Hearthstone’s Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion introduced Death Knights, hero cards that allowed you to upgrade your hero power while also gaining various powerful effects depending on the hero you were playing. While other cards from the set were also impactful, they were quickly forgotten once the expansion rotated out unlike the DK cards.
With nine DKs available, we ranked the top five that were arguably the most impactful during their time in the Standard constructed ladder. They defined the meta, and opponents had to build decks around them if they wanted a shot at winning the game.
Here are the five best DK cards in Hearthstone.
One of the most impactful DK cards was Bloodreaver Gul’Dan, which allowed the Warlock class to thrive in slower matches and win fatigue matches. The hero power allowed you to survive the first couple of fatigue turns easily while your opponent would lose a big chunk of their health. While the deal-three-damage hero power with Lifesteal was quite strong, its Battlecry effect was also powerful. It allowed you to bring back all friendly Demons that died that game, creating explosive turns where you could use Twisting Nether to clear the board and Gul’Dan next turn to build a powerful board back up.
While the Warlock class by itself was and is still strong due to the hero power that allows you to draw a card, it chipped your health pool quite hard when there weren’t that many healing effects in the game. As a result, Bloodreaver Gul’Dan allowed you to put a stop to your self-sacrifice and give up the card draw for the ability to start regaining health back. It also helped you win various matchups even against the most difficult Control decks back in the day. Without this DK, the Warlock class likely wouldn’t have been as prominent due to the aggressive decks which were previously rampant.
Deathstalker Rexxar was one of the most interesting DK cards released since it gave you a choice to adapt to the board every turn. While this meant you’d sacrifice your hero power that dealt two damage every turn, it was worth it in the long run due to the wide array of powerful beasts you could build. It gave Hunters a new way to play the game instead of just rushing every time a new expansion hit.
Even though some players still played Aggro decks, they found a spot for Deathstalker Rexxar in their decks since it gave them access to a backup plan if their primary didn’t work out. It was an overall great card and one of the most impactful cards Hunters received.
Shadowreaper Anduin wasn’t regarded highly during it’s release, but once people found out about Highlander decks, the meta completely changed. With various powerful cards included such as Reno Jackson, Raza the Chained, and Kazakus, Shadowreaper Anduin took over the meta. The Priest deck was the most popular one on the ladder for a couple of months since it was easy to pilot, but players who put a lot of time to master still beat others easily.
The skillcap of this deck was through the roof, and the best players in the world at the time picked up wins in clearly lost scenarios. The deck enabled a lot of interesting tactics and gameplay and was the staple of most Hearthstone players since everyone had their own playstyle.
Malfurion the Pestilent
Malfurion the Pestilent was the most popular DK card throughout the entire expansion. While not as explosive and impactful as other ones, it gave Druids a better hero power alongside a powerful board presence when played on the seventh turn. Even though he didn’t have game-defining effects, he was still included in most Druid archetypes back in the day.
The flexibility and power of this card made it the most popular DK card, while others went through various nerfs to balance them out. If it were returned today to the Standard format, it would become an auto-include card once again.
Frost Lich Jaina
Frost Lich Jaina gave way to various Control Mage decks due to its ability to regain health from Elemental attacks alongside a powerful ping that gave you Water Elementals. You included various powerful Elementals in your deck and if played correctly, you could constantly refill your board with 3/6 Lifesteal Elementals, which made you a force to be reckoned with and hard to kill. While the effect was quite powerful, you needed nine mana to play her, so if you failed to draw early on, it would be quite a difficult task as the game went by. Losing a turn of tempo to your opponent meant death usually in the later stages of the game.