Breaking down Hearthstone: One Night in Karazhan's last wing, The Spire

The Hearthstone part is over (Blizzard)
The Hearthstone party is over (Blizzard)

The last wing of Hearthstone’s One Night in Karazhan adventure, The Spire, opens its doors this week, and Medivh’s party will finally be full. That’s right: all 45 cards from Karazhan are officially going to be out and ready to work into your decks. What will the new meta bring? Let’s find out by breaking down every one of this week’s new cards.

Medivh's Valet
Medivh’s Valet

A fact about Medivh’s Valet: It’s super strong. Another fact about Medivh’s Valet: It’s super awkward to play.

On its face, the Valet seems like supreme value: 2 mana for a 2/3 is decidedly not bad, and the added bonus of a situational 3 damage makes him one of the best 2-mana minions around. However, that situation is when you have a Secret, a big ask for Mage, whose Secrets cost a whopping 3 mana. That means there’s no way to cast him on turn 3 without having a bit of mana left over. It’s not always ideal, but regardless of when he’s played, Medivh’s Valet is going to net you some serious advantages.

Spirit Claws
Spirit Claws

One Night in Karazhan has some impressive Weapons. Between the Warrior monstrosity of a Weapon Fool’s Bane and this Shaman nightmare, it’s easy to make the case for Weapons being the biggest winners of Karazhan.

Given some Spell Power on the board, Spirit Claws is straight up better than a Fiery War Axe, already considered to be one of the strongest Weapons in the game. It’s not a 100% chance to be a 3/3, but if it is, it’s the best value around. It might even be worth shoehorning in some early Spell Power simply to unlock its potential.

Netherspite Historian1
Netherspite Historian1

Dragon decks sometimes run out of Dragons to hold in their hand. That’s where Netherspite Historian comes in. If you’re holding a Dragon, you get another Dragon (chosen out of three random Dragons), allowing you to hold more Dragons in your hand while utilizing cards that synergize with Dragons. Dragons.

For 2 mana, that’s a hell of a deal. It’s hard to imagine any semi-aggressive dragon decks not running Netherspite Historian, especially when you consider the powerful nature of the Discover mechanic.

Book Wyrm
Book Wyrm

Speaking of strong Dragon cards in One Night in Karazhan, Book Wyrm. A solid mid/control option for Dragon decks, the Wyrm takes out a smaller minion and then trades for a bunch more. It’s like Stampeding Kodo, but even better!

Plus, it’s Brian Kibler approved.

Malchezaar's Imp
Malchezaar’s Imp

I, for one, have always liked cards like Succubus and Doomguard, and have been bummed out that they were rarely used outside of very specific, game-ending circumstances (for Doomguard at least; Succubus never sees play). Warlocks, despite their Hero Power, simply run out of cards when discarding so many at once.

That’s why I find Malchezaar’s Imp so exciting. Cycling through cards while playing undercosted minions is extremely powerful. The question is, will he be enough to bring about a whole new aggro Warlock style?

Ironforge Portal
Ironforge Portal

When I started thinking about Warrior’s addition to the Portal circle of cards, I compared it to Control Warrior staple Shield Maiden. It costs one less mana, gives on less armor, and you don’t know what’s going to pop out of it. Seems like a pretty bad tradeoff, right?

You’d be correct. Ironforge Portal is by no means a bad card, but it’s definitely outclassed by some of the armor-giving cards that Warrior already runs. At least Shield Block gives you a card you already know you want, considering you put the drawn card in your deck already. Maybe if Ironforge Portal cost four instead of five, it’d be worth it. But as it stands, I don’t think it’s quite there.

Violet Illusionist
Violet Illusionist

Oh hello there, Fool’s Bane synergy. Drop the Illusionist alongside the new Warrior weapon and just go to town on the opponent’s minion line.

That’s pretty cool, but the fact that it’s a 4/3 body for 3 makes Violet Illusionist an auto-include for just about any class that seeks to control the board via Weapon usage. Warriors, Paladins, and even certain Rogue decks will see her in just about every list. Congratulations, your Truesilver Champion now reads, “Kill a minion, gain 2 health.”

Prince Malchezaar
Prince Malchezaar

Legendaries aren’t always good. Remember Millhouse Manastorm? How about Flame Leviathan? Acidmaw? All of those, not so hot. And you know your RNG isn’t good enough to pull out a Dr. Boom every time (I know he’s not legal in Standard, but still).

More often than not, this particular Prince will be filling your deck with either overcosted minions that ruin your curve or cheaper minions that don’t do much for you in the early game. Legendary cards are good because they fit a particular niche in certain decks, and leaving it up to chance seems like a risky proposition. But hey, at least his stats are okay.

Medivh, the Guardian
Medivh, the Guardian

Finally, the big man himself. Medivh’s 8 mana for 7/7 already isn’t bad, but when you consider that he drops the immensely powerful Atiesh when you play him, things quickly get out of hand. Once he hits the late game, your board will quickly be filled with huge minions, insane value, and, likely, the VICTORY sign.

Atiesh
Atiesh

It is a bit weird that he’s not a Mage Legendary, though, considering he’s a Mage himself.

Taylor Cocke is pumped to finally have all the cards in Karazhan out so he can get deck building. Follow him on Twitter @taylorcocke.