Knights of the Frozen Throne card review: Sanguine Reveler

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 Sanguine Reveler.

Sanguine Reveler

Sanguine Reveler is a Common Warlock class card from Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion. It is a one-mana 1/1 minion with a Battlecry to destroy a friendly minion to gain +2/+2.

A one-mana 3/3 is certainly interesting already stat-wise, but Sanguine Reveler is also interesting because it allows you to destroy a friendly minion for mere one mana, allowing for major tempo gains when played alongside other things.

This is clearly a Zoo card, useful for popping Devilsaur Eggs and maybe even Possessed Villagers for some early-game tempo.

However, Zoo already had a good way to pop Devilsaur Egg: Ravenous Pterrordax curves perfectly from Devilsaur Egg, allowing you to have two strong minions on the board on Turn four. Sanguine Reveler can nonetheless be even better at times: you do not have to spend your Turn three playing Devilsaur Egg and losing all the tempo, as you can play Devilsaur Egg and Sanguine Reveler both on Turn four for a 5/5 and 3/3 for four mana.

Sanguine Reveler is not without issues. Devilsaur Egg is the only really good target so far, so it would need some more help from the remaining cards from the new expansion. If Sanguine Reveler is used to destroy a token, even just a 1/1 token, it effectively only brings 2/2 stats on the board for one mana: not bad, but not awesome either. It really shines when it gets to pop big zero-attack deathrattles, but those are few and far between. Sanguine Reveler is no Ravenous Pterrordax: it needs to be far more picky as to what it destroys in order to be valuable.

Some early-game tempo potential and an Egg popper, Sanguine Reveler is by no means a bad card. In fact, I fully expect it to see play in Zoo. However, it is still but an extremely partial answer to Zoo’s issues.

What is wrong with Zoo, anyway?

Over the past Standard rotations, Zoo has lost burst (Power Overwhelming), a strong two-drop (Dark Peddler), and its ability to reliably create tokens (Imp Gang Boss, Imp-losion). It also lost so many Demons that you cannot build a Demonzoo anymore, but that is perhaps a slightly separate issue.

There is nothing to replace the lost burst damage, Warlock is the only class with no good class two-drop, and the available token-generation cards are completely lackluster (Forbidden Ritual, Kara Kazham, and Feeding Time).

So, you see, Sanguine Reveler does not address any of these issues. Zoo is still able to use some buffs to kill off its own minions while trading up (Abusive Sergeant, Dark Iron Dwarf), and while Sanguine Reveler makes popping important Deathrattles easier, it does not reliably address the more fundamental issue Zoo is facing: Zoo is getting out-tempoed.

Now, if Knights of the Frozen Throne will include another card similar to Devilsaur Egg, we might get to a point where Zoo has plenty of good Deathrattles and plenty of ways to pop them, and it can play the tempo game based on those instead of tokens. In that kind of Zoo, Sanguine Reveler is at home.