So if you’re a Hearthstone fan with some extra dust lying around, you may be wondering what to craft with it. (Note that this doesn’t mean you have all the cards – there’s no way I’m spending a speck of dust on Lorewalker Cho.) It’s time to bedazzle your decks Hearthstone style – by crafting golden cards! Golden cards, for the uninitiated, don’t do anything special beyond looking cool — they’re entirely for show, like shiny Pokemon. The biggest impact they’ll have on your game is letting your opponent know that you spend some serious money and/or time on Hearthstone. And given that crafting a golden card runs for 2-8 times the cost of a normal card, which equates to a lot of money and/or time, the question is: which ones should you craft with your precious dust?
Here’s the criteria I use when determining my next golden card to craft:
- Do I use it? This is the big one. Craft the cards you use most, especially those that sit in multiple decks. That will often mean that neutrals get top billing, because you don’t want your expensive gold cards sitting on the sidelines when the meta shifts.
- Does it stay out long? I prioritize cards that will leave gold on the board over those that are gone in a flash. That makes most minions better than spells.
- Does it make more cards? Some cards either put more cards in your hand (e.g. Mind Vision) or drop new creatures on the board at some point (e.g. Cenarius). As long as the new card is created by your golden card (as opposed to being drawn or played from your deck), it will be gold as well. These cards give you more bling for your buck, letting you lay down more shine for less dust.
- Does it look cool? A Sludge Belcher meets all of the requirements above, but he looks like a Salvador Dali painting of a constipated zombie. I save my dust for cards I like the aesthetics of.
- How much? It goes without saying that all golden cards cost a lot of dust, but they escalate fast. A golden legendary is a whopping 3,200 dust – as much as 2 regular legendaries. Spend wisely.
So that being said, here are my top five picks for neutral cards to craft, and my number one pick for each class.
Nuetral Pick #1: Harvest Golem
One of the best common cards in the game also makes the best buy for gold. Harvest Golems show up in a lot of different decks, due to the great card value. And as an added bonus, it drops a shiny golden Damaged Golem when somebody kills it. Best of all, it’s 400 dust, which is as cheap as golden cards get.
Neutral Pick #2: Defender of Argus
Defenders of Argus make the cut purely for their versatility. Consider that Handlock and Zoolock have almost exactly opposite play styles, and yet both depend on the good old Defender to rally the troops with a hearty buff. The Defender shines in almost any deck, and that goes doubly so if he’s golden. 800 dust ain’t cheap, but you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t have some to spare.
Neutral Pick #3: Knife Juggler
Another pick for sheer utility, Knife Jugglers find their way into a lot of my decks If you’re going to have mustachioed Gnomes flinging spectral daggers around the board, you might as well do it with (even more) style. The only downside is the price; at 800 dust, those are some pricey knives he’s chucking.
Neutral Pick #4: Faceless Manipulator
What’s better than killing an opponent with a big, beefy minion? Killing them with a golden copy of their own big, beefy minion. A golden Faceless Manipulator can become a shining example of any other creature in the game. Clocking in at 1600 dust, it’s your best bet to see a golden Ragnaros on the board for a budget.
Neutral Pick #5: Ysera
At a whopping 3,200 dust, Ysera is about as pricey as golden cards get. She’s useful, fitting comfortably into almost any control deck, and she can survive a long time. But really, golden Ysera is worth it because she comes with a mini-deck of 5 different gold Dream cards to draw from, and all of them ridiculously powerful. Your first gold craft probably shouldn’t be a legendary, but the first golden legendary you craft should probably be Ysera.
As noted above, golden Neutrals generally make better investments, as they can be included in more of your favorite decks. But that’s not always the case. Here’s my top picks for each class.
- Druid: Druid of the Claw — A staple in many Druid decks, a Druid of the Claw is effectively two gold cards for the cost of one, and as a common it’s only 400 dust.
- Hunter: Savannah Highmane — The king of the beasts drops two golden hyenas on the board when he finally goes down. 800 dust well spent.
- Mage: Mirror Entity — Instead of matching an opponent’s play, one-up him with a gold version of his new pet. I’ve been seeing a lot more of Mirror Entity these days, and at 400 dust it’s an inexpensive gold.
- Paladin: Redemption — Any minion in your deck can make a (brief) reappearance as a gold card when brought back via a golden Redemption, like Gandalf the White except super-vulnerable. A handy secret in Paladin aggro decks, and well worth 400 dust.
- Priest: Thoughtsteal — Sure, the card looks like a hair-band member with a migraine, but a golden Thoughtsteal will create 2 gold cards for you from your opponent’s deck. The first time I saw a golden Ysera was when a Priest nabbed mine with one of these glittering bad boys. I’m sure I made the same face as the dude in the picture when it happened. A real steal at 400 dust.
- Rogue: Defias Ringleader — Honestly, this one was a toss up. Rogue decks come in a lot of varieties, and I’m not partial to any of them. In the end, I chose the Ringleader because he has decent utility, he’s cheap (400 dust), and he come’s with a buddy if you know what you’re doing.
- Shaman: Feral Spirit — Get two golden wolves for one card. Not bad for 800 dust.
- Warlock: Doomguard — Most Warlock decks rely on neutral minions, but everybody loves a game-ending 5/7 with charge. Utility alone makes him worth 800 dust for a golden incarnation.
- Warrior: Arathi Weaponsmith — Spend 400 dust for a popular minion in gold, and get a bonus golden Heavy Axe.
Of course, those are just my picks. The key is to make sure that you’re thinking about where you invest your dust, to make sure your new gold cards see plenty of table time. What was / will be your first choice to craft as a gold card? Let me know in the comments.