The time has come for Knights of the Frozen Throne. While the format is still in its infancy, we have a ton of evaluation to do. Let’s get right back into it!

[Shadowreaper Anduin] gives a mass Shadow Word: Death effect on Battlecry, which is a good deal for eight mana. The real winner here, however, is the Hero Power. Combined with [Raza the Unchained], and in some cases, [Lyra the Sunshard], [Voidform] can chain multiple times in a single turn. Damage accumulates into the teens very easily. This combo will make Highlander Priest decks very popular, and I expect to see this card amongst the top Hero cards in the format for a long time.

[Valeera the Hollow] comes with a powerful Battlecry, granting yourself Stealth until your next turn. This means exactly what you think it does: Your opponent cannot directly target you until your next turn. The Hero Power granted is passive. It gives you a card called [Shadow Reflection], which becomes the last card you played until the end of that turn. Basically, when you play a card, you can get a copy of it and play it. All of this seems like exactly what you’d want to be doing in all sorts of Rogue decks. Unfortunately, nine mana is about one too many. While gaining Stealth is great, your board position is the real problem, and this card doesn’t exactly help with that.

While you can surely create some really absurd turns the turn you play it, with [Counterfeit Coins] and the like, you’re going to be stuck with a unimpressive [Time Warp] effect that trades a turn and a card of yours for a turn of theirs. I see this card seeing fringe play in decks looking for a single critical-mass turn, like [Malygos] variants, as opposed to Miracle decks that are all about value.

[Scourgelord Garrosh] was hyped big time when it was revealed, and for good reason. The weapon you get is incredibly good—a functional cleave, also hitting minions adjacent to the one you hit—and its Hero Power makes any sort of effect that happens when dealt damage even more meaningful. This seems like an automatic inclusion in any deck that wants [Acolyte of Pain], [Rotface], and the like. The card synergizes so well with itself that it just works. This is the most obvious card in terms of application, while also having a decent amount of depth when it comes to weapon density and management. I see this card seeing a moderate amount of play in various tempo and non-taunt-oriented control decks.

[Bloodreaver Gul’dan] was, to me, the weakest card by far when I first saw the entire lineup, mostly because it’s a lot to ask for when it came to ten-mana spells. The general consensus is that if a spell costs eight mana, it needs to be able to pivot towards winning the game. If it costs nine or ten, it needs to be able to win the game on the spot. I didn’t think Gul’dan did that, until I realized just how many Demons you can play that not only provide utility along the path to getting to casting this, but are also very, very large. Not only that, [Siphon Life] is likely the best Hero Power in the game, as opponents will be in for a chore when it comes to actually killing you. I think this will be a mainstay in a new control archetype, similar to Handlock and Renolock decks in the past.

Lastly, we have [Thrall, Deathseer]. If Garrosh was one of the most obviously powerful cards, then Thrall is the most obviously applicable cards. This will make Evolve Shaman a mainstay, even though the answers to the deck as a whole are very apparent. It’s the cheapest Death Knight by far, and it allows some very modular plays when it comes to setting up a board to make it effective. I wish I could say more on the applications of this card, but there really isn’t much else to say. You’ll play an Evolve deck, and maximize it with cards you were already playing, like [Fire Fly], [Doppelgangster], and the like.

All of the Hero cards have seen play thus far, and will continue to see play for as long as they’re in standard. They will force archetypes, and those archetypes will force players to form new decks as the format grows and evolves.

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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