HearthCraft Key Cards: epic and legendary neutral cards

GuideGuide

This article is a part of the HearthCraft series of articles, where I discuss about the cards that should be crafted first in Hearthstone, when playing on a budget. And we’re all playing on a budget.

Dust

If you want to read the rest of the articles, here is the full list:

So, let’s get to business and discuss about the key epic and legendary neutral cards, cards you should craft first when you’re thinking about crafting epic and legendary neutral cards.

Epic neutral cards

Big Game Hunter

Big Game Hunter

The bane of every “big” card in the game. If you’re “taller” than 6 attack, you’re in his sights.

Big Game Hunter (BGH) is one of the most popular tech cards in the game and probably the only epic card that could be considered a “must-have”.

As the opponents get stronger and stronger and the card quality goes up, Big Game Hunter becomes a common sight.

For the lowly cost of 3 mana, you get a 4/2 minion with a battlecry that instantly destroys a minion with 7 attack. Since minions with 7 attack cost at least 4 mana, the battlecry alone covers the 3 mana paid for BGH. The minion body left behind can then trade with another minion on the board or absorb a hateful nuke used by your opponent after he sees that his big threat has been removed.


Honorable mentions

Card name Why is it a good card?
Recombobulator A common card in fun decks, he can “heal” damaged minions or invoke the RGN gods for even better results.
Doomsayer Anti-aggro card, a very powerful AOE for a low cost. If he survives :smile:
Blood Knight Tech card, used when divine shields are very, very common.
Twilight Guardian Anti-aggro card. Also a dragon, popular in dragon decks.
Enhance-o-Mechano Powerful buff if you have a decent board.
Fel Reaver Aggro deck finisher card that is quite hard to remove.
Faceless Manipulator Another common card in fun decks, also used in combo decks.
Piloted Sky Golem Powerful mech and 6 drop in general.
Sea Giant Finisher for decks which flood the board.
Mountain Giant Powerful minion for decks which tend to have a big hand (Handlock).
Molten Giant Powerful minion for decks which can survive at low HP (Handlock, Echo Mage).
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Legendary neutral cards

Doctor Boom

Dr. Boom

The first 7 mana card in the game to be considered truly good, Dr. Boom is seen as overpowered by many.

For 7 mana he provides a 7/7 body with 2 minuscule Boom Boots besides him. Each Boom Bot is a 1/1 minion that does 1-4 damage once it is killed. That deathrattle is a very powerful effect as in the best case scenario the Boom Bots can kill a 10 HP minion or 2x 5 HP minions. On average they’re still strong, as the average damage that they do is 7.

The main minion is nothing to scoff at, as he can trade with the vast majority of minions under 9 mana.

Dr. Boom is incredibly popular and can be seen in almost any kind of deck, going from aggro to midrange/tempo to control.


Sylvanas Windrunner

Sylvanas Windrunner

Sylvanas is one of the most powerful 6 mana cards in the game. Besides her 5/5 body she comes with a very powerful deathrattle, as she will steal a random enemy minion when she dies.

When she is on the board she can trade with small minions or prevent the enemy from playing his big minion, as suiciding Sylvanas will steal it. Frequently the opposing player will have to make awkward trades to remove her or going for a 33%-50% chance that Sylvanas will steal a powerful minion, in the absence of a silence effect (Ironbeak Owl) or a transform one (Hex).

Sylvanas is used successfully in many midrange and control decks.


Ragnaros

Ragnaros the Firelord

Ragnaros, the Firelord is one of the oldest legendaries in the game that is still seen in many decks and across many meta changes.

For 8 mana you get a “turret”: a 8/8 minion that cannot attack but that does 8 damage to a random target at the end of your round. Ragnaros puts your opponent on a timer as 4 attacks from Ragnaros will kill the opponent even if he is at 30 HP.

Opponents will prioritize killing Ragnaros or, if they cannot do that, they will try to fill the board with small minions hoping that the random attack targets them.

Ragnaros is used as a finisher for midrange/tempo decks or as a powerful minion for control decks.


Ysera

Ysera

Ysera is the veteran “control dragon”. She has a solid 4/12 body which is quite hard to kill unless you have direct removal when she is played. If not answered she starts creating special cards called “Dream Cards”. These cards range from decent (3 mana untargetable 3/5, 4 mana dragon 7/6) to strong (0 mana return minion to owner’s hand, 0 mana give minion 5/5 then destroy it next turn) to almost overpowered (2 mana deal 5 damage to all characters except Ysera).

Against aggro decks and midrange decks the body can trade at least 2-to-1, while the dream cards can at minimum provide additional bodies to throw on the table and at best can provide additional reach for a surprise lethal while racing. Aggro decks are less affected by Ysera as by turn 9, when she is usually played, they are close to killing the enemy and Ysera doesn’t have an immediate effect on the board or on either player’s HP.

Besides the advantages mentioned against aggro and midrange decks, against control decks the body usually trades at least 1-to-1 while the dream cards provide another stream of cards allowing the Ysera player to avoid drawing and going into fatigue first.

Overall, a very solid card in slower metas and a staple of the dragon “tribe”.


Justicar Trueheart

Justicar Trueheart

For 6 mana, Justicar Trueheart provides an instant effect which can be very strong. It buffs hero powers for all classes and for some classes the effect is very powerful:

Justicar Trueheart is great at providing extra value during long, drawn out control games or at keeping your hero alive during the onslaught from an aggro deck.

Probably the best legendary to come out of The Great Tournament (TGT) expansion.

Harrison Jones


Harrison Jones

Harrison Jones is a bit of an odd-ball on the “must have” list. He’s not the staple of any deck. With his 5/4 stats and his quirky battlecry, he can’t really be. He is however one of the most common “tech cards”. Any time classes with weapons flood the metagame, Harrison is bound to show up. Together with his smaller brother, Acidic Swamp Ooze. Or, for the more desperate amongst us, Bloodsail Corsair.

There are 5 classes which can have weapons:

  • Rogue
  • Warrior
  • Hunter
  • Paladin
  • Shaman

It’s a good bet that any time in Hearthstone’s history at least one of those classes was popular of very popular. As a result, Harrison is a common sight in decks. Even if he’s not “must have” in the sense that you can’t build your deck without him, you will want to have him in those moments of need.

Against aggro and midrange decks Harrison is used either as a vanilla 5 mana 5/4 (quite underwhelming) or as a weapon removal in a crucial moment in the game (for example against a Hunter with a Eaglehorn Bow and a trap in play). If the midrange deck is slower he might even be used for the second part of his battlecry, card drawing.

Against control Harrison is used in the same way, but with less emphasis on playing him without benefiting from his battlecry, and a lot more emphasis on drawing several cards when possible.


Alexstrasza

Alexstrasza

Alexstrasza is another veteran from the dragon “tribe”. She can be seen in control and combo decks. Depending on the situation Alexstrasza is either used to do up to 15 damage to the enemy’s face (maybe allowing lethal next turn) or to heal for up to 15 damage. On top of the instant effect she brings a 8/8 body which trades well with most enemy minions or forces the usage of direct removal. Even if the enemy uses removal on the body, the effect has already taken place, and it is a very powerful effect in many circumstances.

Especially for new players Alexstrasza provides one of the best examples of “good card”: instant, powerful effect on the game.


Honorable mentions

Card name Why is it a good card?
Bloodmage Thalnos Card draw and spell damage packed together, both appreciated by tempo or spell combo decks.
Malygos Dragon, hard to kill body (4/12), extremely powerful effect (+5 spell damage means that with 2-3 spells you can kill your enemy from full HP).
Baron Geddon Powerful, constant AOE on top of a hard hitting minion.
Chillmaw Dragon, beefy taunt with powerful AOE on death.
Sneed’s Old Shredder Mech, very slow card but the deathrattle is very powerful in control matchups.
The Black Knight Also called the “taunt-buster”. Great when taunts are very common.
Leeroy Jenkins Staple of aggro decks when used to cost 4 mana, he is still seen in aggro decks, as a finisher.
Gormok the Impaler Decent in decks that can flood the board constantly.
Nexus Champion Saraad Used for providing extra value in control decks.
King Mukla Beast, overstatted body, Seen sometimes in aggro decks.
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