Who would want to use Witch’s Cauldron? (Hearthstone The Witchwood card preview)

Hearthstone’s The Witchwood expansion reveals continue and we got to see Witch’s Cauldron, a new Neutral Epic minion.

In this post, I take an in-depth look at the card and what kind of decks it could fit into.

Witch’s Cauldron

Witch’s Cauldron is a three-mana 0/4 Neutral Epic minion with a unique effect: After a friendly minion dies, add a random Shaman spell to your hand.

What is really interesting about Witch’s Cauldron is that now any class has access to Shaman spells! Cross-class synergies can potentially be very powerful, so the card is interesting.

I took a deeper look at Shaman spells while examining Hagatha the Witch, and some key probabilities around them (pre-Witchwood) include:

  • Area-of-effect damage (4 – 15%): Forked Lightning, Lightning Storm, Avalanche, Volcano
  • Direct damage to face, bypasses Taunt (3 – 12%): Frost Shock, Lightning Bolt, Lava Burst
  • Freeze (3 – 12%): Frost Shock, Cryostasis, Avalanche
  • Damage to face, requires an attack (2 – 8%): Rockbiter Weapon, Windfury
  • Silence (2 – 8%): Earth Shock, Hex
  • Healing (2 – 8%): Healing Rain, Tidal Surge
  • Taunt (2 – 8%): Ancestral Healing, Feral Spirit
  • Chance to find a specific spell: 4%

Who wants to use Witch’s Cauldron?

A number of things have to match for Witch’s Cauldron to see play:

  • The class has to want to have Shaman spells
  • The class has to have the means to kill off multiple minions to proc the effect
  • (Optional) The class should be able to buff Witch’s Cauldron to make use of the body

Shaman spells are not that bad overall. The class has access to a wide variety of different tools, so getting a random Shaman spell is similar – albeit slightly less powerful – to rolling a Death Knight card from The Lich King: you know the right answer is there, but you don’t know if you’re going to roll it.

Then, which classes can make use of the effect?

  • Shaman: Hero Power, Primalfin Totem
  • Paladin: Hero Power, Vinecleaver, Call to Arms, Drygulch Jailor, Lost in the Jungle
  • Hunter: Unleash the Hounds, Hunting Mastiff, Emerald Spellstone, Snake Trap
  • Warlock: Duskbat, Zoo as an archetype in general because of Warlock Hero Power enabling card draw
  • Druid: Living Mana, Wispering Woods
  • Neutral cards that can help: Violet Wurm, Sated Threshadon, Saronite Chain Gang, Grim Necromancer, Violet Teacher, Phantom Militia, Imp Master, Eggnapper

Shaman itself may be the most unlikely of these classes to use Witch’s Cauldron: if they want some random spells, they have Hagatha the Witch to get a permanent, more powerful effect.

The other four classes may be interested, though.

Paladin has tokens for days, so getting some spells to go along them does not sound too bad. Witch’s Cauldron could even be played in Odd Paladin with the upgraded Hero Power. Paladin can also buff the body to make use of it.

Hunter has some dreams of Control, but no control tools. Getting your control tools randomly does not sound very strong though.

Warlock Zoo has plenty of minions and not so many spells. Toss in something like a Dark Iron Dwarf, and even the body of the Cauldron can be useful.

Aggressive Druid decks have plenty of tokens and can protect Witch’s Cauldron with Taunts, such as Crypt Lord. It can also hit face with Savage Roar.

Alas, there are some fundamental issues with any class wanting to use Witch’s Cauldron. The 0/4 body is a major tempo loss, and the value gained is quite random, so it will be hard to justify its inclusion. Perhaps there will be a token deck that wants to generate some additional value and goes for Shaman spells for that purpose, but it is also possible that the card will see no play.

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