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I've been pretty unlucky with Hearthstone boosters: 30 packs in and still no class-defining legendary, rare or epic to really build a collection around. I have, however, generated several hundred dust which I'm itching to spend on something.

So the question is: given that you don't know what's going to be in the next booster, is there an "optimal" approach to spending your dust?

A lot of sites seem to suggest that you should burn it on the most useful common cards, the ones that you need to get decks working, on the basis that they're cheap. But that seems bad advice to me because the chances of you getting what you need from boosters is quite high. After 30, I've got at least one of all the most desirable common cards, and two of many.

At the other end of the spectrum is the idea that you should save them up for the most powerful legendaries. On the one hand, the chances of you getting a real killer legendary from opening packs is very slim. But on the other, you need to accumulate a vast amount of dust and there is the awful chance of you aquiring a second and totally useless copy of the card.

At the moment I'm edging on using it to buy rares. They don't break the bank, and if you just buy one, acquiring a second through pack opening is actually pretty handy.

But this is just finger in the wind opinion. Is there a more rigorous way of looking at things?

  • 2
    That totally depends on what you want from the game. If you're playing Constructed and laddering a lot, then get cheap cards that make your deck of choice work. If you enjoy Arena, don't bother with crafting anything at all and save up that dust until the time comes when you create a Constructed deck or want to complete your collection. You'll have collected so many cards from Arena rewards at that point that it will be rather obvious what to craft (probably missing Legendaries). – scenia May 12 '14 at 11:14
  • Also, if you care about Golden cards, craft them. If you ever decide you don't want that card any more, you can disenchant it and get back enough dust to craft any card of the same rarity. Especially with Legendaries, the ratio is rather good, so you only lose 50% of your invested dust as opposed to 75% with standard Legendaries. And you end up with a Legendary. – scenia May 12 '14 at 11:16
  • Don't know, i didn't feel it's compete enough to warrant its own answer... – scenia May 12 '14 at 15:24
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An answer to your question depends on what you are trying to get out of the game.

Collecting all of the Cards!

According to the Economy of Hearthstone, in order to collect all of the cards, you should save all of your dust until you have enough to craft the cards you have missing. This article simulates optimal dust usage to calculate the total number of packs you would need on average to collect all of the cards.

Creating the Best Deck

Creating an excellent deck does not require a lot of dust or legendary cards. Trump was able to get to the Legendary rank very quickly without spending any money--you can see it here. In this series he spends his dust on several commons, a few rares, and a single epic (if I remember correctly). Most of the top players have a few legendaries in their decks, but it is not required. Decide on a deck you want to create and spend your dust getting those cards. The optimal way to spend dust to create a particular deck as fast as you can is to save up your dust until you can craft the rest of the deck.

Creating a Decent Ranked Deck

Perhaps you just want to play ranked and "rank-up" relatively quickly. The best way to do this is not to attempt to build the best deck which lots of rare cards, but to build a good deck with strong cards.

  1. First, decide on a deck strategy that relies mostly on rares and commons. 90% or so of your deck will be made of these, so they have to work on their own with support from epics and legendaries.
  2. Second, fill out the deck with cards that you already have that would work well in your dream deck.
  3. Third, fill the rest of the deck with cards you already have that may not be your ideal picks, but are at least good.
  4. Fourth, play with your not ideal deck. For optimal dust usage, you want to determine what is missing from your deck and this is best done through experience rather than theory-crafting.
  5. Spend your dust on the cards your play experience dictates would be the best additions. If you can't afford all of your ideal cards, spend your dust getting the largest number of ideal cards you can. This is an optimal use of your dust because it gets your deck as close as possible to your ideal deck.
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First of, I'd recommend that instead of buying packs at 100g, if you have the time, you pay an entry to the arena at 150. As you don't have an amazing normal deck, the arena deck shouldn't be a let down, plus you could take it as an opportunity to discover new cards. In the worst case (0-3) you win 1 expert pack (worth 100) and 1 common or 25-40 dust or gold, so approx. lost of 25g. In the average case (3-3) pack + 50/60 gold or dust + common or rare. And it only improves. So the Arena really is a good choice if you can spend the time.

And secondly, in my opinion, it's indeed great to use dust on common or rares, maybe epic, but don't save for a legendary, it's way too expensive. Okay the legs are cheated, but not worth that much. Plus, sometimes, rares or commons can be awesome (ie. unleash the hounds, secretkeeper etc...) As you cannot know what you're gonna play against, you'd better not gamble your victory on 1 card.

  • My arena runs so far have tended to yield 3-4 victories, which is about break-even on what you get back. Given the time investment required, I've kind of stopped bothering in favour of boosters. Perhaps I'll try again now I know the game a bit better (stabilised around rank 17 in constructed). – Bob Tway May 12 '14 at 10:36
  • Starting at 6 or 7 victories, you have a chance of being awarded a legendary. I don't know the chance but I'd think it's higher than packs. – Yellrag May 12 '14 at 10:46
  • @MattThrower If you do your daily quests during the arena play, it makes the time investment even more worthwhile since you're earning arena bonuses while you earn your gold. If you make it to four wins, you generally should come out ahead - the breakpoint is between 2-3. – Troyen May 13 '14 at 8:05
  • @Troyen the problem with questing on arena runs is that it's easy to get stuck with "win X games with Y class" quests which don't always fit. But I've just cleared my quest log for 200 gold profit, so I'll give the arena another spin tonight. – Bob Tway May 13 '14 at 8:20
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First of, never build a deck around one single card, but rather a goal. Spew out minions? Strong, buffed minions? Aggressive spell\minion combo? Since you are limited to max two at most of any card, you are better of focusing on building a deck that has a good synergy between all the cards. Legendaries rarely do anything special, they are usually just strong in therms of hp and power, with maybe some situational decent effect.

Now, to fully answer your question: Commons and regular rares are probably the way to spend dust on, as rares are usually guaranteed per booster, they aren't really THAT rare. If you ever hit owning more than two of one card, salvage it for dust You are better off building your common and rare collection, before you even try to get the legendaries.

The reason is simple: Once you have two of all common and rare cards, any additional card goes to be salvaged. In time, you will then simply save up enough dust to buy any of the epic/legendary cards.

Do not worry about singular cards, because a 6 cost card can easily be beaten by simply throwing a combo of, say, a 2 and 4 cost cards in therms of power, or threat on the battlefield.

  • To clarify: when I said about deck-defining, I really meant class defining. I know one shouldn't build a deck around a card, but if I pulled, say, Lord Jaraxxus, it'd be sensible to drop dust on other useful Warlock cards. Have edited question. – Bob Tway May 12 '14 at 10:24
  • When you put it that way... Yes, if you play a singular class quite a lot, and wish to focus on building the card collection for that class, then sure, use your dust on it. I know that each class have at least one special legendary, hence it can be neat to get that for your favorite class. – Sharain May 12 '14 at 10:43

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