Hearthstone‘s next expansion, The Boomsday Project, is coming up, and as is the tradition, Blizzard is rolling out cards progressively up to the release. GameSpot has just had its own reveal for the new Paladin spell Shrink Ray. You can watch the video above for our reveal, but there’s lots to unpack when it comes to this card, so we’ve put together an in-depth analysis about what this means for Hearthstone and its meta.
The Shrink Ray card is a clear signal that Control Paladin is primed to make a comeback. That’s no small feat. Mike Donais told us that the design team tries to push classes into directions where they’re currently under-developed. Control Paladin was a mainstay of vanilla Hearthstone and lasted through the first few expansions, but more recently expansions have consistently pushed it into a more aggressive direction. Cards like Shrink Ray may be enough to bring it back. The name comes from the ability to control the battlefield and outlast your opponent into the late-game, and this could just be the tool Paladin needs.
Why? In short, it’s a one-card answer to a big board. Paladins have long relied on powerful combos like Equality-Consecration or Wild Pyromancer to clear the board and reset. But if you drew only one part of the combo, you were still out-of-luck. The new card provides a cleaner answer, which could still be combined with Wild Pyromancer in a pinch if you absolutely need a (rather expensive) total board wipe. More often, it will simply make your enemies much less threatening, giving you a chance to heal and reassert board dominance.
It also synergizes well with the Paladin Hero Power, making your 1/1 Silver Hand Recruits able to contest anything the opponent has on the board. On top of that, it fits well into Odd Paladin, with double the Recruits to take down the newly weakened enemy minions. We may also see Paladins experiment with Egg-based decks, since this card gives them an easy way to activate Eggs and makes them extremely easy to break.
Hearthstone: The Boomsday Project launches August 7. Two pre-order bundles are now available–a $50 for 50 pack bundle with a free golden legendary and card back, and a separate $80 for 80 pack bundle that also throws in the Warlock hero Mecha-Jaraxxus. Check out our full gallery of all the revealed cards so far.