Unlike Constructed in Hearthstone, Arena play forces one to draft and play ostentatiously bad cards on occasion. These bad cards sometimes have fringe synergy with something else in the deck, or sometimes help fill a hole in the mana curve. Or sometimes, they are just the best of three selections. I had a similar dilemma yesterday, where I drafted Pantry Spider for some godforsaken reason. The aggro-control style Arena Hunter I had was mostly an amazing draft, and culminated in my best arena ever at 12-1. While the result was surprising, an equally surprising thing was how often Pantry Spider was thrown into the fire. I played Pantry Spider a total 9 times, in 8 games out of 13. Let’s take a look at the card and what situations I played it in my arena run.
- 8 total stat points for 3 mana is quite good.
- Beast synergy with Hunter and Druid.
- Summons a token that has weak synergy with Knife Juggler, Sea Giant, and perhaps taunt givers.
- Pretty nice artwork.
- 2 horribly-stated minions are produced.
- Both spiders can be defeated by multiple 2-drops and 3-drops.
- The Lightforge = 30, Druid/Hunter = 36
- Heartharena = 30, Druid/Hunter = 33
Pantry Spider in action
Turn 13 play Pantry Spider: I hard removed Bladed Cultist with Deadly Shot and the spiders wound up doing nothing in this game.
Turn 6 play Pantry Spider: I killed something with Quick Shot, leaving me 4 mana. I chose to play Pantry Spider over Cloaked Huntress or Shade of Naxxramas. The spiders proceeded to kill a Kobold Geomancer, trade/kill a Bloodhoof Brave and Frothing Berserker, and do 4 face damage.
Turn 3 play Pantry Spider: Here I had no choice, as Pantry Spider was my only 3-drop. The Spider Tank on board killed my Pantry Spider, while the Cellar Spider helped clear the Spider Tank following Powershot.
Turn 9 play Pantry Spider: Here I was “stacking the board” with minion fodder, instead of my Evil Heckler. The Cellar Spider was killed off by SW:Pain, and the Pantry Spider wound up doing 2 face damage.
Turn 3 play Pantry Spider: Instead of playing Youthful Brewmaster or coining Sen’jin Shieldmasta, I played the Spiders. I figured that Rogues could remove the more valuable minions with spells, and the Pantry Spiders were expendable.
Turn 6 play Pantry Spider: I brewed Pantry Spider to spawn an additional Cellar Spider. In this game the spiders killed Novice Engineer and did a total 8 face damage.
Turn 3 play Pantry Spider: Another turn 3 “tempo play.” Houndmaster was actually in hand to buff Pantry Spider, which allowed it to kill a Dalaran Aspirant. They did a total 8 face damage.
Turn 9 play Pantry Spider: Against a Mage again, I play Pantry Spider as an expendable Flamestrike victim over more valuable minions. They contributed to 2 face damage and lethal.
Game 8 (aka Final Boss)
Turn 3 play Pantry Spider: My Rogue opponent had a Buccaneer and dagger out when I played Pantry Spider. Eventually the spiders traded with a Buccaneer and Abusive Sergeant that went face.
Pantry Spider saw a lot of action in this run. While I credit cards like Freezing Trap, Savannah Highmane, and Stampeding Kodo with carrying me through the run, Pantry Spider did stuff. Nothing flashy or impressive, but Pantry Spider helped me get through the run, by simply existing. Maybe the 8 stat points, while horribly distributed, shine in the end. It’s also possible my opponents underlooked the minions and left them on the board, allowing me to work my trades. Sometimes drafting a bad card isn’t so bad after all!