Hello! This guide is intended to help you find and obtain all the free cards you can. I'd recommend check out this guide for more depth and a few other topics after reading mine. This guide is about ways you can obtain free cards or card packs and extra gold. There are 7 ways to obtain free packs in hearthstone:
Level Each class up (levels 2-10) (90 cards)
Complete free adventures (there are about 5 of these and it will take about 5 hours to complete, about 83 cards total, including a very powerful death knight card)
Unique Quests (400 gold, 3 classic packs + up to 7 more based on available operating systems)
1st pack opening from certain sets (whispers of the old gods gives c'thun and 2 disciples and Kobolds & Catacombs gives Marin the Fox)
Weekly Tavern Brawl (1 classic pack/week)
Complete Quests (~60 Gold or classic pack daily)
Arena Rotation (1 most recent set pack + bonus rewards /2 months)
Before I go into detail on each method below, I'd recommend doing things in the following order. While you're doing everything here, I'd recommend picking 1 class and leveling it to 10 and then switching, since you unlock new cards for that class until level 10. If you acquire any quests you can't complete in adventure mode, I'd recommend trying to complete those in standard or wild (wild will probably be easier or at least more fun, since you have more cards to choose from) ranked or casual mode (I'd recommend ranked).
Phase 1: Tutorials and AI
- Complete Tutorial (Mandatory) (15 minutes)
- Beat each AI (unlocks new classes for you to play and 1 classic pack for beating 5 of them, 100 gold, expert practice mode) (40 minutes)
- Beat each Expert AI now, or wait until you have more cards(if you find the AIs boring and want something more fun, you can come back to this later I put it in phase 4) (40 minutes)
- Enter the Arena (just use your free ticket to open the arena, but don't pick a class yet) (1 minute)
Phase 2: Playing Prebuilt Decks
- Beat the Frozen Throne Prologue (awarded 1 death knight). (10 minutes)
- Beat Galakrond's Awakening Evil Chapter 1 (awarded 8 cards) (3 matches) (30 minutes)
- Beat the Karazhan Prologue (awarded 4 cards) (20 minutes)
Phase 3: Roguelike Build as you go Adventures
- Beat the Dalaran Heist first chapter (awarded 3 packs) (1 hour)
- Beat the Tombs of Terror first chapter (awarded 3 packs) (1 hour)
Phase 4: Build decks to beat challenges
- Open your packs* and build a deck or two to beat each Expert AI (if you skipped step 3 of Phase 1) (100 gold) (40 minutes)
- Beat the Frozen Throne Challenges (see guide) (9 packs) (2 hours)
Phase 5: PvP and no card rewards PvE
- Get a class to level 20 and win a tavern brawl (PvP, try this earlier if you hit level 20)
- Complete any unfinished quests in your quest log
- Try Out The Puzzle Labs or other adventures (for fun)
- Try out Battlegrounds (PvP, no reward other than 10g per 3 top 4s)
- You've unlocked most of the free hearthstone content! There are other free adventures, but I don't think they award anything substantial; feel free to try them out. The puzzle labs is my favorite! You can get 10 gold for every 3 wins in any PvP mode, except arena (which has its own reward structure). You'll get a new quest each day, usually worth 60 gold. Arena is the best way to complete your collection, even if you end up being pretty average. Battlegrounds and Arena are the best for players with small collections, since your collection size doesn't give you a disadvantage. For battleground you probably want 20 descent of dragons packs, so that you'll be on even footing with everyone else (choose from 3 heroes instead of 2 at the start), but even if you don't its just your initial hero choice that is restricted. I got top 200 players NA battlegrounds only choosing from 2 heroes.
Doing things in this order will help you unlock the essentials for each class and give you a start to your collection before you need to build any decks and before you have to play against other people.
*Some tips: Normally you are guaranteed a legendary once in every 40 packs. However, you get a legendary once in the first 10 packs from each set you open. So, for each set you can track if you got a legendary (don't count free death knights or c'thun). Buy packs 1 at a time until you get your legendary from each set.
Assuming you're interested in Wild, open packs in this order:
Any packs you get for free (keep track of which set they are in)
1 Whispers of the Old God's Pack (you will also get C'thun and 2 disciples)
Then up to 10 packs from each set from newest to oldest; buying 1 pack at a time. Stop when you get a legendary. Except you may want 20 of the most recent packs so that you aren't disadvantaged in battlegrounds (I'd probably try out battlegrounds before making a decision here)
Remember you'll get 9 free frozen throne packs, 3 dalaran heist packs, 3 tombs of terror packs, and quite a few free classic packs.
There are a ton of classic cards and classic is in standard for a long time, so those are usually a good buy, as are packs from the most recent sets (Rise of shadows, Saviors of Uldum, and Descent of Dragons), as they will be available in standard for the longest.
In Hearthstone there are 3 main things to spend gold on:
Card packs cost 100 gold.
Adventures usually cost 700 gold per wing and give about 8-12 cards or 3 packs (packs are 100g). I wouldn't go this route unless you know for sure you want a particular card or that you really love the PvE adventures.
Arena entry costs 150 gold, guarantees a card pack from the most recent set and offers reward based on performance. You play until you get 12 wins or 3 losses, whichever comes first. You are matched against other players with the same win-loss ratio as you (except new player matched as if you had an extra loss, and are more likely to be matched against new players). If you finish your run with 3 wins and 3 losses (a 50% winrate, the average player's performance), you are awarded (Descent of Dragons) 1 card pack, 25-35 gold, and one of (1 rare card, 10-25 dust or 20-25 more gold). In other words, at 3 wins, you get your gold's worth, so long as you don't get the dust. At 4 wins you get 50-85 gold, a card pack, and possibly dust or a rare card; you are gauranteed to get more than your gold's worth back. At 7 wins you are guaranteed at least 150 gold, a card pack and other random rewards. With 12 wins you get 240- 620 gold 1-2 packs, and possibly 2 cards (1 golden, 1 nongolden, any rarity). High variance results result in more rewards than consistency (two runs with final results of 3-3, 3-3 will result in fair rewards, whereas, 6-3, 0-3 will result in about 45 extra gold/dust)
On to detailed descriptions of how to get your free stuff!
I'll go through the simple ones first, before we get in depth on the others.
Complete Quests: On the main menu, on the bottom left there is globe with an exclamation mark inscribed inside squares. This is your quest log. There are some unique quests that will appear here, especially as a new player, but for the most part you will receive one quest per day worth 50 gold, 60 gold, 100 gold, or 1 classic pack. The majority of quests reward 50 or 60 gold. You may reroll (the circular arrow on the top right of each quest) up to 1 quest per day (resets midnight pacific time) and a new quest will appear each day. You journal can only store 3 quests at a time.
Level Up classes: Each Class unlocks new basic cards at levels 2,4,6,8, and 10. As you play cards, win games, and kill minions you gain experience to level up. Beyond level 10 you are awarded golden versions of basic cards (not new cards).
Tavern Brawl: You are awarded one classic pack for your first tavern brawl win each week. Once you reach level 20 with any class, you unlock tavern brawl mode. Each week there is a new tavern brawl that has its own rules. Sometimes you have to build your own deck and othertimes decks are premade. Very rarely there is a heroic tavern brawl, a brawl that costs 1000 gold, but they give you a free ticket for one run. You'll get some rewards depending on how many wins you get.
Arena Rotation: Upon release of a new expansion or major update (every 2 months), if you have an active arena run, your run is retired and you are awarded a free arena ticket. Every arena run costs 150g and you are awarded at least 1 pack from the most recent expansion. So make sure you enter the arena (under "modes), and once you're ready to try it out go ahead and play the arena run until you have 2 losses. I highly recommend playing the arena once you have enough gold to try a few runs and have learned a about how it works. If you are good enough and have enough time, this is the only way to be free to play and have a complete or near complete collection.
Unique Quests: Unique Quests will appear in your quest journal and can be found
here. There are also "General Quests" that you can find on the same page. They do not appear in your journal. The most notable ones are: Opening 1 whispers of the old Gods pack gives you C'Thun and 2 Beckoner of Evil; If you are recruited by a friend (i.e, somone sent you a referal to hearthstone that you used to open your account) you get a free classic pack, if you refer a friend you get a hero portrait (alternate art and quotes) once they reach level 20. You also get 300 gold for your 100th and 1000th win.
Unique quests also includes Unique Device OS Login: ipad, iphone, android, samsung galaxy S6 , and android tablet reward 1 pack each. Just login on the device or emulated device to obtain your free classic packs.
Finally you can obtain many free cards from adventures. Before I get into the details, Hearthstone has a card rotation at the end of each year. There are two formats: Wild and Standard. Every card is playable in wild. Classic, Basic and the most recent sets are available to play in Standard. Cards stay in standard for 15 months to 2 years until the rotation in March or April. Most free packs in Hearthstone are Classic packs, so those cards will be playable forever (you can get a dust refund if they are changed or "banned"
Standard Sets: For each of these adventures you can purchase additional wings to obtain more cards or card packs, but it is cheaper to obtain card packs by purchasing for 100g. However, in the case of sets like Galakrond's Awakening or One Knight in Karazhan (wild) those card are only obtainable by purchasing the adventure (with gold or real money).
Galakrond's Awakening: you can unlock 2 copies of 4 specific cards by completing 3 challenges with prebuilt decks.
Saviors of Uldum (Tombs of Terror): 3 packs for beating the free first chaper, you don't use cards from your collection, but rather build a deck as you go.
Rise of Shadows (Dalaran Heist): 3 packs for beating the free first chaper, you don't use cards from your collection, but rather build a deck as you go.
Wild Sets you can obtain free cards from (these cards are only playable in wild format):
Knight of the Frozen Throne (9 packs + death knight): Beating the Prologue rewards 1 of the 9 death knight cards. These are some of the best cards in hearthstone (I think the Warlock, hunter, and mage ones are the best, then Druid and priest, then the other 3). I would probably do this mission first. This is a prebuilt deck, so you don't need to worry about difficulty. After that you can beat 6 missions that will award 6 packs in total (3 packs after beating each group of 3). Then beat the lich king once to obtain 3 more packs. Some of these missions are pretty hard, especially lady deathwhisper and the lich king. If you beat the lich king with all 9 classes you also get an alternate paladin hero portrait. Here is the
Lady Deathwhisper 0 dust guide I wrote. You can view my other guides on that website too. I have guides for each of the 6 bosses that cost 0 dust (you can just use the cards you start with, you don't need to craft anything). You may need to level up your class to unlock missing cards, but most of the cards can be replaced.
One Night in Karazhan (2 copies of enchanted raven and firelands portal): The prologue is free and will unlock 2 copies of enchanted raven and firelands portal, both of which are pretty good cards. This may be a bit challenging for new players, but not as hard as some of the frozen throne challenges.
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