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.
The Best Cards to Craft are either Epics played in a variety of decks or ones that are staple in a strong meta deck. Given their strength, they’re very likely to continue seeing play before their rotation. Good Cards to Craft are Epics that are less popular and possibly not as strong, but also playable in the current meta. They are usually necessary (or at least very helpful) in a specific, less common archetype. Some of them are more of a tech cards / Epics specific to this meta and might not see that much usage in the future.
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. Of course, it all depends on the decks you want to play, your favorite classes and so on – you need to apply your own filter to the list too.
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. And finally, cards from last year’s expansions have the lowest priority – and the closer it is to their rotation, the lower priority they have.
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
There are no “best” Epics to craft from Classic set right now. However there’s still a bunch of good cards to craft that you can find below!
Hearthstone Classic Set Good Cards to Crafts
- 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, Taunt Warrior, Odd Warrior, Big Warrior, even the recent Bomb Warrior. And each one of those has played both Shield Slam & Brawl in at least some of the builds. Those are timeless Warrior Epics that will definitely be playable at one point. So they’re always good crafts if you want to play slow Warrior decks.
- Shadow Word: Ruin – It’s a relatively new Priest card, added after the latest rework. It’s an AoE version of Shadow Word: Death, or alternatively Shadowreaper Anduin‘s Battlecry. It’s amazing against boards full of big minions – even clearing a single one for 4 mana is okay at times, being able to hit multiple at once makes it very powerful in certain scenarios. Of course, its power heavily depends on the meta (and how many 5+ Attack minions are commonly played), but it sees some play right now and will definitely see more play in the future.
- Cabal Shadow Priest – Oldschool Priest card – it’s not really good by itself, but it had a few cool combos across the years. Right now it’s most commonly played alongside Wave of Apathy – reducing the big minion’s attack to 1 and then snatching it with Cabal Shadow Priest is a huge tempo swing and a quite popular combo in Priest class.
- Doomsayer – Doomsayer is simply a staple Classic Epic. The card has seen at least some play in nearly every meta for the last few years. 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 to have a higher chance of a full board clear. The best thing about it is that if it goes off, you get all the initiative – board is empty and you can start developing first.
- Preparation – After the card was nerfed from giving you 3 mana to giving you 2 mana, it hasn’t seen AS MUCH play, but it’s still solid. Getting 2 mana for free in a deck like Rogue is good, especially in decks that run Secret Passage / Cutting Class / Voracious Reader / other ways to cycle through the deck very quickly. If you have lots of ways to draw, the problem is now using those cards as effectively as possible, and getting lots of free tempo with Prep is a solid solution. Not a must-have card, but it sees some play.
- 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 Warleader sees play in Murloc Paladin and Captain in Pirate Warrior, although neither of those two decks are particularly popular.
Year of the Phoenix (2020) Sets
The Year of the Phoenix consists of Ashes of Outland, Scholomance Academy and another expansion that is yet to be revealed. All three sets will rotate out of the Standard format with the release of the first expansion in 2022 (most likely in April).
Scholomance Academy Best Cards to Craft
Since Scholomance Academy is the latest set, and we’re still in somewhat of a “testing” phase, this section is most likely to change in the future. Some of the currently popular Legendaries may be overplayed, while some of the less popular ones might turn out to be good. Be cautious about crafting any card from the newest expansion.
- Secret Passage – (The card will be nerfed in Patch 18.2, so its power level after the nerf might change – at the same time, there’s no downside in crafting it, since you will be able to disenchant it for full cost anyway) The card is really insane and it pushed faster Rogue decks into T1 territory. Getting access to 5 (4 after the nerf) cards from your deck for just 1 mana is huge – not only you can usually play at least 2-3 of them, making it draw 2-3 for 1, but you also get to pick which ones you play. It’s amazing way to find specific cards too – let’s say that with 15 cards left in your deck and 2x Eviscerate / Sap in there to find lethal, the chances of getting it are very high. It’s basically an auto-include in Rogue, and I assume it will be the same way after the nerfs.
- Guardian Animals – The card pushed Druid back into the meta in a big way after it nearly disappeared late last expansion (when Fungal Fortunes got nerfed). Between this and three strong 5 mana Beasts you can put into your deck (Twilight Runner, Lake Thresher, Teacher's Pet), you’re pulling out 10 mana worth of minions for 7 mana AND giving them Rush. The fact that you can ramp up to 7 mana quicker, or even cheat it out with e.g. Lightning Bloom on Turn 5, makes the tempo swing insane. Every popular Druid build right now is built around Guardian Animals, and I don’t think that it will change until the card gets nerfed.
- Devolving Missiles – Devolving Missiles is an auto-include semi-removal card in this meta. The effect alone is solid – e.g. you can turn a 4-drop into a 1-drop for 1 mana. That 4-drop might have been a 4/5, and a 1-drop can often get pinged down with Hero Power, and even if it can’t, it’s rarely threatening. You can get rid of a Taunt in your way. You can deal with Stealthed minions (making it really good vs Aggro Rogue or Druid’s Twilight Runner). You can get rid of minion buffs, including key ones like Libram of Wisdom. And it’s a cheap spell for the sake of many Mage synergies. A great card all-around, it should see a lot of play.
- Devout Pupil – Who would have thought that a card which is a Sunwalker as a baseline, and it gets cheaper and cheaper throughout the game will be bad? It’s kind of like Thing from Below was in Shaman – at one point, it’s a 0 mana Taunt that you can drop for massive tempo gain, and thanks to the Divine Shield it’s even more annoying to deal with. Right now it’s better in Paladin simply because the card has easier time casting spells on friendly characters (mostly buffs) in a viable build – but in theory it’s also solid in Priest, we just need a right deck for it.
Scholomance Academy Good Cards to Craft
- Argent Braggart – Even though Braggart costs 2 mana, you shouldn’t treat it as a 2-drop – it’s more of a mid/late game tempo play. Whenever either player has a bigger minion on the board, you can just drop it and copy its stats. Even better – you can copy Attack from one minion and Health from another. And you don’t even need to make it huge – dropping it alongside a Devout Pupil as a 2 mana 4/5 can win you the game. That said, it has great synergy with buffs like Blessing of Authority – giving a minion +8/+/8 and then basically copying the buff on Braggart is huge. While it’s not absolutely necessary to play Paladin, it’s a really good card.
- Cabal Acolyte – (The card will be nerfed in Patch 18.2, so its power level after the nerf might change – at the same time, there’s no downside in crafting it, since you will be able to disenchant it for full cost anyway) The card is mostly used in combination with Wave of Apathy as a cheaper Cabal Shadow Priest. Stealing a big minion from your opponent can turn the whole game around. Alternatively, you can just steal a straight up 1-2 Attack minion – some of them are really valuable, and even just a vanilla 2/3 minion is better when it’s on your side than on your opponent’s. While the nerf to 2/4 from 2/6 might not seem big, I would say that it matters quite a lot – previously it was also a solid Taunt minion with okay stats, now it’s easier to get through and you absolutely need to steal something to make it worth (previously you could sometimes drop it as a 2/6 and it was okay).
- Survival of the Fittest – Playing the card by itself is a really huge tempo loss most of the time. You can’t always guarantee having a board on your side, and spending 10 mana on nothing is something you can rarely afford to. However, luckily Kael'thas Sunstrider comes for rescue – if you can play the spell for 1 mana instead, now it’s suddenly much better. Even without Kael, if you follow it up with Guardian Animals and pull out two buffed minions, it’s often worth it. Most of the builds running it also play Animated Broomstick to catch up in terms of tempo after dropping it. So, all in all, despite it being incredibly slow in theory – in practice it’s playable sometimes even in the fastest matchups. And even though you don’t run that many minions, giving them +4/+4 is big. You can also use it on a big board of Dragons created by Ysera, Unleashed, often closing out the game.
- Flesh Giant – Big minions that get cheaper and cheaper as the game goes by are quite scary, and the same thing goes for Flesh Giant. It’s mostly played in Warlock, simply because of how easily the deck can a) deal damage to itself and b) sometimes heal itself with Soul Fragments. Getting the Giant down to 3-4 mana is super easy, and by Turn 6-7 it’s often free. It’s played in Zoo, which is a deck that LOVES to win on the board, and cheap / free 8/8’s are certainly a way to do so. If not answered – you just smack your opponent to death over 2-3 turns.
- Steeldancer – Mostly played in the weapon-oriented variant of Aggro Rogue. With Self-Sharpening Sword and a bunch of weapon buffs, it’s super easy to summon a 5+ mana minion from it, and, as you can imagine, that’s a great result. To be honest – you don’t even need to go as big, getting a 2-3 mana minion is already good enough unless you low-roll. The thing is that spreading the power between two minions is quite strong, as your opponent can’t just use a single target removal to get rid of them, and since one of them has at least 4 health, they’re often out of AoE range. Besides Rogue, the card also sees some play in Pirate Warrior, but the deck isn’t really popular right now.
- Combustion – Just a solid early/mid game removal – you can often deal with 2-3 small minions in a single card, but you can also use it to clear off one mid-range minion (4 health, or 5 health with ping). It’s also quite tricky to use at times, as you need to set up the board so it clears as much stuff as possible. It’s played in Highlander Mage now and I suspect that we should commonly see it in slower Mage builds for a while.
- Potion of Illusion – Potion of Illusion, as it was quite easy to predict, is mostly a combo card. Initially players have thought about Exodia Combo with Sorcerer's Apprentice + Archmage Antonidas, and while it DOES work, it’s not really very strong. However, after a while, an interesting strategy was discovered in China, revolving around Tortollan Pilgrim and only 3 different spells in your deck, Potion of Illusion being one of them. If you don’t draw both copies, you can make infinite copies of Tortollan and any other (usually Battlecry/Deathrattle) minions you have on the board. If everything goes correctly, you put your opponent into nearly impossible to win spot (because you get a full board refill with multiple positive effects each turn).
Ashes of Outland Best Cards to Craft
- Greyheart Sage – A staple in Stealth-based Rogue decks, and let’s just say that they are some of the most popular meta builds right now (because nearly every Aggro build runs Stealth package). 3 mana 3/3 that draws 2 cards is nuts. Of course, you need to have a Stealth minion on the board first, but in a Stealth Rogue deck you’re (obviously) running a bunch of those, making it nearly guaranteed – even if not on curve, then usually by Turn 4-5. If you want to play Aggro Rogue, craft it, no way around it.
- Libram of Hope – A must-have in both Pure and Libram Paladin, which are some of the better decks in the meta right now. At the very base level, it’s quite weak – yes, the effect is strong, but it’s not really worth 9 mana. However, with just a couple of discounts, the situation changes drastically. After playing Aldor Attendant + Aldor Truthseeker combo, you can drop Libram of Hope for just 6 mana, and now it’s a whole different story. It’s a huge threat and a powerful defensive tool in one card. If you’re a Paladin player, you should definitely have it.
Ashes of Outland Good Cards to Craft
- Sethekk Veilweaver – A solid addition to slower Priest builds. It’s a bit like a mini-Lyra the Sunshard. I mean, it’s weaker than Lyra mostly because only spells played on minions trigger it, so you need one to start the chain and it’s quite easy to break it if you get another card. Still, it’s some nice value, especially in the late game (on 10 mana you often end up generating 4-5 spells in a single turn, and that’s quite amazing) and in the end it’s also a 2 mana 2/3 that you can just drop on curve in case you need board presence.
- Bladestorm – It’s an interesting combination of single target & AoE removal. If there’s just a single minion on the board – Bladestorm will just clear it. I mean, it stops at 30 damage in total, but you don’t often face minions with more than 30 health, so let’s just assume that it kills anything. But since it stops after the first minion, it’s a very tricky card to use as an AoE. In the worst case scenario, it’s a 3 mana Whirlwind, which is SOMETIMES good enough, but not really what you want. You often need to set up the board the right way (a bit like with Defile), but if you manage to do it, the pay-off can be pretty great. E.g. clearing three 5-health minions for 3 mana is quite powerful, and it happens.
- Darkglare – (The card will be nerfed in Patch 18.2, so its power level after the nerf might change – at the same time, there’s no downside in crafting it, since you will be able to disenchant it for full cost anyway) A Zoo Warlock staple – most of the current builds are heavily built around self-damage, and gaining extra mana for doing what you want to be doing anyway for the sake of other synergies is great. To be honest, the card wasn’t really overpowered in Standard (strong, but Zoo Warlock wasn’t over the top), but it was dominating Wild, which was the main reason for its nerf. It’s hard to say how good it will be after the nerf – probably still good enough to see play, but we’ll have to wait.
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
- Lightforged Crusader – A Pure Paladin card, and since Pure Paladin is one of the best decks in the meta, it’s a good craft. 7 mana 7/7 are War Golem stats, but War Golem doesn’t add 5 cards to your hand. Most useful against slower builds – it’s a big threat and refill in one card. While random Paladin cards aren’t necessarily the strongest, at least 2-3 from them should be good. Sometimes you might get game-winning cards like Lady Liadrin, Tirion Fordring or Libram of Hope. That said, you only need a single copy, since most of the popular builds run only one. If the meta slows down a bit, though, I could totally see going for 2 copies instead.
Descent of Dragons Good Cards to Craft
- Mana Giant – Yeah, cheap / 0 mana 8/8’s are always good, which is the reason why most of the Giants have seen play. This time around, Mana Giant is a Tempo Mage staple and one of the deck’s win conditions. You generate A LOT of cards, thanks to the likes of Primordial Studies, Magic Trick, Violet Spellwing, Evocation and – of course – Mana Cyclone. Most of the builds also run at least one Conjurer's Calling to make the Giants even better. The current pool of 8 mana minions is very strong, and dropping 0 mana Giant + 2x Conjurer’s on Turn 8 often threatens lethal the very next turn.
- Toxic Reinforcements – At first I thought that it’s going to be too slow, but it turned out to be a really solid Face Hunter card. Since you Hero Power a lot (obviously, it deals damage to your opponent), Toxic Reinforcements might be delayed, but it still summons 3x Leper Gnome for just 1 mana and – more importantly – a single card. Unless they get silenced / transformed (which is rather uncommon), it’s another nearly guaranteed 6 damage on top of the 6 damage you dealt with Hero Power. It can stack really quickly and is great card in Face Hunter – even better with the new Tour Guide. However, since not every build runs it, you don’t NEED it – you can play Face Hunter without it.
- Kobold Stickyfinger – It’s an anti-weapon tech – instead of just destroying it, you can get it for yourself. In lots of matchups, it’s much better than Acidic Swamp Ooze, but also than Harrison Jones, because it gives you tempo instead of value. The problem is that unlike Ooze, if you play against a deck that runs no weapons, a 5 mana 4/4 is way worse than a 2 mana 3/2 with no effect (which is already bad). That’s why the card is relatively uncommon and played mostly when you face A LOT of weapon decks – mostly Rogues to steal Self-Sharpening Sword / Hooked Scimitar and Warriors to get rid of their Wrenchcalibur and even throw a few Bombs their own way.
- Rolling Fireball – Rolling Fireball has became a staple, go-to slower Mage removal. And I can absolutely see the reason why. Just like always – flexibility is the key. It can be used as a single target or semi-AoE removal, depending on what you need. If your opponent has a single, big, 8/8 minion – you just shoot it and kill it. But if he has two 2 health and a 4 health minion, you can also get rid of all of them with this single card. It’s a great value for 5 mana and has mostly replaced Flamestrike in Highlander Mage. Good craft for anyone who plays Mage (although since it’s mostly played in Highlander build, one copy is enough for the most part).
- Stormhammer – No matter whether it’s a Highlander version or a regular Dragon Hunter, Stormhammer is a big part of the reason why they’re strong. A 3/2 weapon for 3 is already okay-ish. If add just a single durability, it’s great. But in practice, Stormhammer often has 4, 5 or even more durability. In many games, it will be virtually infinite, since you will drop some Dragons every turn. It’s a very strong card and if you want to play any Hunter build running Dragons, you definitely want to have it too. That said, Dragon-based Hunter builds aren’t necessarily most popular right now, so craft it only if you want to play those.
Saviors of Uldum Best Cards to Craft
There are no “best” Epics to craft from Saviors of Uldum right now. However there’s still a bunch of good cards to craft that you can find below!
Saviors of Uldum Good Cards to Craft
- Vulpera Scoundrel – Vulpera is rather simple – it’s just a 3 mana 2/3 that gives you a card. Doesn’t seem strong, but the fact that it only discovers spells makes it an interesting addition to slower builds like Highlander Priest (it’s also played in Soul Demon Hunter, mostly because the build is also a bit slower and it has amazing class spells). Its main strength is flexibility – you get 3 choices, one of which might be useful in a given situation. And if you don’t like any, there’s a fourth, “Mystery” choice, which adds a random other spell to your hand if you’re feeling lucky (most of the time it’s not a good pick, but hey, if you get 3 bad cards, it’s often better to roll for something better).
- Anubisath Defender – If you run a Druid build playing more expensive spells, there’s a solid chance that you will also want to play Anubisath Defender. While weak in the early game, later it’s a nice tempo swing – 3/5 Taunt is not the strongest thing ever (it normally costs 4 mana and sees no play), but it’s great if it’s for 0 mana. Right now in particular, it also has a really good Survival of the Fittest synergy. Instead of a 3/5 Taunt, you get a 7/9 Taunt, and you can play it on the same turn as Survival. It’s not a must-have, but lots of Guardian Druid variants play it.
- Plague of Death – An ultimate AoE board clear – not only you clear every single minion, but you also silence them beforehand, which means that no Deathrattle, Reborn etc. effect will trigger. However, it comes at a hefty 9 mana cost – which might be too slow in some metas. Right now it’s mostly played as an one-of in Highlander Priest, although some Galakrond Priest builds also include it. Overall, it’s a good Priest card.
- Diseased Vulture – Played in the current Zoo Warlock builds, which are heavily based around self-damage. Every time you deal damage to yourself, you summon a random 3-drop, and since you can deal damage to yourself quite easily, you end up with a lot of those. Even getting a single trigger already makes it worth it, since a random 3-drop is not bad at all, but if not answered, the card can snowball the game by itself – it creates more and more minions every single turn. A very powerful Zoo Warlock card.
- Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron – Puzzle Box has became sort of a Mage “casino” 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, there are also decks which want to cast it as soon as possible, hoping for some good outcome (because, on average, it’s going to do much more good than harm). Commonly played in Highlander Mage.
- Tortollan Pilgrim – Right now Pilgrim has two uses. The first one is the one it’s been used for ever since it was printed – to cheat out some more expensive spells in Highlander Mage. Getting something like Deep Freeze or Power of Creation is great, because it creates a massive board presence without even “using” the spell from your deck. Another use, however, is quite more interesting – it’s a must-have in an Illusion / Turtle Mage build, based around replaying it over and over with Potion of Illusion. It’s really off-meta and frankly not THAT powerful, but when it works it can do wonders.
Rise of Shadows Best Cards to Craft
There are no “best” Epics to craft from Rise of Shadows right now. However there’s still a bunch of good cards to craft that you can find below!
Rise of Shadows Good Cards to Craft
- Wrenchcalibur – Bomb Warrior has slowed down in Scholomance Academy, mostly turning into a Control build and not a Midrange/Tempo one, but it’s still really solid. Wrenchcalibur is its main win condition – by itself, it’s already up to 16 damage to the opponent in the long run. Now if you draw it from Corsair Cache, add an Upgrade! – that’s up to 16 IMMEDIATE damage (assuming you hit face) and then 20 extra from Bombs. You’ve also got more buffs, possibly a way to replay it (Hoard Pillager) and – of course – a second copy in your deck. If you want to play Bomb Warrior, Wrenchcalibur is an absolute must-have.
- Mana Cyclone – A Tempo Mage staple – since you run a lot of cheap spells, if you drop it on the same turn you play Sorcerer's Apprentice and sometimes nearly your entire hand, you will get A LOT of value on top of a 2/2 body. Generating 5+ spells it not uncommon, and that gives you not only a lot of tempo (because all of your cheap spells had some effects), but also value you can play over the next few turns. It’s one of the most important cards in Tempo Mage, so if you want to play the deck, you should definitely consider crafting it.
- Power of Creation – By itself, the card is okay – summoning two 6-drops for 8 mana is usually a nice play, but probably won’t win you the game. Of course, it’s amazing if you high-roll something powerful, but you will often have to pick e.g. 2x 4/4 because there’s simply nothing better. However, the card works pretty nicely in current Highlander Mage builds, because they have some ways to cheat it out or get something extra from it. Dragoncaster lets you play it a turn earlier AND with an extra 4/4 body, then Tortollan Pilgrim plays one from the deck with an extra 5/5 body, and it also combos very well with Kalecgos. It’s one of the “win conditions” of Highlander Mage, so you should probably get it if you want to play the deck.