If you’ve been reading what’s going around on the various fan sites, or have been fortunate enough to enjoy the closed beta, it’s no secret that, at present, Hearthstone can be incredibly expensive if you’re looking to get enough card packs to be competitive. There’s been frustration at this fact, and rightfully so, but while we wait for Blizzard to consider adjusting the numbers on prices, rewards and daily quests, there are some great options in the neutral minion pool to help tide us over. Today, we’ll look at five great pickups.
The value of this card is almost unreal for something available in the basic decks. Sen’jin Shieldmasta comes out as 3/5 for four mana, equipped with taunt. He’s a great early drop that will either force aggressive decks to come to a stand still, or exhaust a kill card, or even multiple minions to deal with him. Moreover, his three damage is nothing to sleep on. If he sticks, expect the pace of the game to become something you can be comfortable with, at least for a bit. There are a couple of cards to watch out for. Polymorph, Hex and Assassinate are all common answers to this card. Still, forcing those ultra valuable cards is a victory in and of itself.
This little guy might ‘feel icky’ upon entry, but if you’re running an aggressive style deck, he’s a fantastic turn one creature. Not only does he come in as a 2/1 for one mana, his deathrattle allows him to do two damage to an opposing hero upon expiring. It’s not uncommon to see Leper Gnome do anywhere from two to six damage to your foe, and for one mana, that’s incredible. Moreover, there aren’t a lot of good one drops, at least in my opinion. Rogues, Hunters, Shamans, definitely take note of this guy.
If you’re looking for a counter to pesky early game creatures with unique abilities, Ironbeak Owl is an amazing answer. This bird’s in the expert pack, meaning it’ll cost you 80 Arcane Dust to craft two copies, but once you have access it, dealing with early game divine shield, or other abilities that allow card draw or buffing will be a lot simpler. He’s also a 2/1 for 2. That’s not great, but it’s not a bad deal at all to get a silence and a creature in one card.
Razorfen Hunter/Murloc Tide Hunter
If you’re running an early game style aggressive deck, both of these cards are amazing, at least for the moment. Murloc Tide Hunter is a 2/1 for two that summons a 1/1 Murloc upon entering the battlefield. Similarly, Razorfen Hunter is a 2/3 that also summons a 1/1. These cards are absolutely fodder for spells like Consecration and Holy Nova, and expect to see them come out as soon as possible if your opponent has access to them. That said, in the early going, you’ll be able to put a lot of pressure on the board. If they don’t have a good area of effect spell, your dominance will snowball, allowing you to crush them.
Acidic Swamp Ooze
This creature’s specific niche rests in its ability to destroy enemy weapons. If it does that upon entry, it’s an amazing card at two mana. That said, if you’re playing a caster, or someone who in general does not run weapons, Acidic Swamp Ooze is still not terrible per se, at 3/2. Regardless, you’ll want to keep it in mind if you’re planning to play a friend running a Warrior, Rogue, Shaman or Hunter deck in specific. Worth nothing, this is another good aggressive deck card, mostly because it hits reasonably hard for a turn two drop.
These cards won’t necessarily win you the game, but they make good early to mid game cards because they’re mana efficient, provide a potentially valuable service, and their stats aren’t too grating. Give them a look, see what works, and hopefully you’ll find your decks performing better in no time without significant monetary investment.