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.
- Blingtron 3000's Battlecry will always generate golden weapons, regardless of whether the Blingtron is golden or regular.
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 Classic and Goblins vs Gnomes sets can be obtained through card packs, arena rewards, or crafting. Each card found in a card pack has a chance to be automatically upgraded to its golden version. Individual cards rewarded from arena play likewise have a chance to be golden. 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.
Golden cards from adventure sets - currently limited to the Naxxramas set - can be obtained exclusively through crafting. The costs for crafting them are the same as those for classic cards (see section above).
Reward and promotion cards
Generated golden cards
Golden cards create golden cards. This means that new cards or minions created by a golden card during a game will automatically be the golden version. This includes generate, summon and transform effects.
As a rule, if any card involved in the generation of another card is golden, the resulting card will also be golden. For example a golden Polymorph cast upon a regular Goldshire Footman will create a golden Sheep; as will a regular Polymorph cast upon a golden Goldshire Footman, or a golden Polymorph cast upon a golden Goldshire Footman. Effects which create cards through interaction with characters obey the same rules; Light of the Naaru will generate a golden Lightwarden if either the spell or the target character is golden - including golden heroes.
The above rules apply for all generation of new cards, including both uncollectible cards such as Imp Master's Imps, and normally collectible cards such as Archmage Antonidas' Fireballs. However, as stated above, existing cards which are merely put into play from the player's deck by golden cards, such as by put into battlefield effects, will not be changed into their golden versions.
The main types of uncollectible card generation are broken down below, along with a few examples. These means are the only way to encounter golden versions of uncollectible cards (aside from The Coin, which can be obtained by using a full golden deck).
- Minion summoning
- Golden cards which summon minions will summon golden version of those minions. For example, golden Dragonling Mechanic will summon a golden Mechanical Dragonling, golden Mirror Image will summon golden Mirror Image minions, and golden Harvest Golem's Deathrattle will summon a golden Damaged Golem. Cards which summon minions through interaction with characters will also produce golden minions if the target character is golden.
- Card generation
- Golden cards which generate other cards will generate golden versions of those cards. For example, golden Mind Vision will create golden versions of the opponent's cards, and golden Elite Tauren Chieftain will create golden Power Chord cards (which may in turn summon golden minions). This includes generate effects which copy other cards, even if the card being copied is not golden.
- The one exception is Blingtron 3000, which will always generates golden weapons, regardless of whether the Blingtron is golden or regular.
- 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, Put into battlefield and Put into hand effects
- 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.
- The same rules apply for put into battlefield and put into hand effects. These effects place pre-existing cards into the battlefield or the player's hand, and golden cards with these effects will not therefore specifically produce golden cards.
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 Hearthpwn.
- 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.
The introductory sections to trailers such as those for Goblins vs Gnomes and Curse of Naxxramas feature placeholder art for golden card frames. Resembling a purple version of the mage card frame, this art was used prior to the development of the golden card frames, but has continued to be used in trailers.
- Patch 220.127.116.1144 (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 18.104.22.16817 (2013-12-10): All Golden cards are now animated.
- Patch 22.214.171.12490 (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!
- Patch 126.96.36.19990#Golden cards
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-11-24). - Example of transform producing golden version
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-11-18).
- Yong Woo on Twitter. (2013-12-15).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-12-08).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-07-09).
- Yong Woo on Twitter. (2013-12-15).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-01-24).