“Should I craft ”, or “Is it safe to dust ?” A consideration on resource management

Table of contents:


  • Understanding your Goals
    • New players
  • Weighting your crafting decisions
    • Safest time to craft
  • Conclusions

Extra Tips:

  • Gathering your resources


Hi, I go by BitByBit playing on NA and I’m a f2p player that started in the middle of Boomsdays (June 2018). I’m a regular standard legend player and usually sit around rank 700 to 500. I’d like to address the question that I hear quite often, “Should I craft <x>”, or “Is it safe to dust <y>?” especially from new players. The answer to these types of questions leads to more questions; “What are your resources like?”, “Are you aiming to hit legend", “Do you want to just win games?”, “Do you want to just have fun decks?”, “How large of a collection do you want?”, etc. However at the core, the 2 main questions you should ask yourself is “What is your goal in the game?” and “What is your resource management strategy to support this?” Once these 2 questions get answered you can probably answer any questions regarding your crafting.

To give some perspective, my goal is to be competitive and to have as diverse of a collection as possible while remaining f2p. I’m currently sitting on 20k dust and 20k+ more dust in card duplicates. With 3 to 4 competitive decks. This process took me at least 2 expansions and I usually let my pack opening move me towards the decks that I play.

My resource management strategy:

  • Only dust when a card is nerfed, or HoF.
    • Crafted HoF cards if I’m missing them so that I can bank the dust for later.
  • Start saving gold after the first week of a new expansion (usually end with at least 8k gold for the next expansion)
  • Gold is only used on packs at the start of the expansion or on Arena
  • Complete dailies.
  • Keep duplicated cards until there is a nerf, or if I really need the dust.
  • Craft cards if I’m 1 or 2 cards away from a deck or if I just really want a certain deck

Understanding your goal:

Every hearthstone player(f2p, p2w, casual, competitive, etc) is moving towards at least one of the 2 goals; to have a diverse collection, or to have a few competitive/playable decks. The more resources(arena/ using money, etc) that you gain the more likely you to move towards to achieving both goals.

New players:

Unless you intend to spend quite a lot of money, you will have a difficult time trying to achieve both goals.

  1. To have a diverse collection:
    1. Having a diverse collection means trying to keep your options as open as possible for the future. You will lean your card crafts towards decks where you own at least 80% of the cards, or the budget version of a competitive deck. You rarely dust your cards to try to capitalize on cards being nerfed. You may not have any reasonable decks in the start, but your collection will be large enough within several months(until the next expansion) that you will have your pick of your choice of a meta deck or getting 80% there. Since you still have most of your cards, you’re able to construct your own homebrew decks and try some deck building of your own. Winning and gaining ranks quickly is not your priority.
  2. To have competitive/playable decks:
    1. Having competitive decks means that you may be dusting large parts of your collection to try to get that one or two best deck. You accept that the commitment to this approach might be easily affected by nerfs and, on average, the deck/card may only be relevant until the next expansion. Your cards selection may be limited, but you will be able to play at least 1 of the best decks each expansion. Winning and gaining ranks is the focus.
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With that said, there is a way to achieve both of these goals at the same time, kind of. You can do it with the 3 hero rule. The whole idea is that you dust all your class cards except for the cards of 3 classes. You should quickly get to the point where you are able to have all cards of those particular classes. The only issue is that there is no telling if those 3 classes you pick will be given good enough support by blizzard. Some people have gotten around this by managing 3 accounts (NA/EU/ASIA) where each server would manage 3 different classes, but you can imagine the time commitment required for that.

Regardless of which goal you have chosen to start with you will be able to achieve both goals even as f2p. All it comes down to is time and resource management. You will be able to achieve this goal quicker by starting with the “diverse collection” goal, but it would take at least 3 to 6 months before you start to see the diversity in your deck selection.

Once you have gathered enough resources, it is recommended that you try to stick to 3 to 4 competitive decks each expansion to ensure that you have enough for the future rotations.

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Weighing your crafting decisions:

So let’s talk about those most asked questions, “Should I craft x” and “Is it safe to dust y”. Now that you’ve decided which goal, you’ll be answering the real questions; “Am I willing to risk crafting this card/deck knowing it might just stay relevant until the next expansion, or that the card may be nerfed” and “Am I willing to dust this card knowing it might become relevant in a future meta.”

If your goal is to have competitive decks, the answer is “yes”. You will be trying to spend your resources to ensure that you stay updated with the meta shifts. If your goal is to have a more diverse collection then the answer is more subjective. You weigh out the choices of using your resources. With the diverse collection approach, I’d recommend holding off on any crafts and consider the “safest time to craft” section.

Safest time to craft:

When it comes to crafting, the safest time to consider crafting/dusting a card for the current meta is usually within the last 2 months of an expansion. By this time the meta should have or gotten close to being settled, nerfs should have happened, so you would be crafting an established deck. With that same line of thinking, the closer you are to the start of an expansion, the riskier it is to dust/ craft because of possible nerfs and the shifting meta.The second safest time to craft is 1 to 2 weeks after a meta shift(new expansion, post nerf) to ensure that the meta stablizies.

No matter who anyone is, or what they say, no one and I mean NO ONE knows how relevant a card will become or remain within the current and future metas. People can have good guesses, but if you’re unsure of a craft make sure to weigh the risk that at most the card is relevant for the duration of 1 expansion. We’d like to think that Blizzard will continue to support their expansion archetypes, but there are many examples of Blizzard not doing that. Be warned of streamers as well, they have the experience/knowledge to play a good and bad deck well. So, if you’re considering a deck option do some research by asking around and looking into data sources; hsreplay, vicious syndicate, etc. I have encountered several people that had crafting regrets after being baited by a deck they saw.

Final Thoughts:

The motivation behind this post is to inform other players behind the weight of their crafts and consider what their goals are in the game. This isn’t meant to be a complete thought, but to help players find direction to maintain longevity with the game. I’ve seen many streamers and players get asked questions related to crafting and it is quite hard to answer without understanding your situation. My hope is that when people understand their goals and resource management plan, they will have more confidence in deciding their crafts and building their collection. Good luck on the ladder and your resource management. I hope to see you on the ladder.

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Extra Tips:

Gathering your resources :

This part is important, but does not fit into the “what is your goals/ resource management”.

For new players:

There are several ways to gather resources, the most basic of them are the brawls and daily quests. However, I would suggest that new players try to maximize gaining the free resources in the game.

  • Complete the hidden quests
  • Complete the the free solo adventures that give you resources such as the prelude for frozen for the free death knight.
  • Get the guaranteed legendary within the first 10 packs from each expansion.
    • Approach: start with an expansion then buy/open one pack at a time until you hit a legendary(you will hit it within 10 packs). When you hit the legendary, move onto the next expansion and repeat the process. (You can do the same with wild cards as they are good value for dust or if you ever decide to play wild).
  • Understand the free decks that new/ returning players get from hearthstone. I would defer to several posts with people’s recommendation on what deck to select. My personal opinion will be in the comment below.

For experienced players:

  • Avoiding dusting any extra cards unless there is something you want to craft. The value of cards can change due to nerfs/Hall of Fames.
  • Pick up a bit of arena to try to aim for infinite in order to gain more resources.
  • Save your gold for the next expansion as the value of the packs decreases over the more that you obtain.

    did a good guide on this.

Source: reddit.com

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