11 new Hearthstone cards revealed during Journey to Un’goro live stream
On March 17th, senior game designer Peter Whalen and community darling Day9 revealed 11 new cards from the Journey to Un’Goro expansion. The latest expansion is scheduled to be released early April and this stream event marked the first multiple card reveal.
If you missed the show you can watch the past broadcast via Twitch.tv. These new cards have Hearthstone junkies and competitive theorycrafters buzzing with discussion and for good reason!
Here are some thoughts and things to note on the newest cards:
Explore Un’Goro is the first new card revealed and can potentially transform the way that warrior decks function. This epic spell allows a warrior player to replace their deck with a more flexible (albeit completely random) deck after they have drawn the specific cards they need to win.
- - This card replaces your deck, not your hand. This means cards like Gadgetzan Auction can be held for max value, if the “Discover a card” in your deck functions like a spell.
- - On the surface, Warrior benefits the least from the variety of choices Explore Un’Goro offers. This is because warrior’s Hero Power is not versatile, doesn’t affect the board and generally benefits from a specifically focused deck.
- - This card sacrifices deck consistency for extreme versatility. Although it was designed to not be competitive, Control warrior decks could use this card in the late game once they have exhausted the useful cards in their deck and need to turn useless Executes and Whirlwinds into potential threats.
- - Once this card is used, it becomes essentially impossible for an opponent to play around anything.
Swamp King Dred is a legendary Hunter minion that brings a brand new mechanic to Hearthstone. Some people are calling it “reverse charge” but I think a more appropriate term is “forced taunt”
- - A 7 mana 9/9 is an acceptable stat allocation, especially for a card that gives the hunter class such unprecedented influence over an opponents turn.
- - This is best used when your opponent needs to play multiple minions in order to achieve some combo or synergy.
- - For example, this card negates Wild Pyromancer + Equality, as the Pyromancer is killed by Swamp King Dred the moment it is played.
- - This minion is a unique answer to cards like Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Archmage Antonidas, Fandral Staghelm, Aviana and other combo-oriented cards.
This epic paladin spell can, in some situations, be compared to pre-nerf Pyroblast, as it offers 10 damage for 8 mana. However, the need for a minion in play likely makes it weaker.
- - Windfury minions benefit significantly with this card. Young Dragonhawk in particular is a great minion to pair with Dinosize thanks to it’s cheap mana cost.
- - Bluegill Warrior is conveniently a 2 mana minion with charge that paladin can realistically include in their deck. With Dinosize, it can become a 10/10 haste for 10 mana.
- - Paladins can always Hero Power and Dinosize at 10 mana, making this a much better late-game topdeck
The most exciting part about this card is the “Go Dormant” ability. When Sherazin, Corpse Flower dies, it becomes an indestructible part of the board that has no attack, power, or mana cost. Many are identifying this card as Hearthstone’s first “Graveyard” mechanic.
- - Playing 4 cards in one turn isn’t too difficult for rogue, but the upside of doing so is relatively low.
- - The infinite value this card can bring is what decks will want to take advantage of. Even when played on curve at 4, it will inevitably make a rogues “combo” turn that much stronger later in the game.
- - Players have underestimated before how strong free value can be (i.e, Patches the Pirate) and this card may be a similar sleeper hit.
- - As Tomb Pillager Rotates out, the rogue 4 mana slot has extra spots Sherazin could fit into.
Tar Creeper is an aggressively costed card that is defensive in nature. For only 3 mana, aggressive rush decks will have to get through a 3/5 taunt creature. Second-Rate bruiser is a strong card for all the reasons Tar Creeper will be.
- - This card is an Elemental which has the potential to be very powerful in certain decks. Once more Elemental synergy cards are revealed, Tar Creeper get a lot more interesting.
- - This is among the best 3 mana minions you can play when defending against aggressive decks
- - The mechanic of only being powerful during your opponent's turn sets the precedent for more defensive cards in the future.
- - Hand buff warrior and paladin decks will likely run this card for it’s powerful stats.
Golakka Crawer is the anti-pirate tech everyone expected. Peter Whalen explained that this card was made relatively late in the Journey to Un’Goro design schedule, and the design teams keeps a few slots open for reactive cards like this.
- - Being a Beast minion, this benefits most with menagerie cards and druid and hunter beast buffs.
- - Ironically enough, this card might actually be useful in pirate decks, as it allows you to destroy one of your own pirates (perhaps Patches after he attacks) to get a 2 mana 3/4.
- - Hungry Crab was a weaker tech card because of its poor base stats. Golakka Crawler is a respectable 2 mana card even if there are no pirates to destroy.
Elise the Trailblazer is likely one of the most powerful cards in the set. 5 mana for 5/5 in stats is playable and the upside of this card is massive. The sealed Un’Goro pack allows you to draw 5 random cards from the expansion card pool.
Peter Whalen explained that, on average, this in-game pack is much stronger than normal packs and by design players should expect high rarity cards when opening it.
- - Among the 5 random cards you draw, it is very likely that one will be a legendary card. Epic cards are also common.
- - This card is powerful in control decks, as it gives players 5 extra cards for virtually no downside.
- - If the rest of the Un’Goro expansion proves to be powerful, than this mechanic is slightly better than Discover cards that pull from different sets, including the Classic one.
Arcanologist is a common mage minion that further supports the secret archetype. As a 2 mana 2/3 these stats are just fine in the early game and conveniently gives you a turn 3 player no matter what (that is, if you have secrets in your deck).
- - This card can be used by freeze mage control decks as a guaranteed way to draw Ice Block from their deck.
- - This card will likely be a staple in any mage deck that uses 3 or more secrets. It is sometimes better than drawing a single card, as it is possible to play around the secrets you know are in your deck.
- - It is likely more secret cards will be introduced in Journey to Un’Goro as evidence of this support card.
Lakkari Felhound can best be compared to Felguard and, when it is, outshines it in virtually every way. Unlike Felguard who’s drawback can never be a positive thing, Lakkari Felhound has explosive synergy with discard cards and the new warlock legendary quest.
- - Malchezaar's Imp and Silverware Golem are the primary engines for the warlock discard deck and Lakkari Felhound fits nicely alongside them.
- - A 3/8 taunt minion for 4 mana is hard to ignore. This is a tremendous tool for Zoolock decks who can empty that hand by turn 4, ignoring the negative Discard text.
- - Lakkari Felhound is a Demon with taunt, making the demon buff cards like Bloodfury potion a little stronger.
Lakkari Sacrifice is one of the most exciting cards revealed and is the warlock legendary class quest that automatically starts in your hand when the game starts. After discarding 6 cards, the reward is the game changing Nether Portal.
- - Lakkari Sacrifice provides incredibly value for relatively little investment. Soul Fire and Doomguard are already auto-includes in the majority of warlock decks, and the other discard cards easy to include.
- - The Nether Portal is permanent in every sense of the word-- there is no way to get rid of it.
- - The 3/2 Imps that spawn from Nether Portal do so on either side of the untargetable portal, making certain cards like Betrayal and Explosive Shot humorously worse.
- - A full board wipe followed by Nether Portal looks incredibly strong.
Totollan Shellraiser is an unassuming card that fills some needed positions in priest decks looking a minion with Taunt and Deathrattle. This makes Tortollan an easy include in N’zoth priest decks while also helping priest complete their legendary quest, Awaken the Makers.
- - This is only the 2nd taunt minion that priest has ever had exclusive access to. The only taunt minion before this was Wyrmrest Agent and that had Taunt as a secondary ability dependent on holding a dragon card.
- - Priest have many minions with deathrattles that buff other minions, but they are easy to play around by killing all other minions first. Tortollan Shellraiser’s Taunt ability stops this from happening and helps ensure it’s Deathrattle value.
We will review more cards as they are released throughout the following weeks. April is right around the corner, so expect the number of card releases to ramp up as March comes to an end.