I know we still haven't seen the majority of the new cards in the set, but this is my take on Inspire: Give up tempo in stats this turn so you can give up more tempo by hero powering next turn. I would prefer a slower meta in constructed where something like this could be competitive, but almost every evaluation of these cards I've seen is basically "It might be okay in arena." Maybe I'm just pessimistic after being let down by the cards introduced from Blackrock.
-I also forgot to mention the contradictory nature of the inspire cards. As in, to get value they need to stick around, but the way they are inherently budgeted stat wise prevents the chance that they will be able to.
I do agree with you but every single time of a new Hearthstone release someone comes around with a thread saying they're dissapointed already and we haven't even seen HALF THE CARDS YET.
Come on guys - if you want to express your feelings on the whole of TGT at least wait for the whole of TGT to be realised. I mean really we should wait until 2 weeks post release to see how things turn out.
For now we can only prey that Blizzard hears our prayers and releases cards to stop the aggro cancer decks.
As others have said, this is not a new argument. Deathrattle was mocked as a gimmick at about this time in Naxx. Same goes for GvG, especially since mechwarper wouldn't have been seen at this point. Pretty much most of hte forums mocked Grim Patron until release of BRM.
The lower ranks of Ranked will always be aggro even if not a single aggro deck shows up in the top tier lists simply because of how fast decks that tear apart poorly made decks benefit in Ranked. It's the nature of the mode and the reason why tournament decks use midrange hunter and mock face hunter while the rest of us see it everywhere.
Beyond that, other deck types thrive and there's room for an inspire deck. Jeesh Warlock, Warrior, Shaman, and Priest already spam their hero power enough to warrant inspire cards. The question just comes from whether they can present a style that warrants use over other deck. It'll take seeing the entire list to know if that'll happen.
It might fail completely. It might fail due to just not having enough cards (demon suffered that until recently as did the deck that eventually became Patron). It might succeed. We'll see. But it's really too early to tell. using BRM as an example is poor given how few cards it was to create a new deck type and how effective Mech turned out in GvG.
Obviously there's gonna be top tier competitive inspire decks in the TGT meta. They wouldn't introduce a completely new mechanic in a 132 card expansion without making sure the cards are good enough to played.
That's what I thought at first too. But the most I theory crafted around inspire, the more I found it can work very well.
With GvG and BRM, we got a lot of stronger cards, with lower health and attack than their mana cost. I've felt Blizzard operated a slight power creep in order to put more fun, aka rng, and minion based plays in the game. Piloted Shredder is a clear example for that. It is, for its cost, quite absurd in term of average stats and so it found a place in every midrange, tempo and aggressive mech deck. Now, it is still a 4/3 for 4 as you play it. It is resilient but it won't trade up on its turn.
With Naxxramas and GvG, Blizzard showed their will to end most "un-interactive" decks. They wanted to bring more action on the board, and less in the hands. They did it with smaller but resilient minions (Nerubian Egg, Haunted Creeper, Sludge Belcher) to make board control less spell oriented. It might have made the game funnier, maybe easier to understand (and to watch).
BRM has been more combo and synergy based, but it's the small to medium cards (Thaurissan, Imp Gang Boss, Flamewaker, Blackwing Corruptor and our beloved Grim Patron) that have taken up the meta. Notably, 3 damage for 2 mana spells have also been distributed to some classes and are used.
Maybe you noticed that mage's Fireball actually shifted out of the metagame. While it has been used as a control tool for a long time, even alongside one or two Polymorphs, it got cut out from the freeze mage and serves in tempo and mech mages mostly as a finisher. Justified. There are very little midrange minions with 4 or more health or attack in the meta that has emerged out of the previous extensions. With such an emphasis on the 3-4 drops, early/midrange game became fiercer and you could easily get "tempoed out" if you weren't contesting your opponent's board. After that, the comeback options hardly come before turn 7 or so (Sludge would slow a board, but not kill much of it, Antique would not stop anything, Thaurissan doesn't have much impact on the board and Sylvanas needs at least a turn to start doing work). The fact that those minions were resilient and that the comeback mechanics weren't available until far later turns meant that you had to contest that ; that you had to play tempo oriented.
Early to midrange cards have become a bit more resilient while the midrange to late game cards were mostly slower and relatively small for their cost. Resulted two things. As we contested the board every turn, we became very used to not expect a midrange minion to live more than a turn (like Thaurissan or the first part of a Shredder) to get value on the next turns as well. We abandoned high health removal (like Fireball) as well as not playing high damage minions (mostly because those aren't good enough compared to the resilient, deathrattle, or imp or fireblast spawning minions).
I actually thought, some weeks ago, about a Priest deck with Baron Rivendare. I thought that with Dark Cultist, I could maybe land some crazy combo. I gave it a shot and It failed. Not surprising. The surprising fact, though, was that, despite having the stats of a Mogu'shan Warden, universally considered bad, Rivendare could easily survive its turn, and for that reason, felt like a fine turn 4 especially since it had a very positive effect.
That is how the inspire cards are, I think, designed. Stat wise, they are meant to stay on board for at least a turn thanks to their high health and a meta where most of the midrange minions have an attack lower or equal to their mana cost. It's been a very long time we haven't seen high health card being released and maybe we got used to every minion trade every turn. The inspire cards can survive their turn. They are to early drops to be Hexed/Polymorphed/Crushed(?) and they have too much health to die against your common board and removal. You should not think of them as a one time hero power. I think they are much better played on curve, to work with your hero power on the next turn, since they will survive (or draw a questionable amount of your opponent's removal to them). Thunder Bluff Valiant is a fine example but the inspire cards tends, I think, to be much stronger played alongside each other. The fact that they tend to survive for a turn allow you to do that.
For example, as a Warlock (or any other class since I use neutrals here, but I find Warlock fun with that inspire sequence), you would play with enough removal to not let your opponent have a crazy board by turn 4. One minion is OK. Use darkbombs, mortal coils, and maybe a chow. Nothing exotic required.
Tournament Medic can hardly die, unless your opponent spends removal. If he does so : great, he spent its turn 4 just using removal on a 1/8, if not, great, it survived. We'll assume it survived and your opponent would rather develop its board, but it's not actually THAT important.
You just got a free card for 1 mana ! You could also play your two inspire minions the other way, depending on what you want to contest and the amount of removal your opponent could have. Though, since here we assumed he developed his board, He probably has enough to kill one of your minions but not both. They still are 14 worth of health against - worst case scenario - a 4 and a 5 drop. (if you went second)
T6 : Garrison Commander, Lifetap, Lifetap is the funniest play but you might have more careful ones.
Since your opponent wouldn't trade and spend removal with both your minions, (if he did, they spared you 14+ worth of health and lost some removal and board presence in the process) you can consider one is still alive, either for damage-free or 1-mana lifetaps. You might be easily able to fish for removal, like BGH, Hellfire or Implosion, or maybe a bit of stall like Belcher or Healbot if Maiden is still alive but since you played one card on turn 4, drew 2 on turn 5, and drew one at the start of this turn, your is hand pretty likely to offer you good combo options, like a Sunfury/Shadowflame + Ancien Watcher, or simply multiple removal spells.
Point is your Inspire cards could get value and hold against a very tangible board (I think the worst 4 and 5 drops reasonably possible are Shredder and Fel Reaver, and as I thought about the situation with that, it appeared the inspire minions probably wouldn't die without removal). With that, their curve spot is also very interesting since they do their work from turn 4 to turn 6-7 where stabilization starts to be more doable and without requiring an early game multiple card combination like with Innervation, Preparation or Execute + Random 1 damage. Though every class isn't good with Inspire, you can replace Warlock (which is probably more fun than good) with other classes in the sequence stated above. It can works wonders in Priest, Paladin and maybe Mage and Shaman, whose hero powers are less of a tempo loss than Warlock's one.
So, yes, the inspire cards aren't strong tempo-wise, but they are designed to stay for several turns while you harvest value. Either your opponent trades and use removal on them, making them fine tempo-wise, either he doesn't and you will stack them to make, as soon as turn 5 or 6, enough card advantage out of them to stabilize. They also get notably better assisted with some tempo cards, such as Innervate, Frost Nova, Circle of Healing, Abusive Sergeant or BGH (counters well the minions big enough to one-shot them). Then, when you have the ones you want to survive stick on board, you drop a combo. A Totem Golem-Mana Tide Totem-Totemic Call-Totemic Might when you have Thunder Bluff Valiant on board, Maiden of the Lake-Fireblast Rank 2 when you have Coldarra Drake or kill Ragnaros with Priest's Heal with Auchenai Soulpriest and Garrison Commander.
If you are interested, some ideas I noted during the previous days in a Theorycrafted Ping Mage deck actually ended up being a comprehensive approach of how an inspire deck would fare in our metagame, for how much speculative all of that is.
Long story short : There are a lot of flashy combos out there and I'm sure you've seen or imagined those already. For me also, they felt unreliable and costly at first. As I stated above, Naxxramas, GvG and BRM made us tend to think that combos over several turns aren't doable since most of the cards were designed for minion trading. Since TGT cards are designed for stickiness over several turns they don't look good if you are willing to play them with hero power. Instead you want to play them on curve to hero power the next turn. Counting on that stickiness to stack several inspire cards is where it gets very card efficient. Due to their mana cost, a lot of those cards seems to suit well an efficient and virtually threatening mid-game transition for control decks. In the end, I don't think we can expect every class to have a consistent Inspire deck, but mech and dragon (Malylock is fine I guess) isn't good on every class either.
Only time will tell if I'm being the devil's advocate. :)