Diving into Madness at the Darkmoon Faire with Dankestdad

As the Year of the Phoenix draws to a close, excitement is in the air. The final expansion, Madness at the Darkmoon Faire is upon us, and as usual, Blizzard has saved their flashiest designs for a grand finale. The Old Gods and their followers’ return is a welcome callback for veteran players, but those of all levels of experience enjoy these splashy ten-drops and their game-warping effects.

Along with the other reveals, these minions will likely define the late game in Standard, much like the various incarnations of Galakrond did. Without further ado, let’s jump in and take a closer look at these new cards and their role in Standard.

Guess The Weight & Cram Session

Much like the carnival game that inspired it, Guess the Weight may not be the best deal despite how fun it looks. Drawing two cards for two mana is exciting, but you will only be able to so consistently if your deck is full of very cheap and very expensive cards. 

There is also an inherent fail case since if your next two cards cost the same, you can never choose correctly. Compared to Cram Session and the pre-nerf Fungal Spores, this card is a pass and should only fit into niche ramp and hyper-aggressive lists that play very few midgame cards.

Verdict: Niche Player

Kiri Chosen of Elune, Lunar Eclipse, and Solar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse also can be used individually in a similar vein to Bogbeam, but earlier in the game, allowing you to ramp while removing threats. Finally, you can pair Solar Eclipse with Overgrowth to hit ten mana insanely early. It even has some fringe potential in Quest Druid, enabling huge heals with Hidden Oasis, and big board clears with Starfall. All 3 of these cards are stellar, and I think they will define Druid for the upcoming standard format.

Verdict: Meta-defining

Fortune Teller

This card is more likely to turn you into a 30-year old man than to be a contender in Standard, but it does have some things going for it. While you need at least 3 spells in hand for it to be on rate, you need 4 or more for it to be exciting. It is however, a good random Priest minion, so it will see the board in a fair number of games. If a spell-focused archetype exists for Priest, then this card actually could be a viable option. For now, though, it’s a Big disappointment.

Verdict: Pack Filler

Darkmoon Rabbit

Although the effect is powerful, this card’s high cost limits its potential. While Darkmoon Rabbit can have applications in decks looking to clear the board, spending ten mana on a purely reactive card is hard to justify in the current meta.

Unless there is an effect that lets you summon low attack minions from your deck or hand in the next set, like Meat Wagon for the Wild format, Darkmoon Rabbit won’t be seeing play anytime soon.

Verdict: Pack Filler

Silas Darkmoon

Sporting a very unique effect, Silas Darkmoon is a card you can try out today! Combined with a lackey or Paladin hero power, this card makes positioning relevant again, acting as an improvised Mind Control. It also can set up disadvantageous deathrattles for your opponent. While the rate is not incredible, the effect is unique and powerful enough to make Silas worth trying as a mirror-breaker in control matchups.

Verdict: Constructed Viable

C’thun, the Shattered

While the combo is clearly hard to pull off, cards like Stowaway and Lorekeeper Polkelt can allow you to assemble him more quickly with clever deck-building. That said, this card shows the most promise as a long control finisher, giving your deck five more turns in fatigue and a powerful win condition.

It also can give some classes, like Druid and Paladin, access to removal they may not normally find in their class’s design space. All in all, I expect Warriors and Priests to have success with this card, and perhaps another innovative build can find the spotlight as well.

Verdict: Strong Inclusion

N’zoth, God of the Deep

Despite his ability to build a board on his own, N’zoth, God of the Deep is the only Old God that’s looking a little worse for the wear in his return to Standard. While N’Zoth, God of the Deep’s effect is situationally powerful, it no longer is guaranteed to generate the value of your minion’s deathrattles in addition to their stats. 

Most decks also cannot support inclusions across multiple minion tribes, and running suboptimal cards to improve this one does not seem worthwhile. While there may be additional support coming in this set and next year, at the moment, it is hard to see this card in a high tier standard deck. The potential is there, though, and it probably is still good enough to win some games as a build around.

Verdict: Constructed Viable

Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate

Blizzard really put Rod of Roasting in Standard. Ok, that aside, this card is incredible. The past incarnation of Yogg-Saron had the same effect as the mystery box, casting a random spell for every spell you’ve cast this game. This was very useful for clearing the board and resetting the game state, allowing the player who had fallen behind to come back and stabilize for one card. The other effects do this even more consistently than random spells, so when playing this from behind, so you aren’t even gambling all that much. Sometimes, you will need a specific effect to win, but players of all skill levels will be Yogging their way to victory almost every time they play this card.

Verdict: Meta-defining

Fleethoof Pearltusk

Before we talk about Y’Shaarj, we need to discuss the elephant in the room. Corrupt, the new keyword from this set, gives cards a boost if you play a more expensive card while they are in your hand. 

Fleethoof Pearltusk is a bit below the curve in its base form, but once it’s corrupted, it becomes an 8/8 with rush for only five mana. If you can cast an expensive card ahead of schedule, this minion will only snowball your lead. Other minions are peanuts to a rusher this huge, and it has a great shot in control and ramp decks.

Verdict: Strong Inclusion

Dunk Tank vs. Starfall

Shaman gets in on the corrupting action, too, getting an over-costed damage spell that becomes very efficient once corrupted. The best comparison is Starfall when you have access to both Choose One effects.

You can do one less damage for one mana less, and if your opponent has a small board, you can hit the face. This card is very powerful once you corrupt it, and if Shaman gets access to more early game tools, this can be a crucial piece of midrange and control Shaman decks.

Verdict: Strong Inclusion

Day at the Faire

Token Paladin is back in business. After corruption, this card can complete Righteous Cause on its own, incentivizing a go-wide strategy and providing massive stats for four mana.

Synergy aside, playing a four mana card is not very hard for Pure Paladin and Libram Paladin, and this card could slot into those decks on rate alone. More often than not, this a three-mana 5/5, and even without more synergy, that is good enough for me.

Verdict: Strong Inclusion

Y’Shaarj, The Defiler

Now that we’ve seen his corrupted followers, we can make a fair evaluation of the head honcho himself. Historically, “They cost (0) this turn” is one of the best indicators that a card will be powerful, and I don’t think Y’shaarj, The Defiler will buck the trend.

All of the Corrupt cards that have been revealed are worthy inclusions in a deck, and getting the powered-up versions back for zero mana is a massive board swing or the final burn for victory alongside a 10/10 body. Y’Shaarj, The Defiler is one of the best finishers in the game, and competitive decks will eagerly build around this card.

Verdict: Meta-defining

Closing

That’s everything we’ve seen for now; stay tuned for more insights on the reveals coming November 3rd. In the meantime, you can let me know what you think of these takes in the comments below. You also can follow Tsukaime’s guide to preordering the set and unlocking Duels here.

Do you want to have your deck featured or work with AceGameGuides on creating strategic content? Email Arend@AceGameGuides.com, and we’ll talk! For more of AceGameGuides, be sure to join the new discord.

Thanks for reading!