Sinisa Bucan, November 22, 2016

Tri-Class Cards Review – Grimy Goons

Hearthstone is in for a bit of a shakeup, which it sorely needs as One Night in Karazhan didn’t exactly set things on fire. The upcoming Mean Streets of Gadgetzan seems like it may bring a lot more to the table (not only in regards to cards), but some new and interesting concepts.

The big thing is the concept of tri-class cards; essentially, these are cards that are shared between three classes. Thematically, they are three different gangs that are all vying for control over the streets of Gadgetzan. Druid, Rogue, and Shaman belong to the Jade Lotus, Mage, Priest, and Warlock to the Kabal, whereas Hunter, Paladin, and Warrior to the Grimy Goons.

Grimy Goons

As you can imagine, the Grimy Goons are ruffians that focus on brute strength. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the gang primarily revolves around buffing other minions.

Starting off, we have Grimestreet Informant, a 2 mana 1/1 that Discovers a Hunter, Paladin, or Warrior card. Discover has proven itself to be a powerful mechanic, but this card doesn’t seem that great. The problem is that the larger the pool you draw from, the bigger the chances are of having a poor selection.

For example. the prospect of Paladin having a Hunter or Warrior card is exciting. It makes your opponent unable to avoid every possible scenario. You can also pick a card that is the most useful to you based on your current situation. Of course, the downside is that there are so many worthless cards that you might get stuck with. Discovering a spell card from a single class (Ethereal Conjurer) or a 1 mana cost card (Dark Peddler) has proven to be a great tool, but discovering a card from three classes will likely prove to be far too inconsistent.

Moving on to the buffs, Grimestreet Smuggler is a 3 mana 2/4 that gives a random minion in your hand +1/+1 which isn't that impressive. The stats are weak for a 3-drop, and there’s no guarantee that it will provide a good tempo play for turn 4. There is a possibility that you will want to run this in a new deck archetype centered around buffing minions, but even then, there are class cards that do this much better—as you will soon see for yourself.

The third and final Grimy Goon is the legendary Don Han’Cho, who is a 7 mana 5/6 that gives a random minion in your hand +5/+5. At first glance, nothing to write home about as the stats are obviously weak. However, the buff is huge. The problem is that it may be coming a bit too late. Hearthstone is all about the early-to-mid game. On the other hand, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan brings several tools for midrange and control decks, so this card may actually prove to be much more useful than it would be if it was stuck into a deck in the current meta.

Beast Buff Hunter

Shaky Zipgunner is a 3 mana 3/3 that gives a random minion in your hand +2/+2 when it dies and is somewhat comparable to Grimestreet Smuggler. Even though its effect isn’t immediate, it can provide a better trade and still provide that necessary buff in time for turn 4. However, I still don’t think this will see any play because of a much better 3-drop that I’ll be talking about shortly.

On a side note, let’s take a look at Trogg Beastrager, a 2 mana 3/2 that gives a random Beast in your hand +1/+1. The stats are fine and the beast synergy is there—so this is definitely a good card, especially if you have Rat Pack in your hand. This is an absolutely fantastic 3-drop. Worst case scenario, it will summon two 1/1 Rats (which are presumably Beasts) which pretty much ensures that your Houndmaster will find a target on turn 4. If you manage to buff it up, it becomes insane. Definitely one of the best cards in the set.

Dispatch Kodo is the kind of card that may justify playing Grimestreet Smuggler or Shaky Zipgunner. Even if you apply the weakest buff, dealing 3 damage and throwing down a 3/5 on turn 4 could be a significant tempo swing. If you land Shaky Zipgunner’s Deathrattle on it, it becomes incredible.

That goes double for Knuckles, the brand-new Hunter legendary. This is a very interesting card, not only because of its effect but also because Hunter doesn’t exactly have a great 5-drop. Some people run Tundra Rhino, others Stranglethorn Tiger, while some don’t run any 5-drops at all.

Even though buffing is obviously the way to go here, Knuckles isn’t bad as it stands. Its high health means that it will likely hit something twice, which also means dealing 6 damage to the face. If it gets buffed up, Knuckles becomes a powerhouse.

Finally, there’s Piranha Launcher, the new Hunter weapon. This card doesn’t seem good very workable. Summoning Piranhas (which are Beasts) every time you attack is great, but at 5 mana and only 2 attack I don’t see this being used much—if at all.

Taunt Buff Warrior

The first card I want to discuss here is Alley Armorsmith, a 5 mana 2/7. Not only does it have Taunt, but it also provides your hero with Armor every time it deals damage. However, that 2 attack is scary. From what we’ve seen of the new cards, Priest is going to be much better than it is now, and losing this minion to Shadow Word: Pain or Cabal Shadow Priest could be soul-crushing.

Buffing is the way to go here and one tool at your disposal is Stolen Goods. It’s actually the same mana cost and stats of Ancient of War, but you get to play that massive 5/10 Taunt on turn 5.

I Know a Guy Discovers a Taunt minion for 1 mana. This feels good and efficient, as the chances of scoring something playable are relatively high. The rest of the Warrior cards shown are far from great.

Grimy Gadgetzeer’s effect is decent, but its cost and stats are not. There isn’t a world where a 4/3 could survive on turn 4, and it feels silly playing a card you know will be wiped off the board one way or another.

Grimestreet Pawnbroken is an interesting idea but feels much worse than other 3-drops we’ve seen so far that provide buffs. It’s simply much more plausible that you’ll have a minion in your hand rather than a weapon. Sure, the prospect of buffing up a Fiery War Axe or Gorehowl is exciting, but it’s too inconsistent to be playing a 3 mana 3/3.

Brass Knuckles is a tough one. Obviously, it’s much too weak for its cost, but the prospect of buffing up your minions three times is interesting. Maybe you can play Grimestreet Pawnbroker in order to buff up Brass Knuckles in order to buff up more minions? In the end, the choice is up to you. 

Aggro Buff Paladin

Mean Streets of Gadgetzan definitely seems intent on turning Paladin into a very aggressive, minion-based class. Or at the very least, provide such a deck archetype for Paladin. Cards like Smuggler’s Run, Small-Time Recruits, and Grimestreet Outfitter look to draw a lot of small minions and then buff them up, making them a significant problem for your opponent.

Meanstreet Marshall is probably the best card for this deck archetype. It can be played as is on turn 1 and it is a great card overall. The fantastic thing about this card is that it doesn’t lose value if you play it later on. Considering that the chances of it being buffed later on are relatively high, it is likely that the Deathrattle will be triggered in the mid-game. There’s always the potential of playing Smuggler’s Run and then coining out Meanstreet Marshal on turn 1. Definitely a great card!

Wickerflame Burnbristle also appears to be a really good card. Playing a 2/2 on turn 3 obviously isn’t fantastic, but Divine Shield is always powerful. In combination with Smuggler’s Run and Grimestreet Outfitter, it could be a massive turn 3 play. The healing effect is one that should not be underestimated, especially against other aggressive decks.

Grimscale Chum is another great 1-drop that could be used in this sort of aggressive deck with a few other Murlocs or perhaps even in the Anyfin Can Happen deck.

The rest of Paladin’s lineup is less impressive. Getaway Kodo isn’t a good fit for aggressive decks. It might be used in midrange or control-oriented decks, but I personally doubt it.

Grimestreet Enforcer feels like it costs too much for something that comes in far too late. Grimestreet Protector is expensive and relatively weak, but giving adjacent minions Divine Shield is big. When both sides of the board are filled with mid-sized minions, Grimestreet Protector could enable some extremely favorable trades, and possibly end the match right then and there. The real question is, will there be a viable midrange Paladin deck to make this card good? Not from what we’ve seen so far.

The real question that remains is whether or not there will be a viable midrange Paladin deck to make this card good? Our answer is "no" based on what we’ve seen so far.

Sinisa Bucan

Siniša is a writer and translator from Croatia, a small European country on the Adriatic coast. Apart from being a passionate Hearthstone player, he enjoys all kinds of video games, including strategy, role-playing, adventure, and action. Other interests include listening to indie rock and travelling. You can follow him @SinisaBucan.