Knights of the Frozen Throne card review: Fatespinner

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 Fatespinner.

Fatespinner

Fatespinner is an epic Druid class card from Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion. It is a five-mana 5/3 minion with Choose a Deathrattle (Secretly): Deal 3 damage to all minions, or give all minions +2/+2.

This is the first time we have a secret Deathrattle as well as a selectable Deathrattle, so there are many open questions that will need to be confirmed later.

We do know that the Deathrattle cannot be seen by the opponent: from their perspective, it will either be area-of-effect damage to all minions on the board, or a buff to all minions on the board. There are lots of mindgames to be played and bluffs to be pulled off with this card!

What we don’t know yet are the card’s interactions with Fandral Staghelm and N’Zoth the Corruptor:

Is Choose a Deathrattle and Choose One effect? Will Fatespinner have both if played while Fandral is on the board? We do not know yet.

Likewise, does Fatespinner gain the Deathrattle when played, or does it Transform into a new minion with the Deathrattle? If Fatespinner gains the Deathrattle when played, it will not be summoned back by N’Zoth. If it transforms into a new minion, N’Zoth will resummon it with the same Deathrattle that it had. Here we can make an educated guess that N’Zoth will not bring Fatespinner back: many minions do not transform when they gain an effect. We do not know for sure though.

Regardless of these uncertainties, we can evaluate some aspects of Fatespinner.

Fatespinner is the strongest area-of-effect damage available to Druid: Swipe deals one across the board, Starfall deals two, and Primordial Drake deals two, but Fatespinner deals three. However, it needs to be activated, so it is slow area-of-effect damage: five mana for the minion, and then either trade it away the following turn, or if you want to activate it on the same turn, you need to have even more mana available. With Naturalize, you could activate it for one extra mana, and with Wrath you can do so for two extra mana.

It might be too difficult to use for the area-of-effect damage, as it might not be fast enough against aggro decks. Control decks generally do not need the buff for anything, they do not have that many minions on the board.

However, it can also be used as a buff. Take board control with tokens, play Fatespinner, trade it away to buff those tokens, or Wrath it away for the buff. Minion decks usually do not play Wrath though, unless you go old-school with Violet Teachers.

Even if you do play Wrath though, you’re getting +2/+2 for seven mana. That does not sound like a good deal. Even a delayed +2/+2 for five mana does not sound that good, considering that Mark of the Lotus gives +1/+1 for one mana, and Power of the Wild does it for two mana.

In order for Fatespinner to be worth its mana cost, you need to get some value from both its body and its effect. The area-of-effect damage is slow to activate and generally not useful. The buff could work for token decks, and maybe you can sometimes pull off a surprise board clear in an aggro mirror, but running a five-cost card with such low immediate impact in a token deck is by no means a sure thing either.

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