Sinisa Bucan, August 8, 2016

One Night In Karazhan - All Cards Revealed And Analyzed

Previously, we analyzed the first seven cards that were revealed alongside the announcement of One Night in Karazhan. Now, we’re breaking down all of the remaining cards that will be released over the course of the next four weeks. Let’s get right into it!

Neutral Cards

Arcane Anomaly is a 1 mana 2/1 that gets +1 health every time you cast a spell. This certainly looks like a card that will see plenty of use. While Arcane Anomaly is best suited for Mage and Rogue, it may prove to be quite useful for other classes as well.

Runic Egg is a 1 mana 0/2 that draws a card once it dies. This will definitely be used by classes that can buff up their minions, such as Priest and Paladin.

Netherspite Historian is a 2 mana minion with a 1/3 body whose Battlecry discovers a dragon if you’re holding a dragon in your hand. Obviously, this will provide more ammo for dragon decks. The mana cost is a bit high regarding the stats, but the discover mechanic definitely makes up for it.

Pompous Thespian is a 2 mana 3/2 with taunt. Those stats are in line for 2 mana minions, but it doesn’t have any kind of worthwhile effect. A taunt minion with higher attack than health simply isn’t useful, especially considering how a 2 health minion can easily be dealt with, even early on.

Pantry Spider is a 3 mana 1/3 that summons another 1/3 Spider when you play it. 2/6 worth of stats for 3 mana is not bad at all, but one of the main reasons why I think this card will see play is the fact that it is a beast. Hunter runs a lot of beasts and this is a solid 3 drop, especially considering Houndmaster could be coming on turn 4. Also, as you will surmise by the end of this article, there is a high chance that Beast Druid will finally become a thing.

Violet Illusionist is a 3 mana 4/3 that renders your hero immune during your turn. The stats are just fine and the effect is interesting. This minion obviously synergizes well with classes that use weapons. The drawback of Warlock’s hero power is also negated by this minion. Maybe Pit Lord will see play thanks to this card. It also seems to protect you from fatigue, which could be quite useful for fatigue decks.

Zoobot is a 3 mana 3/3 that gives a random friendly beast, dragon and murloc +1/+1. Just like The Curator, this card will require a very specific deck. We certainly can’t wait to see what the community comes up with. We’re confident that people will try to make a deck around these cards, and the following card will have to be in that deck as well.

Menagerie Magician is a 5 mana 4/4 that gives a random friendly beast, dragon and murloc +2/+2. We predict a fun, but wildly inconsistent deck.

Arcanosmith is a 4 mana 3/2 that summons a 0/5 minion with taunt. It’s 3/7 worth of stats on turn 4, but considering that there’s no drawback attacking into the 0/5 and that a 2 health minion is barely a threat on turns 4 or 5, this will most likely not see any play outside of Arena.

Avian Watcher is a 5 mana 3/6 that gains +1/+1 and taunt if you control a secret. Obviously, this can only be played in very specific decks, most likely some kind of control-oriented Mage.

Book Wyrm is a 6 mana 3/6 that destroys an enemy minion with 3 attack or less if you’re holding a dragon in your hand. This is basically the dragon version of Stampeding Kodo, but considering it can destroy 3 attack minions, it can be used on a lot more minions. You might think Dragon Warrior, but this card is a much better fit for Paladin or Priest. Warrior is too aggressive for this card.

Moat Lurker is a 6 mana 3/3 that destroys a minion when it is played and then re-summons it once it dies. The stats are obviously worthless, but the design is very interesting. You can play it on an enemy minion for tempo or you can play it on a friendly damaged and/or deathrattle minion such as Sylvanas Windrunner. If you play it on an enemy minion, you could then silence or evolve it in order to remove the unfavorable deathrattle.

Arcane Giant is a 12 mana 8/8 that costs 1 less mana for each spell you’ve cast this game. This could be extremely powerful in decks that run a lot of spells, most notably Yogg-Saron decks.

Moroes is a 3 mana 1/1 legendary with stealth that summons a 1/1 Steward at the end of your turn. This seems pretty bad. How long can a 1 health minion with stealth remain on the board? All good decks have some sort of way to deal with this and there’s no real payoff to try. It’s always exciting to see a low-cost legendary because the game really needs them, but this is just disappointing.

Prince Malchezaar is a 5 mana 5/6 legendary demon that adds 5 extra legendary minions to your deck at the start of the game. It seems good for fatigue decks possibly, but increasing your deck size lowers the chances of drawing cards that you actually want. The legendaries you get could also be duds. It doesn’t really seem consistent, but could see play in something like Reno Warlock.

Medivh, the Guardian is an 8 mana 7/7 that equips your hero with Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian. Atiesh is the first staff in Hearthstone. It’s a 1/3 weapon with an interesting effect. After you cast a spell, the staff summons a random minion of that cost and loses 1 durability. Obviously, you won’t be looking to use the weapon itself, but cast powerful spells. Removal spells in particular could cause massive tempo swings.

Class Cards

Menagerie Warden is a 6 mana Druid class card with a 5/5 body that lets you choose a friendly beast and then summon a copy of it. Blizzard has been pushing for Beast Druid for a while now. Considering that Enchanted Raven is also in this adventure, that deck archetype might actually come to be.

Moonglade Portal is a 6 mana Druid spell that restores 6 health and summons a random 6 mana minion. This is a fantastic card for control-oriented Druid decks. You can use healing on a big minion or your hero. It’s also great because 6 mana minions have very good stats on average.

Cloaked Huntress is a 3 mana Hunter class card with a 3/4 body. It also causes your secrets to cost 0 mana. The stats are great for a 3-drop and the effect could be very useful for Hunter. This isn’t going to work in the beast-heavy Midrange Hunter, but it could make a more spell-heavy Hunter deck more viable than it is now.

Cat Trick is a 2 mana Hunter secret that summons a 4/2 Panther with stealth after your opponent casts a spell. Again, more ammo for a spell-heavy Hunter deck archetype.

Babbling Book is a 1 mana Mage class minion with a 1/1 body and a battlecry that adds a random Mage spell to your hand. It also has the most adorable art I’ve seen in a while. This would’ve been an absolutely fantastic card if it had the discover mechanic, but it’s pretty solid as it is. It obviously won’t replace Mana Wyrm, but could be played as a one-off in a Tempo Mage deck.

Medivh’s Valet is a 2 mana Mage class card with a 2/3 body that deals 3 damage if you control a secret. This is one of those low-cost cards that’s good both in early and mid-game. You can play it on turn 2 just for tempo. You can also play it mid-game when you have a secret in play as removal. With Medivh’s Valet, Firelands Portal and Medivh, the Guardian, we could be seeing a new control Mage deck archetype.

Nightbane Templar is a 3 mana Paladin class card with a 2/3 body and a battlecry that summons two 1/1 Whelps if you’re holding a dragon. It’s not spectacular, but it could actually make Dragon Paladin a viable deck.

Silvermoon Portal is a 4 mana Paladin class spell that gives a minion +2/+2 and summons a random 2 mana minion. This just seems too expensive for what you get. The buff is nice, but that random 2 mana drop is a liability. This is not going to see any play.

Purify is a 2 mana Priest class spell that silences a friendly minion and draws a card. Alright, there’s no other way to say it – this is the worst card in Hearthstone. Ever. And this is a new card for a class that is hands-down in the worst position in the current meta. It’s really unbelievable that this is actually getting released.

Priest of the Feast is a 4 mana Priest class card with a 3/6 body that restores 3 health to your hero whenever you cast a spell. This is simply a card that Priest doesn’t need.

Onyx Bishop is a 5 mana Priest class card with a 3/4 body and a battlecry that summons a friendly minion that died this game. It’s a bit confusing because the card text doesn’t say “random” but that’s probably what we’re looking at here. It’s a good card for Arena. One thing is for sure, these three Priest cards confirm that the class will remain the weakest in constructed play.

Swashburglar is a 1 mana Rogue class card with a 1/1 body that adds a random class to your hand from your opponent’s class. This is a solid card that could enable a new Rogue deck archetype combined with Ethereal Peddler, Burgle, etc.

Deadly Fork is a 3 mana Rogue class card with a 3/2 body and a deathrattle that adds a 3/2 weapon to your hand. This seems pretty good until you realize that the weapon costs 3 mana. That’s just too much for it to be viable. On the other hand, Shaman is getting a pretty good weapon.

Spirit Claws is a 1 mana 1/3 weapon that has +2 attack while you have spell damage. This offers good value and a very good effect considering you could get a Wrath of Air Totem on turn 2.

Wicked Witchdoctor is a 4 mana Shaman class card with a 3/4 body that summons a random basic totem whenever you cast a spell. The stats are subpar for the cost and the effect isn’t really going to light the world on fire. It might see some play in decks that rely heavily on totem synergy, but it’s doubtful.

Maelstrom Portal is a 2 mana Shaman class spell that deals 1 damage to all enemy minions and summons a random 1 mana minion. This is a pretty good area-of-effect spell when faced against zoo decks. Coupled with +1 spell damage, it could be a massive tempo swing in the early game.

Malchezaar’s Imp is a 1 mana Warlock class minion with a 1/3 body. As long as the Imp is in play, you will draw a card whenever you discard a card. The stats are great for a 1 mana minion. As for the effect, it seems Blizzard is pushing for a Discard Warlock deck archetype. Especially when you take a look at the next Warlock card.

Silverware Golem is a 3 mana 3/3 that summons this minion if you discard it. The idea is that these cards should synergize well with Warlock cards such as Soulfire, Succubus and Doomguard. Whether this kind of deck is actually viable is up in the air. It has potential and it will be interesting to see if someone manages to pull it off.

Kara Kazham! is a 5 mana Warlock class spell that summons a 1/1 Candle, 2/2 Broom and 3/3 Teapot. It’s 6/6 worth of stats spread across 3 minions. At first glance, you might think that this could be good in Zoo Warlock, but that deck can play a lot more on turn 5. It might be viable as a one-off in order to instantly refill your board after a full clear when you don’t have a lot of cards in your hand, but that’s questionable. Overall, Kara Kazham! is a good Arena card.
Protect the King is a 3 mana Warrior class spell that summons a 1/1 Pawn with taunt for each enemy minion. Pretty good card for combating Zoo in the early game.

Fool’s Bane is a 5 mana 3/4 Warrior class weapon that can’t attack heroes, but has unlimited attacks each turn. That means you could attack enemy minions up to 4 times in a single turn. Naturally, you would be taking considerable damage. Perhaps Warriors will run Violet Illusionist to counter this? Of course, Control Warrior has a lot of means to stack up on armor so taking damage might not be that big of a deal if it means clearing the board.

Ironforge Portal is a 5 mana Warrior class spell that provides your hero with 4 armor and summons a random 4 cost minion. Getting 4 armor and a Flamewreath Faceless isn’t that bad, is it? That’s the dream, at least.

Final Thoughts

The first thing that comes to mind is that the two classes that needed the most help didn’t really get it. There’s still some hope for Paladin, but Priest is going to remain the weakest class in Hearthstone for the time being. Other than that, it’s a nice mix of cards and some interesting design choices. It will be fascinating to see how One Night in Karazhan shapes the metagame over the next 4-5 weeks and beyond.

All images courtesy of Gamepedia.

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.