There seems to be quite a bit of frustration in Hearthstone lately. Before the release of One Night in Karazhan, there was the Priest Uprising of Purify (egg on your faces), and Firelands Portal Arena stuff. Known salt barons Reynad and Kripp are voicing their concerns about the game. RDU is having a back-and-forth with people on Reddit about his casting. Disguised Toast wants improved patch notes. Yogg is deciding the outcomes of tournament games. I personally have been salty about sucking in the Arena because of awkward mana curves and horrible mulligans/draws.
While all this is going on, I personally have been very satisfied with one aspect of the game, which is the reintroduction of cards in Ranked play. We are seeing an infusion of cards that have been revitalized with the new Karazhan cards.
Strategies are constantly evolving.
While Hearthstone catchphrases are oft-lampooned, I do think strategies are evolving in Standard play. It sure didn’t feel that way during the recent eternal Warrior meta, but these reintroduced cards because of Karazhan is proving that. This could be because of several things: 1) Innovation, 2) Forced Synergy, 3) Replacements.
- Innovation – Hearthstone streamers and content creators are always pushing out new decks and card techs. This innovation is putting in new cards in the new meta.
- Forced Synergy – New cards introduced into the game have synergy with old cards, and instantly make them better than they were without such synergy.
- Replacements – Standard rotation relegates something to Wild, and there needs to be a replacement.
Top 10 Resurrected Cards (so far)
- Resurrect – I honestly have no idea what set this card came from (first guess The Grand Tournament, actually Blackrock Mountain). Thanks to Scamaz or Zetalot, this card has gone from never played to staple overnight. Resurrect basically works with Onyx Priest in bringing back Priest neutral buddy Injured Blademaster as a 4/7 board presence. Seems good, but the deck has lots of other potential to be brewed. Expect to see this card until it rotates out of Standard, or people figure out how to stomp Priests again.
- Totemic Might -Shaman Totemic Call has always been one of the worst Hearthstone hero powers. With the introduction of Totem synergy being melded together thanks to Wicked Witchdoctor, other Shaman totem synergy cards are starting to prove useful. Totemic Might, one of the Basic (free) Shaman Cards, is valuable in protecting Shaman totems from light AoE and removal. I always loved the card art, so it is great to see it being used.
- Primal Fusion – Totems started gaining traction thanks to Thing From Below in Old Gods, but it wasn’t incentive enough to run the situational Primal Fusion. The new totem Shaman fills the board up with totems, allowing Primal Fusion to be a very cheap burst equip spell.
- Hunter Secrets – Like Mysterious Challenger, Cloaked Huntress gave a class an incentive to run mediocre secrets. Free secrets, comboed with Lock and Load gives the Hunter a way to gain card advantage. Snake Trap isn’t bad, but is never a common choice. Snipe is starting to see increased play, and some bold adventurers are even running Misdirection.
- Blood Warriors – Arcane Giant has made Blood Warriors a necessity in a scary, spell-heavy OTK deck, as a means of generating unlimited 0-mana 8/8’s. Prior to Arcane Giant, Blood Warriors was just known for this timeless Lifecoach card reveal.
- Commanding Shout – This card last saw play in the old version of Patron Warrior. Commanding Shout is now back because of Arcane Giant Warrior, as it is a spell that draws a card. It also works well with Wild Pyromancer in those Warrior decks, as a board clear and Acolyte of Pain trigger..
- Mark of Y’Shaarj – This card always was good in the Arena, and seemed decent. It was always a likely candidate for play if and when Beast Druid came to fruition. With support from Enchanted Raven and Menagerie Warden, this card is likely a staple in Beast Druids moving forward.
- Scavenging Hyena – I don’t know if this card is back, but I saw it at least 2 times yesterday. I’m assuming someone popular is running it, or it is on a decklist. Anyhow, the Scavenging Hyena was present way back in the Unleash + Buzzard meta. Now it is serving a similar high-reward function, with beast Hunters and likely protected by various secrets.
- Confessor Paletress – Because Priest is an entity again in Ranked play, there is a little room for players to optimize their decks. Confessor Paletress, the Priest TGT legendary, has some potential use with Barnes and Resurrect. Paletress has always had some appeal as high reward, but players are currently sticking with a sure thing (mostly) in Ysera now. As a person who still doesn’t have Ysera, I have slotted in Paletress in my Priest deck (which collects dust).
- Deathwing – Another experimental ingredient I have seen in Priest decks lately. Unlike Paletress, Deathwing helps with whatever Dragon synergy cards there are. This is only getting stronger with the last wing of Karazhan, thanks to Book Wyrm and Netherspite Historian. Priests tend to play the control game and hold their cards, making Deathwing an explosive surprise.