Card sets are the major categories into which all collectible cards are divided into. Card sets reflect how collectible cards can be obtained, and they also determine whether collectible cards can be used in Standard format.
In Standard format, only the card sets from the first two Standard years are allowed for building decks. A card set rotation occurs every year at the beginning of April in which the card sets from the oldest Standard year are removed from Standard play. In Wild format, however, the other main game format, all card sets can be played.
|Format||Card set||Release date||Type||Year||Collectible||By rarity|
|Standard||United in Stormwind||August 3, 2021||Expansion||Gryphon||135||50 /35 /25 /25|
|Standard||Core||March 30, 2021||235||128 /55 /27 /25|
|Standard||Forged in the Barrens||March 30, 2021||Expansion||Gryphon||170||66 /49 /26 /29|
|Standard||Madness at the Darkmoon Faire||November 17, 2020||Expansion||Phoenix||170||70 /46 /25 /29|
|Standard||Scholomance Academy||August 6, 2020||Expansion||Phoenix||135||52 /35 /23 /25|
|Standard||Ashes of Outland||April 7, 2020||Expansion||Phoenix||135||52 /35 /23 /25|
|Wild||LEGACY||March 30, 2021||167||8 /6 /4 /6|
|Wild||Demon Hunter Initiate||April 7, 2020||Dragon||20||8 /6 /4 /2|
|Wild||Galakrond's Awakening||January 21, 2020||Adventure||Dragon||35||15 /12 /4 /4|
|Wild||Descent of Dragons||December 10, 2019||Expansion||Dragon||140||49 /36 /27 /28|
|Wild||Saviors of Uldum||August 6, 2019||Expansion||Dragon||135||49 /36 /27 /23|
|Wild||Rise of Shadows||April 9, 2019||Expansion||Dragon||136||49 /37 /26 /24|
|Wild||Rastakhan's Rumble||December 4, 2018||Expansion||Raven||135||49 /36 /27 /23|
|Wild||The Boomsday Project||August 7, 2018||Expansion||Raven||136||49 /36 /27 /24|
|Wild||The Witchwood||April 12, 2018||Expansion||Raven||135||49 /36 /27 /23|
|Wild||Kobolds & Catacombs||December 7, 2017||Expansion||Mammoth||135||49 /36 /27 /23|
|Wild||Knights of the Frozen Throne||August 10, 2017||Expansion||Mammoth||135||49 /36 /27 /23|
|Wild||Journey to Un'Goro||April 6, 2017||Expansion||Mammoth||135||49 /36 /27 /23|
|Wild||Mean Streets of Gadgetzan||December 1, 2016||Expansion||Kraken||132||49 /36 /27 /20|
|Wild||One Night in Karazhan||August 11, 2016||Adventure||Kraken||45||27 /12 /1 /5|
|Wild||Whispers of the Old Gods||April 26, 2016||Expansion||Kraken||134||50 /36 /27 /21|
|Wild||The League of Explorers||November 12, 2015||Adventure||45||25 /13 /2 /5|
|Wild||The Grand Tournament||August 24, 2015||Expansion||132||49 /36 /27 /20|
|Wild||Blackrock Mountain||April 2, 2015||Adventure||31||15 /11 /0 /5|
|Wild||Goblins vs Gnomes||December 8, 2014||Expansion||123||40 /37 /26 /20|
|Wild||Curse of Naxxramas||July 22, 2014||Adventure||30||18 /4 /2 /6|
|Wild||EXPERT1||March 14, 2014||245||94 /81 /37 /33|
- Some collectible cards are uncraftable and only obtainable through special ways. For more information, see individual cards in Uncraftable#Uncraftable cards.
- Collectible cards are included Mini-set cards.
- LEGACY and EXPERT1 are code names of two separated sets that are merged into one category in Collection manager's filter, called Legacy. EXPERT1 used be Classic or Experts prior to March 30, 2021.
The following table shows the calendar release schedule for all card sets. The highlighted sets are in Standard format.
- Closed beta began on August 26th 2013 in the Americas region, and September 4th 2013 in the Europe region.
- On January 21st 2014, the game entered its open beta phase.
- March 11th 2014 was the official release date of Hearthstone.
- From December 4-8, Goblins vs Gnomes was heralded with a special launch event which saw all Goblins vs Gnomes cards available in Arena, as well as some uncollectible cards available in constructed play.
- On April 5, 2016, several days before the release of Journey to Un'Goro, Volcanosaur was released into the game during a special launch event for the new Year of the Mammoth.
- On April 4, 2017, near the start of the Year of the Mammoth, all cards in the Reward and Promo sets were moved to the Hall of Fame, effectively closing both sets.
- The Boomsday Project was heralded with a special pre-release event on August 4-5 in which players could open their packs in special Fireside Gatherings and play with their cards in unique Fireside Brawls before the expansion's official release.
- On November 5, 2018, four new cards were added to the Classic set: Tome of Intellect, Pilfer, Call of the Void, and Icicle.
- From November 10 to December 3, 2019, Rastakhan's Rumble was heralded with a special pre-release event in which players could open their packs early and play with them in special Fireside Brawls.
- Starting from April 4, 2019, five days before the release of Rise of Shadows, players who logged in received the free legendary card Archmage Vargoth and were able to play with it in normal games.
- On July 1, 2019, eight new cards were added to the Classic set: Siegebreaker, Gift of the Wild, Righteousness, Brightwing, High Inquisitor Whitemane, Barrens Stablehand, SI:7 Infiltrator, and Arcane Devourer. Furthermore, two new cards were added to the Basic set, Radiance and Plaguebringer, replacing the old cards Mind Blast and Vanish, which were moved to the Hall of Fame in the same update.
- Saviors of Uldum was heralded by a week-long livestreams event in which broadcasters and content creators had early access to the new cards. Fireside Brawl participants also had special early access to the cards.
- On October 8, 2019, in the Doom in the Tomb event, 23 cards from old sets were added as Event cards to Standard play. These cards were temporary copies and not permanent additions to a player's collection. Even if a player already owned some of these cards, they still received copies of the Event cards. When the event ended on December 5, the cards disappeared from a player's collection. In total, there were 4 common, 4 rare, 6 epic, and 9 legendary cards temporarily added for this event.
- On November 5, 2019, Sathrovarr was released into the game, a month prior to the official release of Descent of Dragons. Sathrovarr was most likely introduced into the game as a possible inclusion in Holy Wrath Paladin decks at the time with Shirvallah, the Tiger.
- On March 17, 2020, Kael'thas Sunstrider was released into the game, three weeks prior to the official release of Ashes of Outland.
- On March 26, 2020, about two weeks before the Year of the Phoenix, eleven cards were moved to the Hall of Fame: five neutral cards, Acolyte of Pain, Spellbreaker, Mind Control Tech, Mountain Giant, and Leeroy Jenkins; and six priest cards, Auchenai Soulpriest, Holy Fire, Shadowform, Prophet Velen, Divine Spirit, and Northshire Cleric. Six new priest cards replaced the ones moved to the Hall of Fame: Psychic Conjurer, Power Infusion, Kul Tiran Chaplain, Scarlet Subjugator, Shadow Word: Ruin, and Natalie Seline.
- On April 2, 2020, the Demon Hunter Prologue was released, and players completing the mission unlocked 10 demon hunter Basic cards and the Demon Hunter Initiate set, which contained 20 demon hunter cards. The 30 cards were locked and unusable in Play mode until April 7th.
- On July 14, 2020, Transfer Student was released into the game, three weeks prior to the official release of Scholomance Academy.
Card sets can also be divided into more specific categories:
- Classic cards are the vast majority of the cards that were available to collect at the launch of Hearthstone, forming the initial core of the game together with the Basic cards. They too are indefinitely in Standard format.-->
- Expansion cards are cards added through expansions - for example Goblins vs Gnomes, The Grand Tournament and Whispers of the Old Gods. Expansion cards released in the last two calendar years are part of Standard, while earlier cards are in Wild.
- Mini-set cards are cards that are considered to be part of an existing expansion and can be obtained through that expansion's card packs, but were added later and have a different watermark. Mini-sets are not considered separated card sets.
- Adventure cards are cards added through adventures, for example Curse of Naxxramas. Similar to expansion cards, they may be in Standard or Wild format based on the calendar year their adventures were released.
- Card sets with no types are special card sets that were added in special cases:
- Core cards are the first cards players get in the game, received through the starting experience and leveling. Core cards are permanently part of the Standard format.
- LEGACY and EXPERT1 are called in-game as Legacy cards, containing now-defunct Promo and Reward sets, as well as all Classic and Hall of Fame cards.
- Demon Hunter Initiate cards are a handful of cards added to the Year of the Dragon to support the new Demon Hunter class added in the Year of the Phoenix.
The sets could alternatively be categorized by the way players obtain their cards.
- Standard expansion cards can be found through card packs of the corresponding set, crafting, as Arena rewards, or from Ranked rewards.
- Wild expansion and EXPERT1 cards are obtained through card packs of the corresponding set, purchased from the Shop.
- Free LEGACY cards are uncraftable, but can be obtained after completing New player's ranked system.
- Adventure cards are earned by completing the corresponding adventure, or crafting once that adventure rotates to Wild.
- The rest of Legacy cards can only be obtained through crafting.
For the purposes of the wiki, further categories can be realized for uncollectible cards:
- Boss cards are used to categorize cards used by bosses. While not collectible by players, they are encountered during play in Adventures and Tavern Brawls.
- Tavern Brawl cards are used to categorize cards used exclusively in Tavern Brawl decks. These are not collectible and are not featured outside of Tavern Brawl.
- Battlegrounds and Duels cards are used to categorize cards used exclusively in Battlegrounds and Duels.
- Main article: Core
Core is the primary card set of Hearthstone. It was first made available on March 25th, 2021, shortly before Forged in the Barrens launched. It is the largest set in Standard format, featuring 235 cards.
The purpose of the Core is to provide a modern collection of starting cards to players of all types and make Hearthstone even more approachable for newcomers. Some of the Core cards return from previous sets, some are reimagined favorites, some are completely new. Regardless, all Core cards can be obtained for free through leveling up classes, while their golden cards can be obtained by winning in Ranked, Arena, or Duels games.
Unlike Basic and Classic, which were the main card sets of Hearthstone, Core is refreshed each year. At the end of every year, a new Core Set will take the place of the previous, comprised of new and existing cards. When that happens, Core cards that are rotating will be swapped with new ones in the player's Collection automatically. The original versions of these cards can still be crafted and disenchanted, but the player will be unable to keep their Core versions.
Legacy is a special Wild format card set implemented on March 25th, 2021. It is the largest set in the game, containing 412 cards. Legacy is made of cards from the former Basic, Classic, and Hall of Fame sets.
In the game data, Legacy is technically a representation name of two separate sets, coded as
The true Legacy set contain these following cards:
- All former Basic cards
- All former Reward cards (Captain's Parrot and Old Murk-Eye)
- All Promo cards (Elite Tauren Chieftain and Gelbin Mekkatorque)
- All newly replacement cards for former Classic cards that have been Hall of Famed
All former Basic cards (except Demon Hunter cards), Reward cards, and Promo cards can also be used in Classic format, while the newly replacement cards and all Demon Hunter cards cannot, since they did not appear in 2014. True Legacy cards are all Free rarity.
Expert1 is a set that contain all the Classic cards in 2014, including Classic cards that were in Hall of Fame through time. In gameplay, Expert1 is represented as Legacy, the same name with the true Legacy set.
As a representation of the true original Classic cards, all Expert1 cards can also be used in Classic format.
- Main article: Expansion
Cards from Standard format expansions can be obtained through:
- opening card packs matching the expansion
- through crafting
- as Arena rewards
- golden cards can also be obtained through the Highest Rank Bonus chest
Cards from Wild format expansions were once obtainable the same way, but now can only be obtained through crafting or purchasing card packs. Neither individual cards nor card packs are offered as rewards in the Arena, nor do they feature in the Highest Rank Bonus chest. However card packs for Wild format expansions are available in the shop and any card packs already obtained can still be opened as usual. (See also Wild format#Availability.)
For information on specific expansion sets, see expansion pages, e.g., Whispers of the Old Gods.
- Main article: Adventure
Card sets based on adventures are smaller than expansion sets, usually bringing around 30-45 new collectible cards.
Cards from Standard format adventures can only be obtained through defeating their corresponding adventure wing, which will grant regular copies of the card. Once the player has obtained the regular version, they can then be able to craft and disenchant both the regular and golden versions of that card.
Cards from Wild format adventures can still be obtained through defeating adventure wings, but can now be crafted and disenchanted regardless of whether the corresponding adventure wing was defeated or not.
- Main article: Mini-set
Mini-sets are 35 card supplemental sets which continue the theme and mechanics of a previous expansion.
Mini-set cards can be obtained from their parent expansion's card packs, or through a bundle which includes all cards from the set. For the purpose of Achievements and progression, mini-set cards are considered part of their parent expansion, although they feature a slightly different watermark behind the card text to differentiate them.
As of Patch 188.8.131.52456, there are currently 2 mini-sets in Hearthstone.
|Format||Mini-set||Card set||Release date||Year||Collectible||By rarity|
|Standard||Wailing Caverns||Forged in the Barrens||June 3, 2021||Gryphon||0||0 /0 /0 /0|
|Standard||Darkmoon Races||Madness at the Darkmoon Faire||January 21, 2021||Phoenix||0||0 /0 /0 /0|
Reward cards were moved to the Hall of Fame set on April 4, 2017 with the start of the Year of the Mammoth, effectively closing the Reward set. Reward cards were formerly two cards, Old Murk-Eye and Captain's Parrot, both of which were originally earned through completing certain unique quests.
- Old Murk-Eye was formerly rewarded for free upon collecting at least one of every Murloc in the Basic and Classic sets. Golden Old Murk-Eye was rewarded for free upon collecting at least one of every golden version of those cards.
- Captain's Parrot was formerly rewarded for free upon collecting at least one of every Pirate in the Basic and Classic sets. Golden Captain's Parrot was rewarded for free upon collecting at least one of every golden version of those cards.
Promo or Promotion cards were moved to the Hall of Fame set on April 4, 2017 with the start of the Year of the Mammoth, effectively closing the Promo set. Promo cards were special cards awarded as part of specific Blizzard promotions. The Promo set featured 11 cards, only 2 of which were collectible, namely Gelbin Mekkatorque and Elite Tauren Chieftain.
Golden Promo cards were formerly available to be obtained as part of their corresponding promotions; it is no longer possible to obtain these golden cards. Following their promotion periods, regular versions of these cards were uncraftable, but were later made available for crafting. Golden Promo cards cannot be disenchanted, but regular versions can. For the removed promotional quests that offered golden Promo cards, see Quest#No longer attainable.
- Golden Gelbin Mekkatorque was offered as a reward for beta testers who helped test the in-game store by making a real-money transaction during the game's beta test.
- Golden Elite Tauren Chieftain was available exclusively as a reward for purchasing a ticket to Blizzcon 2013.
Promo cards were created with a design in mind that they offered no substantial advantage to the owner, since the cards were exclusive and of limited availability. Rather, the cards were designed to bring more of an entertainment and RNG aspect into the game. This prevented Promo cards from becoming "must-have" cards for higher-level play.
- Main article: Basic
Basic was a large, freely available card set, with 150 cards, 133 of which were collectible. Many Basic cards were neutral, available to heroes of any class. There were also 10 Basic cards exclusive to each class. The Coin is also considered part of the Basic set. Because of the nature of the game system, Hero Powers and even heroes themselves are also categorized as Basic cards, but are not counted in this total.
All Basic cards were of free rarity, except for a few uncollectible cards that are common or have no rarity. All free cards are in the Basic set. "Basic cards" and "free cards" are therefore almost, but not exactly, synonymous. All Basic cards lacked the gem that normally indicates card rarity.
All neutral Basic cards were automatically included in players' collections. Five of the class-specific Basic cards were given to heroes as soon as they are unlocked; the other five are gained by advancing those classes in level. A new Basic card is granted for every two levels reached, up to level 10 in each class. All Basic cards are granted in pairs, enabling players to immediately include two of them in their deck if they so desire. Basic cards are uncraftable and therefore cannot be crafted or disenchanted.
A golden version of each Basic card could be obtained by leveling a specific class of hero to a certain level. Raising a hero of the correct class to the required level would 'unlock' the card, granting the player one copy of the golden version of that card. (The second golden copy of the same card is unlocked at a later level). Like the plain versions, golden versions cannot be crafted or disenchanted. While all class-specific golden Basic cards require a hero of the corresponding class to unlock, the required class for neutral cards varies.
The developers considered it important to keep cards from the Basic set relatively simple and their functions easy to understand. This allows newer players to get to grips with the game's mechanics before being forced to grasp the subtleties of cards in the other sets. In at least one case this has caused the developers to significantly change the function of a card in development, due to new players finding the function's subtleties too confusing.
The common rarity originally applied to approximately half of collectible Basic cards, identifying class cards that had to be unlocked by leveling up, and neutral cards that were not available until after the tutorial (with one exception, Goldshire Footman). However, the Year of the Mammoth changed these to be uniformly free. Among uncollectible Basic cards, common rarity still indicates tokens created by other cards, free rarity is used on cards created by Hero Powers, and The Coin and Excess Mana have no rarity at all.
In the Year of the Gryphon, the Basic set was removed from the game, and its cards were moved to the Wild-restricted Legacy set. The Basic set still retains its original functionality in Classic format.
- Main article: Classic (2014-2021)
Classic (formerly known as Expert) was the largest card set, with 294 cards, 240 of which were collectible. It featured 135 collectible class cards (15 for each class) and 105 collectible neutral cards. Classic cards could be recognized by the distinctive "Hearthstone swirl" behind the card text, not found on other cards.
As the larger and more advanced of the two "permanent" sets included in Standard format, Classic cards frequently featured as core cards in successful decks, and the developers constantly monitor the set's power to ensure it does not form too large a proportion of decklists, thus causing the meta to become excessively stale. As of early 2017 the Classic set is "the most powerful set by a wide margin".
Hall of Fame
- Main article: Hall of Fame
Cards were inducted into the Hall of Fame from the Classic, Reward, and Promo sets. Problematic, frequently-played, and design-hindering cards were moved to the Hall of Fame to remove them from Standard format. Cards were also moved to the Hall of Fame to eliminate the Reward and Promo sets. The developers state that, in the future, they will more likely move problematic Classic cards to the Hall of Fame, whereas problematic cards from other sets will be nerfed instead.
According to Yong Woo, if a metagame largely consists of decks with too similar cores and ideas, the development team will consider making changes to problematic cards found in such decks. Moving problematic cards into the Hall of Fame is one way in which a fresh meta can be ensured; however, it is not something that the designers plan to do on a regular basis.
Being Wild format cards, Hall of Fame cards could only be obtained through crafting. When cards were moved to the Hall of Fame set, they would be removed from their previous sets, and would no longer appear in card packs or be offered as rewards in the Arena, Highest Rank Bonus chest, or Heroic Brawliseum.
In the Year of the Gryphon, the Hall of Fame set was removed from the game, and its cards were moved to the Wild-restricted Legacy set or returned to their home set in the case of the cards from The Witchwood.
- Main article: Wild Event
Wild Event was a promotional card set that existed from October 8th, 2019 until December 5th, 2019. It consisted of 23 collectible cards, 5 neutral and two for each class. Wild Event cards were extra copies of notable Wild format cards given to each player for free, and were usable in Standard format. These cards could not be crafted or disenchanted, and had no Golden versions.
All Wild Event cards were removed from the game at the end of the event.
- See also: Patches
- Patch 184.108.40.206662 (2021-03-25): Basic, Classic, and Hall of Fame sets removed. Core and Legacy sets added.
- Patch 220.127.116.11222 (2020-03-26): Demon Hunter Initiate set added.
- Patch 18.104.22.16836 (2017-04-04): Hall of Fame set added. Reward and Promo sets removed. Collectible cards in Basic set which were "common" rarity changed to "free".
- Patch 22.214.171.12474 (2016-04-24): Cards from the Reward set are no longer uncraftable. [This change was quickly reverted, before finally being reinstated in a hotfix on May 4.]
- Patch 126.96.36.19966 (2015-06-15): Promo cards are now listed when viewing the reward set.
- Patch 188.8.131.5234 (2014-12-04): The Expert card set has been renamed to “Classic”.
- I got a new hunter legend from web spinner : constructed! (Hearthpwn.com forums). (2014-12-04).
- Zeriyah on Twitter. (2014-12-04).
- Daxxarri (2017-03-27). A Mammoth Celebration!. Retrieved on 2020-08-12.
- Blizzard Entertainment (July 17, 2018). THE BOOMSDAY PROJECT PRE-RELEASE PARTIES ARE COMING!. Retrieved on 2018-08-07.
- Blizzard Entertainment (November 8, 2018). Pre-Release Is Back for Rastakhan’s Rumble—And Rowdier Than Ever!. Retrieved on 2018-12-05.
- Blizzard Entertainment (July 1, 2019). Hearthstone Update – July 1 – Preparing for Saviors of Uldum!. Retrieved on 2019-07-06.
- Blizzard Entertainment (July 29, 2019). Saviors of Uldum Livestream Events!. Retrieved on 2019-08-08.
- Blizzard Entertainment (July 17, 2019). The League of Explorers Needs You to Join a Pre-Release Event!. Retrieved on 2019-08-08.
- Blizzard Entertainment (October 4, 2019). Can you survive… the Doom in the Tomb!?. Retrieved on 2019-10-05.
- Blizzard Entertainment (2021-02-09). Introducing the Core Set and Classic Format.
- Celestalon on Twitter. (2021-02-09).
- Jaeic "Koth" Lee (2017-02-24). Q&A with Yong Woo (transcribed from Korean Twitch stream) - InvenGlobal.
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-07-22).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-01-25).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-14).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-01-13).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-12).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2017-02-18).
- Developer Insights Live - Year of the Mammoth Q&A. (2017-02-21).
- Dev interview with Producer Yong Woo about the Mammoth-sized changes in Hearthstone. (2017-02-17). Retrieved on 2017-04-04.
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2017-02-16).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2017-02-16).
(Expansions / Adventures / Mini-sets)