Roughly a month has passed since Hearthstone's Kobolds & Catacombs expansion released. That means the meta is starting to take shape, with all-new deck types that are dominating Ranked Play. Players are seeing some new faces, along with some old faces that are lending a hand.
By now, hardcore Hearthstone players have a general idea of what to craft. But what about the casual player and those looking to climb the ladder? On Monday, Shacknews offered up a handful of Neutral cards to craft from whatever Mana stash is available. For today, Shacknews is going to look at critical non-Legendary class cards to craft.
(3) Explosive Runes
Secret: After your opponent plays a minion, deal 6 damage to it and any excess to their hero.
This latest expansion has offered an embarrassment of riches for Mage players. But while Ruby Spellstone and Leyline Manipulator are fun, Elemental Mage has yet to make a real impact on the current meta. It hasn't taken the ladder by storm quite like Secret Mage has. And a big reason for Secret Mage's dominance is Explosive Runes.
That's because Explosive Runes is as effective as it is demoralizing. It not only undermines the opponent's effect to maintain tempo, but it often puts them behind the eight ball by also hitting face. It's even more devastating when behind a Kabal Lackey or Kirin Tor Mage. There are few counters for it and it's such a killer in the early game. This has become a must-have in just about any Mage deck.
(9) Voidlord (3/9)
Type: Minion - Demon
Taunt. Deathrattle: Summon three 1/3 Demons with Taunt.
Voidlord has proven to be a near-impenetrable wall for Warlocks. It's a great late-game minion to ward off aggro decks or larger minions.
But Voidlord's greater purpose is to help set up that killer Doomguard/Carnivorous Cube combo. A high-health Taunt spawning three more Taunts is brutal to have to plow through and the pressure gets poured on quickly in the face of a game-ending combo. But even if the Warlock player doesn't have that combo at the ready, simply using Carnivorous Cube on the Voidlord creates a wall that just keeps rebuilding itself.
(4) Call to Arms
Recruit 3 minions that cost (2) or less.
Paladin's latest aggro incarnation is basically death by a thousand cuts. Starting off with Lost in the Jungle on Turn 1, the idea is to fill the board with multiple weak minions and win the numbers game. And as long as the opponent has no area-of-effect spells, it's often an effective strategy.
It's exceptionally difficult to keep up with three minions at once, which makes Call to Arms a particularly strong card. Pulling out Knife Juggler, Drygulch Jailor, Argent Squire, or Righteous Protector is a crazy Turn 4 play. Those minions are often difficult to remove in a single-turn, which makes it an ideal setup for a Sunkeeper Tarim turn. It's also a good setup for any number of minion-buffing spells, which can eventually become too much to overcome.
(1) Unstable Evolution
Transform a friendly minion into one that costs (1) more. Repeatable this turn.
Evolve Shaman has taken a bit of a hit in this meta, but that's not for lack of tools. Unstable Evolution is a handy tool for whenever Evolve and Doppelgangster aren't available. But in cases where they are, Unstable Evolution makes for a great backup tool in case of a bad evolution outcome. Did an Evolve play leave a Big-Time Racketeer on the board? Use Unstable Evolution to make it into something better!
Unstable Evolution will only become more useful as time goes on, especially once Evolve makes its way into Wild. So it's probably best to get one ready now and start practicing with it. It's still one of the strongest of the new Shaman cards.
(4) Duskbreaker (3/3)
Type: Minion - Dragon
Battlecry: If you're holding a Dragon, deal 3 damage to all other minions.
Priest got a lot of great tools for the new meta, but Duskbreaker is one of the ultimate trump cards. If the aggro strategy doesn't work out and things start to go the other way, Duskbreaker has the potential to clear the board. If he isn't needed, he's still a good card to have in-hand to trigger Netherspite Historian or Drakonid Operative. Duskbreaker is a versatile tool and the Priest's best defense against other aggro decks.
(2) Cavern Shinyfinder (3/1)
Battlecry: Draw a weapon from your deck.
Kingsbane is only useful whenever it's in-hand, but Cavern Shinyfinder ensures it's always in-hand. Our original analysis nailed it, ignoring the terrible 3/1 stat line and instead focusing on the dynamite effect. This minion is critical for Rogue decks, putting Kingsbane back in their hand after a Blade Flurry play or as a backup play in case the opponent has Harrison Jones handy.
(5) Lesser Emerald Spellstone
Summon two 3/3 Wolves. (Play a Secret to upgrade.)
Hunter Secrets are always a pain to deal with, but they become even moreso when they work towards putting four 3/3 Wolves on the board. Lesser Emerald Spellstone is an insanely easy spell to upgrade and by the time it gets played, the Secrets already have the opponent on the ropes. Unless there's an area-of-effect spell at the ready, opponents often won't be able to keep up with the numbers game, especially when those Wolves have Beast synergy that can aid cards like Crackling Razormaw or Kill Command. In fact, a Turn 10 Tundra Rhino/Spellstone play has the potential to hit face for a whopping 14 damage! Yeowch!
(2) Drywhisker Armorer (2/2)
Battlecry: For each enemy minion, gain 2 Armor.
Warrior very much got the short end of the stick in this expansion. Outside of the Legendaries, there isn't much to write home about. It's very possible you might already have two Drywhisker Armorers unpacked. If by some small chance you don't have this Common card, though, it's invaluable to the Warrior's Armor-gaining efforts. On top of that, it's gold against aggro and zoo decks, as well as a great companion piece for Reckless Flurry, which helps to clear the board in a pinch.
(4) Oaken Summons
Gain 6 Armor. Recruit a minion that costs (4) or less.
And finally, there's Druid, a class that has seen better days. Jade Druid isn't the force that it used to be, but Aggro Druid is starting to trend upwards. Part of that is because of this card, which not only bolsters the Druid's Armor total, but can be used to bring out minions like Ironwood Golem, Greedy Sprite, or Crypt Lord. Aggro Druids won't want to be without this card, which not only helps maintain tempo, but also ward off an opponent's own aggro rush with an Armor buff.
Those are the non-Legendary cards that are worth crafting, if you don't have them already. Any other cards from this expansion better than these? Feel free to let me know what I overlooked by joining the conversation and leaving a comment.