The top 10 cards in Hearthstone: Kobolds and Catacombs

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

Today we are going to be looking at the most powerful non-legendary cards from the expansion.These are the common and rare cards that you can expect to see in most, if not all, Hearthstone decks in the coming months. These are the cards that will either define new strategies or supplement old ones to such a degree that they may hit tier 1. You likely won’t have to craft many of these since they are lower rarity cards, but you should certainly keep an eye out for them since these cards can be the difference between a tournament worthy deck, and a deck that struggles on the ladder.

Greedy Sprite

Druid currently lives in the age of ramp. Wild Growth, Nourish, Jade Blossom, and Mire Keeper all let Druid hit high levels of mana far before their opponent. Is Greedy Sprite better than any of these cards? No, but that doesn’t matter. It’s yet another ramp card which means Druid’s ramp strategy gets yet more consistent. It also allows Big Druid to get more small bodies on the board in the early game, making it less vulnerable than it is currently.

As it stands, it’s only real early game bodies are the 1/1 summoned by Jade Blossom and Mire Keeper’s 3/3 body. This is also a minion your opponent doesn’t want to kill, as doing so will grant you an empty mana crystal that fills at the beginning of your turn. That means you get to use it for a good trade, or free face damage. Finally it’s going to be the ramp of choice, next year when Mire Keeper and Jade Blossom rotate out. Greedy Sprite will be run in basically every Druid deck.

Duskbreaker

This might just be the best priest card in the set. A three damage board wipe is already super good. Warlocks run Hellfire, which is a four mana three damage board wipe, and Priests used to run Excavated Evil, a three damage board wipe for five mana that let the opponent eventually cast it back on you. This is better than both. It has the cost of Hellfire but it also leaves you with a 3/3 body, which means you have tempo. Granted, you need to have a dragon in your hand to take advantage of its effect, but in a dedicated Dragon Priest deck, that’s very likely.

With the other good dragons printed in this set, it’s entirely possible that Dragon Priest will make a comeback. Will it be better than Razakus Priest or Big Priest? That’s unclear. However both of those archetypes will be rotating out with the next standard rotation, while Dragon Priest may remain viable.

Kobold Librarian

Yes, I think this little one mana 2/1 common card is one of the best cards in the set. Zoolock currently runs off of the power of its incredibly efficient one-drops and it’s a contender for top tier. This will just make it that much more powerful. Why? Well look at it this way. It essentially gives you a free use of your hero power. Zoolock often drops a one drop on turn one and uses their hero power on turn two. Kobold Librarian essentially puts you one turn ahead for no extra mana.

Another way to look at it is that Leper Gnome used to be run when it was a 2/1 that dealt two damage to the opponent on Deathrattle. This was equivalent to the Hunter hero power which, along with the Warlock hero power, is the best hero power in the game. If a one mana 2/1 that gives you a charge of a top tier hero power on Deathrattle is good, then a one mana 2/1 that gives you a charge of a top tier hero power on Battlecry is better.

Murmuring Elemental

Brann Bronzebeard was a three mana 2/4 that doubled the effects of your Battlecries and was run in any deck with powerful Battlecry effects, including Shaman decks like Jade Shaman. While Brann’s effect was persistent, it would usually be killed the following turn, allowing you to take advantage of a double Battlecry once at most. Murmuring Elemental gives you essentially the same effect with worse body, lower mana cost, and elemental tag.

Even though Murmuring Elemental is not as good as Brann, it will certainly be used in the same ways. Use it to get an extra Jade Golem off of Jade Claws. Use it to trigger a four damage board wipe with Primordial Drake. Use it to get two extra Doppelgangsters before evolving all five of them into six mana threats (and an extra three mana threat from the elemental). The applications for this card are numerous and they will only expand as more cards with more powerful Battlecries are printed.

Elven Minstrel

Elven Minstrel is ludicrously good because it gives you so much in a small card. The normal cost for drawing two cards is three mana. We see this with the Mage’s Arcane Intellect spell. That means Elven Minstrel is giving you a 3/2 body for only one more mana, which is already above the curve. There’s so much more to this card that makes it amazing. It’s targeted draw, which means you are guaranteed to hit minions. This means you are sure to create board presence in a Tempo or Aggro deck, or sure to hit your amazing combo pieces like Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Edwin, Sherazin, or Questing Adventurer in a Miracle Rogue deck. It can be Shadowstepped or otherwise bounced to your hand to get the effect again, which simple card draw spells cannot do. It’s just an all-around amazing card and will likely be a must include for most Rogue decks.

Explosive Runes

Mage kind of has a problem with secrets. Most of the secrets they can play are not actually all that good. Yet Secret Mage decks keep becoming competitive decks. Why? Because they have a lot of really good secret enablers. Explosive Runes, on the other hand, doesn’t need an enabler. It’s good whenever you play it. If they play a low health minion, then you are getting a low cost high damage spell to the opponent’s face, in addition to removing it. If they play a high health minion, this is essentially a better Snipe. Just about the only types of creatures that can avoid Explosive Runes are high mana legendary creatures with Divine Shield or high health, but your opponent isn’t going to play them when you have a secret out because it could be a Mirror Entity.

Vulgar Homonculus

I didn’t want to include this on this list because it felt kind of dumb to give two of the best cards in the set to cheap Warlock cards, but here we are. This card is one of the best two drops in the game. For two damage you get a Wyrmrest Agent with Demon synergy. It can be discovered by Stonehill Defender, which was already run in some Zoolock decks. It activates the Amythest Spellstone. Honestly, it might be good enough to push Keseleth out of Zoo decks, and he’s one of the best things about them. I expect this to be played in any Warlock deck that isn’t a straight up control warlock. Actually, this gets revived by Bloodreaver Gul’Dan so maybe we will see it in Control Warlock decks too.

Lone Champion

This is good for the same reason Tar Creeper is good. It’s a three mana taunter that is hard to get through early in the game. Tar Creeper was a 3/5 that was a 1/5 on your turn, so basically it couldn’t attack. Lone Champion has -1/-1 in stats but has divine shield and needs to be played alone. Which one is better? Hard to say, but I can certainly see an argument for both being played in a single deck. Expect this to be seen in Paladin decks that focus on Divine Shield and all sorts of Mid-Range decks.

Diamond Spellstone

“Oh my god, Big Priest got even better!” cry the masses. Well the masses are correct, but not for the reason they think they are. Lesser Diamond Spellstone is actually relatively hard to use. It takes four spells to upgrade, which is more than you’d think. It also only resurrects different minions, meaning you can’t resurrect multiple Obsidian Statues or Lich Kings; and your chance of hitting a random Barnes is very high.

This isn’t “just another resurrection card.” It’s an endgame resurrection card. You want to be playing this after you have gone through all your other minions and resurrection spells, for one last chance at a game win. It will take the place of Free from Amber in most Big Priest decks, and might be the final push they need to out value decks like Jade Druid and Razakus Priest. Even if you aren’t playing Big Priest, resurrecting four minions in the right Priest deck is still immensely powerful.

Healing Rain

Control Shaman have been looking to get back into the competitive scene and this card might help them get back on the tier list. Healing Rain is unique in that it heals both your board and your hero at the same time. It allows you to make a few decent trades: heal your board to full, and spill the rest of that health over to yourself. Or, you can play this while your board is healthy and heal twelve life directly to your hero. At three mana, this makes it better than Greater Healing Potion, which is Priest’s survival tool of choice. When you can heal better than Priest, you know you have a good card.

What do you think? What are the best commons and rares in Kobold’s and Catacombs? What decks do you think will dominate the meta? Let us know in the comment catacombs down below.