League of Explorers – Top 5 Picks

BY Andrew Miesner / November 11, 2015

by Jordan “TheJordude” Hong Tai

During Blizzcon, Blizzard that the newest Hearthstone expansion “The League of Explorers” will begin releasing on November 12th. This expansion is aslightly different than the previous expansions as there will be more cards (45 over the usual 30) released as well as some of the challenges being puzzle based instead of just battling AI’s.

As a competitive player, I tend to just go through the expansions, get the cards and build new decks to try on the ladder. This article provides my top 5 picks of the new cards from The League of Explorers and my reasons for selecting them. Remember that these are my personal picks based on stats/effects and how I think they will perform and fit into current or new decks. You may agree, disagree, or like some cards better than others but here are my thoughts. I also want to note that my 4-2 picks are very similar and that my number one pick will trump them all.

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5. Eerie Statue

  • Type: Minion
  • Rarity: Rare

I think this is a very interesting card that can see potential in certain decks. I look at this card as being the big brother of Ancient Watcher. The effect is very similar as it is likely that there will be another minion on the board that blocks Eerie Statue from attacking. However, this minion will be threatening as a potential slap in the face if the board clears up and it activates. Like Ancient Watcher, this deck can find work in a deck like Handlock, where you can give it taunt to force your opponent to go through it, as well as being a strong target for Ironbeak Owl or Shadowflame. I also think this card can help push the Watcher Druid archetype, a deck that synergizes powerful minions with drawback effects by utilizing taunt givers or silences like Wailing Souls. Yes, this card can be sniped by Big Game Hunter, but that’s fine when your deck is filled with other 8/8’s, Dr. Boom, etc.


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4. Dart Trap

  • Type: Ability
  • Rarity: Common

Between Dart Trap and Sacred Trial, I’m going to have to give the edge to Dart Trap as Sacred Trial can be identified and played around for the entire game. Hero powering is a core part of Hearthstone. It is likely that your opponent will need to use their hero power to try and leverage the board in their favor, and when they do, 5 damage somewhere on their board/face! A reason why I didn’t like Bear Trap from The Grand Tournament was that it didn’t make a strong instant impact on the board in the way that Freezing Trap or Explosive Trap does. Dart Trap is similar to Freezing and Explosive Trap as it can have a strong impact on the board and gain the Hunter a lot of tempo. This is more relevant when you are playing against tempo/midrange decks where the 5 damage can hit relatively strong minions. The other side is that it can do a lot of damage to the face, which is Hunter’s specialty and will gladly take more burn. The trade-off of the powerful effect is that the damage is dealt randomly, so it can be inconsistent when it hits the wrong target.


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3. Tomb Pillager

  • Type: Minion
  • Rarity: Common

Tomb Pillager doesn’t look super exciting at first, but I think this card can have a lot of potential. With this new expansion it looks like Rogue can build a more minion based deck rather than the standard Oil Rogue, which focuses on using combos with spells. The 4 slot for Rogue is very competitive which is the main thing holding Tomb Pillager down, however let’s see the benefits of this card. A 5/4 body for 4 is a fair stat. A lot of people like the 4/5 body more as it trades better in the early game, however the 5/4 body can trade up such as Sludge Belchers, Loatheb, Emperor Thaurissan, etc. The coin is very powerful for the Rogue class. The obvious point is that it allows you to get ahead of your opponent on the board by accessing more mana before they do. This can be very significant as you gain the initiative, and you always want to be playing Dr. Boom before your opponent does. Other than that, the coin is also very useful for activating combos. Sometimes Rogue can have a clunky hand where they don’t have an easy way to start a combo, the coin helps with this. I think Tomb Pillager is the fix to Cut Purse. Cut Purse would be great as a 2/3 as the effect of gaining a coin is nice, but since it is a 2/2 body it doesn’t see play well, as it is very vulnerable.


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2. Desert Camel

  • Type: Minion
  • Rarity: Common

Like Tomb Pillager, Desert Camel is a new card that is challenging a very competitive mana slot in our current decks. For Hunter, they have Animal Companions and Eaglehorn Bow on Turn 3. However Desert Camel is another solid option to fill the 3 curve as it seems to be the most consistent play while developing a board. It is also a strong beast body in the turn before Houndmaster. The battlecry is also very powerful if your opponent is playing a midrange or control deck as they will likely not have a 1 cost minion in their deck. When this is the case, you gain a huge advantage by not only developing a strong 2/4 body and getting a free 1 cost minion to your field, but you also thin out your deck so that you don’t have to draw into that 1 drop in the later parts of the game. This is similar to how Mad Scientist is overpowered. The free value of pulling a card onto the field while thinning out your deck and making your future draws more reliable is just amazing for Hunter players. The reason why this isn’t my number 1 pick from the set is that ladder consists of a lot of aggro decks, so there is a good chance your opponent will have a free 1 drop as well which can be annoying to deal with. Hungry Dragon does not see as much play for this very reason.


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1. Unearthed Raptor

  • Type: Minion
  • Rarity: Rare

This card is my favorite of the set, and in my opinion, by far the best card in the adventure – exactly what Rogue needed in this meta. With the exception of SI: 7 Agent, which could not be played on turn 3 effectively anyway, Rogue was missing a strong 3 drop. Unearthed Raptor has the stats of Spider Tank, an already powerful body, as well as an amazing battlecry that pulls a lot of value when activated. The Deathrattle it copies is not even that important, as long as it copies a Deathrattle from your board you are getting so much from your 3 mana investment. Some can argue that it might be hard to pull off the Battlecry on curve, however this card will probably suit a more minion based midrange/tempo Rogue deck rather than the oil Rogue archetype. In this case your best target for a turn 3 Unearthed Raptor could possibly be Haunted Creeper, Loot Hoarder, or even Nerubian Egg. Other great Deathrattles to take later into the game are of course Piloted Shredder, Sludge Belcher, and Sylvanas Windrunner. Unearthed Raptor takes my excitement similar to how I saw Baron Rivendare. Being able to double up a Deathrattle is very powerful for leveraging your advantage in the game.


So those are my top 5 picks, I am excited for this new expansion and am looking forward to how the meta changes with the release of these new cards as well how players innovate new decks with them!

About the Author

My name is Jordan “TheJordude” Hong Tai, and I am a professional Hearthstone player currently playing for compLexity Gaming. I am a multi legend player that has only missed legend for a couple of seasons. I have peaked at rank 3 legend in NA, but the highest ending season position I’ve finished at has been around 120. I enjoy refining and testing out new decks and playing a lot of ladder. I also enjoy making content through Hearthstone/Esporting websites such as deck guides, reviews, etc. You can find me through these social media outlets: