Goblins vs Gnomes launches today, and I couldn’t be more excited. My name is Andrey Yanyuk, more commonly known as Reynad, and I’m a professional Hearthstone player. With my videos and decks such as Zoo and Mad Scientist Hunter on tempostorm.com, I’ve been helping shape the metagame since the Ranked system came to be, and hopefully I can do it again with the advent of 120 new cards! In this article I’m here to help you figure out which of the new GvsG cards to craft first, so let’s get right to my picks for the top 10 most OP cards in the new expansion!
While not as flashy as many other cards in this set, Shieldmaiden comes in #10 on the list because of its sheer necessity. Shieldmaiden is one of, if not THE best late game minions in the game for defensive decks, and fills a role that Warrior decks have been lacking up until now—strong late game class minions. She has excellent stats for the cost when compared to Guardian of Kings, and also guarantees full value when played at 30 life. This is one of the few 6 mana minions in the game that you can comfortably play when behind on the board, isn’t vulnerable to Black Knight or silence, and of course enables those otherwise weak shield slams you’re sometimes stuck with. Most people are more excited for Iron Juggernaut, but Shieldmaiden will be the GvG card that wins warriors the most games.
THE best thing to have in play in the game. In the entirety of Hearthstone, there is no minion, trap, or weapon that you’d rather have on your side of the table than Mal’Ganis. His immunity effect is so powerful and unique, he demands a new warlock archetype on his own. A new breed of Voidcaller-centric warlock decks is coming, and Mal’Ganis will be leading the charge.
8: Tinkertown Technician
Mech Matters! Tinkertown Technician is one of the best payoffs for playing a Mech-centric deck in GvG. All future decks will need to be able to compete with the all-neutral play of turn 2 coin + Spider Tank followed by turn 3 Tinkertown Technician. This is a nasty amount of stats for the cost, and I for one welcome our new Gnomish overlord.
7: Dark Bomb
Some cards aren’t fancy in what they do, but they do it well. 3 damage for 2 mana is too efficient and flexible not to play, and this unassuming card will be a staple 2x in every single warlock deck from here on out.
In the same category of “too good not to play 2 of” as Dark Bomb, Crackle is the best Shaman card in the set. From a card design standpoint however, this will lead to some frustrating losses regardless of whether you’re the one playing it or it’s being aimed at your face. I look forward to uploading a video of me taking 14 damage from two of these and the spell power totem they just rolled.
5: Bomb Lobber
The first time I read Bomb Lobber, I assumed it hit a random enemy character and considered it unplayable. After noticing it hits a minion 100% of the time however, I see Bomb Lobber as one of the best neutral cards in the entire set. Look at it as a Stampeding Kodo without limitations. A clean, immediate, two-for-one. Good when you’re ahead, good when you’re behind—just good. I imagine we’ll be seeing much more Bomb Lobber in the new metagame than most people expected when they first saw this “decent arena card”.
The best class Legendary in Goblins vs Gnomes, Vol’jin brings us a powerful effect at a great cost. Most of the time Vol’jin will function as a 5 mana Fire Elemental, helping clear those pesky Loathebs and Sludge Belchers. Other times he’ll team up with a Holy Smite or Shadowboxer to take down the otherwise unbeatable Mountain Giant on your opponent’s side of the table. Either way, expect to see this guy in every single Priest deck to come.
3: Muster for Battle
Well Met! Muster for Battle is both the hero that Paladin deserved, and the one it needs right now. On its own, the sheer amount of guaranteed value that this card gives you on turn 3 would get Muster onto this list. When we take into account this cards’ synergy with the various Blessings and buffs that will be the core of many new Paladin decks, Muster for Battle climbs right up to the #3 most overpowered card in Goblins vs Gnomes.
2: Fel Reaver
As is the case with most cards that are completely broken, at least half of the opinions I read about Fel Reaver were that it was completely unplayable. Just so we understand each other—Fel Reaver is an 8/8 for 5. Removing the top 9 cards of your deck won’t affect the quality of your draws on average, and is only a drawback if you literally lose because of fatigue. Given that the drawback on Fel Reaver basically doesn’t exist in 99% of games, I’d say that this 5 mana 8/8 is a pretty efficient creature. This is the best card in the set for aggressive decks, and the first time somebody curves Fel Reaver into Savannah Highmane against you I think you’ll agree.
1: Unstable Portal
For the love of all that is holy Blizzard, rework this card.
Let’s assume for a moment that a card existed in Hearthstone that read “2 mana: 90% chance win the game, 10% chance do nothing”. I think we’d unanimously agree that such a card would be overpowered. Now imagine a card that said “1% chance win the game, 99% chance do nothing”. We can agree that such a card would suck. That means that somewhere between 1% and 90% we have a balanced card. I think that number is somewhere around 15%. Unstable portal has about an 85% chance to hit a minion that costs 2 or more. 70% for 3 or more. In the event that you play unstable portal on turn two and get a minion costing 6+ (about a 20% chance), you will probably win the game on the spot. All you invested was one card and your second turn to have a boulderfist ogre in play on turn 3.
Will you get Grimscale oracle sometimes? Sure, but even in that scenario all you did was play a 2 mana 1/1. The vast majority of the time you’ll be breaking even or netting a huge tempo swing akin to Innervate or Wild Growth. Is it worse off the top of the deck later in the game? Sure, but still much better than Wild Growth would have been and still capable of rolling a 6 mana Onyxia. Unstable Portal will warp half of the games it’s played in around itself, and the extremely high chance for a free win makes it an auto-include in any mage deck. Hold on to your extra Portals so you can disenchant them for full dust once the nerf bat strikes. However, of all the cards on this list, Unstable Portal is the one I’m least sure about. The variance involved may very well make it unplayable. Only one way to find out, get out there and play!