Hey everyone, get in here! Hearthstone’s Grand Tournament has been out for a couple months, which provided plenty of opportunities to playtest. The last article took a look at some of the under-the-radar commons that can help win a game. Since the rare pool is a lot shallower, there isn’t much that’ll be beneath the notice of an Arena veteran. After rigorous competition, these three emerged victorious as the best Arena rares for the new set:
Argent Watchman – Who doesn’t love getting a big booty out early? The Watchman’s toughness is a boon for slowing the assault of aggro decks…or make one that much harder to stop. The hero power cost to attack is largely negligible, especially if the person playing it has a coin in hand. It typically requires a good removal spell, two weenies or a 3+ drop to take it off the board. Great value with only moderate drawback.
Saboteur - Its practically a given, with the Inspire mechanic, that the creature hosing it will make the list. Arguably the best tempo play introduced in the set, and its attached to an aggro-friendly body to boot. There’s been enough instances where a player will drop an Inspire minion without triggering, just because it would take too long to get mana needed to play, then trigger. Those players deserve to be punished, and Saboteur is gonna give it to them.
Fencing Coach – At first this card seemed a bit underwhelming. Its only a 2/2 body, and at most provides a free casting of a hero power. Its not especially threatening as the only creature on board, but it can really solidify one’s position with an aggressive start. It has enough attack to trade with most good early game creatures, but its best application is putting the heel to an opponent’s throat by triggering a powerful Inspire minion or two.
Injured Kvaldir – Its a pretty egregious waste of a rare slot to only get a 2/1 out of it, which is what this card is for every Arena class but Priest. In that one its a 3-mana 2/3. Seems like this would be a good fit in Priest Burn/Aggro, but good luck building one of those in Arena.
Light’s Champion – Like the Kvaldir, only one class makes this Arena relevant, but this time its an opponent’s class. It doesn’t help that most demons have naturally powerful bodies, even in the “right” scenarios it has a high chance of falling flat. A 4/3 for 3 isn’t the end of the world, but there’s probably a better pick out there.
Mogor’s Champion – Its tough putting an 8/5 for 6 in this section, but experience proved this card is not the close-out specialist it should be. Its one advantage is it has half a chance to dodge some taunt creatures and swing for an opponent’s face. Otherwise its not too much of a chore to remove it, and it still has half a chance to whiff on its desired target. Its typically only winning games that were well in hand before it was played. A 6/7 or 7/6 body would have made this a much better card.
So that leaves three rares that didn’t make either list. Armored Warhorse and Master Jouster are a coin flip. Awesome when they work, slightly underwhelming body when they don’t. Coliseum Manager is tricky, it can trade with weenies almost indefinitely, but harnessing that ability is rife with timing issues.
Best In Class
Pretty much all of the class rares are great, but the following three represent the ultimate value plays for the set:
Polymorph: Boar – The variety of applications for this spell are incredible. It can get the last four damage needed to close out a game, by transforming a minion that already attacked. It also acts as removal, with either the pseudo-Windfury effect, or just giving a once-big creature a severe downgrade in toughness. Its 3 cost synergizes perfectly with Flamestrike, leading to much more likely clean sweeps.
Burgle – Rogue needed a good midrange draw spell, and Burgle delivers. While it doesn’t spy on an opponent like Thoughtsteal, that can often be a boon in Arena. Instead of being tied to the opposition’s mostly crappy card pool, Burgle provides a greater chance of landing the good stuff.
Argent Lance – Just about the most helpful tool for establishing an early board presence. Its worst case scenario still features 4 damage for only 2 mana, at its best it can take out three creatures. A must-have for any Arena deck.
Have a favorite for the set that wasn’t featured on here? Hit up the comments to give it some love.
All images from Blizzpro’s Grand Tournament Spoiler.