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Class is the primary determinant of a hero's powers and abilities, and the strongest factor in deck selection. While each hero represents a unique character with their own personality, portrait and sounds, their class determines their Hero Power and which class-specific cards they are able to play. Each hero belongs to only one class (often multiple heroes represent each class) though all heroes of a given class function identically, using the same cards and Hero Powers.

Cards which are dual-class will have one background color on the left and another on the right. For purposes of "another class" cards, both halves must be different from the player to qualify.

New players start with only the mage class available, and must unlock the others through defeating them in matches in either Practice mode or Play mode. Unlocking all 10 original classes also unlocks various other game features: the Arena, adventures, and "Expert" difficulty Practice mode.

Hearthstone's classes mirror those of World of Warcraft, with the exception of Death Knight, which only exists as a few Uncollectible cards, and Monk, which is not currently represented at all.

Below is a list of the current classes, with a brief description of each class' notable mechanics. For more detailed information, see individual class pages.

List of classes[]

Playable classes
Demon HunterDruidHunterMagePaladinPriestRogueShamanWarlockWarrior
Others
Death KnightDreamNeutral
  • Death KnightDeath Knight: Due to their falling to the temptation of ultimate power, Death Knights' abilities are far more powerful than that of the other class and often have large sacrificial costs to the user. The abilities of a Death Knight cannot be wielded by just anyone - only those who call on a mighty champion of darkness can use their power.
    Death Knight cards have a very dark - almost black - blue frame, with frosty blue highlights and ice covering parts of the border.

Related cards[]

For Wild format listings, see Class-related/Wild format

Swipe left or right to see the cards.
CORE KAR 009.png
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CORE KAR 069.png
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BAR 323.png
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AV 710.png
ONY 032.png
CORE DAL 416.png
AV 403.png
CORE UNG 963.png
AV 298.png
CORE GIL 598.png

Design[]

  • One rule for the developers in class design is to make sure that each of the classes "feels very strongly like its World of Warcraft class."[1] This encourages the maintenance of constraints such as which classes have access to weapons and Secrets.[1][2]
  • As of Goblins vs Gnomes, adding specific minion type "themes" to classes is one "fun" way in which the designers aim to "make each class feel distinct and have its own flavor".[3]
  • Along with Hero Powers, class-specific cards are the main way of creating distinct playing styles and experiences for the different classes. However, in some cases effects allow players to use cards belonging to another class, such as Unstable Portal, Piloted Shredder or Grand Crusader. When a class starts imitating a behaviour specific to another class, this is known as "class bleed".[4] In many cases, a small amount of class bleed can be fun and interesting, but too much can cause the classes to lose their sense of uniqueness or even their identity. As a result the developers try to maintain "the right amount" of class bleed in the game.[4] For example, when designing the Discover keyword, the developers intentionally restricted the effect to class and neutral cards, as the keyword's initial ability to draw cards of any class added too much class bleed to the game.[4]
  • While class power is something the designers constantly struggle to balance, ultimately they feel having all classes precisely balanced is less important than ensuring that each has a time to shine.[5]
  • Class identities, which describe the strengths, limitations and weaknesses of each class, have only been formally described in June 2019.[6] The hope is to avoid endless debates about whether a given new class-specific card does or does not fit in its class identity.

In development[]

  • The only World of Warcraft classes currently missing from Hearthstone are death knight, and monk, with Demon Hunter finally being added in April 2020.
  • In August 2014 Yong Woo stated, "the fact of the matter is that we already have 9 classes, and we feel there already is a ton of diversity and we frankly think that it has enough complexity right now for most people to sink their teeth into. So currently, we have no plans to add additional classes."[7] In December 2014 Ben Brode stated "There are pros and cons [to adding a new class] and we have to figure out when, if ever, the right time would be."[8] Brode elaborated: "A good design exercise is to think: "How many classes is too many?" My sense is that it's closer to 9 than to 20."[8] In July 2017, Blizzard announced the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion, which would feature the brand new hero card type, allowing Hearthstone's nine classic heroes to transform into death knight versions of themselves. When asked if this implementation of death knights had killed the possibility of whole new classes ever coming to the game, Mike Donais replied that "We’ve always said that we like the nine classes we have. We work really hard to try to give some class identity to those nine classes, and it’s tough, because nine is a lot. Adding a tenth or eleventh class isn’t something we’re interested in. It’s too hard to make class identity exist when there are that many different classes. So yeah, we’re not excited about the idea of making new classes."[9]

Trivia[]

  • The class colours in Hearthstone are notable for not always matching the traditional colours for those classes from World of Warcraft. Specifically, the rogue in World of Warcraft uses yellow, while in Hearthstone it uses black; the paladin uses pink, while in Hearthstone it uses yellow; the warrior uses brown, while in Hearthstone it uses red; and the druid uses orange, while in Hearthstone it uses brown. There are also numerous differences in shade, such as the hunter, which uses a deep green as opposed to its traditional avocado-like shade. According to Lead Artist Ben Thompson, this is because the colours in World of Warcraft were chosen largely based on suitability for use in the game's chat interface; with Hearthstone the developers therefore decided to choose in some cases new colours that they felt better suited the classes.[10][11]
  • In August 2016 Ben Brode stated that of all the classes he felt the team had the hardest time designing warlock spells, stating "We need to carve out more design space for them."[12]
  • At one point during the game's initial development there were two heroes for each class, one representing the Alliance and one representing the Horde.[13] For details on early choices for each class, see Design and development of Hearthstone.

References[]

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