a strong card — and its five health will make it hard to take out, giving you time to get buffs on the board.
- Paladin: Rebuke, a 2-mana spell that makes enemy spells cost five more mana next turn. Timing will be everything with this card, but it will be a solid one-turn shutdown for casters.
- Paladin: Silver Sword, an 8-mana 3/4 weapon that gives all of your minions +1/+1 whenever your hero attacks. This will fit neatly with a handbuff deck, and it’s a hell of a value if you have a full board when you attack. But you can’t play it until pretty late in the game, when you may have trouble keeping your board packed with minions to buff. This is my go-to deck type, though, so I’ll be giving it a try if I snag this card.
- Priest: Coffin Crasher, a 6-mana 6/5 minion with a Deathrattle that summons a Deathrattle minion from your hand. I’ve never been able to make a Deathrattle Priest deck work, but maybe you can.
- Priest: Holy Water, a 4-mana spell that deals four damage to a minion. If that kills it, you get a copy of that minion in your head. This is card will neatly fill a gap between Shadow Word: Pain (which kills minions of three health or less) and Shadow Word: Death (which kills minions of five health or more) — and you could get a minion for your trouble, too.
- Priest: Vivid Nightmare, a 3-mana spell that summons a copy of a friendly minion, though with only a single health remaining. This could be a great fit for Priest decks: Copy a big minion and then heal it up.
- Rogue: Blink Fox, a 3-mana 3/3 Beast with a Battlecry that adds a random card to your hand from your opponent’s class. A solid value, that gives you a reasonably sized minion and a card.
- Rogue: Spectral Cutlass, a 4-mana 2/2 weapon with Lifesteal that gains one durability every time you play a card from another class. Though it will have good synergy with certain types of Rogue decks, but it has a high mana cost for its two damage. I suspect you’ll be better served by saving up your dust and crafting a Kingsbane.
- Rogue: WANTED!, a 4-mana spell that deals three damage to a minion and, if the minion dies, gives you a Coin. It’s a bit high on mana cost for that three damage, but grabbing an extra mana via the Coin can be a big advantage, depending on what you have in your hand.
- Shaman: Bogshaper, a 7-mana 4/8 Elemental that draws a minion from your deck every time you cast a spell. It’s an interesting idea, and could pair with Witch’s Cauldron (which generates a Shaman spell whenever a minion dies). Still, that’s a high mana cost and Shaman can already be a bit mana-starved with its Overload cards.
- Shaman: Totem Cruncher, a 4-mana 2/3 Beast with Taunt and a Battlecry that destroys all of your Totems and gains +2/+2 for each Totem. Shaman already has some cards that play nicely with their Totems, and this one is strong as long as you have two Totems on the board when you play it — and it’s also the only Totem-based card we’ve seen so far. If you want to run a Totem deck, you’re going to want this card. Whether a Totem deck will be competitive is another matter entirely, though.
- Shaman: Witch’s Apprentice, a 1-mana 0/1 Taunt minion that adds a random Shaman card to your hand. A very solid first turn card.
- Warlock: Blood Witch, a 4-mana 3/6 minion that deals one damage to your hero at the start of each turn. This seems like a high price to pay for a 3/6, but Warlocks do have cards that trigger off self-damage — and more are coming with this expansion.
- Warlock: Deathweb Spider, a 5-mana 4/6 Beast with a Battlecry that grants it Lifesteal if you’ve taken damage this turn. Speaking of cards that would pair with Blood Witch…
- Warlock: Duskbat, a 3-mana 2/4 Beast with a Battlecry summons two 1/1 bats if you’ve taken damage this turn. This is a solid value and, again, synergizes with Blood Witch.
- Warrior: Deadly Arsenal, a 6-mana spell that reveals a weapon from your deck and deals its attack to all minions. The high cost of this spell could be a problem, though: to make best use of it you’ll need to carefully chose high-cost weapons for your deck. You’d be pretty sad if you played this card and got a 3-damage Fiery War Axe.
- Warrior: Festeroot Hulk, a 5-mana 2/7 minion that gains one attack after a friendly minion attacks. While it starts off as a pretty weak two attack, it has the chance to scale up quite quickly, while that seven health will make it hard to take down.
And that’s it, folks! This is officially every card in the expansion.
Monster Hunt is an all-new single-player adventure
Kobolds and Catacombs had Dungeon Runs. The Witchwood will have Monster Hunts. In this mode, you’ll play one of four Gilnean adventurers, stalking a quarry into the woods. As you defeat bosses, you’ll collect new rewards and build out your deck with new cards. In short, it sounds exactly like a Dungeon Run, only with a new theme and new cards.
And other than that… we don’t know much about it. Presumably it will work like Dungeon Runs did, but the Hearthstone team has kept the details to themselves. Monster Hunt will launch two weeks after the expansion itself, which is a shame — but hopefully it will be worth the wait.
Soon we’ll be off to the woods in Hearthstone! The expansion comes out on April 12, so be sure to pre-order by the 11th if you want to get those 70 packs at a bargain (for some definition of the word) price.
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