The Year of the Kraken is nearly behind us. Though it extends into the beginning of 2017, there are no more scheduled set releases and we'll be using these cards until this time next year. As we did last December, we're taking a look back at some of the best Hearthstone cards released during this span of 365 days and are kicking things off by taking a look at the nominees.
It's only fitting that we divide up the classes by their Gadgetzan families and we'll be rolling out one each day until discussing the neutral nominees on Thursday.
Please note, that while we have hand selected these cards, judges will be able to write in other nominations if they feel it is appropriate.
Kindly Grandmother - Honestly, Hunters were just missing some solid early game when the dawn of Standard came around. Kindly Grandmother did exactly this and was also a sticky, troublesome minion. More importantly, it was a beast which means additional synergy with cards like Houndmaster.
Call of the Wild - Though Hunter may now find itself at the bottom of a trash heap, it reigned supreme for a good amount of time as players discovered the true power it was capable of. Match after match was sealed up by this deadly board generating spell to the point where Blizzard actually had to nerf it just a few months after release.
Cloaked Huntress - One of the more underrated cards from One Night In Karazhan, Cloaked Huntress spawned an entirely new breed of deck for the class: Secret Hunter. It was this that kept the class relevant as other archetypes started to push the meta out of Midrange Hunter's favor. This alone makes it one of the more impactful class cards released.
Forbidden Healing - For control heavy decks, Forbidden Healing was just a dream prior to Whispers of the Old Gods. Even at ten mana, healing 20 damage is an incredible swing, especially against more aggressive decks that really can't rematerialize that kind of damage.
Ragnaros, Lightlord - Probably the best overall card released for Paladins and certainly one of the best class legendaries we saw all year, Ragnaros, Lightlord has a significant body combined with an effect that can heal you for almost a quarter of your health each turn. This alone didn't make Anyfin Paladin relevant, but it certainly helped.
Ravaging Ghoul - A staple of nearly every Warrior deck until recently as the class takes on a very aggressive approach, Ravaging Ghoul was great at not only removing enemy minions but activating your own cards or growing your armor total through Armorsmith.
Ancient Shieldbearer - C'Thun Warrior remained the only super relevant C'Thun archetype throughout the post-Old Gods meta largely due to the immense amount of armor that could be developed, especially with Brann Bronzebeard in play.
Bloodhoof Brave - Slightly under the radar, Bloodhoof Brave has just been a solid minion with a good Enrage effect and Taunt.
We'll be back tomorrow and throughout the week with this year's nominated cards. We've already begun the process of polling professional players, streamers, and personalities to arrive at this years card and the winner will be announced next week.