Determining which Epic Hearthstone card to craft can be a tough decision for experienced and new players alike. If you craft a card and find it less useful than initially expected, the best you can get is one-fourth of your Arcane Dust back.
Our Hearthstone Epic Crafting Guide will help ease the anxiety of burning 400 dust on a single card. This guide will take you through a logical Crafting Strategy to ease the pain of Standard rotations and focus on those cards that are most likely to get the best value from your dust. For each Hearthstone Set, we provide the Best Cards to Craft and Good Cards to Craft to assist you through your next crafting conundrum.
Please note that this guide is intended for Standard players. In Wild, Epic cards have different power levels than in Standard due to additional synergies available in the format. We have separate guides for Wild cards! (listed below)
Hearthstone Epic Crafting Strategy
When choosing the next Epic card to craft, you should consider both the strength and set of the cards you’re considering. Typically, Neutral Epics fit into more decks and offer the best variety when crafted. As with all class cards, however, class-specific Epics tend to be stronger and offer additional synergy and/or class identity options.
The Best Cards to Craft are either Neutral Epics played in a variety of decks or very powerful, staple class Epics. Good Cards to Craft are Epics that are tech cards, flexible inclusions, or any card that doesn’t see as much play right now or has a high chance of disappearing from the meta when it shifts.
In general, cards listed in the Best Cards to Craft for each set should be given priority over those in the Good Cards to Craft. The exception would be if you have a specific deck in mind that is reliant on the card you’re planning to craft.
In terms of sets, the best long-term value for your dust is always going to be cards in the Hearthstone Classic Set. Barring retirement into the Hall of Fame, all of these Epic cards will always be included in Standard. Even if crafted cards are banished to Wild, a full dust refund can be expected.
After the Classic Set, the sets from the current year should be given priority. Sets remain in Standard for two years, so the current year sets have a longer lifespan than the sets from the prior year.
The Hearthstone Classic Set is the core set in the game. Introduced with the game’s release, the set still has many of the game’s strongest Epic cards. Due to their unrestricted duration in the Standard format, Classic Set Epic cards are more likely to remain playable than those released with expansions.
Hearthstone Classic Set Best Cards to Craft
- Brawl & Shield Slam – I’ll group those two together, since they belong to the same archetype – Control Warrior. We’ve seen many variants of the deck over the years – regular Control Warrior, C’Thun Warrior, Dragon Control Warrior, Odd Warrior, even Bomb Warrior more recently. And each one of those has played both Shield Slam & Brawl. Those are timeless Warrior Epics that are good right now and will certainly work at some point in the future too – any time Control Warrior is viable.
- Murloc Warleader – Murlocs pop back into the meta every now and then, and one thing is sure – if you want to play a Murloc deck, Warleader is a staple that you absolutely need. Even though it’s no longer as powerful as it once was (it used to give +1 Health too), a board-wide attack buff is still amazing. It lets you trade your small Murlocs up, or push A LOT of damage out of nowhere. For example, with 4 other Murlocs on the board it adds 8 damage just like that – on top of a 3 mana 3/3 body and a Murloc tag. Right now it’s played in Murloc Paladin and Murloc Shaman, and you basically need it for either of those decks. I’m also 100% sure that it will see play in the future, unless Blizzard decides that Murloc tribe will never be viable again.
- Snake Trap – One of the most staple Hunter Secrets, Snake Trap comes back into the meta any time Hunter builds play some Secret synergy builds. In practice, it’s been played for months now and it’s not likely to stop any time soon. Most popular Hunter builds rely heavily on Secrets right now, and Snake Trap is just a good one. Summoning 3x 1/1 for 2 mana is already great, the fact that they’re Beasts makes it even better, but what’s best about it is that if you run many different Secrets, you can mind game your opponent easily into thinking that it’s something completely different.
Hearthstone Classic Set Good Cards to Crafts
- Doomsayer – Doomsayer used to be the #1 Epic to craft from Classic, and it’s still a solid one, but it doesn’t see as much play in the current meta for me to put it into the other category. Doomsayer can be used as a stall tool, delayed AoE removal (usually when combined with other spell, like Frost Nova) and pseudo life gain (if you drop it when your opponent can kill it, it should still gain you 7 life if he doesn’t want to lose the board). It’s a versatile card and you can’t go wrong with crafting it, even if for the future.
- Mountain Giant – For the longest time, Mountain Giant was associated with Warlock class. Different Warlock variants, like Handlock, Renolock or Even Warlock were the ones that could easily play a cheap Giant thanks to their Hero Power. But the current meta is a bit different – now Mountain Giants work best in Mage thanks to some synergies like Book of Specters and Conjurer's Calling. Because of a nerf to the latter, the card has dropped in popularity recently, but it should still be a good craft. It’s strong if you want to play Mage (as well as an off-meta Hand Paladin), and I’m pretty sure that it will be played in the future by some other decks too.
- Sea Giant – The other Classic Giant left in Standard, it generally fits into a different kind of decks than Mountain. Sea Giant is all about board flooding, which means that he naturally goes into the decks that can easily get multiple minions on the board and then play him for cheap. He naturally fits into all kinds of Token decks and Zoo Warlock. More recently, he was also commonly seen in Cyclone Mage, which could flood the board to a certain extent AND had Conjurer's Calling to take even bigger advantage of it. However, the deck is not very popular anymore. Still, Sea Giant is a solid investment into the future.
- Preparation – Preparation was always one of the most powerful Rogue cards, so it’s not a big surprise that it was finally nerfed after so many years. Decreasing the mana cost reduction from 3 to 2 is a big deal, but the card is far from being dead. Remember that Innervate survived an even bigger nerf (percentage-wise) and it’s still being played. Playing spells 2 mana cheaper is a good tempo play anyway, so Prep isn’t likely going anywhere. If you want to play Rogue class seriously, I recommend having two copies ready. Even if not now, then for the future. However, if you’re not a Rogue player, you probably disenchanted Prep for full Dust, so no reason to craft it again for now, since it doesn’t see play in any Tier 1 deck.
- Pyroblast – Pyroblast is the most damage a player can do in a single, straightforward card that doesn’t require any other synergies. While the damage to mana ratio is not great, being able to get rid of 1/3’s of your opponent’s starting life total with a single card is certainly powerful. Because of that, the card sees some play in different Mage decks as a finisher. It was very common early into the Saviors of Uldum because both Highlander Mage and Big Spell Mage were popular. Right now it’s much less common, but still serves as a finisher in certain builds.
- Twisting Nether – Staple Warlock board wipe. While it costs A LOT of mana, unlike most of the other clears it just destroys everything. No requirements, no minions surviving (like in case of Brawl), it straight up destroys instead of dealing damage (so high health minions won’t survive). Any time some slow Warlock deck is played, Twisting Nether finds a place in the deck. Right now, slow Warlock decks aren’t in a great spot, but the card is still good if you want to play the Quest (Supreme Archaeology) build. And it will certainly be playable in the future once some other viable, Control Warlock builds rise up.
Year of the Dragon (2019) Sets
The Year of the Dragon consists of Rise of Shadows, Saviors of Uldum and one yet to be known expansion (which should be released in December). All three sets will rotate out of the Standard format with the release of the first expansion in 2021.
Saviors of Uldum Best Cards to Craft
Since Saviors of Uldum is the latest set, and we’re still in somewhat of a “testing” phase, I was very cautious about picking best Epics to craft, since the meta can still change considerably. For more, check out the “Good Crafts” listed below, which is far more vast (although it includes some cards that might fall out of the meta)!
- Anubisath Defender – Remember Arcane Tyrant? Anubisath Defender is basically it’s Druid-class counterpart. Given that it comes with a Taunt and has a slightly better stat distribution (3/5 instead of 4/4), I’d say that it’s even stronger. Druid was already the best class for Tyrant, so it’s only natural that Defender has quickly became a staple in the class. The card is commonly seen in Quest Druid right now, but frankly it will be played in any slower Druid build that runs a bunch of 5+ mana spells. It has great synergy with cards like Nourish and Overflow – you lose tempo to draw cards, but Defender lets you drop something on the board immediately. It will most likely remain a Druid staple until it rotates out.
- Crystal Merchant – Because of its effect, Crystal Merchant should mostly be treated as a 3 mana card. But a 3 mana 1/4 that draws a card is already pretty okay. Now, if you repeat this effect every turn, it becomes a must-kill staple that can snowball the game by drawing a bunch of cards early if not answered. The card is a perfect fit into Quest Druid, a deck that WANTS to leave unspent Mana over the first few turns anyway, so Crystal Merchant is usually the best T3 play – not only you put something on the board, progress the Quest, but also draw a card on top of that. All in all, it’s a solid card that will definitely remain a Quest Druid staple, and possibly even translate well into other slow Druid decks, which would float some mana here and there anyway.
- Psychopomp – Psychopomp is definitely one of the strongest cards in the entire Saviors of Uldum set. 4 mana 3/1 that revives a random minion would already be good, to be honest. The fact that it also gives it Reborn is pretty bonkers. It’s most commonly seen in Combo Priest due to the crazy amount of synergies. Reviving Injured Tol'vir or Injured Blademaster puts them at full health immediately, making both amazing targets. High Priest Amet is both a great revive target (you get a premium 4-drop back, give it Reborn AND put an extra 3/1 body on the board) and a synergy card – if Amet is already on the board, not only the 3/1 will become a 3/7 (or even higher if Amet is buffed), but the revived minion will also come with 7 health. Besides Combo Priest, Psychopomp is also commonly seen in all kinds of Resurrect Priest decks, which run multiple valuable revive targets. Getting back Catrina Muerte and giving her Reborn can often seal the game just like that, for example. Overall, Psychopomp is very powerful and it instantly became a Priest staple.
Saviors of Uldum Good Cards to Craft
- Tip the Scales – Here’s the thing about Tip the Scales. The card itself is not that amazing. Sure, it would still probably be played in Murloc Deck, maybe as an one-of, but the deck would need to be good already, good enough to play a solid game until 8 mana. But in the current meta, it doesn’t have to. Thanks to Prismatic Lens, you can draw and play your Tip and Scales as soon as Turn 5 (or 4 with Coin), flooding the entire board with Murlocs, often way before your opponent is prepared for it. Because of that cheese, Murloc Paladin is one of the highest win rate decks in the meta right now. Why don’t I put it under Best Epics, then? For a few reasons, actually. First of all – longevity. The combo will be useless without Prismatic Lens and it rotates soon-ish. Second – there’s a solid chance that the deck gets nerfed, not even because it’s too strong, but because it’s annoying to face. And if something gets nerfed – it will probably be Lens, not Tip the Scales, so if you craft it, you might not even get your Dust back. And finally – the deck’s win rate is constantly dropping. It’s already lower in higher ranks than it is in lower ranks. The deck has a very low skill ceiling, it’s very easy to learn how to play it, so it had instantly good results. Other decks take more time, but once people master them, they start looking like the better options. Murloc Paladin’s win rate should drop soon-ish – it will still be a good deck, but possibly not one of the best. All in all, if you really want to play the strategy, then you have no other options than crafting the card, but I just can’t recommend it as one of the best crafts.
- Vulpera Scoundrel – Vulpera is an interesting case. The card is not great, but it’s just so flexible that you could put it into most of the builds and it would still work. Because of that, it’s most commonly played in Highlander decks, which like that kind of flexibility and have lots of free slots anyway given that they can’t run duplicates. The card is also solid in Quest Shaman, but the highest win rate builds have been dropping it recently. Even though it’s the most popular Epic card from the set at the time I’m writing this, it’s not NECESSARY in any deck and can be easily replaced most of the time, so I don’t want to put it under the Best crafts.
- Bloodsworn Mercenary – Even though Warrior class was nearly exclusively about Control strategies over the last few expansions, we finally see some faster builds popping out. Aggro / Tempo Warrior is a strong, aggressive Warrior deck that plays around Enrage synergies, like it did in the past. Damaged minions get all kinds of benefits, can draw extra cards from Battle Rage, be buffed with Rampage, but most importantly – they can be copied with Bloodsworn Mercenary. The card is simply insane in those builds, played either as a way to put more bodies on the board (it’s always a good tempo play) or as a part of the combo (you can damage & copy a Charge minion to double the damage). If you want to play the deck, you really need this card.
- Livewire Lance – Similarly to Bloodsworn Mercenary, it’s most commonly seen in Aggro / Tempo Warrior. This time around it’s just a solid weapon. We all know how strong Lackeys can be in faster builds, and Livewire Lance is a bit of a Warrior’s version of EVIL Miscreant. It even has an extra advantage of weapon buff synergies – adding more durability (through Upgrade! or Captain Greenskin) means more Lackeys. I feel like it should stay as a faster Warrior staple as long as its in Standard (assuming faster Warrior builds will still be viable).
- Micro Mummy – One of the most surprisingly viable Quest decks is Quest Paladin. While the build is heavily meta dependent (it’s not good across the board – it has some great and some terrible matchups), it’s definitely not a bad deck right now. But if you want to play it, you need every good Reborn card you can get. Given that the pool of Reborn cards is very small, replacing Micro Mummy without losing on the win rate will be very difficult. Especially since it’s also a solid target to copy with your new Hero Power if you don’t have any powerful Deathrattles. They’re pretty sturdy because of Reborn, they’re Mechs so you can let’s say give them extra keywords with Zilliax or Annoy-o-Module, and they snowball the game quite quickly because of attack buffs. If you want to play Quest Paladin seriously, you need it.
- Plague of Death – Plague of Death is an ultimate board wipe. Compared to Twisting Nether, you pay 1 more mana, but get rid of minions for good. In lots of cases, the cards are exactly the same, but if your opponent has any kinds of Deathrattles or Reborn stuff, then Plague of Death becomes way better. Silencing everything leads to a complete board wipe no matter what your opponent might have. It’s incredibly powerful, but also very expensive – at 9 mana it comes down way after power spikes of Aggro decks. That’s why it’s most powerful against Midrange and Control decks. And given that Psychic Scream has rotated out, while Mass Hysteria is often not enough, Plague of Death is a pretty common slow Priest card right now. It’s not played in Combo version for obvious reasons, but it’s a staple in any slower Priest deck. While those don’t have a very high win rate right now, I would imagine that unless a significantly better board wipe gets printed for Priest, any slower deck of the class will play Plague of Death.
- Diseased Vulture – For quite a while already, Zoo Warlock has been on the edge of the meta. It’s not bad enough to disappear completely, but not good enough to be one of the strongest decks. Saviors of Uldum is similar – the deck is fine, but it’s not high tier. However, if you do want to play it, Diseased Vulture is nearly a staple now. The card is very strong and has lots of synergies with the deck. Even just a single trigger is enough to make it worth – 4 mana 3/5 that summons a random 3-drop would be played in nearly every deck. And there are lots of ways to take advantage of its effect – Hero Power, Flame Imp, Neferset Thrasher, even Spirit Bomb in some builds. Most of the time you get at least a single trigger, often even 2-3, and if you do, the card can snowball the game. Great craft if you’re a Zoo player.
- Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron – Puzzle Box would be much higher on the list earlier into the expansion, as it was a Highlander Mage staple. Now that Highlander Mage is much weaker, the card’s play rate (and win rate) has dropped. It’s still an interesting option, especially if you want to play Highlander Mage or Big Spell Mage despite the nerfs. The card itself is a big unknown, just like the original Yogg-Saron, Hope's End. However, given that there are more spells that are always beneficial to you, the average outcome of the card was good. It nearly always drew some cards, played some Secrets and cleared some minions. Power of the card didn’t change – just the decks it was played in.
- Tortollan Pilgrim – Pilgrim is basically in the same situation as Puzzle Box – it was stronger, it’s weaker now, but it’s still staple if you want to run either Highlander or Big Spell Mage builds. After Luna's Pocket Galaxy was nerfed back to 7, I’d say that it’s even more important, given that it makes playing it easier (assuming it’s still in the deck at the time you drop him).
- Plague of Murlocs – An AoE transform effect can be incredibly powerful in some matchups, and Control Shaman players have already realized that. At least one copy of the card is common in slow Shaman builds, mostly to deal with wide boards, Deathrattle/Reborn minions and such. Of course, playing it by itself is pretty risky, given that you leave your opponent with random Murlocs, often buffing each other. But it’s still usually better than facing a board of big minions, and you can always combo it with another AoE – even a simple Lightning Storm should do it lots of the time. It has also been teched in by some Quest Shaman builds, or even a Murloc Shaman – in the last case, your board is often going to look similar after the change, but your opponent’s board will be way weaker. Overall, the card has a lot of potential, but whether you want to use it or not heavily depends on the current meta. That’s why it’s a rather low priority craft, but if you’re a Shaman player, having one copy won’t hurt.
Rise of Shadows Best Cards to Craft
Since Rise of Shadows is the latest set, and we’re still in somewhat of a “testing” phase, I was very cautious about picking best Epics to craft, since the meta can still change considerably. For more, check out the “Good Crafts” listed below!
- Omega Devastator – Omega cards weren’t necessarily the most successful mechanic. Most of the time they were either too weak initially, or their 10 mana effect wasn’t that impactful. In case of Omega Devastator, however, it’s both okay on the curve (with vanilla, Chillwind Yeti stats you can drop it against Aggro to keep them busy and get some trades) and its 10 mana effect is incredibly powerful (you can clear nearly every minion in the meta for just 4 mana + have a body on top of that). That’s why Omega Devastator sees common play in any slow Warrior build, and I can only imagine that it will see play for as long as Warrior is present in the meta.
Rise of Shadows Good Cards to Craft
- Magic Carpet – If you want to play Zoo Warlock, craft Carpet. The card is insane in a deck that runs mostly 1-drops. If it sticks to the board, not only it adds extra tempo (Rush), but also power (+1 Attack) to most of the minions Zoo plays, including Lackeys. Besides Zoo, Carpet sees play in some other niche decks, such as Hand Paladin.
- Waggle Pick – Waggle Pick used to be one of the most common cards on the ladder, and then Rogue got nerfed back in Rise of Shadows. Nerf to Raiding Party meant that Waggle Pick was no longer as desirable. Still, the card is far from being bad. Dealing 8 damage for 4 mana + getting a free Shadowstep on the second hit is not something to take lightly. It can be combo’d very well with Battlecry, Combo or Charge minions to get lots of value (or damage). The new Hooked Scimitar made the Waggle Pick a bit less popular, but not obsolete – most of the Tempo Rogue builds still run both, given that they’re a great source of straight up face damage, but can also serve as a nice way to clear some minions.
- Wrenchcalibur – Unlike Omega Devastator, Wrenchcalibur sees play only in Bomb Warrior, not in Control Warrior. And right now, Bomb Warrior is not in the best spot, at least on the ladder. Current meta is clearly not working too well for it, and the recent nerf of Dr. Boom, Mad Genius hurt it more than it did hurt Control Warrior. Still, if you want to play Bomb Warrior, you do need to get Wrenchcalibur – or even two to be precise.
- Power of Creation – By itself, the card is only okay – summoning two 6-drops for 8 mana is usually a nice play, but nothing impressive. Of course, it’s amazing if you high-roll 2x Damaged Stegotron (5/12 Taunts), but lots of the time you end up picking e.g. 2x 5/5 because there’s simply nothing better. Overall, the card has seen a lot more play early in the expansion, when it was common in Highlander Mage thanks to the synergies such as Tortollan Pilgrim as well as Kalecgos. Big Spell Mage also played it from time to time, because well, it’s a solid high cost Spell. Right now those are still the two decks that run it, but their popularity has dropped significantly, so craft it only if you really want to play them (and if you want to play Highlander, one copy is enough).
- Mana Cyclone – From one of the best decks in Rise of Shadows, Cyclone Mage has quickly dropped to one of the weakest in Saviors of Uldum. While it was still a solid deck initially, after the launch, the recent nerfs to Conjurer's Calling and Luna's Pocket Galaxy have hurt it even more, to the point where only the best Mage players seem to achieve results with the build. Still, I thought that it’s worth mentioning – it’s a Cyclone Mage staple (hence the name), and a card with lots of potential, even if not for the current meta. Despite it not being a great craft like it once was, you still need it if you want to play Cyclone Mage.
Year of the Raven (2018) Sets
The Year of the Raven consists of The Witchwood, The Boomsday Project and Rastakhan’s Rumble. All three sets will rotate out of the Standard format with the release of the first expansion in 2020.
Rastakhan’s Rumble Best Cards to Craft
- Masked Contender – Ever since Saviors of Uldum launch, Midrange Hunter was clearly the best option for the class. Things have changed in Saviors of Uldum, and Secrets are once again in the favor. Both Highlander Hunter, as well as a dedicated Secret Hunter builds play many different Traps, as well as Secret synergies. Masked Contender is one of them. 3 mana 2/4 that plays a Secret from your deck is on the Mad Scientist level of broken. Luckily, it has a requirement – you need to have a Secret in play already for the effect to work, making it a strong, but not overpowered card. However, Hunters have it easier, since a 2 mana Secret curves out directly into Contender at 3 mana, making it a great pick for the deck. Keep in mind that if you want to play it in Highlander Hunter, one copy is enough.
Rastakhan’s Rumble Good Cards to Craft
- Master's Call – One of the better Hunter cards in current rotation and the main reason why Midrange Hunter is good. Drawing 3 cards for 3 mana is very powerful, especially in a class with very limited card draw. It also synergizes well with Dire Frenzy – you can buff a Beast and then draw the buffed copies with Master’s Call. Not to mention that if you play Zul'jin, it lets you gain even more value. All in all, if you want to play Midrange Hunter, the card is a must-have. However, it’s no longer in the best section simply because Midrange Hunter is not as good in the current meta. Some players are still having success with it, and it will nearly sure see some more play by the end of this Standard year, but right now it’s just not one of the best decks.
- Haunting Visions – As it turns out, you need a lot of Epics to play Control Shaman, and Haunting Visions is one of them. It’s a solid, flexible card, which lets you get the spell you want depending on the matchup. E.g. if your opponent has a big minions, you might get Hex, against Aggro you might get AoE or healing etc. While the “discount” doesn’t stay after you end your turn, you don’t need to use it on the spell you Discovered – you can play Haunting Visions, get anything and then drop e.g. a 0 mana Lightning Storm if that’s what you need.
The Boomsday Project Best Cards to Craft
- Prismatic Lens – Prismatic Lens was always an okay craft. Paladin class is rather low on card draw, so any kind of slow Paladin deck did want to run it. For example, it’s been a staple in Holy Wrath Paladin ever since Rastakhan’s Rumble. However, the reason why it’s so high on the list is Murloc Paladin. The deck relies heavily on the combo between Prismatic Lens and Tip the Scales – drawing the latter and turning it’s mana cost to 1-4 means that you can can cheat it out much earlier than you could normally play it. And a board full of Murlocs is pretty difficult to answer on Turn 5. It also sees play in other off-meta/niche builds such as Duel! Paladin and King Phaoris Paladin, making it one of the most flexible Paladin cards in the current meta.
- Supercollider – Supercollider was one of the best Warrior cards from Boomsday Project, and it still kind of is. While no longer as popular as when Odd Warrior was THE Warrior build to play (only Odd cards restriction made it even more valuable), it’s still a Control Warrior staple in the current meta. Removing up to two minions with each swing, after Supercollider is equipped, it makes things really awkward for the opponent. They suddenly have to think about the placement, hold back and so on. However, given that the weapon often stays equipped for a very long time, two copies are pretty clunky, so most of the builds run only a single one – that’s why there’s no reason to craft two.
The Boomsday Project Good Cards to Craft
- Thunderhead – The card was already okay at 3/5, and after it got buffed to 3/6, Shaman decks running it became very popular. Right now, given that Quest Shaman is THE Shaman deck to run and it doesn’t play Thunderhead for multiple reasons, the card’s popularity has dropped. It doesn’t mean that it’s bad, though. Decks like Aggro Shaman or Token Shaman still run it and they’re solid builds. It’s just not as omnipresent as it was back after the Rise of Shadows’ buff patch.
- Crystallizer – To put it simply, most of the time Crystallizer is just a 1 mana 1/3. Why would you want to play it? Well, because those are solid stats for a 1-drop. It’s similar to the Dire Mole (which already rotated out) in that a 1 mana 1/3 is just an okay play. Of course, some classes have 1/3’s with effects (like Eternium Rover or Northshire Cleric), but others don’t. Right now, it’s particularly common in Zoo Warlock, especially since it synergizes well with Diseased Vulture too – given that you damage yourself, you still summon a random 3 mana minion even though you gain that health back in Armor immediately (resulting in no actual loss of life).
- Augmented Elekk – Elekk is most popular in Bomb Warrior. The deck is built around shuffling Bombs into the opponent’s deck, which means that – obviously – shuffling extra ones is always beneficial. If you have a weapon pre-equipped, then drop Elekk + a Bomb minion + attack with weapon, you can easily shuffle 2 extra Bombs, which is A LOT of damage. Plus, the 3/4 body is also solid and it means that you can drop it on curve vs Aggro if necessary. Other than that, it’s also played in some Quest Warlock builds, in order to shuffle extra cards into the deck with Plot Twist and basically never hit fatigue.
- Glowstone Technician – Technician is another card buffed in the Rise of Shadows’ buff patch. It was almost playable before the buffs, and making it 5 mana instead of 6 mana was a great move. Even though it still has a small, 3/4 body, getting a hand-wide +2/+2 buff is very powerful. Especially if you run some Rush etc. minions so you can build back your tempo a bit. There are games in which you have 5+ minions in your hand going into Turn 5, you drop Glowstone Technician and then win over the next 2-3 turns with 1 mana 3/5’s etc. It’s a staple in decks like Mech Paladin or Hand Paladin, although neither of those is particularly popular right now.
- Dreampetal Florist – Dreampetal Florist was a victim of the Druids ramp nerfs. The card used to be staple in different Druid combos, but after ramp was nerfed, the decks were no longer viable, since the main advantage of Druid class (getting to high mana quickly) was heavily hindered. Still, the card is necessary in any Druid combo built around Malygos, which might not be popular, but are playable right now. Still, it’s kind of a risky craft, given that we have no clue what direction will Blizzard push Druid class into in the last expansion of this Standard year.
The Witchwood Best Cards to Craft
- Rat Trap – In theory, Rat Trap is one of the strongest Hunter Secrets. Summoning a 6/6 minion for just 2 mana is massive. It happening in the early game is usually an easy win for the class. Of course – things aren’t that simple and once opponents realize what’s going on, they try to play around it by not playing three cards in a single turn. However, as you can imagine, it’s not always that easy, especially later in the game. That’s part of the Secret’s strength – even if your opponent maneuvers around it, they’re severely restricted since they can only play 2 cards per turn, meaning that they will often pass when they still could do something else. The fact that this Secret is relatively difficult to trigger can also be an advantage at times – it means that you’re more likely to be able to trigger your other cards’ effects (e.g. Hyena Alpha or Masked Contender) – and if your opponent triggers it before you can, you definitely won’t mind a 6/6 on board.
- Town Crier – Back in the day, Novice Engineer was nerfed from 1/2 to 1/1 because it was too good. At 2 mana. Town Crier is a pre-nerf Novice Engineer for 1 mana, with one more health. You get a small body, which replaces itself in your hand with a good card, what’s there not to like? Since every single Warrior build runs Zilliax, and most of them also run either Restless Mummy or Militia Commander, playing Town Crier seems like a no-brainer. 1-2 copies are present in most of the Warrior builds right now, and as long as Warrior will play Rush cards, Town Crier will be a staple.
The Witchwood Good Cards to Craft
- Sandbinder – The card’s popularity has first increased after Giants (such as Mountain Giant) became Elementals. And, more recently, it became more popular again after Zephrys the Great and – to a certain extent – Siamat were released. They’re both great cards you want to tutor, especially Zephrys, which you want to draw as often as possible in the decks that play it. His effect is game-changing, so having a 4 mana 2/4 that “draws the best card in your deck” is no joke. Still, while the card is good, it’s never really required – it can easily be replaced, it’s never a staple that’s necessary to run a certain deck or makes the deck way stronger.
- Nightmare Amalgam – Amalgam is – obviously – mostly played because it’s all tribes in one. While its basic 3 mana 3/4 stats are okay, you wouldn’t want to put a vanilla minion like that into your deck. But it CAN be played as a 3 mana 3/4 Pirate in Rogue, 3 mana 3/4 Murloc in Shaman or 3 mana 3/4 Mech in Paladin. Because of this flexibility, Amalgam has seen a fair share of play throughout its time in Standard. Right now, it’s most commonly seen in Murloc Paladin (a great card to pull out with Tip the Scales in particular, since it dodges many AoEs at 4 health), and sometimes played in Murloc Shaman too.
- Arcane Keysmith – Keysmith is simply a solid card, and it became slightly better after the new Mage Secret (Flame Ward) was released. Given that it’s Discover effect, most of the time you’ll get something that’s good in a given matchup. There are obviously better and worse Secrets to pick, but in general stuff like Counterspell or Mirror Entity is never going to be terrible, especially that you also get a small body on top of that. It’s commonly played in Highlander Mage, but sadly, after the latest nerf patch, Highlander Mage is no longer very popular.
- Baleful Banker – Baleful Banker is an interesting card. When you compare it to the Rogue’s Lab Recruiter, you can easily see that it’s not very powerful… but it being Neutral means that you can use it in any class. Last expansion, it has seen common play in Holy Wrath Paladin to shuffle in Shirvallah, the Tiger (to then draw it with Holy Wrath and deal 25 damage). And while it was briefly common because you could use it to shuffle Archivist Elysiana back, after she got nerfed to 9 mana it’s no longer that easy (some people still try to play if for the off-chance they start with Coin, but it’s not very consistent). So Shirvallah it is – Baleful Banker is a necessary card if you want to play Holy Wrath Paladin, but that’s about it.