Hearthstone’s Wailing Caverns Mini-Set and More Are Live
Hearthstone’s Wailing Caverns mini-set has officially hit the game, and brings 35 excellent new cards! There’s so much to this update though! We’ve got new cards, new Book Mercenaries Chapters, a new Book of Heroes chapter, and a handful of cards that received buffs or nerfs as need be. We’ll talk about the updates that you can expect, and I’ll highlight some of my favorite cards that came to the expansion. You can also expect a blog post from me early next week with decks that utilize some of these new cards! What arrives with Wailing Caverns in Hearthstone?
New Cards, New Content:
Wailing Caverns is an early dungeon in World of Warcraft, and was absolutely massive in its day. Players would team up to awaken Archdruid Naralex from his slumber, and fight Lady Anacondra among other bosses. The set contains 4 Legendary Cards, 1 Epic Card, 14 Rare Cards, and 16 Common Cards. You can purchase the entire set for 14.99, or 2000 Gold, which is interesting. It’s nice to get a set of all of the cards you need in one spot without buying tons of packs.
The expansion also features a new style of creature. Adventurers are 2/2 minions for 2 Mana, and they all come with their own special effect/keyword. There are eight of them in total. You can find Adventurers with Taunt, Divine Shield, Spell Damage +1, Lifesteal, Windfury, Poisonous, Stealth, and Rush. They don’t appear to be bound to classes but come through spells. An example is Party Up! In the Paladin class. It summons five 2/2 Adventurers with random bonus effects. For 7 mana, that’s a full board of people to fight with.
On June 3rd, Book of Mercenaries: Xyrella releases, and is the second part of a free ten-part serialized story that will play out across the Year of the Gryphon. Completing this adventure rewards a Priest Pack, which has only Priest cards for Standard. Guided by a mysterious voice, the priest Xyrella searches the Barrens for glowing shards. The voice promises this can save her daughter’s life. Next up, on June 15th, Book of Mercenaries: Guff releases.
Chapter 3 of the Book of Mercenaries focuses on the druid Guff Runetotem. He just wants to help, but sometimes his helping accidentally starts a treant rampage that almost demolishes Thunder Bluff. He vows to set things right again and seeks redemption. Ultimately this leads him to the Wailing Caverns. The reward will be 1 Druid Pack, which only features Standard Druid spells.
Next up, on June 22nd, Book of Heroes: Malfurion drops! Malfurion, the first Druid has vowed to save the world from all threats, including his own brother. Azeroth has grown cruel and more dangerous as the years went on, and we learn more about the tale and life of Malfurion when this Book of Heroes tale launches later in the month. There’s a lot of solo content to take in as June goes on, thanks to the Wailing Caverns update in Hearthstone.
No Buffs, Some Nerfs, and Jason’s Favorite New Cards:
A few cards wound up catching nerfs in the Wailing Caverns update. First Day of School for Paladins goes from adding 3 random 1-cost minions to your hand, down to 2 random 1-cost minions. On that note, Hand of A’dal also caught a nerf. It went from granting a minion +2/+2 and drawing a card, to adding +2/+1 and drawing a card. These two cards work in basically every Paladin deck, and are a large part of why Paladin decks are so powerful right now.
The Devs also point out the current balance philosophy in this blog:
“Our current balance philosophy is to move forward with light changes when we can, as we did when we first repositioned First Day of School, and we’ve seen great results over the past year with this approach. It’s important to us that players’ decks usually stay intact following balance changes, even if the power of the deck may shift down. This approach then leaves us open to make further adjustments later if we need to, like we have here.”
Unbound Elemental was slightly changed. It went from “Whenever you play a card with Overload, gain +1/+1” to “After you play a card with Overload, gain +1/+1”. It sounds like it’s a change in syntax and nothing more.
What about the new cards though? Do any of these cards stand out as terribly powerful/fun? I’m glad you asked! All the classes received 3 new cards, and there were five new Neutral cards introduced to the game. I’m not going to talk about every one of these cards, but highlight a few that I think are really going to stand out. I do want to give an honorable mention to Epic Priest spell, Against All Odds. It destroys ALL odd-Attack minions, which is ridiculous. Very niche, but I can see it being used, even at 5 mana.
Mutanus (7-Cost Legendary Neutral Minion, Murloc): Oh. My. God. This can be used in almost any deck to great success. There’s literally no downside unless your opponent has no creatures in hand. This 4/4 Murloc has Battlecry: Eat a minion in your opponent’s hand. Gain its stats. Now, if you pair this with a spell or effect that returns a creature to your opponent’s hand (in particular, if it’s a really big one), you can make one mean Murloc. I can see it being used in quite a few decks, and it could be a game-winner in Paladin Murlocs. It’s a quality card, and I’m curious to see what combos people cook up with it. Some people think it’s overrated, but I don’t think so. Time will tell on Mutanus.
Shattering Blast (3-Cost Rare Mage Spell, Frost): Each class in Hearthstone’s Wailing Caverns update gains spells or creatures that facilitate previous/current strategies for the deck. For Mages, they receive cards that promote the Frozen status. Shattering Blast, for example, destroys all Frozen minions. We’ll want to freeze the entire enemy board, and then cast Floecaster for almost nothing, instead of it being a 5/5 for 6. It costs 2 less per Frozen enemy. Just what mages need, right? A powerful board wipe, if we can just freeze people.
Stealer of Souls (4-Cost Rare Warlock Minion, Demon): In card games, your life total is considered a resource. Stealer of Souls makes that very literal. It’s a 2/6 for 4, and whenever you draw a card, you change its Cost to Health instead of Mana. The cards in your hand already still cost mana, but you can use this to play far more cards than normal. Sure, you can lose a lot of life in this, but it’s going to be worth it when you start dropping obnoxious combos, or huge demons before you normally would have a chance to.
Shroud of Concealment (3-Cost Rare Spell – Shadow): I’m not sure how I feel about this card. It’s got a lot of potential in it though. For 3 mana, you draw 2 minions, and any you play this turn gain Stealth for 1 turn. The Stealth is secondary to the other part of the card if you ask me. It draws two minions from your deck. You could pull out important cards like Efficient Octobot or something. You could use this to hopefully draw an early Tenwu of the Red Smoke as well. I think there’s a lot you can do with it in a Secret deck.
Kresh, Lord of Turtling (6-Cost Legendary Warrior Minion, Beast): Kresh! He’s such a familiar and iconic mini-boss in Wailing Caverns. He makes it much easier for Warriors to stack armor. A 3/9 for 6 has Frenzy, and after Kresh took damage, you gain 8 Armor. When he perishes, he grants you a weapon, making him incredibly important. It has you equip a ⅖ Turtle Spike for your Warrior. It synergizes with another new card, Man-at-Arms, which is a ⅔ and gains +1/+1 as a Battlecry if you have a weapon equipped. I thought Kresh’s cost was high at first, but I really like it. In particular, for Control Warriors, this is going to be slid into the deck for more Armor.
I’m very excited for Wailing Caverns as a set. I’m already looking at decks that are being cooked up, to see what looks like the most fun. Every one of these cards isn’t guaranteed to be world-beaters, but we’re going to see several of them in the meta. Wailing Caverns is a dungeon very familiar to me, and I spent so many hours crawling through it on so many characters in World of Warcraft. There’s a wealth of new content for Hearthstone though, and I think you’ll love it.