Midrange Hunter decks work as long as you stay true to curve. This one is no different. Good job.
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Jun 5, 2016Posted in: Gruul
Just unpacked him and went here to figure out the same thing. I'd dust him, here is my reasoning:
Gruul doesn't do anything when he hits the board, so he's basically a more expensive War Golem... and we know how often that card is used in competitive decks (it's not). Expensive cards like this have to have utterly insane stats or impact the board as soon they're played to be useful. Take a look at The Boogeymonster for another big, expensive, and utterly useless card (it doesn't help that BM has to attack and kill minions to grow, so it's somehow more unplayable than this card).
So, yeah, all that being said, this card is far too slow to see any real play. It probably won't spend more than a turn or two on the board, meaning you'll get 9, maybe 20 damage out of him once or twice. That does sound like a lot in theory, but it will get removed/silenced in competitive games before it gets out of control most of the time.
For 8 mana, you're definitely better playing cards that can immediately impact the board state (Ragnaros the Firelord, Tirion Fordring, Ragnaros, Lightlord, Grommash Hellscream, Al'Akir the Windlord). Look at other 8 mana legendaries like Anomalus, Rhonin, or Chromaggus; even though their effects can be relatively powerful, they rarely see competitive play since they either have no immediate impact, can be silenced, or just have poor stat distribution. And those cards are still arguably better than Gruul (except for the Boogeymonster); late game cards are not about stats, they're about immediate effects.
If you don't have those legendaries/have to play a big card, I would argue that Doomcaller (especially for C'Thun decks), Fossilized Devilsaur, or even Eldrich Horror are better, as they all give more resilient bodies immediately. While the stats on those cards are kind of "meh," they're easier to build a deck around/probably will stay on the board longer. Even if they don't see Constructed play, they're at least decent (not great) for Arena. Even there, the expensive cards should do something when they get on the board to be worth the cost (see: North Sea Kraken, which is actually really good in Arena, yet never sees legitimate Constructed play).
After considering all of this, I'd say that Gruul is pretty bad. Like, slightly better than the Boogeymonster bad. I'd maybe pick him if I was offered him in Arena (there's less silence/removal, more about big stats), but that's really it. There's always gonna be Aggressive decks in Constructed, and Gruul doesn't really fit in any competitive archetype (maybe Astral Communion Druid--but even that deck is really inconsistent/gimmicky).
The game would have to slow down considerably for him to be playable, and even then, there are better options at the 8-mana slot, and below: LordBrontes offers some good insight into the card and mentions below how Edwin VanCleef, a 3 mana card, is much better since he can give a bigger body straight up and allows you to impact the board immediately with other minions/spells.
So yeah, I'd advise dusting Gruul if you want to craft anything else; this is just a straight up bad card, let alone Legendary card.
Feb 20, 2016Posted in: Gruul
Sylvanus is OP not because of her statline but because of the situation she creates on the board. You opponent has to trade everyting into her or at least play inefficiently in order to remove her without risking her stealing one of his bigger minions. So it's ridiculous to compare the two, they function entirely differently.
Second, if you have to use other cards to ensure value out of Gruul, he's already become not worth it. Using stealth on him just so that he can live a turn to get in a smack at your opponents face is relying too heavily on cards that you might not have drawn at that stage in the game. Also, after he hits face so what? He'll just get hit by Execute or Shadow Word: Death or Polymorph or Hex or Sap or just a BGH the next turn. All you did was waste 2 cards to get 8 face damage which could have been achieved by taking a much simpler route with more streamlined cards.
The problem with Gruul is that he's just too slow. He hits hard, he's an amazing beatstick, no-one is denying that his statline isn't good. The problem is that he's too easily dealt with and provides no immediate value. Archmage Antonidas can generate 1-3 Fireballs on the turn you play him and more on the following which can amount to game-winning damage. Even if he gets immediately removed you still have the damage he generated in hand. Same with Alexstrasza. Even if she is removed she at least set your opponent to 15 life (dealing a hypothetical 15 damage as battlecry) or healed you to 15 life (healing for a potential of 14 life). These are all immediate effects you can benefit from. Gruul is only a beatstick, one that is outclassed by the infamous Dr. Boom who is cheaper to play and has a better body. And even Boom has more lasting of a board effect after his removal, with his Boom Bots that can swing the board state with their deathrattles.
Typically, dropping 8 mana on a big minion that gets removed the following turn by your opponent for 1-3 mana, leaving them with a free turn to develop their board, is such a huge loss in tempo that it's impossible for you to reclaim the board state and you often end up losing the game. At least in the case of Boom, he's 1 mana cheaper and leaves behind his bots that can trade into the board and deal with the enemy minions. Gruul if he's dealt with sets you a whole turn behind your opponent. If he isn't dealth with, then Dr. Boom dropped a turn earlier would have achieved the same objective and dealt an extra 10 damage (14 damage + 4 damage over 2 turns as opposed to 8 damage over one)
He's not a bad card inherently, it's just that the design space of Hearthstone is controlled by the removal spells that too easily nullify any value Gruul can produce unless you opponent just doesn't have them. In which case, you can win more easily with different big legendaries that have less risks associated with them.
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