In Hearthstone, Rank 5 provides the best value for the effort.

Most Hearthstone players would probably say their ultimate goal is Legend. Even for the everyday player that struggles to hit Rank 15, everyone would love to finally break the barrier and unlock the sweet Legend card back. But for players who want to spend their time wisely, Legend isn't their goal at all. Their objective? Rank 5.

There are five tiers in Hearthstone even though the developers and community don't really identify with them. You can differentiate them by the color of their borders. They are:

  • Wood (20-16)
  • Bronze (15-11)
  • Silver (10-6)
  • Gold (5-1)
  • Legend

Prior to the implementation of Ranked Floors, these tiers didn't have any impact whatsoever on your gameplay experience, but they definitly will affect how you feel at the end of each month.

At the end of every season of Hearthstone, Blizzard doles out rewards based on the highest rank you've reached. It isn't really all that much, but enough to satisfy our need accolades.

The problem is, these rewards don't scale well at all.

Play enough games (and win) each month and you'll get one golden common, five Arcane Dust, and that month's card back. Reach Legend and you're only getting three golden commons, one golden epic, and the card back. Getting to that point is a gradual change with two considerable spikes in value. Check out the percent increase column in the chart below.

 

End of Season Ranked Rewards in Dust  
Rank Tier Value (Dust) Actual Rewards Percent Increase
20
4 (+75)
55 1 golden common, 5 dust, card back -
19 60 1 golden common, 10 dust, card back 9%
18 65 1 golden common, 15 dust, card back 8%
17 70 1 golden common, 20 dust, card back 8%
16 75 1 golden common, 25 dust, card back 7%
15
3 (+100)
155 1 golden common, 1 golden rare, 5 dust, card back 106%
14 160 1 golden common, 1 golden rare, 10 dust, card back 3%
13 165 1 golden common, 1 golden rare, 15 dust, card back 3%
12 170 1 golden common, 1 golden rare, 20 dust, card back 3%
11 175 1 golden common, 1 golden rare, 25 dust, card back 3%
10
2 (+50)
205 2 golden commons, 1 golden rare, 5 dust, card back 17%
9 210 2 golden commons, 1 golden rare, 10 dust, card back 2%
8 215 2 golden commons, 1 golden rare, 15 dust, card back 2%
7 220 2 golden commons, 1 golden rare, 20 dust, card back 2%
6 225 2 golden commons, 1 golden rare, 25 dust, card back 2%
5
1 (+300)
505 2 golden commons, 1 golden epic, 5 dust, card back 124%
4 510 2 golden commons, 1 golden epic, 10 dust, card back 1%
3 515 2 golden commons, 1 golden epic, 15 dust, card back 1%
2 520 2 golden commons, 1 golden epic, 20 dust, card back 1%
1 525 2 golden commons, 1 golden epic, 25 dust, card back 1%
Legend Legend (+25) 550 3 golden commons, 1 golden epic, card back 5%

Chart sourced from HMC: 10.41 - Journey to Un'Goro with permission.

Advance your rank by one from 16 to 15 and you get a golden rare, boosting your dust value by 106%.

This should be the goal of any players that are looking to set their first marker for success.

There's actually not that good of a return for hitting Rank 10, only a 17% addition thanks to another golden common.

But reach Rank 5 and you'll get the biggest surge in value.

Switching that golden rare to a golden epic nets you 124% more dust value than you would get from the prior rank.

This is what you should be hoping to achieve each and every month.

Legendary cards are the rarest in all of Hearthstone. On average, you'll get one in every 20 packs that you open from the same set, but this can stretch all the way to 40 at which point you're guarenteed to open one. Because of this, they're often prime crafting targets and players seek to gather the rarest and most powerful cards.

Commons and Rares aren't all that expensive at 40 and 100 dust, respectively, but Epics cost four times as much at 400 dust. This is just expensive enough to actively discourage many from routinely crafting them and as a result they're oftentimes the actual "rarest" cards in Hearthstone. Even for players like us that write about Hearthstone for a living find ourselves missing more Epics, percentage wise, than Legendaries expansion after expansion.

For that reason, your real goal should be Rank 5.

Legend is cool, but it's ultimately just icing on the cake.