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A trading card game is only as good as its cards, naturally. The cards in Hearthstone do a good job of providing a number of ways to play, making each class feel unique and independent.
Not every card is created equal, however. In our time with the game, some rose to the top in our most-played decks, while others became understandably popular with our opponents. With this in mind, here are the top 25 cards in the game, and why you should consider using them.
A few cards with silence are a great addition to any deck, regardless of class. As a 4/3 for just four mana, Spellbreaker’s board presence gives it the edge over cheaper cards like Ironbeak Owl and the aptly named Silence spell.
24.) Fire Elemental
There are several cards that deal “untauntable” damage when played on the field. Fire Elemental does more than most, and a 6/5 for six mana wouldn’t be bad even without the added effect. To top it off, it doesn’t have an Overload cost like other great Shaman cards.
23.) Youthful Brewmaster
Any deck with a high number of Battlecry or Combo effects needs a Brewmaster card. The Ancient Brewmaster has greater board presence, but at just two mana, its Youthful counterpart remains useful at all stages of a match. You can play him early on when mana is low, or in the late-game, and usually summon the very same minion you removed in a single turn.
22.) Truesilver Champion
With only two durability, Truesilver Champion won’t last long. However, with four damage and the ability to heal oneself, it’s very useful for both clearing Taunt minions and direct hits on enemy heroes.
21.) Commanding Shout
With so many low-cost cards, Warriors excel at one-turn combos. Commanding Shout is best played in addition to minions with Charge and/or low health and high attack. Normally, we wouldn’t recommend a Magma Rager, but with a Charge spell and Commanding Shout, he becomes a very annoying glass cannon.
20.) Explosive Trap
Explosive Trap plays into Hunter delay tactics quite nicely. When played alongside Stealth minions like Stranglethorn Tiger and Jungle Panther, this can oftentimes give you complete control of a board in just a turn or two.
With the Choose One keyword, the Druid is easily the most versatile hero in Hearthstone. That versatility comes at a cost, however, as their best cards aren’t usable without high mana. Nourish addresses both of these concepts by either giving you a mid-game mana rush or late-game card draw. Because of its Choose One effect, we prefer it to the cheaper Wild Growth, which must be drawn early to be effective.
Generally, it’s best to avoid cards that only heal — they serve to keep you alive longer with a deck that has fewer utility cards because you wasted room on healing spells. Lightwell is slightly different. It can pump up other Priest cards that benefit from higher health (e.g. Lightspawn and minions with Inner Fire) or actual heals (e.g. Northshire Cleric). Unlike other healing cards, it continually activates as long as it’s alive.
17.) Void Terror
Void Terror is the definition of a Warlock card. You sacrifice a minion and get a better minion in exchange. This can even be used to absorb temporary buffs on minions (like Power Overwhelming) and make them permanent.
It’s tempting to use Divine Spirit and Power Word: Shield to pump Lightspawn into a 28/28 on a single turn. We urge you to be cautious, however. A single Silence will turn this amazing minion into useless cardboard. Wait until it can attack first, then turn it into the game-winning creature it was meant to be.
15.) Summoning Portal
Warlock cards already cost very little mana. With a Summoning Portal, they cost even less, and suddenly, the ever-popular Warlock rush becomes feasible in just a few turns. This also allows you to clear your hand to negate the sacrifice of cards like Succubus.
It’s rare to see a Mage deck without Fireball. Six damage against any target for just four mana is incredibly cost-effective, and combos well with neutral spell buffing minions like Ogre Magi. It may not be terribly exciting, but it is terribly effective.
Starfall costs one extra mana than Fireball for one less damage. What’s so great about that? Thanks to that aforementioned Druid versatility, it can also hit every enemy minion for two damage. Direct damage and board clearance in a single card means more deck space for minions. Every Druid should have a pair.
12.) Unleash the Hounds
When played correctly, Unleash the Hounds might be one of the best area-of-effect spells in Hearthstone. With any combination of Hunter’s Mark, Scavenging Hyena and a Timber Wolf or two, it can easily turn control of a board over to you, rather than just messing with the enemy’s frontline.
There’s very little to do about a Rogue with a pair of Headcracks. Its low mana cost and endless playability can rush down heroes, forcing Priests to waste mana and heals on keeping themselves in the game, and even cause some to panic and make mistakes.
Windfury is a useful, devastating keyword on the right minion, allowing them to attack twice every turn. Windspeaker imparts that ability to any minion, great or small, and provides mid-tier board presence as well. Combined with damage buffs and a strong minion, this creature can win games out of nowhere.
That 28/28 Lightspawn we talked about earlier — along with any other over-pumped single minion — should watch out for this card. Polymorph irreversibly morphs any minion into a 1/1 Sheep. It’s annoying.
Hex is the Shamanic cousin to Polymorph. Hex, however, doesn’t leave the poor minion with a single point of attack. It does give them Taunt, which can be bothersome, but with a Searing Totem to clear out the minuscule minion, that shouldn’t be a problem. It’s cheaper than Polymorph, too.
Of all the expensive Legendary minions, Cenarius might be the best. He’s a game-ender that can both win you the match if you control the board, or give you control with a pair of 2/2 minions with Taunt. Normally, his high mana cost would make him a late-game contender, but in a Druid deck with Nourish and Wild Growth, it’s possible to get him out very early.
Why just morph an enemy card when you can remove it outright? At a cost of five mana, Assassinate is pricey but can really ruin someone’s day. Since most Rogue cards don’t cost much anyway, it’s great for paving the way for Combo cards like SI: 7 Agent and Defias Ringleader.
5.) Mind Control
Mind Control costs twice as much as Assassinate and more than three times as much as Hex, but it’s worth it. Rather than just weaken an opponent’s minion, you remove it completely and give it to yourself. As far as removal spells go, this one’s practically in a class all its own.
Once you have complete control of a board, you don’t want to lose it. The best way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to beat your opponent outright. Bloodlust is just the card for the job. It’s also versatile enough to win you board control if you don’t have it already. Losing all your minions to a line of what were a bunch of 0/2 totems just a minute ago is incredibly frustrating.
If you have a Malygos, run it in your Mage deck and see what happens. Suddenly, a single Fireball chops down more than a third of the other hero’s health, while Arcane Explosion does more damage than Flamestrike for less than a third the mana. Malygos is useful in nearly every spell-heavy deck, so make room for one if you can.
2.) Lord Jaraxxus
At first, Lord Jaraxxus looks like a standard minion with a lot of health. While he plays like a minion at first, that’s not the end of it. This Warlock-only card will transform whoever plays it into a terrifying juggernaut. The Warlock’s maximum health changes to 15 (meaning Jaraxxus is best used when already below that number), but alters their hero ability to summon a 6/6 demon and a 3/8 weapon for just two mana.
Seven mana, four damage, all minions. Like most Mage spells, it’s simple, rigid and annoying. In a single turn, this card will knock down most mid-game defensive lines and still leave a bit of mana left over. Combine it with a Malygos and it will wipe out even the most powerful minions in Hearthstone. Hunters, Shamans and Warlocks beware.
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