Throne of the Tides, Voyage to the Sunken City's mini-set, goes live tomorrow, June 1, and we've got some thoughts on the new cards coming for Mage, Paladin, Priest, and Rogue. Let's go over the them and see where we're headed in the mini-set meta. Have a good read!
In case you missed it, a few days ago we published our Voyage to the Sunken City mini-set prediction article - how well do you think we did?
Just for context, this is the first new Overload card we're received in the Year of the Hydra and boy, is it a good one. 5 (+1) mana for 10/8 in stats with Rush: basically Kurtrus, Demon-Render's Battlecry.
The 5 mana Attack of Water Revenant lines up particularly well against the likes of Mage's Spitelash Siren, Rogue's Wildpaw Gnoll and Warrior's Onyxian Drake, which is going to be a very big deal in the future. Chances are you'll also be left with one weak body after the trades, allowing you to slightly counter-pressure your opponent.
Many people, us included, thought about Command of Neptulon in combination with Wrathspine Enchanter: while the former has definitely improved the latter, we still think that Enchanter needs another good Fire spell that isn't just Don't Stand in the Fire!, so we'd wait for this to happen before seriously considering such a synergy.
We expect Command of Neptulon to be a 2-of in Questline Command the Elements Shaman, although we also think that it will take more than this to revive the archetype: Thrall is yet to recover from the loss, among everything, of Guidance and Lightning Bloom. Burn Shaman is absolutely going to try it out, and the deck will be very pleased to get Command of Neptulon through Azsharan Scroll and Sunken Scroll.
Although it's probably not going to matter, the summoned Water Revenants are Elementals.
Murloc Shaman is back on the menu. Although the class hasn't received direct support since Forged in the Barrens, both Tidelost Burrower and Clownfish look extremely promising. Starting from the former, Burrower can be seen as a 4 mana 6/6 in a Murloc dedicated list. Although a plain 2/2 is not a bad deal for an archetype that desperately wants to come down on the board as soon as possible, some Dredges are automatically going to be superior: Lushwater Scout, Cookie the Cook, Murloc Warleader and Firemancer Flurgl will generate an above average tempo swing, which is very likely going to put your opponent under a lot of pressure.
Tidelost Burrower is a support tool for Murloc Shaman, meaning that the card won't see play outside of decks built around the Murloc tribe; however, our Burrower definitely ticks the box for solid archetype support.
If Murloc Shaman is going to be a thing in the next weeks, a large portion of the merit will have to be given to Clownfish. Basically a -1 mana (yep, you read that right) 3/2, this unit will allow you to set up some pretty disgusting combos, like Gorloc Ravager + a 3-Cost Murloc on turn 4.
Really good card that becomes even better (if not just disgusting) in combination with Bolner Hammerbeak, which will allow you to chain Murloc after Murloc, basically flooding your board and emptying your entire hand. One of the most powerful cards on the mini-set.
A card the community has quite contrasting opinions about. On one hand, Commander Ulthok can singlehandedly lock out opponents: if you're an aggressive deck and you manage to put your opponent on low enough Health, they'll be forced to not play any cards and you'll win the game. You have to keep in mind that you cannot play cards with your life total if you don't have enough life - they will just appear as too expensive, just like when you normally don't have enough mana for them.
However, caution is needed, as there are some scenarios where mindlessly dropping Commander Ulthok may be the cause of your demise: Control Warrior, for example, has huge Armor gain, and letting them pay for cards with their life will allow them to chew through their deck even faster.
We see this minion as a finisher for both Murlock and Abyssal Warlock.
Pretty crazy disruption effect, if you just look at the final result. However, for Immolate to discard your opponent's hand (or yours) the player has to pay 4 mana upfront and then wait 3 whole turns, during which the opponent can just dump their hand and possibly win the game.
We see Immolate as a safety valve in case the meta becomes too combo-centric or value-oriented: in such scenarios, this spell will act as a strong gatekeeper for viability. However, this also goes to show how narrow its uses can be.
It is worth nothing that, Immolate being a 4-Cost spell, it won't be Discoverable by School Teacher: such an interaction would have ruined countless matchups.
Basically a 3 mana 4/4 that deals 2 damage to an enemy unit. If you see it this way, Herald of Shadows is a pretty good deal. Fulfilling Herald's requirement is not going to be difficult either, as Warlock has many playable Shadow spells. However, problems may occur when you ask yourself what kind of deck would want this unit.
Herald of Shadows is clearly tempo-oriented, but currently there isn't such a deck for Gul'dan. Maybe a Battlecry-intensive Zoolock with Snapdragon may be the right solution, although we are genuinely scared that such a sweet card will be forced to sit in your collection for some time.
Forget the fact that the Colossal you receive is 2 mana cheaper. You're actually giving your opponent a Colossal for free? And you're not even guaranteed that yours will be better than your opponent's?
Possibly a good meme generator (especially off of School Teacher's Nagalings), but otherwise it's a no-no card.
We've seen people using the comparison with Alexstrasza the Life-Binder to prove that Tidal Revenant is actually a good card. However, we couldn't disagree more:
- Alex is a Neutral, and therefore has way more chances to see play.
- Revenant, on the other hand, is just for Warrior.
- Alex is a Dragon, which can sometimes be relevant.
- We're yet to receive Elemental synergies for Warrior, so Revenant's tribe is currently irrelevant.
- On most occasions, Alex is used for burst damage.
- In this context, Alex is clearly superior to Revenant.
- Alex is not seeing any degree of play.
Not even the Armor argument is valid, as Warrior has access to Frozen Buckler and Heavy Plate, which give you the same amount of Armor (if not even more) and do not get in the way of Shield Shatter (you'd damage your own Revenant!). 8 mana is a lot, and Warrior can already do anything that Tidal Revenant does for a cheaper cost.
Okay, this is a shame, because Igneous Lavagorger is pretty cool, but we feel like it won't see any play for a while. If you manage to hit a 5+ Cost card, Lavagorger basically becomes a Shieldmaiden with Taunt and for 1 less mana; moreover, Dredging Shield Shatter would pay for itself.
If this is the case, why would Igneous Lavagorger not see play? Because it's outclassed in everything it does:
- The Dredge effect pales in comparison with From the Depths, especially with Sir Finley, Sea Guide existing.
- Onyxian Drake is the superior 4-drop with Taunt, since Warrior is already pretty good at hoarding Armor and Drake allows you to capitalize on it.
Again, the card is not bad, but it just happens to be printed in an unfavorable moment.
Remember when everyone crapped on Raid Boss Onyxia because it was slow, weak and not impactful? Well, people are saying the same thing about Neptulon the Tidehunter.
Sure, Onyxia is better against wide boards while Neptulon will excel against tall ones, but this doesn't change the fact that Neptulon the Tidehunter is one hell of a card. For the cost of 3 board spaces (Onyxia will take up your entire board), this Colossal grants a total of 16 damage while not suffering even the smallest drawback: as long as its Immune hands are on the board, Neptulon will throw them at your opponents, remaining at full Health in the meantime.
Yes, Neptulon's hands are going to be very easy to remove after you pass the turn, but the same can be said about the Onyxian Whelps.
Moreover, what happens if you take away the Whelps from Onyxia? You're left with a plain 8/8 (unless you summon additional whelps, that is); Neptulon, on the other hand (put intended), will remain as a freaking 8/8 with Windfury.
We expect Neptulon the Tidehunter to be around the same power level of Raid Boss Onyxia, which is a pretty damn good business card for one of the mini-set's poster characters.
Compared to all the other Colossals, which tend to work by themselves, Ozumat necessarily requires an activator like Provoke or Devouring Swarm for it to be good. It's not like 2-card combos are new to the game, but rather that you'd expect such a big guy to be more of a standalone unit rather than having to rely on others.
As for the card, Ozumat is an 8 mana 6/5 which, in the best case, becomes an 12/23, susceptible to capitalize on Bloodlust and other board-wide effects. Moreover, the recent buff to Harpoon Gun may have Hunters consider this Colossal as addition to the Big Beast archetype, although Ozumat's appendages will mess the Revive Pet resurrection pool.
All in all, quite an unimpressive Legendary, which seems to lose its fight against Neptulon the Tidehunter, but we wouldn't push ourselves to the point of saying that' its bad. Support and build around tools will turn this unit into a reliable board clear.
We wish we had something like this in the "solitaire" meta of a couple months ago, where you were often one turn away from winning the game but then your opponents would just kill your from hand. Here, Coilfang Constrictor would've given you that extra turn you needed to bring home the win.
We see Coilfang Constrictor being particularly effective in matchups where you want to disrupt your opponent's tempo in order to negate them a specific board clear, answer or power move that would put you in an unfavorable position. Want some examples? Negating a Mech Paladin's Bubblebot can give you additional time to push damage, or maybe lock a Reno Jackson for Highlander decks or a Mr. Smite for Control Warrior.
On a side note, while it is true that Coilfang Constrictor basically "discards" a card from your opponent's hand for a turn, it also gives you valuable information regarding what your opponent is holding: you may negate them a certain move, but you'll know what else will come.
Are we seeing things or this is basically a 3 mana Prince Keleseth? The buff being delivered only to Battlecry minions can be quite limiting at times, but there are some decks out there with plenty of Battlecry cards, such as Mech and Murloc lists.
This card seems so good that we're almost scared of being embarrassingly wrong about it, but... it has to be great, right?
The 1 damage condition for this unit to die is quite hilarious, as there can be scenarios where your opponent won't be able to provide a ping and you'll just snowball Bubbler out of control. If you take a look at the current meta, there are some decks (think about Big Beast Hunter) who cannot provide a 1-damage source in the early game, meaning that Bubbler will have an incredibly easy life against them; otherwise, other matchups (like Mech Paladin) will make this unit completely useless.
In the end, quite a meta-dependent card, from which you can expect some damage if you manage to catch your opponent off guard (think about a Ping Mage that plays Wildfire on 1). The Elemental tag is interesting, although not necessarily useful.
What do you think about these cards? Are there any you're excited to play with? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to check out our other articles in this review series:
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