There is talk in the community about how Tirion Fordring needs to be nerfed and it got me thinking. Why? Everyone says that he is the most powerful class Legendary and is a no-brainer in any paladin deck list. Okay, I get that he is a powerful card, but I don’t think he is the most powerful at all.
Any silence mechanic turns him from a 6/6 Taunt with Divine Shield and a Deathrattle that give you a 5/3 weapon into a slightly more powerful Stranglethorn Tiger, just without the stealth. Think I am underselling Tirion? Let’s discuss.
Look at the other class Legendary cards from the Classic set. Druid has Cenarius and his effect happens the moment he is played, so even if you silence him, the effect sticks. Hunter has King Krush who hits the board with charge. Does anyone main deck him, not really, but it’s because 95% of the Hunters played are going to face and don’t want to ever see turn 9. Once he hits the board though, he smacks something in the face immediately. Mage has Archmage Antonidas and, once again, most of the time you don’t play him naked, you have at least one spell to cast with him so you generate one Fireball at least. Priest has Prophet Velen, and while I rarely see him played, his effect is active on the turn he is played and therefore usable for SOMETHING the turn he is played. Shaman has Al'Akir the Windlord who has charge and is smacking something the turn he comes into play. Actually with divine shield, he is smacking something twice, or two things once, or…well, you get what I am saying. Warlock has Lord Jaraxxus and he sets the warlock’s health to 15 and can attack something for 3 on the turn he is played. Warrior has Grommash Hellscream who has charge and with smack something the turn it comes into play, sometimes enraged and hitting for 10 or more. Do you get the theme here? You have to have a way to deal with all of these threats when they hit the board. Only Rogue, with Edwin VanCleef, and Paladin have Classic class Legendary cards that don’t immediately effect the board state and both of them are easily taken care of with a single mechanic, Silence.
Players tech Big Game Hunter in their decks to deal with Dr. Boom, I don’t see why it’s so hard to tech in an Ironbeak Owl to deal with Tirion Fordring. It doesn’t have to be a “Hoot Hoot” (shout out to my boy Espo from The Legend of the Innkeeper podcast for the nickname) if your class has a built in silence mechanic. Druid has Keeper of the Grove, Priest has a multitude of options with Silence being the cheapest at a cost of “0”, and Shaman has Earth Shock, so if you are playing those classes you have more options, but anyone can tech in the “Hoot Hoot” or Spellbreaker. I always run at least 2 silences in my decks if for no other reason than being able to run past a big taunt. With that being the case, I personally find almost any of the other class Legendaries more difficult to deal with because they get their turn to change the board state before I get a chance to react.
Silence is a very powerful mechanic that has sort of been forgotten with the power creep brought with the aggro heavy Goblins vs Gnomes. Whispers of the Old Gods will likely turn the meta on it’s head and until that time, we get to theory craft on what will be required. I believe with the pandemonium surrounding the entire C’Thun theme, silence won’t just be golden it will practically be required, just like Big Game Hunter has been in the Goblins vs Gnomes era. In conclusion, I think if you aren’t putting your faith in the light, you should definitely be finding a way to keep those who do…silent.