As of midday yesterday, several videos were released by Blizzard and HearthStone detailing the first expansion for the Year of the Raven, The WitchWood and with it they released the information for a six new cards, introducing several new card types and Keywords.
The Pumpkin Peasant is introducing the new Worgen mechanic. In a similar vain to the Shifting Scroll found in the Mage Deck from the Kobold’s and Catacombs expansion, this cards stats change each turn in hand. It is an interesting addition to the new flexibility given to minions now, but the Stats and Lifesteal leave more to be desired. I don’t expect for this card to see any play, but I am looking forward to newer, more viable Worgen cards coming.
Phantom Militia adds another new Keyword with Echo. Similar to how Unstable Evolution played in Evolve Shaman, this card can be played once at 3 mana, or two and three times at 6 and 9 mana. Just like Pumpkin Peasant, Phantom Militia adds more card flexibility allowing for more cards to be effective at all points in the match. Will it be played in Standard? Most likely not, but it’s a great way to introduce the new Echo Keyword.
Militia Commander is the new Warrior minion card with the new card Keyword Rush. Rush is essentially Charge, but the minion can only attack other enemy minions, so think similar to the Charged Devilsaur’s battlecry. This could be a decent addition to a control Warrior deck if it ever becomes viable again at least with it’s solid ability to immediately deal with at least some of an enemies board state.
Azalina Soulthief is one of the new Neutral Legendary cards being released with the WitchWood expansion, coming in hot with a very interesting Battlecry. The ability to replace your own hand wit your opponent’s seems on paper to be pretty solid, the only thing is, what playstyle would this ever be applicable in? I honestly do not know, but it seems like a different version of Archbishop Benedictus who occasionally sees some meme play.
Genn Greymane comes in as another Neutral Legendary introducing the Start of Game mechanic, similar to how Prince Malchezaar added 5 random legendaries into your deck at the beginning of the match. Is reducing your hero power to 1, worth the limitation of only having even cost cards in your deck? Again, it is tough to say. I am sure some creative deck builders will manage to craft at least a semi-viable deck around this which utilized the hero power cost reduction efficiently.
Baku the Mooneater has got to be one of THE greatest visually designed cards I have ever seen. Like holy shit is this card incredible to look at so props to the graphics designer behind Baku. Similar to Genn, Baku bring a Start of Game mechanic which, opposite to Genn, revolves around the deck limitation of having only odd cost cards and now upgrades your hero power instead of reducing the cost. The same concerns I have with Genn follow suit with Baku, but if I do end up getting my hands on this neutral legendary, I will try my best to create a Hunter due to the beast synergy.
Blizzard also teased a new Shaman card, Haggatha which leads to so much speculation for some reinvigorating blood being pumped into Shaman. We should be going hands on with some of the developers from Blizzard and Hearthstone at PAX East this year so stay tuned for some more details on the upcoming expansion The WitchWood.