Hearthstone 'Mean Streets of Gadgetzan': The Best Cards to Craft and Dust

Hearthstone's next expansion introduces a lot of new cards, but not all were created equal. We guide you through the must-have staples and the dust-worthy additions.

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Hearthstone's "Mean Streets of Gadgetzan" expansion is coming tomorrow, and pre-orders are now open. Hearthstone fans are itching to get their fingers on the new cards, but like any expansion, some cards are better than others. Which ones should you craft right away to stay competitive, and which ones are safe to hit the dust bin? We've taken a hard look and found the ten best cards that are most likely to become staples in decks, and the five more that you can probably do without.


Unpack or Craft Right Away

You may not have enough dust to craft all of these, but they're definitely the strongest contenders. Look into which classes and deck types you prefer, and a few of these are sure to apply.

Aya Blackpaw: The Jade Lotus faction looks to be the strongest of the set, and this faction Legendary is versatile enough to be used in any and all decks that revolve around the new Golem mechanic. Since she triggers as both a Battlecry and Deathrattle, you get double the value in a single minion, building up your Golems into wrecking machines that much faster. (Crafting Cost: 1600 Dust)

Drakonid Operative: This is such a powerhouse of a card for Dragon Priest that it's sure to be useful for several expansions to come. Drakonid Operative combines a solid body, Dragon synergy, and an even-better targeted Thoughtsteal-like effect all in one card. Dragon Priest has always been just on the edge of top-tier, and this expansion looks likely to push it the rest of the way. Drakonid Operative is one big reason. (Crafting Cost: 100 Dust)

Doppelgangster: While clearly best suited for buff-heavy Grimy Goons decks, Doppelgangster is just a strong card in general for putting lots of bodies on the board at once. Combined with Bran Bronzebeard, it may very well become a staple for token decks, and it's a unique enough effect that it's practically a Legendary for Grimy Goons, but at Rare cost. Value! (Crafting Cost: 100 Dust)

Freezing Potion: Blizzard shows no sign of nerfing Freeze Mage, and Freezing Potion is likely to make it even stronger. No longer do you need to spend an Ice Lance to start your combo-wombo. Now you can just use a Freezing Potion for free, use both Ice Lances to inflict damage, and burn through your other spells in a breeze. While other players are chasing the new faction gimmicks, old trusty Freeze Mage will always be there, annoying their opponents. (Crafting Cost: 40 Dust)

Hobart Grapplehammer: This is really only worth crafting if you play Warrior, but if so, it's a must-have. While many of the class Legendaries are hit-or-miss, or made to function within decks that synergize with their new factions, the Warrior class Legendary is just a solid minion all around. It gives extra value to all of your weapons at once, and that's likely to be useful through several expansions, not just this one. (Crafting Cost: 1600 Dust)

Inkmaster Solia: Like the Warrior Legendary above, the Mage Legendary is just a strong minion with a strong effect. For the trade-off of building a Reno-like deck, you can cast any spell you'd like for free one time. That obviously has especially good synergy with Kazakus, the Kabal faction Legendary, but it's easy to see how this could tie into other value decks with expensive spells like Flamestrike or Pyroblast. (Crafting Cost: 1600 Dust)

Jade Idol: If Jade Lotus appears to be the standout faction, Druid looks to be the standout class within that faction, and this is one reason why. Jade Idol is among the cheapest ways to summon a Jade Golem, which means that in the late game you could easily be trading one mana for an 8/8 or a 9/9. Not only that, but it can replicate itself, so you're always guaranteed to have more Jade Idols if you need them. This card is so strong it very well may get nerfed, but until then, enjoy your cheap wins. (Crafting Cost: 100 Dust)

Kazakus: The Kabal faction Legendary has one of the most unique effects we've ever seen in Hearthstone, letting you craft your own spell by cycling through a list of available effects. That's powerful enough to swing the tide of battle, especially since it lets you respond dynamically to the situation on the board. It's best combined with Inkmaster Solia, the Mage Legendary that will let even Kazakus' most expensive spells trigger for free. (Crafting Cost: 1600 Dust)

Shaky Zipgunner: Alongside all the heavy-duty Legendaries is this simple but powerful Hunter card that's one of the strongest of the Grimy Goons faction. It gives +2/+2 in stats, more than most other Goons cards, and triggers as a Deathrattle which means you can easily combine it with cards like Feign Death, Princess Huhuran, or N'Zoth. (Crafting Cost: 40 Dust)

Wrathion: The only Neutral Legendary on this list is here for a reason. Wrathion is a must-have for anyone who builds Dragon decks, and given that those are always in style for one class or another, Wrathion is likely to be useful for quite a while. A slight stat deficit is made up for by continuous card draw as long as you have a critical mass of dragons. (Crafting Cost: 1600 Dust)


Bust to Dust 

On the other hand, not every card can be top-tier. These are the duds you should feel free to get rid of if you happen to open them, regardless of your playstyle.

Gadgetzan Ferryman: This Rogue card imitates the effect of a neutral card, with a flipped stat-line, and only as a Combo effect. It's a worse version of a card that already exists, and you don't need it. (Value: 20 Dust)

Genzo the Shark: This card isn't altogether awful, but the stat deficit combined with the symmetrical effect makes it difficult to find the right home. It seems primed for aggressive decks that run out of cards while going against control decks that don't, but it costs four Mana to start and then it has to score an attack. Neither of those are likely in its best use-case, so you can pass. (Value: 400 Dust)

Greater Arcane Missiles: Arcane Missiles is a staple in Mage decks because it's cheap ping damage that enables combos with other cards. Greater Arcane Missiles delivers more damage, but at a cost so high that it's difficult to justify. It's too random to be a board-clear and less efficient than FlameStrike, and it's unlikely to score hits to the face consistently enough to outdo other less random spells. It's basically good if you need to deal exact levels of damage to specific targets with one spell, and that just doesn't happen too often. (Value: 100 Dust)

Mayor Noggenfogger: The good Mayor may save you in a pinch if you absolutely need to hope the random gods save you from lethal damage, but you should really craft decks that never get to that dire start in the first place. Other than that scenario, he's useless. Stick him back behind his desk. (Value: 400 Dust)

Weasel Tunneler: It's a cute concept, forcing your opponent's draws to be slightly worse. But to get there, you need to make your own deck worse. Why would you do that? Dust him. (Value: 100 Dust)


Be sure to check out all of our of Card Reviews for Hearthstone's Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, and take a look at our full gallery of all the revealed cards!

Hearthstone Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Card Reviews: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Hearthstone Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Full Card Gallery

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