A Closer Look at Karazhan’s Legendary Cards
Without focusing too much on the cover page, you can find the reference in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8FUE_-Ai2A (it is funny go watch it). With all the focus on Purify, the new Priest toy, I thought it would be interesting to try shift the talk and go into a really detailed analysis about the five legendary cards which will be released with the new expansion. Hope you enjoy!
I consider The Curator a control and midrange card, I doubt any aggressive deck would ever want to play it as it is too slow for their game-plan. First off then, it is important to consider Beasts, Murlocs and Dragons which you might want to include in your control or midrange deck.
Murlocs: Corrupted Seer, Vilefin Inquisitor (Paladin), Murloc Knight (Paladin).
I didn’t include Sir Finley Mrrgglton because apart from Control Hunter and maybe Druid, no other archetype would actually want to play it. All control decks tend to be built around the Hero Power they will use, this is because they need to try extract as much value as possible from it. Since no new Murlocs came out it seems that Paladin is in the best shape to make use of the draw a Murloc part of the Battlecry. I usually don’t really like including Corrupted Seer in my decks as I think it is not strong enough in most control decks, but I may have to change my mind once The Curator comes out.
Dragons: Dragon Consort (Paladin), Coldarra Drake (Mage), Twilight Whelp (Priest), Twilight Drake, Twilight Guardian, Azure Drake, Chillmaw, Alexstrasza, Ysera, Nefarian, Malygos, Deathwing, Book Wyrm.
What jumps out to me straight away is Malygos. If you run a combo deck drawing your combo initiator is invaluable. Running The Curator and thus having double the chances to draw Malygos means you can pull off the combo more consistently. Thus in Malygos Druid one could try running only Malygos as a dragon accompanied with some Beast or Murloc in order to thin the deck and find the combo initiator. On the other hand if you do this your opponent will always know you have Malygos in your hand (if he knows your deck-list) meaning that he can play around the card. On the whole in Malygos decks I would definitely include The Curator, the defensive aspect of the card and the fact it and help you draw Malygos seems a perfect fit for the archetype.
I could also see The Curator working in Dragon Paladin. In this archetype you do not need many dragons to have a really powerful synergy. Dragon Consort is an Innervate for a Dragon which persists until used, meaning that even without too many dragons playing Consort and a 9 drop is a viable game-plan. Additionally running Beasts like Stampeding Kodo and a Murloc Knight shouldn’t hurt your deck too much.
Going back to the discussion about Dragons, the first reason you consider The Curator is because you know you can fit some sort of Dragon in a deck. From the low drops to the higher end minions this tribe can offer a lot, especially considering that Azure Drake is one of the strongest 5-drops in the game.
Beasts: Savage Combatant and company (Druid), Hunter has loads, Fierce Monkey, Jeweled Scarab, Ironbeak Owl, Tomb Spider, Stampeding Kodo.
Curiously enough even the Beast tribe offers some options for control and midrange decks. In classes like Shaman running Jeweled Scarab is a viable option, their 3-mana slot is filled with good cards. Additionally the discover mechanic should be flexible enough to give you at least one decent option in most games. Druid and Hunter I won’t talk about as the options are unlimited. For classes without beasts I think Stampeding Kodo could also make the cut. I say this because even if without the Paladin tools, Stampeding Kodo usually finds some sort of target against most decks. Additionally Tomb Spider is also not the worst option as again it generates value for an OK body on board. Lastly in a metagame where silence is useful our “Hoot Hoot” friend can always be played.
Overall I think this card will really shine in Paladin. I feel that once Karazhan comes out Paladin from one of the least played classes will climb quite a few ranks as the tools it received in this set are invaluable. Overall I will certainly play around with this one a lot! I believe it to be decently powerful even if it draws just 2 cards.
Obviously, the first thing you think about when you see Moroes is: “which ways can I buff him or the tokens to make it more useful?” 2/2 worth of immediate stats isn’t worth it at 3-mana. In Wild the answer would be Hobgoblin, but unfortunately this combo won’t be available in Standard. Another answer one could give is Steward of Darkshire, making Moroes and his tokens have Divine Shield could potentially make it very annoying to deal with; AOE’s wouldn’t work to sweep them out. The problem with this is that it is impossible to set this up in a realistic turn frame, Steward of Darkshire will rarely persist more than one turn, the opponent will usually try clearing it as soon as possible. On the other hand turn six is probably too late in order to combo Moroes with Steward, if you play the latter card you are probably playing a fast deck you want to threaten lethal by that time. Additionally it is not like the combo is going to win you the game.
The other possible use for Moroes is a guaranteed target for a buff, Stealth minions are hard to interact with. I don’t know if many recall when Gilbin Stalker was used in Priest in order to guarantee a target for the turn 3 Velen’s Chosen. This was a really hard combo to counter, a turn three 4/7 in Priest can be quite obnoxious to deal with! Moroes could do the same for classes like Paladin (Blessing of Kings) and Druid (Mark of the Wild and co). Both Paladin and Druid have also multiple ways to make use of the tokens Moroes produces, meaning that it could be a decent inclusion in these buff token decks.
On the other hand one has to consider what other Stealth minions are available when building a buff deck. The answer is the following:
Stealth: Druid of the Saber (Druid), Patient Assassin (Rogue), Worgen Infiltrator, Twisted Worgen, Jungle Panther, Silent Knight, Stranglethorn Tiger, Ravenholdt Assassin.
What looking at the Stealth creatures tells me is that this card won’t be used in Druid, Druid of the Saber is just better. Additionally I think the upside of Patient Assassin is also better, so also a no from Rogue. The last thing that kills Moroes is the existence of Silent Knight. If you are looking to play a buff deck including a minion which has Divine Shield and Stealth will always be better than one which has Stealth and produces a 1/1 body.
Overall I think the card is bad but for different reasons than people have proposed. I have seen some criticizing it because it just dies off to AOE’s, but consider that if the opponent has to use an Aoe to deal with Moroes you should be pretty happy given the fact you are probably playing a token deck (the only really clean answer is Ravaging Ghoul). The main problem for the card is that Silent Knight is just better on average.
When I look at this card I fear it will be the next Tuskarr Totemic, or in other words a card which can swing the game in your favour if you win the roll. Additionally I only see people claiming that it is useful for control decks, but I think there is an argument to be made for at least thinking about it in Zoolock.
I will start with this latter point. In Zoolock you like playing tokens, you can buff them and trade them with your opponent’s expensive minions. Additionally you don’t really mind playing Deathrattle minions as there are some good low drops such as Harvest Golem. It might be the case that if Zoo can be made more Barnes friendly the card could actually be played. I think that even if it grants you a vanilla 1/1 it should be fine most of the time, even if I don’t think it would be powerful enough to reserve it a spot in the deck.
In control N’Zoth decks this card is insane, looking at the control Paladin list on the side you can see that the following obtains:
There is 4/19 (21%) to get a beastly minion: Sylvanas Windrunner, Ragnaros the Firelord, Tirion Fordring or Cairne Bloodhoof.
6/19 (32%) to get a decent effect minion: Loot Hoarder, Ragnaros Lightlord, Acolyte of Pain or Infested Tauren.
9/19 (47%) to get a bad minion (vanilla 1/1).
As said before, these stats remind me of Tuskarr Totemic; instead it is a turn four drop instead of turn three! There is very little way to come back from an early Tirion or Sylvanas! Additionally consider that the above percentages don’t keep in consideration that the probability of having Aldor Peacekeeper in your opening hand are higher than having Tirion, you keep the former in your mulligan. The Paladin deck I built for the screenshot is a very generic Paladin deck, probably if you build the deck around Barnes you could achieve even higher odds than the above. The only real problem I see is that not running cards like Doomsayer could really hurt the match-up against aggressive decks.
In other type of control decks I doubt this card would see much play. Most of the minions you play would just come out as vanilla 1/1’s, you need Deathrattle and end of the turn effect to make Barnes worth it. In aggressive decks the card would be too slow, plus there is not much you really want to summon in play.
Overall I don’t have too much else to say about this card, I think that it will see play in N’Zoth decks and maybe in some Deathrattle variant of a Zoo deck.
The most important thing to consider is that the effect goes off after the mulligan, this is very good since it keeps the mulligan percentages the same (you really want the same odds on cards like Fiery War Axe). Additionally the Legendries added to your deck will be legendries you didn’t include, this means that you could potentially play this card in a Reno deck without blocking your Reno. It also means the Legendries you will get are cards you would probably not want to play in the deck in the first place.
Trying to make this card work is tough, the first thing that comes to mind is obviously a Fatigue deck. Having the possibility to have 5 more cards in your deck should guarantee that your opponent will fatigue before you, I think Prince Malchezaar is trash for such a purpose as Elise just does the job better. This is especially true because it makes any draw in your deck harder to find after your mulligan. Assume you need brawl by turn 5 and you have 2 copies in your deck, if you didn’t find it in your mulligan your chances to find it are:
Going 1st : 34%
Going 2nd : 36%
Going 1st Prince: 29%
Going 2nd Prince: 30%
The percentages might not be super distant between each other but that inconsistency you add to your deck might hurt your top decks in the long run.
What I think this card is good at is at giving you a tech card against Mill decks (did we need that?) If you think about it, adding 5 cards to your deck means that decks such as Mill Rogue will have a much harder time finishing your deck before you can kill them. Now if you do not draw cards you will be even with them in fatigue. The real question is will there ever be a situation that we need to tech a card for Mill decks?
In arena this Legendary can potentially be really strong. Arena games usually consists of minion battles, not many minions compare well to big Legendaries. Lastly the card is just a fun card for new players and players who don’t like to play to win but to have fun. It could be a good fit in the famous Totalbiscuit’s 30 legendries deck and I am sure people like Noxious will play this card. Overall I am fine with this card I will probably test it and discard it.
Medivh, the Guardian
In my Reno Mage deck I will include this for sure! The first thing to consider is that since you are getting a 7/7 for 8-mana you need to get good value from the weapon. Looking at the table you can see that currently in standard the sweet spot for Forbidden Shaping (and thus even for our spell casting) is 8-mana. If you follow the spreadsheet on the link you can find the updated statistics for Karazhan, unfortunately I couldn’t load it up because my internet/computer lacks the ability. Special mention at the different mana slots goes to:
3-mana: In general many fine cards like Imp Gang boss and Darkshire Councilman, nothing really stood out for me.
4-mana: Savage Combatant, Water Elemental, Tomb Pillager, Flamewreathed Faceless, Pitlord, Korkron Elite, Violet Teacher.
5-mana: Earth Elemental, Doomguard, Leeroy Jenkins, Nexus Champion Saraad.
6-mana: Savannah Highmane, Cairne, Emperor, Sylvanas.
7-mana: Archmage Antonidas, Confessor Paletress, Hogger Doom of Elwynn.
8-mana: Ironbark Protector, Rhonin, Ragnaros Lightlord, Tirion Fordring, Al’Akir the Windlord, Grommash Hellscream, Ragnaros Firelord.
9-mana: King Krush, Ysera.
10-mana: Deathwing (10 mana cards are quite underwhelming because of the Old Gods)
For sure we do not want 0/1/2 mana minions (3 mana is borderline ok) because they would provide too little value considering how much Medivh costs. What this means is that if one looks at the different spells available at 3+ mana for the different classes one can have a general idea of what class can play Medivh with a decent return.
Druid: Healing Touch, Mark of Nature, Mulch, Savage Roar, Astral Communion, Bite, Swipe, Soul of the Forest, Force of Nature, Nourish, Starfall, Moonglade Portal, Starfire, and Wisps of the Old Gods.
Hunter: Animal Companion, Deadly Shot, Powershot, Unleash the Hounds, Multishot, Explosive Shot, Ball of Spiders, and Call of the Wild.
Mage: Forbidden Flame, Secrets, Arcane Intellect, Forgotten Torch, Frost Nova, Polymorph: Boar, Fireball, Polymorph, Cone of Cold, Cabalist Tome, Dragon’s Breath, Flame Lance, Flamestrike, Firelands Portal, and Pyroblast.
Paladin: Divine Favour, Seal of Champions, Blessing of Kings, Consecration, Hammer of Wrath, Silvermoon Portal, Holy Wrath, Blessed Champion, Solemn Vigil, Stand Against Darkness, Avenging Wrath, Enter the Coliseum, Lay on Hands, and Anyfin Can Happen.
Priest: Forbidden Shaping, Shadow Word: Death, Thoughtsteal, Shadowform, Mass Dispel, Mindgames, Shadow Madness, Shadow word: Horror, Excavated Evil, Holy Nova, Power Word: Tentacles, Entomb, Holy Fire, and Mind Control.
Rogue: Beneath the Grounds, Burgle, Shadow Strike, Fan of Knives, Headcrack, Blade Flurry, Assassinate, Thistle Tea, Vanish, and Sprint.
Shaman: Elemental Destruction, Far Sight, Feral Spirit, Healing Wave, Lightning Storm, Lava Burst, Hex, Bloodlust, Everyfin is awesome.
Warlock: Forbidden Ritual, Demon Wrath, Drain Life, Sense Demons, Shadow Bolt, Spreading Madness, Fist of Jaraxxus, Hellfire, Shadowflame, Bane of Doom, Dark Bargain, Siphon Soul, and Twisting Nether.
Warrior: Protect the King, Bash, Blood Warriors, Charge, Shield Block, Mortal Strike, Brawl, and Ironforge Portal.
The classes I think cannot make Medivh work are: Hunter, Paladin, Rogue, Shaman and Warrior. Hunter spells are too low in cost, and given the Hero Power the class wants to close out the game by the time you play Medivh. Even Lock and Load Hunter would have a hard time justifying Medivh as they run a lot of low cost spells. Paladin suffers of a similar problem. The buff cards that it runs are usually for more aggressive builds which don’t want to include Medivh in the deck. Rogue wants to gain tempo by making spells cheaper with Preparation, what this means is that you would never get the full mana worth from the staff. Additionally all the expensive spells are really underwhelming. Shaman’s spell are mostly in the 3 drop slot. I wouldn’t say Medivh it is too bad in Shaman, it might actually work in a Spell Power archetype, the main problem I see is that the staff will never really get much value. Finally Warrior is good for cheap removal, Medivh is good with expensive cards; they do not fit each other at all.
I think the card would be fine in Druid since the 5 and 6-mana spells are all playable. The key thing about this class is that since it doesn’t have any 8-mana spells you will never get maximum value from the staff. Additionally Druid can make very good use tokens on board. Warlock should be ok, even if it won’t excel with it. The class has innately a lot of draw, this means that even if you cannot get too much value from the Staff, casting the midrange spells should be enough to give you a good edge over your opponent. Mage is generally good as it has a lot of spells. Again there is no 8-mana spell for the class but the other slots are filled with high value playable spells. Lastly Priest, the class which in my opinion can make the most out of Medivh. A big problem I find when playing the class is that I never have the ability to develop anything, I just sit there passively throwing spells and defending myself. With Medivh you can transform incredible cards like Entomb in high value minions which can be used by Priest. Additionally having access to Forbidden Shaping means that you can save the charge of the weapon for the perfect moment.
Overall I think Medivh is playable. I have seen people claim the card is similar to Summoning Stone, the key difference these people haven’t noticed is that Summoning Stone can be good with low cost spells, Medivh cannot. For sure it will get better as time goes on and more spells get printed, additionally in Wild it will always have the chance to shine as more spells are available. Overall the card seems slow but I think that if you can include it in certain classes it can give you a great edge in control match-ups, plus it seems fun!
Overall the legendries that Blizzard decided to print this time around are interesting but, I believe, nowhere near as good as the ones from League of Explorers. The expansion which came out last December was amazing for everybody, from the most casual to the most competitive player. Overall I am happy that Karazhan is coming out and I can’t wait to play around with the Legendries, I think Barnes and The Curator will make the cut for sure, Medivh will be a solid card which is slightly too slow in most decks. Finally I think that Prince Melchezaar and Moroes will be fun cards which won’t see play in competitive scene.