As I had done previously, its always fun to go back and look at predictions made and realize how little I actually knew at the time. This time, it deals with certain cards in Whispers of the Old Gods standard for Hearthstone.
For today, I’ve block quoted my previous prediction and then taken a look at how that has panned out. I will say, I certainly improved from my TGT predictions, but maybe I need to get a little more bold in my predictions next time.
3 New Cards That Will Have An Impact on Standard
Tome is not likely to completely rock the meta and forge a new deck, but I see it being a common piece in certain mage builds. Tempo Mage looks like an obvious choice, despite its higher end of the curve, as its potential gives it a bump.
I also see this card helping out in control Mage builds, perhaps even a Reno Mage deck. You often do not want to draw two of these, and its best on curve where Belchers and Loethebs will no longer fall.
Pulling from the Mage pool is strong, especially for direct damage, but the RNG factor of the card will hurt its value. Competing with Ethereal Conjurer doesn’t help its inclusion either. Despite these negatives, I still see this card integrating itself into certain archetypes.
First up, and at least it appears I hit a couple of the notes correctly. Cabalist’s Tome wasn’t a major player early in the Whispers meta, but recently has made a surge as a key piece of Tempo Mage decks.
Sure, it might have been an easier call, but at least I can make an easy one right? However, I haven’t seen Etheral Conjurer really “competing” for the same slot or role, so that point is a bit off the mark.
Is Midrange Shaman going to finally be a thing? This card certainly helps that case, especially in tandem with the new overload unlock 2-drop.
Blizzard has tried and tried again to bolster midrange cards for Shaman, given its relativity weak constructed playability. Totem synergy didn’t really manifest after TGT, instead we got Aggro Shaman plaguing the ladder.
Sadly, I think this card fits much better into the aggro variant than midrange ideas. While a four drop is higher on the curve in an aggressive deck, it synergies with Trogg, and can be followed up with unlock cards, or even an easy follow up of Lava Burst. With Doomhammer surviving the nerfhammer, Aggro Shaman will only add tools such as this.
This prediction was pretty correct, although again it was one of the easier to make. This 4 mana 7/7 has found a place right at home in Aggro Shaman, and has also been in the Totem Shaman variants. Shaman is now popular in ladder as well as constructed, and this card is a big part of that.
All of these are nice little boosts, on average much better than spare parts from the likes of Toshley. Playing and immediately Shadowstepping Xaril will be a nice play to keep building toxins.
Getting 1 mana effective cards are perfect for Auctioneer, Eviscerates, and SI’s. Deadly Poison is no longer so crucial to hit combo pieces. Xaril will provide value outside trading on board. It’s biggest downside is whether or not Rogue will actually be viable.
Most Important Nerf on Standard
Force of Nature
We all knew it was coming, despite not knowing exactly how. Combo Druid has been ruining many win streaks on ladder for awhile now, and this nerf negates that entire strategy.
No longer will decks need to worry when sitting at 22 against a Druid. The loss of charge is exactly what was required to kill the unpleasant burst potential of the combo. Thats not to say this card is completely dead, but it takes on a whole new role.
Along with the nerf to Ancient of Lore, Druid will need to find a new identity in standard.
The Force nerf has been significant – Druid has altered its default archetype into several other builds. Force’s burst potential has left Druid without its an instant finisher, instead relying on big creatures or beast synergy. All the nerf’s had some big ripple effects, and this was definitely one of them.
Most Important Non-Nerf on Standard
An incredibly frustrating card, Divine Favor survived the nerfhammer somehow. The card has drawn ridicule due to its ability to single handily allow aggressive decks to completely negate all card advantage of a control player, rewarding hand dump play.
While aggro Paladin has not been real popular of late, this card still is too swingy to keep around. Late game, it often allows a player to draw 5 or 6 cards for 3 mana and completely reclaim the board, if not finish an opponent off.
Perhaps Blizzard does not see it wrecking havoc in any viable deck, and left it alone. I guess we’ll see.
This prediction was also offbase. Divine Favor is still an annoyance, but the Aggro and Secret Paladins of the ladder are still relegated to Wild. Thus, hand dump is not part of the Paladin-style nowadays. With Paladin falling more on the side of control, Divine Favor is not popular, and perhaps that is exactly why Blizzard left it alone.
Old Card That Will Be Revived in Standard
Piloted Shredder was the gold standard for solid, all around neutral auto include. With its versatility, and competition at the 6 mana slot, Cairne suffered.
With the rotation, Cairne’s ability becomes unique once again, leading to strong value trades. Two successive 4/5’s can now trade better on board, and the 6-slot can allow that it many decks.
Welcome back Cairne old buddy. At least you don’t drop Doomsayers.
Cairne found viability for the beginning of the meta, and for the exact reasons I had listed. The 4/5 body was once again decent, and his token drop was now a rare efficiency in standard. However, in the more developed meta he has mostly been used in N’zoth decks due to his deathrattle.
Most Annoying New Deck On Ladder
This card has the Reno effect, where everyone will be fitting it into each class for a dedicated archetype. However, its deckbuilding restrictions are much less, and its likely to win most games its played.
Sure, it will be exciting experimenting with this initially, but I can forsee Reddit threads complaining over the swarms of C’Thun decks overrunning ladder. Given many of the support cards, this deck could be very strong.
C’Thun has been quite a presence on ladder, although its more balanced nature seems to have prevented it from reaching truly annoying status. Its a legendary one-of, so its not always certain to swing the game, and it does have viability in multiple classes, further adding to its diversification.
Most Fun New Deck On Ladder
8 thoughts on “Retrospective: Predictions for Whispers of the Old Gods Standard”
I can’t stand that pesky shaman 4 mana 7/7.
I think the drawback is too little. Not many answers to it at that early turn unless taunt which the 7/7 players surely have answers
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Most of the overload cards aren’t worth the drawback, but that one has gone to the other extreme. Doesn’t help the Big Game Hunter got nerfed. The old version of BGH would have been a good counter to that 7/7.
Thats why i think at 4mana for a 6/6 or 5/7 would have been fine. But currently, it will take while for it to cycle out of standard
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In a way, the introduction of Standard format and C’thun makes it enticing for some newer players and some returning players back into HS. 13 free packs of course helps. 🙂
I still don’t quite like Flamewreath since it’s a bit harder to deal with initially, (it really should have been 6/6) but what the heck.
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Standard has definitely increased some interest for me, especially come rotation time
Good call on the Cairne. I remember being completely uninterested when I opened Yogg in my pre-purchase. The whole disdain for RNG by competitive players seems to have underrated the card at first.
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I’m happy I opened Yogg bc otherwise it would’ve been an easy 1600 dust decision just for the fun factor