At around 1 PM central time tomorrow (or maybe the day after, depending upon the servers) the newest expansion for Hearthstone entitled “One Night in Karazhan” will be released to the public for purchase and I gotta say, I’m really, really excited for this. I understand that a lot of the player base is in some sort of uproar about how terrible that expansion is, but then I remember that people have a really good habit of never being pleased with anything. In my eyes, one of my choice activities is about to get a bunch of new content introduced into the game that I can use. The children’s card game gets to be a little more complex. Plus, there’s going to be a shit ton of stupid new meme decks and videos, which I think we all agree is the reason we play the game. I mean, tournaments are great, but memes are forever man. I couldn’t tell you who won Dreamhack 2015, and though I am extremely impressed by the skill of all the players in that tournmanent, we all appreciate whatever new meme is on the scene. I can tell you all about Harambe, for instance. And I think we all know that, years from now, when I revisit the site to look at some of my old work, I’ll need my head and remember important Harambe is to this very day.
Anyways, let’s stay on topic here. There are new cards and adventures and cardbacks coming that we get to consume, and I’m here to jump into the fray with my own terrible predictions. The good thing is, there won’t be any accountability because there’s a complicit understanding amongst all of us that nobody actually knows anything. Let’s be real, if I had one tenth of the dust in my account as the dust that was spent the first week of GvG on Troggzor I’d never have to open another pack again. Hell, I’d settle for a 1:1 on the dust from people disenchanting Tinkmaster Overspark (which, in full disclosure, I’ve done myself three times). Either way, I’m happy to take my chances.
1) Hunter becomes a top class in the arena
Right now, the arena is extremely strong at the top with Rogue and Mage having a very firm grasp on the top spots to the point where picking anything other than them if they are available seems like a major error. In my opinion, Warrior is the third best right now, but I don’t think there’s any consensus what the third best class is. With the new cards that are being introduced, Mage and Rogue aren’t going anywhere (another prediction about Mage coming soon… that’s called a teaser). Hunter though is receiving three very powerful cards. Kindly Grandmother and Cloaked Huntress are both going to be incredible cards, and Cat Trick has arguably the strongest card art in the game and gives you a pretty good minion at a reduced cost which you might be able to play for zero mana. With a hero power that has reach, the increased card quality and ability to put a game on a clock will make them a somewhat favorable matchup against the top classes. I think number 4 will belong to Druid, which is also receiving some very good cards (which I’ll also talk about).
2) Babbling book ends up being more of a nightmare than Firelands Portal
This seems like an easy one for me. I understand that Firelands Portal is a good card, but I think people are really overstating it’s value. Maybe I’m wrong, but the five drop slot isn’t all that impressive from when you look at the entire set of randoms. That number goes up significantly when you have a hero power available (Grim Patron, Kvaldir Raider) but the quality here isn’t insane. Essentially, you’re casting a five mana minion with a spell that does 5 damage for two mana. That cost should be somewhere around 3.5 to 4 mana, and I’m not sure if there was a card that said “Pay 4 mana, summon a five mana minion” would see a ton of play. That said, the value is combined into one card, which does create a ton of value late in the game. But turns 7-10? I’m still more worried about Flamestrike and I’ll be happy if this cards offering value drives down the amount of Flamestrikes we see. Babbling book however, being a rare, gives the Mage class a very real chance in most drafts of adding a random Mage spell to their hand at some point in the game, and it leaves a 1/1 body. If this thing goes off on turn one, now I have a minion to deal with AND the other person probably has some sort of random spell in their hand that I have to work around. Sure, it might be shatter, but it also might be a flamestrike or a blizzard or a frostbolt or any of the insane spells that Mage has a class. I’m not looking forward to that. I think Blizzard hit this one on the head and that time will show that.
3) Beast Druid is a thing now
Blizzard did not stop trying to make Beast Hunter a thing and, lo and behold, it looks like their persistence paid off. All of the cards in this expansion go a long ways towards achieving that. Encanted Raven is a terrific one drop, and Menagerie Warden looks like one of the top common cards in the game. The ability to copy a beast gives you, at a minimum, 7/7 of stats for six mana across two bodies. That is strong math, and it’s a minimum. Moonglade Portal will allow you to heal large minions while you summon a six drop of your own. As is not the case with the five drop spot, the six drops are very, very good. You know what, I’m starting to really come around on Druid in the arena. There’s a good chance they become an insta-pick as well. Outside of the Priest, which does get a boost since a 4 mana 3/6 is going to be seen in pretty much every draft since Purify got the boot, you could really play any class and feel alright about it. Which leads me to…
4) This is the most balanced Arena meta to date
With Hunter and Druid both receiving huge boosts and Warrior and Shaman not losing a ton of ground, we’re looking a time in the meta where more classes are viable than ever. I’m looking forward to things settling down once all the wings are released to see who is doing well and how much I enjoy playing different classes than Mage or Rogue (or Priest, which I’m just masochistic to play).
5) I will make a Purify deck
And it will probably fail, but at least I’ll have fun and hopefully, if there’s a God in the sky, I’ll make a few dank memes.
I ruin at least one mouse playing some RNG fiesta boss in the heroic mode of this adventure because his insanely random here power pulls out some spell that makes me lose the game on the only realistic chance I’ve had to beat in the four hours I’ve been trying. Actually, this will only be a mouse if I’m lucky.