Hearthstone Knights Of The Frozen Throne: First Impressions

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540px-Malfurion_the_Pestilent_full
Malfurion The Pestilent or Rudolph The Sick Blizzard

For the past 72 hours, I’ve been experimenting with the new Hearthstone expansion with Knights Of The Frozen Throne . I’ve been mixing potions with Professor Putricide, playing fetch with Arfus and destroying all who stand in my way with the power of the Lich King. The meta is still evolving and we aren’t sure if someone's going to find a deck that breaks the game, so it’s still a bit too early to give a proper review, but I feel I’ve played enough to form an opinion on what Team 5 has cooked up for us.

It wouldn’t be a Hearthstone card expansion without a little salt over bad pack openings, but I was actually not that let down. Blizzard implemented a change to card packs, giving you a guaranteed Legendary in the first 10 packs you open. I played the KOFT Prologue that gives you a Death Knight card first, lowering my chances of getting an undead version for a class I never played. Out of 50 packs, I managed to pull five Legendaries with two being useful. Compared to my first 50 Un’Goro packs, where I pulled an Ozruk and the Paladin Quest, I was head over heels. Because I’m an addict and need to collect everything, I bought another 40 packs where I only got one Legendary. Remember kids, never push your luck.

I originally started messing around with a Warrior deck, using the Death Knight Scourgelord Garrosh and Rotface, but it didn’t really work for me. The AOE synergy was nice, but I never really had a way to finish the game out. I even crafted Grommash Hellscream in an attempt to salvage it, but it just didn’t end up working out. Then, I tried out a slight variation of my classic Mage deck that uses Medivh’s Valet and low-cost spells to clear the board, and then go for lethal with Alexstrasza and Pyroblast. That ended up being even worse, with Exodia Mage pooping on my Lich with ease.

Eventually, I settled into an old classic of mine – Jade Druid. Throughout the Mean Streets Streets Of Gadgetzan meta, Aya Blackpaw and her band of expensive golems were my best friends. Jade Idol is a stupidly strong card with versatility to match, you can never deck out, so you auto-win all fatigue match ups. With Jades by my side, I quickly rose through the ranks, where I currently sit at rank 3. I’ve only hit Legend once (and that was with Secret Paladin), but now I’m committing the time needed to climb.

The meta is filled with all sort of decks, but there are a few I started to see over and over. Control Priest, Dragon Priest and Plague Druid run rampant in ranks 10 and under, but we start to see a bit more Token and Jade Druid once you hit the single digits. Pirate Warrior can still climb, but Druid Taunts pretty much shut it down. Druid is the best class for ladder, Malfurion just shits on anyone dumb enough to oppose him. I’m not sold on his Death Knight, but I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing a lot more of them.

Overall, the Knights Of The Frozen Throne meta is incredibly fun. There aren’t any stupidly overpowered combos (like Tunnel Trogg and Totem Golem for you old folks), though Token Druid is starting to scare me. It’s so strong, killing you before turn five is easy and totally doable. As the meta starts to develop, we’re going to start to see more of these Aggro decks take the top spots in the ladder.

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