Core Set 2021 Guide – How to Obtain It, How it Works, Full List of Cards

Year of the Gryphon will see another huge revamp to the way Hearthstone is played. Basic & Classic sets, which were always available ever since the game’s creation, are now rotating out to Wild. Instead of them, we’re getting a new Core Set, which will change at the start of every Standard year.

Core Set 2021 contains 235 cards (160 Class + 75 Neutral), including 29 brand new ones. The rest are Basic/Classic/Wild cards we already know – however, many of them are getting buffed to be more useful (old expansion versions of all the cards changed for Core Set will also get the same changes). According to the developers, around 30% of the Core Set will be rotating every year – which means that in 2022 we might have a vastly different set of cards, promoting other strategies. Core Set cards will be playable both in Standard and Wild formats.

Probably the best news is that Core Sets will be free for every player. Unlocking it will work exactly like unlocking Basic set now – you need to hit level 10 with a specific Hero to unlock all of its Core cards. In order to unlock Neutrals, you need to hit level 60 across multiple classes – so e.g. level 20 on Druid, Hunter and Paladin will be enough to unlock all Neutrals. If you already are above Level 10 on every class (and you probably are), Core Set will be unlocked automatically after it releases and you won’t have to do anything.

To answer your “should I disenchant Classic cards” questions. The way Core Set works is that those cards are SEPARATE from the ones you already own and are temporarily added to your collection (for as long as they remain in the Core Set – so at least a year, but it might be longer). So, for example, if you own Preparation already, Core Set won’t just add extra copies of the old card to your collection – they will be added as a separate card that you can’t disenchant. So you CAN disenchant the old version, but here’s the catch – if Preparation rotates out of the Core Set and you disenchanted the old one, you will no longer own any copies of it – so you won’t be able to play it in Wild and Classic. To put it simply – if you only play Standard, you can disenchant your Classic cards without worrying. However, if you also play Wild or you’re interested in Classic / any other future formats that might use those cards, you should probably keep them.

Core Set 2021 List of Cards

Here’s a full list of Core Set 2021 cards.

Demon Hunter

               

Druid

              

Hunter

               

Mage

               

Paladin

               

Priest

                 

Rogue

              

Shaman

                

Strength Totem is replacing Wrath of Air Totem (+1 Spell Damage) as the new Basic Totem. You will be able to roll it from Hero Power (as well as other cards) instead!

Warlock

               

Warrior

               

Neutral

                                                                          

Stonekeep

A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

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75 Comments

  1. Peponger
    March 4, 2021 at 3:46 am

    I have a question. When the basic cards are going to wild, then can I disenchant them? For example Flamestrike is going to get epic. Then If I have the golden and non golden versions of it can I disenchant them?

  2. X15d
    March 4, 2021 at 2:55 am

    I’m a little confused about some demon hunter cards, so the expansions rotating out are rise of shadows, uldum, descent of dragons (and the miniset for it), right? Ashes of outland doesn’t rotate out right? Then why are crimson sigil runner, spectral sight, ashtongue battlelord and glaives of azzinoth are in the core set when they are already ashes of outland cards? It sounds really dumb to include them in the core set if ashes of outland rotates out and this core set changes at the same time (which is next year april). Isn’t this just wasting card space in core set? I guess glaives are buffed 1 mana in core set but still I don’t understand the underlying logic of this overlap, why not buff the original card in outland set then? Also I can’t seem to spot any outland cards in the core set for other classes (but I haven’t looked very thoroughly so I might have missed some), why is this a demon hunter thing?

    • Irish Seadog
      March 4, 2021 at 9:20 am

      It might be because DH was given extra cards over the past year

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      March 4, 2021 at 6:44 pm

      I think that they used Ashes of Outland cards, because they didn’t have anything else to add to the Demon Hunter’s Core Set. Basic & Demon Hunter Initiate didn’t have many cards to pick from. Other classes had hundreds of cards to pick from, so they didn’t have to include any Year of the Phoenix cards.

  3. JoyDivision
    March 1, 2021 at 2:17 am

    @Stonekeep – I’m a little late to reply and maybe my questions are answered somewhere (so sorry for ‘re-asking’ them) but it would be so kind of you to answer them (if you can).

    I must say I’m pretty confused for how the Core Set works. Until lately, I thought it’ll be Standard exclusive, which would make everything simple – no collection overlap between changed cards.

    But as it seems, the Core Set WILL be available in Wild … and that’s where I’m starting to be confused. 😉

    So, just 2 examples / cards to explain my confusion:

    1. Flamestrike – gets buffed in the Core Set. What happens in my collection? Do I have 2 x 2 Flamestrikes, the ‘old’ one and the Core Set version? Or will the Basic one be permabuffed and I’ll only see the buffed version (nongolden and golden)?

    2. Coldarra Drake – let’s say I own a normal and a golden copy of it. In my understanding of your statement ‘old expansion versions of all the cards changed for Core Set will also get the same changes’, those copies will get permabuffed. But what will my collection look like: Do I see 6 Coldarra Drakes (2 CS nongolden, 2 CS golden + my 2 copies)? Will my copies be ‘integrated’ in the CS copies but I’ll keep them next year when CS Coldarra Drake rotates out?

    I’m pretty sure there are many other strange constellations when it comes to changed CS cards …

    Hoping for an answer, with best regards

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      March 2, 2021 at 3:54 pm

      Core Set cards will be separate. So if you already have 2x Coldarra Drake (or any other card), you will still own them, and you will get 2x Coldarra Drake from Core Set 2021.

      You can now own up to 8 copies of the same card – 2x regular & 2x golden from the old versions and 2x regular + 2x golden from Core Set. And yes, all of those copies will get buffed.

      Assuming that Coldarra Drake leaves Core Set next year, the Core Set version will disappear from your collection, but you will still own the old ones you did previously.

      But yes, I can see how it can get pretty confusing. It will be much easier to understand once everything goes live.

      • JoyDivision
        March 3, 2021 at 6:47 am

        Thanks for that answer. So it is as I expected … yeah, we will need to see this live. Very abstract by now.

  4. Goblinta
    February 27, 2021 at 10:49 am

    Stonekeep.

    Great job of reporting. But then you always do a great job of reporting.

    Can we get an article about what Classic or Basic cards are LEAVING the core set?

    Those of us with “favorite” decks will have to start thinking about replacing what we are about to lose.

    Not only would such a list be very helpful

    But your analytical comments on what this means would be great too.

    You are good at “reading a set”.

  5. LuKeAA
    February 27, 2021 at 2:21 am

    I knew it; as soon as Totemic Might becomes playable, which means, 5 years after its release, it’s gone. Shaman still feels all over the place to me; glad it changes every rotation, tho.

    Hunter FINALLY no more Unleash the Hounds. F I N A L L Y.

    Welcome back Warsong Commander. It’s been so long and your path has been so dark.

    Are we getting Dust for Cho, Nat Pagle and all the other Classics leaving?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      March 2, 2021 at 3:49 pm

      “Are we getting Dust for Cho, Nat Pagle and all the other Classics leaving?”

      I’m afraid not, we’re getting Core Set for free and that’s the compensation.

      I would like to get Dust, of course, but I’m sure that it would be too much for them to give out just like that.

  6. H0lysatan
    February 26, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    One thing I recently noticed is that DH is getting the same amount of Core Cards like the other. I think it’s possible that future expansions don’t print ‘extra’ DH cards anymore.
    And DH losing a few OP cards like Twin Slice and Altruis combo is good enough for me, since it’s been a pain in the ass all this time. I still remember how easy it is to play Bladed Lady on turn 4 using Twin Slice.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      March 2, 2021 at 3:47 pm

      That was the plan from the get-go – DH only got extra cards during Year of the Phoenix. Starting with Year of the Gryphon, they will get the same amount of cards as other classes.

  7. INeedHealing123
    February 26, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Really disappointed with the Priest cards. I love the neutral Legendaries tho

  8. Benoitballs
    February 26, 2021 at 9:58 am

    I sort of expect Paladin to be Meta with this. It’s not losing anything important to rotation/core set, and all signs point towards aggro weakening with the losses of Eviscerate, (S)Kill Command, and Sap. Whirlkick Master will rotate, which was one of Broom Paladin’s weaker matchups. Yikes, we’re in for a slow meta; hopefully Warlock is strong enough to contend.

  9. Bell
    February 26, 2021 at 7:46 am

    Well, with 3 mana Equality and that 3/4 Warhorse trainer, Wild Odd Paladin gonna be such a pain.

  10. Phoesias
    February 26, 2021 at 4:42 am

    Will we get golden copies of the „new“ added class cards if we alrdy hit lvl60 ? like the new priest 3 mana 4/3 Minion for example ?

    And what will happen to the Ysera for example, i got a golden copy so i will get the golden version of the „new“ redesigned Ysera?

  11. LasseDas
    February 26, 2021 at 3:07 am

    Why would you run two copies of Shadowform without the old effect?
    I liked the old version and spending 4 mana for the buffed heropower is still not cheap.

  12. InFlames
    February 25, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Omfg! The game is gonna be funny again with this updates. Cant wait 🙂

  13. Njuns
    February 25, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    Could we please have an article about all the cards leaving ? I can see that mage and hunter are losing quite a few but can’t really realize how much we are losing in general

  14. H0lysatan
    February 25, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Some class get buffed, while some class getting hammered (especially Mage).
    Well, Goodbye Freeze Mage. And no more discounted spell with Apprentice. Secrets getting hammered too. They now utilize infinite spell damage with no spells to burn, it all depends on cards from expansions now.
    Warrior is decent now, Warlock got some pretty buffs, including Jaraxxus.
    Nice to see Charge rework on some neutrals and left it only for DH and Legendary cards.
    Lastly, goodbye Sap, which is awesome.

    Now, I can’t wait to see what FitB has to offer in return.

  15. Mevyo10
    February 25, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    how we optain the golden core set?it same as it used get 60 with class or?

    • H0lysatan
      February 25, 2021 at 5:49 pm

      yes, the same like basic. If your hero has reach lv.60, you’ll get it both golden and non.

  16. Rickert von F
    February 25, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    This all seems pretty good to me. Buffs for plenty of the returning cards, less unplayable junk in card pools.

    The new mage spell pool will take some getting used to, though. No Frostbolt, no Arcane Missiles, no Polymorph. Maybe there will be some new cards in the expansions to fill those gaps.

  17. EksSkellybur
    February 25, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    At Long Last.

    In loving memory, Silverback Patriarch can finally rest.
    Good Night Sleep, Prince. We thank you for your memes.

    Forgotten that you even existed, but never forgotten in our hearts.

    A 3 Mana 1/4 with Taunt, that has the potential to make your opponent concede for how useless the card is.
    I’ll miss those moments.

    “I’m Already Dead.”
    – Silverback’s final words, responding to all other taunts minions that do a better job than him.
    2014-2021

  18. Dbm14
    February 25, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Quick question – what is going to happen to Zephyrs? Will he offer core set cards now or will he still offer basic/classic cards?

    • Nope
      February 25, 2021 at 5:16 pm

      The devs have said Zeph will use the same set of cards as before. Hopefully it will still be retuned for the changes, so that Zeph doesn’t insist on BGH at 5 mana for example.

  19. Solaris29
    February 25, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    a little disapointed, so many crap card, they keeped brawl (rng frustation+).

  20. Goldenpantss
    February 25, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    Hunter’s set seems the strongest if you took it stand alone. You could build a pretty strong deck just using their basic set.

  21. PitLord
    February 25, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    No moro neutral charger, only DH as charge

  22. Sonriks6
    February 25, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    I feel that Warlock is the looser, Priest so inconsistent many different archetypes, DH will be strong as always. I see also a Deathrattle rising maybe to slow down the games. In general I like the set, it’s fresh we’ll see a lot of new decks!

  23. Noelle
    February 25, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    n-no… no boulderfist oger?

  24. Thorn
    February 25, 2021 at 12:31 pm

    Does anyone know why ‘blessing of kings’ and ‘mark of the wild’ are the only cards that have ‘(+x Attack/ +x Health)’ other card with the same(ish) effect don’t power infusion is an example of the same type of card but without the brackets.

    • Noelle
      February 25, 2021 at 12:36 pm

      They were some of the first cards you could ever get, and wanted to help introduce new players to the concept of the “+x/+x” abbreviation.

  25. Irish Seadog
    February 25, 2021 at 10:49 am

    The way they changed Nozdormu is interesting as now it makes Noz shenanigans strictly consensual. Overall, it’s neat and I kinda like it, although it does mean it’ll be a 7 mana 8/8 and nothing more most of the time.

  26. A person who reacts to this
    February 25, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Btw does anyone know what happens with the new cards in the core set once they leave again? Since they are only “borrowed” do they disappear forever or will you get to keep the new once in wild?

    • Fareh
      February 25, 2021 at 12:13 pm

      Thats a good question. I Guess they Will remove whatever was not previously owned

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 25, 2021 at 12:29 pm

      I think that after new cards (like the new Legendary Dragons) are out of the Core Set, they rotate out to Wild AFAIK. But I’m not 100% sure.

  27. Samb
    February 21, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    Guys do the extra cards from the classic set stay or you just get 2 copies of them? Should I DE my extra copies?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 25, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      Your old Classic cards stay exactly the way they are, they just become a part of Legacy Set in the Wild. Core Set cards are extra, SEPARATE cards. So you don’t need to worry about disenchanting anything for now.

      • Irish Seadog
        February 26, 2021 at 3:14 am

        So, would that mean we could run e.g. 4 stonetusk boars in a Wild deck? (2 new version, 2 old version)

  28. A person who reacts to this
    February 20, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    Hmm so in wild we can now play the old MALYGOS with the new one and have a bunch of spells in hand and 5+ spell damage, sweet, will be nice in druid.

  29. Irish Seadog
    February 20, 2021 at 6:44 am

    Will the card pictures be updated to link to the individual pages for each card like you normally do?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 20, 2021 at 7:35 am

      Yep, I’m just updating it now.

      I finished all the work at like 5 am last night (or rather this morning) and I was too tired to handle all the details like that.

      However, the “updated” cards (like buffed Assassinate) will still link to the current version. I’ll update those once Core Set is out 🙂

  30. Renoforfun
    February 20, 2021 at 5:53 am

    We can raisonably suppose that each legendary dragon is gonna be replaced. Cool thing for nozdormu, death wing and Onyxia which are never include.

  31. Sidus
    February 19, 2021 at 8:07 pm

    Priest in Wild could be interesting with the 500 ways to tutor spells from the deck now. Potentially run “8” copies of something with Shadow Visions, this new card, and Cleric of Scales.

    • Zermatt
      February 20, 2021 at 4:47 am

      Thrive in the shadows and cleric of scales don’t work as you think, they draw the spell and don’t create another one, the difference is the word copy, as in shadow visions

      • Irish Seadog
        February 20, 2021 at 6:41 am

        It still works as “8” for the purpose of consistency even though you don’t actually get more copies. Realistically, it’s probably closer to ~6 on average (NB this is an educated guess, I haven’t bothered with calcs yet) since you probably run more than these + target spell.

  32. Bell
    February 19, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Shaman can use these buffs.

  33. Killyridols
    February 19, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    This question may have been answered previously. But I am far too lazy to find it. Does anyone know if there is a way to obtain core set cards beyond their year of standard play?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 19, 2021 at 6:47 pm

      I’m not sure what you mean, could you elaborate?

      • Killyridols
        February 19, 2021 at 7:37 pm

        Will there be a way to own the cards after they are no longer in the current standard core set? Can I use 2021 core set in wild in 2022 for example?

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          February 19, 2021 at 7:59 pm

          Oh, that’s a good question. Old cards (like I don’t know, Menagerie Warden) will obviously still be accessible since they’re from previous expansions. And when it comes to the new 29 cards created solely for Core Set, they will rotate out to Legacy Set in the Wild (the same set Basic & Classic cards are in) and you will be able to craft them. I hope that answers your question.

          • Killyridols
            February 19, 2021 at 8:05 pm

            will I be getting core set cards out of packs that I get for tavern brawl? Thanks for your help. I know that you are just a HS fan like myself.

            • Zombie69
              February 19, 2021 at 8:21 pm

              The core set is free and disappears after one year, replaced by a new core set. You can’t get those cards from packs, you can’t craft them and you can’t disenchant them either.

              • Killyridols
                February 19, 2021 at 10:11 pm

                so the new cards will rotate out of wild also? Will the new versions of old cards replace my old cards?

        • Pandamonium
          February 20, 2021 at 4:33 am

          It would only make sense that the core cards are gone after the next year replaced with whatever next year is. Not copies of every core card for every year in wild.

          • Killyridols
            February 20, 2021 at 9:08 am

            my question is really about the 29 new cards. Will they simply vanish when the new core set comes? Or, will there be a way to obtain permanent copies of them?

    • H0lysatan
      February 19, 2021 at 7:19 pm

      core set is free for all. no need to buy it or craft it. Free and Uncraftable. Changes every year (unless devs decide to change it sooner)

  34. Goldenpantss
    February 19, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Wasn’t Shadowform also previously confirmed?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 19, 2021 at 5:57 pm

      Yes, you’re right, I forgot about it! 🙂

      • Mundane
        February 20, 2021 at 12:37 am

        Assassinate too.

        Also, less official, but Tidal Surge (updated to have Lifesteal) and Grommash (by name, not image) were leaked in the in-game footage.

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          February 20, 2021 at 7:33 am

          You’re right – for some reason Blizzard didn’t put Assassinate in the press kit so I missed it too.

          Can you direct me to that in-game footage so I can check it?

          • Mundane
            February 20, 2021 at 3:15 pm

            There was actually many I missed in the deep dive video… https://youtu.be/WdrUvB46b-w

            Grommash at 13:14

            At 17:30, Windfury, Tidal Surge (buffed to Lifesteal), Elven Archer, Raid Leader (buffed to 3 health), Dire Wolf Alpha, Fire Elemental, Murloc Tidecaller, Acidic Swamp Ooze.

            18:30, Deadly Poison (now a nature spell), Sprint (6 Mana), Sinister Strike,
            Abusive Sergeant, Senjin Shieldmasta (possibly buffed?)

            18:46, Lightning Bolt, Rockbiter Weapon, Jungle Panther, Lone Champion.

            I can’t remember where but Kobold Geomancer was also shown.

            Armorsmith is shown at 6:02 but this is not in the Core Set showcase. Of course, this could all be pre-release and not confirmed, but it seems worth including at least with an asterisk.

            • Stonekeep - Site Admin
              February 20, 2021 at 4:54 pm

              Thanks for the info.

              Good catches about Grommash or let’s say Sprint / Tidal Surge. I’ll surely add those.

              But I’m not sure if them using Sen’jin or Elven Archer etc. in presentation necessarily means that those cards will be back in the Core Set.