Card set

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Card sets are the major categories into which all collectible cards are divided into. Card sets consist of all expansions, adventures, and mini-sets, the two core sets of Basic and Classic, the Hall of Fame set, and the Demon Hunter Initiate set. 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.

List[edit | edit source]

As of Wailing Caverns, there are 26 card sets containing 2,971 unique collectible cards in Hearthstone.

Format Set Release Type Year Rarity* Collectible
Standard Core March 25, 2021 128/55/27/25 235
Ashes of Outland April 7, 2020 Expansion Phoenix 52/35/23/25 135 g
Scholomance Academy August 6, 2020 Expansion Phoenix 52/35/23/25 135 h
Madness at the Darkmoon Faire November 17, 2020 Expansion Phoenix 54/32/24/25 135 i
Darkmoon Races January 21, 2021 Mini-set Phoenix 16/14/1/4 35
Forged in the Barrens March 30, 2021 Expansion Gryphon 50/35/25/25 135  k
Wailing Caverns June 3, 2021 Mini-set Gryphon 16/14/1/4 35
Wild
Legacy March 25, 2021 267/85/31/39 412
Curse of Naxxramas July 22, 2014 Adventure 18/4/2/6 30
Goblins vs Gnomes December 8, 2014 Expansion 40/37/26/20 123
Blackrock Mountain April 2, 2015 Adventure 15/11/0/5 31
The Grand Tournament August 24, 2015 Expansion 49/36/27/20 132
The League of Explorers November 12, 2015 Adventure 25/13/2/5 45
Whispers of the Old Gods April 26, 2016 Expansion Kraken 50/36/27/21 134 a
One Night in Karazhan August 11, 2016 Adventure Kraken 27/12/1/5 45
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan December 1, 2016 Expansion Kraken 49/36/27/20 132
Journey to Un'Goro April 6, 2017 Expansion Mammoth 49/36/27/23 135
Knights of the Frozen Throne August 10, 2017 Expansion Mammoth 49/36/27/23 135
Kobolds & Catacombs December 7, 2017 Expansion Mammoth 49/36/27/23 135 b
The Witchwood April 12, 2018 Expansion Raven 48/35/25/21 129
The Boomsday Project August 7, 2018 Expansion Raven 49/36/27/24 136 d
Rastakhan's Rumble December 4, 2018 Expansion Raven 49/36/27/23 135
Rise of Shadows April 9, 2019 Expansion Dragon 49/37/26/24 136 c
Saviors of Uldum August 6, 2019 Expansion Dragon 49/36/27/23 135
Descent of Dragons December 10, 2019 Expansion Dragon 49/36/27/28 140 e f
Galakrond's Awakening January 21, 2020 Adventure Dragon 15/12/4/4 35
Demon Hunter Initiate April 2, 2020 Dragon 8/6/4/2 20

* Rarity distribution is provided in the format: Common/Rare/Epic/Legendary.

a  The non-golden versions of C'Thun and Beckoner of Evil are uncraftable, but players can obtain them for free by opening their first Whispers of the Old Gods pack. The golden versions are craftable with dust. These cards were released on April 26, 2016 with the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion.

b  The non-golden and golden versions of Marin the Fox are uncraftable, but players can obtain a regular copy for free by opening a Kobolds & Catacombs pack. A golden copy was given to players who purchased a ticket or Virtual Ticket to BlizzCon 2017. This card was released on November 6th, 2017 just after BlizzCon 2017 ended.

c  The golden version of Zayle, Shadow Cloak is uncraftable, but a golden copy is automatically given to players who own all five chapters of The Dalaran Heist.[1] The non-golden version is craftable. This card was released on May 16, 2019 with the release of The Dalaran Heist.

d  The golden version of SN1P-SN4P is uncraftable, and players were only able to obtain a golden copy if they logged into Hearthstone from June 3 to July 1, 2019. The non-golden version is craftable. This card was released on June 3, 2019 with the Rise of the Mech update.

e  The non-golden and golden versions of Sathrovarr are uncraftable, but players could obtain a regular copy for free by logging into Hearthstone from November 5, 2019 up until the end of the Descent of Dragons expansion. A golden copy was given to players who purchased a ticket or Virtual Ticket to BlizzCon 2019. This card was released on November 5, 2019, just after BlizzCon 2019 ended.

f  The non-golden versions of Shield of Galakrond, Galakrond, the Nightmare, Galakrond, the Tempest, Galakrond, the Unbreakable, Galakrond, the Unspeakable, and Galakrond, the Wretched are uncraftable, but players can obtain them for free by opening their first Descent of Dragons pack. The golden versions are craftable with dust. These cards were released on December 10, 2019 with the Descent of Dragons expansion.

g  The non-golden and golden versions of Kael'thas Sunstrider are uncraftable, but players could obtain a regular copy for free by logging into Hearthstone between March 17 and June 29, 2020. With Patch 18.2 on September 8, players could once again claim a non-golden copy of Kael'thas for free by owning an Ashes of Outland card pack and going to the Open Packs menu. A golden copy is given to all players who complete the Trial by Felfire challenges. This card was released on March 17, 2020, three weeks before the release of Ashes of Outland.

h  The non-golden and golden versions of Transfer Student are uncraftable, but players could obtain two regular copies for free by logging in between July 14 to October 20, 2020. This card was released on July 14, 2020, about three weeks before the release of Scholomance Academy. Two copies of golden Transfer Student can be obtained by completing a special quest (details on Transfer Student's page).

i  The non-golden and golden versions of Silas Darkmoon are uncraftable, but players could obtain a regular copy for free by logging in after October 22 2020. This card was released on October 22nd, 2020, about three weeks before the release of Madness at the Darkmoon Faire.

k  The non-golden and golden versions of Shadow Hunter Vol'jin are uncraftable, but players could obtain a regular copy for free by logging in after February 19th. Golden Shadow Hunter Vol'jin could be obtained by reaching level 25 on the Forged in the Barrens Rewards Track with a Tavern Pass. This card was released on February 19th, 2021, about three weeks before the release of Forged in the Barrens.

Release calendar[edit | edit source]

The following table shows the calendar release schedule for all card sets. The highlighted sets are in Standard format.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2014 Naxx* GvG
2015 BRM* TGT LoE*
2016 WOG Kara* MSG
2017 JUG KFT K&C
2018 TWW TBP RR
2019 RoS SoU DoD
2020 GA* AoO SA MDF
2021 DMR# FitB WC#

* Adventure

# Mini-set

Events[edit | edit source]

Categories[edit | edit source]

The main distinction between card sets is whether its cards are usable in Standard format or in Wild format.

Card sets can also be divided into more specific categories:

The sets could alternatively be categorized by the way players obtain their cards:

  • Basic cards are uncraftable and are obtained through accumulating experience and leveling classes.
  • Classic cards and Standard expansion cards can be found through card packs of the corresponding set, crafting, as Arena rewards, or from Ranked rewards.
  • Wild expansion cards are obtained through card packs of the corresponding set, purchased from the Shop.
  • Adventure cards are earned by completing the corresponding adventure, or crafting once that adventure rotates to Wild.
  • Hall of Fame 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.

Core[edit | edit source]

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.[11][12]

Core cards can be used in Standard and Wild format, although you may still only have the normal number of copies of any given card in your deck (two for most rarities, one for legendaries).

Examples
Annoy-o-Tron(475165).png
Gan'arg Glaivesmith(475065).png
Taelan Fordring(474996).png
Arcane Devourer(475018).png
Lord Jaraxxus(474983).png

Legacy[edit | edit source]

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 LEGACY and EXPERT1.

The true Legacy set contain these following cards:

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.

Expansions[edit | edit source]

Main article: Expansion

Card sets based on expansions are the largest sets after Classic and sometimes Basic, usually bringing around 130-150 new collectible cards.

Cards from Standard format expansions can be obtained through the same means as Classic cards:

Cards from Wild format expansions were once obtainable the same way, but now can only be obtained through crafting or purchasing card packs.[13] 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.

Adventures[edit | edit source]

Main article: Adventure

Card sets based on adventures are smaller than expansion sets, usually bringing around 30-45 new collectible cards. Five adventures exist in total:

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.

Mini-sets[edit | edit source]

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.

Removed sets[edit | edit source]

Reward[edit | edit source]

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.

The associated quests have since been removed, and Reward cards are now obtained through regular crafting, like all Wild format cards. For a list of associated removed quests, see Quest#Removed.

Promo[edit | edit source]

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.

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.

Promo cards were notable for being the only card set not available in Arena picks.[14][15]

Basic[edit | edit source]

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.[16][17] 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.[18]

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.

Classic[edit | edit source]

Main article: Classic (card set)

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".[19]

Classic cards could be common, rare, epic or legendary.

In the Year of the Gryphon, the Classic set was removed from the game, and its cards were moved to the Wild-restricted Legacy/Expert1 set. The Classic set still retains its original functionality in Classic format.

Hall of Fame[edit | edit source]

Main article: Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame was a special Wild format card set, created on April 4, 2017 just before the start of the Year of the Mammoth. The set contained several collectible cards.

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.[20]

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.[21]

Being Wild format cards, Hall of Fame cards could only be obtained through crafting.[22] 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.[23]

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.

Wild Event[edit | edit source]

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.

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

See also: Patches

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Add a Golden Zayle, Shadow Cloak collectible card to your collection when you own all five chapters." —Blizzard Entertainment (May 14, 2019). Hearthstone Update – May 14 – The Dalaran Heist. Retrieved on 2019-12-04.
  2. I got a new hunter legend from web spinner : constructed! (Hearthpwn.com forums). (2014-12-04). 
  3. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2014-12-04). 
  4. Daxxarri (2017-03-27). A Mammoth Celebration!. Retrieved on 2020-08-12.
  5. Blizzard Entertainment (July 17, 2018). THE BOOMSDAY PROJECT PRE-RELEASE PARTIES ARE COMING!. Retrieved on 2018-08-07.
  6. Blizzard Entertainment (November 8, 2018). Pre-Release Is Back for Rastakhan’s Rumble—And Rowdier Than Ever!. Retrieved on 2018-12-05.
  7. Blizzard Entertainment (July 1, 2019). Hearthstone Update – July 1 – Preparing for Saviors of Uldum!. Retrieved on 2019-07-06.
  8. Blizzard Entertainment (July 29, 2019). Saviors of Uldum Livestream Events!. Retrieved on 2019-08-08.
  9. Blizzard Entertainment (July 17, 2019). The League of Explorers Needs You to Join a Pre-Release Event!. Retrieved on 2019-08-08.
  10. Blizzard Entertainment (October 4, 2019). Can you survive… the Doom in the Tomb!?. Retrieved on 2019-10-05.
  11. Blizzard Entertainment (2021-02-09). Introducing the Core Set and Classic Format
  12. Celestalon on Twitter. (2021-02-09). 
  13. Jaeic "Koth" Lee (2017-02-24). Q&A with Yong Woo (transcribed from Korean Twitch stream) - InvenGlobal
  14. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-07-22). 
  15. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-01-25). 
  16. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-14). 
  17. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-01-13). 
  18. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-12). 
  19. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2017-02-18). 
  20. Developer Insights Live - Year of the Mammoth Q&A. (2017-02-21). 
  21. Dev interview with Producer Yong Woo about the Mammoth-sized changes in Hearthstone. (2017-02-17). Retrieved on 2017-04-04.
  22. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2017-02-16). 
  23. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2017-02-16). 

External links[edit | edit source]