Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Learn more.
Hearthstone’s newest expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, came out almost a month ago. The set adds 132 new cards and shakes up how players create decks and compete, raising some classes up (hello, Priest) while sending others to the bottom ranks (sorry, Paladin and Hunter).
Now that we’ve had some time to mess around with these new cards, some of them are definitely standing out. I want to highlight five of my favorite cards from Gadgetzan, which make an impression either because they’re fun, cool, clever, or outrageously powerful.
Kazakus is one of the most creative cards ever made for Hearthstone. Just like Reno Jackson, his effect only works if you have no duplicate cards in your deck. He’s also a tri-class card, so only Mages, Priests, and Warlocks can use him. Basically, you can’t just throw Kazakus into any deck.
But he works wonders for Reno decks used by those three classes. Kazakus allows you to make your own spell, picking two effects from random choices that can do things like deal damage, draw cards, or turn minions into sheep. You even get to decide how powerful your spell will be, which also impacts how much mana the card will cost.
Kazakus lets you make a lot of interesting choices. Do you want a low-cost spell that you can use now, or do you want to craft a powerful one that you won’t be able to use until later in the game? And, since your choices are random, you can’t entirely depend on it to give you what you want, which makes the card more fair. Sometimes you want a spell that will clear your enemies board, but get stuck with options that just give you cards or freeze enemies. Somehow, such a cool, versatile card isn’t too powerful.
Aya is another tri-class Legendary minion, this time for Rogue, Druid, and Shaman. She’s one of the few cards that has both a battlecry and deathrattle effect, so she can synergize with cards like N’Zoth and Brann Bronzebeard. Playing Aya will usually net you at least two Jade Golems, minions that become more powerful each time you summon one. The first Golem will have 1/1 stats, the second will have 2/2, and so on.
If you just play a couple other Jade Golems before Aya, she can give you a lot of value for a single card. She’s a must-have in any deck using the Jade Golem strategy. She’s also a cute panda, and that’s nice too.
Priest was suffering before Gadgetzan, getting few decent cards in the last couple of expansions. Well, the new set solves that problem with some powerful additions, and Drakonid Operator is the best of the bunch. The is the card that has makes Dragon Priest a competitive deck.
Since Drakonid is a dragon himself, he can activate other cards like Netherspite Historian and Book Wyrm. But his effect, which also requires you to have a dragon in your hand to work, is his best feature. You get to discover a card from your opponent’s deck, meaning you get to see three of his cards and pick one of them for your own.
Not only does this often give you a great card, but it allows you to see what kind of deck your opponent is playing. You’d think a minion with such a powerful effect would be relatively weak, but Drakonid has great 5/6 stats.
Patches the Pirate
Ah, Pirate Warrior. This aggressive deck is becoming one of the most hated in Hearthstone memory, thanks to its ability to quickly rush down opponents. And it’s all thanks to Patches. At first glance, he looks like a weak card. He has tame 1/1 stats. But you can actually summon Patches without ever having him in your hand, since playing any other pirate will put him on the board if he’s in your deck. So, on your first turn, you can play a 1 mana pirate minion and also get Patched for free.
Whatever you think of Pirate Warrior, this is a cool effect. Patches has one of the most glorious entrances in all of Hearthstone, with a cannon literally shooting him out of your deck and onto the board.
Dirty Rat is a card of highs and lows. At his best, can pull out an opponent’s Reno Jackson, rendering that card’s ability to completely heal a player mute. At his worst, he’ll summon a powerhouse like Ysera long before she should be played.
It’s an interesting card that’s seeing a surprisingly decent amount of play. Not only do you get that chance to screw Reno decks, but sometimes playing such a cheap taunt minion with high health is worth giving your opponent an extra minion. Cards with powerful stats but “negative” effect can often be the most interesting.
GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.