How strong are Rafaam, Hagatha, Lazul, new Mage cards and Boom Warrior? Analysis

hearthstone 5 - How strong are Rafaam, Hagatha, Lazul, new Mage cards and Boom Warrior? Analysis

Hello everybody

This is an analysis of prominent cards from Rise of Shadows. From this post, you'll learn how strong the analyzed cards are and what decks will be playing them

Arch-Villain Rafaam

Arch-Villain Rafaam is a 7/8 for 7 mana with Taunt. The stats are decent for a 7-drop, especially considering the Taunt – you can defend yourself against the threats of the enemy, and a 7 mana card will immediately affect the situation on the board, which is important

Warlock for the remaining 3 mana can do little, especially given the rotation of Defile to Wild. It is often helpful to Tap before or after playing Arch-Villain Rafaam

The most important thing in the card is its Battlecry, which will significantly change the dynamics of the game. It is worth figuring out how strong random Legendary cards are

How strong are random Legendaries?

Arch-Villain Rafaam will appear in the collection with the release of the new addition, when the Standard rotation happens. As a result, many of the Legendary cards will leave the format, but many from Rise of Shadows will appear – their exact number and strength are still unknown

The Battlecry of Arch-Villain Rafaam can give Neutral Legendary cards and class cards – not just Warlock. Please note that you can only get Legendary minions, no heroes or spells

Next, we'll look at the list of Legendary cards that will remain in Standard after the rotation of 2019

QG1VEgmG - How strong are Rafaam, Hagatha, Lazul, new Mage cards and Boom Warrior? Analysis
Neutral Legendaries from Classic and Year of the Raven

In the collection, Neutral Legendary cards make slightly less than half of all Legendaries. Their advantage is that they are more universal, since they are not tied to class-specific mechanics

Most Neutral Legendary cards are expensive. Only 9 of them cost less than 5 mana. Much more options for 6 mana and above

Among Neutral cards there are a lot of frankly bad options that are never taken into meta decks: Milhouse Manastorm, Nat Pagle, Lorewalker Cho, Nozdormu, etc.

Also, some popular Legendary minions with specific synergies are not as effective: Malygos, Subject 9, Mecha'thun, Hakkar, etc.

Class Legendaries from Classic and Year of the Raven

Class Legendary cards are often on average stronger than Neutral Legendary cards, but the problem is that they often synergize with unique class mechanics that you don’t get. The traditionally strong Edwin VanCleef, Captain Hooktusk, Electra Stormsurge or Archmage Antonidas will not be able to unleash their potential after playing Arch-Villain Rafaam

Do not forget that Rise of Shadows will bring more Legendary cards. Even Arch-Villain Rafaam himself will appear on the list. In general, they will not significantly change the overall picture, although they will certainly contribute

Summary: Random Legendary cards are quite weak, especially when there are only them in the deck and in the hand, but there are no spells or other helpful tools

In what deck can you add Arch-Villain Rafaam?

Despite the fact that the full hand and deck of Legendaries is not always the ultimate dream for the Warlock, there are several ways to use Arch-Villain Rafaam in different roles. Next, I will present a few options

Please note that after the rotation, Warlock will significantly weaken and change, as it will lose a huge number of powerful and key cards

Option 1: Build a deck around Rafaam

A good option for beginners and fans of fun decks: build a deck with Arch-Villain Rafaam and add any 29 cards. It is advisable to take more removal (Hellfire) and ways to draw (Mortal Coil, Novice Engineer), so you can consistently find the Legendary by Turn 7 and not allow your opponent to seize control of the board by this point

The advantage of this approach in its flexibility, any player will be able to adapt such a deck to his collection

The problem is that after playing Arch-Villain Rafaam you will not always get a reliable way to win. In the hand there will be many interesting, unusual and spectacular cards, but not always effective. At least not as effective as the Rise of Shadows meta decks

Option 2: A tech card for Control Warlock in slow match-ups

You can add Arch-Villain Rafaam in any slow Warlock deck if they can gain a foothold in a future meta. This card will help outplay other slow and greedy decks, as Elise Starseeker did before in Control Warrior decks

It is important that in this case Arch-Villain Rafaam often does not need to be played immediately, sometimes the regular cards from the deck turn out to be stronger. But when you play most of them, you will be able to replace something not so useful with random Legendaries and outvalue the opponent. This is a good strategy for many Control decks. The problem is that Warlock often cannot compete with other Control decks in Fatigue due to Life Tap

Arch-Villain Rafaam as a tech card is useful if you play Control Warlock and are faced with a slow meta. It can also be useful for tournaments in the Specialist format, where tech cards are especially useful

Option 3: Rafaam Zoolock

Zoolock can also try Arch-Villain Rafaam in its build. The archetype first of all makes a bet on the early game and tries to push the opponents early. But if this plan fails, Zoo may need more heavy options to put pressure later in the game. And if now for this you can run Bloodreaver Gul'dan, it will rotate soon, but Arch-Villain Rafaam will appear

A Zoolock with this legendary card will be able to replace weak and ineffective early drops with random Legendary cards, with which you will get more heavy threats for pressure

Swampqueen Hagatha

Swampqueen Hagatha is a spectacular card, but is it so strong? Its main problem is in tempo: you cannot play both her and Drustvar Horror in one turn, since together they cost 12 mana. To get the very powerful effect of Drustvar Horror and the two Shaman spells (usually it is advantageous to choose the most expensive of them), you first need to spend 7 mana for a 5/5

This is a slow and passive move for any class, but it is especially difficult for Shaman, who does not have a large amount of Armor and not so many protective mechanics and ways to swing the game situation. Control Warrior can spend 7 mana to play the 5/5 threat, but it will be much harder for Shaman to do so

Drustvar Horror will partly help the Shaman come back in tempo, but you will not always get the necessary tools: AoE, Taunts, or other necessary effects. The Discovery is predictable, but still not enough to accurately expect the effects you get after playing Swampqueen Hagatha

Much will depend on the amount of expensive spells at the disposal of the class after the rotation. Rain of Toads, The Storm Bringer, Bloodlust and Eureka! are the only costly options for Shaman which will remain after the Standard rotation

Even if Shaman doesn’t receive any in Rise of Shadows, or there will not be enough of them, the situation may change in the future. Swampqueen Hagatha will last in Standard until 2021, and during this time the pool of spells will be transformed many more times

Having unpacked Swampqueen Hagatha, do not rush to dust it, even if for now you do not believe in this card. It can be good enough for an upcoming meta, and if not, it could see play in the future

Madame Lazul

The new Priest Legendary has a fairly simple and understandable mechanic, but it does not become less interesting because of this. Madame Lazul reminds of several old cards at once – these are Drakonid Operative, Chameleos and Stitched Tracker

Due to the fact that this is a Legendary card, you can take only one copy of it in the deck, which means its influence will be less than that of Draconid Operative or Stitched Tracker.

Madame Lazul is not a build-around card, but rather a helpful tool that does not win on its own, but helps Priest play correctly. Yet its value does not diminish because of this

Madame Lazul's stats are not so good for a 3-drop, but are compensated by a powerful Battlecry. Stitched Tracker is a rather popular and powerful option for Hunter, although its stats are even lower. This is especially important for the tempo-reliant Hunter than for the slow and reactive Priest

Four ways to use Madame Lazul

Madame Lazul is a multifunctional and flexible card that gives a lot of information and opportunities. There are 4 possible ways to use this Legendary card

Usage 1: Additional resources

Cards that give other cards are useful and strong. Madame Lazul is a slow and greedy minion, but at the same time potentially giving a lot of value. It is important that Madame Lazul generates additional resources without drawing cards. This is especially useful in slow match-ups

In fast match-ups, Madame Lazul is weaker, since spending 3 mana on a 3/2 minion is not the best move, and the Discovered cards from an Aggro deck are not always useful as reactive tools. Moreover, the Aggro deck may not have three cards in hand, especially later in the game

Usage 2: Information on the opponent's archetype

Like Draconid Operative, Madame Lazul gives information about the archetype of the enemy and his tech cards. The Legendary is especially strong on Turn 3: often in slow match-ups at this time it is not yet clear which deck the opponent is playing

Almost any three revealed cards from the deck will allow an experienced player to determine the archetype of the enemy. Especially in an already established and stable meta. With this information, you choose the right win condition, plan your moves ahead and find out what to expect from your opponent

Usage 3: Reading your opponent's hand

Not so popular in last year, Chameleos is useful primarily because it allows you to find out what is in the opponent's hand. Chameleos' problem is that he only shows one card per turn and can give a bunch of duplicates in a row

Madame Lazul helps read the hand much better: you will immediately know the three cards in your opponent’s hand and be ready for them


Knowing the exact cards in the opponent’s hand, Priest is able to play around AoE and target removal, the opponent’s burst damage and tech cards. The better you play, the more information and opportunities you will find by playing Madame Lazul

Usage 4: Choosing the needed card for the situation

Discover is a valuable and powerful mechanic due to the possibility of choice. A random card from an opponent’s hand or deck is weak, as the unpopular Mind Vision and Thoughtsteal have shown. But the possibility of choosing one of three cards is much better, you will almost always find at least some synergy and the benefit of the card from your opponent’s hand with your game plan

Will Madame Lazul see play?

Madame Lazul does not force Priest to play Dragons or other cards, it is a card that almost any Priest deck can run. The exception is any variation of Big Priest with Zerek's Cloning Gallery, but the archetype needs serious support after the rotation, since all resurrect cards, Shadow Visions and Radiant Elemental will go to Wild. All other Priest decks may run Madame Lazul

Madame Lazul is a potential-having and flexible card that gives a lot of information about the opponent’s hand and deck, flexibility and additional resources, which is especially useful in slow match-ups, and not so bad in tempo ones

Madame Lazul's main problem is not Madame Lazul herself, but the class to whom she is given. Priest will lose a lot after the Standard rotation, and the Classic/Basic sets and Year of the Raven cards are not strong enough for the class to build powerful archetypes without serious support from new expansions

What Priest loses in the Year of the Dragon

So far, Priest has received powerful cards in Rise of Shadows, and Madame Lazul is a step in the right direction, but the class in any case will receive one new expansion, and lose three. Don't expect a lot from it at the start of the Year of the Dragon

Priest really accelerates only by the end of the year, when more powerful tools appear in the collection. In Rise of Shadows, Priest and Madame Lazul may remain in the shadows, but by the end of the Year of the Dragon they will reveal their potential

Even if a powerful Priest deck emerges in Rise of Shadows, Madame Lazul will either become part of it, or at least be considered as a good technical option. Do not dust this card if you unpack it


The new Legendary Mage card works with any card with the text "summon": from the simplest Battlecries (Jan'alai, Astromancer) to Deathrattles (Cairne Bloodhoof), conditional effects (Vex Crow, Violet Teacher), secrets (Mirror Entity, Splitting Image), summoning spells (Mirror Image, Unexpected Results), etc.

Khadgar is a minion with weak stats for its cost, it must be combined with other expensive cards in order to gain value. Interesting is the combination of Khadgar with Splitting Image, which will allow you to summon two more Khadgars if the 2/2 threat is attacked

There are many combinations with Khadgar, but not all of them are easy to perform. What looks like the most effective one is with Jan'alai, the Dragonhawk, however, after the Standard rotation, Odd Mage will disappear, so dealing 8 damage with your Hero Power will become much more difficult. Moreover, Frost Lich Jaina will also rotate, whose Hero Power players wanted to use each turn

Other powerful combinations with Khadgar: Mirror Image, Astromancer, Oondasta, Giggling Inventor and the new Power of Creation card. Not all these combinations are easy to realize, and in general there will be much less of them after the rotation, after all, Recruit, Death Knights and other powerful tools will go away. But there will be new Rise of Shadows cards, which should support this mechanic

It is much easier for Khadgar to unleash its potential in Wild, where there are more minion-summoning cards: Firelands Portal, Frost Lich Jaina, Carnivorous Cube, Medivh, etc. The larger the collection of cards becomes, the better Khadgar is able to reach his potential. The power of the card will increase by the end of the Year of the Dragon

Power of Creation

The new spell for 8 mana well synergizes with Khadgar, but is also viable without it. Power of Creation relies on 6 mana minions. It is useful that you can choose the strongest of them – with Charge, Taunt or just high stats, but it is important to evaluate the power of 6-drops after the rotation

Year of the Dragon 6-drops, as of March 26

The Discover mechanic allows to choose only Neutral and class minions. The latter are offered four times more often than the former. As a result, when playing Power of Creation you will find Meteorologist, Toki and Arcanosaur much more often – these are all weak options compared to most neutral 6-drops

Power of Creation is strong if you find a powerful 6-drop: Argent Commander, Hogger, Cairne Bloodhoof, Reckless Rocketeer, etc.

It is worth noting the great synergy of Power of Creation and Kalecgos: the new spell can be Discovered with the help of the Legendary Dragon and cast for 0 mana. But for Big Spell Mage, Power of Creation appeared too late: Dragon's Fury, Dragoncaller Alanna and Raven Familiar rotate in April

Messenger Raven

Messenger Raven is a simple yet unique card. For the first time, the Discover mechanic gives you only class cards. Usually in the pool are both class and neutral minions, as is the case with Power of Creation

Mage doesn't have many minions; after all, the class relies primarily on spells, which is clear from its name

Year of the Dragon Mage minions, as of March 26

Currently, the Mage minion pool looks this way. There will be a little more minions in the future after the announcement of all Rise of Shadows cards

Messenger Raven is a rather slow card that will hardly help Mage in tempo match-ups, but in slow ones it will be effective, especially if you Discover a powerful heavy drop. Also, Mage will get access to not universal, but sometimes useful options that usually do not fit in the deck: Arcane Keysmith, Celestial Emissary, Cosmic Anomaly, Toki, Hex Lord Malacrass, etc.

If Messenger Raven becomes a meta card, playing as and against Mage will become much more interesting and diverse

Boom Warrior

This time, I'll be analyzing a whole potential archetype, as well as the cards supporting it

Clockwork Goblin, Wrenchcalibur and Blastmaster Boom made a great impression on the players and immediately suggested the idea of Boom Warrior, an archetype built around shuffling bombs in the opponent's deck

Such a mechanic is already familiar to players. In Boomsday Project, Seaforium Bomber was released, and the old Hearthstone players will surely remember Iron Juggernaut from Goblins vs. Gnomes. Until Rise of Shadows, this mechanic was not popular. Seaforium Bomber was tried by Shaman, but the experiments have proven to be failures. Currently, Boom Warrior has every chance to give the cards with this mechanic a new life. If you have Seaforium Bomber, do not rush to dust it

Boom Warrior is capable of inflicting a lot of damage on his opponent with bombs. Particularly pleasing is that the enemy has almost no way to prevent this damage and protect themself against it. Exceptions are cards like Time Out! or Arch-Villain Rafaam. The latter will transform all the bombs shuffled into Legendary cards

Boom Warrior can play very aggressively or just add the new cards to a slow build

And now we're off to analyzing its key cards

Clockwork Goblin – Similar to Seaforium Bomber. Identical Battlecry, but different stats and cost. The card is strong, supports key synergy and will see play in any Boom Warrior build. The stats are typical for a 3 mana minion

Do not forget that Clockwork Goblin is a Mech, and it can be created by Omega Assembly and the Hero Power of Dr. Boom, Mad Genius

Wrenchcalibur – At first glance, a very powerful weapon. You get a 4 mana Fiery War Axe, which potentially deals 16 damage. Add to this the weapon buffs that will most likely find a place for themselves in fast Boom Warrior builds: one extra Durability is an extra bomb in the opponent's deck. Expect Captain Greenskin and Upgrade! in Boom Warrior decks. Ooze says hi

Blastmaster Boom – A Legendary card that's irreplaceable in Boom Warrior. If everything goes well, you can fill the board with 1/1 Boom Bots and deal a tremendous amount of damage to the minions or the hero of the enemy. Do not forget that Blastmaster Boom synergizes with Dr. Boom, Mad Genius (too many Booms, don't you think?): all the Boom Bots will receive Rush and will be able to immediately deal damage. You can play Blastmaster Boom with Clockwork Goblin on Turn 10 to ensure you get two Boom Bots on the battlefield

Boom Bots are Mechs, which means that they interact with Magnetic minions. If you buff a Boom Bot with Zilliax, then after death, it will restore you as much health as the damage the Deathrattle dealt, due to Lifesteal

How much damage the bombs can deal:

2x Wrenchcalibur + Captain Greenskin + 2x Upgrade! + 2x Clockwork Goblin + 2x Seaforium Bomber = 11 bombs in the enemy deck = 55 damage

While this mechanic is a little random, it is unlikely that the enemy will be able to protect himself from all bombs, even if they are at the bottom of the deck

Of course, you cannot be absolutely certain, but so far the cards presented look very strong. Boom Warrior could be the new Aggro archetype of Garrosh, who would terrorize the ladder. It is possible that all these cards will do for a slow Warrior: bombs will help him defeat the enemy closer to Fatigue. It is possible that this is only a Day 1 phenomenon, and Boom Warrior will remain in the realm of fun decks that are not intended for quick ladder climbing. Only time will tell what the new Warrior cards are worth

Thank you for reading this article!

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