The crafting of legendary cards becomes a hot topic in Hearthstone when a new expansion like Whispers of the Old Gods is launched. In addition to the expansion, we’ve also had the release of Standard along with the nerfs to some high profile cards in the game. Both of these things combined have left players with questions on which legendary cards they should craft. It is my hope that the following guide will help make those decisions easier!
Legendary Crafting Guide
In the interests of providing the best quality information to players attempting to use their dust most effectively I have assembled a list below that ranks cards on the basis of (1) inclusion in top tier ladder or competitive tournament decks and (2) an assessment of whether the card is core to that archetype or more of a flex decision.
Deck viability is judged based on the Tempo Storm Meta Snapshot, reports of high-ranking legend lists from/r/CompetitiveHS, and decks represented at the European and Americas Spring Prelims at a greater than 1% play-rate.
The following decks were considered that currently require or run legendaries
(Evident: I added the links to these decks, they might not be the exact ones Daimbert was referencing in this post.)
I have built a preference for cards of the classic set into the tier ranking as they are evergreen. While this list is most sensitive to the present meta I have tried to take some account of a card’s usability over its lifetime which may give a sense of its longevity as the game changes.
In the first three tiers I tried to critically scrutinize cards’ relative strength on the assumption that most of these will acquired through crafting and players are trying to decide how to spend their dust. For less clearly viable or commonly used cards in Tier 4 and below the ranking is slightly less important and I preferred instead to highlight the places a card could be used should you have it. The assumption here is that you may have opened one of these cards and either want to find a place to play it or weigh the opportunity cost of dusting it.
Without further ado:
None. There are no cards in the current format that are essentially an auto-include in every class in every deck type. In other words, no legendary is currently Dr. Boom tier, whom every player was recommended to craft first without hesitation. As always you should decide which lists you are most interested in and develop a crafting plan from there.
Tier 1 Neutrals
These cards all must appear in multiple meta-defining or top tier decks among different classes either as core to the archetype or in several favored builds.
Fewer tokens and Big Game Hunter means that Ragnaros has gotten much stronger and sees play in a wide variety of mid-range and control decks that are looking to put out a big immediate threat. This includes most versions of N’Zoth Paladin, Tempo Warrior, Control Warrior, Ramp Druid, Beast Druid, Renolock, Reno Mage, and likely other decks. His ubiquity in currently strong lists in addition to historically high value make him one of the best Tier 1 neutral crafts.
At least as ubiquitous as Ragnaros, Sylvanas applies less immediate board pressure and her play profile accordingly entails more control-oriented lists. These include N’Zoth Paladin, Renolock, Control / C’Thun Warrior, C’Thun Druid, and basically every Priest list ever created. Also historically high value and often core to decks that play her, Sylvanas is a solid craft vital to unlock control archetypes.
He is the most common finisher in Miracle Rogue (75%), also commonly used in Zoo, part of the Renolock Combo, in current Pirate Warrior builds and some Aggro Pally lists. While every deck that currently runs Leeroy could be built without him (subbing Malygos / Doomguard / Skycap'n Kragg / or not using a charge finisher at all, etc.) his appearance in the preferred builds of multiple meta-defining and strong decks in addition to historically being a staple of aggressive decks makes him Tier 1.
His position in this tier is heavily meta dependent. As it stands the strongest classes (Shaman, Rogue, Warrior, also Paladin) are all weapon using and so Harrison will find a target in very high percentage of games. Thus he is a valuable addition and a tech decision for essentially every non-aggro deck. Harrison currently sees play in some builds of Miracle, Mid-Shaman, Tempo Warrior, Ramp Druid, N’Zoth Pally, and almost all versions of Control Warrior and Priest. He was even brought to American Prelims in a Freeze Mage (!?!). Despite very common usage, bear in mind Harrison is not core to any list and could be replaced with an Acidic Swamp Ooze.
He is top tier solely based on the strength of Miracle and Freeze as he is indispensable to making both decks. While vital to only two lists they are both extremely strong—Miracle is currently meta-defining and Freeze was among the top 5 played lists in both European and American Prelims and strongly represented among top 8 finishers (despite being less common on ladder). To play either deck you simply have to craft him. Should other cycle dependent spell-heavy archetypes emerge in the future Thalnos will also assuredly be an auto-include. (Also in OTK Priest, other more niche builds.)
This card is on the border and an argument could be made either way for his inclusion in the highest tier. The argument in favor is that he is used in basically all builds of N’Zoth Paladin and Tempo Warrior, two meta-defining decks and he also sees play in Ramp Druid, N’Zoth style Renolock and some Control Warrior. With the exception of N’Zoth builds Cairne is arguably a somewhat easier card to substitute but is currently a high priority craft given the range of decks and classes that use him. One further caveat (besides just being a somewhat boring stat bundle) is that Cairne’s strength is meta-dependant and has thus been historically variable. He was significantly weaker before Loatheb and Sludge Belcher rotated out given how poorly his stats lined up against them and the introduction of N’Zoth has made him significantly more desirable.
View the rest of the tiers after the jump! Continue reading “Hearthstone Legendary Crafting Guide for Standard”