Well met! It's time for another issue of "The Forgotten Wilds of Hearthstone" series, where we investigate four long-forgotten Wild cards - one per rarity - that was missing the action for a long time. We will give you some insights by looking into the history behind these cards and then help you build a deck around them.
Whirling Zappy... Getting Dizzy!
We're starting our list today with Zappy. Coming to us from the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion, which was released on December 8th, 2014, Zappy was considered to be one of the most dangerous cards printed, at least until it was rotated out in the Year of the Kraken. So why was Zappy so dangerous?
If you didn't kill him with cards such as Frostbolt or Shadow Word: Pain right away, it was almost certain that you would have to embrace a huge-burst with two Rockbiter Weapons. Back in those days, it was only 1 mana to bring out your +3 attack buff, giving a potential 18 damage on turn 3! Although hard to pull off, it was similar to the power-level of Priests and their infamous early Divine Spirit/Inner Fire combo.
Another tough combo you may have seen was thanks to Powermace giving Zappy more survivability and aggression at the same time after the last swing.
(Rather, it's how to "One Punch Man")
So, be it Powermace or Rockbiter Weapon, having an early vanilla body with Windfury attached for 2-Mana means that your opponent will be punched hard with these enchantments from turn 3 onwards. Now, you might ask, how come this card couldn't see much play at all in current meta?
- With Rockbiter Weapon being nerfed to 2-Mana, Zappy lost its electrifying moments. Aggro decks always favor of eliminating your opponent with minimal consumption of Mana Crystals, so it's not the same anymore to execute two Rockbiter Weapons with a total of 4-Mana. Applying temporary enchantments by spending lots of Mana don't look profitable for Aggro players.
- Nowadays, current Aggro decks either care about constant swarms or consistent bodies. Therefore, it's sad to state that 4 Mana 7/7 will always be a good pick.
Then, you might say: "You said Mechs came back with the launch of Boomsday. So, how come we couldn't notice Zappy as frequent as we used to be?" I think that either Wild streamers didn't play Mech Shaman decks fairly often to be noticed or they think Mech Shaman couldn't be as viable as decks such as Shudderwock Shaman. With Mech cards printed out such as Wargear, I can't believe why Mech Shaman isn't that popular in today's meta despite the reasons mentioned above. It's also a perfect fit for Even Shaman because of quick burst potential, as seen from a tournament player named Longer, attended at Wild Open Finals 2019.
If you wish to zap through other decks, feel free to browse here. As a final touch, here is a video from Trump in July 2015 to tell you how Mech Shaman was played at that time:
(Pay attention, class. Listen to our teacher, Trump!)
Powering Up... Maces Online!
Another card from Goblins vs Gnomes expansion, where it screams "Hey, I was used in Mech decks before, why don't you love me in current meta?" If you check the first video of Whirling Zap-o-matic, you can see how busted it was. Similar to Whirling Zap-o-matic, this card is a sleeping beauty and it's surprising to see that nobody hasn't discovered the potential within Mech Shaman decks. Boosting a Mech with +2/+2 upon last swing can be a game-changer, not to mention the mutualist relationship between Zappy and Powermace. Try to put it in a Mech Shaman deck, check the deck I made just for this card -and for Zappy, I didn't forget you, buddy-. Then, watch the video above to grasp the play-style of Mech Shaman from the past to evolve/adapt it for the future.
Check out the other decks utilizing Powermace well here.
Oh Christmas Tree
Belonging to The Grand Tournament expansion, released on August 24th, 2015, this card rang the bells within our minds when we heard Secret Paladin archetype. This card brought out good memories for those who played and nightmares for those who were against him. If you didn't know what Secret Paladin was or how Secret Paladin was played in 2015, you simply rush through your opponent with a Midrange build until turn 6, handling these cards such as Haunted Creeper/Shielded Minibot/Knife Juggler+Muster for Battle with care. Then, on turn 6, play Mysterious Challenger - known as Dr. 6 to most of Hearthstone players - to pull out at most 5 Secrets instantly, unlike Subject 9 where you need to draw them first and play afterwards. Also, Dr. 6 taught us the art of "deciding critical decisions", such as.
- To attack or not to attack.
- When to enable chain reactions, explained below.
- When to eat secrets.
- To calculate whether you survive or not from the "outplay" came from Mysterious Challenger.
- Whether you want to rage-quit or not.
I mean, who can forget activating a chain reaction of Noble Sacrifice>>Avenge>>Redemption upon attacking, hearing "Get down!" lines over and over again? In addition to that, as if Avenge wasn't enough, Competitive Spirit was ready to proc after your opponent's turn has come and Repentance would punish you hard if misplayed around it. Couldn't imagine what was illustrated until there? If so, have a look at this video from pro player Kolento in January 2016 to grasp the idea of how Secret Paladin was busted since the print of "Who am I? None of your business!":
(What is this video? Stop asking questions and watch it right here!)
Right now, I can imagine your questions popping out of your head, such as "If that archetype was strong, how come it wasn't popular in 2019's Wild meta?" The reasons for this are straightforward, so let's dive in.
- As time went by, Odd Paladin became popular as the best Aggro deck with stronger finishers than Secret Paladin.
- Secret Paladin was partially supported from expansion to expansion such as Hydrologist from Journey to Un'Goro and Bellringer Sentry from The Witchwood but not as extensive until the release of Rise of Shadows, with Commander Rhyssa and Never Surrender! leading the resurgence of Secret Paladin.
- Skulking Geist will eat your Secrets at breakfast if played, putting you in a position where you got naked.
Even though these reasons are against you, that doesn't mean you can't play Secret Paladin in Wild format, whether in Casual or Ranked. Rather, now is the time for you to test out Dr. 6 in Secret Paladin decks to bring back fond memories with him. I have an unorthodox deck for you to utilize him well: Highlander Mecha'thun Secret Paladin! You heard me right, the guide is included for those who are interested:
If you wonder his true identity, I guess you need to find out by examining these decks yourself. Also, credit where it's due, I couldn't have made this deck if not for Solem. Check this video to see how Secret Paladin fares well in 2019's Wild meta.
(Who are you? The era of flesh is my business!)
The Return of Lonely Stag
Oh boy, Goblins vs Gnomes sure was favored a lot for today's article! We're going to wrap things up by looking at some untapped potential through Malorne. You've likely never encountered this big Beast in your Hearthstone Travels; Personally I've only seen him three times during my whole four years of playing this game. After my first encounter with him, while playing in the Wild format in 2016, I crafted him during Karazhan-era and have no regrets.
- One Night in Karazhan expansion granted Menagerie Warden. Thanks to copying lots of Malornes, you will cycle them endlessly, blocking you from fatigue damage. Just imagine pairing this with N'Zoth.
- The Witchwood expansion gave us Witching Hour to resurrect even more Malornes. Combine this with Archmage Vargoth, and you can summon two of them at the same time.
- Rastakhan's Rumble added Stampeding Roar to rush through your opponent's large minions, enabling Malorne to defeat Voidlord with ease.
Historically speaking, we didn't see much play with Malorne due to Druids instead opting for more powerful late-game finishers such as the infamous pre-nerfed Innervate + Force of Nature + Savage Roar which could be played on turn 7. On a similar pre-nerf note, Big Game Hunter was a scary force back when he was only a 3-drop. Losing your 7 mana play to something that cheap didn't feel great and it being neutral meant everyone could tech it into their decks.
Jumping forward to today, we don't see Malorne much due to it being a slower card. Wild's meta is all about "How can I close the game before turn 6 shows up and ruins it?" Secret Mage being Tier 1 and bursting your face means you'll be dead before getting to have any fun with Malorne. Playing around with Big Beasts as an archetype can also be difficult due to it getting new additions every expansion, increasing the cost of playing the deck. Sticking to old-yet-strong flavors such as Jade Druid and Linecracker Armor Druid, give Wild players the ability to have fun, be competitive, and lighten the load on their wallet.
We can still have fun though with Malorne and I advise you to play him over in Casual. Aurin777 has found a deck that gives him a home and you should consider checking it out.
More decks were returned with him, right here!
That's all for today. Let us know in the comments which cards you feel don't get the time of day anymore and until next time, peace out and stay tuned for more!