Galakrond’s Awakening: How do the new cards fare?

Previously, we tried our hand at answering the question: whether Galakrond’s Awakening was worth it. During our analysis, we reviewed a portion of the cards you’d get.

This is where we carry on, reviewing and suggesting where you may use more of the cards you’d get. We decided to go with a random selection to give you a taste of what you’d get. Why spoil the surprise and fun of experimentation? We played these cards in a variety of meta and off-meta decks to see if they can find a home in any of them. 

All the cards listed below are found in the paid chapters:

Skydiving Instructor: 3 Mana 2/2  Battlecry: Summon a 1-Cost minion from your deck.

Neutral Class

This card might have its uses in Priest decks to draw out Northshire Cleric(s) or in Warlock decks Flame Imp(s). As with other tutor cards, it can become useless if you’ve already drawn those minions. If your deck contains multiple one-cost minions, such as Zoo Warlock, you won’t know which would be summoned. Overall, this card seems pretty weak to me; with an interesting battlecry that’s hindered by its randomness and weak baseline stats.

The Fist of Ra-den: 4 Mana 1/4 Weapon. Whenever you cast a spell, lose 1 durability and summon a legendary minion of the same cost.

Sharman Class

Even though this weapon looks like a claw, it plays more like a double-edged sword. Getting random cost-based Legendaries are risky, sometimes hindering you more than helping. Many Legendary minions draw their strength from battlecries, who won’t trigger when summoned by the Fist of Ra-den. You can maximise the card’s value by playing bigger spells like Eye of the Storm and Rain of Toads but doing so also runs the risk of your deck having a bunch of relatively useless high-mana spells in the early game until you draw the claw. Overall, it feels clunky and not particularly good in any Shaman deck at the moment.

Cleric of the Scales: 1 Mana, 1/1 Minion. Battlecry: if holding a Dragon, discover a spell in your deck.

Priest Class

Like the Firetree Witchdoctor, this new addition only works well in a Dragon Priest deck. Being able to discover a spell is useful; and if you already have a copy in your deck then it’s safe to say that you have a plan to utilise said spell. Especially within this expansion, a large proportion of Dragons “cannot be targeted by spells of Hero Powers” meaning that it will be difficult to heal them. Priest also only has five class-exclusive Dragons (of which I only have two in my deck), severely limiting its options. 

Aeon Reaver: 6 Mana 4/4 Battlecry: Deal damage to a minion equal to its Attack

Priest Class

This is an awesome card. It turns an enemy’s strength back on it and often annihilates the enemy minion in the process. Priests lack strong direct removal options like Assassinate, Polymorph, or Hex. Shadow Word: Pain and Death are available but offer less versatility. Aeon Reaver removes most big minions or weakens them enough for your other minions to finish the job. More importantly, it obliterates Evasive Drakonid, which is very satisfying to me at least. 6 Mana for removal with a bonus 4/4 Minion makes it an excellent card to be used in all Priest decks.

Dark Prophecy: 2 Mana. Discover a 2-Cost minion. Summon it and give it +3 Health.

Priest Class

The extra +3 Health here is key, as Priests have a host of healing cards to take advantage of it. Most Priest decks (e.g. Silence, Dragon, Galakrond) tend to do better in the late game, and whatever you summon should help you take extra hits and maintain board control till you get there. Because it’s a Discover card, you do get some choice in the matter. Choose minions with the best stats or Taunts and Deathrattles. The possibility of discovering minions with negative Battlecries like Injured Tol’vir is a bonus too. Like Aeon Reaver, this is a good inclusion for Priest decks in general.

Winged Guardian: 7 Mana, 6/8 Taunt, Reborn. Can’t be targeted by spells or Hero Powers. 

Druid Class

An upgrade over the meta-popular Evasive Drakonid, this card should be the gold standard in any Druid deck. This card handles board control while you play the rest of your cards, as few counters can cleanly remove it, with Reborn forcing additional damage on opponents. While it can’t be directly buffed and healed, it’s still an excellent defensive option that all Druids should utilise.

Skyvateer: 2 Mana , 1/3 . Stealth Deathrattle: Draw a card.

Rouge Class

While this card showed initial promise, actually using it sank what potential I saw in it. Pirate Rogue is currently weak in the meta, and its Stealth is rather pointless and you’ll need it to die to draw a card. For the same amount of Mana, both Loot Hoarder and Novice Engineer do better for card draw. Even after painful bouts of experimentation, I couldn’t find a current deck where Skyvateer could excel in — even Galakrond Rogue.

Arcane Amplifier: 3 Mana , 2/5 . Your Hero Power deals 2 extra damage.

Mage C lass

Because this card is so good, it’s hard to maximise its value. Why? Because once it gets on the board, any sane opponent would target and destroy it as soon as possible. This means that Arcane Amplifier requires support, such as from Taunt Minions. Yet, Taunts don’t fit well into Elemental Mage decks, making deckbuilding a difficult task to balance. Alternatively, you can see this as a one-use boost for your Hero Power. It synergises best with Elemental Mage, but it can find a spot in most Mage decks too.

Chopshop Copter: 3 Mana 2/4 After a friendly Mech dies, add a random Mech to your hand.

Hunter Class

Galakrond’s Awakening has introduced a new card for each of the Hunter archetypes that aren’t Face Hunter: Fresh Scent for Beast Hunter, Rotnest Drake for Dragon Hunter, and Chopshop Copter for Mech Hunter (sorry Secret Hunter). Mech Hunter tends to win by taking control of the board through flooding; but tends to run out of hand resources quickly. Chopshop Copter helps to alleviate that by adding a new Mech to your hand every time one dies. Beyond recycling your resources, you also stand to get Mechs from other classes such as Warrior’s Clockwork Goblin, Paladin’s Mechano-Egg, and the excellent SN1P-SN4P. If you’re running Mech Hunter, this is pretty much a must-have.

Rising wings: 2 Mana , Twinspell Choose One – Draw a card; or Summon a 3/2 Eagle.

Druid Class

Druids are all about choices and flexibility. Do you want early board control or to draw more options for later? Rising Winds sees use in early game (establish board control), mid game (reinforce your position), and late game (replenish your hand). You get to do it twice too, with its Twinspell. Its versatility fits in almost all Druid decks, so don’t leave it at home (or nest). If you’re running Quest Druid, it combos well with Ossirian Tear too. Whether you run one or two is something you’ll need to determine for yourself, though, depending on your deck.

Sky Gen’ral Kragg: 4 mana 2/3 PirateTaunt Battlecry: If you’ve played a Quest this game, summon a 4/2 Parrot with Rush.

Neutral Class

Fun fact:according to the Wiki, Sky Gen’ral Kragg was first featured in The Grand Tournament as  Skycap’n Kragg,the “pirate riding parrot”.

Like Questing Adventurer, this card fits nicely into Quest decks. A Taunt and a Rush minion provide a valuable combination in both offense and defense, giving tempo while strengthening board control. If you’re only running Sidequest(s) in your deck, you may want to experiment as there’s no guarantee you’ll draw them before Sky Gen’ral Kragg. On a side note, if he seems familiar, it’s because he was first featured in The Grand Tournament (2015) as Skycap’n Kragg.

And that’s it for now! During our testing, we found the cards to be well-balanced overall, with a mix of strong, weak, and niche cards. Their utility and value lies in how you can optimise them with your decks. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 2-part review of Galakrond’s Awakening. Want us to cover a topic? Write in: [email protected]

Visuals courtesy of Activision Blizzard.

Ambrose Pereira

Forever busy yet spends way too much time playing video games such as Starcraft 2 and Hearthstone . Also cycling and swimming, and whatever else catches his attention

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