As you’re busy diving into your new Journey to Un’Goro packs today we wanted to take a moment to bid farewell to a few of our favourite cards that are rotating out of the Standard mode.

Today’s rotation sees over 200 cards leaving Standard play. For those keeping count that’s more cards than when Curse of Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes went to Wild in 2016.

For that reason we feel that some of the cards Blizzard printed deserve a slice of recognition. Except Elemental Destruction, because screw Shamans and their crazy board clear.

We’re gonna be rich! – Reno Jackson

There can be only one.

The first time you see Mr. Jackson enter a Hearthstone game your heart drops. The card allowed players to fully heal their hero back to 30HP provided they had no duplicate cards in their deck.

The archetype of Highlander decks (there can be only one) ramped up considerably during the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan release owing to cards such as Inkmaster Solia and Kazakus.

We’re going to miss seeing heroes sneakily drop Reno to thwart aggressive decks but we won’t miss how lazy deck building became with him around.

By the power of Ragnaros – Emperor Thaurissan

At first glance Emperor Thaurissan from the Black Rock Mountain adventure seems silly. It’s only when you start using him that you realise how great a one-mana discount on the cards in your hand can be.


Truth be told I don’t think I’ve seen a Warlock deck that runs Lord Jaraxxus not using Emperor as well. As you know Jaraxxus costs 9-mana meaning you can’t play the card and use his hero power to summon a 6/6 Infernal. Emperor made that possible.

Of course the card also found a place in a number of decks that run Malygos and require a number of combos to kill the opponent i.e Rogue, Druid and Mage.

There were even a few nifty Priest combos that required the Emperor discount. Overall the card proved to be incredibly powerful and cemented itself as a “must kill” minion whenever it was played.

We’ll miss you Emperor.

*dragon sound* – Azure Drake

The first non-Legendary card on our list and we are literally fighting back tears.

Turn five will never be the same again.

While Azure Drake is part of the Classic set Blizzard has seen fit to relegate the blue dragon to the Hall of Fame set because it’s simply too powerful.
The card is a staple in the 5-mana minion category thanks to its tribe (dragons can activate other dragons) spell damage and the fact that it puts a card back into your hand. I for one can’t count the number of times Drake pulled a vital combo piece.

Its versatility meant that it was included in every type of deck you can think of.

While there are a number of class-specific 5-drops that have been released in the last year none of them feel as valuable as Drake, and we struggle to see how they ever will.

Hey, at least we still have Blood Mage Thalnos.

Who knows what secrets we’ll uncover – Brann Bronzebeard

I always felt that this card was the lighter side of Baron Rivendare which let Deathrattles trigger twice. The difference with Brann was that he could have an immediate effect on the game.

Bring me your card removal.

Kazakus, Blackwing Corrupter, N’Zoth, C’thun tokens, basically any card with a Battlecry gained infinitely more value with Brann on board. The card also brought about the “put two C’thuns in your deck” combo when discounted with Emperor Thaurissan and paired with Doomcaller.

More than helping to make big legendary minions more powerful, Brann also gave Discover cards such as Jewelled Scarab, Netherspite Historian and various others a lot more value.

We are truly going to miss this questing dwarf and his clever little effect.

There is a lot at stake, here – Thunder Bluff Valiant

No steak please.

The first time you hear this card being played you’d be forgiven for thinking he was saying “there is a lot of steak here.”

While the Valiant doesn’t see much play these days in this aggressive meta, the card is rather good giving the totems Shaman naturally accrues some fighting value.

The card itself was also rather tricky to deal with, requiring immediate attention from your opponent or tissues for the next turn as you hero-power into Bloodlust and snatch the win.

Mrggl prggl, in the distance, your opponent sobs – Anyfin Can Happen

When you’re part of a team.

Nobody respected the tide dwellers until Paladin got this card.

To start your winning Paladin deck you will need two Bluegill Warriors, two Murloc Warleaders and two copies of Anyfin Can Happen.

Play out the murlocs as and when you need them, let them die and then on turn 10/11 win the game.

The above is just a base deck that can be built but in truth Anyfin decks could include any number of Murloc cards and breathed new life into the tribe.

We don’t think we’re going to see the death of an entire deck archetype as big as Anyfin Paladin anytime soon (re: pirate warrior. We can only hope) so we think it’s fitting that we bid farewell.

Honourable mentions

  • Tunnel Trogg (Shaman)
  • Totem Golem (Shaman)
  • Tomb Pillager (Rogue)
  • Dark Peddler (Warlock)
  • Bash (Warrior)
  • Blackwing Corruptor (Neutral)
  • Entomb (Priest)
  • Mysterious Challenger (Paladin)
  • Flamewaker (Mage)
  • Quick Shot (Hunter)
  • Aviana (Druid)
  • Raven Idol (Druid)

Of course all of these cards will still be available to play in Wild mode which Blizzard says it will be supporting with more gusto this year so don’t trade them out for dust just yet.

We’re interested to hear from you, what cards will you miss in Standard play now that we’re exploring the jungles of Un’Goro? Let us know in the comments below.