Thunderhorn: The new Kron?


just 1 of those cards is enough to setup a massive turn with thunderhorn and it is not hard to play thunderhorn off somewhere it won’t be hit on turn 2 of the game and follow that on turn 3 with 1 or both of those. Like I said I’m salty but people saying you can just play around it obviously have removal in their hand every single time the thing hits the deck I guess because if you can’t remove it on turn 2 or the top of turn 3 depending on who went first you probably just lost the game.

I get that it isn’t the “best card” for every faction, but for those than can take full advantage of it, it leads to ridiculous early plays.


If they have to split their combo over 2 turns then you can play around it. So early in the game you won’t have more than 2 minions on board just split them up properly and even the combination of heathsister and aspect won’t wipe your entire board. I have a hard time imagining a situation where vanar drops thunderhorn and you have no way to avoid a full blowout.


How much removal do you use? I know I usually have removal for thunderhorn because I run a ton of it.


Deck dependent but my Vet deck tends to run 3 removals and use trades to clear anything else. Falcius is pseudo removal in my book but it doesn’t allow for a clear of this minion. Other archtypes will clearly have more / better options to deal with this creature and I could just jump on the Vanar band wagon and easily remove it with the cadre of spells they have access too but I’d rather not trade my enjoyment of the game for winning.

In the end I don’t think people that are happy with the card are going to magically change their opinion on it any more than I will. I was on the opposite side when it came to Kron, that card never impacted my games in the same manner and I never felt compelled to drastically alter my decks, include the card in my deck, or alter my play style to a degree greater than playing around makantor or Holy Immo would require.


I would highly recommend running more then. Like 9-12. Even doing 2-3 damage to thunderhorn is a big deal. A lot of the time, doing that damage means it’s only getting one attack in, which is so much easier to play around.


Personally, I much rather see the game grow more. Once each faction has a larger pool of cards and more archetypes to play, we may see Thunderhorn’s usefulness drop (because either decks won’t have room for it or Thunderhorn’s ability may be less frequently useful to such an extent).

If Thunderhorn needs a nerf, I’d be fine with either of these two:

  1. Increase mana cost to 5
    This allows players more time to prepare for it including having larger threats on the board which Thunderhorn may not handle as well.

  2. Make the effect trigger on attack only (not on counterattack)
    This gives players another option to remove Thunderhorn without being punished for it: attacking it. In this way, you can effectively use all available minions to attack the Thunderhorn without worrying that they will be killed preemptively from earlier strikes.


Is it me, or do problems tend to pop up every time it’s a neutral card that’s all the rage. Kron was hated as a 4/6. Blistering Skorn got hate as a 3-drop. Blue Conjurer, and for me personally, Owlbeast Sage still leave a bitter taste in people’s mouths to this day. Saberspine Tiger has also been a topic of discussion on more than one occasion.

Now we have the next neutral minion of the hour. Because it’s neutral, there’s a lot more room for abuse since you can use any faction’s card pool. We can talk all day about how Magmar has no position altering cards to abuse it (save Repulsor Beast, another neutral option), but when looking at a card, we have to acknowledge the most abusive aspects of that card, in this case, Aspect of Shim’Zar. It limits anyone playing against Vanar once the 6-mana turn comes (which can be ramped btw).

There are many cards that seemed balanced in most scenarios. Take Saberspine Seal for example. It was a 1 mana spell at one point, and was changed only because of the Baconator combo. That’s it, one combo. But because the potential was there, it had to be nerfed. Same with Thunderhorn imo, This + Aspect of Shim’Zar is too abusive. You can’t play around it because you’re at the mercy of the Battle Pet mechanic, which your opponent manipulates on their turn. Even if there is no other way to abuse this minion (there are actually plenty), the abusive combos would be enough to warrant a rework.

And of course there’s the problem with design space. Trying to introduce new Swarm styles and Battle Pets with this thing running around would be a challenge.


I’m mostly playing Lyonar on ladder and I think Thunderhorn is a great card. It’s super fun to play against and there are so many strategically sound countermeasures that I positively frolic whenever I see my opponent playing one


Does thunderhorn need a nerf? Absolutely, but this was obvious from the start. It doesn’t need a big one (though that tends to be CPG’s style, right? Or am I wrong? I legitimately don’t know) but it needs one.

Mana cost, health, slight text/effect change (the least likelyhood of happening).

I don’t really care about this card because I’m choosing to play stupid decks anyway, but I agree with your point. If they’re going to look at growing the game more, this is a card that will limit design space in it’s current form. (I think text/effect change is the only way they’d be able to circumvent the battle pet interaction/effect.)


I don’t think Thunderhorn is an especially strong card to begin with. It’s a beefy beatstick, with a combat related ability that isn’t particularly easily enabled by egregious tools like Inner Focus. Thunderhorn is less threatening to the game’s balance than about a dozen other far more inherently powerful cards that have far more than a high baseline (Saberspine Tiger, Luminous Charge, Lavaslasher, Phantasm, Frostburn, Plasma Storm, Aspect of the Ravager, Tectonic Spikes, Azure Summoning, so forth, and so on.)

What Thunderhorn DOES do, however- is give Spelljammer, and the 4 mana tech cards a worthy contender for their slots. If anything, it’s proof of concept that CPG could safely give Purgatos, Emerald Rejuvenator, Moebius, Mindwarper, White Widow, Saon, Alkyone, and Sterope better bodies. The game would benefit greatly from the average power of 4 drops rising to be proportional to the absolute power spike of 5 and 6 drops- since 4 mana is the sweet spot where most midrange/control strategies need their things to help them pivot into a stable position.


How impactful do you think that would be given the current board state though? If 4 mana drops are stronger, how much more of a necessity would it be for player 1 to secure a mana tile on the 2nd turn? How good or bad could this be?


We aren’t talking about Dioltas/Sunsteel/tech updates. But in general, it really wouldn’t change the flow of the game or the importance of the mana springs, since it’s often even just correct to deny the opponent the mana spring if you aren’t using it (I’ve punished that, but it’s an oddity to do so.)

It could even result in decks that may forego fighting over the mana springs very much at all (a’la how Keepermar and Crankyhai play;) because developing key 4-drops in strong positions takes priority over playing a 2 drop and a 3 drop in the same turn. As it is, the standard 4 drops are on the slow side of things without specific gameplans (IE, Bonding Tombstones, or Flashing Defenders.) Since the game tends to gravitate towards 2-3 mana plays and 5-6 mana plays right now- there’s more early game bullying over mana tiles that occurs (t1 Corona anyone?)


Sorry, I phrased it only partially correct. If 4 mana cards are at a strength equivalent to thunderhorn’s stat + effect, it seems like player 1 would absolutely require a p1 drop. By choosing not to place, or being unable, they will be very far behind by the end of the 2nd round. Alongside that, if player 1 placed a minion that dies on the first round (especially to the likes of a katara or jaxi verse a tiger), they’ll also fall behind. Would you say otherwise??


That’s still a rather moot issue. Because the simple answer is “not necessarily”. If 4 drops had slightly larger bodies or more potent effects- the game would still be proceeding as normal with 2 and 3 drops pushing the bulk of viable slots. In any case, the exchange of resources early in the game is a good thing, and whether or not the 4-drop is deployed on 2 with a poorly positioned 1-2 drop or on t3 after using removal, or deploying a different unit on turn 2- it still pushes the game to stabilize better. Where, currently, 4 drops are often 3/3s, and get eaten by 2 drops, or General face, and the slot finds itself in an awkward purgatory of only belonging to beatsticks, tech cards, and the most obscenely strong faction 4 drops (Allomancer, Four Winds and Suntide Maiden are all 4-drops that have fallen off because of how awkward it is to play something between 3 and 5, because of how much stronger the 5 mana spike is, and how much more efficient the 3 drops are, especially when they are backed up with a 3-drop onto a spring, into a 2 drop, developing 2 cards in the same turn- which is generally stronger even than most 6 mana minions individually.)


Saberspine seal was changed towards the end of october’s Reva reign not because of the combo (to my knowledge) in reality it was a cheap spell that could possibly lead to five too face.l


They dont do big Nerf’s as they generally twerk mana cost then buff a stat, or they change a number which generally isn’t too much rip taygete, or they rework it.


I agree. I’m looking at the 4 drops to see which ones I’d want to play on curve. There aren’t many, especially outside of magmar. Lyonar ha war judicator. Songhai and vet don’t have anything. abyssian has juggernaut, deepfire devourer, and desolator, and even those I wouldn’t want to play on curve every game. Magmar has drogon, grimrock, and omniseer. vanar has nothing. Neutral has a bunch of cards that only work in certain decks or situations (arrow whistler, blistering skorn, owlbeast sage) and thunderhorn.

There’s currently a real lack of 4 drops you can always play on curve, and I think that’s why thunderhorn appears strong. It fills that niche that had been previously been awkwardly filled by playing 2 2 drops or a 2 and a 3.


Overall, I like the card a lot. It rewards positioning more than possible any card printed so far. Furthermore, it reminds me of Thunder surge, by favourite card from Scrolls (rip Scrolls). However, the fact that it is a neutral that is really easy to fit into any deck bothers me a little. Sure, it is not as oppressive as Kron, but it’s existence all but deletes battlepets from the game, and those were the entire theme of an expansion!

What I would do to rework Thunderhorn is make it belong to a single faction (preferably not Vanar) so that an entire type of card is not disgustingly countered by an overall decent neutral.


I haven’t played too much Duekyst lately since Summer Classes have taken most of my time this summer. But from the game I’ve played I can tell that Thunderhorn is definitely not on Kron’s level. Back in Shim’Zar when Kron was released, the choice whether to include Kron was pretty much whether or not you were playing Aggro. Kron was such a power play that any deck that could run would it, even forgoeing faction cards at the time like Nimbus and Ironcliff. If you weren’t playing Aggro Songhai, you ran three Krons.

Thunderhorn is a strong card. But it’s not a card you put three of in your deck just because you can. It’s more akin, like Kingw mentions, to Sunsteel Defender and Dioltas. It’s a strong neutral options but the end all be all.


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