By Spike, Regular Contributor
There’s a card in Battlegrounds that warps the game. A card that gets its value through doing absolutely nothing. A card that you’ll never really see as flashy, or overpowered, but game warping nonetheless. No, it isn’t Brann, or Monstrous Macaw, or Soul Juggler. It’s Freedealing Gambler.
First, a quick look at the card itself. Freedealing Gambler is a Tier 2 3/3 Pirate, with the text “This minion sells for 3 Gold.” Seems fairly harmless, right? Well, it isn’t.
Freedealing Gambler has no downsides apart from taking up a board slot. Want to save 3 Gold for another turn? Freedealing Gambler. If Trade Prince Gallywix were back in the meta, he’d be ashamed.
Running a Pirate comp and want a free buff to your Salty Looter? Freedealing Gambler. Just need a minion that you won’t feel bad about selling later? Freedealing Gambler. For context, that’s something like having 3 Gold left, empty board space, and not wanting any of the minions offered… but Freedealing Gambler is there. She also adds +1/+1 to Southsea Strongarm for free.
Plus, throw in a Cap’n Hoggar and she becomes free Gold.
If it ended there, Freedealing Gambler would be a decent card- but it doesn’t. Looking at Hero Powers, there are several she benefits.
First of all, Dancin’ Deryl and Kael’Thas Sunstrider. Deryl’s Hero Power reads “Passive Hero Power: After you sell a minion, randomly give a minion in Bob’s Tavern +1/+1 twice.”, and Kael’Thas gives every third minion you buy a 2/2 buff. Freedealing Gambler activates Deryl’s HP for free- so a free pair of buffs to minions in Bob’s Tavern. She also ticks off one notch on Kael’Thas, so you knock one of the minions that don’t get buffed off for free. Both very strong, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Maiev Shadowsong, Arch-Villain Rafaam, Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End, Millhouse Manastorm, and theoretically (though you normally wouldn’t) Elise Starseeker and Reno Jackson can all get free Gold off of Freedealing Gambler. Elise would Discover her, and Reno would Golden it for a gain of one Gold, but practically, you’d do neither, so that’s mostly irrelevant.
Arch-Villain Rafaam usually won’t get Freedealing Gambler from his Hero Power. For one thing, you don’t normally keep her in your comp, and for another, common anti-Rafaam counterplay is to put a fairly low-value minion in the front of your comp.
But Maiev, Yogg-Saron, and Millhouse can and will get free Gold out of her. Yogg has to get lucky, true. Maiev has to wait 2 turns, but it’s still a 2 Gold gain. Millhouse… well, in the early and mid-game with Millhouse, if I have an empty board slot, I almost always buy Freedealing Gambler for 2 Gold, because you can immediately sell her for a 1 Gold profit. For these Heroes, she is literally free Gold.
While those are the main offenders, there are still a few Heroes that can take advantage of Freedealing Gambler. This is only meant to be a short, rambling piece, much like Spike’s Chalk Talks, so it won’t be pretty, but…
-Edwin Vancleef can buy her then immediately sell her, resulting in +1/+1 being added to that turn’s buff for free.
-She knocks 1 Gold off the cost of Patches the Pirate’s Hero Power for free, and can be profitable if you get her from a 1 or 2 Gold Hero Power.
-For menagerie using Heroes, like The Rat King or Queen Wagtoggle, you can buy, buff, and sell her with little or no remorse.
Overall, Freedealing Gambler is just a really good Battlegrounds card that fills the interesting niche of “not a big deal if I don’t have a use for it, I will later”. She’s not completely overpowered, but she does break the game in interesting ways.
Until next time, feel free to check out some of our other Battlegrounds articles (https://amiibodoctor.com/2020/07/18/how-to-play-king-mukla-in-hearthstone-battlegrounds, https://amiibodoctor.com/2020/07/17/how-to-play-patches-the-pirate-in-hs-battlegrounds/ ), and remember-
Never Stop Playing. -Spike