The grand old gates of Scholomance Academy, Hearthstone’s latest expansion, are opening soon.
With them, 135 new cards are joining the game, along with 25 Legendary cards—and, for the first time, 40 dual-class cards. It’s simply one of Hearthstone’s biggest and most exciting expansions yet.
But like any expansion, Legendary cards are the highlight. These are the meta-defining cards, the cards you prioritize other anything else. They shape your deck, save your neck, and carry you through the ranks.
Here are eight of the best Legendary cards coming to Hearthstone’s Scholomance Academy expansion, listed in no particular order.
8) Professor Slate
Hunter players are known for shooting first and asking questions later. The concept of board control is alien to them. But with the introduction of Professor Slate to Scholomance Academy, that could be about to change.
Professor Slate has the perfect set of stats for a three-cost minion. When combined with spells like Rapid Fire and even Arcane Shot, it’s exceptionally powerful. For just five mana, it has the potential to destroy two minions.
Up against a board of big minions, Professor Slate’s value is immense. The problem with the card, though, is that it’s situational and heavily relies on spells. It’s still a strong card, however, and should lead to some interesting, control-oriented Hunter decks.
7) Ras Frostwhisper
Ras Frostwhisper is a must-kill threat. When placed on the board, enemy players have to decide between spending resources and wiping it out or risking devastating snowball death.
The longer it remains on the board, the more powerful it gets. Both Shaman and Mage players can use this to their advantage, dealing endless damage to enemy minions and the opponent’s face.
Even with just one extra point of spell damage, its ability to control the board is worthwhile. When taking combos into consideration and late-game burst damage, it also has a role to play. It’s a flexible card that excels at almost everything.
6) Lorekeeper Polkert
This is another welcome addition to Hearthstone. Lorekeeper Polkert isn’t a groundbreaking card by all means, and it certainly won’t be featured in every deck, but it does have its niche. It’s situational and will require a specific deck suited to its needs. But with the right combination of cards, it has a ton of potential.
It fits perfectly with combo-oriented decks, fishing out the correct set of cards and delivering a deadly blow. Think Malygos, Alexstrasza—big beefy Legendaries.
It can also, however, be featured in midrange decks, changing the tempo of the game, throwing your weaker cards to the back of your deck, and drawing your strongest minions. Despite its niche, it’s a strangely dynamic card.
5) Disciplinarian Gandling
Disciplinarian Gandling is best friends with Lackeys. Dirt cheap minions with powerful Battlecries go hand in hand with the card. Sacrificing just one mana, one Health, and one Attack for a 4/4 Failed Student is more than worth the payoff.
Deathrattle cards are great substitutes. Throw down an egg and you’ll get a 4/4 and whatever’s hiding inside.
Disciplinarian Gangling costs just four mana and has a strong stat line, meaning it’s a sticky target that will unlikely be wiped out. It fits nicely with Zoo decks, swarming the board with minions and bulldozing through the match.
4) Headmaster Kel’Thuzad
Kel’Thuzad has endless potential. It’s a neutral card, it has a strong body of stats, and it has the ability to almost singlehandedly turn the tides of a match.
Throw it down on the board and your opponent will almost certainly cower in fear.
As long as you have AoE spells or single-target removal in your deck, Kel’Thuzad is worth picking up. Think big and beefy spells like Shadow Word: Ruin.
Its only downside, though, is that its a late-game card and will require a specific deck to cater to its needs. By turn seven, it activates. But waiting until turn 10 will be unavoidable in some cases.
3) Lord Barov
Imagine if Equality was a three-cost Warrior and Paladin minion with three Attack, two Health, and a Deathrattle with Whirlwind. That’s Lord Barov.
Under the right circumstances and combined with the right set of cards, it can wipe out an entire board. It’s fairly easy to activate, too. A few good options include Wild Pyromancer, Goblin Lackey, and even Consecration.
It’s a solid card that fits in multiple Warrior and Paladin decks. And because it’s a cheap, low-risk, high-reward card, it should frequently see play in constructed.
2) Ace Hunter Kreen
If you hate Hunter and Demon Hunter, you’re going to absolutely despise Ace Hunter Kreen. It’s everything Hunter and Demon Hunters players could possibly ask for in a card.
It caters perfectly for aggressive trading, allowing players to brute force control of the board. It has little to no risk and it costs just three mana, fitting into an early-game curve.
When Ace Hunter Kreen is used in conjunction with weapons or minions with Rush or Charge, it saves vital health and keeps your minions alive and well.
1) Instructor Fireheart
With Instructor Fireheart in your deck, there’s a possibility you’ll discover seven Lightning Bolts in quick succession.
If you’re lucky enough, you can deal a devastating 21 damage to your opponent’s face. Though it’s unlikely this will ever happen, it’s not out of the question.
More likely, you’ll discover a range of spells, each costing a different amount of mana. But that doesn’t stop Instructor Fireheart from being a strong card. It’s fun, it’s easy to fit into your deck, and it has few downsides.
Scholomance Academy is set to be released on Thursday, Aug. 6.