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HearthstoneAug 7, 2020 10:00 am CT

All of the dual-class cards from Hearthstone’s Scholomance Academy expansion

The new Hearthstone expansion is coming in early August, and it’s called Scholomance Academy! We’ll delve into Kel’thuzad’s school of magic, before it became completely corrupted. And as is to be expected, new tricks will enter our arsenal. One of them, in particular, has really piqued my interest: dual-class cards.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen cards that can be used by multiple classes : the very successful Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion had triple-class cards representing each of the three factions that ruled the streets. Some of those triple-class cards became staples: from powerful legendaries such as the fantastic Aya Blackpaw, who was present in nearly every Jade deck, or Kazakus, who popularized Highlander decks even more than Reno Jackson before him, to weaker but useful minions like the Grimestreet Informant.

Hopefully, the new set will have its own cards that become similar staples. And since they’re limited to two classes instead of three, these new cards can be more specialized to give us interesting synergies.

But exactly how will these dual-class cards change the game in Scholomance? Let’s look at the dual-class cards that have been announced so far and consider how they might work in play.

Dual-class cards we’ve seen so far

In total, ten combinations will be available. Here are the cards that have already been announced for each:

Druid / Hunter

  • Shan’do Wildclaw is a legendary where you get to choose — like Druids — if you’d rather buff all Beasts in your deck, or transform into a copy of a powerful friendly Beast — something that Hunter is full of.
  • Teacher’s Pet is a literal pet, not a person. Anyway, it’s a 4/5 Beast with Taunt and a Deathrattle effect of summoning a random 3-Cost Beast. Seems sturdy enough to make its way into certain non-aggressive decks.
  • Adorable Infestation is adorable: not powerful, or broken, or OP; not terrible, or trash, or dust it! either. Just adorable. A good effect for one mana. Adorable!
  • Guardian Animals adds a Recruit effect specific for Beasts, and gives them Rush. Not very exciting, but might work well with specific Beasts in decks build around it.

Hunter / Demon Hunter

  • Ace Hunter Kreen is super OP their legendary, keeping with the tradition of releasing cards named after Hearthstone World Champions — in this case, 2018 champion Casper “Hunterace” Notto. This card is super OP going to give Hunters and Demon Hunters a lot of extra power when combined with sticky minions and weapons like the Warglaives of Azzinoth. I think this is already a candidate for a post-release nerf. Super OP card.
  • Blood Herald is a 1/1 minion for five mana. That’s terrible, right? But it gets +1/+1 whenever a friendly minion dies while it’s in your hand. So you want to be patient, and then unleash its full might after your initial swarms are dealt with.
  • Demon Companion summons a random minion from the following poll: 2/2 with Taunt, 2/1 with Charge, or 1/2 with the “Your other minions have +1 Attack” effect. It costs one mana, so it seems solid enough for an aggressive early game.
  • Trueaim Crescent is their shared weapon. A cheap weapon that allows you to control the board by getting potentially several extra free attacks from your minions. I’d bet this will see some play.

Demon Hunter / Warlock

  • Felosophy, besides being the best-named card from this batch as of yet, is a high value card when you can play it with its Outcast effect (and also a chance for the Warlock class to use this Demon Hunter-exclusive keyword). The “lowest cost” limitation means that this is the kind of card that goes on specific types of decks. It seems to fit an aggressive playstyle with lots of cheap minions, which both DHs and (zoo) Warlocks excel at.
  • Spirit Jailer is a cheap minion that brings a new faux-mechanic to these two classes: several cards, such as this one, shuffle Soul Fragments into your deck that other cards can use for powerful effects.
  • Soul Shear is another shared card that adds Soul Fragments — this time, in the form of a direct damage spell that targets minions.
  • Soulciologist Malicia, besides being the second best-named card from this batch as of yet, is the payoff for playing with Soul Fragments: when summoned, she brings 3/3 Souls with Rush for every Soul Fragment you added to your deck.
    • Historically, these expansion-specific mechanics that the Hearthstone team has added to decks haven’t been great. We’ll have to wait and see if Soul Fragments will share the same fate, or if they will actually work out.

Warlock / Priest

  • Brittlebone Destroyer is a card that can feed from either self-healing or self-harming effects to allow you to destroy a minion of your choice. As it stands, seems like it could become an auto-include for many decks. The tempo gain is enormous.
  • Disciplinarian Gandling is their legendary. It destroys any minion you play (not summon), and replaces it with a 4/4. Sounds like it might be of more use to Warlock than Priest, but we have to wait and see what other cards Priest gets that synergyze with it.
  • Flesh Giant is a minion that, much like other giants, sees its cost go down as you do something: in this case, heal or damage yourself during your turns. I could see this card being very useful.
  • Raise Dead is a 0 cost spell that deals 3 damage to your hero in order to return two friendly minions that died this game back to your hand. A new take on the resurrect mechanic, hopefully? Regardless, seems like a very interesting card, and a much healthier take than previous resurrect effects.

Priest / Paladin

  • Gift of Luminance gives a minion Divine Shield, then summons a 1/1 copy of it, for a mere 3 mana. This is a good card for Paladin, but seems extremely powerful for Priest.
  • Devout Pupil is a 4/5 minion with Divine Shield and Taunt that costs less mana with each spell you cast on friendly characters during that game. Seems to fit very well with Libram/Pure Paladin, but might find itself used by Priests as well.
  • High Abbess Alura is the legendary, and it comes with a very amusing video by Wronchi Animation. It’s a powerful minion for sure, assuming your deck is full of buffs (and no spells that could directly harm it). But nothing too overpowered, since it requires this very specific deck-building to truly shine.
  • Wave of Apathy is a control spell. It sets the Attack of all enemy minions to 1 until your next turn, hopefully enabling you to clear their board without sacrificing too much of your own minions, or at least giving you some breathing room to survive until your following turn. Even though these effects often find their way into the Paladin arsenal, this card seems to fit Priest better because of the existence of cards like Shadow Madness, Shadow Word: Pain, or even my old favorite Cabal Shadow Priest.

Paladin / Warrior

  • Ceremonial Maul is a weapon that has a Spellburst effect of summoning taunt minions with Taunt, and attack and health equal to the cost of the spell you cast. Seems like it would be more useful for Paladin than Warrior, although I could see it being used with Brawl.
  • Lord Barov is their legendary. A cheap minion with small stats, but the stats are not what you’re looking for here: it’s his powerful board clear potential. His Battlecry, in usual Paladin fashion, sets the Health of all other minions to 1; whereas his Deathrattle, in the true Warrior way, deals 1 damage to all minions. Cheap, effective mass removal, with tons of combo potential.
  • Shield of Honor is a spell that gives a damaged minion +3 attack and Divine Shield. Warriors usually have a much easier time getting their minions damaged, so it looks like it will be more useful for them.
  • Commencement is a new take on the Recruit mechanic from expansions past. For seven mana, it summons a random minion from your deck, but bolsters it with Taunt and Divine Shield. It’s a very slow spell, and I’m not fully convinced that it will see much play as of yet, unless big slow Control Warrior makes a triumphant return.

Warrior / Rogue

  • Steeldancer is a minion that allows you to summon a random minion based on how much weapon attack you have at the moment. Rogue gets the benefit of always getting value from this as long as they have their hero power daggers up, but it might be useful for both classes.
  • Doctor Krastinov is their legendary. Upon being played — assuming you will use his Rush effect — he is a slightly worse Captain Greenskin (one less attack). But assuming it stays alive, it can potentially give you more value.
  • Coerce is a spell that functions as an extra — but more expensive — Execute, on the base level. But its Combo effect allows you to destroy any minion for a mere 3 mana (cost of activating the Combo notwithstanding). Certainly seems like a powerful card!
  • Cutting Class draws two cards, and costs five — that’s two more than Arcane Intellect — but costs 1 less for each point of attack on your weapon. If your deck uses any weapons that have two attack or more, this could fit into it very well.

Rogue / Mage

  • Wand Thief has a Combo effect that allows you to Discover a Mage spell. It’s the kind of early-game effect that Rogues have had success with, combined with the Mage practice of getting extra spells.
  • Jandice Barov is their legendary. The encounter against Jandice in the revamped Scholomance dungeon in WoW had you fighting off the illusions that she summons until you found the real one. In a similar sense, this card creates real and false minions. It has the potential to truly shine in Rogue, with their abundance of lackeys — find yourself an evolve Lackey, and suddenly the fake minion becomes real. But despite that potential combo, this still feels like a niche card.
  • Brain Freeze is a cheap spell combining Mage’s penchant for freezing minions with Rogue’s propensity to deal damage to them through their Combo effects. Nothing spectacular on its own, but might be used in combination with other cards, to activate them.
  • Potion of Illusion adds 1/1 copies of your minions to your hand that cost 1. I already hate this card, and I predict it will break the game somehow. These types of cards always do. Exodia Mage is returning? Time will tell, but I’m already wary of it.

Mage / Shaman

  • Devolving Missiles combines the cheap unpredictability of Arcane Missiles with a Devolve effect. I can already foresee this card sowing chaos everywhere.
  • Ras Frostwhisper, before turning into a lich, is their Legendary. He has the very powerful effect of dealing 1 damage to all enemies at the end of the turn, like Despicable Dreadlord before him — and that was a very solid Warlock card that saw a lot of use — with the added bonus of seeing that effect be affected by spell power. Seems like a very solid card.
  • Trick Totem is like a small Yogg. It casts a random 3-cost spell at the end of your turn, and that’s it. Madness will consume you!
  • Primordial Studies could work on any deck that is based around damage spells. It will give you more shots to fire, and a small discount on your next one.

Shaman / Druid

  • Lightning Bloom reintroduces the old, very powerful Innervate effect of giving you two extra mana crystals that turn, but counterbalances it by Overloading you. So you’re essentially borrowing two Mana Crystals from Future You.
  • Runic Carvings is a costly spell that summons four 2/2 Treants that are also Totems, somehow. But it’s also a Choose One card: you can choose to Overload yourself for 2, in order to give those minions Rush as well. This one is… a little odd, and a little hard to pass judgment on at the moment. But it might fit into certain decks.
  • Groundskeeper is a four mana Taunt with solid stats that has a healing effect if you’re holding a spell that costs 5 or more. Just a solid card that might make its way into several decks, even if its effect is nothing… groundbreaking. (Sorry.)
  • Speaker Gidra is their legenday. A 1/4 with Rush and Windfury for three mana seems okay… but it also has a Spellburst effect that adds attack and health to it equal to the cost of the spell. So, essentially, it’s a  X+1/X+4 minion with Rush and Windfury, for 3 mana plus a X-cost spell of your choice. Snazzy!

This is a tremendously exciting feature that’s sure to shake things up, just like in the Mean Streets days. The playing environment becomes far more interesting when open-ended features like this are available to players. The deck-building potential increases exponentially, and the meta is likely to remain fresh and in motion for a much longer time as players discover new effects that weren’t obvious at first.

Overall, I’m very excited with this first taste of what Scholomance Academy promises to bring to Hearthstone. Here’s to more bold features like this one!

Scholomance Academy is launching on August 6, and you can pre-order the expansion now.

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