Posted Wed, Feb 12, 2014 by Messiah
Hearthstone, especially in the arena version, is a game that at its most basic, is all about board control and card advantage. The way to establish that board control and card advantage is by having the best cards possible.
In an earlier guide we looked at the best 10 common and rare cards available to players in the Hearthstone Arena format, which can be found here: .
This guide looks at the best cards in the game, the epic and legendary cards. Which are the best of those cards that are generic to all classes and which should you try to draft? Find out right here.
As with the common and rare card listing, keep in mind that the cards that you want will change slightly based on the class that you choose to play, mainly near the bottom of the list though as some of the class cards will filter into the list dropping some of these cards off.
As can be expected the lower half of this list consists of the epic cards, while the cards up near the top are the legendary cards.
This is a solid 8/8 creature that has good defensive ability. sure he starts off costing a massive 20 mana, but gets 1 cheaper for every damage you have suffered. Therefore late in the game, when you are down to a few health, he becomes a free play, that's right 0 mana, for an 8/8 beast. If the game lasts that long and you are getting down on health, this guy can give you a massive free power swing.
This giant is better than the molten giant above due to his casting cost mechanic. He starts off at 12 mana and gets 1 cheaper per minion on the field. This means that if you end up facing a rush deck that gets out 5 or 6 minions by turn 5 you will likely be able to summon him out to even the playing field very quickly.
While only a 4/2 minion that can easily be killed off, this minion is cheap at only 3 mana, and has an insanely powerful battlecry. Already decent at 4 attack for 3 mana, the battlecry allows you to outright destroy any minion with 7 or more attack!
That makes this minion a great card to have in your deck to counter your opponents big minions. His use is situational though as he is easy to defeat and if you opponent does not summon any big threats his battlecry is useless.
For 9 mana you get a big 8/8 mean dragon along with a whole lot of 1/1 whelps, enough to fill your side of the board. The only issue with Onyxia is that she comes into play so late in the game. While still a great minion, I prefer minions that can pack a punch earlier in the game, as late game can be too late.
The joke / legend that will not die, Leeroy Jenkins returns to the Blizzard universe in yet another incarnation. This card is a huge one hit wonder. At 6 damage for only 4 mana, he is a pretty great burst card. The issue is that he only has 2 health and you give your opponent two 1/1 whelps, meaning they can kill him off on their turn.
6 damage on demand though is a great ability, and you can use it to finish of your opponent, or clear out a large enemy minion, making Leeroy a solid choice if he shows up.
This has to be the best of the epic cards out there for the Arena setting. At 5 mana this minion has the potential to be the best minion in the game. Of course he could also be the worst, it just matters who you target to copy. For 5 mana you get a minion that can copy any other minion in play, yours or your opponents, along with any buffs that minion has on it.
There are few things more demoralizing to your opponent than summoning a Ragnaros only to have you copy it with a Faceless Manipulator and then use a Big Game Hunter, Hex, or Polymorph to destroy theirs. There are so many good uses for this minion, that if it comes up, you pretty much have to draft it. The only reason not to is if a better class specific epic is available.
At 6 mana for a 5/5 minion, Sylvanas is a decent start. Her deathrattle ability causes your opponent all sorts of issues though. When she dies, you gain control over one of your opponents minions at random. Played correctly you can simply make sure that your opponent only has decent minions alive at the end of any given turn, and guarantee you would get something good when she dies. Another thing to remember is that your opponent doesn't have to kill her, if they avoid her because they just summoned something good, you can always attack with her into a suicide attack, or kill her with your own direct damage ability, which is a hand way to get that stealthed minion. Also at only 6 mana she is a solid choice as she can be brought out in the mid game rather than having to wait until the late game.
Ysera is one of the cards that has long been considered a top legendary by players. However at 9 mana for only a 4/12 minion I second guess a ranking higher than #2 or #3. Sure, she can be hard to deal with due to her 12 health, but a silence removes most of her threat.
What makes her so good are the cards she grants you access to at the end of each turn. However, you will not get to play one until at least turn 10, assuming you cast her on turn 9, and in many games that is too late. In the games where is would matter, you may get one of her cards that is situation or even just plain bad. Don't get me wrong, most of the cards she grants are pretty damn good, but there are some that suck. Therefore due to the random nature of her benefit and her low attack power, she comes in #3 on this list.
Another perineal favorite. Ragnaros is a monstrous 8/8 minion for 8 mana with a great ability. Sounds too good? Well, yes he has a downside, he can not attack. Instead he deals 8 damage to a random enemy at the end of each turn. This however is a good thing. It stops you from using him to plink away at enemy minions and thereby dropping his health low enough to be killed off by cheap minions.
Better yet, it provides some protection against silence effects. Think about it, most silence effects are used to counter special abilities, but with Ragnaros, the special ability is also a way to keep him from rampaging across the board at you or your minions. The way Ragnaros works really makes your opponent think when trying to counter him. Sure, they may silence him, but then you just use buff minions or cards and slam into them even harder than the normal 8 damage, which may have just hit a random 1/1 minion instead of you having the choice of where to direct it.
Cairn is a great card and arguably (see #2+3 above) the best generic legendary in the game. He is 6 mana for a 4/5 minion, which at first glance doesn't seem that good, however look closer. When Cairn is killed he summons Baine Bloodhoof, a second 4/5 minion. This makes hit a real pain to deal with, as soon as you kill him you have to deal with another.
In essence you are getting a BOGO Chillwind Yeti, it's just like those damn shoe sales that the wife drags you to, but this one is fun, unless your on the receiving end.
Due the the frustrating nature of having to deal with back to back 4/5 minions and the fact that he is only 6 mana and can be played mid-game for either offense or defence he is my #1 choice as a legendary card in the Arena.
Ok, I know that #1 has already been listed, and yes it really was the best legendary to pick, as long as you are talking about generic legendary cards. However, Tirion Fordring has to be the hands down best legendary in the game, and since he is for one of the best Arena classes, the Paladin, then you should always be on the lookout for him. As of this article being written (Feb 2014) Paladin and Mage are the ruling classes in Arenas and therefore if you had the choice of being a Paladin, you will have taken it.
Tirion is a solid minion at 6/6 for 8 mana with both taunt and divine shield! This means that he can take several hits without being killed. Better yet, once he is defeated he grants you a 5/3 weapon through his death rattle. What more could you want from a card! If he is attacking (and not being attacked) that means he can kill 2 6/6 creatures and then you can deal 15 damage with the weapon, giving you a huge 27 possible damage, all for 8 mana. Sign me up!
As with any Top 10 list, there will be different opinions out there. These are mine, if you have your own idea for cards that I missed that are available to all classes and either epic or legendary, let me know by posting them in our comment section below.