As a preface, Hearthstone is an online “free to play” (P2W) card game made by Blizzard. Defining characteristics of this game include it’s glorious artwork, native casual player mentality, and copious amounts of RNG.
In Hearthstone, you can play as one of nine different classes, like a Druid or Mage. What’s fundamentality different between each class is their Hero Power, which is their ability they can use ‘once’ each turn for 2 mana, as well as unique class cards. This article requires some knowledge of the game. Here are five cards that would have been awesome neutral cards and why.
OH! Also, this is an opinion piece.
#1.) Ethereal Peddler
Ethereal Peddler Rogue works well due to other synergies with cards like Swashburglar, Burgle, and Undercity Huckster. One new mechanic Rogue has gotten lately is the ability to acquire the other player’s class cards from other classes.
You know who else has a few abilities that get other cards from player’s hands? That’s right, Priest. Priest has Thoughtsteal, Mind Vision, Entomb, Shifting Shade, and Convert! In fact the more I think about this, the more bummed I am that Priest can’t use this card. Peddler essentially pushed Factory Rogue to be a thing, and would have added another layer of intrigue to the Priest scene. One distinguishing factor worth noting that makes Ethereal Peddler worse in Priest however is the random element. Swashburglar, Burgle, and Huckster all guarantee cards from the opponent class, where the Priest takes a random one or requires it on the board to be drawn. Regardless, 5 mana for 5/6 stats is premium value despite how many cards get discounted. A counterargument for this change could be power creep, essentially from Pit Fighter which sees no play in constructed. But Blizzard has frequently intentionally made strictly better cards of unplayed cards in future expansions (Hungry Toad), but this would not be true power creep since Pit Fighter never saw play.
#2.) Healing Totem (concept)
Okay this one is weird. This isn’t exactly a playable card that you can put in your deck, but if it was, it’s class exclusive at the moment. Healing Totem in Shaman (before the degenerate aggro days) is notorious for being “the only Totem you could have pulled that would have caused you to lose” OR “your 1-way ticket to value town.” Most often when you are on the receiving end of this card, Healing Totem is that minion you’ll destroy last, if at all.
In my opinion, today’s Shaman often won’t take advantage of this card’s potential. But you know what deck could? Yep, it’s YO BOI, PRIEST!
You can smell the Northshire synergies already. Holy Champion just looked a lot scarier. Cards like Circle Heal are of near must include in most Priest decks. While yes, this has negative synergy with Auchenai I still believe this card (if not this mechanic) has hilarious potential in a deck that can make this card seem like a higher priority target than Shaman can.
Dreadscale rarely sees play in Hunter decks, due to it’s negative impact it has on Hunter’s own board. Hunter’s minions frequently fall to or start at 1 Health and Dreadscale often becomes not enough upside to combat this. Unleash the Hounds is frequently a better option, despite Dreadscale’s Hunter Mark and Acolyte of Pain synergy.
Hunter is already struggle with looking for control cards and this is a weak option for one. So who can use this deck better? My votes are for Paladin and Warrior.
Paladins have Equality. Playing this after an Equality may be a bit nuts though. Wild Pyro sees plenty of play for that combo, and with that you are at least sacrificing your 3/2 also. Dreadscale would provide a solid 4/2 body on an empty board.
Warriors could use this card. It would compete with Ravaging Ghoul of course, which is generally a better option since you can Execute on the same turn with its Battlecry, and the 3/3 body is sweet. Dreadscale has nasty synergies with Patron and Frothing Beserker which is also welcome. It is a weak Grommash activator however, and the lingering effects could be troublesome.
#4.) Herald Volazj
Herald Volazj is that card that would have better suited to just about ANY other deck. Popular Hearthstone streamer Kripp tried over multiple occasions to make this card work for Priest. Fact of the matter is that Priest and early game board control are not its strong suits and this card only sees success when Priest actually has a board at the start of their turn.
Here are some sample situations where I think other classes can have some fun moments with Volazj.
Warlock can use this card with its natural zoo presence with thorough consistency since Warlock typically has a board to work with most early turns. Throw in a Darkshire Councilman or Knife Juggler for some extra big plays.
Hunter can use this card in many ways. Deathrattle Hunters get strong value with their 1/1s since their deathrattle abilities can pile on. Other cards like Unleash the Hounds, the Companions Leokk and Huffer, as well as Savannah can appreciate this effect.
Paladin can get a lot out of this in my opinion. Murloc Paladin ramps up their combo even faster. If you get a Bluegill and Warleader, you’ve got your stack already and it’ll hurt. Other Divine Shield minions would also get more value from this card. Need I mention Steward of Darkshire?
#5.) Addled Grizzly
Addled Grizzly seems like that card to me who only really fits the Druid theme due to its beast tag. It also struggles to stay on the board without a buff due to how easily it can be removed. Addled Grizzly in my experience is generally a “win-more” card.
So how can Grizzly stick? Well, Rogue for example can stealth it up. It can also Shadowstep it to prepare for a round 2 of more Grizzly fun. A different type of Rogue playstyle involving more board control with minions would need to be created for this strategy to be optimal however.
Warlock in my opinion would have the best result with the card. It doesn’t need Grizzly to last that long for Warlock to squeeze in a couple 1-drops with that extra buff. In unpolished versions of WOTG Zoolock, Spawn of N’Zoth was an option. The problem with that card however was that you usually left your opponent a turn of either being merciful or picking apart your board in the right order to Spawn’s despair.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to let me know your insights on this opinion HS piece. Are they any cards you think could be sweet neutral cards? Was there too much anchor text?