This article was written by Greg Lapa, the World of Warcraft Tournament Organizer for Dave and Adam’s Card World. To find out about upcoming tournaments and events as well as product information check out the Dave and Adam’s Gaming Facebook page, or follow dacwgaming on twitter.
With the upcoming release of Betrayal of the Guardian comes a slew of new powerful cards. Some are designed to make your hero hit like a truck, others can swing the game in one fell swoop. Here I’m going to identify a few cards that I think are going to effect the metagame for the upcoming Realm Champs in May.
Legacy of Betrayal (Warlock/Rogue Ability)- Back in the day, we had Owned. For 6, you could remove an ally in game and remove all copies of that card from your opponent’s side of the field. Legacy of Betrayal takes that effect and makes it even more powerful. Now for the puny cost of 4, you can remove an ally from the game, all copies from your opponent’s side of the field, AND play one of those that were removed. Being limited to only Rogue and Warlock, this adds an insane way to take one of your opponent’s most powerful cards and use it against them. With rogue’s capability of dominating the board (Poison the Well, Poison Bomb, Vendetta) this adds a huge way to knock out those allies that could overwhelm you and turn it against your opponent really fast.
Ghaz’rilla (Hunter Pet) – At a rather high cost of 7, I feel this will be one of those cards where if you allow a Hunter to reach late game things can get bad really fast. With 8 attack, 8 health, and protector, he is a beast in an ultimate form. The twist is when he is dealt fatal damage, Ghaz turns into 2 4/4’s. When either of those are dealt fatal, they turn into 2/2’s. All of them have protector, so indirectly your 7 cost ally could successfully defend 7 attacks, deal 24 damage spread over those 7 defends, and really put a dent into any late game plans… all while you are beating down their hero with the rest of your deck. Definitely going to be interesting to see how well this card performs in real gameplay.
Archdruid Fandral Staghelm (Alliance Ally) – In limited, this card is broken… absolutely broken. A turn 4 with 5 health and elusive means it’s probably going to live no matter what to be able to pull off one of the coolest activate powers I’ve seen in a while. Play an ally turn 5, say Bitey if you’re a Hunter (7 ATK, 5 HP with Smash), and you will give Bitey Absorb, Ferocity, Sentinel, and Stealth. That gives him free reign over who he wants to attack TWICE and can take most heroes down half of their max HP AND heal your hero for the same amount. Fandral basically turns any card from turn 5 onward into a HUGE threat. Combo him with the next card I’m about to talk about and you can cripple your opponent.
Belthira the Black Thorn (Alliance Ally) – Belthira… another Night Elf with deck destruction capabilities. With Haste 3, you can potentially get this out turn 3. It’s only weakness is it’s low health at only 3, but it’s a card that must be dealt with otherwise it’s going to start picking apart your deck. 5 Attack 6 cost with Stealth, Elusive, and Haste 3, it’s ability seems to be the common theme of this set. Attack a hero, reveal the top card of their deck and search deck, graveyard, and hand for all other copies of that card and remove them from the game. The idea of playing this turn 3, attacking turn 4, potentially remove 4 cards and getting a complete look at what you’re up against in your opponent’s deck, then using Legacy of Betrayal to take out an ally in play and another 3 copies of it, that’s 8 cards removed by turn 4. This card has the potential to also be game breaking in 3 months.
Snappyfin (Monster Ally) – This guy is one of those cards that I am torn whether or not it’s going to make a splash in the murloc decks running around. He’s a 4/4 for 5 that makes all other murlocs in your hand instant. I just feel it could get fun playing him, then countering everything your opponent does with cards like Slimefin to make him untargetable, Chumly and Gutfin to give them more health, or even Nargle at the end of your opponent’s turn to destroy all non-murlocs and completely refill your board with every murloc that died along the way. I think it’s more fun than anything, but I’d love to see Snappyfin see some play.
Shade of Aran (Monster Ally) – Shade of Aran seems to have the most potential of any card in this set. A 5/5 for 5 that can choose another ally in play and gain all of his powers until your next turn each of your turns, he can just simply become anything you want (as long as it’s in play). Have an Ulthok in play? Feel free to name and remove another card from the game. Your opponent just play a Fandral? Enjoy reaping the benefits of their huge mistake. I’m happy he’s limited to just Monster decks to make it significantly harder to get some potentially deadly interactions with Horde and Alliance allies, but he’s still a huge threat regardless.
Aside from these specific cards, the added keywords of Rift and Echo seem to be pretty cool too. Rift allows you to play cards for less based on the number of Horde or Alliance Allies of any specific race, theoretically allowing your allies to reduce these cards down to free plays. Echo lets you copy the card’s effects as long as you have at least 2 allies that share a race. The theme of uniformity amongst your allies started showing up last set with Unity, but now it seems to have become the cornerstone of the block. Ranging from an ally with an activate power of drawing a card, or preventing an attack or protect, to when the ally enters play destroying an opposing ally or dealing damage to a hero, you could really have fun while you create synergy throughout your deck.