As Internet youths would say: “In b4 set releases and my predictions are no longer valid ‘pre-release’ ratings.”
The new adventure releases tomorrow and, despite some hiccups, like the Purify backlash (discussed a bit below) and the inability to decide what to call the set for short, I’m super stoked! I love the gameplay of adventures, and there are some amazing and fun new cards to play with coming our way over the course of the next month.
This post will include my pre-release individual card ratings (entire list here) and some theorycraft decklists I want to try out. As always, the card ratings are mostly “first impressions,” as minimally influenced as other reviews as I could manage. Sometimes this leads to some big mistakes (like misunderstanding Fandral–whoops), or some smaller mistakes (like not realizing intra-set synergies, and not re-balancing at the end of the review) but
I don’t have enough time to do it any other way massive miscues are part of the fun of theorycrafting!
Top 5 most influential cards (check out my ratings/analysis linked above for why):
2. Cloaked Huntress
3. Malchezaar’s Imp
4. Silverware Golem
5. The Curator
Ok, I guess that was a pretty easy top 5 as 1-4 create entirely new archetypes and #5 shapes the way people build decks almost in the same way Reno, Elise, and Yogg did. BUT, the exciting thing is that all these cards that appear slated to encourage new and interesting decks ALSO seem really good! So it’s not just me playing around with cool new ideas at rank 15, but it’s (at least potentially) the ability to be part of creating a new, top-tier deck (like when Patron Warrior was being made or Yogg Druid was getting refined)!
ACTUALLY NOT PURIFY! Based on all the backlash over Purify, and Ben Brode’s amazing response to it, one would think Purify is the hands-down worse card in the adventure. Not so. As you can see from my ratings, and hear in Brode’s response, Purify has a special role as a niche card for a fun deck. The true worse card, I think, is Moroes. It is highly inefficient and a terrible sub for Shade of Naxxramus. I don’t see how that card sees play, even in a “fun” deck, unless the “fun” is winning with bad cards or having all legendaries, etc.
Some Theorycraft Decks I Want to Try (names linked to my lists):
1. Discard Zoo
Nothing too exciting here (in terms of deck construction I’m really excited about the possibility of it all), just my stab at the discard-zoolock deck that pretty much everyone will be trying once all the cards are out. Imp is the most important addition to creating the archetype, but the Golem helps, too. The question is how much discard synergy to replace value cards/horde synergy.
2. Curator Tempo Warrior
Curator is definitely one of my favorite cards in the set, and it seems like the perfect substitute for Varian in Dragon Tempo Warrior (wherein you already have two targets anyway). Of course, as Varian has not yet rotated, the question becomes whether it is worth running Curator as a pseudo-Varian in a deck that didn’t usually run Varian anyway. We’ll see, but I’m certainly going to give it a shot.
3. Secret Hunter
Given the order that the cards are being released, this deck is fixing to be EVERYWHERE for the next week. The only question is refining it (and determining if it’s as good as it looks like it will be). I actually used to enjoy the Secret Pally mirror matches, so we’ll see how well I do when everyone’s running Secret Hunters–we might have to bring back Flare for a week.
4. Dragon Pally
Team 5 keep talking about how they hope Priest will benefit from the new Dragon cards, but I see Paladin being the real winner. It has been a fringe deck for a long time, and I think the main thing it was missing was some early game tempo plays. Now it has solid turn 2 and turn 3 drops to add to its repertoire, which really rounds it out. Plus, Dragon Pally is traditionally tons of fun to play!
5. Some Sort of Barnes N’Zoth Freeze Thing
You know me: I love to play some recurring-minion-based control mage! I thought about a combo Barnes freeze mage (where the only targets are Malygos, Antonidas, and maybe Emperor), but I figured that it would have trouble making it to combo time without the full freeze package (which includes Doomsayers and lots of minions that draw cards). It’s also prey to the classic: “how is this better than traditional Freeze Mage?” In the end, it seemed safer to run it similarly to my classic Echo Mage deck, which is lucky, because that happens to be my favorite deck of all time.