It’s time to reveal the last few cards that highlight the best of what Hearthstone has to offer.
We’re back one more time for the final installment of our list of the greatest cards Hearthstone has to offer. You should know the score by now, but I’ll say it once more: “greatest” doesn’t always mean “most powerful”. The cards here have been selected because they add something unique or fun to the game. If you don’t see your favorite card here, leave a comment and tell us more. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Set: League of Explorers
Hearthstone is a game where your main focus is either killing your opponent or stopping your opponent from killing you. That playstyle can get a little boring for some, so it’s nice to have the option of going on a little quest of your own. Elise’s effect shuffles a map into your deck. When you draw and play that map, you shuffle the Golden Monkey into your deck. When you draw that, you get a 6/6 minion with Taunt that changes every card in your hand and deck into random legendary minions. What a quest that is!
Elise is primarily a card that was used in control vs control games. Elise was good in these games because she adds cards to your deck, which is great when it comes to fatigue. More importantly, though, at some point, both decks are going to have nothing but answers left. That leads to a lot of turns just using your hero power and passing, with nothing on the board. Elise changes those dead cards into potential threats. Sadly, control decks these days are a little bit more streamlined. There’s not much room for the randomness that Elise involves. Elise is still a fun card, however, and she’s always there as a last-ditch attempt to salvage the game.
Set: One Night in Karazan
While it may sound strange now, it wasn’t that long ago that Priest was in a bad spot. Really bad. In fact, it was considered the worst class in the game by many. Things were so bad that many pros struggled to reach legend rank with the class. While Priest’s rise from the dumpster to having several viable archetypes was a gradual one, an important step in that rise was the introduction of Priest of the Feast. The gave Priests the burst healing they needed to actually have a viable game plan that didn’t end with Anduin’s hero portrait exploding at the end. In fact, the feeling of satisfaction you get when healing out of lethal range with this is tough to beat.
Priest of the Feast isn’t the most powerful card in the game. It isn’t even in the Top 10. It makes its way onto this list because it managed to breathe a little bit of life into a class that had fallen on hard times. Although, even with Raza Priest gone, many of us are wishing it was sent back to the hell it came from.
Set: Mean Streets of Gadgetzan
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is an expansion that receives a lot of criticism. It’s no wonder, though, when it introduced both Patches and the Jade mechanic. It wasn’t without its high points, though, and Dirty Rat was most certainly one of them. This card gave the game something it never really had before, which is the ability to interact with your opponent’s hand. Pulling out, for example, your Quest Mage opponent’s Archmage Antonidas after they play a Doomsayer is a game-winning play. For slow control decks, that match-up was pretty much unwinnable without the Dirty Rat to save the day.
This was the first card introduced that directly affected combo decks in a meaningful way. It gives you the chance to prevent the inevitability of your opponent’s win condition, while also being a strong card against aggro decks as simply a 2 mana 2/6 with taunt. It’s strength also comes with great risk, as pulling out one of your opponent’s cards isn’t always going to get you a 1-drop or game-winning battlecry minion. Sometimes you pull out a Mountain Giant or Ysera and pretty much lose the game on the spot. It’s a high-risk card with the potential for great reward. It will be sad to see this card rotate out of the Standard format for certain, but for now, he’s giving control decks a bit of hope against those unwinnable match-ups.
Our final entry is a bit of a sad one. With the recent announcement that our good friend Coldlight Oracle is being inducted into the Hall of Fame. This means that the card will no longer be playable in Standard and is only available in Wild mode. While that is by no means a death sentence for the card, it does mean the format will lose two of its most unique decks in Dead Man’s Hand Warrior and Kingsbane Rogue. Still, Blizzard surely has something up its sleeve to fill the void.
Coldlight Oracle is a card that involves a high risk. It can be used to punish control decks who keep their hand size dangerously close to the limit. You can overdraw them cards, potentially robbing them of their win condition. Unless you’re playing against an aggro deck. Then you probably gave them an extra two ways to kill you. This is another situation where the card’s powerful effect also comes with a huge downside. It’s these kinds of high-risk/high-reward cards that add a new layer of excitement to the game. It’ll be a shame to see this guy leave Standard, but I’m sure Wild decks will be using him for years to come.
There we have it, we’ve finally reached the conclusion of the greatest Hearthstone cards released so far. We filtered through all the dragons, murlocs, spells and quests to pick out the cream of the crop. That doesn’t mean the game won’t top these, though. Here’s hoping the next expansion offers even more cards that will keep the game fresh and fun. Just please don’t add any more Pirates, Blizzard.