Knights of the Frozen Throne First Impressions… By Nuba!!
Hey Peeps! How long has it been since I haven’t written an article? Truth is I quit Professional Hearthstone some time ago and was barely playing, but lately I have found myself coming and going playing some Hearthstone here and there for the fun of it. Today I decided it would be nice to give you guys my insights on the reveal that is about to happen!
As of right now, the expansion has just been announced, and as leaked before it’s name is Knights of the Frozen Throne, and the theme: Death Knights!
So let’s begin our first impressions!
The Proposition(So far)…
So far the proposition seems to, just like in The Grand Tournament, be a Control-based Expansion. With a new card-type being revealed which is the “Hero Card”, similar to “Lord Jaraxxus” it replaces your hero with another hero, but in this new card type’s case apparently the total HP is kept.
Different from TGT, however, this expansion do seem to bring an ability that actually provides Control and Midrange decks ways to restore health (Defend themselves) while they strive to achieve the late-game: A new ability called “Lifesteal”, which is the exact Lifelink ability from the card game Magic: The Gathering. Let’s discuss this ability further later on this article.
When this card was first revealed I was like “Planeswalkers!”, but then I realized they were doing something quite different – I like it!
While this card’s proposition goes against nearly everything that we have been taught when it comes to Hunters, and it is just the remind that Blizzard is still (desperately!) trying to push a Hunter Control strategy we all at this point already lost faith on their ability to achieve it, it does brings a nice discussion topic to the table!
First things first: A new card type!
This is the first real card type (No, Quests, you are not card a type!) added to the game since Vanilla! Which means Blizzard can, later on, expand this by adding new Hero Cards to the game as time goes by!
This card is obviously powerful: Has a good Defense-ish battlecry, that is likely to clear the board of remaining threats; gives you 5 armor, which helps you staying alive a little longer; and lastly gives you a powerful Hero Power that can easily overwhelm your opponent with time. As a side upside(?), this card also allows you to play a LOT less minions, being able to be the solo finisher in your entire deck, as the card itself can and will win the game if given time.
What leaves me with some doubts is the fact this is a Hunter card: Hunters never really had a real Control strategy, and despite Blizzard’s desperate efforts at making it so they never were able to do it simply because the Class’ Hero Power just fights so well with Aggressive strategies, both in Aggro as well as Midrange. The Class’ powerful cards also are very good with Aggressive strategies, and Hunter’s hero power by itself is already a powerful Clock that ticks until you win, unique to every other hero power in game.
Despite not being the super powerful Deathrattle card, I believe this card’s reveal is a sign, a statement, that Blizzard is evolving when it comes to their Designers.
But what does this card really states? I believe this card is Blizzard’s way of saying they understood what they did in Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes, and won’t be adding a big bunch of persistent Deathrattle minions to the game anymore, and instead they’ll be focusing on cards that have other various types of Effects on Deathrattle such as card draw and removal.
This card itself isn’t bad, but I believe it lacks what it takes to be a Constructed viable card. In Arena, however, giving an annoyance to your opponent that is sure to net you value can actually make this card playable, but don’t expect it to be a high tier either!
I laughed so hard at this, probably more than I should. A gnome leading a faction of Death Knights called “The Chillblade” seems awesome enough for me!
As for the card itself, it reveals us the new keyword:
This keyword says “Whenever this card causes damage, heal your hero for that much!”. Which is quite the awesome ability!
It is indeed another MTG ability being brought to Hearthstone, and it took them quite some time to add it to the game! Come to think of it, they are taking their time in adding new abilities and keywords, keeping the game fresh with time, which is a nice catch.
As a card this brings some potential to the table, the fact it heals you every time it causes damage is something very powerful: You can buff this and gain more health when this attacks, you can just go face and let your opponent trade into this card to heal for more since this has Charge, and most importantly this makes “Hand Buff” cards slightly less horrible.
With all that said, I expect this, or a similar card, to become playable in Midrange decks focused on the late game, mostly because cards like Blessing of Kings exists, but since for a card this isn’t much of a “high power-level” minion I wouldn’t be surprised if it only saw play as a Tech card.
Another statement! Nice!
This time around Blizzard is telling us that Lifesteal will also be an ability found in Spells, which doesn’t surprise me at all but also makes me quite happy!
This card in itself is a cool one: Low-cost AOE, heals you, scales with Spell Power effects. While we haven’t seen any powerful low-cost Spell Power card for Priest, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw one being revealed in the near future as this card is hinting it.
For the card itself, having sweepers with Lifesteal seems to be quite the effect, this can also combine with cards like Northshire Cleric and Circle of Healing for easier ways to fill your hand earlier or later on in the game – While we still have Wild Pyromancer, having other cheap ways to clear of minions and combo with Northshire+Circle is always nice and helps in consistency.
I approve of this card, but as every Priest card Blizzard has ever done, this is a situational card.
A Mini-Reno effect!
So Blizzard just figured out they can make other type of Reno-conditioned cards, and this is nice!
Just to point out a few things: This seems like an Aggro card: Being able to play this as the sole 2-drop on a 1-drop-filled deck seems like heaven, especially if you could find ways to refill your hand after you’ve dumped all your 1-drops, I don’t know maybe if a card like Divine Favor existed this card could fu…. Oh wait, it does!
Alright so while the “annoyance” of not being able to have 2-drops in your deck can be a small problem when it comes to making a nice Aggro deck, I believe that this card can bring a lot of power especially if played on the first or second turns of a game. Actually, I believe it IS a very powerful card without a shred of a doubt.
While I might be wrong and this actually makes it into a super-aggro Hunter or Druid deck instead of a Paladin one, I believe this card is bound to have quite the impact on the Metagame, if not right after the expansion is out, maybe a few weeks in as people figure out more decks.
And this is pretty much it for what has been revealed so far!
I quit Hearthstone some time ago to pursue my dream of becoming a Game Designer, started my own Project and am looking for additional things to work on. In the meantime I found myself having extra time to write Hearthstone articles here and there and would like to know if you guys want me to be writing more articles!
Did you like this First Impressions? Do you want more? Anything else I might have missed? Let me know in the comments!
Love you guys,