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Witchwood Power Rankings

by - 3 months ago

It is this time of the season again where we speculate about the impact of the cards from the new set: The Witchwood.  As always, this is the most exciting time for deck builders, theorycrafters and all of you who are eager to see something new. We got new keywords too: Echo and Rush.

As with all the latest expansions, Nicholas and I will bring you our oppinion that you can hopefully decide which cards you may want to craft in the first days. Beware of dusting trash rated cards early though as we may – and will – fail to guess some cards correctly even though we have quite a good record with this series. We both also do not agree all the times, those disagreements can be found below in the controversities section.

To see a full list with all tokens and stuff, please head to @Eldorian‘s Witchwood Spoiler List.

You know the drill, right? If not, find our rating system at the bottom of the article. So without further ado, lets head into our rankings.

Kobolds & Catacombs Power Rankings

(Last update: April, 17th)

☆☆☆☆☆: EXCELLENT / STAPLE

☆☆☆☆:  GOOD / COMPETITIVELY VIABLE

☆☆☆: DECENT / NICHE PICK

☆☆: POOR / TOO SITUATIONAL

☆: UNPLAYABLE


A/B: ARCHETYPE DEFINING / BUILD-AROUND

C/T: COUNTER / TECH  CHOICE


Controversies:

General Impressions

Rush Warrior: OtakuMZ is generally a little higher on this new archetype than is DeckTech. Tech is excited for it, will personally play it, and thinks it will have a place in the meta, but just that it will struggle to compete in the Call to Arms/Possesed Lacky/Spiteful Summoner metagame and the place for it will be a little lower than OtakuMZ thinks.

Echo mechanic: Similarly, OtakuMZ is a little higher on the Echo mechanic for its inherent value generation than is DeckTech. DeckTech thinks that most Echo cards are too slow and not impactful enough in a metagame in a Call to Arms/Possessed Lackey/Spiteful Summoner metagame.

Dragons: OtakuMZ is generally higher on all the dragons, except for Marsh Drake. DeckTech thinks the Hunter dragons won’t see play and that the priest dragons are not particularly good and will only really see play because of other powerful cards, like Duskbreaker. Ironically (kind of), DeckTech thinks Marsh Drake is the best of the new dragons and should be rated as a 3 for its potential value in classes that can easily deal with the downside minion (especially rogue).

Shaman: OtakuMZ rated almost every Shaman card higher than did DeckTech (though the guys are in agreement about Shudderwock, after that impressive reveal stream showing). DeckTech thinks the class will live and die by Shudderwock in this upcoming meta, whereas OtakuMZ thinks other archetypes can work as well.

Specific Cards

Houndmaster Shaw: OtakuMZ sees this card as a 5-star card because he wants to see Control Hunter finally come true, whereas DeckTech thinks it’s only average because one can’t very well rely on building a deck around just the one you can play and it is not usually going to be very impactful on-curve. It’s definitely a must-kill when you see it, but he does not think you will see much of it after the initial hype dies down.

Glinda Crowskin: OtakuMZ sees incredible value and some combo potential in Zoolock. Decktech sees a slow card that there is no reason to play when you could be playing Possessed Lackeys and/or Skull of Man’ari to cheat out huge demons.

Mossy Horror: OtakuMZ thinks it is a Shadow Word: Horror on a 2-mana 2/7 stick. The big health suits Priest, the only class in which he sees this card played and shine. DeckTech thinks this effect is too weak and slow to see play when there is no Pint-Sized Horror to accompany it.

Vivid Nightmare: Another one on which the guys are pretty far apart. DeckTech thinks it is a powerful combo enabler and an overall solid card. OtakuMZ doesn’t see how it fits into any existing Priest archetypes and points out that neither Mirage Caller nor Twilight’s Call (both pretty similar-feeling cards) see much play in Standard Priest decks.

Bogshaper: Decktech gave this a low rating because it seems incredibly slow, whereas OtakuMZ gave it a higher rating because it is incredible value over the course of a a couple turns and it synergizes well with the other Shaman cards this set.

Ravencaller: OtakuMZ is high on this card as neutral card advantage that synergizes with some up-and-coming archetypes, like Quest Hunter. DeckTech really doesn’t like the word “random” here and thinks it will keep the card from seeing play.

Voodoo Doll: OtakuMZ sees a slow, situational and/or inefficient removal option. After Sgt. Sally, he’s not impressed by the promise of neutral removal. DeckTech sees this as a combo piece that’s not really all that hard to activate. In addition to giving classes access to removal where they did not have it before, it also allows an odd removal option for classes that previously only did it in evens. He thinks it will see some play once control decks begin to solidify, about a month after release, and sporadically throughout its time in Standard.

Azalina Soulthief: Azalina has been giving people trouble since it was first spoiled. Some people, including DeckTech, think that it can have a place in the right meta as a refill card, especially against slower decks. Others, like OtakuMZ think it will more often be a vanilla 7-mana, 3/3, especially on the ladder where even now most decks are more aggressive-leaning.

Hidden Wisdom: DeckTech thinks this card is unplayable because it is easy to avoid and there are not enough other Paladin secrets worth playing (none) to even trick your opponent into testing for the wrong thing. Even when it is strong, he thinks, it is unnecessary in a world in which we already have Divine Favor and Call to Arms. OtakuMZ sees an efficient refill mechanic for aggressive and secret-based decks.

Ghost Light Angler: DeckTech sees this as an unplayable card, with Echo. As mentioned above, OtakuMZ is higher on the Echo mechanic than is DeckTech, but he also thinks there’s a chance this makes Quest Shaman viable.

Swamp Leech: DeckTech doesn’t like the stateline that dies to anything and thinks the Lifesteal will often be useless on turn 1, when both players are usually still at or near full life. He does like it as build-a-beast material, though. OtakuMZ sees a utility card that can help fill-out multiple classes and has beast- and Ashmore- synergies.

Book of Specters: OtakuMZ thinks Book of Specters has the potential to be a 5-star card in any deck that is built to run it. DeckTech thinks it will only be played in a specific, niche Mage deck, which makes it a 3-star card in his mind.

Annex I: About Power Rankings: My Take on Card Reviews Explained

We might evaluate cards differently to what you think because the evaluations reflect our opinions based on my knowledge of the game. If you disagree we are happy to hear your point in the comments below, @hsdecktech or @OtakuMZ1978. We will try to respond to all inquiries and will take it into consideration to change ranks of the cards in question.

All evaluations will be made with Standard play mode and competitive play in mind. This is no ranking for neither Arena nor Wild, please remember this when reading. I will sort cards categories (see at bottom of the article). They will be sorted by mana cost from low to high. There is a changelog directly below the actual ranking above the category explanations at the bottom of this page.

Annex II: Ranking Categories

☆☆☆☆☆ (5 stars) Excellent: Cards that are top-notch or potentially overpowered. Most decks would like to run them, e.g. Dr. Boom.

☆☆☆☆ (4 stars) Good: Superior cards that will very likely be seen play frequently, e.g. Annoy-o-Tron.

☆☆☆ (3 stars) Decent: Cards that normally do not make the cut for competitive play but are overall well-designed and might fit into specific decks. These cards can be powerful in Arena though or really viable for newer players but you would not likely see them in tournaments.  Also, vanilla cards such as Chillwind Yeti fall into this category.

☆☆ (2 stars) Poor: Underwhelming and/or over-costed cards. These cards have inferior stats and/or underwhelming effects and will not see competitive play, e.g. Voodoo Doctor. Also grouped in this category are cards, that seem to be good at first glance. Yet, their effects are too situational so that most of the time, you will not be able to pull them off (e.g. Ghaz’rilla). The latter can arguably be fun and even powerful IF their effects go off. In any case, these cards I like to call “what-if cards” are so unreliable that they render themselves unusable in competitive play. Feel free to raise these cards to a “build-around” card or just have fun with!

(1 star) Unplayable: Straight out bad stats, poor card design or simply useless cards that are even too bad for casual play? Do you have them in your deck? Delete Hearthstone! 😉 These cards you would not and should never put in your deck unless for fun or I missed something and the cards are sorted wrong, e.g. Magma Rager. If so, please leave me a comment! Okay, one exception here: you want to troll your opponent so that he thinks you are the worst Hearthstone player alive! 😆

A/B: Archetype Defining / Build-Around*: Cards that are only viable if you build your deck around them, e.g. Grim Patron.

C/T: Counter / Tech Choice*: Cards that mostly have underwhelming stats but are highly useful to counter specific Cards or to Play against a very uniform meta, e.g. Eater of Secrets

Controversies: These are generally cards for which the guys have rankings that differ by 2 or more stars; the card’s overall rating will usually be a split between the guys’ ratings. This is also the place where we might note when one rater has a different take on an entire archetype or class of cards than the other.

* The cards that appear under A/B and C/T will also be represented under 1 to 5 Stars ratings according to their suspected power level when included or played in the right deck.

 

 


Martin "OtakuMZ" Z.

Real life physician and afterhour card battler. Martin "OtakuMZ" contributes to the Hearthstone team of BlizzPro since late 2015. Additionally, he contributes analytic articles for Hearthstone and Gwent as a member of Fade2Karma and in his collumn on the Gwentlemen site. He is best known for his infographics which can be accessed at a glance at https://www.facebook.com/hsinfographics and https://www.facebook.com/gwentinfographics