Blackrock Mountain Looms: A Final Look at the New Cards

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resurrect

Resurrect is an interesting card. If you only play strong minions over the course of a game, you’re guaranteed to get back a strong minion for just two mana when you cast Resurrect, which can allow you to generate a much stronger board early in a game than you otherwise normally could. I imagine that a deck with Resurrect would probably want to start its actual creature curve at something like three mana, so it’s guaranteed to always get value casting the spell, and focus on using spell-based minion control during the first could turns of the game. Resurrect is especially appealing with Injured Blademaster, since the battle cry does not trigger when you bring it back from the dead.

As to whether a deck built like that would actually be any good is another issue entirely. My inclination is that it would not be, and I don’t expect Resurrect to see very much play. I think Priest is generally at its best when it’s able to use its hero power proactively to heal minions, which usually means it wants to get on the board as quickly as possible, making the “play only big minions” strategy a difficult one to pull off successfully. Priest decks consistently struggle with having too many situational cards, and this is yet another.

On the other hand, one thing that’s worth noting is that Resurrect is a cheap spell that actually summons a minions, which means that it can be used to trigger Wild Pyromancer while actually developing your board. Wild Pyromancer is a card that can be great for helping you catch up in games where you’re behind – maybe there’s something there. I’ll leave that to Kolento to explore, though. The priest decks I’m going to be building are all going to be full of DRAGONS!

twilightwhelp

Although it’s not clear to me that this little guy is going to be one of them. My initial impression of Twilight Whelp was that it was awesome, because it offers a way for a dragon-centric Priest deck to play an early substantial minion without the drawback of Zombie Chow. But upon further reflection, I’m actually not entirely sure that Twilight Whelp’s drawback isn’t bigger than Zombie Chow’s.

In order to ensure that Twilight Whelp is a 2/3 minion on the first turn, you need a dragon in your hand. If you don’t have one, it’s only a 2/1 minion. That’s an absolute world of difference, to the point that if  you have a Twilight Whelp in your opening hand, you’re going to be hard pressed to mulligan any dragon. It’s particularly troublesome if you’re the first player and you only have a three card hand. Let’s say you’re playing against an opponent you know is playing Face Hunter, and you have an opening hand of Twilight Whelp, Holy Nova, and Ysera. What do you do?

Ysera is obviously a terrible card against a Face Hunter deck, but can you afford to mulligan it? If you don’t draw another dragon, your Twilight Drake goes from eating any of your opponent’s first plays and living to tell the tale to merely trading with them. That’s an enormous swing in the card’s value. You literally would not play a 2/1 minion for one in most Priest decks, so by mulliganing your Ysera and hoping for a better curve, you’re risking turning a card in your hand from very strong to borderline unplayable.

On top of that, Twilight Whelp is vulnerable to silence effects while Zombie Chow is not. Against Shaman decks, Zombie Chow is a huge early threat because it can attack your opposing totems, often demanding a removal spell even as significant as Lightning Bolt or Crackle. But Twilight Drake dies to a mere Earth Shock. Against Hunter, while Zombie Chow can munch on multiple opposing 2/1 minions, especially if you back it up with healing, Twilight Drake can call to an Ironbeak Owl and end up with a mere 1-1 trade.

For all of these reasons, I think that I may end up playing Zombie Chow over Twilight Whelp even in my Dragon Priest decks. You need to be able to rely on the stability of your early minions, and you need to be able to have the flexibility to mulligan for curve purposes without worrying about holding on to a dragon. I can see myself playing some number of Twilight Whelps if I want even more 2/3 minions for one, but I don’t see myself cutting Zombie Chow for Twilight Whelp any time soon.
volcaniclumberer

 

Here is Druid of the Fang revisited. Big cool new Druid minion that requires significant investment to enable that simply dies to Big Game Hunter when you finally get it into play. And this one dies to The Black Knight too, to boot! I hate to sound like a broken record or a killjoy, but I’m pretty much never going to be able to get excited about a big conditional seven plus power minion without some other huge battle cry or deathrattle effect as long as BGH is around. This is basically the second coming of Earth Elemental, and look at how well the first one turned out.

 

Well, that’s it – all of the Blackrock Mountain cards. If you missed any of my other reviews, be sure to go check them out. I’m certainly excited to get my virtual hands on the new cards, although sadly I will be traveling for a Magic tournament from the 1st to the 13th, so I won’t really be able to dive into things seriously until I get back. Thankfully, the staged wing release means that things will continue to be fresh and new every week even after I return, and I’m sure my dragon buddies will wait for me…

What do you think? What are the best cards in the new adventure? What new decks do you think will come out of BRM, and what do you think will end up as the king of the mountain?

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