One of the fascinating things about Hearthstone is just how impressive and important cards can be in constructed while also being absolute garbage in arena. Grim Patron or Undertaker, for instance, were responsible for some of the most dominant archetypes in the history of the game. But they were also total garbage in arena. You could never build the synergies in away for them to make sense. Arena is the only world where Silver Hand Knight is a better five-drop than Grim Patron.
With that in mind we’ve ranked the 10 worst cards in Hearthstone arena. Some of these are quite good in other formats. But they’re totally useless in the non-denominational world of value and tempo.
There’s a dream where you play Magma Rager against a class that can’t deal one damage and it trades into a Chillwind Yeti or whatever. But mostly this thing gets killed for free by… well, Fireblast, Shapeshift, Dagger Mastery, a Paladin guy, and um, almost every other minion in the game. If Magma Rager has an unfavorable trade with Angry Chicken then it has to be on this list.
Totemic Might isn’t as bad as it used to be because of cards like Tuskarr Totemic and Totem Golem—last night I lost an arena game to a well-placed Mana Tide buff—but it’s still pretty awful. An 0/4 spell damage totem isn’t that much scarier than a 0/2 spell damage totem. You know why? Because it still doesn’t have any attack.
Healing Touch isn’t quite as bad as some of the other icons on this list because it at least does something. There will be the occasional arena game where life-gain matters and you greedily snatch up a victory you probably don’t deserve. And it can also target minions, which means you can spend three mana to fix your Chillwind Yeti or whatever. A play like that will make you cry, yes, but it’s workable. But generally vapid, uncritical healing like this is pretty bad. Antique Healbot is low-tier, and that even comes with a body.
Grimscale Oracle is one of the few minions on this list because the worst arena cards are usually hyper-specific spells that would never make sense outside of constructed. But Grimscale packs the worst mana-for-stats equation in all of Hearthstone. One mana. 1/1. Buffs other Murlocs. This is arena, you’re not going to have other Murlocs, and even if you did you still wouldn’t draft this. Worse than Wisp. Worse than Target Dummy. Grimscale Oracle, you are truly one of a kind.
Yes, somehow worse than Grimscale Oracle. Lorewalker Cho gives you zero attack and an effect that’s always been intended as a joke. The chances of you actually copying a useful spell in arena are infinitesimally small, but you are guaranteed to lose all your tempo on turn two!
Arena is all about tempo. Get your minions out on curve, hold on to the board, and grind your opponent into dust. Generally you’re not looking for spells that do absolutely nothing. Gang Up is a niche favorite in Mill Rogue because it allows you to slow down fatigue and build crazy Coldlight Oracle combos, but in arena it’s literally worse than hero powering. You don’t want to draft cards that are worse than using your hero power.
Bolster gets a lot of garbage for being a terrible card in arena. And to be fair, it is pretty awful. In arena the best you can hope for is maybe a +2/+2 buff for two mana on, like, a Sen’jin or something. But it’ll more than likely just sit in your hand forever. It is only two mana, however, and a two-mana dead card is much preferable to a ten-mana dead card. Also you’d never see this anyway because who the hell plays Warrior in arena?
This is one of my favorite cards in Hearthstone just because of how bananas it is: 10 mana crystals! Discard your entire hand! Oh my god that’s insane! In constructed you can use Astral Communion to get early Ancient of Wars and Ironbark Protectors on the board. In Arena, you play Astral Communion, topdeck a Bloodfen Raptor, and immediately lose the game.
On the bright side, it costs zero mana, can save your life in really, really specific situations, and is the perfect counter to the 0.00001 percent of Warlock decks that are lucky enough to draft a Lord Jaraxxus.
On the other side, um, it completely destroys your own tempo for a flagrantly useless effect. Do you think you’re better off with a Flame Imp on the board or five more health? If you can’t answer that question you probably haven’t played enough Hearthstone.
Everyfin is Awesome
There is a world where this card isn’t the worst thing you could possibly pick. There’s a world where maybe you pick up, like, five Murlocs over the course of a draft, and then somehow your arena game goes to the ultra late game and you play Everyfin and earn some desperate, crucial board control before everything falls apart. In the far more likely scenario Everyfin nets you a 3/2 for 10 mana, or worse! Nothing at all. Ten mana to do nothing. Short of killing character, I don’t think there’s a more useless, counterintuitive play in all of Hearthstone.
Image via Blizzard