It is this time of the season again where we speculate about the impact of the cards from the new set: Rastakhan’s Rumble. As always, this is the most exciting time for deck builders, theorycrafters and all of you who are eager to see something new. The new keywords for this set is Overkill. If you deal excess damage with a card that carries this key word, you get an extra goodie. The keyword can be any Card type – minions, weapons and spells; very interesting!
As with all the latest expansions, we (Nicholas a.k.a. hsdecktech and Martin a.k.a. OtakuMZ) will bring you our opinion 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 controversies section.
To see a full list with all tokens and stuff, please head to our complete Rastakhan’s RumbleSpoiler 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.
Rastakhan’s Rumble Power Rankings
(Last update: December 10, 2018)
THE LOA PACKAGE RANKINGS
THE CHAMPION PACKAGE RANKINGS
☆☆☆☆☆: EXCELLENT / STAPLE
☆☆☆☆: GOOD / COMPETITIVELY VIABLE
☆☆☆: DECENT / NICHE PICK
☆☆: POOR / TOO SITUATIONAL
A/B: ARCHETYPE DEFINING / BUILD-AROUND
Obviously, all Spirit, Loa, and Champion cards are made to build a deck around. Therefore, they will not be put here separately below. Instead, we evaluated the Loa package of each class in a separate category according to the overall viability to create new archetypes and perform in competitive play – even though this is very hard to predict.
C/T: COUNTER CARD / TECH CHOICE
Belligerent Gnome: This card is fairly meta-dependent–if it will frequently get its buff on turn 2, then it is incredibly powerful, but if it does not, then it is underwhelming. The guys have different ideas about how frequently his ability will proc., so they threw him into the three category and might move him up or down depending on whow the early meta pans out.
Predatory Instincts: OtakuMZ does not see a deck where this card is worth the cost, pointing out that the health buff is only relevant if the beast is staying alive (not Hadronox) and that Beast Druid has never been good, but DeckTech sees a tutor effect and cannot allow that to be placed in the “Unplayable” rating, so he bumped it up and is waiting to see how it gets broken.
Walk the Plank: This card’s power level seems directly tied to how good Preparation will be in the upcoming metagame. DeckTech has a lot more faith in that than does OtakuMZ, who notes that Prep is pretty bad these days and Assassinate in not played at all. The guys compromise by putting it at a 2-star rating.
Likkum: OtakuMZ has this as “Excellent,” seeing it kind of like the return of Spirit Claws. DeckTech has it down at “Decent” because he does not see the card being all that efficient on curve. The best case (pair it with a Zap! to clear the board), is very good, so the guys compromise and put it at a 4-star.
Ping-Mage Package: OtakuMZ is a little higher on most of these cards than is DeckTech. If the Spirit were an odd-cost card, DeckTech would be all on-board, but the fact that the deck can’t use all its tools and the upgraded hero power concerns him a little.
Spirit of the Rhino: OtakuMZ really believes in the viability of Rush Warrior. Rendering one or two Rush minions immune can give a huge board advantage. DeckTech thinks this effect is not worth spending a card slot (or one mana) to generate value in a likely tempo oriented deck, especially when the best Rush minions (Zilliax, Darius Crowley, Militia Commander) already usually live for a turn when you play them. OtakuMZ believes the card will be worth it to push the deck over the top, as a board-control-based tempo deck, like Zoolock.
Princess Talanji: DeckTeck rates this card too slow and thus 2 stars. In his thinking, it needs too much setup to work while OtakuMZ rates it as a weaker N’Zoth at 4 stars because of its huge comeback potential.
Gonk, the Raptor: Early indications are that OtakuMZ was close to right on Gonk being Excellent than DeckTech was that it was Poor. The key deciding factors seem to be that 1) Gonk’s effect stacks, so you can combine it with a copy effect (such as Floop, Prince Taldaram, or Faceless Manipulator) and get additional extra attacks from it; and 2) core Druid cards are so powerful that they can often just win games on their own. We will still have to see if this initial power lasts, or if people will switch back to last meta’s powerful Druid decks once the hype has died down. However, for now, it is being bumped up to a solid 4.
Headhunter Hatchet: OtakuMZ had this card as “Excellent,” because he’s pretty high on Springpaw as well, but DeckTech’s just not seeing it. DeckTech thinks the card is okay in a vacuum, but is without a home and will, therefore, not see much play at all. As far as DeckTech sees it: Spell Hunters won’t have a beast on 1 and already run many other weapons, so the card is not powerful enough to warrant a slot for them; Midrange Secret Hunter is already overloaded on the 2-slot and this isn’t better than anything it’d replace; and Deathrattle Hunter would rather keep running Keleseth. Maybe next set the card will have a chance to shine, but right now it is in the 3-slot.
Dragons!: The guys also can’t agree on which of the Dragon synergy cards are the good ones. OtakuMZ is incredibly high on Dragon Roar and Firetree Witchdoctor, but DeckTech thinks we didn’t get enough good dragons to make a full-out dragon deck work and that the archetype will more likely see most its play as a subpart of Odd Warrior. DeckTech thinks that even if the archetype plays even cards, the reason to do so would be Voone, not the two-drops; however, OtakuMZ doesn’t like Voone as much as DeckTech does. Therefore, we put all three into the 3-star rating.
Annex I: About Power Rankings: Our 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.