Welcome back to another round of reviews! We'll get on to reviewing the new Ashes of Outland cards in short order, but first we'd like to take a look at our brand new class!

Illidan Stormrage Card Image Demon Claws Card Image

We have a fantastic overview of Illidan's Lore if you'd like to catch up on that beforehand. Once you're all set, we can dive right in to the card ratings.

Normally we'd have opinions from various members of staff for these reviews, but for this first one, it's just me. A Basic set isn't the easiest thing to analyse, and as the head of our resident Fan Creations team I'm the closest we've got to an 'expert' on these things, I guess. I'll do my best to get to grips with how Demon Hunter's are going to function at a base level, and trust you all only to come back here if I was 100% right to shower me with praise.

Shadowhoof Slayer Card Image

Discuss this Card

He can't figure out how to use the bow, so he'll just leave it to you.

Quote From ShadowsOfSense

The first of three cards to augment your hero's Attack, Shadowhoof Slayer is a decent card. The most obvious comparison would be to Elven Archer - trading some flexibility in where the damage goes and a potentially large hit to your own face for +1 Attack of its own and some interesting (but ultimately not very relevant) weapon synergies.

As a Basic card, this does its job well; it encourages you to engage with the main mechanic of the class (your hero attacking) and gives good incidental coverage for teaching players about the synergy with weapon abilities - Aldrachi Warblades, reviewed further down, is a good example of this. The first time a player finds themselves gaining even more life from the Lifesteal effect of that weapon is a valuable teaching moment, and including more cards to do so is helpful.

This will likely find its way into early aggressive Demon Hunter builds that look to rush the opponent down as quickly as possible. It's a little on the weaker side though, so depending on how aggressive they end up being this may get cut in favour of some more generally powerful cards - after all, when all it does is give you your Hero Power as a Battlecry, you can probably find time to weave in the Hero Power instead.

Chaos Strike Card Image

Discuss this Card

"What do we want?" // "More Chaos!" // "When do we want it?" // "Unexpectedly!"

Quote From ShadowsOfSense

Oh, so you really want us attacking, huh?

This is a good, solid Basic card. Every class needs a little bit of draw to start them off, and this is as average as they come. Two Hero Powers worth of damage, plus a card to actually make up the mana cost, isn't a bad deal by any means. Some decks would likely rather have a body for their card draw - Novice Engineer or Loot Hoarder, as per your taste - but in a class so determined to encourage you to attack with your hero the synergies this offers are well worth the potential loss of damage over time.

Control lists which will likely run some of the more interesting weapons - Warglaives of Azzinoth, or Flamereaper - will be excited to have this option available to them. Aggressive decks may not need the extra card draw, but in the case that they do this will definitely take place over the previously mentioned minions.

It's not universally strong, but in the right decks this card can shine.

Sightless Watcher Card Image

Discuss this Card

Has anyone seen her glasses?

Quote From ShadowsOfSense

Now this is an interesting effect. While it'd be exciting to see Demon Hunters explore deck manipulation further - something few classes have touched upon - this feels like the Tracking analogue of the Demon Hunter's arsenal; an idea that won't show up again in the future, but is there to tease the Fan Creations world with the possibilities.

Having said that, a 2-mana 3/2 with upside is nothing to sniff at, especially when the upside is such a relevant one. Manipulating what your next draw will be can be the difference between winning and losing a game in the later stages. That it doesn't get rid of the other cards like Tracking does has both positives and negatives; while you could be stuck knowing your future draws aren't going to be of much use, it also preserves every card in your deck, making it much more viable in combo decks, or extremely late game control decks.

This is one of those fun Basic cards that pushes the boundaries a little bit. It's not anything mindblowing, but this effect finally finding its way to Hearthstone is welcome all the same.

Aldrachi Warblades Card Image

Discuss this Card

Made from genuine Aldrachi life-steel.

Quote From ShadowsOfSense

Lifesteal in the Basic set! Glad to see ya buddy, let's hope you worm your way in further in some future class touch-ups.

This is the perfect Basic card for this class. It lets you know that they're weapon users; it synergises with their Hero Power; it mitigates one of the main downsides of the class (its tendency to whittle down its own life fairly quickly). It's a lovely foil to Fiery War Axe, which could honestly do with a little nudge of its own.

This card is going to see a fair amount of play, not necessarily because it's especially strong but because Demon Hunters will need that Lifesteal desperately. I'm actually somewhat worried they'll nerf a card that doesn't need it just because the effect is so vital to the class.

Coordinated Strike Card Image

Discuss this Card

One, two, three // Rushin' Illidari // Killin' all your weenies // Singin' old-school Britney

Quote From ShadowsOfSense

Speaking of keywords making the Basic set, hello Rush!

A more consistent but less aggressive Unleash the Hounds. While a weaker card on the surface, they do seem to be looking to support a swarming, token-based style of gameplay for the deck - cards like Wrathscale Naga would work wonders with this card. As a standalone in the Basic set, however, this is pretty weak.

Not every Basic card needs to be something that is immediately supported there, of course - the lack of a Classic set (for now) for Demon Hunter takes away some of the overall impression one might get of a class. Pay-offs for this style of token-based gameplay would likely reside there, as there don't seem to be any here.

Satyr Overseer Card Image

Discuss this Card

Overseeri, how long until the expansion launches?

Quote From ShadowsOfSense

More token generation!

Now that I actually look over the rest of the cards Demon Hunter is getting, I'm not sure I agree with Blizzard's statement that this is a class with token-generation synergies. There are exactly two cards that really care about stuff like this - the previously mentioned Wrathscale Naga and Feast of Souls. Granted, they're both very strong pay-offs for that style of play, but I'm not sure that really justifies making it a core component of the class. There aren't even any buffing cards like Druid, Warlock and Paladin have!

This card itself is okay. A 3 mana 4/2 is kind of bad, but a 4 mana 6/4 + Deal 1 damage isn't too shabby, and it'd still have the potential to develop further in the future. That vision of an aggressive, maybe even Zoo-like Demon Hunter definitely wouldn't turn up its nose at this.

Soul Cleave Card Image

Discuss this Card

Nobody tell Tom about this.

Quote From ShadowsOfSense

Cleave for the modern era. What a great spin on a Basic card that still feels appropriately Basic. Where the original never really saw much play outside of Arena, Soul Cleave has that all-important Lifesteal attached to it, which will be vital for Demon Hunters of all varieties to maintain a healthy life total.

This could even be worth looking at running Spell Damage minions (or at least Bloodmage Thalnos), as for every point of Spell Damage you not only get two additional damage but two additional healing as well. I expect to see this in midrange and control lists, with fringe play in more aggressive lists so long as they're not too aggressive.

Chaos Nova Card Image

Discuss this Card

Orbital chaos, synchronised.

Quote From ShadowsOfSense

Wow, okay. This is a really strong Control tool, and honestly feels a little at odds with the rest of the Basic set here. Every minion you can see here can be killed by this card - there's no obvious way to utilise it that doesn't involve killing your own board. For a class which has a supposed token-generation theme running, this is… strange.

Don't get me wrong, I love this card, and I think a lot of the other cards Demon Hunters are getting could come together to form a viable Control shell for this to fit in. It just feels very out of place when compared to the rest of the cards in the Basic set. As I mentioned before, the eventual Classic set might shore up this issue by more obviously leaning into the Control game plan, but as is this just feels like a Priest or a Mage accidentally dropped their board clear and Demon Hunter picked it up on the way in.

Glaivebound Adept Card Image

Discuss this Card

Fire Illimental.

Quote From ShadowsOfSense

This is your 'bigger' minion for the Basic set, and it's once again a very well-designed card.

The aggressive stat-line places it immediately in my mind as the high-end finisher of an aggressive deck - that Battlecry is very easy to activate and can be used to help clear the way for your minions that can attack already this turn, or to reach for that final little bump at the end. If neither is enough for the final blow, then the minion itself still demands to be dealt with.

This would likely also find a place in a more midrange deck that appreciates the Battlecry more than it dislikes the risky body. Control decks, though, will look past this one - they'd much rather run the aforementioned Chaos Nova and not have to worry about another minion of theirs getting caught in the crossfire.

Inner Demon Card Image

Discuss this Card

Turns out the Inner Demon looks a lot like the Outer Demon.

Quote From ShadowsOfSense

Well isn't this fun! We had our small support for attacking right at the start and now we end with the high-end support. The Pyroblast to Chaos Strike's Frostbolt.

While 8 damage sounds like a lot, this comes at far too high a cost for aggressive decks to take notice of it. No, this is the ultimate control tool; the only other card in the Basic set that tries to realise the potential of what Chaos Nova is promising. While useful once in a while as the final blow, this really shines when it can augment a weapon effect to create a massive swing - either increasing your life an extra 8 points, or tripling your output with a well-placed cleave.

Pyroblast nowadays only finds its way into the greediest of Mage decks, but at less mana and with so many potential synergies available to it, I'd give this a solid chance of being seen quite often.