I was going to spend this week talking about The Menagerie, which is the third wing of One Night in Karazhan. However, you may have noticed that the Menagerie was really, really uninteresting. From a casual perspective it’s borderline insulting. So, I don’t really want to talk about the Menagerie. Instead, let’s take a look at some of the movers and shakers in Standard that have benefited from Karazhan (as opposed to Arena which has suffered greatly, a topic for another day).

Mage Climbs into Tier 1

According to Tempo Storm, Mage has gotten a decent boost from Babbling Book, which is deceptively powerful in a way that allows Mage decks to get one step closer to a quick victory. Drawing a card and getting a 1/1 body is pretty powerful. The fact that you get a Mage spell, something you can build around with cards like Mana Wyrm and Flamewaker seems almost unfair.

Beast Druid’s Surprising Surge


I wasn’t surprised to see Beast Druid make excellent use of Karazhan’s additions but I have to admit I’m very surprised to see it at the top of Tier 2 in Tempo Storm’s snapshot. Enchanted Raven also serves to help the deck curve out into a solid board position. The Curator can only get limited Dragon/Murloc targets in the form of Sir Finley and Azure Drake and even limited Beast targets in just Enchanted Raven, Mounted Raptor, and Stranglethorn Tiger.

Purify Priest Starts at the Bottom

We all knew this deck was going to see some play just to see if Blizzard knows something the rest of us don’t. Kripparian played the deck and even though it wasn’t good, it seemed like a lot of fun. I’m not surprised that it starts out in dead last on the Standard snapshot but I think it will surprise a lot of people as they figure out how to play against it. It might not make it to Tier 3, but it will be more competitive than you think (and probably a ton of fun to get those wins).

Barnes is not Tier 1 but Still Very Good

9 of the 27 decks in the snapshot feature what might be the most powerful legendary card in Karazhan: Barnes. The decks tend to be mostly mid-range and control decks for obvious reasons. Throwing out Malygos or Tirion is pretty powerful even on a 1/1 body. However, Barnes doesn’t appear in any of the Tier 1 decks, finding himself isolated to Tier 2 and 3. Can he move up or is there a clear ceiling on this ability? What’s exciting about Barnes is that he boosts plenty of existing strategies, but not in ways that makes them unfair. He does lead to some pretty explosive openings like getting a turn one Y’Shaarj, Ragnaros, or Aviana in the Ramp Druid deck.

Will The Spire Provide More Changes?

There are still 11 more cards to be released next week with the final wing of Karazhan. Spirit Claws, Netherspite Historian, and Malchezaar’s Imp could all see some play in the middle tiers, but I’m really interested in seeing if Violet Illusionist shows up in control decks, especially Warrior, allowing maximum value from weapons, or if it shows up in some kind of self-wound-inflicting Warlock builds. Either way, the impact of Karazhan on Standard is already clear from Tier 1 through Tier 5 and even though the adventure itself has proven to be somewhat disappointing (but chess was cool), the card set will have a big impact for a long time to come.

Rich has been playing Hearthstone on and off since the closed beta and has a golden E.T.C. to prove it. He enjoys playing Zoolock on the ladder and wishes he could figure out how to get more than five wins in the Arena. He’s really looking forward to playing Silence-Aggro Priest once Karazhan is live.

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