STUFF GETS REVIEWED

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JOURNEY TO UN’GORO

(hearthstone expansion pre-review)

As with all information on Tedmond.net, this is not the opinion of a mediocre player, but objective truth. Please note this objective truth is limited to constructed because the arena, much like the lottery, is a scam to rob people who don’t understand statistics.
I recommend you view https://disguisedtoast.com/articles/265-visual-guide-of-all-cards-from-journey-to-un-goro as you read the review as I discuss the cards in the same order they are posted here.
If you are unfamiliar with the cards I reference throughout the article, I recommend both http://www.hearthpwn.com/cards and gitting gud.
Ratings:
5: A format defining card. (Patches the Pirate, Kazakus, Reno Jackson)
4: A staple card. Something that is an auto include for an archetype or class, or a neutral that finds a home in many decks. (Fireball, SI:7 Agent, Azure Drake)
3: A card occasionally worthy of a slot in a competitive deck, or a staple in a weaker deck archetype. (Living Roots, Grimestreet Outfitter)
2: Niche cards or cards that are potentially powerful, but under supported. (Big Game Hunter, Lock and Load)
1: A card that you will forget exists in a month because it will be nonexistent on ladder. (Sea Reaver. If you remember Sea Reaver immediately close this review. You know far more than I.)
Druid:
Tortollan Forager
A 2/2 for 2 is an acceptable stat line. A 2/2 for 2 that draws a card, even if it is random and slow is worth consideration. This card seems very comparable to Undercity Huckster, but Druid has better things to do on 2 than Rogue and wants bigger minions due to ramp as opposed to combo. Nevertheless, I expect this card to see some amount of play.
3/5
Elder Longeck
Even assuming the adapt triggers, only divine shield and +3 health are good outcomes. Magma Rager with upside has too little upside and too much Magma Rager.
1/5
Verdant Longneck
A ball of rather unimpressive stats with an ability and tag that don’t make up for it. It is worth noting that its 5 attack will support the druid quest, but there are better choices for midrange minions in druid.
1/5
Earthen Scales
Druid has better heals, better buffs and better cheap spells.
1/5
Evolving Spores
A cool card that is difficult to evaluate. Adapt can be extremely powerful on big minions, but adapting all your minions means you want to use it on a big board. Overall this card seems too conditional and costly to make a splash. Savage Roar and Mark of the Lotus just seem better.
1/5
Shellshifter
Shellshifter can threaten a lot of damage or strong trades in stealth mode, and act as a Sen’jin in taunt mode. A solid, flexible card.
3/5
Living Mana
Another hard to evaluate card. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that token druid will be a solid archetype, and I think this card is a huge role player in such a deck. It is a high risk, high reward card. However, it generates so much tempo that I think it is worth it. I expect this to be a staple in an off meta token druid deck.
3/5
Giant Anaconda
Dispose of your buns hun. You don’t want none of this.
1/5
Tyrantus
He’s big. He’s tough to remove. He’s gonna rot in your hand the whole game and make you wish he was something else. Compare this card to any of the Old Gods. They rarely see play and are all more impactful.
1/5
Jungle Giants
Probably the worst of the quests. Summoning 5 minions with 5 or more attack is a reasonable condition, but getting it early requires stuffing your deck with low cost high attack minions which are notoriously bad at controlling board. It also means the free minions you’re getting later are too often low impact ones. If you’re playing minions that don’t contest the board well, you’re losing regardless of their cost. Playing a more stable deck and triggering the quest later just makes the deck a worse version of Jade Druid. Both play big things every turn late game and are limited by their draws. Jade will draw better due to Gagetzan Auctioneer and can generate more threats making it more consistent and better against control.
2/5
Hunter:
Jeweled Macaw
Hunter likes 1 drops, beasts, and card draw. This little birdy ticks all the boxes. Expect a better, hunter specific, version of the already very good Babbling Book and Swashburglar.
4/5
Crackling Razormaw
A 3/2 for 2 is the standard stat line and with the focus on one drops you can expect this to trigger often turn 2. Even if it doesn’t, adapting a larger beast later in the game can still provide a solid swing and give Hunter some flexibility and a surprise factor. It is a very hit or miss card, but there isn’t too much competition at 2 for hunters and it should hit more than it misses.
3/5
Grievous Bite
This will make a fine addition to your collection. It may hold a spot now that Quickshot is gone, but it will be on the chopping block. It’s phenomenal with spell power bonuses, but hunter doesn’t run that.
2/5
Small Raptor
Shuffling a low impact card like a 4/3, even at 1 mana, into your deck is not very good. Additionally, 2/1s are notoriously bad due to hero powers cleaning them up. Unless the 1 drop heavy version of quest hunter is somehow good, I don’t expect this card to see play.
1/5
Terrorscale Stalker
A 3/3 for 3 is weak, but its ability is very strong. I don’t know what deck this fella finds a home in, but a class with as many deathrattles as hunter will find some place for him. I expect him to be a staple in a weaker, more deathrattle focused midrange hunter.
3/5
Tol’vir Warden
Hunter needs 5 drops, ways to dump 1 drops, and card draw. This fella does it all while having a decently sized body on 5.
4/5
Stampede
Card draw? In my hunter? It’s more likely than you think! It is so powerful and needed in Hunter that I have little doubt it will find a home in many, many decks.
4/5
Dinomancy
A hard card to evaluate. I expect it to be a bit too much of a tempo loss to see regular play, but given how many tokens hunter can generate, it certainly has potential.
2/5
Swamp King Dred
A big boy with a cool effect at a well-suited cost. Midrange Hunter could use a curve topper beyond Savannah Highmane and this fits the role decently. However, it is very weak to most hard removal and has little synergy with hunter besides being a 7 drop. Even if midrange hunter exists, I don’t expect this to be a staple, but a fringe choice.
2/5
The Marsh Queen
A relatively easy to meet requirement with a huge payoff. Playing the quest turn 1 will be painful for a class with so few ways to claw back board control, but a 5 mana 8/8 which stuffs your deck with such amazing cards is well worth the price. It provides hunter with more gas and I expect raptor rush to propel hunter back to relevance. In a month, you will either be playing this card or be hating it.
4/5
Mage:
Arcanologist
A 2 mana 2/3 which draws a card. Mage has a lot of secret synergy and this may finally make a secret heavy tempo mage into a real deck. It has the potential to be the defining card of a new archetype.
4/5
Flame Geyser
A card that could potentially fit in an elemental tempo mage deck, but would not be a staple.
2/5
Shimmering Tempest
Just play Babbling Book. This card is substantially worse in multiple ways. Losing a 2 drop to a hero power is horrendous.
1/5
Mana Bind
A card that exists to fuel the mage quest of dubious value. Unless an extremely strong combo is found, I doubt the viability of a quest mage deck and that is the only home I see for this card.
2/5
Molten Reflection
Too expensive and situational. Unless this is part of some truly broken combo I’m blind to I just don’t see it ever being played. Currently the best I can think of is 2 Sorcerer’s Apprentice into 2 Molten Reflection followed by Time Warp and then Archmage Antonidas next turn for infinite damage. The Exodia combo is back and janky as ever.
2/5
Steam Surger
Solid stats, a good ability, and an elemental tag makes for a good card. I suspect elemental tempo/midrange mage will be a deck and I think this will be a staple in such a deck. The lack of great 3 drop elementals to fuel this is a bit concerning, but I think it is strong enough to find a home regardless.
3/5
Primordial Glyph
I love this card. It’s versatile, it supports the quest, and it is phenomenal with Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It’s unstable portal with added stability and better average outcomes.
4/5
Meteor
For one mana more than the occasionally played Flame Lance, you get a heck of a lot more impact. Even in a midrange or tempo mage I could see this finding a spot. In a controlling mage deck this is a staple.
3/5
Pyros
Even in an elemental focused mage deck this is too slow. You need to be playing a long, long game for this to even be considered and I don’t think that is where mage’s strength lies, especially since it has such a rough matchup against Jade Decks.
1/5
Open the Waygate
A very interesting quest both in its condition and reward. The condition is moderately difficult, but certainly within reach. It would require a rather strange, highly random deck, but that is nothing new to mage players. The main issue is the reward. 5 mana is a lot and the best use for it I can come up with is Time Warp double Arcane Giant followed by Alexstraza which gets blocked by 2 or more armor, or any taunt. It is possible I’m missing something that makes Time Warp game breaking, or it gets more support later to put it over the top, but at the moment it seems shockingly fair for a quest reward.
3/5

Paladin:
Lost in the Jungle
An Alley Cat/Living Roots for Paladin, a class that needs early plays badly. It’s good, but not great as it lacks the synergy of the former and the flexibility of the latter. I’m unsure if it will find a home, but it is a decent card on its own.
3/5
Adaptation
A card that is just too low impact to justify running in anything but a pure buff pally trying to trigger the quest as soon as possible. It is also noteworthy for being one of the few ways to get poisonous onto a Wild Pyromancer for a powerful but very unreliable board clear.
2/5
Hydrologist
A 2 mana 2/2 that draws a 1 mana card. Comparable to Dark Peddler. Paladin desperately needs early game minions and while its secrets aren’t great and are likely worse than Peddler’s 1 drops, they can be powerful situationally, making them well suited to discover.
4/5
Lightfused Stegodon
A weaker, lower cost version of Quartermaster with the support of Muster for Battle and Justicar Trueheart replaced by Lost in the Jungle. If Midrange Paladin exists, I expect this to be a roleplayer, but that is a questionable archetype right now.
3/5
Spikeridged Steed
Maybe this is a trap. It’s so slow that playing it is quite a burden, but I am absolutely seduced by the value. It’s 4/12 worth of stats across 2 bodies with taunt for 6 mana. Compare it to Sludge Belcher’s 4/7 worth of stats across 2 bodies with taunt for 5 mana. If the paladin quest sees play, I expect it to be in a slower, more midrange deck because of this card.
4/5
Vinecleaver
Vinecleaver, more like nein! Leave ‘er (in the collection manager).
1/5
Primalfin Champion
A card I see in the version of paladin that tries to fulfill the quest ASAP and nowhere else due to its horrendous stat line. Since I doubt that version sees play, I doubt this card sees play.
2/5
Dinosize
Burst damage for paladin. Unfortunately, it’s too expensive, and too conditional to justify playing it.
1/5
Sunkeeper Tarim
A very interesting, unique and powerful card. Terrible against other token decks, but excellent in any version of paladin which can reliably flood the board. It should also help with Jade matchups, if only slightly. This is a strong midrange card in general, but it has no synergy with buffs or handbuffs and as such is going to be limited in its effectiveness.
3/5
The Last Kaleidosaur
Perhaps the hardest quest to trigger, challenged only by rogue, has one hell of a reward. Galvadon is an absolute monster that will often just win games the next turn. Windfury and protection in the form of “Can’t be targeted by spells or Hero Powers” or stealth is probably game winning especially if you buff up an already huge windfurious Galvadon. If I am wrong and the version of paladin that just tries to complete the quest as soon as possible ends up being good it is because Galvadon is just that good.
4/5
Priest:
Binding Heal
A better Flash Heal in any situation where you do not have Auchenai Soulpriest out. This situation came up often with Flash Heal, but the added value here probably equals that loss.
3/5
Radiant Elemental
Sorcerer’s Apprentice is pretty good, especially in a class that desperately needs 2 drops.
4/5
Tortollan Shellraiser
He has deathrattle, taunt, high health, and buffs your other dudes. On top of all that, he has the best name in the set. This will be a staple card in Priest. It keeps you alive, gives you something to heal, fulfills the quest, and then comes back again to do it all again post N’Zoth.
4/5
Crystalline Oracle
The latest in the Babbling Book, Swashburglar, and Jeweled Macaw series is as good as ever in its priest flavor.
4/5
Mirage Caller
A card that provides decent stats and helps fulfill the quest, but requires you to have a minion on board which is currently a tall order for priest without dragons. A card I think is currently overrated.
2/5
Free From Amber
A means to acquire a big, flexible win condition, but there are probably much more consistent win conditions for priest.
2/5
Shadow Visions
Priest has a ton of reactive tools, and being able to dig for them is very valuable, especially when you’re playing Priest of the Feast and Radiant Elemental. I expect this card to see a lot of play keeping an otherwise somewhat hit or miss deck consistent.
4/5
Curious Glimmerroot
A 3 mana 3/3 is weak, especially in a class with access to Kabal Talonpriest and healing. Additionally, gaining information about what is in an opponents’ deck is worth far less than most players expect.
2/5
Lyra the Sunshard
As already mentioned, priest has a lot of conditional spells. Getting a random priest spell is of very questionable value. Additionally, Lyra has no archetype to slot into and no synergy with the deathrattle focused quest. As such, I don’t expect it to see play.
1/5
Awaken the Makers
Our introduction to the quest mechanic and what an intro it was! A condition that takes some time, but doesn’t impose extremely strict constraints on your deck building and rewards you with the strongest battlecry in the game attached to a 5 mana Ironbark Protector. This will likely keep Reno priest (Now Kazakus Priest?) around and synergizes extremely well with N’Zoth as well. I expect this to be the key card in Priest moving forward, although I could see Jade Decks keeping it down.
5/5

Rogue:
Hallucination
A worse Swashburglar by far. It has some value as a combo starter, but the razorpetal generators and cheap minions which synergize with the quest likely make that irrelevant.
1/5
Razorpetal Volley
A worse Razorpetal Lasher. It’s slow and lacks impact without spell damage. [Razorpetals are uncollectible 1 mana spells that deal 1 damage]
1/5
Razorpetal Lasher
A decent play on 2 mana with a battlecry that gives you a card primarily used for triggering combos and synergizing with spell damage. Rogue is okay with 2 mana 2/2s, especially those with battlecry as their quest synergizes with hand bouncing just as battlecry does.
3/5
Mimic Pod
Arcane Intellect that doesn’t dig as deep, but does support the quest. You won’t be excited to play it, but you will play it.
3/5
Envenom Weapon
A potentially very powerful card that is extremely difficult to leverage. Rogue still has no healing and you will most likely want to hit big threats with your poisonous dagger, taking a big life hit in the process. Rogue just has more efficient and synergistic forms of removal.
2/5
Obsidian Shard
A card that is slow, situational, and low value.
1/5
Biteweed
Diet Edwin just doesn’t live up to its inspiration. Rogue has better threats.
1/5

Vilespine Slayer
Speaking of efficient and synergistic forms of removal!. This card is Assassinate on a 3/4 body for the low, low price of Assassinate. When trying to complete the quest, SI:7 and this are the only cards you’re happy to bounce or hit with Shadowcaster, but oh boy will you be happy to hit this with bounce or Shadowcaster. This card is fantastic with or without the quest, but will be an all-star in that deck.
5/5
Sherzain, Corpse Flower
A card that is only worth its keep if you can meet the difficult condition to revive it multiple times in a game. It is slow, low impact and extremely conditional. This is one of the worst cards in the set.
1/5
The Caverns Below
Quests are tricky to evaluate. This one is the trickiest of all. You need bounce like Shadowstep to pull this quest off, which means tempo loss. The reward seems hard to capitalize on as well. My gut tells me it’s going to be difficult to both reliably trigger the quest and capitalize off it without losing so much tempo that you lose the game. That being, said, I’d be happy to be wrong and for this quest to be phenomenal because it seems very fun in both requirements and reward.
2/5
Shaman:
Air Elemental
2/1s for 1 better have some big upside. This one survives through mage’s hero power, but still dies to rogue and druid, so I can’t see it making the cut, especially with how many 1 cost elementals there are.
1/5
Hot Spring Guardian
An Earthen Ring Farseer stapled to a Squirming Tentacle. When you combine a good defensive ability to a medicore defensive body and give it the elemental tribe in a class that cares about that, you’ve probably made a card just good enough to see play, especially when most of Shaman’s early game is being rotated out.
3/5
Tidal Surge
Worse than Jade Lightning in a Jade deck, but not a terrible card on its own. I could see it as a potential include in a midrange elemental shaman deck that wants healing. A reliable way to eliminate Frothing Berserker is going to be essential in surviving the pirate warrior menace, which may earn this card a spot on its own.
2/5
Fire Plume Harbringer
Elemental Midrange Shaman got lots of support this expansion and this card will be a large part of its success, if any is to be had. Shaman is losing its premier 1 and 2 drops and this helps it accelerate through the early game and into shaman’s still strong midgame.
3/5
Primalfin Totem
Just play actual murlocs or Call in the Finishers. Odds are too high this is a 2 mana 1/1 murloc.
1/5
Volcano
A fun, flavorful card that is totally outclassed by shaman’s existing board clears: Lightning Storm and Maelstrom Portal.
1/5
Stone Sentinel
A 7 mana 4/4 that summons the elemental equivalent of feral spirits, follows up Fire Elemental, and sets up for Kalimos. Looking past the meme stat line, that is a phenomenal line of play and what will be, along with Blazecaller, the reason to play elementals.
4/5
Sprit Echo
Cards that are slow, conditional, and of dubious value are not going to see play.
1/5
Kalimos, Primal Lord
This card does allow you to select from all 4 invocations and they are all solid cards. This is one of the very best cards in the game to play from behind, and still presents a big threat when played from ahead. Another great reason to play elemental shaman.
4/5
Unite the Murlocs
This quest would be brutal if it were play instead of summon, but as it is the Finja package and Call in the Finishers is enough to pull off the quest and get an 8 mana 5/5 and a handful of gas for relatively little investment. That is most likely how I see this being played, although a dedicated murloc board flood aggro deck may be viable as well. The greatest weakness of these decks has always been getting cleared and having no cards left, which Megafin cleanly solves.
4/5

Warlock:
Lakkari Felhound
Unless discard warlock desperately needs to throw more cards away, this is just not enough value. Ancient of Blossoms is also a 3/8 taunt and sees no play at 6 mana. So, that body is likely worth just about 5 mana. That means discarding 2 cards is buying you only 1 mana worth of body. That is a horrible deal, far worse than Doomguard’s 2 to 3 mana of upside for the same downside. Maybe the quest is so strong that you just want to discard cards, but I doubt it.
2/5
Ravenous Pterrordax
If you can trigger its adaptation without eating more than a 1/1, this card is playable. However, warlock lost a lot of its token generation making this card much more situational than before. Additionally, it is very weak to removal.
2/5
Tar Lurker
A mediocre defensive card in a class that cannot afford to play the defensive game without Reno.
1/5
Corrupting Mist
This card is like Doomsayer, but with more of a guarantee of going off. Excellent with Dirty Rat, but again this is a defensive card in a class that will likely struggle to utilize that playstyle anymore.
3/5
Feeding Time
Imp-losion, now with less bullshit at 1 higher cost. This card may see play, but it is certainly weaker than Imp-losion. It is on average the same value, but costs one more.
3/5
Cruel Dinomancer
A card which seems to slow and high variance for the zoo decks I expect to utilize discard mechanics. The deathrattle hitting a small 1, 2, or 3 mana minion makes this a substaintailly weaker Cairne Bloodhoof, which is only fringe playable. It may see play as a way to cheat out huge threats, but that seems highly unreliable to me.
2/5

Bloodbloom
The problem with this effect on Cho’gall was not the concept or cost, but the lack of spells to utilize with it. With less healing than ever, and the only appealing new spell being Feeding Time, this is still true.
1/5
Chittering Tunneler
The reverse Ivory Knight is a very cool concept and a solid card as warlock has many quality spells to discover, most notably Soulfire in a discard focused deck.
3/5
Clutchmother Zavas
One of the absolute staples of discard warlock. An extremely unique and strong card that can provide card advantage throughout the game and a huge tempo swing after being discarded just once. I expect discard zoo to be the standard warlock build now and this card is an absolute monster in that deck.
5/5
Lakkari Sacrifice
Zoolock has always been good at drawing cards and taking control of the board. This makes playing a quest less of a downside in this archetype than others. So, playing the quest isn’t a huge cost. The requirement is however. Discarding 6 cards is not easy, and will likely take many turns unless you are willing to play very suboptimal cards, which seems unlikely given the tempo loss from playing them won’t be instantly recovered by the quest as it slowly grinds out value. That being said, it grinds out a lot of value per turn and gives zoo the reach it needs to beat greedier decks that stave off its early aggression. I expect a slower type of zoo, than before, but one that still excels at holding the board early and never letting go.
5/5
Warrior:
Iron Hide
Unless combed with Shield Slam, this is just a worse version of Flash Heal, which was barely playable. I cannot imagine running this over Shield Block or wanting to run both in a deck.
1/5
Ornery Direhorn
A card that is all stats and simply not enough of them to justify inclusion in a deck, even one running the quest.
1/5

Tar Lord
On defense, it has one more health than an Ancient of Lore for the same cost, but on offense it is as threatening as a Silver Hand Recruit. Turns out the tar mechanic gets worse the bigger the minion gets because 1 attacks become a more and more glaring weakness.
1/5
Molten Blade
Shifter Zerus is better as a weapon, but Shifter Zerus is still really, horrendous. The only way this sees play is in a cheesy deck that stalls for it to become Doomhammer and then plays 2 heroic strikes for 20 damage.
2/5
Cornered Sentry
A very interesting card which is phenomenal with some old control warrior staples like Acolyte of Pain, Whirlwind, Bloodhoof Brave, and Ravaging Ghoul. I would expect this to see play if control warrior returns, and to be a staple in such a deck.
4/5
Direhorn Hatchling
Note that the 6/9 Direhorn this card produces also costs 5. Control warrior of old often went into fatigue and no longer has Justicar Trueheart to rely on for a colossal health pool. As such, this card may make the cut, but a 5 mana 3/6 is a dubious tempo play and shuffling a good card into your deck is no guarantee of drawing it, even in a deck that tries to drag its opponent to the late game.
2/5
Explore Un’Goro
The Renounce Darkness of the set. Expect is to be fun, but not strong.
1/5
Sudden Genesis
A very difficult card to evaluate. Between this, Cornered Sentry, and King Mosh, warrior has a lot of new whirlwind effect synergies to play with. Copying a slew of big taunts after a whirlwind is the dream, but is very situational and somewhat of a win-more play. I just cannot see this card making the cut in lean and mean control warrior decks hoping to outlast some powerful aggro and midrange lists.
1/5

King Mosh
Between King Mosh and King Dred, it’s clear Mosh is the true King. Mosh is a huge threat that will often get in for 9 damage after clearing the board the turn earlier. Combine this with the classic Grommash Hellscream finisher and control warrior can conceivably clear your board on one turn and hit you for 19 the next. It is also worth noting that this card gives another board clear that works on Jades, giving control warrior a tool against its arch nemesis, Jade Druid. That matchup will likely remain an uphill battle, but King Mosh makes it much more doable.
4/5
Fire Plume’s Heart
Ragnaros lives on in Garrosh’s heart. Playing 7 taunt minions is a slow process, but can easily be accomplished by a still solid control warrior list. It is worth mentioning that their typical turn one play is absolutely nothing and they have plenty of card draw to make up for the quest. The reward is also well suited to them as it allows their classic strategy of “hero power until you win” proactive rather than reactive. Overall I think this may be enough to bring control warrior back into relevance.
4/5
Neutrals:
Spiritsinger Umbra
First came Brann. Then came Brann for choose one, Fandral . Now introducing Brann for deathrattles! Umbra is an extremely good card and will only get better as more deathrattles are introduced. Currently, I would expect her to see play only in a handful of decks that can support a high number of deathrattles, like hunter or preist. In the future see will only get better.
4/5 (may become a 5/5 with more sets)
The Voraxx
An interesting card, but not a good one. A 3/3 for 4 is atrocious, and I could only see this being played in a very greedy midrange paladin deck as it is not worthwhile unless hit with a substantial buff like Blessing of Kings or Spikeridged Steed. Even these combos are probably not strong enough to justify the greed needed to put this in a midrange deck.
2/5

Elise the Trailblazer
Elise 2.0 is best suited in late game decks that want extra value in their deck. She doesn’t provide quite as much as the original Elise, but provides a better body to make up for it. I would expect her to see play in any control deck that does not run Jades, such as priest and warrior, but only if the meta is slow enough to make this extra value necessary.
3/5

Hemet, Jungle Hunter
A card up there with the rogue quest in terms of difficulty in evaluating. My gut says he is playable in midrange decks like elemental shaman that know they cannot win the late game versus control and need to draw enough gas to finish them off. Then again, losing removal like Hex, Shadow Word: Death, or Aldor Peacekeeper, or Execute in these decks is going to hurt.
3/5
Ozruk
Ozruk is a big, big boy with a crippling weakness to hard removal and encourages the questionable play of dumping all your elementals at once. Outside of cheesy priest Inner Fire decks, I wouldn’t expect him to see any play
1/5
Emerald Hive Queen
A 2/3 for 1 is good, but not worth the downside here.
1/5
Gluttonous Ooze
A check valve on pirates and any other aggressive weapon heavy deck. Decent in these scenarios, but probably worse than Acidic Swamp Ooze in general simply because a 2 mana 3/2 is a vastly better body that comes down at a more important turn (the Fiery War Axe/Jade Claws turn) than the 3 mana 3/3/ Gluttonous Ooze.
2/5
Gentle Megasaur
A decent stat line with a very powerful effect in murloc heavy decks. This may be a curve topper in the very aggressive version of murloc shaman and could even find a place in deck utilizing the Finja package of Murloc Warleader and Bluegill Warrior, especially if Curator is played as well. This cards power is so highly dependent on perfect board states that it is unlikely to see much play, unless murloc decks are much stronger than I anticipate.
2/5
Bright-Eyed Scout
A perfectly named card as only the hopeful and innovative will ever play this card. It can do some broken things, but requires a ton of luck to do so.
1/5
Bittertide Hydra
A card that may act as the Fel Reaver of this set and become a staple in aggro decks.
4/5

Blazecaller
Fire Elemental with even more firepower. This is a Firelands Portal that always summons a 6/6. This card is insanely good and is the reason to play elemental decks in general. Even decks that don’t play many elementals may throw this fella in because he is just so powerful. He can realistically blow up your opponent’s turn 5 or 6 play while still establishing a big ol’ 6/6. He also sets up a turn 8 Kalimos in shaman, which is a backbreaking curve for many decks.
5/5
Tortollan Primalist
Servant of Yogg-Saron with the bullshit turned down to 8 and the mana cost turned up to 8. I hate this card and hope it never sees play. It should be too costly and random, but perhaps not. If you are a gambler and play it, you want to go for generally good target free spells like Arcane Intellect, Nourish, Consecration, etc.
2/5
Primordial Drake
A decently sized taunt with a Volcanic Potion attached. If this card sees play, it is because decks playing The Curator for their beasts and murlocs need a dragon. This is most likely paladin or warrior. Even in such a case, this card is not an outstanding choice.
2/5
Charged Devilsaur
Very comparable to King Krush. King Krush is terrible
1/5
Golakka Crawler
A control valve on pirate decks. Tech cards in Hearthstone are typically a bit awkward and this is no exception. Unless pirates return to the prominence they had before the Small-Time Bucaneer nerf, this card will be unnecessary tech, much like Hungry Crab.
1/5
Stonehill Defender
Abysmal stats and a mediocre effect for too much mana. Even as taunt warrior, you have better options.
1/5
Devilsaur Egg
A potential inclusion in buff decks, like paladin, but questionable even there.
2/5

Vicious Fledgling
Adapting this minion once is extremely unlikely and not eve that powerful. 3/3s for 3 just don’t cut it unless they have very powerful abilities.
1/5
Humongous Razorleaf
A card much like Ancient Watcher. This will only see play if Sunfurty Protector and/or Defender of Argus are commonplace. This seems extremely unlikely as they had a home in Handlock which no longer has the healing to support itself. Outside of that its only chance is silence priest.
2/5
Tol’vir Stoneshaper
Sen’jin Shieldmaster with divine shield is phenomenal. Any taunt which requires multiple hits to get through buys much more time, as evidenced by Annoy-o-Tron and Sludge Belcher. Better yet, Tar Creeper curves right into this and sets 2 3/5 taunts up early on which should stop most aggro decks before they can get started. This is a phenomenal defensive card and will push elementals to be splashed in many decks that wouldn’t otherwise consider them.
4/5
Servant of Kalimos
An elemental card reminiscent of Azure Drake (RIP) that will only find a home in elemental heavy decks and may be awkward even there due to Tol’vir Stoneshaper.
3/5
Frozen Crusher
Remember Slaking from Pokémon? This is Slaking in Hearthstone, but without enough stats to even trick you into thinking it might be okay.
1/5
Volcanosaur
A flexible, but not powerful finisher. Will likely only be used by new players with no better options, or in arena.
1/5
Fire Fly
Quietly a phenomenal card. With all the class varieties on 1 mana 1/1 draw a card, 1/2s are going to be better than ever. Fire Fly also sets up multiple turns of elemental synergy and counts as multiple 1 drops for the hunter quest without filling your deck with garbage. This card simply does a lot of thankless jobs well.
4/5

Glacial Shard
An elemental that allows you to stall until you get to your more powerful mid or late game. It will likely see play in midrange or control elemental decks, but little elsewhere.
3/5
Emerald Reaver
You’re adorable Emerald Reaver, so at least you have that going for you.
1/5
Ravasaur Runt
A difficult to meet condition with an ability that provides 1 extra mana of value at best
1/5
Stubborn Gastropod
There may be a world where this sees play, but only if aggro is pushed far out of the meta, because this is horrible against the small minions aggro tends to play.
1/5
Volatile Elemental
A great card for elemental decks to stop themselves from being run over by aggro, but dead in a lot of matchups. This card’s quality will be very meta dependent, although I expect it to see consistent play
3/5
Rockpool Hunter
A solid honest murloc card that will be an auto-include in any aggro murloc deck.
3/5
Eggnapper
While he possesses the meanest mug in the set, he dies to hero powers which is not okay for a 3 drop.
1/5
Tar Creeper
A phenomenal defensive card on its own which also activates Tol’vir Stoneshaper. This is the best of the Tar cards and a one of the best elementals this side of 6 mana.
4/5

Primalfin Lookout
This has a home in a classic murloc aggro deck that floods the board as it can supply the card draw the deck so desperately needs. These decks will likely remain bad, but if not, this card could be powerful.
3/5
Igneous Elemental
A tempo loss for the ability to trigger elementals later. May see play in elemental heavy decks, but not outside of them, and even then, only if they have nothing better to do on turn 3. Which is not true for elemental shaman, but may be for Mage.
2/5
Thunder Lizard
Conditional, and even if the condition is met, still bad.
1/5
Giant Wasp
A Patient Assassin with +1/+1 for one more mana. Remember Patient Assassin? I didn’t think so.
1/5
Pterrordax Hatchling
A flexible card that will unfortunately be outclassed by more specialized cards.
2/5
Stegodon
Extremely comparable to Sen’jin Shieldmaster. Based on the meta this card may be a better or worse choice than Sen’jin, but unfortunately for Stegy, both are outclassed by Tol’vir Stoneshaper.
1/5
Fire Plume Phoenix
An SI:7 Agent with an elemental tag for 1 more mana may be good enough. Elemental decks need a way to trigger Servant of Kalimos on curve and it can rely on discounts in shaman to become an SI: 7 Agent.
3/5
Nesting Roc
A card that is better than it first appears, mostly due to the lack of quality 5 mana taunts and lack of quality 5 mana minions in general for midrange hunter. I wouldn’t be shocked to see this in Paladin, Shaman, or Hunter, but I would not count on it.
2/5
Sabretooth Stalker
This card looks somewhat threatening, but gets blown out by so many board clears that it is a liability.
1/5
Sated Threshadon
A heavy price to pay for very little of anything.
1/5
Stormwatcher
A high health windfury minion is rare, and can present a big threat if buffed, but for 7 mana you should get a big threat without additional conditions.
1/5
Giant Mastodon
I don’t know what this big dummy is so smug looking for. He is a whole lot of mana for a whole lot of nothing.
1/5
Ultrasaur
I don’t know what this big dummy is so smug looking for either. He too is a whole lot of mana for a whole lot of nothing.
1/5

Reviewed by Steven

Seven Psychotropic Sinewave Palindromes by Jake Meginsky (Album Review) src=”http://images.junostatic.com/full/CS3001637-02A-BIG.jpg” alt=”” />

0:32 – I’m about to bug out if this beat doesn’t calm down

1:21 – I’ve basically just listened to wxrt and q101 while at work the past few weeks, so I really need to adjust my brain to these noises again.

3:55 – cooper heard these through my headphones and is spazzing out.

5:45 – I don’t think that 98% of the general public could get this far into the track

7:21 – I can’t even describe the noise, but the main tone that’s been going on for like 3 minutes is hurting the shit out of my ears

8:44 – oh boy, what a relief

9:19 – at it again with the accelerating beats!

11:41 – If I were to look at a heat map of people who listened to this track, what area of the world would be the brightest?

13:28 – not about these frequencies

15:46-16:51 – these noises are nice

16:52 – ready for some new noises

17:37 – *nodding head in agreement*

18:15 – “forsure, forsure.”

18:47 – nope

19:14 – wow, my attitude about these sounds in general have really changed since the beginning of the track

20:02-20:26 – *uncontrollably squinting*

20:52 – “solid ending”

20:59 – hmmm, that was a journey. I think far too many people will make the excuse “this isn’t real music/takes no skill to make this” in order to stop listening to it, even though it’s just a different way of presenting sound.

21:03 – super friggen weird/experimental though. Definitely the edge.

Rating: 1st 39 seconds [2.75/5]. Then 40 seconds-end, start at [0.6/5] and then it rises linearly to about [3.33/5]

Reviewed by TexasToastMike

The 2015-16 Sacramento Kings
I like basketball to watch. I like it to play too. The kings are a good team to watch if you don’t care about “the score” or “team chemistry,” as they don’t like defense and frequently do dumb stuff on offense and yell at each other and get technical fouls. But a few of their players have *GAMEBREAKER POTENTIAL* and we all know it is always a treat to experience a monster dunk. Because the team is very bad, games are cheap, so I went to two or three of them. If you go to the “sportsclips men’s night out” please remember to pick up your free haircut coupon at Will Call or the sportsclips barbers will not give you the free haircut you were promised. The team will probably not be any better next year, but that’s okay. I hope their coach does not die of old age.7.3/10
Reviewed by Ted

Dresden Files

Everyone should read “Dresden Files” it’s currently 14 books long + a dozen or so short stories. It’s about a wizard private detective in modern day Chicago. The early books are good but the writing also get better as the series progresses. It’s kinda Mystery/Noir/Fantasy series, and being from Chicago makes it cool to read because you can recognize places (like a short story that takes place in woodfield) except when the author messes up and says Wrigley is surrounded by a parking lot.
8.5/10
Reviewed by Nick Samat
Second the recommendation. Fun blend of gumshoe detective kind of stuff and fantasy (though it veers more toward fantasy in later books)
Recommendation by Tom Schwerm
In N Out

Food: i got a cheeseburger, fries, and vanilla shake. The burger was nothing special. Will give it props for its sauce and the veggies. The fries were rubbish. Can’t put my finger on why but they were subpar. Shake was the best part. Pretty tasty and good thickness. But super cheap so that helps a lot. 5/10Atmosphere: reminded me of a steak and shake but luckily you don’t have to get seated. Good overall. 8/10Service: they were pretty friendly. Was fairly speedy. Kinda think their hats are weird. 9/10

Overall it is overhyped. It was solid and a good fast food option. But not at all what I thought from what people say about it.
Reviewed by Matt Stoklos

I agree with the burger review big time. The veggies are fresher and better than any other burger joint, but their actual burger is pretty weak. I like their fries though.

Overall I give Matt’s review an 8/10.
Reviewed by The Bjakni Kid

ShopHouse
shop house – pretty fucking good! It’s South East Asian Chipotle (literally founded by chipotle) and very tasty! Good options too. Choose a base of white or brown rice or noodles, then a meat of chicken, beef, or meatballs, then some sauces and garnishes and boom! Tasty food. 8.5/10
Reviewed by Tom Schwerm
Tom’s Review of Shophouse
Review of Tom’s review:Very concise. I’m not used to that in a tedmond.net/review. It even fit in one groupme message! I like how I got a feel for the process not just the type of food.Overall: 8.5/10
Reveiwed by Chmiel

The Life Of Pablo

Questions About Identity: imagine listening to this album without a tracklisting in front of you. It would be very hard to identify what particular track you’re on. You’d be on track 10, thinking it’s track 12, or maybe it’s 8, and also this guy crooning right now– you can’t tell if that’s chris brown, kid cudi, or frank ocean. Does it really matter what track it is, or if the lyrics are being sung by a serial abuser, a horrible musician, or a great one?More/Less importantly, the guy rapping on Pt. 2. That’s future, yeah? I love future. No, it’s not? Huh. Does that matter to you?Why is Rihanna singing Nina Simone lyrics — maybe it’s because they couldn’t clear the sample, like what happened on All Falls Down from his first album…. Oh, wait, the Nina Simone sample shows up later in the song.Why does the biggest narcissist in the world barely show up on so many of the songs on this album? Despite producing every song on the album, can Kanye actually operate any modern production software? Does any singular person deserve “credit” for a track being good?This album says three big things to me. I already communicated the first. I’m trying to communicate the second to you through the structure of this essay, but I’m not sure if that’ll come through without me explicitly stating it here. More plainly, the second big thing is that The Life Of Pablo prefers to get its message across in markedly discrete statements. This is one of the ways in which Kanye navigates “having a lot of ideas.” The big three themes of Yeezus — sex, blackness, religion — are joined now in TLOP by Idea Four, fatherhood, and the juxtaposition here (one theme per song) is much less fun than the “put my fist in her like a civil rights sign” mashup from last album.

One of the strangest things about graduating from college, to me, is that I can no longer assume that everyone around me is in the same life situation. I have no chance to make friends with some of the friendliest people I’ve met because they life two towns over and I don’t have a car, or they have two kids, or there’s just nothing to talk about because their entire identity is based on raising livestock. Similarly, as Kanye’s identity drifts dadwards, the “38 year old 8 year old” starts to act his age, and I’m still thirsty for caustic beats.

Rick Rubin’s beardprints are all over this album. Challenge: try to count all the different times in TLOP that there’s “two things” production behind the vocals: a single plodding bassline and a single treble pattern.

In preliminary reviews, I told a few people “this song has five awesome songs and five horrendous songs.” Lemme try and pin that down.

The good ones:
No More Parties in LA
Real Friends
Ultralight Beams
Fade
Father Stretch My Hands Part 1

the bad ones:
Low Lights
Highlights
FML
Wolves
Silver Surfer (although I don’t know if this counts)

Answers About Identity: Culture is made by humans for humans; all humans have identities. In this, understanding the artist’s identity makes his or her art more whole. This album made by anyone else is mediocre. This album made by Kanye is pretty good. 7.8/10.
Reviewed by Ted

For older reviews, please click https://tedmond.net/reviews2015/

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