Now that the Curse of Naxxramas expansion to Hearthstone has been fully unlocked and all 30 new cards are now available for play (assuming you’ve defeated the bosses and class challenges), I thought it would be fun to create a list of a few of my favorite Naxxramas neutral cards. These are the cards that I’ve enjoyed playing in bothe arena mode and constructed. One of my favorite aspects of any card game is trying to find unique decks that can throw an opponent off guard. These cards that I’ve selected I find both interesting and strong in many matchups. These cards are in no particular order, but we’ll start off with my favorite:
1. Spectral Knight
Spectral Knight is my favorite new card in the entire set. I’ve been able to play it in many constructed and arena decks with great success. This card is immune to targeted removal spells and will often require two or more minions to take down depending on how early you can get him on the table. If you’re not already using him I highly recommend trying him out in some of your decks, I think you’ll find great success with it especially in decks that focus on buffing your minions.
One of my least favorite matchups is against the miracle Rogue deck. Loatheb dulls that pain a touch as it increases the cost of all spells on your enemies next turn by five mana! Of course this ability is very strong against other spell heavy matchups as well and can easily delay dangerous combos your enemy may be cooking up. On top of the ability the card has good stats for a five drop at 5/5 making it a good deal. Played at the right time this guy can bring an enemies tempo to a halt giving you the possibility of a very strong advantage.
3. Sludge Belcher
There seems to be much discussion about this card and it’s effectiveness in various decks but after thorough play time with it I can safely call it one of my favorites. While it costs one more mana than the Sen’Jin Shieldmasta and shares the same attack and health value, it has more stopping power since it’ll create a 1 / 2 taunt upon it’s death which is ideal against rush and aggro decks. Sure there are more valuable five drop cards, such as the Spectral Knight, but the Sludge Belcher is capable of buying time making midrange and control decks all that more effective.
4. Nerubian Egg
While this card relies on other minions and/or spells to be effective, it’s capable of becoming a daunting threat requiring multiple cards to take it out. Paired with a card like Defender of Argus or Mark of the Wild and this egg becomes annoying before it even hatches. Because of this though Nerubian Egg isn’t a card I’ll often draft early in Arenas as I would want to make sure I have several cards already in my deck that can synergize well with it.
Easily one of the best new cards in the set, Kel’Tuzad is devastating towards the late game. When you’ve got a decent board set up, dropping Kel’Thuzad allows you to make good trades with enemy minions with no loss to your board as all of your minions that die will return to the board unharmed. This is a great way to use several of your minions to take out a fatty on your opponents side with no loss to your board presence. On top of this crazy ability, he doesn’t have terrible stats for an 8 drop at 6 / 8. This guy can lock in a win and can easily be a top priority for most arena decks.
6. Zombie Chow
This card is tricky but if played right can help create favorable board control very early. When played it’ll heal your opponent for five health so playing it in the early game is most ideal where most of the healing it provides will just fall off. This is a tremendously good turn one or two drop as it’s a 2 / 3 for just one mana and the chances of your opponent already being damaged at this point are slim.
7. Anub’ar Ambusher
This card is a 5 / 5 for 4 mana - not a bad deal. When you consider his deathrattle ability that returns a friendly minion to your hand, you can start to see he has a lot more to offer. This card can save an injured minion or synergize well with other cards that have strong battlecry effects as you can play them again from your hand. If you have a strong battlecry deck, this card can work wonders for your mid and late game giving you strong advantages as well as having decent overall stats for the cost.
8. Wailing Souls
For four mana this 3 / 5 minion silences all friendly minions when it enters play. It may not seem too great at first until you start thinking about cards like Ancient Watcher that is a 4 / 5 for two mana that ordinarily can’t attack. Potentially stronger would be to play this when you have a Deathlord on the board which is a 2 / 8 with taunt that costs three mana - a great deal until you look at its deathrattle which allows the opponent to put a minion from their deck into play. There are some strong combos that this card can string together and I’ve seen it played fairly well in the arena on multiple occasions.
So that’s my list of my top eight favorite new cards. It’s been really enjoyable to see how all the new cards have shaken up the constructed scene and all the new surprises arena opponents are throwing down. I'm sure new favorites will rotate into this list as I continue to explore new ways of implementing all of the new cards.
Next Ranked Card Back
The Hearthstone team has announced what the next card back will be for Septembers ranked play season. This new Pirate card back can be earned like all the previous seasons by reaching rank 20 or higher before the end of the month. Here’s what it’ll look like:
What are your favorite new cards in the set? Have you discovered any interesting combos of your own? Let me know in the comments below!
Further Warcraft reading: