Hearthstone: The 20 best legendary cards

(Image credit: Blizzard)

We like to update this crafting guide as soon as the meta has settled following the release of a new expansion. That's proved tricky for Descent of Dragons, because the set has been followed by two rounds of nerfs and an adventure mode. Now that we've got a good sense of the power of these cards, it's time to put your dust to work.

For the purposes of this article, Galakrond has been excluded. The five Galakronds are obtainable for free when you open your first Descent of Dragons pack, although you can craft golden copies if you like your big dragons looking particularly bling. 

As usual, I asked a panel of top players for the most important legendaries to own in Standard today. As ever, there was some disagreement among the pros, mainly due to the weight placed on crafting cards that will rotate out in April. (For example Zilliax was picked #1 by two people, but it's important to note that the card will be leaving Standard soon). In the higher reaches of the list, the choices were remarkably consistent, so you should feel comfortable crafting any of those cards.

The players on the panel this time around were as follows: Global Finals Runner-up bloodyface, Masters Tour Las Vegas Runner-up Gallon, Hearthstone Global Games Finalist BoarControl, WESG Runner-up BabyBear, and European Champion Maricochet.

Finally, it's also worth remembering that Whizbang the Wonderful exists. Various panellists remind me of this from time to time, and for good reason. If you are entirely new to Hearthstone, or simply want to play a variety of different decks for little dust, Whizbang’s decks are a decent way to do this while only crafting one Legendary card. Now, onto the list!

(Image credit: Blizzard)

#20: Electra Stormsurge

Due to the general consensus of our panel in the higher echelons of the list, the 20th slot was pretty much a lottery. Electra had the winning ticket, and so here she is.

Galakrond Shaman is a shadow of itself following two balance patches, but that doesn’t mean it's unplayable. In that deck Electra is a superb utility card. She works particularly well with Dragon’s Pack, Invocation of Frost, and Far Sight. She can also be put to good use with tech cards such as Lightning Storm.

Rather than rant about the merits of casting spells twice, which you will have already worked out for yourself, I figured I’d give a list of the other cards that didn’t quite make the cut. In alphabetical order they were: Boommaster Flark, Flobbidinous Floop, Goru the Mightree, Shudderwock, Vessina, and Wardruid Loti. 

As you can see, all of these are specialised cards and—with the possible exception of Shudderwock—are only worthy of consideration if you are planning to play a deck in which they are key.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

#19: Veranus

Veranus operates as a utility card in Highlander and Quest Hunter. The effect of switching all the opponent’s minions Health to 1 is particularly powerful in Hunter decks thanks to cards cards like Springpaw, Desert Spear, and Unleash the Hounds, which can be used on the same turn to clean up the board. That's typical of Hunter: It's powerful, but requires a little extra effort to get the job done.

The 7/6 body and the Dragon tribal tag mean that you are not giving up a great deal of value to obtain the effect, which makes Veranus a respectable curve filler. If you have some spare dust, she's a decent choice that's likely to see plenty of play during her time in Standard.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

#18: Malygos, Aspect of Magic

Currently, the new iteration of Malygos only really has a home in Reno Mage. The 2/8 statline on a 5-Mana minion isn't ideal, but Maly 2.0 has a strong Battlecry effect to compensate. Provided you have a Dragon in hand when you drop the Aspect of Magic on board, you will Discover an upgraded basic Mage spell. I won’t list them all here, but suffice to say that an 8-damage Flamestrike, and a 1-Mana Arcane Intellect are among the highlights.

That flexibility makes the card a perfect fit for a Reno deck, but also explains why Maly isn't an auto-include in other Mage decks. The downside of the Discover effect is that you can't rely on it to give you the exact card you need in a more aggressive deck that relies on consistency.

Malygos still makes our list by virtue of the current strength of Reno Mage. There is no reason to think the deck will go away anytime soon, although it wouldn't be a huge shock to see his big brother sent to the Hall of Fame come rotation time.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

#17: Bloodmage Thalnos

Thalnos is effectively a permanent fixture on our list at this point. He's been featured in many decks, but without ever really being instrumental in any of them. The allure of card draw means he’s often found in combo decks, which tend to make use of the additional Spell Damage. A common question from people who don’t own Thalnos is whether they should use Loot Hoarder or Kobold Geomancer to replace one half of the effects that Thalnos provides, and it can be difficult to explain why the answer is usually “neither”. The whole point of Thalnos is that he provides an amazing amount of incremental value in one card.

Honestly, Thalnos isn't a card that's ever hugely exciting, and most decks can get by with cutting it. On the other hand, it’s undeniably one of the best value cards in the game, and once you own a copy you can expect to use it for a long time to come. Thalnos is perfectly balanced—as all things should be—and if you’ve already crafted the powerhouse legendaries in our guide, it will be a good feeling to tick him off the list of staples. It will also mean you can skip the Thalnos section of this article in the future!

(Image credit: Blizzard)

#16: Activate the Obelisk

Since release, Activate the Obelisk has been in and out of Resurrect Priest. It seemingly does very little in a deck that's in a hurry to stabilise, and also takes up a valuable card slot. However, after the opponent’s initial attacks have been thwarted, completing the quest and unlocking the Obleisk’s Eye Hero Power will strangle all but the most aggressive opponent to death.

Over time, Activate the Obelisk has grown in popularity and is now a fixture in Resurrect Priest. Dropping an early Sandhoof Waterbearer can help rapidly complete the quest, and as the Waterbearer is a powerful minion in its own right, the cost of including Activate the Obelisk is more than mitigated.

In an extremely strange move, the flavour text to this card references the 1958 song “The Purple People Eater”, except this card heals people and doesn’t eat them. It’s all very confusing, but… I guess there's some purple in the picture?

(Image credit: Blizzard)

#15: Luna's Pocket Galaxy

After a brief hiatus due to the nerf back to its original cost, Luna’s Pocket Galaxy returns. Reno Mage is making a comeback and Pocket Galaxy is one of the highest win rate cards in that archetype.

Casting Pocket Galaxy for its full Mana cost often feels clunky, but can still be game defining. With the inclusion of Dragoncaster, Kalecgos, and Tortollan Pilgrim, you can regularly play a minion on the same turn as Pocket Galaxy. This makes those big swing turns much easier to accomplish by lowering the dangers of missing a turn of minion development.

Reno Mage is stacked with so many expensive minions that, after casting Pocket Galaxy, your whole deck will all be transformed into star performers.