The Best Arena Cards Leaving Next Month

The Best Arena Cards Leaving Next Month

Days ago, I talked about the top cards from Curse of Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes that have now departed the Arena. This shall be a Part 2, a commemoration of the top cards leaving the Arena from Blackrock Mountain, League of Explorers, and The Grand Tournament. The exodus of these cards correspond with the arrival of Journey to Un’goro, and will take place in April. Let’s look at my personal list of the cards with limited shelf life in the Arena.

Hearthstone Screenshot 12-12-15 20.07.11
Pour one out for Rag too!

 

Top 10 cards leaving

Honorable mention – Flame Juggler/Argent Horserider/Evil Heckler – This trio of TGT commons was far from flashy, but each became a staple card in the Arena. These cards would likely make a Top 20 list, but fall short in this exclusive list.

10. Kodorider – This card loses points for being an epic card, but it was pretty close to being an automatic pick in the epic slot. Kodorider was basically a neutral Jaraxxus-lite, which provided infinite tempo on the board, and immediately demanded attention. It is such a good card that opponents often conceded in close matchups when seeing it.

9. Living Roots – The Druid once had early game issues, with limited early game plays. Living Roots solved that issue for the Druid, provided the quick 2/2 tempo on Turn 1. The Saplings allowed the Druid to control the board early. Added versatility as spot removal or face damage contributes to making Living Roots great.

8. Murloc Knight – Murloc Knight was larger-than-life, in that it served as Hearthstone’s factotum entering TGT. The card bundled some of the zany Team 5 ideas with Warcraft Murlocs, into a cute package. Gameplay-wise, the card was snowbally like Kodorider, as an Inspire tempo engine, except it was much more accessible as a Turn 6 play, and the Murlocs occasionally had synergy. This card just won a lot of games, from being a little broken.

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Murlocalypse

7. Quick Shot – This was Hunter’s Frostbolt, if you will, and fit the Hunter playstyle well, by providing the gas needed to draw cards. The only reason this card makes this list is because of scarcity in the Hunter toolbox, as they don’t have removal. Arena Hunters have never been all that good, and missing this card would put a huge void in the Hunter’s ability to remove early threats.

6. North Sea Kraken – While unseen in Ranked play, the Kraken took the Arena by storm, being the first meta-defining common neutral card. Yes, the card was unwieldy at 9 mana, and prevented a 2-drop or hero power being used on Turn 10. But as I have waxed on before, the ability to do controllable effect damage is big. Think about how good Fire Elemental is. This was the neutral common that did all that, being the essential late game threat.

5. Dark Iron Skulker – In going along with cards being the only part of a toolkit, this was the rare AoE for Rogues. It provided Rogues with the Bloodmage + Fan of Knives play in the Arena, with a 4/3 body on the board. While there are sometimes awkward situations with damaged minions not getting hit, those scenarios were few and far between. Just a tremendous card.

4. Ethereal Conjurer – Mages are continually good in the Arena, because they have access to the best spells. Best damage spells, best AoE, best hard removal, you name it. Slapping the Discover mechanic on Mage spells almost always guaranteed a good get. Put that on a 6/3 threat, and you’re just paying 1 mana for a spell. Conjurer got the Mage out of bad spots often, or provided clutch picks for wins. Having 6 attack also helped making it a priority for removal.

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Keeper of Uldaman came at a time when memes were ripe

3. Keeper of Uldaman – Whoever decided keeper of uldaman should be a common card definitely never played any arena, screw him. Blizzard not giving any fuck about arena balance really remind me about WoW arena balance where it was obvious you were considered a second zone citizen compared to PvE or even battlegrounds, even though they kept saying it wasn’t the case. Only a few changes would help, but they still don’t even want to bother. Well I don’t care, I play mainly constructed now, but still, blizzard never changes.

Keeper shits on every card in the game. Literally the worst card Blizzard designed. It trades with whatever it makes a 3/3, it also acts as a buff for small drops. Card is out of control.

2. Dark Peddler – 2-mana 2/2’s better be good to be this high up on the list. This was more about the card being both versatile and opportune. Warlocks just have some ridiculous 1-mana cards for Arena purposes, like Voidwalker, Flame Imp, Power Overwhelming (rip), and Soulfire. Sometimes bit players like Elven Archer and Bloodsail Corsair come in a pinch. I picked Hungry Crab last week! Whether being played for 2/2 tempo, or being played as a 2+1 on coin, this card is tremendously flexible, and provides solutions for putting the Warlock ahead.

1. Imp Gang Boss – I can’t really think of a scenario where you pick another common card over IGB in the Arena. I don’t remember having done so. The card simply doesn’t die on Turn 3, which means it will generate at least 2 tokens. That there is 10 points of stats already. It also trades evenly with 4/3’s on the board. Throw in various buffs, demon synergy, and a 2-drop meta, you have a tempo machine. The ability to generate 1/1’s, while being a formidable board minion made IGB the best card in this set.

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Screw that guy

Top fun interactions leaving

  • Crowd Favorite + Battlecries – One of my favorite cards in the epic slot, Crowd Favorite often got out of control because of the number of available battlecries. The card often affected a draft (for me), making me think about picking inferior Battlecry cards just to make it work.
  • Jeweled Scarab – While never an amazing card, Jeweled Scarab had the skill-testing ability that Discover shined at. Further, it spanned a wide range of cards across the 3-mana catchment, forcing players to think about not only what class is being played.
  • Joust – Joust isn’t good RNG. I’m pretty sure I lost over 50% of my jousts, because I like drafting on the lower end of the mana curve. But it did provide the element of suspense. And when you got that critical joust, victory!
  • Coliseum Manager – Despite being a boring card, it often resulted in misplays, of people forgetting what it did. And of course, “Back to the office!”
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Never worked out in Ranked, but hey these were some good Arena cards

 

We’re gonna be rich!

Reno Jackson is a gamechanger. I wasn’t too hyped of it coming into the League of Explorers previews, but upon receiving it, things have changed. After completing the first wing of LoE, I put together a Reno Rogue deck, aka “I’m Sorry Ms. Jackson.”

I was testing out the deck on Casual for a while and finally took it to Ranked play, where it stands at 2-1 while playing in Rank 16. There is a bit more fine-tuning to do, given the variability forced upon by Reno of having 1 copy of each card. More to come!

Reno Jackson also blinds opposing minions.
Reno Jackson also blinds opposing minions.
Screw your Doomguard (if you play Doomguard.)
Screw your Doomguard (if you play Doomguard.)
I didn't get a chance to Backstab my own Gahz'rilla.
I didn’t get a chance to Backstab my own Gahz’rilla.

Clues from The Innkeeper

It’s not easy being the factotum of Hearthstone. But somehow The Innkeeper is able to maintain a steady joyful presence. The Innkeeper started as your first guide, walking through about how to play the game. Eventually, he settled down to become the main voiceover guy in the game.

We know that The Innkeeper is a dwarf in the Hearthstone world. What else can we discern? Here is an analysis of The Innkeeper’s game bootup quotes!

The Innkeeper is also swole and has a mouse friend.
The Innkeeper is also swole and has a mouse friend.

  • Welcome to my inn!
    • Well, you have own the damn inn to be the Innkeeper.
  • Busy night… but there’s always room for another!
    • Possibly the Innkeeper’s most known quote. “Room for another” become a bit of a catchphrase for the game, representing the free-to-play and easy-to-learn nature of the game.
  • Boys – look who it is!
    • Most of the people in the inn are men. Also could be reflective how the audience (person playing Hearthstone) is more likely male than female.
  • Pull up a chair by the hearth!
    • At the inn, people play cards next to a fireplace. I wonder if some sore loser ever flipped a table and the cards went into the flames.
  • Welcome back!
    • This suggests that you are a known quantity as a Hearthstone player. You must be a big deal around those parts.
  • Ohohoho – it’s good to see you again!
    • Based on the tone, the Innkeeper loves having you around.
  • Ha, find a seat if you can!
    • Millions of people around the world play Hearthstone. It gonna get crowded in that inn.
  • Come in, and shut the door, it’s cold out there!
    • Gas is expensive. It’s cold as balls outside and the Innkeeper wants to conserve heat.
  • Welcome! Boys, make some room by the hearth, won’t you?
    • The fellas are so enthralled watching Hearthstone they have a hard time making room for the new guy. Also everyone playing Hearthstone is male.
  • Warm your frozen boots by the fire!
    • People have to slog through feet of snow and ice to play Hearthstone.
  • Have you seen the weather out there? Ohh! At least it’s warm in here.
    • It’s eternal winter where the inn is. Damn. Confirmed that the Innkeeper pays top dollar to keep his patrons warm.

New quotes

  • Come in, come in! Tell me all about your travels!
    • You and the Innkeeper are besties by now, and he wants some gossip!
  • There ya are! Back from your adventures?
    • You’ve been busy with some stuff in your life and haven’t played Hearthstone for some time.
  • Ohhhh! I can tell you have some new stories tonight!
    • You’re ready to tell him how you finally faced a fun deck on Casual mode.
  • The inn is brimming with explorers tonight!
    • Everyone is having a blast playing League of Explorers.
  • What treasure are you seeking today?
    • For most, it is getting Legend. For me, it’s getting my next Lightforge Key (12 wins in arena).
  • Ready for an adventure?!
    • Part of the Innkeeper’s contract with Blizzard is to remain the hypeman for new sets.
  • Oh, you’re back! Lemme get you a drink.
    • I do need a drink to get through Ranked play.

First Impression of The League of Explorers

So BlizzCon happened today, and excitement was piqued on all things Blizzard. While there is exciting news about everything, I will talk about my first impression on the new Hearthstone adventure, The League of Explorers. I will not go into every single card at the moment, but will gloss over some things that strike me right away.

  • The game got more complicated.
    • You can tell that Blizzard did take some feedback before making these cards, and there was some criticism that the game too simple and tailoring itself for casual players. Enter the Discover mechanic, which basically gives you an Arena pick right in the middle of your turn. If you hate slow-playing players, too bad. This Discover mechanic could possibly give one a huge swing right off the bat. Sometimes you will get a bad draw of three putrid cards, but more often than not, there will be a lot of thinking about what to take.
  • There is more RNG.
    • Like I said, Discover is just like an Arena pick. However, the range of RNG really depends on the card. Gorillabot A-3 limits the pick to only Mechs. While the 1-cost Druid spell Raven Idol will let you pick any minion or any spell. More often than not, you will find something good that you’re getting for 1-mana. Discover does seem to be a viable mechanic that is useful in both Arena and Constructed.
  • More Miracles
    • There are some really powerful cards that require excavating your deck to bring out. Elise Starseeker gives you a possible win condition, by turning your entire deck into legendaries. Entomb is what Kidnapper should be, but allows you to steal and big threat off the board. Forgotten Torch gives you an extra Fireball.
  • ArenaWarriorsSaved?
    • Warriors got some help with 2 good common cards. Obsidian Destroyer is really a workable Hogger, while Fierce Monkey, while a banal card, is solid. Essentially, you get a better War Golem and Spider Tank for the Warrior. Plus they get boosts from Bolster. Could Bolster work?
  • Murlocs Got Dangerous
    • There are 2 new win-more cards for Shaman and Paladin. The Shaman Card Everyfin is Awesome is quite dangerous. You just need 2 Murlocs on the board to combo it with Bloodlust on turn 10 or after. Of course, you might not even need to run Bloodlust if you are playing fast, but it could be a big deal. The Paladin card Anyfin Can Happen is not very good as a 10-cost card, as you can’t even inspire that turn.

Overall, I like the new set at first glance. Of course, I have to start earning some gold to get this, which is another point. Blizzard really wants people to spend money on it, given the one week notice! I had only 595 gold!