When Whispers of the Old Gods came out a couple of months ago, Blizzard also implemented a new way to keep the game “fresh.” They did this by adding seasonal rotations, meaning that older expansions are no longer part of the main competitive format anymore. They added Wild mode as well, which is where you can still use any card from any expansion. However, I dare you to play this mode without getting Dr. Boom, Mad Scientist and Piloted Shredder PTSD triggers. Recently I’ve been trying out this Wild format and I came to the realization that I miss some of the cards that rotated out so damn dearly. If you had asked me before the patch went live, I probably would’ve told you that the cards I’d miss the most were Loatheb and Sludge Belcher, but I was substantially wrong. Here’s the ones that I miss the most.
LIGHTBOMB / DARK CULTIST
Somewhere in between League of Explorers and the announcement of the new formats, I became very fond of the Priest class. Priest was a class that I never really played until Entomb and Elise Starseeker came out. However, control/monkey Priest is one of my favorite decks to ever grace this children’s card game. You can still play this deck but it’s nowhere as good without these two cards. Priest is in a position right now where it’s really suffering in the meta game. It doesn’t have any powerful defining archetypes anymore and it’s almost completely because cards like these got removed from its arsenal. Priests no longer have a great way of dealing with boards anymore without the Auchenai + Circle combo. They also lost a massively powerful 3-drop in Dark Cultist. For a portion after Naxarramas, Cultist was a shoe-in for almost any type of priest deck and now priest has a massive hole in the 3 mana spot. By taking this card away it made an already reactive class even more reactive and it gives Priest less options to keep up on the board.
MUSTER FOR BATTLE
In the same way that Priest is in a bad way, Paladin is also in a bad way. At the beginning of expansion once the meta settled for the first time Paladin had one very strong deck and that deck was N’Zoth Control Paladin. A deck with massive amounts of healing and board clears, it was basically every control players dream deck. However as the meta shifted, aggro got better and better making control decks like these almost impossible to play. Muster for Battle was a fantastic card and was an auto-include in every Paladin deck regardless of play style. With this gone, as well as shielded minibot, Paladin doesn’t have a good minion-centric deck anymore.
MAL’GANIS / DARKBOMB
The reason why I miss these two cards so much is because a whole branch of Warlock decks died when these cards left the competitive format. Demon based and even slower Warlock decks are no longer playable and these are the cards I miss the most from those kinds of decks. There was nothing more satisfying than dropping a Mal’Ganis on turn 5 thanks to a Voidcaller. With Darkbomb also missing Warlocks lost a really good way to stabilize the board. However, with the new zoo deck, they hardly need any control tools.
I miss this card solely because it makes the outcomes of Tuskarr Totemic strictly better. If you had asked me before the patch, this wasn’t even something I’d consider, but here I am. Vitality Totem’s weren’t necessarily all that useful and it was one of the drawbacks to playing this card. Now, Tuskarr Totemic is almost guaranteed to give you something extremely useful. The Flametounge Totems, Totem Golems and Mana Tide Totems are almost standard now and are very common.
So I don’t really miss this card, rather miss the potential that it could’ve had. Steamwheedle Sniper never got its chance to see competitive play, or any play really. I kept my Steamwheedle’s around for a while hoping that the card would see play. This card would potentially add a little bit of a control playstyle to the Hunter and as time goes on, we’ll probably see more cards that would synergize it. Unfortunately, when Standard came into play poor Steamwheedle never got its moment to shine.
There have been so many situations since standard came out where Antique Healbot would’ve completely changed the pace of the game. This little guy was a shoe-in for almost every single Control/Mid-range/Rogue decks and I see why now more than ever. Rogue is suffering immensely without it and the Mid-Range style of deck has died out with the lack of this card and a few others. It was a quick, fairly cheap and efficient way of healing. All while giving you a small bit of tempo so you could potentially keep up on the board. That’s something we just don’t really have in the current meta-game.