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I have just got into Hearthstone and I'm enjoying it a lot, but I want to work towards getting some better cards. What is the best way to go about this without spending money?

Should I save all my dust for a legendary? Or go for some rares?

Should I spend my gold on the arena or on packs?

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Save all your gold and unlock certain wings of the expansion packs. They contain cards that you need to build meta decks. It'll make the game a lot more fun than just unlocking an arena run or card pack every 150/100 gold. – Winter Mar 31 at 17:24
up vote 16 down vote accepted

The ABSOLUTE best way to improve your collection is the following:

  1. Do your daily quests! Tim S. already mentioned this, but you should try to reset your quests that give below 60 gold in hopes of a better one.

  2. Another way to obtain gold is by winning 3 matches. Every 3 matches you win earns you 10 gold up to 100 gold per day.

  3. Use every 150 gold you earn to play arena! This is where my advice differs from Tim. If you win at least 3 victories in arena you will generally net at least as much as your investment of 150 gold. If you win more than 3 victories you get even more than your investment! You can see a list of all possible rewards for all possible number of victories here: http://hearthstone.gamepedia.com/Arena

If you are concerned about your ability to pick cards during the arena draft there are numerous resources available on the internet that will help guide you through the process. Just google "hearthstone arena tier list".

Arena can also be a great learning experience. There are lots of decks out there that are very competitive that are also fairly cheap dust wise. Learning card relationships and value through arena can help you not only learn how to play your decks but help you learn to develop your own! Hope this helps!

// addition

I've seen a few people disagreeing with the number of wins that I put as the break even point for arena. So I would like to defend my position on that front.

If you look at the arena rewards list you can see that it's possible to break even at 2 wins (card pack + potential reward of 40-60 gold). It's even possible, in terms of gold, not to break even at 5 wins (card pack + reward of 45-60 gold + common card). I am uncertain as to what the odds are for each item in the random reward pool, but I have noticed that gold is the most common.

So the reason I list 3 wins as the break even point is because after experiencing many 3 win arena runs I would expect my average gold return to be in the 140-145 range. Once you include the average dust earned, lets just say I have never felt bad about a 3 win arena run.

I guess my point is, on average, a 3 win arena run will net you close to the amount of gold you invested (if not the total original investment). Plus once you include the average dust earned per 3 win run, the average value you received is easily worth the 150 gold you invested.

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+1 -- Going to take this advice myself. Once I failed early on with arenas, I never went back, but it sounds like a decent option now that I actually know the game much better. – Tim S. Mar 16 at 23:08
    
Arena is the best way to learn, improve, and get value along the way. Be sure to check out arena guides and card tier lists. Getting >7 wins is the dream as you get a full refund plus more, but that isn't always possible. After a year or so of Arena-ing though, I've got my fair share of cards so now I'm just saving gold for the next expansion. If I'm playing Arena, I'm doing it for fun. :) – Mark Gabriel Mar 17 at 1:11
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Eh 3 wins is a little low to break even. I'd say more towards 5. – bmarkham Mar 17 at 5:22
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@bmarkham I've tracked about 100 arena runs, including rewards. My average is 2.7 wins and my rewards are slightly better than break even. Since the average pack is worth about 100 dust (most packs are 40 dust but the good ones tend to be really good, bringing up the average), I'm considering 1 pack = 100 gold, 1 card = 20 gold (1/5 of a pack), and 1 dust = 1 gold for this calculation. – Lyrl Mar 17 at 15:24
    
@bmarkham getting 5 wins is break-even. You don't get the 10 gold per 3 games won if you're in arena, if you take that into account you need 5 wins. But if you consider the skewness of the gold distribution: getting 7+ wins really ups the average gold per game. – freekvd Mar 31 at 15:04

Like @ThomasP said, but I want to add the following:

If you're going to play ranked in the long run, craft early on one good cheap deck (usually these are aggro decks, like Face Hunter) and try to reach rank 5 every month. That alone gives you 505 dust (1 golden epic, 2 golden commons, 5 dust) for more crafting. Preferably, this deck should have several cards in common with other archetypes. I say one cheap deck because crafting cards is usually a waste of dust if you later open the same card from a booster, so you should only craft cards that you're going to use right away.

You should balance Arena runs with buying Adventures (700 gold each wing). Adventures give generally good cards that you can't get anywhere else. With the coming Standard change you won't be able to buy Naxxramas with gold unless you have the first wing, so I would buy that one at least. If you don't want Naxxramas cards you can disenchant them when Standard arrives.

Also, when Standard arrives there are going to be some balance changes which could affect Classic cards, so I wouldn't disenchant many cards until they announce the changes. Why? Because when they make an errata you can disenchant for the full crafting cost (50 dust for a common instead of 5).

And always get the free booster from weekly Tavern Brawl.

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I agree with this as well. Rank 5 might be a stretch for any fairly new player, but that should definitely be the goal. Even just getting to rank 15 gets you one golden rare and a golden common, and is much more attainable for new players. – ThomasP Mar 17 at 15:30

Personally I think the best way is to complete the daily quests as often as you can, replacing the lower gold ones (clicking on the "x" to get a new one) for hopefully more valuable ones. Every 100 gold, buy a pack. Also make sure that you win at least one Tavern Brawl each time it's available, as you get a free pack for that as well.

I used to save up the gold for for the dungeons, but I did some research and found out that the cards I would receive in most cases weren't worth the cost. (Except for the Grim Patrons so far), but I've not yet researched all of them.

Every time you open a pack, you of course have the chance of getting a card you already have 2 of, so the 3rd one is useless. This should be turned into dust. After this happens often enough, you should be able to craft some pretty decent cards.

Regarding legendaries vs rares, it depends on what kinds of cards you need. If the legendary is going to be super useful, craft that, otherwise craft something you think will round out your deck. Some cards have much more utility than others, but it also depends on what kind of deck you're building.

I also tried the arena, but found out that because I didn't have a stellar deck, I would lose a lot and it wasn't worth the gold investment. Personally I wouldn't try the arena again until I could get at least to rank 10 or higher, symbolizing that not only did I have a pretty good deck, but I knew how to play it effectively.

Apparently my experience with the arena (as well as my memory of it) wasn't that great, so if you're pretty good at playing a particular class and win consistently, it might be worth a go. For me, the other option of completing quests and using the gold to buy more packs was more certain though.

TL;DR: I'd buy packs, unless you have a phenomenal deck already, then I'd try arenas.

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I'm not sure I understand your comment about arena. Since you draft a deck for each arena, the cards you own should be irrelevant. Do you mean that inexperience with the game was causing you to draft poorly? – Chris Hayes Mar 16 at 22:25
    
Perhaps my recollection of how the arena works was faulty... if that's the case, and everyone picks from the same deck (which would make sense) then I'll edit my answer... thanks for pointing that out. – Tim S. Mar 16 at 22:45

You get the resources to get more cards by winning games: daily rewards, the every-three-wins reward, the pack-from-first-win weekly tavern brawl reward, and end-of-season ranked rewards if you reach at least level 20 in the season (with bigger rewards for 15, 10, 5, and legendary ranks).

Go to some hearthstone sites and read about "net" decks: decks that other players have created, tested, and written guides for. Find a relatively cheap deck that you think you will enjoy playing (class + playstyle you think you'll like), and work towards getting enough dust to craft cards specifically for that deck.

You generally shouldn't craft just specific cards. Instead, craft cards that are part of a whole-deck strategy. This holistic kind of deck building (which, for purposes of learning, is best to use net-decks) will get you the most wins, and as described above more wins get you the resources to build a wider variety of decks.

And then just play in whatever mode you enjoy the most. I'd try to get to at least 20 in ranked each month, but above that I would only keep at ranked if you're enjoying it. Check out arena, casual (you may have to play quite a few games before the matching system starts matching you with appropriately skilled opponents to target a 50/50 win/lose rate), and the tavern brawl in addition to ranked.

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