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 Best Cards to Craft
- Mountain Giant – Usually, Mountain Giant is associated with Warlock. Different Warlock variants, like Handlock, Renolock or Even Warlock were the ones that could easily play a cheap Giant thanks to their Hero Power. But the current meta is a bit different – now Mountain Giants work best in Mage thanks to some synergies like Book of Specters and Conjurer's Calling. But either way, Mountain Giants are very good crafts right now and they will certainly see more play in the future.
- Sea Giant – The other Classic Giant left in Standard, and 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. However, funnily enough, the most popular deck running Mountain Giant (cyclone Mage) also wants to play Sea Giant, because it can flood the board with summoned minions and stall the opponent’s board while keeping the minions alive. So while I’d say that Mountain has a higher priority, Sea is also a great craft right now (and it’s pretty future-proof too).
- 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 good right now and will certainly work at some point in the future too.
Hearthstone Classic Set Good Cards to Crafts
- Preparation – Preparation was always one of the most powerful Rogue cards, so it’s not a big surprise that it was finally nerfed. Decreasing the mana cost reduction from 3 to 2 is a big deal, but the card is far from being dead. Remember that Innervate survived an even bigger nerf (percentage-wise) and it has still seen play. Playing spells 2 mana cheaper is a good tempo play anyway, so Prep isn’t likely going anywhere. If you want to play Rogue class seriously, I recommend having two copies ready.
- Doomsayer – Doomsayer used to be the #1 Epic to craft from Classic, and it’s still a solid one, but it doesn’t see as much play in the current meta for me to put it into the other category. Doomsayer can be used as a stall tool, delayed AoE removal (usually when combined with other spell, like Frost Nova) and life gain (if you drop it when your opponent can kill it, it should still gain you 7 life if he doesn’t want to lose the board). It’s a versatile card and you can’t go wrong with crafting it, even if for the future.
- Doomhammer – Shaman’s iconic 5 mana weapon is making a comeback after Thunderhead buff, which brought back Aggro Overload Shaman builds to the meta. Just like back in the day, Doomhammer is weapon that’s good for board control vs small minions (you can kill two per turn) and great if you want to deal face damage. Just by itself, it’s 16 damage for 5 (+2) mana over 4 turns. And if that’s not enough, you can combo it with Rockbiter Weapon for even more burst damage.
- Far Sight – Shaman’s ability to draw cards or cycle is very limited, and Far Sight is one of the only options available in Standard. The thing about Far Sight is that as long as you draw a card that costs 3 or more, you technically don’t “pay” for the cycle part, which is good. Another good thing is that if you draw a more expensive card, you might be able to play it ahead of time. That’s why it’s good in slow builds, where drawing e.g. 5 mana Walking Fountain can win you the game against faster decks.
- Murloc Warleader – Murloc decks, while not always present in the meta, can be really powerful with the right tools. Their ability to snowball the game and create unstoppable boards as early as Turn 3-4 is always scary, and Warleader is a Murloc staple. If you want to play a Murloc deck, 2x Warleader is a must – and it will probably always be. Right now, Murloc Shaman is the only deck running it, but there will surely be others in the future.
- Snake Trap – After many years of Secrets being just an addition to Midrange Hunter builds, a full-fledged Secret Hunter build became very popular last year. The recent rotation has removed lots of its tools, but it doesn’t mean that the deck is dead. Secret Hunter is still good, and some Midrange Hunter builds also tech in a few Secrets. Snake Trap has been historically one of the strongest Hunter Secrets, so having at least one copy will definitely go a long way. Remember that Subject 9 stays in Standard until 2020, so I’m pretty sure that Secrets will see a lot more play until then.
- Faceless Manipulator – Most of the time, Faceless Manipulator is a part of some combo deck – you play X minion, then copy it with Faceless, and then start doing magic. This meta is a bit different, however, because Faceless is mostly used by Mech Paladin. The deck is built around stacking Mechs on top of each other, and Silence is rather uncommon, which means that a well-timed Faceless can get A LOT of value. And given the combo potential of the card, even when Mech Paladin disappears from the meta, Faceless will most likely still be played.
- Big Game Hunter – BGH is obviously more of a meta call. As you can see, two Giants are in the best Epics to craft, because they are very popular, and that’s also why BGH is gaining some traction. He’s used as a tech card if you face a lot of decks running them. He also works against a few other targets, like Blastmaster Boom (although you still have to deal with the Boom Bots, just like in the good old times) or a big, Magnetized Mech. I think that having one copy in your collection is good, because he comes back into the meta as a tech card from time to time.
Year of the Dragon (2019) Sets
The Year of the Dragon consists of Rise of Shadows and two yet to known expansions (which should be released in August and December). All three sets will rotate out of the Standard format with the release of the first expansion in 2021.
Rise of Shadows Best Cards to Craft
Since Rise of Shadows is the latest set, and we’re still in somewhat of a “testing” phase, I was very cautious about picking best Epics to craft, since the meta can still change considerably. For more, check out the “Good Crafts” listed below!
- 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 Control and Bomb Warrior builds, and I can only imagine that it will see play for as long as Warrior is present in the meta.
Rise of Shadows Good Cards to Craft
- Wrenchcalibur – Unlike Omega Devastator, Wrenchcalibur sees play only in Bomb Warrior, that’s why it’s in the “Good” and not “Best” section. Decks are similar in power level, but it seems that Control Warrior has a slight edge in terms of win rate. Bomb Warrior is not staying far behind, though. And Wrenchcalibur is basically a key card in that build. 4 mana for a 3/2 weapon is just one mana over “vanilla” (Fiery War Axe), but you end up shuffling 2 bombs into your opponent’s deck – which is eventually 10 extra damage. It’s also very easy to combo it with Augmented Elekk, since you can have the weapon ready to swing before dropping Elekk. All in all, if you play Bomb Warrior, you do want to get Wrenchcalibur – or even two to be precise.
- Mana Cyclone – A very unpopular card at first, it turned out that Mana Cyclone is much better than expected. Early in Rise of Shadows, Conjurer Mage was the go-to Mage build, but people have quickly realized that instead of focusing on minions, they can focus on spells + spell synergies and possibly make it even better. The decks were trading blows for a while, but Cyclone Mage eventually came on top. One of the best plays you can make in mid game is dropping Sorcerer's Apprentice with lots and I mean lots of cheap spells, then playing Elemental Evocation + Mana Cyclone to refill your entire hand with random spells. This way you gain board presence, remove/freeze stuff etc. while not losing card advantage (and sometimes even gaining it thanks to Ray of Frost or Magic Trick, which you can cast twice).
- Waggle Pick – Waggle Pick used to be one of the most common cards on the ladder, and then Rogue got nerfed. Nerf to Raiding Party meant that Waggle Pick was no longer as desirable. Still, the card is far from being bad. Rogue was in a desperate need of a good weapon for a while already, and there’s finally one. Builds similar to pre-nerf version are still being played on the ladder, and Waggle Pick is still a good card in Rogue class. Dealing 8 damage for 4 mana + getting a free Shadowstep on the second hit is not something to take lightly. It can be combo’d very well with Battlecry, Combo or Charge minions to get lots of value (or damage).
- Hench-Clan Hag – Murloc Shaman is a pretty good deck right now, and Hag is a pretty good card in that deck. 4 mana for 3/3 + 2x 1/1 is already okay-ish – the fact that it creates multiple bodies makes it more difficult to remove. But since the 1/1’s are Amalgams, they have every minion type, which means that they’re also Murlocs. So they synergize very well with your other Murloc cards, e.g. Murloc Warleader or Coldlight Seer.
- Nine Lives – Nine Lives is a core card in Mech Hunter – but only in the slower, Deathrattle-based version. Playing it in the late game after Mechanical Whelp or Oblivitron has died is one of the strongest plays the deck can make. However, given that the slow build is getting less and less popular in favor of a faster Bomb Hunter (which doesn’t run Nine Lives), I would be cautious about crafting it. Do it only if you want to play that specific deck.
- Magic Carpet – If you want to play Zoo Warlock, craft Carpet. The card is insane in a deck that runs mostly 1-drops. If it sticks to the board, not only it adds extra tempo (Rush), but also power (+1 Attack) to most of the minions Zoo plays, including Lackeys. If you want to play Zoo, definitely get a playset of those.
- Witch's Brew – The infamous “Echo, but not Echo” card, Witch’s Brew is a solid healing option available to Shaman after Healing Rain has rotated out. It’s pretty weak in the early game, but has an amazing late game scalling. You can spend let’s say 8 mana to heal for 16, which should put your out of range of any burn available in the current meta. You can also use some of the healing on yourself and the rest on your minions. Whatever you do, Control Shaman builds commonly run at least one copy of it. Of course, Control Shaman is not in the best spot right now, that’s why the card is only in the “good crafts” section.
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
- Master's Call – One of the better Hunter cards in current rotation and the main reason why Midrange Hunter is good. Drawing 3 cards for 3 mana is very powerful, especially in a class with very limited card draw. It also synergizes well with Dire Frenzy – you can buff a Beast and then draw the buffed copies with Master’s Call. Not to mention that if you play Zul'jin, it lets you gain even more value. All in all, if you want to play Midrange Hunter, the card is a must-have.
Rastakhan’s Rumble Good Cards to Craft
- Crowd Roaster – Crowd Roaster is an important part of any Dragon package. Even though some of the strong Dragons have rotated out (and, despite its name, Year of the Dragon didn’t add lots of replacements), some builds still run Dragons. They’re most common in Conjurer Mage, but you can still sometimes see them in Warrior or Priest. Crowd Roaster in particular is one of the best Dragon cards available right now, and it should see play whenever we see a new Dragon build.
- Haunting Visions – As it turns out, you need a lot of Epics to play Control Shaman, and Haunting Visions is one of them. It’s a solid, flexible card, which lets you get the spell you want depending on the matchup. E.g. if your opponent has a big minions, you might get Hex, against Aggro you might get AoE or healing etc. While the “discount” doesn’t stay, you don’t need to use it on the spell you got – you can play Haunting Visions, get anything and then drop e.g. a 0 mana Lightning Storm.
- Masked Contender – If you don’t feel like playing Midrange Hunter and want to try some Secrets instead, Masked Contender is your guy. Dropping him after playing a Turn 2 Secret is incredibly powerful, basically as good as the oldschool Mad Scientist. Sadly (or luckily, depending on how you look at it), it’s not very strong if you don’t have a Secret up, and that’s what keeps it from being pretty broken. You can also play him in Secret Paladin, although the deck is not doing too well right now.
The Boomsday Project Best Cards to Craft
- Thunderhead – After the last buff patch, Thunderhead has became a monster of a card. 4 mana 3/6 are premium stats already, and if you add an insane effect AND an Elemental tag to that, you create a monster. It was already one of the strongest cards that got buffed at 3/5, but with one more health it became even harder to remove on curve. And it’s one of those cards that you really, really want to remove, or it can run away with the game. Most of the time Shaman can easily create 4x 1/1 with Rush the next turn with this card. So if you play in any board Control matchup, this card provides it. And if you play against slower matchup, you create a board your opponent now has to AoE. Very good card.
The Boomsday Project Good Cards to Craft
- Astromancer – Astromancer is another take on a Spiteful Summoner-like effect, but instead of depending on a random spell in your deck, you get a minion based on how big your hand is. And as it turns out, we have a common Mage deck in Standard which wants to keep a big hand anyway – Conjurer Mage (and Cyclone Mage, to a lesser extent). Not only that, but the 5/5 body of Astromancer is also a good Conjurer's Calling target, since on average you will get a slight upgrade on the body (and obviously an extra copy of it).
- Supercollider – Supercollider was one of the best Warrior cards from Boomsday Project, and it still kind of is. But there are a few problems. First is that Warrior is no longer playing Odd decks, which means that you can run other removal options that were previously unavailable (like Execute or Warpath). Second, weapon removal is still quite common in the meta. And third, it’s a pretty slow card, so Bomb Warriors usually don’t want to play it. But if you’re into Control Warrior, it’s definitely a great craft nonetheless.
- Augmented Elekk – Elekk is basically a Bomb Warrior card in the current meta. The deck is built around shuffling Bombs into the opponent’s deck, which means that – obviously – shuffling extra ones is always beneficial. If you have a weapon pre-equipped, then drop Elekk + a Bomb minion + attack with weapon, you can easily shuffle 2 extra Bombs, which is A LOT of damage. Plus, the 3/4 body is also solid and it means that you can drop it on curve vs Aggro if necessary.
- Prismatic Lens – One thing that Paladin struggles with a bit is card draw. While Crystology is good at drawing your small stuff, it’s not that relevant later in the game. So while not always great, Prismatic Lens lets you draw some more cards. It’s played both in Mech Paladin and in Holy Wrath Paladin. And both decks have some interesting interactions with it too. E.g. Mech Paladin can draw a 1 mana spell and Countess Ashmore, or a 1 mana minion and Kangor's Endless Army. Holy Wrath Paladin can draw Shirvallah, the Tiger + any spell, making Shirvallah 0 mana even as early as Turn 4.
- Glowstone Technician – Technician is another card buffed in the latest patch. It was almost playable before the buffs, and making it 5 mana instead of 6 mana was a great move. Even though it still has a small, 3/4 body, getting a hand-wide +2/+2 buff is very powerful. Especially if you run some Rush etc. minions so you can build back your tempo a bit. There are games in which you have 5+ minions in your hand going into Turn 5, you drop Glowstone Technician and then win over the next 2-3 turns with 1 mana 3/5’s etc.
- Necromechanic – Another buffed card, and another solid craft. Just like Thunderhead, Necromechanic is now a premium 4 mana 3/6 with a solid effect. It can be compared a bit to Houndmaster Shaw – good stats, solid to drop on-curve, and if it sticks, it can do A LOT. Necromechanic is even better if dropped into board with Deathrattle minions already being there. In some situations, you can drop him, do some trades and gets A LOT of free value/tempo. And then your opponent still has to remove it, because it will do even more over time. Great card in Mech Hunter, people still aren’t sure whether it fits into the Bomb Hunter build, but either way, I suspect that it should see some serious play before it rotates out.
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. You get a small body, which replaces itself in your hand with a good card, what’s there not to like? Since every single Warrior build runs Zilliax, and most of them also run either Militia Commander or Darius Crowley, playing Town Crier seems like a no-brainer. 1-2 copies are present in most of the Warrior builds right now, and as long as Warrior will play Rush cards, Town Crier will be a staple.
The Witchwood Good Cards to Craft
- Wispering Woods – Wispering Woods used to be a Druid staple, as a “board in a card” style of play. If you managed to stick the minions, you could then buff them or even Savage Roar your opponent down immediately. However, more recently, players have started running a Mech version and Wispering Woods became less popular. It’s still a solid consideration, but it’s no longer a must-have staple.
- Book of Specters – Ever since the card was first released, players were trying to find a way to make it work. It has seen some play in Elemental Mage or Murloc Mage, but they were never common meta decks. The card has A LOT of potential – you can draw up to 3 cards for just 2 mana. The only issue is that you can’t run many spells, because the more you do, the worse average outcome is. Luckily, Conjurer Mage is rather light on spells, and it’s a deck that uses Book of Specters now. If you want to play Conjuer Mage – Book of Specters is a great craft. However, Cyclone Mage has pushed out the regular Conjurer version a bit, and it does not run Book of Specters.
- 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. Last expansion, it has seen common play in Holy Wrath Paladin to shuffle in Shirvallah, the Tiger (to then draw it with Holy Wrath and deal 25 damage). And while it was briefly common because you could use it to shuffle Archivist Elysiana back, after she got nerfed to 9 mana it’s no longer that easy (some people still try to play if for the off-chance they start with Coin, but it’s not very consistent). So Shirvallah it is – Baleful banker is a necessary card if you want to play Holy Wrath Paladin, but that’s about it.
- Rat Trap – Rat Trap is an interesting tech card. You see, both Cyclone Mage and different variants of Rogue are well known for playing multiple cards per turn, and they are quite common right now. So Hunters have figured out that Rat Trap will be a nice tech against them. After all, having a 6/6 minion for 2 mana is great. And even in other matchups and even if your opponent figures out what Secret it is – limiting them to playing max two cards per turn (or force them to deal with 6/6 if they don’t) is still a solid play.
- Sandbinder – Sandbinder has picked up in popularity after Giants have became Elementals. And exactly for that reason, it sees a pretty common play in Cyclone Mage. It draws you either a Giant or Mana Cyclone, basically two of the strongest cards in your deck. In the past, it has seen some play in other decks running specific Elementals they wanted to draw, and if that trend continues, we might see him some more before he rotates out.
- Nightmare Amalgam – Amalgam is mostly played because it’s all tribes in one. While its basic 3 mana 3/4 stats are okay, you wouldn’t want to put a vanilla minion like that into your deck. But it CAN be played as a 3 mana 3/4 Pirate in Rogue, 3 mana 3/4 Murloc in Shaman or 3 mana 3/4 Mech in Paladin. Because of this flexibility, Amalgam has seen a fair share of play, and I suspect that it should see more.