Hearthstone’s Kobolds & Catacombs expansion launches for PC and mobile on December 7. We’ve now seen all 135 new cards in the set, and we’re excited by the possibilities.
Kobolds & Catacombs introduces new mechanics and cards, like Legendary Weapons and Spellstones that grow more powerful in your hand if you meet certain conditions. But some of the expansion’s most interesting additions are just regular spells and minions.
Below, we’ve picked five cards from Kobolds & Catacombs that we find most intriguing. This doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the most powerful. But their new mechanics or design opens up possibilities for new ways of playing Blizzard’s hit digital card game.
Evolution is one of Shaman’s most interesting mechanics. It turns a minion into a random one that costs 1 mana more, often resulting in a stronger card. But more expensive minions aren’t always better ones.
Unstable Evolution gives you some flexibility. As long as you have the mana, you can keep casting this spell. So if you don’t like the outcome of your evolution, you can try again. This idea of a “repeatable” spell is a new and interesting mechanic for Hearthstone.
Plus cheap spells are useful with some other cards. For example, you can use it to draw with Gadgetzan Auctioneer.
Any minion with stats this heavy has to be interesting. The Darkness is a 4 mana creature with 20 attack and 20 health (20/20). Of course, this doesn’t mean you get a cheap, instant win. it starts dormant, meaning it has no attack or health as it takes up a spot on your board, and the enemy can’t remove or target it. The creature only turns into a 20/20 giant if your opponent draws three Candles, which are cards that you shuffle into their deck when you play The Darkness.
The actual minion is not that great. It’s a lot of work to get the 20/20. Even if you do fulfill the requirement, The Darkness is still susceptible to the same removal spells and minions that have big cards like this so often non-viable before.
But shuffling three cards into your opponent’s deck is a big deal. Many archetypes, including the popular Raza Priest, require you to play a deck with only one copy of each card. The Darkness could considerably hamper them. It could also disrupt other combo decks just by making it harder for your opponent to draw the cards they need.
To My Side!
This is why “interesting” doesn’t necessarily mean “good.” To My Side! is a controversial card, with many players — including Redditors and streamers — criticizing it for being weak. Hunter has a 3 mana card that summons one Animal Companion. Another 9 mana card summons three of them. So why does the 6 mana variation only summon 2 if you fulfill the harsh requirement of playing no minions in your deck?
We’ve seen some decks with few minions, including Raza Priest and Freeze Mage, but they sill have some. And while Hunter does have spells and secrets that summon beasts, it’s unclear if it’s nearly enough to actually win a game.
But you have to admit, this idea is interesting. Hunter’s new Legendary Weapon, Rhok’delar, also supports the archetype. It’s a 7 mana 4/2 weapon that fills your hand with random Hunter spells. Again, the stats are weak, the effect is powerful, but the requirement is harsh. But I still think it’ll be fun trying to make this deck work, even if it ends up not being all that good. And it could always have more potential in Wild, where spells like Lock and Load can help generate more value.
A lot of the Legendary Weapons are underwhelming because abilities and spells that destroy weapons negate them. A lot of them also just aren’t that strong. Kingsbane doesn’t have those problems. Even if your opponent destroys it, it just goes back to your deck. And the weapon keeps any enchantments! So if you’ve used two Deadly Poisons and redraw the card, it’ll be a 5/3 weapon.
Rogue is also getting a minion that can help Kingsbane. Cavern Shinyfinder draws a weapon from your deck. You can use that to help dig Kingsbane out from your other cards.
The introduction of Rogue secrets is exciting, and Evasion is the most interesting one. We’ve seen a similar Mage secret, Ice Block, help define many of that class’s decks. That spell makes you Immune during the turn you would have taken lethal damage. Basically, it ensures a future turn.
Now, Evasion is worse than Ice Block. It triggers when you’re attacked, not when you would have died. So you have to be more careful about when you play it. But even a worse Ice Block is still a powerful card, and it can help Rogue deal with decks that shoot out a lot of damage in a single turn, like Raza Priest.