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 Dragon, the fourth one in Hearthstone's Zodiac and containing Rise of Shadows, Saviors of Uldum and Descent of Dragons.
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:
- The sets of Hearthstone's first two years
- The Year of the Kraken
- The Year of the Mammoth
- The Year of the Raven
Rise of Shadows
When looking at Rise of Shadows' Neutral Legendaries, you can really tell that they designed (and drew) them without having Diamond thoughts in mind: Archmage Vargoth apart, they all look pretty friendly and motionless, meaning that they would not fit very well for such animation. On the other hand, we think that Jepetto Joybuzz would be the best choice out of them: we imagine him moving around his puppets out of the card’s frame, which is definitely an interesting way to explore this new type of cosmetic.
Jepetto used to see play in Aviana & Kun the Forgotten King Druid in combination with Malygos, but since the release of Forged in the Barrens' Celestial Alignment, the unit's popularity has rather faded away. This might be a chance for Jepetto decks to come back, especially in the popular but not-so-good Highlander Shudderwock Shaman.
The Arcane Aspect, Kalecgos has everything a worthy Legendary should have: impactful stats, a strong effect and cool vibes. It didn't take player much time to recognize its valor, since it was one of the most well-received cards during Rise of Shadows' reveal season. How many times did you get your wins robbed by a Kalecgos into free Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron or Blizzard? Too many, but for each player that loses, one wins.
Kalecgos saw plenty of play during its time in Standard and it still sees occasional play in Highlander Luna's Pocket Galaxy Mage. Upgrading this unit not only will be in line with the expansion's flavor (we're in Dalaran, the city of mages), but could also push Jaina away from the very much loathed Secret archetypes, which has been reigning in Wild for quite a while.
We think that both Swampqueen Hagatha and Drustvar Horror are excellent candidates for the Diamond treatment. Hagatha has a rather chilly art, in which she infuses life into the Horror: her golden animation is already quite lively, so we are very curious to see if Team 5 will be able to improve something that is already excellent. The same reasoning goes for Drustvar Horror.
It's a shame that the card has never seen much play in any format, but I genuinely had lots of fun with her and I know for a fact that I am not the only one out there!
Arch-Villain Rafaam - The head of the League of Evil as well as one of the funniest cards of the expansions. Imagine if it could generate a deck full of Diamond Legendaries...
Saviors of Uldum
Definitely not the most impactful Neutral Legendary in the set, especially considering that Zephrys the Great might be the strongest card ever printed, but Colossus of the Moon is both a majestic unit and pretty important in the World of Warcraft lore. In fact, it is in charge of guarding (together with Colossus of the Sun and under the control of Dark Pharaoh Tekahn, the king of the Neferset tribe) the artifacts that serve as the key to obtain the powerful Scepter of Orsis.
We'd definitely love to see Colossus of the Moon receiving more attention, especially since it's a staple in Big Shaman, a deck which has recently fallen off the meta radars but that may come back just to pay tributes to Colossus.
It may be the entrance, it may be that he summons King Krush, it may be that he feels just... perfect for this role, but we think that seeing Dinotamer Brann riding his dinosaur and moving his tail around is too good if an opportunity for Team 5 to pass.
Even though Reno the Relicologist is the spiritual leader of the League of Explorers, we already suggested Reno Jackson as a Diamond card for LoE, so changing character may result beneficial in terms of variance and playerbase's appreciation.
So yeah, give us Diamond King Krush as well while we're at it.
Descent of Dragons
While Dragonqueen Alexstrasza is definitely a stronger card and sees more play in Wild, we feel like Galakrond decks deserve more love than their Highlander counterpart, especially since the latter have many exclusive units like Reno Jackson, Kazakus, Elise the Enlightened and so on.
Not even Galakrond, the Nightmare's nerf revert was enough for Galakrond decks to see play in a Wild format that is faster and faster with every expansion: while around a year ago Aggo Galakrond Warrior and Reno Galakrond Rogue were legit archetypes, right now only Galakrond, the Tempest Shaman seems halfway decent, hence our intention to give these decks some form of spiritual support, so that they may surface once again.
One of my favorite Legendary cards of all time, which I still play from time to time in the Wild format just to witness her entrance and the Dream Portals animation. Ysera, Unleashed was definitely one of the most successful Legendary Dragons out of the Descent of Dragons expansion, together with just Malygos, Aspect of Magic and Deathwing, Mad Aspect, which explains with Druid, a class with no Dragon synergy whatsoever, was able to successfully have a Dragon archetype at the top of the meta for many months (Breath of Dreams was another awfully good reason though).
Turning Ysera into a Diamond card would bring some love to Malfurion, who's currently struggling a lot in Hearthstone's eternal format, especially after the recent hit to Aggro Druid in Gibberling.
While it was an auto-include in almost every Rogue archetype while it was in Standard, Wild's fast pace doesn't allow Rogue to carry any expensive tools, and sadly Flik Skyshiv is no exception.
Flik's entry animation is literally this kobold jumping on the board to assault her prey, and her art gives off the same aggressive (yet funny) vibe: we are sure we'd not be disappointed in case this candidate will be chosen.
Dragonbane - While we struggle to see how its animation would be enhanced, we'd like to test Team 5 on this one!
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!