So, what even is Hearthstone? Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a digital collectible card game (CCG) from Blizzard Entertainment. It’s free-to-play, and a ton of fun. Starting out, your account gives you a large number of free cards. You build decks by choosing between 9 hero classes, each bringing their own unique cards and abilities to the game. Earning your way by leveling up each hero and gaining gold, your decks grow within the limits of selecting 30 cards from your collection of playable minions, spells, and weapons in the name of defeating your opponent.
You can play in Standard, Wild, The Arena, Solo Adventures, and the Tavern Brawl. Standard is your average, normal games for play. Wild is where you can craft any deck using any cards that have been phased out of Standard. Yes, you read that right, cards can get phased out. Card sets rotate out of Standard every two years in Hearthstone. Additionally, you can play in the Arena. The Arena is a closed format where you draft a deck of random cards and play against other Arena players. There are also solo adventures, which usually come from expansions and serve as card injections to add to particular metagame. While an Adventure hasn’t been added to the game in awhile, Team 5 at Blizzard Entertainment are promising are ready for another with the upcoming expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne. Tavern Brawls are fun and wacky games that last for four days of distinctly different set ups, and offers a card pack when you have your first win.
Playing the game earns you gold, as well as a daily quest which can offer anything between 40 to 50 to 100 gold to a free pack of cards. You can use gold to buy packs of cards to add to your collection, or play in the Arena. Playing in the Arena earns you serious rewards, dust to craft cards, a pack of classic cards, and more gold to spend. You earn arcane dust by deciding to get rid of a card you don’t want OR by getting a copy of a card you already have. This is what you use to make a card you want but don’t have yet. There’s a rarity system for these cards of course, from basic, common, rare, epics, and legendaries. One pack has a confirmed rare card, and the rest is up to chance. But don’t take my description of the game for granted!
Read these 10 reasons why you should play the game:
1: RNG makes every game interesting & fresh:
The RNG (random number generator) mechanic leads to unpredictable outcomes of every game. While a pro in some cases, this can also be a con, especially with how it can seriously throw a game. But the randomness of the abilities is what make it fun at the same time, because the players themselves going into the match don’t know what to expect. Take for example, the Old God Yogg-Saron. Players use him knowing exactly that they’re at the whims of the Lovecraftian inspired monster, but that hail Mary at the end of a match can seriously throw things into your favor. Or it can kill you AND the other player. Take your pick.
2: Blizzard rewards its players:
Blizzard is good at rewarding its players. From patching infuriating cards, new expansions throughout the year, and now with this latest expansion, you’re also guaranteed to get a Legendary within your first 10 packs of a new set. Having a legendary to build your deck around will be incredibly handy. Not to mention the most recent Midsummer Fire Festival, which has players gain double gold on quests, and when the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion drops in mid-August, players will reportedly have free Arena runs, and a free solo adventure AND legendary! Seems pretty legit to me.
3: Convenient for every device & on the go:
PC, Mac, iPhones to tablets. Hearthstone is basically everywhere. It’s also good for casual quick play between classes, breaks, and when you just need to relax. That is, if you aren’t trying to play Ranked, that might take a bit longer depending on where you are! But it’s a blast and the combos can get seriously ridiculous. I once was attacked by a minion with 120 attack and 120 health, but I survived it and won the match.
4: Connections to World of Warcraft mythology:
Playing this game over extended periods of time has actually gotten me interested in the series. I only played WoW once and never really got into it, but this piqued my interest in the lore and maybe even watching the movie. This has led to me watching gameplay of the original Warcraft and reading wiki pages, as well as playing some WoW myself. Blizzard is pretty much the king of pop culture references and making their games addictive, and by just playing this game, they even make me want to play Diablo and Heroes of the Storm (other Blizzard games). Yowza.
5: Completely free, not pay to win:
You can earn every card in game by grinding for quests and spending gold for packs & The Arena. Some of my friends do better than me in Ranked and they haven’t spent a single cent. However, it is very hard to get everything in the decks quickly. That’s why Blizzard provides packs to be purchased. They can make some serious money off of that, and I don’t blame them. However, some decks shine with particular cards, so It’s important to know what you’re crafting and why, and I highly recommend sites like HearthPwn and Metabomb that explain choosing certain cards over others and for ideas for deck builds.
6: For all ages:
I can see kids playing this as well as adults, the cutesy art style is really just so much fun. Additionally, there’s no toxic community to interact with. Unless a player adds someone else, there is no way for them to talk to you in game. Usually players don’t go out of their way to BM, or bad mouth another player, but if they do, they’d have to accept a Battle.Net request. It rarely happens in this game, but it will easily be turned down.
7: Variability of builds:
With all the different classes and mechanics, the sheer variability of deck builds is pretty awesome. Because of this, the game has constantly changing formulas to win matches, and it’s a rapidly changing dynamic. Players try out different builds to see if they work together and sometimes they do, and Blizzard leaves that up to players to find out while also giving them some basic ideas.
8: Constantly updating material:
Like World of Warcraft, the world of Hearthstone gets changed with every expansion. This leads to different and even changed areas to play in, and even updated cards in particular expansions to show for it. For example, one of the many changed places was a town that was destroyed by the presence of the Old Gods. The environments aren’t much, but they do incredible work to create an effective atmosphere.
9: Dedicated community & tournaments:
There is always something going on. Either from watching old tournaments to seeing what streamers are up to, or on Youtube for people’s commentary on how the seasons are developing. I recommend watching Brian Kibler, Firebat, or Frodan on their channel Omnislash for current game commentary and deck advice.
10: Cards can never be damaged:
You can collect cards in game, but the card is online. No need to store it in a shoe box or on a shelf! Unless you lose your password, your cards are permanently on the Battle.Net system. You can uncraft cards, but it gives you the option to recraft them only once while still clicked into that card in you change your mind. Unlike other physical collectible card games, you can’t spill drinks or smudge cheeto dust over them. The popularity of online card games are on the rise, so why not get started?
That’s my take on Hearthstone! I play daily and I’m so excited for the the new expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne that drops in Mid-August! Expect some commentary on that when it drops. Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed this article and I look forward to seeing some new players!
Hype for Frozen Throne: 9/10