The Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion is less than a week away! In fact, it launches this Thursday (two days away at the time of publication), so I decided that I should get in my final analysis before the expansion launches.
Best Class/Deck: Jade Golem Druid
Now, it’s obviously a bit early to declare this outright, but from the cards shown so far (and the results of the Live Stream on Monday), Jade Golem Druid looks like it will be the best deck by far once the expansion launches.
Thanks to the synergy between Ramp and Jade Golems in this deck, Druids can easily get out gigantic Jade Golems by turn 6 or 7. Even Midrange Shaman can’t build up a board that powerful that fast, which makes the mere thought of what Jade Golem Druid can become truly terrifying.
Worst Class/Deck: Jade Golem Rogue
Now, just because Jade Golem Druid is good doesn’t mean that all Jade Golem decks will be powerful. In fact, Jade Golem Rogue is likely the worst deck to come out of this expansion, for one simple reason: they’re fragmented. Where Jade Golem Druid has 3 cards that summon Jade Golems (including one that multiplies), Rogues only have 2 such cards.
In addition, Rogue only got two new spells (and no weapons!) which makes it even more difficult for them to control the board than it was before. As a result, it’s unlikely that Rogue players will even live long enough to get their Jade Golems out anyway.
Potentially Best Class/Deck: Dragon Priest
For the first time in just about forever, Priest looks like it might take a top spot in the meta due to them finally receiving cards that are powerful without being situational. Dragon Priest looks like it will be especially powerful, thanks to the phenomenal Drakonid Operative (a 5-mana Priest minion that’s actually playable). In addition, the new Priest Legendary—Raza the Chained—looks like it’s going to be a very powerful card, giving the class even more healing if the deck is built right.
In fact, Priest didn’t get a single bad card this entire expansion, which would set them up for an amazing year in the limelight—if it weren’t for one thing.
Potentially Worst Class/Deck: Dragon Priest
That one thing is the Standard Rotation. When the first adventure or expansion of 2017 hits, Dragon Priest will be completely devastated.
With the loss of Blackrock Mountain, the deck loses the Blackwing Technician and Blackwing Corruptor; with the loss of the Grand Tournament, Dragon Priest loses the Wyrmrest Agent and Twilight Guardian; and with the loss of the League of Explorers, Dragon Priest loses Reno Jackson, the only card that makes playing a Highlander deck for Raza the Chained viable.
As a result, many of Priest’s most powerful cards from this expansion will be made completely irrelevant, leading to the class’s early death. However, there’s a good chance that it will be one of—if not the—best decks for the next month or two, so you should give it a shot while you can.
Most Powerful Card: Aya Blackpaw
Now, while Kazakus is probably the most powerful card of the set, he’ll become virtually unplayable the moment Reno Jackson leaves the Standard Format. As a result, the title of Best Card has to go to Aya Blackpaw, the Jade Lotus Tri-Class Legendary who makes Jade Golem Decks possible.
Aya is the card that pushes Jade Golems from big to huge, and because she is a Battlecry and a Deathrattle minion, she can be used with cards such as N’Zoth and Brann Bronzebeard to make her potential even greater.
Least Powerful Card: Blubber Baron
Now, while I was tempted to go for an easy target, such as the Grook Fu Master or the Gadgetzan Ferryman, I decided to choose the Blubber Baron for one simple reason: his initial stats. Sure, he can get larger, but if you pull him from the top of your deck late in the game when you need an answer, he’s just a 3-mana 1/1 that does absolutely nothing. Even the Grook Fu Master and Gadgetzan Ferryman could have their uses in this situation, but the Blubber Baron is absolutely pointless.
However, despite being weak, the Blubber Baron is weak in a good way. Unlike the Grook Fu Master, the Blubber Baron has an interesting effect, and on the rare occasions when he actually does what he’s supposed to, it will make for some interesting gameplay.
Most Interesting Card: Mayor Noggenfogger
Now, this expansion has a lot of very interesting cards, but the one that I personally find the most exciting is Mayor Noggenfogger. A 9-mana 5/4, Mayor Noggenfogger causes all minions and targetable spells to choose random targets. Now, these plays still have to follow the rules (so minions cannot attack their own allies, and Spells that target a specific side’s minions cannot target the other side), but this effect will still make for some very interesting games.
Now, will this card see much—or any—competitive play? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a fun card. And besides, who knows? Yogg-Saron is even more random that Noggenfogger, and it sees play, so really, anything is possible.
Least Interesting Card: Grook Fu Master
It’s a 5-mana 3/5 with Windfury. What else is there to say?
Overall, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is shaping up to be the most interesting expansion Hearthstone has ever seen, and I can’t wait until it releases on December 1st.