This will be a first part of card review series for the upcoming expansion Rise of Shadows and I will probably make one every time we get revealed around 10-15 cards. I will be a bit difficult to truly understand everything about cards until we see them all and when the first meta forms, but until then we can see what stand-alone power level and potential synergies they might have.
Let's start with the main character of this expansion, the Supreme Archaeologist! I gotta say when I saw this one I was a bit disappointed. Not because of its strength but because we've seen this effect before. I know that it is connected to his last appearance in the League of Explorers and this effect resembles Golden Monkey, the treasure he was trying to steal, still, it feels unimaginative. That said I think it will definitely see play. 7 mana 7/8 body with this battlecry is kinda okay, but taunt is the thing that really makes a difference, meaning that it will be easier to play this card, even when played into opponents board. Warlock as a class makes this card balanced because generally as Warlock you have less cards in the deck than your opponent. This is good because his battlecry will on average give a huge value boost since most legendaries have a big body. Of course, there will be times when you get Nat Pagles and Bloodmage Thalnos but that won't be an often occurrence.
I don't see this card used in faster Warlock decks, such as Zoo because at 7-8 mana you are generally trying to seal the game and not prolong it, maybe versus heavy control decks this will be used as a tech card but can't say for sure. Most likely I see this card in Control Warlocks or more specific in Hakkar deck as this card would remove all corrupted bloods from your deck and turn them into random legendaries.
This card will see a bit play definitely, but not sure how many decks will be able to utilize it other than slow controlling decks that will need the "burst" of value or get rid of corrupted bloods.
This is one of those new Scheme mechanics cards that improve every turn and this one is pretty much straight-forward. A board clear that definitely fit a defensive/controlling style of play and will be seen in probably every Control Shaman deck. This card is awesome and very powerful indeed. Of course, it is really bad for like turn or two when you draw it but when it reaches 3 or more damage it becomes one of the best board clears in the game and its only 5 mana!
This card will see play in every control deck that Shaman will find as a viable option.
Forbidden Words is one of those cards that bring back memories of Whispers of the Old Gods. In that expansion, we got spells that worked like this. Spending all your mana when you play it, but has so much flexibility that it will definitely see play. Yet another removal for Priest but this one can be employed in every deck, can also substitute Shadow Word: Pain easily, not so much Shadow Word: Death but it can be used as an expensive version of it as well. This card actually does something incredible for the Priest as a class. Finally the ability to get rid of 4 attack minions, most notably those Twilight Drakes that were a pain for every Priest player out there. You won't be able to remove minions with more than 10 attack like Deathwing, but usually, Priest has more efficient ways while dealing with big minions, this can serve as a backup plan in those situations.
Forbidden Words will definitely see so much play because of how versatile it is.
At first glance on this card, I knew this one will be very fun to play with. The battlecry is just crazy, six 6/6 minions on the board!! Of course, the battlecry has a big requirement and it feels like its better to just play a combo deck that has a plan to draw the combo and just win the game or Mecha'thun that does the same, instead you get full board with 6/6 minions that might just get wiped of the board. In this comparison Chef Nomi just sounds sub-par or even terrible. Although, there is one application where this is almost always a good card. It's in tempo style Rogue decks that run Myra's Unstable Element. Depending on how this archetype of Rogue develops, maybe even plays Academic Espionage and that can fill up the deck after Chef Nomi play or you could maybe Shadowstep him to make sure you can play him on the following turn if all of those Geasefire Elementals get cleared.
We will have to wait to fairly evaluate this card, it will need more support for the plan behind it other than the one Rouge has, but it will probably see play it the example plan mentioned above.
The Forests Aid
The first Twinspell we got from this expansion. Don't know how to evaluate this one. One thing is certain, this card is packed with value. 8 mana for five 2/2 minions isn't that great but being able to cast it again makes it worth a card. Odd this about this one is that it seems it supports some kind of Treant/Token archetype but the mana cost is too damn high. We've seen Treants getting many support cards lately but never did it come to life in the meta. This expansions first Druid card is about Treants so we will probably see even more. This might reform the way Token Druids are played or make its own archetype. Can't say for sure this will see play, one thing I see in this card is that it will definitely be good in Arena format, not so sure for Standard play though.
Spellward Jeweler, 3 mana 3/4 is right of the bat a decent card. 3/4s for 3 mana always see some play and this one has a really specific battlecry that it might see its uses in the new tournament format, Specialist. As every tech card, Jewelers power level will depend on the current meta and the amount of combo/face decks in it. This effect will be used to but a turn versus decks that use finishers that need to target your face in order to cast them, otherwise this card is useless against Priests Mind Blast as it doesn't need to target.
Not too much to say about this card. A tech card with a decent body that won't punish you too much for running it versus other than combo match-ups.
Yeah! This is my favorite card from now. The artwork, the power, the effect, everything is to my liking. 10 mana 4/12, not too impressive body for the mana cost, but the effect compensates it. Not only does your first spell each turn is free but you get one free spell when you play Kalecgos. A bonus to this card is that it is a dragon and that tag is worth much with cards like Crowd Roaster. Being the expensive card itself it will be suited for Control/Big Spell decks. The weakness of this card is if you got to play it without any big spells in hand and being unlucky with Discover, yeah his effect is like pseudo-taunt while on board but it isn't taunt and spending your whole turn doing practically nothing can get you killed most often than not. But knowing how Mage plays out, in most cases, there will always be some big impact spell to play with this huge dragon and that will be enough to see play in slower Control decks.
I can't wait to see someone coining out Kalecgos and get disappointed when they realize that they can't play any spells, because they played their first spell already, the coin itself haha.
EVIL Miscreant also introduces a new mechanic, for those that don't know what Lackeys are, you can see them listed in my latest post. 3 mana 1/5 is obviously a weak body, but being bad it has a nice distribution of stats. One thing that confuses me with this card is that it is supposed to sacrifice tempo to generate... Tempo. Not to mention this is best to be done early and comboing 3 mana cards without coin will be really hard to do before turn 5. Lackeys seem like an interesting mechanic and this card is a bit odd to get us theorycraft about their implications in the game.
Note: More Lackeys will be added to the game throughout the year so this card will change in power level and maybe make more sense later, for now, I don't see this being played too much.
If any new card changes my view on the card I will edit those later. Can't wait to see more!
What do you think about new cards being released?
Thank you for reading!