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“By Fire be Purged!”
We will be covering a favourite Legendary card amongst Hearthstone players, Ragnaros the Firelord, in this week’s ‘Card Mania!’
Ragnaros was summoned by the Dark Iron dwarves, who were eventually enslaved by the Firelord. Summoning Ragnaros often doesn’t work out the way you want it to.
Ragnaros is a World of Warcraft raid boss who was originally found in Molten Core.
In the expansion pack Cataclysm, he was moved to Sulfuron keep, where he readied his armies to assault the World Tree atop Mount Hyjal.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Baron Geddon is his lieutenant?
Ah, Ragnaros – probably the most common late game legendary played in the game!
At 8/8 for 8 mana, he fails the vanilla test by just a single stat point. However, being slightly under-costed barely matters for the hot stuff, as he has effectively 2 abilities in the form of Charge and Immunity when attacking. The fact that he takes no damage while dealing 8 every turn makes him an incredibly efficient minion – he’s like a super-charged Demolisher which is very difficult to remove via attacking with minions. Unlike Demolisher, Ragnaros has 8 attack, enough to butcher almost every unbuffed minion who dares to duel him. While this is an upside, it has its costs as it allows him to be targeted by Shadow Word: Death and Big Game Hunter’s Battlecry.
Ragnaros’s targetting system is randomized. This, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. It allows him to bypass taunts and hit priority targets. As such, Ragnaros is a pretty good card to fall back on when you’re put into a checkmate scenario and only have one way out. The term YOLORag is quite often used to describe such a situation.
Ragnaros’s ability procs at the end of the turn the moment he comes down. This means he is never wasted, allowing you to play him in almost any scenario. He can be used viably as an 8 damage removal spell or simply played on a neutral board to put pressure on the opponent, as you know for sure he would have at least done something before eating a removal spell or a Big Game Hunter.
There are ways to reduce the randomness of Ragnaros’s targetting system. Removing small minions increases the odds of Ragnaros hitting the opponent’s face or a big minion. As such, it is wise to keep the board clear of small minions to maximize his 8 damage fireball.
It is not advisible to silence Ragnaros unless you have no other way of dealing with him. While silencing him removes his automatic end-of-turn fireball, it also allows him to attack as a vanilla 8/8 minion. It is far preferable to kill him outright via hard removal such as Hex, Polymorph, Big Game Hunter or Shadow Word: Death. An alternative solution will be to flood the board with many small minions, reducing the chance Ragnaros will hit an important target (or your face.)
Due to the difficulty of dealing with Ragnaros outside of any hard removal, he is a strong contender for an end game finisher in almost any mid-range or control deck. Compared to the next most popular end game legendary, Ysera , he costs a whole mana crystal less (Ysera costs 9), meaning he comes into play earlier, and takes effect 2 turns earlier than Ysera! (You have to wait a turn to play Ysera’s card even though she draws it the turn you play her.)
Even in the worst case scenario, Ragnaros is never truly a “waste” of a turn (even if he kills a 1/1 with his fireball, he still did something.) With a little luck, Ragnaros can turn games around from normally impossible scenarios. It is no surprise that he is seen so commonly in mid-range and control decks.
How many times has Ragnaros bypassed 2 of your Taunters to hit your face at 8 health? Leave us your comments and let us know what card we should feature next!