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.
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.
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.
Malygos – While rarely a part of the mainstream meta, Malygos has been a part of multiple combo decks over time. I’m pretty much sure that we will see it in the future too.
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.
Al'Akir the Windlord – This class Legendary hasn’t seen any play in a long while, but was brought back by the relative popularity of Even Shaman. If you’re running the Corpsetaker version, you just need to have it.
Grommash Hellscream – The card used to be a part of the oldschool Control Warrior decks. Right now it’s played in the Recruit (“Big”) version of the deck.
King Krush – I never thought that this day would come, but I finally can recommend the Classic Hunter Legendary. It found its place in so-called Recruit Hunter, which revolves around cheating out huge Beasts onto the board.
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
Baku the Mooneater – Surprisingly, it turned out that both the Even and Odd decks are viable. Baku’s upgraded Hero Power has found a home in some of the meta decks.
- Example Deck List: Odd Paladin – Summoning two 1/1’s with Hero Power means that it’s easier than ever to flood the board with this Paladin build.
Genn Greymane – While Baku is more popular of the two, Genn seems to have an even higher win rate. Either way, both Odd and Even decks are a big part of the meta right now.
- Example Deck List: Even Warlock – Most of the cards which are key to the “Handlock” strategy are Even, and 1 mana Life Taps means that you always end up with a full hand. Plus a Turn 3 Mountain Giant is incredibly powerful.
Hagatha the Witch – The only Hero card from the expansion, Hagatha has found home in two types of decks. First, it serves as the late game win condition in faster Even Shaman. And second – it’s an extra value generator/survival tool in the combo-oriented Shudderwock decks.
- Example Deck List: Even Shaman – While the best versions of the deck go for a more offensive strategy, Hagatha is a great card to play in those – both because it’s the AoE clear the deck lacks, and because it gives the build more late game staying power.
Shudderwock – Even though Shudderwock Shaman was initially a bad deck, the meta has slowed down quite significantly after the nerf patch, revealing the real potential of this combo build. It works very well as a counter to some of the slower decks. It’s also important to mention that Shudderwock’s power is very high even outside of this specific deck, and I suspect that other Shaman decks might use it in the future too.
- Example Deck List: Shudderwock Shaman – Combo deck, in which you play all of the pieces throughout the game and then seal the deal with Shudderwock dealing damage/healing you/bouncing himself back for you to repeat everything.
The Witchwood Good Cards to Craft
Azalina Soulthief – Azalina sees a surprising amount of play, but I can’t really put it under the best crafts, because it’s only played in off-meta builds. It’s most common in Mill Druid, but it’s also an uncommon tech in Taunt (Quest) Warrior.
Darius Crowley – While the Rush strategy has mostly failed in the Warrior class, he’s still an important part of any Rush deck you want to build. He also sees play in all kinds of Odd (Baku the Mooneater) versions of Warrior, since you have to fill the deck somehow.
Houndmaster Shaw – A solid 3/6 body and a nice effect makes Houndmaster Shaw a solid card, most commonly seen in the Recruit Hunter. However, since the card is not vital to the deck’s game plan, you can skip on it if you’re on the budget.
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. The card was an amazing craft until Cube Warlock got nerfed. The card is still good, but because the deck lost most of its popularity, I can’t recommend crafting it for the average player. Still a good craft if you want to play Cube or Control Warlock builds.
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.
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.
- Example Deck List: Quest Warrior – Quest Warrior turned out to be a viable deck in the current meta. Taunts and removals are usually enough to win faster matchups, while the Quest is a massive late game win condition in slower ones.
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.
Hemet, Jungle Hunter – It’s a very interesting card, which got quite popular thanks to the Shudderwock Shaman. In the mid/late game, you’d gladly get rid of the early game part of your deck in order to draw the necessary combo pieces (all of which are 4 or more mana, so they don’t get affected) or the Shudderwock himself.
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. The card also sees play in some more off-meta Combo Druid builds with Carnivorous Cube.
Awaken the Makers – Another deck, which got popular after the nerf patch is Quest Priest. The build can finish the Quest rather quickly, play the 8/8 Taunt, get up to 40 health and then copy or bounce Amara to do the same thing again later.
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. The card is also solid in Even Shaman if you add some Elemental synergies to it.
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. However, after the nerf patch, Even Paladin is no longer playable and Murloc Paladin is also struggling, making the insanely powerful Legendary not so useful right now. I suspect its time will still come throughout the rest of the Standard year, though.
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. It’s probably the safest Legendary craft we had since Dr. Boom.
- Example Deck List: Taunt Druid – Taunt Druid is all about reviving Taunt minions multiple times, and what better Taunt minions there is to get a few times throughout the game than The Lich King?
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, Cube Warlock can quickly close out games with Bloodreaver Gul’dan.
Deathstalker Rexxar – The card got its pool of Beasts updated with The Witchwood. On top of that, the meta has slowed down recently, making it a much more reliable late game win condition. It’s shoved into pretty much every Hunter deck besides a very aggressive Odd Face Hunter. In some decks, it’s basically the only late game win condition – and it works!
- Example Deck List: Spell Hunter – Since you can’t actually put minions into your deck, having a way to create minions every turn gives your deck a very interesting late game win condition.
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: Token Druid – Token Druid is a great example that this card can be used even in a faster build, in which +3 Attack is way more common option than +3 Armor.
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.
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). If you want to play the Taunt Druid, it’s the most important card in your deck.
Scourgelord Garrosh – The card’s main appeal is the massive AoE it provides – both weapon and the Hero Power. While it’s not the most common choice, it’s great if you keep facing more board-oriented decks, especially those that flood it like there was no tomorrow (think Odd Paladin or Token Druid).
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.
Kobolds and Catacombs Best Cards to Craft
Zola the Gorgon – Gorgonzola got into surprisingly many meta decks. Starting with the Shudderwock Shaman, where you can copy some Battlecry minion and then repeat it again with Shudderwock (possibly copying himself to give you another try if the combo fails), then the Quest Priest, where it’s used to copy Amara. Then the Quest Rogue, which is not very popular right now, but obviously getting extra copies of minions is the deck’s early game plan. The card is not impressive, but it’s useful in multiple meta and off-meta decks.
- Example Deck List: Shudderwock Shaman – While it’s possible to play the deck without Zola, she makes it much more consistent. Not to mention that playing T2 Keleseth and then copying on T3 can win you the game even without actually getting to the combo.
Grumble, Worldshaker – An absolutely necessary part of the infamous Shudderwock combo – the main win condition in one of the most popular decks on the ladder. Keep in mind that Grumble is not a great standalone card, so craft it only if you want to play Shudderwock deck.
- Example Deck List: Shudderwock Shaman – Shudderwock copies itself with Saronite Chain Gang and then bounces back the copies with Grumble. This way you end up with 1 mana copy (or copies) of Shudderwock in your hand, so you can repeat the same thing again and again, usually setting up a two-turns kill.
Kathrena Winterwisp – A necessary piece of the Recruit Hunter build, which revolves around pulling big Beasts straight to the board. She’s already great by herself if you only run huge Beasts, but copying her Deathrattle with Seeping Oozeling or proccing it again with Play Dead makes her even better.
- Example Deck List: Recruit Hunter – The deck is a rather fresh discovery, but it’s already popular on the ladder for its ability to pull multiple big minions out of nowhere in the mid/late game.
Rhok'delar – Who would have thought that Spell Hunter will become the most popular and strongest Hunter archetype, and one of the best decks on the ladder? Probably not players who were bashing the design after To My Side! was initially revealed. But it happened, and Rhok’delar is obviously a vital piece in the Spell Hunter builds.
- Example Deck List: Spell Hunter – The card does not belong in any other deck, because you obviously won’t be able to activate it in a deck with minions, and playing a 7 mana 4/2 weapon is not optimal. In this case, however, it provides massive late game value/hand refill.
Kobolds and Catacombs Good Cards to Craft
King Togwaggle – A part of the off-meta/meme deck – Mill Druid. But surprisingly, the deck works much better than you might think, with a few players piloting it to high Legend.
Master Oakheart – Despite the low attack requirements, Recruiting three additional minions from your deck has some interesting options for slower control decks. Most notably, it’s a solid card in Taunt Druid, where it can pull out Hadronox from your deck.
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.
Skull of the Man'ari – It used to be the #1 craft from Kobolds & Catacombs until Warlock got nerfed. Cube Warlock is still a solid meta deck, although it’s pretty uncommon outside of Legend right now. However, if you still want to play it, it’s a must-have card, since it’s the best way to pull out big Demons after Possessed Lackey got nerfed.