I’m pretty sure Druid is my least-played class in Hearthstone, as it is a level 38 or 39 for me. It has always sat in the bottom three in my Arena classes, and I presumably only play Rogue in constructed. After 3 consecutive Druid Arena runs, it is now my 6th best class, edging out Hunter, and pushing Warlock for 5th best class. What gives? It turns out I had one card present in all three Arena runs: Addled Grizzly.

Hearthstone Screenshot 05-13-16 14.34.44.png
That extra addled damage adds up!

Initial impressions

Addled Grizzly looks like crap. It is a 3-mana 2/2, which gives a +1/+1 buff to any minions summoned, while it is on the board. It is a rated a 34 on the Lightforge Tierlist, and a 50 on the HearthArena Tierlist. Hafu did like the card upon first glance in her card review. It is also rated “average” in Hearthstone Pro Players.

Flavor-wise, it is a bear that talks with a goofy voice. This might be confusing for people unfamiliar with Warcraft, but it is a shapeshifted Druid, who is likely talking in Night Elf form. So we’ve got a bear talking, but it’s really when he’s a Night Elf or something. And he doesn’t know where he is or what he’s attacking. Addled means confused, and is usually used in conjunction with drugs (i.e. pot-addled).

Valuation and Revelation

2/2 is like 1.5 mana worth of stats, so this is an anti-tempo play of 1.5 mana. The closest relative of this card is Shattered Sun Cleric, which grants the same buff, with Liadrin being a 2-drop body (3/2). This means the +1/+1 buff is worth about 1 mana. So you need to buff 2 minions for Addled Grizzly to be worth playing.

Addled Grizzly will never be a great card because of the described conditional effect. It must buff 2 things to be worth playing. This will always hold it back.

I admittedly picked Addled Grizzly in the first choice because the other options were really bad cards. I have been forever changed as a result of this happenstance.

Taunts

Taunts are the top priority when you have Addled Grizzly. They just become better for the rest of the draft and help protect the Grizzly.

  • 5 mana
    • AG + Anodized Robo Cub = 2/2 + 4/3 or 3/4
    • AG + Annoy-o-Tron = 2/2 + 2/3 (divine shield)
  • 6 mana
    • AG + Squirming Tentacle = 2/2 + 3/5
  • 7 mana
    • AG + Sen’jin Shieldmasta = 2/2 + 4/6
    • AG + Evil Heckler = 2/2 + 6/5
  • 8 mana
    • AG + Psych-o-Tron = 2/2 + 4/5 (divine shield)
    • AG + Bear Form = 2/2 + 5/7
  • 9 mana
    • AG + Sunwalker = 2/2 + 5/6 (divine shield)
  • 10 mana
    • AG + Bog Creeper = 2/2 + 7/9
Hearthstone Screenshot 05-14-16 23.08.27.png
Much taunt. Such value.

Chargers

Charges get quite a bit of value from Addled Grizzly, as a +1/+1 on a charge is likely worth more than 1-mana, given that charge minions are rather under-stated. Chargers have lots of utility, as they could protect the bear, clear a big minion, or just push face damage.

  • 5 mana
    • AG + Sabertooth Tiger/Bluegill Warrior = 2/2 + 3/2
  • 6 mana
    • AG + Argent Horserider = 2/2 + 3/2 (divine shield)
    • AG + Wolfrider = 2/2 + 4/2
  • 8 mana
    • AG + Cat Form = 2/2 + 5/5
  • 9 mana
    • AG + Argent Commander = 2/2 + 5/3 (divine shield)

Tokens

Tokens get an instant buff from Addled Grizzly, which makes them the clear value play, in getting as many things out on the board, with more power.

  • 4 mana
    • AG + Living Roots = 2/2 + 2/2 + 2/2
  • 5 mana
    • AG + Bilefin Tidehunter = 2/2 + 3/2 + 2/2
  • 6 mana
    • AG + Razorfen Hunter = 2/2 + 3/4 + 2/2
  • 7 mana
    • AG + Mire Keeper = 2/2 + 4/4 + 3/3
  • 8 mana
    • AG + Silver Hand Knight = 2/2 + 5/5 + 3/3

 

Other benefits

  • Increased offering rate – Addled Grizzly shows up a lot in the Arena because it is an Old Gods Druid Rare. First of all, there is an increased offering rate for Old Gods cards. Secondly, because of Klaxxi Amber-Weaver not being present, Addled Grizzly and Mire Keeper get an increased offering rate. So this card will be around often for a rare pick.
  • Deathrattle summons – It provides buffs to anything that comes out of deathrattle as well. So there is extra synergy with Haunted Creeper, Nerubian Egg, Infested Tauren, Piloted Shredder, etc.
  • Beast synergy – Gets buffs from Mark of Y’Sharrj and Wildwalker.
  • Scarab target – Rather high chance of discovery from Jeweled Scarab.
  • Not a soft taunt – A lot of people don’t see Addled Grizzly as dangerous. They see the 2/2 or the 34 tierscore and ignore it. It has inherent protection for being an unknown quantity! Smart players would kill it when they have the chance.

Conclusion

  • I’ve been harping on Twitter for a few days, but I’m gonna say it. Addled Grizzly is average in the Arena but has tremendous upside. I’m picking it over lackluster fillers like 3-mana 4/3 rare guys.
  • It is still not worth picking over really good picks. Mire Keeper still might be better as well.
  • It is not a 3-drop at all. Best used in the late game. Never play it for tempo, unless you are facing lethal.
  • The value just gushes out as long as it stays on the board. Bait out removals and AoEs. Play Addled Grizzly with taunts. Reap rewards.
Hearthstone Screenshot 05-13-16 14.28.13.png
Confused and holding secrets. Sounds like any old person!
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