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Tier Induced Scrappy / Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

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Before the nerf, these were three little lines you never wanted to hear when facing a Warrior.note 

With a game with as many cards as Hearthstone, it was inevitable that some cards and decks would become infamous for dominating the game... and others for being worth more when turned into Arcane Dust.

Heroes/Specific Decks

  • Aggro decks, as a whole. The gist of Aggro is to defeat your opponent as fast as possible before you run out of steam, usually with its player ignoring the enemy's board just to squeeze every last bit of damage in, leading to some games being more of a damage race instead of a true battle. Nearly every deck type has their fair share of hatred, but Aggro is detested for simply being everywhere from the start of the game. While it's never been truly overpowered as an archetype (save for the infamous Huntertaker), Aggro is generally favored by Hearthstone's innate mechanics, due to the ladder system rewarding min-maxing how much time you spend, 1 cost minions being very strong for their cost to compensate for the fact that they take a card slot, and generally having better mulligans than most decks due to their low curve. Players have complained about Aggro since the game's inception, and despite major efforts from Blizzard and extremely powerful defensive cards like Antique Healbot and Sludge Belcher, the decks just refuse to die. It's not all bad, however: Aggro's very popular among casual and newer players due to how cheap to make the decks are, making free to play accounts not only possible but rather easy, and the abundance of Aggro applies only to laddering; in the tournament scene, consistency matters more than trying to cheese out a fast win, meaning that slower decks are statistically more common than aggressive ones.
  • In the beta, it was Freeze Mage. The deck has a pretty simple plan of delaying the game for as long as possible until they can get their game winning combo together. It's somewhat standard, but back then there were a few major factors to its strength. The most noticeable was just how easy it was to stall the game, as Mages had access to 3 cards that would freeze every enemy on the other end of the board, which basically guaranteed them to be able to take another turn afterwards. Frost Nova was the worst of the three, as it only costed 2 mana and as such could be cast in the same turn as the formerly broken 8-mana spell Pyroblast. The another, more significant problem was that healing sucked. Earthen Ring Farseer and Alexstrasza were the only neutral minions with healing effects that weren't awful, and even then Farseer could only heal 3 while Alexstrasza can only set her owner back up to 15 health. These problems meant that actually countering a Freeze Mage was very difficult outside of playing as Warrior, who could gain armor to go above the normal health cap and survive the combo, and even that wouldn't help because Freeze Mages also ran Alexstrasza, who originally removed armor on top of her normal effect. To give an idea of how good it was, once the deck became an issue the freeze cards all got their mana costs boosted by 1, Pyroblast was bumped to 10, Alexstrasza couldn't remove armor anymore, and better healing cards were introduced in Goblins Vs. Gnomes and yet the deck is still top tier without changing too many cards, aside from obvious later additions like Mad Scientist. Power aside, the deck is hated anyways for its lack of interactivity, as they don't play too many minions and are just stalling for time until the game ends. However, time was particularly unkind to Freeze Mage, as over the game's history it's lost most of the cards that made the deck competitive, leaving it in the gutter.
  • Just a few weeks before the release of Curse of Naxxramas and after the nerfs to Freeze Mage, Zoo Warlock had a firm grasp on the metagame. It's a deck based around cheap, high value minions that create favorable trades while maintaining board control throughout the game, with Power Overwhelming and Doomguard used for extremely powerful burst damage. You couldn't go anywhere without anyone complaining about it. Even the Zoo players hated Zoo. Naxxramas certainly didn't help, as it added Nerubian Egg, Voidcaller, and Haunted Creeper which all became extremely strong additions to the deck. Thankfully, its power waned with the release of Goblins Vs. Gnomes, which added more healing and Mech decks, which ended up being better as aggro decks than Zoo was. Over time, Zoolock became hated less for its strength since it dips in and out of relevance with the phase of moon, but on those occasions where it does resurface, expect salt to ensue.
  • In the same league as Zoolock was Miracle Rogue. Miracle was a combo deck based around abusing Gadgetzan Auctioneer to draw through their entire deck in one turn to either drop a fatass Edwin VanCleef or wreck face with Leeroy Jenkins. Its consistency was incredible, as most of its important cards were cheap enough that the game winning combo could be done early enough that even aggro decks struggled to get the kill in time. The deck got hammered with nerfs after nerfs after nerfs, with Curse of Naxxramas introducing several cards specifically tailored to shut it down, and it didn't die until Gadgetzan Auctioneer itself was nerfed in Goblins Vs. Gnomes. However, Mean Street of Gadgetzan seems to managed to bring the deck back to top tier with Counterfeit Coin and the Pirate package, although it doesn't get as much hate from the players due to being high skill.
  • Hunter has gone through at least three different deck types that have been universally slammed for being overtly strong, utterly brainless, and completely luck-based to fight against. The first was the combo Hunter that used Unleash the Hounds in conjunction with Starving Buzzard to draw at least 4 cards for a measly 5 mana, with those 4 cards and the full board of dogs being used to finish off the opponent. After Buzzard got nerfed to oblivion, Huntertaker took its place, a deck that abused the snowball potential of Undertaker to either force the opponent to kill it as soon as possible or cause them to flat out lose. After Undertaker was nerfed, it was followed by Face Hunter, a deck designed to do nothing except steamroll the enemy hero and hope they don't die first (Though thankfully this is one is far less powerful than the other two, and it's mostly just good for climbing up the ladder quickly).
  • Patron Warrior, a combo deck based around using Warsong Commander in conjunction with Grim Patron and Frothing Berserker to clear the board or flat out OTK the opponent. Quite possibly the most consistent combo deck ever, possessing premium removal, ample health gain, a psychotic amount of draw, the ability to flood and clear the board for just 8 mana, and most importantly, if the combo didn't work the first time, they could just do it again, as none of the combo pieces were legendaries. It's saying something that even when Warsong Commander was brutally nerfed to make sure a deck like this could never exist again, it still managed to live on as a midrange anti-aggro deck. It was still a fantastic deck, just less able to kill enemies from 30 HP.
  • With Patron Warrior good and buried, Secret Paladin had taken the crown as the most hated deck in the game. Thanks to Mysterious Challenger, they are able to play five secrets from their deck for free, and without Flare (a Hunter spell that no one really plays) or Kezan Mystic (which isn’t played that much either and only steals one secret), your turn is spent doing nothing but buffing his minions so he can attack you next turn for an insane amount of damage. This isn't helped by the fact that Paladin can easily summon 3 of Silver Hand Recruits using Muster For Battle and a decent 2 Mana minion Shielded Minibot and can protect them with buffs or cards that give Divine Shield. This means that the Paladin can guarantee to have minions to be buffed by the Competitive Spirit and Avenge secrets, making simple 1/1s into 5/4 powerhouses.
  • In Whispers of the Old Gods, Blizzard took the complaints about Shaman's atrociousness to heart, but a little too well, unfortunately, and ended up creating Face Shaman. The Face Shaman is incredibly cheap to build and takes no effort to play at all, using lots of cheap, cost-effective cards early game (such as Tunnel Trogg, Tuskarr Totemic, and especially Flamewreathed Faceless) to try to quickly take the lead and then just rely on Shaman's innate ability to maintain a consistent amount of pressure on the opponent to blast the foe into the dirt by turn 8. In addition to the heavy amount of aggro in the deck, there is also a lot of synergy with overload cards and Tunnel Trogg, as well as combos that dish out as much as ten damage a turn on their own, alongside their heavy board presence. The deck is considered very boring to play with and against, and it is everywhere.
  • After One Night in Karazhan, Blizzard delivered a bunch of nerfs to some overpowered cards to hopefully make the meta more diverse and fun, but unfortunately only one deck came out of the nerfs alive: Midrange Shaman. The deck was flat out better at everything than anybody else: it had better removal than Warrior and Mage, better minions than Hunter and Paladin, the ability to flood the board after a wipe, burst damage, and the best weapon in the game in Spirit Claws. The only reason someone didn't play it was because they didn't want to. Mean Streets of Gadgetzan put it in its place by giving the Kabal classes (Mage, Priest, and Warlock) extremely powerful board wipes, making them less effective at flooding the board while the Year of the Kraken effectively kill off the deck by cycling out its monstrous early games.
  • Mean Streets of Gadgetzan brought back Aggro Shaman (see above, but with pirates and Jade Golems), and introduced Pirate Warrior. Pirate Warrior had existed as far back as Whispers of the Old Gods, and was useful as an anti-midrange aggro deck but was ruined by control, meaning that it could be frustrating but was still balanced, and it had some uniqueness as a weapon-oriented aggro deck, so it still had the "fun to play" factor. Gadgetzan then introduced two more early game Pirates that propelled the deck into high-tier insanity. Key aspects include the ability to flood the board and equip a weapon for little mana, insane damage output, Bloodsail Corsair and Upgrade! to boost weapon charges, and potent, cheap minions like Small-Time Buccaneer and Frothing Berserker. It's very rare for any game against the deck to last more than 6 turns, and you'd be lucky to get even that.
  • Gadgetzan also brought forth Reno Mage which, while not as fast as the other top decks of the meta, is every bit as frustrating. It has strong defensive cards, multiple build options (Freeze Mage variants, Antonidas variants, and Medivh variants are the most popular, but N'Zoth and Yogg-Saron versions aren't unheard of), extremely powerful game winners in Reno Jackson and Kazakus+Brann Bronzebeard, and high-RNG card generators. It's a control deck that slaughters other control decks while being good against everything else, even Shaman, and unlike the other entries here can pull downright evil wins right out its ass with Babbling Book and Cabalist's Tome.
  • Arena Mages. While not the top class in Arena (that'd be Rogue, who usually gets a pass by virtue of being difficult to play), Mage gets tons of hate for their ridiculously good common cards, meaning that it's difficult to play them in Arena without encountering at least 3 of their top tier cards. Flamestrike is the most obvious one, but there's also their myriad of burn spells (Fireball, Frostbolt, Forgotten Torch), great minions (Faceless Summoner, Water Elemental, Ethereal Conjurer), and hard removal (Polymorph). To get an idea of how hated they are, just take a look at any of the forums following One Night at Karazhan's reveal of Firelands Portal, and digest the raw, unfiltered salt. It got to the point where when Arena was rebalanced by banning some overtly weak cards to give help to weaker classes, Mage was straight up nerfed, by removing Forgotten Torch and Faceless Summoner.
  • After Pirate warrior and Aggro Shaman were nerfed, Jade Druid became one of the stronger decks in Gadgetzan. However it got really bad with Frozen Throne which introduced several new cards that were incredibly strong in the deck and moved it into one of the strongest decks in the meta. This was made worse by the fact that Token Druid is also strong in the Frozen Throne meaning that opponents don't know for sure what to mulligan for when playing against the many, many druids on the ladder. The situation was so bad that even after Blizzard decided to nerf two of its core cards (Innervate and Spreading Plague), the deck still a bonker deck.
  • After the Innervate nerf, Highlander Priest took Jade Druid's place as the new "fun police" deck. This deck is like Reno Mage on steroids: it has incredible versatility in its card choices and build, strong board clear, and incredibly potent card generators with Shadow Visions, Elise the Traiblazer, Curious Glimmerroot and Lyra the Sunshard (note that only Shadow Visions actually generate cards started in the Priest's deck, making it that the Priest can pull multiple wins out of cards that didn't even start in their deck). The real nightmare is its strong burst damage with Raza the Chained + Shadowreaper Anduin which couples with the Priest's natural healing and cheap spells allow them to burst down control deck while outlasted aggressive ones with a decent hand.
  • Following the nerf to Raza the Chained that reduced the damage output of Shadowreaper Anduin, Cube Warlock would take its place. The deck is focused around using Skull of the Man'ari and Possessed Lackey to cheat out Doomguard to avoid its debilitating Battlecry, or pull out Voidlord ahead of time to create a very stubborn wall of Taunts, before eating them with Carnivorous Cube and duplicating them by deliberately destroying the Cube. This results in strong burst damage if the Cube eats Doomguard, or even more Taunts if it consumes Voidlord. To top it all off, the deck has Bloodreaver Gul'dan as a finisher that revives dead Demons — and since Doomguard, Voidlord, and Voidwalker are the only Demons likely to die during the game, it easily results in several Doomguards protected by numerous Taunts.
  • Aggro Paladin is another deck that became widely loathed during 2017-2018. Simply put, Paladins can flood the board with minions like no other class, using the annoyingly tough Righteous Protector to fend off enemy aggro while filling the board with Silver Hand Recruits and things to buff them. Kobolds and Catacombs really put Aggro Paladin on the map by giving them Call to Arms, which as stated on the Game Breaker page and really bears repeating here, is probably the most broken board flooding card in the game. And even if the opponent does get a defense going, Paladin has strong board-clear options like the Equality-Consecration combo and Sunkeeper Tarim, making it extremely hard to stop the Paladin's advance. The Year of the Raven only made things worse as Paladin can make good use of both Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater, letting them spam out Recruits like never before; it's gotten to the point where playing against Paladin basically boils down to "draw at least two board clears by turn 4 or lose".
    • Paladin had so many good options to use that both Odd and Even Paladin were contenders. Even Paladin, with its 1-mana Hero Power, not only had the aforementioned Call to Arms, but also had access to Tarim, Tirion, and the Lich King, which are incredibly strong Legendary Taunt minions. On top of that, it had Equality, Consecrate, and Wild Pyromancer for board control if things go awry, and Lightfused Stegodon to adapt its Recruits. Odd Paladin may not have had those options, but compensated with sheer quantity, as its upgraded Hero Power put out two Silver Hand Recruits each time, on top of access to Lost in the Jungle and Vinecleaver to do the same. Level Up gave all its recruits a +2/+2 boost on top of creating a wide Taunt wall, and Fungalmancer could do the same on a smaller board. Even if it lacked access to the big three Taunt minions for Paladin, there's nothing stopping Stonehill Defender from discovering them. The value of Call to Arms, especially in Even Paladin where it was guaranteed to pull three 2-drops, set Even Paladin squarely above Odd, and the nerf to that card brought both variants to roughly equal power level... at least until Odd Paladin lost Level Up!, one of its primary buff cards, after its cost was bumped up by one.
  • Tess, the Tracker is this for the Monster Hunt. Most players complain that her run is just too easy to complete due to the absurd tempo provided by her card pool while her Hero Power (Scavenge) let her to never run out of value, fixing one of the most glaring weakness of the Rogue class that she was the stand in for.
  • Druid in general has drawn more and more balance complaints over time. Historically, Druid decks went for either an aggressive, board-flooding aggro strategy with a weak late-game and little comeback potential, or a slower approach based on ramping mana and getting big minions faster at the cost of sacrificing early-game board presence and card advantage. However, they've also received cards that let them generate huge boards on demand, draw a ton of cards, and gain huge amounts of armor, all of which can easily be thrown into the same deck, effectively turning Druid into a Master of All and removing most of their glaring weaknesses. Knights of the Frozen Throne and Kobolds and Catacombs in particular gave Druid a lot of new toys to play with, and the class subsequently became the high-end scrappy of The Witchwood with no fewer than three top-tier Druid decks terrorizing the ladder (Taunt Druid, Malygos Druid, and Token Druid). The Druid hate only intensified in The Boomsday Project due to the release of things like Juicy Psychmelon and Star Aligner giving Combo Druid free reign to terrorize the Wild format, subsequently drawing tons of salt from players that are sick and tired of Druidstone.
  • Shudderwock Shaman quickly became the only viable Shaman deck on the Witchwood ladder, and certainly one of the most hated. By forgoing the OTK approach and comboing it with Hagatha the Witch, Shudderwock becomes an infinitely-reusable board clear that also siphons the opponent's health and leaves a number of 6/3 bodies on the board to beat the opponent down with. At that point, the game's basically unwinnable for the opponent, since any minion they play will promptly get wiped off the board while their health is slowly drained. Furthermore, Shaman has the control tools and card draw they need to survive into the late game, making it much easier to last until Shudderwock gets to hit the board. This deck, along with Druid as a class, was mostly responsible for the meta shifting gears toward aggro since slow decks didn't have a hope in hell of winning against it. Shudderwock Shaman was eventually killed off by a nerf to Saronite Chain Gang (its Battlecry now summons a base-statted Saronite Chain Gang rather than an exact copy of itself), preventing Shudderwock from infinitely replicating.
  • Prior to the removal of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, Murloc/Quest Shaman was hated and seen as a successor to Patron Warrior, especially since it didn't rely so much on stalling the game. The main issue was the fact that it relied on the player summoning a bunch of Murlocs, who usually only have 1/1 or 2/1, very quickly. What made it only slightly less annoying than pre-nerf Patron Warrior was due to the fact that they couldn't charge and constantly wear out the opposing player, thus making them susceptible to cards like Arcane Explosion, Explosive Trap, Consecration, Swipe, or even Whirlwind (Since most murlocs had only one health, Whirlwind would clear the board). What became worse was when a shaman placed down the Murloc Warleader. While the card itself is bad enough now, it used to be worse since it would buff all murlocs with one additional health, making them able to withstand a couple more board clears. Combine this with Grimscale Oracle, and you can practically OTK with a field full of 1/1 and a few 2/1 murlocs.
    • What's more, even though Call in the Finishers was usually the clincher (completing 40% of the quest right there), the Murloc build was practically RNG-proof. You sometimes wouldn't even need to draw Call in the Finishers to get the quest completed - all Call in the Finishers did was make you get it even earlier. Depending on whether or not you went second and got some Murloc Tidehunters (which summoned an extra Murloc, and this counted towards the quest), you could easily throw murlocs on the field all day. Unless your opponent manages to constantly stall you with frozen or board clearing, it was a real "I win" button. This deck was considered to be so overpowered that the Murloc Warleader was nerfed.
  • After the nerfs in Rastakhan's Rumble brought Druid down to size, rendered Shudderwock extinct, and emasculated Odd Paladin, Hunter became the next class to fall under scrutiny for escaping completely unscathed, with several viable decks all running rampant due to their primary competition being removed. Secret Hunter saw a resurgence due to getting its own Mysterious Challenger, Deathrattle Hunter and Spell Hunter are still going strong from the last few expansions, and even the long-lost Face Hunter is making a comeback as a budget pubstomping deck with its new tools. While the class has its defenders due to Hunter decks having more play-around potential and interactivity than, say, Shudderwock Shaman, many others are concerned about Hunterstone taking over the Rastakhan's Rumble era.
    • This is not helped by one card in particular: Tundra Rhino. This is a classic card that grants any Beasts on the board, including itself, Charge - not rush, Charge. Combine with a fully charged Emerald Spellstone for 14 damage from an empty board and you have a two-card combo like the Force Of Nature/Savage Roar druid combo of old. It's not surprising that the armor-heavy Odd Warriors and healing-heavy Quest Priests emerged as Hunter surged in popularity.
  • In Wild, Big Priest is a deck that revolves around cheating out small copies of big, high-value minions, letting them die, then abusing Priest's many resurrection effects to bring them back at full power (as well as using Priest's many removal effects available in Wild to ensure this happens). Aggro decks can bum-rush it down before it starts gathering steam, but any deck that doesn't try to go face against it immediately will have problems, as the Priest will most likely have many more resurrection effects than most control decks have removal. It's a deck that's frequently teched against in addition to the aforementioned weaknesses, yet even then it still manages to be a Tier 2 deck. It's known mostly for being annoying and having some very dumb highroll potential with Barnes (landing him a spot on the Game-Breaker page), resulting in games effectively being decided on turn 4 with no real interactivity afterwards.
  • Bomb Warrior from Rise of Shadows is known for being an annoying deck with the potential to randomly punish you for drawing cards. The deck is based around a set of cards that shuffle Bombs into the opponent's deck, which deal 5 damage when drawn. It has many of the strengths provided by Control Warrior, mostly thanks to Dr. Boom, Mad Genius, as well as decent tempo and a lot of unfun highroll potential. The design of the deck gets a lot of derision, since it's literally just all the Bomb cards from RoS mixed with the established Control deck, bound by the parasitic Blastmaster Boom legendarynote . Even if Tempo Rogue remains the aggressive boogeyman of the set, Bomb Warrior has patently unfun gameplay.
  • The Burndown Brawl imposes a unique set of rules. Each player begins with a deck, randomly chosen from a list of presets. Players who lose matches during the Brawl will have their deck forcibly switched to the winner's deck, so the game mode by design will eventually boil down to mirror matches as the weaker decks are culled off. One deck is particularly infamous: "Mercenaries", a Pirate Warrior aggro deck. Because the preset lists defy normal deck building rules, you can have abnormal numbers of cards in a deck. When this means four copies of Patches the Pirate in a single deck, it's a recipe for disaster, as most of the other presets are not equipped to handle such an early board flood.
  • Galakrond Shaman took Battlecry Shaman, what was already a Master of All deck, Up to Eleven. Most Invoke cards have a drawback of being low tempo, but Galakrond, the Tempest's Hero Power completely negates that, summoning a 2/1 with Rush, which gives them a ton of board control throughout the game. Upgrading Galakrond is also easy since Corrupted Elementalist Invokes twice, and Dragon's Pack summons 2 5/6s with Taunt, well over double the card's value, once you Invoked twice, and is pretty much a game-winning tempo play if you coined out your Corrupted Elementalist. There's also Galakrond himself, giving you two 8/8s with Rush when fully upgraded, which is enough to take the board and apply immense pressure if they trade into anything that doesn't kill them. And this was just talking about the Galakrond package on its own. Now imagine having to deal with Galakrond's Battlecry 3 times from Corrupt the Waters and Shudderwock. The Descent of Dragons release actually saw a decline in the number of Standard players (likely from players taking refuge in Wild and Battlegrounds), since attempting to climb the ladder against Galakrond Shamans with literally anything else is an exercise in futility. The resulting outcry was so bad that Blizzard decided to break out the nerfbat three days after the release and implemented the nerf six days later; for reference, the previous fastest recorded nerf (to Spreading Plague) took three weeks.
  • Deathrattle Rogue quickly became the other widely-hated deck in Descent of Dragons for the newly-introduced synergy between Necrium Apothecary and Anubisath Warbringer, letting the Rogue quickly build hugely overstatted minions with the ensuing handbuffs to steamroll the mid-game. If even a few of those minions were Charges, the opponent was inevitably going to most to all of their health out of nowhere, forcing players to Taunt up like there was no tomorrow. A turn 3-5 mana curve of Necrium Blade into Necrium Apothecary into Necrium Vial could easily give every minion in the Rogue's hand a horrifying +9/+9 buff, enough to overrun nearly any opponent. While Necrium Apothecary dodged the first wave of Descent buffs, it didn't escape the second, to no one's complaint.
  • Secret Mage became the new scourge of Wild after Resurrect Priest was dethroned. The deck makes use of Secret synergy cards it had since Mean Streets of Gadgetzan with all the BS Tempo Mage has used over the years, and for a while the deck was mostly the same as a regular Wild Tempo Mage but with a Kabal Crystal Runner and some Secret synergy thrown in. What took Secret Mage over the top was when Saviors of Ul'dum added new Mage secret synergy cards. While they most certainly didn't revive Secret Mage in Standard, it only made Secret Mage in Wild worse, giving them more burst damage on a body and a board clear on a body and cemented the deck into the top tier.

  • In the Classic set, Paladin is the class with the worst win rate. All of their cards are either garbage (all of their Secrets) or is completely reliant on having a board except for Truesilver Champion and Tirion Fordring, which is something rather difficult for them due to the fact that have really poor early game. In addition, their Jack-of-All-Trades status means that can't even high-roll out a win compare to the other classes with bad Classic sets (namely Shaman and Priest).
  • There's a reason why Garrosh was one of the least played characters, outside of his ludicrously expensive Control deck where all or almost all of his minions are Legendaries.
    • Completely averted by Patron Warrior, however; see the High-Tiers folder above.
    • This problem ultimately became moot with Whispers of the Old Gods, with Warriors becoming the healthiest class in the meta with five completely separate but equally viable decks. Pirate Warrior, Dragon Warrior, Tempo Warrior, C'thun Warrior, and Control Warrior are all decks that you can pilot to legend, and simply getting more support throughout the year.
  • "Shaman Tier" was a running joke for all of 2015 because of just how trash Shaman was. A handful of their cards were RNG-based, the entire Overload mechanic was a useless dud because of its lack of synergy, and was curbstomped by the much more popular Paladin. League of Explorers managed to help them with Tunnel Trogg, which turns Overload into an advantage, and then Whispers of the Old Gods came around, where it all went downhill.
  • For the year of the Kraken, some classes were sadly stuck in the dumpster:
    • Poor Paladin. After dominating the second half of 2015 with Secret Paladin, the Standard update denied them of their premium 2/3/4/5 mana curve of Shielded Minibot->Muster for Battle->Piloted Shredder->Sludge Belcher, and trying to replace it with control cards. N'Zoth Paladin was created as a result of these cards, and truth be told it wasn't that bad, but unfortunately it relied far too heavily on Doomsayer to get a lead, and the deck's sluggishness ultimately made it weaker than Warrior as a control deck. Karazhan slightly helped by giving them Ivory Knight, but Mean Streets of Gadgetzan utterly screwed them over by only giving them a single control card, compared to everybody else who got some shiny new toys to play with. Aggro Paladin was experimented with, but it was a dud in the end, and ultimately the year of the Kraken was not kind to our righteous friend.
    • Old Gods + Karazhan Priest is probably the worst class in the history of the game. Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes added a lot of cards that made Priest an extremely stable control class in the meta (Zombie Chow, Deathlord, Lightbomb, Velen's Chosen), so the other expansions since then mostly focused on trying to give Priest tools to expand into other archetypes. However, once Standard rolled around, Priest lost the core of his set and ended up with a lot of experimental cards that didn't synergize. Not only that, but Whispers of the Old Gods was more of the same with Priest getting at least five different archetypes spread over nine cards. This ultimately left Priest with a lot of half-decks but no single complete deck to play other than Dragon Priest, which ended up being actually pretty horrible in a meta that can out-tempo it. Karazhan didn't help much either, only adding another healing card, a new resurrection, and, well, Purify, but Mean Streets of Gadgetzan finally managed to save the class by giving it nothing but good cards, including the straight up broken Drakonid Operative.
    • While League of Explorers was kind to Rogue, giving them Tomb Pillager and several control decks to feast on, 2016 was rough for them. Most of the decks from this period were either very fast aggro or fast midrange, both of which take advantage of the weaknesses of the Rogue's hero power and lack of board clears/healing, causing them to die very quickly. Old Gods and Karazhan didn't help much, attempting to give Rogue an alternative role as a "for fun" class, giving them high-RNG cards that give cards from the opponent's class. It's a popular mechanic, but not one that Rogue needed, leaving their players despairing. Like with Priest, Mean Streets saved the day; while most of the Rogue cards were garbage, the buffs to Pirates and the addition of Counterfeit Coin substantially helped Rogue's early game and gave them the ability to race aggro decks without trading their control-killing ability, inadvertently making them a tier-1 class, according to statistics.
    • Hunter, after two years of being the best aggro class, shifted gears to midrange when Standard hit. They had sticky minions, consistent face damage with their hero power, and one of the game's best lategame bombshells in Call of the Wild. Then the Karazhan nerfs came, and Hunters suddenly realized that their precious Call of the Wild was the only reason they had been winning. Without it, Hunters weaknesses became clear; bad card draw, no healing, bad board clears, and once their Savannah Highmanes were dealt with, no way to actually win the game. They were stuck with Secret Hunter, a deck base around Clocked Huntress' ability to cheat out secrets to gain more tempo than the opponent can handle. It worked until Mean Streets and Un'Goro released, which gave most classes the ability to deal Hunter's stuff while not receiving much themselves, leaving them stuck with no power and nothing interesting to play with.
  • Originally, Arena Warrior. Warrior was considered the absolute bottom of the barrel in that play mode. Why? His hero power does absolutely nothing to the board, his best cards weren't commons. note  And to top it all off, warrior decks are either reliant on extremely rare cards, or huge combo's with time to set up. All of those are a luxury you don't have in arena, because most decks are simply putting out a minion every turn, killing you before you can set up your combo. It got so bad that ADWCTA note  started a campaign called #ArenaWarriorsMatter to call attention to this problem. League of Explorers laid the groundwork for giving Arena Warriors help while Whispers of the Old Gods saved the day.
  • The core idea of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is that the three gangs are supposed to provide a triangle of balance. The Grimy Goons lose to the Kabal's control game, the Kabal loses to the Jade Lotus's value game, and the Jade Lotus loses to the Grimy Goons's aggro game. Kabal decks are good against Goons decks and Lotus decks are good against Kabal decks... but Goons decks just aren't good. The only Lotus deck that sees a lot of play is Jade Druid, and because of Druid's ramp abilities and beefy taunts the Goons are incapable of actually racing them down while Jade Shaman is just an Aggro shell with a few Jade cards put in. This means that Goons decks are pretty much unplayed and hard aggro decks like Pirate Warrior and Aggro Shaman take their place because they actually are fast enough to race Jade Druid. Warrior is held up entirely by their pirate synergies while Paladins and Hunters might as well not be classes.
  • The separation between Standard and Wild exposes many of the weakness of several classes that was fixed or mitigated enough in later expansions. Most notable are Priest, Shaman and Paladin, whose bad Classic set which include many high cost cards with few threat and awkward curve (in the case of Priest), obnoxious amount of RNG (Shaman) and a bad mechanic as a whole (many of them unplayble Secrets for Paladin) caused the classes to struggle to keep up with the others in every single expansions (see above). It took Shaman absolutely bonker cards to be viable and Priest managed to successfully catch up with their Dragon package in Mean Streets of Gadgetzan while Paladin has struggled since the rotation, although thankfully the class is finally viable with Journey to Un'Goro deck.
  • After dominating the game ever since launch, Warlock would fall into this after the release of Journey to Un'Goro both in power level and in popularity. The Standard Rotation took out many of the class's core cards that defined many viable archetypes like Reno Jackson, Imp Gang Boss, and Dark Peddler, while Power Overwhelming was kicked into Hall of Fame for being too flexible, severely hampering both the Zoolock and Control Warlock archetype. What they got for Un'Goro is a set that pushed Discard - a universally hated playstyle because of its inconsistency with a Quest Reward that took too long to get value out of. The loss of many Neutral healing sources and the fact that many other classes received strong cards pushed Warlock out from the meta due to not having any niche that other classes can't just do better: Can't manipulate the board as efficient as Paladin, Shaman and Druid, can't play as aggressive as Pirate Warrior, can't generate value, healing, outlast, cheat out big minions or have good anti-aggression tools as much as Priest and Taunt Warrior, can't burst down the opponent as much as Mage and Rogue and can't draw cards as efficiently as Rogue. That said, Knights of the Frozen Throne went on to renew Warlock with plenty of minions that granted buffs for Zoo decks and extremely potent survival tools and board clear like Bloodreaver Gul'dan and Defile for Handlock.
  • Knights of the Frozen Throne introduced several Freeze-themed cards, befitting the overall set theme. Problem is that a lot of these Freeze cards are for Shaman, and focused on a rather gimmicky strategy of freezing your own minions for buffs or a singular minion for nominal value. Not only was Shaman's existing Freeze synergies non-existent, meaning it had to rely on several of the new cards to function, but freezing your own minions was just terrible in virtually any situation and its cornerstone cards were just as bad to boot; Ice Breaker is terrible without a Frozen minion to smack and would accumulate a lot of hero damage on you for trading, and Moorabi has abysmal stats for an effect that's just Convert on freeze. The Frozen Recipes Tavern Brawl featured a Frozen Throne deck recipe for each class; Freeze Shaman for this Brawl was an easy way to experience everything wrong with the strategy.
  • Warrior fell into the absolute bottom tier during the Knights of the Frozen Throne and Kobolds & Catacombs period. Their cards from the expansions themselves are rather underwhelming compared to the other classes in both Control and Aggro department. They were held up entirely by their Pirate synergy... until the Fiery War Axe was nerfed from 2 to 3 mana, destroying their early-game control tools by making the weapon one of the worst ones in the game. The only other Warrior deck in the meta is the Dead Man's Hand deck, focused on dragging out the game through repeatedly shuffling its hand into the library and winning through fatigue, but that deck also is really difficult to play well. It's also extremely boring to play against since the Warrior can simply keep clearing the board and gaining armor faster than you can kill him, often resulting in unbearably long, drawn-out, and frustrating games, and let's not even get started on mirror matches.
  • Warrior has the greatest difficulty winning a Dungeon Run. Their card pools are extremely specific in synergy with Treasures and with each other, which means that your deck can end up very disjointed and clunky simply out of bad luck. This isn't helped by the fact that their card pool has very little board clear compare to Mage and Priest (the other two Control-favored classes in this mode) as well as their early game cards that were offered has a very steep decline in power if not played on curve or without drawing their synergy, meaning that you can very realistically lose to the 4th-7th boss while trying to build a Control Warrior deck to even stand a chance against the Final Bosses.
  • Toki, the Time Tinker class is this for the Monster Hunt. Her card pool is incredibly RNG-reliance and inconsistent compare to the other classes while being saddled with a Hero Power (Temporal Loop) that does nothing except for you to restart your turn (and thus allow for re-roll on your random effects). One of the main strategy for the Hagatha fight is to play Toki as early as possible so you can refill your deck and got the passive and board clear while not being saddled with her terrible Hero Power.
    • Toki also draws flak for having a much weaker starting deck than the other classes. Out of the ten-odd cards she begins with, no fewer than three (Mad Bomber, Tinkmaster Overspark, and Blingtron) possess horrendously unreliable RNG-based effects. As such, these are generally only ever used when her hero power is available as a safety net as they can easily screw you over twice in a row, which often leaves only about a third of her deck to work with if they refuse to give you a decent outcome; this also makes some of the early bosses much harder than they probably should be.
  • Reno Jackson is the weakest of the hero class for Tomb of Terror. Over half of his Signature Treasures and even one of his Hero Power ("Relicologist") are too reliant on casting spells (with two of them, the two Tomb Divers, took an extra steps and require him to play Secrets), which mean that if the player is unlucky and encounter minions heavy cards pool, a lot of them can end up useless or underwhelming. What worse is that he is a Mage / Rogue hybrid, two of the most infamous Glass Cannon class in the game. This mean he can die very easily to swarm strategy due to the lack of healing, Taunt and board clear, especially compare to the other spell-casting but high survivability and board clear-heavy Priest / Druid hybrid hero Elise Starseeker.
  • Discard Warlock, one of the most widely derided archetype in the game that has gotten an overly lengthy support. The idea behind the archetype, when it actually became one, was to use your discard effects to gain advantages on the board, with cards that benefit from being discarded and cards that are above the curve in terms of cost. In practice, it was an unplayable, RNG-heavy mess, with the randomized nature of discards often leading to players discarding things they really don't want to discard, and the few cards you want to discard stubbornly refusing to be discarded. Not to mention, throwing away cards willy-nilly for minions and effects that are only slightly more powerful than average means you run out of steam depressingly quickly, allowing your opponent to easily curb-stomp you once you're out of cards to throw at them, and Life Tap only helps so much. Finally, Discard Warlock never received anything resembling a win condition, instead having to rely on tools from other archetypes to actually finish off the opponent or going full-on aggro. Despite Blizzard stubbornly refusing to let go of the archetype and adding trickles of cards over multiple expansions (in turn drawing the ire of Warlock players that wished Blizzard would use the card slots to boost archetypes that actually see play), for a very long time it ranked somewhere between "low-tier" and "unplayable". The only times Discard Warlock was considered decent was during Karazhan, where it was mostly a Captain Ersatz of a typical Zoolock with Malchezaar's Imp to reload, and in Rastakhan's Rumble, where Blizzard finally wised up and gave cards that gave some value back from discarding stuff, where it was still mostly overshadowed by regular Zoolock in Standard.
  • While Shaman was busy tearing up the meta with their Galakrond at the start of Descent of Dragons, Galakrond Priest became the expansion's punchline, with winrates hovering between the low 40s and the low 20s. The Priest version of Galakrond has by far the slowest Invoke effect in the game, which isn't good in a metagame dominated by fast aggro from the likes of Rogue, Shaman, Hunter, and even Warrior. The Invoke also has too much variance to be reliable, especially when compared to Rogue's Lackies and the other classes' tempo plays, since it can easily spit out useless junk like Lightwell and Test Subject. As such, when Galakrond does see play, it's more because Priests have to run him for Fate Weaver combos rather than because they actually want his hero power, which is a questionable upgrade to Lesser Heal unless you're stupidly lucky.
  • Jade Druid, a deck introduced in Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, is famous for its extremely polarizing match-ups. Against control, it's over, because Jade Druid is slightly faster and possesses an infinite value game-winner in Jade Idol that synergizes with Fandral Staghelm and Gadgetzan Auctioneer. Against aggro, however, it's an instant loss because of how sluggish the deck is early on, and it's not much better against midrange or combo decks. Essentially the deck sucks for laddering but you'll see people use it anyway to catch people who want to play slow, while giving free wins to everybody else. It's not a very good deck, but it's still restricting what decks people can play, which is where the hate comes from. Year of the Mammoth has helped the deck substantially, with rotation took out many of the super aggressive decks it was bad against while Journey to Un'Goro added more defensive option for the deck with many strong Taunt minions like Primordial Drake and Tar Creeper as well as Earthern Scale allows Malfurion to take advantage of the Jade minions he summoned through buffing and gaining Armor.
  • Quest Rogue, a deck introduced in Journey to Un'Goro, is also in the same vein. The deck absolutely slaughters every single slow deck it came across through repeated pressure of cheap 5/5 minions and burst damage from Charge that obtained through completing their Quest The Journey Below. However, the deck's single-minded objective of completing the Quest as fast as possible, along with the Rogue's inherent lack of healing and board clear, leaves it to be completely slaughtered by aggressive decks. This is not to mention the fact that with Preparation and lucky draw, the deck can completing their Quest at turn 4-5 and then quickly run over their opponent through burst damage and persist pressure through the cheap 5/5 minions with little room for counterplay. While being very difficult to play and build, the deck receive hatred from the fanbase for encouraging aggressive decks and limiting slower ones. The community's response has prompted a nerf to the card that bumped the requirement up to 5 minions of the same name from 4, effectively killing the deck... until it came back with a vengeance in The Witchwood thanks to Rush and Lifesteal effects from things like Vicious Scalehide, necessitating another nerf that reduced the stats given to 4/4.
  • Quest Mage, also introduced in Journey to Un'Goro, for most of the same reasons as Jade Druid and Quest Rogue. The deck's key combo is to complete the quest Open the Waygate, get four Sorcerer's Apprentices onto the board with the help of Molten Reflection, use the Time Warp from the quest to refill mana, then drop Archmage Antonidas and Fireball the opponent to death. The deck is considered extremely uninteractive to play against, since Mage has an absolute plethora of defensive options (such as Ice Block and Counterspell) to make sure they survive until they draw their combo pieces and a large number of spell-generating cards like Cabalist's Tome and Primordial Glyph to quickly finish the quest. Add on the fact that they can simply hold onto their key cards and drop them all onto the board at once when their combo is assembled, and you've got a deck with extremely limited options for counterplay for slower control decks. On the other hand, it's glacially slow and dies to aggro decks in short order, and since the combo's the only thing the deck has going for it, it gets gutted by the likes of Dirty Rat (which destroys the combo) and Eater of Secrets (which removes Ice Block). All this results in a deck that's not exactly overpowered, but is very frustrating to lose against and results in extremely boring, predictable games; either the Mage is dead by turn 5, or you've already lost.
  • Mill Rogue has always been something of a fringe archetype, abusing Rogue's board manipulation cards alongside Coldlight Oracle to force your opponent to overdraw cards and take fatigue. However, the deck was largely inconsistent due to its lack of reliable finishers and horrible match up against aggro. This changed in Kobolds & Catacombs, which introduced the legendary weapon Kingsbane, a 1 mana 1/3 that keeps all enchantments when it's destroyed. While it was too slow for a normal deck, Mill Rogues could build their deck around this weapon, searching for it with Cavern Shinyfinder and dedicating half their cards to buffing it to ludicrous degrees. Throwing Leeching Poison and tons of attack buffs gives the Rogue both a giant threat and sustain, creating a backbone for their mill effects. It is extremely frustrating to lose to a guy with an infinite 12/4 Lifesteal weapon, who just burned half of your cards away by bouncing Coldlights. All that said, the deck is still very inconsistent, since if you don't get Kingsbane early, most of your deck is dead draws. It's also fairly slow even once it gets going, and has a big Achilles' Heel to Freeze effects like Frost Lich Jaina. The deck is not that powerful, but it does create some frustrating, uninteractive losses, which was the main reason why Coldlight Oracle was kicked out of Standard.
  • Shuffle Warlock, an archetype which was supposedly created in Rise of Shadows, is about the closest archetype that is considered a meme deck. In its birth, the deck had only one win condition; load up your hand, play Plot Twist with Fel Lord Betrug or Dollmaster Dorian, and summon a bunch of expensive Deathrattle minions in one go, and if things go south, play Arch-Villain Rafaam and hope you get good legendaries. The problem with the deck is obvious; you have to load up your deck with a bunch of expensive, low-tempo minions and wait until you draw the few cards you need to get the ball rolling. It doesn't help other intended support cards that shuffled in Felhound Portals ended up being far too weak to be of any use. The following expansion did make things a little better for Shuffle Warlock with Supreme Archaeology by adding with more RNG win conditions (although it now also has the option of playing a slow OTK deck). Overall, despite its statistically low winrate, playing against Shuffle Warlock is a polarizing experience: either you get highrolled to hell or beat them down before they can do their random shenanigans.
  • The Year of the Dragon version of Murloc Paladin, introduced in Saviors of Uldum. Given Paladin's lack of Murloc-related stuff in Dragon, it's mostly a hodge-podge of Neutral Murlocs (and Sir Finley of the Sands) held together by two spells: Tip the Scales, to vomit Murlocs straight from your deck and Prismatic Lens, to cheat it out three turns early by swapping its cost with a cheap minion. Games involving this deck go one of two ways: if the Paladin draws Prismatic Lens, he can easily pull enough Murlocs for an OTK out out of nowhere, and since this heavily depletes his deck, Zephrys the Great into Bloodlust (and, for good measure, Chef Nomi) was often not far around the corner. On the other hand, not drawing Prismatic Lens by turn 4 or running into a board clear means an automatic loss, since building around Prismatic Lens means the deck has absolutely nothing else resembling a win condition. As you can imagine, a deck so dependent on high-rolling isn't what most players would consider "fun and interactive", not helped by the fact that it's one of the only viable decks Paladin still has after the rotation of Genn and Baku.
  • BEEEES!!! Druid, AKA 2563 Armor Druid (yes, you read that number right). This is a deck that utilizes the interaction between BEEEES!!!, Linecracker, and Earthen Scales, three otherwise unremarkable cards, to generate an absurd amount of armor. Using a tick of Emperor Thaurissan, you can play double BEEEES!!! on a Linecracker followed by double Earthen to generate that ridiculous number, letting the Druid then comfortably go AFK for the rest of the game and still win. Unless you're running an instant-win condition, you may as well concede once they get the combo off. But, the issue is getting the combo off. It needs five specific cards, a turn setting up with Thaurissan, and 10 mana. In the breakneck pace of Wild, that's not exactly consistent. And as noted, it does literally nothing to stop Mecha'thun. At best, this combo is shockingly Awesome, but Impractical. Just to solidify the deck's weakness, Descent of Dragons gave Armor Druid the Skulking Geist treatment and introduced Platebreaker, a Common minion that destroys all of the opponent's armor.
  • Priest in general has been something of a Butt-Monkey of a class, to the point that Blizzard had to completely overhaul it into a proper control class in the Year of the Phoenix. Historically, Priest has generally been weak, due to their cards being an inconsistent mix of control tools and combo enablers, with a few cards that steal from the opponent and makes them hurl their device across the room if you're lucky. Their early game tends to be meh at best outside of Northshire Cleric, especially with their lack of an evergreen 2-drop, meaning that Priest struggles with early tempo. However, the few times Priest does surface, it's because they've gotten a deck that either kills the opponent in one turn (e.g. Razakus, Velen + Malygos Resurrect) or shuts them down so hard that they might as well have been killed in one turn (e.g. Big Priest), none of which are particularly fun to play against. Given that Priest fluctuates between "impossible to play" and "impossible to play against" with no middle ground, it's no wonder that the class has relatively few fans.


  • Early on, the most hated card was Harvest Golem. It was a 2/3 for 3 mana that summoned a 2/1 Damaged Golem when it died. It was reasonable on paper (after all, it's just a 2 mana minion with a 1 mana minion attached), but in practice it was a sticky, annoying piece of crap that always required 2 answers and outclassed every other 3 mana minion in the game. Most decks used it, and most players were actually hollering for nerfs just because it was so good. That said, its hatred died off after Naxxramas introduced Shade of Naxxramas and the Priest-exclusive Dark Cultist, both very solid 3-drops that competed with Harvest Golem, while Goblins Vs. Gnomes straight up killed it by creating Spider Tank, a vanilla 3/4 mech that wound up being a superior 3-drop in most respects.
  • Another pre-nerf card would be Blood Imp, a 1/1 for 1 Mana Warlock demon that increases EVERY minions' health the Warlock player control by 1, potentially offer HUGE favorable trade of minions. If that not bad enough, the Imp has permanent Stealth and is a solid addition to the already widely revived Zoolock deck - meaning that when the opponent played this card, you just have pray to draw your board clear or got lucky with your random effect to wipe it out soon enough that you still have a board to regain advantage, which is exactly what a Zoolock player wants so they can safely follow up with even more powerful minions; not to mention the fact that it is a Common minion - cheap to create, easy to pick in Arena and can played two of them in a standard Constructive deck. This was fixed by the brutal nerf the Imp to 0/1 for 1 mana and the ability was changed to "At the end of your turn, give another random friendly minion +1 Health", making it mostly useless.
  • Many players dread the cry of LEEEEEROY JENKINS! for he is usually played as the last thing they hear before they lose. He is an extremely efficient Charger at 6 attack for 4 mana and his supposed drawback, summoning 2 1/1 Whelps to the opponent's side of the field, can be made inconsequential by either using him as a finisher or using an Area of Effect spell against the Whelps. Also, he can be comboed for ridiculous amounts of damage, such as with the aforementioned Miracle Rogue. It was so easy for people to win in one turn with Leeroy that his mana cost was later increased up to 5 to make him more manageable to deal with. This, however, has not stopped Leeroy's ubiquitous usage in virtually every aggressive deck throughout his entire lifespan. Whenever a deck needs a burst damage finisher, Leeroy manages to weasel into them constantly. By the Year of the Phoenix, Leeroy's reign was finally put to rest and was entered into the Hall of Fame.
  • Flamestrike, as mentioned multiple times in this site, is a basic card that everyone gets as a lvl 10 Mage. But it's the single most feared board clear in the game, so much that whenever you play against a Mage, you have to always assume your opponent has it in her hand by turn 7, ready to wipe the board clean. About the only Mage deck that doesn't use Flamestrike is Freeze Mage, but they replace it with an even nastier Frost Nova + Doomsayer combo. It gets even worse in Arena due to the emphasis on minions and board control, and that you're not bound by the '2 copies of the same card' rule. The current record is seven Flamestrikes at once, and this deck actually got the maximum 12 Arena wins.
  • In terms of cards, Kel'Thuzad. Acquiring him isn't random (you are guaranteed to get him if you finish the Naxxramas single player adventure, which you more or less must buy your way into), his attack (6) puts him just below the range of Big Game Hunter, and his effect will usually win the game for his controller unless he's dealt with immediately. Advice: if you're up against a Deathrattle deck, save that Polymorph card.
  • Pre-nerf Undertaker was a one mana 1/2 minion that gained one attack and one health every time a minion with deathrattle was played. This allowed certain classes (most notoriously the Hunter class) to win the game through playing Undertaker and then following up with cheap death rattle minions, buffing up the Undertaker to the point where it could be a 4/5 minion by turn three, usually resulting in a lost game for the opponent.
  • Dr. Boom is universally considered to be the best card in the Goblins Vs. Gnomes expansion and is run in every deck. A 7/7 for 7 mana, Dr. Boom also spawns two 1/1 Boom Bots (that explode when they die, dealing 1-4 damage to a random enemy character) when he is summoned. A large part of Hearthstone play is based around the concept of favorable trading, or using one card to take out more than one of the opponents' cards. While some cards can force a player to trade unfavorably, Doctor Boom is one of the few cards in the game that is all but impossible to favorably trade against. The Boom Bots demand using AOE spells or other creatures to clear, but that doesn't answer the 7/7 creature on the board (and the Boom Bots' explosions may end up killing some minions anyway). Similarly, taking out the 7/7 creature leaves the Boom Bots intact. The only AOE spells that works against Dr. Boom are Twisting Nether and Shadowflame, both of which are Warlock exclusive cards, the first of which is almost never run anyway, and the latter still demands sacrificing one of your own minions. The priest spell Lightbomb also works, but it weakens your own board as well and still leaves them open to the boom bots anyhow. The only "weaknesses" accessible to all classes that Doctor Boom has are Big Game Hunter (which will kill the 7/7 creature but leave the Boom Bots alive) and Mind Control Tech, which is far from consistent.
    • Doctor Boom was so overpowered that he completely destroyed the meta - almost every deck had a Big Game Hunter to counter him, making 7 and up attack minions not even worth the risk to play because big creatures like that would usually take up your whole turn and with BGH it only took 3 mana (now 5) to get rid of it. Doctor Boom was so overpowered his mere existence nerfed all 7+ attack minions. He's been rotated out with the introduction of Standard, so only those playing Wild will need to worry about him.
  • Velen's Chosen, a 3 mana Priest spell that buffs the minion by 2/4 and gives it +1 Spell Damage. This card is considered one of the best Priest cards ever printed in the game because its cost allows the Priest to buff their early game minions to be a giant trading machine that the Priest can keep healing back. That is without talking about the Spell Damage it offered, which allows the Priest to buff their board clear to be more mana-efficient. Many players bemoan the loss of this card when Standard hit and it was still used as a measuring stick when creating Priest cards, especially spells or buffs. This card is so powerful that the community mocked Blizzard when they tried to print its Poor Man's Substitute Power Word: Tentacles, a 5 mana spell that buffs for 2/6.
  • The key card of the Secret Paladin deck listed above is Mysterious Challenger, a minion that initially looks rather unassuming, but when you take five seconds to think about what it actually does you realise that it's actually so insanely overpowered that it boggles the mind that Blizzard ever dared release it. A 6/6 minion for 6 mana, it's not too far behind the stat curve (for example Boulderfist Ogre is a 6 mana 6/7 with no abilities) and when it comes into play it searches your deck for 1 copy of every secret you have in there and puts them all into play. If you have 5 different secrets left in your deck, Mysterious Challenger will effectively let you draw 5 free cards (card draw is so powerful in Hearthstone that it's usually priced at 3 mana for 2 cards) and then play all of them for nothing. This 6-mana minion is effectively giving you up to 19-20 mana worth of value (the Challenger's body alone is worth 5-6 mana, drawing 5 cards is worth 8-9 mana and playing the 5 secrets is worth 5 more, since all Paladin secrets cost 1 mana each)! Plus while Paladin secrets were previously usually ignored because they were less impactful than Hunter or Mage secrets (to justify their lower cost) several of them work in combination with each other to create devastating results (Noble Sacrifice into Avenge into Redemption is the common sticking point here, usually boosting the Challenger up to 9/8). The Mysterious Challenger deck is basically the only Paladin deck anyone on the ladder plays any more because this single card is so obscenely broken than playing anything else is effectively a Self-Imposed Challenge.
    • Mysterious Challenger is so overpowered that Blizzard introduced Eater of Secrets in Whisper of the Old Gods, which was pretty much made specifically to hard-counter it. It's a Neutral 4-Mana 2/4 minion that destroys all enemy secrets and gains +1/+1 for each secret destroyed, so destroying only one secret would still make it weak for its cost and realistically there's no way a player can have several secrets on play at once without Mysterious Challenger involved in any way.
  • When you first look at it, Anyfin Can Happen doesn't look like anything that special. It’s a spell that costs 10 mana for Paladin that Summons 7 Murlocs that died that game. But when you really think about it and pick the right cards, it’s completely broken. If you put 2 Bluegill Warrior, 1 Old Murk-Eye, 2 Murloc Warleader and 2 Grimscale Oracle in your deck, play them and have them all die over the course of the game, when you play this card you will be able to do 30 points of damage in one turn directly to the face. Luckily, since Old Murk-Eye was taken out of Standard, this can't be done anymore.
  • The release of Whispers of the Old Gods saw the addition of Flamewreathed Faceless to the Shaman's arsenal. A 7/7 for an insane 4 mana, its only drawback is a measly Overload 2 (in the same set they also received Eternal Sentinel, which helps negate Overload altogether). But it's not that bad, right, because surely the almighty Big Game Hunter will stop Flamewreathed Faceless? Well... no. Right before Whispers's release, Blizzard nerfed BGH to cost 5 mana rather than 3, seeing it not only lose favour in general, but actually cost more than the Faceless, Overload notwithstanding. Combined with the difficulty some classes have with removing single large minions (particularly Druid) Flamewreathed Faceless has made aggro Shaman a living nightmare to deal with. Almost as a cherry on top, Flamewreathed Faceless is a common, giving Shamans a very unfair boost to their already reasonable status in Arena.
  • For Arena, there's Vicious Fledgling, a 3 mana 3/3 from Journey to Un'Goro that Adapts whenever it hits the enemy hero. One of the Adapt options happens to be Windfury, meaning it can attack again in the same turn to get another Adaption. What should have been a sluggish snowball card ended up being a "remove or die" ultimatum, and the fact that it comes out on turn 3 means that there are less removal options to deal with it in the already removal starved Arena format. To top it off, it's Neutral, meaning any class can use it if they get lucky in their drafts. Many players are actually demanding that this card be removed from Arena because of how good it is. Blizzard responded with a patch that didn't remove Fledgling from Arena, but at least made the chance of the player getting it much lower, making Fledgling much less ubiquitous in the format. However, it still proved so problematic when it DID show up that they eventually just caved in and banned it from Arena altogether.
  • Shadowreaper Anduin, an 8 mana Priest Hero card that kill all minions with 5 attack or more and change the Hero Power to Voidform - a Hero Power that deal 2 damage and then refresh itself whenever the Priest player play a card. Sound fair in paper, but the Hero Power has insane synergy with Raza the Chained, a 5 mana Legendary minion which allows the Hero Power to cost 0 for the rest of the game if your deck has no duplicate, suddenly allows the Priest to pump out 6-8 control damage at least every single turn for 0 mana. The fact that this card fills in one of the biggest holes of Priest, namely the ability to end the game through the insane amount of damage every single turn with Raza, led him to cause chaos in both Standard and Wild with his inclusion in Highlander / Reno Priest and Priest - a class has traditionally struggled, suddenly pushed to prominence through this synergy alone. What truly made this card hated isn't only just its power but also because of its high roll nature: Highlander Priest just cannot win without drawing him and starting to chip or burst their opponent with Voidform, so every of their match up turn into complete coin flip on whether or not the Priest player can draw him on time.
  • Ultimate Infestation is a 10 mana Druid spell that deals 5 damage, grants 5 armor, draws 5 cards, and summons a 5/5 token. It's nigh-universally despised for packing an absolutely insane amount of value, easily giving benefits worth twice its mana cost even though it takes up an entire turn. And since it's a Druid spell, they can ramp up and drop this card as early as turn 6 or 7, generating a huge advantage that the opponent is most likely not able to deal with for another few turns at least. A number of players are also utterly baffled that Blizzard made the decision to nerf Druid cards like Innervate and Ancient of Lore, only to turn around and give them something even more patently broken.
  • Although not as high-impact as the other cards, players note that Branching Paths is pretty strong for a 4-mana spell. It offers the player the ability to pick from three choices two times — gain 6 armor, draw a card, or +1 attack to their minions — and there's nothing stopping a player from picking the same option twice. It can become a pseudo-Shield Block, an Arcane Intellect, a persistent Savage Roar, an armor-based Greater Healing Potion, and so on and so forth, which means there are very few situations where it's bad. It also offers synergy with various other cards at Druid's disposal, which contributes to Druid's infamy as Master of All.
  • Kobolds and Catacombs brought in Spiteful Summoner, a 6-mana Neutral 4/4 that reveals a random spell from your deck and then summons a random minion of the same cost. Sounds fine on paper, but in practice, decks with this card will usually only run a couple of high-cost spells and fill the rest with minions, which pretty much turns games into "mindlessly spam out and trade minions, then summon a free Tyrantus/Deathwing/Y'shaarj on turn 6", making life extremely miserable for the opponent. Priest is the most notorious offender as their high-cost spells tend to be Free from Amber and Mind Control, allowing them to follow up with even more gigantic minions or steal those that the opponent plays to try and answer the Priest's board advantage. On top of that, Priest's own healing Hero Power and solid Dragon support allowed them to stay in the game to the point where they can play Spiteful Summoner. In the worst case scenario, Spiteful Summoner will reveal Free from Amber and summon a Grand Archivist, which then proceeds to cast Free from Amber or Mind Control for free. When the card was nerfed, it was to the surprise of no one.
  • The Boomsday Project has Giggling Inventor, a 5-mana Neutral 2/1 who spawns two Annoy-o-Trons when played. These bots themselves are 1/2 Mechs with Taunt and Divine Shield, creating a notoriously sticky wide board and opening up plenty of opportunities for Magnetic buffs. Without any outside assistance, the two Annoy-o-Trons can block a total of 4 attacks between them, making it very easy to stabilize unless you're too far behind on tempo. Giggling Inventor is so ubiquitous that players actually started running Blood Knight specifically to erase the Divine Shields off the bots if they want to efficiently work through the Taunt wall, and it eventually warranted a crippling nerf to seven mana.
  • The Duels of the Death Knights Brawl has players start the game as the Death Knight of their chosen class. However, in doing so, some Death Knights end up being a lot weaker than the others due to missing out on their very potent Battlecry.note  With long-term value being relegated to their Hero Power, Frost Lich Jaina is easily the strongest of them all, as she turns 1-health minions into 3/6 Water Elementals with Lifesteal that are difficult to dispatch. This deters the opponent from playing their early-game minions for fear of losing them to the Hero Power, and if you mull aggressively you can get Water Elementals starting from turn 3, snowballing your way to victory.
  • Prince Keleseth from Knights of the Frozen Throne is a 2/2 for 2 mana whose Battlecry gives all minions in your deck +1/+1 if you have no other 2-cost cards. Most of the hate aimed at the card revolves around how a game involving Keleseth basically boils down to whether the player can draw Keleseth in their opening hand, as decks built around his effect can easily snowball to victory if Keleseth is played on turn 2 (or even turn 1 if going second) or end up getting steamrolled if you can't draw him. It doesn't help that many decks are perfectly functional without 2-drops, making Keleseth a no-brainer inclusion for most aggressive decks that don't run Baku the Mooneater. Tempo Rogue was likely the most notorious user, due to the very real danger of the Rogue drawing Keleseth and a Shadowstep or two in their opening hand; a free 2/2 or 3/3 buff to every minion in your deck is enough to make just about any opponent concede on the spot.
  • Explosive Runes, from Kobolds and Catacombs, is arguably the most hated Mage Secret in the game. It triggers when the opponent plays a minion, dealing up to 6 damage to that minion and spilling any overkill damage onto the opponent's face. Even setting aside the fact that it's a Fireball for one less mana, it's dreaded for having virtually no safe counterplay, as the damage is enough to kill medium-sized minions and soften up large minions for the Mage to kill next turn, while the spill damage makes it potentially extremely risky to sacrifice a small minion given how much burn damage Mage has. To top it off, you're not safe even if you throw a Divine Shield at it - Explosive Runes will still deal overkill damage if the shielded minion has less than 6 health.
  • Duskbreaker, a 4 mana 3/3 Priest Dragon from K&C that deals 3 damage to all minions if you're holding a Dragon. It's hands down one of the most powerful anti-aggro tools available to Priest, and an absolute godsend to a class that's inherently weak to early-game pressure, letting you crush entire boards of weenies while leaving a 3/3 ready to trade with whatever the opponent plays next. Furthermore, as a Dragon, it can be Discovered from the effect of Netherspite Historian. This allows the Priest to have Duskbreaker handy more consistently at the right time, on top of serving as extra copies of its board clear. After the Raza nerf, this card, combined with other powerful dragons like Drakonid Operative and Cobalt Scalebane, is what kept Priest relevant, as Duskbreaker was extremely handy in crushing the Zerg Rush tactics of Aggro Paladin. Even after the Year of the Raven rotation, which took out a lot of Dragon Priest cards, many Priest decks still run a handful of Dragons just so they can use Duskbreaker.
  • Master's Call is an incredible refueling card for Hunter. For 3 mana it lets you Discover and draw a minion in your deck - but if all three choices were Beasts, you instead draw all three. While that sounds like an RNG-heavy effect, you can negate it completely by building a deck that's all Beasts and spells. Hunters have access to the best Beasts in the game as well as high Beast synergy, so the downside is hardly a downside at all. What's more, the card has synergy with Dire Frenzy, drawing the copies created more reliably, as well as Zul'jin, who recasts your spells for even more value. It gives Hunter an insane aggressive backbone that can push into the late game, even without Deathstalker Rexxar.
  • The Forest's Aid is an 8-mana Druid Twinspell that summons five Treants, and the new finisher for Token Druid. If not cleared right the hell away, the opponent can look forward to a near-death experience from Savage Roar if they're lucky. If you do clear it right away, it's not too big a deal, since the Druid has another one in hand and two more ready to go; very few decks have that much board clear, especially since the Druid will likely already have forced out a board clear or two earlier in the game with cards like Wispering Woods + Soul of the Forest.
  • Omega Devastator is a 4-mana 4/5 Warrior Mech that deals 10 damage to a minion if played at 10 mana. This card singlehandedly invalidates any sort of late-game powerhouse played against a Warrior, since it's far easier to count the high-cost minions it doesn't instantly delete than the stuff it does. The Mech tag and solid body also give it a huge pile of boons: it probably has Rush from Dr. Boom, Mad Genius, letting it immediately finish off a wounded target or take a second minion down with it; it can be Discovered off Dr. Boom's Hero Power and Omega Assembly, letting the Warrior not worry about big minions ever again; and its cost is low enough that you can attach Zilliax to it for a big swing and heal that also leaves a huge Taunt behind or put up to two SN1P-SN4P on it for a big threat that's very hard to completely remove. This card contributed heavily to the dominance of Control Warrior and the eventual nerf to Dr. Boom.
  • Corrupt the Waters single-handedly catapulted Shaman to the top of the meta on release. It only requires playing 6 Battlecry minions to complete, and the Hero Power it gives you lets you double every Battlecry effect played on that turn. You now have a Shaman that deals consistent direct face damage, make very efficient board wipes, summons a myriad of minions, and generates an overwhelming amount of cards and won't run out of steam for a very long time. In other words, the Shaman is now a true Jack-of-All-Stats.
  • Shaman's dominance was greatly helped by the other boogeyman in Uldum, Mogu Fleshshaper. It's a 3/4 Rush for 7 that reduces its cost by 1 for each minion in play on either side of the field, which more often than not allowed it to be cheated out for 0-2 mana given all of Quest Shaman's token-spamming capabilities for crazy early-game board control. What really drove the Fleshshaper over the top, though, was the Doom in the Tomb event, which brought Evolve back into Standard. Suddenly, Shamans everywhere were able to spontaneously generate multiple 4-drops backed by an 8-mana minion or two. On turn 4. That was when people started running Mutate to turn that 3/4 into an 8-drop. It got hit with a Blizzard style nerf by increasing its mana cost to 9, which while it makes it harder to play, also means it can evolve into better things.
  • Faceless Corruptor was a 5-mana 5/4 with Rush that transforms another friendly minion into a copy of itself. Just one 5/4 with Rush is already pretty good, but now imagine having two. What this card does is turn any kind of token minion into a sizable removal or threat and practically guarantees gaining board control when you play it, and to put icing on the cake, any hand buff effect will carry over to it, so that Embiggen or Galakrond, the Unbreakable is gonna make your tempo play even stronger. There was pretty much never a bad time to play this card, period. It got nerfed in barely over a week to have slightly less Attack to make trades a little less effective.

For further reading, the Hearthstone wiki keeps a list of the cards that most players consider the worst in the game.
  • Goblins vs Gnomes introduced Hemet Nesingwary, a Legendary card with the Battlecry "destroy a Beast". It almost instantly became one of the most widely-mocked cards in the game thanks to both the incredibly situational Battlecry and its dreadful statline - a 5 mana card with 6/3, which meant that it was easily killed by three- or two-drops as soon as it hit the board.
  • Released in Blackrock Mountain was Majordomo Executus, a 9/7 for 9 mana, with the deathrattle of replacing your hero with Ragnaros the Firelord. 9 mana minions are generally required to be the most powerful ones in the game, as 9 mana almost always requires a player's entire turn. Executus is... not. Not only is his statline dreadful for his cost and pretty easy to kill, Ragnaros himself is pretty underwhelming; not only does he have a mere 8 health and almost always causes the player to take damage when he is summoned, his hero power does 8 damage to a random enemy, which is highly unreliable and underpowered. Many have attempted to make him work, but ultimately Executus can't even be used as a comedy card because Ragnaros will do nothing and die. However, the wasted potential is only half the problem; by simply existing, Executus managed to make Sneed's Old Shredder and Recombobulator and any cards like them very risky to use, as he is the only card in the game that can cause a player to lose the game without any RNG involved. He sucks so much he indirectly nerfed two of the funnest cards in the game.
  • There are a handful of cards that are by no means bad, but don't get any use due to them not actually having a use in the meta. For example, Arcane Nullifier X-21 is ultimately a better early-game Taunt than the Shieldmasta due to its immunity to spell targeting, but because most aggro decks use battlecries to silence Taunts, most players would rather risk spell removal for the extra attack. Similarly, it's noted Master of Disguise granting permanent Stealth would be overpowered if given to any class that could actually abuse it. Unfortunately, Rogue isn't one of them, and Master of Disguise never gets used outside of "What If" scenarios. Part of the problem was that the developers knew how overpowered it could potentially be and avoided giving Rogue cards it could combo with effectively, and it was finally nerfed in Whispers of the Old Gods to only grant Stealth for one turn to make it less limiting from a design perspective.
    • This is one of the core problems with class legendaries, as it frequently seems like Blizzard designs them for decks they want to see exist instead of decks that actually exist. A perfect example of this is Malorne, the Druid legendary for Goblins Vs Gnomes. A 9/7 for 7 is in fact overstatted, and its ability to keep returning itself to your deck means it would win any control matchup by repeatedly delaying fatigue damage. The problem with him? Druid can't play control decks. They literally can't, Druid's main weakness in card design is never being given good removal options. Malorne would be a top-tier legendary if given to Warrior or Priest, but in the hands of Druid he's essentially not a card. Another good example is Varian Wrynn, the Warrior legendary for The Grand Tournament. A 7/7 for 10, his effect is to draw three cards and directly summon any minions drawn with his effect. A very potent ability for tempo decks... but Warrior didn't really have tempo decks. It had aggro decks which don't want to survive to turn 10, control decks that don't want to rush to fatigue, and combo decks that don't want to ruin their combo pieces. It took until Whispers of the Old Gods for Warrior to have a tempo deck worth playing, and Varian finally saw some play there.
    • It is worth mentioning that the main problem with some legendaries that don't see play is that you actually have to include them in a deck. There are plenty of videos of players acquiring legendaries through the effects of other cards and proceeding to dominate the game with them. A good example is Anub'arak, a nine mana 8/4 that leaves a 4/4 on the board and returns to your hand when it dies. In regular play it's considered too slow and a waste of a deck slot. But if you can get it on the board without including it in your deck then its effect can potentially win the game by itself.
  • There’s a lot of useless cards but the one that absolutely at the bottom is Magma Rager. This 5/1 for 3 mana is absolutely useless with the amount of board clears, spells that can do damage or something as simple as a Silver Hand Recruit or any one-drop minion. It's so useless it has achieved Memetic Loser status by the fandom, and even Blizzard thinks that it’s the worst card in the game. It's so useless that some parallels to the Rager were made for the sole purpose of mocking it (Ice Rager, Am'gam Rager, Shadow Rager), yet those cards still didn't see play despite being strictly better than Magma Rager. It wasn't until Rise of Shadows introduced Faceless Rager that a Rager finally became playable, and even then Silence Priest was pretty much the only deck to actually use it.
  • Perhaps second to Magma Rager in uselessness is Silverback Patriarch. This 3-mana Basic 1/4 Beast with Taunt was already outclassed from the get-go with Ironfur Grizzly, a 3-mana 3/3 Beast with Taunt, also in the Basic set. Over time, Silverback Patriarch would be outclassed by even more cards, like Stonehill Defender who exchanges the Beast tag for the ability to discover more taunts (like another copy of itself!), or Tar Creeper which has more health and gains extra attack on the opponent's turn. Even the Hearthstone wiki takes the piss out of Silverback Patriarch, with an entire article devoted to listing cards that are strictly better than it.
  • Purify: a 2-mana card that silences your own minion and draws you a card if you do so. Whispers of the Old Gods left Priest in a bad state in both ranked play and Arena. What the class really needed were good common cards for both constructed and arena. What they got was one of the most situational cards in the game. To add insult to injury, the 1-mana card Power Word: Shield gives a minion +2 health instead of silencing, a card from the Classic set, actually has regular use. Already before One Night in Karazhan's release, people were up in arms because of this card. Senior game designer Ben Brode quickly put out a video announcing the card would not appear in Arena, simmering down the rage a little. However, the card was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap in a big way with Journey to Un'Goro giving it many indirect support cards like Shadow Visions, Lyra the Sunshard, Radiant Elemental and Humongous Razorleaf.
  • Remember the push for Freeze Shaman in Knights of the Frozen Throne, mentioned in Low-Tier Decks? Well, the Legendary minion Moorabi was the crowning jewel of that mess. For starters, he is a 6 mana 4/4. That's the same statline as Gadgetzan Auctioneer and The Mistcaller - cards with HUGE effects. Moorabi's effect? Whenever a minion is frozen, you add a copy of it to your hand. He has no immediate board presence or value, requiring you to pump more mana into his terrible body. The result is glacially slow, needing even more mana to replay the frozen minions. To make it even slower, the only consistent way to copy good minions is to set up your own, meaning you have to freeze your own board. Even in the control meta that was KFT, it was too much setup and not even near enough value. Adding insult to injury, Moorabi was upstaged by Grumble, the Shaman Legendary from the very next expansion. Not only is Grumble overstatted for his cost, he lets you replay your cards much quicker and more efficiently than Moorabi could ever dream.
  • For the most part, the upgraded Hero Powers provided by Justicar Trueheart and Baku the Mooneater are pretty cool. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Totemic Slam, the upgraded Shaman power. Where every other class gets a direct statistical improvement, Shaman instead gets the ability to choose which totem they summon. Generally, the Shaman doesn't care which totem they get turn-by-turn, and isn't going to get much use warping their deck or paying 6 mana just to normalize the times when they do. The only plus side it has is that it lets you have more than one of each Totem, which is faint praise if ever there was.
  • Dr. Boom's Scheme from Rise of Shadows, a new contender for the position of absolute worst card in the game. 4 mana for a whopping 1 armor is simply beyond terrible, and while it ramps up over time in your hand like the other Scheme cards, 1 armor per turn means you need to hold the damn thing for around eleven turns just to make it nearly worth the mana cost. It doesn't help that Warrior already has Shield Block, a cheaper armor spell that's way better than Dr. Boom's Scheme could ever hope to be by virtue of drawing you a card and not requiring you to keep it in hand for half an eternity. You know a card's utterly terrible when people compare it unfavorably to Magma Rager.
  • Worgen Greaser is infamous among the fans for being one of the most blatant "pack filler" cards in the game - a card printed simply to fill the card quota for a new expansion and nothing more, and it's not hard to see how this conclusion came about. Nobody in their right mind would run a 4-mana 6/3 with no abilities whatsoever, since it can easily be removed by minions and spells that cost half as much, especially since Chillwind Yeti exists. Even in Arena, getting this guy to stick around long enough to attack probably means you're winning already. Worgen Greaser was rubbished so badly by the fanbase that the developers apologized for it, promising cards with more interesting effects in the future. Ever since this disaster of a card, vanilla minions have been few and far between (with many unremarkable commons at least getting Taunt), and the few that were printed at least have a reasonable statline.
  • While The Last Kaleidosaur was generally underpowered but still had a few highlights and Lakkari Sacrifice eventually became tolerable in Rastakhan's Rumble, Raid the Sky Temple had far less luck its fellow bad quests and performed far, far below expectations. Not only does the quest take a while to complete, the Hero Power you get for its reward is best described as "garbage". You pay 2 mana to get a random (not Discover) Mage spell that costs 2 less, which is not worth sacrificing the flexibility of a basic Fireblast because Sturgeon's Law dictates that the majority of those spells will be some degree of garbage. Not only is the variance huge, Mage already has dozens of better cards that generate cards much more effectively. It's so bad, in fact, it was statistically proven via stat trackers that players had a higher win rate when they mulliganed the quest.
  • Surrender to Madness is a 3-mana Priest spell that gives all minions in your deck +2/+2... at the cost of setting you back three whole Mana Crystals. This means that, slowness of drawing the buffed minions aside, it actually gives you an overall tempo loss, especially since it makes it much harder to play spells. Furthermore, the buff is best suited to an aggressive style, and it's stuck on a 3-mana "do nothing immediately" card given to the worst aggro class in the game. Fortunately, Blizzard eventually learned from this trainwreck when they printed Embiggen, which follows the concept of Surrender to Madness (large deck buff offset by a mana-based disadvantage) but does it in such a way as to be actually playable.

  • Arguably the biggest complaint about Hearthstone is how much luck is involved not just with your draws, but the fact that multiple cards have built-in RNG mechanics that make them frustrating to fight. While a decent amount of people adore RNG and believe that the game would be less fun without it, even they tend to get frustrated by the following:
    • Random card generation effects, seen all the way back in Classic with stuff like Thoughtsteal. Usually, a randomly generated card is worse than whatever you would put in your deck yourself, so in theory you get quantity over quality. In practice, you obtain a card your opponent physically cannot play around, allowing for some very frustrating wins out of nowhere, with special mention going to Rogue's Burgle cards and the Tri-Class Discover cards, because they allow to gain cards that aren't even from your own class. Additionally, some of these cards allow you to gain even more copies of cards than your deck physically allows, like more Fireballs off of Ethereal Conjurer or extra Tirion Fordrings from Stonehill Defender. The mechanic has its defenders of course (some really funny stuff can happen) but most just wish there was some kind of counterplay to it.
    • Yogg-Saron Hope's End, a 7/5 for 10 mana introduced in Whispers of the Old Gods. When Yogg hits the board, it casts random spells on random targets equal to the amount of spells you played up to that point. It isn't so much that its effect is random, but more so that he's used as a last ditch card. If you're hopelessly losing, you might as well play the card that has the minuscule chance to reduce the enemy's health to zero, or discard you entire hand and destroy your board. The card is seen in a vast majority of of tournament decks making spectators very sick of the card and usually is the number one card on people's minds that should either be nerfed, or added to wild prematurely. In response to this, Blizzard changed Yogg's effect so that he stops casting spells if he's Silenced, transformed, destroyed, or otherwise leaves the board.
      • Randomly casted spells, in general, follow the pattern of "one random spell does diddly; a bunch of random spells do a crapload of diddly". When you have to bank on a single random spell on random targets, it's very much a hit-or-miss affair due to all the single-target spells you have no control over along with the ones that just straight-up screw you over (with Cataclysm and Astral Communion being two of the most infamous), but when you're throwing out a ton of spells with one effect, you're much more likely to end up ahead or at least reap some kind of benefit due to the number of purely beneficial spells out there and the increased likelihood of a targeted spell going where it's supposed to. This is the main reason why cards in the former category (like Servant of Yogg-Saron, Tortollan Primalist, and The Runespear) are usually dismissed as trash, while cards in the latter category (namely Yogg-Saron himself) are considered overpowered.
    • Barnes, a 3/4 for 4 mana introduced in Karazhan that summons a 1/1 copy of a random minion in your deck, is kind of a weird case, because it's when you play with the card properly that he's less frustrating. Objectively speaking, he's a tutor, capable of searching out your deck and getting what you need, with the downside of having an element of randomness that doesn't matter if the deck is made with him in mind. If he merely pulls a vanilla 1/1, than you basically wasted your turn 4, which mind you is a turn too important to throw away. The issue is that nobody actually plans their deck around all that; Barnes is constantly slapped into decks with high potential to whiff but insane payoffs when he doesn't, turning games into dice rolls instead of actual matches and likely pissing off at least 1 player at all times. Barnes, ultimately, is not a Game-Breaker, and has not seen too much competitive success despite his powerful effect, but he's so annoying despite this that when a fan-tourney was held with the community being given the opportunity to ban cards, Barnes received the 4th most votes.
      • That said, Barnes later became a star in a couple of decks — specifically, Spell Hunter and Big Priest. In the former, he and Y'Shaarj are the only minions in the deck, so Barnes will create a 1/1 copy of Y'Shaarj that summons the original Y'Shaarj, leaving no minions in the deck and enabling the no-minion effects of Rhok'delar. In the latter, Barnes is the only low-cost minion in the deck, and everything else which he can summon is high-cost with massive impact and can be resurrected later, eliminating the chance of whiffing. The lack of low-cost minions is a non-issue for Priest whose healing and control spells let him get to the late game where he can play his expensive minions normally. Between the two, it then becomes a question of "did that player draw Barnes on turn 4?" because cheating out a giant minion or one with a different deadly effect can lead to a steamroll in the midgame.
  • In the lead-up to Journey to Un'Goro, Quests were heavily promoted as a new way to play the game and many were excited to see the possibilities they opened up. Out of the 9 Quests, however, these three ended up causing some unhealthy amounts of salt:
    • The Caverns Below/Crystal Core. See Quest Rogue under the decks section above.
    • Sulfuras, obtained from the Warrior Quest Fire Plume's Heartnote , is a 4/2 weapon that replaces your hero power with "Deal 8 damage to a random enemy". It's Majordomo Executus all over again, except it doesn't set your health to 8 and it showcases exactly why Blizzard deliberately undertuned him. While the hero power is obviously very powerful, it produces loads of coin flip scenarios where you either hit the right target or you don't, causing frustration on each end more often then not. It's also hated for a reason similar to the above mentioned Jade Druid, in that the inevitability of the hero power can make the game feel like a lost cause even when your at full health. That also not mention the fact that to complete the Quest, the Warrior has to fill their deck heavily with Taunt minions, which caught flak from Aggro players because these minions took away the decision making from them on whether or not to kill the minions or to push damage.
    • Time Warp, gained from the Mage Quest Enter the Waygatenote , is a 5 mana spell that skips your opponent's next turn. The deck that uses this card, Exodia Mage, is not high-tier. In fact, it was actually pretty awful, as it combines a difficult condition to complete with an unreliable OTK combo. Regardless, Time Warp came under fire for promoting the solitaire combo decks that Blizzard has explicitly attempted to avoid, and in the event that the combo fires off, it feels seriously terrible to lose to (especially back when Ice Block was still in Standard). Wild players, on the other hand, hate it for a different reason...
      • Once the card moved out of Standard, the expansion immediately following its departure added a ton of supporting cards, namely Mana Cyclone and Magic Trick. Not to mention, Archmage Vargoth could play Time Warp again, allowing the player to take three turns in a row. Quest Mage's gameplan ended up changing from taking the time to set up their Antonidas OTK combo to just playing an Arcane Giant or two and wailing on the opponent with them. Although, while the card became way more powerful, the fact that Wild format is already ridiculous keep the deck in check (including other Mage decks like Secret Mage). If the two expansions were both within Standard, it would've undoubtedly destroyed the meta.
      • Enter the Waygate also accentuated an already-existing problem due to interactions with The Coin, the free card that player 2 gets at the start of the game to compensate them for the loss of tempo. Because The Coin is a spell that doesn't start in your deck, a Time Warp Mage who goes second effectively gets 17% of their quest requirement completed for free, putting an extra amount of emphasis on something as uncontrollable as who wins the initial 50-50 to see who goes first.
  • The rest of the Quests are sufficiently respected, though two are particularly looked down upon:
    • The Paladin Quest, The Last Kaleidosaur requires the player to cast six spells on their minions, forcing their deck into an unusual saturation of buff spells to try and get this to work. If they succeed, though, their reward is Galvadon, a 5 mana 5/5 that adapts 5 times on entry. While the concept of customizing your finisher is seemingly appealing, the fact that adapt options are randomly picked each time detracts from Galvadon's potential - especially if the player ends up being forced to pick between non-stackable effects like Taunt, Stealth or Windfury. That is also not mention that because the deck is so reliant on the Quest to actually finish the game since all of the buff cards do not generate enough values or tempo, if the opponent somehow manage to remove Galvadon the Paladin most likely will face an instant loss. This is very likely to happen as, in Hearthstone, minion removal is generally more efficient than minions, meaning placing all your faith on a single big minion is like placing all your eggs in one basket that has a big hole in the bottom. Even if he gains Shroud, Divine Shield and Stealth from his evolutions, he can still die instantly to something as simple as Deadly Shotnote .
    • The Warlock Quest, Lakkari Sacrifice, requires the player to discard six cards, making them reliant on the random and hated discard mechanic — even though the Warlock has Silverware Golem and Clutchmother Zavas which synergize with discard, they're equally likely to accidentally discard their other discard enablers. The reward is also rather unspectacular, being a portal that constantly summons two 3/2 Imps. The idea was for the Warlock to play a more control-oriented game and grind down the opponent with neverending imps, but the need to discard runs contrary to control's idea of keeping card advantage and the risk of discarding board control tools is far too great to ignore. Lakkari Sacrifice ultimately combines a requirement you don't want to fulfill (because discarding any card other than Silverware Golem and Clutchmaster Zavas does nothing to advance your gameplay agenda, while almost all the other quest requirements are at least things you might do in a normal game anyway) with a massively underwhelming reward (the constant stream of imps are not nearly powerful enough to make up for the amount of tempo lost simply getting the damn portal into play in the first place, assuming you even live long enough to do so). The quest became a little less useless when Kobolds & Catacombs released Cataclysm, a 4-mana spell that destroys all minions and discards your entire hand, letting you complete the quest and open up an opportunity to play the Nether Portal next in one fell swoop, and Rastakhan's Rumble gave Discard Warlock some cards that the archetype actually needed, which at least made the deck playable.
  • Shudderwock didn't take long to become the biggest salt-maker in The Witchwood. He's a 9-mana 6/6 Shaman legendary whose Battlecry gains the effects of every Battlecry you've played that game. On its own, the card isn't too hated, but it managed to earn significant ire due to the Shudderwock OTK. By combining cards like Lifedrinker, Nightblade, Saronite Chain Gang, Grumble, Worldshaker, and Murmuring Elemental, Shudderwock straight up wins the game as soon as it hits the board. What happens is that Shudderwock will dupe itself however many times, send the copies back to the hand with their costs set to 1, and deal some damage to the opponent while restoring health to his hero. While the deck that runs this combo isn't very consistent, it earned much hatred due to the absurd amount of time it takes for the animations to finish, and when you're dropping Shudderwock after Shudderwock, it can take several minutes just for the turn to end. Plus, it's a non-interactive OTK - it almost goes without saying there would be outrage. All of these things combine to put losing to a Shudderwock deck pretty high up on the list of infuriating things that can happen to you in Hearthstone. A patch was eventually released that speeds up its Battlecry animations and capping its effect at 20 Battlecries, making it a little less painful to sit through a single Shudderwock without killing off the card completely. That wasn't the end of Shudderwock, though - see the High-Tier Decks section for how it went on to take the meta by storm.
    • The deck also has a Wild counterpart based entirely around trolling the enemy, by spamming the Battlecries of Loatheb and Marin the Fox to make their spells too expensive to use and their board to crowded to play any minions. Again, infuriating, non-interactive, and about as consistent as Murloc Priest.
  • Following Pogo-Hopper's mana cost reduction from 2 to 1, it's popularity spiked from pure meme to... meme that highrolls really hard. Sure it doesn't have the same self-fueling cycle as Jade Druid, but Rogues have access to cards such as Witchwood Piper, Lab Recruiter, Shadowstep and so on, that the point is practically moot. The scariest part is how the Hopper gets +2/+2 and that it is a Battlecry, meaning it works with Barista Lynchen and Spirit of the Shark. The latter in particular allows you to deploy Hoppers with disgusting amount of stats very early and seal the game. However, if the card doesn't come together, it's left a pile of inefficient, slow minions, and ultimately is simply playing vanilla stats without another win condition.
  • Darkest Hour is a card that's hated in both Standard and Wild, but for entirely opposite reasons. In the Year of the Dragon Standard format, Darkest Hour is unplayable, as its mana cost of 6 makes it glacially slow when used for what is ostensibly its intended purpose (destroying mass-summoned Imp tokens to cheat out big minions), as it requires you to either hold onto it until turn 9 or 10 to play it with the Imp generators, at which point the opponent will have either beaten you into the dirt or gotten their own heavy-hitters ready, or hope that your opponent somehow leaves your board full of 1/1s alive, which requires your opponent to be either stupid or grossly incompetent. Furthermore, Warlock's Standard card set in that particular year doesn't have many good powerhouses to begin with. But in Wild, it's borderline overpowered due to the existence of Bloodbloom, which effectively cuts its mana cost down by 4 and allows the Warlock to threaten a flood of Doomguards, Voidlords, Jumbo Imps, and the occasional Mal'Ganis starting from turn 5. Very few decks are equipped to deal with such an overwhelming early-game advantage, and even if they do weather the onslaught, the Warlock usually has Bloodreaver Gul'dan in reserve to resurrect at least some of those minions.
  • Sideshow Spelleater is by all accounts a terrible card. What it does is let you copy your opponent's hero power, which could be good considering the rising quality and frequency of replacement hero powers, but the 6 mana cost and poor stats, as well as the fact that not every deck uses a replacement hero power, begs the question as to why you wouldn't just naturally run a hero power card you can control. However, Descent of Dragons added an unassuming card called Grizzled Wizard, which swaps hero powers between players for a turn. In combination, these two cards can be used to "gift" your opponent any hero power permanently... which would be an Awesome, but Impractical combo, if there were any actively negative hero powers to throw their way. The closest things are The Amazing Reno's power, which casts a random spell each turn (potentially game-losing, but there are more good or neutral outcomes for the controller than bad) and Untapped Potential (which is straight-up useless if the opponent isn't a Druid, but also requires completing a Quest). Until a good target shows up, this combo will remain strictly Cool, but Stupid.



  • There was one hero in particular stood out from the rest as soon as they arrived in Battlegrounds: Brann Bronzebeard. His Hero Power was a passive that gave +1/+1 to a random minion whenever you played a Battlecry minion. Considering the game mode involves using a bunch of Battlecry minions to buff up and stack stats, Brann is basically rewarding you for playing the game. The worst that can happen is the buff hits the minion you just played that you intend to sell. It's useful in the early game, useful in the mid game, and useful in the late game, and picking him was practically a guaranteed top 4 finish, especially considering he was around when Murloc builds were the most popular build, which make more use out of Battlecry minions than other builds. He got the axe eventually, becoming the first hero booted from Battlegrounds for being too good.
  • After Brann, Arch-Villain Rafaam took his place as another high-tier hero. His Hero Power cost 1 Gold and allow him to obtain a plain (non-Golden, no buff) copy of the first enemy minion that die in combat. Not only is it basically a complete Power Creep of Gallywix Hero Power (since you can just sell the undesirable minion), you can obtain very powerful build defining minions in the mid game as well as helping significantly with getting copies for triples. And that not mention the mind game it forced your opponent to play if they don't want their best minions to be copied.
  • Tirion Fordring has a pretty unique Hero Power, which gives all his tribeless minions +1/+1 for 1 Gold. Given how useless tribeless minions have historically been, many people didn't realize just how powerful he was on release. Lower tier cards like Selfless Hero and Righteous Defender, which are solid minions held back by their lack of opportunities to buff, were made very powerful in the early game while also being able to scale well with Tirion's very cost-effective buff, making Tirion one of the best early to mid-game heroes in Battlegrounds. Most tribeless minions are also hardly favored by other heroes, which meant Tirion has a better chance of rolling for minions that he wants. Even outside of purely tribeless builds, his Hero Power buffs core tribeless minions like Soul Juggler and Baron Rivendare to make them much harder to snipe and let them pull some weight of their own in combat. It only took a few days to figure out that Tirion's unique features and very cost-efficient Hero Power make him one of the best heroes in the game, capable of reliably finishing in the top 4. His viability took a big hit in the Dragon patch that removed bunch of Tier 3 and 4 tribeless minions and addition of Unstable Ghoul that counter his Divine Shield-reliant strategy, making him significantly weaker in the midgame if he didn't manage to roll into Bolvar. Despite his lowered consistency, he was removed from the game shortly after.
  • Deathwing's Hero Power may not seem all that great considering it's double-edged, but it's what makes him ridiculously powerful in the early game. Giving +3 Attack to everything, including tokens, lets him trade evenly with most minions in the first few of the game, allowing him to save Health and tier up early safely. All he needs is some token-spawning or sticky minions and his early game is pretty much set, and is pretty much undefeatable when he gets a Rat Pack or two. Sure, you could try to play around him by doing the same, but that only accounts for one of seven other heroes to counter. Other players have to scramble to get an early Rat Pack just to counter Deathwing, and if he faces anyone that doesn't have it, it's an easy rank up to 6 for him. Deathwing rose up in ranks very quickly just for how powerful this strategy is, and it was no surprise his Hero Power was nerfed from +3 Attack to +2.
  • Of all the minions in Battlegrounds, none were as hated as Nightmare Amalgam. This simple 3/4 had the effect of being every minion tribe. This meant it was a no-brainer pickup in every single build, since it was a decent statline and very easy to buff. The insane thing though is how it let tribes splash - Magnetize an Annoy-o-Module, and suddenly your Murloc build has a gigantic Divine Shield + Taunt. Pick up a Toxfin, and your Mechs have a Poisonous assassin. Just to put the cherry on top, it was technically the only Dragon in the game, so it could get buffed by Zoobot and Menagerie Magician. Its ubiquitous play forced Demons, the premier "big stats" tribe, to be completely unplayable since everyone had access to at least one humongous Poisonous Taunt. The card was universally despised, and unsurprisingly was removed from the game
  • Soul Juggler is the bane of anyone playing against Demons. An unassuming 3/3, it has the effect of dealing 3 damage to a random enemy minion each time a friendly Demon dies. It's basically Pack Leader on steroids; every single one of your Demons, including tokens from things like Imprisoner, Imp Gang Boss, and Voidlord, essentially has a built in +3 Attack dealt as separate instances that chew up Divine Shields and ignore Taunt to maul back-line support units. It doesn't help that Demons have more tribal Taunts than any other tribe in Battlegrounds, meaning that he'll almost always live to the end of a combat round, single-handedly mowing down mid-game boards along the way. And pray the Demon player never gets a triple, which not only fires twice per Demon death but also has just enough Attack that Zapp Slywick probably won't be able to snipe him. While not a great 1st Place finish build, it's a very consistent Top 4 finish build, which is the only thing that matters for people climbing up the ladder.
  • While the removal of Nightmare Amalgam led to strategies becoming more varied than "whoever has the biggest Amalgam wins", it also opened the floodgate for Demons to start terrorizing the meta. Demons essentially combined Murlocs' potential to build huge bodies and Beasts' token synergies but did it better than both of them, being able to start getting huge very early on and having the aforementioned Soul Juggler to make their tokens much more lethal. The real kicker is that, unlike other tribes, Demons can use these strategies in tandem and don't even have to climb to high Tavern tiers to get their best cards; Wrath Weaver can be picked up as early as turn 1 and grows by simply cycling through Demons, most of their other good cards can be grabbed by tier 3 (most notably Floating Watcher, which had insane synergy with Wrath Weaver to the point that it was moved up a tier), and they didn't need tier 6 since it has no Demon cards. The only thing capable of contesting a huge Demon board is a huge Murloc board, and even then, Murlocs are horribly reliant on luck and can get easily trampled by Demons in the mid-game (and by everything else, for that matter).
  • Cobalt Guardian is one of the single most hated minion in the entire game mode, and for a good reason. Its ability to consistently gain Divine Shield means with a few Mech-summoning minions, it can get to attack more times than other minions, and Health is a non-issue for it. What's more, it appears at Tier 3, and a 6/3 is an excellent base statline, especially when you can give it Divine Shield right after. Other Mech comps don't even compare, since Junkbot comes in way too late and Mechano-Egg builds need it to be Golden and also have Baron Rivendare and maybe Kangor's Apprentice to really get going. You can focus solely on buffing two Cobalt Guardians and have it can carry you to Top 4, as long as you don't get horribly unlucky or have it get sniped by a Soul Juggler. Even when the community demand it to be nerfed or removed, Cobalt Guardian has somehow managed to avoid them every time. Late March, Cobalt Guardian finally got what it deserved and was removed from the game... Only to be immediately replaced with Deflect-o-Bot, which has the same tavern tier and the same annoying Divine Shield refresh but also gains +1 Attack each time, with the only "nerf" being it has about half its base stats.
  • While hero choice in Battlegrounds makes less of a difference than your drafting choices, since the only difference is Hero Power, there are still a few heroes that most players will avoid like the plague:
    • Professor Putricide graced the bottom tier of most Battlegrounds tier lists. His hero power, a hefty +10 Attack buff to your left-most minion, sounds good in theory by letting you start off a combat with a huge swing... which tends to miss in all sorts of ways. More often than not, the buff will get wasted on a Taunt, wasted on a Divine Shield, wasted on a Taunt with Divine Shield, or just not roll the one-in-seven chance of hitting what you actually want it to hit, making it very rare for it to actually do anything impactful outside of minions with cleave attacks (of which there are a whopping two in all of Battlegrounds, and the first one only becomes available at Tier 4). Putricide ended up getting scrapped. Even when he was reintroduced into the game (which wasn't even in the patch notes) with a +20 Attack hero power and extra synergy with Fiendish Servant, he was still unanimously considered garbage (although at least he was no longer countered by a Divine Shield/Taunt Nightmare Amalgam wall every single time), and was unceremoniously scrapped again. When the dev team added him back for the second time, Putricide was finally given the option to choose what minion to buff, though the boost was dropped back down to +10.
    • Pyramad was the other unambiguously terrible hero by most standards. Its hero power spends 1 coin to give a random minion +2 Health. The combination of an almost inconsequential buff with RNG-induced unreliability makes the hero a very unappealing choice under most scenarios; if you have a coin to spare, you're generally better off just rerolling. Pyramad also got removed, but returned after a little while and got buffed to give 3 Health... which is a marginal improvement but not enough to escape the lower end of the tier lists, and he was buffed again to 4 health. Only time will tell whether the dev team's "let's keep buffing Pyramad 1 point at a time until he becomes playable" philosophy actually works.
    • Queen Wagtoggle was another hero that had an absolutely terrible hero power: for 1 coin, she gave a beast, mech, demon, and murloc a measly +1 Health. She was only just slightly better than Pyramad by the virtue of having better gold-to-stats ratio, and it was back when Menagerie builds were popular (even if there were better hero options for it). After some balance changes that nerfed Menagerie builds significantly, she fell down a few stories high from the tier list into the bottom. She did get a huge buff later, changing the effect from +1 Health to +2 Attack, where the only thing that's really holding her back is is the fact that Menagerie builds aren't very strong at the moment.
    • Giantfin was one of the first Battlegrounds heroes to go, and for good reason. His hero power gives your minions the ability to summon a 1/1 Murloc on death, which sounds like a great effect for Murlocs... in the deck-based game modes. Because your minions in Battlegrounds are permanent until sold, Murlocs are focused more on stacking buffs than swarming foes, and their lack of in-combat scaling aside from a piddly +1 Attack on Murloc Tidecaller makes the tokens nearly useless aside from maybe pinging the occasional Divine Shield. Giantfin doesn't fare much better than other strategies, as the other tribes have better token generators and depend on their tokens having their specific tribe, which Giantfin actually harms by clogging the board with useless Murlocs.
    • Sir Finley Mrrgglton can spend 1 coin to give a random minion +1/+1, and this hero power refreshes each time he sells a minion. Unfortunately, the requirement and effect are at complete odds with one another: the buff is most impactful in the early game, at which point you won't have any spare minions to sell, and during the late game, you're probably better off just cycling through Battlecries than spamming the hero power. It doesn't help that Edwin VanCleef renders him almost entirely obsolete by virtue of having basically the same buff, only manually targeted. Sir Finley was eventually taken out then re-added with a totally new Hero Power: Discover a random Hero Power at the start of the game. This made him far more viable by giving you a second chance to fish for a good hero power if the two alternatives are bad.
    • King Mukla originally had a hero power that gave him a Banana (which gives a minion +1/+1) whenever he sold a Beast. Compared to heroes that get buffs for buying minions, for free, or at will, it proved horribly underwhelming and situational, since selling things for a measly +1/+1 buff is way too weak for any point in the game even if they didn't have to be one tribe specifically (as Sir Finley can attest). The hero power was eventually reworked to give him Bananas for buying Beasts, which was an improvement, but not by much. After that, Blizzard gave up and put Mukla out to pasture.
    • Trade Prince Gallywix has the hero power of adding one Gold Coin to his hand at the cost of one Coin. While he can use this to stock up on money and spend it all on one turn, it's incredibly slow. If other heroes want to save up, they can just purchase a bunch of junk minions to sell later - which has the added benefit of cycling Battlecries and potentially building a Triple Card. He's also completely outclassed by Baz'hial, who gets the same Coin power for free at the small cost of 2 health, and Rafaam, as mentioned above. Mostly, he's just a boring hero with a not-very-synergistic hero power. Needless to say, no one is scrambling to play Gallywix.
    • Millhouse Manastorm was scrutinized immediately on release. Sure, his hero power lets you buy minions for only 2 coins, but he also only starts with 2 gold (meaning he needs to sell a minion to upgrade on turn 2) and he also needs 2 coins to refresh, making him horribly reliant on RNG to actually get a lineup that lets him tackle the late game, as the ability to buy more minions doesn't really help if he doesn't get anything actually usable. This also gives him an incredibly awkward curve, making it hard for him to keep up in tavern tiers. If he's actually secretly Difficult, but Awesome then no one has figured him out, considering stats have shown he has the lowest average placement across all regions. His weak performance prompted him to get buffed to start with 3 gold like everyone else to help out his middling early game, which successfully salvaged him.
    • Sylvanas Windrunner has the Hero Power of removing a friendly minions to buff the adjacent minions by +1/+1. While the buff sounds nice on paper, she is blatantly inferior to the buff provided by Edwin (whose buff is single target and can provide a lot more than +1/+1 on a single target) and Deryl (whose buffs doesn't take away the 1 Gold it would take to sell the minion back to the Tavern and can create some ridiculous swing turns on key targets since it's not limited to once per turn). Her Hero Power also ran into the same problem as Finley: The buff is very inefficient in the early game, where minions aren't scaled very well and you need the gold from selling to refresh the Tavern or buy better minions, and low-impact in the late game. She ended up getting removed from the game.
    • Lord Jaraxxus has a Hero Power that gives all friendly Demons +1/+1 for 2 Gold. Even with the buffs to Demon and his Hero Power from beta (where it cost an absolutely terrible 3 Gold), he still struggled to have any relevancy because Demon warbands (the only strategy he has any hope of building) was absolutely terrible. With the constant buffs to Demons and nerfing of other tribes (most notably the removal of Nightmare Amalgam, meaning that humongous Poisonous Divine Shielded Taunts were no longer commonplace), Demons became the top build during January and February of 2020... only for Jaraxxus to continue being terrible because of the opposite problem: The power of Demons now means that other players will rush to pick them up, and more consistent Hero Powers (like Edwin and Rafaam) can scale more quickly and overpower him before he can stabilize. As such, Jaraxxus wound up with one of the lowest average placements at even medium MMR levels.
    • Patchwerk had a hero power that gave him 20 extra starting health. This was considered fairly good, letting him more easily stomach early losses so that he can safely rush to higher tiers and return the favor with better minions. However, Blizzard evidently thought it was too good and nerfed the health bonus from 20 to 10. This resulted in Patchwerk plummeting in tier lists, going from one of the stronger heroes to one of the worst, as the lowered health bonus means he now struggles to even survive a single extra round.
    • Reno Jackson has one of the highest pick rates of all heroes... and one of the worst average placements of all heroes, only marginally better than Pyramad. His ability to make a minion golden for 4 coins is interesting, but considering that it just upgrades the minion and doesn't put it in your hand (meaning no Battlecries or bonuses) and can only be used once per game, the pool of minions it's worth using on is distressingly limited. Furthermore, more often than not a single free golden minion is just not impactful enough to win you a game unless you get some insane synergies with stuff like golden Brann.
    • Fungalmancer Flurgl took the mantle of "worst hero in the mode" almost immediately. His hero power puts a Murloc in the Tavern every time you sell a Murloc, which sounds like a good way to fish for internal synergies and triples on paper and can be strong when it works. However, the hero power only gets decent value if you force Murlocs, and as Jaraxxus and post-nerf Millificent demonstrate, any hero that requires you to force a strategy to get any value at all is just asking for trouble, doubly so when it makes you force the least consistent tribe in the game. If you don't get early Murlocs and/or go with a different strategy, you're basically playing without a hero power. Even if you do play Murlocs, Flurgl doesn't do enough to help them reach critical mass and his hero power can't even give you two of their key cards (Brann and Gentle Megasaur), and heroes like Edwin VanCleef, Infinite Toki, or Shudderwock can help a Murloc board reach their late game more easily. Like Reno, Flurgl is a "win-more" hero: destroys everyone if you're lucky enough, but absolutely terrible if you're not, and the latter is far more likely.
  • Even in Battlegrounds, The Boogeymonster can't escape the bottom of the tier list. His effect of attacking into things to gain stats is far more useful in this mode than it is in actual Hearthstone, but it's still overall way too minor. He only has middling baseline stats, meaning he won't be attacking into and killing much come lategame. His effect only takes place during combat, so it doesn't stack. He's also extraordinarily hard to buff, meaning you can't even scale him. Even if he does attack into something and survive, he only gains a measly +2/+2 anyway, which won't help him beat over or survive much more. The only hero that can use him effectively is Tirion Fordring thanks to his non-tribal synergy, but even then, there's better things to put on the board. Unsurprisingly, when several of the more "boring" minions were cut from Battlegrounds, The Boogeymonster was one of them.
  • Beasts are considered one of the more inconsistent strategies in Battlegrounds due to them being at the mercy of RNGesus for most of the game. The typical strategy goes as follows: hit the opponent with a few big minions, then let Rat Pack die and spawn a bunch of tokens for Mama Bear or Pack Leader to buff, then clean house with Scavenging Hyena. The catch is, of course, that you need your minions to die when you need them to, and not before: losing any of your key minions, which probably make up half your board, too early will lead to most of your damage going down the drain and your army being trashed. If Rat Pack dies too early you don't spawn enough tokens to Zerg Rush the opponent, if Mama Bear dies your tokens do squat, and if your Hyena dies you lose a lot of potential stat scaling. While they do get Houndmaster to put up Taunts and mitigate premature losses in theory, in practice the only Beast worth buffing (after the removal of Nightmare Amalgam) with Houndmaster only shows up at tier 5 (that being Goldrinn) since most other Beasts can't afford to get Taunt (due to the seven-minion limit being very unkind to their token summoners) or are just not good enough to keep around. The fact that Beasts also have a limited and mediocre pool of minions in the middle tiers also doesn't help, and unlike Demons which can afford to stay at a lower tier for the majority of the game, Beast builds need to get Mama Bear and Goldrinn to reach peak effectiveness, hurting their economy as well.
  • Dancin' Deryl is universally considered to be one of the most epic Difficult, but Awesome heroes in the roster. His Hero Power gives two random minions in the Tavern +1/+1 each time you sell a minion. This requires careful consideration for what minions to buff, which Tavern Tier to upgrade to in order to make the buff worthwhile, which turn you can take a loss to buff up your minions and if you are still in the game after doing so, all of which take considerable practice and metagame knowledge. However, the long animation and high amount of APM required makes him unplayable for mobile players, who will very likely run out of time when executing their big swing turn and wasting gold / buffs.
  • George the Fallen has the Hero Power of giving a friendly minion Divine Shield in exchange for 4 Gold. This means that he effectively has no Hero Power until at least reaching 10 Gold, which means he will very likely get run over by other, more aggressive heroes. And that's not to mention that his Hero Power gets instantly deleted by Nefarian, another very popular Hero, for a measly 1 Gold. But if George manages to reach the late game and his biggest enemy Nefarian gets eliminated early, the Divine Shields he provides are nightmarish for any build to deal with, especially on tribes that naturally don't have Divine Shields like Demons and Beasts. George's hero power was eventually buffed to 3 coins to hopefully let him keep up with the Power Creep in Battlegrounds.
  • When first released, Millificent Manastorm had a Hero Power that gave all Mechs in Bob's Tavern +1/+1. What started as simple Character Select Forcing ended up working a little too well, since her Hero Power was extremely powerful in the early game, buffing the Glass Cannon Mechs with just enough Health for them to survive and win most battles (most notably preventing an un-buffed Cobalt Guardian from being sniped in one shot by Soul Juggler). And that's before getting into triples, which means that she essentially gave the Mech +3/+3 for free. She was taken out of rotation and then given a massive nerf to only give the Mechs +1 Attack, essentially killing her pick rate.
  • The combination of Lightfang Enforcer and Brann Bronzebeard alongside Nightmare Amalgam was the reason Menagerie builds were extremely powerful during beta. Her effect give a minion of each tribe +2/+2 (+4/+4 if Golden) every single turn. This was more than enough for Menagerie builds to make up for the lost efficiency of AOE buffs that results from running multiple tribes. Adding that with the fact that Nightmare Amalgam allows Menagerie build to not give up that much when buying the minion (which at that time, because it counted as all tribes was the only minion other than the Curator's Amalgam that could receive the Dragon buffs from Zoobot and Menagerie Magician), this give Menagerie incredible flexibility and utility (since it can access all keywords and mechanics in Battlegrounds). Lightfang was promptly nerfed to +2/+1, which made her much worse than Brann, and the removal of Nightmare Amalgam promptly killed her usage. She rose in viability again in the Dragon patch since it is another additional tribe for her effect as well as the addition of an excellent stand alone late-game Murloc in Holy Mackerel.

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