Rise of Shadows has just launched. We’ll be updating our Epic Crafting Guide soon, after the meta settles down a bit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Epic Cards to Craft
Doomsayer – It’s been one of the most played cards for the last few expansions. Turn 2 Doomsayer often saves your skin against Aggro, and there are some interesting combos like the one with Frost Nova or Spreading Plague vs big boards. I think it’s the Classic Epic that EVERYONE should get (or at least people playing slower decks), because I doubt that it will ever completely disappear from the meta for a long time.
There are LOTS of good Epics from the Classic set, but they mostly fit only into a single, specific archetype. Craft them only if you want to play that specific deck.
Avenging Wrath – The card was rarely played in the last few years, until Even Paladin became a thing in Witchwood. Ever since then, it’s been a common spell in this build, being utilized as both board clear and burn damage.
Cabal Shadow Priest – One of the most cheeky Priest cards – it has seen play on numerous occasions. It got much better after Kobolds & Catacombs, since you can combo it with Twilight Acolyte to steal anything in the late game.
Faceless Manipulator – Faceless Manipulator is usually used as a part of a combo, but it can also be utilized to copy a big minion (either from your side of the board or from the opponent). It mostly goes in and out of the meta with combo decks that use it, but it will always find some uses.
Mountain Giant – Mountain Giant is the most played Giant in Standard since the game’s release. It will always see play as long as decks with high hand size are played – mostly slow Warlock, but more recently it has also seen play in Elemental Mage
Pyroblast – Back in the day, it was played in Freeze Mage as one of the finishing spells. Right now it doesn’t see much play, but it’s still the “ultimate” burn spell, and it will definitely be played in the future.
Snake Trap – Snake Trap is one of the best Hunter’s Secrets. Not only 3x 1/1 for 2 mana is great, but those small tokens are Beasts, meaning that they have synergy with cards like Scavenging Hyena or Crackling Razormaw.
Shield Slam – Just like Brawl, it’s another Control Warrior staple. Cheap, efficient removal is great, and just like Brawl it fits into the Baku builds.
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 (most likely around April 2020).
Rastakhan’s Rumble Epic Cards to Craft
Master's Call – Like players have suspected, drawing 3 cards for 3 mana is amazing. Hunter’s minion base was always Beast-heavy, so going for only Beasts is not a huge sacrifice. It’s mostly played in Midrange style of Hunter, and I’m quite sure that it will still be played after the rotation.
Crowd Roaster – Given that Priest loses its most important Dragon synergy cards with the rotation (Duskbreaker, Twilight Acolyte), I probably would not recommend it, but last time Warrior did gain some reason to play Dragons, and Crowd Roaster has became a solid card in that deck. It would be almost impossible that there will be no Dragon-oriented synergies next expansion, and Crowd Roaster will definitely fit in that style of decks (on top of being a good card before the rotation).
Blast Wave – Given that Odd Mage can’t play the 6 mana board clears such as Blizzard and Meteor, the deck has to settle for Blast Wave. In some matchups, it’s a massive value tool on top of being an AoE spell. While 2 damage for 5 mana is not amazing, it has great synergy with Spell Damage.
Smolderthorn Lancer – One of the Warrior’s Dragon synergy cards I’ve mentioned above. If Warrior will play Dragons (and some of the Odd builds do right now), this will definitely be a staple in that deck, since it’s an Execute strapped into a 3/2 body. What’s even better is that Baku builds can’t play the regular Execute, making this card an amazing single target removal.
The Boomsday Project Epic Cards to Craft
Supercollider – Very underrated card, turned out to be exactly what reactive Warrior decks need. Great mid game removal in Odd Warrior and Odd Quest Warrior, can often clear 5-6 minions with a single card over a few turns. On top of being high value, it makes your opponent’s life miserable, as he has to try his best to play around it, which is not always easy.
Astromancer – Used by some of the Big Spell Mage builds. Since your hand size is quite big most of the time, and you don’t really have many proactive plays (especially before you get your Frost Lich Jaina), it works quite well.
Crystallizer – Solid 1-drop, comparable to Dire Mole. Good if you need more 1-drops or if you play a deck that synergizes with self-damage. Given that Dire Mole will rotate out soon, Crystallizer might become more popular.
Dreampetal Florist – It used to be one of the best Epics from Boomsday before the recent wave of Druid nerfs. Now that the class is nearly out of the ladder, I can no longer recommend this card as much. But if you want to play the combo Druid decks (which are still potent to a certain extent, especially in tournament meta), you might want to craft it anyway.
Prismatic Lens – Drawing 2 cards for 4 mana is not the best value, but Paladin doesn’t have a lot of great card draw, so it still has to be played sometimes. You can also make some cute plays like drawing a high cost minion and a low cost spell, then dropping it as a big tempo move earlier than you normally should.
The Witchwood Epic Cards to Craft
There are currently no Epics from The Witchwood we can recommend as “Best Crafts”. We thought about putting some of them in, but their power is completely reliant on cards that will rotate out soon, so we’ve decided to not do it. You can still refer to the list of “Good Epics” below if you’re thinking about crafting some Witchwood cards.
Arcane Keysmith – You can play Secrets without putting them into your deck, which is nice in lots of situations. Played mostly in Big Spell Mage, but also in some Tempo Mage builds (or rather what’s left of them after Mana Wyrm‘s nerf).
Baleful Banker – A part of the Holy Wrath OTK combo with Shirvallah, the Tiger. When you empty your deck, you want to play 0 mana Shirvallah, Banker it back into your deck and then play Holy Wrath to shoot your opponent for 25.
Mossy Horror – When Giggling Inventor was dominating the meta, Mossy Horror was one of the most popular cards in the entire game. After it got nerfed, it was still very useful as a counter to the Druid’s Spreading Plague. But since Druid was also nerfed, now the card is a little less useful, but it still has its moments, and it might come back into the meta any time a lot of 1-2 attack minions are played.
Nightmare Amalgam – A well-rounded minion, which can fit into all sorts of deck archetypes – Dragon, Pirate, Murloc, Mech etc. However, right now decks built around tribes are not very popular. It’s very likely to see more play before it rotates out, though.
Rat Trap – After Secret package has became more popular in Hunter, Rat Trap became a more mainstream choice. It’s still not a card that’s absolutely necessary in a deck running Secrets and you should be able to replace it, but getting a 2 mana 6/6 out can be a great tempo play, especially after your opponent can no longer deal with it since he already played 3 cards.
Town Crier – In a vacuum, the card is absolutely nuts – 1/2 for 1, which draws a specific card is amazing. However, it doesn’t see that much play, simply because the Warrior decks with Rush minions aren’t very good/popular. But I believe that it should see more play later during the expansion’s cycle.
Vivid Nightmare – A combo card through and through, has became a sort of common tech in Resurrect (Clone) Priest. It makes your combo potential even stronger, since it lets you duplicate a Prophet Velen or Malygos for just 3 mana (and usually even less thanks to Radiant Elemental). The entire deck is based around cards that will rotate out soon, though, so you might want to consider getting only a single copy of holding out for now.
Voodoo Doll – It’s common in Big Spell Mage, and an absolute staple in Odd Mage (since they can’t run Polymorph). Sometimes it sees play in Control Warlock or Mecha’Thun Warlock too, since they can combo it with Defile. And given that both Frost Lich Jaina and Defile both rotate out soon, craft it only if you want to play one of those decks right now.
Witch's Cauldron – A pretty common tech in Odd Paladin, the deck that constantly floods the board. The easiest way to lose is running out of steam, and Cauldron can really help with that. Just playing it and sacrificing three 1/1’s gives you a nice card advantage, but then it still sticks on the board and your opponent has to deal with it. Given that Odd Paladin loses some cards in the upcoming rotation, Cauldron might become a more common choice then.
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 (most likely around April 2019).
Journey to Un’Goro Epic Cards to Craft
Gluttonous Ooze – It might not seem like one of the best crafts, since you can replace it with Acidic Swamp Ooze on the budget, but it might be worth your Dust. For example, the Armor gain is often important, some decks have a crowded 2-drop slot already and prefer a 3 mana card, and most importantly, some of the decks just can’t play the 2 mana version, because they run either Prince Keleseth or Baku the Mooneater.
Primordial Drake – Big Taunt, Dragon (for the sake of synergies), AoE damage, all in one card. It’s a great card in multiple builds and a staple Epic from Un’Goro.
Shadow Visions – Current Priest decks are very combo-heavy, and finding the right spell is often do-or-die situation for them. So even though Shadow Visions is really slow, it comes handy most of the time.
Vilespine Slayer – One of the best tempo removals in the game – not only you can clear any minion for 5 mana, but you also put a 3/4 body (which is worth 3 mana) into the play. Used in many Rogue decks.
Blazecaller – Good card in Elemental builds – it provides big body and a very powerful Battlecry. Since Elemental synergies are focused around minions, having a minion + removal in one is great in those decks. No reason to craft it unless you want to play Elemental decks, which aren’t popular right now, though.
Bloodbloom – A necessary piece in Mecha'thun Warlock deck. Once you hit fatigue, you play Mecha’thun (discounted by Galvanizer), Bloodbloom and Cataclysm, immediately winning the game. Mecha’tun Warlock is really niche, though.
Bright-Eyed Scout – If you run a deck with lots of high cost cards (e.g. Big Spell Mage), then this might be a good card draw option for you. It has above average stats (baseline for a 4 mana card draw is 2/4), and drawing a high cost card you can play on the curve can sometimes win you the game if you hit the right one.
Charged Devilsaur – It’s usually one-of in Deathrattle Hunter, looking to summon it through Kathrena Winterwisp or Oondasta. If summoned and not played from hand, it skips the Battlecry and can attack the opponent immediately. It used to be played in all sorts of combos too, but most of them are no longer viable or very niche.
Meteor – Great in slow Mage decks, good combination of single target and AoE removal. Players often forget to play around it, making it even better. Staple if you want to play Big Spell Mage.
Knights of the Frozen Throne Epic Cards to Craft
Corpsetaker – 4 mana 3/3 with Taunt, Divine Shield, Lifesteal and Windfury is absolutely nuts and can win the games, especially when buffed. Of course, you have to make some deck building sacrifices, plus it can fail if you draw the synergy cards before it, but dropping it on Turn 4 is such a good play that players still risk it. Staple in Even decks, but also a solid defensive option in e.g. Mecha’thun Warlock.
Skulking Geist – Used to be a Jade Druid counter, but it’s just good against any deck running key 1 mana spells. It still works great against Druid (Naturalize), but also against Hunter (Tracking, Hunter's Mark, Play Dead) and some other decks.
Obsidian Statue – For a very long time, it was a staple card in Big Priest. After the deck has rotated out, it hasn’t seen a lot of play until recently, when Resurrect (Clone) Priest wanted to run it again. While not every build plays it, one copy is very common.
Ultimate Infestation – Used to be the best Epic from Knights of the Frozen Throne, and maybe even the best Epic in general. However, after the recent Druid nerfs, the class as a whole is pretty weak on the ladder, making UI severely underplayed. The best Druid decks right now are centered around Hakkar, the Soulflayer or Mecha'thun and don’t even run it. Still, if you want to play decks like Malygos or Togwaggle Druid, it’s necessary.
Kobolds and Catacombs Epic Cards to Craft
Carnivorous Cube – This card can give you a lot of value or tempo, depending on what you combo it with. While it started as a nearly exclusively Cube Warlock card, it has seen (and still sees) play in many different decks – Deathrattle Hunter, Taunt Druid, Deathrattle Rogue etc.
Psychic Scream – Priest was always known for their powerful AoE board clears, despite the fact that they have none of those in Basic or Classic set. Psychic Scream is nuts, because for 7 mana it unconditionally clears an entire board – including minions with Divine Shield, and doesn’t trigger Deathrattles. Of course, it has a clear downside – shuffling those minions back in your opponent’s deck is bad, but it doesn’t matter against Aggro + if you play a deck with combo finisher (which you probably do if you play Priest), you aren’t winning through fatigue anyway.
Arcane Tyrant – When Druid was more popular, it used to be a staple in the class. It still is to a certain extent, but it’s much worse right now after the nerfs. But unlike Druid-only Epics, it can also be played in some other builds, such as Big Spell Mage.
Branching Paths – Similarly to Ultimate Infestation from Frozen Throne, Branching Paths used to be one of the best Epics from this set, but the latest wave of Druid nerfs has made an entire class much, much worse. Still necessary if you want to play Druid, but it’s by far the worst class right now.
Call to Arms – After the card got nerfed, it hasn’t seen play for a long time. Even Paladin could no longer run it, and Odd Paladin didn’t want to summon three 1-drops for 5 mana. But recently it has started being played again in Exodia Paladin, mostly as a way to thin the deck and draw cards. For example, pulling Righteous Protector, Loot Hoarder and Bloodmage Thalnos thins the deck by 3 immediately, and then you draw 2 more cards, making it very useful in a deck that wants to draw most of the deck as quickly as possible.
Corridor Creeper – Nerfs hit this card hard. It used to be the most common card on the ladder, and after the balance changes it didn’t see almost any play. Right now it’s played in Odd Paladin, because it’s so easy to reduce it cost to 0 when you create that many tokens – and a 0 mana 2/5 is still solid. It can also be played in Tempo Shudderwock Shaman, since the deck runs Unstable Evolution and Thrall, Deathseer, and Creeper is an amazing Evolve target.
Dragon's Fury – Absolute staple in Big Spells Mage. The worst case scenario (rolling a Polymorph) is a 4 AoE damage for 5 mana, which is pretty good already. And then rolling a 7 mana spell clears most of the big boards.
Fal'dorei Strider – Played in Miracle (and Tempo) Rogue as the main “tempo” win condition. While it’s initially a tempo loss (4 mana 4/4 with no immediate effect is bad), given how much the deck can cycle, you should be able to draw the Spider cards quite quickly. In the long run, they put a lot of pressure on the opponent and force him to clear the board again and again.
Reckless Flurry – After Sleep with the Fishes has rotated out, Warrior was looking to fill that gap in the AoE removals and Reckless Flurry fits right in. Now that Odd Warrior has gained more popularity, it’s basically one of the most important cards in that build. But between the fact that it rotates out soon and that Odd Warrior isn’t doing as well as some might like right now, craft it only if you really want to play Odd Warrior.
Twilight Acolyte – Used to be staple when every Priest deck was running Dragon synergies. Right now, those are less common, but Twilight Acolyte is still a solid card, which sees play in some Control builds.
Voidlord – When Cube & Control Warlock were all over the ladder, so were the Voidlords. After the balance changes to Possessed Lackey and Dark Pact, Voidlord is not as omnipresent as it once was, but it’s still absolutely necessary in those decks. And while slow Warlock builds aren’t Tier 1, they’re still good decks.
Void Ripper – The card was indirectly nerfed after the Druid nerfs, since it was mostly used as a way to counter Spreading Plague. But it’s still not a terrible card and can be used in faster decks to counter some cards, e.g. Doomsayer, or play around certain AoEs.