It’s that time of the expansion cycle: card rating season! The next set will take us to the Scholomance Academy which is
ruled run by Kel’thuzad. Two new mechanics will be introduced: Spellbound and Dual classes – all of those are covered in the announcement article. As has been the case for all the past expansions, we will undoubtedly get some right and get some wrong – or maybe we hit the nail even closer than the last times. Regardless, we hope these pieces are as informative and fun for you to read as they are for us to put together.
Per usual, you can find a Annex explaining our rating system at the bottom of the post. You can also find all the set’s cards in an easily-viewable, organized fashion over in the Scholomance Academy Spoiler List, and we’ll update both grounds as more cards are revealed.
Scholomance Academy Power Rankings
(Last update: August 5, 2020)
August 5–Final tweaks before expansion launch!
August 3–Changes after theorycrafting article went live.
July 31–Updated ratings after theorycrafting some.
July 29–Initial ratings on all cards!
☆☆☆☆☆: EXCELLENT / STAPLE
☆☆☆☆: GOOD / COMPETITIVELY VIABLE
☆☆☆: DECENT / NICHE PICK
☆☆: POOR / TOO SITUATIONAL
A/B: ARCHETYPE DEFINING / BUILD-AROUND
C/T: COUNTER CARD / TECH CHOICE
- Brittleborn Destroyer: Decktech values this card a lot and OtakuMZ was only convinced after he remembered how powerful Vilespine Slayer (5-mana 3/4 with Combo: Destroy an enemy minion).
- Sphere of Sapience: How much is card selection worth? OtakuMZ has it at a 5, whereas Decktech (though a huge fan of the card itself), thinks it’s being overhyped and will not see play in decks that already have great draw engines or which attack with their heroes. After brewing up several theorycrafts, Decktech has found that number of decks to be surprisingly small. Therefore, he has it as a 3 and the guys split the difference.
- Vectus: OtakuMZ’s a little higher on this guy than Decktech. It is certainly a powerful effect, and there are good targets (including the Primes from last set, but is that enough for a 5 in the power rankings? Unfortunately, again, there aren’t that many amazing targets for him, so Decktech thinks it is a very powerful niche card (and so, a 3). Again, the guys split the difference.
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. These rating will also be made with only the most immediately-upcoming metagame in mind. It’s incredibly difficult to predict nerfs, rules changes, or new cards added after the fact, or how rating will change when that happens, so these ratings will not be made with those in mind.
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.
G/D: Generated/Discovered*: Cards that may not be good enough to be put into your deck, but which will be much stronger when randomly generated, discovered, or otherwise put into your hand or play once the game has commenced. Some of these cards may well shape the metagame even if they don’t make it into many maindecks (which is normally the basis upon which we make our ratings).
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, C/T, and G/D will also be represented under 1 to 5 Stars ratings according to their suspected power level when included or played in the right deck.