Top 10 best (and worst) Hearthstone legendaries
With the arrival of the Year of the Raven and The Witchwood, there are now 122 legendary cards in Hearthstone’s Standard format.
Legendary minions are a huge part of what makes Hearthstone so appealing. The excitement of seeing that orange glow when busting open a card pack is enough to rouse even a seasoned pro. These cards define archetypes and cause players to build their whole decks around a single game plan.
But for every great legendary, there are many more terrible ones. Nobody enjoys opening Nat Pagle or Lorewalker Cho.
So which ones are worth your attention? And which ones are never likely to see play? Where can you spend all the dust you’ve been saving?
Here are the best and worst legendaries in Standard.
10) Lord Godfrey
Despite already having plentiful AOE tools, Control and even Cube Warlock have found places for Godfrey. It mostly results in a full board clear, costs one less mana than Twisting Nether, and leaves you with a 4/4 minion.
9) Prince Keleseth
The Prince has seen a lot of ups and downs in his short time in existence. He was initially assumed useless until Tempo Rogue hit the meta. Following the nerf to his best friend, Patches the Pirate, the Prince fell out of favour again.
The Witchwood has breathed new life into this versatile neutral minion. He’s found his way into Spiteful Druid, Spiteful Priest, and Zoo Warlock.
This happy little critter caused some polarized opinions during reveal season, but has proved to be an incredibly useful card. It’s ability to see your opponent’s hand can help you play around their best moves. When the time is right, you can pull some game-winning effects from this minion.
7) Baku the Mooneater
Baku’s requirement that your deck runs only odd-costed cards seems like too big of a barrier to get passed. However, the upgraded hero power makes it worthwhile for Rogue and Paladin at least. One of the overlooked benefits of running Baku is the additional resources you’ll find yourself with in the mid-to-late game.
6) Leeroy Jenkins
Whenever a new tempo or aggressive deck pops up, almost without fail Leeroy will be there. Dealing six damage to an opponent by surprise is always useful, but add in a Cold Blood or a Shadowstep and the amount of face damage he can do is stunning.
5) Skull of Manari
A highly underrated card in the Kobolds and Catacombs reveal season, the Skull has proven to be an staple of Cubelock. This weapon is so good that it’s even found its way into Wild Cubelock, which already had the option of Voidcallers. Apparently playing a Voidlord for free on turn five or six is a pretty strong move.
4) Genn Greymane
Just like Baku, this unusual legendary is able to overcome its downside. Or as Genn puts it, “we have turned our curse into our greatest strength.” Genn looks the better of the two currently, with the Shaman, Warlock, and Paladin variants all appearing viable.
3) Bloodreaver Gul’dan
In keeping with the tradition of powerful Warlock legendaries, Bloodreaver Gul’dan is hands-down the best Hero Card that’s been printed.
Firstly, the upgraded hero power is unbeatable in the late game, allowing a very efficient damage and heal that can go over the top of taunts.
More important though is the resurrection of all your demons. When playing against Warlock there’s nothing more soul destroying that killing your opponent's second Voidlord, only to have them both come back along with some of their demon friends.
2) Sunkeeper Tarim
Tarim is among the best Legendaries ever printed in Hearthstone. His ability to simultaneously neutralize an opposing board while buffing your own small minions mean this guy can swing games in a single turn.
Perhaps the best indicator of Tarim’s power is the fact that he’s effectively pushed Tirion Fordring out of the meta. Until Tarim Tirion was a staple in Paladin deck, fitting into all but the most aggressive versions. Now, it’s much rarer to see Tirion and Ashbringer on the ladder.
1) The Lich King
Speaking of reasons not to play Tirion Fordring, The Lich King now rules the eight mana slot.
You want a big sword? He’s got Frostmourne. You want to buff your minions? Anti-Magic Shell will give all your minions +2 / +2 and “can’t be targeted by spells or hero powers.” You want AOE? He’s got the best AOE spell in the game, Death and Decay. And all that in an 8/8 taunt body.
As long as people like playing big stuff, The Lich King will continue to see play.
While Nozdormu has no competitive applications, it does offer large amounts of meme value. Before the rotation, Nozdormu used to pop up from Netherspite Historian. But following the Historian’s move to Wild, his only hope is a random drop from Bone Drake.
A great way to give your opponent a free win. The biggest impact this card had on the game was to dilute the Dragon pool for Discover and random effects. If you somehow end up with this card in your hand, it’s probably wise not to play it.
Another overly expensive useless Hunter legendary. Even Swamp King Dread was more useful than this card.
7) The Runespear
An eight mana 3/3 weapon is so bad that Woecleaver doesn’t make the cut, despite its powerful effect. The Runespear doesn’t have an effect that’s anywhere near as powerful. It never stood a chance.
6) Lorewalker Cho
Zero attack minions are rarely useful, and Cho is no exception. His ability can be fun sometimes, as long as you’re not trying to win games.
This guy was supposed to be a late-game value machine for Blizzard’s forced archetype, Freeze Shaman. Similar to the Discard mechanism, freezing your own minions is counterproductive to your game plan. Add to this the bad stats, a reoccurring theme in this list, and a lack of support and it’s obvious that Freeze Shaman was destined to fail.
A 4/4 body is just not a serious threat on turn six, and clearing off a 2/2 Taunt is easy even for aggressive decks. Underpowered and boring, Hogger doesn’t even offer amusement.
An eight mana legendary minion needs to be more than just a pile of stats, but that’s exactly what Gruul is.
2) Blood Queen Lana’thel
A poor stat line is a bad start, but it’s the Discard synergies that make this card safe to dust for all but the most committed masochists. Lifesteal is not enough to save the Queen. This is all compounded by her uncanny ability to be targeted by discards.
1) Lakkari Sacrifice
Everything about this card is bad.
The quest mechanic is fundamentally a disadvantage—you lose a card in your opening hand, lose your first turn, and give up your game plan to your opponent. Then there’s the quest requirement—discard 6 cards. It turns out, having cards is pretty useful in a card game. Not only is discarding cards terrible for actually winning, it feels awful too.
Finally, the horribly underpowered quest reward, the Nether Portal. At 5 mana, playing your quest reward is an instant tempo hit. The 3/2 demons it summons are not a huge threat and are easily removed.
To rub salt in the wound, the Portal itself takes up a place on your board, meaning you can only have 6 minions on board. Which would matter, if you hadn’t discarded them all trying to complete your quest.