Kyle Nakasaka ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
As of just over a month ago, the Hearthstone community was blessed with a new expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. Though it has only been one month, many players are giving this expansion high praise as it managed to slow the meta down significantly. Well, outside of certain cards. I’m looking at you, pirates. Regardless of your play style though, today we’ll be going over the ten must-craft cards from Mean Streets.
10. Raza the Unchained
The latest legendary for Priest provides them with fuel for their highlander archetype, allowing them to have a 0 mana hero power for the rest of the game so long as they didn’t have any duplicate cards in their deck. This card has helped the “Reno Priest” thrive, allowing powerful synergies with Inspire cards such as Confessor Paletress and Nexus Champion Saraad, and has even brought Shadowform to viability in these decks. Turns out doing 2 damage for 0 mana every turn is really good. The reason that this card isn’t higher is because it is constrained exclusively to the highlander style priest, and even then the deck isn’t top tier. The need to only have single copies of cards is truly the decks downfall as it prevents the Priest from having sufficient early game to combat aggro decks. Despite that, Raza is still a very fun and powerful card in the right circumstances and has a lot of potential to be an absolutely crazy card at times.
9. Dragonfire Potion
One of the other Priest cards of the set, Dragonfire Potion, deals 5 damage to all non-Dragon minions. This card has proven to be a hugely devastating card against those pesky mid-range decks, especially when played in a “Dragon Priest” deck. Being able to clear most of your opponent’s board and keep your side practically pristine definitely leads to a handful of instant concedes. Even outside of “Dragon Priest” decks, this card has seen play in other Priest decks because of its ability to remove most, if not all, of your opponent’s minion up to turn 6. Though this card has proven to be a powerful board clear, it comes at a price; the mana cost. 6 mana is a long time to wait to clear the board, especially if you lose the early game which is often a problem for Priests. The prominence of aggro decks has led to this card struggling because you often can’t play it soon enough to save you from lethal damage. Despite that, it proves to be a powerful tool against many of the other styles of decks out there.
8. Mistress of Mixtures
A surprise to some, Mistress of Mixtures has come out as a strong early game anti-aggression tool. The ability to make up for some of your lost health in the early game, as well as take care of some of the on-board aggression has proven useful in quite a few of the slower decks such as Renolock and Control Shaman. This card proves to be invaluable during the early game against aggro which is why this card made it onto the list, however against other control decks it ends up being a fairly dead card. Likewise, if you don’t get this card within the first few turns, it ends up being a dead card later in the match due to the fact that a 2/2 that can give you 4 health isn’t very high impact in the later stages of the game.
7. Jade Claws
Arguably the best Shaman card released in the set, Jade Claws is a weapon that perpetuates the aggressive Shaman that many players know all too well. Jade Claws manages to synergize with practically every aggressive component of this deck. Jade Claws, beyond being a 2/2 Weapon, also has overload which helps it synergize with Tunnel Trogg, summons a Jade Golem which allows you to stack the board with them much quicker and also buffs the new pirate, Small-Time Buccaneer. This card has helped in making Aggro Shaman the insanity that it currently is. The reason that this isn’t higher on the list is because Aggro Shaman didn’t really need this to be a good deck and I think that this card isn’t required for the deck to function.
6. Dirty Rat
The undisputed underdog of the expansion, Dirty Rat was shut down early on as being an unplayable card by a lot of top players, but ended up being a card that can actually swing games. The ability to pull out a card from your opponent’s hand sounds like the worst effect ever, however it does have its upsides. Due to the prominence of Doomsayer in control decks, Dirty Rat can come out to be the martyr, taking himself and one of your opponent’s minions to the grave. Though Dirty Rat is good in the control mirror, Dirty Rat is also quite good at combating early aggression as well. The 2/6 with Taunt is very good at eating the smaller bodies that aggro decks pack and pulling out another one tends to not be a big deal. The reason that this card is so low is due to those times when he manages to pull the Ragnaros or Flamewreathed Faceless out of your opponent’s hand and when that happens, if you don’t have an answer, you might as well concede on the spot.
5. Counterfeit Coin
Arguably the only good Rogue cards in the set, Counterfeit Coin fits perfectly into Miracle Rogue and single-handedly pulled Rogue out of the rut and back onto the tier list. Despite getting some of the worst cards yet, Rogue has managed to thrive in this new meta by adding the Counterfeit Coin to their “Miracle Rogue” arsenal and it has no doubt seen its fair share of legend play. The Counterfeit Coin now allows for more card cycle off of Gadgetzan Auctioneer which gets you to your finisher cards sooner. It also now lets you be able to get some insane Edwin combos as well and crush your opponents with a huge body on turn one. The problem with this card is that you sacrifice a lot of the flexibility of the deck for that increased cycle and it is sometimes tough to give up those early game answers for more card cycle.
4. Drakonid Operative
The undisputed troll champion of the expansion, Drakonid Operative is as close to over-powered as Priest is going to get. Drakonid Operative allows the Dragon Priest archetype to thrive as it gives the Priest a stronger 5 drop than Blackwing Corruptor, as it is a 5/6 body that has the Dragon tag. Not only that, but the battlecry associated with the card allows the Priest to discover a card from your opponent’s deck (if you’re holding a dragon, but that tends to be a pretty easy requirement to fulfill for Dragon Priest). This ability is deceptively powerful, as it not only allows some insight into the deck your opponent is running if you were having trouble figuring it out, and also guarantees a certain card quality from the discover because the cards were good enough to make into your deck. The reason that this card isn’t top of the list, despite being insanely strong, is because it does require the prerequisite of having a Dragon in your hand and can’t really be played outside of decks with a suitable amount of Dragons which tend to only be Dragon Priest and Reno Priest.
3. Patches the Pirate
The source of the Hearthstone community’s anger and grief is Patches the Pirate, probably the most hated card in the set. Patches is a rather small body that seems rather harmless upon first glance, but when you get right down to it, Patches is a monster in the body of a small floating tentacle monster. Patches is a 1/1 with charge that is able to be brought out when another pirate is summoned, which makes for some wild early game pressure if left unanswered. With the ludicrous synergy that this card has with N’zoth’s First Mate and Small-Time Buccaneer makes this card crazy strong and leads to some insane aggro decks. Though this card has contributed strongly to the meta and is pretty much the reason aggro is able to thrive in the meta, if there isn’t a follow up to the aggro or there is a counter to the aggression, then you’ll pretty much be struggling to keep up the rest of the match.
2. Small-Time Buccaneer
Small-Time Buccaneer is the second half of the insane aggro duo that came with this expansion. Small-Time Buccaneer is strong due to its attack buff when you equip a weapon which is a pretty easy requirement to meet with classes like Shaman and Warrior. As a result, Small-Time Buccaneer has found a home rushing down the otherwise control heavy meta and teaming up with his good buddy Patches. These two have been a force to be reckon with these past few months to the point where Small-Time Buccaneer is being examined to see if it is too strong. Take advantage of this card while you can because currently it is too good to not play.
And at the top of the list we have Kazakus, the tri-class legendary for Priest, Mage and Warlock. Kazakus, similar to the rest of the legendaries that these classes got, gains benefit from Highlander style decks, meaning that it will gain a special ability if only single copies of cards are in your deck. Kazakus’s ability allows you to create a custom spell, ranging from 1 mana spells with a small amount of benefit to 10 mana spells with utterly devastating abilities. This card has found a home in all three of these classes and helped them combat aggro decks with its 1 and 5 mana spell options as well as survive in the late game with its 10 mana option. This card tops our list because of its flexibility and versatility to adapt to the matchup as well as its ability to deliver powerful effects no matter when you end up drawing it.