Hearthstone’s Journey to Un’Goro expansion card reveal season is underway, and the Rogue legendary minion, Sherazin, Corpse Flower, is definitely unique.
But is it any good?
Sherazin, Corpse Flower
Sherazin, Corpse Flower is a 4-mana 5/3 with a deathrattle to go dormant and be revived when you play 4 cards in a single turn. In practice, when Sherazin goes dormant it is replaced by Sherazin, Seed, which is a permanent minion that cannot be interacted with: it takes a minion spot on the board, and nothing can destroy it, not even hard removal such as Twisting Nether. When you play 4 cards in a single turn, the Seed is replaced by Sherazin again.
It is important to note that Sherazin does not have charge. When it is revived, it suffers from summoning sickness and must wait until your next turn to attack.
Another weakness of Sherazin is its 3 health. This means that even 2-drops have an easy time trading into it, and as such its expected lifespan is brutish and short. When compared to the current Rogue staple 4-drop that is rotating out with the new expansion, Tomb Pillager, Sherazin is much more vulnerable.
Sherazin offers a promise of value: bringing it back just once is great value, and most Rogue builds can reasonably look forward to reviving Sherazin two or even three times, especially if played early on. However, it does not help with Rogue’s main issue, fighting aggro.
As a legendary minion, Sherazin is not a card you can build your deck around. You get more value from Sherazin the earlier you play it, and if you cycle through your entire deck to find it, you will simply not have enough cards left to revive it multiple times. It is no Malygos that provides a win condition even if it’s at the bottom of your deck. Therefore, it is a support card.
This has been the common theme for Rogue legendaries lately: Xaril, Poisoned Mind is a support card. Shaku, the Collector is a support card. Neither is the centerpiece of the decks they are played in, but both can fill an important slot nonetheless.
Rogue and the rotation
Rogue is set to lose a lot in the rotation: Tomb Pillager, Azure Drake, and Conceal are all rotating out of Standard. The more aggressive Rogue decks, such as Water Rogue, can shrug off these losses, but the slightly slower decks, such as Miracle Rogue, need to question their gameplan.
I expect Burgly Bully to rise to prominence among any slower Rogue decks. Functionally, it replaces Tomb Pillager as a coin generator, but mana-wise it takes the 5-mana slot previously occupied by Azure Drake.
So what will Rogue play in the 4-mana slot? Currently, the options are limited. There’s Shadow Sensei for the more aggressively-oriented builds (you really need more stealth minions than just Shaku to use it), but the slower builds can basically choose between bringing back Violet Teacher or using a combination of Barnes; Xaril, Poisoned Mind; and Sherazin, Corpse Flower. The legendary trio actually has some nice synergy between them, but their ability to handle aggro is in doubt. Violet Teacher, on the other hand, is a reasonably strong card against aggro still – it has seen play in that role before, and may again.
I expect Sherazin to see play in slower Rogue decks. Not as a centerpiece, but as a support card, a proactive play on turn 4 that will give more value later on when the Rogue goes for combos or cycle with the Gadgetzan Auctioneer. In this role, any Miracle-offshoot can find a spot for Sherazin.
Sherazin and N’Zoth
While Sherazin, as a deathrattle minion, looks like a good fit for a N’Zoth deck, it might not find a slot there. If Sherazin is revived too many times, the Seeds will block too much of the board when N’Zoth brings a bunch of Sherazins back and they are killed off.
It is not that easy to use your resources appropriately when playing Sherazin in a N’Zoth deck. You want to revive Sherazin before the N’Zoth turn to receive multiple copies, but you don’t want too many of them and you also need to be able to revive your Sherazins after the N’Zoth turn.
N’Zoth + Shadowstep combo, N’Zoth Rogue’s traditional forte of playing multiple N’Zoths during a game, also synergizes poorly with Sherazin: you will end up with a board all but full of flowers. In a Sherazin + N’Zoth deck, you would most likely only aim to play a single N’Zoth and then have resources to repeatedly revive your Sherazins afterwards, unless you draw Sherazin late in the game, in which case you would switch back to the multiple N’Zoths plan.
Sherazin and Pilfer Rogue
Sherazin can deliver the most value in a deck that is able to generate plenty of additional resources. Pilfer Rogue looks like an ideal home, where Sherazin can fill an important role thanks to multiple easy revivals.
Burgle is rotating out, but plenty of other cards remain. Swashburglar, Undercity Huckster, Shaku, Journey Below, Shadowstep, Shadowcaster, and Ethereal Peddler could form the core of a deck that can generate near-endless resources and play those 4 cards per turn several times during a game. Creating a Shadowcaster copy of Sherazin or discovering an additional Sherazin from Journey Below could add to the value the card gives you.
This kind of a deck looks interesting and fun to play – and potentially weak to aggro.
Sherazin and The Caverns Below (Quest Rogue)
Sherazin also has natural synergy with the Rogue legendary quest, The Caverns Below, which requires you to play four minions with the same name in exchange for a spell that turns the stats of all of your minions into 5/5 for the rest of the game. As the quest requires you to play multiple minions with the same name, you will have to rely on various copy and bounce mechanics that are also ideal to revive Sherazin.
Furthermore, once the quest is completed, Sherazin receives the much more attractive 5/5 stat line. I will explore the Rogue Legendary quest in more detail at another time, but Sherazin definitely has strong synergy with any deck trying to accomplish the quest.
Sherazin and Aggro or Tempo Rogue
The only types of Rogue decks Sherazin has no place in are of the more aggressive variety. Aggressive Rogue decks do not employ extensive cycle or maintain a large hand of cards, and thus they are unlikely to revive Sherazin. The 5/3 statline is also not ideal for applying pressure, so Sherazin cannot support their gameplan.
Sherazin continues the tradition of Rogue legendaries as of late: an interesting, somewhat different card that is likely to see play in multiple decks, but that cannot carry those decks on its own.
This makes Rogue legendaries a bit painful to craft: many other legendary cards are the absolute centerpieces of their respective decks, whereas Rogue legendaries take home the Oscars for best supporting roles but are never the ones to headline the movie. Watching those great support roles can still be a lot of fun, and Rogue enthusiasts will love this card as well.