What's your favorite part of Hearthstone expansion season? The slow trickle of card reveals? The theorycrafting? The long arguments with other players about what's overpowered and underpowered, long before we actually get our hands on the set? No, everyone knows the best part of a new Hearthstone chapter is listening to the latest theme music, and comparing it to all the jingles that came before.
I'm kidding! Well, actually, not really. Hearthstone fans take Hearthstone music seriously. For the uninitiated, back in 2014 after Blizzard printed the first injection of new cards, the announcement came with a minute-long song dedicated to fleshing out some of the themes and character of the set. That song was shockingly good, and it created a funny tradition for the company where they try to serve up new bangers to the Hearthstone faithful every time. As some of the most trenchant Hearthstone journalists on the internet, we took it upon ourselves to rank the Hearthstone songs from worst to best. Enjoy the list, which is presented in reverse order.
I look forward to arguing with you in the comments about One Night in Karazhan.
16: Knights of the Frozen Throne
This is the one expansion in Hearthstone that didn't have a theme song, or even a jingle. Instead, they just got Jaina Proudmoore's voice actor to whine about the crucible of power. Knights of the Frozen Throne was a fun era for Hearthstone. But for our purposes, it sits at the bottom of this list.
15: Curse of Naxxramas
It feels weird to even rate this one. Curse of Naxxramas was the first Hearthstone expansion, and in many ways it was a testing ground for a whole bunch of design and balance principals. Turns out, it was also a testing ground for expansion trailer jingles, because they only got more elaborate from here. Points for the Monster Mash pentameter, that never gets old.
14: The Witchwood
As far as creepy Hearthstone themes go, I much prefer Whispers of the Old Gods. But The Witchwood trailer did bust out the harpsichord which paired neatly with the gothic horror of the set. I can't hate that.
13: Blackrock Mountain
I was so hyped for this. Blackrock Mountain is the site of some of my fondest World of Warcraft memories, so this jingle had me chomping at the bit to explore its caverns in card-game form. Like Naxxramas, the song that accompanied the trailer is a bit more abbreviated than what Team 5 is doing now, but it does have a hefty, reverent drama to it. Also, I appreciate that they got someone with a World of Warcraft dwarf voice to sing it. That's flavor!
12: Goblins vs. Gnomes
Goblins vs. Gnomes arrived a few months after Curse of Naxxramas, and its jingle stands as the first great vocal performance in Hearthstone history. I remember what it was like to have a song from a card game trailer stuck in my head, and being legitimately worried I was losing my mind. It's a foundation for one of Blizzard's greatest traditions; stalwart proof that Hearthstone was going to be a little weirder and sillier than everything else under the company's umbrella.
11: Kobolds & Catacombs
Kobolds & Catacombs doesn't have the most memorable jingle in Hearthstone, but it does manage to fit "you no take candle!" into a rhyme scheme. It feels like Blizzard had been working up to that punchline for decades.
10: Rise of Shadows
Blizzard announced Rise of Shadows with the promise that the expansions will follow its own connected plotline. So, naturally, they opened with a theme song that does the work of an opening number of a musical—introducing you to each character, and unveiling their collective master plan. Props to whoever is voicing Rafaam. That guy can sing!
9: Journey To Un'Goro
Okay, so Journey To Un'Goro didn't have a song. Seriously, go watch it above. Blizzard put the tradition on hold. This was met with… abrasion from the community. The Hearthstone faithful were legitimately peeved that they weren't getting a jingle. That motivated Ben Brode, who was then the head honcho of Team 5, to record his very own Un'Goro rap on his webcam, where he said things like, "The elementals are calling, and if you put them all in? You're gonna be balling." It's my favorite moment of the history of the game. (You can watch that here (opens in new tab).)
So, you see my predicament. Journey to Un'Goro didn't have a song. But it also had the greatest song. I'm slotting it here because of that technicality, and if you want to argue about it, meet me in the comments.
8: The Grand Tournament
The Grand Tournament has the dubious distinction of being one of Hearthstone's most forgettable expansions. But, it does have that insanely difficult "there's even pirates riding parroooooots" note in the jingle. It still stands as the definitive "rockets red glare" moment of all Hearthstone trailer songs. If only Whitney Houston had the chance to sing it.
7: The Boomsday Project
I am a sucker for cheesy corporate-training-music grooves, so the business-funk aesthetic of The Boomsday Project's theme always resonated with me. It also served as the formal reintroduction of Dr. Boom as a major character, and I gotta say, it was good to see him again.
6: Whispers of the Old Gods
Whispers of the Old Gods is probably still the best expansion in Hearthstone history, and Blizzard marked the occasion with an awesome, seasick ballad sung by Madame Luzul herself, (who would soon become a much bigger deal.) It's appropriately rain-slick and Lovecraftian, and even though it's only four years old, I think I can already muster some nostalgia for the hype-cycle.
5: Mean Streets of Gadgetzan
The famous refrain about Gotham City is that, for all the horrific crime the citizens put up with, it must be a pretty awesome place to live. Blizzard captured that same mystique in the song for Mean Streets of Gadgetzan; they paint an entirely forgettable World of Warcraft town as a place to run into a lot of trouble, but the truly incredible Saturday nights make up for it.
4: One Night in Karazhan
To this point, most of the music served up by the Hearthstone team sounded like it could've been played by a tavern house band somewhere deep in, like, the Hillsbrad Foothills. One Night in Karazhan was… different. The team drummed up an incredible Bee Gees-esque electric organ, and the troubled realm of Azeroth jumped headfirst into a mountain of cocaine. It made you want to party with Medivh, which was never an inclination I had in the past.
3: Rastakhan's Rumble
One of the few Hearthstone themes I'd listen to on purpose: Rastakhan's Rumble served up a bass-heavy, chant-heavy wargroove that legitimately sounds like an Imagine Dragons B-side. If Blizzard ever uploaded it to Spotify, the algorithm would immediately sort it into one of its workout playlists. Not bad, for a bunch of trolls.
2: The League of Explorers
The chorus of this song—the barbershop quartet conducting a pulpy adventure movie of yore—has kinda emerged as Hearthstone's unofficial theme music. We don't have any qualms with that at all, it's downright sublime. In fact, I think you could make the argument that The League of Explorer's jingle is a huge reason why Elise, Brann, Sir Finley, and Reno are the game's most beloved characters.
1: Saviors of Uldum
I'm trying not to overreact, but I really think that when the dust clears, Saviors of Uldum will own the definitive GOAT spot for Hearthstone jingles. It's basically Boys of Summer filtered through a Blizzard sheen, and it's brilliant. We reintroduce the League of Explorers with a hero's welcome, and in my book, a hero's welcome totally constitutes Push It To The Limit-esque '80s excess. A-plus, I can't wait to see more.