Top 10 Arena Cards Released in Un’Goro
Hello everyone. With the next expansion slowly creeping up, I thought it would be nice to reflect back on Un’Goro. Un’Goro expansion surely shook up the meta with so many powerful cards released. We haven’t seen such a slow meta for a long time in Arena. Today I want to look at 10 most meta changing, powerful cards that were released in Journey to Un’Goro expansion. These were the cards that shaped the meta as we know it. The cards are rated both by their power and impact on the meta. Without further ado here is the top 10.
Late game in Arena has always been iffy. Most of the common and rare late game cards are simply piles of stats which aren’t flexible at all which is why many decks don’t have good late game. Volcanosaur changed that drastically. Volcanosaur is as flexible as a late game card can get. Volcanosaur can be used in many different scenarios. With double adapt the chance of getting much-needed taunt or stealth is pretty good. The great thing about Volcanosaur is that you can use it both offensively and defensively. If you need to protect yourself get taunt and health, if you want offense go attack and stealth. Even if the odds aren’t in your favor and the needed adaptations don’t come up, Volcanosaur will still be stronger than most minions at that mana cost. Volcanosaur changed the late game of Arena and now is the go to late game drop.
9. Vilespine Slayer
As soon as Vilespine Slayer was released, everyone saw how powerful it would be. To no surprise Vilespine Slayer is insane in Arena. Rogue has already been known for good hard removal with Sap and Assassinate. On top of that Vilespine is among the best removals in Arena because not only does it kill an enemy minion but also puts out a solid body itself. It really flows with the way Rogue should be played – tempo. Vilespine can give huge amounts of tempo if used correctly. The only downside is that it may be hard to combo a 5 drop, however most of the time it’s easier than it seems. It is an epic, which means you don’t see Vilespine every game. Yet when Vilespine gets played it really has the potential to swing the game completely. It is one of the many reasons why Valeera is the queen of Arena right now.
8. Spikeridged Steed
Paladin has always been known for many different buffs. However Spikeridged Steed tops them all. For 6 mana Spikeridged Steed gives a whooping 16 points of stats spread across 2 bodies. Normally for that amount of stats at least 8 or more mana should be spent. This is why Spikeridged Steed is so good. It is also less susceptible to hard removals as if the buffed minion dies, there will still be a 2/6 taunt that needs to be dealt with. On top of that this buff can make even small early game drops into late game threats. Using it on 3/2 minion makes it a 5/8 which is a huge threat. Yet another great part of Spikeridged Steed is that it’s an amazing defensive option. It gives 2 taunts guaranteed which can protect both minions and the hero himself. Buffing a medium sized minion against a Hunter can doom them and guarantee a win. Overall Spikeridged Steed packs quite a punch with the amount of stats it provides. Everyone should be worry of this card going into turn 6 against a Paladin.
Even on paper Meteor looked insane. And it surely is. Looking at the damage alone Meteor packs 21 damage for 6 mana in total. That is bonkers. Granted most of the damage will be wasted as there aren’t that many 10+ health minions arena. Still the crazy thing about Meteor is that it combines both Hard removal and AoE into one card which costs a mere 6 mana. If you’re still not convinced how ridiculous Meteor is compare it to Explosive Shot. For extra mana you get 12 more damage. It’s interesting that Meteor is impacted by positioning. Depending on how the opponent positions his minions, Meteor could gain or lose a lot value. At the very beginning of Un’Goro almost noone positioned their minions correctly against Meteor. Yet as time went on more and more people started correctly positioning their board to lessen the impact of Meteor. Still even when played around, Meteor is going to wreak havoc and 99% of minions it hits won’t survive unless they have a Divine Shield. We can only be glad it’s an epic and not rare or common.
6. Vicious Fledgling
At the beginning of Un’Goro Vicious Fledgling caused an uproar in Hearthstone community due to how powerful this card is in Arena. As time moved on more and more people knew the power of Fledgling and were prepared to deal with it. What is best about Vicious Fledgling is that it can win games on its own. If you manage to draft a Fledgling or two, chances are they will win at least one game on their own. If opponent doesn’t have an answer to Fledgling things can spiral out of the hand int the matter of few turns. This is especially true if you manage to pick up Windufry from Fledgling early on. And the great part is that in the absolute worst scenario Vicious Fledgling is still a 3/3 body which isn’t great nor terrible. The potential Fledgling has is unbelievable, however people have already learned to prepare for Fledgling.
5. Stonehill Defender
I will admit I overlooked the strength of Stonehill Defender when it first was revealed. On paper the card seems good, however in reality it’s crazy in classes with good class taunts like Paladin and Shaman. In these 2 classes Stonehill Defender is simply put amazing. Because class cards have an increased offering rate when discovering, Stonehill will offer a strong class taunt very often. In the rest of the classes Stonehill still packs a punch. There are some very great neutral taunts like Sunwalker or Bog Creeper. Of course there are a few duds among the taunts, however because discover gives you 3 options to choose from most of the time the bad minions can be dodged easily. Lastly Stonehill is very defensive as not only it taunts itself but also lets you choose another taunt which makes it great against aggressive matchups or when you simply want to protect your board.
4. Stubborn Gastropod
Right off the bat it was clear that Stubborn Gastropod is a lot better than your average 2 drop. Though not many people saw the true power of the snail. Stubborn Gastropod is one of the cards that defined Un’Goro meta. The reason is once Stubborn Gastropod is played it stalls the game. Once played the opponent won’t want to play his big minion into it and unless he has small removal, the game is going to get stalled a lot. As soon as Gastropod enters the board it is a huge threat. Of course there are many ways to remove it with small removals. Yet if you’re facing the snail without a removal in hand be prepared for lots of trouble. That’s the reason why Gastropod is so dominant in Arena. It forces the opponent to have a small removal or he will get destroyed by the little snail. Even if Gastropod doesn’t work out the way you wanted, it only costs 2 mana which is very little for such a threat. Overall Stubborn Gastropod is one of the reasons why we are seeing such a slow meta in Arena currently.
3. Giant Wasp
I’ve mentioned how Gastropod slowed down the Arena meta. Giant Wasp takes stall into a whole new level. With Gastropod the opponent could remove it with a small removal and move on with his game plan. Giant Wasp on the other hand, can sit stealthed for as long as you want. This leads to game stalling even more. Because once Wasp is on the board, the opponent won’t want to send his big minions into it. And the only way to remove Wasp is to AoE it. If that is not an option the opponent will most likely try to bait out the Wasp by playing smaller minions. Then you can remove the opposing board with spells from hand or with rest of your minions while keeping the Wasp stealthed. This leads to opponent having to try bait again and so on. Giant Wasp cane easily stall the whole game for a few turns on its own. It’s a common and because of that it slowed the Arena meta by a quite a lot.
2. Tar Creeper
Tar Creeper is yet another card that changed the Arena meta in Un’Goro. It can shut down opponent’s early game completely. The stats for this card are overpowered. Even without a buff it’s a better Silverback Patriarch. During opponent’s turn it becomes a Sen'jin Shieldmasta for 1 less mana which is insane especially in the early game. Because most of the 3 drops in Arena right now have 3 health, Tar Creeper most often will trade at least 2 for 1 in card advantage. Tar Creeper will also stall the game when played. Here is a situation. Opponent goes aggressively in the early game and coins a 3 drop. Next turn you play Tar Creeper and opponent responds with another 3 drop. Now the opponent is in an awkward situation because he doesn’t want his both minions to die to Tar Creeper. This leads to opponent passing without attacking anything. In that situation Tar Creeper stalled for a whole turn because opponent didn’t use his attacks at all. This is an example which happens very often when you play Tar Creeper in the early game. In the late game Tar Creeper is also good just because it’s a taunt and taunts are valuable in the late game to protect your board or health total. Overall Tar Creeper is just way too strong than it should be and it really impacted the Arena meta when it was released.
1. Primordial Drake
Primordial Drake revolutionized AoE in Arena. For the longest time each class had its strengths and weaknesses. In those strengths and weaknesses AoE was very important. For example Mage is the queen of removals. When you play against Mage you can always expect to get your board wiped out by Blizzard, Flamestrike or Volcanic Potion which are all strong. You can easily expect that to happen and you won’t be surprised when Mage wipes your board. On the other hand we have Druid. AoE is one of the biggest weaknesses of Druid. The only good AoE Druid has is Swipe and Starfall. Swipe is a very good card while Starfall isn’t too great. Therefore before Un’Goro when playing against a Druid you could feel safe about having multiple minions with 2 health. Primordial Drake changed everything up. Now a class with weak AoE can pick up Primordiall Drake or two and be set about AoE. This wasn’t a possibility of that happening before. Of course there is Coldlight Seer, however it’s actually a bad card. Because Seer was sub par it didn’t change the meta as much as Drake did. Primordial drake has amazing stats and overall is an insanely powerful card on its own. The stats are worth around 6 mana which means Drake casts 2 damage AoE for 2 mana which usually costs 4 or 5 mana when you look at Consecration or Holy Nova. Still at the end of the day Primordial Drake is only epic which means it didn’t completely destroy the meta, however heading towards neutral AoE may not be a good sign for class disparity and I hope Blizzard doesn’t push towards the direction they did with Primordial Drake.
That’s all for my top 10 Arena cards released in Un’Goro. These are the cards that shaped the meta as we know it. What do you think about Un’Goro impact on Arena? What would be your top picks? Let me know in the comments. As always thanks for reading. Stay tuned for more Arena articles in the near future. Until next time.