TL;DR: Stormhammers are used against dragons by Gryphon Riders, who are more like mounted warriors/knights than they are Hunters. Change Stormhammer to present a "Firebolt Crossbow" that uses dragonfire as ammunition, and you 'fix' every flavour issue with the card, and free up an iconic weapon for later use in a more befitting class.
Hi. I'm just going to get right into it:
I like the new card, and I like its effect. In terms of statline and effect, I think it is well-balanced, cool, and even very deserving as a Hunter card, considering how they already have a 3 Mana 3/2 Weapon that tries to go 'infinite' in another way.
However, the card art and name does not seem to align well with the Hunter class. At all, really. Don't misunderstand me: I know that Gryphons are clearly a theme being pushed for Hunters in this expansion, and they encapsulate two things Hunter are meant to do very well – Beasts and Rush. I think that's excellent.
However, there is a difference between using Gryphons as Beasts of War and thus befitting the Hunter class, and using the armaments of the famed, iconic Gryphon Riders as Hunter weapons.
Gryphon Riders are not hunters, they are warriors, more akin to knights than they are dwarven riflemen. Their general strategy often involves charging in and swooping out, much like a literal cavalry charge. However, we know that Stormhammers can be used and thrown to great effect.
And that's another type of Stormhammer use. The use of a Stormhammer by a Mountain King. For example, let's take the story of Muradin Bronzebeard after he was rendered amnesiac by Arthas' claiming of the legendary sword, Frostmourne. A chunk of the runeblade's icy prison struck Muradin as it shattered, knocking him out cold and, for the longest time, causing us to believe him dead (fun fact: Magni used the grief of believing his brother to be dead to help him forge a different legendary sword: the Ashbringer).
He was not dead, but he no longer knew who he was. But it did not take him terribly long to find a new home, and that is in thanks to his great power and use of a Stormbolt to slay a giant jormungar.
Muradin Bronzebeard also uses his Stormbolt ability a lot in Heroes of the Storm.
Moreover, there is another flavour problem with the Stormhammer. Its synergy with dragons.
Gryphon Riders were introduced to Warcraft in Warcraft II. During this time, the Red Dragon Aspect, Alexstrasza, had fallen a slave to the Dragonmaw Orcs stowed away in Grim Batol (long story short: the Dragon Soul), forced to breed new dragons to serve the will of the Old Horde. As you might imagine, this meant that they served as feral mounts that they would train and harness on the battlefield. Against naval forces, the dragons were used to devastating effect, even killing the son of Lord Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, Derek Proudmoore.
The dwarven Wildhammer Clan was up to the task, and it was their Gryphon Riders who supported the Alliance of Lordaeron to counter this terrible foe.
In other words, the Stormhammer is an iconic weapon of the same forces who were used to fight dragons, not work with them. And how better to emphasise this than in an iconic gryphon rider himself? Falstad Wildhammer. Or, as he would later become known to some, Falstad Dragonreaver.
Yeah. Dragonreaver. Dude got named for his ability to annihilate dragons.
So… what do we do?
Assuming I've won you over and you believe as I do that the Stormhammer weapon is a flavour fail on part of being a Hunter weapon and a Dragon-synergy weapon, I make a single suggestion: change the card name and art to depict a "Firebolt Crossbow." A crossbow that uses literal flame as ammunition. Not only does it retain a badass elemental nature, but it makes a wee bit of a sense as to how a Dragon might actually work with it. Dragons are known in fantasy for breathing fire, and while not all dragons breath fire in Warcraft, we know that Hunter Proto-Drakes can, as well as the Red Dragons who are helping the "Good classes" of the Year of the Dragon.
Just by doing that, you change the card to something that thematically fits the Hunter's use of ranged weaponry and synergy with Dragons, while freeing up the iconic Stormhammer for use in a more appropriate class – preferably Warrior, but also potentially Shaman.
Firebolt Crossbow is just something I came up with off the top of my head, and I'm sure someone else can come up with something a bit more inspired if they wanted. In any case, I think I understand the natural progression of "Hunters use Gryphons" in Descent of Dragons (as we can clearly see) to "Hunters use Gryphon Rider armaments." I can see how that may have happened, but I still think that the Stormhammer and its history is (far) better suited to the Warrior class.
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