How do card packs work in Hearthstone? Pity Timer, Statistics & more
While there are games out there where you can get exactly what you want, this is not possible in Hearthstone.
Instead, you need to open card packs – which have a chance to include the card you want.
But how does this work exactly? What is the chance to get a golden card, and what is a pity timer which you maybe come across?
We will explain it in this article!
How do Card Packs work in Hearthstone?
You will get five cards when you open a card pack in Hearthstone. Those can be common, rare, epic & Legendary. There is also an option to get cards in golden – this is only a visual effect and does not change how the card works.
Every expansion has its type of those packs; some can be used for the Standard format, others for Wild & Classic. There is also a special pack for the Mercenaries format.
Rarity of Cards and Card Drop Rates
Looking at the official PlayHearthstone website, we can find out that different drop rates guarantee us to open cards after a maximum amount of packs are opened.
Cards can be of three different rarities: Rare, Epic, and Legendary.
- Golden Legendary card in 181 packs on average
- Golden Epic card in 71 packs on average
- Golden Rare card in 15 packs on average
- Golden Common card in 13 packs on average
- Normal Legendary card in 20 packs on average
- One Legendary card is guaranteed within the first 10 packs of a new card expansion, then subsequent Legendary card drops will follow the above rule.
- Normal Epic card in 5 packs on average
- Each card pack is guaranteed to contain at least 1 Normal Rare card or better
- Remaining cards will be Normal Common cards in average of 3.5 cards per pack
When opening a Golden pack of cards, you will get a:
- Golden Legendary card in 20 packs on average
- One Golden Legendary card is guaranteed within the first 10 packs of a new card expansion, then subsequent Golden Legendary card drops will follow the above rule.
- Golden Epic card in 5 packs on average
- Each Golden card pack is guaranteed to contain at least 1 Golden Rare card or better per pack
- Remaining cards will be Golden Common cards in average of 3.7 cards per pack
No Duplicate rules for packs
Thankfully packs in Hearthstone are not entirely random – since March 26th, 2020, you will not get any duplicates.
[…] You will no longer receive more than two copies of any Common, Rare, or Epic until you have owned two copies of all cards of that rarity in a set.
Note that this includes all cards you “collected” – including cards you crafted – disenchanted cards still count for it!
You might be unlucky opening packs, but thankfully you can’t just open 100 packs and don’t get a single Legendary.
While there has been a lot of confusion about it, it seems to be proven that the Pity Timer indeed exists!
- For that set, an Epic card will be opened within ten packs of the last opened Epic.
- For that set, a Legendary card will be opened within 40 packs of the previously opened Legendary card.
Hearthstone packs statistics
The statistic below includes the following data, with the summary from the Hearthstone wiki: Steve Marinconz (June 2014), E. R. Kjellgren (August 2014), Amaz (February 2015), and HearthSim (August 2015). This produces a total sample size of 27,868 card packs, describing 139,340 cards.
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