Cards coming in Hearthstone’s Rise of Shadows expansion we’re most excited to play
It’s that time of year of again. The days get a little longer, the temperatures get a little warmer and Hearthstone unleashes the first expansion of its new year. Year of the Dragon bids a fond farewell to Kobolds and Catacombs, Knights of the Frozen Throne, and Journey to Un’Goro. Cards from Witchwood, Boomsday Project and Rastakhan’s Rumble remain in standard play. On April 9th, the new cards from Rise of Shadows will join them.
- Paladin’s Lightforge Blessing gives your minions Lifesteal (heal).
- The Forest’s Aid summons five 2/2 Treants.
- Unleash the Beast summons a 5/5 Wyvern with Rush.
- Ethereal Lackey discovers a spell.
Faceless Lackey summons a random 2 mana cost minion.
Goblin Lackey gives a friendly minion +1 attack plus Rush.
Kobold Lackey does two damage like Journey to Ungoro’s Fire Plume Phoenix.
Witchy Lackey transforms a friendly minion into one that costs one mana more like Master of Evolution from Whispers of the Old Gods.
- Improve Morale for Warriors.
- EVIL Conspirator for Priests.
- EVIL Genius for Warlock.
- Everyone can get in on the fun with Neutral cards like EVIL Cable Rat, and EVIL Miscreant.
- Dr. Boom’s Scheme (Warrior) gains armor.
- Lazul’s Scheme (Priest) reduces the attack of your opponents minion for one turn. If you use a Cabal Shadow Priest to ‘change their minds’, they will keep the attack reduction on your side of the board.
- Rafaam’s Schemes (Warlocks) summons Imps. Sort of a version of Forbidden Ritual, but sometimes a less expensive Fiendish Circle.
- Hagatha’s Scheme (Shaman) does damage to all minions. After 4 turns, you’ve got a 5 mana Flamestrike. It’s as close as Shaman gets to replace Journey to Un’Goro’s Volcano.
- Togwaggle’s Scheme (Rogue) shuffles minions into your deck.
We need to talk about Togglewaggle’s Scheme. Some suggest trying to make a Pogohopper deck finally work, or bomb shenanigans with Seaforium Bomber. I want to try Togglewaggle’s scheme in a Tess Espionage deck and use Togwaggle on Tess herself. Can you imagine 6 or 7 Tesses (Tessi?) waiting in the deck to unleash their Battlecry?
Notice it doesn’t say friendly minion. You can choose any minion with this bad boy. Why yes, I’ll take a half dozen Shudderwocks — thank you for playing yours. Jan’alai, the Dragonhawk summoned a Ragnaros, that’s cute. How about I Scheme eight of them into my deck and then Unidentified Contract to kill yours? Unlike many of the other schemes, this one is even okay as a top deck since its only 1 mana.
Legendary cards I’m hoping for
Blastmaster completes the boom trifecta of Dr. Boom, and Dr. Boom, Mad Genius. The main support card is a new rare: Clockwork Goblin. There are some additional support cards which are all Epics. Augmented Elekks and Seaformium Bombers are neutral and Elekks work well in a Tess Greymane deck. Another support card is the Warrior Epic, Wrenchcalibur. If you choose it, you can add weapon support like Upgrade or even Captain Greenskin. If Bomb decks do become a thing, Arch-Villain Rafaam can turn all those pesky bombs or Corrupted Bloods from Hakkar, the Soulflayer into beautiful Legendary cards.
Whizbang the Wonderful
Priest is losing Kobolds and Catacombs’ Diamond Spellstone which summoned 2 friendly minions that died and could upgrade to 4 minions with enough spells cast. Rise of Shadows gives you Mass Resurrection as a possible replacement which summons 3 friendly minions. It can’t be upgraded by also doesn’t tie you down with a conditional.
For Rogues, Unidentified Contract will try to replace Vilespine Slayer. It destroys a minion plus one of four other effects. Adding a Betrayal like damage to an adjacent minions, or adding the destroyed minion to your own hand are probably better than Vilespine’s 3/4 minion. Summoning a 1/1 Patient Assassin with poisonous and stealth is good but gives your opponent a chance to remove it. You can do shenanigans with the two coins, but its probably the worst of the four effects and most of the time, you’d probably rather have had the 3/4.
Hench Clan Burglar takes Journey to Un’Goro’s Hallucination and puts it on a 4/3 minion. I do like the wording change so it’s more useful in a Rogue mirror match. This will help out the Burgle/Tess Rogues.
Spellward Jeweler will try to do the job of Kobolds and Catacombs Kobold Monk — I think I’ve offically hit my Kobold quota at this point. Both provide a spell taunt, preventing your hero from being attacked by spells. While Monk protects you as long as its on the board, the Jeweler’s benefit last only one turn.
It won’t be as easy for Druid to prolong the game since they didn’t get great replacements for Spreading Plague, Branching Paths, Malfurion the Pestilent, Ultimate Infestation, or Lesser Jasper Spellstone. The developers seem to be pushing them toward token decks so far. Hunter is going to see a drop in power from losing Deathstalker Rexxar, and Lesser Emerald Spellstone. Priest is losing two big AoE tools with Psychic Scream and Duskbreaker.
I’m excited for the new Hearthstone year and I plan on doing a pack opening stream and opening day play on Tuesday April 9th at 8:30 CST on the Blizzard Watch Twitch channel. Stop by and check it out.
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