Adaptation Displacement: You will find more fan work using Hearthstone's version of certain characters than their original Warcraft counterparts. The most prominent examples would be Valeera (the hero of the Rogue class), who people unfamiliar with the original game would be surprised to learn that she is a sidekick to Varian at best and Jaraxxus, the Breakout Character from this game who is just one simple boss fight in the original game.
Blizzard themselves acknowledge the displacement by putting Valeera and Jaraxxus in Legion.
Alas, Poor Scrappy: Even the most Base Breaking or overpowered classes invokes this reaction from players when the designers nerf them to unplayable and completely screw them over in the next card adventure / expansion. The most prominent ones are Rogue during The Grand Tournament expansion and Priest during the One Night in Karazhan adventure, if the reaction to Purify is anything to go by.
Author's Saving Throw: After rabid community outcry over the reveal of the blatantly terrible Priest card Purify, Senior Designer Ben Brode published a video explaining Blizzard's reasoning for creating the card, that they screwed up by releasing a weak card at the wrong time, and that the card would be removed from Arena drafts to give Priest some much needed support.
The release of more card with the "class cards stealing" theme in later expansion for Rogue seems to have quieted down the jokes that Priests are better thieves than Rogues.
Medivh's theme, which only plays on his purchase screen, is recognizable as the unreleased song that played during Medivh's monologue at the end of Warcraft III, finally available to listen to in all its glory after 13 years. Bonus points for the altered version that plays upon summoning Medivh, the Guardian.
Priest has consistently been one of the most hated heroes since launch because of their high survivability and tendency to steal the enemy's ace-in-the-hole, and the fact that they've never been high tier means that battles with them tend to be easy but very boring. Despite this, they're also one of the most popular classes, boasting a very dedicated fanbase thanks to the class' unique playstyle and excellent variety of cards. It's not uncommon on online forums to see Priests bickering with other players over whether or not the class should even be in the game.
Dr. Boom has had debates about him one after the other since his release for a myriad of reasons. The main one tends to be the Power Creep argument; Dr. Boom is a 7/7 that costs 7 mana and summons 2 1/1 Boom Bots that deal 1-4 damage to a random enemy upon death, which is straight up better than the vanilla 7/7 for 7 War Golem and much more splashable than the other neutral 7 drops, which are either situational or useless. Given that the 7-drop slot was almost never used by any class other than Druid prior to his release, many note that the real problem is that most 7 mana minions suck and Dr. Boom is the first good one, while others believe him to be overpowered and that the only way to make more viable 7-drops is to nerf him.
Yogg-Saron briefly enjoyed a ton of popularity at the start of Whispers of the Old Gods, but it gradually spiraled downward when people began to discover just how strong he was. Yogg is utterly loathed by competitive players for his ability to transform any kind of match into an extravagant dice roll and even basic ladder players hate how obnoxious his effect can be. However, unlike other cards of his status, Yogg-Saron has a very devoted fanbase who love the insanity of his effect and claim that his haters use him a scapegoat for their losses, and that ultimately he's just another symptom of Hearthstone's problem with RNG as a whole.
The mage class challenge from Blackrock Mountain against the Dark Iron Arena gave players something they had been demanding for a while- a deck made of nothing but Unstable Portal cards, which each add a random minion to your hand and reduce the cost by 3. It's a battle between 30 completely random minions and 30 legendary minions, and the utter madness that tends to ensue has had many call it one of the highlights of the adventure.
The epic fight with Nefarian at the end of Blackrock Mountain's fourth wing. It starts out with him basically crushing any hopes of victory by maxing out his mana crystals and gaining a ton of armor, when suddenly Ragnaros shows up to save the day and grants you insanely powerful cards to even the odds. Adding to this, Nefarian's hero power lets him draw spells based on your hero's class, meaning that the fight will practically never be the same every time.
The Collapsing Temple, the third boss of The League of Explorer's first wing, is widely beloved for being the most creative boss in the game. Instead of winning by doing the simple thing and attacking the enemy hero until they die, the Temple requires you to survive for 10 turns while it's throwing different obstacles at you, starting with a Zombie Chow and ending with multiple gigantic minions. Special events occur every turn, from giving the player a choice between a mana crystal or drawing a card, to the ceiling falling down and destroying all minions, and it definitely adds to the adventure's flavor of exploring ancient dungeons. Finally, the encounter is almost strictly strategy- the only RNG elements are from a single event and your own draw.
Lady Nazjar from League of Explorers is well liked for her totally awesome boss mechanicnote replacing all minions with ones that cost 1 more, to the point where Whispers of the Old Gods added in two Shaman cards that do exactly that.note Evolve and Master of Evolution
The prime candidate for the most loved Tavern Brawl is Unite Against Mechazod, a co-op brawl where two players combine forces to take down Gearmaster Mechazod, an insanely powerful minion threatening to destroy both heroes. Every basic rule in the game is thrown out the window and requires the players to support each other with heals, give each other gifts using otherwise underused cards like Lorewalker Cho, and work together to buff up minions to borderline impossible levels to even scratch the boss. Mechazod himself doesn't go down easy, and requires significant strategy from both players to preserve their boards and keep their health totals high. He was loved so much that he was brought back for another round, with different pre-made decks from different classes.
In a similar vein as Mechazod, there's a co-op Brawl against Nefarian, which can be argued to be much better. Among the reasons are, despite his incredible 200 health, Nefarian doesn't snowball as easily as Mechazod, and the players who are given Priest and Shaman are given non-Standard cards that directly helps against Nefarian instead of a host of mere normal cards.
The Chess Event from One Night in Karazhan manages to recreate chess in Hearthstone in an imaginative and inventive way, and is widely considered to be the best boss in an otherwise disappointing adventure.
Breather Boss: After the brutal co-op boss fights with Gearmaster Mechazod, the Tavern Brawl against the City of Stormwind is instead a refreshingly simple survival minigame that lets you deliberately lose in order to gain quest progress and a free pack. It's not even that difficult when going for a high score, as there are a myriad of ways to cheese the AI.
Over the pay-wall. Many players, especially free ones, dislike the fact that most of the best cards are either of high rarity or limited to Adventure modes and force too much grinding to make desired decks, and that said grinding would turn away too many new players. Others point out that making the grinding easier would be financial suicide for Blizzard, and that the game would be too difficult for them to support without the current model.
As expected, the addition of the "Alternate Heroes" has caused a rift in the fanbase. Plenty of people are upset that Blizzard added 'Premium Content' that is only available to purchase with real money, as opposed to in-game gold. On the other hand, the alternate heroes are purely aesthetic and have no advantages over the basic heroes (other than different voice acting and different Hero Power animations), so many people are pretty neutral about the whole thing. Still more didn't mind Blizzard trying to make a little extra money off Hearthstone ... until they found out the alternate heroes would cost $9.99 USD each (meaning for all three of the current alternative heroes it'll cost a player nearly $30.00), which for some is ridiculous even if the content is completely optional and makes no difference to gameplay. Still others point out most players only play one or two classes seriously anyway, and even so there's no guarantee a player will even prefer the alternate hero vs. the free one in the first place.
The inaugural challenge in Tavern Brawl saw players being able to fight as the two warring rivals of Blackrock Mountain, Ragnaros the Firelord and Nefarian. While there are plenty of players who adored the ability to play with two boss decks filled with overpowered cards, others have complained that Nefarian has a huge advantage over Ragnaros (Nefarian starts with 5 Mana while Ragnaros starts with 1, not to mention Nefarian starts with his Hero Power Wild Magic right away, while Ragnaros doesn't get DIE, INSECT! until Turn 6 at the earliest). That isn't to say Ragnaros can't win, but some have cited that playing as Ragnaros is more like a chore due to having to plan for a late-game that may not even happen, while playing as Nefarian is much more fun from the start. Still, even with the complaints most people do understand a player only needs to beat the challenge once to get the prize, and if they didn't like Tavern Brawl they don't need to play it again. This whole mess may have been the reason that at some point when this Nefarian vs Ragnaros is revisited, Nefarian now begins his first turn with 4 mana crystals instead.
A similar result happened when the Brawl just before The Grand Tournament expansions official release gave players one of two decks, Alleria Windrunner whose cards all showed off the new Joust mechanic and Magus Medivh whose cards all showed off the Inspire mechanic. Sounds good in theory but in practice Medivh had a rather overwhelming advantage as his cards synergized rather well where the Joust cards not only had zero synergy and but also had the disadvantage of abilities that had a pretty good chance of not firing. Add to this the joust cards high cost and low health and a few new cards allowing the mage to simply spam their hero ability to kill monsters or the opponent with an unstoppable attacknote with the right cards you could do up to thirty attack with your hero power alone, and you start to think that maybe someone at blizzard really hates hunters.
Warsong Commander's nerf from giving minions with 3 or less attack charge to simply giving your charge minions +1 attack. As the devs have said, Warsong Commander restricted design space for new cards and made it too difficult to make something cool, and it was also the centerpiece of the fairly overpowered Patron Warrior deck, so it was basically like killing two birds with one stone. However, many players were angry at how they killed one the few decks to be skill-intensive, if a tad too strong, that simply needed some minor tweaking to bring down to a reasonable level instead of outright murdering it.
It should be noted that Patron Warrior didn't die after the nerf, but instead took a new form as a hard counter anti-aggro "Mid Range Warrior" deck.
The upcoming separation between Standard (which routinely rotate sets from the most recent two years) and Wild (which is basically the current model) Mode. While many players agree this is necessary to allow new content to have more impact and remove many Game Breaker card and Tier-Induced Scrappy decks, a number of players are furious that their powerful expansive deck would not be viable in Standard. Some are fine with the change but worried that Wild would be nightmare to balance. The fact that previous years' expansion packs and adventure cards wouldn't be available in store and Adventure Mode anymore is universally loathed, however. (See Scrappy Mechanic)
The alternate paladin hero being Lady Liadrin was generally seen as a good choice, the lady being Uther's counterpart in almost every way. Her method of acquirement (levelling a World of Warcraft character to 20) was far more contentious, some players lauding a new (and free) way to get a hero skin while others were outraged at Blizzard tying it to WoW.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The game has become somewhat infamous for this, in that new techniques and strategies are discovered all the time, and very quickly get copied by everyone else. It becomes a constant struggle to try and stay ahead of the curve.
On a more casual level, Mech Decks have becomes quite commonplace. This is because the neutral Mech minions all synergize extremely well, so much in fact you can make a Mech Deck out of virtually any class with the bulk of minions staying the same.
Crazy Awesome: Yogg-Saron is the proud owner of the absolute wackiest effect in the gamenote He's a 10 mana 7/5 that casts a random spell with a random target for every spell his owner had casted that game, and the fans adore him for it. Plus, despite how RNG dependent he is, Yogg-Saron actually has this weird style of consistency to him, in that you can always expect him to clear the board and draw a bunch of cards, so he's hilarious and playable!
Designated Hero: The subtitle is Heroes of Warcraft. That said, two of the "heroes" are Gul'dan (an evil warlock from Warcraft II) and Garrosh Hellscream (the Big Bad of Mists of Pandaria).
It's possible that "heroes" is used in the sense of "controllable powerful faction leader" as it is in Warcraft (and for that matter the Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars mod). Even then, there are exceptions, as someone like Valeera does not lead, yet still duke it out with many faction leaders, as well as Rexxar and Medivh, both of whom are Champions of their factions rather than leaders.
These two can also be considered Horde heroes, just from different subfactions instead of the players'. Garrosh served proudly at Northrend and, as warchief, had his own vision for the Horde. Gul'dan invented the Horde and created valuable soldiers for Doomhammer's war effort (namely the death knight, the ogre-mage, and in older sources the weaponized giant sea turtle). So they were at least heroic in deed.
It could also refer to the classical definition of hero, which was basically just a synonym for Badass.
Designated Villain: Nefarian and his forces in the third wing of Blackrock Mountain, because without context of the original raid's story it just seems like you're crashing into your friend's home, killing them and stealing their shit, but a special mention goes to General Drakkisath who begs you why you're doing this in a really sad and betrayed voice. It isn't until you encounter Vaelastrasz where it's obvious that Nefarian is genuinely a bad person.
Dork Age: The period between Blackrock Mountain and Whispers of the Old Gods was a full year of fan complaints and Blizzard trying to figure out what they can do to keep things fresh. Blackrock Mountain's card selection did a poor job of promoting the highly-tauted dragon synergy, while simultaneously introducing the unstoppable Patron Warrior deck into the game, dominating tournaments left and right. The next set, The Grand Tournament, was a disaster, featuring a lackluster card selection that ended up rendering the meta stagnant, all except for the additions of Dragon Priest, which was warmly welcomed, and Secret Paladin, which was not. League Of Explorers is widely considered the best set ever printed, but unfortunately the metagame settled far too fast, and despite its card variety Renolock ended up the only new deck to emerge from it, leaving behind a pretty stale game. It took Whispers' massive selection of solid cards, nerfs of overpowered Classic set cards, and the addition of formats to finally shake things up.
The Jaraxxus Rap. It is customary to use this as BGM in Hearthstone videos where playing him wins the game.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Cards with unique, fun, powerful but balanced effects as well as stats receive a lot of love. While Jaraxxus from Warlock is the best example of this, other examples include Dreadsteed from Warlock (4 mana 1/1, any time it is killed a new one summons to the field immediately), Auchenai Soulpriest from Priest (4 mana 3/5, turn all your healing effects into damage), Sylvanas Windrunner (6 mana 5/5, randomly control one of your opponent minion when she dies) and Reno Jackson (6 mana 4/6, heal your hero to max health if your deck contains only one copy of each cards)
Lord Jaraxxus. Originally a raid boss from World of Warcraft, Jaraxxus appears in Hearthstone as the Warlock's unique legendary card, and he quickly became probably the most popular character in the game thanks to a combination of his glorious voice acting, his hilarious emotes and quotes, and for being a total standout amongst the cards of the game: if Jaraxxus is successfully summoned, he outright replaces Gul'dan as the hero with an 3/8 weapon and a game changing hero power, meaning that Jaraxxus isn't just awesome, he's a card to be feared as well. Upon summoning, he drops his famous quote, "YOU FACE JARAXXUS, EREDAR LORD OF THE BURNING LEGION! " Finally, it seems to have become recognized, as in one set of patch notes Blizzard specifically references him.
Battle.Net Patch Notes: Winning a game as Lord Jaraxxus will now properly grant credit towards unlocking the Warlock golden hero. You win... BUT YOUR WORLD IS STILL DOOMED!
Magma Rager is a 5/1 for 3 mana and So Bad, It's Good in card form, with countless jokes being made both for and against it. While most blatantly terrible cards get this type of treatment, Magma Rager is far and away the most common one to mock. Became an Ascended Meme in The Grand Tournament, which releases a similar but more powerful card called Ice Rager. Ice Rager's flavor text says he's cooler than Magma Rager. There's also the League of Explorers where one of the boss characters has special dialogue if Magma Rager is played. And in Whispers of the Old Gods we get Am'gam Rager, which is Magma Rager in reverse. Its flavor text? "peerc rewop"
Annoy-o-tron, a 1/2 Mech with Taunt and Divine Shield for 2 mana, is one of the most popular cards in the fandom for its hilarious yet adorable emotes and surprising effectiveness in Mech decks.
Antique Healbot, a 5 mana neutral minion with the game-saving ability to gain 8 health for the player when played from the hand is especially liked for being the first genuine good healing produced in the game and used by self-damage or late game decks such as Rogue, Warlock and Mage for essentially regaining more than a quarter their total health for the cost of 1 card and gaining a 3/3 body on the field. What more, the bot is especially useful to get rid of a Mage Mirror Entity secret while gaining great health advantage and can easily gain copies of it or be played multiple times by spell cards and secrets. This card is even put in midrange decks to deal with Face Hunter.
Grim Patron, a 3/3 for 5 mana that summons another Grim Patron whenever it survives damage, gets plenty of love singlehandedly creating a fun, viable, and most importantly cheap warrior deck. Having ridiculous voice acting is a plus, to the point where "EVERYONE, GET IN HERE!" gets used outside the fandom quite a bit. His popularity took a hit when the absurdly broken Patron Warrior dominated the game, but came back into the spotlight after the deck was nerfed, yet remained good.
Evil Heckler from The Grand Tournament is quite popular, attributing to the fact that it is the 5 mana Booty Bay Bodyguard, a 5/4 minion with taunt, for 4 mana and he has the funniest intro quotes in the game.
Justicar Truehart, a 6 mana 6/3 Neutral Legendary released for TGT with the Battlecry of updating the player's Hero Power is beloved for bringing more active ways of interacting with the player's Hero Power and being one of the better conceptualized cards from the set.
League of Explorers brought with it the titular League, a charming group of Hearthstoneoriginals with each member having their own unique, viable card and excellent voice acting. It also helps that unlike previous adventures, where all the featured characters were bad guys, they aren't villains and they really do appreciate the player's help. Their appearance in the Legion expansion was a satisfying cherry on top.
Of the Old Gods, while the game designers clearly considered C'Thun to be the Spotlight-Stealing Squad, it is Yogg-Saron that became the most popular, a 10 mana 7/5 that has a battlecry of casting a random spell for each spell played during gameplay, targets also chosen randomly. Many feel that by relying so much on RNG it makes the card more god like, plus it's just straight up fun to see what crazy stuff will happen, even if that crazy stuff is a pyroblast to your own face. A lesser examples would be N'Zoth, a 10 mana 5/7 Legendary that can resummon all destroyed Deathrattle minions the player controlled, for singlehandedly buffing every single Deathrattle minion and bring them back to Standard (which took a major hit in this category with the removal of Naxxramas), from the very good minions like Sylvanas Windrunner or Tirion Fording to the mediocre ones like Cairne Bloodhoof or Undercity Huckster; not to mention excitement for Warcraft fans to finally see the fourth Old Gods appearance.
The Olds Gods are the most ancient, evil enemies in Warcraft canon, and even in Hearthstone their evil spreads by corrupting the various minions of the game. They're also big, badass 10 mana minions capable of ending games by themselves, and their expansion was also one of the better received ones.
Fan Cards Fuel: This is a given because of its premise and tied to both Warcraft and World of Warcraft. Most common characters that fans requested and created themselves as minions or even new class / heroes are: Illidan Stormrage (his ability in this game is universally considered underwhelming, which does get Hilarious in Hindsight with Legion's release because Demon Hunters are now a class, thus Illidan can easily ascend into a hero to represent the class), Tyrande Whisperwind (as her husband Malfurion is the Druid class hero), The Lich King Arthas Menethil, Blood Elf Kings Lor'Themar and Kael'thas Sunstrider (blood elf fans are displeased and jealous that Valeera received the Ascended Extra treatment while the other two important lore characters didn't). Surprisingly, there is a new Blood Elf hero for Whispers of the Old Gods, but it's not the aforementioned two... it's Lady Liadrin (who has been rather inactive since the end of Burning Crusade), to be the alternate Paladin.
Foe Yay: Varian's conflict against Garrosh was legendary. And yet Varian here is a Warrior-exclusive card, and the default Warrior here is... Garrosh. So only Garrosh gets to summon Varian unless one buys Magni. Ironic?
Fountain of Memes: Lord Jaraxxus, to point where any quotes from him tend to be bolded and capitalized by default. On any website, not just this one.
Genius Bonus: Understanding the meaning behind the name of the hunter card King's Elekk falls under this. It's a subtle chess reference; rooks are sometimes likened to or called elephants, and an elekk is basically an elephant. The king's rook is the rook who starts the game next to the king, which is fitting for a 2-mana card that players will generally want in their opening hand.
Goddamned Boss: The Steel Sentinel, the second boss of League of Explorers' final wing, has a very frustrating passive hero power that causes it to reduce all damage it takes to 1. Pyroblast? 1 damage. Deathwing? 1 damage. Not even the infamous Divine Spirit+Inner Fire combo can be used to cheese it, meaning that players are stuck grinding it out. Adding to this, the Sentinel's deck contains tons of cards that either heal it or give it armor, making the fight take even longer, and the heroic version causes its minions to only take 1 damage too. The only saving grace is that it's more excruciatingly long than it is hard, plus a Mage deck featuring Flamewaker, Rhonin, and Malygos usually does the trick in a quick amount of time.
Harsher in Hindsight: Tirion's Deathrattle is pretty awesome in game as a Take Up My Sword gesture. It also ended up foreshadowing exactly what happens to Tirion in the Legion expansion of World of Warcraft, where he dies after prolonged torture by the Burning Legion, his last action being to pass the Ashbringer on to the player character.
Heartwarming in Hindsight: The legendary minion Brann Bronzebeard's quote when summoning against his brother Magni is asking if he had seen their brother Muradin lately, suggesting that this Brann didn't know that his brother is revealed to still be alive and well in the main game.
Hilarious in Hindsight: In World of Warcraft, Gul'Dan finally starts summoning the Burning Legion back to Azeroth. Who is the first major demon he summons? Jaraxxus. It is worth noting that Jaraxxus doesn't kill him this time, but still.
A while back, dataminers found out that Karazhan restoration had evidently been renamed "Medivh's Big birthday bash". One Night In Karazhan later.
Ho Yay / Les Yay: The Paladin card Dragon Consort is a 5 mana 5/5 Dragon that allows the player to reduce the cost of the next Dragon played by 2. The card refers to a specific title of a dragon that was picked by the Aspects in WoW to be their "companions, partners, and lovers" and the art depicts a single bronze dragon of ambiguous gender whose effect can "assist" any dragons on the same side, which include some Legendary ones whose gender is explicitly stated like Deathwing, Ysera, Alexstrasza, Nefarian etc.
It's Easy, so It Sucks: Early on, veteran TCG players are quick to slam Hearthstone for being overly simple, due to the lack of playing out of turn, due to a small card pool, etc etc. These days, this particular cry is mostly silent due to other issues...
One Night In Karazhan has received a lot of flak due to being pretty easy regardless of which difficulty you choose. Other than Heroic Chess and Heroic Free Medivh, it's pretty easy to beat a boss with whatever ladder decks you have on-hand and the boss AI is significantly easier to exploit. Silverware Golem refuses to attack a Taunt minion with a board-clear deathrattle, Illhoof will constantly attack any Icky Imps you manage to steal from him, The Big Bad Wolf can be defeated on Turn 2 if you get the right opening hand, etc.
Junk Rare: Several Epic cards are of limited use beyond 100 crafting dust (the value of a more useful Rare card). Kidnapper is arguably the worst of the bunch, but as a class, Warlock got shafted since all three of his Epics are underwhelming for their cost.
Amusingly, the epic spell Bane of Doomnote Deal two damage to a character. If that kills it, summon a random Demon. was so inconsistent (and its effect was more limited than its card text would suggest, to boot) that the devs decided to buff it so that any demon could be summoned by its effect, making it arguably no longer an example of this trope.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: Some epics have the exact opposite problem, where they’re almost necessary to play some of the classes. Even though most of Rogue epics fall under Junk Rare, Preparation is a must have card in almost every deck and without it you will be at a major disadvantage. Druids get hit with this the worst: Malfurion's first 3 epics Ancient of Lore, Ancient of War and especially Force of Nature are used in almost every meta deck before their nerf and are very hard to substitute. Luckily you can craft them but that takes 400 dust to craft one epic card so have fun waiting.
Special mention must go to Majordomo Executus, considered to be the worst Legendary in the game. Its ability is that when killed, your hero is replaced by Ragnaros, the Firelord. The problem is Executus has too much health to reliably summon Ragnaros, and Ragnaros himself has too little health to the point where summoning the Majordomo by accident can kill you.
Executus has been supplanted from his position by The Boogeymonster, whose effect makes him a strictly worse Gruul. Not only does he not have the potential for awesome games like Executus has, but since he came in Whispers Of The Old Gods, you can unpack him instead of any of the actual good legendaries. Of all the Legendaries to be called 400 Dust, The Boogeymonster is the most dustable of them all.
Memetic Badass: Magma Rager, a 5/1 for 3 mana, tends to jump between this and Memetic Loser. Its 1 health means it will die to everything, yet its high attack for its cost has caused people to joke that it's the best card in the game because it can kill Sylvanas Windrunner for a 3 mana profit. Made funnier by the Ragnaros Vs. Nefarian Tavern Brawl, where not only could Ragnaros summon them with his default hero power, they were surprisingly dangerous! Then The Grand Tournament gives us Ice Rager, which is exactly like Magma Rager except he's 5/2! After that Whispers of the Old Gods has Am'gam Rager, which is Magma Rager in reverse.
Grim Patron, from the Blackrock Mountain adventure.
༼ ºل͜º ༽ºل͜º ༽ºل͜º ༽ EVERYONE, GET IN HERE! ༼ ºل͜º༼ ºل͜º༼ ºل͜º ༽
The running Mondegreen of a certain warlock legendary: "I am Mal'Ganis! I am A TURTLE!"
A now famous Reddit thread where custom cards were generated by a neural network created some gems, though the two favorites are "ALL minions" and "Taunt. Taunt. Taunt. Taunt. Taunt. Taunt."
The Hunter spell Animal Companion summons one of three random minions for three mana. The one most players don't want to see when playing against Hunter is Huffer, a 4/2 with Charge. Because of the Random Number God, this led to the meme "It's always Huffer". Became an Ascended Meme in The Grand Tournament, with the card Polymorph: Boar. It turns a minion into a 4/2 with Charge and its flavor text is...you guessed it!
Because the card picture of Silver Hand Regent has very... perky breasts, as well as her very sultry voice work and the ability to summon a Silver Hand Recruit whenever the player uses their hero power, a number of jokes have been made about how she used her "assets" to recruit gullible young men to their death.
And now, the Paladin Legendary Ragnaros, Lightlord for Whispers of the Old Gods joins the ranks. Barely revealed and people are already 'twisting' iconic Ragnaros quotes from his Bad Boss persona to a Benevolent Boss one.
(wherever it is)Explanation Since the reveal of the C'thun cultist cards in Whispers of the Old Gods, which often include this phrase, it is often tagged on to statements, no matter what they're actually about.
The best Hunter legendary is Savannah Highmane. Explanation Hunter legendaries are so consistently unplayable in competitive decks while Savannah Highmane is arguably the best non-legendary card in the original set due to its great statline and sticky deathrattle. This frequently results in people claiming that Savannah Highmane fills the niche for Hunter legendaries, and is such a great legendary you can include two of it in your deck. Lately, the spell Call of the Wild (8 mana spell that summons all there Animal Companions) has been received this treatment as well for being incredibly mana-efficient to Hunter.
Despite not being made with this game in mind, many people would play the EpicSax Guy when playing this game to the point you'd think that it's a Hearthstone song.
I PLAY POT OF GREED! THIS ALLOWS ME TO DRAW TWO CARDS FROM MY DECK! Explanation Comparisons between Hearthstone's and Yugioh's design philosophies inevitably led to the comparison between Pot of Greed and Arcane Intellect, which are identical cards except Pot of Greed has no cost and is infinitely better. This has somehow snowballed into people bringing up Pot Of Greed at random in Hearthstone discussion.
4 mana 7/7 note Flamewreathed faceless is a 4 mana 7/7 shaman card that only causes two mana overload. Because of its 4 mana cost it's very hard to deal with, making the overload much less crippling. The phrase is usually used to showcase powercreep in hearthstone that's on par with the infamous dr. boom
Most Annoying Sound: In place of an in game chat between the two players, heroes were originally given 6 emotes they can use at any time: Greetings, Sorry, Well Played, Threaten, Oops, and Thank You. Not a bad idea, as a chat would have allowed players to express their frustrations to each other in unpleasantways, but because of how the voice acting was executed, the heroes come off as smug and sarcastic, which some players use to their advantage to rub a loss in in their opponents face, like saying Sorry or Greetings when finishing off the opponent. Heck, a common joke (and for some, the truth) is that the characters who sound the most sincere in their "Sorry" emotes are Uther and Lord Jaraxxus. (This eventually led to Blizzard removing the Sorry emote, replacing it with a Wow emote instead.)
Appropriately, the Annoy-o-Tron.
Annoy-o-Tron:Hello! Hello! Hello!
Al'Akir, due to at least one Shaman strategy involving creating a copy of the card and taking huge chunks off the opponent's health and defenses in one turn using both copies. "LIKE SWATTING INSECTS" indeed.
The Shaman cards Healing WaveEffect Joust:Restore 14 HP if you win, 7 if you lose and Lightning Storm Effect Deal 2-3 damage to all enemy minions has become this for the popular Face Hunter deck. Nothing crushes a spirit more than seeing the enemy you have one attack away from death restoring nearly half of his max HP and clear your entire board, while likely having enough mana left over to summon a minion.
Picture it: you're playing your fast, aggressive Hunter deck against a Warrior, Mage, or Warlock. You've blazed past all his taunts and gotten him down to 1-3 health by turn 5. Turn 6 rolls around. You don't have board control or card advantage, but you have a spell or weapon that can kill him the next turn. What could he possibly play that could help him wi— WE'RE GONNA BE RICH! And just like that, Reno Jackson swoops in and heals your enemy to full health.
No secret playing class is ever happy to hear "The Light does not discriminate!"Explanation Kezan Mystic's battlecry steals a random enemy secret and puts it on your side of the board, alongside giving you a 4/3 body.
In the Rafaam vs Kel'thuzad Tavern Brawl, Rafaan is the reason many players would play with the game muted, if only to be spared Rafaam's god awful voice.
Replacement Scrappy: Inverted with the new Warrior alternative hero. Magni was much more beloved by the fanbase than Garrosh due to being a delightful lovable Large Ham and giving the players the first Dwarf heroes while Garrosh is perceived as a Base-Breaking CharacterCreator's Pet from the original game, as well as his one-note quotes in this game. To rub it in further, all of Garrosh's special interaction has been negative with various legendary minions took a jab as him compare to Magni's heartwarming moment with his brother Brann Bronzebeard (see below).
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Blackrock Mountain was generally criticized for the majority of its cards just not being usable due to relying on dragon synergy that you couldn't reliably build your deck around. After The Grand Tournament introduced some core support cards (specifically, dragons with Taunt), most of the Blackrock cards are now genuinely usable and Dragon archetypes are high-ranking decks. The shining example would be Dragon Priest - a Tempo deck for a class that was previously only playable as control decks.
On a meta example, the gnomes. In the original game, they're The Scrappy but was much more well-received in this game due to being the focus for the Gv G expansion and is the image of many powerful cards (Recombobulator, Shrinkmeister, Shieldmaiden, Spider Tank, Tinkmaster Overspark, Loot Horder, Knife Juggler, Leper Gnome, Mind Control Tech etc.)
Scapegoat Creator: Poor Ben Brode. Despite his impressive title and experience with card games he's mostly just a PR guy for Team 5. Despite this he gets most of the flack for pretty much anything that goes wrong with the game (though the fact that he's the one who responds to any and all criticism in the first place is probably the reason for this).
The Scrappy: Out of all of the Purchasable Heroes (or even all the Heroes, in general), Alleria Windrunner is probably the least popular. Many people have cited that although her voice actress was probably going for a nonchalant attitude, instead Alleria sounds downright bored most of the time, with very few of her lines having much, if any, emotion behind them. The fact that her only potentially meaningful interaction with her sister Sylvanas was cut and players have to pay for her also doesn't help her case.
Warsong Commander herself is this to the development team as Word of God stated that they had to change their development plan several times (ex: Dreadstead was originally a neutral minion released in Naxxramas) because her ability to give Charge is simply too powerful to develop viable 3 attack or less minions for Warrior. This can explain the brutal Nerf to her and effectively killed the Patron Warrior deck.
In term of expansion, The Grand Tournament received a lot of flak due to the lack of powerful but balance cards, with most of the cards released in this expansion is either too weak, Power Creep (Ice Rager, Evil Heckler) or Game Breaker (Mysterious Challenger, Murloc Knight). The fact that one of the two mechanic introduced (Joust) is perceived as completely luck-based and has good chance of not firing, the fact that the expansion brutally nerfed Warsong Commander and thus killed the Patron Warrior deck (which also means that aggressive decks are more likely to be seen during this expansion), as well as the perceived lack of care for Rogue constructive decks and Arena Warrior (which has been perceived as failing to catch up with the other classes) doesn't help. The only good thing people agree to came out of this expansion is the increasing of Dragon-synergy cards, which are mostly used in tempo and control decks rather than aggressive.
The sheer amount of random effects in the game can drive players insane. Between Arcane Missile-like spells not hitting the right target, Piloted Shredder giving you the wrong minion (like Doomsayer), Tavern Brawl which features some random effects such as random draw or random casting cost, etc, expect lots of rage.
Silence, a rare card effect that removes all text from its target, is widely despised. It shuts down buff-centric combo decks, allows aggro decks to effortlessly get past taunts and utterly neuters at least a quarter of the cards in the game. While ultimately a necessary evil, as some cards and strategies can be overwhelming to beat without it, it's infuriating to fight to the point where even the devs don't want to add any more cards that can inflict it due to how anti-fun it is.
Joust, a mechanic wherein you reveal a minion from both player's decks. If your minion costs more, you win the Joust and get a powerful effect! This was a mechanic meant to combat the problem of aggro being overly prevalent in the meta by giving decks a direct benefit for running high-end cards...the main problem being that Blizzard was apparently scared of Joust being too good, and as a result most of the Joust cards are pitiful if they lose. And since no deck will ever not run low-cost minions, you always run the risk of your Joust failing entirely. It doesn't help that some of the Joust cards aren't even that good if they win, resulting in a mechanic that goes mostly unused.
While the upcoming separation between Wild and Standard Mode is a big point of contention, the fanbase universally loathes the fact that past expansion packs and adventure cards would be taken out of adventures mode and store, forcing players to craft every single cards from them, many of them are Game Breaker themselves and essential in many deck in Wild.
The Artificial Stupidity displayed by many of the bosses in the Adventures. Bosses regularly fail to use abilities that boost their attack before attacking, play cards that synergize together in the incorrect order, fail to clear the board when they should, and regularly kill themselves by attacking a high-damage minion when they're at low health. This may be to balance out their overpowered cards and abilities, especially in Heroic Mode, but the lack of smart play is still noticeable.
“Stop Having Fun” Guys: Like many games with a competitive "eSports" scene, the lower echelons of Hearthstone's Ranked mode are dominated by people who the metagame doesn't affect, who insist you should follow it anyway. The Meta doesn't really start applying until the upper teens in ranked mode, at the very earliest. This isn't to say following some common wisdom can't make you a better player, but rather, that some take this far too seriously.
Take That, Scrappy!: Given how controversial Garrosh is in the main game, Cairne Bloodhoof's (one of the canonically more sensible characters) jab when summoning against him ("You are not fit to rule the Horde") is seen to reflect the fanbase's opinion on his leadership. Similarly, the Priest legendary Vol'jin also took a shot whenever he summons against Garrosh by smugly asking "Who be da Warchief now?"
To rub it in further, one of the Warrior's alternative hero Magni special interaction is with his brother and legendary minion Brann Bronzebeard, and that is a heartwarming moment of Brann asked Magni if he had seen their missing brother Muradin lately.
Similarly, Spellbreaker makes a great finisher for players who hate playing against Mages with his attack cry: "Die, Mage!"
Eater of Secrets, a 4 mana 2/4 that destroys all enemy secrets and gains +1/+1 for each one destroyed, was created for 2 reasons: to function as a substitute for Kezan Mystic as an anti-secret card, as she was rotating out of the Standard format, and to act as a huge middle finger to the infamously broken Mysterious Challenger, to the point where Eater's summoning dialogue is a joke at Challenger's expense:
Mysterious Challenger:Who am I? None of your business!
Eater of Secrets:I know who you are.
That One Attack: Baron Geddon's Living Bomb, especially in Heroic mode. For one, personally killing your own minion is difficult on its own (as Gothik's fight could attest), although some classes are better at it. So the most common option is to send your minion to his/her/its death... except that quite often Geddon has no minion to send your minion into to die. Unless you have Silence effect in your hand, prepare to have your side wiped and take massive damage, and even if you do have Silence in hand, that may screw up your mana spending for the turn and make you take massive damage from his hero power anyway.
From Priest, Mind Control. Even its flavor text acknowledges this.
Nominated as "Spell Most Likely to Make Your Opponent Punch the Wall."
The Paladin class challenge against Kel'Thuzad is crazy hard, for all the wrong reasons. The idea behind the deck given to the player is to use the various, cheap buffs to power up a large swarm of small minions. Only 2 minions (Cultmaster and the Black Knight) have more than 3 attack, resulting in a dependency on buffs, despite the fact that the deck has very few of them. This results in the player often having a large board of minions with very low attack and health; Kel'Thuzad on the other hand has decently powerful minions that force extremely poor trades and can kill the player fairly fast, not to mention his access to the Twisting Nethernote Destroy all minions on the board spell. The fight boils down to praying Kel'Thuzad doesn't get any good cards while the player has to hope they get theirs, which goes against the point of the challenges being examples of fun strategies. Not only did this fight become notorious for its difficulty on launch day, with even Legend ranked players requiring multiple tries, but it was so bad that they later had to rework the deck to make it easier.
Chromaggus is far and away the toughest fight of Blackrock Mountain. At the end of his turn, Chromaggus gives the player a Brood Affliction card, which as long as they're held in hand either buffs Chromaggus or debuffs the player, forcing them to put aside 1 mana per turn to get rid of them. On top of slowing down the player's early game turns, Chromaggus will usually play a Chromatic Dragonkin on top of that, which is a 2/3 for 2 that gains a whopping +2/+2 whenever the player casts a spell, which includes the Brood Afflictions. Even if you manage to make it to the lategame, he has one final surprise in Nozdormu, who when used by AI characters will cause the player to skip their entire turns.
The Minecart ride from League of Explorers. Unlike the other bosses, the player is given a pre-made deck to fend off an army of troggs for 10 turns until the battle automatically ends. The deck is unfortunately very prone to bad draws, meaning that the entire fight is ultimately a complete gamble to win.
That One Sidequest: "Class A or Class B Dominance" daily quests (example: Druid or Hunter Dominance) are probably among the most aggravating and boring quests. They ask you to use either Class A or Class B and win five matches with them, and completing them gives you 60 Gold, averaging at 12 Gold per win. "Class A or Class B Victory" quests, another kind of daily quests, give you 40 Gold for winning just TWO matches, thus 20 Gold per win, making Dominance quests worth so much less for far more hassle. Woe to you if you keep getting Dominance quests that require entirely different classes to complete multiple days in a row, as they will SAP your time simply trying to complete those dailies. And while the game gives you an option to replace a quest you don't want, the replacement is just as random; you may end up losing a Dominance quest for ANOTHER Dominance quest. And even more woe to you if the deck RNG hates you so much that you cannot win any match after playing a million times.
On the other hand, the amount of gold that you can get per day is limitednote 100 from matches + whatever you can get from quests + whatever arena rewards you get.. Having dominance quests thus allows for more gold per day, which means more packs or arena runs. Dominance quests is actually favored by Arena-only players because the quest alone contributes more than a third of the entry price to said arenas.
Overlaps with That One Boss: Gearmaster Mechazod is by far and away the most difficult Tavern Brawl. The gist is that it's a two-player co-op to take down a 2-attack, 95-health Mechazod. Some problems: The players are left with preconstructed deck that seem more designed to prevent griefers from killing the other player and failing the Brawl (as Mechazod automatically wins if either player loses or concedes) than to actually deal with Mechazod effectively (just so that people don't instant-kill Mechazod using Shadown Word: Pain or Death, for example), and that Mechazod easily snowballs into an unstoppable killing machine. Fortunately, Blizzards has made a better version of this co-op Brawl by giving Nefarian, who doesn't snowball as easily, not to mention that the players are given some Brawl-exclusive cards that explicitly help them take down Nefarian (as opposed to only basic cards from normal games given to tackle Mechazod).
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Valeera received a major boost in popularity thanks to this game due to being the hero of the Rogue class, which meant she fought against other major leaders. This has yet to transfer into a role for her in the main game.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The alternative Hunter hero Alleria Windrunner is Sylvanas Windrunner's, an undead elf with family issues, long-lost sister. That is from the main game. You wouldn't know that when both of them are summoned or even from the flavor text as there is no mention of this relationship between them and there isn't any additional dialogue when the two of them fought with / against each other (Sylvanas is a neutral minion). The only clue we have of this relationship is that they have the same last name. Make you wonder why they even picked Alleria in the first place as there is no shortage of female rangers. It becomes even stranger when many other family members do acknowledged each other, like Varien(Hero Card) and Anduin(Hero) or Brann(Neutral Card) and Magni(Hero)
An attempt to avoid this and Conflict Ball is probably why Anduin Wrynn replaced Tyrande Whisperwind as the hero of the Priest class as the hero of the Druid class is her loving husband Malfurion. Not so much as in 2016 she became a Priest hero.
Despite One Night in Karazhan being advertised as a disco-fueled version of the original Karazhan raid, this isn't reflected at all in the actual adventure. For the most part, all it does is give the characters something to talk about and justify some redesigns to make Medivh, Moroes, and Barnes Lighter and Softer. Bizarrely, all of the actual party theming of the adventure was relegated to the Party Portals Tavern Brawl, where The Medivas are a constant effect on the board and you have cards to summon random partygoers.
A (not completed) list of wasted interaction can be seen here.
Many of the Mechs and Murlocs. Special mention goes to the Neutral minion Annoy-o-Tron, which was designed to invoke this trope and the Paladin minion Murloc Knight, who is wearing full Paladin get up while adorably sitting on a frog to join the Grand Tournament. The League of Explorers 0 mana 1/1 minion Murloc Tinyfin just outright removes the "ugly" part and dives right into the Moe territory.
The Silverware Golem, a boss from Karazhan who fights using Beauty and the Beast-style kitchenware and spouts off silly Non Sequitur nonsense with a goofy, high-pitched voice.
Specifically avoided by One Night in Karazhan, which added several support cards for previously abandoned ideas; Secrets got nice synergy cards like Avian Watcher, Cloak Huntress and Medivh's Valet, Warlocks got two excellent discard-related cards, Rogues got Ethereal Peddler to enable "thief" style decks, Paladins finally got their first Dragon-synergy card since Blackrock Mountain, Priest's Resurrect mechanic got a decent support in the form of Onyx Bishop and at last the neutral Violet Illusionist, the first card to grant your hero Immune since Mal'Ganis all the way back in Goblins vs. Gnomes.
In Blackrock Mountain, Hunters got a unique mechanic where if their hand was empty after playing a card they would get a bonus, similar to the Infernities from Yu-Gi-Oh!. Blackrock gave them two cards with this effect, The Grand Tournament gave them another one, and it seemed like it would steadily develop into its own thing until they simply stopped to give other ideas some love.
Mage's card in Naxxramas was Duplicate, a Secret that added two copies of a destroyed minion to your hand. Goblins vs Gnomes followed up on this with Echo Of Medivh to let you add copies of all of your minions to your hand. It seemed as though Blizzard was building up to duplication being one of Mage's themes... only for players to then realize that if you can use duplication to get four Sorceror's Apprentice and an Antonidas on the board, you can generate infinite 0-cost Fireballs. Ever since, Blizzard has been neglecting to ever follow up on this mechanic (especially now that Duplicate and Echo Of Medivh are no longer Standard.)
Unpopular Popular Character: Gul'dan (and the Warlock class in general) is mostly characterized in-game as a Bad Boss who is hated by his demons and recklessly sacrifice their minions and health. In real life, on the other hand, Warlock is one of the most consistent and popular class played by the fanbase ever since the game's creation.
Very frequently a card will be revealed to negative or lukewarm reception, only for that card to be officially released and be considered fantastic once players can actually play with them. The reasons why tends to vary, such as players not getting to see how Dr. Boom's deathrattle works, the assumption that Grim Patron wouldn't synergize with Warsong Commander (as she was bugged at the time), or simply not realizing how many options Druid had to abuse Volcanic Lumberer's cost reduction.
Tavern Brawl; a weekly event starting on Wednesday and ending Sunday were players can expect a different rule every week. These rules can range from every player is one of two bosses to every spell summons a random minion. Sometimes you play with your own cards sometimes you are given randomly made decks.
The best part though is not only do Players get to play with cards they have never seen or used before but the battles count toward experience and wins count to the 3 win gold. Many quests can be finished during the event as well depending on the weeks rule. Plus your first win earns you a card pack.
Following The Grand Tournament, the fanbase was fairly miffed. The Joust and Inspire mechanics were total failures outside of Murloc Knight and Confessor Paletress, the Grim Patron deck as it was known was almost completely obliterated by the nerf to Warsong Commander, there was too much annoying RNG controlling the game, and Secret Paladin, a notoriously brainless and overpowered deck, was plaguing the ladder along with a plethora of aggro decks. Faith in Blizzard was at it's lowest, when suddenly they smashed people's expectations with The League of Explorers. It introduced Discover, a fun variant on RNG that lets players decide the outcome, a large amount of unique, strong cards, and finally the introduction of Reno Jackson, the single most powerful anti-aggro card in the game.
One of the biggest complaints in the game's history is that aggro decks are inherently better than control decks due to a mix of aggressive cards being cheaper than defensive cards both in mana cost and in dust cost. This leads to new players being encouraged to create very fast and aggressive decks that do their best to ignore the board and use cheap removal to shut down any big minions that would get in their way. Blizzard tried to encourage high-end deckbuilding in The Grand Tournament with Joust that... actually went pretty poorly. Then they tried again in Whispers Of The Old Gods by creating both a lot of impactful high-end cards and a lot of cards that support high-end cards, with the titular Old Gods all being 10 mana and having an effect on the board as soon as you play them. One of them, C'thun, also comes for free with your first Old Gods pack and gives new players a high-end card to build their deck around instead of being forced to rely on crafting aggressive cards. The patch that added the expansion also rebalanced a lot of the pre-existing cards, making neutral removal cost more.
The Woobie: In World of Warcraft, General Drakkisath was a one-note boss who was more of a blockade than a character. Here? He's a dude who thought the player was on his side and suddenly got betrayed by them. His emote response doesn't help, where he outright pleads with the player to tell him what's happening in a betrayed tone:
General Drakkisath: Why!? Tell me why, please I liked you!
How about Vaelastrasz? It was very clear from his quote that he doesn't enjoy working for Nefarian if he isn't corrupted and openly asked the player to stay away, even if he is threatening you. Hearing him beg for Alexstrasza (his mother in the original game), expressing regret for failing to fight his corruption when he defeat you and his attitude when defeated is just heartbreaking. It's pretty telling that he is the one boss where players considered Nefarian out of his Designated Villain status.