Every expansion has its own type of card pack with unique artwork, and each card pack contains 5 cards from that card set. Each card opened has a chance to be of common, rare, epic or legendary rarity, but each pack is guaranteed to contain at least one card of at least rare rarity. Each card opened also has the chance to be a golden version of that card. The chances for rarities and golden versions are the same for all types of card packs, and is well-documented in the statistics section below.
Card packs are the most cost-efficient means of obtaining cards. They offer the quickest way of expanding the player's collection for a particular set, but when wishing to obtain a specific card, players will generally find it cheaper and quicker to craft the card instead.
As of Patch 16.0 (Descent of Dragons patch), all card packs, Standard and Wild, are available for purchase in the in-game Shop. However, only Standard card packs are awarded from in-game rewards, such as Ranked rewards and Arena rewards.
Opening a pack
Once the Open Packs screen has been reached, all current unopened packs will be displayed on the left-hand side. Drag a pack over to the right-hand section or hit the space bar to open it. Once you open a pack, 5 cards appear face down. This forces you to turn each card individually either by hitting the space bar or clicking each card.
Hovering over a card shows a border depending on the rarity of the card. Hearthstone uses quality colors based on World of Warcraft's gear system.
- No color means the card is of common rarity
- A blue glow means the card is of rare rarity
- A purple glow means the card is of epic rarity
- An orange glow means the card is of legendary rarity
How to get
Standard format card packs can be obtained in many ways. They can be gained from competing in the Arena, for your first Tavern Brawl win each week, from Ranked rewards, from certain quests, or they can be purchased from the in-game Shop, either for gold or for real money. Standard format card packs can also be purchased from the online shop. Classic card packs can also be obtained as rewards through the Recruit A Friend system.
Wild format card packs are never granted as rewards. However, Wild format card packs can be bought from the in-game Shop. Players who had packs left over when the set moved to Wild format can still open them and receive cards as normal, and players can still obtain Wild format cards through crafting.
Types of Packs
The following purchasing options are available. Only the single pack option is available for gold (although players can buy more than one pack at a time); all other options require real money. Players can use any of the payment methods that are also available for buying games and goodies from the Blizzard store.
Some of these prices were subject to changes on March 22, 2017 and may no longer be accurate.
|2||$2.99 ($1.495 per pack, $0.299 per card)||£2.99 (£1.495 per pack, £0.299 per card)||€2.99 (€1.495 per pack, €0.299 per card)||149.00 р. (74.50 р. per pack, 14.90 р. per card)||R$ 7,00 (R$ 3,50 per pack, R$ 0,70 per card)||A$3.95 (A$1.975 per pack, A$0.395 per card)|
|7||$9.99 ($1.427 per pack, $0.285 per card)||£8.99 (£1.284 per pack, £0.257 per card)||€9.99 (€1.427 per pack, €0.285 per card)||499.00 р. (71.28 р. per pack, 14.25 р. per card)||R$ 21,00 (R$ 3,00 per pack, R$ 0,6 per card)||A$13.50 (A$1.929 per pack, A$0.386 per card)|
|15||$19.99 ($1.333 per pack, $0.267 per card)||£16.99 (£1.133 per pack, £0.227 per card)||€19.99 (€1.333 per pack, €0.267 per card)||999.00 р. (66.60 р. per pack, 13.32 р. per card)||R$ 39,00 (R$ 2,6 per pack, R$ 0,52 per card)||A$26.95 (A$1.797 per pack, A$0.359 per card)|
|40||$49.99 ($1.250 per pack, $0.250 per card)||£44.99 (£1.125 per pack, £0.225 per card)||€49.99 (€1.250 per pack, €0.250 per card)||2500.00 р. (62.50 р. per pack, 12.50 р. per card)||R$ 99,00 (R$ 2,475 per pack, R$ 0,495 per card)||A$66.95 (A$1.674 per pack, A$0.335 per card)|
|60**||$69.99 ($1.167 per pack, $0.233 per card)||£59.99 (£1.000 per pack, £0.200 per card)||€69.99 (€1.167 per pack, €0.233 per card)||3500.00 р. (58.33 р. per pack, 11.66 р. per card)||R$ 145,00 (R$ 2,417 per pack, R$ 0,483 per card)||A$94.95 (A$1.583 per pack, A$0.317 per card)|
- * Russian Ruble prices are frequently changing due to unstable exchange rate.
- ** Only available on PC and Mac.
Note that a discount is offered when buying in bulk. Purchasing 40 packs of cards at once presents a 12-16% discount compared to buying cards in sets of 2. Exact prices and discounts vary by currency.
While no bulk purchase option is presented for gold transactions, players can double-click on the '1 pack' option to instantly order multiple packs by entering a number from 1 to 50. No discount is offered. Players are informed of this option upon entering the shop for the first time with a sufficiently large amount of gold.
- Main article: Card pack statistics
Various attempts have been made to establish the chances of receiving each rarity of card when opening card packs. Note that all types of card pack have the same chances at rarities and golden cards.
The following numbers combine data from several other studies. Since the numbers provided by each study are relatively similar, this is mostly for the convenience of a single overview of the statistics, as well as improved accuracy in the rarer cases. The original studies can be found in the linked article.
Currently included studies: Steve Marinconz (June 2014), E. R. Kjellgren (August 2014), Amaz (February 2015), HearthSim (August 2015). This produces a total sample size of 27,868 card packs, describing 139,340 cards in total.
|Percentage of total||71.65%||22.84%||4.42%||1.10%|
|Count per 27,868 packs||99,836||31,821||6,152||1,531|
|Probability of at least 1 per pack||99.81%||72.64%||20.21%||5.37%|
In April 2017, in compliance with Chinese law, Blizzard published official probablities of card drops. Though the official announcement applies to the Chinese region only, it is likely that the drop rates are across all regions.
The officially announced drop rates are:
- RARE - At least 1 rare or better in each pack. (This was already known).
- EPIC - Average of 1 every 5 packs. (This implies that at least 4% of all cards are epic).
- LEGENDARY - Average of 1 every 20 packs. (This implies that at least 1% of all cards are legendary).
The reported drop chances are slightly lower than the observed drop rates. This is likely an indication that the announcement drop rates have to be read as "at least 1 epic every 5 packs", and "at least 1 legendary every 20 packs".
- Golden cards
Golden card data gathered prior to The Grand Tournament show significant differences from that gathered after. For this reason the below information is currently taken solely from the most recent study: HearthSim (August 2015).
|Percentage of total||Regular||70.36%||21.60%||4.08%||0.94%|
|Count per 15,109 packs||Regular||53,151||16,319||3,086||710|
The following table describes the likelihood of getting at least 1 golden card in a given pack.
|Probability of at least 1 golden per pack||7.4%||6.35%||0.95%||0.35%||15.05%|
The following table describes the percentage of cards of each rarity which will be golden.
|Rough probability||1 in 48.5||1 in 18.1||1 in 22.1||1 in 13.7|
Duplicate protection in Hearthstone pack opening refers to the protection given to a player that prevents them from opening a card which the player has acquired more than one copy of (for legendaries) or more than two copies of (for commons, rares, and epics). Duplicate protection arises from the fact that normal game rules prohibit players from using more than one copy of a legendary card, or more than two copies of a common, rare, or epic card, in a typical playing deck. With duplicate protection, players are able to collect cards without having to worry about frequently getting useless duplicate and triplicate cards from card packs. Duplicate protection did not exist as a rule in Hearthstone before August 10th, 2017.
On June 22nd, 2017, Blizzard announced the brand new rule of duplicate protection would be implemented for legendary cards opened from card packs. The announced duplicate protection rule and some additional rule changes to pack opening were officially implemented on August 10th 2017 with the launch of the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion and were as follows:
- When you open a Legendary, you are guaranteed to find a Legendary that you do not yet own a (non-golden or golden) copy of, unless you already own all Legendaries of the set.
- At this time, this meant that if a player owned all Legendaries in a set and disenchanted one of them, they were guaranteed to open the disenchanted Legendary in their next card pack containing a Legendary.
- A single pack will never contain more than two copies of the same Common, Rare, or Epic card, or more than one copy of the same Legendary card.
- Within each new set, you are guaranteed to get at least one Legendary within the first ten packs.
On March 17th, 2020, Blizzard announced that duplicate protection would be extended to all rarities when opening card packs, meaning that commons, rares, and epics would now be given triplicate protection, in addition to legendaries having duplicate protection. The new triplicate protection rules and some additional rules of card tracking were officially implemented on March 26th 2020, about two weeks prior to the launch of the Ashes of Outland expansion, and were as follows:
- When a Legendary card is opened, you are still guaranteed to find a Legendary card that you do not yet own a copy of (non-golden and golden inclusive), but now only if you have not yet opened a copy of all Legendary cards in the set.
- A Legendary card is still guaranteed within the first ten packs of an expansion.
- When a Common/Rare/Epic card is opened, you are guaranteed to find a card of that rarity that you do not yet own two copies of (non-golden and golden inclusive), but only if you have not yet opened two copies of all cards of that specific rarity in the set.
- Additionally, a new rule is that if a player disenchants a card and has yet to open all copies of cards from that rarity, the card that was disenchanted will no longer show up in card packs until all other copies of cards from that rarity in that set have been marked as "collected".
- For tracking purposes, cards are marked as "collected" whenever a player acquires a card (golden or non-golden) through any means, and cards which are disenchanted still remain marked as being "collected". This means that disenchanted Legendary cards, as well as disenchanted Common/Rare/Epic cards, are not guaranteed to show up in card packs after a player has "collected" all copies of cards of that rarity, but they will continue to show up as normal per the rarity distribution of card packs. Once a card is marked as "collected", it is forever marked as such. Tracking for such disenchanted cards began when the patch went live on March 26.
- Chadd Nervig also explained on Twitter that, for example, when a player has obtained 2 of all Commons, future Commons will be random but non-goldens will be ones which the player still hasn't gotten non-golden of, and goldens will be ones the player still hasn't gotten golden of. This means that non-golden and golden cards are marked separately, as well as individually, for the purposes of card tracking.
- Additionally, outside of card pack openings, if players receive single-card rewards from elsewhere in the game, such as from Ranked rewards, these cards will also obey the duplicate protection rules afforded to card pack opening.
- All types of card pack feature the same chance of producing cards of any given rarity, and of golden and regular versions. This suggests that the internal process for the selection of each card functions by first determining a rarity, then randomly selecting a card of that rarity to produce. There is evidence suggesting that cards can have "predetermined rarities", experienced when opening packs "again".
- The contents of each pack are decided at random, at the time of opening.
- Buying options do not in any way affect the contents of packs.
- Players can only use 2 of each card in a deck (and only 1 of each Legendary), meaning additional copies of cards beyond these limits are of no value. When receiving unwanted cards from card packs, the disenchant option can be used to destroy unwanted cards in exchange for Arcane Dust, which can then be used to craft new cards. This process allows players to convert unwanted cards into more desirable options.
- When opening packs, cards are displayed using the player's currently selected card back.
- Patch 184.108.40.206261 (2020-07-14): When random card back is selected, you will now see a randomized card back every time you open a pack, as well as every time you open the Crafting menu.
- Patch 220.127.116.11222 (2020-03-26): Duplicate protection applied to all rarities. (Read details)
- Patch 18.104.22.168060 (2019-12-05): Wild card packs can now be purchased with in-game gold in the Shop.
- Server-side patch (2018-08-10): Duplicate protection applied to Legendary cards.
- Patch 22.214.171.12434 (2014-12-04): Expert card packs have been renamed to “Classic” card packs.
- It is possible to open a pack with no Rares in it, if it has Epics/Legendaries instead: Imgur link. Tested in Patch 126.96.36.19966 (Tavern Brawl patch). Also see Card pack statistics#Notes.
- Hearthstone Fireside Chat Goblins vs Gnomes. (2014-11-07).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-12-04).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-08-15).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-04-20).
- Price adjustments for PC, Mac and Android - Battle.net Forums. (2017-03-10).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-04-19).
- Official Card Rarity Drop Probabilities from Packs. (2017-05-05).
- Hearthstone Update: Upcoming Card Pack Changes. (2017-06-22).
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-04-20).
- Blizzard Entertainment (March 17, 2020). Welcome to the Year of the Phoenix!. Retrieved on 2020-03-31.
- Blizzard Entertainment (March 26, 2020). Ashes of Outland – 17.0 Patch Notes – March 26. Retrieved on 2020-03-31.
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-03-17).
- Liv Breeden on reddit. (March 18, 2020). Retrieved on 2020-04-07.
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-03-18).
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-03-26).
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-03-26).
- Tested by User:Aegonostic. Disenchanted a few commons and rares that only one copy had been opened, and the result is that the same card can be easily opened in subsequent packs, meaning that the cards are marked individually.
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-11-19).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2017-02-03).
- Hearthstone Packs Hypothesis for "Predetermined Rarity" - Reddit. (2017-01-19). Retrieved on 2017-01-19.
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-06-15).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-08-29).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-12-13).
- John Zwicker on Twitter. (2014-12-09).
- Yong Woo on Twitter. (2014-12-08).