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Class is the primary determinant of a hero's powers and abilities, and the strongest factor in deck selection. While each hero represents a unique character with their own personality, portrait and sounds, their class determines their Hero Power and which class-specific cards they are able to play. Each hero belongs to only one class (often multiple heroes represent each class) though all heroes of a given class function identically, using the same cards and Hero Powers.

Cards which are dual-class will have one background color on the left and another on the right. For purposes of "another class" cards, both halves must be different from the player to qualify.

Hearthstone's classes mirror those of World of Warcraft. The exceptions are Monk and Evoker, which are not currently represented at all.

Level and experience[edit | edit source]

Main article: Level

New players start with only the mage class available, and must unlock the others through completing or skipping the Apprentice Track.

Each class begins at level 1 and can gain levels by earning sufficient experience (XP). Heroes can reach a maximum of level 60. XP is gained through playing games in any game mode. Winning games against real players awards bonus XP.

After patch, class levels are purely a cosmetic feature, and do not feature any non-cosmetic rewards.

Ben Brode has stated that experience gains are based on several factors, primarily the number of cards played and the number of minions destroyed.[1] Prior to this statement, one player attempting to discover the underlying formula asserted that experience earned per match was based on either the number of actions taken or the number of cards played during the course of the match. For example, losing a game where the player played no cards and took no actions will reward no XP, while winning in the same conditions will provide a small amount of XP. [2]

List of classes[edit | edit source]

Playable classes
Death KnightDemon HunterDruidHunterMagePaladinPriestRogueShamanWarlockWarrior
Neutral icon.pngNeutral icon.png
  • NeutralNeutral: Neutral cards do not belong to a specific class, but can instead be used in any class of one's choosing.
    Neural cards have a grey frame, highlighted by darker grey lines.
  • DreamDream: Dream cards, generated only by a few cards such as  Ysera, are considered an unique class in the game's data. For gameplay purposes however, they are considered Neutral.
    Dream cards use Hunter's colors.

Related cards[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Class-related/Wild format.

Swipe left or right to see the cards.
ETC 367.png
TOY 700t.png
TOY 700t13.png
TTN 075t3.png
YOG 410.png
CORE KAR 009.png
TTN 476.png
DEEP 022.png
TOY 700t14.png
UPCOMING 100936.png
CORE KAR 069.png
MIS 708.png
UPCOMING 105499.png
TTN 484.png
ETC 103.png
TTN 925.png
UPCOMING 107763.png
WW 416.png
TOY 514.png
UPCOMING 107928.png
CORE SCH 160.png
JAM 032.png
TOY 373t.png
RLK 570t1t1.png
JAM 000t4.png
YOG 520.png
WW 364.png
WW 364t.png
TOY 913.png
CORE DAL 416.png
ETC 400.png
UPCOMING 101939.png
TTN 714.png
CORE GIL 672.png
CORE GIL 672.png
TTN 855t.png
TTN 855.png
WW 415.png
TTN 075.png
TTN 857.png
TTN 429.png
CORE GIL 598.png

Design[edit | edit source]

  • One rule for the developers in class design is to make sure that each of the classes "feels very strongly like its World of Warcraft class."[3] This encourages the maintenance of constraints such as which classes have access to weapons and Secrets.[3][4]
  • As of Goblins vs Gnomes, adding specific minion type "themes" to classes is one "fun" way in which the designers aim to "make each class feel distinct and have its own flavor".[5]
  • Along with Hero Powers, class-specific cards are the main way of creating distinct playing styles and experiences for the different classes. However, in some cases effects allow players to use cards belonging to another class, such as  Unstable Portal,  Piloted Shredder or  Grand Crusader. When a class starts imitating a behaviour specific to another class, this is known as "class bleed".[6] In many cases, a small amount of class bleed can be fun and interesting, but too much can cause the classes to lose their sense of uniqueness or even their identity. As a result the developers try to maintain "the right amount" of class bleed in the game.[6] For example, when designing the Discover keyword, the developers intentionally restricted the effect to class and neutral cards, as the keyword's initial ability to draw cards of any class added too much class bleed to the game.[6]
  • While class power is something the designers constantly struggle to balance, ultimately they feel having all classes precisely balanced is less important than ensuring that each has a time to shine.[7]
  • Class identities, which describe the strengths, limitations and weaknesses of each class, have only been formally described in June 2019.[8] The hope is to avoid endless debates about whether a given new class-specific card does or does not fit in its class identity.

History[edit | edit source]

  • The only World of Warcraft classes currently missing from Hearthstone are monk and evoker, with Demon Hunter and Death Knight being added in April 2020 and December 2022, respectively.
  • In August 2014 Yong Woo stated, "the fact of the matter is that we already have 9 classes, and we feel there already is a ton of diversity and we frankly think that it has enough complexity right now for most people to sink their teeth into. So currently, we have no plans to add additional classes."[9] In December 2014 Ben Brode stated "There are pros and cons [to adding a new class] and we have to figure out when, if ever, the right time would be."[10] Brode elaborated: "A good design exercise is to think: "How many classes is too many?" My sense is that it's closer to 9 than to 20."[10] In July 2017, Blizzard announced the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion, which would feature the brand new hero card type, allowing Hearthstone's nine classic heroes to transform into death knight versions of themselves. When asked if this implementation of death knights had killed the possibility of whole new classes ever coming to the game, Mike Donais replied that "We’ve always said that we like the nine classes we have. We work really hard to try to give some class identity to those nine classes, and it’s tough, because nine is a lot. Adding a tenth or eleventh class isn’t something we’re interested in. It’s too hard to make class identity exist when there are that many different classes. So yeah, we’re not excited about the idea of making new classes."[11]
  • Prior to the Core set implementation, up to level 10, reaching every even level in a class would unlock a pair of basic class cards. Above level 10, golden versions of existing class and neutral cards were granted upon reaching certain levels. Raising your first class to level 10 also completed the hidden "Level Up" quest, awarding the player one card pack. You must also have had at least one level 20 class to participate in Tavern Brawls. Aside from these restrictions and rewards, experience and level do not affect gameplay in any way.
  • Prior to Patch, leveling also unlocked additional Core cards as well as game modes. After that patch, all of those are unlocked on the Apprentice Track.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The class colours in Hearthstone are notable for not always matching the traditional colours for those classes from World of Warcraft. Specifically, the rogue in World of Warcraft uses yellow, the paladin uses pink, the warrior uses brown, the druid uses orange, the demon hunter uses purple, and the death knight uses red. There are also numerous differences in shade, such as the hunter, which uses a deep green as opposed to its traditional avocado-like shade. According to Lead Artist Ben Thompson, this is because the colours in World of Warcraft were chosen largely based on suitability for use in the game's chat interface; with Hearthstone the developers therefore decided to choose in some cases new colours that they felt better suited the classes.[12][13]
  • In August 2016 Ben Brode stated that of all the classes he felt the team had the hardest time designing warlock spells, stating "We need to carve out more design space for them."[14]
  • At one point during the game's initial development there were two heroes for each class, one representing the Alliance and one representing the Horde.[15] For details on early choices for each class, see Design and development of Hearthstone.

References[edit | edit source]