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.
- Ancharrr – Egg Warrior/Bomb Warrior: Ancharrr is either the absolute best card in Warrior or the second best, but if Ancharrr doesn’t take the crown, then Risky Skipper probably does, and Ancharrr finds Skipper, so either way it’s a must-craft for Warrior decks this meta.
- Dragonbane – Face Hunter/Highlander Hunter/Dragon Hunter: Dragonbane is just so good that you put it into just about any Hunter deck and appreciate the added value.
- Flik Skyshiv – all Rogues: Flik would be good even if he didn’t kill all versions in hands and decks. It’s a value card and a tempo card, and those are things that just about every Rogue deck likes to do. You basically need to find a reason not to play him.
- Kronx Dragonhoof – all Galakrond decks: There’s not much to say here that isn’t obvious on the face of it–this card is crazy good in Galakrond decks to tutor out your Galakrond, save your life, or win the game, all things you want to do regularly.
- Dragonqueen Alexstrasza – all Highlander decks: One of the few payoffs for Highlander decks, you are seriously upturning your value proposition if you make your whole deck worse to play less than all the “No Duplicate” cards.
Nice to Have
- Mindflayer Kaahrj – Galakrond Priest/Highlander Priest: Kaarhj is nothing special, but almost always just a solid card. Now that Priest finally has a couple decks that fight for board and care about incremental tempo and value, he’s a solid option that sometimes goes into these decks.
- Malygos, Aspect of Magic – Highlander Hunter/Dragon Freeze Mage: Malygos is one of the power swings in Mage. Mage is very dependent on power spike cards these days, instead of a smoother power level across all turns, so playing without one of your power spikes hurts.
- Veranus – Highlander Hunter/Dragon Hunter: It’s more important for Highlander Hunter, which tends to care more about clearing the board specifically, but both decks usually run it. It’s a great swing card with aggressive stats along with an effect that sets up board clears or punches through taunts. Solid card, good pickup for midrangey Hunter fans.
- Deathwing, Mad Aspect – Control Warrior/Bomb Warrior: The lower-curve Warriors are more popular right now, but Deathwing is solid enough that it is getting some love these days, too. If the meta shifts more towards the slower Warrior decks, he will almost certainly see a lot of play.
- Murzond the Infinite – Galakrond Priest/Highlander Priest: This incredibly powerful swing card isn’t in all the tempo-based Priest decks, but perhaps it should be. The card is not a build-around, but just a great card in lots of matchups.
- Ysera, Unleashed – Spell Druid/Quest Druid/Embiggen Druid: Ysera was originally just played in Quest Druid, then it saw time in Embiggen Druid, and now it’s making its way into Spell-Token Druid, too. It’s a powerful card that seems to at least be an option in most Druid decks, so it’s worth considering if you’re a fan of the class.
- Chenvala – Cyclone Mage: Cyclone Mage took a big hit with the loss of Elemental Evocation, but the hopes for it are not quite dead yet. You still have Mana Cyclone, Mana Giant, and plenty of cheap spells to support Chenvaala, so it may have another chance to shine one day.
- Bandersmosh – Value-based Shamans: Bandersmosh was just about good enough last time Shaman was good (before the Galakrond Shaman nerfs), so if a midrangey and/or value-based Shaman makes a comeback, it’s possible that it makes a comeback with it.
- Valdris Felgorge – Slow Warlocks: Valdris was seeing some experimentation early in its life, including in Galakrond Warlock and Quest Warlock. Slow Warlocks are kind of dead in the meta right now, but if they make a comeback, this might see some play again.
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)