Knights of the Frozen Throne card review: Animated Berserker

Hearthstone’s Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion card reveal season is underway! We can expect to see multiple cards revealed on daily basis leading up to the expansion itself.

In this post, I take an in-depth look at Animated Berserker.

Animated Berserker

Animated Berserker is a Common Warrior class card from Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion. It is a one-mana 1/3 minion with a special effect that deals one damage to any minions you play.

Because Animated Berserker uses the play keyword, it means that it will deal damage only to the minions you play from hand. Any minions that are summoned by various other means, whether from the deck or created as tokens will not be damaged. It only damages your own minions, not the opponent’s minions.

Warrior is pretty much the only class interested in an effect like this, because Warrior has plenty of ways to benefit from damaging its own minions:

  • Armorsmith
  • Frothing Berserker
  • Acolyte of Pain
  • Rampage
  • Battle Rage
  • Bloodhoof Brave
  • Blood Warriors
  • Sudden Genesis
  • Grommash Hellscream

There are also some Neutral Enrage cards that do not really see play right now:

  • Amani Berserker
  • Tauren Warrior
  • Raging Worgen
  • Aberrant Berserker
  • Spiteful Smith
  • Gurubashi Berserker

These building blocks do not seem sufficient for building an Enrage-themed deck. Turn one Animated Berserker into a Turn two 5/2 Amani Berserker, Turn three 4/2 Windfury Raging Worgen, and Turn four 5/5 Taunt Bloodhoof Brave? There’s some firepower there, but very little endurance until the Bloodhoof Brave, so those minions will not stay on the board for long.

A slower Warrior deck could play Animated Berserker followed by Acolyte of Pain for card draw and use it together with Grommash Hellscream late in the game as a finisher. Still, it just does not seem to be worth it.

Animated Berserker could also activate the Deathrattle effects of Tentacle of N’Zoth and Volatile Elemental as well as the special effect of Hogger, Doom of Elwynn. That will not make them see any play though.

The 1/3 statline for a one-drop means that it is likely to survive a turn in the early game. However, most cards like that have an effect that can be useful the following turn: Northshire Cleric and Malchezaar’s Imp threaten to turn into serious card draw engines and Vilespine Inquisitor threatens Murloc buffs.

What does Animated Berserker offer when played on Turn one? Nothing, really. Its best synergies come down a little later in the game, and at that point it can easily be removed, unless it is played on the same turn as the synergy minion.

Furthermore, Knights of the Frozen Throne includes a serious contender for small damage activation: Blood Razor. The second swing of Blood Razor can be used to trigger a Whirlwind effect without paying any mana on that turn, and late in the game that is much more attractive than a 1/3 body.

In order for Animated Berserker to be good, there would need to be some important Enrage synergies available for Turns two and three. So far, this is not the case, so Animated Berserker does not look very strong right now.