A Mug of Ale for Everyone!
You would like that, wouldn’t you? XD
Hearthstone, if you’re unfamiliar, is a top-down card game similar to ESO legends, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon. It is an extremely popular table-top card game that engages millions of viewers per day on a variety of different platforms, more noticeably through YouTube, with such players as TrumpSC and Kripparian. The game’s official Twitch channel has 24,788 Viewers and 7,836,936 Followers as of this writing!
We’ll be Playing Cards by the Fire?
In an imaginary way. It is a strategy card game that is set in the World of Warcraft universe – sorry to disappoint all you fans wanting to see Diablo in the fray! Even if you’re not a fan of WoW the gameplay will easily suck you in, as it’s deceptively easy to play but very fun. The noticeable difference between this and WoW however is that there are no hordes or alliances, you may pick and play whoever you want, and even mix and match cards for some wacky, ridiculous, winning decks!
So, Why this One Card Game?
The biggest reason you should play this game is that it’s based around WoW, which is undeniably the largest MMORPG for centuries running! Due to the game’s huge fan base and following, it’s consistently being updated with new expansions, bug fixes, and overall small changes. Another great reason to get into Hearthstone is that there are probably thousands of deck guides, courtesy of dedicated websites such as Icy-veins, and Hearthstone Top Decks.
If you’re not a strategist like us but really want to win for a change, then you can also search for decks and hope for the best that you own the cards. But do not fret! Another great part that Hearthstone offers is the ability to earn gold through quests and campaigns so that you can purchase new decks, as well as win them through ranking up.
The game is overall very generous, but there are options to pay if you want to be a little less casual of a player.
You. Me. Duel!
Like many other card games, the playing board is divided into two sections. Your opposing enemies’ side and your side. The first player is chosen at random, and is given an extra card at the start of play. The next player won’t be disadvantaged, no need to worry! He is given a card that adds one extra point of mana for free, giving a tactical advantage!
Each player takes a turn until the opposing player no longer has any health left, which is set to 30. Once that health drops to 0, the game will be over!
I Win—Wait, What?
But if only it were that simple! There are certain mechanics that can keep you alive for longer! Let’s hurry and dive into what some of the card abilities can offer you!
● Divine Shield: This ability allows your card to soak up damage without taking any hits itself while still being able to inflict damage on the enemy.
● Silence: This ability is the perfect counter against Divine Shield and Guard by nullifying their effects and rendering the enemy defenseless.
● Guard: This ability is extremely useful as other players can not attack you directly without first getting rid of this effect. Of course, exceptions exist, but let’s not complicate things yet!
● Choose One: This ability simply gives you a choice, perfect if you’re in a pinch, but often or not, is it the luck of the draw!
Now that we have disclosed a few of the abilities, let’s delve into the mechanics of the game!
This is Not Just a Card
Firstly, you’ll want to be choosing your Hero, which is a crucial part of the Lore in WoW. Each Hero has his or her special abilities that they can bring to the table, which will cost a single mana crystal. These abilities can vary depending on the Hero of your choice. For example, if you choose Jaina, she will summon a meteor that will hit for one damage or Garrash who will create a shield around himself absorbing up to two damage. Each Hero brings a new style to the game as well as gameplay.
We recommend playing the solo adventures first. It provides you with pre-made decks with which will start you off on the types of cards available, and help you acclimatize with the game’s basics and some advanced skills that will help you further down the line. There are multiple solo adventures in Hearthstone, each having their own voice-acted lines, story and new cards to test out. After each adventure completed you will be rewarded a chest that can contain cards, dust* and gold.
*Dust is an element of Hearthstone that allows players to directly create new cards.
Dust can also be created by disenchanting cards you already own.
Let the Games Begin!
Heartstone primarily starts you off with a choice of three cards, depending on if you go first or not. Once you have decided if you want to start with those three or swap them out, the game will then begin. Each player starts with one mana crystal and in subsequent round, it will ascend, reaching a cap of ten. Not only that, during each turn you will draw a random card from the deck.
Before you even begin to play against other players, know that there are two choices when going online — Wild Card and standard. A Wild Card game is where players can use cards from absolutely any deck that they so desire. This is where you’ll come across some of the most ridiculous decks that absolutely dissolve your life points, but don’t go thinking that standard is any easier. The more cards you collect for your chosen hero, the better the deck build and just as chaotic.
This is where strategy plays a huge part. If you put all your eggs in one basket and are left with nothing, your opponent could have a few tricks up his sleeve and wipe you out. It’s often good practice to test a couple of builds and mix and match your cards and come up with your own decks. The game has a huge variety of playstyles, it’s up to you to find which suits you best. Don’t worry if you feel lost, because we have a guide to deck-building! (*jumps around estatically*) Or if you’ve heard of the Lich King and have strong interest to battle to the icy death, check out our Lich King Deck Guide! (*shiverrr*)
In a standard game, you have around 75 seconds to make a decision. Once the timer reaches 55 seconds, a fuse and a bomb will be ignited, signalling the 20 seconds you left until you lose out on your turn, possibly giving your opponent an advantage. Additionally, a very interesting mechanic in Hearthstone activates when you run out of cards. You will suffer One damage per card drawn. It doesn’t sound like much, but considering that decks typically run out when it’s towards the end of the game, it’s likely your health is already at a critically low point! So it’s best to beat your enemy as fast as possible, or risk dying by fatigue!
Dying Isn’t the Only Way to Go!
Also, note that there are certain circumstances that can end the game without the need to painstakingly calculate your opponent’s health! Some examples are:
● Uther of the Ebon Blade’s The Four Horsemen, whereby successfully summoning all four of them will instantly destroy the enemy Hero.
● Mecha’thun, whose Deathrattle effect will destroy the enemy Hero if you successfully empty yourself of every single card prior to activation.
Trivia: Prior to the adjustment of the Sacrificial Pact card, when your opponent’s hero changes to Lord Jaraxxus, you could previously use the card to instantly destroy that hero!
Trivia 2: If both players’ Health drop to 0 at the same time, both are considered defeated and will incur the same penalties together.
Another Way to Play!
Once you’ve delved deeper into adventure mode and played a couple of people online, there are some alternative options for further gameplay. If you’ve ever played Heroes of the Storm (HOTS) or possibly any other MOBA game, they have a mode known as Brawl which sets opponents against one another with pre-determined characters, or in this game, pre-determined cards. It’s up to you to use your wits and knowledge of the game to beat your opponent into submission!
More Ways to Play!
Another interesting mode, which has been recently added in 2019 on Nov 5th as early access, is Battlegrounds which pitches you against 8 opponents. It is currently live in 2020 as a Beta. The game mode is structured around you winning each round with a set of limited cards, until you purchase more in the Tavern, building your own personalized deck.
The gold earned in this mode is specifically for this mode alone. Each card costs 3 gold each. Every card attacks on its own, the left card acting first, following through rightward until the last card. So their placement is key and knowledge of the cards is crucial. Not only that, when you have three of the same card, they combine to make a more powerful, gold version of that same card. For gaining a triple, the tavern owner will also give you a reward.
As you progress through the levels, there are options to upgrade your tavern to access more powerful cards, and you can also freeze the current selection, so that the next time you enter the tavern, your previously desired cards remain available for your next battle.
What’re You Waiting For!?
With all these pointers pointed out, we hope you’ll be primed and ready to meet the wave upon wave of competitors and join the excitement of your life! If you need more pointers to building the perfect deck, we have a deck-building guide ready for you!
Or if you feel you’d like another card game that’s not too different, but has other critical differences, why not consider Legends of Runeterra? We break down the differences between them!
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