Season 2 is finally here, and with it, the Chimaera! The five-cost flier rounds out the Beast family, which had been restricted to four or less gold minis prior. This gives a heavy-hitting option for Beast army slots, instead of the small-and-swarmy flavour that most other Beast minis bring.

The Chimaera has moderate bulk for a non-melee mini, coming in at 450 health at level 1. This is comparable to a Frostwolf Shaman (480) and a little bit bigger than the Drake at 4g with 340 health or the Huntress at 5g with 400. The Chimaera swings slowly, the left head taking three seconds per hit for a chain lightning attack (similar to Murk-eye, and the right lobbing balls of poison every 2 seconds. Fun fact - the poison head targets the highest health mini around, and the lightning head targets the lowest health mini it can see. It moves at the same speed as the Gryphon - faster than the Drake but slower than Harpies.

The combined heads come in at 75 dps but the additional two stacks of poison from the right head add another 16dps on top of that, bringing the total to 91. This is a little bit lower than similar minis but comparable to Ogre Mage or Huntress. What makes Chimaera really stand out as a flying mini is the range. Chimaera has a range of 7, which is much longer than any other baseline flying mini (Gryphon surpasses it at 8 when talented). This means that Chimaera is capable of beating all other flying minis as the king of the skies)

A range of 7 is even a bit longer than some ranged minis, like the Murloc Tidehunters or Old Murk-eye. This might let Rend armies flip the script on the finned foe, as the Chimaera can cleave its way through Murloc pushes - something a flying army normally struggles against. Against other ranged minis, the difference in range is close enough to make trading cleanly against the Chimaera a tricky proposition.

However, once again, Safe Pilot can snipe it down. Even with the Leviathan talent at the maximum of 3 stacks (adding 30% increased health to a total of 585), an ambushing Safe Pilot kills it without taking any damage in return. This makes me sceptical about the talent. The mini is expensive enough that it asks a lot to deploy it 4 times, and if it does not gain any significant trading ability, it may be better to go with one of the other two. An exception might be in armies that feature healing from either Tirion or Frostwolf Shaman.

The other two talents are Corrosive Breath and Frost Shock. Corrosive Breath doubles the poison dealt by the right head, going from 2 stacks per blob to 4, or an extra 80 damage. This means with a single attack from the Chimaera it takes down a Drake. Frost Shock, on the other hand (or head), adds a frost effect to the lightning attack coming from the left head. As we've seen from Baron Rivendare's Chill of the Grave talent, that's a fairly potent effect.

At the moment, it's a little hard to say which is the best choice. For now, I'd lean towards Corrosive Breath, then Frost Shock, then Leviathan. This is mostly because I expect this order to be the most versatile between PvE and PvP, and I expect Chimaera to be more powerful in clearing dungeons and raids than on the PvP Battlefield.

In particular, Chimaera looks like an excellent investment for Onyxia. It can clear the Whelp Eggs that spawn periodically on either side of the map, as well as many of the minis that form part of Onyxia's army, like Grunts, Drakes, Gryphon Riders, and Spiderlings. Since Chimaera fits in nicely with Rend's passive ability, and Rend is already a good Onyxia-clearing leader, I think Chimaera will find a very natural home as a Blackrock Dragonslayer.

Another possibility is with Charlga. Charlga innately has Beast slots to fill, but also the Spirit Passage talent requires a 5g mini to activate. Perhaps an army with Chimaera and a Stealthed +1 level Gargoyle might find its way in PvP? Crouching Chimaera - Hidden Gargoyle.

Overall, Chimaera seems a solid addition in PvE in competition with Drake or Huntress. Whether or not in can make an impact in PvP is yet to be seen, carrying a worrying weakness to Safe Pilot for a 5g flier, but the ability to dominate the air shouldn't be written off.