The Plague Quarter is here! Time for another set review. If this is your first time reading one of my review check out my last review to see the grading scale breakdown.
Constructed - D
Arena - C
This is a slow minion with a potential upside. My brain immediately starts to run away with insane Priest combinations that give the Gargoyle enough Attack to be a threat that always returns to full Health triggering my Northshire Cleric. But sinking two or three cards into a single Minion didn’t work well when Hearthstone first released, and it still doesn’t today.
In actual play I have not seen anything from Stoneskin Gargoyle that has impressed me. He tends to just be ignored on the battlefield. 1 Attack is not threatening and he doesn’t really synergize with overall Deathrattle theme in Curse of Naxxramas.
I have yet to draft one in Arena but I feel like the Gargoyle has a little more upside there. He sticks to the board, and that is something I like in a Minion when I’m battling through an Arena run. If you manage to get any other Minions that can buff Stoneskin Gargoyle (Sun Cleric, Argus, Dire Wolf) I think this card is a definite pick.
Constructed - B
Arena - C+
Unstable Ghoul ranks high in constructed only because of the Control Warrior decks that are now running this card and dominating. Control Warrior was good before and this Ghoul and Sludge Belcher are making the deck even stronger. Yes, Unstable Ghoul doesn’t work particularly well in any other decks but it’s seamless synergy with Warrior cards is too nice to overlook.
In Arena this card’s effect can be a downside as much as it is an upside. Steer clear if a Ghoul comes up late and your deck has a lot of token generators. But it has a solid body with Taunt and will slow your opponent down.
Constructed - B
Arena - B
Where to start my love letter to this card. Sludge Belcher is a road block. 5 Health is a sweet spot for any Minion. 5 health survives the highest damage wrath effect in Hearthstone, Flamestrike. The Belcher is just straight up hard to kill. And even when it does die another 1/2 with Taunt takes it’s place.
I am finding it hard to come up with a reason not to play this card in any of my control decks. The most popular control deck at the moment in the Control Warrior, but Sludge Belcher shines in the Kolento-style Control Paladin as well.
In Arena I’m comfortable calling Sludge Belcher a snap pick. Few cards give you more value in your 5 drop slot. The only card I may hesitate picking against is an Azure Drake, and that’s a huge compliment to Sludge Belcher.
Constructed - A
Arena - B-
Loatheb is king. This card has single-handedly upset the meta of Hearthstone. Every deck is using it in constructed. Miracle Rogues, the deck for which this card is most devastating to, are running Loatheb. There’s nothing bad about playing this card.
It’s good if you’re behind. It’s good if you’re ahead. It’s good if you’re not sure where you stand. Before Sylvanas was change to 6 Mana we would just expect Turn 5 to be the Sylvanas turn. Turn 5 now belongs to Loatheb.
Every class uses spells so just play Loatheb. The only reason I didn’t give Loatheb an A in Arena is because you will always be picking him against two other Legendaries. Also, give this week’s Angry Chicken a listen to hear Dills convince me to grade this card higher.
Constructed - C+
Arena - C+
Webspinner confuses me. Everything about this card screams D rating. 1 Attack? Ick. 1 Health? Gross. Adds a Beast card to my hand after dying and it’s not even a Beast from my deck? Somebody get me the digital shredder.
But this card works. Despite everything I’ve been taught to believe about card value Webspinner just works. Nobody sees this card as a threat so it rarely gets removed. This is a wonderful side effect when Hunter’s Mark is in your hand.
Turn 1 plays also hold some value and Hunters don’t really have any. It even can potentially help fix an unfortunate starting hand by adding a decent beast into it. If I’m asking what this card needs to do to be worth playing, the answer is: it needs to die. That’s a pretty low barrier to entry.
If this was anything other than a Hunter card it would be straddling F material. But a Beast card that replaces itself with another Beast is a good thing for Hunters.
Constructed - F
Arena - D-
Overall I think Secrets are the weakest Spell type in all of Hearthstone. When I first started playing I was excited about having a way to effect my opponent’s turn. I thought they would be Hearthstone’s version of an Instant from Magic. But while Instant speed Spells are some of the most sought after cards in MTG, the lack of control over what your Secret affects makes these cards among the weakest in Hearthstone.
The only scenarios where Duplicate is an advantage is if your opponent loses a minion trading with your minion, or uses a Spell to remove your minion. If the opponent uses a Hero Power or a minion that lives to remove your minion, you are at best breaking even and potentially losing card advantage.
I gave it a D- in Arena only because there is a small chance that it may be up against two worse Commons. Though it is unlikely. Mage has some wonderful class-specific commons. I may take it over Ice Lance if I have no other cards that apply the Freeze effect.
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.