Hearthstone Help: The 46 best cards revealed

PC Gamer

Trying to come up with a best cards list for Hearthstone might seem like a Sisyphean task. No sooner have you rolled your list of cards to the peak of Mount Objectively Awesome, a patch or an update or a change to the metagame sends you tumbling back into the valley of Start All Over Again. Did that metaphor work? Let's just say that it did and move on.

Whether you're constructing your own deck from scratch, or hoping to tweak a popular one you've found online, we're here to help with a guide to the game's 46 coolest and most powerful cards. Why 46? Why not. (Also, that was the point our fingers started bleeding.) To create the list we used a team of hand-picked expert players from the Hearthstone community, plus input from our own in-house card sharps. Here's the team lineup.

  • Former Dota 2 professional turned Hearthstone hotshot, TidesOfTime (TOT)
  • Icy Veins resident decksmith and Warcraft expert Poyo (P)
  • Hearthstone podcast The Angry Chicken co-hosts Garrett Weinzierl, William 'Dills' Gregory and Jocelyn Moffett (GW, DG, JM)
  • PC Gamer's in-house Hearthstone addict – seriously, it's probably about time for an intervention – Tim Clark (TC)
  • Deck-building neophyte Philippa Warr (PW)
  • Resident Hearthstone Help columnist, Vincent Sarius (VS)

Note that there's obviously a degree of subjectivity when it comes to calling these cards the best, but as you're about to find out, we think these are the most effective (and fun!) cards to have in your hand. They're certainly not all expensive Legendaries, either – there are plenty of options for the budget Hearthstoner too. Let us know what else you think we ought to have included, and why, in the comments.

Hex

Mana: 3

Crafting cost: NA

Class: Shaman

Rarity: Basic

Transform a minion into a 0/1 Frog with Taunt

GW: Imagine the scariest minion currently in Hearthstone. Now imagine that card becoming a 0/1 frog with Taunt, and for just 3 mana. Tirion loses Divine Shield, six attack, five health, and Ashbringer never triggers. Sylvanas never steals a minion. Baine never steps in for his fallen father, Cairne . Instead of dealing eight damage to you or your minions, Ragnaros literally croaks. Hex is the most well-costed, single-target removal in the game.

TOT: It's not situationally overpowered, it's just straight-up overpowered. Not to the point where it can win games on its own, but at 3 mana it's the strongest instant removal option in the game right now.

Faceless Manipulator

Mana: 5

Attack: 3

Health: 3

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Epic

Crafting cost: 400

Battlecry: Choose a minion and become a copy of it.

TC: Incredibly useful in any deck designed to make it through to the mid-game point.

This photocopier card is versatile, in that it can be deployed defensively, by cheaply mirroring the high mana minion which your opponent has just slapped down on the board, (note: to ensure you're getting true value, don't bother copying anything cheaper than 5 mana), or used offensively to double-down and copy of one of the best minions you've got in play.It's brilliance is proven by how annoyed it will make your opponent.

Big Game Hunter

Mana: 4

Attack: 4

Health: 2

Crafting cost: 400

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Epic

Battlecry: Destroy a minion with an Attack of 7 or more.

P: Based on the current metagame, I have two of these in my deck because all of the decks are playing several cards that are potential targets for Big Game Hunter. Played properly, Big Game Hunter always makes a two-for-one trade. You shoot something down and you're left with a 4/2 minion on the board for a really low mana cost.

TC: Does exactly what it says on the tin: Takes out big minions, and at a reasonable mana price. It's a handy inclusion in any deck which struggles with fat boy removal, but less so if you've got Polymorph , Hex or Assassinate . That said, it never hurts to have an extra 4/2 minion. Best fielded in late-game decks where you're likely to face powerful minions.

Ragnaros the Firelord

Mana: 8

Attack: 8

Health: 8

Crafting cost: 1600

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Legendary

Can't Attack: At the end of your turn, deal 8 damage to a random enemy.

TC: Ragnaros is appearing regularly as a 'finisher' in decks. Providing you can keep him alive, either by hiding him behind Taunt cards or buffing his health, his unconventional attack means he'll continue operating like a toasty removal turret, blazing a random enemy with 8 damage each turn without taking any in return. Note: If an enemy silences him, he can then attack normally.

P: It's a card you put on the board that has immediate impact and puts immense pressure on your opponent. They will always need to deal with it as a priority.

Summoning Portal

Mana: 4

Attack: 0

Health: 4

Crafting cost: 40

Class: Warlock

Rarity: Common

Your minions cost (2) less, but not less than (1).

TC: Best deployed behind a big minion with Taunt so it doesn't get blitzed too easily – while active it slashes two mana off the cost of your minions, enabling you to rush the board. If you manage to get two portals out at once, you'll be able to play some absurdly powerful minions on much earlier turns. Timing is everything, though, so keep hold of the card until your troops are ready.

Polymorph

Mana: 4

Attack: N/A

Health: N/A

Crafting cost: N/A

Class: Mage

Rarity: Basic

Transform a minion into a 1/1 Sheep.

PW: An absolute godsend for beginners. It's not quite as good as the Shaman's Hex card, which is one mana cheaper, but it's still brilliant for dealing with beefy minions. Just don't forget that those sheep can still do 1 damage.

There's nothing more embarrassing than meeting a woolly end because you left your foe's flock unattended. Whenever playing against Mages, it's best to assume they're running two Polymorphs, because they almost always will be. Save your big minions until you've baited the Mage into using his removals on some more midrange threats.

Ysera

Mana: 9

Attack: 4

Health: 12

Crafting cost: 1600

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Legendary

At the end of your turn, draw a Dream Card.

TC: If you get this card drawn against you late game, the jig is often up. Unless you're holding a powerful removal card, Ysera's high health pool means it will keep generating random dream cards – all of which are more effective than their mana cost imply. If the owner can keep Ysera alive, they're almost guaranteed card control in the closing stages of a match. Dreamy indeed.

P: Ysera is a bit worse than Ragnaros, but an outstanding card nonetheless. If Ysera stays on the board for two or three turns then your opponent has lost the game. Having 12 health it's usually quite hard to deal with it, especially because it has low attack. 4 attack is the most fucked up number in Hearthstone, particularly for a Priest, because it means neither Shadow Word: Pain or Shadow Word: Death can touch it, meaning the only counter Priests have to Ysera is using Mind Control or throwing away a lot of minions.

Dark Iron Dwarf

Mana: 4

Attack: 4

Health: 4

Crafting cost: 40

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Common

Battlecry: Give a minion +2 Attack this turn.

PW: Early on in your Hearthstone career you might just grow to love the Dark Iron Dwarf. His 4/4 stats make him a solid addition to the board but its his battlecry, the ability to bestow a +2 attack to a minion for that turn which can be crucial for finishing off an enemy minion unexpectedly.

Although it feels counter-intuitive you can also use that battlecry on enemy minions. Say you've got a card like Big Game Hunter which takes out minions with and attack of 7 or more, with Dark Iron Dwarf you can buff up an irritating minion like the 6/6 Stormwind Champion and then POW!

Azure Drake

Mana: 5

Attack: 4

Health: 4

Crafting Cost: 100

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Rare

Spell damage +1. Battlecry: Draw a card.

PW: This dragon has the same basic stats as the Dark Iron Dwarf, but costs one mana more. What do you get for your investment? Well, aside from being a solid mid-game minion with the magic 4 attack stat guaranteed to irk a Priest, you also get a spell damage increase and an all-important card draw.

This really is a great card regardless of deck, but the Azure Drake is especially strong in spell-centric decks and should be considered a must-pick in Arena mode.

Ancient of Lore

Mana: 7

Attack: 5

Health: 5

Crafting Cost: 400

Class: Druid

Rarity: Epic

Choose One - Draw 2 Cards or Restore 5 Health.

VS: As any card game aficionado can tell you, having 'card advantage', (i.e. more cards in your hand than your opponent), is hugely important. Ancient of Lore provides both cards and a respectable 5/5 minion.

This alone, if it were a Neutral card, would see it run in the vast majority of decks, but Ancient of Lore adds the flexibility of a sizeable heal, enabling Druids to outlast opponents in marathon matches, or buy that bit of time needed to fully stabilize against an aggressive opponent. A pair of this card should be in any respectable Druid deck.

Gadgetzan Auctioneer

Mana: 5

Attack: 4

Health: 4

Crafting cost: 100

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Rare

Whenever you cast a spell draw a card

GW: The Miracle Rogue deck wouldn't exist without this card. Any deck that runs spells is better for it. All spell cards become cantrips [spells which trigger a card draw] when the Auctioneer is out.

The five-mana cost allows a player to easily draw at least one card on the same turn their Auctioneer is played, while the 4/4 stats makes this minion hard to remove for most classes – and, as with Ysera, a nightmare for Priests. The Auctioneer is even more effective if Rogues are able to use Conceal or Master of Disguise .

Unleash The Hounds

Mana: 2

Attack: 0

Health: 0

Crafting cost: 40

Class: Hunter

Rarity: Legendary

For each enemy minion, summon a 1/1 Hound with Charge.

TC: Timed right, this dog rush can be a game changer in Hunter decks because it synergises so well with so many other cards. Save it for when your opponent has board control, then combine with minions like Timber Wolf or Raid Leader to make the mutts more powerful. Also works superbly to draw cards in conjunction with Starving Buzzard , or can quickly buff a Scavenging Hyena as the hounds launch their kamikaze attack.

TOT: Combining this with Starving Buzzard, Hunter's Mark or Timber Wolf is brutal – for two mana there's no other card in the game that can clear the entire board, or deal as much damage to the opponent. It's extremely versatile. The combo works because Buzzard lets you draw a card whenever you summon a beast, and each of the hounds counts. Opponents can't really play around Buzzard/Unleash either, because if they just sit around against Hunter right, they get killed quick. So you have to play your cards, which only makes for a stronger Buzzard/Unleash combo.

Leeroy Jenkins

Mana: 4 [Note: Altered to 5 on 22 September 2014]

Attack: 6

Health: 2

Crafting cost: 1600

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Legendary

Charge. Battlecry: Summon two 1/1 Whelps for your opponent.

TC: Best used as a late-game closer, Leeroy is a cheap guided missile thanks to his low cost and high attack. Even more effective if you can buff his attack before using Charge, but bear in mind that if you don't kill the hero you'll want a cheap AoE card handy to clear out the two Whelps.

Truthfully, it's worth playing having just to hear him say: “All right, time's up, let's do this..." Works well in a combo with Unleash The Hounds, too.

Chillwind Yeti

Mana: 4

Attack: 4

Health: 5

Crafting cost: N/A

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Basic

TC: Glamorous? No. Effective? Yes. There's a reason the 4/5 abominable snowman pops up in so many basic decks, and that's because at four mana you won't find many better footsoldiers amongst the neutral class of minions.

Remember: not every card in your deck needs to have a fancy effect, so long as the baseline stats are attractive enough, but players of 'control' decks should consider swapping for Sen'jin Shieldmasta , while heavy spell users might take the Ogre Magi as an alternative.

Cairne Bloodhoof

Mana: 6

Attack: 4

Health: 5

Crafting cost: 1600

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Legendary

Deathrattle: Summon a 4/5 Baine Bloodhoof.

TC: As the crafting cost confirms, this is one of the best legendaries out there – and has become a must-have in many decks. Because Cairne summons another 4/5 Bloodhoof when he croaks, playing him is akin to sticking two Chillwind Yetis down on the board. And hey, you know how much we love those Chillwind Yetis.

He's also a bit like a deluxe version of the also excellent Harvest Golem. Both cards are likely to become even more important as Deathrattles become more of a factor after the release of the Curse Of Naxxramas content in the summer.

Water Elemental

Mana: 4

Attack: 3

Health: 6

Crafting Cost: N/A

Class: Mage

Rarity: Basic

Freeze any character damaged by this minion.

VS: Chillwind Yeti is often cited as the best 4-mana Basic minion. That might be true when considering only Neutral cards, but the Mage class has access to an even better option.

Water Elemental is stupendously durable at 6 health, without being totally passive. It's 3 attack allows it to deal with any 1-3 health minion. Essentially, it's a more durable Chillwind Yeti with the added benefit of dictating board trades by using freeze to prevent an enemy minion from attacking.

It can even stall weapons by hitting the enemy hero. In general, weapons are incredibly efficient in terms of tempo, so being able to stop them from removing your minions can often seal the game.

Harvest Golem

Mana: 3

Attack: 2

Health: 3

Crafting cost: 1600

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Common

Deathrattle: Summon a 2/1 Damaged Golem.

TC: A deceptively solid minion, thanks to its Deathrattle ability, which summons another weaker Golem. Add the two together and you're looking at 4/4 minion for 3 mana.

That also means it can't be taken out by a single attack, other than a removal card, and helps insulate it from area of effect spells. The Harvest Golem is cheap to craft too, so consider swapping a couple into your deck in exchange for footsoldier cards like Acidic Swamp Ooze or Faerie Dragon .

Lord Jaraxxus

Mana: 9

Attack: 3

Health: 15

Crafting cost: 1600

Class: Warlock

Rarity: Legendary

Battlecry: Destroy your hero and replace him with Lord Jaraxxus

GW: Jaraxxus completely changes how a Warlock is played. Knowing that you can reset your hero's life total to 15, equip one of the most absurd weapons in the game [the 3/8 Blood Fury], and play a 6/6 minion for 2 mana on every turn [he swaps the Warlock's Life Tap hero ability for INFERNO!, which summons a 6/6 Infernal at a cost of 2 mana] gives Handlock players the safety net to use the Life Tap ability as much as necessary.

TC: I mean, be serious, why wouldn't you want to become Lord Jaraxxus?

Onyxia

Mana: 9

Attack: 8

Health: 8

Crafting cost: 1600

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Legendary

Battlecry: Summon 1/1 Whelps until your side of the battlefield is full.

PW: I do not have this card. I would like this card. What Onyxia does is make sure your side of the board has 7 minions on it, so if you play her after a boardwipe you're essentially bringing 14/14 to the table.

It's this ability to capitalise on a later game board disadvantage that makes her strong. You can also use her minion-flood in conjunction with cards like Knife Juggler which spits out random damage at the enemy according to how many minions you summon.

Gurubashi Berserker

Mana: 5

Attack: 2

Health: 7

Crafting cost: NA

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Basic

Whenever this minion takes damage, gain +3 Attack.

TC: The 'bashi Beserker's low attack is offset by high health and a potent reaction to being hurt, which results in a +3 attack boost each time.

It's particularly effective in Warrior decks, where cards like Rampage , Charge and Inner Rage can make that attack stat rocket (the latter instantly turns him into a 7/6 minion), but any hero can use low damage attacks and/or healing to juice him up. As ever, beware your opponent's removal cards.

Murloc Warleader

Mana: 3

Attack: 3

Health: 3

Crafting cost: 40

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Epic

ALL other Murlocs have +2/+1

TC: For a while Murloc 'rush' decks, which overwhelm the opponent with low cost amphibians, were all the rage – and cards like this are why.

Having slapped down a load of cheap Murlocs, (use Murloc Tidehunter ), playing this in conjunction with a Coldlight Seer or a Grimscale Oracle , which offer yet more buffs, will create a froggy army. One note of caution: it will also buff any enemy Murlocs.

Defender of Argus

Mana: 4

Attack: 2

Health: 3

Crafting cost: 100

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Rare

Battlecry: Give adjacent minions +1/+1 and Taunt.

TC: If you tend to use a lot Shattered Sun Clerics to buff your minions, this is a great cheap upgrade to consider crafting.

Used judiciously, it's a powerful support card which can change the entire context of the board by creating two buffed minions on either side of it, which your enemy has to remove thanks to the Taunt.

Also consider the Sunfury Protector as a weaker alternative – it's two mana cheaper, but loses the +1/+1 buff.

Harrison Jones

Mana: 5

Attack: 5

Health: 4

Crafting cost: 1600

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Legendary

Battlecry: Destroy your opponent's weapon and draw cards equal to its Durability

DG: This card changed the metagame all by itself. Suddenly you couldn't risk playing weapons like Doomhammers or Sword of Justice .

Hunters were giving me two cards with Eaglehorn Bows instead of 10 damage after I proc their secret [trigger a card placed face down until a certain condition occurs] for them. This card may well be partly responsible for the new weaponless hunters.

Pyroblast

Mana: 10

Crafting cost: 400

Class: Mage

Rarity: Epic

Deal 10 damage.

TC: Little explanation required for this: It's a brute force finisher for Mages. Once you've drawn Pyroblast, the name of the game is reducing your opponent to 10 health in time for you the first turn on which you receive ten mana crystals. You'll be surprised how focused having this clear goal makes you.

The fact you can hit the hero regardless of taunt cards makes it almost impossible to defend against, other than with secrets. Obviously it can also be used as an (admittedly very expensive) removal card against OP minions.

Mind Control

Mana: 10

Crafting cost: N/A

Class: Priest

Rarity: Common

Take control of an enemy minion

PW: This is a pricey late game card, but what it does is offer the ability to both remove an awesomely powerful enemy minion and then play it yourself. It's an Assassinate plus a killer minion on the board for you.

It's reasonable to expect a Priest deck to have at least one Mind Control knocking about, so when playing against a Priest deck your foe will have to be very careful about slapping high powered minions down in case you bring them over to your own hand. It's less mind-bogglingly ridiculous now than when it cost 8 mana, but still a potent threat to worry about.

Leper Gnome

Mana: 1

Attack: 2

Health: 1

Crafting cost: 40

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Common

Deathrattle: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero.

TC: Every deck needs some low cost pawns to play in the early turns, and the Leper Gnome is one of the best cheap cards.

Its Deathrattle means that pretty much however your opponent chooses to kill it, short of wasting a removal card – in which case, fine! You're still getting great mana value – they'll be taking a two-damage hit. The more defensive Argent Squire , and the versatile Elven Archer , are also strong one-mana options.

Ironbeak Owl

Mana: 2

Attack: 2

Health: 1

Crafting cost: 40

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Common

Battlecry: Silence a minion.

TC: Definitely does not look badass, but hugely useful nonetheless. It's silence ability will remove all abilities and buffs from a single minion – which is particularly effective against large late game minions with Taunt, or ramped-up minions using Stealth. Being a beast, it also synergises well with Hunter decks. Druids have a more expensive option when it comes to silencing minions in the form of the versatile Keeper of the Grove card, which can alternatively opt to deal two damage as its battlecry.

PW: Don't forget that silence can also be applied to your own minions, meaning you can use it to remove unwanted attributes like the 'Can't attack' condition on your 4/5 Ancient Watcher . Sneaky owls!

Acidic Swamp Ooze

Mana: 2

Attack: 3

Health: 2

Crafting cost: N/A

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Basic

Battlecry: Destroy your opponent's weapon.

PW: One of the first things I learned in Hearthstone was the value of the Acidic Swamp Ooze. Some of enemy heroes have nasty weapons and this card gets rid of those cheaply.

Keep it in your hand to deal with weapon-wielding classes like Warriors, Rogues and Paladins – but remember that Shaman and Hunter decks can also pack weapons. Even if you're sure you're up against a weaponless deck the Ooze is still a decent low cost 3/2 minion for you to play as required.

Bloodmage Thalnos

Mana: 2

Attack: 2

Health: 1

Crafting cost: 1600

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Legendary

Spell Damage +1. Deathrattle: Draw a card.

TC: Aside from looking absolutely badass, Thalnos is as good as inexpensive legendaries get. (Well, he's cheap in terms of Mana, not Dust if you want to craft him.)

Two mana for even a single turn of +1 spell damage and then drawing a card when he, inevitably, dies is well worth the cost. Make sure you play him once you can afford to also immediately cast a spell for maximum value.

Questing Adventurer

Mana: 3

Attack: 2

Health: 2

Crafting cost: 40

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Rare

Whenever you play a card, gain +1/+1.

TC: The power of the Questing Adventurer's ability will become obvious from how quickly your opponent always seeks to kill him.

Left unchecked, his stats will ramp as quickly as you're able to play cards – meaning this card works best with Zoo and 'rush'-type decks that favour lots of low cost minions. Playing the coin and cheap spells also works too. In short: a very effective annoyance to have in your hand.

Savannah Highmane

Mana: 6

Attack: 6

Health: 5

Crafting cost: 100

Class: Hunter

Rarity: Rare

Deathrattle: Summon two 2/2 Hyenas.

VS: This card is absolutely insane. Cairne Bloodhoof is considered a high value minion for his respectable 8/10 in combined stats, but Savannah Highmane gives you a surreal 10/9 spread out over three targets, which makes it even harder to deal with, requiring both single-target removal and a separate AoE spell to fully clear it from the board.

In addition, Highmane is a Beast, giving it increased synergy with Houndmaster , Starving Buzzard , and Tundra Rhino , to name a few of the scarier combos. When you're holding a Rare which trades favorably with every minion in the game except the 4/12 Dragons, Deathwing , or an Ancient of War , you know you have one of the best cards in the game.

JM: The most legendary non-legendary! At 6 mana, this 6/5 beast is fairly well costed already when you consider how well Beasts synergize in hunter decks. Add in the fact that you get another 4 health and 4 attack spread over two other Beast minions when your Highmane dies which will trigger any other Beast related effects like the +1 attack from your Timber Wolf or the card draw off your Buzzard and you're laughing all the way to the bank! Not to mention this card is only a RARE, which means you can run with two!

Swipe

Mana: 4

Crafting cost: 40

Class: Druid

Rarity: Basic

Deal 4 damage to an enemy and 1 damage to all other enemies.

TC: One of the main reasons why Druid 'control' decks proved effective against the wave of minions coming from Shaman and Hunter 'rush' decks.

It's one of the game's most versatile spells, because the 4 points of damage against its primary target can be applied to the enemy hero or a minion, removing many mid-range minions entirely.

The splash effect on other minions, particularly if you can also buff your spell damage first, also make it a brilliant board clearance card.

Knife Juggler

Mana: 2

Attack: 3

Health: 2

Crafting cost: 100

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Rare

Deal 4 damage to an enemy and 1 damage to all other enemies.

TC: An absolute bastard of a card for just 2 mana. The Juggler will have to be protected behind Taunt cards, or buffed effectively, in order to make the most of his ability, but played in a deck with a lot of cheap minions – Paladin, Warlock and Shaman in particular – this card can help take and maintain board control. Worst case scenario your opponent blows a removal card on him. A great trade at this price.

DG: I call him the Knife Juggalo cuz he stabs people. For some reason I got two gold Juggalos early on in the beta so they went in every deck, even before I realized how good they were. Lately I've added them to my midrange Hunter deck, and when I unleash the doggies I also unleash a flurry of throwing knives. It's amazing.

Soulfire

Mana: 0

Crafting cost: N/A

Class: Warlock

Rarity: Basic

Deal 4 damage. Discard a random card.

TOT: Four damage for zero mana. You discard a card, yeah, but… Wow. That's a ridiculous tempo card. The Warlock's hero power is to draw a card, so discarding a card is more often than not irrelevant – and, if Soulfire is the only card in your hand, you get to inflict the damage for free.

TC: For nada Mana, it's just a ridiculously versatile card which you can use to remove minions, or increase pressure on the opposing hero's health pool, while also still playing other cards. I can't think of a single reason why any self-respecting Warlock wouldn't carry a brace of these.

Youthful Brewmaster

Mana: 2

Attack: 3

Health: 2

Crafting cost: 40

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Common

Battlecry: Return a friendly minion from the battlefield to your hand.

PW: Given how helpful battlecries can be, why wouldn't you want the card which lets you get double their usage? Now Nightblade can do 6 damage to the enemy's hero and Novice Engineers and Gnomish Inventors get two card draws instead of one.

Youthful Brewmaster also allows you to reset any damage to the card. What you do is carry out whatever attacks you like with the minion, then return it to your hand damaged (but not dead, obviously). When you play it back onto the board, possibly in the same turn, it'll be back to its original attack and health, plus other effects like silence will have been removed. As will buffs. So it's not all gravy.

Equality

Mana: 2

Crafting cost: 100

Class: Paladin

Rarity: Rare

Change the Health of ALL minions to 1

VS: Equality is easily one of the best cards in the game. It's incredibly cheap in terms of mana, which allows it to be synergised with a host of other cards easily – especially Wild Pyromancer and Consecration. Used in combo with Consecration , Equality allows for a complete board clear, regardless of the toughness of the enemy minions. Only creatures with Divine Shield will survive the sweep.

If we look at similar cards, Flamestrike costs 7 mana for a sorta-clear, but won't kill creatures with 5 or more Health. Another similar card is Twisting Nether , which clears both sides of the board for 8 mana. Equality enables a total board clear too, but for 4 mana less when played in conjunction with Wild Pyromancer. This card is arguably what keeps the Paladin from being entirely irrelevant and, in my opinion, is the best AoE attack in the game.

Doomguard

Mana: 5

Attack: 5

Health: 7

Crafting cost: 100

Class: Warlock

Rarity: Rare

Charge. Battlecry: Discard two random cards.

TOT: Even if you have to discard two cards, a 5/7 Charge? I don't think there's any card that comes close to the tempo boost of playing Doomguard. (Tempo being the pacing of the game as determined by how efficiently you use your mana.)

The Doomguard's 5/7 stats mean it can pretty much kill any 3, 4, or 5-mana drop in the game. And of course can also use it to hit the hero's face too.

Power Word: Shield

Mana: 1

Crafting cost: N/A

Class: Priest

Rarity: Basic

Give a minion +2 Health. Draw a card.

VS: So, I love cantrips . Always have. Being able to draw an extra card is very important in many card games, since it essentially 'thins' your deck from the regular size. A smaller deck-size effectively means fewer cards waiting to be drawn, so there's less chance of getting bogged down by cards which are ineffective in the current match. Power Word: Shield is probably the best cantrip in Hearthstone because it's cheap and also has a respectable primary effect.

Health, in general, is better than attack, because a durable card will enable you to attack several times for greater combined damage than a single high-damage attack. Being able to score advantageous trades at the start can also often snowball the match in your favor. Even when drawn late this card still enables advantageous trades, or speeds up you drawing the key 'finisher' card that you need. As with Ancient of Lore , if this were a Neutral card, it would be run in a large amount of decks.

SI:7 Agent

Mana: 3

Attack: 3

Health: 3

Crafting cost: 100

Class: Rogue

Rarity: Rare

Combo: Deal 2 damage

VS: This card is insane, and a huge part of what makes the Rogue class so good in terms of 'Tempo'. Being able to kill almost any 1 or 2 drop card, and leave behind a decent 3/3 minion is crazy value. When we look at similar Neutral cards, the Ironforge Rifleman only deals 1 damage and loses out on 1 health and 1 attack. The Stormpike Commando costs 5 mana for the same damage, but has 1 less health, though it does have slightly more attack.

Now, of course SI:7 does have to played after another card in order to create the combo effect and deal its damage, which can occasionally be a problem, particularly when going first. However, with the plethora of cheap minions or spells that Rogue decks run, it's less of a worry. Oh, and Coin, Backstab , SI:7, SI:7, Backstab is the best possible starting hand of any class in Hearthstone. Being able to drop an SI:7 on the second turn is absolutely huge.

Defias Ringleader

Mana: 2

Attack: 2

Health: 2

Crafting cost: 40

Class: Rogue

Rarity: Common

Combo: Summon a 2/1 Defias Bandit.

TC: Here's another really fun early-game combo for Rogues to experiment with. Play the Ringleader after any other card and he'll summon a 2/1 Bandit. Next, use Shadowstep to return the Ringleader to your hand, where because he now costs 2 mana less, meaning you can play him again for free, and because the combo is still in effect you'll summon another Bandit.

So that's three minions on the board, and a total of 6/4 in terms of attack/health points. And if you use the coin and luckily draw the cards in your starting hand, you can actually play it on your first turn!

Fiery War Axe

Mana: 2

Attack: 3

Durability: 2

Crafting Cost: N/A

Class: Warrior

Rarity: Basic

VS: This card is the ol' reliable of the Warrior class. It's certainly not very flashy, all it does is kill 2 minions for 2 mana. Wait, excuse me? That's right, Fiery War Axe, like many weapons, is a machine which you can use to convert health into minion removal.

Early-game advantage is very important, so being able to remove even a couple of low cost creatures, like a River Crocolisk and a Stonetusk Boar , already gives you not only a card advantage (because one Fiery War Axe destroys two Cards), but also a trading advantage (because it takes 2 mana to remove 3 mana's worth of minions).

Much like Ancient of Lore for Druids, every single Warrior deck I have ever seen runs two of this card, and for understandable reasons: Reliability and Efficiency.

Spellbreaker

Mana: 4

Attack: 4

Health: 3

Crafting cost: 40

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Common

Battlecry: Silence a minion

JM: The Spellbreaker is like a beefier Ironbeak Owl , The Owl gives you a 2/1 minion for 2 mana, whereas the Spellbreaker is a 4/3 for 4... It's like one bonus point of health! Silence will be huge in the metagame likely to result from the cards released as part of the upcoming Curse Of Naxxramas adventure mode, because you can remove anything really tricky effects, like Baron Rivendare causing deathrattles to trigger twice, completely disrupting a player's strategy.

When the initial silencing battlecry is complete, you still have a pretty threatening minion on board, especially if he is hidden behind a taunt minion. On top of that, like the Owl, he's a common card, so he doesn't cost a lot to craft.

Siphon Soul

Mana: 6

Crafting cost: 100

Class: Warlock

Rarity: Rare

Destroy a minion. Restore 3 Health to your hero.

VS: I really like Siphon Soul. For only 1 mana more than Assassinate, you gain 3 health. Which is a fair price (3 points of healing ought to cost 1 mana, judging by Holy Light), but it's also a crucial card for Warlocks . The Life Tap ability means Warlocks can always convert health into Card Advantage, so Siphon Soul is a very flexible form of removal. 6 mana is also a relatively flexible price.

In the late game you can drop a 4 mana minion in the same turn, and there is generally a large surge in power between 3-mana and 4-mana cards. So, would Siphon Soul be a better card if it cost 7 mana and let you destroy a minion and regain 6 health? Well, it would certainly be run in Control Warlock decks, but its best combo play would be with Earthen Ring Farseer . Now, a 9 health swing is certainly handy, but imagine dropping a 0 mana Molten Giant , using Siphon Soul to kill an enemy minion, and then using Taunt on the Molten Giant with Defender of Argus. Boom!

The Black Knight

Mana: 6

Attack: 4

Health: 5

Crafting cost: 1600

Class: Neutral

Rarity: Legendary

Battlecry: Destroy an enemy minion with Taunt

It's easy to see why players are regularly including this Legendary in all sorts of decks. The base stats are the same as our beloved Chillwind Yeti, but the extra 2 mana cost buys you instant death for a minion with taunt, regardless of how much health it has.

So, you get a very decent minion and an outstanding removal card rolled into one. Perfect for knocking a hole in your opponent's late-game defence – "Sayonara, Ironbark Protector! " – and leaving them open for the kill.

Lightning Storm

Mana: 3

Crafting cost: 100

Class: Shaman

Rarity: Rare

Deal 2-3 damage to all enemy minions. Overload: (2)

VS: The best standalone AoE spell in the game. At worst, this is like Consecrate for 1 more mana but playable a turn earlier. At best, it can be combined with +1 Spellpower for a 3-mana Flamestrike. Useable so early in the match, the Shaman can often insta-win against aggressive 'rush' decks like Murloc or even Zoo. There are a lot of differing opinions on Overload as a mechanic, personally I think of it as 'borrowing' mana from the next turn, so you can play a 5-mana card like Lightning Storm on the third turn, but you can only play 2-mana's worth of cards on the next turn.

Often the problem with Overload is that it leads to a very damaging tempo hit if your opponent can play 4 mana's worth of cards whilst you only play 2, your advantage slips away. However, AoE spells like Lightning Storm by their nature lead to a tempo gain since you can potentially kill 6 mana's worth of minions on turn 3, and possibly far more in later turns. In short: The spell's power cancels out any disadvantage.

Northshire Cleric

Mana: 1

Attack: 1

Health: 3

Crafting cost: N/A

Class: Priest

Rarity: Basic

Whenever a minion is healed, draw a card

PW: This is an entirely selfish pick for this list because it was the card which caused my favourite Hearthstone victory of all time. Don't get me wrong, it's a good card anyway. It gives the Priest great draw power and synergises well with cards like Holy Nova and Circle of Healing . Perhaps a little too well sometimes.

Very early on I was playing against a Priest who decided not to end the game but do a spot of showboating. Instead of just going for the GG he decided to heal every one of his seven minions and drew seven cards. Except the draw power of having two Clerics had left the Priest's deck with only one card to draw. That meant thirteen hits of fatigue from drawing non-existent cards which works out at 91 damage to the Priest. A cautionary tale, to be sure, but one which left me DELIGHTED and victorious.

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