For the longest time, things like pack drop rates or the existence of a pity timer were well-known facts among the community but weren’t officially confirmed by Blizzard. Ever since Beta, players gathered data on tons of pack openings to figure out how likely you are to get a given card.
It took Blizzard years to disclose drop rates for Normal cards – nothing shocking, of course, because we knew that Legendaries dropped in 1 out of 20 packs on average, while Epics dropped in 1 out of 5 packs on average. That data was easy to gather. However, more recently the official Hearthstone Shop guide was updated with some slightly more interesting info – drop rates for Golden cards. While we more or less knew them too, they were still only rough estimates – given how rare Golden Legendaries are, it was hard to get a precise number. Until now.
Here’s the official data on pack drop rates:
When opening packs of cards, you will get a:
- Golden Legendary card in 181 packs on average
- Golden Epic card in 71 packs on average
- Golden Rare card in 15 packs on average
- Golden Common card in 13 packs on average
- Normal Legendary card in 20 packs on average
- One Legendary card is guaranteed within the first 10 packs of a new card expansion, then subsequent Legendary card drops will follow the above rule.
- Normal Epic card in 5 packs on average
- Each card pack is guaranteed to contain at least 1 Normal Rare card or better
- Remaining cards will be Normal Common cards in average of 3.5 cards per pack
As you can see, Golden Legendaries will appear once per 181 packs on average, while Golden Epics once per 71 packs. It more or less lines up with my own data, I open around 200 packs per expansion and I get one Golden Legendary per expansion on average for the last few years. However, keep in mind that those are just averages – you can open 300 packs and still not get a single Golden Legendary if you get unlucky.
While the existence of a pity timer was confirmed a while ago for Normal cards, it sadly was never confirmed for Golden cards. If you aren’t aware of the term, “pity timer” is a number of packs after which you’re guaranteed to open a card of a given rarity. For Normal Legendaries, it’s 40 packs – so you can’t have a longer streak without a Legendary than 39 packs. If you still don’t open one by then, it will be guaranteed to appear in the 40th pack. Keep in mind, however, that different types of packs have separate pity timers (so you can open 30 packs from one expansion, 30 packs from another expansion and still don’t hit a Legendary, but if you open packs from one single expansion, then you’re guaranteed to get a Legendary in 40th pack at worst). There’s also a special Legendary pity timer for the packs you open for the first time – if you haven’t opened packs from a given expansion or type yet, you’re guaranteed to hit a Legendary within the first 10 packs opened. Regular Legendary pity timer (40 packs) starts applying after opening that first Legendary.
Now, if we extrapolate that info and assume that Golden cards have the same pity timer ratio (twice the average drop rate), it would mean that Golden Legendary is guaranteed to appear every 362 packs and Golden Epic every 142 packs at the very minimum. However, that’s only assuming that pity timers exist for Golden cards at all – sadly it’s nearly impossible to test it.
Like I’ve said, all of that data (for Golden Legendaries it was a bit of a rough estimate, but still quite accurate) was already gathered by the community for a long time, but it’s good to have official information about that. I’m pretty sure that Blizzard didn’t disclose it because they wanted to, but rather because some laws forced them to do it now, but still – it’s a win for the transparency.