Last updated: May 6th, 2020 – Patch 17.0.2
(Note: You may skip this section if you already read it in the another of the Year of the Phoenix crafting guides)
All new expansions have them, shiny new Legendary and Epic cards, but trying to collect all the new toys can get expensive very fast. The question that haunts everybody who is on a budget is which ones are really worth crafting and which ones are just not worth the investment if you are on a budget. The question is even more pronounced in the new system in which we get fewer duplicates, which means we open more new cards, but have less dust lying around.
As Epics and Legendaries are the expensive ones, we will give you reasoning why those cards seem relevant and which decks they are played in. We will categorize them into format “staples”, “nice to have” cards, and “sleeper” cards.” Staples are core to the most powerful decks and cannot be replaced without serious harm to the composition. Nice to haves are good additions to a deck, but replaceable without hurting the deck too much. Sleeper cards are interesting ones that have not found a place but which might be relevant in the future, or have found a place that just needs a little more support from future sets to become relevant. With recent changes to packs, we will not cover Rare cards any more as acquiring them is very easy and duplicates are a thing of the past. Please remember that these guides are meant to be for Standard only.
Take all suggestions with a grain of salt, though, as the meta might shift or balance changes come up. We, hsdecktech and I, will update those guides as the Year of the Phoenix is evolves. For your reference, we will indicate the Patch the guide is based on. Below you will find the links to the guides for each set.
- Toxic Reinforcements – Face Hunter: The damage output from the card is insane for its cost, and when you’re playing the deck that already wants to hero power on most turns, it’s just pure profit.
- Dark Skies – Slow Warlocks (mostly Galakrond Warlock): Galakrond Warlock is the only slow Warlock in the meta at this point, and it is in a much weaker spot than it was before the Sacrificial Pact nerf, but if we ever get a meta-relevant slower Warlock again, then this card will see a lot of play, and, it would be pretty odd if we never see one of those again this entire Standard year.
- Stormhammer – (Highlander) Dragon Hunter: Stormhammer is the reason why Hunters play Dragons. However, you do need the other good Dragon Hunter cards, or else the cost is too high, so keep in mind that if you want to use Stormhammer, you probably also need to buy Galakrond’s Awakening, or else you might as well just run Eaglehorn Bow.
- Veiled Worshipper – Galakrond Warlock (fast and slow versions): Some Galakrond decks really want to be built a particular way, but Warlock is more flexible than most. You can play Zoo, Midrange, or Control, and all versions run Worshipper. As mentioned, Galakrond Warlock is on the down right now, but we expect one of those versions to come back into the limelight at some point.
Nice to Have
- Embiggen – Embiggen Druid: Embiggen Druid had a couple weeks on the top of the meta. While it’s not currently the strongest choice, it didn’t actually lose anything, either, so it might come back at some point–or you might just like playing big, buffed minions, and it’s the best path for that.
- Fateweaver – Galakrond Priest: Galakrond Priest is finally in an acceptable place in the metagame and, while this card isn’t the reason you are playing the deck (though it might be if some sort of 11-mana combo develops), it’s a nice perk when you’re filling your hand with random Priest minions.
- Kobold Stickyfinger – tech card: There are a lot of powerful weapons in the game right now, but Kobold Stickyfinger still only sees occasional play because it needs to walk the fine line around the situations and decks in which Acidic Swamp Ooze and/or Harrison Jones are just better. This is a fringe “Sleeper” card, because the replacements are so common and about as good, but it is certainly nice to have as an option in the current meta. It’s probably best in Warrior, when you’re expecting lots of mirror matches.
- Rolling Fireball – Highlander Mage/Dragon Freeze Mage: Rolling Fireball isn’t a build-around by any stretch, but it is a solid tool that slower Mages get a lot of value out of. You can build these decks without it, but it tends to make these decks better.
- Chromatic Egg – Some sort of Deathrattle deck: You usually get offered at least one 7/7 or better, so this has potential to be similar to Mechano-Egg if the right tools come join it in the meta.
- Dragon’s Pack – Galakrond Shaman: Yet another entry in the “it was OP and then it was nerfed so now it’s not good enough” catalog, this deck actually getting nerfed twice before it stuck. If Galakrond Shaman ever comes back, this is the main reason why you want to play it.
- Necrium Apothecary – Deathrattle Rogue: This card was broken, and then only okay. There are some pretty powerful Deathrattles in the game right now, and a little bit of Deathrattle support, but Rogue has so many other powerful tools that it’s going to take a bit more to get this guy back in the spotlight.
- Lightforged Crusader – Pure Paladin: Pure Paladin has been on the fringes of the meta since it was released. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what else it needs to get there, but there’s a bit of time left for them to print something to make it happen.
This wraps up this crafting guide. Make sure you check out the others as well be clicking through the links below. If you disagree for any reason, let us know in the comments below or send a tweet to @hsdecktech or @OtakuMZ1978.
Links to individual guides:
Year of the Phoenix Crafting Guide Hub (includes Galakrond’s Awakening Evaluation)
Saviors of Uldum: Legendary Crafting Guide (coming soon)
Saviors of Uldum: Epic Crafting Guide (coming soon)
Rise of Shadows: Legendary Crafting Guide (coming soon)
Rise of Shadows: Epic Crafting Guide (coming soon)
Classic/Initiate: Legendary Crafting Guide (coming soon)
Classic/Initiate: Epic Crafting Guide (coming soon)