Hearthstone Scholomance Academy Review
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Scholomance Card Review

Jul 29, 2020
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Image via Hearthstone.

Hearthstone Scholomance Review

The time for cards reveal from the upcoming expansion has already begun. From July 22 to July 29, Blizzard and their chosen media personalities will be showing new Scholomance Academy cards. The expansion itself will be released on August 6.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the expansion cards announced on July 22 and 23. Nobody knows for sure how strong they are, not even the developers. But the new cards can be compared with the old ones, we can evaluate interesting combos and their synergies, and also speculate about the future meta.

Disciplinarian Gandling

Disciplinarian Gandling
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A legendary minion for the Priest and Warlock with an effect suitable for tempo and aggro decks.

Disciplinarian has good stats for the fourth drop: it is difficult to be removed from the board, so both the Priest and the Warlock can play it as a tempo threat on the 4th turn even without any effects.

The new card works well with minor threats: lackeys, 0-2 mana creatures, and deathrattles. Zoolock loves to play all these minions right now. Besides, the archetype can already count on another novelty in the face of the Boneweb Egg, which will also work out well for Gandling. At the same time, the current Zoolock uses the Imprisoned Scrap Imp, whose buff will be canceled out by the Gandling effect, so it is likely that both cards will not fall into the same deck.

Overall, the new Legendary is good, but you shouldn’t overestimate it. The effect is strong, but slow enough for an aggro deck, especially when fighting other tempo opponents. But the Legendary will often be a welcome top deck in slow fights.

Headmaster Kel’Thuzad

Hearthstone Scholomance Review - Headmaster Kel'Thuzad
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Headmaster Kel’Thuzad is a strong card and is expected to be one of the main characters of the expansion. This creature is not good on its own – it only has okay stats, but in combination with damaging spells, it gains a significant boost.

The value of Headmaster Kel’Thuzad is that it allows you to gain a tempo advantage with the help of normal removal spells. Usually, Hellfire or Chaos Nova will just clean the whole board, yours is not an exception. As a result, the enemy will have the initiative – on his turn, he will play minions again and force you to defend. Combinations with Headmaster Kel’Tuzad will turn the tide of the game and force the opponent to play defensively. The ability to come back into the game is one of the most important factors of a good deck in Hearthstone.

But the legendary has a problem – the price. It is difficult to combine powerful spells with a 5 mana minion, especially before players gain 10 mana. Tempo comebacks in the late game are still important, but before that Headmaster Kel’Tuzad may be useless in the hand.

Infiltrator Lilian

Hearthstone Scholomance Review - Infiltrator Lilian
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The Legendary can be compared to the Piloted Shredder: it is a sticky fourth drop with high attack, but little health. Among the advantages is stealth, which will allow the Rogue to attack at the right time and on the right target. Also, a 4/2 minion that immediately attacks is much better than the average two-cost drop from Piloted Shredder.

It is important that the new minion has both stealth and deathrattle. The rogue loves both of these properties, and the class has many other cards that synergize with them.

It’s still up in the air if the Infiltrator Lilian will be in all decks of the class, but aggressive Rogue archetypes will definitely pay attention to it. The minion can deal at least 4 damage to the opponent’s hero, and in the worst case, exchange 1 enemy threat, which is already good.

Brittlebone Destroyer

Hearthstone Scholomance Review - Brittlebone Destroyer
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A card for the Priest and Warlock with a good tempo effect. Classes will be able to remove the threat of the opponent and put something on their own half. Most often, this can be done only for 6 mana along with the hero power. Such a card can be compared to the Vilespine Slayer, which has similar stats and often also needed 6 mana to play it.

It will be easier for the Warlock to play Brittlebone Destroyer, because he can almost always activate it with the hero power. It is more difficult for the Priest, as he can be with full health.

Brittlebone Destroyer is a good card, but the only question is whether there is enough room for it in the decks.

At least the Zephrys archetypes keep this card in mind. Their builds will surely have a place for such a simple but effective card.

Cycle of Hatred

Hearthstone Scholomance Review - Cycle of Hatred
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Another card that offers a tempo come back. It simultaneously cleans the board and summons minions. Cycle of Hatred has the potential to completely come back in the game and give the Demon Hunter a huge advantage.

The problem is its cost. 7 mana is a lot for 3 damage AoE. Often, by this time, there will be much larger threats on the opponent’s board. Imagine a 7-mana Spell Druid board after Exotic Mountseller with multiple spells. The Cycle of Hatred may kill a few small minions, but it certainly won’t clear the entire board.

The Cycle of Hate can end up in Demon Hunter Control decks. You should keep this card in mind, but so far the card does not look insane or imbalanced.

Steeldancer

Hearthstone Scholomance Review - Steeldancer
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A two-class card for Rogue and Warrior with weapon synergy. The card becomes stronger if the hero puts on a powerful weapon with a large amount of attack.

So far, neither Rogue nor Warrior likes to play weapons with high attack and low cost. The Rogue manages to use hero power, and the Warrior plays a cheap weapon with 2-3 attacks, so it will just slightly buff the Steeldancer. The fact that the Corsair Cache was recently nerfed also discouraging- the attack buff was removed from the spell.

But even if with possible future weapon meta, will the Steeldancer be good enough? Firstly, the deck should have enough copies of the weapon itself. It is also desirable that there were buffs. Only then can the effect of the card be relevant. But even in this case, the new fourth drop does not do something extraordinary.

Steeldancer can be used in decks with a lot of cheap weapons with high attack. These are usually aggressive decks, such as Hooked Scimitar Rogue.

Combustion

Combustion
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A spell with unusual mechanics and a counterintuitive effect. It is most beneficial to target minions with a small amount of health to deal more excess damage to the sides

Combustion will create many interesting positioning situations for the Mage’s opponents.

The power of Combustion depends on the meta. The spell would have worked well for the Ashes of Outland meta during the Demon Hunter’s dominance.

In the worst case, Combustion is just a Warlock’s Shadow Bolt, meaning a source of 4 damage for 3 mana. It’s not the strongest card in the game, but it’s not the worst either.

Flesh Giant

Flesh Giant

A new giant for the Priest and Warlock costs less each time you change health during your turn. The easiest ways to do this are with hero power. But if you rely only on it, you will not get too much benefit from the new epic.

Both the Warlock and the Priest have other ways to damage or restore health, although not all of them are used too often. The Priest loves to play Renew and Penance, while the Warlock relies on Rain of Fire, Nether Breath, and Crazed Netherwing.

It is easier for the Warlock to use a new giant and other cards with similar effects, as he can both inflict damage to himself and restore health – both effects are counted. In addition, classic Handlocks have shown that Gul’dan is excellent at implementing 8/8 threats, which can be played for free or for a small amount of mana.

The priest relies only on healing, although there is more of it. The class has interesting combinations with a cheap 8/8 minion – Psyche Split, Grave Rune, and Unsleeping Soul. The only problem is that the new giant has no taunt, unlike the old Grave Horror.

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Eugene Torubalko
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Eugene has a major in Germanic languages and literature. Being an avid gamer and esports enthusiast, he found himself writing and covering the competitive Dota 2 and Hearthstone scenes. He is always ready to deliver reviews, game predictions, tournament analysis, and anything else related to the world of esports.
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