Goblins vs Gnomes
After playing half a dozen games using some of the new Goblins vs Gnomes cards at BlizzCon, I gave my thoughts on the set so far. Since then, Blizzard has been drip-feeding new cards on an almost daily basis, through a combination of media exclusives and Twitter-voted reveals (opens in new tab). Here I've rounded up the latest cards, and speculated on their potential value.
Clearly, without knowing what's in the entire set, or seeing how the meta shifts as a result, there's quite a bit of assumption going on here, but hopefully the reasoning's sound. Let me know which cards you think are most promising in the comments, and I'll keep the article updated as more cards come in.
Oh, and this is the art for the new packs which you'll be blowing your in-game gold and actual cash on when the set arrives in December. Mmm, mechalicious.
This Paladin Legendary has a really cool ability that I’m not at all convinced will be reliable enough to warrant inclusion. In control decks you might be able to sit there with Bolvar in your hand for ages, and then play him super late once the hard removal and silence has been baited out by your Sunwalkers. But what if you top deck him late on?
The card actually makes more sense in aggro or midrange decks, where there’s going to be more chance to sac small creatures before playing him, especially in conjunction with the new Muster for Battle card. But he'll still be weak to silence and I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable sitting there with a 5-Mana minion in my hand from turn one.
Plus, as this is a Legendary you can’t really build the entire deck around a card you might never draw. The jury’s still out on Bolvar, but it’s definitely frowning.
Druid of the Fang
I initially thought this was total trash. However, now that Hearthstone’s senior game designer Ben Brode has clarified that the Druid of the Claw’s Cat and Bear forms with both count as Beasts once Goblins vs Gnomes comes out, it makes slightly more sense.
I’m still not convinced, though. What other Beasts is Druid going to run, beyond the occasional Haunted Creeper? We don’t need Ironbeak Owls because we’ve already got Keeper of the Groves. I used to play Stranglethorn Tiger in double-combo Druid, but that had to make way for Loatheb and Belchers, both of which felt like they offered better value.
And therein lies the real problem: Druid just has too many good minions in the 5-mana slot to make Fang a must-pick. Perhaps there’s more Beast interactions still to be revealed (Malorne, the giant stag, is set to be the class’s new Legendary, and seems likely to be a Beast), but for now Druid of the Fang looks decidedly sketchy.
Essentially this Warlock epic is just a souped up version of Demonfire, which—let’s be frank—no-one other than the Innkeeper AI actually uses. I guess it’s intended to encourage more Demon-themed tribal decks, but I don’t see this card offering enough value to achieve that. (And I say that as someone who’s tried hard to make a Demonlock work.
Fact is, Warlock already has two incredibly strong archetypes in Zoo and Handlock, which is why it was the most picked class by pros at DreamHack Winter. I expect players will endeavour to tweak those archetypes using the new Goblins vs Gnomes card rather than go back to the drawing board with pure demon decks. That being so, I don’t see Demonheart getting much play whatsoever.
Shaman is hardly short of cheap removal spells, but this is still a card I like a lot. Let’s compare it to Lightning Bolt, which costs one Mana less but guarantees 3 damage. I think you’d almost always rather have Crackle in hand. Yes, the random damage spread is the widest of any card currently revealed in Hearthstone, but assume you bank on the average damage being 4.5, then this is mostly going to be a good deal.
Now factor in that Lava Burst gives you a definite 5 damage, but costs one Mana more and Overloads you for two. Again Crackle feels like the better bet, especially when you can mitigate some of the randomness by using Spellpower totems or minions like Bloodmage Thalnos. Plus there will be the occasional match where you roll high for exact lethal. And that’ll be all sorts of funny.
One of a pair of anti-Deathrattle cards announced so far, this Paladin-specific minion feels a little underwhelming to me. Yes it’ll clean up Leper Gnomes, Mad Scientists and Webspinners, but their ‘rattles will still proc.
In the mid-game I guess it’ll make Sludge Belchers slightly easier to take out, and the other obvious interaction is on your own Nerubian Eggs… But the equally obvious caveat is that if your opponent is running Eggs then you’re only going to want to drop the Purifier if you’ve got a means of handling the resulting Nerubian.
Potentially it’s another control Paladin board clear with Exploding Sheep, and I’m sure there are other synergies yet to be found, but… overall, I’m not sold on the Purifier. Yes, it’s a tech card, but I’d have far preferred a mechanic that auto-silenced Deathrattles. Perhaps that’s still to come.
This gnomish lady is designed to be the scourge of minions with Deathrattle, and will serve a similar counter role to the way that the identically costed Blood Knight works against Divine Shields.
The key difference is that the Exorcist only gains +1/+1 for each Deathrattle on the board, and more importantly she doesn’t remove them either. Presumably because Deathrattles are so much more common, making her buff that much easier to proc.
She also loses one point of attack, but compensates by having Taunt, further extending her usefulness against Zoo and Hunter Deathrattle decks. And we could certainly use a little of that, given that the current metagame isn’t so much ‘rush’ as ‘sprint like a cheetah with its arse on fire’.
Thank heavens Blizzard has finally taken pity on the poor, unloved Hunter class and given it an insanely powerful spell (to go with all its existing insanely powerful spells and minions).
Feign Death, which enables you to proc your own Deathrattles, without your minions dying or removing their Deathrattles, caused quite the rumpus when it was revealed. And it’s easy to see why.
The current brutally dominant Hunter builds all rely on opening Undertaker into cheap Deathrattle minions like Web Spinner, Leper Gnome and Mad Scientist. I’ve seen some folk argue that the decks are already so tight they won’t find room for this card. I think that’s total nonsense.
Yes, there may be more midrange-y, and possible even control-based hunters coming, but I strongly suspect all variants will be able to make use of this card. All you need to do is get 2 Mana’s worth of value is play it at the same time as having almost any two Deathrattle cards down. Which seems entirely plausible.
Just the fear of that happening will give your opponent the shivers and force them to keep clearing or else face an onslaught of free hyenas and traps. Or, worse, imagine the Sylvanas synergy. Ugh. Won’t somebody think of the Hunters? Blizzard did.
Goddamnit, where’s the Druid hard removal at Blizzard? This new Rogue card might seem situational, what with the random minion targeting and the reliance on your opponent having a weapon out to get full value. But look at it this way: For one Mana less than Assassinate, (which admittedly never gets played), you can kill a creature and destroy a weapon. That’s potentially incredibly swingy.
I’d also argue that it’s the good sort of RNG, because you can tilt the odds in your favour by removing smaller minions with your own weapon or by trading a creature first. Consider also how prevalent weapon use is currently-against Hunter, Warrior and in the mirror match this is going to likely always get decent value, especially against midrange and control decks which tend to be play fewer, bigger minions.
There are also more experimental possibilities to consider. Like comboing Sabotage with Blingtron 3000, the new Legendary which gives both players a random weapon. Unlikely, perhaps, but of such plays are front page r/hearthstone posts made. Overall I think Rogue players are likely to include a single copy of this pretty regularly.
One word of warning though: Don’t expect to be able to kill Tirion and destroy his Ashbringer with a single Sabotage. Due to the order actions resolve, that won’t work says Blizzard’s Ben Brode. Gloriously, Brode has also confirmed that the card's flavour text will include a Beastie Boys reference. I mean, it had to.
Hmm. You may recall that after people freaked out about the amount of RNG in the new cards, senior designer Ben Brode explained that Blizzard had shown a lot of very random ones first because they were fun, but once the whole set was revealed it’d look more sane. Well we’re about halfway through the 120 cards now, and judging by this Rogue card the RNG is still pretty nuts.
So, Stealth means that the Ogre Ninja is essentially a Stranglethorn Tiger but with better stats—6/6 compared to 5/5—and the added ‘bonus’ that its attack might hit the wrong enemy. (I suppose we should be glad it won’t hit your own minion.) I say bonus, because there is a chance canny players will use the oversized Ninja to land attacks on stuff hiding behind Taunt cards.
That seems a pretty unreliable strategy, but I guess this might find a place in aggressive Rogue decks like the Backspace build, against which Taunt is one of the few defences. I dunno though. This card is so unlike anything out there already that I’m struggling to parse its value. How the hell do you hide an ogre anyway?
Here’s another ogre card—this time a Shaman one—which also uses the 50% chance to hit the wrong enemy mechanic. I’m even less convinced it’s any good. I suppose the dream scenario is that it stays alive for a turn and then uses Windfury to trade two-for-one with a three-drop and a four-drop. But that seems unduly optimistic, given that most classes don’t struggle to do four damage by that point. And if it does die, then you’re saddled with the overload Mana cost.
It’s probably worth noting that Blizzard has confirmed that as well as being able to ignore Taunt, the Ogre’s attack can hit minions with Stealth, which I guess makes this card another potential tool against concealed Auctioneers. But I feel like between Loatheb and Bomb Lobber they’ve mostly fixed that issue.
I expect that after Goblins vs Gnomes launches there will be some funny videos of these ogres beating the odds to deliver exact lethal, but I struggle to see them getting regular play in serious Constructed. And as we all know Hearthstone is serious business.
Burly Rockjaw Trogg
This seems like an okay neutral four-drop, though it’s obviously up against stiff competition in the form of Senj’in Shieldmasta and Chillwind Yeti in terms of solid early game minions. So the question becomes against what opponents would you want the anti-spell ability?
It doesn’t really work against Miracle Rogue, who’ll probably be able to kill or Sap it without much fuss. Secrets Mage, maybe? But that isn’t much of a thing right now. It doesn’t have any impact against Zoo or Hunter either, really, both of whom will just trade with it or ignore it.
I’ve seen the Trogg described as effectively having ‘spell Taunt’, because anything your opponent casts will also need to remove this card in the same turn. But the problem is it doesn’t do quite enough to force your opponent into using spells. Nonetheless it’s not terrible, and if we see a spell-heavy meta then it could become a relevant tech card. For now my guess is it’s more likely to find its way into tournament counter decks.
Interesting. When were evaluating the potential value of Call Pet, the new Hunter spell, one of the criticisms was that, beyond the amazing Savannah Highmane and the overpriced King Krush, Hunter doesn’t have all that many good high-cost beasts. This card helps change that, and I think likely represents Blizzard trying to encourage new approaches to the class beyond the ultra-aggressive Undertaker-powered Deathrattle builds.
6/9 stats for 7 mana is perfectly acceptable, and starts to look insane if you’re able to proc the ability a couple of times. Potential cheap enablers include Arcane Shot, Unstable Ghoul, Elven Archer and Wild Pyromancer. That’s certainly enough that I think plenty of players will experiment with it. Things get really scary if you consider the Hunter might have a Tundra Rhino on the board from the previous turn when they drop Gahz’rilla. Gah, indeed!
It seems like Blizzard want to make Windfury a thing. Whereas most of the current cards which use the mechanic are horribly priced. Compare this card to Thrallmar Farseer, which costs 3 for a 2/3, or Windury Harpy which is 6 for a 4/5, and it’s clear that Whirling Zap-o-matic is paying less for its extra attack.
It’s not unusual to have class cards be better value than neutral ones, though. What’s telling here is that this is better than existing Shaman options. In particular, note the lack of Overload. Whereas Dust Devil only costs 1 for a 3/1, it comes with a massive 2 Mana Overload penalty, effectively rendering it unusable in all but the rarest examples.
What I’m saying, appropriately longwindedly, is that this is an excellent two-drop. Shaman has traditionally relied on neutral cards for its early minions, particularly Naxx ones like Zombie Chow, Undertaker and Haunted Creeper. This card gives them a fantastic early option that has to be dealt with immediately, or it runs the risk of getting entirely out of hand in conjunction with cards like Rockbiter Weapon or Flametoungue Totem. I expect two of these in most Shaman Decks, even the non-mech ones.
Essentially the Water Elemental’s mechanical little brother, this Mage minion is a perfectly solid card. Its freeze effect should help slow early aggro, trading two-for-one with most turn one enemies, while the Mage’s hero ability will enable you to ping off damaged frozen creatures.
The ‘chugger’s effect will also frustrate your opponent in the late game too by denying them attacks, and the fact it’s a mech means tons of potential synergy with cards like Goblin Blastmage. That said, I’m curious to see whether Mage gets any more substantial class-based minions, something it currently lacks.
This bad boy rare Rogue minion was exclusively revealed here on PC Gamer. So I’m duty bound to like it. Luckily, that’s pretty easy too. Assuming you play the Sensei on turn three, there’s a decent chance a mech-heavy deck will have some robot bodies on the board. Think Clockwork Gnome, Annoy-o-Tron and, especially, the Goblin Auto-Barber. If feels like Blizzard is trying particularly hard to make a minion-based archetype viable for Rogues, rather than relying forever on those spell-spamming ‘miracles’. To which I say: good. You can read further thoughts on this card here.
Though it looks a bit kiddy, this new Paladin weapon is a killer. I think it’s straight up superb. Consider that the Warrior’s Fiery War Axe is already viewed as one of the best value cards in the game, and certainly one of the most effective anti-aggro tools. There’s a strong case that the Coghammer is even better. Three charges with two attack means it will wreck Shaman’s tokens and mess up all but the dream Hunter draw.
And then there’s the Battlecry. So long as you’ve got a decent two-drop down, when you play this on turn three you’ll be able to lock the board up by trading with whatever your opponent has played. Better still, imagine that two drop is an Ancient Watcher. You’ve effectively got a Sunwalker for a Black Friday-sized discount. Even silencing it doesn’t help, as it will allow the Watcher to attack freely. The ability means that despite the low attack, the weapon remains relevant in the late game because giving an already powerful Legendary minion Taunt and Divine Shield is a big deal. Prediction: every Paladin ends up running two of these.
Not a huge amount to say here, beyond that it'll come as a relief to classes like Shaman who lack the ability to heal. For one mana more you could play a Priestess of Elune, with beefier stats at 5/4, but a smaller heal of only +4. I don't see this having a huge effect on the metagame. It feels more like a card designed to fulfill a utility role in the set that wasn't brilliantly covered so far. It might be relevant in control mech decks, but from what we've seen so far aggro and midrange feel like the likeliest mech archetypes. Oddly, this card was actually revealed at the same time as the initial wave. But, uh, no-one noticed until today.
Prepare yourselves for the new King Krush meta, people. This new Hunter spell works a lot like the Shaman’s Far Sight (which, erm, no-one plays). It does cost one mana less though, and you get a bigger discount on the card drawn—provided it’s a beast. This raises a couple of problems: Most beasts are pretty cheap anyway and Hunter doesn’t really need a new archetype, given how brutally effective it remains even after the Buzzard nerf.
That said, post-Naxx Kolento had a beast-heavy version of his midrange Hunter that was very effective, and this could maybe work in a revised build of that. To guarantee you get decent value from Call for Help you’re going to need to play a lot of the bigger beasts though, including—yes!—the Legendary T-Rex with the coolest entrance in the game. Hmm, and now that Buzzard costs 5 this would be a way to get it on the board in the same turn as you unleash doggies. Oh no. It’s coming back.
In Warcraft lore Toshley was a minor quest-giving gnome, but in Hearthstone he's remarkable for being the first card with a Battlecry and Deathrattle effect—in both cases giving you a Spare Part card to buff your minions with. It’s tricky to assess his value without knowing how much impact Spare Parts are going to have yet. Certainly cheap spells have serious potential in Mircale Rogue and Token Druid, but the likelihood is that they’ll be even more relevant in decks that haven’t been dreamt of yet.
As for his stats, 5/7 for 6 mana isn’t unreasonable when you consider Feugen gets 4/7 for 5, and I would argue his fraternal Deathrattle-combo is much harder to pull off. The real question hanging over Toshley, and indeed any new card competing in the 6-mana slot, is whether he can offer as much value, as consistently, as Sylvanas and Cairne can. Unhelpful Answer: maybe (but don’t bet on it yet).
Here's another card, this time a Druid class one, which uses the Spare Part mechanic. I want to like it because, hey, the name alone is amazing, but I'm not sure I do. The 7/6 statline is troublesome because it puts Mech-Bear-Cat into Big Game Hunter range, which is still going to be a thing, and to get value from its ability you need it to take damage multiple times.
I suppose you might consider using Wild Pyromancers to inflict damage yourself, abusing the poor Bear-Cat much as Warriors do the Acolyte of Pain. But generally speaking Druid doesn't want to hurt its own board. Perhaps a more practical application would be running Bear-Cat alongside Spectral Knight and Taunt givers, as per the Cloud 9 Druid. One to experiment with then, although again the 6-mana cost means it would require surprisingly strong performance to edge out the existing Legendaries most Druids run.
Muster for Battle
I can see Muster for Battle having some potent synergy with cards like Sword of Justice (which Ben Brode confirmed will work on Twitter) or Knife Juggler, so maybe Blizzard is providing tools for the triumphant return of the aggro Paladin. It's not a bad tempo play on turn 3, but it falls victim to the common problem that there are probably better options for the majority of current Paladin decks. A Harvest Golem gives you a 2/3 and a 2/1 for the same mana, sticks to the board much better than three 1/1s, and will be gaining the "Mech" card type when the expansion launches. Still, Muster for Battle could definitely find a home if there is more synergy with weapons or Silver Hand Recruits yet to be announced in Goblins vs Gnomes.
Muster for Battle reviewed by Tom Marks.
In keeping with the Goblins vs Gnomes contraption-based theme, each of the hero classes will be getting their own bespoke mech card. This is the Paladin one. Perhaps predictably for the beleaguered Paladin class, this seems like one of the worst cards shown so far. Divine Shield is a powerful mechanic, enabling favourable trades, but you're dependent on being able to get out a mech on the same turn the Guardian is played, because its health is so low that it's unlikely it will survive. That might be possible with cards like Clockwork Gnome, but I'm not convinced.
This Warrior mech works a bit like Hunter’s Houndmaster insofar as you need to have a creature of the required type already on the board to get the benefit of the buff. However, it’s worth noting that Houndmaster grants Taunt in addition to the +2/+2 stat boost. That’s balanced by the fact Screwjank’s own 2/5 stat distribution means it’s likely to stay alive longer, and the fact it’s a mech itself means it will synergise well with other mech cards. As with many of the mech cards spoiled so far, this one feels like it’ll only be truly viable in a deck built entirely around mechs, where it’ll be a decent value card.
So this Warlock class card feels a lot like Demolisher, only with substantially better stats (3/5 as opposed to 1/4) for a price of one more Mana. There’s one massive caveat here though: Fel Cannon can hit your own minions if they aren’t mech. It also can’t hit your opponent’s face, and it won’t hit opposing Mechs either, which will become relevant if Mech decks do become prevalent. (Which seems likely, even if it’s only for a while as people experiment.)
The biggest upside compared to Demolisher, though, is that the ability triggers at the end of your turn rather than the start. So you should be able to get at least one use out of its effect. That said, it doesn’t seem a natural fit in any of the current Warlock archetypes—Zoo, Demon, and Handlock—so, for it to become a thing, there will need to be a viable Mechlock deck. Damn. Remember who coined Mechlock first. This could be my legacy.
As a level 60 Druid main, I can safely say 1) we badly needed a 2-drop class card, and 2) this is ace. Unless you luck into Innervate or Wild Growth in your opening hand, Druid wants to play creatures on curve. Now you’ll be able to play Teddy into Harvest Golem or Shade of Naxxramas, into Yeti or Keeper and so on. More pertinently, the Choose One effects gives you the versatility to push for damage on an empty board or help ward off aggro decks, something the Druid class was painfully bad at previously. There’s nothing dramatic about it, but in terms of sheer practicality, this might be my favourite card shown so far. I'll certainly be crafting two copies on day one.
Foe Reaper 4000
This Legendary is already being filed alongside Kel’thuzad as a “win more” card, in the sense that if you’re able to get value from it you’re probably already in good shape. The difference, of course, is that KT is most effective when you already have a board of creatures in place to trade with your opponent. Foe Reaper, on the other hand, could prove effective against opponents with a substantial board, enabling him to be played from behind. However, that presupposes your opponent is unable to remove him with a spell like Hex or Shield Slam.
The high health offers some insurance, and every minion is vulnerable to Hex, but the real problem is that for the high cost he doesn’t do anything on the turn he’s played. Nonetheless, if you can Taunt him up with a Sunfury Protector on turn 10 it might be interesting, but the truth is there are probably just better Legendaries available at 8 mana. Rag, for one. Hopefully the “damages minions next to” mechanic gets used on other minion cards, though, because that feels like a cool concept to explore.
With so many cards still to be revealed, and the metagame likely to shift so dramatically, only a fool would call a new card straight up bad. Reader, I am that fool. This Shaman spell looks terrible. Yes, you could build an entire deck around the idea of trying to spoof Malygos or an Earth Elemental out on Turn 4. And yes, I suppose it’s not quite as tricky to pull off as using Alarm-o-bot. But, as with Blingtron, the symmetrical effect of giving your opponent their own freebie is potentially ruinous, as anyone dumb enough to use Deathwing regularly already knows. It’ll be fun in some troll decks packed with cheap spells and expensive minions I suppose, but I’d be amazed if Ancestor’s Call sees any serious play. (Cue new Ancestor’s Call meta.)
Love, love, love this card and imagine all sorts of Rogue decks will use two copies as standard. A 3/2 for 2 mana is an acceptable stat return, and the weapon buffing Battlecry is like a diluted Deadly Poison. Rogue’s struggle for AoE spells unless they’re able to apply spell damage to Fan Of Knives, but this Sweeney Todd-style mech should make Blade Flurry a much more reliable clear. Combo the Barber with a Deadly Poison and a Blade Flurry and you’re a Flamestrike-sized clear for six mana that also hits the enemy hero and gives you a body on the board. That’s the kind of Barber you definitely tip.
Judged purely on the basis of adorable card art, this would be an auto-include in every deck. Look how fancy he is! Sadly, we have to be slightly more hard-headed about the robo-butler, and note that he’s only going to work in decks which are able to reliably dump their hands, and also struggle for card draw. (So, not Zoo, which has the Warlock's OP hero power to rely on.) That means you’re looking at Face Warrior, which has always risked running out of gas if the game went long, and Jeeves could also replace Coldlight Oracle in Backspace Rogue, though I fear it not working as consistently.
The deck I think he will potentially shine in is aggro Paladin—Shockadin to its friends—which spams cheap creatures and secrets then normally looks to refill its hand using Divine Favor. This card could make that deck much more reliable. Which is bad news because I really hate that deck.
I actually quite like this Warrior card. For 6 mana her 5/5 stats are underwhelming, given that Loatheb has the same numbers and an arguably more powerful Battlecry. However, he’s a Legendary. A more like-for-like comparison would be with Paladin’s Guardian of Kings, which costs 7 mana for 5/6 and heals you for 6. Given that Shieldmaiden’s armor can be used for more powerful shield slams, and may potentially have other uses depending on whether other unrevealed cards also interact with armor, I can see her getting some use.
The real problem is that the six mana slot is already so overloaded in Control Warrior decks, what with the likes of Cairne and Sylvanas. Unlike them Shieldmaiden isn't weak to Silence, though, and for people without access to all the expensive Legendaries, she may prove a decent budget option.
Like clockwork Giant, this is another tech card designed to exploit decks like Handlock, and to a slightly lesser extent Miracle Rogue, which tend to hold a large number of cards. As such, I’d expect it to find it’s way into tournament decks rather than ladder ones, where players will include it in strong counter decks. The other possible use is in a mill deck which uses cards like King Mukla and Naturalize to force their opponent to draw cards. However, there’s no currently viable mill deck, so unless a lot of as yet unrevealed Goblins vs Gnomes cards use the mill mechanic, I still don’t see the Sapper seeing much play.
Blizzard is clearly desperate to make secrets work, but I don’t see this doing it. Aside from Secrets Mage, which is hard countered by Hunters with flare, the only class able to make consistent use of secrets is… Hunter. And Hunters are too busy rushing you down to worry about their own life totals to be concerned about the heal. Also, they have a far more obviously valuable four-drop in the form of Houndmaster. Maybe Paladin could find a use for it, but if secret decks needed healing this badly they’d be running Priestess of Elune. And no one is running Priestess of Elune.
Gaze on these cards, ye mighty, and weep. For these are the ones that weren't chosen by Twitter users in recent votes, and as such remain unrevealed. So that's a goblin pirate and two sweet-looking druid… things. Gah! Why is the internet always wrong!
Current vote — already revealed
This is the vote that's live right now, however the winner has already been revealed. No word on the next vote, but I'll keep adding new cards, and opinions, as they arrive.
Well, it’s a day with the letter ‘y’ in it, so it must be time for another new awesome Hunter card. The Steamwheedle Sniper is an epic that functions a little like Priest’s Shadowform insofar as it enables you to alter how your hero power functions.
The problem with Hunter’s Steady Shot ability is that it doesn’t interact with the board, (but does put your opponent on a damage ‘clock’ which can’t be stopped by Taunt creatures). This fixes that for you. Comparing Steamwheedle Sniper to Shadowform, I like it quite a lot more. It’s one Mana cheaper and leaves a 2/3 body in play.
The downside, of course, is that when the Sniper dies you lose the flexibility. But think of it more like a mini Fire Elemental. Played on turn 4 in conjunction with your hero power you can kill a 2-health creature and leave your own in play. It’ll definitely get used in Constructed, but in Arena, where board control is king, it’s going to be outrageously strong.
It’ll be interesting to see the new, slower, Hunter decks which cards like this and Gahz’rilla make possible. (Oh god, I just realised you could target your own Gahz'rilla.) It certainly seems like Blizzard want the class to be capable of playing more than just aggro. Either way, expect to be hearing the chilling "Greetings, traveller" for some time to come.