The best cards to craft in Hearthstone: Kobolds and Catacombs

The full set list for Kobolds and Catacombs has just been revealed, and the expansion is launching in just a few days. Which cards will define the game and which cards are just a big waste? It’s time to take a look.

It seems like the price of Hearthstone goes up with each expansion. The game’s most competitive decks now require more and more legendary cards to operate. It takes hundreds of dollars and tens of thousands of coins and dust to obtain every legendary card in a Hearthstone set. Luckily, you can save a lot of time, money, and frustration by focusing your crafting efforts on just the legendries and epics that will see play in powerful decks for the next standard season. It’s not an easy thing to predict, but we will give it a shot. Here are our picks for which cards will bring you the most value in the coming months.

Twig of the World Tree

Of all the legendary weapons in Kobolds and Catacombs, Twig of the World Tree is likely the best. First of all, it’s directly resistant to weapon removal. Destroying this weapon will just put you at 10 Mana Crystals, and that’s something no opponent wants to do. Second, when it breaks it essentially gives you a double turn. You can spend as much as twenty mana on whatever you want!

Finally, while it is equipped it essentially doubles the damage of your hero power, making it an effective removal tool. The dream is to play this, then play Medivh to replace the Twig with Atiesh, triggering its Deathrattle effect. Then you can play Ultimate Infestation in order to get five damage, five armor, five cards, a 5/5 minion, a 7/7 minion, and a random 10 mana minion. Now that’s a lot of value!

Val’anyr

Val’anyr is yet another legendary weapon that resists weapon removal, which is going to be necessary in the upcoming ooze flooded meta. It’s not quite as resistant as our friendly twig, but it’s still pretty good. A 4/2 weapon is pretty decent, especially in Paladin which has cards that can heal. Its hand-buff effect makes every minion better (including lifesteal minions which keeps the engine going). Then, when the minion dies, the weapon get re-equipped for no cost. You can trade the minion away and swing this weapon in the same turn! It is vulnerable to transformation or bounce removal, but then again any buff is and not every class has access to it. Expect Val’anyr to be a big hit in Mid-Range and Control Paladin decks for some time. 

Aluneth

Aluneth is a legendary weapon that isn’t resistant to weapon destruction, but that doesn’t particularly matter. It gives you an immediate benefit of drawing cards on the turn you play it. Six mana for a draw three spell isn’t great, but it’s not horrible. Anything that draws you three cards isn’t horrible. If Aluneth stays on the field for any more than one turn, however, it’s insane. Six mana for drawing six, or nine, or more cards is insane.

Many people have brought up concerns that Aluneth will just draw out your deck and mill you to death, but any deck that runs Aluneth will also run cheap and damaging spells. This keeps your hand empty and lets Aluneth do its job. We might even see a Burn Mage deck whose entire purpose is to chuck spells at your face and re-draw with Aluneth. If you are really worried about Aluneth drawing until you die, just run Medivh. Playing him will unequip Aluneth, turning off its draw effect and giving you value for the spells you play afterward.

Sonya Shadowdancer

Sonya Shadowdancer is amazing because she is super cheap. You can’t play her without a board, yes, but Tempo Rogue is a tier 1 deck and its entire purpose is to have a board that the opponent struggles to remove. Think of all the applications of Sonya. Play her on turn three and trade off your turn two Prince Keleseth for even more full deck buffs. Play her late in the game and trade off your Vilespine Slayers for more cheap removal. Play her, buff her with Bonemare, trade off the Bonemare, then play it and buff her again! Sonya Shadowdancer just made Tempo Rogue even better, and it was already one of the best decks in the meta.

Psychic Scream

For some reason, Priest is getting all the board wipes in this set. Psychic Scream is amazing. It is essentially Priest’s version of Twisting Nether. Twisting Nether just destroys all minions. Psychic Scream shuffles them into your opponent’s deck.

Why is this good? First of all it bypasses Divine Shield as well as all Deathrattle effects. The board is just cleared with absolutely no lingering effects. Second, it screws up your opponent’s draw consistency. Psychic Scream away a bunch of  trash 1/1s from, say, an Unleash the Hounds, and then they have to spend one of their late game turns drawing these cards and barely effecting the board state. “But wait!” you might say “doesn’t this also shuffle your good cards into the opponent’s deck too?” Yes, but that’s why you trade your good cards away before casting Psychic Scream. That way the opponent only gets the cards he would have had in his deck anyway, as well as cards that you think he can’t make use of. This may just be the best hard AOE removal spell in the game.

Expect any slower control-based priest deck to run this, including Razakus Priest, Big Priest, Deathrattle Priest, and more.

Carnivorous Cube

This is perhaps the most questionable inclusion on this list, but I think this little green cube is a value extravaganza. First of all, its stat line isn’t bad. Five mana for a 4/6 is enough to create some serious board presents. Its effect is what you are really looking to exploit. Your goal is to destroy a minion with a powerful Deathrattle effect that likely would have died anyway.

For example, Aya Blackpaw, a creature opponents already avoid killing because of her Deathrattle. Let’s say that you have played no other Jade cards the whole game. Aya comes into play, summons a 1/1. Carnivorous Cube eats her; she summons a 2/2. Carnivorous Cube dies and two copies of her come back into play, and when they die they summon a 3/3 and a 4/4. Totaling all those stats, all of Aya’s stats, and the Cube’s stats together, that’s 10 mana and two cards for 29/25 of stats! And that’s just one example! Put it in a N’Zoth deck for absurd Deathrattle value. Put it in a Mid-Range Hunter and keep spawning Savannah Highmanes. This is definitely going to be the combo card to look out for in the next few months.

Reckless Flurry

This may be another of the most powerful AOE removal spells ever printed in the game. Combined with the Warrior hero power, it’s already three mana for a 2 point board clear. This falls in line with Volcanic Potion in Mage. It becomes absolutely ludicrous when combined with armor generating cards. Shield Block makes it a three mana Dragonfire Potion. Bring It On makes it deal a whopping ten damage to everything! Blizzard has been trying to build up Control Warrior again, and this card might just be enough to push it back into the competitive scene.

Kathrena Winterwisp

This is a pretty divisive card, but I think it will be good because the math just works out. The worst thing that can possibly happen is recruiting an alley cat twice, and that likely won’t be happening if you managed to survive until turn 8. That makes Kathrena an eight mana card worth 8/8 in stats which isn’t great but isn’t the worst thing in the world. Literally any other beast puts Katherna far above the curve. Even just a couple of 3/2 generic beasts would make her a 12/10 for 8, which is above the stat curve. However, she can also grab things like Savannah Highmane or Bittertide Hydra, setting up a tremendous board that is difficult to deal with. As long as beasts remain a key Hunter strategy, Katherna will remain a key Hunter card.

Unstable Evolution

It’s a repeatable spell that evolves whatever you like. That’s way more powerful than you think it is. Repeatable spells means repeatable card draw off Gadgetzan Auctioneer. Repeatable spells means infinite tokens off Violet Teacher which you can then evolve. Repeatable spells means an infinitely large questing adventurer. You also get to evolve your stuff as you cast spells, which is nice.

The main reason why Unstable Evolution is on this list is because Evolve is rotating out next year, so this will be the only way to play the Evolve strategy after the next couple months. With Saronite Chain Gang still in the meta, I’d say the archetype will be sticking around.

Geosculptor Yip

With the nerf to Pirate Warrior only two viable types of Warrior deck remain: Control Warriors and Dead Man’s Warrior. Both of these decks work by gaining a ton of armor, stalling the game, and eventually setting up a win condition (killing the opponent in Control Warrior and fatiguing them in Dead Man’s Warrior.) While Geosculptor Yip probably does not belong in Dead Man’s Warrior, I can certainly see him being used as a win condition in Control Warrior.

Once you have handled most of your opponent’s threats, drop Yip and start churning out value every turn. Eight mana for a 4/8 body is not so bad as far as stat-lines go and his effect is fast, happening at the end of the turn you play him. Best-case scenario he starts summoning 8-10 mana game winners. Worse-case scenario, he summons a 2 mana creature which, honestly is still not that bad. This is another one of those cards that might not be amazing immediately but will get better as more cards supporting Control Warrior are printed.

Honorable Mention: Evasion

Evasion might be the only good Rogue secret in the entire set. While, yes, your opponent will obviously know when you play this secret, it doesn’t quite matter. It gives you an extra turn to survive when you would otherwise take lethal damage, which is enough to give powerful combo decks like Miracle Rogue the game. It’s a card that takes a lot of skill to play since you have to be able to predict the amount of damage your opponent can do the next turn, but if you can, this card will save you from death time and time again.

That’s all the cards we have for you right now. What do you think? What cards do you absolutely have to craft in Kobolds and Catacombs? Let us know in the comments.