Here's a few dust tips (keep in mind that this advice is coming from a player who's been F2P/budget since Whispers of the Old Gods... so if you're willing to average more than $5ish spent on each expansion, probably not all of this will apply):
A couple other general tips for maximizing dust (not necessarily restricted to expansion launch):
If we're talking standard, I kind of doubt fatigue immunity will be relevant in Druid, at least for the next year... Kazakusan is just too strong of a finisher, and Taunt and Beast Druid are just too fast for fatigue to matter. Even if fatigue becomes relevant, Kaz is just a straight-up better way of avoiding fatigue... he puts it off by ten turns all in one go, while Bottomfeeder puts it off by just one turn at a time and requires your opponent to choose to kill it--something that's not super likely in a fatigue mirror, which is the only situation I can imagine where fatigue prevention would be relevant.
I think when you say "Doomguard," people hear "Carnivorous Cube and Bloodreaver Gul'dan"... and all the trauma comes rushing back haha.
Vanndar Beast Hunter to tier 2?
Makes sense! The part I wasn't sure about was whether Dredge is actually considered to be a Discover, or whether it's a separate mechanic whose UI just looks like Discover. I guess it really doesn't make much sense to reinvent the wheel within the game's code, though...
I'll be curious to see how this card actually works once it hits ladder... "Fire" is listed as the first school in both the English and Japanese versions of the card, but the gameplay video shows the Nature spell proc'ing first. It's inconsistent with how similar wording is interpreted on other cards (e.g. Spirit Guide always draws the Holy spell first), so I'm wondering whether the apparent randomness is intended or is just an oversight. Also curious about the interaction between Scalding Geyser and Windchill off this card if Geyser gets cast first... do you actually get to dredge before drawing, or does it just effectively mean that you're randomly drawing one of the three bottom cards of your deck?
That's really good to know about Brann and Siamat! Thanks!!!
Not saying the OTK is competitively viable (I certainly hope it's not... my favorite games of all time were Rise of Shadows Control Warrior mirrors), I'm just double-checking that it's possible. :) It actually doesn't include Brilliant Macaw... instead, it's based on the idea that whenever Bolner repeats Bru'kan's battlecry, you'll always be able to choose from among all of his hero powers. If that's true, then basically, every single battlecry you play that turn can include a Fireball to face (since the Fire Invocation HP always goes face), which means a ton of cheap battlecries that you play on the same turn as Bru'kan = a ton of Fireballs to face.
That could be true--I haven't used or seen Bolner a whole bunch! However, as I understand it, he only chooses randomly when the battlecry is itself random.
The way Bru'kan of the Elements's battlecry reads to me is "Battlecry: Choose two hero powers to activate this turn." If that's how the battlecry really should be translated into plain HS terms, I'd be really surprised if you weren't given a choice each time.
I'm thinking mainly of a precedent for a similar scenario: if you play Siamat with Battle Totem, you get to choose from all four options each time his battlecry triggers. That said, I know that's an example from single-player content... if you know whether it works the same way with Brann Bronzebeard, though, that might confirm it one way or another!
I do find it somewhat frightening that Bolner + Bru'kan + Lightning Bloom + two 1-mana battlecries = 24 face damage.
No, I was just throwing in a random 1-mana battlecry. I did realize, however, that Tour Guide could mean extra damage too. Here is the thought process:
Someone check my math, but I believe Bolner Hammerbeak + Bru'kan of the Elements + 2x Lightning Bloom + 2x Kindling Elemental + 2x Elven Archer + Guardian Augmerchant = 44 face damage (plus an unrestricted Reno Jackson and/or asymmetrical Twisting Nether effect).
Obviously that 9-card max damage combo probably isn't going to happen on ladder, but I feel like we could realistically see Bolner + Bru'kan being used as a 10-mana, 12-damage Alexstrasza the Life-Binder + pre-Barrens Flamestrike to top off a Control Shaman or Quest Shaman's curve. I could also see many people getting very mad about that 12-damage finisher (putting aside any potential Lightning Bloom shenanigans), given how people felt about Alex a few metas ago.
For sure! Here's the list I'm currently running: https://outof.cards/hearthstone/decks/31084-amulet-nzoth-priest. I've seen mostly Shadow Amulet Priest builds on ladder, but I feel like the extra healing from Holy cards/your hero power is more valuable than a proactive hero power. Still tinkering a lot, but this build has felt like a low tier-2 deck--I've been yo-yoing between Diamond 4 and 2 with a winrate that's just a tick higher than 50%. The main issues (as with all slow decks) are Quest Mage and Questlock... you win those two "fun" and "interactive" matchups so rarely that it's actually probably worth conceding as soon as you see them play the quest, but pretty much everything else is winnable. (I did find out the hard way that this deck loses to Mozaki Mage. -_-)
Agreed. When I first saw Drek'Thar, I immediately thought of Grim Necromancer, which is right on the edge of playability (it seems to me like it almost always pops up in early versions of board-flooding decks before getting cut in more refined lists). Given that his stats and (usually) the stats of the minions he summons are quite a bit more threatening than a 2/4 and a couple 1/1s, I feel like he'll be a staple of faster minion-based strategies for quite a while.
Speaking purely anecdotally, Vandarr has felt like he's made a huge difference in Amulet N'Zoth Priest, Commencement Warrior, and Big Demon Demon Hunter. I haven't gotten around to trying him in Clown Druid or Corrupt Priest yet, but I imagine he'd slot in well there too. Even if Vandarr doesn't end up being good in the long run, it feels really good for slow decks to get some payback in the early meta against faster stuff like Taunt Druid and Handbuff Paladin. Now if only someone would delete Handlock...
Early signs are promising... already faced two Big Priests running Vanndar (in Diamond 3 fwiw), and not a single Mage or Questlock. Fingers crossed that he makes plonking down several very large mans a viable strategy in more classes than just Warrior!
I could see it being experimented with in a deck like Libram Paladin or some sort of board buff-y Paladin--for example, play Libram of Hope to protect a couple small minions, then if the 8/8 survives, go face with it the next turn, play the Redistributor, and go face with your no-longer-small guy (would work similarly with board buffs such as Blessing of Authority or potentially turn Blessing of Kings into 8 points of damage on turn 9, rather than 4). Might be too slow, but it's shenanigans, so I'm sure at least some people will try it for the first week or so!
I'm also anticipating some experimentation with N'Zoth Paladin--unlike Carousel Gryphon, it's decent on 5 even when you're behind on board, which may give N'Zoth Paladin better survivability into the late game and smooth out its curve by slotting Gryphon into the 7-drop role it always wanted.
I feel like Suckerhook would be quite good in Warrior or Paladin, but the issue I see with it as a Shaman card is that the weapons Shaman currently runs are Auctionhouse Gavel, Whack-A-Gnoll Hammer, Doomhammer, and the odd Boggspine Knuckles. The only one of those I could see anyone not minding evolving would be Auctionhouse Gavel--all the other ones play an incredibly valuable role that you'd hate to get rid of by evolving.
Tier 3 at best at most rank brackets, according to the data. Poison Rogue is only tier-2 at brackets with lots of Warlock and Mage. Check out the matchup spreads in the latest Vicious Syndicate report or the matchup spreads of Quest Rogue and Poison Rogue on HSReplay if you doubt--Quest loses to every playable meta deck except Handbuff Paladin, Fel DH, and the Warrior decks; and Poison loses HARD to every deck that tries to develop a board by the midgame.
My first thought was, "Oh no, now there's two 'mE gO fAcE' classes." Then I brightened up when I realized Demon Hunter is probably a better comparison. Then my heart sank when I realized Demon Hunter is probably a better comparison.
And Primordial Protector, which specifically tutors Purified Shard...