It’s pretty much anyone’s guess as to which decks will emerge from the recent nerfs. Everything from Zoo to Control Warrior to various C’thun decks have shown themselves on the ladder. Even Astral Druid has popped up here and there, trading the power of [Malygos] and the now defunct [Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End] for [Astral Communion] and hoping to draw a ridiculous threat, like Y’sharrj.

The most nuanced question to ask, however, is this: What specific cards should be looked at, now that the changes are in full force? I’ve had my eye on quite a few cards that may go from niche to, “Oh, I think I need to start preparing for this”. In a similar vein, I also think that there are cards that may wind up seeing less play, even though they didn’t get nerfed.

As always, the metagame shifts constantly, but there’s always mainstays that wind up being key players in any given tournament or ladder. It’s very possible that cards like [Sylvanas Windrunner] see even more play than before, especially because of how punishing it is to leave her open to steal something. But while we all know just how powerful Sylvanas is, this list is focusing a little more on cards that were previously under the radar, or may have seen little play before.

[Baron Geddon]

What was once a fringe card in some heavy control Warrior decks, may wind up being a mainstay if things wind up being faster and more aggressive. If Zoo and Druid decks wind up being played more, expect to see a lot more of this card, essentially because of how quickly it can single-handedly swing games. A 7/5 body will win a game on it’s own, and being able to at least trade with [Doomguard], [Flamewreathed Faceless], and other big bodies makes this worth considering if your goal is to slow down the game as much as possible.

[Soggoth the Slitherer]

Continuing the trend of having ridiculously large brick walls against aggressive decks, this card also excels against Zoo and various Hunter decks, provided you can set up to defend against Deadly Shot. 9 health is absurdly huge, and being protected from spot removal, as well as most damage based sweepers, and even [Ragnaros the Firelord] himself, makes this a massive threat if you want to push another turn or two.

[Mukla, Tyrant of the Vale]

If Tempo Mage decks need a filler for Yogg-Saron, then maybe leaning as hard as possible on [Archmage Antonidas] is the key. Mukla, Tyrant of the Vale makes Antonidas that much better, as well as giving you that much more push in damage that Tempo Mage decks can often find lacking. The body itself is about average, and you could use a 5/5 that can potentially get some damage through, but having bananas give you more [Fireball]s or [Flamewaker] triggers is what really drives this card home.

[Naga Sea Witch]

If spell-based Druid decks need a way to get large threats out quickly, [Naga Sea Witch] may be the key to that. A five mana [Cenarius], [Ancient of War], or any absurdly powerful Legendary you can put in your deck can be crucial to make up for the loss of Yogg-Saron, though the drawback is fairly significant. You do need a fairly clear board, as well as a turn, to maximize its effectiveness. That said, if you do make this work, you can essentially run away with the game.

[Earth Elemental]

Going back to the big bodies, [Earth Elemental] is a personal favorite of mine, as is Control Shaman in general. Setting this up, plus a [Faceless Manipulator] or an [Ancestral Spirit] is a roadblock against aggressive decks, Warrior decks, and Hunters. The stats are insane, and having to go through two (or sometimes more) of them is no easy feat. This card is the key role player in any Shaman deck that wants a game to go longer than any other midrange deck, but also wants to turn the corner quickly when it’s ready.

[Spirit Claws]

Last, but not least, there’s [Spirit Claws], which may replace [Fiery War Axe] as the best weapon in the format. While [Tuskarr Totemic] did get a pretty significant nerf, the fact that it indirectly raises the chance of you hitting a Spell Damage totem makes [Spirit Claws] that much more powerful. Now, Midrange Shaman decks don’t really have much reason to play [Doomhammer] over [Spirit Claws] anymore, as this solves a plethora of problems in the early game that it desperately need figuring out. Expect many of your early minions to die to this weapon even more than before, whether you like it or not.

These are just a few cards that I think will have more of a presence in the shifting metagame, and time will tell if many of these wind up being as effective as predicted. I will be watching closely to see what winds up trending, and the climb up the ladder will be tough until things are sorted out. That said, it should be a fun road to Legend, and I can’t wait to see what the format looks like in the coming days!

Anthony has been competing in games for the better part of his adult life and is dedicated to improving his game, improving his community, improving himself as a person, and most importantly having fun and enjoying himself while doing so. You can check out his stream to find out which video game is the latest to catch his attention.

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