Yo, that's a nice axe.
Like most overload cards, Stormforged Axe is one of the biggest culprits of either being a decent answer, or a complete disaster. If you play this turn 2 and it can't kill whatever your opponent plays next, your turn 3 is going to suck balls. Not only have you now thrown yourself off curve, but you don't have board control either. Good luck finding any kind of use against a dragon priest or a heavy control deck.
And to top off the turd sundae, this is just one more example of a Shaman card that is strictly worse than the Paladin equivalent. You can talk up the ability to play it on turn 2 all you want, it's never going to be better than a Shielded Minibot into Coghammer.
No, a single Stormforged Axe on Turn 2 with no follow is always going to be worse than two cards that result in two divine shields. But, you don't have to be a genius to recognize that two class cards are probably going to be better than one.
Now, if we consider Stormforged Axe with a card like Tunnel Trogg, we have a formidable comparison. Tunnel Trogg will become a 2/3 thanks to Stormforged Axe's overload, and that will result in the ability to deal 4 damage on turn 2, yes, good luck getting past that turn 2 Dragon Priest minion, am I right? Not to mention the pair of cards you considered way better than this *Single* card actually fumble when matched against Tunnel Trogg and Stormforged Axe, because the combination of Trogg and Axe will take down the Shielded Minibot before you can make much use of it, which means you lose the minion that you can buff with Coghammer, making your turn 3 incredibly awkward, lest you have Muster for Battle. Meanwhile I will be able to do something along the lines of play a Totem Golem(2 mana) on the turn I am overloaded, which not only deals with the only other viable turn 3 play the Paladin has(Muster) but it also buffs the Tunnel Trogg to 3 attack(if it is still alive) While I still have a 2/2 weapon to help control the board with. Not only is that the case, but I equip an immediate attacking weapon for 3 mana to control the early game faster which allows me to afford losing a mana for the next turn to make a weapon play, because the 2 mana card next turn is supported by a 2 damage guarantee exert from the case of Acidic Swamp Ooze turn 3, which is still an inefficient use of mana.
So, yes, you're right, Common card Stormforged Axe does not compare to Common card Shielded Minibot and the Epic card Coghammer, but maybe that's because 1) Shielded minibot is/was considered the best class card 2-drop, 2) Coghammer provides more value as a 3-mana Epic weapon, and 3) Coghammer and Shielded Minibot are Paladin Class cards, not Shaman class cards, meaning they fit different themes, and direct comparison between Stormforged Axe and Coghammer+Shielded minibot would be like direct comparison between Ancient of Lore and Arcane Intellect+Flash Heal; a terrible way of deciding value.
I certainly don't dispute any of those points. I made the statement before I realized the true, horrifying power of Tunnel Trogg, and I really wish that Shaman had more cards like it that minimize the downside of overload. And I don't contest that it's not fair to compare cards between classes, rarities and mana costs. But I still stick to my statement that Stormforged Axe is absolutely horribly valued.
I guess a better comparison would be Fiery War Axe. Not only does it not have the overload downside, but there are WAY more playable 2-drops with 3 health than there are with 2. And yeah, you could argue that that's unforeseen meta consequences, and that warrior weapons should be better or that durability is more valuable than damage. But could you honestly say that given the option you would ever put Stormforged Axe in a Shaman deck if you could take Fiery War Axe instead?
It just feels like one more card that was given overload because it's Shaman's "thing" and not because it's actually a well costed card.
The difference between War Axe and Stormforged Axe is their class' playstyle.
Shaman has an excess of cheap minions and damage cards, which allows him to easily take control of the early game. Thanks to this early game aggression, 2 attack is more than suitable for the shaman to work with alongside high power cards like Totem Golem, Flametongue Totem, and Tunnel Trogg. Meanwhile Warrior, before the advent of TGT, had Cruel Taskmaster, Armorsmith and Warbot as cheap 2-mana minions to play, 2 of which were generally rather underwhelming as early game cards, since a 1-3 becoming maybe a 2-2 wasn't that great at all, and Cruel Taskmaster at best deals with an opposing 2-drop only after it deals extra damage to the face. Even with the advent of TGT, he only receives 2 viable 2-drops, which are actually rather situational and don't mesh well with standard warrior decks. This justifies a weapon as powerful as Fiery War Axe, because without it Warrior would die too easily to early game aggression, and with very little AoE at hand, he would be doomed to fall behind unless a card like Fiery War Axe allowed him to survive multiple threats with minimal suffering. Also of note is that a 2-3 is a much more long-lasting weapon, and a class like Shaman, who demands high value cards that can trade at least 2 for 1 to keep up pace as a result of his minimal card draw, justifies a 2-3 weapon over a 3-2 weapon.
To conclude, it's 1 overload is a result of extra survivability, and the fact that weapon damage is immediate, whereas 2-mana minions have to wait a turn to do anything and risk potentially being removed. Warrior doesn't have that overload clause because his class has very little other Early game aggression, whereas many Shaman decks have around 10 3> mana damage cards, and this was definitely a design choice for the shaman class as opposed to a coincidence.
3 mana buys you a 2/3 weapon with an upside. The upside with this is that by having one overload, you can play it on turn 2 to start getting value one turn sooner. This is a decent upside, especially in a meta with more 3/2s than 2/3s as 2 drops, but it's hard to imagine it as a more potent upside than Coghammer's ability to give a minion Taunt and Divine Shield, for instance.
Very good in Arena games. In constructed it has been replaced from Powermace. But still a decent weapon.
seems good to clean your opponets board (only for weak minions)
one of the best animations for the card
do you like golden animation?
The golden version of this card is my favorite of the weapons.
While this weapon is often less good today because many 1- and 2-drops have 3 health after Naxx and GvG, at least it doesn't feel bad to hit sticky minions with this if you have to - it's the only way as a shaman to avoid losing card advantage against sticky minions other than using Earth Shock. Often times you need Spell Power and the damage from totems to get a full card's value out of Earth Shock, such as using it against Haunted Creeper for example. It has to be said that minions with 3 health, such as Piloted Shredder, pose shaman a lot of problems. That 3-health range on sticky minions is brutal, to which Fire Elemental is the only value-based to really deal with it other than neutral silence effects.
Overall great weapon, but less good now that power creep has happened. Because of this, Crackle may be a better option, because at least it deals with the 3-health problem and has a chance to kill much bigger minions too, without taking loss of health.
"3 mana: Destroy 3 minions. Deal 8 damage to your hero." I would play the hell out of that, and that's often what this becomes.
Though called Stormforged Axe, the artwork is that of Rare Cataclysm Axes, the most prominent of which is probably the Lightning Whelk Axe (of Throne of Tides origins).