The owner or Castle Nathria, Sire Denathrius, has been unexpectedly murdered (is any murder expected by the victim?) and it is up to Murloc Holmes to investigate a colourful cast of possible suspects. These suspects range from unassuming stewards to Orc spies, and make up the majority of the cast of legendary cards for Murder at Castle Nathria. These are the most exciting cards, which will undoubtedly come to shape the meta for the next few months.
This list is completely personal, and is from the perspective of a primarily standard player. Unlike some other lists, It It is not necessarily based on the power level of the cards mentioned, just how excited I am to play them, and as such is not in any specific order. So without further adieu, here are the top 5 most exciting Murder at Castle Nathria Legendary cards.
Kryxis the Voracious
Kryxis certainly has good stats for the cost, and a beneficial Deathrattle which will help you to refill your hand, “How is this card anything but broken?” you may ask. The drawback is that you must discard your hand if you play this, which is obviously a fairly significant downside… or is it?
Demon hunter is a class that has historically done quite well playing very low curve decks. The downside from this card is almost non-existent if you have only 1 or 2 cards in your hand, making it very powerful as a potential top-end in decks of that type.
In addition to that, demon hunters also have the Deathrattle archetype introduced in Forged in the Barrens, which, although dormant for some time, may see a resurgence with this card. Both Razorfen Beastmaster and Death Speaker Blackthorn are capable of cheating this card out, completely skipping the Battlecry and giving you a 7/7 minion with the Deathrattle upside.
Kryxis the Voracious is definitely a card to watch out for from a power perspective.
This card is a very strong value card. If you value a 4/5 body at 4 mana, and each of the corresponding seeds at their respective mana costs, you are getting 10 mana worth of value for only 5 cost, albeit with some delay.
Ara’lon gives me hope that we may see some kind of midrange hunter archetype in this expansion. Such a deck would most likely center around wildseeds, with Ara’lon as a key value generator to push for the win around turn 8. The only potential downfall of this card could be the delay in each minion coming online, being 1,2 and 3 turns respectively. That said, the minions are well statted for each step in the chain. The rush can do some immediate board clean-up, and the taunt can protect you while you wait one more turn for the deer which equips a 4/2 weapon. Alongside other cards played on those turns it could be possible to win the game before the weapon breaks.
Failing that, I do think that the value from the card is strong enough that it may see play, even outside of wildseed dedicated archetypes.
I love weird shaman archetypes. Yes, I was that guy trying freeze shaman on day 1 of Knights of the Frozen Throne. No, it wasn’t good but I sure had fun! Blizzard has pushed totem shaman as an archetype before, but usually with only one or two cards, and nothing to bring the package together. Eys’or I’m looking at you!
This time looks to be different. Four totem support cards have been printed in a single set, Carving Chisel, Party Favor Totem, Gigantotem and The Stonewright. I am not sure if The Stonewright will even be the best card in the archetype. Giving totems +2 attack is great, but it comes on a legendary card which you cannot be certain that you will draw. If the archetype is to flourish then it will need a win condition outside of the Battlecry of The Stonewright. Bloodlust on a board full of totems seems likely, but The Stonewright will be a strong card if you do manage to draw it.
Am I certain that the archetype will be good? Certainly not. Will I be playing it day 1? Certainly!
Remornia, Living Blade
This card is just really cool. Swapping from minion to weapon and back again is something that perfectly captures the essence of Remornia from the Sire Denathrius encounter in World of Warcraft.
Will the card be good? Hard to say. There has never been an effect like this before in Hearthstone, so this card is really difficult to evaluate. It can benefit from both minion and weapon buffing effects and get the benefits of each in both its minion and weapon forms. For me it is hard to see a world where this card doesn’t get used in some kind of deck. What kind of deck will that be? I have no idea.
Theotar, the Mad duke
Like many Hearthstone players I am not a big fan of combo decks. They are one of the least interactive deck types in the game. If you can reliably play your combo before your opponent kills you then you win the game, otherwise you lose. A combo deck is rarely doing anything during the game except trying to slow the opponent down. This means the game plays out similarly every time, and as such these decks can become extremely boring to play against. There is a healthy spot for combo decks in any meta, but if they get too prominent then players will usually start to complain that the meta feels stale or un-interactive.
Theotar, the mad duke addresses these problems. He is a serious combo disruptor, providing players who hate combo decks an opportunity to interfere with their game plan. He can also be used to steal a win condition from any deck if you play him at the perfect time. This card is a good example of a skill testing card, you are playing it purely for its effect. If you can use that effect properly then it is game-winning. If not then you have just completely wasted a turn and you are probably going to lose.
There are also plenty of opportunities for stealing back and forth if both players run this card. In fact I would be willing to bet that there will be an achievement for using Theotar to steal back a card that your opponent has stolen from you. This card could define the meta whether it gets played or not. It always exists after all, and just that fact could keep combo decks in check.
The not-quite top 5 Murder at Castle Nathria legendary cards
This card looks cool, but it is hard to tell how well the relics will synergise with each other. If you can spam relics easily then this could be a fun card.
Imp King Rafaam
I love old school Zoolock and this card might bring back the feel of that deck. Quite a few Imps have Battlecry and Deathrattle effects that summon more imps. As such this could definitely be a fun card to experiment with if you are nostalgic (like I am) for the good old days of Zoolock.
Kel’Thuzad, the Inevitable
This card was very close to making the list. I love Kel’thuzad, and the theme of this card in general. The card is hard to evaluate. It may end up being too good with Brann and Kael’thas Sinstrider if you can build up enough skeletons for an OTK. Conversely it might end up being useless as the combo just comes down too late. If the former ends up being true then the deck will be extremely annoying similar to old freeze mage. If it ends up being the latter then it will just have been bad.
This is more of a dishonorable mention for me. We have seen cards like this before. Kael’thas Sunstrider himself had this effect but for spells. That card ended up being nerfed twice, and I would be very surprised if this card doesn’t get nerfed. It has a cap of only one minion reduced to 0 each turn, but the fact that you can play both this card and Brann Bronzebeard for 9 mana, then any strong Battlecry card (Kel’Thuzad the Inevitable and Sire Denathrius spring to mind immediately) leaves me thinking this card will become very frustrating very quickly after the “cool” factor has worn off.
Those are the top 5 legendary cards that excite me the most from Murder at Castle Nathria, and some honourable mentions. Do you feel the same? Are there any that you feel are conspicuous by their absence? Have I overlooked anything obvious? You can check out the other cards on the expansion reveal website. Let me know which legendaries you are the most excited to use when Murder at Castle Nathria releases on August 2nd.