Hearthstone’s rotating format system was a great idea. Following in the footsteps of Magic: The Gathering, having a rotating format brings a lot of benefits to the table. Balance is among one of the benefits, and a lot of cards really needed to change for the game to become a lot more fun again. That’s not to say the game isn’t fun, but the meta has been quite stale, and some cards are just flat out annoying to play against. Instead of nerfing or implementing direct counters to already existing top tier cards, the rotating format makes thing easier and more fun. With that said, here’s a list of cards that we can’t wait to see rotate out. (Note: not all of these will be rotating out for the upcoming standard season. These are the cards we just can’t wait to see gone that will eventually rotate out).
This card might not be obviously overpowered at first glance, but the thing that made Mysterious Challenger so powerful was the combination with Avenge, Noble Sacrifice, and Redemption. While Noble Sacrifice is the most powerful Paladin secret on its own, Avenge is the only one out of these three not in the classic set, and will a actually be rotating out eventually. In the new standard, without this card, Mysterious Challenger and Secret Paladin as a whole will be a lot weaker. I want to see a meta where “Can I beat Secret Paladin” is no longer the test when building a deck.
6. Mad Scientist
This card is the definition of value. Potentially 2 drop with 5-mana power, this card just brings too much value to a single 2 drop. While it’s healthy for a deck like Freeze Mage, Mad Scientist is unhealthy in decks like Tempo Mage and Face Hunter. Especially Hunter, this card alone almost makes Hunter a one-trick pony, having only one way to approach to deck building with the class. With it gone, we can see the 2 drop slot open up in the Hunter and Mage classes, and not feel bad every time the opponent plays this card.
5. Piloted Shredder
Similar to Mad Scientist, this card is just too powerful to justify having almost any other 4 drop in its place. But unlike Mad Scientist, you don’t need a secret in the deck to have this card reach its full potential. Shredder’s innately high randomness can result in very frustrating play. The vast majority of 2-cost minions this card will summon are mostly on the same power level. But it is extremely annoying to find the polarizing cards like Doomsayer, Nat Pagle, Lorewalker Cho, Ancient Watcher, or Millhouse Manastorm. RNG isn’t the worst part of this card, though; the worst part is that it just crowds the 4 drop slot so much as no other 4 drop even comes close. That, on top of it being a neutral card, makes it so that this card is seen in almost every deck. That means most of the time, a huge advantage comes on Turn 4 or 5 when one of the players gets a better 2 drop summoned by this minion. It’s unfair and un-fun when an advantage is gained through the same card, but with no actual outplay and just straight randomness.
4. Living Roots
Another card that we are going to have to wait a while for it to rotate, Living Roots is just simply too overpowered. Its power might not be obvious as only a 1 drop, but it is so much better than any 1 drop due to it’s flexibility and utility. Because it can be cast on Turn 1, you can use the utility of this card without losing a tempo. The biggest problem with Druid has been that it has been a pretty boring class throughout the history of Hearthstone. Here and there we would see fringe decks pop up, like the eggs Druid deck, but overall the best and most consistent deck has always just been the mid-range “good stuff” Druid deck. A pretty run of the mill mid-range/ramp deck, with the most annoying, and probably overpowered, combo finisher (Savage Roar/ Force of Nature) since the beginning of time, Druid did not need a boost with this very flexible and straight up annoying and overpowered card.
3. Shielded Minibot
Before The Grand Tournament, Shielded Minibot and Muster for Battle were the saving grace for the Paladin Class. It was fine giving Paladin the best 2 drop and 3 drop in the game at a time when the class was slightly underpowered. However after the release of TGT, and the combination of Mysterious Challenger and everything else, Paladin quickly became the best deck in the game. The reason I don’t have Mysterious Challenger on this list is because I think that it is a really cool card, and isn’t overpowered when given the correct power level of cards that surround it. Having a deck that is forced to reserve six or more slots to 1 drop secrets should be fine. Combining those secrets, however, with the perfect curve of Shielded Minibot, Muster for Battle, Piloted Shredder, Loatheb, Mysterious Challenger, Dr. Boom, and Tirion Fordring, makes a deck absolutely insane. If Shielded Minibot and Avenge are taken away, then Secret Paladin becomes a lot less powerful and makes room for a meta that doesn’t require a perfect curve to be a top contending deck.
2. Reno Jackson
Possibly the worst card ever made, Reno Jackson reeks of lazy design. As you might know, hyper aggressive decks are inherently powerful in Hearthstone due to the fact that a creature can hit face at any time (bar taunt minions). There is no surprise that Hunter and Warlock have been in the top of the meta ever since the game’s release, with innately powerful Hero powers and the ability to support hyper aggressive decks. Reno Jackson is, in theory, an amazing card. It’s obvious what Blizzard wanted to do with this card: make control decks more powerful amongst a meta filled with Zoo and aggro/ sligh* decks . However, they totally failed with Reno Jackson. It is poor and lazy design to think that to solve the problem of hyper aggression is to create a totally polarizing card like Reno. When facing a hyper aggro deck, Reno decks will either win or lose the game straight out on Turn 6 or 7. Did you draw Reno by Turn 6? If yes, you win. If no, you lose. Simple as that. There is no out playing or anything like that. It comes down to RNG straight up. The card is too polarizing and un-fun to play with and against. It’s going to be a long time for this to rotate, so be ready to see this guy show up a lot.
*I refer to the MTG term Sligh because Secret Paladin is more of a sligh deck than a pure aggro deck. While slightly different in MTG, sligh decks try and achieve their superiority by having a perfect mana curve, maximizing their mana usage every turn. Secret Paladin can be categorized as such, as they have defined the meta having the most powerful 2- through 6-drops at their disposal.
1. Dr. Boom
Standard cannot come soon enough, as finally Dr. “Balanced” is gone! The best Hearthstone card ever created, Dr. Boom has become the most notorious card in the entire game. He is the most used card in all of Hearthstone, and I seriously think that Blizzard just gave up on trying to think of ways to balance this card. This guy has been in more decks than any other card in the history of the game, and it is finally good to see him go. It brings so much room to the 7-mana slot, and it is exciting to see what will take its place at the top in the new meta.