Hearthstone Help: Top 10 Worst Legendaries
You probably know the feeling. The rush of elation as you open a pack of cards, tap one and it erupts in an orange firework accompanied by the innkeeper shouting ‘Legendary!’, immediately followed by the crushing disappoint as it spins around to reveal… Well, one of these. Last week we brought you the 10 most valuable Legendaries in Hearthstone, as picked by the PC Gamer readers. This week, we present the least wanted Legendary additions to your deck. Once again, here to analyse your choices are legendary-ranked player Vincent Sarius (VS), with additional thoughts from our own, and slightly less legendary-ranked, Tim Clark (TC).
Before we get on with the show, one piece of advice. Even if you do land one of these ne’er do wells, don’t disenchant the card. You never know how the metagame might change. It only takes an innovative decksmith to come along and your previously-considered useless Legendary could find itself becoming flavour of the month. Plus, there’s always a chance Blizzard will tweak the really crappy ones—at which point you’ll be able to get full 1600 dust value from them. The exception here is gold versions. Snag one of those and it’s usually worth disenchanting so you can craft something you’ve had your eye on. Just not one of these…
VS: For a long time this card was regarded as one of, if not the, worst of the class-based Legendaries. It's easy to see why: He's Leeroy, but for double the cost and some additional durability. Who cares about durability, right? Answer: everyone should. Windfury and Divine Shield means Al’Akir is a bit more flexible than Leeroy—he can clear two minions or go for lethal, and he scales incredibly well with Rockbiter Weapons and Flametongue Totems. So, he's rarely a completely dead card, but he is a bit low impact unless you can combo him with something to increase his damage potential. Trivia: The original version of Al'Akir had 3/3 stats, which was indisputably awful, while a later version had 3/7 and was totally OP. Like the wind, he’s always changing.
TC: Oh man, this is harsh. I know the card has been dubbed Al’Akir the Shitlord in some quarters (well, Reddit), but I thought we were over name-calling. I’m running two Shaman decks right now, and he’s a mainstay finisher in both of them. Interestingly, Hearthstone senior designer Ben Brode says that after hearing all the smack talk about him, Blizzard checked Al’Akir’s numbers and the card actually has one of the highest win percentages of any Legendary. But yeah, he’s a little situational in so far as you really do want to have a Rockbiter Weapon or a Flametongue Totem to run with him. Or both. Maybe people just don’t like his shrieky voice. “LIKE SWATTING INSECTS!” Ugh. Just kill them quietly, Al.
VS: This is another Legendary that I positively adore. For something that has such a simple ability (there’s nothing particularly innovative about bonus spell damage), you'd be amazed at the effect Malygos can have on deckbuilding. Who doesn't like turning 1 or even 0 Mana cards into the equivalent of 5, 6, 7 Mana nukes. There's just something exceptionally hilarious in dropping Malygos and then double Innervating a Swipe into two Moonfires for a combined 25 damage to your opponent’s face. Nonetheless, Malygos really does need to be very carefully built around, and casually throwing him into a deck will likely lead to disappointment.
TC: There was a cool twist on Miracle Rogue doing the rounds, which used Malygos to deliver late-game spell brutality—the idea being that it was a bit more consistent than the Leeroy combo version—but it didn’t really seem to take off. I still think there must be some potentially amazing Mage and Druid decks too, but rarely encounter any. I guess the issue is that the card is too slow. For 9 Mana, you’re going to have to wait a turn before going all ‘Spells Gone Wild’, and in that time your opponent gets a free shot at using any remaining hard removal. Still, another harsh choice. Why didn’y you vote for The Beast? He’s terrible.
VS: While Hogger has seen some play lately in the Bloodlust Shaman deck created by Gaara of Tempo Storm, I still feel he's a weak card. The 6 Mana slot has a lot of very good cards, like Cairne, Sylvanas, Fire Elemental, etc. Hogger meanwhile is just extremely easy to remove by 6 Mana, even a 1 or 2 health adjustment would do a lot to push the card up in value.
TC: Nope. I can’t stand the ‘Token’ style, which relies on using creatures which spam additional cheap creatures, and even in that sort of deck Hogger isn’t especially potent. 6 Mana for a weaker Yeti and a 2/2 with Taunt? No ta.
VS:In certain decks I think Greenskin could find some use—particularly Paladin, where you can potentially follow up a turn 4 Truesilver Champion with a turn 5 Greenskin to build-your-own Arcanite Reaper—but overall it's still pretty low impact. Maybe when Blizzard takes a better look at the suite of Pirate minions Greenskin will be better, but until then he just doesn’t seem that useful.
TC: Too situational for me, as with a lot of the Pirate cards. You’re reliant on having a weapon at exactly the right time in order to extract the full value. That said, Total Biscuit recently came up with an intersting weapons-heavy Warrior deck, called Master At Arms – Lord Of The Gimmicks, which seemed fun. And Reynad, creator of the hated/beloved Zoolock deck, has also been working on a midrange Paladin deck that uses Greenskin. So people are still trying to find innovative ways to use the card. I just won’t be holding my breath.
VS: Harrison on the other hand, can be crazy useful. When weapons are popular, Harrison can be a complete blow-out. Destroying your opponent's Doomhammer and drawing 6 cards is essentially game over. Likewise, destroying Eaglehorn Bows, Gorehowls, and Arcanite Reapers will give you both a tempo boost and, likely, card advantage . However, when weapons aren't popular in the metagame, Harrison is useless. Which is the usual response to people beginning to include him in their decks—Shamans are basically forced to stop running Doomhammer. It's a very 'tech' card, in the sense it’s run in response to what you expect to commonly face, which is why I think a lot of people underrate it. You really have to know when to throw it in your deck.
TC: Vince is right that it really depends on what you’re coming up against on the ladder. Given the preponderance of Zoolocks and Handlocks, there’s a high likelihood of Jonesy sitting dead in your hand. Particularly as quite a lot of Miracle Rogues aren’t bothering to run Assassin’s Blade anymore. I still don’t think it’s terrible though. Worst case scenario you still end up with a 5/4 on the board. Nonetheless, the fact that Kitkatz, creator of the classic Legendary-heavy control warrior deck, has stopped running Harrison, which is probably all you need to know about the card’s usefullness right now.
VS: Lorewalker Cho is the generator of more funny Hearthstone related videos than probably any other card—but, competitively, he's awkward. Because he effectively locks both players out from using Spells it seems like he ought to be a shoe-in for Zoo decks. But the card is often still useless because Zoo players need to focus on spending their Mana throwing down creatures rather than on stolen spells. Cho is fun, but definitely not competitive.
TC: We’re into the real muck now. Despite his jolly face, Cho is unlikely to make you happy. I slightly disagree with Vince insofar as I think it can work in a Zoo deck, if stuck behind creatures with Taunt, because it will likely force misplays from your opponent as they try to remove your critters without handing you free spells. But there’s every chance you’ll slow your own tempo. In short: Lorewalker No.
VS: Oh how the mighty have fallen. Once regarded as the second most powerful Legendary just behind Nat Pagle, Tinkmaster was eventually eviscerated and re-tooled into an almost a completely different card. Now he's far more similar to his Gnomish kin, Gelbin, in that he is unpredictable, unreliable, and in general nigh-on useless. Granted, the change was definitely necessary. Every class having access to Polymorph was more than just a bit broken.
TC: With the simple addition of the word ‘random’ into his Battlecry, Blizzard essentially took poor old Tink out back and put a bullet in his brain. Probably for the best, given that I like to play the kind of fat boy creatures that were the perfect target for Tink’s transformative bullshittery. The only time you’d be happy playing him now is when you’re opponent only has one minion on the board, and it’s a high value target. Or you’ve got a 1/1 token in play. Either way, it’s far too RNG reliant now. Speaking of which…
VS: I have almost never seen this card played considering how common he is in player's collections, having been a Promotional Card for the beta. Gelbin can do a lot of things but almost all of them are random, and most of them are very strong. In the unlikely event you’re blessed with exceptional good luck, Gelbin might be one of the strongest Legendaries. But it's almost impossible to tailor a situation where all of his effects are good, and with such a wide range of random abilities, Gelbin is simply not worth the risk. That said, Amaz played him succesfully in this Druid deck for one of the NESL King of the Hill tournaments.
TC: AWESOME my ass.
VS: I've had this card played against me once in all of my thousands of games of Hearthstone. It actually throws you off really hard when he plops down, since you only have 15 seconds to make your turn, and 14 seconds are spent wondering why someone would willingly play Nozdormu. In the end though, he suffers from Alexstrasza's weaknesses without offering any real, tangible benefit. 9 Mana minions really have to do more for you than simply startle your opponent.
TC: Heartbreakingly this was the first Legendary card I unpacked and, I imagine like everyone else, I felt compelled to include him in all my decks for a while. The mere fact he’s an 8/8 means at least your opponent has to do something about him, but at anything above the lowest ranks your opponents will be too savvy to be thrown by the timer. I suppose it might help put a leash on Miracle Rogue players who take an age plotting their turns, but by the time you hit turn 9 it’s probably too late. There’s some bugginess to the way the timer works, so don’t rule out Blizzard tweaking the card—I made the mistake of disenchanting a while back, and now wish I’d held out for full value later down the line. Oh, who am I kidding? I'M GLAD YOU'RE GONE, NOZ. STOP CALLING. IT'S OVER.
VS: Millhouse is both the master of magic and losing games. As I wrote in this article for Hearthstoneplayers, I think he is significantly underrated due to the huge amount of tempo he can gain you early on. However, this is probably the only card which can instantly lose you a game you should have won. It’s utterly unplayable against Druid, or really any class outside of the first couple of turns. When you do manage to coin Millhouse out on turn 1 and your opponent doesn't deal with him via a single low-priority spell—if they use up a Hex, that’s a good trade for you—you’re in a very solid position to win. Then there are the times your opponent got really unlucky and Mulliganed into two Pyroblasts and two Fireballs.
TC: I think I’ve only ever seen one in the wild. Just completely dead unless you can coin him out immediately, and even then too high a risk for my liking. I’ve seen people trying to create troll decks with Millhouse and Cho in, but honestly, life’s too short. I can lose spectacularly on my own thankseverymuch.