Stream of Consciousness on the Slow Meta

This is as unorganized as it will get on this site, so get ready for me just talking for the sake of writing a post before Thanksgiving.

84 out of 132 cards have been revealed for Mean Streets of Gadgetzan as of this post, with one coming from Kolento (hot meme inserted) in a couple hours.  We already know what the Grimy Goons and Kabal do, and we just learned of the main mechanic of the Jade Lotus yesterday. All of these faction mechanics clearly point towards the direction of an upcoming slow meta.

The Grimy Goons work by putting out anti-tempo drops, which in turn buff minions in the hand. We don’t really know what these decks would look like, but there are card staples that you still want. Warriors are known for carrying good weapons, and lots of removal spells. This would go against what the Grimy Goons do, in keeping a bunch of minions in hand for buffing. Hunters have the Dispatch Kodo, which costs 4, and requires a bunch of buffing to be devastating. Paladins look like the best fit to go aggro, and benefit from the Grimy Goons, given they have cheaper buffs like Smuggler’s Run. While Paladins can play faster, the need to buff things with anti-tempo cards will make the new aggro Paladin slower than the current version.

File:Grimy Gadgeteer(49679).png
Dangerous card

The Kabal have potions and powerful highlander legendaries. With the exception of bad card Bloodfury Potion, the currently revealed potions are all control spells. Three of the potions are board clears, one is a debuff, one is a mind control-psuedo board clear, one is a removal secret and one is Bloodfury Potion. Tempo and Face-Freeze Mage don’t really get much benefit for playing a highlander style, as they will lose a ton of damage spells. Inkmaster Solia is certainly a good card, but costs 7. Warlocks have gotten a 4-mana murloc, which could signal the return of Warloc shenanigans, but have received more control cards so far, like Abyssal Enforcer and Felfire Potion.

File:Inkmaster Solia(49693).png
Definitely fun, but can’t tell how good.

The expected rise of the Priest class (gee thanks, Reddit) also adds to the expectation of a slow meta. The debacle about releasing Purify at the dire juncture of the oppressive Shaman rise led to some legitimate admissions of fault from Blizz devs about saving Priests. This led to some frankly broken Priest cards revealed from the get-go, showing that the class is here to play soon.

Pros: The artwork. Cons: Everything else.

And finally, the Jade Lotus was revealed to have the Jade Golem mechanic, which summons a base 1/1 golem, and becomes a bigger golem for each new one. While the post teased a 30/30 golem, this is honestly going to be impossible to pull off. Like the Grimy Goons, one needs to consider how many of the Jade Lotus cards can supplant other options in the deck. Rogues for example, need core cards like 2x Backstab, 2x Eviscerate, 2x Preparation, 2x Sap. Some of the new cards, like Jade Shriuken will be weaker versions of spells that add the Jade Golem mechanic. While the Jade Golem mechanic has snowball potential, it seems very slow. We just need wait to see how fast these guys can be produced. If this mechanic does succeed, it straight out destroys control decks. Think about how strong the Jaraxxus Infernal hero power is in the late game, by producing 6/6’s. The Jade Golems will just exhaust removal, and keep making bigger threats.

Card literally released when I wrote the paragraph above.

This makes me think whether this signals the return of super aggro. When I say super aggro, I mean Old Gods Aggro Shaman, and even old school Face Hunter. All of these gang mechanics are just slow, and aggro decks can take advantage of all the set up to pick apart the hero. Of course, the nerf of cards like Knife Juggler and Abusive Sergeant have put a damper on the truly aggressive decks. And we haven’t seen any card that is cheap and aggressive so far. The question is whether the new age of aggro decks are fast enough and powerful enough to kill an opponent setting up for big gang mechanic plays.

Anyhow, I am pretty excited to see all the new cards. My internet is going to be limited and I may also be occupied with whatever family stuff needs doing in Thanksgiving. But I may likely be in some coffee shop in Kings Highway over the weekend to get in some Wizard Poker. And refreshing Reddit to see what card reveals I missed.

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