Let’s get ready to… you know the rest.
Rastakhan’s Rumble is almost upon us, and the set is shaping up to be a huge amount of fun. The broad theme takes us to the Gurubashi Arena (which World of Warcraft players on the Horde side would be familiar with), and to a contest presided over by Rastakhan, king of the Zandalari, and ruler of the great troll empire. Long story short, it’s an excuse for trolls and other warriors to battle it out for glory.
Each class has its own “team”, and these are centred around their “Loa” or beastly deities. Rogue, for instance, are known as Gral’s Sharks, named after their Loa – Gral, the Shark. Each Loa is a legendary minion and accompanied by a Spirit that strengthens what that Loa is attempting to do. The Rogue companion card, Spirit of the Shark, obviously works well the turn before Gral, allowing you to trigger its battlecry twice, not to mention playing into the many great battlecry and combo cards in the game.
In addition to these cards, each team in the Rumble also gets a legendary champion – a warrior that pushes the class in a different direction to the Loa and Spirit, to try and ensure each class has a couple of different – and new – archetypes to try out with this expansion.
It’s cool stuff, and joined by a powerful new keyword “Overkill”, which triggers when you do more damage than is needed to kill an enemy minion. This should prove very interesting, as we’ve all been conditioned to make the most efficient trades possible in Hearthstone, but now we have a set of cards that reward you for essentially styling on your opponent.
Anyway, all this brings us to IGN’s card reveal – the Rogue epic Gurubashi Hypemon:
This obviously works wonderfully well with both Gral, the Shark and Spirit of the Shark. If you have the Spirit on the board you can double its battlecry, letting you discover two one cost battlecry minions. And if you play Hypemon with nine mana available, not only would you discover twice, you could then play both the cards you discover and DOUBLE THEIR BATTLECRIES. Insane!
This is a great target for Gral to eat during his battlecry too, as he gets boosted to a 7/9 and you get your Gurubashi Hypemon back once he dies. There’s also a good chance you’ll be able to pick Gral, the Shark off the Hypemon discover effect, as class cards are heavily upweighted when using discover. A one cost Gral, the Shark that has only lost 1/1 in stats? Sounds good to me.
Whether the deck that all these cards fit into is viable remains to be seen, but they certainly look like a pretty compelling package in a more mid-range tempo deck, potentially with Hypemon at its top end. This card will offer incredible utility, essentially allowing you to find answers for the specific situation you’re in, or a way to try and close out a game. And provided you have eight mana you can play the card you discover immediately.
As I mentioned, Rogue cards are upweighted in discover, so given they’ll be presented more often, what would you likely be looking for based on the cards currently in the Standard format? Fal’dorei Strider would obviously be great, as would Tess, if you’re playing things like Blink Fox and Academic Espionage. Myra Rotspring could offer some value. You could also choose Lab Recruiter and immediately shuffle three more copies of Hypemon into your deck.
On the neutral side, Bonemare would be amazing, Primordial Drake could help you clean up a token board, Giggling Inventor would be ridiculous, Arcane Dynamo could help you find a Sprint if you’re running low on resources, you could copy Hypemon on the board with Faceless Manipulator or put another in your hand with Zola, the list goes on. The situation-specific picks that would be amazing are things like Spellbreaker/Owl, Big Game Hunter, The Black Knight, Mossy Horror, Skulking Geist, Harrison Jones, Fungalmancer, Defender of Argus, Mind Control Tech and so on. But don’t pick Damaged Stegadon, Witchwood Grizzly or Injured Blademaster – hilariously enough, they’d instantly kill themselves.
This should be a skill-testing card, in other words, with heaps of potential for problem solving and interesting games. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Rastakhan’s Rumble is out on December 4 (in North America). Be sure to check out all the cards that have been revealed so far.
Cam Shea is Editor in Chief for IGN’s Australian content team. He’s on Twitter.