How do card packs work in Hearthstone? Pity Timer, Statistics & more

Hearthstone card pack

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.

Hearthstone card pack opening

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.

  • Rare Cards: Each card pack contains at least one rare card or better.
  • Epic Cards: One epic card can be obtained in five-card packs on average.
  • Legendary Cards: One Legendary card is guaranteed within the first ten packs of a new card expansion. Subsequent Legendary cards can be obtained in 20 card packs on average.

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.

– PlayHearthstone Blog

Note that this includes all cards you “collected” – including cards you crafted – disenchanted cards still count for it!

Improved Card Packs

Pity timer

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.

Hearthstone Pack Statistics

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