August 8, 2017
Table of Contents
KFT Fully Revealed! – First Impressions
A couple of minutes ago the full expansion of Knights of the Frozen Throne was just fully revealed on an official Blizzard stream.
Despite the big number of cards revealed we haven’t seen much difference from the overall idea behind the set’s creation so that means we already had time to think about the expansion’s direction and nothing going very much away from that.
Before we begin this “First Impressions” article I’d like to apologize for not continuing my Constructed set review I was doing about the revealed cards, in between some things I have been doing IRL I haven’t had time to fully analyze the revealed cards.
With all that said, let’s begin our discussion!
Overall the power level of this expansion is quite ahead of other expansions this game has released since Goblins versus Gnomes, which was basically the last “across-the-board big power level” expansion we have seen.
To make up for this, Blizzard decided to do what they didn’t do in Un’Goro which is: Experiment.
With all the negativity behind the creation of broken combos and random things that were overall dissatisfying for the general community such as -insert cards that got nerfed- Blizzard decided to play safe with Un’Goro and decided to only created “controllable” cards, in the terms that they made cards that they knew their potential entirely, that led to an expansion that was easily figured out and quickly burned out as people got bored of it very quickly.
With Knights of the Frozen Throne, however, Blizzard has stepped up and decided to take risks once more, by creating cards with completely unseen effects and unknown potential that are bound to take much longer time for exploring than the previous expansion.
More Grindy Games?
With the entire expansion revealed it got clear that Blizzard wants the game to focus on grindy games. With all those powerful Hero Cards that heal and have tremendously powerful effects it is indeed possible that we see a Control Meta that many players have been wanting for so many years.
However, this expansion also brought some aggro tools that are being completely overlooked by players, and those cards have even higher probabilities of seeing play than their Control counterparts. So, despite all the grindy Control hype, Blizzard made sure aggro decks are available to counter all the Control hype that we’ll see at least in the first weeks.
So in this section I will only be mentioning the obvious strong cards, and not my guesses which should start on the next two sections.
As I mentioned the power level of the expansion went up quite a lot in comparison to previous expansions, here are my Top 10 Obvious Powerful Cards:
- Righteous Defender – Just ridiculous stats and very powerful ability combination. This card is 100% sure to see play in both Standard and Wild.
- Sanguine Reveler – A very powerful Zoo tool that will surely make Zoo a better deck in Wild and can even help it become viable in Standard. The potential of this card is what makes it an obviously powerful card, even if it doesn’t see play in Standard.
- Drain Soul – Straight up Power Creep from a Classic card, should help Renolock in Wild slightly, and is likely to give Control Warlock a push in standard.
- Corpsetaker – The potential of this card is being vastly underestimated, as I believe this can grow up to be a Standard version of Piloted Shredder in the right decks.
- Happy Ghoul – As a Priest you will most likely be always playing this card in every single deck you ever make simply because of how much susceptible to losing to early game Tempo the Priest class is as a whole, and how much this card helps in that matter.
- Eternal Servitude – Obviously immensely powerful Priest card. The potential of this card is huge which is what makes it a very powerful card. It might not even see play right away as building a deck around it seems harder than it looks, but it will be definitely worthy to fry a few neurons as the deck for this card might just be too good.
- Blood Razor – The second most obvious powerful card in the set.
- Thrall, Deathseer – Jesus Christ, this card gives me the chills. You have to build a deck around it? Sure, but what if that deck is already tier 1?
- Uther of the Ebon Blade – Obvious standalone powerful finisher card. Some people will try to combo this but I believe it is strong enough on its own.
- Ultimate Infestation – Cruel Ultimatum was such a cool card back in its days, and this card reminds me quite a lot of it. Such a powerful card!
From this point onwards I’ll start my bets for cards that are overrated and underrated, starting with the Overrated!
So, here are my top 10 Overrated Cards:
- Gnomeferatu – I’ll just state here that removing a card from the top of your opponent’s deck is exactly the same thing as removing one from the bottom. With that said, this card is horrible and people are praising it as a powerhouse – it’s not, it sucks.
- Druid of the Swarm – Both options for this card aren’t appealing. Sure the fact you can choose is cool, but the probability of this not doing anything is so high that I am betting it won’t see play.
- Leeching Poison – I discussed this before. No real advantage in playing such a card that requires such a setup to be just mediocre.
- Dead Man's Hand – People calling fatigue Warriors? Seriously? This is the definition of “do nothing” card. Complete trash!
- Treachery – Sure you can combo this with Doomsayer, but you’re already playing the single class with the most powerful and most efficient board sweepers in the game. You would never want to play this without Doomsayer, the other effects aren’t worth the effort, differently from cards like Frost Nova that have other utilities.
- The Lich King – Another card that is being way overhyped is The Lich King. Sure, it is an 8-mana-ysera-with-taunt (“Death Knight Cards” are slightly below the power level of “Dream Cards”, with a higher variance (there are way more trash DK cards than there are Dream ones), but their power level is still higher than normal cards), but Arthasboy its nothing more than that: Just another high cost finisher. It won’t break the game as most people are claiming and the fact it is a neutral will make it so it won’t be as constant on Stonehill Defender procs as people are thinking. The stats aren’t as well distributed as Ysera’s, and its not a Dragon, so it won’t have that more impact on the deck or anything related. Yes, it costs 8 mana not 9 sure but that is why its an expansion card (Higher power level). I actually believe the doggy dog (Arfus) is better than The Lich King himself and people are barely talking about it.
- Skulking Geist – I think it’s unrealistic to run a 6-mana 4/6 card just to deal with a possible game state that a single deck can put you into. I understand there are other uses for this card such as removing bad 1-mana spells (bad draws) from your deck later on but I don’t think this card will see as much play as people are claiming it will.
- Archbishop Benedictus – This is my vote for the most overrated and overhyped card in the set.
- Embrace Darkness – Nop, just won’t work.
- Hadronox – People are thinking this card’s effect is a battlecry and can’t be played around, people are also thinking the opponent will gladly trade into this and never be rushing them.
And those are the cards I feel people are not giving enough credit, or just shouldn’t be discarding as unplayable or bad.
So, my Top 10 Underrated Cards:
- Prince Keleseth – People just simply forgot about this card. I think this has so much potential as playing this in your second turn on an aggro deck simply gives you a seemingly unstoppable boost.
- Prince Taldaram – As we previously analyzed, there are a few classes that would gladly run this card as they don’t have any playable 3-drops. This card’s effect is quite good that you could abuse a few deathrattles and combos.
- Brrrloc – This effect is more powerful than it looks. Stopping a minion from trading into yours as you swarm the board can be quite devastating.
- Howlfiend – I have a feeling this card is a sleeper and people are being too quick to discard it as unplayable. The thing about discarding your whole hand is: 1) You can activate your quest super quick and 2) You can consistently out-tempo your opponent by being sure you’ll be discarding Silverware Golem and Clutchmother Zavas if you play this on Zoo and 3) the stats are everything Zoo wants.
- Saronite Chain Gang – Feral Spirits that is neutral and can go bigger seems quite cool to be as discarded as unplayable as is being labeled. You can do such a huge tempo swing by curving Sword of Justice into this making a 3/4 and a 4/5 on turn 4, which isn’t even unrealistic.
- Ghastly Conjurer – I discussed this card before, and my opinion about it remains – Everyone is saying this is bad, clunky or unplayable, but I believe it has the potential to be a powerhouse in every Standard mage deck there is.
- Arfus – Being a card that you can pull from The Curator makes me like this card a little more than I should. Well, at least enough to put it on this list.
- Deathstalker Rexxar – Yes, I do believe this card is underrated after thinking about it for quite some time. You can still run this on your Midrange Hunter deck as a Sweeper effect that allows you to catch up against grindy Control decks and simply destroy them. After seeing people claiming over and over again that this won’t see any play I started to think a little deeper on it, and it can indeed be a 3rd 6-drop in Midrange Hunter to help deal with the rise of Control decks that we’ll see.
- Fallen Sun Cleric – This fits so well in Zoo, and we’re even getting some new cool stuff for Zoo. It wonders me that people are discarding this as an Arena-only card.
- Acherus Veteran – Another card that can see play in every Zoo and Paladin Aggro deck that somehow hasn’t been talked at all! I mean cmon, its just one mana!
Overall what I enjoyed the most on this expansion is the extreme lack of randomness on the cards they created, the only real variance I found was in Arfus and The Lich King himself, but besides those two cards I haven’t seen anything that could make the game unfun or remove the skill required to play it.
The lack of randomness combined with both the high power-level of the cards and unpredictableness of the cards effect in the metagame can lead to some very awesome months for Hearthstone ahead of us!
What got me the most intrigued was that I thought it would’ve been easier to find the underrated cards than the overrated cards, but as always finding overrated cards was easier.
This expansion is surely to shake up the game a lot more than previous expansions, so buckle up!
Coming up next: Deck brews to play in day one!
Love you guys, see you again soon!