Every time a new Hearthstone expansion rolls around, my affliction starts again. The anathema of having to see new card reveals is a bit consuming, forcing me to stay on Hearthstone Reddit for the latest news. I was sated early today, with the reveal of 3 new cards, seemingly quilboars that are part of a bike gang. While the cards are very flavorful in fitting in with the new expansion theme, they are also situational cards that aren’t all that competitive. Still, the common and rare hog riders have some important implications that will affect how the Arena is played.
The common card, Tanaris Hogchopper, will be at the crux of this discussion. It is a 4-mana 4/4, which is a seemingly very common stat distribution you see in the Arena. This makes it a little below-average, but certainly playable over many cards. The card gains Charge if your opponent has an empty hand, making the upside a card better than a Kor’kron Elite.
Card advantage is not guaranteed in the Arena, and there is always a need to contest the board by playing minions. As such, topdeck wars do happen a good deal. The Tanaris Hogchopper simply punishes players who will unload their hand in a push for lethal, or to contest the board. While it is prudent to hold onto backup minions when you make a read of a board clear (i.e. Flamestrike), most classes won’t have them. This will change the way Arena is played, and will making one think twice about throwing everyone out there. While there are guaranteed cards that provide charge like Reckless Rocketeer and Wolfrider, this guy is a common and gets the increased offering bonus as part of the new expansion. Plus this guy fills the 4-drop curve, and has a decent size for a charge minion. You will see this card a lot, and it could have a big impact on gameplay decisions.
The rare card, Spiked Hogrider, is a 5-mana 5/5, also possesses playable stats as a serviceable 5, like Clockwork Knight. The upside of this card is like a Doomguard with less health and doesn’t require discards. This card gains Charge on taunts, so it can easily wipe out value minions like Sen’jin Shieldmasta and Sludge Belcher. With additional removal in hand to remove a taunt, this guy can be used to go face. Given the rarity status of this card, and the need to play taunts in the Arena, this guy shouldn’t be played around. Overall, the Spiked Hogrider is just a fine 5-drop in the Arena, but the Tanaris Hogchopper has a bigger impact on Arena gameplay.