The 10 most overrated cards in Hearthstone: Kobolds and Catacombs
The full set list for Kobolds and Catacombs has just been revealed, and the expansion is launching in just a few days. Which cards will define the game and which cards are just a big waste? Let's take a look.
It’s easy to name the worst cards of a Hearthstone set. Every set comes with a ton of pack filler minions with little to no abilities that are largely ignored. Instead, we are going to look at cards that look like they are good, but they aren't as exciting as they might first appear. These are cards that fans have gotten excited about and that pros have theorycrafted decks for, even though their still at the lower end of the power curve.
Maybe it’s because the meta doesn’t support them. Maybe it’s because they are just too slow. Either way, these are the traps, the booby prizes, and the cards that look nice but will let you down over and over again.
Skull of the Man’ari
The Warlock legendary weapon certainly does look nice. Demons are very powerful in the meta right now, with cards like Doomguard and Despicable Dreadlord being included in every Warlock deck. Bloodreaver Gul’Dan is also included in every Warlock deck, and he resurrects every Demon that has died. If Demons are so good, free Demons should be even better right?
Wrong. Kobolds and Catacombs gave every class an absurdly powerful weapon. Add that to the useful weapons that weapon classes already run, and you’ll quickly find that any meta relevant deck will run weapon removal. Two of the best weapon removal cards in the game, Acidic Swamp Ooze and Harrison Jones, are parts of the basic and classic set respectively. Playing any weapon is a risky proposition with all this weapon removal running around. For a weapon to be good, it has to give you an immediate effect, which Skull of the Man’ari does not. Instead, you have to wait until your next turn to get anything out of it, and it only works if there is a Demon in your hand. My bet is that nine times out of ten this card actually reads “spend five mana, do nothing and get removed before your next turn.”
By all appearances, Cheat Death is an amazing card. There are tons of cards that Rogue wants to return to their hand, from Edwin, to Sherazin, to Vilespine Slayer. However, they are never going to get the minion they want. Why? Because the other Rogue secrets that were printed in this set have effects that differ so greatly, it’s easy to tell which one has been played. Sudden Betrayal simply isn’t good enough to see play and Evasion is only going to be played the turn before you die. Any other time another secret is played, it’s going to be Cheat Death. That means opponents can easily play around it by killing your worst minion first. When Cheat Death gets you, say, zero mana Patches, it’s not nearly worth the cost.
Kingsbane looks great because there are a ton of enchantments you can put on it. You can give it +1/+1 with Captain Greenskin, +2 with Deadly Poison, and you can even give it Lifesteal and Poisonous with other assorted Rogue spells. One mana for a weapon with any of these enchantments would be an amazing deal. So why isn’t it good?
Because it requires too much setup. First, you have to draw the weapon. Then, you have to play it. Then, before it is destroyed, you have to draw and play the enchantments you want. Then, you have to draw the weapon AGAIN in order to play it and get the benefit of its text. At that point it is likely that both players are at 10 mana, making a one mana weapon not necessarily a fantastic draw, unless you still have a lot of health and it has Poisonous. To get a real return on value, you need to draw it and play it a third time. This is going to be near impossible unless you are running a deck specifically meant to draw cards as fast as possible. It’s just too much setup for not enough benefit.
I was originally going to put this card on my list of the ten best cards of the expansion, but the more I think about it, the more this really doesn’t have a place in any good Mage deck. Elemental mage didn’t shake out to be a good deck in the past two expansions. It didn’t run a whole lot of Discover cards to begin with, so it can’t really take advantage of Leyline Manipulator’s effect. Exodia Mage can, but it has no card slots it can really give up, and it’s already a Tier 3 deck as best. Grinder Mage ran some Elemental synergy, but it too doesn’t have much space for this and random cards that synergize with it. Even if you did find a perfect Mage deck for this card, there’s always the possibility that the random cards it discounts just aren’t worth playing. Maybe in the next few expansions Mage will get more Elementals that put more random cards in her hand, and Leyline Manipulator will see it’s time in the spotlight, but right now it’s not going to do much.
OK, look folks. I don’t know why the Hearthstone community is having such a great reaction to this card, but I think you are all missing the point. This card is a meme. It’s a four mana 20/20, a riff on the whole four mana 7/7 joke that came out around the time Flamewreathed Faceless came out. Your opponent has to draw much of his deck to even activate The Darkness. Not only that, but he can see it coming and can save a Polymorph, Aldor Peacekeeper, or any number of other removal effects in his hand to deal with it. Heck he could play a single taunt minion and it would stop the 20 damage of The Darkness in its tracks. Yes, The Darkness falls to even a Stubborn Gastropod. I know that a lot of excited fans are thinking about combining this with strategies that mill the opponent but… no… no, just… no.
I understand why the Hearthstone community is excited about this card. It seems like it would just make Miracle Rogue better. You obviously want to draw cards with Miracle Rogue and getting extra 4/4s for doing so sounds like a good effect. However, I think people aren’t asking one important question: what do you take out to put this in?
Obviously, you aren’t going to take out Arcane Giant, Questing Adventurer, Sherazin, or Edwin as those are your win conditions. You also can’t take out Gadgetzan Auctioneer because that’s your card draw engine. That also means you can’t take out any of the spells in the deck, as they power your card draw engine. So, the only candidates are Swashburglar, which is your only early game and Vilespine Slayer, which is your only hard removal. I’m fairly certain Fal’Dorei Strider isn’t better than either of these cards. It doesn’t fit into Tempo or Aggro Rogue, nor does it fit in Weapon Rogue. It just doesn’t have a place in the current meta and I doubt it will have a place in any meta unless Rogue goes off in a totally different direction in the next few years.
I feel a little bad for putting so many Rogue cards on this list, but they seem to be the cards people are most excited about. Cavern Shinyfinder had a massive positive reaction because it can draw… King’s Bane. That’s it. Everyone thinks that this is going to change the game because of King’s Bane. Trust me, it won’t. King’s Bane still requires far too much setup, and Rogue has no other weapons powerful enough to be worth playing a two mana 3/1 body.
The Emerald Spellstone summons two Wolves at level one, three at level two, and four at level three. It’s pretty good in terms of value and it upgrades by playing Secrets which are already pretty good in hunter. So why isn’t this good? Because it runs into every AOE spell in the game. Dragonfire Potion, Fellfire Potion, Flamestrike, Meteor, just about everything that an opponent can cast around six mana can take out this five mana card. The result? A lot of jumping through hoops for a dead board. There is a reason why Spreading Plague was so good. It created minions with high health that were hard to remove with just a little buffing. 3/3s are okay, but not okay enough to outdo all the powerful control spells in the meta.
Everyone is saying that this is going to make Shaman the class to beat, but I just don’t see it. First of all, playing Grumble essentially sacrifices your board. Yes, it’s cheap to play back, but why do that when you have a board to begin with? Secondly, Grumble seems to have the most synergy with good Battlecries, but I honestly don’t know what these Battlecries would be. He makes Jade Shaman better, but likely not better than Evolve Shaman, and Jade Shaman is rotating out next year anyway. Besides, Shaman already has a much cheaper card that doubles up Battlecries without causing you to sacrifice your board. I just don’t see Grumble’s utility.
Twilight’s Call is another one of those cards that looks useful but doesn’t fit into the meta. Razakus and Big Priest, the two best Priest decks in the meta right now, don’t run many Deathrattle cards. Quest Priest does, but Quest Priest hasn’t managed to make a dent in the tier list since the Priest Quest was printed in Un’Goro. This does make the quest easier to complete, yes, but Priest never had a problem completing the quest. The problem was that they never had a win condition after Quest Completion. All the Quest let them do was survive, but even with N’Zoth recurring all their great Deathrattle value, surviving wasn’t enough. Right now, Razakus Priest is just a better deck, and while some say that Quest Priest might see a resurgence when Kazakus and Raza rotate out, N’Zoth will be rotating out with them, and it was one of the few win conditions Quest Priest had.
Those are our picks for the most overrated cards of Kobolds and Catacombs.
Which cards do you think are a waste of time? Let us know in the comments.