Hearthstone: Analyzing the new Classic cards

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The world of Hearthstone continues to undergo gradual changes to its meta beyond the addition of new expansions. The Standard game continues to shift with the additions and removal of Classic cards. Though to this point, Blizzard had been more about removing cards and sending them to Wild with little to replace them. That all changed on Monday.

Earlier today, Blizzard announced that Hearthstone would say farewell to Mind Blast and Vanish, sending the two spells to the Hall of Fame and off to Wild. But the move seemed to spotlight a growing problem, with more Classic cards rotating out than coming in.

Alongside this announcement, Blizzard decided to address this issue by introducing a handful of new cards for the Classic Hearthstone set. Some of these are Neutrals, some are class cards, but all will be available in Classic card packs with the start of the next update. As part of the Classic set, that means these cards are here to stay, unaffected by the annual Standard set rotation.

Since these cards will stay a while, let’s go ahead and give them the full analysis that we would normally give to any Hearthstone expansion cards.

(7) Siegebreaker (5/8)
Type: Minion – Demon
Class: Warlock
Rarity: Rare
Taunt: Your other Demons have +1 Attack.

Analysis: Siegebreaker doesn’t have the kind of effect that would strike terror in an opponent. However, there’s nothing wrong with a nice 5/8 Taunt on the board. It has limited uses in Standard constructed play at the moment, though Arena players may consider giving it some use. The only other thing to note here is that it’s a major high roll for Bane of Doom.

Siegebreaker’s place may turn out to be in Wild, where Recruit cards and Bloodreaver Gul’dan can get it on the board without much effort.


Gift of the Wild

(8) Gift of the Wild
Type: Spell
Class: Druid
Rarity: Common
Give your minions +2/+2 and Taunt.

Analysis: Oh no. Yeah, this is going to hurt and will find its way into almost any Token Druid deck. Given how difficult it can be to remove the multitude of tokens from Wispering Woods and The Forest’s Aid, this has the potential to create an impenetrable wall of Taunts. Soul of the Forest makes it even more likely that the Druid will have multiple minions on the board to make use of this spell. The Token Druid wins big here.


Righteousness

(5) Righteousness
Type: Spell
Class: Paladin
Rarity: Rare
Give your minions Divine Shield.

Analysis: This is going to be an easy spell to sleep on and if you do, the Paladin player will make you pay. Righteousness essentially give the Paladin’s minions an extra hit by granting them a Divine Shield. And it’ll be put to best use with multiple minions on the board, potentially on the turn following Kangor’s Endless Army.

There’s potential for shenanigans for the Wild Paladin, especially for anyone packing Odd decks. Fill the board with Silver Hand Recruits, give them their big Quartermaster buff and then drop the Righteousness bomb on them.


Brightwing

(3) Brightwing (3/2)
Type: Minion – Dragon
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: Add a random Legendary minion to your hand.

Analysis: Here’s a fun addition for those World of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm players out there. It’s our old friend, Brightwing! And Brightwing is looking pretty great here. While the 3/2 stats for a 3-drop won’t strike fear, both the effect and the Dragon synergy makes her an essential inclusion in almost any Dragon deck. That includes Dragon Paladin and Dragon Warrior in Standard and your usual Dragon Priest in both Standard and Wild. While Arena players will ideally want a higher-impact play on Turn 3, Brightwing could provide some valuable resources in the late game. This one’s a real winner and is one of the biggest standouts of the new Classic cards.


High Inquisitor Whitemane

(7) High Inquisitor Whitemane (6/8)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Legendary
Battlecry: Summon all friendly minions that died this turn.

Analysis: Speaking of WoW/Heroes of the Storm cameos that stand to make a huge impact, let’s look at High Inquisitor Whitemane. She comes along with a resurrection effect, which would seem to indicate she’s a Priest card. But no, in fact, she’s a Neutral! That means there’s room for some trickeration here in certain Standard meta decks.

The one that stands out right away is the Conjurer Mage. Start off a turn by playing Conjurer’s Calling on a high-value minion in order to get two more minions of the same cost. Then drop High Inquisitor Whitemane to get that original minion back. It’s a nice late game backup option for whenever Khadgar isn’t available.

Want to style on your opponent even harder, Mage players? Use your typical freeze spell/Doomsayer combo when things start to get out of control. Doomsayer will wipe the board clean at the start of your turn, which means that if you play High Inquisitor Whitemane afterwards, all of your minions come back and your opponent’s stay dead. That sure is going to be unfortunate for your opponent.


Barrens Stablehand

(7) Barrens Stablehand (4/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Epic
Battlecry: Summon a random Beast.

Analysis: This one should look familiar to Hunter players. The Stablehand here is a slightly more expensive Ram Wrangler, only one that doesn’t require the Beast trigger. The obvious high rolls here would be King Krush and Oondasta, but there are a lot of low-value Beasts that muddy up this pool. It might be half-decent for Arena, but putting this in a constructed deck is a huge gamble.


SI:7 Infiltrator

(4) SI:7 Infiltrator (5/4)
Type: Minion
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Battlecry: Destroy a random enemy Secret.

Analysis: This one is noteworthy because cards that destroy Secrets are usually expansion cards that are impermanent by nature. This is the first Neutral Classic card to have any capability to destroy a Secret, which makes this a valuable tech minion. If Secret decks ever start to take over the world again, expect the SI:7 Infiltrator to see more play. In the meantime, it’s a nice situational card to have handy.


Arcane Devourer

(8) Arcane Devourer (5/5)
Type: Minion – Elemental
Class: Neutral
Rarity: Rare
Whenever you cast a spell, gain +2/+2.

Analysis: Arcane Devourer isn’t going to be a first-tier heavy hitter or a deck that anyone would necessarily build around, but that effect is nothing to sneeze at. Spell-heavy classes like Mage, Rogue, and Shaman could make this thing into a monster face. It would fit like a glove in a Conjurer Mage deck, though given the likelihood to pull it off a random drop, it might just show up there anyway. This Elemental has a chance to make a lot of noise and could swing more than one game, whether it’s in a deck or not.

Arcane Devourer could also be a terror in Priest decks. Resurrect effects could keep it on the board, while spells like the newly-discounted Extra Arms turn it into a monstrosity capable of winning in a single hit. This could be one of the most underrated minions of this new set.


The new Classic cards are set to be introduced with Hearthstone’s next update. Any that you plan to include in your deck? Join the conversation and chat about it.

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can’t enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?



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