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
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.
- Example Deck List: Freeze Mage – Freeze Mage has been a consistently strong archetype since the dawn of Hearthstone.
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.
- Example Deck List: Miracle Rogue – Miracle Rogue is frequently the go-to deck for the class and shows no signs of Vanishing.
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.
- Example Deck List: Aggro Pirate Warrior – Aggro Pirate Warrior is one of the premiere aggro decks on the ladder.
Archmage Antonidas – Archmage Antonidas is such a powerful card, there have been few Mage archetypes that didn’t benefit from his inclusion. The ability to generate Fireballs on command is a potent mechanic that will allow Antonidas to make his way into decks for the foreseeable future.
- Example Deck List: Secret Mage – Secret Mage has proven to be the revival of Tempo Mage decks in the Standard format.
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.
- Example Deck List: Miracle Rogue – Miracle Rogue has been part of Rogue’s identity for nearly the entirety of Hearthstone’s lifespan.
Tirion Fordring – Paladin has a long history of incredibly strong Legendary cards and it all started with Tirion. For eight mana, this card does so much it can improve the win rate of nearly every Paladin deck.
- Example Deck List: Midrange Murloc Paladin – Midrange Murloc Paladin might just be the best overall deck in the game right now.
Hearthstone Classic Set Good Cards to Crafts
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.
Cairne Bloodhoof – Cairne provides a sturdy body with a Deathrattle that can threaten opponents for multiple turns. The card, however, doesn’t provide much utility that cannot be replaced.
The Black Knight – The Black Knight has seen ebbs and flows of play during the lifespan of Hearthstone. As long as decks run powerful taunts, he’ll find his way into the meta, but even then, he can be replaced with Silence.
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.
Ysera – The best neutral value generator in the Classic Set, Ysera will frequently find her way into slow, control decks. When aggression is king, Ysera is too slow and will be one of the first cards cut from these lists.
Captain Greenskin – In Pirate decks, Captain Greenskin excels. The exclusivity of the decks he fits in, however, makes him a little less safe when cards rotate out of Standard.
Lord Jaraxxus – A frequent inclusion in control Warlock decks, there’s no doubt Jaraxxus is a great card. The combination of the class wavering between Zoo and Control builds, along with new options, makes the Eredar Lord a bit riskier to craft than others.
Grommash Hellscream – When it’s possible to activate his Enrage, Grommash can be used by a variety of Warrior decks to close out games. Recently, the strength of the Warrior class has been found in more aggressive builds which want to finish the game before the turns Grommash can come out.
Year of the Mammoth (2017) Sets
The Year of the Mammoth consists of Journey to Un’Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne, and a yet to be released expansion. 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
Elise the Trailblazer – Another strong value generator, Elise sees quite a bit more play than her predecessor. Nearly any slow archetype can make good use of the pack she adds to your deck.
- Example Deck List: Kazakus Shadowreaper Highlander Priest – Priest may be the one class that can get by with a viable highlander deck.
Lyra the Sunshard – More consistent and controlled than Yogg (and cheaper), Lyra can pull you out of unpleasant situations and save the game. This Legendary Elemental finds a home in numerous spell-heavy Priest decks.
- Example Deck List: Silence Priest – Purify in a good deck?! Not many people saw this coming before Journey to Un’Goro was released, but cards like Shadow Visions and Humongous Razorleaf have made it possible!
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: Midrange Murloc Paladin – Midrange Murloc Paladin continues to be one of the top decks in the meta.
Journey to Un’Goro Good Cards to Craft
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 currently pretty weak in the meta, so only craft this if you really like the deck and don’t care about being on top of the meta.
Kalimos, Primal Lord – The top-end of a powerful Elemental chain available in Shaman, Kalimos can devastate a threatening board, stabilize your health total, build a board or finish an opponent. This card can be considered for those that enjoy the Elemental archetype.
Pyros – A minion that can slide into Tempo and Control Mages alike, Pyros has some potential. That said, it’s rarely a mandatory component of a top tier deck.
Open the Waygate – Like other quests, Open the Waygate needs a deck built around it. The resulting Exodia Mage lists, while fun to play and capable of winning some games, are just shy of competitively viable.
Sherazin, Corpse Flower – Originally scoffed at, Sherazin is a four mana minion that does exactly what Rogue needs it to. A body that can be revived at will allows for more room in the decks for spells, Sherazin is another solid craft. Good in Miracle Rogue, but not a required piece of the deck. Miracle is also not the greatest deck for the ladder currently.
Knights of the Frozen Throne Best Cards to Craft
Prince Keleseth – After the nerfs to Innervate and Fiery War Axe there became room in most aggro decks for Prince Keleseth. The deck has empowered the Rogue class, but also helps Pirate Warrior maintain a spot in the high meta.
- Example Deck List: Aggro Prince Rogue – A powerful aggro deck that can Shadowstep Keleseth and re-play it to further strengthen the deck’s minions.
- Example Deck List: Aggro Pirate Warrior – Fiery War Axe got nerfed, but Keleseth keeps the deck among some of the top lists in the meta.
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: EZ Big Priest – Big Priest is able to cheat out minions in a variety of ways, providing massive swing turns early in the game.
Shadowreaper Anduin – Shadowreaper Anduin gives Priest the opportunity to close out games that might otherwise slip away. Even without Raza the Chained, multiple hero powers each turn can strip away Token boards or kill an opponent. If you enjoy playing Priest, you probably crafted Anduin long before reading this.
- Example Deck List: Kazakus Shadowreaper Highlander Priest – Shadowreaper fits in both Highlander and Big Priest currently. Just be careful not to destroy your own minions!
Malfurion the Pestilent – Malfurion offers the opportunity for Druid to stabilize against decks that would usually overrun the class. The flexibility of both the Battlecry and hero power might make this the best Death Knights in the set.
- Example Deck List: Jade Druid – Did get nerfed, but still very powerful and capable of quickly climbing the ladder.
Bloodreaver Gul'dan– We’ve seen the incredible power of N'Zoth, The Corruptor in decks with even just a few Deathrattles. Bloodreaver Gul’dan offers a similar board swing coupled with the perfect hero power for a slower Warlock deck.
- Example Deck List: Control Warlock – The triumphant return of Handlock, this variant plays very similar to the beloved archetype of old.
Knights of the Frozen Throne Good Cards to Craft
Deathstalker Rexxar – Rexxar’s Battlecry provides the immediate board swing that Hunter has lacked for a long time against faster decks. In slower matchups, the new hero power has the potential to out-value opponents that would otherwise stabilize past the point of two damage each turn being relevant.
Frost Lich Jaina – Frost Lich Jaina has shown some promise in certain decks, but the card isn’t quite as game-winning as some of the other Death Knights listed above. She is still worth considering crafting, but not on par with some of the other cards in the set.
Thrall, Deathseer – Thrall synergizes well with Shaman’s frequent game plan of spreading wide on the board. The upgraded hero power offers some late game value generation that can carry decks into a win. That said, the card isn’t strictly mandatory in the decks that he fits into.
Uther of the Ebon Blade – Even with the unlikelihood of the game-ending combo, Uther is a great card. His strength compared to other Paladin class cards, however, makes him easily cut from most lists.
Year of the Kraken (2016) Sets
The Year of the Kraken consists of Whispers of the Old Gods and Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansions (One Night in Karazhan as well, but that’s an Adventure). Both sets will rotate out of the Standard format with the release of the first expansion in 2018.
Whispers of the Old Gods Best Cards to Craft
N'Zoth, The Corruptor – Deathrattle is already a strong mechanic in Hearthstone. The possibility of resurrecting your Deathrattle minions and generating a full board makes N’Zoth an extremely powerful card.
- Example Deck List: N’Zoth Deathrattle Control Warrior – Seemingly limitless removal followed by a chain of Deathrattle minions makes this deck a force to be reckoned with.
- Example Deck List: Jade Druid – Jade Druid is a very powerful deck that uses its ramping ability to continually pump out larger and larger Jade minions.
Ragnaros, Lightlord – Eight healing on a massive body makes for an immense amount of value on a single card. Rag isn’t necessarily played in every Paladin deck at all times, but still a safe craft.
- Example Deck List: Control Paladin – Control Paladin can sweep the board frequently then heal far enough out of range of aggressive decks.
Whispers of the Old Gods Good Cards to Crafts
Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound – Y’Shaarj does enable some fun mid-tier decks, but the niche essence of these decks makes them a little less stable part of the meta.
Yogg-Saron, Hope's End – Even after a hefty nerf, Yogg has found his way back into Tier 1 decks at times. While the Hail Mary option he provides is useful, the lack of consistency makes him as risky to craft as he is to play.
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Best Cards to Craft
Patches the Pirate – A terror in the Standard meta since the release of MSoG, Patches is so strong it forced the inclusion of the Pirate package into decks solely to shoot him into play. While the card relies on others to perform, it is easily one of the best cards from the set.
- Example Deck List: Evolve Token Shaman – Evolve Shaman attempts to fill up the board with small minions, and use Evolve to power them up and finish the opponent off with Bloodlust.
Aya Blackpaw – While not technically a neutral card, Aya is viable in at least one deck for the three classes she is available to. The Jade mechanic, in general, is immensely powerful and Aya is a critical part of it.
- Example Deck List: Jade Druid – One the strongest decks in the game, that can out-value and overwhelm slower decks. It now can compete against aggressive decks with Spreading Plague.
Wickerflame Burnbristle – It should be no surprise to see another Paladin Legendary on the Best Cards to Craft list. Wickerflame is a strong tool in stalling aggressive decks and will find his way into Paladin lists any time fast decks rule the meta.
- Example Deck List: Control Paladin – Control Paladin can sweep the board frequently then heal far enough out of range of aggressive decks.
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Good Cards to Craft
Finja, the Flying Star – For a time, several decks shoved in Murlocs just to make use of Finja. While still a strong card, other powerful options have decreased the need to spend 1600 dust on Finja.
Kazakus – Kazakus is still played frequently, but doesn’t see as much play competitively after Standard lost Reno Jackson. Still, he’ll always find a home in highlander decks and remains a reasonable card to craft.
Raza the Chained – Raza is certainly a strong card, but the viability of highlander decks has plummeted since Reno Jackson rotated out of Standard. Raza is still playable, but only in very specialized decks.
Shaku, the Collector – Shaku is a great utility card, but his replaceability lands him just shy of the Best Cards to Craft. He can fit into most Rogue decks, but isn’t missed when replaced.
About the Author
A card game veteran, Roffle has been infatuated with Hearthstone since closed beta. These days, he spends most of his time tinkering with decks on ladder or earning gold in Arena (f2p btw). In particular, Roffle has a wealth of experience in competitive Wild Hearthstone, including a top 16 finish in the inaugural Wild Open Tournament and numerous high end of season finishes since the format’s inception. Follow him on Twitter or check out some of his articles on Roffle.net.