The 12 best Taunt cards in Hearthstone, ranked
Mockery is one of the most fundamental mechanisms in Hearthstone. Minions possessing the keyword "Taunt" compel your opponent to direct their attacks ...
Mockery is one of the most fundamental mechanisms in Hearthstone. Minions possessing the keyword "Taunt" compel your opponent to direct their attacks towards them, thereby preventing attacks on your hero or a more vulnerable minion. Consequently, Taunt minions and the cards that summon them are the bane of every aggressive player.
While Hearthstone today places less emphasis on minion combat than it did in the past, Taunt minions can still prove to be invaluable tools, especially when equipped with a bonus effect. If you wish to add some defense to your next Hearthstone deck, allow me to present to you the finest Taunt cards ever witnessed in the game.
12 Sunkeeper Tarim
Sunkeeper Tarim is a minion capable of completely altering the game board around him. His ability has the power to reduce vast enemy boards to a scale where either he himself or a moderate board clear can dispose of them. Alternatively, he can transform your own board, filled with insignificant tokens, into genuine threats by bolstering them.
Upon his release, Tarim was found in nearly every Paladin deck. However, nowadays he is not as commonly seen in the Wild format, primarily due to the format's fast-paced nature and focus on combos, which may not align well with a minion so centered around the board. Nevertheless, if he ever makes a comeback in the slower-paced Standard format, he could experience a resurgence.
As one of the original Warlock cards, the Voidwalker can still keep up in modern Hearthstone and is regularly included in the history of Zoolock decks. A 1/3 stat line becomes less impressive with each new expansion as a one-drop, but it remains strong enough to hold its ground in a critical situation.
Furthermore, it is crucial to note that Taunt on a minion with a mana crystal is surprisingly valuable. The Voidwalker is not only an inexpensive body you can utilize to protect your own health total, but it also significantly hinders your opponent from making efficient trades with your board.
10 Spreading Plague
Spreading Plague is a spell that punishes your opponent for playing the game as intended. The more minions they summon, the more Scarabs you receive. This effect is naturally more potent against small minions that struggle to deal with 1/5 values, but it can also at least slow down larger boards.
Spreading Plague is not just a defensive fortress; with the reinforcements available to the Druid, if your opponent fails to eliminate all your Scarabs in their turn, you can turn the tables and annihilate them in return.
9 Bridge Riff
When the three highly synergistic Rumble spells were first released in the Festival of Legends, they didn't find a place in most Warrior decks. However, over the course of several patches, the Hearthstone team has improved all three spells, and now the Rumble package is regularly used in the current metagame.
When specifically discussing Bridge Rumble, the combination of a 3/4 minion with Taunt and a 4/3 minion with Rush can effectively disrupt early aggressive boards and possess sufficient stats to apply pressure on control and combo decks. And that's not even taking into account that starting from the second played Rumble, you gain additional card value each time. This means that Bridge Rumble is almost always better than it appears at first glance and that you can obtain extra copies of it.
8 Igneous Lavagorger
Igneous Lavagorger is a force of control. Firstly, it allows you to scavenge and find the right tools for what your opponent is engaged with. Even more importantly, in addition to blocking damage with its body, you can also amass a tremendous amount of armor through Lavagorger's ability.
This keeps you secure from impending threats and can be utilized with the various synergies that the Warrior possesses. Furthermore, Lavagorger is both an Elemental and a Beast, allowing it to seamlessly fit into Menagerie Warrior decks, in addition to its inherent role in control strategies.
7 Dread Corsair
A 3/3 minion with Taunt is not particularly impressive. However, getting one for free is quite good, and it is extremely easy to reduce the cost of Dread Corsair in a suitable deck. The card also has exceptional synergies with Pirates, a group of minions that often benefit from being played rapidly in large numbers.
Thanks to this combination of abilities, Dread Corsair has primarily been used in aggressive Rogue and Warrior decks that have access to relatively low-cost, high-attack weapons and some of Hearthstone's most powerful pirates.
Getting a free 5/5 minion with Taunt is quite good, and Lichtray can often provide that for you. The card fits perfectly in pure Paladin lists that only include Paladin cards. In these decks, every card you play is a step towards reducing the cost of your Lichtrays to zero.
It has a special synergy with the spell "Order in the Court," which sorts your deck from highest to lowest cost and then draws you a card. And in decks that utilize Lichtray, it will almost always be the card you draw.
5 Gnome Muncher
If you had shown a Hearthstone player the Gnomish Vampire in 2014, they might have fainted in shock. With the introduction of the Death Knight into the game, a set of powerful cards came along, and the Gnomish Vampire was certainly one of them. A six-mana 5/6 minion with lifesteal is nothing extraordinary, but its ability allows you to immediately benefit from the healing effect while simultaneously fighting for board control or damaging your opponent's face.
Fortunately, the Gnomish Vampire requires at least one Blood Rune, so you won't see it in every Death Knight deck. However, you will definitely feel its impact whenever it appears on the board.
4 Thing From Below
Oh look, it's another free 5/5 minion. Similar to Lichtray, Thing from Below starts with a relatively high cost value but quickly becomes cheaper. With six mana instead of ten, Thing from Below is already less painful to play than its Paladin counterpart under normal circumstances, and it can also be reduced faster.
Not every Shaman card is a totem or summons one, but many of them do. In fact, some cards summon multiple totems simultaneously, which can result in your Thing from Below becoming almost free on its own. Additionally, every time you use your Hero Power, you also summon a totem, which is especially relevant in Even Shaman decks that include Genn Greymane to reduce the cost of your Hero Power to one mana.
3 Dirty Rat
As a 2/6 minion, Dirty Rat can be a good play against certain aggro decks for two mana. In this case, its effect will be a disadvantage, but the Rat will generally still have more stats than the minion it summons if you know that your opponent is playing many low-cost cards.
However, the Battlecry of Dirty Rat can actually be advantageous in many cases and is actually the main reason to include the minion in your deck. When played at the right time, the Rat can pull out an important combo piece from your opponent's hand. This will often significantly slow down their game plan and, in the best-case scenario, even completely disrupt it.
2 Righteous Protector
You might look at Righteous Protector and not be particularly impressed. Sure, Taunt and Divine Shield are a strong combination of keywords, but it's still just a 1/1 minion. However, the purpose of Righteous Protector, similar to Voidwalker, is not to overwhelm your opponent with massive stats.
Instead, the Divine Shield serves as a much stronger version of the Voidwalker's three health, creating an extremely annoying minion that your opponent has to break through. The keyword also interacts favorably with the many Divine Shield synergies that the Paladin has. By combining these attributes for just one mana, Righteous Protector proves to be successful, despite its modest attack and health values.
Zilliax brings a variety of functionalities that make it one of the best defensive tools in the game. It has Lifesteal to heal you, Taunt and Rush to ensure the healing takes place, and Divine Shield to potentially activate multiple times.
As one would expect from a minion with these effects, Zilliax proves to be a solid play when played on its own, but it truly shines when you leverage its final keyword: Magnetic. By combining Zilliax's abilities with a much larger Mech, you can extract even more value from everything this exceptional minion offers.