I love this card. I don’t think it’s any good, but I love the fact that it exists, because it’s a super fun idea and it demonstrates the exploration of interesting design space, which will be more and more important as Hearthstone grows. Turning into Ragnaros is awesome, and getting to use all of his fiery emotes seems super cool, but I strongly doubt that it will actually turn out to be any good. Much like in the MMO, Majordomo is likely to summon Ragnaros “too soon”, and lead to your untimely demise. Since Executus costs nine mana, you can’t really do much else to set up your defenses on the turn that you play him, so your opponent can easily call in the big guns (or, rather, the One Big Gun that is Big Game Hunter) to kill Majordomo and turn you into Ragnaros. Once you have a maximum health of eight, it really won’t take much for your opponent to finish you off.
Good or not, Majordomo is awesome. One thing that is often lost in games with competitive communities is that not everything is intended to be used at the highest level of competitive play. People seem to be under the impression that every card should be equivalently powerful and an equally viable option for a serious deck, and not only is that not realistic, it wouldn’t even be a desirable result if it could be achieved. Some cards have different purposes, like serving as a simple introduction to core concepts, or just telling a cool story and making hilarious moments possible. This is one of those cards, and I look forward to seeing it in action, if only briefly before the player using it dies a horrible death.
So the flavor text that I saw on the screen when they were showing off Revenge during the preview stream said something about this being a better version of Arcane Explosion and that somehow making up for Fireball being better than Mortal Strike, but that’s just not true. Revenge isn’t a better Arcane Explosion because Arcane Explosion only hits opposing minions, and Revenge hits everything. Sorry, guys, but you still owe Warriors for how gimped Mortal Strike is, especially given how iconic an ability it is in the MMO.
As for the actual functionality of Revenge, it strikes me more as a worse Whirlwind than anything else. Whirlwind offers the same effect for one less mana, and the jump from one to two mana is the biggest in the game besides the jump from zero to one. This isn’t the sort of effect that you’re going to be able to rely on triggering when you need to, so if you’re playing Revenge, it’s because you want the guaranteed one damage effect and not just the souped-up version once in a while.
For that reason, I could possibly see Revenge finding a home in a self-damaging deck built around cards like Acolyte of Pain, Grim Patron, Axe Flinger, Frothing Berserker and the like. There it is essentially Whirlwinds 3-4 to help enable your minions, albeit at a higher cost. I’m skeptical that such a deck has enough tools to be competitive at this point, and even if it does that it would want more Whirlwind effects, but if Revenge sees play, that’s where it likely will be.
As I mentioned in my review of Volcanic Drake, Paladins are the class best suited to enable the minion death cost reduction cards, so it seems fitting that they have one of their own. Given that Paladins can often struggle somewhat with card draw unless they go full control with multiple copies of Lay on Hands, Solemn Vigil is a very welcome effect. It works quite well not only with your own Silver Hand Recruits marching to their death, but also with Consecration clears of opposing minions. I can easily envision games where Solemn Vigil can regularly be cast for one or even zero mana. Who can turn down cards for free?
Perhaps the most exciting use of Solemn Vigil, to me, is in a Dragon deck with Chromaggus. With Dragon Consort and Muster for Battle, it seems easy enough to set up a turn where you can play Chromaggus and follow it up immediately with Solemn Vigil, giving you a huge burst of resources immediately due to the copied draw effect. All of the cards involved are independently powerful, too, so it’s not like some crazy situational three card combo with cards that are garbage unless you can set them up, either.
Even outside of dragon decks, I see Solemn Vigil serving as a card draw option for midrange paladin decks that are looking to help reload, but don’t necessarily want to go quite as heavy as Lay on Hands, nor empty their hand quite as fast as Divine Favor requires. Given the amount of hapless Silver Hand Recruits that are sent to their doom in any given Paladin game, Solemn Vigil seems like it’ll be easy enough to cast whenever it shows up.
I’ve heard a lot of complaints about this card because it’s a tool that fits into the already powerful Face Hunter strategy that bypasses taunts and sometimes doesn’t even cost a card. I’ve been playing a lot of Face Hunter in the Kinguin Pro League, and I’m not even sure exactly what I’d cut from my decks in order to make room for Quick Shot. That’s a common problem that many players have when evaluating cards. They simply imagine it being played in a game and think about the impact it might have, but don’t give consideration to how it actually fits into a deck. Do you cut early minions? Without repeatable minion damage, Face Hunter can never deal quite enough damage to beat any opponent who gains health, especially Warriors and Priests. Do you cut weapons? While they are stopped by taunts, Glaivezooka and Eaglehorn Bow offer quite a bit more damage on a per-card basis than Quick Shot. Do you cut charge minions like Wolfrider or Arcane Golem? They can be pumped by Abusive Sergeant for extra burst, and your opponent has to devote resources to killing them or risk being hit again.
Will Quick Shot show up in Face Hunter decks? At least some of them, I’m sure. But I don’t think it’s an auto-include, nor do I think it’s the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back and puts Face Hunter over the edge into being too good. If there is a problem with Face Hunter – and honestly, I think there is – it is rooted in the class’s hero power and not in any of its cards. But that’s a topic for another time…