Although I’m not a professional card game player or anything, I do enjoy theory-crafting (the art of theorizing about what is good and what is bad within a specific context), especially in trading card games like Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone. Curse of Naxxramas added plenty of new cards, both neutral and class specific to the Hearthstone card pool, some of which are interesting and seem good and others that seem really, really bad. I hope to evaluate a few cards that peek my interest in terms of their viability, use and popularity. The cards will be rated from 1 – 5, one being the best for simplicity.
This card is probably the first new card that players will react to in the Curse of Naxxramas content. The first boss of the spider wing summons these big baddies, but, luckily for the player, the Deathlords end up being a great point of weakness to take advantage of. A 2/8 for 3 mana is a great value, especially with taunt, but the deathrattle helps balance the card, leaning it more towards bad than good in my opinion. Although 8 is a lot of health on turn three, there are plenty of ways to remove a creature regardless of their health, including Deadly Shot, Hunter’s Mark, Naturalize, Equality, Shadow Word: Pain, Assassinate, Corruption, Twisting Nether and Execute. Alternatively any spell like Hex, Polymorph, or any form of silence works wonders at nullfying Deathlords, but avoids killing it directly and therefore does not take advantage of Deathlord’s deathrattle. Obviously Deathlord is worse against decks that can take full advantage of its deathrattle, i.e. decks will big minions with heavy casting costs. The only place I can really see Deathlord’s shining is against low-drop zoo decks that don’t run much straight removal. Pseudo-removal, such as bashing minions against the Deathlord or turning it into another creature, allows Deathlord to at least soak up removal spells or creatures without having to worry about letting your opponent take full advantage of the Deathlord’s downside.