Journey to Un’Goro is quickly becoming one of Hearthstone’s most successful expansions, with the level of class diversity in competitive events at an all-time high. After only 10 matches during last weeks 2017 Hearthstone Global Games, 24 different deck archetypes saw competitive play and players still have different ideas on their ideal builds.
With over 135 cards being introduced to Standard, here are 14 cards that are making the biggest competitive impact. For the sake of avoiding redundancy, class quests are not considered for this list. It’s clear that The Caverns Below and Fire Plume’s Quest are breakout cards and players have already figured this out pretty quickly.
1. Primordial Drake
Primordial Drake does a lot of things well and fits in many top tier decks including Taunt Warrior, Dragon Priest, and even Control Paladin. Its massive health pool, Dragon type (for The Curator), and immediate board affect are all highly desired on a Taunt minion, making this one of the most powerful tools to help decks stabilize late in the game.
2. Stonehill Defender
Did anyone expect this card to see as much play as it does? The strength of Taunt Warrior makes this card a lot better than most people expected, but its use in non-murloc Paladin decks and some Shaman ones reminds us of how versatile discover can be. This is an easy card to include in any deck looking to up its win rate against aggressive decks.
3. Fire Fly
Many people successfully predicted this card’s power level, but only a few realized just how versatile it becomes. Its use in Aggro Paladin, Token Druid and virtually every Elemental deck makes Fire Fly a competitive all-star. It is also becoming a standard inclusion in the all powerful Quest Rogue deck which won’t be going away anytime soon.
4. Golakka Crawler
The strength of pirates hasn’t gone away in Un’Goro, and it turns out a two mana 2/3 is very easy to include in most decks. Midrange Hunter, Token Druid, Zoolock and any other deck that can easily afford this minion in their deck usually does, as the chances of facing a pirate are considerably high. As long as Pirate Warrior and Quest Rogue exist, Golakka Crawler will perform well.
Blazecaller is the reason Elemental decks exist. It’s hard to deny the power level of an on curve Blazecaller, especially when played after Servant of Kalimos or Tol’vir Stoneshaper. The other elemental finishers are up for debate, but almost every list tops off with Blazecallers. Will a high stat minion with a generous direct damage Battlecry ever be bad?
6. Shadow Visions
Shadow Visions is seen in every Priest deck and for good reason. It allows the niche, often situational Priest spells to get max value, as players can choose the right moment to search for them. It’s true that cards like Humongous Razorleaf contribute to the resurgence of Purify Priest, but it’s Shadow Visions that brings the consistency that Priest OTK decks have always lacked.
7. Vilespine Slayer
Yes, The Caverns Below is the most obvious pick for the strongest Rogue card in the set, but Vilespine Slayer deserves some recognition. This card is seen in virtually every version of Miracle Rogue and has every indication of becoming a Rogue staple in Standard until it rotates out. This solves the primary dilemma that Miracle Rogue has always had: using too many resources to kill big threats.
8. Crackling Razor Maw
Many pro players have stated that Crackling Razormaw is one of the strongest cards in the set, and if you play one on turn two after an Alleycat or Jeweled Macaw, you begin to see why. This is finally the Beast card that makes mid-range Hunter a viable top-tier deck, as it is a strong play nearly every stage of the game. Crackling Razormaw creates high value Rat Packs, Windfury Scavenging Hyenas, Divine Shielded Savanna Highmanes and many more threatening board states all for just two mana.
9. Living Mana
Druid didn’t get many powerful cards in Journey to Un’Goro, but Token Druid has still managed to find a place in competitive play. The neutral cards like Bittertide Hydra and Ravasaur Runt get a lot of value in this deck, but Living Mana is the only new class card to consistently see play. The swingy nature of Living Mana sometimes closes out games all on its own, especially when played with 10 mana, allowing Savage Roar to be cast next turn.
10. Primordial Glyph
It was a given that Primordial Glyph would be included in every Mage Quest deck, but did anyone expect this spell to be an auto-include in virtually every other variant of Mage as well? Turns out the most powerful Mage decks don’t mind a spell that does nothing in return for versatility and the choices it provides. This card makes it impossible for your opponent to try and play around your cards, as not only is the card you discovered random, but it cost two less mana as well! Welcome to the age of 5 mana Flamestrikes.
11. Sunkeeper Tarim
Sun Keeper Tarim finishes the holy trinity of Paladin Legendary minions that must be crafted. Joining the ranks of Tirion Fordring and Ragnaros the Lightlord, it’s hard to think of a Paladin list (including Murloc Paladin) that doesn’t include this card. Every time it is played, it automatically becomes the strongest card on the board.
12. Kalimos, Primal Lord
Kalimos was an easy card to first evaluate: if Elementals become a solid deck, then Shaman will have the most powerful version of it, thanks to this legendary card. Everything went as expected and this card’s ability to stabilize with life gain and board clears makes an on curve Kalimos a powerful finisher. Turn 7 Blazecaller into Turn 8 Kalimos is likely the strongest curve Journey to Un’Goro has to offer.
13. Lakkari Felhound
Many of Warlocks new cards have proven ineffective, but Lakkari Felhound has at least found a home in Zoolock style decks. Combined with Malchezaar’s Imp and the usual discard package, Zoolock is capable of disgustingly potent turn 4 plays. Lakkari Felhound isn’t powerful enough to secure Warlock as a tier 1 class, but it won’t be leaving Zoolock until it rotates.
14. Direhorn Hatchling
For a class that received such a powerful class quest, Warrior hasn’t received much of anything else. Direhorn Hatchling is really only powerful because of its role in activating Fire Plume’s Quest, but in that particular deck, this card shines brightly. This card's ability to delay fatigue and ensure more taunt minions is precisely what Quest Warrior wants, not to mention its Beast tribe goes perfectly with The Curator.
What do you think of our list?
Do you agree that these 14 cards stand out amongst the rest, or did we miss any? Let us know in the comments section what Journey to Un’Goro card you think deserve a spot!
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