This is the third, and final post in our series on the best 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. See the first post, for a detailed methodology and Druid, Mage, and Hunter; and the second post for Paladin, Priest, and Rogue.
Another class with a number of strong rares, but for sheer power and flexibility, Feral Spirit is my #1. It fits in pretty much all flavors of Shaman decks, from very aggressive to very controlling, and is great value for its cost. Stick a [Flametongue Totem] between your wolves for bonus value.
Honorable Mentions: [Thunder Bluff Valiant]/[Thing from Below] are very strong cards that enable a Shaman deck with a much heavier totem focus to be successful. [Mana Tide Totem] is a fantastic card drawer if you can protect it (perhaps hide it behind the Feral Spirits?) [Lava Burst] is a lot of damage for not a lot of mana, and is a solid finisher for aggressive versions of Shaman.
Warlock Zoo is a deck that likes to “go wide”, creating a lot of board presence and using its minions to control the flow of the game. Forbidden Ritual is an incredible way to flood the board with a single card (although watch out for [Ravaging Ghoul]), and combos incredibly well with [Darkshire Councilman] and [Dire Wolf Alpha] (put the Dire Wolf in the middle, and as you use each tentacle to trade up and die, the next one moves over and gets buffed). Ritual just helps Zoo do more of the things it wants to do.
Honorable Mentions: [Doomguard] was a classic zoo finisher, coming in for the final few points of damage, or even killing a minion and surviving. The drawback is real, but if it’s the last or second to last card in your hand, you can mitigate or eliminate the disadvantage. [Shadowflame] and [Siphon Soul] are cards you see in more controlling Warlock decks (such as “Handlock”), although those typically rely fairly heavily on epics and legendaries.
Warriors like to deal 1 damage to everything (or sometimes just some things) with a number of their cards. Simply playing Berserker before attacking on your turn and trading guys can make him an easy 4/4 for 3 mana. Combined with a [Whirlwind] effect with a few guys in play, Berserker’s power can shoot into the double digits fairly easily – an incredible deal for 3 mana that plays very nicely with Warrior’s core themes.
Honorable Mention: [Armorsmith] is a staple in controlling warrior decks looking to go to the long game. Similar to controlling Warlock decks though, these often feature a large number of legendaries and may not be a good fit for a newer player or the C4 format. [Bloodsail Cultist] is a fantastic addition to a Pirate-based deck, as it’s a very nice body already, and upgrading a weapon is very strong.
Finally, the neutral cards, and probably the most versatile and valuable rare in the game. I said that the best rare for a Mage deck was neutral, and the argument could be made that it’s the best for Rogue, Priest, Druid, and maybe even Shaman as well – any deck that uses a decent number of removal spells that benefit from spell damage. Azure Drake doesn’t do any one thing exceptionally well, but the combined value from the whole package is very, very high. It has a solid, if slightly under curve, body. It draws a card when it comes into play, replacing itself immediately. It gives a spell damage increase. And it’s a dragon, which is actually a relevant creature type for cards such as [Blackwing Corruptor] and [Blackwing Technician]. It’s just an exceptionally well-rounded package.
Honorable Mentions: [Knife Juggler] is a staple card for any kind of aggressive deck, especially those that flood the board with guys – Aggro Paladins, Zoo-lock and Face Hunter all get nice value from this guy. [Disciple of C’thun] is really only viable in C’thun decks, but is an integral component in them – the combination of removal spell, small body and C’thun buff is strong.
Adventure Honorable Mention: [Grim Patron] pretty much only goes in warrior decks, but fits the theme of them incredibly well, and enables some truly absurd plays.
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