It is that time of the year in Hearthstone again, annual rotation from Standard to Wild, tied with the first expansion of the year. When Ashes of Outlands hits servers today, three sets from 2018 will rotate out of Stanard to enter Wild format - Rastakhan's Rumble, The Boomsday Project, and The Witchwood. We saw many great cards and mechanics within these three sets. Some were soo powerful that they needed to rotate to Wild a year earlier - Baku and Glen. But witch five cards from these sets are the most played cards from the previous Standard year?
According to the HS Replay statistics, these are the five most popular cards that will rotate to Wild:
5. Eternium Rover
This small Mech came with The Boomsday expansion and immediately became a pivotal card in many Warrior decks. As is established since the early days of Hearthstone, 1-mana 1/3 statline was always powerful, especially if it comes with additional useful effects. Eternium Rover was excellent in almost any warrior deck, and that's why he remains popular to this day. The fact that he cost only one mana and has 3 HP makes him a perfect target for powerful magnetic Mech minions, like Zilliax for example. In the early game, he helps you not to fall behind on the board with early trades against Tempo classes like Rogue and Hunter, with some extra armour on the top of that. He works great with many Warrior whirlwind effects, which can provide you with a ton of armour if you manage to magnetize something bing on it. All in all, probably one of the strongest 1-drops Warrior ever had, in line with N'Zoth's First Mate.
4. Town Crier
So-called "tutor" cards were always strong in any card game, and it's not any different with Hearthstone. The second Warrior card amongst Top 5 cards that are rotating out is here for the same reason as the Eternium Rover above - he can simply fit into any Warrior deck. It's a cycle that can help you to flat out your early curve or to find you an answer to clear that threat with your Rush minion. Even if we ignore the fact that this card is tutoring you Rush minions, just as a vanilla 1/2 "draw a card" it would already be powerful, and in this form is insanely good. But none ever wanted this card to be nerfed simply because it is not flashy. It's 1 mana 1/2 that draws you a card, people don't see it as a threat, but having Town Crier in your opening hand is often a difference between winning and losing. Of course, all that was followed by a constant flow of good Rush Warrior and neutral cards, which naturally made Town Crier even better. Warrior will suffer a lot from the rotation of this card, that's for sure.
Third on the list is the second card from the Witchwood expansion, and first neutral. Lifedrinker is one of those cards that you look at first glance, and you simply think "oh, look, a filler" or some combo meme deck at best. Well, firstly, it was strong in Combo decks, that's for sure. It was a crucial part of Shudderwock Shaman, but later that deck got nerfed, and Lifedriner prevailed. Card quickly became a go-to for many aggro/tempo decks simply because it adds 6 Health difference between you and your opponent, which is for aggro/tempo deck always useful. These are the kind of decks were you are searching for that final damage and Lifedrinker provided. When you look it separately, four mana 3/3 body is underwhelming, three face damage is not much, and 3HP gained often doesn't even matter, but when you combine all that, you get one quite potent mix. It has beast synergy, it has synergy with evolve effects, and you can return it to hand for extra damage/heal... It has just enough stats to have ok-ish early trades or even to do some damage in the process. It has synergy with cards that work with healing/damaging heroes, like Happy Ghoul and Friendzien Felwing. When you combine all these factors in, you get the picture of why this card was in almost 15% of all decks.
Although SN1P-SN4P is technically a part of The Boomsday Project set, he was added to the game during the Rise of the Mech event last summer, almost one full year after The Boomsday Project was released. Rise of the Mech was an event with a goal of making The Boomsday Project a more substantial set, and it very much achieved that goal. And SN1P-SN4P became one of the core synergy cards of the Mechs. During his short presence in the game, he was a part of every 4th deck out there which speaks for itself how useful he was. You can play it on turn 3 for tempo. You can play in on turn 6 as 4/6 with 4 1/1 Deathrattle, or like 2 2/3 with two 1/1 each. You can magnetize one part and others play separately... you see where's this going. He was so versatile that you didn't even need to have Mech synergy in your decks, he was terrific on its own. And yet, he never felt unbalanced, simply versatile and good enough to be in so many decks. He also basically guaranteed a Mech body for your Magnetic minions to land on it, which was also useful in Mech focused deck, like Bomb/Mech Hunter, for example. We will miss you in Standard SN1P-SN4P.
And finally, the most played Hearthstone card of the last two years. This card is soo good that it found its place in every second Hearthstone deck created during the previous year, and even more than that: 52.6% Hearthstone decks used it, according to the biggest Hearthstone database, HSReplay.net. Some would find it strange for five mana 3/2 minion, but it has all you need. It has that small heal that will save you against aggro/tempo and often trade 2-for-1 in the process, because of Rush. He has a fantastic and powerful Magnetic effect which helps you utilize Divine Shield and Lifesteal even better. It was great on it's own, often played as basically the only Mech in your deck, but it was especially powerful when you manage to magnetize him on some good Mech, for extra value. This guy was Dr Boom of the set that featured Dr Boom. You don't even fill bad if you just play it on the empty board without anything to trade against and utilize his Rush component. Zilliax leaving Standard will be, without a doubt, the most impactful thing, which will be an exceptional bust for Aggro/Tempo decks, now when one of the best defensive cards is gone.
And that's it. These are the five most powerful Hearthstone cards that are going to Wild! Which card will you miss the most?