Hearthstone legendary cards are a big deal: they’re the rarest cards in the game. Unless you have an endless supply of disposable income, or are blessed by the RNG Gods when opening packs, getting a hold of these cards can be quite tricky. For the majority of us, the best way of obtaining them is through your hard-earned arcane dust; endless arenas, monthly chests and sometimes throwing an entire pack worth of duplicate cards into the dust machine.
But even after you’ve saved up 1600 dust, another question presents itself: which legendary card should I craft; which is the best? To help you with this final hurdle we’ve collated the cream of the crop, and why these cards need to be in your collection.
While you're soaking in the knowledge, why not check out our best Hearthstone decks for beginners?
Before we dive in, we need to talk about formats. In the latest patch, Blizzard introduced two new ways to play Hearthstone: Standard and Wild. The Standard format can only be played with cards that are no more than two years old, whereas Wild has no restrictions; anything goes. Next to each card, we’ll denote which set the card originates from, as well as what format the card is legal in.
So remember - cards that are marked as ‘Standard’ can also be played in Wild, but not the other way around.
These are the cards that every collection needs. When building the foundations of a deck, including any of these cards will go a long way towards making it successful. After you’ve got your favourite cards, it would be wise to make crafting these a priority to stay competitive on the ranked ladder.
Dr. Boom - Goblins vs. Gnomes - Wild
Before the introduction of the new formats, Dr. Boom was the standard legendary in any competitive deck. His seven mana-cost is ludicrously good, considering he brings with him at least nine points worth of both attack and health thanks to his two Boom Bots. These 1/1 minions can be strategically traded for other minions, where their randomly targeted 1-4 damage deathrattle will threaten clearing the board, or even push damage to your opponent’s life total.
Dr. Boom is considered to be one of the highest value cards in Hearthstone’s history. And while Blizzard stoically refused to nerf it after countless community outcries, he’s at least been relegated to spend his days terrorising the Wild format.
Sylvanas - Classic - Standard
The Priest class isn’t the only one with access to Mind Control; Sylvanas Windrunner is actually even better than that over-expensive spell. At a glance she’s a 5/5 body, but her mind control deathrattle can cause your opponent quite a few headaches. She can’t be removed by minions unless they do it in such a way where everything on the board dies, which is good for you. She can’t be removed via spells unless your opponent has nothing of value on the board. And if they’re greedy by ignoring her and playing some big six or seven mana creature of their own, you can punish them dearly and probably steal it to boot.
Loatheb - Curse of Naxxramas - Wild
Loatheb is the epitome of destroying your opponent's tempo. While his stats aren’t exactly impressive, his battlecry can cripple just about any decks next turn. If they chose to spend valuable removal spells to deal with him, it’ll likely waste their entire turn. Even without spells, he’ll still demand a couple of minions and a damaging hero power to remove him from the board. There’s even some merit to holding onto him and surpsing even the most surefooted player with their sudden inability to play their spells in the late game. The perfect answer to combo decks.
Emperor Thaurissan - Blackrock Mountain - Standard
While Emperor Thaurissan certainly requires a deck to be built around him, his passive effect is incredibly powerful. WIth enough cards in hand, he will progressively make it easier to play big minions, play spell/minion combos earlier, and enable entirely new card combos that were previously impossible due to their high mana-cost. He more often than not will be a priority target for your opponent to kill, as with every passing turn their hopes of an even playing field dwindle dramatically.
Brann Bronzebeard - League of Explorers - Standard
A controversial addition, no doubt, but Brann Bronzebeard is hot stuff in the current meta. The Whispers of the Old Gods expansion introduced a new meta deck, based around buffing the legendary minion C’thun to finish off your opponent in one giant swing. Because this is done through a multitude of battlecry minions, Brann simply doubles their value; an auto-include in any good C’thun deck.
And he still has a home in non-C’thun decks where there might be other powerful battlecry minions being used.
Best in class
Every class in Hearthstone has its own unique legendary minions, often sporting powerful and flavourful effects. Some are clearly aimed towards specific deck archetypes, whereas others are a great addition to just about every deck for that class. One thing’s certain: if you have a favourite class, you’re going to want the following legendary cards so you can field it at its best.
Druid: Fandral Staghelm - Whispers of the Old Gods - Standard
The Druid class is littered with cards that give you the choice between two outcomes, allowing you to cater a spell to just about any given situation. Fandral Staghelm isn’t good at decision making, so instead he gives you both effects. Now you can Wrath a minion for four damage and draw a card. Druid of the Claw transforms into an entirely new minion than its two previous outcomes, becoming a 4/6 body with taunt and charge. It doesn’t take a Hearthstone expert to respect what Fandral can do, and with his relatively low mana-cost, you can often benefit from his effects on the same turn he’s played.
Hunter: Princess Huhuran - Whispers of the Old Gods - Standard
As you’ve seen from Sylvanas Windrunner, there are some pretty powerful deathrattle effects in Hearthstone. Princess Huhuran enables you to activate them without sending your minions to their grisly end. Her value is bolstered by the wide selection of deathrattle minions within the class already, giving her potential targets such as the new Infested Wolf, or its big sister the Savannah Highmane. Even if you draw her on curve but with no deathrattles on board, she’s still a respectable minion to throw down and set up for further beast synergy cards.
Mage: Archmage Antonidas - Classic - Standard
Archmage Antonidas is the gift that just keeps on giving. Often paired up with the aforementioned Emperor Thaurissan, Antonidas can pump your hand full of threatening Fireballs if left unchecked, often resulting in your opponent being turned to ash within a couple of turns. This forces your foe to deal with him quickly before you can reap the full benefit of a fresh turn and a new batch of mana. His large health pool often means unfavourable trades via minions, so he will often demand a hard removal spell.
He synergizes perfectly with mechs and their one mana spare parts, but you’ll only be able to take advantage of that in the Wild format.
Paladin: Tirion Fordring - Classic - Standard
There’s very little that can compare to the feeling of a Paladin throwing down the mighty Tirion Fordring. While expensive for what his stats provide, he is excruciatingly painful for anyone to get past thanks to his taunt and divine shield. Even when your unfortunate opponent manages to bring him down, you’ll find yourself the new owner of a 5/3 Ashbringer weapon - perfect for a swift retribution the next turn. Because of this, the only way to completely deal with him is to commit a silence spell/minion before removal, resulting in a loss to both tempo and card advantage.
Priest: Confessor Paletress - The Grand Tournament - Standard
Confessor Paletress has her merits in any Priest deck gunning for the late game. Play her on turn nine so you can activate her inspire ability with your hero power -- something you should be doing to keep your board healthy -- to get maximum value out of her. She’s especially strong if you and your opponent are close to fatigue, as you’ll have a constant supply of minions no matter how empty your hand and deck becomes.
As you can see from this guide, there are plenty of great legendary minions she could summon - you just need to pray that she summons the right one for you.
Rogue: Xail, Poisoned Mind - Whispers of the Old Gods - Standard
The Rogue class loves cards that cost little to no mana, as it can allow them to easily enable their unique combo card effects such as SI:7 Agent and Eviscerate. Previously spare parts from the mech cards of Goblins versus. Gnomes gave us an ample supply of one mana spells, but now they’ve been exiled to the Wild format exclusively.
Xaril, Poisoned Mind not only replaces that sorely lost resource, but his toxin spells are even more suited to the Rogue’s playstyle, and you get two of them! Depending on what he gifts you, you’ll be able to deal two damage, draw a card, bounce a minion to your hand and reduce its cost, then give a minion three attack or give it stealth until the next turn. Every one of them has a good use, and are a well regarded asset of any respectful sneaky-stabby folk.
Shaman: Hallazeal the Ascended - Whispers of the Old Gods - Standard
Shaman is full of low-mana high-damaging spells -- albeit with an annoying overload cost the next turn -- so Hallazeal the Ascended can often be put to use the turn he’s played. There’s something special about casting a Lightning Storm at an aggro heavy opponent, and watching his board not only blown to bits, but you hero fully healed as well. They’ll often concede out of frustration. His body is great for eating up smaller minions and surviving too.
Warlock: Lord Jaraxxus - Classic - Standard
One of the most vocal minions in the game thanks to his bellowing emotes, Lord Jaraxxus is a Warlock’s best friend -- as long as you don’t mind being technically destroyed -- when it comes to putting on the pressure. In case you don’t realise what this card does when it hits the board, I’ll explain: your hero is replaced by Lord Jaraxxus himself, bringing with him a 3/8 weapon, 15 health, and a new hero power which summons a 6/6 Infernal to the battlefield. His hero power alone can be a game closer.
It’s best to play Jaraxxus when you begin to enter the single digits of your hero's health pool -- after plenty of tapping for cards -- but if you’re greedy you can play him earlier if lethal damage is in sight. Just be careful however, as it is possible to instantly destroy Lord Jaraxxus with the Sacrifice Demon Warlock spell, but you’ll likely never see it in decks these days.
Warrior: Grommash Hellscream - Classic - Standard
Two years later, and Grommash Hellscream still often surprises when you think you have a Warrior in the clutches of defeat. That’s what’s so powerful about charge minions: immediacy. At his worst, he can take on an enemy minion before he’s removed from the battlefield by another, or by a spell. At his best, he’s a monstrous game ender with 12 attack or more with some self-damaging buffs from the Warrior’s repertoire.
If you’re below 15 health against a Warrior, you should fear Grommash no matter how bad a state your opponent is in.
Best of Whispers of the Old Gods
The latest expansion by Blizzard is themed all around the unfathomably powerful Old Gods of Warcraft. While there’s certainly an interesting bunch of new legendary cards -- some of which you’ve already seen in the class specific section -- it’s no surprise that the Old Gods themselves take center stage here.
You might be asking why C’thun is on the list, considering if you log into Hearthstone today, you’ll get him completely free. Well, that might not always be the case going forwards into future expansions, and C’thun really deserves a special mention due to creating a meta built entirely around him. In the right deck, C’thun can easily reach the 20+ attack and health range, making his devastating entry to the battlefield more often than not the last thing you’ll see before you explode.
Blizzard also did a fantastic job at adding flavour to C’thun: whenever he’s buffed by his army of minions, he’ll briefly appear to show off his increasing number of tentacles, and taunt you while he’s at it.
Twin Emperor Vek’lor
While you get your C’thun for free, you’ll have to find another way of obtaining his best friend: Twin Emperor Vek’lor. He’s a staple in any C’thun based deck, giving you potentially two big 4/6 bodies with taunt if you’ve buffed C'thun's attack enough, which is a relatively easy thing to accomplish. Plenty to keep alive until that all-important tenth turn.
And if you combine him with Brann Bronzebeard, you’ll get a third Emperor to boot!
N’Zoth, the Corruptor
Another of the Old Gods, N’Zoth, the Corruptor is a death defying late-game bomb. Deathrattle cards are designed to perish for your own benefit, so resummoning them all and filling your board for ten mana lets you reap the benefits twice. You’ll see N’Zoth primarily in Rogue, Hunter and Paladin decks, taking advantage of their already great selection of deathrattle cards. Nobody likes to see Tirion Fordring return after having only just gotten rid of him.
He’s actually a great counter to C’thun decks, as the sheer number of bodies N’Zoth can summon helps soak C’thun’s battlecry.
Soggoth the Slitherer
The most difficult taunt creature to deal with, and it’s available to every class unlike our Paladin friend, Tirion Fordring. Soggoth the Slitherer is actually an extremely underrated card, often trading blows with a few minions before departing. It’s only weakness is to minion battlecry effects: Spellbreaker and Iron Beak Owl can silence it, and The Black Knight legendary can destroy it outright, but none of these cards are being run in the popular ladder decks right now.
And until that changes, Soggoth is a worthy addition to any late-game deck.
Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End
Relying on RNG to win you the game can be a dangerous habit, and generally should be avoided, but Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End is too damn fun. Any spell-heavy deck is guaranteed a wondrous show when Yogg-Saron hits the board: I’ve seen my unsuspecting enemy eat two Pyroblasts to the face consecutively, but I’ve also seen my entire hand be discarded with Astral Communion. It’s pure madness.
I like to play Yogg-Saron as a last resort in these sort of decks, where certain death is all but guaranteed the next turn. At worst he’ll speed up the inevitable, but occasionally you’ll sweep the game from under your opponent's feet, and they simply won’t believe it.