The best Mage, Priest, and Warlock cards from 2016.

Unlike the Grimy Goons which mostly find themselves at the unfavorable end of the power rankings at the moment, The Kabal classes had a much more positive experience. Tempo Mage was relevant, particularly following Whispers of the Old Gods, a much-needed resurgence for an archetype that had fallen off a bit. Priest is just now finding its stride thanks to Kazakus and Reno Jackson while Warlock has transitioned away from Zoo and into a more Control, Reno-centric playstyle.

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.

Mage

2016 Nominees

Faceless Summoner - Though initially pegged as one of the strongest class cards in Whispers of the Old Gods, Faceless Summoner quickly fell back down to Earth. It did well in Arena, so well in fact, that it ended up getting removed from the game mode. But Tempo Mages fell out of love with this card, instead opting for a more spell heavy type of deck.

Cult Sorcerer - Easily one of the most underappreciated cards released this year, Cult Sorcerer has become a staple in many Mage decks. While others may have ended up getting cut at various times due to experimentation, Sorcerer stuck around and remains one of the best cards to combo with your Arcane Blast.

Firelands Portal - Arguably one of the reasons Faceless Summoner doesn't really see play anymore, Firelands Portal occupies a high mana cost slot for good removal and a decent body. This is oftentimes strictly better than having a decent body and a random 3-Cost minion. Mage players quickly found that running both really wasn't an option as it ended up slowing down the archetype too much.

2015's Nominees

 


 

Priest

2016 Nominees

Priest of the Feast - Priests love healing, but they really love passive healing. Dedicated healing spells are hard to run consistently and Justicar Trueheart can only do so much. Being able to combo Priest of the Feast with a ton of cheap spells to regenerate upwards of 10 to 15 Health gave Priest legs it hadn't seen in some time.

Drakonid Operative - Aside from being a solid body and a Dragon activator Drakonid Operative also helps you glean information from your opponent's deck and knowing what archetype your against gives you a significant hand in defeating your opponent.

Dragonfire Potion - Priest has been lacking a really solid board clear since Lightbomb rotated out in the Spring and it took until December for them to get a suitable replacement. Though they did get Excavated Evil this time last year, it just didn't reach the same power level that Dragonfire Potion does. Priests finally have a way of quickly catching back up on the board and this, combined with the strong Neutral cards in Mean Streets of Gadgetzan are what propelled the class out of the depths and into relevancy.

2015's Nominees

Warlock

2016 Nominees

Darkshire Councilman - Warlock had its year split into three very specific phases. It first began with plain old Zoolock which had a new powerful threat in the form of Darkshire Councilman which was healthy enough to stick around and could pose a significant problem due to growing Attack values.

Malchezaar's Imp - It then shifted to Discardlock thanks to cards like Silverware Golem, but Malchezaar's Imp really made this possible since the thrown away cards no longer left you with nothing in hand.

Abyssal Enforcer - Now we're at the point where Renolock dominates the meta and new cards like Abyssal Enforcer have a large influence on that. It's essentially a four mana Hellfire with a 3-Cost 6/6 Demon attached!

2015's Nominees

Hearthhead started reviewing 2016's Cards of the Year yesterday with a look at Hunter, Warrior, and Paladin. Tomorrow we'll be tackling the remaining three classes: Rogue, Shaman, and Druid.