Hey guys, Joseph Scalise here. I’m jumping over from my other series to bring you some help. As we all know by now, The Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is out and there are a ton of new cards and decks running around the ladder. As such, you may be asking yourself, “what cards do I craft, and why should I craft them?” If you are, then don’t worry because I am here to lend a hand. In the following guide I am going to break down the different MSG cards by class and help you figure out what’s best to make for you. Crafting is always a tricky subject because, while dust is very precious, you also want to be able to play the game. I am by no means the end-all on crafting, but I can offer some friendly advice for anyone looking to get some extra value at the start of the new set.
Crafts by Class
The way I look at it, there is no such thing as a “must craft” card unless it is played in absolutely every single deck (think Dr. Boom). Rather, it really depends on what class you want to play and what deck you want in that class. The best cards to craft are going to change from person to person, so here I am going to break down each class and discuss the cards you should craft depending on what best suites your style (or if you just wanna win some games).
Note: If a card is not on here it is either a common, or not worth crafting.
The Grimy Goons
Don Han’cho is probably the least necessary of the three mob bosses. While he may be strong in what he does, the meta is very fast and every deck needs some early game to stay competitive. A 5/6 is simply not going to shine in that environment. There is a chance that he may be good one day, but current buff decks look like they want to be much faster than turn seven. I would only craft him if you want to spend some time testing buff decks (and you have the spare dust) or if you need for him a specific combo deck.
Dopplegangster: A very strong card that will see play in buff decks over the next year. This is perhaps the most important card if you want to build any midrange deck from the three Goons classes. I would especially recommend crafting this if you want to play Midrange Paladin.
Trogg Beastrager/Dispatch Kodo: These two cards are essential for any beast-buff oriented build. In my early testing I have not found any success with the list (and neither have streamers), but it is possible that this could exist down the line. If you want to play around with that deck and only have dust for one of these I would get Dispatch Kodo since beastrager can be replaced by other two drops like Scavenging Hyena.
Rat Pack: Rat Pack is an extremely powerful card (my pick for the best in the set) but I am not sure if the deck is for it yet. I would say you should hold off of on crafting the epic until a good list rises. 800 dust is a lot (you are going to want two) and there are much better ways you can spend that kind of cash right now.
Knuckles: The five mana gorilla falls into the same category as Rat Pack. While I think this is a very solid card that is going to really do some damage one day, it just doesn’t have a deck. Definitely not worth the dust for right now. Even if it becomes good there are many five drop replacements for the 3/7.
Grimestreet Outfitter: A very solid common I bring up because it is going to be key to just about any type of midrange or aggro Paladin that exists these days. If you don’t have this card and you want to play a buff deck you should craft two of them and never look back. Much more essential than Smuggler’s Run.
Fight Promoter: It is too early to tell if Fight Promoter is going to be good for Goons decks yet. I think it has some potential, but so far I have had a lot of success in Paladin without it. I would hold off on this unless you want to test it across multiple classes.
Small-Time Recruits: A very strong card that is absolutely going to be worth the dust if you like aggressive or low-curve Paladin. Small-Time Recruits gives you a ton of reach in those decks and helps you thin at the same time. I wouldn’t craft it first, but if you have all the other pieces for the decks it is good it, then the draw makes a great fit.
Meanstreet Marshal: If you want to play any version of buff or aggro Paladin you want this card. In fact, this is probably the second most important Paladin card to craft right now (besides Wickerflame Burnbristle). I do not think any popular Paladin lists that come out in the future weeks will not have the 1/2. It is just so much stronger than other one drops, especially in a Patches the Pirate meta.
Wickerflame Burnbristle: If you like Paladin you should craft this card. Wickerflame is just an insane amount of value for a three mana card and it will be in every single Paladin list, from Anyfin to Control to Midrange to Aggro, for a long, long time. Legendaries are not cheap, but this is definitely worth the dust if you like Uther.
Finja, the Flying Star: Finja is a very strong card for Murloc Paladin, and it is a card that will almost certainly be in the deck until it rotates out. However, as that is going to be in a couple months, you should only get this if you absolutely love Murloc Paladin. That goes double because Murloc Paladin is still strong even without this card. It just makes it better.
Small-time Buccaneer: If you want to play Pirate decks you need to craft this card. Period. The one drop is too good not to have for that build (and you can also use it in Rogue).
Stolen Goods/Alley Armorsmith: If you want to test out Taunt Warrior these are both must-haves. Though I do not think the deck is competitive (especially in my early testing), the deck will never be able to function without this pair. Alley Armorsmith could also eventually see play in Control Warrior as well, so that’s worth considering.
Grimestreet Pawnbroker: Not worth the dust. Though this card seems very good for Pirate builds, the list has already been very close to optimized for what it will be in the next months. It does not need this three drop because there are better options.
Fight Promoter: Promoter could be very good for Taunt Warrior and may be worth testing in that deck if you have the dust laying around. Not really worth crafting outside of that, but I’d thought I’d mention it.
Brass Knuckles: I am mentioning the four drop weapon here because there are some people who are playing it in different decks. If you have the dust I think this could be worth trying in a wide range of buff Warrior decks (like taunt) but it isn’t good enough if funds are tight.
Hobart Grapplehammer: Hobart is an extremely strong card for Pirate Warrior and does nothing outside of that. However, like Finja, he is not a card that the deck needs to win. If you want that extra bit of power level (and win rate) then he could be good if you’re going all-in with Pirate Warrior, but I wouldn’t get him otherwise.
Patches the Pirate: An absolute must-craft if you want to play Pirate Warrior. While you could win games without the 1/1, your success will skyrocket with the 1/1 in your deck. He is that good. This is one of the best cards in the current game and it will see a lot of play across the next year.
Kazakus: An absolute must-craft for anyone who wants to play Renolock, Reno Mage or Reno Priest before the explorer leaves Standard. The potion-maker is an extremely strong, extremely versatile card that is absolutely worth the dust.
Kabal Courier: The best of the three tri-class rares, courier is another very strong option for Reno lists. I would recommend crafting this if you want to play any one-of style deck.
Volcanic Potion: A very good one-of craft if you want to play Reno Mage. There are a lot of fast decks running around right now and having cheap AOE is always welcome in slower decks.
Potion of Polymorph/Kabal Crystal Runner: These two cards should only be crafted if you really want to test Secret Mage. Almost all of the early testing I have seen shows the deck is bad, but if you want to see for yourself you are going to want each of these (just one Potion of Polymorph though).
Manic Soulcaster: A solid addition to Reno Mage but by no means a must-craft. I have been having success with my list without running this card. It’s probably worth the dust if you can spare the 400, but it is not necessary.
Inkmaster Solia: I have been playing quite a lot of Reno Priest over the past few days and, while Inkmaster is good for that deck, she is nowhere near essential. I would say the 5/5 has some upside, but Reno is leaving in just a few months. I would only get her if you really want to play the archetype a lot.
Drakonid Operative: If you want to play a dragon deck (Reno or normal) you want this card. The body and the ability are insane and you won’t regret getting it.
Pint-Sized Potion: This rare could have some potential down the line and is very strong for anyone trying out Control Priest. While it is very likely the archetype will be worse than Dragon Priest for the next few months, this is a card you need if you want to mess around with the list.
Mana Geode: Don’t listen to the hype on this one. Mana Geode is just too slow for what it is. The meta is very fast and you don’t want to spend 400 of your hard-earned dust on a 2/3. No matter how many 2/2’s that it spawns. There are much better options for Priest right now.
Raza the Chained: I would say this is one of the strongest legendaries of the set. While Reno Priest may not be good forever, many have already shown how strong it is for the early days of the new meta. If you want to play the one-of deck you should just craft Raza and never look back.
Wrathion: I do not think Wrathion is worth the dust, even for a dragon deck. Though there is some potential for the card, he has a very unreliable ability that is going to often just get you one card. Like Hobart Grapplehammer, if you have the extra dust or you absolutely love the deck he can be a good option, but otherwise you should wait to open him.
Seadevil Stinger: Though this card seems very strong at first glance, Murloc Zoo is just going to be worse than regular Zoo down the line. While the ability is good, the body is very weak and there are better things to spend four mana on. I’d pass here.
Felfire Potion: A very strong one-of for Renolock. There is no reason to ever craft two of these, but if you want to team up with the explorer you need to have one. Especially in a meta filled with Jade Golems.
Kabal Trafficker: While not necessary for the deck, I believe this card is going to be in Renolock for some time. The body is strong and the ability quickly climbs out of hand. I would get one of these if you have the dust and want to make Reno better.
Unlicensed Apothecary: This is another card that I think is all hype. A 5/5 for three is good, but the ability is a very large set back in many situations, especially against pirates. Not worth the 400 dust.
Krul the Unshackled: No. Not only is Krul the worst of the Reno legendaries, but his ability is actually going to hurt you much more than it is going to help you. There are much better options for finishers. The only reason I would craft this is if you have a ton of extra dust and you want to play demons in Reno.
The Jade Lotus
Aya Blackpaw: Perhaps the most important crime boss for her classes, Aya is an absolute key card for any Jade deck. While it seems that Druid is the frontrunner, you are going to want her for Rogue and Shaman too. If you like Jade Golems, get her right away.
Jade Idol: One of the best Jade cards out there, Jade Idol is a staple for any Golem-based Druid deck. If you like the list you just need to craft two and never look back.
Kun the Forgotten King: A very strong legendary that has no place right now. Kun is currently used as a combo card, but I believe it has the potential to be so much more. Hold off if you can’t find use for it right away, but I would get this if you can afford it and you want to play ramp. It also should be good in the coming year.
Small-Time Buccaneer: Like with Pirate Warrior, this is a card you absolutely need to have if you want to play Aggro, Tempo or Pirate Rogue. There is a lot of potential for all of those decks, and you need this to play each of them. Get two if you ever want to rush your opponent down.
Counterfeit Coin: Miracle is not a deck that is going to see a lot of early testing, but it (like always) will be very strong in the coming months. If you want to play the deck I would highly recommend getting the coin for your collection. There is just nothing like it.
Patches the Pirate: The 1/1 is extremely strong, and will probably see play in some form of Rogue in the future. I do not know if that is going to be aggro, tempo or miracle, but it will fit in there eventually. Honestly, if you plan to play aggro at some point in the near future you should just get the speedy pirate and call it a day.
Jinyu Waterspeaker: A very strong mid-game drop, I think that the waterspeaker will make it into both midrange and control Shaman when it’s all said and done. Jade could also use this as well. The 3/6 body is solid, the healing is relevant and the overload is minimal. I really like this card and you should look into getting it if you want to mess around with Thrall.
Jade Claws: If you are playing a Jade deck this is an easy inclusion. The weapon is underwhelming, but making more golems is always good. However, if you aren’t playing a Jade deck hold off. Spirit Claws still exists.
Lotus Illusionist: Lotus Illusionist is a fun card and a good craft for anyone who wants to mess around with a cool combo deck. In addition, if you can afford it, this could be a good inclusion into midrange. Being able to transform into a six drop is very strong and will force your opponent into bad plays. Could be worth it if you like Midrange Shaman and want some new cards.
White Eyes: I am not sure what to make of White Eyes yet. I have tested him a lot in control lists, but they just suffer too much against Jade Druid. However, his ability and relevant body means that he could be good in Midrange lists as well. This one is a toss up for me, but he is a lot of fun. If you really like Shaman and you have some dust I would recommend it, otherwise it would be good to wait and see if he makes the cut down the line.
Well, there’s my guide! I hope you all enjoyed it and I hope it helped you in some way. Dust is a very tricky subject and a very valuable resource in this game. It is good to get an outside opinion on how to spend it (especially from someone who has made their share of mistakes). As always, thanks for much for reading and let me know what you think.