Echoing Ooze is a really fun design for a card. When is summons it’s exact copy of itself, it brings over any permanent stats changes that were put on it the turn it was played. So it’s a great target for Clerics, Paladin buffs, and Argus. Playing Ooze later in the game and pumping it up feels great and can yield some nice results.
Playing Ooze on turn two is however, much less exciting. I am a big fan of stats spread across multiple minions. It really helps minions stick in Hearthstone. But I’d rather play a Haunted Creeper because the extra minions come out after the main 1/2 Creeper dies as opposed to all three minions at once. This type of Deathrattle is great because it is an insurance policy against board clears. Where as both Oozes are always going to be on the board at the same time, leaving all of those stats vulnerable.
In Arena value is king and while I’d rather have a Haunted Creeper, Echoing Ooze is still 2/4 worth of stats for 2 Mana in the worst case scenario. It is definitely better to play Ooze later in the game with some buff cards but there’s no guarantee any buff cards will show up during your Arena draft.
Shade of Naxxramas
Finally! I get to play around with this guy after having him played against me, boss after boss, in Curse of Naxxramas. Shade may remind you of Gruul but it is a much more playable card. The Stealth on Shade is what makes this card work. It rewards proper planning and patience.
Played at the right point in the game Shade can grow to terrifying proportions. Check out any of Brian Kibler’s games from The Sunshine Open this past weekend. It is not a minion that you should just put on the board, and attack with as soon as possible.
The thing that stops Shade of Naxxramas from breaking into the A range is that the +1/+1 buff does not occur until the start of your turn. This leaves Shade at a vulnerable 2 Health on your opponent’s turn. 2 Health minion die to just about every wrath effect in the game, and I have personally killed quite a few of these guys with Cleave this past week. Just think about the class your opponent is playing and put Shade out when you believe it has the highest chance of making it to the next turn.
Kel’Thuzad falls into the trap that a lot of the other mediocre cards from Naxxramas do. Really cool ideas that don’t have a place. 8 Mana is a coveted slot and no deck wants a lot of cards cluttering it up.
I don’t know when to play KT. If I have a lot of minions in play come late game, chances are, I’m already winning. Kel’Thuzad just makes me win more. If I have no minions in play he does not help me at all. For the same mana cost, Ragnaros has a chance to help get me back into a game if I’m behind. KT just comes out and looks pretty.
In Arena however, Kel’Thuzad has a chance. He has the health to stay alive, and 6 Attack is nothing to scoff at. Any chance to help keep my minions on the board in Arena is a chance I will take.
What has science done!? Avenge was THE card I was prepared to rain F’s all over when I saw it previewed before Naxxramas’ launch. Just read my Duplicate review, I do not like Secrets. But Mad Scientist has changed things. Weak Secrets are now playable because there’s a high chance they will get deployed for free. But this isn’t a review for Mad Scientist.
Avenge has a place, and that place is Aggro-Paladin. There is a Reynad deck going around that utilizes Mad Scientist, Noble Sacrifice, and Avenge to great effect. Noble Sacrifice’s 2/1 blocker counts as a minion, and thus, as a minion death. This a great synergy since it does not matter what order these to Secrets are played in.
I am much less excited to play Avenge in Arena. Everything I like about this card is due to a very specific synergy with other cards. In that respect Avenge starts to teeter very close to the D-range in an Arena draft. But there will be times, late in a draft that you will see an Avenge, look at your deck, and be happy to include it (probably when you see you picked up a Mad Scientist along the way).
Garrett Weinzierl is the founder of Amove.tv and the host of The Angry Chicken, Into the Nexus, and A-move Radio. Follow Garrett on Twitter @GarrettArt.