The Best Minion Cards In Hearthstone

Minions are the core building blocks of Hearthstone. When the game first launched, it was almost entirely focused on minion combat. And while Hearthstone has changed a great deal since then, minions remain crucial parts of almost every deck.



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They come with a wide variety of powerful effects, from dealing damage, healing, creating immense amounts of value, or even altering the most basic rules of the game. If you need an effect, there’s almost certainly a minion that can do it for you. Here are some of the strongest minions Hearthstone has ever seen.

10 Crabatoa

Crabatoa and Crabatoa's Claws Hearthstone Cards

Crabatoa is fairly expensive when compared to most of Rogue’s other star cards. However, it provides such high tempo that it sees play anyway. Assuming your opponent has multiple minions on board, you can use him to deal 12 damage right away from the two Rush minions and a weapon attack. If Crabatoa lives, you’ll get another four damage from the second weapon.

Any Rogue deck that is planning on extending the game into the later turns has good reason to include a card that has such a massive impact on the board. And even some of the most aggressive Rogue decks will sometimes run Crabatoa as the highest-cost card in their list.

9 Prince Renathal

Prince Renathal Hearthstone Card

In his original state, Prince Renathal set your starting Health to 40. Back then, he saw play in almost every control, combo, and even some more midrange-focused decks. It’s not an overstatement to say that he fundamentally shifted the Hearthstone landscape.

The eventual nerf, which cut the benefit Renathal provided in half, did make him substantially worse. The consistency you lose by increasing your deck to 40 cards isn’t worth five Health to many decks. However, Renathal continues to see play in Control decks, which don’t mind including some extra value cards in their lists. In those decks, Renathal is basically pure upside.

8 Darkbishop Benedictus

Darkbishop Benedictus Hearthstone Card

Darkbishop Benedictus completely reworks the way Priest plays. Now, whether that’s good or bad depends on your perspective. Hearthstone has seen many attempts to make Aggro Priest a viable archetype, but the fact that Heal is a completely useless Hero Power in such decks has hampered those efforts significantly.

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Putting Benedictus in your deck solves that problem by giving you a Hero Power even Hunter would be jealous of. The effect comes with a few restrictions, but in practice they don’t make too much of a difference. Priest’s best aggressive spells are often part of the Shadow school anyway, so that condition doesn’t matter much. You also have to run a five-mana 5/6 in your aggro deck, which is not ideal, but it’s a small price to pay for essentially making a deck archetype possible.

7 Golganneth, The Thunderer

Golganneth, the Thunderer and abilities Hearthstone

It often seems like Hearthstone cards get more complex and with every expansion, and Golganneth, the Thunderer is a prime example of this phenomenon. As a Titan, he has four different effects, each more powerful than the last. He provides single-target and wide removal, can draw you cards, and, best of all, lets you cheat mana every turn he’s on the board.

Golganneth’s abilities are powerful in basically any Shaman deck, but he is particularly potent in spell-based combo decks that aim to kill your opponent with a massive burst of damage. Those decks have performed reasonably well in Standard, but Golganneth has shown off his true power in Wild, where there are more cards that can take advantage of his abilities.

6 Patches The Pirate

Patches the Pirate Hearthstone Card

Those who have played Hearthstone will be well aware of just how dominant Patches the Pirate once was. Pirate Warrior in particular was a scourge upon the Standard meta, becoming one of the most effective aggro decks the game has ever seen.

Of course, that era occurred back when Patches had Charge, which meant he could impact the board state immediately upon his arrival. Still, getting a free 1/1 while simultaneously thinning your deck is staggeringly powerful in the early game. You would be foolish not to run him in a Pirate deck, and there are some Wild aggro decks that include a small Pirate package in large part because of Patches.

5 Astalor Bloodsworn

Astalor Bloodsworn, Astalor, the Protector, and Astalor, the Flamebringer cards and artwork in Hearthstone.

Astalor Bloodsworn is an extremely high-value minion. He is an early-game tempo card, a midgame defender, and a late-game finisher, all in one minion. That’s about as much as you can hope for from a single card.

And even though all three of Astalor’s variants have been nerfed since he was first released, that hasn’t kept him from continuing to be played in numerous different decks. He won’t usually be the first minion you include in your deck, but it’s rare that you regret slotting him in.

4 Zilliax

Zilliax Hearthstone Card

When played on an empty board, Zilliax is a good, but not necessarily spectacular minion. A 3/2 with Taunt, Divine Shield, and Lifesteal will likely be annoying for your opponent to deal with, but is hardly a game-ending threat.

However, the fact that Zilliax also comes with both Rush and Magnetic changes the picture completely. Both allow him to impact the board immediately. Magnetic is particularly dangerous; if you already have a Mech on the board, Zilliax takes its stats and converts them into healing, while also protecting the minion with Divine Shield and protecting you with Taunt.

3 Shudderwock

Shudderwock Hearthstone

Ah, Shudderwock: the king of Battlecry degeneracy. Battlecries are some of the most powerful effects in Hearthstone, and Shudderwock lets you copy any of them you want. For those who either weren’t playing Standard when Shudderwock was available, or haven’t checked out Wild, that’s as powerful as it sounds.

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When Shudderwock is played, you can get effects that include damaging your opponent’s life, freezing their board, creating a board of your own, and much more. A Battlecry of particular note is Grumble, Worldshaker, which returns your other minions to your hand and makes them cost one mana. This ability can make your Shudderwock bounce itself back to your hand when played, so you can summon it over and over again until your opponent either dies or decides the game isn’t worth their time anymore.

2 Genn Greymane And Baku The Mooneater

Baku the Mooneater and Genn Greymane Hearthstone Cards

Few cards in Hearthstone’s history have caused more problems than Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater. Their abilities alter the game in a fundamental way, increasing the strength of your Hero Power dramatically. And unlike a Battlecry, their effects are guaranteed to activate every game.

The restrictions on those effects, while admittedly quite limiting, were nowhere near enough to stop the minions from seeing near-constant play in Standard, Baku being particularly disruptive. Eventually, they were moved to Wild early. And while Baku sees play only rarely nowadays, Genn decks remain among the most powerful in the format.

1 Brann Bronzebeard

Brann Bronzebeard Hearthstone Card

Brann Bronzebeard has been at the center of many degenerate combos across Hearthstone’s history. He’s been particularly powerful in Druid, where the mana manipulation makes it much easier to fit Brann into a combo and reach a level of mana where you can activate it quickly.

His ability is so simple and iconic that nerfing him isn’t really feasible without a complete rework, but many of the cards Brann has supported have been hit with the nerf bat over the years. He is the ultimate enabler — the key cog in multiple different meta-topping decks.

Next: Hearthstone: The Best Hero Cards, Ranked

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