The top 10 most iconic Hearthstone cards to date
Throughout the history of Hearthstone some cards have become legend. Whether you loved them or hated them, these ones have had the biggest lasting effect on Blizzard’s CCG.
As of The Witchwood, Hearthstone now features more than 1,500 cards for players to collect. In that time we’ve seen so many different minions and spells, plus a few more outlandish ideas thrown in there too. But which ones have really stuck with us over the years? Which cards best define the theme and style of the game?
Whether they let us live out the fantasy of playing within the Warcraft universe, create some of the most ridiculous interactions we’ve seen in a card game or are built on mechanics that could only work on a digital tabletop, these are the most iconic cards in Hearthstone to date.
Ragnaros, the Firelord
Oh, how much we miss Rag. The towering elemental inferno represented just about everything that made Hearthstone such an exciting game during its early days. For many, he was one of the first raid bosses ever defeated in World of Warcraft and now you could use him against your opponent as a fireball flinging machine.
With the way he fits into so many deck types, a spot in the Hall of Fame was inevitable. Nevertheless, he’ll never be forgotten for the times he was able to snipe the exact minion you needed him to, or the times he would ignore a full board and deal eight damage to an opponent’s life total to win the game. At least the legacy still lives on in Warrior with Sulfuras.
Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End
Words cannot do justice to Yogg-Saron. To really understand what made the Old God such a history-making minion in the world of Hearthstone, you have to watch one of the countless highlight videos that have been posted online. Honestly, you could pick any, just like the one below, and you’d be sure to stumble on gold.
In its original form, Yogg could create some of the wildest moments you’ve ever seen in a game of Hearthstone. He would be the sole reason for seemingly impossible comebacks, for completely obliterating an opponent’s board or for cruelly kicking you while you were down. Even after a sensible nerf by Team 5, he still saw regular play and still accounted for some of the best moments we’ve seen in the game.
If Chillwind Yeti is anything to go by, you should expect to get somewhere in the region of a 4/5 minion for four mana. Not good enough, says Shaman. Flamewreathed Faceless comes in at a whopping 7/7 for just four mana and leaves opponents stuck for a response. True, you do Overload two of your mana crystals, but having a weaker follow-up turn matters not with such a powerful minion already on board.
Understandably, this ginormous minion being available at such an early stage of a match became a huge discussion point in Hearthstone. Many saw it as a very problematic card because it was so difficult to effectively answer when played on curve and so the ‘Four Mana Seven-Seven’ title became the go-to way to describe cards that were way overstatted for their cost.
Babbling Book has a place with the Hearthstone history books not for any drastic effect it had on the game in general, but for phenomenally lucky moments in competitive Hearthstone. Well, two in particular. In the same match. Just watch:
That Polymorph and Firelands Portal completely turned the game around for Pavel and he would not only go on to win the match but the whole World Championship that year. Even if random draw effects aren’t often seen in the best light in the Hearthstone community, cards such as Babbling Book show how important they’ve become to the game’s identity.
You may have played hundreds of games of Hearthstone. You may have played just one. Either way, when you see Lord Jaraxxus drop onto the board you know you’re in trouble. Given a booming intro by former Hearthstone game director Ben Brode, it’s a shout that rocks you to your core.
Like many of the cards on this list, Lord Jaraxxus is so iconic because it offers something like no other card game of its type. You became an entirely new hero and gained brand new powers that changed how you closed out a match. With the impact it had, there’s no surprise that Team 5 revisited the idea in the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion by giving each class their own Death Knight hero card.
Dr. Boom was perhaps the most contentious card in the history of Hearthstone. Calls were made on countless occasions for balance changes, but none were ever delivered. Not even as 1/1 Boom Bots were pulling off four damage miracle blasts while still leaving a giant 7/7 minion on the board. The unaffectionate nickname, Dr. Balanced, became a meme.
Now, the explosive inventor resides in the world of Wild decks only, where he still finds play to this day through sheer cost-efficiency alone. Not the meta-defining minion he once was, but one we won’t be quick to forget.
Patches the Pirate
For a while, drawing Patches the Pirate was the absolute worst feeling in Hearthstone. The scurvy-ridden murloc was supposed to sit quietly in your deck until summoned, giving you a big tempo swing when played alongside another pirate. In the hand, he was fine, but far less valuable.
He gets a spot on this list for defining an entire year of the Hearthstone competitive meta. There were the obvious places such as Pirate Warrior and Pirate Rogue, but even classes like Shaman who had no pirate synergy would still play Patches with the odd neutral pirate because it could be so impactful.
Dirty Rat stands out because it offers a unique effect in Hearthstone. We’re used to minion trading, using spells to clear threats, or discarding cards, but there hadn’t been anything that forced an opponent to play something from their hand. Combo decks were not happy.
There simply hasn’t been a card like it since which allows you to so directly disrupt an opponent’s game plan. Dirty Rat’s rotation out of Standard at the start of the year does feel like a big loss and many players have suggested bringing the card into the Classic set so it can still be used. That’s unlikely to happen, but we could see more cards that interact with an opponent’s hand in new or similar ways in the future.
Mind Control Tech
It’s the card that strikes fear into anyone thinking about playing a fourth minion onto the board. Do you risk trying to push your advantage further, or do you hold back just in case you run into Mind Control Tech and watch it coerce a minion to your opponent’s side? Also, it may say it takes a random minion on the card, but why does it always seem to be the strongest one you’re fielding?
Throughout the years it’s one neutral that keeps finding its way back into the meta. It’s the serious swing potential is offers, on top of the dread you may be playing into it at any moment.
Before it was moved to the Hall of Fame, you’d almost always consider Azure Drake if you were ever looking for a five mana drop to fill out your deck in Hearthstone. It was such a versatile minion that it could fit practically anywhere, giving you decent stats, card draw and the added bonus of some extra spell damage.
Like Ragnaros or Sylvanas, it became iconic because of its prevalence in a great number of deck types and Hearthstone hasn’t had a card quite as versatile or robust ever since.