August 6, 2017
Table of Contents
Knights of the Frozen Throne Card Reviews – Arena Edition, Part 2
Hello everyone and welcome to my 2nd part of Knights of the Frozen Throne card reviews for Arena. As always the cards are reviewed and put into one of these categories: Terrible, Bad, Below average, Average, Above average, Good, Amazing. For this set I will not be reviewing legendary cards for reasons mentioned in part 1. Let’s jump straight into reviews and see what KotFT has to offer.
Dead Man’s Hand
Dead man’s Hand is meant for Constructed and has little to no use in Arena. For 2 mana you don’t get any immediate impact on the board nor your hand. It’s near impossible to get some sort of crazy synergy which would make Dead Man’s Hand worth picking.
Spreading Plague is another card similar to has a much better stat distribution yet still is only below average. Therefore 1/5 taunt is worth around 2.5 mana. This means you need to get 3 triggers from Spreading Plague for it to be good. That means the opponent has to have 3 more minions than you. The problem with that is Scarabs won’t be enough to bring the board back from your opponent. The only purpose Scarabs have is to stall the board. Given that may be good in certain cases and Spreading Plague is a catch up mechanic after all. Yet it’s not too reliable as you won’t get 3 or more triggers most of the time.
Rating: Below average
Right off the bat stats aren’t great. Ice Walker is missing 1 attack to be a regular drop, however its ability greatly compensates it. Freezing can be very powerful in Arena if used correctly. If Ice walker stays on the board, it can generate crazy amounts from value. The best way to look at Ice walker is as a 1/3 minion which casts Freezing Potion for free. For example let’s say Ice Walker stays on the board for 3 turns which means you froze 3 enemies. This means Ice Walker got you 3 cards plus a 1/3 for a single card. This isn’t entirely true since Freezing Potion arguably isn’t worth a card by itself, however you get the point. Ice Walker has a lot potential, however it can get killed quite easily. Though if it sticks on the board, you can snowball quickly since you can just freeze the minions that threaten Ice Walker. Overall premium 2 drop with tons of potential.
It’s obvious Meat Wagon is meant for constructed as in Arena you can’t get any reliable synergy with it. You won’t have 0 attack minions in your deck and 1/4 for 4 mana is awful.
2/2 minions are worth roughly 1 mana. 5/3 stats are worth roughly 3.5 mana. As long as more than 1 minion dies, Necrotic Geist is a good card. There are a few key good things about this card. First of all you can simply drop it before trading in your board into your opponent’s. At first glance it may seem like a conditional card which will be dead in hand, however it’s easier to activate than it seems if you simply play it before trading minions in. Second of all it snowballs like crazy. Once you trade in your minions to get 2/2 Ghouls you can use those Ghouls to kill more enemies which in turn spawns even more Ghouls. This ends up with a huge Ghoul army which keeps refilling itself. All cards with infinite potential should be looked with fear. The only thing stopping Necrotic Geist from being bonkers is the 3 health. It’s quite easy to remove Geist but besides that it’s a great card.
Just when you think the set couldn’t release more crazy overpowered cards for Arena you get to see Cobalt Scalebane. At absolute worst case scenario Scalebane is a 5/5 for 5 which is Average. Because the buff goes off at the end of your turn, you are guaranteed to get at least 3 attack if you have a minion on board. It’s similar to Necrotic Geist which I just reviewed. The difference though is that Cobalt’s condition is way easier to achieve and it’s a lot harder to remove at 5/5 stats. The card has infinite potential. That combined with good stats makes the card one of the best in the set for Arena so far.
Removing a card from the opponent’s deck doesn’t matter unless the game goes to fatigue. Only a select number of games go to fatigue in Arena which means this card is nothing more than a 2 mana 2/3.
Immediately we can see that the base stats for Soulclaimer aren’t worth 3 mana. It’s stats are of a 2 drop. Ghoul that Soulclaimer summons is worth roughly 1 mana. Therefore if Soulclaimer survives damage once, it’s still not great. And realistically you won’t get more than 1 trigger out of this card since opponent can move it very easily. Even getting it to survive damage once is tough unless you have some synergy cards like Whirlwind. Worst case scenario it’s a 1/4 for 3 mana which is beyond awful.
Right away the stats are bad. As mentioned before for 1 mana you’d want 2/2 stats. This means the ability should be worth 2 mana. Is discovering a minion from your deck worth 2 mana? Not really when compared to 1 mana discover a card such as Hallucination, Journey Below or I Know a Guy. Nonetheless discovering a minion from your deck is better than any of those 3 discovers just mentioned. When drafting your deck, you choose the best card out of 3 offered which means the cards are better than random since they have been filtered. On top of that you discover from those filtered cards which makes it even more flexible. Overall the stats aren’t up to par, however the discover is very strong which balances the card out.
At 5 mana you should expect 5/6 stats if there is no effect. Sunborne Val’kyr gives guaranteed 5/4 stats and can give up to 5/8 worth of stats if it buffs 2 adjacent targets. It also allows to buff minions and send them into opponent’s board to get favorable trades. Even the smallest health buffs are very strong in Arena since they enable favorable trades. On top of that Sunborne Val’kyr lets you buff minions out of AoE range which is very important in our current meta. So if it buffs 2 Sunborne is very great value. If it doesn’t buff anything, you pay 5 mana for a 5/4 body which is awful. The middle ground of buffing 1 minion is alright since then you get 5/6 stats which isn’t bad. As long as you buff at least 1 minion Sunborne Val’kyr is going to be good.
Let’s compare Phantom Freebooter to Bloodsail Raider. If the ability doesn’t trigger, Bloodsail Raider has only 1 less attack than Phantom Freebooter which costs 2 more mana. 2 mana for 1 attack is a terrible deal obviously. Most of the time you won’t have a weapon unless you are playing Warrior or Rogue. So in all other classes Phantom Freebooter is trash. Even in Rogue if you have a 1/2 dagger, Freebooter is still just a 4/5 which isn’t worth the effort. Overall Phantom Freebooter has potential for sure, however it’s an incredibly hard to achieve the synergy in Arena with this card. Most of the time it will be awful. It’s worse than Bloodsail Corsair too which says how awful Phantom is.
Embrace Darkness is a tough one to rate. The effect is of Mind Control but it costs 4 less in exchange for giving opponent 1 turn to react. Mind Control is an amazing card in Arena. The question is whether 4 mana is worth the 1 turn timer. Because you don’t take the minion immediately opponent can still use it for the next turn. Most likely the opponent will trade his minion into something which means you will steal a relatively weak minion. This isn’t the case if you don’t have any minions on board, however in that case it’s likely you will straight up lose from all the tempo. Embrace Darkness is similar to Corruption, although it makes twice as big of a swing since not only you remove a minion but also essentially spawn one for yourself. Yet the mana difference is quite big 1 to 6. Nonetheless stealing a minion is way better against deathrattle minions than destroying it. Overall it’s very hard to rate Embrace Darkness without playing with it first.
Rating: Above average
Very interesting effect. The stats are very good – you get 7 worth of stats or 3 mana. The 2/5 distribution means Mindbreaker can trade favorably with 3/2 minions. Of course how good the ability is depends on what class you are playing. In Warrior this card is going to be great since his hero power is so bad. In other classes it depends on matchup. The good thing about Mindbreaker is that even though the effect is mirrored, you get to choose when to play the card. This means your opponent gets hurt by the effect more than you. The ability is very powerful and combined with great stats makes this card quite good.
Crypt Lord has 7 base stats which is good for a 3 drop, however the distribution is very poor. With 1 attack Crypt Lord is going to struggle against mid sized minions. It has taunt, however with 1 attack it’s very fragile. At the same time Crypt Lord gains +1 health after you summon a minion. This makes the card so much better. We see a recurring theme in KotFT which is cards with infinite potential. It isn’t hard to summon many minions for Druid since the class has quite a cards which summon multiple minions. It isn’t unreasonable to expect Crypt Lord to get buffed by 1-2 health each turn. This makes the card way better. You can compare it to Mogu'shan Warden. Crypt Lord with its base stats only has 1 less health for 1 mana. Yet despite how much health Crypt Lord can get, it will still have only 1 attack which makes it bad for trading.
Rating: Above average
Tomb Lurker is very situational. It can range from being a 5 mana 5/3 which does nothing to 5 mana 5/3 which gives you a Tirion Fordring. The main problem with Tomb Lurker is that it’s awful if played on curve. The stats are worth 3.5 mana which puts you very far behind on tempo if played on turn 5. On top of that you must have deathrattle minions that have died previously which isn’t an easy task to achieve. If you are a good Arena player you want to play consistent cards and Tomb Lurker is far from that. Most of the time it will be a dead card in hand. At the end of the day it depends on what deathrattle minions you have in your deck, however I am skeptical of Tomb Lurker.
Rating: Below average
The only difference between Righteous Protector and Argent Squire is taunt. Yet taunt is very powerful in Arena. Especially on a card with divine shield which means the card taunts and protects your board twice. Argent Squire is already an above average card for Paladins. The added taunt gives so much versatility and it only costs 1 mana which makes it so easy to use. Overall great stats, very flexible and great way to protect your board and force opponent into unfavorable trades.
Because Corpse Widow is a 4/6 beast it’s already at least average. Those are the stats that you expect at minimum for 5 mana. Now is the enough to push this card from average to above average? The problem is that so far there haven’t been any common or rare Hunter’s minions with deathrattle revealed. There is a common and a rare which we haven’t seen yet, however it’s unlikely to make a big enough impact to make Corpse Widow so much better. When KotFT is released we will most likely see an increase in offering rates from that set. Without Hunter deathrattles it’s going to be tough to find targets for Corpse Widow. This means that most of the time it’s going to be a 4/6 for 5 mana which is fine.
Corpse Raiser is incredibly situational. Because it costs 5 mana most likely you won’t be able to play a strong deathrattle with this on the same turn. This means for Corpse Raiser to be good you need to have a deathrattle minion stick on your board. On top of that the minion actually needs to be good. Fiery Bat won’t suffice. That is to say you can get a lot of value from Corpse Raider if you use it on a strong minion such as Savannah Highmane. Nonetheless don’t let the good scenarios blind you since on average Corpse Raider is going to be a 5 mana 3/3. But as many deathrattle synergies in this expansion, it depends on your deck.
Rating: Below average
Runeforge Haunter is missing 1 stat from the average 4 drop, however the ability makes up for it. The great thing about Runeforge Haunter is that you get immediate value if you have a weapon. Simply drop it and attack something with your weapon. Imagine you have a weapon, say a Assassin's Blade. You drop Runeforge Haunter and attack with your Blade. If you ignore the health that you took, Runeforge basically was a 4 mana 5/3 which dealt 3 damage in that scenario. In that specific scenario Runeforge is crazy good and just shows the potential of this card. Obviously the weapon you will have equipped for most of the time is going to be the 1/2 dagger from your hero power. Even in that case Runeforge is 4 mana 5/3 deal 1 damage which isn’t bad.
With Devour Mind you get 3 cards for 5 mana. Nourish does the same except it can also give mana crystals. Most of the time it’s better to draw cards from your own deck rather than getting copies of opponent’s cards. This is because during the draft you consider the deck you have which means you try to pick cards that synergize with your deck. Overall 3 cards for 5 mana is what you’d expect and it’s nothing special.
Need to have at least 3 secrets in deck for Glacial Mysteries to be decent. Even then it’s arguably not enough tempo. Chances are you won’t have 4+ secrets in the deck. Besides you must not draw them before Glacial Mysteries. Overall a dead card most of the time, hard to get value from.
Let’s split the card into two parts – the deathrattle and rest of the card. First question is how much 4/8 taunt with lifesteal is worth. Bog Creeper has 2 more attack and costs 7 mana so it’s safe to assume 4/8 with taunt and lifesteal should be worth around 6. This means that the deathrattle costs only 3 mana which is how much Deadly Shot costs. So all parts of the card add up to 9 mana. The great thing about Obsidian Statue is that it combines so much stuff into one card. Because it has taunt the deathrattle will always trigger unless the opponent has a silence which is unlikely. It’s amazing card when you are behind which can easily trade 1 for 3 in card advantage. Overall just an extraordinarily powered card.
Compare this card to Arcane Intellect. You get 1 less card from it. And Arcane Intellect is only average in Arena. On top of that copying a low cost minion isn’t great since you want a curve.
Compared to Deadly Shot Unwilling Sacrifice seems quite bad. Though Warlock’s usually have worse spells to compensate for their strong hero power. It’s hard to evaluate Unwilling Sacrifice in void. It depends on your deck a lot. If your deck is aggressive and had a lot of tokens, Unwilling Sacrifice can do wonders. On the other hand if you are playing a control oriented deck, there won’t be small minions to sacrifice which means Unwilling Sacrifice loses value. Usually as long as you sacrifice a minion with stats of a 2 drop or less you should be good. Since then Unwilling Sacrifice was basically like Assassinate.
Rating: Above average
This is the card that Shaman’s needed to get value from Ice Breaker. Brrrloc can be compared to Glacial Shard. While Brrrloc has less stats for its mana cost it has good synergy with Ice Breaker. Overall just a little worse version of Glacial Shard.
Rating: Above average
Treachery is meant for Constructed and has no place in Arena due to lack of synergy.
It’s not hard to see that Ultimate Infestation is really powerful. If you look at the most common draw cards like Arcane Intellect, Nourish and Sprint, you can see it with card draws it costs 1 mana for the cycle and 2 mana for each additional card you draw. Arcane Intellect cycles one card and draws another one. Nourish cycles one and draws two. You can see the pattern. Therefore moving on it would cost 9 mana to draw 5 cards. 1 mana for the cycle and 8 more for four additional cards. Ultimate Infestation costs 10 but does way more than just draw 5 cards. The worst thing about drawing cards is that it’s anti tempo. Infestation helps solve this problem by summoning a 5/5 and dealing 5 damage. There is just so much value in this card for 10 mana. Not much to say.
A non secret version of Redemption. For 1 more mana you get to target the minion you want to return to life. Most of the time returning a minion to life with 1 health isn’t worth it unless it has a good deathrattle or overall just a strong ability. Otherwise it will just get killed very easily by opponent’s hero power without giving any value. It’s just not worth 2 mana unless you specifically have a very good deathrattle minion. Overall just a slightly worse version of Redemption.
Rating: Below average
For 2 mana you get 3/3 worth of stats right away as long as you have a minion on board. This is amazing for a 2 drop. On top of that it can keep buffing as long as it’s alive and you have other minions on board. This sort of ability is super powerful for a 2 drop. The only downside it has is if played on curve without any minions on board, shadow ascendant is bad as it’s just a 2/2 then. But besides playing it on turn 2 Shadow Ascendant is great. Another really good thing about it is that it’s relevant in late game too unlike many other early game drops. Opponent will be forced to kill a 2/2 which is often anti tempo. Overall it’s an amazing card, however the fact that it’s bad on curve holds down the card quite a bit.
At 6 mana 4/6 stats are terrible. So the ability really needs to compensate for the stats. Sadly this is far from true. There aren’t many 1 mana cost spells to destroy. On top of that you will only get value if you destroy spells in opponent’s hand as cards destroyed in the deck don’t matter. Overall awful for Arena.
Right away we see that you get 2 cards for 2 mana which sounds great on paper. There is a condition, however, that you can only draw murlocs. Currently there aren’t many murlocs released for Shaman with the exception of Brrrloc. This will make it very hard to actually draw 2 murlocs from your deck. To reliably draw with Ice Fishing you want at least 4+ murlocs in the deck since you may draw them before you draw Ice fishing. Overall just too hard to have it reliably draw 2 murlocs. Of course it depends on the deck but this card doesn’t seem to fit Arena due to lack of murlocs.
Roll the Bones
It’s way too unlikely to draw more than 1 card with Roll the Bones. Even in cases that you do, it’s not enough to offset all the times you only got 1 card from it.
Acolyte of Agony
3 mana 3/3 with lifesteal. Lifesteal for Priest doesn’t matter which leaves a 3 mana 3/3.
First of all we need ot figure out how much 2/8 taunt would have to cost to be playable. We already have Stegodon which is below average in Arena. Drakkari has 2 more health so it’s safe to assume it’s worth around 5 mana. This means you overpay for the card by 1 mana which is overloaded. That isn’t great for sure, however you can play Drakkari quite early and get a lot of tempo from it. The main problem with the card is that it’s not good on curve. If you play it on turn 3, next turn you will only have 1 mana to play which means you will most likely have to do nothing for entire turn. This is the biggest weakness of the card.
Rating: Below average
That’s all for this part of my card reviews for KotFT. Let me know what you think of the new cards in the comments below. Stay tuned for more reviews and thanks for reading. Until next time.