10 Bold Predictions for ‘Knights of the Frozen Throne’

10 Bold Predictions for ‘Knights of the Frozen Throne’

The following is a guest post from Tehl (@TehlHS), multi-legend player and my occasional arena co-op partner. He is the creator of Snakes and Drakes. You can catch him on the Hearthstone podcasts Top Deck Kings and Hearthcore.

10 Bold Predictions for The Frozen Throne

10. Rogue got the best Death Knight.

Valeera the Hollow(62876).png

Valeera the Hollow is an insane card.  This card essentially locks out the game with infinite Vanish followed by Arcane Giants allowing you to continuously swing in for 16 damage as long as your opponent doesn’t have removal for them.  In addition, to that the stealth that gives you when it comes down allows you the time that it takes in order to set up the combo.  The only decks that are going to punish this are burn mage and decks that play aggressively on the board,  which brings me to my next point…

9. Druid is going to be the only class playing on the board.

Spreading Plague(62841).png

With Mage and Taunt Warrior (particularly good matchups for Jade Druid) probably sticking around, Druid now has insane tools to combat aggro as well, especially Spreading Plague.  This card is at worst a stall of probably two turns and at best clears their board in the process, but either way, aggro is losing one of it’s best matchups in the game.  Rogue also has new tools to combat aggressive decks with the Shadowblade and it’s counterpart Doomerang which will undoubtedly see varying degrees of play depending on how long aggro sticks around.  Either way you will have time to play your Death Knights because I predict a much slower meta where aggro will be punished.

Bonus Bold Prediction: Skulking Geist was printed for the sole purpose of beating Jade Druid and it will see some (if it makes up over 30% of the meta a lot of) play for that reason.  (Note: I don’t count Taunt Warrior as a deck that plays on board)

8. Hunter is going to be worse.

Build-a-Beast(58725).png

The new hunter cards that are being introduced are terrible…I guess that’s all I really have to say.  Deathstalker Rexxar is the worst Death Knight and arguably may give you a worse hero power than Steady Shot.  For Hunter to continue to challenge the meta they needed more sticky aggressive minions to pressure the opponent, instead they got durdly, inefficient, clunky minions that when everything goes perfectly you probably still are going to lose a majority of your games…

7. The Lich King is the best neutral legendary in the game.

The Lich King(62922).png

This one may be slightly hyperbolic, but if I said The Lich King is a very good card that wouldn’t exactly be a bold prediction.  The Death Knight cards are as powerful as the Ysera Dream Cards, with taunt it gives it initiative, and if all goes right it can give you insane value while smashing face for 8.  While I am less confident in this prediction than some of the other ones, I also have no doubt this will be in more meta decks than any other card currently in the game.

6. Ultimate Infestation was a mistake.

Ultimate Infestation(62879).png

When you look at this card it instantly looks like a Firelands Portal that gains you some life and gives you approximately 8 mana worth of card draw.  So we already have a card that should cost approximately 16 mana, but the card is actually better than that, doing all of this at the same time gives this card increased value.  Normally we would have to play one card that is a Firelands Portal, one card that is an Iron Hide and one card that is a super-Sprint, now all of this is combined onto one card, meaning that this card kind of reads draw seven cards and play three of them…

5. Priest moves up a tick.

Shadowreaper Anduin(62889).png

While most of their new cards are as disappointing as the Hunter cards, Eternal Servtiude should definitely see a good chunk of play and their Death Knight is a game-changer.  While Shadowreaper Anduin on it’s surface may not be that impressive as far as the Death Knights go, it gives priest an opportunity to do something that it’s never been able to do very efficiently, close games.  Raza the Chained also could see an appearance back in the meta allowing priest to machine-gun chain two damage as long as they can continue to play cards.

4. Aggro Paladin will see a come-back.

Righteous Defender(62864).png

I know this is completely contrary to point number nine, that no one is going to be playing on the board, but on the backs of Bolvar Fireblood, Righteous Defender, and Light’s Sorrow all of the board clears that are going to be in the game may be playing right into this decks trap.  I don’t think this will be a very good deck, especially out of the gate, but with some tweaking and as the meta starts to settle, you may be able to catch some people off-guard with this old classic.

3. Mage will not play any of the cards released, and it will still be good.

Frost Lich Jaina(61810).png

Frost Lich Jaina and Sindragosa are definitely cuspers, and I may end up being wrong about them not seeing play, but neither of these cards buy you the late game tempo advantage that Medivh the Guardian does that usually wins you the game just fine on his own.  With the deck already relying on Alexstraza to stabilize, I don’t think there will be room for the new cards.  That being said, this will be one of the most fun decks to mess around with, although I think the best Mage list is already established, and it will continue to stick around, as it is one of the premier decks to contend against new Rogue.

2. Freeze Shaman will not be a thing.

Moorabi(62845).png

While you aren’t going to be bummed out ripping a Voodoo Hexxer from a Stonehill Defender, it is still going to be the third-best taunt that you are hoping for and that’s the best freeze card to be introduced by a mile.  Blizzard is definitely afraid of making another overpowered Shaman deck and acknowledges the power of Jade/Token Shaman in the meta, so they do the thing they are apt to do, which is try to introduce a new mechanic.  This deck will not be good, it will not be fun to play, and it will lose to everything in the game, maybe including new players playing Chillwind Yetis and Boulderfist Ogres.  With nothing being implemented to help its existing archetypes, shaman will definitely be taking a major step back in the Frozen Throne meta.

1. Defile is the best card in the game, and Warlock still may not be playable in Standard.

Defile(62840).png

This card was my whole reason for wanting to write this article to begin with.  I rated Ultimate Infestation a 10/10 and could see a nerf, I rate this card an 11/10 and will probably see an emergency nerf. Everyone is sleeping on Defile.  This is the most efficient, cheapest, and easy to accomplish board clear in the game, that requires little to no set-up.  Next time you are playing a game pay attention to how many huge boards could be cleared with a Defile.  On top of this, after this card stops clearing the minions on the board, it starts clearing their deathrattles, making minions like Dragon Egg and Haunted Creeper also susceptible to it’s reign of devastation, if you are playing Egg Druid or Pirate Warrior in Wild, I’m sorry to say that your days are numbered.  On top of this, this card has an insane synergy with Grim Patron which allows you to defile ad infinitum and wipe all boards and leave yourself with 15-21 power on the board.  Okay so we’ve established that this card is the most broken wild card ever printed, but will it have any impact on Standard?

If Warlock is viable in standard, it will be on the back of Defile.  Possessed Villager is still around to kick the defile train off and it will really punish Token Druid, Shaman and Pirate Warrior, furthering point #9, but Warlock may not have powerful enough tools to contend in the late game, even with the most efficient AoE in the game.  Honestly it makes my brain hurt trying to think of what a standard warlock deck would look like these days, cards like Kabal Trafficker have never seen any play and on an unchecked board, may make for an alright deck with the new warlock Death Knight which is okay and the Lich King definitely making a cameo, but even I am not bold enough to say that Kabal Trafficker Warlock will be the new meta.

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Say a prayer: Priest arena run

Say a prayer: Priest arena run

My Hearthstone Arena experience has been not pleasant of late, with most runs not getting to 5 wins even. My best classes and decent drafts have all failed me. With that, I am turning to my worst and least played class, Priest. Though Rogues perform miracles in Hearthstone, I am dire need of a turnaround.

Decklist

Hearthstone Screenshot 02-21-16 13.06.51.png
Haven’t had one these mana curves in a while.
  • Card quality is pretty good overall.
  • Very little late game, plenty of early and mid game though.
  • Quite a bit of AoE, with 2 Holy Novas, Auchenai + Circle, and a couple of Wild Pyromancers.
  • Card cycling will happen through 4 discover cards I have.

Games

  1. Warlock – 1st – 1-0 – Big board fight on Turn 7-9, helped by a discovered Toshley/Sneed’s Shredder I had. Opponent played two legendary dragons in Chillmaw and Onyxia late, and the Chillmaw definitely backfired in clearing their own board. Fossilized Devilsaur was useful in this game as well.
  2. Mage – 1st – 1-1 – I was going aggro in this game, while my opponent had pure card advantage. I was up 30-4, but started down 2 secrets, likely Ice Block and Effigy. So I kept going face. I was out of cards by the end, and I had to concede.
  3. Rogue – 1st – 2-1 – Easy game, where my opponent anti-tempoed big time by playing Summoning Stone and Blade Flurry. Fossilized Devilsaur and a discovered Cairne chipped away enough.
  4. Hunter – 1st – 3-1 – The true highlight of the run. The fight for the board lasted till Turn 8, when I had a buffed 4/4 Shadowboxer and clear with Holy Nova. My opponent then fueled up with Jeeves, drawing a few crucial cards, including Gladiator’s Longbow. I decided to pick Majordomo Executus for some reason against a threatening board, and he activated when I had 15 life. Though I lose a Armored Warhorse joust, I had enough for lethal thanks for Tomb Spider and DIE INSECT!
  5. Druid – 1st – 4-1 – Really quick 7 turn game where I just out-aggroed the opponent. A board never relinquished will lead to laughers like this.
  6. Rogue – Coin – 4-2 – Rogue did Rogue things, and had a Yeti that stayed on the board forever. I was down 25-5 in Turn 8, and stuck it out to Turn 10 out of sheer desperation.
  7. Shaman – 1st – 5-2 – I had full control in this game, though the board was seemingly contested every turn. A late Entomb sealed the deal.
  8. Paladin – Coin – 5-3 – A smart opponent who knew I was holding on to Holy Novas. A slew of discovery reinforcements were not enough to save me from the big threats I couldn’t clear.
Hearthstone Screenshot 02-21-16 14.25.20
I love the Shadowboxer’s attack effects.
Hearthstone Screenshot 02-21-16 13.20.29
A Devilsaur gains 3/3 and taunt after become a fossil.

 

Grades

  • Circle of Healing –  C+ – I pulled off the Auchenai Circle combo once in a game I was losing for sure. At other times I used it as a bait for Counterspell. Otherwise it did nothing in my hand.
  • Power Word: Shield – B+ – Didn’t get the card too often, but I used it on an opponent for cycling cards once when I was topdecking. Another time, it allowed a minion to live after trading.
  • Zombie Chow – B+ – A late game Zombie Chow provided enough life in a close game to the opponent. Otherwise, solid early game presence/trading.
  • Shadow Word: Pain – A- – Didn’t get it much, but used it to great value against a 3/5 Dragonkin Sorcerer, and clearing a 3/3 MCT in a close game that threatened lethal.
  • Mad Bomber – C- – I only played Mad Bomber once, and I killed my own minion.
  • Museum Curator – A+ – The best card of the run that seemingly discovered legendaries on every pick. The picks I played include Toshley, Sneed’s Shredder and Cairne Bloodhoof. Once I opted for Majordomo in what resulted in a very close game.
  • Puddlestomper – C+ – Nothing amazing, was played as my opening 2-drop twice and was subsequently traded by the opponent.
  • Shadowboxer – B+ – Despite having bad aim at clearing enemies, the Shadowboxer provided a solid 2/3, which traded well against small things. As other times, the constant face damage helped me quite a bit.
  • Shrinkmeiser – B+ – Did pretty good, allowing me to keep my minions alive after trading.
  • Wild Pyromancer – B – I used the Holy Nova combo a few times to good effect, but sometimes the 3 dmg was not enough. Otherwise, played for tempo a ton.
  • Velen’s Chosen – A+ – Just an amazing card that provided buffs to my minions, allowing them to stay around a while, thanks to the Priest heals.
  • Scarlet Crusader – B- – Did not show up a ton in this run, but it once became a 5/5, until it got Polymorphed.
  • Auchenai Soulpriest – A- – Pulled off the Circle combo once, but otherwise was good for spot clears of dying minions. Traded well with minions as well.
  • Chillwind Yeti – B- – The yeti did it’s job with the vanilla 4/5 stats. Nothing remarkable in this game.
  • Kezan Mystic – C+ – Pulled off a 2 for 1 trade once, but otherwise a tempo card that never got to steal any secrets.
  • Piloted Shredder – B+ – Did Piloted Shredder things, forcing trades and dropping something off. The cards I got from drops weren’t that good in this run.
  • Sen’jin Shieldmasta – A– Did a very solid job to create awkward situations, to allow me to set up my board. Used Velen’s Chosen on him a few times to create a big taunt.
  • Spellbreaker – C+ – I silenced a Nerubian Egg once, which had no bearing on a game I had easily won.
  • Tomb Spider – B – I didn’t get notable cards from Tomb Spider, but it allowed me to activate Fossilived Devilsaur twice. The 3/3 body was useful in wearing down opponents as well.
  • Holy Nova – A- – Quite devastating in a few games, with Wild Pyro to clean up. In my final game though, my opponent played around both Holy Novas I used.
  • Frostwolf Warlord – B- – Showed up a couple times to be a big threat to end games. Traded well or hit face.
  • Madder Bomber – I – Did not show up the whole run!
  • Entomb – A – Used it on Molten Giant, Fen Creeper and Force-Tank Max.
  • Fossilized Devilsaur – B+ – Surprise of the deck. Once being a big time beatstick to hit face, another time being the threat for lethal. Both times, it had taunt thanks to Tomb Spider.
Hearthstone Screenshot 02-21-16 13.23.16
I immediately thought of this deck. Huehuehue
Hearthstone Screenshot 02-21-16 13.59.51
Anduin needed a nap during the run.

Upshot

  • My best run in 6 days or so, really with the Priest.
  • With that Priest leapfrogs Warrior as second-worst!
  • This is a deck that better Priest players would take maybe 8 or more wins. Just a great deck drafted, played by someone who doesn’t know how to play Priest.
  • Velen’s Chosen is really good. That will leave a bitter taste when Standard Play comes around.