We're closing in on the end of the Year of the Dragon and with that comes a fresh set of rotations. We're going to see the loss of The Witchwood, The Boomsday Project, and Rastakhan's Rumble from Standard as they make room for the new expansions of 2020 and with that comes the loss of some of our favourite cards.
In this mini-series, we're looking back at the cards we're going to miss the most once the set rotation hits and showcase a deck that makes use of that card. Before we get to the cards well miss the most though, a quick recap of The Witchwood.
- The Witchwood added the Echo and Rush keywords to the game.
- Odd & Even card mechanics were introduced though they were sent to the Hall of Fame at the start of the Year of the Dragon.
- Brought the "Worgen mechanic" that gave way to cards that swapped their Attack and Health in-hand as they transformed between Human and Worgen each turn.
- Monster Hunt - A Dungeon Run-style mode which gave us four interesting heroes to play with.
And now, on with the show!
Shudderwock has been one of my favourite cards since it was released. Like many cards before it, its a build-around card that you can go crazy with - replicating Battlecries means you can do anything from using it as a finisher with a carefully selected set of Battlecries, to throwing in a pile of the best Battlecries you have and placing it at the top end, to sliding it in to an existing archetype that happens to use a fair amount of Battlecries, like Galakrond or Jade.
Even before the admittedly annoying Saronite Chain Gang combo was removed in Standard, I loved to use him in silly unique ways. It's only gotten more fun since it was released, and I'll be sad to see it go. Wild is a hostile place for silly jank, but luckily he works well there as part of some truly degenerate combos, so I'm sure I'll find it in me to mess around there too.
Plus, I just like his flavour. I love a good Lewis Carroll reference.
Although he's a very simple card, Town Crier has been able to help carry warrior for the entirety of the year. I don't think I have built a single warrior deck without putting in two copies of Town Crier at first. At first glance, the card looks underwhelming, but if my time playing Hearthstone has taught me one thing, a cheap vanilla minion that draws a card is almost always playable, if not incredibly strong. He comes out early, establishes board control, and then helps you either keep it or reclaim it later on with the rush minion he's drawn. There isn't much else to say about Town Crier honestly, it's simple, it's elegant, it's strong, and it made deck building a whole lot easier when you only had to put in 28 other cards.
Due to the nature of the card, there isn't really a great way to showcase his strength, as despite how strong he is, he gets overshadowed by cards that seemingly have more impact on than him. That being said, here's a list that features him, a streamlined Galakrond Warrior. The gameplan of the deck is simple, get the board early with Town Crier or Eternium Rover, Invoke Galakrond to control the board as well as going face if the opponent is not pressuring you enough, and finally close out the game with Galakrond, the Unbreakable.
Tess Greymane & Blink Fox
It was love at first sight. I loved the OG Steal Priest back in the day and the crazy games that came with it. Ever since the introduction of the Burgle package for Rogue, it became my new favourite. Games are always different and you have to make do with what you get. I guess that is the Arena player in me.
Tess Greymane was the perfect card to make the archetype come together. You no longer had to be so reserved with the random cards you got, now you had a real late-game strategy. Sometimes playing the cards you got to prepare Tess in a specific way was your strategy and sometimes you had to not play a great removal like Hex or AOE like Brawl just so you wouldn't screw yourself in the long run. And sometimes you did just that and Tess combined with Shadowsteps gave you three Brawls and then some. It was a puzzle game on its own and I loved it.
Another great card that is one of the pillars of any Burgle Rogue deck which is leaving Standard is Blink Fox. Cute little rascal that provides a decent body to fight off aggro in the early game while advancing your overall strategy without losing any tempo. What more can you ask for? Please don't go! :(
This is the deck I have been running for most of the year.
With introduction of Bazaar Burglary, the Burgle Rogue got another "win condition", or rather a consistent removal tool, which helps such a deck a lot since you want to run as many card generators as possible - no need to "waste" card slots on your own removals. This helps with playing Burgle cards early not be such a hindrance, so you can plan your Tess play during midgame and often times being able to play her on curve with great success.
Some late additions with Descent of Dragons like Dragon's Hoard or Flik Skyshiv. Dragon's Hoard especially is great in this deck, it provides access to a really powerful pool of minions that you can then replay later with Tess. If you like your games to be unique and fun, this is a deck for you!
Thanks to ShadowsOfSense, Echo, and Sinti for sharing the cards they'll miss from The Witchwood once it leaves the Standard format.
Which cards from The Witchwood are you going to miss? Tell us about them in the comments below!
If you want to see other cards we're going to miss once the Year of the Dragon ends at the standard rotation takes place, here you go!
I'm gonna miss Lifedrinker the most. I love the combination of a straight up face card combined with a healing effect, all packaged with a lovely beast tag. Used not just in combo decks, but also saw play in a variety of aggro, tempo and midrange decks. Powerful and flexible, but not OP. One of the best designed HS cards of all time.
I love the charge shaman deck where you get the battlecry charge war horse and slam your 30 attack shudderwock into the face of your opponent.
Sucks that some Legendaries didn't see any kind of play during their Time in Standard. Would've loved to make a Control-Priest with Chameleos or a Dragon-Hunter with Emeriss work.
I’m bummed I could never get Surrender to Madness to work.. I’m not really into playing wild either
Lord Godfrey and Zilliax for sure.
Godfrey is the best legendary that Warlock has received in a long time, and it's just a fun board clear to carry on the Defile theme.
And Zilliax is one of the best designed cards that they've ever come up with. The fact that it's been an auto-include for so long, without needing any kind of nerf, and never really felt bad to play against - they totally hit the sweet spot with this one. Unity, Precision, Perfection.
Edit: Missed the part where this article is just talking about Witchwood cards. Whoops! Jumped the gun with good ole Zilly.
Godfrey was in this set, right? By far my favorite board clear.
Let's take a moment and remember that this set originally included Baku the Mooneater and Genn Greymane, two of the most degenerate cards ever printed that warped last year's meta in a terrible way.
While those cards are slowly fading in popularity in Wild (only a couple decks are strong now, whereas one year ago most of the high tier lists were odd or even), it's still incredible that they were the first cards to ever be rotated before the usual lifespan.
For what concerns current Witchwood, I think I'll miss Dire Frenzy, Houndmaster Shaw and Earthen Might, all cards I really enjoyed toying with.
As nice and awesome Shudderwock has been, im still pretty exited to see this card getting yeeted strait into wild.
Yeah, as much as it's one of my favourite cards ever printed, I'm glad it's going to Wild before even I tire of it. A fun effect, but not one you want hanging about in Standard for all time!
A decently statted neutral Taunt thst heals.
Has found it's way into any number of decks as a nice utility card and solid mid game curve filler.
Same here. Rotten and Khartut make an awesome combo for my boy N'Zoth
yep I liked that card even though now it's been replaced by his reborn older brother mostly