Reveal season for Titans, Hearthstone’s next upcoming expansion, is well underway, with many of the titular deities being unveiled earlier this week. We’ve seen Priest Titan Aman’Thul, the leader of the Pantheon, Warrior Titan Khaz’goroth, master of the Forge, and Druid Titan Eonar, the Life-Binder herself. But what of Sargeras, the Titan who set off down a road of good intentions and ended up leading the Burning Legion on a bloody trail of destruction? Many have speculated about how this iconic character will be portrayed in card form, but they need speculate no longer: today we can exclusively reveal his card, Sargeras, the Destroyer, from Hearthstone’s Titans expansion!
Sargeras, the Destroyer brings the power of the void to Hearthstone
Release the Demons!
Let’s get right down to it. Sargeras is a nine-mana legendary Warlock Minion with 6/12 stats and, like the rest of the new Titans, he comes with three activated abilities he can use each turn in lieu of attacking. In addition, he packs a powerful battlecry ability, which will be familiar to long-time fans of the Warlock class. In fact, the card as a whole reads a bit like a ‘Greatest Hits’ album for the class, combining effects that have defined Warlock in the past into a single powerful package.
We’ll begin with the battlecry. When played, Sargeras will open a Nether Portal, which summons two 3/2 Imps at the end of each of your turns. This effect has been seen before, as the reward for completing the original Warlock quest Lakkari Sacrifice, but it’s much, much easier to access here. Instead of discarding six cards and playing a five mana spell, you simply need to play Sargeras for nine mana.
This provides a steady stream of Minions every turn, letting you play a long game very effectively, and grind out opponents attempting slower strategies with ease. This effect alone wasn’t enough to win games alone back when it debuted, however, and it certainly isn’t in the modern Hearthstone metagame. Thankfully, it’s just a taste of what Sargeras has to offer.
Sargeras’ first activated ability is To the Void!, which sends all other Minions in play “into the Twisting Nether.” While the wording may leave a glimmer of hope that the captured minions may see the light of day again, functionally this ability works just like classic spell Twisting Nether, though instead of destroying all other Minions in play it simply removes them. This gets around deathrattle effects, and doesn’t further any infuse shenanigans your opponents may be working towards, making it a more powerful Nether for all intents and purposes. And while Twisting Nether doesn’t see a huge amount of play nowadays, Sargeras only costs one additional mana on top of that spell’s cost, and comes with a 6/12 body, an endless Imp portal, and the potential to use multiple abilities as well. This is a great ability to use the turn you play Sargeras, as it can clear out the opponent’s board and increase the chances of your Titan living to use another ability next turn.
Next up is Legion Invasion!, which grants +2 health and taunt to all future Minions summoned by Sargeras’ Twisting Nether. This includes the 3/2 Imps summoned each turn by default, as well as the Minions summoned by Sargeras’ third ability, which we’ll get to shortly. This is a long-term investment, and less impactful than Sargeras’ other abilities the turn he comes down, but in the long run summoning two 3/4 Imps with taunt each turn rather than two 3/2 Imps will make a big difference. The added taunt will also help to keep him alive, absorbing a couple of enemy attacks and making that monolithic 12 health tricky to get through.
Finally, we have Inferno!, a neat callback to Lord Jaraxxus’s hero power, albeit twice as effective. This ability summons two 6/6 Infernals, and is a great way of establishing an immediate board presence, particularly when you factor in the 3/2 Imps you’ll get at the end of turn as well. That said, it’s probably Sargeras’ weakest ability in terms of first-turn use: It doesn’t impact the enemy board like To the Void!, and it doesn’t protect Sargeras like Legion Invasion!, meaning using it the turn you play Sargeras leaves him wide open to enemy attacks. It’s also worth noting that if you use Legion Invasion! Before Inferno!, the Infernals it summons will be 6/8s with taunt rather than 6/6s, making it a much more powerful proposition later down the line. For this reason, you’ll want to reserve this ability for the second or third turn Sargeras is in play in most cases, though if you find yourself facing an open board it can be a nice way to present lethal pressure out of nowhere.
March of the Burning Legion
That’s a lot of power for one card, but will it be enough to secure Sargeras a place in the upcoming meta? Let’s take a look. Currently, the most popular Warlock decks are Implock, Abyssal Curse Warlock, and Big Warlock. While Implock has a fairly low mana curve, capping out at seven for Dar’Khan Drathir in most cases, more top-heavy versions of the deck exist. In such lists, Sargeras is an easy inclusion based on raw power alone, but doubly so since the Imps he summons every turn will contribute to the deck’s key synergies in late-game scenarios when you’ve exhausted your other Imp generators.
Abyssal Curse Warlock may be the loosest fit here, since it tends to play like an aggressive combo deck most of the time, leaving little room for a pricey, albeit powerful, card like Sargeras. That said, it’s a great one-card insurance policy in stalled-out games, and it plays nicely with Movement of Pride, which you can access via deck staple Symphony of Sins. He won’t be an auto-include in Abyssal Curse decks by any stretch, but Sargeras will certainly be worth considering for them, especially if the meta slows down in the wake of Titans’ release.
Finally, Big Warlock is an easy slam-dunk for Sargeras. As a controlling deck that plans to go long, cheating out and resurrecting powerful Minions as it goes, the Destroyer is a natural addition. Since Sargeras is a Demon, you can even summon him as early as turn five in this list, with a combination of Voidcaller, Shallow Grave, and The Coin: a play that will almost certainly win you the game in 99% of cases.
Alex Smith, set lead for Titans, had this to say about Sargeras’ long-awaited Hearthstone debut: “When designing titans for each class, we had the goal of making them powerful and flexible cards that could fit into a variety of decks for their class. We also wanted each ability to feel compelling to use first so players aren’t using the same abilities in the same order each time they play that titan.
Sargeras is a titan that broke away from the Pantheon of Order to side with the Burning Legion to purge planets before they could fall victim to the Old Gods. Sargeras brings the power of the Twisting Nether and its endless hordes of demons to Hearthstone as a powerful late-game card. Each of Sargeras’ abilities fit a different situation. If you are under pressure from your opponent, you can send their board to the void! If you need to push the offensive, unleash an Inferno of Inernals! Or to prepare yourself for a long match, you can upgrade your future demons by giving them +2 Health and Taunt.”
Overall, Sargeras, the Destroyer is an immensely powerful card, more than earning his nine-mana price tag by delivering huge amounts of value, particularly if he lives to use multiple abilities. His huge base health, and self-protection abilities in To the Void! and Legion Invasion!, make that scenario fairly likely, and he slots nicely into the existing Warlock archetypes that are viable in the current meta. Time will tell, of course, but we foresee this Titan blazing a trail of destruction across many Hearthstone games to come.