Following Patch 20.2's addition of Diamond Ragnaros the Firelord for those who own all the Legendary cards from the Legacy (formerly Classic) set, the process of adding old Diamond cards into the game that Iksar mentioned a couple of months ago has begun. Since we're really excited about these, and so is the community, its time to highlight the best possible targets for Diamond cards for pre-existing cards.
With today's article, we'll be looking at the Year of the Mammoth, the second year in Hearthstone's Zodiac which saw the release of Journey to Un'goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne and Kobolds & Catacombs.
Here are the criteria we followed when picking the cards:
- At least one Neutral Legendary per set/adventure, but Class Legendaries are valid as well;
- The stronger the better - upgrading a Legendary to Diamond without chances for it to see play would really suck!
- Meme-potential - a card the community has fond memories of or that is famous because of memes about it.
In case you missed them, here are our previous suggestions for:
Journey to Un'Goro
Not only one of the most unique cards from the entire history of Hearthstone, but also a key card in Control mirrors back when fatigue was a relevant game mechanic. In fact, people used to include Elise the Trailblazer as well as Direhorn Hatchling (and Faceless Manipulator to get even more copies of Direhorn Matriarch!) and draw effects like Shield Block in order to gain a small edge on the fatigue game. While this may sound hilarious given how the game has evolved, back in the day this was a legit winning strategy.
The ability of opening an Elise the Trailblazer while you were playing a match was so special and often gave a couple useful cards that could turn the game in your favor - time has passed, but players certainly have not forgotten Elise!
Tarim held the title of Paladin's strongest Legendary for quite a lot of time, and this was for mainly two reasons: first of all, Uther has had a tradition of getting terrible Legendary cards that are way more for flavor than for actual power level purposes; on the other hand, Sunkeeper Tarim was simply effective and very concise with what was Paladin's gameplan back in the day - swarm the board, buff your stuff, debuff your opponent's with Tarim and then smack them in the head.
People often joked about the fact that Sunkeeper Tarim was also an Odd-costed card, because back then class cards had a much higher chance to appear through Discover effects and Stonehill Defender (another name you may have forgotten) was played in Odd Paladin just to get a copy of Sunkeeper Tarim or Tirion Fordring (The Lich King wasn't a bad roll either), which was quite the game breaking move.
Lyra the Sunshard - One of my favorite cards from Un'Goro. I would give everything to see her animation enhanced with the Diamond treatment!
Kalimos, Primal Lord - The first time Elemental Shaman was seriously pushed, Kalimos was the deck's top end. It is also a very fitting candidate for an expansion that is all about nature and wilderness.
Knights of the Frozen Throne
I mean: is there really a worthy alternative here? Definitely no. Prince Arthas's corrupted self is too big of a character in World of Warcraft and in the players' fantasy to not deserve the Diamondification. Many of us hoped The Lich King could've been added to the 2021 Core set, but it appears that the devs had other plans in that regard.
Who knows, maybe Arthas will come back to Hearthstone sooner than we expect... and he may bring with him the Diamond skin we'd like to see so much...
When you see Benedictus hitting the board, you know it's going to be a veeeeery long game, and Roffle knows what we're talking about. Archbishop Benedictus was a revolutionary way for Priest to face the Control matches. Un'Goro gave the class Awaken the Makers and Amara, Warden of Hope as a Reno Jackson 2.0 effect, and with Benedictus, Anduin had value for days: you could literally beat your opponent with their own cards (although you can do it today as well, thanks to Mindrender Illucia shenanigans).
Sure, playing your opponent's stuff can be less powerful than just adopting a gameplan of yours that involves reducing your opponent's health to zero, but every game felt very different and unique in a way that can't be easily described. The icing on the cake? Rastakhan's Rumble, a very forgettable expansion, gave us Seance, which allowed you to play multiple Amaras or Benedicts... Benedic... Benedictusi... multiple Archbishops per game.
Kobolds & Catacombs
Kobolds & Catacombs printed many strong and unique Legendaries that see lots of play even these days, but the Neutral pool is not the best one ever for the Diamond treatment. For example, Zola the Gorgon sees solid play in Wild, but creating a Diamond version of this unit would feel like a total failure from a flavor point of view (Zola is supposed to give you a "better looking" minion, but in that way it would actually be a downgrade!). Therefore, The Darkness takes the spot: this card rarely pops up in some Highlander-hate decks, but the most relevant part about The Darkness is that it's the first grossly overstatted minion to be collectible.
People are still memeing today about 2016 4 mana 7/7, but then this 4 mana 20/20 guy shows up and completely overtakes the Reddit shitpost meta. While Bad Luck Albatross is way more practical to act as a counter to Reno Priest, The Dankness needs respect, and possibly a Diamond skin.
Recruit Hunter with King Krush, Charged Devilsaur, Witchwood Grizzly, and Carnivorous Cube was one of the community's favorite decks back in the day, and Kathrena is a card many players have fond memories of. Being able to summon multiple bodies from your deck and trample your opponent to death made this card memorable, and therefore we think she should be upgraded to Diamond.
King Togwaggle - WHO DA KING?
Dragoncaller Alanna - Big Spell Mage was another really popular archetype back in the day, and Alanna herself has both great entry animation and entry line.
What do you think about our nominations for the next Diamond cards? Do you agree with them or do you think there are better candidates? Let us know in the comments below!