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November 24, 2016

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Nuba Reviews MSG Cards – Part 7


And we finally move on to the last of the Gangs of Gadgetzan, the Jade Lotus!

The Jade Lotus is a gang that is themed around summoning Jade Golems, tokens that get buffed the more you summon them – For example, if you summon the first golem, it will be a 1/1, then the second will be a 2/2, then the third a 3/3 and so onwards until something around 25/25.

There has been quite a few cards revealed so far and I wanted to discuss some of them, because as you are about to notice there are a few of those cards that have the potential for some very powerful value, that could even break the game.

Because of this, I will try to get myself a little deeper in this review, explaining a little more my thoughts, let’s begin!

Mana Geode

So we are going to start this review with the last Kabal card that was spoiled last week.

This little dude seems like an ok-ish Aggro card that should be played as an Anti-aggro card, in case it could work as a decent filler for Dragon Priests in case the 2-drop slot becomes more needy.

Overall I believe this card is bad, because a 2/3 with no effect on a deck that doesn’t aim to “Aggro” in most games feels like a waste, especially because playing him on decks like Dragon Priest, where he is supposed to do some good, would actually hurt your gameplay because you would be aiming at spending your mana instead of curving into higher minions.

Burgly Bully

So this is somewhat a try at making a non-oppressive Loatheb effect to the point that it punishes opponents for running Spell-heavy decks, but can only be played if you are playing a Spell heavy deck yourself.

All in all this card could show itself to be a particular good tech if decks like Token Druid and most Control decks would become a thing in the game, as it would actually feed Druids or Rogues with Coins to take multiple advantage of Spell-affinity effects such as Arcane Giant and Gadgetzan Auctioneer.

The stats distribution seems to be quite strong, as 4/6 is likely the best you could get out of the bunch, and the ability seems good enough that if the metagame calls for it, you are highly likely to want to play this card in your deck, even if just as a 1-of.

Jade Spirit

Alright so we finally, officially, get into the Jade Lotus Gang review!

We start the review with Jade Spirit, a 2/3 with a battlecry that summons a Jade Golem.

This card was likely analyzed before by a lot of players, and probably deemed good by most, but I will keep it simple: it isn’t.

Even if you manage to make a Jade Golem deck, you wouldn’t always be summoning a 4/4+ Jade Golem, which is when the effect starts to be over-the-top. At 3/3, this minion’s Battlecry seems to pay up in value for a 4-drop, but “paying up” isn’t usually what you look for in your Hearthstone cards, as usually being “fair” will do nothing but get you to lose the game.

Jade Spirit seems like a fair card, the effect should be invested into, and only then you’d get a good effect, and if you invest a lot, you get a very good effect – Your opponent’s won’t allow you to do this. Even your Control opponent’s won’t care very much about it either because of sweepers and Tempo, as this card (even when it actually gets its battlecry to work) seems to me to not be a great one.

Jade Lightning

Talk about bad effects, here we go: Jade Lightning.

Paying up to four mana to remove a small minion doesn’t seem to be something that you’d want as a Shaman, especially because you have Hex which is basically the best removal in the entire game, a mana earlier and a lot less conditional.

This card is bad, and I suspect Blizzard won’t give Shamans much love this expansion as the hate for the class grew out of Control after Karazhan.

Just remember, however, that having such bad cards added to the class won’t hurt Shamans very much as the current power level of the class as a whole is simply much higher than all the other eight classes in the game.

Aya Blackpaw

And we finally start getting into the actual potentially playable Lotus cards.

Aya Blackpaw, or the Jade Lotus gang leader, has both Battlecry and Deathrattle effects that summon Jade Golems, meaning she gets to buff her own Deathrattle Golem, at the same time she is indeed a Persistent minion that works as both “1-card board presence” as well as a sweeper insurance.

Despite having terrible stats for its cost, Blackpaw’s abilities actually make up for it in the utility she provides, which should be more than enough reason to want to run her in your deck.

Beware, however, that she won’t be an auto-include in every deck, as you actually require a couple of extra Jade Golem cards in your deck in order to make her viable enough.

I am still trying to calculate the ideal number of viable Jade Golem cards we would need in order to have Aya be viable (because there are a few Jade Golem cards that are viable by themselves), and I am starting to believe that the number should be around 6+Aya – Druid seems to be very close to that number, let’s keep an eye out for the next reviewed cards.

Jade Blossom

Jade Blossom is a spell that summon minions and Ramps up.

The simple fact this is a spell that summons minions already makes this card something Druids want – Today’s most viable Druid decks plays around casting spells to generate a lot of value out of them, to Ramp, and to populate the board in the process. This card actually fits perfectly in every single description so far, which makes it a potential candidate as a viable card in the near future.

I got the suggestions that this card, by the fact it ramps at three, might be unplayable because you usually is ramping at two, but keep in mind you are not always ramping at two and this could be a potential consistency-add. This also gives you Excess Mana (cycles itself) at 10 mana while still giving you a free golem, which should be more than enough reason to get so hyped about it.

Jade Idol

Jade Idol kind of makes the whole Druid Jade deal a thing. Token Druid is an already viable deck without the new additions that come with MSG, and was actually going to heavily miss cards like Raven Idol and Living Roots in the next year’s rotation. Jade Idol combined with Mark of the Lotus kind of already fixes Spell/Token Druid problems without even the need of a new expansion giving new cards to the deck next year, which is amazing.

Now, to the card itself, it feels like a worse version of Living Roots because it is not as flexible, but Jade Idol actually has many cool interactions, both with the Jade Golem mechanism, which can end up summoning a 5/5 or bigger minion for the cheap cost of only one mana, and with Fandral Staghelm which should fill your deck with awesome late game token generating spells that would only cost you one mana as well.

The card is also very flexible on the matter that it greatly helps you against Mill decks, without actually having to be an anti-mill tech card.

Jade Swarmer

This card is absolutely insane right now.

First, it is a persistent Deathrattle minion, meaning it gives you some amazing sweeper insurance.

Second, the minion it summons is actually a self-buffing Jade Golem, that gets bigger the more golems you summon.

Third it has Stealth which means you can save it up, without attacking, as a sweeper insurance against Control, you can buff it up with a few buffs you could have, and it also guarantees you’ll be getting a Deathrattle for you to copy with your Unearthed Raptor.

All these things makes me believe this card is a true bomb that should make Raptor Rogue a, finally, viable deck in the coming months. The fact it has a Deathrattle with persistent effect already brings N'Zoth, the Corruptor based rogues a lot higher in the tier, then the minion it summons is actually a Jade Golem which just leads me crazy with the power level that this card can achieve – The fact you can just continuously get bonified by this card’s Deathrattle is amazing, as you can copy it, resummon it and do a lot of other crazy shenanigans.

Jade Shuriken

Jade Shuriken has a cool effect that adds value to Jade Swarmer’s addition to the Deathrattle Rogue deck, because of it, I see no reason for this card not to see play in Deathrattle Rogue decks. However, I am quite unsure of this card’s utility in other Rogue decks such as Miracle and some possible Control-ish Rogue decks as it seems to be a “fair” card in most cases which, as said multiple times before, doesn’t seem to get the job done in Hearthstone’s competitive scene.

The thing that came to mind when I saw this card was its interaction with Rogue spell-heavy decks, as it actually summons a minion. However, the fact you don’t want to have many Jade Golem cards in your Spell-heavy Rogue deck makes this card pretty bad in those decks, which is the reason why I believe this could not see play. In case two other actual potent Jade Golem spells (and not simple “fair” spells like this one) show up, however, I believe this card could be a playable one.

Cards that Don’t Need Much Talking

  • Hozen Healer – This card’s effect seems too situational. If you thought it could be a cool Priest card, you may be right, but the fact it is yet another conditional card probably means Priests will end up staying very far from it.
  • Fight Promoter – win more, situational, bad body. Sums it up.
  • Devolve – super trash tier card – gets your opponent board to be a little weaker, at the cost of randomness and an actual card in your deck – Should never be playable while Hex reigns supreme as an eternal card.
  • Call in the Finishers – We currently have no information regarding the 1/1s having, or not, abilities. If they’re blank 1/1s, then this is yet another completely useless trash tier card for Shamans.
  • Jade Behemoth – Despite the Jade Golem theme being playable in Druid (mostly because of Token Druid, and not because of the actual Jade Golem theme in general) this card seems to be quite worse than the other Jade Golem cards. Despite being a 6-mana Board-presence card it feels much below the curve, while also feeling like a worse Jade Spirit, which leads me to heavily believe this won’t see play.


It actually felt hard analyzing Jade Golem cards, a lot harder than I initially thought when I first saw the cards as they are heavily dependant on other Jade Golem cards actually being good enough on their own, and the number of actual viable Jade Golem cards.

If Blizzard reveals more Jade Golem cards and they’re very powerful, to the point you could make a deck with 10+ Jade Golem cards, maybe Jade Spirit could become a viable option in the end, but as it stands (and as Blizzard usually likes to get things done) we probably won’t see many potent Jade Golem cards as a few of the cards we deemed good so far in the Gang.

The next spoiled cards this week shall be able to point us to the direction we should take our Jade Golem decks, but so far I believe Druids are on a pretty good spot and should only get better, in the other hand Shamans just seem to have gained nothing from this expansion.

I hope you guys enjoyed this article, and we’ll be seeing each other again very soon in our next review!



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  1. Stonekeep says:

    “This also gives you Excess Mana (cycles itself) at 10 mana while still giving you a free golem, which should be more than enough reason to get so hyped about it.”

    Was this confirmed? I didn’t see any info about that and I remember them saying that they’ve added excess mana to WG/Astral only because they didn’t do anything once you hit 10 mana. That’s why for example you can’t play Mire Keeper for Mana and get the extra card at 10.

    So I’ve assumed that it won’t do anything (besides summoning Jade Golem, of course) at 10, but I’m not sure.

    I’d also say that Jade Lightning is better than you think it is – in a dedicated Jade Golem deck of course. Deal 4 damage to a minion is priced around 3 mana – Stormcrack (2+1), Shadow Bolt. Not saying that those cards are great, but playable. This costs 4, but it can also deal face damage if necessary (burn) AND it summons a minion. I assume that on turn 4 in Jade Golem deck, that would probably be something like a 2/2, but 4 mana 2/2 with Battlecry “deal 4 damage” isn’t actually that terrible. Later in the game it’s like a better Fire Ele or Firelands Portal (because much cheaper).

    Of course, I don’t see anyone playing this card in the current Midrange Shaman, so if Jade Golem Shaman wouldn’t be at least on a similar power level, probably no one would play it competitively over Midrange.

    • Nuba says:

      Didn’t have much time to respond, only found time to do so now, but I’ll be brief:

      I don’t think the jade golem strategy will be a whole one, like C’Thun was for instance, I much rather believe they should exist to complement already existing strategies (like how well they fit in token druid). That is why I don’t think a Jade Shaman is something viable or at least possible, and I would much rather just “4 mana 7/7” or “4 mana 3/4 + 1/1 ragnaros” than “4 mana 2/2 kill a weenie”.

      If the strategy gets as good as you mentioned, then it becomes (YET AGAIN) a design problem, but at this point I am not quite sure blizzard can afford to fuck up yet again in design (competitive ppl are already quitting HS unless they’re making a living out of it).

      If jade golem strategy becomes too good, then blizz fucked up and it becomes a whole new problem, so assuming it isn’t as good as you might think, then it is just straight up complementary. I can’t take blizzard’s devs for making any kind of balanced strategy even if their lives depended on it – they either make super shit stuff, or complementary stuff, or OP stuff. Very rarely we see a balanced design like we saw with C’Thuns.