Choose One: Hearthstone devs reveal their favorite Wild card
There are some one-of-a-kind minds on the Hearthstone dev team. These are the folks who spent hours arguing about the number of holes in a straw, came up with a Battlecry that reads "wish for the perfect card", and orchestrated a rambunctious pep rally, complete with banners and gladiatorial chants, for their favorite Rastakhan’s Rumble teams.
Over the years the devs have come up with multitudinous ways to shenaniganize the tavern, and many of their concoctions are now only playable in Wild. Just in time for the Wild Bundle, we asked a selection of Hearthstone developers for their favorite card outside Standard—but like the Choose One keyword, sometimes it’s difficult to pick just one.
Dean Ayala, Lead Card Designer
Dean Ayala, Lead Card Designer, says his favorite Wild card is [[Aluneth]]: a Legendary Mage weapon that yields huge card-draw, but at the risk of burning through your whole deck.
“It requires a critical mass of synergy cards that might not exist in a limited card pool,” he says. “But when that card pool is as large as it is in Wild, cards that require a ton of synergy are able to show their full potential.”
Fret not, those of you who got to experience Aluneth in Standard—it is still very possible to Fatigue to death with this card in Wild. For nostalgia's sake, of course!
Melissa Corning, Game Producer
Game Producer Melissa Corning says [[Sylvanas Windrunner]], a Legendary 6-Cost 5/5 minion with the Deathrattle “take control of a random enemy minion,” is her multifaceted favorite.
“She’s one of my favorite Warcraft characters,” says Corning.
She appreciates that the Warchief’s Deathrattle can completely change the game—in Standard, Wild, and even in Solo Adventures.
“I especially like including her in Dungeon Run decks, where you can get treasures to synergize with [her Deathrattle] for even greater effect,” says Corning.
Chadd Nervig, Senior Game Designer
Senior Game Designer Chadd Nervig’s favorite Wild card is a spell: [[Astral Communion]], an Epic Druid card that gives you maximum Mana resources but discards your hand.
“I love that it has a really big ‘dream’ for what you’ll do with it, and it delivers well,” he says after some thought.
Nervig explains that another thing he loves about this card is that playing it early doesn’t automatically end the game for the other player. He says you may have a big advantage, but your opponent also knows what you’re going to do for the rest of the game.
“They know you will drop one huge bomb every turn, and they can play around it.”
Alec Dawson, Game Designer
Unlike some of our interviewees, game designer Alec Dawson makes his mind up immediately.
“It’s Ragnaros," he says instantly.
[[Ragnaros the Firelord]] is a beefy 8-Cost 8/8 Legendary minion that can’t attack, but deals 8 damage to a random enemy at the end of each of your turns.
When asked why he picked this card, Dawson replies: “DIE, INSECT!”
Some things are just that simple.
Stephen Chang, Game Designer
Conversely, Stephen Chang, another game designer on the team, takes his time coming to his favorite Wild card. He eventually chooses [[Emperor Thaurissan]], and adds how much fun it was bringing the powerful card-cost-reducing Legendary minion back to Standard during 2019’s “Doom in the Tomb” event.
“We wouldn’t want it to be in Standard forever, but in Wild it can inspire new and interesting deckbuilding and theorycrafting,” Chang says. It seems even after a card's initial design is complete, its place in the game is always evolving.
Chang adds that the "easy answer" would be [[Reno Jackson]], but that he’s sure other people will pick it.
Jeremy Cranford, Senior Art Outsource Manager
Jeremy Cranford, Senior Art Outsource Manager, also seems caught between two cards.
“I really like [[Snowflipper Penguin]]. Super cute [1/1] penguin for zero [Cost]? How could you say no?” Cranford says.
But he’s also tempted to pick [[Annoy-o-Tron]], a 2-Cost 1/2 minion with Taunt and Divine Shield.
“Mostly for its fun greeting and art,” says Cranford, “but also because it’s a great card to get out early and protect your other minions.”
Gloria Zhang, Senior Game Producer
Gloria Zhang, Senior Game Producer, says her favorite is [[Deathstalker Rexxar]], a Death Knight hero card that grants a Hero Power called “Build-A-Beast”—and not just because it was the very first Legendary card she ever crafted.
“I really enjoy the diverse gameplay experience this card brings,” Zhang says. “Every time I’m crafting a Zombeast, it feels like I’m creating a miracle.”
Ryan Masterson, Game Designer
Game Designer Ryan Masterson also chooses a hero card as his favorite: [[Shadowreaper Anduin]], whose Hero Power is “Deal 2 Damage. After you play a card, refresh this.” He explains that his love for the card is partially rooted in his fond memories playing the Priest class in World of Warcraft during the Legion expansion.
“I really enjoyed the class’s theme of growing insanity at the time, culminating in embracing the madness and hulking out in a form of pure void ‘shadow’ energy,” he says.
Masterson explains that when the team decided to do Death Knight hero cards for each class, he knew he wanted them to evoke the same feelings he had playing with the dichotomy of light and dark back in Legion.
Liv Breeden, Game Designer
Game Designer Liv Breeden, like Ryan, is also a fan of darkness. [[The Darkness]] specifically—a hulking 20/20 minion that is only 4-Cost. But this minion comes with a caveat in its card text: it starts dormant, or unusable on the board, until the enemy hero draws all three [[Darkness Candle]] cards that The Darkness shuffles into their deck upon play.
“It’s this silly, crazy card that can come out on turn 4,” says Breeden, “and it creates tension every time your opponent draws a card. I loved making extra copies and shuffling extra candles into their deck for more shenanigans. I love it so much.”
Breeden elaborates that shuffling cards into her opponent’s deck is one of her favorite things to do in Hearthstone. How fitting that The Darkness is such an extreme version of this devilishly satisfying strategy.
"[[Arfus]] is another favorite," she adds. Arfus is a Legendary doggo—a 4-Cost 2/2 minion with a powerful Deathrattle: “Add a random Death Knight card to your hand.”
“He’s a good boy,” Breeden says.
Sometimes you can’t just Choose One, after all.
Find your favorite
You can find your own favorite cards to play in Wild right now. For a limited time, we have the special Wild Bundle available for purchase, which includes 24 card packs from seven wildly fun expansions that have rotated out of Standard.