For those not in the know, there will be 2 upcoming waves of Arena draft cuts that will help transition it from Wild to Standard. With the much-desired Small-Time Buccaneer and Spirit Claws nerf, Curse of Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes will drop out of the Arena draft pool. A later drop wave, coming when the new expansion hits, will drop Blackrock Mountain, League of Explorers, and The Grand Tournament. Since the first drop wave is quite imminent, let’s look some lists I made about the best cards leaving us.
Top 10 cards leaving
Honorable mention – Fel Reaver – From an insider view, Fel Reaver is often attributed to very high win rates, and is a great example of a skill-intensive card. For those reasons, and being an epic card, Fel Reaver did not make the top 10.
10. Powermace – 3/2 for 3 mana weapons are good for their cost, requiring the ability to make them great. The +2/+2 buff to a friendly Mech on the board is definitely an ability that has eroded over time, given the smaller amount of Mechs in the card pool. But the free tempo gain from a weapon that costs a fair amount is just too good. Shamans have Whirling-Zap-o-Matic as their class Mech, and there are other decent Turn 4 Mechs like Piloted Shredder, Mechanical Yeti, and Arcane Nullifier.
9. Coghammer – This 2/3 for 3 mana weapon has an odd distribution, and is slightly worse than the 3/2 for 3 distribution. Besides that though, the amazing ability of granting Taunt and Divine Shield to a friendly minion is pure value. Taunt is just worth 1 stat point, but getting free taunt never hurts. Getting Divine Shield is much more value, worth the attack points of a minion. This allows any minion to get an easy 2-for-1 in the trade department. Coghammer is incredible, but being an epic steps it down a few notches.
8. Imp-losion – This card suffers from what I like to call Shaman RNG, as it is a card that deals damage in a range, like a bunch of Shaman cards. It has big upside, as hitting for 4 is essentially combining two spells, Shadow Bolt and Call in the Finishers, a combined 7 mana worth of spells. The average damage value of 3 is good, a much better version of a spell like Bash. Rolling a 2 isn’t a great outcome at all, a value of about 2 mana. But leaving Imps to contend with the board is never a horrible thing. Overall, the ability to completely swing the board is what makes this great.
7. Haunted Creeper – This card is easily one of the best 2-drops around, being the stickiest early drop in the game. The Creeper and Spectral Spiders combine for 3/4 for just 2 mana, allowing an equal trade on any 3 health minion. The spiders are best used in conjunction with buff cards, which allow tokens to trade up. It also provides protection against AoE damage. It does a lot more than most 2-drops, and makes it a top card.
6. Zombie Chow – The merits of Zombie Chow have been validated by various data and confirmation by Mike Donais himself. While this card does not fare well in the late, close games, just being a 2/3 for 1 will allow it to be a 2-for-1 minion in most situations. And that on it’s own is why this card is so good. It will be weird not seeing the card, but Mistress of Mixtures does exist though, and will serve as an inferior understudy.
5. Death’s Bite – I think this is the best weapon in these two sets. You’re basically doing a guaranteed 9 damage for 4 mana, with the free Whirlwind ability on Deathrattle. Not only is the AoE good for clearing small things, but there is synergy with various Warrior cards. Ravaging Ghoul is one of the best cards around with a built-in Whirlwind. Death’s Bite just provides too much damage for just 4 mana.
4. Flamecannon – While Flamecannon suffers from random targets, it shines as a Turn 2 reactive play. 4 damage for 2 mana is just too good and can eliminate any 1 or 2-drop, and a lot of 3-drops. Also a great swing play on Turn 4, killing a 3 drop and allowing a 2-drop play.
3. Muster for Battle – Easily the best Paladin rare card, and we have a lot of good ones in that criteria. While the value doesn’t immediately blow you away, with 3/3 of recruits and a Light’s Justice for 3 mana, it is better in a tempo swing fashion. Populating the board with minions makes it good and gives opportunities for trading up, like in Imp-losion. The recruits also synergize well with cards like Warhorse Trainer and Quartermaster.
2. Bomb Lobber – This one hurts quite a bit. Again, the card suffers from hitting a random minion, and often results in frustrating 50/50 whiffs. But it does a great job on a single target, or in a clutch RNG spot. The card exists as a 3/3, allowing it to compete with 1-3 drops, so it is typically a 2-for-1 card. Also, it seems to fill a mana cost of 5, where that type of damage doesn’t exist. It really fills a hole where many spells or weapons can’t cover 4 damage. While it will be missed, Bomb Squad is a very good replacement.
1. Piloted Shredder – This one is quite obvious to most. Piloted Shredder is premium because it is a 4/3, dropping a random 2-drop. The 2-drop that comes out just has to be a vanilla 1/1 for Piloted Shredder to be worth it’s value. Anything extra is free lunch. The 2-drops are random, meaning you could just get 1/1, or get something like 4/4 Milhouse or Shielded Minibot. Shredder is also compatible with whatever mech synergies, and protects the board from AoE. All of these qualities makes Piloted Shredder the best card leaving the Arena.
Top fun interactions leaving
- Spare parts – Without any GvG cards, there will no longer be Spare Parts. While the type of RNG isn’t the best, it adds a fun element to the game without being overpowered. The Spare Parts themselves aren’t overcosted, and come at really handy junctures, and require a little skill about when to use. Plus, as 1-mana spells, they provide boosts to any spellcasting or spell boosting synergies (Mana Addict).
- Enhance-o-Mechano – Probably the most fun, but draftable epic cards around. Typically, the buffs make this card worth it’s anti-tempo cost. While this card can whiff, it often provides a memorable and entertaining way to end a game.
- Wailing Soul – Neutral silence isn’t gone for good, but this was one of the three cards that did it, so it is going to reduce quite a bit. Wailing Soul shined in the department of making bad cards work well. Wailing Soul is not a good card, and can make other not good cards (Eerie Statue, Icehowl) go face. Additionally it had utility in rare situations of restoring weakened or frozen minions. Most of the time does nothing or has a negative effect on your own guys. The decision to put out a 3/5 on board, or to silence potentially good effects made it quite fun.