The Hearthstone bug has bitten plenty of us at GamesBeat. Eh, that doesn’t sound Warcrafty enough. Dire Bug? Yeah, Dire Bug. We all got bit by the Hearthstone Dire Bug.
Like many, we’ve become addicted to Blizzard’s free-to-play digital card game, especially now that it’s available on the iPad.
And like any Hearthstone player, we all have our own strategies and favorite cards. So some of us decided to share our most revered minions and spells with you. Hopefully, you’ll return the favor and tell us about your favorites, either by leaving a comment or writing your own Hearthstone story for GamesBeat Unfiltered, our community-focused site where all of our readers can publish their own work
And if you haven’t written for us before, just head over to our “about” page. It’ll tell you how to make your own account and submit stories to GamesBeat Unfiltered. Our editors will select your best stories, edit them, and put them on GamesBeat’s front page.
Now, let’s get to our favorite cards.
Staff writer/community manager Mike Minotti
Loot Hoarder is my favorite early card to play. This Neutral only costs 2 mana. His modest 2 attack and weak 1 health may not seem that great, but he gives you an extra card when dies. Having more cards than your opponent is a huge deal, especially early in a match. More cards means more options.
As soon as you play the Loot Hoarder, something good is bound to happen. In the best case, you’ll do a little damage to the enemy hero or destroy a minion and then get a card. In the worst case, your opponent will waste a Silence ability on it. That means you won’t get your extra card, but that’s also one less Silence that could potentially ruin one of your later threats.
I especially love using the Loot Hoarder in my Paladin deck with the Redemption secret. Redemption brings a killed minion back to life with 1 health, which is perfect for a card that already has 1 health anyway. Using Loot Hoarder and Redemption together can net you two extra cards.
Loot Hoarder costs 40 Dust to craft.
Ragnaros is a Legendary card with a high cost of 8 mana, but he’s easily worth it. He has 8 attack and 8 health but can’t directly attack anyone. Instead, he’ll do 8 damage to a random enemy minion or hero at the end of each turn, including the one you used to play him.
Ragnaros works best as a finisher. If your opponent has 8 or less health left and no minions, playing this card will guarantee you a victory. Even if that isn’t the case, Ragnaros can dish out a lot of damage without having to wait a turn to get ready. Just watch out for decks with transformations spells like Hex and Polymorph — they take him out.
Ragnaros costs 1,600 Dust to craft.
Tirion is the Paladin-specific Legendary card. He costs 8 mana and has 6 attack and 6 health, but he has a ton of other bonuses. He Taunts, meaning that your opponent has to attack him before any non-Taunting minions or your hero, and has Divine Shield, which protects him from all damage the first time he’s hit.
Best of all, he automatically equips you with a strong weapon upon death, so this card gives you value even after he’s destroyed. Just watch out for decks with silencing or transformation abilities, since those will get rid of all of Tirion’s awesome bonuses.
Also, I love the music you hear after playing Tirion. It’s epic.
Tirion costs 1,600 Dust to craft.
Managing editor Jason Wilson
This is my favorite low-mana Neutral card. At 2 mana, the Crazed Alchemist already is decent with 2 attack and 2 health. However, this rare card can turn the board to your favor with his Battlecry, which swaps a minion’s attack and health.
He can turn your high life, low attack minions — such as a low-mana Oasis Snapjaw — into a 7 attack powerhouse early in the game. But I prefer to use Crazed Alchemist against my foe’s units.
Crazed Alchemist can instantly render high life, low attack Taunt cards such as Shieldbearer or Mogu’shan Warlord useless, killing Shieldbearer in one stroke and leaving the warlord with just 1 life.
Used offensively, it can nerf a foe’s high attack, low life minion such as a Reckless Rocketer, making them less valuable pieces, especially when your opponent focuses on offense. Crazed Alchemist can even help you remove the Legendary dragon Ysera from the board, turning her intimidating 12 life into 4.
But my favorite use for Crazed Alchemist is as my one-shot kill for the annoying Legendary, Nat Pagle. At the end of your foe’s turn, Pagle has a 50 percent chance of drawing a card, so removing him is important. Throw a Crazed Alchemist at him and Pagle, with 0 attack and 4 health, now has 0 health … and dies the death he deserves.
Knife Juggler (Rare)
Another of my favorite cards also costs just 2 mana — the Knife Juggler, a rare Neutral. With 3 attack and 2 health, he’s already a great deal for 2 mana. But it’s his Battlecry that I adore — he throws a 1 damage knife that hits a random enemy unit or hero whenever you summon a minion of your own.
I love pairing Knife Juggler with one or two cards with Taunts to protect him on the board and then use cards that summon more than one minion at a time — Unleash the Hounds, Snake Trap, or Savannah Highmane as a Hunter, the Druid’s fireball equivalent Force of Nature, or Neutral cards such as Silver Hand Knight. These cards give the Knife Juggler two or more chances to throw knifes — essentially giving you additional attacks for free.
Knife Juggle costs 100 Dust to craft.
Here’s another valuable 2 mana minion. This Expert common has a great stat distribution at 3 attack and 2 health, making him a threat to some 3 mana cards. But what makes him so effective is his Battlecry; he can return a minion on the board to you hand. So if your opponent injures a valuable unit and you have no way to heal it, you can send it back to your hand and replay it later at full health.
I, though, prefer getting a double-dose of a unit’s Battlecry or Charge. So after I, say, deploy a Shattered Stone Cleric (which adds 1 to a minion’s attack and health) or a Defender of Argus (which gives adjacent units’ attack and health a plus 1 bonus and Taunt), I like to play the Youthful Brewmaster, return the card with the cool Battlecry to my hand, and if I have enough mana, play it again that round.
Youthful Brewmaster costs 40 Dust to craft.
Writer Stefanie Fogel
He’s certainly not a powerhouse, but the Blood Imp is one of my favorite cards in the Warlock deck (it’s a common expert card). For 1 mana, you get a Stealthed minion (a card that your foe can’t directly target until it makes an attack) with 0 attack and 1 health who gives another random friendly minion +1 health at the end of your turn.
One of my favorite opening tactics is using the Coin card to gain 1 additional mana and pairing the Blood Imp up with the Flame Imp, giving me a powerful 3/3 minion at the end of my first turn. If the Blood Imp lives long enough, things can quickly spiral out of control for your opponent, who now has to deal with a board full of buffed minions.
Blood Imp costs 40 dust to craft.
Writer Andrew Podolsky
One of my favorite cards so far is Houndmaster, a Hunter minion that gives a friendly beast +2/+2 and Taunt, effectively turning your weak, porkchop-in-waiting boar into a fearsome, unavoidable hell-pig. The downside is that you must have plenty of beasts in your deck for the Houndmaster to be effective, but the Houndmaster is also a formidable minion on its own. Plus, it’s a great counter to the Mage’s Polymorph spell.
You earn Houndmaster by increasing your Hunter class level.
If I’m playing as a Priest, I load up my deck with Northshire Clerics, who grant an extra card every time you heal a minion. The Priest’s special ability lets you heal 2 points of damage in exchange for 2 mana at any time, so if you put out a few Northshire Clerics, you can quickly end up with a larger hand and more attack options. However, the Northshire Cleric isn’t too tough, so it’s good to double its health with Divine Spirit so that you can keep drawing more cards.
The most devastating late-game card is the Priest’s Mind Control spell, which uses all 10 of your mana but takes over an enemy minion. It’s satisfying to watch your enemy build up one unstoppable minion, like a rare dragon, only to make it switch sides when it’s your turn. This is a card that can single-handedly turn the direction of a match, so be sure to use it wisely.
You earn Mind Control by increasing your Priest class level.