Hearthstone Epic Crafting Guide (Standard) – Descent of Dragons Post-Nerfs Meta

Determining which Epic 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 Epic Crafting Guide will help ease the anxiety of burning 400 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, Epic cards have different power levels than in Standard due to additional synergies available in the format. We have separate guides for Wild cards! (listed below)

Hearthstone Epic Crafting Strategy

When choosing the next Epic card to craft, you should consider both the strength and set of the cards you’re considering. Typically, Neutral Epics fit into more decks and offer the best variety when crafted. As with all class cards, however, class-specific Epics tend to be stronger and offer additional synergy and/or class identity options.

Be sure to also check out Legendary crafting guide!

Crafting Categories

The Best Cards to Craft are either Neutral Epics played in a variety of decks or very powerful, staple class Epics. Good Cards to Craft are Epics that are tech cards, flexible inclusions, or any card that doesn’t see as much play right now or has a high chance of disappearing from the meta when it shifts.

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.

Card Sets

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 Epic 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.

Classic Set

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 Epic cards. Due to their unrestricted duration in the Standard format, Classic Set Epic cards are more likely to remain playable than those released with expansions.

Hearthstone Classic Set Best Cards to Craft

  • Mountain Giant – Mountain Giant is one of the best Epic cards you could ever craft simply becasue it has seen play in multiple different metas. Most of the time its played in slower Warlock builds (Handlock) simply because of the Hero Power which lets you drop it on Turn 4. Sometimes it’s also played in other builds which can draw multiple cards relatively easily. Right now different variants of Handlock are pretty good, which means that Mountain Giant sees quite a lot of play.
  • Doomsayer – Doomsayer is another must-have Classic Epic. There was basically no meta in the last few years where it hasn’t seen any play. It’s a great anti-Aggro tool, dropping it on curve means that you very likely clear their 1-drop(s) or 2-drop and stall for a turn. Later in the game it can be used to tank 7 damage, or can be combo’d with other cards such as Mage’s Frost Nova.

Hearthstone Classic Set Good Cards to Crafts

  • Sea Giant – The other Classic Giant left in Standard, it generally fits into a different kind of decks than Mountain. Sea Giant is all about board flooding, which means that he naturally goes into the decks that can easily get multiple minions on the board and then play him for cheap. He naturally fits into all kinds of Token decks. Right now it doesn’t see massive amounts of play, but it’s still great in Galakrond Zoo Warlock, which is built around tokens and having lots of minions at the same time. It’s still a good investment into the future, because Sea Giant has seen play in dozens of decks over the years.
  • Twisting Nether – Staple Warlock board wipe. While it costs A LOT of mana, unlike most of the other clears it just destroys everything. No requirements, no minions surviving (like in case of Brawl), it straight up destroys instead of dealing damage (so high health minions won’t survive). Any time some slow Warlock deck is played, Twisting Nether finds a place in the deck. Right now, slow Warlock decks are pretty solid, so Twisting Nether sees some play in Handlock and Galakrond Warlock. However, with other board clears (such as Crazed Netherwing and Lord Godfrey) not every build runs it.
  • Force of Nature – Druid has been getting Treant synergies over the last 2 years – and it has finally reached the point at which you can build a full Treant Token Druid and it will be good. Force of Nature in particular is strong, because it has amazing synergy with Aeroponics. You can play FoN and then draw 2 cards for 0 mana, basically ending up with 3x 2/2 on the board and the same number of cards in your hand (plus a higher chance to draw your AoE buffs in case 2/2’s survive). If you want to play Treant Druid, Force of Nature is a solid craft.
  • Brawl & Shield Slam – I’ll group those two together, since they belong to the same archetype – Control Warrior. We’ve seen many variants of the deck over the years – regular Control Warrior, C’Thun Warrior, Dragon Control Warrior, Odd Warrior, even Bomb Warrior more recently. And each one of those has played both Shield Slam & Brawl. Those are timeless Warrior Epics that are might not be THAT good right now (mostly because Control Warrior isn’t doing very well this time around),
  • Murloc Warleader & Southsea Captain – While those two don’t go into the same deck, they’re similar – 3-drops from their respective tribes that buff other cards from that tribe. Whenever those tribes see common play, their respective synergies do too. Right now Murlocs aren’t really common (Murloc Paladin & Murloc Shaman see some off-meta play, but not so much), but Southsea Captain is playable in Pirate Warrior (which is a quite common meta deck).
  • Snake Trap – A solid Hunter Secret, creating 3x 1/1 for 2 mana is good, but it’s even better because they’re Beasts, so have all kinds of synergy in Hunter build. Whenever Secret-based Hunter builds see play, Snake trap is also playable.

Year of the Dragon (2019) Sets

The Year of the Dragon consists of Rise of Shadows, Saviors of Uldum and Descent of Dragons. All three sets will rotate out of the Standard format with the release of the first expansion in 2021 (most likely in April).

Descent of Dragons Best Cards to Craft

  • Scion of Ruin – Even after the nerfs, Galakrond Warriror is one of the better decks in the meta, and Scion of Ruin is a big reason for it. At 3 mana it was just broken, but even at 4, summoning 3x 3/2 minion with Rush is just amazing. It has extra synergies with Galakrond himself (it’s 7/6 after giving it +4/+4), as well as other cards like Dragon Breeder and Barista Lynchen. If you want to play Galakrond Warrior, definitely craft two Scions.
  • Veiled Worshipper – A second Galakrond synergy card, Veiled Worshipper is played in another strong Galakrond class – Warlock. 4 mana 5/4 are vanilla stats, and drawing 3 cards on Battlecry is obviously insane (normally drawing 3 costs ~5 mana). Galakrond Warlock also got nerfed slightly (Fiendish Rites from 3 to 4 mana) but it doesn’t matter that much. What’s interesting is that there are actually two distinct builds – fast, token-based Zoo and slower, Handlock-like Midrange. Both of them run Worshipper, though, so if you’re a Warlock player right now, you definitely want to get two copies.
  • Dark Skies – Another Warlock card, it’s just a very, very good board clear for any slower Warlock build that draws a lot of cards (so right now Handlock / Galakrond Warlock). Dark Skies lets you deal 7 or 9 damage on curve (going first / second), and that’s usually enough to clear whatever your opponent has. Later in the game you can use it to deal with multiple small minions or a single big minion. It’s an insanely powerful card when you’re behind on the board.
  • Toxic Reinforcements – A Face Hunter staple – if you want to play the deck, you HAVE to craft it. You Hero Power all the time, and summoning 3 Leper Gnomes for just 1 mana is very strong (even when it’s delayed). Face Hunter is also one of the best F2P decks, because those two copies of Reinforcements are basically the only expensive cards you need to play it. That said, keep in mind that the deck is much better at lower ranks than at higher ranks (although some players still get good results with Face Hunter in high Legend).

Descent of Dragons Good Cards to Craft

  • Umbral Skulker – Galakrond Rogue pay-off card, Umbral Skulker is mostly played in dedicated Galakrond builds that went all in on the synergies (most of Rogue decks run Galakrond, but don’t play enough Invokes to really take advantage of Skulker) or Malygos Rogue. The latter is interesting, because Skulker is a vital card in the build – thanks to the extra Coins, you can drop Malygos and play some burn spells in the same turn.
  • Necrium Apothecary – Apothecary used to be one of the best Epics from the expansion, but it got nerfed (from 4 to 5 mana). Even after the nerf, Deathrattle builds are okay, but no longer as dominating as it was before. It’s the biggest difference for Anubisath Warbringer build, which relies most on Apothecary. Delaying it by one turn means that it can start making a bigger board a turn later, and that’s (obviously) bad, especially vs Aggro.
  • Rolling Fireball – Rolling Fireball sees pretty common play in Highlander Mager (that’s why you need only 1 copy) and it’s a pretty good mid game removal. It’s a combination of AoE and single target – you can use it to deal 8 damage to a single minion, but you can also e.g. clear two 4 health minions. Solid, flexible removal, but Highlander Mage is not the best deck (it’s low Tier 2) and Rolling Fireball is not absolutely necessary to play it.
  • Embiggen – Unlike the cards above, Embiggen is mostly an off-meta card – Embiggen Druid is not a popular build, but it has seen some play. Obviously, two copies of Embiggen is a must when playing it. So far the most popular Embiggen Druid builds are Midrange Dragon decks, where adding extra stats is very strong. For example, making that Faerie Dragon a 3 mana 5/4 with Elusive is really powerful. Vicious Scalehide? 3 mana 3/5 with Rush and Lifesteal. Faceless Corruptor – now 6 mana, but 2x 6/6. The only real issue is that Druid doesn’t have that many good minions to combo with Embiggen, so the deck relies heavily on Neutral options.
  • Dragon's Pack – Alright, so here’s the thing – the card and the entire deck it was played in (Galakrond Shaman) was just nerfed, but the deck is not completely dead yet. For example, Impact had some luck with it in Top 50 Legend, and the deck’s popularity has risen a bit from the absolute bottom right after the nerfs (but it’s still very low). It’s still a relatively weak deck, but summoning 2x 4/5 Taunt for 5 mana is still good, so you definitely want to have the card if you really want to play it.

Saviors of Uldum Best Cards to Craft

  • Plague of Death – Plague of Death is an ultimate board wipe. Compared to Twisting Nether, you pay 1 more mana, but get rid of minions for good. In many cases, the cards are exactly the same, but if your opponent has any Deathrattles or Reborn minions, then Plague of Death becomes way better. Silencing everything leads to a complete board wipe no matter what your opponent might have. It’s incredibly powerful, but also very expensive – at 9 mana it comes down way after power spikes of Aggro decks. That’s why it’s most powerful against Midrange and Control decks. And given that Psychic Scream has rotated out, while Mass Hysteria is often not enough, Plague of Death is common slow Priest card right now. It’s not played in Combo version for obvious reasons, but it’s a staple in Resurrect Priest.
  • Psychopomp – Psychopomp is A LOT of value packed into one card. Not only you spend 4 mana to revive a minion which is usually worth more than 4 mana, but then you also give it Reborn AND have a 3/1 body on top of that. The card is just strong basically no matter what Priest deck you run. As long as you have some minions you want to revive (like Injured Blademaster in case of Combo or let’s say Convincing Infiltrator in case of Resurrect version), you do want to add Pyschopomp to your build.
  • Bloodsworn Mercenary – Warrior is kind of back to its roots of relying on minion damage to gain extra benefits. You still don’t have a full deck built around those synergies, but Bloodsworn Mercenary is an awesome example of one. As long as you have a damaged minion on the board, really ANY Damaged minion, the card is worth it. Even the worst case scenario of summoning an extra 1/1 on top of a 3/3 body is not bad. But most of the time you will get something better. Importantly, you can also use it to combo with a Charge minion to deal more damage. The best case scenario is a game finisher with Leeroy Jenkins (Leeroy + Inner Rage + Mercenary). The card sees common play in Galakrond Warrior, one of the best decks in current meta.

Saviors of Uldum Good Cards to Craft

  • Livewire Lance – Livewire Lance is a Pirate Warrior staple, and it’s sometimes played in Galakrond Warrior too (which is basically a Tempo deck), although it’s not as important there. We all know how strong Lackeys can be in faster builds, and Livewire Lance is a bit of a Warrior’s version of EVIL Miscreant. It even has an extra advantage of weapon buff synergies – adding more durability (through Upgrade! or Captain Greenskin) means more Lackeys. As long as faster Warrior builds will be playable (and it looks like it), the card should stay playable in Standard.
  • Anubisath Defender – Remember Arcane Tyrant? Anubisath Defender is basically its Druid class counterpart. Given that it comes with a Taunt and has a slightly better stat distribution (3/5 instead of 4/4), I’d say that it’s even stronger. Druid was already the best class for Tyrant, so it’s only natural that Defender has quickly became a staple in the class. The card is commonly seen in Quest Druid and sometimes in Token Druid, but frankly it should be played in any build that runs a bunch of 5+ mana spells. It has great synergy with cards like Nourish and Overflow – you lose tempo to draw cards, but Defender lets you drop something on the board immediately. Right now Druid is not the best class in the game, but the card is still good if you want to play Malfurion (and it will likely see play next year too).
  • Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron – Puzzle Box is basically a Highlander Mage staple. It’s mostly used as a “Hail Mary” card. Once you have no other options, but you need to do something – just cast Box! Most of the time it will clear the board at least partially and probably draw some cards,  maybe summon minions or cast Secrets. However, right now Highlander Mage is not really one of the best meta decks right now, so I can’t put it higher on the priority list.
  • Tortollan Pilgrim – Pilgrim is basically in the same situation as Puzzle Box – it was stronger when Highlander Mage was dominating, it’s weaker now, but it’s still staple if you want to run the deck. After Luna's Pocket Galaxy was nerfed back to 7, I’d say that it’s even more important, given that it makes playing it easier (assuming it’s still in the deck at the time you drop him).
  • Micro Mummy – At first, the card started seeing play in Reborn Paladin. Not really an amazing option, but Reborn Paladin was lacking Reborn minions + it’s a Mech and the build was also running a bunch of Magnetic cards. So all in all, the card was working quite well. Right now Quest Paladin doesn’t see that much play (well, it doesn’t see almost any play), but Micro Mummy is still solid in another build – Mech Paladin. The deck is now faster than it was last expansion, thanks to the more aggressive options it got such as Sky Claw and Goboglide Tech. And I can only imagine that it will get even better when Shotbot gets printed in the upcoming Galakrond’s Awakening adventure.
  • Crystal Merchant – Because of its effect, Crystal Merchant should mostly be treated as a 3 mana card. But a 3 mana 1/4 that draws a card is already pretty okay. Now, if you repeat this effect every turn, it becomes a must-kill staple that can snowball the game by drawing a bunch of cards early if not answered. The card is a perfect fit into Quest Druid, a deck that WANTS to leave unspent Mana over the first few turns anyway, so Crystal Merchant is usually the best T3 play – not only you put something on the board, progress the Quest, but also draw a card on top of that. The issue is that Quest Druid is not really a great deck this expansion, but luckily, Crystal Merchant has also started to see some play in Embiggen Druid. While you delay it by one turn, giving it +2/+2 puts it at an impressive 3/7 statline, making it rather difficult to clear, so it’s a great source of card draw in the mid/late game.

Rise of Shadows Best Cards to Craft

There are currently no “Best” Epics from Rise of Shadows we can recommend. Still, be sure to check out the list of “Good” Epics below!

Rise of Shadows Good Cards to Craft

  • Batterhead – Currently played in Resurrect Priest, and while the deck is pretty good, the Batterhead is definitely not necessary to play it (unlike some other Epics such as Psychopomp or Plague of Death). It’s a solid addition, however, mostly because of its great synergy with upgraded Hero Power. Healing for 3 and giving it +3/+3 means that you can first attack, kill a small minion, then heal it up while buffing its attack to 6 and then clear some more things. Many times it will be a full board clear that will also leave a solid and threatening minions on the board.
    Power of Creation – By itself, the card is only okay – summoning two 6-drops for 8 mana is usually a nice play, but nothing impressive. Of course, it’s amazing if you high-roll 2x Damaged Stegotron (5/12 Taunts), but lots of the time you end up picking e.g. 2x 5/5 because there’s simply nothing better. However, the card works pretty nicely in Highlander Mage for two reasons. First – you need to run some off-meta cards because you can’t put duplicates of your best ones. And second – it has some nice synergies. It’s not amazing when played from hand for full cost, BUT you can cheat it out quite often. Between Tortollan Pilgrim and Kalecgos, you will probably cast it for free more often than you will play it for the full cost.
    Mana Cyclone – From one of the best decks in Rise of Shadows, Cyclone Mage has quickly dropped to one of the weakest in Saviors of Uldum after the nerfs. While the deck has gained some new, solid cards in Descent of Dragons, it’s stil mostly an off-meta build. Still, I thought that the card is worth mentioning – it’s a Cyclone Mage staple (hence the name), and it has lots of potential, even if not for the current meta. Despite it not being a great craft like it once was, you still need it if you want to play Cyclone Mage.
  • Magic Carpet – Magic Carpet was a Zoo Warlock staple – since the deck played so many 1-drops, giving all of them Rush and +1 Attack was huge. With Carpet on the board, it was hard to lose board control. However, the latest builds simply don’t have enough space for Carpet, because they run Galakrond, the Wretched and its synergies instead. However, some Combo Priest builds have picked up the card and play it now. And the card is just solid in general, so I can imagine that it should see some play next Standard year too.
    Omega Devastator – Omega cards weren’t necessarily the most successful mechanic. Most of the time they were either too weak initially, or their 10 mana effect wasn’t that impactful. In case of Omega Devastator, however, it’s both okay on the curve (with vanilla, Chillwind Yeti stats you can drop it against Aggro to keep them busy and get some trades) and its 10 mana effect is incredibly powerful (you can clear nearly every minion in the meta for just 4 mana + have a body on top of that). That’s why Omega Devastator sees common play in slow Warrior builds. The issue, however, is that slow Warrior builds are really bad in the current meta, so craft it only if you really want to play Control or Bomb Warrior.

Year of the Raven (2018) Sets

The Year of the Raven consists of The Witchwood, The Boomsday Project and Rastakhan’s Rumble. All three sets will rotate out of the Standard format with the release of the first expansion in 2020.

Rastakhan’s Rumble Best Cards to Craft

There are currently no “Best” Epics from Rise of Shadows we can recommend. Still, be sure to check out the list of “Good” Epics below!

Rastakhan’s Rumble Good Cards to Craft

  • Crowd Roaster – Descent of Dragons introduced LOTS of Dragon synergies, so the old ones gained some popularity too. While most of the new synergy cards are better than Crowd Roaster, the card still makes some sense in certain builds. Mostly played in Highlander Dragon builds because of lack of better options (and the fact that you need to fill the deck with enough Dragons) – so Highlander Mage, Hihglander Dragon Paladin and even Dragon build of Highlander Warrior. It’s also semi-popular in Embiggen Druid (but the deck itself is not very popular in the first place). If you want to go all in on Dragons, it’s good to have it, but given that it rotates out soon, you can pass on that.
  • Masked Contender – Masked Contender is played in some Secret Hunter builds. While it was mostly phased out (pun not intended) by Phase Stalker, some dedicated Secret Hunter builds play both. It’s also sometimes seen in Highlander version, although pretty rarely. Still, unless you really want to play the deck, I would pass on that given that it rotates out soon.

The Boomsday Project Best Cards to Craft

There are currently no “Best” Epics from Rise of Shadows we can recommend. Still, be sure to check out the list of “Good” Epics below!

The Boomsday Project Good Cards to Craft

  • Prismatic Lens – Paladin and card draw don’t really go hand in hand most of the time. Drawing 2 cards for 4 mana is not amazing, but it’s better than nothing. That’s why it’s a Holy Wrath Paladin staple – you want to cycle through your deck as quickly as possible. There are also some other, interesting combos you can play, such as the infamous Murloc Paladin (which is completely off-meta right now) that plays only 2x Lens and 2x Tip the Scales as its only spells to cheat out a full board of Murlocs on T4/T5. Even more off-meta is a deck built around King Phaoris… But it’s mostly useful as a Holy Wrath Paladin card, so if you want to play the deck and have enough Dust to spare, definitely get it (keep in mind that the entire deck rotates out next expansion).
  • Thunderhead – The card was always solid, but it quickly became one of the best Shaman cards after its buff in Rise of Shadows (from 3/5 to 3/6). Even since, it was commonly played in any Token-based or Overload-bases Shaman build (and those were often very similar). Early in Descent of Dragons, Galakrond Shaman was dominating, which quickly lead to lots of nerfs to the class. Right now it’s one of the worst classes in the game, but if you still want to play it, Thunderhead-based builds might be your best option.

The Witchwood Best Cards to Craft

  • Town Crier – Back in the day, Novice Engineer was nerfed from 1/2 to 1/1 because it was too good. At 2 mana. Town Crier is a pre-nerf Novice Engineer for 1 mana, with one more health. You get a small body, which replaces itself in your hand with a good card, what’s there not to like? Most of the Warrior builds in the last few expansions have played some Rush cards, sometimes because of Town Crier. Right now Town Crier is a staple in two most popular Warrior builds – Galakrond and Pirate, both of which can benefit from it heavily. If you want to play either of those, Town Crier is an amazing craft.

The Witchwood Good Cards to Craft

  • Rat Trap – In theory, Rat Trap is one of the strongest Hunter Secrets. Summoning a 6/6 minion for just 2 mana is massive. It happening in the early game is usually an easy win for the class. Of course – things aren’t that simple and once opponents realize what’s going on, they try to play around it by not playing three cards in a single turn. However, as you can imagine, it’s not always that easy, especially later in the game. That’s part of the Secret’s strength – even if your opponent maneuvers around it, they’re severely restricted since they can only play 2 cards per turn, meaning that they will often pass when they still could do something else. The fact that this Secret is relatively difficult to trigger can also be an advantage at times – it means that you’re more likely to be able to trigger your other cards’ effects (e.g. Hyena Alpha) – and if your opponent triggers it before you can, you definitely won’t mind a 6/6 on board.
  • Nightmare Amalgam – The most infamous Battlegrounds card has started seeing some Constructed play once again before rotating out. Amalgam is very simple – it has the vanilla 3 mana 3/4 stats, which are great, but sadly comes with no effect. Instead, it can sub for any tribe you want. If you need Dragons – you can play it. If you need Pirates – you can play it. And so on, and so on. Because of that, it has seen some niche play when certain decks were lacking minions from a given tribe, and right now it’s mostly used as a Dragon sub. Especially in more Aggro / Midrange builds – the slower decks can run the big Legendary Dragons to fill the tribe count, but faster decks can’t really do that, so some of the builds rely on Amalgam.
  • Baleful Banker – Baleful Banker is an interesting card. When you compare it to the Rogue’s Lab Recruiter, you can easily see that it’s not very powerful… but it being Neutral means that you can use it in any class. Early in Year of the Dragon, it has seen a bunch of play in Control decks in order to shuffle another copy of Archivist Elysiana in, but the Legendary was nerfed to 9 mana so it wouldn’t happen so easily. So its main use right now is Holy Wrath Paladin to shuffle in Shirvallah, the Tiger (to then draw it with Holy Wrath and deal 25 damage). Baleful Banker is a necessary card if you want to play the deck, since it’s a basic part of your combo.
  • Book of Specters – Book was really, really hyped before its release. After all, drawing 3 cards for 2 mana would be one of the strongest effects in the entire game. There’s a catch, though – if you draw any spells, you discard them. That’s why the deck has historically seen some play in minion-heavy builds like Elemental Mage and that’s it. More recently, however, it has started being played in Highlander Mage, a build that runs a bunch of spells too. The thing is, however, that on average you still play more minions, so it should draw you ~2 cards for 2 mana. Yes, you discard something, but in most of the matchups it’s not a problem – discarding something is no different than that card being at the bottom of your deck majority of time. You can get unlucky and roll 3 spells, sure, but then again you can get lucky and draw 3 for 2. That said, since the card is not necessary to play the deck AND it rotates out soon, craft it only if you have lots of spare Dust.
  • Arcane Keysmith – Keysmith is simply a solid card, and it became slightly better after the new Mage Secret (Flame Ward) was released. Given that it’s Discover effect, most of the time you’ll get something that’s good in a given matchup. There are obviously better and worse Secrets to pick, but in general stuff like Counterspell or Mirror Entity is never going to be terrible, especially that you also get a small body on top of that. It’s commonly played in Highlander Mage, but just like Book of Specters, it’s not necessary so you can probably skip it unless you have a lot of Dust.
  • Sandbinder – The card’s popularity has first increased after Giants (such as Mountain Giant) became Elementals. And, more recently, it became more popular again after Zephrys the Great and – to a certain extent – Siamat were released. They’re both great cards you want to tutor, especially Zephrys, which you want to draw as often as possible in the decks that play it. His effect is game-changing, so having a 4 mana 2/4 that “draws the best card in your deck” is no joke. Still, while the card is good, it’s never really required – it can easily be replaced, it’s never a staple that’s necessary to run a certain deck or makes the deck way stronger. So crafting it right before the rotation might be a good idea only if you have lots of Dust to “waste”.

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!

Leave a Reply

65 Comments

  1. No1bro
    January 20, 2020 at 8:59 am

    Hey, I have two copies of rat trap. One is golden and one is normal, if I needed the dust, would It be okay to dust the golden version?

    • IWILLDEFEAT
      February 5, 2020 at 8:46 am

      Most decks with rat trap only run 1 copy, so if you need the dust, dusting the golden copy would be perfectly ok in my opinion.

  2. JoyDivision
    January 17, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Rastakhan’s Rumble Good Epics seem off … I didn’t see any of those cards on the ladder before and after the second nerf (when they’re not discovered, that is).

    And Town Crier has to be a ‘best craft’ for sure – it’s played in every single warrior build and has a wider use than Scion (that makes up for the earlier rotation imho).

    Besides that, article’s on point.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      January 17, 2020 at 9:11 am

      Crowd Roaster actually had ~2.5% play rate at the time I was writing this (which is not that bad), mostly in variants of Highlander Mage and Embiggen Druid, as well as some random Highlander Dragon Paladin builds. Masked Contender has seen play in some full Secret Hunter decks (although they’re rare) as well as certain versions of Highlander build. Haunting Vision I will probably remove – the card is played in some Galakrond Shaman builds, but let’s be honest, those are pretty bad after all of those nerfs (and even then the card is not necessary).

      But in general, I would not recommend crafting any of the “Good” cards from Year of the Raven UNLESS you have lots of spare Dust and you really want to play a given deck. That’s mostly because those will rotate out in less than 3 months. The only one I could truly recommend to every Warrior player is – like you’ve mentioned – Town Crier. The card will bump your win rate by even a few %, it’s really amazing (and it’s in the “Best” section for Witchwood, by the way).

      • JoyDivision
        January 19, 2020 at 11:43 pm

        100% sure it wasn’t when I wrote my comment … because there was no ‘best craft picture’ of him. But maybe I was blind and overlooked *shrug*.

  3. Stonekeep - Site Admin
    January 17, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Epic Crafting Guide was just updated for the Descent of Dragons Post-Nerfs Meta. Just like Legendary Guide, it was a nightmare to update, because we didn’t have a single meta that was stable for more than a week because of constant nerf patches as well as the upcoming content releases. Still, I decided to push it out, because an update that will get outdated quickly is still better than no update at all.

    I’ll try to push out another update after all of the Galakrond’s Awakening cards launch in February.

  4. Stonekeep - Site Admin
    September 9, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Epic Crafting Guide was just updated for the Saviors of Uldum Post-Nerf Meta. Comments below this one might be outdated.

    Let me know if you spot any mistakes!

    • Jjigita
      September 9, 2019 at 8:57 am

      Good read, but you said Twisting Nether is a “Warrior board wipe”. Please, the last thing Control Warrior needs is another board clear.

  5. Belzebub
    July 2, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    On the Witchwood’s best epics the text in background it says Boom’s day. Not a very influencing mistake but catched my eye. Great guide btw, We love u Stonekeep

  6. Leis33
    June 14, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    4 from 8 cards are warrior cards and blizzard don’t do anything about it :/

    • Taznak
      June 15, 2019 at 5:33 am

      Out of curiosity, what is your complaint here? Is it that Warrior epics are so much better than epics from other classes, so other classes need better epics?

      Or is the complaint that Warrior needs an expensive deck full of epics and legendaries to play properly? A Hunter can play a tier 1 meta deck for 6400 dust, a Shaman can do so for 4400 dust and a Druid can do so for 2960 dust, while a tier 1 Warrior deck costs 12880 dust.

      They’re two sides of the same coin, so I genuinely don’t know which one it is that you think is a problem, haha

      • Kuskie
        June 16, 2019 at 12:20 pm

        Haven’t seen such an insightful reply in a while! The cost of building a warrior deck (mage also) is ridiculously high and forces newer players to either expend all resources to one deck or try cheaper alternatives.
        For me personally, I literally only experience warrior in Wizbang. I wish there is a better way for newer players to also play as warrior.

  7. Stonekeep - Site Admin
    June 14, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Epic Crafting Guide was just updated for the Rise of Shadows Post-Buff Meta. Comments below this one might be outdated.

    Let me know if you spot any mistakes!

    • GlosuuLang
      June 18, 2019 at 3:29 am

      Baleful Banker: “Right now, it’s mostly used as a way to shuffle an extra Archivist Elysiana into your deck in Control builds. But I wouldn’t put it high on the priority list, because using Youthful Brewmaster gives you a similar effect in Control mirrors – some players even prefer to run Brewmaster instead (since it has some more applications).” – This text is outdated. Since Elysiana’s nerf to 9 mana, most builds have dropped the extra shuffle because you can’t always be on the Coin.

      • Stonekeep - Site Admin
        June 18, 2019 at 4:18 am

        Thanks a lot for pointing it out – must have missed it. Updated it! 🙂

  8. Phoesias
    April 29, 2019 at 3:04 am

    there is not a single priest card

    What does it say about the current position of priest class.

    The raw Powerlevel of 90% of all priest cards are currently utter garbage

    • Phoesias
      April 29, 2019 at 3:38 am

      i mean:

      Priest has a 3 Mana +2/2 twin spell

      while Mage got a fill the fucking board with Giants and Priest Taunts Twinspell

      wtf blizzards seriously

  9. AryannaLao20
    April 28, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Will there also be lists like this for Rare and Common cards?

    • GlosuuLang
      May 6, 2019 at 2:00 am

      Unlikely. Commons and Rares don’t take that much dust to craft, so it’s not a huge waste if you craft the “wrong” cards of these rarities. For commons the best way is actually to buy packs of the expansion you need. With 40 packs opened you should have almost all the commons.

  10. Stonekeep - Site Admin
    April 26, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Epic Crafting Guide was just updated for the Rise of Shadows Meta. Comments below this one might be outdated.

    Let me know if you spot any mistakes!

  11. Monkshow
    April 26, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Looking forward to the updated guide with Rise of Shadows!

  12. CD001
    January 28, 2019 at 5:57 am

    “Spreading Plague vs big boards. I think it’s the Classic Epic that EVERYONE should get” …. ummmm, Classic?

    • CD001
      January 28, 2019 at 6:05 am

      Ah – my bad, reading comprehension fail … ignore me 😉

      • Stonekeep - Site Admin
        January 31, 2019 at 7:46 am

        Hahah, no worries, it started in a new line so it kind of looked wrong 🙂

  13. Stonekeep - Site Admin
    January 24, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Epic Crafting Guide was updated for the Rastakhan’s Rumble Post-Nerf meta.

    Comments below this one refer to the previous version of this article and might be outdated.

  14. GlosuuLang
    August 29, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Kobolds and Catacombs is such a deranged set. Just look at ALL the epics that are good crafts our auto-crafts – 17 total. 3 of those were nerfed already: Corridor Creeper, Call to Arms, Spiteful Summoner. And Branching Paths and Carnivorous Cube could hit the nerf hammer in the future too. It’s just insane compared to the epics in other sets. I’m still missing many of those cards even though it’s the set I crafted the most epics from. And yes, I did open the only useless epic of the set four times: Shimmering Courser.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      August 29, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      I agree, and it’s not just Epics. K&C’s power level in general was INSANE. It seems like Blizzard has this weird thing with last sets of the year – first Gadgetzan and now K&C. They both had very high power levels. On the one hand, I get it, they will be in Standard for the shortest period of time, so Blizzard wants them to have a big higher impact. But they want way overboard with that.

      I hope that they have learned from that mistake and the upcoming, 3rd set of Year of the Raven won’t be THAT powerful.

      • ChronicChaos
        August 31, 2018 at 12:06 am

        I definitely agree with you on the desire to have a weaker 3rd expansion for the Year of the Raven. That said, I would be okay with a similar power level to KnC and Gadgetzan as long as every class has a viable or semi-viable meta deck to play with. Part of (or most) the reason the post-nerf Witchwood meta was so fun to play was because there was a reliable way to make at least one deck work in the meta for each class. I’m hoping for something similar in the post-nerf Boomsday meta (and hoping the 3rd Raven expansion gives Priest some much-needed TLC 🙁 ).

  15. JoyDivision
    June 7, 2018 at 5:34 am

    To My Side! … from zero to hero.

    I should search for links regarding the shitstorm that card received. But I’m one lazy dude. 😉

    And +1 to ‘the end is missing’: It’s missing.

    • dps_kane
      June 8, 2018 at 3:39 am

      also the author of the guide here received a shitstorm, because before WW he listed it under “good cards to craft”, anticipating that there might be a nice updrift for this card once the kraken year rotates out….

    • CD001
      August 31, 2018 at 4:28 am

      Heh – you don’t have to search far, just look at the comments for the card on *this* site:
      https://www.hearthstonetopdecks.com/cards/to-my-side/

      My personal favourite being: “A hunter deck without minions??? Sorry what?”

      It’s been said, many times before, HS players are bad at predicting the power level of new cards…

      • JoyDivision
        September 3, 2018 at 12:29 am

        At least one thing’s for sure: To my Side! has the best golden animation of all cards from that expansion. 😉

  16. MilesTegF
    June 6, 2018 at 8:30 am

    I think the post is incomplete, not because it lacks something, but because it literally end on “…over the ladder, so were the Voidlords. After the balance changes, the deck’s”

  17. dps_kane
    June 6, 2018 at 4:27 am

    I already left my remarks on the legendary craft guide, would like to do the same here 😀

    # classic: I personally see more merit to craft sea giant than mountain giant. The latter is very powerful, but it really requires to play even warlock – I would rather place it in the good cards to craft. Sea giant sees more play imo as there are various board flood decks (even shaman, token druid, …) or even as a counter to these decks.
    As for the good epics to craft: I would not mention the following cards:
    – Cabal shadow priest: it sees very little play right now (haven’t seen one in ages, not even in decks with twilight acolyte). And there have been many times where this card saw little play in the past, too.
    – Far sight: played in one deck right now, which can leave the meta easily. This card is not good as a standalone. I am very confident that if someone really wants to play shudderwock, that person will check all the decklists out there and come to the conclusion that this card is necessary. For anyone else this card hasn’t seen play since we saw weird OTK decks….
    – Hungry crab: If it’s not a good craft right now, then it should not be mentioned here… kinda confusing. I mean…. It’s a counter card. One cannot play it if there is no murloc meta. Far sight or Cabal shadow priest can at least be played even without a support deck, but this card….

    # WW: agree on the best epics and I would remove also here the sandbinder from the good cards, for the same reason I’d remove far sight. It’s a combo piece for one deck only and might not see play ever outside of it (could be wrong, but a lot of epics could see play somewhere)

    #Un’Goro: total agree here on the best cards. I would add more decks where primordial is played, which is: niche shudderwock decks, dragon combo priest, taunt druid to name a few. This card absolutely rocks. I would leave Shadow visions under good cards, but I would point out that it is a staple card in almost any priest deck (it’s just that priest is not doing good right now) and also extremely powerful in wild

    # KFT: I agree with the choices, but I disagree with the short list. I mean, there are some KFT epics that can be considered good crafts, and for sure better general crafts than e.g. the classic epcis listed above, namely: obsidian statue (currently not really viable) and gnomeferatu (very much viable in control warlocks, even in wild warlocks, btw)

    # K&C: no real disagreement (except personal bias), one might want to mention next to the dragonhatcher that usually one copy is enough.

    In general: would it not be interesting to add some more comments about the “wild viability” of some cards? I primarily craft for standard, but I do also have wild in my mind. And some cards are good in standard, but unlikely to see much play in wild (e.g. corridor creeper, nightmare amalgam, corpse taker, …), while other cards might not shine in the current standard meta, but are likely to stay viable cards in wild even long time after rotating out of standard (psychic scream, UI, …).

    just my 2 cents 🙂

  18. FranCe5
    April 27, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Thanks for updating the list! Murloc Warleader didn’t make the cut but was referenced as being relatively better than Gentle Megasaur, which did.

    It’s early, yet, but we might be sleeping on Ratcatcher from The Witchwood set. Having the chance to destroy your Cube or Voodoo Doll while buffing your Rush minion is pretty good.

    For F2P players, Kobolds & Catacombs represents very good value. Every ten packs purchased gets you at least one from a very deep pool of quality Epic cards.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 27, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      Oh, sorry, I meant to put it into Good cards from Classic! I cut it from the “Best” (since Murloc Paladin is no longer as popular as it was), and forgot to add it to the good ones. Silly me.

      I agree that the list might be incomplete, but it’s better to not recommend something than recommend something that might not see any play! I will update it again a few weeks from now once the meta settles down more.

    • Htlfdecks
      May 11, 2018 at 2:42 am

      Hi, how do you know that? 1 epic guaranteed every 10 packs?

      • FranCe5
        May 11, 2018 at 9:24 am

        My understanding is Blizzard uses a “pity timer,” so you are very likely — perhaps guaranteed — to get at least one legendary card in every 40 packs you open and one epic card in every 10 packs you open. Note: this applies to each set, so there are separate counters for The Witchwood, Kobolds & Catacombs, etc. Here’s a post from reddit:

        https://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone/comments/3znt9m/continuing_information_on_the_pity_timer/

        This has certainly been my experience. I started tracking several weeks ago and have consistently received at least one epic in every 10 packs and a legendary in every 40. The K&C expansion is full of strong epic cards, so it’s a good set in which to invest your gold.

  19. Krypt0nate
    April 2, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Iceblock will be HOF’d so probably want to update this article?

  20. Raemahn
    February 19, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    …and Corridor Creeper went from Best to not even on the list in one nerf.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 20, 2018 at 1:49 am

      It was one of the biggest nerfs Hearthstone ever experienced, not counting total remakes. Usually cards gets +1 Mana or let’s say -1 Health, but in this case it was -3 Attack. Changing a 5/5 to 2/5 basically makes it nearly unplayable.

      The only deck it still can see play in is basically Evolve Shaman, because if you Evolve it, it still turns into a random 8-drop.

      • Raemahn
        February 22, 2018 at 10:23 am

        Yeps. On the plus side, I got a lot of dust for the pair of them. ?

        • Chris
          May 1, 2018 at 2:41 pm

          Of course, I opened a Golden one post-nerf, too late to melt for full value.

      • Raemahn
        June 15, 2018 at 1:21 pm

        Here we are four months later and I have yet to see anyone drop a creeper on me. I’d say the nerf was effective if the purpose was to kill the card. Glad I dusted the pair of them while I still could.

      • Zombie69
        August 29, 2018 at 11:50 am

        Actually, Odd Paladin also runs two copies. Since Odd Paladin is still one of the best decks right now, I’d say it’s still a good card to craft.

  21. Irishkid200
    February 18, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Where is hungry crab? Murlocs are seeing quite a bit of play right now and I doubt they’ll be going away any time soon, and it’s essentially an autoinclude in aggro Druid because of that and it’s a low cost good beast.

  22. Benjaxoul
    February 18, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Should we get our dust back after wotg and gadgetzan leave standart?

    • Elzein
      February 18, 2018 at 10:23 pm

      You can dust the cards, but you only get their normal dust value. No full refund for cards that rotate to wild.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 18, 2018 at 11:31 pm

      If you think about a full Dust refund, then sadly no, nothing like that happens. The cards will still be usable in the Wild and this is just a normal rotation.

      They only fully refund cards if they rotate them “out of schedule” to Hall of Fame. Since they’ve promised that the Classic cards will be available forever in Standard, when rotating some of them out they’ve “broken” that promise and refunded players with full dust (while leaving the card in their collection).

      We will probably get more announcements regarding this year’s Hall of Fame rotation soon, if it will happen at all (but I do think it will).

      • XPV70
        February 19, 2018 at 4:10 am

        Which cards could you predict going to hall of fame, if there is a HoF rotation?
        Is it worth keeping extra copies of these cards to get more dust, does that even work?

        I’m a new player and never experienced a rotation before :/

        • SauceAlfredo
          February 19, 2018 at 8:43 pm

          Currently, the community is pretty certain that ice block and alexstrasza will rotate out in HoF. After that, the community is a little bit divised about nourish, but most of them think that nourish will rotate out in HoF.

          Beside these card, i’m not aware of any other candidate. Others may help ^^

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          February 20, 2018 at 1:55 am

          Ice Block, Alexstrasza, Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Wild Growth, Doomguard and Preparation are some of the predictions.

          But those are only guesses – no one really knows what cards will rotate out (if any). Given that the rotation will happen with the first expansion of 2018, somewhere early-mid April, they should make an announcement soon if anything.

          But to answer your second question, no, there is no need to keep extra copies. You are getting a refund only for the amount of cards you can put into your deck – so 2 in case of Common/Rare/Epic and 1 in case of Legendary. However, there is a certain cool trick to gain more Dust if you don’t own a certain Legendary, for example.

          Refund for a Golden Legendary is 3200 Dust. So if you don’t own one, you can actually craft it before it rotates out, gain the full Dust refund (3200), and then Disenchant it for 1600 (normal value) to gain +1600 Dust. It only works if you don’t own a copy of that certain card. But don’t sweat about it yet, we will definitely explain it on the site if they announce Hall of Fame rotation 🙂

  23. Zantron
    February 18, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Hmm I am not sure if I agree with “Faceless Manipulator” listed under best epics of classic. Its certainly a good card in the decks where its used but there arent that many decks that can make use of it, the only ones I remember are renolock and cubelock (maybe I missed some that were popular whenever I took a break from this game). I would personally put it under “good epics” instead.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 18, 2018 at 8:21 am

      The hard part about making lists like this is that you need to balance out cards that “see a lot of play right now” and cards that are just generally “solid crafts”. Given that Faceless is a Classic Neutral, and it has seen play in multiple decks ever since the Classic, I feel like it just belongs to the second category.

      It’s not only Warlock decks that used to play it. While it was most common (and amazing) in decks like RenoLock and Handlock, decks like Control Shaman, Worgen Warrior (and other Combo Warrior decks like Giants Warrior) or Ramp Druid also played it. If we go even further back, it was actually a common card in Miracle Rogue (Deckhand / Cold Blood combo).

      Even right now it’s played in Malygos Druid, even though that’s an off-meta deck.

      So my reasoning was that the card was never “must-craft” at any point, but it overall a good craft given how many times it has seen play in the past, and the fact that it’s commonly seen in the arguably most poweful meta deck right now.

  24. Advocaat
    February 18, 2018 at 5:07 am

    To my side! is terrible card by the way. Most of the spell hunter decklists don’t include it. I really don’t think it should be considered “good to craft” … Maybe good to dust.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 18, 2018 at 6:04 am

      I thought that I explained it well enough in the post itself. Y’Shaarj is a really bad craft right now, because it rotates out in just about 1.5 months. Not to mention that a lot of players don’t have Karazhan. While I acknowledge that the Y’Shaarj version is better, this is the second best option and it’s more future-proof.

      To My Side! is not a bad card at all. It works very well in the Spell Hunter. It’s just that you simply CAN’T run both Barnes/Y’Shaarj combo and To My Side! (because it would be too inconsistent, it still works with Rhok’delar, but that’s 1 card and not 3 in total). If not for that, the card would be played, and it’s the second best option if you don’t have the Barnes/Y’Shaarj. And while Y’Shaarj will no longer be played in Spell Hunter after the rotation, I’m quite certain that To My Side! will.

      Not to mention that this list isn’t aimed at the pro players – they already know what to craft. If you’re a less experienced player, you can just as well play the slightly worse version at the lower ranks. In terms of fun, it should be even better – Barnes version is really unfun in a way that you so often need to high-roll your way to victory and drawing Y’Shaarj is a terrible feeling.

      • Advocaat
        February 18, 2018 at 7:55 am

        You’re right about barnes and all that stuff but I still think you overestimate the quality of the card itself. It really isn’t great at all. The fact that it is specifically designed for spell hunter, yet no spell hunter runs it, speaks for itself.

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          February 18, 2018 at 8:14 am

          Like I’ve said, it only speaks about the fact that Y’Shaarj version is just better. If not for Y’Shaarj, every Spell Hunter would run it. Two Animal Companions on Turn 6 is not bad at all, especially since it fits right after the Spellstone (if Wolves survive, rolling Leokk makes them so much better and if they die, it’s a board refill). But you just can’t run those two cards together, that’s the deck’s restriction.

          Let me give you another example – Northshire Cleric is a great card, yet Highlander (Razakus) Priest only used one copy. Does it mean that the card is not good enough to play two copies? No, it just means that if you want to run other, better cards, you need to restrict your deck building.

          I am 100% sure that the card will see play in Spell Hunter after the rotation, unless another amazing incentive to play minions arises (like the Barnes/Y’shaarj in this case), but I don’t think that they would do that considering how people hate Barnes now.

          • Advocaat
            February 18, 2018 at 8:43 pm

            Even more reason for people not to craft it. You basically recommend a card because it may get played after standard rotation. Maybe you’re right and it will be played but how can you know that spell hunter is going to be a thing then? Maybe it will be a bottom tier deck. To my side! is definitely not supposed to be on any “good epics to craft” list right now.

          • Stonekeep - Site Admin
            February 19, 2018 at 3:52 am

            You’re still missing my point. I don’t recommend it because it might get played after the rotation. That’s just one of the reasons.

            Barnes + Y’Shaarj combo is 1400 Gold (or $14) + 1600 Dust. 2x To My Side! is 800 Dust. That’s a massive difference.

            Barnes + Y’Shaarj has exactly 0% chance of seeing play in 1.5 months, because it will rotate out. Even if you don’t think that To my Side will see play, it still can, unlike those two.

            I haven’t even once said that To My Side are better in the deck than Barnes + Y’Shaarj. But if you’re a more new/casual player and you absolutely want to play the deck right now, you can do it for a much lower investment by crafting To my Side + it will still be playable after the rotation.

            The card is on the list for the reasons I’ve already explained (not only in the comments, but next to the card itself too). People have their own brains and can decide whether they want to craft it or not after I explicitly said that it’s NOT the best-in-slot, but the best-in-slot combo of Barnes + Y’Shaarj is expensive and rotating out very soon. If you want to play the deck, you need to have either one or the other, and if I was a new/budget player who wants to play the deck, I’d definitely want to save 800 Dust and 1400 Gold.

  25. Leo
    February 17, 2018 at 2:49 am

    Pretty sure Voidlord should be under Best Epics for K&C *sighs*

    • Michallut
      February 17, 2018 at 5:52 am

      I’m pretty sure you are right

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 17, 2018 at 7:54 am

      My god, sorry. I wanted to split them between Class & Neutrals first and then merged them together (because the split seemed a bit needless). Voidlord had to disappear somewhere along the way. Adding it now.