As the IEL’s Basics and Commons league wraps up, and players move on to casual, or future IEL seasons, it seemed like a good time to discuss some of the cards that could be added to basics and commons decks, both for the C4 format and for general play. This list is meant to be a starting point to help players make the transition, as well as a resource for those who may not have played Commons or C4 before. Because rares are both useable in the C4 format and the cheapest non-common way to upgrade your decks (100 dust per rare, as opposed to epics at 400, or legendaries at 1600), they’re likely to be some of the better bang for your buck cards out there.
I’m going to pick one best rare for each class and neutral, as well as some honorable mentions. Notably, this will not include rares acquired through adventures, because those aren’t as easily accessible for newer players. Where there are relevant ones though, I’ll include Adventure Honorable Mentions as well. When cards are close together, I’ll generally err on the side of the more flexible card – one that you want in more variations of decks, rather than one that only fits in one specific deck.
Today we’re tackling Druid, Hunter, and Mage. Check back later this week for the rest of the classes, plus Neutral cards. Here we go!
Alphabetically first, but one of the hardest decisions – druid has long been known for the power of its epics, while its rares have often played second fiddle or filler roles. Mire Keeper is pretty emblematic of this – it is a very solid value card, but not one that’s likely to have a big wow factor. Still, the flexibility the card presents (5 power and 5 toughness for 4 mana, or a medium body and a mana “ramp”) is quite appealing.
Honorable Mentions: [Starfall] and [Nourish] Two more examples of the flexibility that the “choose one” mechanic can provide, Starfall is a very flexible removal spell, taking out a bigger minion, or clearing a bunch of small ones. Nourish is more often used for the draw 3 ability (one of the best pure card drawers in the game), but going from 5 mana to 8 the next turn can make for some big plays as well. One more honorable mention here as well. Many of the Commons druid decks have a heavy Beast theme, meaning [Savage Combatant] is a nice on-theme addition.
This one is easy. Hunter has a handful of good rares, but Highmane is just incredible. It’s 6/5 body for 6 is pretty close to on curve by itself, the fact that it’s a beast is highly relevant, and the “stickiness” it presents, spawning 2 2/2 beasts when it dies, means that a single removal spell can’t even fully clear it from the board. This card single-handedly makes a big difference in the ability of a hunter deck to win in the late game if their early aggression is blunted.
Honorable Mention: [Eaglehorn Bow] Without any secrets being triggered, the Bow is 6 damage for 3 mana (albeit split over a couple of turns), a very nice rate of return. Either going face, or cleaning up pesky opposing minions, the Bow is very nice. If you can trigger a secret or two however, and get extra durability, the card becomes crazy strong, and often times changes how the opponent plays – trying to play around triggering a secret to avoid giving you the extra attack with the weapon.
The actual best rare for a Mage deck is actually a neutral card (stay tuned for the next article in this series), but Whispers of the Old Gods brought us this cheap but powerful play. Ignore the text about C’thun – you’re playing this card because it’s a 3/2 (about the best deal you can get for 2 mana) that comes with an ability that is very relevant for mage – spell damage isn’t so good that you’d want to play cards with below average bodies to get it, but when it’s essentially free on a reasonable body, like here, it’s just gravy – more damage is good.
Adventure Honorable Mention: [Flamewaker] I’d be remiss if I failed to mention this card. The current version of Tempo Mage decks exist largely because of it, and getting additional value off of your cheap spells is just huge.
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