Reviewing 16 Of The Newest Scholomance Academy Cards!
Scholomance Academy spoiler season is in full swing, with multiple cards being revealed each day it’s been difficult to keep up with this magical expansion. Regardless, we’ve got 16 more cards to break down so let’s get started before we get kicked out of the academy for late assignments. Disciplinarian Gandling:
As the Priest Warlock legendary, Disciplinarian Gandling is a promising minion for both classes. Starting as a 4 cost 3/6, this minion contests most boards on turn 3 or 4 while offering a unique effect, instantly activating the Death Rattle of minions or upgrading weaker units such as the ever popular Lackey’s. This card’s got a bright future, and I expect to see it showing up in many Warlock and Priest decks which have cheap minions to synergize with this card moving forward, and maybe in current Priest decks as an overall good unit. Flesh Giant:
Yet another giant, this time exclusive to Priest and Warlock encourages excessive use of the classes hero power or life gain/self damaging spells. This one takes a lot of work to get going and will take a lot longer to get to a low cost compared to previous giants. I’m not expecting this card to see much play as it takes too long to be relevant, but some powerful cards to change your hero's health on your turn may be coming to make my evaluation look foolish. Cabal Acolyte:
This card will remind everyone of the once feared, now forgotten Cabal Shadow Priest. This card has a solid body, and a spellburst that can swing games quickly in your favor. This card synergies nicely with Lazul’s Scheme to help steal big units while also pairing well with the coin to steal an aggressive minion on turn 4. This card won’t break the meta, but I expect to see it popping up in some Priest decks moving forward, especially the highlander variant as both a value tool and an anti aggro play.
Mozaki, Master Duelist:
Mozaki is one of the cards I've found hardest to evaluate so far, as it encourages players to play it, spam spells and build up mass spell power to finish opponents off. This typically means a combo deck, which instead would likely just try to win in one turn with other available mage cards. Instead, this card interests me more in decks such as Highlander Mage who could play a very difficult to kill 5 cost 3/8 that makes their already powerful spells such as Blizzard better if it sticks around. Instead of treating this card as a tool to get mass spell damage, this card seems powerful in decks that could use a strong body while also taking advantage of a small boost in spell damage if it sticks around. Ace Hunter Kreen:
The card built for Hunterace, Ace Hunter Kreen will end games on the spot. Both Demon Hunter and Hunter love to fight for the board using weapons and rush minions, but anytime this card comes down while players are fighting back and forth on the board, that player will win the board control war. This is an extremely powerful card and likely one of the best cards in the set, allowing weapons and units to make incredible trades freely makes this one of the first cards I’ll be crafting, and a card I expect to see played for its entire time in Standard. Ceremonial Maul:
A Paladin Warrior weapon, Ceremonial Maul is all about the spell burst. Usually players don’t want to play 3 cost 2/2 weapons without a powerful effect, but using this card on turn 3 to kill a minion and following it up with a 4 cost spell to create a 4/4 taunt has its purposes. This card isn’t a massive stand out, but both Paladin and Warrior have powerful expensive spells to pair with this card meaning they can get value out of it. I don’t see this card seeing much play unless these classes get some powerful expensive spells, as this card likely doesn’t compete with the current weapons seeing play in these classes such as Anchor or Truesilver Champion. Totem Goliath:
An expensive totem with overload, Totem Goliath is about maximizing totem synergy. We’ve seen cards that reward players for getting all of the basic totems before, and we also have cards like Totemic Reflection who works well by copying this 5 drop or buffing up one of the totems after the Deathrattle. However, this card is very expensive, costing a total of 7 mana for only a yeti worth of stats, and a Deathrattle that requires even more input to be desirable. I don’t see this card seeing much play, but it’s possible if we continue to see Shaman get more totem synergy cards that give this card a place at the top end of totem Shaman as a way to refill the board if it gets cleared. Glide:
It looks like we’ve gotten some answers about what Demon Hunter’s identity is, and it looks to be disruption. We haven’t seen much hand disruption before, but this card gives Demon Hunter’s another way to refuel once they empty their hand and a way to disrupt control and combo decks who may be building up a powerful hand in order to take over the game. Imagine getting near the end of the game, knowing your opponent is about to empty their hand for a combo kill and you forcing them to shuffle their hand into their deck and draw only 4 cards, putting them both down on cards and delaying their combo. This card’s sweet, and I expect it to see play in some but not all Demon Hunter builds, but one card that will be taken off Vulpera Scoundrel quite often moving forward. Felosophy:
A brand new Warlock Demon Hunter card, Felosophy is a way to help Zoo style decks create additional copies of their most impactful demons and potentially enable some combos who need multiple copies of key demons. We’ve seen effects like this before see play, but that was due to having cards like Saronite Chain Gang who would double the value of the buff effect. I don’t expect this card to see a ton of play, but it’s likely it will show up from time to time in the right archetype. The question is: does that archetype exist? Playmaker:
Warrior receives another great 3 drop to synergize with it’s rush theme. A 3 cost 4/3 is a strong stat line already, but pairing this with any rush minion is a sure way to take control of a board - especially Restless Mummy - as you’ll also get the reborn minion when trading your bonus Mummy. This card has a ton of potential and although the Warrior 3 drop slot is already quite contested, expect this card to show up in quite a few tempo oriented Warrior’s, but not all of them. Archwitch Willow:
Typically, 9 cost cards in Hearthstone need to be a game winning play, and Archwitch Willow does just that. This card can summon 2 massive Demon’s to dominate the board including sticky minions like Enhanced Dreadlord. I expect to see another big Demon in this set to make this card even better, but it’s possible this card starts to see play in decks such as Galakrond or Quest Warlock as a top end card, though it depends on the power level of the Demon’s in standard. Pen Flinger:
Elven Archer has seen constructed play in the past, and this card is a clear upgrade to that card. In a world where the Augmerchant cycle is popular in Standard, this card is likely not going to make the cut due to how powerful those cards are, especially Guardian Augmerchant, but this card can be used as a repeatable ping effect which may be desirable at some point. I expect to see this card showing up occasionally, but most decks who would desire a repeatable ping effect would likely look for something a little more impactful than a reusable Elven Archer in 2020 Hearthstone. Doctor Krastinov:
A clear comparison to Captain Greenskin, the Doctor is here as a powerful option for both Warrior and Rogue. I think most players would happily take 1 attack off Greenskin to give him rush, and this card also can repeatedly buff your weapon if it survives. Of course the major con against this card is Greenskin is a pirate, making it much easier to find him or generate him compared to Krastinov who you’ll have to draw naturally. Despite this, I think Doctor Krastinov has a bright future and will see Standard play primarily in Warrior for it’s time in Standard as a strong rush minion with a powerful effect. Star Student Stelina:
Another tool for the disruption plan of Demon Hunter, Star Student Stelina allows Demon Hunter to remove key cards from your opponent's hand if you can outcast this card. That leads to the major issue with this card: it’s a 4 cost 4/3 that only does something if it’s outcast, something that isn’t always easy to accomplish on turn 4. Due to this, i’m not expecting this card to see much play as it’s floor is very low, but it’s ceiling is not necessarily a game winning effect. This card may claim to be a Star Student, but it’s getting an F in my class. Magehunter:
This card has seen a lot of debate since it’s announcement. Some players feel it’s extremely strong to give this kind of repeated silence effect, while others think it’s unplayable due to it’s medium quality statline. Personally, I lean towards unplayable, as a 3 cost 2/3 rush isn’t something I’m very excited about. Although the silence ability is desirable, there’s too many minions with which this lines up poorly against to make me want to play this card. Maybe a Demon Hunter deck wants this since they don’t have many class specific rush minions, but beyond that this card doesn’t strike me as playable. Lorekeeper Polkeit:
The card that’s brought the combo players out of the woodwork, Lorekeeper Polkeit pushes players to find ways to put expensive cards back in their deck with cards like Plot twist, or just having powerful cards that are worth setting up to be your next draws. This card is a powerful one, but one that is hard to find a home for and although some classes may have cards like Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron that are worth guarantee drawing, I’m more interested in trying this card in a deck like Zoo. I’m not sure if it’s good, but what if this kind of deck can be set up so they always draw their 1 Arch-Villian Rafaam on turn 7? Lorekeeper Polkeit is clearly a powerful card, but one that feels impossible to evaluate properly without playing with it and seeing the rest of the set. Sphere of Sapience:
Ignoring the comparisons this card has gotten to Magic: The Gathering's Scry effect, Sphere is a new and exciting effect to come to Hearthstone. This card is an investment to play, pushing it out of aggressive decks, but combo or control decks may be interested in this kind of draw manipulation in order to find their most impactful or powerful cards on time. Decks such as Quest Warlock could also be interested in this, as a way to hopefully keep cards like Malygos on bottom of their deck to make sure that they can make it cost 0 due to the hero power after completing the quest. This card is extremely powerful but the question is which classes want it, and since it’s neutral, expect to see it showing up a lot for any sort of slower deck.
Class is in session and the Scholomance Academy has revealed 42 of it’s cards, with over 90 more to go; this set is surely looking to shake up Standard and potentially even the Wild format upon release. Are any of the cards standing out to you so far? are we dead wrong on some of our takes on the cards? Let us know in the comments or on the official Backlash Twitter!