The very best (and worst) Hearthstone legendaries
There are 175 legendary cards in Hearthstone.
These legendary cards are, in theory, the rarest and most powerful in the game. You can only play one of a legendary in a deck, as opposed to two of a common, rare, or epic card. The best legendaries are the cards which drive whole decks just by their inclusion. Whole archetypes and metas can be defined by the best of these legendary cards.
But how can we tell what are the best legendaries? What are the ones that it's worth going out of your way to craft? And what are the ones that will leave you feeling blue if you crack them open in a pack?
Here are the top 10 best and worst Standard legendary minions in Hearthstone right now.
10) Sunkeeper Tarim
Tarim has really come into his own since Murloc Paladin became a top deck. Even in the late game his ability to turn small minions into a board full of 3/3s can be be very powerful. Combine those 3/3 Murlocs with an Adapt and you have a formidable board indeed.
Just the stats involved alone make Tarim a powerful swing. Even if it's played defensively, turning your opponent's minions into 3/3s while he is a 3/3 Taunt minion makes for very awkward trades.
That swing ability shows in his winrate, which is among the highest according to HSReplay.net.
9) Tirion Fordring
The original number one class legendary.
Tirion has been strong in Hearthstone since the beginning of time. Even aggressive Paladin decks try to run him, just because of how great he is.
A massive Divine Shield taunt is strong enough. It can dominate the board and put a stop to just about any strategy. But when the body is swept away, the Ashbringer remains. That weapon is one of the strongest in the game on stats alone, and is equivalent to half the starting life of your opponent.
8) The Lich King
The Lich King is the only card from the latest set, Knights of the Frozen Throne, to make either list. We can't be quite sure how powerful it is for the long-term—but it's dominating right now.
According to HSReplay, The Lich King is in more than 34 percent of decks right now. That means two players out of every three games tracked are playing the card.
Eight mana 8/8 is the traditional form of the staple neutral legendaries, and a lot of the Death Knight cards are insanely powerful.
Barnes is on the cheaper side, taking away from the first three entries on this list which are late game swing cards.
The effect doesn't look that devastating on paper and, sure, getting a vanilla 1/1 kinda sucks. But with cards like Auctioneer, Y'shaarj, Ysera, Tirion...the list goes on. If you can hit a power card with Barnes you can bring a late game effect into the midgame and give yourself a great tempo swing.
It's incredibly versatile. And that's what makes Barnes so powerful.
When Kazakus was first released in Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, it was a very popular card.
That's because Reno Jackson was a thing in Standard. The single card decks were already strong, and giving them a card like Kazakus really took them over the edge for a little while.
But Kazakus has had a few months in the wilderness. Reno rotated out, and Kazakus alone wasn't powerful enough to force single card decks. That was until the Priest Hero card, with a refreshable hero power. Now Kazakus is back in vogue, and dominating once again. The versatility of this card again is what makes it so strong. It can be defensive, it can swing the board, or it can be aggressive.
5) Fandral Staghelm
Fandral had to make the list—and not just because Druid is running the table right now.
Fandral Staghelm is the most powerful Druid legendary in the game to date, and ever since debuting in Whispers of the Old Gods it has been near the top of the tree.
Obviously Druid is currently the most popular deck by far, but Fandral's popularity also stays in there with it—it's in 17.2 percent of decks, the fourth most common right now.
4) Bloodmage Thalnos
There isn't a single top legendary that is less exciting to look at that Bloodmage Thalnos.
But that doesn't make it any less powerful. Thalnos is the ultimate flexible legendary. Spell Damage is useful in just about every class, and card draw is even more so.
Freeze Mage, Control Mage, aggressive decks, Druid—the list goes on and on. Thalnos is consistently near the top of the legendary tree, and in the Classic set it looks like it could be there forever.
3) Aya Blackpaw
Aya Blackpaw is a powerful part of the Jade package, predominantly used right now in Jade Druid.
A six-mana minion with three health doesn't look great. But with five attack it's actually quite a problematic offensive shape. It demands an answer, or it will do damage to your board. It also summons a Jade Golem with it, so if it's a 3/3 or above that's great value.
And then once you deal with the 5/3 body, another Jade Golem appears stronger than the last. It's a microcosm of what makes Jade Druid such an oppressive snowball strategy.
2) Patches the Pirate
This is everyone's favorite legendary to complain about.
Patches has one of the weakest stat lines of any legendary. You wouldn't play a Stonetusk Boar in pretty much any deck willingly.
But the ability to have it hit the board without having to play it is what makes Patches so great. In the early turns it adds a great bit of extra pressure on the board, with instant removal potential or chip damage. It also thins your deck, making it easier to draw the cards you want in the later turns.
Alexstrasza never upsets anyone. Aya and Patches make people really mad, but Alexstrasza has the true power.
Alexstrasza has the power to make archetypes viable all by itself. The most obvious of these is obviously Freeze Mage, where the 15 health reset on your opponent allows for a damage combo to finish them off. But Alex has also been a staple of decks like Handlock, where the heal to 15 was absolutely vital.
It might not be the most dominant, or even the most individually powerful. But for the impact it has had over the entire lifespan of Hearthstone, Alexstrasza is number one.
Boring. Three attack on a legendary doesn't scream power. But of course, it's a Hunter legendary—did you expect it to be good?
9) Mayor Noggenfogger
Only a masochist would play this.
This is a much worse Violet Teacher. The token decks it would be viable in don't need the guaranteed tick, and the ability to summon multiple tokens a turn is so much more powerful.
7) Nat Pagle
Once the darling of the early meta, the change of the effect from the end to the start of your turn was such a significant nerf that Nat became completely unplayable.
6) The Boogeymonster
Ironically, The Boogeymonster has become the boogeymonster for players trying to open legendary cards. No one wants to see this.
Cho'gall in Hearthstone is exactly the same as in Heroes of the Storm—a great idea in theory. But nothing more.
This Deathrattle is just never good. It makes it almost impossible to keep minions on board with Anomalus, because they are just going to get cleared off anyway. And look closely at that stat line. Did you think it was an 8/8, like everything else? Nope, sorry. This super attractive Deathrattle requires a two health reduction too.
3) Nat, the Darkfisher
No one needs a two mana 2/4, let alone needing one bad enough to allow your opponent free card draw.
2) Madam Goya
This is way too expensive for an effect like this. It's kind of like Youthful Brewmaster in that it cycles minions back from the board, but it's not better enough to demand the extra investment.
You'd be forgiven for not even knowing that this card existed. Has there ever been a more offensively bland class legendary?
No one has ever played Tyrantus. I refuse to believe any player has ever put this in a deck. It's just totally and utterly pointless. A 10-mana card has to be incredible. It has to flip a game on its head, like N'Zoth or Deathwing. It can't be a passive bag of stats. Tyrantus can be so easily answered, and doesn't present an immediate challenge like Taunt.