L0rinda

Mean Streets of Gadgetzan: Preview of Revealed Neutral Cards

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The next expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, has been announced, and many of the cards have been spoiled already. This preview discusses the neutral announced cards from the first day. There are nine of these cards, bringing the total previewed so far to thirty.

As always with neutral cards, several of them are very unexciting. I have got those out of the way in the first image.

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It is hard to see the above cards making much of an impact when put into decks. They will make a small difference on cards such as Maelstrom Portal and Moonglade Portal though.

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These three cards don't seem to be very good, but I have put them in a separate image as there is at least interesting text on them. I don't think any of these would see play in the game as we know it, but there is potential for them to have synergy with other new cards or deck archetypes.

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People like to build Murloc decks, and testing out Finja will be something that Murloc fans will be looking forward to. The effect is very powerful, but there is no guarantee that Finja will be able to kill a minion. Finja will need damage support to make sure that this happens, and at five mana, it might just be a little slow. Against some control decks, the opponent will simply not play a minion, which will mean five mana has been spent on a 2/4.

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Patches the Pirate seems a strong and natural addition to Pirate decks. The extra damage and the small amount of deck thinning make him a clear choice in those decks.

Other cards:

The preview for the Grimy Goons Cards can be found here.

The preview for the Kabal classes can be found here.

The preview for the Jade Lotus classes can be found here.

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I wouldn't quite call Mistress of Mixtures unexciting tbh as its stats are pretty much top of the 1-mana list and healing for 4 isn nothing to scoff at either.

Big-time racketeer seems pretty strong when paired with Brann.

Everything else all seems pretty 'meh' to me.

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25 minutes ago, PaasHaaS said:

I wouldn't quite call Mistress of Mixtures unexciting tbh as its stats are pretty much top of the 1-mana list and healing for 4 isn nothing to scoff at either.

Big-time racketeer seems pretty strong when paired with Brann.

Everything else all seems pretty 'meh' to me.

I confess I'd missed the Brann interaction.

I don't like Mistress because you'd want her in an aggro deck, but I feel the healing is a proper downside. She's no Zombie Chow imo. Will be interesting to see who's right. More than comfortable being wrong, that's the fun for everyone reading card previews right?

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1 hour ago, L0rinda said:

Patches the Pirate seems a strong and natural addition to Pirate decks. The extra damage and the small amount of deck thinning make him a clear choice in those decks.

He'd clearly be a fit in the current Pirate Aggro deck at least. Turn 1 N'Zoth's First MateThe CoinSouthsea Deckhand (which is already a nice opening) and Patches show up to start steamrolling harder. And even if you mulligan him, he won't be wasted since he can serve as a cheap activator for Bloodsail Cultist

YARR, MATEYS! SHIP AND PLUNDER AHOY!

Now to only get your hands/paws/claws/tentacles/whatever on him...

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57 minutes ago, L0rinda said:

I confess I'd missed the Brann interaction.

I don't like Mistress because you'd want her in an aggro deck, but I feel the healing is a proper downside. She's no Zombie Chow imo. Will be interesting to see who's right. More than comfortable being wrong, that's the fun for everyone reading card previews right?

I was thinking rather opposite for Mistress, you want her as anti-aggro. I used to play a fair bit of anti-aggro priest and this card would go beautifully in it.

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1 hour ago, PaasHaaS said:

I was thinking rather opposite for Mistress, you want her as anti-aggro. I used to play a fair bit of anti-aggro priest and this card would go beautifully in it.

I thought the 2 health would be a deal breaker, will be interesting to see :)

Edit: and I can see you being right, I did think that they might put Raven in slower Druids when it was printed, even though it's clearly aimed at Beast Druid.

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I'll try to give my opinions on the spoiled cards and rate them, using this scale :
 

Spoiler

 

A : Obviously powerful, a multi-archetype staple, perhaps, a format-defining card.  (Tunnel Trogg, Fiery War Axe, Piloted Shredder);

B: A decent card, your typical "bread and butter"; archetype staple; reliable niche card (Blackwing Corruptor, Cult Sorcerer, Blood To Ichor, Acidic Swamp Ooze);

C: A mediocre or weak card that is a filler, outclassed by its peers or has a niche that's not reliable (Eater of Secrets; Stampeding Kodo;Stranglethorn Tiger; Infested Tauren);

D: It has seen play. Once. Something that's just really not great, but can occasionally make it in a meme deck, or via "get a random card" things. (Cone of Cold; Bloodsail Corsair; Starfall);

F: Striclty unplayable. It exists to brick your random effect cards. (Shatter; Wisp; Purify; Captain's Parrot).

 

Ratings are purely subjective, and, of course, opened up to debate. But I'll try to back them up with reasonable explainations.

One big thing to note is that I'll be giving two ratings - one for the current Standard, and one for going forward, in 2017-2018.

I'm actually much more excited about the Neutral cards, because they cause more impact in the long run. Here we have a mix of cool Arena filler and some hidden gems.

Big-Time Racketeer

Nothing to look at here, really. Boulderfist Ogre is excellent in the Arena but it's completely unplayable in Constructed. Brann can find more flexible buddies to gang up with, that could hold their own ground.

Verdict : D

Second-rate Bruiser

We're having a very solid beater here. Even a Sen'jin Shieldmasta is not unplayable, and this guy is bigger, it can be played at a discount, and what aggresive decks do for the first three turns is usually play dudes, so it's consistent. We know how powerful undercosted cards are and how good is Taunt - looking at you, Thing from Below - so I expect this to be outrageously popular, at least during the opening weeks of Mean Streets.

Verdict : A. I would give it a B+, but it looks so good it can be even Wild playable, not to mention it's a Neutral card. This fact puts it over the top for me.

Friendly Bartender and Mistress of Mixtures.

I'll talk these two together, because they are fairly similar card, and together with Second-rate Bruiser they form up what looks like an anti-Aggro core of a sort. I know there is a lot of negative coming on Aggro decks, how stupid they are and how popular they are, and so these look like a response from Blizzard. I like the direction they took with Bruiser, but Bartender and Mistress are much more niche. Straight damage decks are not that popular - Face Hunter and Pirate Shaman are the only true followers of the Philosophy of Fire. Zoo, Shamans and Dragon Warrior are much more tempo and board oriented. Health is important against them, but not as much as board control. Adding healing cards is not going to instantly fix all the problems slower decks have, because it's not about healing. This is a help, nonetheless, I just want to state my position on it - it's not panacea.

Now, Bartender looks pretty bad, and he is, in fact, but here is what I keep thinking about : it's just because River Crocolisk is bad right now. We have a lot of 1/3s that 2/3 does not beat and then cards that are just bigger. 3 damage to beat 1/3s is here, so Crocs die easily, and then we have Bloodfen Raptor in fifteen different flavors that keeps being played because it beats 1/3s. Just take a trip down he memory lane and venture into the Dark Age, where the most popular 2-drop was Shielded Minibot. Paladin was everywhere, but you know what - Croc eats robots for dinner. That's how Druid adopted Darnassus Aspirant and it was good at the time. That's why Zombie Chowwas so good. Would we have a 2/2 as dominant metagame force (which we can have in the future), then I could see Bartender being all-star. But it is not right now.

Mistress kinda falls into the same pits. She is a bad version of Zombie Chow stat-wise, but she heals your face. Given the fact we don't have Zombie Chow or just a reliable early-game card for Control strategies, she can find more use just based on the fact her niche is absolutely empty. Healing is not exactly important, as I said, but when you have all the other tools - sweepers, late game, etc - it can work, it can form a coherent gameplan altogether.

Verdict : Bartender gets a C for now, C+ in '17-'18. Mistress gets a B- right now, with a potential to be a straight B  in '17-'18.

Kooky Chemist

He reminds me of Crazed Alchemist the same way Dark Iron Dwarf reminds me of Abusive Sergeant. The big difference, however, is that pumps are more consistent than stat swaps. Alchemist sees a resurgence in play because it's fairly cost efficient and you still don't mind the swap not being perfect because you pay only 2 mana. With Kooky Chemist, it's pretty overcosted. Dat abs, tho.

Verdict : A is for Abs D.

Wind-up Burglebot

No. Statline is awful, manacost is big, and he doesn't even Burgle. He draws cards. That's a fail-fail here.

Verdict : D.

Fel Orc Soulfiend

This one is at least interesting. It starts of with impressive stats and then goes to a Blackwing Technician size. Technician is pretty good in terms of raw stat power, but this guy keeps taking damage, which sorta defeats the purpose of a big statline card. He is like a reverse Injured Blademaster, but the Blademaster at least has his niche with Priest in Resurrect and Circle of Healing. I'll pass but he deserves at least a C for his impressive numbers and possible synergies with buff cards.

Verdict : C

Finja, The Flying Star

This is hands down my favorite card in Hearthstone now. I mean, come on! He is a Murloc, he is a Ninja and he kicks ass with fish daggers! I agree it's hard to kill something with 2 attack, but fetching Murloc Warleader or Murloc Knight is going to be big swings anyways. I won't bet he makes it into a format staple, but a fair Murloc meme deck will be the best thing ever, period. Finally, a guilty pleasure worthy of my skills.

Verdict : M is Memes and Murlocs C. Let's be honest about it.

Patches the Pirate

I read somewhere that this guy should have been in TGT but was benched because of his synergies with Ship's Cannon and One-eyed Cheat from GvG. Keep in mind these cards still exist in the Wild, so Pirate Rogue is alive and kicking more than ever. This is going to be a meme deck to rival even the Fair Murloc Paladin! And yeah, it's Standard playable as a free Stonetusk Boar, but with anti-Aggro support given, I'm not sure if Pirate Warrior is going to make any splash going forward.

Verdict : C+ in Wild, C in Standard.

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Why no love for second rate Bruiser? The meta right now has a lot of "Red Deck Wins" elements (IE rush), and this guy seems to be a very nice turn 3 roadblock to them busting out of the gates fast. Even if the reduced mana cost doesn't come into play, a 4/5 taunt for 5 is "solid".

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Finja is hard to evaluate without seeing other murloc cards of the set (if any)

I can see him being used in Anyfin paladin because he is a great way to get your murlocs from the bottom of your deck. There are a problem that he messes with the second anyfin but if the match up requires 30 damage second anyfin you usually have then you can allow yourself to  treat him as a dead card.

Isn't Patches The Pirate good for rogues that want to draws their combo pieces sooner? Swashburglar = minus one card in your deck + Living Roots with one of them having charge +  free random card. Even if you are unfortunate to draw Patches the Pirate before Swashburglar rogues have ways to use a Stonetusk Boar

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15 hours ago, Strongpoint said:

I can see him being used in Anyfin paladin because he is a great way to get your murlocs from the bottom of your deck. There are a problem that he messes with the second anyfin but if the match up requires 30 damage second anyfin you usually have then you can allow yourself to  treat him as a dead card.

It'll basically just depend on what you're facing lots of, I'm sure. It'll be one of those cards that you have to choose to include depending on what you play. Vs. Aggro, awesome, it can clear 2 minions possibly. Vs. control, it'll probably just die.

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On 11/7/2016 at 8:28 AM, Paracel said:

I'll try to give my opinions on the spoiled cards and rate them, using this scale :
 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

A : Obviously powerful, a multi-archetype staple, perhaps, a format-defining card.  (Tunnel Trogg, Fiery War Axe, Piloted Shredder);

B: A decent card, your typical "bread and butter"; archetype staple; reliable niche card (Blackwing Corruptor, Cult Sorcerer, Blood To Ichor, Acidic Swamp Ooze);

C: A mediocre or weak card that is a filler, outclassed by its peers or has a niche that's not reliable (Eater of Secrets; Stampeding Kodo;Stranglethorn Tiger; Infested Tauren);

D: It has seen play. Once. Something that's just really not great, but can occasionally make it in a meme deck, or via "get a random card" things. (Cone of Cold; Bloodsail Corsair; Starfall);

F: Striclty unplayable. It exists to brick your random effect cards. (Shatter; Wisp; Purify; Captain's Parrot).

 

Ratings are purely subjective, and, of course, opened up to debate. But I'll try to back them up with reasonable explainations.

One big thing to note is that I'll be giving two ratings - one for the current Standard, and one for going forward, in 2017-2018.

I'm actually much more excited about the Neutral cards, because they cause more impact in the long run. Here we have a mix of cool Arena filler and some hidden gems.

Big-Time Racketeer

Nothing to look at here, really. Boulderfist Ogre is excellent in the Arena but it's completely unplayable in Constructed. Brann can find more flexible buddies to gang up with, that could hold their own ground.

Verdict : D

Second-rate Bruiser

We're having a very solid beater here. Even a Sen'jin Shieldmasta is not unplayable, and this guy is bigger, it can be played at a discount, and what aggresive decks do for the first three turns is usually play dudes, so it's consistent. We know how powerful undercosted cards are and how good is Taunt - looking at you, Thing from Below - so I expect this to be outrageously popular, at least during the opening weeks of Mean Streets.

Verdict : A. I would give it a B+, but it looks so good it can be even Wild playable, not to mention it's a Neutral card. This fact puts it over the top for me.

Friendly Bartender and Mistress of Mixtures.

I'll talk these two together, because they are fairly similar card, and together with Second-rate Bruiser they form up what looks like an anti-Aggro core of a sort. I know there is a lot of negative coming on Aggro decks, how stupid they are and how popular they are, and so these look like a response from Blizzard. I like the direction they took with Bruiser, but Bartender and Mistress are much more niche. Straight damage decks are not that popular - Face Hunter and Pirate Shaman are the only true followers of the Philosophy of Fire. Zoo, Shamans and Dragon Warrior are much more tempo and board oriented. Health is important against them, but not as much as board control. Adding healing cards is not going to instantly fix all the problems slower decks have, because it's not about healing. This is a help, nonetheless, I just want to state my position on it - it's not panacea.

Now, Bartender looks pretty bad, and he is, in fact, but here is what I keep thinking about : it's just because River Crocolisk is bad right now. We have a lot of 1/3s that 2/3 does not beat and then cards that are just bigger. 3 damage to beat 1/3s is here, so Crocs die easily, and then we have Bloodfen Raptor in fifteen different flavors that keeps being played because it beats 1/3s. Just take a trip down he memory lane and venture into the Dark Age, where the most popular 2-drop was Shielded Minibot. Paladin was everywhere, but you know what - Croc eats robots for dinner. That's how Druid adopted Darnassus Aspirant and it was good at the time. That's why Zombie Chowwas so good. Would we have a 2/2 as dominant metagame force (which we can have in the future), then I could see Bartender being all-star. But it is not right now.

Mistress kinda falls into the same pits. She is a bad version of Zombie Chow stat-wise, but she heals your face. Given the fact we don't have Zombie Chow or just a reliable early-game card for Control strategies, she can find more use just based on the fact her niche is absolutely empty. Healing is not exactly important, as I said, but when you have all the other tools - sweepers, late game, etc - it can work, it can form a coherent gameplan altogether.

Verdict : Bartender gets a C for now, C+ in '17-'18. Mistress gets a B- right now, with a potential to be a straight B  in '17-'18.

Kooky Chemist

He reminds me of Crazed Alchemist the same way Dark Iron Dwarf reminds me of Abusive Sergeant. The big difference, however, is that pumps are more consistent than stat swaps. Alchemist sees a resurgence in play because it's fairly cost efficient and you still don't mind the swap not being perfect because you pay only 2 mana. With Kooky Chemist, it's pretty overcosted. Dat abs, tho.

Verdict : A is for Abs D.

Wind-up Burglebot

No. Statline is awful, manacost is big, and he doesn't even Burgle. He draws cards. That's a fail-fail here.

Verdict : D.

Fel Orc Soulfiend

This one is at least interesting. It starts of with impressive stats and then goes to a Blackwing Technician size. Technician is pretty good in terms of raw stat power, but this guy keeps taking damage, which sorta defeats the purpose of a big statline card. He is like a reverse Injured Blademaster, but the Blademaster at least has his niche with Priest in Resurrect and Circle of Healing. I'll pass but he deserves at least a C for his impressive numbers and possible synergies with buff cards.

Verdict : C

Finja, The Flying Star

This is hands down my favorite card in Hearthstone now. I mean, come on! He is a Murloc, he is a Ninja and he kicks ass with fish daggers! I agree it's hard to kill something with 2 attack, but fetching Murloc Warleader or Murloc Knight is going to be big swings anyways. I won't bet he makes it into a format staple, but a fair Murloc meme deck will be the best thing ever, period. Finally, a guilty pleasure worthy of my skills.

Verdict : M is Memes and Murlocs C. Let's be honest about it.

Patches the Pirate

I read somewhere that this guy should have been in TGT but was benched because of his synergies with Ship's Cannon and One-eyed Cheat from GvG. Keep in mind these cards still exist in the Wild, so Pirate Rogue is alive and kicking more than ever. This is going to be a meme deck to rival even the Fair Murloc Paladin! And yeah, it's Standard playable as a free Stonetusk Boar, but with anti-Aggro support given, I'm not sure if Pirate Warrior is going to make any splash going forward.

Verdict : C+ in Wild, C in Standard.

I mostly agree.  I think mistress is a little better then you give her credit for, and I think the soulfiend could be good.  It has the possibility of replacing the blademaster in priest decks, which would make it very strong, on the other hand, if it turns out to be an inferior card (which would be my guess but I still see the potential) it is going to be unplayable.

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8 hours ago, VaraTreledees said:

I mostly agree.  I think mistress is a little better then you give her credit for, and I think the soulfiend could be good.  It has the possibility of replacing the blademaster in priest decks, which would make it very strong, on the other hand, if it turns out to be an inferior card (which would be my guess but I still see the potential) it is going to be unplayable.

I'd agree on Soulfiend. I think he fills a nice point in the game for Priest vs. Control decks. Control decks don't always have that early minion for you to trade into, but it means you can continue to draw with Northshire, for example, without needing to sit there and trade into anything.

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I think Fel Orc Soulfiend could fill the spot when Imp Gang Boss rotates out, and possibly could be used even now in place of filler cards, such as Bilefin Tidehunter or Forbidden Ritual. There will possibly be better cards for zoo in the set, but as I see it, there will at least be players that will try the card out, should it not be an auto-inclusion.

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    • By Starym
      Here comes another update, once again focusing on Arena balance as classes get the appearance rates of cards tweaked so everyone has a comparable win rate. We're seeing Hunters, Rogues and Warriors getting their rates nerfed, while Druids, Mages, Paladins, Shamans and Warlocks get theirs buffed. This is coming after the more comprehensive update last month that saw some bigger Arena changes, including the removal of Mind Control Tech.

      We're also getting changes to Rumble Run in this update, featuring better synergy for your shrine with new cards picked, boss deck adjustments and the ability to re-pick the shrine you lost with. Check out the full details below:
      January 10 (source)
      This Hearthstone update mixes Rumble Run up for a refreshing new change, while also bringing in some updates to Arena buckets together with the cessation of December 2018’s dust refund. Read on for details!
      Arena Updates
      Following our Arena update last December, we have adjusted the appearance rate of each individual card available in Arena to ensure the overall win-rate of each class remains as close as possible to our ideal of 50%.
      Hunter, Rogue, and Warrior have had the average quality of their Arena picks lowered. Druid, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, and Warlock have had the average quality of their Arena picks raised. December Update
      The dust refunds that were available following our last update in December 2018 are no longer available as of this post.
      Rumble Run Changes
      Champions, rumblers, and trolls of all sizes! We’ve watched you spend a month punching faces in the Rumble Run, and we think there’s room for some changes based on how things have gone. Here’s what’s new with the Rumble Run.
      Weighted Card Rewards We’ve increased the possibility of synergistic cards for your shrine appearing more often. One of our primary goals with this mode was to showcase the nine troll champions and have you really get to know them. We wanted you to “live the dream” of fighting in the Gurubashi Arena, and to do so, we had to make sure that each Run had its own strong theme. Adjusting the card bucket offerings for decks and re-adding bonus buckets will help strengthen that experience.
      Boss Deck Adjustments One of our design goals with the Rumble Run was to provide huge, overpowered combat. Balancing at such a high power level is a challenge. When it works, it works great. You get epic, monumental combat against overwhelming odds. But when it doesn’t work, it feels random and swingy – like when the AI pulls an overwhelming combo. And since no one likes being repeatedly hit in the face with a club, we’ve pruned some of the power from the boss decks so that your Runs will play out more moderately. We have a lot of data about which bosses have the biggest body counts, and we’ve used that to target the worst offenders. Rumble Runs are now a little easier, but more importantly, they’ll feel a little more fair.
      Shrine Selection Changes In early builds of the Rumble Run, we allowed players to pick a class and shrine before playing. What we found was that playtesters immediately picked their favorite class, gravitated to a certain shrine, and played that shrine repeatedly.
      We had wanted to encourage players to try different shrines, especially to experiment with stuff they normally wouldn’t, so we put the current random shrine drafting in place. While that helped achieve our initial goal, it removed that feeling of mastery – the ability to choose a shrine and play with it until you feel you’ve mastered it or exhausted its possibilities.
      So we want to bring that back. With this update, whenever you lose, you can expect to always be offered the shrine you just lost with. The shrine that the boss used to beat you in your last run will also be offered, per the status quo.
      Some Final Rumble Ruminations
      We always prefer to experiment, try extreme ideas, and get feedback rather than play it safe. In true troll fashion, we went big with the Rumble Run and tried some different ideas to give this expansion a unique feel and to capture the thrill of stepping into an arena against known opponents for some superpowered brutality. It’s wallop or be walloped in there, for better or for worse.
      One of the things we experimented with—and heard great feedback on—was about the earlier pack rewards for the Rumble Run. Previous Hearthstone missions awarded packs via quests for completing content. For The Boomsday Project, we gave packs out without a quest to celebrate the launch of the expansion’s missions. This time around, we front-loaded the rewards and gave players three extra packs on launch day instead of during the Rumble Run. We felt that packs might be more interesting to people during the initial weeks of the expansion.
      As many of you have pointed out, this decision just made the missions feel especially un-rewarding. It’s always more gratifying to earn packs by competing a quest, rather than just being given them. To this end, we’re adding the new quest described above, and going forward, we’ll keep this feedback in mind for the launch of new single-player content.
      We had a ton of fun making mode and really appreciate the time that many of you took to write out thoughtful feedback. Everything we learn helps make future content better.
      And now, it’s back to the Rumble Run!
    • By Zadina
      This January is dedicated to the Wild format: apart from the Wild Open qualifiers taking place this month, you can now get a card Bundle with packs from previous expansions that are not usually available.
      The Wild Bundle contains 10 packs from each of the following expansions, that have rotated out of Standard: Goblins vs Gnomes, The Grand Tournament, Whispers of the Old Gods and Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. The Bundle costs 25 Euros or 25 USD.
      If you are interested in the Wild format - or perhaps you even want to complete in it, the Wild Open qualifiers will be taking place this January.
      Lastly, most Tavern Brawls are in Wild and this will continue being the case throughout this month.