A United in Stormwind's mini set, which was datamined to be based around the Deadmines WoW zone, should be really close in time, as Hearthstone's latest expansion was released a whopping three months ago and we should expect the Year of the Gryphon's final set to be available for the beginning of December.

Since cards in the mini set tend to have an average power level higher than the ones contained in an expansion (you add a few cards just to shake up the meta: what would be the point of adding weak cards that wouldn't see play?), we are fairly positive that this upcoming event will bring a breath of fresh air in the format, whose hierarchies appear to have been decided with very little room for change.

Therefore, our goal in this article is trying to predict what will be supported in the next mini set. In order to do this, our judgment will be based on what archetypes got pushed in United in Stormwind (or even in the Forged in the Barrens!) but that still need an extra nudge in order to get to the point of being playable. Have a good read!


Demon Hunter

Predictions - Mount spell, Fel

Mount Spell - In one of United in Stormwind's visual arts released prior to the expansion, we can notice Xyrella and her Elekk, Tavish Stormpike and his Ram, Cariel Roame and her Noble Mount and two other characters: Kurtrus Ashfallen and Scabbs Cutterbutter riding respectively a felsaber and a mechanostrider.

If we were to guess purely by Demon Hunter's current themes, we could definitely see a buff spell with "Deathrattle: Draw a card and summon a Felsaber" that also draws a card. While we cannot be sure about the effect itself, we're pretty confident we'll get Kurtrus' Felsaber.

Fel support - Jace Darkweaver represents the first Shudderwock-like card for Demon Hunter, as well as the most relevant Fel payoff so far. When you play it, it usually resets the board state and heals you for a bunch, which isn't bad at all. However, we'd like to see more proactive tools for the archetype, focusing on building a board rather than stacking up healing and setting up intricate combos with Il'gynoth. What about something like Vile Call but actually playable?

Jace Darkweaver Card Image


Druid

Predictions - Questline support, Beasts

Questline support - Imagine releasing a Questline like Lost in the Park only for it to be supported by just two new cards (Park Panther and Wickerclaw). Guff the Tough isn't a bad reward at all, but it's just that it feels integrated in such a one-dimensional deck, with very little ways to deviate from the 'I hit you with my face and gain loads of armor' game plan. While the aforementioned Wickerclaw and Park Panther give you some board presence, we think there's still a very big design space to explore, and we're confident we may see something in that regard pretty soon.

Lost in the Park Card Image Park Panther Card Image Wickerclaw Card Image

Beasts - Apart from pre-nerf Guardian Animals shenanigans, Beast Druid has never been a real thing. However, the support keeps coming, and it is bound to eventually become enough for something good to emerge from it. For example, Forged in the Barrens gave us Living Seed (Rank 1) and Thickhide Kodo, Wailing Caverns printed Fangbound Druid (particularly good in combination with Razormane Battleguard/Oracle of Elune shenanigans for multiple discounts), while United in Stormwind released the already mentioned Wickerclaw and Park Panther. Is Lost in the Park Beast Druid going to be a thing? Stay tuned to know more!

Guardian Animals Card Image Living Seed (Rank 1) Card Image Thickhide Kodo Card Image Fangbound Druid Card Image


Hunter

Predictions - Rat Hunter, Rush

Rat Hunter - Call it 'Rat', 'Token' and what you prefer, but the archetype introduced in United in Stormwind with The Rat King and Rats of Extraordinary Size as the most prominent cards has never been meta, and hasn't even received a buff in the most recent balance patch, which seems quite odd to us. For this reason, we think that Team 5 is hiding something from us, and worthy support may be just around the corner.

The Rat King Card Image Tavish Stormpike Card Image Rats of Extraordinary Size Card Image

Rush - We suggested it the last time with the Wailing Caverns predictions article, but we weren't heard; however, we are not quitters: this is the right time for us to receive Tavish Stormpike support. After all, our predictions are 100% right*. The prediction remains the same: a high-costed Beast with Rush and low stats, which reduces its own cost whenever certain conditions are met - pretty much a unit like Corridor Creeper, Knight of the Wild, Mogu Fleshshaper or Nerubian Prophet. With the correct balance, we think this would be a really elegant way to start the Tavish Stormpike chain and cheat out one or two Beasts from your deck.


Mage

Predictions - Secret, Big Spell

With Sorcerer's Gambit Questline Mage being still quite popular (although not as prominent as it was at the beginning off United in Stormwind's expansion cycle) and the recent buffs to Mordresh Fire Eye and Wildfire, we expect Jaina's mini set to be focused around archetypes that have been introduced in the past, but that aren't quite there yet.

Sorcerer's Gambit Card Image Mordresh Fire Eye Card Image Wildfire Card Image

P.S.: since the Hero Power package got recently buffed, we don't believe it's going to receive support any time soon, and we believe that Freeze Mage will be a thing again in the Year of the Gryphon's third expansion, so that marks both archetypes out of the predictions.

Big Spell - United in Stormwind gave us Clumsy Courier and Celestial Ink Set, but no big spells to cheat out or discount, and Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron is luckily not in Standard anymore: if you take a look at your collection, you'll notice that Deep Freeze and Grand Finale are the most expensive spells available, and neither of them are particularly intriguing for building a Big Spell deck. Maybe this mini set will bring us what we're actually looking for.

Clumsy Courier Card Image Celestial Ink Set Card Image

Secret - It's been a while since the last time Mage has received Secret support, and the Wild community seems to be okay with the current state of the archetype, so it would be reasonable to give Jaina some tools in that regard, considering that the large DM Faire package is going to rotate quite soon.

Sayge, Seer of Darkmoon Card Image Occult Conjurer Card Image Rigged Faire Game Card Image Ring Toss Card Image Game Master Card Image


Paladin

Predictions - Silver Hand Recruit, Murlocs

Silver Hand - We're very confident that the Deadmines will bring Paladin more Dude support, be it in form of a card like Lost in the Jungle/Balloon Merchant or in 1-Cost synergy for Rise to the Occasion. To be honest, Lightborn Cariel is nowhere near bad, especially since your Hero Power gets upgraded to The Silver Hand, but the way you have to build your deck makes it so that you'll run out of gas pretty quickly. Any of these two improvements would makes us quite happy, as they'll give more chances to an archetype that isn't currently meta and that could potentially contribute to the game's diversity.

Rise to the Occasion Card Image Balloon Merchant Card Image Lost in the Jungle Card Image

Murlocs - Deadmines actually have a link to Murlocs. In fact, the exit is located in the western part of the Dagger Hills near the ocean, and it's infested with those noisy things. Moreover, there's also a rather important Murloc in the Deadmines themselves, but we'll talk about it later. What we're trying to say is that, for some reason, Paladin has been chosen as one of the 'Murloc' classes together with Shaman, and the Deadmines seem to be the right occasion to bring back the archetype.


Priest

Predictions - Shadow, Control

Shadow Priest is currently the only playable deck for the class, even after Mindrender Illucia's rework. For this reason, we think that Team 5 won't dedicate the entire Priest mini set to this deck, but they'll prefer giving love to some archetypes that currently feel left behind.

Shadow Priest - Since we're talking about a brand new archetype, introduced in United in Stormwind with Darkbishop Benedictus and such, we doubt that Stormwind's mini set will completely neglect it. For this reason, we expect one Shadow spell or Shadow-synergy card to be printed, in order to give players more options during the deckbuilding phase.

Darkbishop Benedictus Card Image

Control - However, as we already said, Shadow Priest should not be Blizzard's main concern. In fact, Control Priest completely disappeared after July's nerfs to Renew and Apotheosis. We dare to say that there's still a good shell, but the lack of new tools, as well as a not very favorable meta may be the reasons why people are not experimenting with it nowadays. In particular, we think that the 'Healing' archetype introduced in Forged in the Barrens could see some development. What are we talking about? Well, there are a few cards that grant you a certain bonus effect after you restore health in that turn: Xyrella, Cleric of An'she and Priest of An'she. While this looks more of a small package to be slotted into a bigger game plan, seeing more support to it would be a nice way to improve the class while not breaking the meta.

Xyrella Card Image Priest of An'she Card Image Cleric of An'she Card Image


Rogue

Predictions - Mount spell, Deathrattle, SI:7

Deathrattle - Sketchy Information looks like such a sweet card on paper, but it currently lacks good targets to tutor, if we obviously don't consider Loan Shark and Carrot Rogue shenanigans. Rogue has often been a Deathrattle class in the past, when it received tools like Necrium Blade and Necrium Apothecary, as well as Anka, the Buried, but now we're missing a solid base for this archetype to flourish once more. Sure, three cards ain't gonna make the trick, but they could be something to start with, maybe waiting for a dedicated expansion set.

Garrote Card Image Sketchy Information Card Image Loan Shark Card Image

Mount Spell - Same reasoning as Demon Hunter. However, buff spells don't really fit Rogue's thematic, so it's kind of hard to think about them. If we were to take a shot, we'd say that Scabbs' Mount will have to do with Spy Gizmos generation and will be very similar to the old Praise Galakrond!. Maybe a +1 Attack buff spell that generates a Spy Gizmo whenever the targeted minion attacks and that summons a mechanostrider with the same effect? Yeah, we could see that.

SI:7 - Find the Imposter Quest Rogue started out pretty well in the United in Stormwind meta, but quickly faded away as the field developed and refined its counterparts. While the reasons may be more than one, we'd say that the sheer quantity (and quality) of SI:7 cards may not be enough to build an optimal deck. Seeing another SI:7 unit or a payoff card may be what the archetype is looking for in order to slice through the competition.

Find the Imposter Card Image


Shaman

Predictions - Murlocs, Nature

With Overload Command the Elements and Elemental Shaman being so prominent in the current meta, we do not expect them to get much attention in the upcoming mini set: after all, Thrall is not in the same spot it was prior to the Wailing Caverns release, when it was desperately looking for good cards. For this reason, we expect niche/unexplored archetypes to be the main focus of the next card release.

Murlocs - As we already said in the Paladin section, the Deadmines and Murlocs are familiar with each other. Perhaps, after being introduced in Forged in the Barrens together with Elementals only for it to be left behind, Murloc Shaman may see the light of day once again. Therefore, we think that Thrall will receive not one, but two Murlocs that will push what the Year of the Gryphon's first set just hinted us.

Firemancer Flurgl Card Image Spawnpool Forager Card Image

Nature - Wailing Cavern's Primal Dungeoneer is one of the reasons (if not the main reason) of Shaman's resurgence after a pretty mild Forged in the Barrens set, we'd like to see that card being played more for its Nature side rather than for the Elemental one. In particular, we're saying that we'd like to see a Nature-based archetypes, maybe with just a couple Elementals in there, but without them taking the main spot.

Primal Dungeoneer Card Image

Evolve - Do-don't even try...


Warlock

Predictions - Demons, Zoo

Warlock is one of the most difficult classes to predict this time around. The last couple years made it clear: if you push the wrong buttons, Gul'dan immediately becomes oppressive (our Wild folks know something about it, given that the class repeatedly broke the format in the last few months with Hysteria and now The Demon Seed, and they still have nightmares from SN1P-SN4P fiasco). Balancing Warlock is hard, and giving the class new support always appears to be risky, at least from a spectator's point of view. Therefore, suggesting or predicting new support is quite tricky. However, if we were to go by guesses, we'd say that there are two archetypes that may receive support without warping a format or two.

Zoo - It's been a while since the last time we saw Zoo Warlock, one of Hearthstone's most iconic archetypes, being meta. United in Stormwind brought us an amusing tool in Demonic Assault, but the deck is still missing a lot, power-level wise, to compete with other aggressive strategies like Shadow Priest, Taunt Druid or Face Hunter. All in all, ZooLock seems to have a somewhat playable core, but it's currently lacking an 'unfair' reason to be played over the aforementioned stronger competitors. Primal Dungeoneer and Wailing Vapor were able to lift up Shaman a few months ago, so the same thing could be done for Warlock.

Demonic Assault Card Image

Demons - Shady Bartender looks like a grossly better Fungalmancer in a dedicated Demon deck, and Gul'dan currently has at disposal tools like Fire Breather, Man'ari Mosher and Free Admission. We're all in for tribal decks, especially if you're soft-forced to run just one kind of minion in order to maximize certain benefits (see Elemental Shaman or Shadow Priest). Seeing more support in this direction not only makes sense, but also makes us want to explore this archetype more.

Dreaded Mount Card Image Shady Bartender Card Image Man'ari Mosher Card Image


Warrior

Predictions - Mechs, Weapons

Mechs - Among all the tribes included in the Year of the Gryphon's Core Set, Mech are the only one still waiting for actual support. United in Stormwind gave us a couple hints, with Deeprun Engineer and Remote-Controlled Golem, and we think we should focus on the latter. To be precise, Remote-Controlled Golem appears to have little to no synergy with the rest of the Warrior set, mainly divided into the Big and Pirate archetypes. Sure, there's Provoke, but it still looks like too odd on an addition. So, what if it is meant to set up a future Mech Warrior? While it may not come in the mini set (it would probably need more than a card or two), we think that the Deadmines (known for mechs) are the right place to start this journey to a new Garrosh build.

Remote-Controlled Golem Card Image Provoke Card Image Deeprun Engineer Card Image

Weapons - Since the beginning of the Year of the Gryphon, Garrosh has received multiple weapon swing-related cards like Whetstone Hatchet, Man-at-Arms and Mor'shan Elite, but that's not all. In fact, cards like Cutting Class, Doctor Krastinov and Nitroboost Poison are still in Standard, and are just waiting for more support to come back in the meta. We think that the upcoming mini set could give us that piece or two we're currently missing for this deck to stand a chance against the meta.

Mor'shan Elite Card Image Whetstone Hatchet Card Image Man-at-Arms Card Image

Pirates - Since the last constructed balance patch brought three different buffs to the archetype in Bloodsail DeckhandStormwind Freebooter and Stonemaul Anchorman, we struggle to see Pirate Warrior receiving even more support in the nearest future - sure, that won't stop Team 5 for printing Pirates from now on, but it is safe to say that the deck doesn't desperately need fuel. However, there's a character in the Deadmines that could fit very well in this archetype: we're talking about Captain Cookie. Seeing a Murloc that acts as a Pirate turned into a card would be really interesting, especially because it seems difficult to apply that kind of flavor to a minion's effect. Time will tell.

 


What do you think about these predictions? Are there any archetypes you'd like to see pushed in the upcoming mini set? Let us know in the comments below.

*Accuracy may vary based on the actually released cards.