Deep Dive Into Skulking Geist

Skulking Geist
One of the most interesting parts of the Knights Of The Frozen Throne card set is the number of new tech cards like Nerubian Unraveler, Doomed Apprentice, and Mindbreaker that have been included in the set. Today we are going to take a look at the tech card I am most excited about, Skulking Geist.

The analysis is based on 276,752 instances of the card being played in ranked standard between August 10th, 2017 and August 14th, 2017.

Impact By Opponent Class

The table below shows the base win rate verse each of the nine opponent classes, how that win rate is affected when Skulking Geist is included in the player's deck, and how that win rate is affected when the card is actually played in the game. The final column shows on average how many cards Skulking Geist destroys when it's played.

Opponent Class Base Winrate In-Deck Winrate (vs. Delta) Played Winrate (vs. Delta) Avg. Cards Destroyed
Druid 45.92 49.22 (+3.30) 56.44 (+10.52) 3.34
Hunter 51.37 46.40 (-4.97) 55.40 (+4.03) 1.47
Mage 53.29 50.64 (-2.65) 50.76 (-2.52) 0.87
Paladin 47.16 47.79 (+0.63) 52.93 (+5.77) 1.09
Priest 49.70 47.08 (-2.62) 45.04 (-4.65) 2.46
Rogue 54.08 52.03 (-2.05) 56.63 (+2.55) 2.34
Shaman 48.61 49.51 (+0.90) 59.96 (+11.35) 2.21
Warlock 52.33 55.80 (+3.47) 56.99 (+4.66) 1.71
Warrior 51.70 52.75 (+1.05) 61.79 (+10.09) 1.66

The card's strength against Druid and Shaman is unsurprising since the card acts as a hard counter to both Evolve and Jade Idol. What is more surprising is how effective it is against Warrior, and how ineffective it is against Priest, where Inner Fire had become a common include in the Un'goro Meta. To understand what's happening, let's take a deeper look at what's actually getting destroyed.

Top 3 Cards Destroyed By Opponent Class

The table below shows the Top 3 cards that are getting destroyed most frequently for each class by Skulking Geist.

Opponent Class Card Destroyed Times Destroyed
Druid Jade Idol 82,620
Druid Earthen Scales 44,601
Druid Mark of the Lotus 19,271
Hunter Tracking 4,510
Hunter Play Dead 2,820
Hunter Hunter's Mark 2,482
Mage Breath of Sindragosa 2,940
Mage Mirror Image 1,853
Mage Arcane Missiles 1,118
Paladin Getaway Kodo 4,486
Paladin Smuggler's Run 3,033
Paladin Redemption 2,565
Priest Potion of Madness 103,266
Priest Power Word: Shield 17,427
Priest Pint-Size Potion 2,565
Rogue Hallucination 11,061
Rogue Cold Blood 2,753
Rogue Razorpetal 2,636
Shaman Evolve 29,117
Shaman Lightning Bolt 1,899
Shaman Earth Shock 523
Warlock Mortal Coil 63,204
Warlock Soulfire 2,838
Warlock Corruption 308
Warrior Shield Slam 14,625
Warrior Blood To Ichor 7,714
Warrior Whirlwind 7,210

We can see that Priest is explained by Inner Fire actually dropping out of the meta to a significant degree. The most commonly destroyed card is the anti-aggro Potion of Madness. I suspect Geist is often run in more control oriented decks, in which case you might be doing your opponent a favor by thinning this dead draw out of their deck. Warrior can likewise be explained once we see that Skulking Geist is removing both a key targeted removal spell in Shield Slam and a key activator in Whirlwind. The loss of either of these cards is likely to be debilitating for a Warrior deck that is running them.


Overall, Skulking Geist seems like a flexible tech card that can be used to effectively target Druids, Shamans, and Warriors. Next time you find yourself struggling against any of these classes on ladder, I hope you'll consider teching in Skulking Geist and then smile gleefully every time it stops your Jade Druid opponent dead in their tracks.