Dragonbane’s stats hit the gold standard for a 4-drop that also comes with a strong ability. A 3/5 minion for 4 Mana means that it can be played with a strong chance of surviving for a turn. The card's utility is further enhanced by the fact that it can be used on turn six alongside a hero power to guarantee the 5-damage effect.
Although the targeting is random, it's often the case that you can manipulate the board to improve your chances of hitting the right thing. On the occasions that Dragonbane survives for more than one turn, it's likely to take over the game entirely.
Hunter has recently lurched strongly back to its old SMOrc style (pure face damage, for those of you not Twitch literate). A minion that can increase the damage of your Hero Power from 2 to 7 is obviously incredible in that light. If Hunter continues to move in an aggro direction, Dragonbane should soar up the list. It's also worth noting that it was the only card outside of the top 11 that all of our panelists included. Admittedly, one of them placed it as a bonus 21st position because “More data is better”.
For now, Dragonbane is appropriately named. In the age of Dragons, this card is going to claim its fair share of casualties.
Alexstrasza behaves very much like Thalnos in our list, but for slightly different reasons.
Like Thalnos, Alex is a powerful neutral Legendary that always seems to have an application. Her strength was further enhanced by Descent of Dragons due to the proliferation of Highlander and Dragon decks. As such, you can expect plenty of longevity if you decide to craft her. It's also worth noting that whenever there's a powerful OTK deck in the meta, chances are it will include Alex.
As to her utility outside of combo decks, Alex is incredibly versatile. The healing aspect of the card is useful to help defend yourself with the considerable upside of leaving an 8/8 on board. This can often be a game-winning swing. The fact that she can do 15 damage to your opponent is also a potent tool in almost any deck, negating the need to play other expensive finishers or defensive cards thanks to her dual uses.
SN1P-SN4P is now only available via crafting, and will be rotating out with The Boomsday Project expansion. It's a powerful card at almost any stage of the game, and represents good value even if you have to play it as a vanilla 3-drop. The fact that it scales as the game goes on (due to its Echo effect) enhances the card's strength significantly, as does the Magnetic keyword, which means it can target copies of itself. If you have any Mechs in your deck—hello, Zilliax—then including SN1P-SN4P is a no brainer.
Consequently SN1P-SN4P sees a lot of play, and is particularly prevalent in Highlander Hunter and Token Druid. With such a glowing review, it might be surprising that it wasn't rated higher. Perhaps that's because most players got the card for free, so don't think about it as a crafting consideration. Or it could be that SN1P-SN4P's versatility actually counted against it. This is an incredibly high utility card, but not one that's particularly flashy. If you'd rather spend your dust on something really spicy for your next deck, keep reading!
#11: Reno the Relicologist
My personal trauma at the return of Reno is slowly receding as I accept that the irritating explorer is here for good. “Relicologist” activating spell checker is still something that might take another article or two to recover from though.
One theme of this update is Highlander decks. Back in the day, these were called Reno decks because their OG namesake was the pioneer of the mechanic. Reno Mage is currently by far the most popular variant of Mage, and what use would a Reno deck be without the man himself? In Descent of Dragons, Blizzard added significant support for the Highlander (because "there can only be one" of each card) archetype. Dragonqueen Alexstrasza—spoilers for later—has added to the already powerful Zephrys to provide two super strong neutral Highlander cards. Without their support, it's unlikely that Reno would be worth the downside of running a deck with no duplicates.
Another recurring theme of this article is cards that make a big impact and leave a body behind. This is usually referred to as high tempo, but can also be considered “swing turn” cards. Whatever you want to call it, Reno's second coming definitely does it.
All in all, my dreams of Reno becoming a relic have been shattered. His board clear is very strong and there's not much of a downside to going Highlander these days. Magic.
Sometimes the cards in this article are complex, and extensive description is needed to explain what makes them so good. At other times, they're simply a bundle of good stats and powerful effects. Siamat comes in the second category.
Siamat does a lot of stuff. Although you only get to pick two of his four possible keywords, that inherent versatility is enhanced by the fact you can always choose the right abilities for the situation. That also makes Siamat a natural fit in the Reno-style decks that have come back into fashion. It also means that in other archetypes, whether aggro or control, he can just slot in as a high-cost card in a deck that might need an extra threat or some clutch removal.
There is another aspect, too. If you are a newer player with a smaller collection, Siamat being a big chungus, combined with the already mentioned versatility, means that the card will work nicely in homebrews and partially completed decks. Much like Ragnaros in its heyday, this is a legendary you can take from deck to deck and never feel punished for playing.
#9: Dinotamer Brann
Many pros felt that the no duplicates restriction meant that Brann wouldn't be strong enough to see play when we revealed the card here on PC Gamer. (Although Tim insists he always knew.) To be fair, at the time, we didn't know how much neutral support Highlander decks were going to receive. As stated earlier, the existence of Dragonqueen and Zephrys helps lift the power of all other Highlander cards.
Highlander Hunter is a strange deck, and an enjoyable one to play. It contains many small synergistic interactions which makes for engaging game management. One has to think that this is the sort of deck Blizzard had in mind when creating the concept in the first place. Some Highlander archetypes have relied on the use of many cards that do similar things to each other, which can feel like it defeats the object of the exercise.
The best description of Highlander Hunter is that it's a curve deck. It wants to do the most powerful thing available on each turn, and when it does that it's very hard to stop. Brann’s role is not only being the most powerful thing you can do on turn seven, but also as a game closer. He often comes into play just in time for his oversized pet to deliver lethal damage.
The main downside of building this deck is the large amount of Legendary cards that it requires, but regular readers may own a lot of those cards already. If that's the case, then crafting Dinotamer is strongly recommended.
#8: Flik Skyshiv
Anyone who has ever built a Rogue deck has had a moment when they asked themselves “Is Assassinate any good?” The answer is, of course, "absolutely not". Flik is the hero that Rogue players wanted (but did not deserve).
The issue with Assassinate is that it's usually all you do on the turn you play it. As with several of the cards on this list, Flik creates a desirable effect while also adding to your board. A 4/4 body is not gigantic, but it is a reasonable minion that can represent a giant swing overall.
For the most part, removing all copies of the targeted card is a strong but secondary upside. Knowing that you are not going to have to face a second copy of, say, Mountain Giant can free up the rest of your hand to deal with other threats.
Of course, you do have to be careful when playing Flik. You will, at some point, remove one of your own minions by mistake due to having a similar deck to your opponent. When that happens, remember that I warned you, and allow just a flicker of a smile.
#7: Heistbaron Togwaggle
Knowing that Heistbaron Togwaggle was next on the list after Flik, I deliberately left out the fact that Rogue thrives on tempo so that I could talk about it here. The whole class is built around that concept, and Flik does it very well. 'Kill a thing, play a thing' is the Rogue mantra.
That preamble brings us to Togwaggle. Although there are four options available as Treasures when you play him, the overwhelmingly popular one is Wondrous Wand, which not only draws three cards, but also reduces their cost to zero. These cards can then be used to apply the Rogue mantra in spectacular fashion.
In case a massive swing turn isn’t enough for you, 0-Mana cards have great synergy with Rogue in general. They can buff Edwin Van Cleef and activate your other Combo cards. You would think that all of this would lift Togwaggle to the dizzy heights of being the best Legendary in the class, but there is another still to come...
In the last update, I commented that Zilliax was in 42.8% of decks according to HSReplay.net. That number has risen to 58.3% this month, and increases to 64.8% if you only look at decks in the Legend rank. This makes it by far the most played Legendary, and it's easy to understand why.
Zilliax is both neutral and incredibly versatile. At 5-Mana, it can be played on a turn when aggressive decks are just about to kill you. Not only does it gain you immediate Health, it will also usually remove a minion as well. In case that wasn’t enough, it hangs around on the board thanks to its Divine Shield, and then needs to be removed from hand or risks gaining the owner even more HP.
In some decks, Zilliax also manages to circumvent the problem that Legendary cards are inherently inconsistent due to the fact you can only play one of them. Town Crier, Sandbinder and Ursatron are notable cards that can add reliability to Zilliax by fetching it from your deck.
Despite two of our pros picking Zilliax 1st, it's only rated 6th overall. Why? It rotates out in April. If you’re happy spending your dust for a couple of months of gameplay, or like playing Wild, then Zilliax is a must-craft. If you want to be a bit more conservative with your dust, then you could go for one of our other highly-ranked cards. Of course, bear in mind that you’re playing without one of the best cards in the game in the meantime.