Hearthstone’s upcoming expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne, is set to introduce a brand new type of cards – Hero Cards. Each Legendary card will come with special effects, new Hero Powers, and add a bit of armor to sweeten the pot. Blizzard has only released four of the Heroes so far (at the time this was first published), but make sure you bookmark this blog cause I’ll be updating it regularly as new Heroes drops. Before we get into the rankings, here’s a few universal rules you should know that apply to all of the new Hero Cards.
- Each Hero Card swaps out your current hero, even if you aren’t playing the default Hero for your chosen class. So if you play a Deathstalker Rexxar, but your Hunter face is cosmetically set to Alleria, you’re still changing over to Rexxar upon playing the card.
- Upon playing the Hero Card, you will gain the card’s 5 Armor (consistent across the board for all Heroes, so far) and the card’s Battlecry will activate immediately. You’ll also get a fun new set of emotes for each individual Hero Card.
- Your Hero Power immediately becomes whatever the new card gives you (in Deathstalker Rexxar’s case, Build-a-Beast). Your old Hero Power is gone for the rest of the game, similar to any other “Your hero power becomes (x)” card in Hearthstone.
Let’s get down to business.
4.) Thrall, Deathseer
Sliding in at the four spot here is Thrall, Deathseer. While I don’t hate this card, the RNG Transform here is gonna be hit or miss. That being said, the new Transmute Spirit Hero Power gives you a little more control over this, if you feel like committing at least 2 mana per turn to transform your minions into ones that cost 1 mana more. This could be pretty monstrous considering the minions you might already have on your board, so I seriously think this Hero Card might end up being a top three by the time we see them all.
3.) Frost Lich Jaina
Two thoughts here, first of all – Jaina’s looking a little more thick here and I ain’t even mad. Secondly, Are we sure the artist didn’t accidentally draw Sindel from Mortal Kombat? Alright fine here’s what I think of the card.
There’s a couple reasons why this isn’t higher, and why I personally think this will drop lower the more we see new Hero Cards revealed. First of all, a 3/6 Water Elemental is cool (no pun intended), but isn’t much… But then again, we are giving Lifesteal to it and every other elemental in the game. The big question for me here is: Does this count for elementals we’ve already played, or just ones we play subsequently? That’ll probably influence this card’s ranking depending on which way that question goes. We’re also getting Icy Touch as a new Hero Power, which is essentially an upgraded Fireblast that rewards you with another Water Elemental if your 1 damage dealt kills a minion.
All of the Hero Cards so far are pretty slow, but this seems like the slowest to me. I don’t love how late in the game this card’s value will really show itself, but in any case – if played to the letter – Frost Lich Jaina is absolutely about to make Control Mage the most infuriating deck in KotFT’s meta.
2.) Valeera the Hollow
If you’re thinking “Dom, this card is slower than watching old people fuck” – you’re not entirely wrong. But you’re also probably not used to playing Miracle Rogue, which is what this card feels like it was tailor-made for. And as someone who’s been running Miracle Rogue for a long, long time now – I can tell you with all certainty that I cannot be happier with the Rogue class’ Hero Card.
First of all, Valeera the Hollow is the first Hero with “Stealth”, period. This works similarly to Ice Block in that you can’t be attacked by minions, but you can be attacked by the Hunter’s default Hero Power (Steady Shot), a Priest’s Mind Blast, or other similar targeted damage spells. The real kicker here, though, is Shadow Reflection, Valeera’s new Hero Power. Aside from being another mold-breaking Hero Power (in that it’s totally passive, the player doesn’t need to spend any extra mana to benefit from this. How Shadow Reflection works, is that every turn – you get a Shadow Reflection card in your hand. You can never have more than one, and if you used one in your previous turn, it just pops up again when you start your next turn. Then, when you play a card (any card), Shadow Reflection becomes a copy of that card. Yeah. I know. Me and my Arcane Giant’s toes curled too.
So, if you’re running a Miracle Rogue, which I believe will be the defining Rogue deck of this expansion, you’ve got yet another insane way to fatten your hand. And if you’re running a Jade Rogue, you’re looking at nutty ways to double, triple, or even quadruple up on your favorite cards (think Mimic Pod), and take your opponent the distance in the late game. As someone who’s run out of gas in the latter halves of matches with my Miracle deck, I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of sick, twisted strategies I can come up with courtesy of Valeera the Hollow.
1.) Deathstalker Rexxar
My knee-jerk reaction when I first saw this card drop:
It’s fitting that the first Hero Card revealed slides into the number one spot, and goddamn, this shit is clean. 6 mana AOE that throws a fat 2 damage-dong on all enemy minions, and for 2 mana (probably next turn) you can Build-a-Beast with your new Hero Power, that just seems insanely powerful. The custom minion you create will be stitched together from two different collectible beasts, each 5 mana or below (according to Hearthpwn). The chance of getting a Hunter beast or a Neutral beast is equal, and the first cards you can choose from via Build-a-Beast will be a card with text. The next card will either have Keywords or be Vanilla. The possibilities are really endless here, and even though 6 mana is slow as shit for a Hunter deck, it’s still much faster than 50% of the other Hero Cards so far, and I feel like both aggro and midrange Hunter decks can benefit from this.
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