Meet the guy who spent $3,200 on Hearthstone packs in one night

516 packs opened and an hour in.

516 packs opened and an hour in.

Late Wednesday night, Reddit user MattCauthron made a post on the Hearthstone subreddit saying he had just purchased 2,700 card packs all at once—for a grand total cost of $3,400. We reached out to MattCauthron, whose real name is Nick, and asked him why he spent so much at once, if he has any regrets, and what he's opened so far.

Nick — "/u/Mattcauthron"

Nick MattCauthron

PC Gamer: How many packs did you buy at once and how much did it cost total?

Nick: Last night I bought 2,700 packs which cost roughly $3,400 tax included. I always forget about tax when I splurge on decks.

Why buy so many packs at once?

I already have every card. I knew I would have to buy a sizable amount of packs to get all the gold cards I wanted. I'm playing economies of scale here. The more packs I open, the more gold cards I'll get and the less I'll have to craft. It's cheaper in the long run to buy in bulk and craft less.

Your Reddit thread said you were drunk, how drunk were you?

I had work in the morning so nothing crazy, but enough to get me to pull the trigger. I've been seriously considering doing this for months now. Last night I decided to go for it.

Were they all Classic packs or some GvG?

I bought a 3-to-1 ratio of Classic to GvG in order to distribute my "gold card" acquisition evenly in order to try and avoid getting more than 2 of any gold card type. Perhaps I should have done a 2.5-to-1 ratio... but I wasn't about to pull out the calculator.

How long did it take to buy them allpresumably you had to keep clicking the highest value set of packs?

45 transactions of 60 packs. Looking at my email, I was able to do it in under 5 minutes. I've been opening the packs for a couple hours now though and I have a long road to go. I'm estimating 5+ hours to open all of these.

That's a lot of dust.

That's a lot of dust.

You said you already had a complete collection with roughly $1300 spent, why did you want all this extra dust?

You need dust to craft the gold cards! It is only a complete non-gold collection. I've read a true full gold collection can cost upwards of $10k. I could easily see it costing at least $7k. There are so many cards that are never seen aside from arena which I have no need to have as golden, though I certainly won't disenchant any that I get!

What do you do for a living?

I am a CPA. I do large corporate and partnership tax work, mainly in the oil and gas industry. This can often mean long hours and lots of stress dealing with clients (especially foreign) and deadlines. I enjoy the challenge. I believe [Hearthstone pro] Reynad said on his stream last night that college education was a waste... I should note my job would not be possible without my masters degree. Given the numerous comments about how I must have no knowledge of proper financial spending, my masters is ironically in finance. It's about net cash flow people!

Do you think Hearthstone is pay to win?

Absolutely not. Having the cards doesn't mean I know how to pilot them. I put a lot of time (relative to my free time) into this game and spend my free hours watching streams and all the major tournaments that I am able to. I am confident I could push for legend, but time is a resource I do not have enough of.

Nick and Teegs

Nick and Teegs

Do you have a significant other? If so, what do they think about this?

I do, and at this moment she does not know. We have separate bank accounts... maybe you should leave this question out haha. The thought did pass my mind that I could have bought her a complete collection of cards, but she would never have accepted me spending the money on her. That being said, I'll probably tell her so I can show her this article! I doubt I'd be able to keep that a secret. So Teegs when you're inevitably reading this... You're the most amazing girl in the world and I love that you play hearthstone with me.

Did anyone from your bank query the transaction?

I was actually shocked this did not occur. It did the first time I bought a lot of packs almost a year ago. I think my bank now has the greenlight for big transactions to Blizzard.

How many packs have you opened so far and how much dust have you gotten?

I have opened 1700 packs and have 1000 packs left to open but it's 1am and I must go to sleep (after a couple of games of course.) My disenchant dust is at 145,980. I'm expecting to be in the range of 160k to 200k when I finish. Not nearly enough to craft every golden card (There are way bigger "whales" out there than me) but it should be enough to craft all the ones people actually play.

Are you feeling any regrets?

There's a large number in my bank account that just became a slightly less larger number. I have enough money, to [the point] where I rarely look at my bank accept every few months to make sure it is going in an upward direction. This game is my biggest pastime. Let's say I've spent $5,000 on this game total, and received 1,000 hours of entertainment from it. That's only $5 an hour of entertainment. I'll spend 60 bucks on a game that I play for 15 minutes and never touch again. Spend money on what you enjoy! My best friend spent $20k on his motorcycle hobby that only lasted one year. Is this really any different?

I'm thinking (hoping) that I can continue to keep my decks gold with less than $2k a year by only continuing to craft gold cards.

How long have you been playing Hearthstone and how often do you play?

I have been playing hearthstone since the game was released on iPad, and I play every day.

What’s the highest rank you have achieved?

I believe rank 8. It was just as high as I got from doing my dailies every day. The past few seasons I have been "farming" rank 20 for gold portraits. I find you can have a 90-95% win rate at that rank and this has only gotten better with the recent influx of new players from cellphones. I do however feel especially evil at some of the "Dennis"* plays that I see. That being said, even free to play decks (especially Mage) can swipe wins when you draw too many blanks and they know what they are doing. If I was playing all experienced players piloting these decks, my win ratio would not be nearly so high. It's not the cards that allow me to win so often, but my opponents' lack of experience.

[*Ed's note: Dennis became a byword for a new player who makes particularly terrible decisions because of this video.]

What deck do you mainly play?

This game becomes infinitely more fun when you have access to every card. I tend to favor control decks however. I've most recently been grinding out wins with Mid-range Hunter. My current decks are Mech Mage, Mid-range Hunter, Mid-range Priest, Control Warrior, Handlock, Midrange Shaman, Combo Druid, Midrange Paladin, and Oil Rogue.

What’s your favorite class?

This would be between Warrior, Priest, and Warlock. I love how Handlock allows you to get really low and then drop huge threats onto the board. With Priest, being able to use the enemies cards against them however allows for hilarious and very entertaining interactions. With Warrior, I love just playing one big legendary after another and also the absurd amount of armor you can get on occasion. I've played a Priest for 10 years in WoW, so I'll throw my hat to that class.

Solid Pack

What golden card do you hope to get more than any other? Open anything really exciting yet?

I've already opened quite a few golden legendaries! I got golden Deathwing, Onyxia, and Ysera which is awesome since I already have golden Alexstraza. I always loved the dragons. I've also opened golden Illidan which came with a golden wisp. Given that Illidan gives you a 2/1 flame every time you play a card, I found this pack the most humorous so far because of the "synergy" wisp technically has with Illidan. Of course everyone knows wisp is a joke (Hobgoblin is giving me an evil eye right now.)

Other golden legendaries I've gotten include: Gruul, Mogor the Ogre, Alexstraza, Nozdormu, another Ysera, Vancleef, Captain Greenskin and TWO Jaraxxus. This puts me well above average considering you "should" get one every 200 packs. The number of legendaries has been pretty close to the statistical mean of one every 20 packs.

Jaraxxus was probably the card I've been most excited to see so far considering his awesome emotes. As far as golden cards that I really want, I'm mostly looking for any golden cards that I actually play, since it will be one less that I have to craft!

Would you recommend doing this to others who have the means to do so? Was it worth it?

Life is short. If you have the disposable income, I would highly suggest at least spending $500 to have the majority of competitive cards. Like I said earlier, the game becomes so much more fun when you are able to play any deck. Now going for all golds is purely cosmetic, but I just love those graphics.

Will you ever buy packs again?

Of course! When new expansions come out, I will continue to buy packs. I'm thinking (hoping) that I can continue to keep my decks gold with less than $2k a year by only continuing to craft gold cards. You save a lot of dust if you just craft the gold card from the beginning. Literally every card I crafted that I am now about to craft gold was a waste of dust. A good 40-50k in total I'm sure.

Tom Marks
Tom is PC Gamer’s Associate Editor. He enjoys platformers, puzzles and puzzle-platformers. He also enjoys talking about PC games, which he now no longer does alone. Tune in every Wednesday at 1pm Pacific on to see Tom host The PC Gamer Show.