Golden cards are special, rarer versions of cards.
On the battlefield, the difference between a card's normal version and its golden version is purely aesthetic - all golden cards feature a golden frame, and each has a unique animation. Golden cards are commonly compared with "foil" cards of other types of Trading Card Games, and are intended to allow players to show off their card-collecting achievements. Golden cards do not allow you to circumvent the 2-per-deck (1-per-deck for legendaries) card restriction.
Each available card is also available as a golden card.
How to get
While offering no functional difference, golden cards are far harder to obtain than their non-golden versions. Those that can be crafted are far more expensive to craft, and far more rewarding to disenchant. The means of obtaining a golden card depends on the card set to which the card belongs.
Golden cards also generate, summon, transform and otherwise create golden cards. Golden uncollectible cards can therefore be brought into play through golden versions of the generating cards. However, existing cards which are merely put into play by golden cards, such as by put into battlefield effects, will not be changed into their golden versions.
If a player's deck is composed entirely of golden cards, they will be granted a golden version of The Coin when going second.
A golden version of each basic card can be obtained by leveling a specific class of hero to a certain level. Raising a hero of the correct class to the required level will 'unlock' the card, granting the player two of the golden version of that card. While all class-specific golden basic cards require a hero of the corresponding class to unlock, the required class for non-class-specific cards varies. Some non-class-specific cards have two possible classes.
Golden basic cards are considered 'Soulbound' and cannot be disenchanted or crafted.
Golden cards from the expert set can be obtained through card packs, or through crafting. Each card found in a card pack has a chance to be automatically upgraded to its golden version. Crafting and disenchanting values for golden cards are between two and ten times those of their non-golden counterparts. It is also worth noting that both Epic and Legendary golden cards will disenchant for exactly as much dust as it takes to craft a regular counterpart, respectively allowing them to be exchanged for any single Epic or Legendary card you might require, making them especially useful for building up your collection.
Reward and promotion cards
Uncollectible golden cards
Golden cards generate golden cards. This means that new cards or minions created by a golden card during a game will automatically be the golden version.
These means are the only way to encounter golden versions of uncollectible cards (aside from The Coin). The main types of uncollectible card generation are broken down below, along with a few examples.
- Minion summoning
- Card generation
- Golden cards which transform cards will transform them into their golden versions. For example, golden Polymorph and golden Hex will turn a target minion into a golden Sheep and a golden Frog, respectively
- Golden minions will always produce golden versions when transformed. For example, a regular Polymorph played on a golden Molten Giant will produce a golden Sheep
- Card draw
- Golden cards which cause the player to draw cards will not draw golden cards (unless the cards drawn are already golden). This is because those cards already exist, and are not modified by the drawing process. For example, a golden Novice Engineer will not draw golden cards, unless the cards are already golden
Viewing uncollected golden cards
To view currently uncollected golden cards in-game, go to the Collection screen, enter crafting mode, and choose the 'show golden cards only' option. Players can right-click cards to view them up close. However, currently uncollected cards will be yellow-shaded rather than showing their actual colours.
Full-colour animated golden versions of all cards can also be viewed on database sites such as Hearthhead.
- Main article: Card art#Golden cards
While the underlying art for each card is created by a range of artists, the creation of golden card images requires additional work, transforming each static 2D image into a recoloured, animated, moving display. Hearthstone's golden card art is created by Becca Abel, Kyle Harrison, John Zwicker and Jon Briggs.
Senior Game Designer Ben Brode has stated that he intentionally "tried to make the least playable golden basics the easiest to get," and that he "loves" how rare golden Sen'jin Shieldmasta is, requiring the player to reach levels 59 and 60 with a rogue.
Artists involved in the creation of the game's golden cards include John Zwicker, Kyle Harrison, Jon Briggs and Becca Abel. These artists take the original pieces of art and create the golden versions seen in game.
- Patch 22.214.171.12444 (2014-03-11): If a player’s deck contains all Golden cards, a Golden Coin will complement your deck if you happen to go second.
- Patch 126.96.36.19917 (2013-12-10): All Golden cards are now animated.
- Patch 188.8.131.5290 (2013-10-02):
- You can now acquire Golden Basic minions at higher experience levels.
- At 9 Arena wins, you are now guaranteed an extra pack or a Golden card.
- Many Golden cards have new animations! More to come! Check out Gelbin Mekkatorque!