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July 25, 2016

Table of Contents

Spending Money Efficiently On Hearthstone


Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7.5 win-average arena player. I run where our coaches have helped many students achieve the same.

The Problem

Recently, I’ve heard concerns from many players that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to start a new account to play Hearthstone. While the general mechanics for earning Gold within the game have not changed, new players don’t have the priviledge of earning all the Gold they missed from Daily Quests since the game was released.

In addition, there have been special bonuses tied in with the launch of adventures and expansions that provided free booster packs and arena tickets. The most impactful reward was an entire Wing of Naxxramas for free during the launch of the Curse of Naxxramas single-player adventure — worth 700 Gold.

What Can You Do?

So what’s the solution? For many, it’s just to spend money to catch-up with all the content that’s been released since the start of the game. Unfortunately, this is a daunting task that can be quite expensive, even if the goal is to earn a reasonable collection of cards to play every class effectively.

Single Player Adventures

In terms of value, it’s definitely most effective to purchase both single-player adventures with cash. Currently there are two single-player adventures, Curse of Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain. Both of these unlock crucial cards that are played in many competitive decks.

The reason why it’s most effective to purchase both with cash is because if you purchase all 5 wings of an adventure at once, there’s a discount. However, if you only use Gold to purchase an adventure, there’s no discount, and you’ll need to spend 700 Gold for each wing, making it 3500 Gold to unlock a complete adventure.

Single Player Adventures

  • Curse of Naxxramas — $25
  • Blackrock Mountain — $25

Each adventure is really fun to play through, and as you defeat each boss, new cards will be unlocked. There’s also a second difficulty mode for each boss called Heroic. Defeating each boss on Heroic for an adventure unlocks a special cardback, which makes the process more worthwhile. Overall, I think it’s fair to spend $50 to unlock both adventures as it’s a great source of entertainment.

Booster Pack Sets

The most expensive aspect of building a collection is definitely opening enough booster packs from the Classic, Goblins vs Gnomes (GVG), and the upcoming The Grand Tournament (TGT) card sets.

Classic Set

Of the three card sets, the Classic card set is definitely the largest with 245 cards. It’s also the most important, which includes many useful Rares, Epics, and Legendaries that are staples in competitive decks. I’d recommend newer players open at least 100 Classic booster packs as a baseline.

This should approximately unlock all the Commons in the Classic set, 65% of the Rares, 30% of the Epics, and a small number of Legendaries.


Afterwards, I’d recommend players open approximately 50 Packs from each of the smaller expansions Goblin vs. Gnomes and The Grand Tournament, which should yield about half of the cards from each of these sets.

Final Costs

Overall, these 200 Packs should cost approximately $200 if you purchase them through Amazon Coins (You can get more coins at cheaper rate with this promotion). Overall, in conjunction with the single-player adventures, which can also be purchased through Amazon, a new player will most likely want to spend $250 to catch up to those who have played the game for a longer period of time.

While only having 50% of the cards from each Booster Set is limiting, I would recommend players dust Golden cards and duplicates to craft Epics and Legendary cards that they are missing for the deck they want to create. I’ve created a Legendary Crafting Guide that may be a useful resource.

The Future

Moving forward, it’s possible for a player who has spent $250 upfront to continue playing the game without spending money. If one is diligent and rerolls every 40 Gold Daily Quest to look for a 60 Gold or better quest, then one can approximately earn about 60 Gold a day.

Over the course of a year, this comes out to about 22,000 Gold. This is enough to purchase 150 packs from 1.5 GVG size expansions and 1.5 single-player adventures, with the remaining Gold that can be used on other expansion sets.


  • New players miss out out all the previous daily quests and have to catch up hard, or resort to spending quite a lot to catch up

For new players, recommend the following:

  • Do daily quests and reroll the 40 gold quests into 60 gold quests
  • If spending money, be sure to buy adventures first
  • Your first 100 packs should be Classic Set, followed by 50 from Gnomes and Goblins and 50 from The Grand Tournament
  • Dust all duplicates and golden cards to create the missing cards needed for decks
  • Take advantage of Amazon Coin and its promotions to get more packs for less money


Though it’s unfortunate that one may have to spend $250 for newer players to catchup to older players, keep in mind that those who have only played by earning in-game Gold have played for over 16 months, earning cards at a snail’s pace. However, I do hope in the future that Blizzard will provide mechanisms for players to earn more cards from older sets at a reduced price to lower barriers to entry.

Other Readings

Check out thundyr’s free to play journey documented here, and an older guide on how to start a F2P account here.

Coaching Lessons

If you’re interested in reaching Legend rank, or earning unlimited gold from arena, my team at would love to help! We’ve provided over a thousand hours of excellent coaching to students around the world. 

Want to Become Better at Other Games?

I also run, where our top coaches will develop a personal plan for you to achieve your dreams in other games. Personal lessons are an in-depth experience and most students improve significantly after just one full session!

Enjoyed this article?

Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7.5 win-average arena player. I run where our coaches have helped many students reach the same goals.

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Leave a Reply

  1. Bruce Grubb says:

    I noticed that this article says “LAST UPDATED July 25, 2016” but also lists “Curse of Naxxramas” adventure which became unavailable for purchase Apr 25, 2016. Another issue is when a new expansion comes out only the cards for that and the previous year will be playable in standard. That means sometime in 2017 when the next expansion comes out BOTH Blackrock Mountain and League of Explorers card will become non viable for standard.

  2. Alex says:

    What’s the best way to earn cards without spending more money on digital items than a computer to play it on?! Even for people with a high disposable income, $250 is a lot of money to spend on a game. Could one get to legend rank without spending real life money?

    • Sheng says:

      Well Alex… with 3 easy payments of $19.99 I can teach you how to… just kidding 😉

      I’m actually a F2P player who’s reached Legend rank without spending money on cards. It’s not that I’m against spending money on the game (I’ve spent quite a bit on swag from the Blizzard store for gifts and also bought adventures for friends), but I see it more fun to build up a collection slowly. What you’ll ideally want to do is become very very good at arena so you can go “infinite” meaning you’ll always earn at least 150 Gold each time.

      I’ve earned a significant portion of my collection through arena this way. In addition you can always build decks like Patron Warrior which are very strong and don’t require any Legendaries outside of those available from the single player adventures. Lastly, you just need to invest a lot of time into the game if you don’t spend money. Earning a pack from each arena run is time-consuming. It usually averages me about 2 hours per run now, so I’m playing less arena to focus on other writing projects (like making deck guides).

      Hope this helps.

    • Jimmy HSP says:

      Patron Warrior is one of the cheapest deck and one of the most powerful (if not the most) deck at the moment.

  3. baartt says:

    Hello Sheng, it is always nice to help new HS players as they can easily be lost with all the expansions right now.
    I don’t see anything about arena in your guide, don’t you think doing arena is one of the best way to earn new cards? (and even golden ones that can be recycle)

    Well I know the guide is about spending money efficiently, but playing arena could be a good way to spend golds efficiently in my opinion (and get the chance to play with all the fun cards that new players don’t have yet !)

    • Sheng says:

      You’re right, arena is definitely a great way to earn cards—if you have a good winrate. However, for those who want to build up a collection as soon as possible, it would be a good idea to intelligently purchase packs based on the cards you’re missing.

      Only a few players can become infinite in arena, and with the randomness of arena awards in the future, it’s not a surefire way for older players to earn cards anymore.

      • baartt says:

        Yes you are right, I was thinking about people who want to spend the least money possible on the game and optimize their gold as much as they can (and possibly improve their understanding of the game and the cards, arena is very good for it, but at least 3 wins are needed to not waste gold).

        • CJ says:

          Average Arena win/loss ratio is 3:3, by necessity. There can’t be more wins than losses.

          So when people win more than they lose, other people _have_ to lose more than they win. See the problem here? A good way of getting around that is encouraging newer and unskilled players into arena. That way all us older players can get more wins by their expense.

          People shouldn’t touch Arena for at least six months otherwise they’re just funneling gold to better players and that’s a tad unethical to be encouraging. Predatory, even.

          • Bruce Grubb says:

            I know this is late but this is a excellent point. Also with tavern brawl you can get one pack per week free (it may take several attempts) and depending on what it is use tavern brawl to complete quests.