Sinisa Bucan, December 1, 2016

Tri-Class Cards Review – Jade Lotus

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

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 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 belong to the Grimy Goons.

Jade Lotus

The Jade Lotus gang primarily revolves around summoning the Jade Golem. Here’s how it works. The first time you summon a Jade Golem, it’s a 1/1 minion with a 1 mana cost. However, each subsequent Jade Golem you summon will gain +1/+1. Its mana cost will increase as well, up to a maximum of 10.

But when it comes to the Jade Golem’s attack and defense, the sky seems to be the limit. As the Jade Golem grows, the art of the card changes as well.

The first Jade Lotus card is Jade Spirit. Obviously, at 4 mana its stats are terrible, but versatility is key here. Early on, it can summon a small Jade Golem, which will definitely help contest the board.

Although, this is a great card later on as it could potentially summon a very big Jade Golem. It’s a similar situation with Aya Blackpaw. Terrible stats for its mana cost, but a potentially big payoff in a relatively short time frame.

The last of the Jade Lotus tri-class cards is Lotus Agents, which doesn’t seem that good. It looks like a significantly worse version of Ethereal Conjurer. Our reasoning is the same as with Grimestreet Informant and Kabal Courierincreasing the pool from which you’re drawing cards just makes it inconsistent.

Jade Shaman

Shaman is getting three cards that summon the Jade Golem. Jade Lightning is pretty costly, but once again, being able to play it both earlier and later on is crucial. It could provide a massive tempo swing in the mid to late game. Jade Claws looks like a solid early game weapon for Shaman.

But it’s that Jade Golem synergy that seals the deal here. Being able to impact the board immediately with your weapon while at the same time throwing down a minion of your own is paramount in the early game. And once again, drawing this card later on in the game is not a detriment.

Jade Chieftain is all about late-game control. By turn 7, you should have a sizeable Jade Golem and Jade Chieftain will provide it with Taunt. Speaking of control, Shaman is getting a very exciting legendary.

White Eyes is a 5 mana 5/5 with taunt, which is not bad, but its Deathrattle is very powerful. There’s a chance you could be playing a 5 mana 10/10 with Taunt as early as turn 6, which would be insanely difficult for anyone to deal with.

Jade Rogue

Rogue is getting only two Jade Golem cards, and they’re both early game cards. Jade Swarmer is a solid early drop, but unlike the other Jade Golem cards, it doesn’t really feel that great in the mid to late game. Maybe it could get more value by following it up with Shadow Sensei, although that is a 4-drop, so it’s kind of awkward.

Jade Shuriken doesn’t look good. Rogue already has several other options available when it comes to early in-game removal, and you have to combo this to get the Jade Golem. Realistically, that shouldn’t be much of a problem for Rogue, but the value here is questionable, especially since the class isn’t getting any other Jade Golem cards.

Jade Druid

Just like Shaman, Druid is getting three Jade Golem cards. Jade Idol seems like a fantastic card. It’s a very versatile 1 mana spell that will have a major impact on the game whenever you play it. Early on, you will most likely opt to shuffle 3 copies of the spell into your deck.

This could potentially result in never running out of cards, you could play to fatigue without ever running the risk of fatiguing yourself. Though you’ll be able to summon potentially massive Jade Golems later on.

Jade Blossom is less exciting but still good. It will provide ramp early on while still putting something on the board. Later on, it could summon a scary Jade Golem. Jade Behemoth’s stats aren’t fantastic considering it costs 6 mana, but by turn 6, you could have a substantial Jade Golem.

We also have to highlight Kun the Forgotten King, the new Druid legendary. Playing this minion on turn 10 and then being able to spend 10 mana once again on the same turn is massive. But gaining 10 armor is nothing to sneeze at either, and we predict there will be times that players will go for that choice.

Are Jade Golem Decks Viable?

This is pretty difficult to predict. These decks will be tested in the coming days and weeks, that’s for sure. The question isare there enough tools to make this a truly viable deck archetype? We’re on the fence. To be honest, none of the tri-class cards seem fantastic.

Out of the three gangs, this one seems like it will struggle the most. Druid and Shaman could make it work; Druid especially, thanks to Jade Idol. On the other hand, it doesn’t look like Rogue will be a solid fit. One thing’s for sure... we’ll have a lot of fun finding out!

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.