Playable is an informal term that may describe one of three things:
- A version of a card that can be directly controlled by players, as opposed to a boss-controlled version. This can be unfortunately confusing when the player version is not available in Play mode, thus conflicting with the earlier definition.
- Identifying cards that are high enough quality to include in competitive decks.
- Example: "That card's mana cost is too high, it's not really playable."
- Cards that may be played or encountered through Play mode, separating them from cards only accessible through special game modes like adventures or Tavern Brawls. Other terms for these are "normal", "regular", or "ordinary" cards. Note that they should never be called "standard", which would cause confusion with Standard format cards.
The rest of this article concerns the last definition.
"Playable" cards are those whose appearance is possible in Play mode, and are almost always possible in any other game mode as well. Playable cards include all collectible cards, and any uncollectible cards originating from other playable cards or combinations thereof. Boss cards and Tavern Brawl cards fall specifically outside of this definition since they are restricted to alternate game modes. Wild format cards are usually understood to be included, although a person might refer to cards "playable in standard format" to specify a smaller subset of cards. Heroes, Hero Powers, and choice cards (which are technically "cards" themselves) could be referred to this way to distinguish them from those that can appear only in special game modes.
This categorization is a useful concept to guide learning the rules and interactions of Hearthstone mechanics. It informs players on what could be encountered in "regular" play of the game, and therefore what is worthwhile to remember as a skilled player. Special cards such as those found in adventures or Tavern Brawls may have interesting effects too, but these are rarely worth memorizing after their specific encounter has come and gone. It should be noted that some interactions between playable cards and effects are also extremely rare, so they may not be worth studying or memorizing either.
The set of all playable cards is far too large to list all at once on this wiki. The best way to browse all possibilities is to start with collectible cards from all card sets (or Standard format card sets only, if desired), as well as the player heroes and Hero Powers for each of the 9 player classes, and The Coin. Then, look at any cards, heroes, or Hero Powers generated by those already identified. Repeat this until no more can be found from the previous ones.
- River Crocolisk, because it is collectible. This is unaffected by the fact that it is also used by a tutorial boss, Lorewalker Cho.
- Ysera, because she is collectible.
- Ragnaros the Firelord, although only in Wild format, because he is collectible.
- Druid of the Claw, because it is collectible.
- Valeera Sanguinar and Maiev Shadowsong, because these classic and alternate heroes can be used in Play mode, and others.
- Lord Jaraxxus, because it is collectible.
- Fire Plume's Heart, because it is collectible.
- The Coin, because it is provided to players as part of games in Play and other modes.
- The Coin is also generated by collectible cards such as Cutpurse, but it would be considered playable even if this were not the case.
- Massive Gnoll, because it is only used by the boss during the Hogger tutorial encounter.
- Frozen Champion*, because it is only available during an adventure encounter.
- Core Hound Puppies*, because it is only available during a Tavern Brawl.
- Hogger (boss), because this hero is only found in a boss encounter.
- White King*, because this hero is only available in an adventure encounter.
- Castle*, because this Hero Power is only available through the special White King hero.
- Ragnaros the Firelord (Showdown at Blackrock Mountain)*, because this version of Ragnaros is only available in the corresponding Tavern Brawl. Other versions of Ragnaros are qualify, but not this one.
- Sulfuras (Showdown at Blackrock Mountain)*, because this version of the weapon is only available through the Tavern Brawl version of the Ragnaros hero.
- DIE, INSECT! (Tavern Brawl Hero Power)*, technically, because this version of the Hero Power is only available through the Tavern Brawl version of Sulfuras. However, this version is functionally identical to other versions of DIE, INSECT! (disambiguation), so many players are unlikely to be concerned about this distinction.
Those marked with * are playable in the sense that they are controlled by the player during corresponding encounters.