Arguably the most exciting time for any card game is the card reveal season. So, in order to get you more hyped for the newest expansion, Journey to Un’Goro, we are excited to say that we have an exclusive Journey to Un'Goro card reveal.
We would like to introduce you to...Crystalline Oracle.
Although a 1/1 minion may not be the most exciting card in terms of stats, having good effects has often allowed 1/1 minions to be put in a competitive deck.
While Wisp is known as the best 1/1 minion due to its infinite value, there have been many worthy challengers seeking to take its place - the most prominent challenger being Patches the Pirate. With its Charge and the fact it often does not cost a card to be put on the battlefield, Patches is a staple for many aggressive decks.
Considering how Swashburglar and Babbling Book also made their way into competitive decks, a 1/1-for-1 can indeed be playable even without a way to cheat it on the battlefield.
Now, let's go back to Crystalline Oracle. At a glance, it's weak in terms of stats compared to the Priest's usual one-drops and is not a Battlecry card like Pavelling Book or Swashburglar. However, for someone who wants to complete the Priest's Quest card, 'Awaken the Makers', it might be worth having in a deck slot.
Before we go jamming this card twice into every Priest deck though, there are some pitfalls that need to be addressed.
For starters, it doesn't go very well with the Priest's Hero Power, which restores 2 Health to any character on the field.
The Priest's favorite minions often have 3 or more Health because they can be healed after taking damage. Being able to keep minions alive can lead to tempo changes and sometimes card advantage.
Going all the way back to the famous 'Dr. Draw', most Priest deck archetypes have an intermediate goal of controlling the board while leaving the Priest’s own minions. There have been some exceptions such as Inner Fire and Mind Blast OTK Priests, but that's how Priests usually survived - by having strong early plays that can safely to take them into mid or late game.
Unfortunately, the recent power creep allowed aggro decks to have several bodies on board just after Turn 1. Because of this, not even the Priest's iconic one-drops with 3 Health such as Northshire Cleric, Twilght Whelp, and Wild's Zombie Chow have been enough for the Priest to survive the current metagame.
Compared to Rogue's Swashburglar, which often comes with Patches the Pirate, and Mage's Babbling Book, which can replace itself with the Mage's numerous early-game kill spells (if they were not in hand in the first place); Priest’s one-drops are often neither fast nor strong enough to be game-winning threats any more, and Crystalline Oracle is certainly not strong enough either.
Furthermore, a Quest deck will almost always have to start by playing the Quest card in Turn 1. That means either you coin out Crystalline Oracle on Turn 1 or have to wait until Turn 2 to play this card.
Again, if the metagame doesn't slow down, having to face Aggro decks with just a 1/1 on board at Turn 2 can feel pretty bad, especially when it was possible to have a 2/3 and a 2/4 Taunt on board before.
Finally, unless the deck is specifically designed to have the possibility of playing Amara on Turn 4 (which will also require a very specific order of cards drawn), it's more realistic to think that, if we were to play one Deathrattle minion per turn, Amara will drop after Turn 8 - which will then often be too late against faster aggressive decks.
However, the metagame will definitely shift with a significant number of cards being rotated out into Wild, and, more importantly, we have not yet seen everything that Journey to Un'Goro will offer.
For this reason, we need to keep in mind that this card is an Elemental minion. After all, the developers have mentioned numerous times that there will be cards that synergize well with Elemental cards.
Also, considering how strong Velen's Chosen was back when it was in Standard, there might be another buff card that might be worth a slot in a Priest deck. Perhaps a strong buff card that is made for an Elemental minion might appear.
If we see more cards that can synergize with Elementals, along with new Deathrattle cards that can help the Priest complete the quest before getting run over, it may be possible for Priests to have a good chance against aggro decks - and it could start by playing Crystalline Oracle after Awaken the Makers.