Whispers of the Old Gods: Four new Cards, Four new Combos

Whispers of the Old Gods: Four new Cards, Four new Combos

            Not long ago, we received word that Blizzard has been working on a new Hearthstone expansion for an eager community. These cards are easily some of the most interesting and combo-breaking that have ever been released together in an expansion. First and foremost, though, this expansion is particularly important due to the new wild and standard formats coming this year. In standard, only the classic cards and those from expansions released within the last 2 years will be able to be used to ladder against other players. This means that you should start familiarizing yourself with the new cards, as you will be seeing a lot of them in standard mode. This article will go over the four cards that are the ‘old gods’, and the combos that they will include. Keep in mind that this was written before all of the cards were announced, so this news article may be outdated soon.

            Starting with the first card announced in the expansion, C’Thun has a very interesting deck interaction. By itself, a 10 mana 6/6 isn’t at all impressive, especially with its Battlecry. However, the cards that go along with C’Thun are what make it powerful, such as Beckoner of Evil and C’Thun’s Chosen. These cards allow you to scale your C’Thun to become even more powerful, wherever it may be, which can include your deck, your hand or even the board. Blizzard has also confirmed that you will be guaranteed to receive 1 C’Thun and two Beckoners of Evil upon opening your first pack of the Old Gods, which means that you don’t have open pack after pack to fish for it. Unlike most combo decks, however, this one allows you to maintain board control throughout it, unlike a deck like freeze Mage. Many have compared this deck style to be more of a beginner deck that is both effective and straightforward, seeing as how there is little counterplay to the C’Thun buffs that your minions provide. Due to this, C’Thun himself will have several roles in the deck. If it is big enough, it can be used to simply finish off a low health hero with little board control. It can also be used for board clear, especially against decks like Zoo Warlock or Midrange Paladin, seeing as how their minions typically have less health then average. Finally, the combo can be rounded off with another new card, the Ancient Harbinger, which draws a random 10 cost minion from your deck. If you’re playing this deck correctly, it is very likely that C’Thun will be your only 10 cost minion, now making it very easy to have your win condition in hand and ready to be played. Finally, if you really want to add salt to the wound, throw a Faceless Shambler in your deck as well. As if one 22/22 C’Thun wasn’t enough, try another one for only 4 mana! Do keep in mind, however, that Ironbeak Owl will still be available to play in Standard, so it is likely that your heavy combo cards could be silenced. If this is the case, don’t be discouraged! After all, a 6/6 is still a lot of board control and you were still able to get the Battlecry off, which is what counts. All in all, we should be expecting to see a lot of this style of deck in Standard mode. Not only will all players have the key legendary card to play this deck with, but also the deck itself appears, at the present moment, to be quite powerful.

            Next up is N’zoth, the Corruptor. The second of the Old Gods, this card features a similar combo style to C’Thun in the sense that you build up to it through the early to mid-game, and intend to use it as your win condition in the late game. At first glance, this almost looks like Anyfin can Happen decks all over again. Little to no counterplay with a huge power spike on turn 10. However, this card may not be as impactful as it first seems. But, you may be asking, how is summoning both of my Piloted Shredders and Boom Bots that died this game not impactful? Because of standard mode. Most of the better Deathrattle cards came in previous expansions which, once again, will not be able to be utilized in standard mode. Feel free to ravage your opponents with it in Wild format, however, as all cards will be available there. For now, however, this article will focus more on standard mode, which is likely to be the most competitively followed format when the changes are implemented. However, this does not mean that this combo will be bad. There are plenty of Deathrattle minions in this expansion that can be key to unlocking this card’s potential, such as the Polluted Hoarder, the Warlock’s Possessed Villager, or even the Spawn of N’Zoth. While this deck type might not end up being top tier, remember that most of the old power spike decks will be left behind in standard, so it is actually likely that this deck will see a lot of play. Once again, this card shares the synergy with Ancient Harbinger, although it is possible that this might not be your only 10-cost minion in the deck. Another important note, in a recent tweet from Hearthstone, states that “N'Zoth will raise silenced Deathrattle minions, but not cards that were buffed with Deathrattle or transformed.” This means that if your Deathrattle minion was either buffed or transformed by a Polymorph or a Recombobulator, it will not be re-summoned. All in all, this card is difficult to predict and will depend heavily on how the community decides to use it.

            Up next is arguably my personal favorite of the four Old Gods, Y’Shaarg, Rage Unbound. Boy, that one’s a mouthful. This card is much different than the first two gods, as this one, now, does not require previous action to be taken in order to make it strong. In a sense, this card has what I like to call the Kelthuzad effect. If it is able to be dealt with in an efficient and cost-effective manner, than the massive loss in tempo can very well lose you the game. However, the longer it survives, the more value comes out of it. Decks that run this card will probably be more late game, control centered decks like Control Warrior or Control Priest, as they typically run a large amount of high cost cards with decently sized bodies to wrench board control from their opponent. This card can simply allow you to get that control faster. Honestly, there isn’t much to say about this guy. He’s a meaty board presence, provides a lot of tempo and potentially a win condition if he’s allowed to live, but if dealt with properly, can result in a massive loss of tempo especially if the first draw doesn’t go your way. Overall, he should be a fun card to run, and should be effective in oddball decks like Ancestral Communion Druid.

            Finally, the fourth, final and strangest of the Old Gods is Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End. This card honestly provides one of the quirkiest combos in the game, and playing it could quite literally lose you the game. If you don’t put too much thought into it, this card looks insane – bombard your opponent with all sorts of spells and board clear until there simply isn’t anything left. A big downer, however, is likely in the realization that your minions and hero are also in the pool of random targets. Sure, you can pull a Pyroblast out of nowhere, but where does it go? Into your opponent’s face for lethal, or your own? Heck, it’s actually possible that you Fireball your own Yogg-Saron. You could actually heal your opponent and their minions, as cards like Flash Heal and Healing Wave can work against you as well. While this deck will almost certainly not be one you should expect to ladder successfully with, be sure to at least give it a try before you disenchant it. It could easily result in some of the funniest combos in the game, which is more than worth trying out.

            Overall, the Old Gods expansion and Standard Mode should cause a massive swing in the Meta, which we look forward to eagerly. Myself and writers like me can do our best in predicting the Meta changes, but all in all, the only way to tell will be to try it out ourselves.  Be sure to keep up on the daily card releases through twitter, reddit or facebook. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you all in the next article!

~AJ

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