Determining which Legendary Hearthstone card to craft can be a tough decision for experienced and new players alike. If you craft a card and find it less useful than initially expected, the best you can get is one-fourth of your Arcane Dust back.
Our Hearthstone Legendary Crafting Guide will help ease the anxiety of burning 1600 dust on a single card. This guide will take you through a logical Crafting Strategy to ease the pain of Standard rotations and focus on those cards that are most likely to get the best value from your dust. For each Hearthstone Set, we provide the Best Cards to Craft and Good Cards to Craft to assist you through your next crafting conundrum.
Please note that this guide is intended for Standard players. In Wild, Legendary cards have different power levels than in Standard due to additional synergies available in the format.
Hearthstone Legendary Crafting Strategy
When choosing the next Legendary card to craft, you should consider both the strength and set of the cards you’re considering. Typically, Neutral Legendaries fit into more decks and offer the best variety when crafted. As with all class cards, however, class-specific Legendaries tend to be stronger and offer additional synergy and/or class identity options.
The Best Cards to Craft are either Neutral Legendaries played in a variety of decks or ubiquitous class Legendaries. Good Cards to Craft are Legendaries that are tech cards, flexible inclusions, or any card that’s usage is dependent on the ever-shifting Hearthstone meta.
In general, cards listed in the Best Cards to Craft for each set should be given priority over those in the Good Cards to Craft. The exception would be if you have a specific deck in mind that is reliant on the card you’re planning to craft.
In terms of sets, the best long-term value for your dust is always going to be cards in the Hearthstone Classic Set. Barring retirement into the Hall of Fame, all of these Legendary cards will always be included in Standard. Even if crafted cards are banished to Wild, a full dust refund can be expected.
After the Classic Set, the sets from the current year should be given priority. Sets remain in Standard for two years, so the current year sets have a longer lifespan than the sets from the prior year.
The Hearthstone Classic Set is the core set in the game. Introduced with the game’s release, the set still has many of the game’s strongest Legendary cards. Due to their unrestricted duration in the Standard format, Classic Set Legendary cards are more likely to remain playable than those released with expansions.
Hearthstone Classic Set Best Cards to Craft
Bloodmage Thalnos – While not as flashy as some of the other Legendaries, Bloodmage Thalnos has always been one of the most-played Legendaries in Hearthstone. Any deck that runs more than a handful of spells can benefit from this two-mana staple card.
Leeroy Jenkins – Effectively a neutral Fireball for five mana, Leeroy Jenkins has been helping aggressive decks close out games since the beginning of Hearthstone. The massive Charge damage will make this card a powerful finisher for a long time.
Edwin VanCleef – Nearly every variant of Rogue has turns where several cards are played, enabling the possibility of massive Edwins. Even a relatively small VanCleef early on can win games.
Tirion Fordring – Paladin has a long history of incredibly strong Legendary cards and it all started with Tirion. For a time, he was even cited as the highest win rate card in Hearthstone. While not currently as omnipresent as he once was, Tirion is still a safe craft.
Hearthstone Classic Set Good Cards to Crafts
Alexstrasza – Alexstrasza has been a combo enabler since the early days of Hearthstone. The option to either burst down an opponent to set up a kill or dodge incoming lethal damage makes Alexstrasza a perennial powerhouse worthy of crafting.
Deathwing – A massive body, Deathwing can find his way into decks that have ways to cheat him out or need a contingency plan. Because he rarely is a requirement for Tier 1 decks he remains less important than some of the other Legendaries.
Harrison Jones – When weapons are a consistent part of the meta, Harrison Jones is frequently slotted into numerous decks. However, the fact that he’s a tech card means he’s reliant on the shifting meta and not as safe as those mentioned above. Another reason that it’s not higher on the priority list is that he can be somewhat reliably replaced by a budget option – Acidic Swamp Ooze.
Ysera – The best neutral value generator in the Classic Set, Ysera will frequently find her way into control decks. When aggression is king, however, Ysera is too slow and often one of the first cards cut from these lists.
Prophet Velen – Velen is a card that finds its way back into the meta quite often. He’s rarely played in a Tier 1 deck (Highlander Priest was the only exception), but there is usually some off-meta Combo Priest built around it.
Year of the Raven (2018) Sets
The Year of the Raven consists of The Witchwood and two more expansions that will come out in 2018. All three sets will rotate out of the Standard format with the release of the first expansion in 2020.
The Witchwood Best Cards to Craft
Keep in mind that The Witchwood expansion was released very recently – and the new Legendaries are most vulnerable to meta changes, as they are often tested out during the first days just to disappear from the meta later. If you’re on a tight budget, I would wait until a ~month into the expansion before crafting anything.
Baku the Mooneater – Even though most of the players hasn’t expected it, it turned out that both the Even and Odd decks are viable. Baku’s upgraded Hero Power has found a home in multiple meta decks.
- Example Deck List: Odd Control Warrior – Upgraded Hero Power was always powerful in slow Warrior decks, so having it right from the get-go is a big bonus in a Control archetype.
Genn Greymane – While Baku is the more popular from this pair of Legendaries, and sees play in more builds, Genn is played in arguably the best deck on the ladder right now – Even Paladin.
- Example Deck List: Even Paladin – The deck is keeping all of the most powerful Paladin cards (such as Call to Arms and Sunkeeper Tarim), while getting a cheaper Hero Power to flood the board more easily.
Lord Godfrey – Defile turned out to be one of the best board clears in the entire game, and Lord Godfrey is like the Defile’s big brother. While 7 mana is quite a lot, in the late game he can often clear every minion while leaving a 4/4 body on top of that.
- Example Deck List: Cube Warlock – Basically, the card is very good in any slower Warlock build, and right now there are two of them – Control and Cube Warlock.
The Witchwood Good Cards to Craft
There are no Neutral Legendaries from The Witchwood that are good crafts. Countess Ashmore has a lot of potential, but no right deck was found for her yet.
Darius Crowley – Instead of the Rush Warrior build, which doesn’t really work, Darius Crowley has found its home in an Odd Control Warrior build.
Hagatha the Witch – It’s the first Hero card released since Knights of the Frozen Throne, and a pretty good one. Any slower Shaman deck will want to play her to have an extra board clear and a massive late game value generator.
Shudderwock – The infamous Shudderwock Combo decks turned out to be pretty bad, but Shudderwock is still a great card to put in any slower Shaman deck running some Battlecries. While it shines in Wild thanks to the Jade Golems, he’s good in some Standard builds too, like the Elemental Shaman.
The Glass Knight – The Glass Knight is a good card to put into your Even Paladin deck – it’s a 4-drop, the 4/3 with Divine Shield is pretty hard to kill already, and you even have some ways to refill his shield (Truesilver Champion, Vicious Scalehide).
Year of the Mammoth (2017) Sets
The Year of the Mammoth consists of Journey to Un’Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne, and Kobolds and Catacombs. All three sets will rotate out of the Standard format with the release of the first expansion in 2019.
Journey to Un’Goro Best Cards to Craft
There are currently no Neutral Legendaries that are safe to craft from the Journey to Un’Goro expansion.
The Caverns Below – Quest Rogue is back in The Witchwood and it looks like a rather strong meta deck, even though the card was nerfed roughly a year ago back in the Un’Goro.
- Example Deck List: Quest Rogue – The card is played in only a single archetype, but it’s basically the card you build your entire deck around.
Sunkeeper Tarim – Of all the powerful Paladin Legendaries, Sunkeeper Tarim may be the best. The flexibility of the card allows you to neutralize large, opposing minions or buff up you own weak minions to turn up the aggression. If you play Paladin, you need this card.
- Example Deck List: Even Paladin – Even Paladin is a new The Witchwood deck, but it feels a lot like the old Dude/Silver Hand Recruit Paladin. Since you put out a lot of tokens, Tarim is an amazing card in that build.
Journey to Un’Goro Good Cards to Craft
Elise the Trailblazer – Another strong value generator, Elise sees quite a bit more play than her predecessor. Nearly any slow archetype can make an argument for her inclusion.
Spiritsinger Umbra – Cube Warlock is still a very popular deck, and Umbra is a great choice in the build. It’s not a necessary card, but it does help in certain deck builds.
Fire Plume's Heart – The card that finally made Taunt Warrior playable, the Warrior quest enables a specific deck like few other cards are capable. If you miss Ragnaros the Firelord as a win condition, this card is probably for you. Quest Warrior is a decent deck in the current meta – not a Tier 1 list, but it’s definitely playable.
Kalimos, Primal Lord – Elemental Shaman was always seen as a more “newbie” build that doesn’t work competitively. However, with the recent release of Shudderwock, an Elemental build with Kalimos makes much more sense.
Lyra the Sunshard – When Priest decks were build around lots of cheap spells, Lyra used to be a staple. Now, since some of those cards have rotated out, it’s harder to get a good Lyra turn, but she still fits into some of the Control/Combo builds.
Knights of the Frozen Throne Best Cards to Craft
Prince Keleseth – Keleseth isn’t as valuable now as it was during its peak in Knights of the Frozen Throne, but it’s played in some of the aggressive decks and will likely remain a good card for the rest of its time in Standard.
- Example Deck List: Warlock Zoo – While Keleseth saw a lot more play previously, he still finds room in decks like Warlock Zoo.
The Lich King – The Lich King is the first Neutral Legendary printed that, similar to Ragnaros the Firelord and Dr. Boom in the past, can be included in nearly any deck and perform well. Crafting this card is certainly a safe bet.
- Example Deck List: Even Paladin – Lich King is slotted in the even Paladin over Tirion Fordring, which really tells how good it is. If you’re a new player, however, you can fit Lich King into just about any Midrange or Control deck.
Bloodreaver Gul'dan – Bloodreaver Gul’dan offers a massive board swing in any deck that runs a bunch of Demons. If you combo him with high power cards such as Voidlord, Doomguard or even Despicable Dreadlord, reviving all of them at once will often be enough to just win the game on the spot. Upgraded Hero Power also turns your Hero Power into a small burn spell, which heals you at the same time.
- Example Deck List: Cube Warlock – The triumphant return of a combo-based control Warlock reminiscent of Handlock, Cube Warlock can quickly close out games with Bloodreaver Gul’dan.
Malfurion the Pestilent – Malfurion, due to its flexibility, offers a great deal of offense or defense. Depending on the matchup and the deck you put it into, you can either deal 3 damage per turn or gain 3 armor per turn, either option is much better than any of the basic Hero Powers. If you decide to summon Taunts initially, you also get a 15 health swing, which can be crucial against faster decks.
- Example Deck List: Spiteful Druid – Spiteful Druid is a great example that the card can be used in a more offensive deck just as well as in the slower builds like the now rotated Jade Druid.
Knights of the Frozen Throne Good Cards to Craft
Prince Taldaram – Didn’t see much play early on, but because of the popularity of Cubelock has now become relevant. Some builds have opted to run different cards instead, including the new Voodoo Doll, but Taldaram is still a viable consideration.
Deathstalker Rexxar – The card was changed recently, and updated with all of the new Beasts that were previously excluded from the pool of cards. On top of that, the new “fast” Beasts such as Vicious Scalehide make Deathstalker Rexxar a really good choice in any slower Hunter list.
Frost Lich Jaina – Frost Lich Jaina is absolutely necessary to play slower Mage decks such as Big Spell Mage. However, since those decks mostly stay off the radar and aren’t meta defining, it’s hard to call her the best craft. If you want to play a Control Mage build, however, you will have to get her.
Hadronox – A rather weak card at the beginning got an entire deck built around it in The Witchwood. The card is still as slow as ever, but right now after you play it once, you can revive it for just 3 mana thanks to the Witching Hour – of course if you build your whole deck with no other Beast (and Taunt Druid does exactly that).
Shadowreaper Anduin – Shadowreaper Anduin gives Priest the opportunity to close out games that might otherwise slip away. It’s much weaker after the Raza’s nerf, but even without the other part of the combo, multiple hero powers each turn can strip away Token boards or push a lot of face damage over the course of multiple turns.
Valeera the Hollow – Valeera is a very interesting card that gives lots of late game value and staying power to a class that wants Tempo instead. However, some of the Rogue decks will still gladly take it – Valeera has been played in some Miracle Rogue, as well as Quest Rogue builds.
Kobolds and Catacombs Best Cards to Craft
There are currently no Neutral Legendaries that are safe to craft from the Kobolds & Catacombs expansion.
Skull of the Man'ari – One of the most important cards in a Tier 1 meta deck – Skull of the Man’ari allows Warlocks to summon multiple high cost Demons for just 5 mana, while getting around their downsides at the same time (such as summoning Doomguard without discarding cards).
- Example Deck List: Cube Warlock – Right now, Cube Warlock is the only deck that wants to run Skull of the Man’ari, but the card is basically a must-have in the build. You can still play a regular Control Warlock without Doomguards if you don’t have the Skull, but the deck seems slightly inferior.
Kobolds and Catacombs Good Cards to Craft
Zola the Gorgon – The card is pretty flavorful, but flavor is not the reason why it’s on the list. It has seen some play in either high value decks, combo decks that want to copy a certain minion, or Quest Rogue, which just wants to have as many ways to copy stuff as possible.
Master Oakheart – Despite the low attack requirements, Recruiting three additional minions from your deck has some interesting options for slower control decks.
Aluneth – Drawing three cards at the end of each turn gives more aggressive Mage decks the opportunity to extend into the late game and finish opponents with burn. However, Tempo Mage was hit hard by the rotation and it’s no longer in a dominating state it was before. It’s still a great craft if you want to play the deck.
Dragoncaller Alanna – Big Spell Mage certainly lives up to its name. With enough 5 mana or more spells cast, Alanna can flood the board with 5/5 dragons.
Rin, the First Disciple – Before release, this little gnome was scoffed at. It turns out she can offer a win condition for control Warlocks against other slow decks. That said, she isn’t strictly required for the decks she fits into.
Sonya Shadowdancer – Sonya has the ability to punish opponents for leaving minions on board. It works best in Quest Rogue with small Charge/Rush minions – if you run that Charger a few times into opponent’s minion, you can get a few Quest triggers from just a single card.
Val'anyr – A solid Paladin card and a good card in the newly created Even Paladin deck. However, I would think twice before crafting it, because it’s not a staple – you can easily run Silver Sword in its place and do just as fine.