Game Introduction – Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a collectible card game from Blizzard Entertainment. In this game, you build decks of cards based on classes from World of Warcraft and battle opponents online. Gamezebo’s guide will provide you with some tips and hints that will give you a headstart on the surprisingly wide array of strategies.
Tips and Strategies
- Mix it Up — Leveling up each class in Hearthstone unlocks the basic cards of that class’ set. At level 10, you’ve unlocked every basic card and start earning cosmetic upgrades like golden art variants. Even if you don’t like a specific class at first, it’s worth earning level 10 with each. You never know how a specific card you earn might change your outlook on that character. It’s also good practice for the future, as understanding how to play a class will help you combat them in the future.
- Play Online — The best way to level up your cards, for several reasons, is by playing online. That’s probably an intimidating thought to new players — I’m sure you’d rather practice against the game’s AI to prepare. Hearthstone‘s computer players are actually quite challenging, but they don’t provide the advantages of playing online. Taking it to free play mode earns you more experience points per match, shows you a greater variety of tactics and expert cards, and earns you 10 gold for every three wins.
- Don’t Buy Expert Packs — Not with your in-game gold, anyway. You’re perfectly free to spend real money if that’s your bag. Gold, however, is much better spent on runs in the Arena. That’s where you want to be spending most of your time in Hearthstone. The Arena is a 3-9 match “tournament” of sorts that earns you more prizes the more games you win. Its 150 gold, just 50 more than a single expert pack, and guarantees at least one of those and something extra even if you lose three matches in a row. If you don’t flunk out, you’ll get extras like single cards, crafting materials, gold, or even an extra expert pack or two.
- Disenchanting — Every deck in Hearthstone pulls from the same pool of cards. That means if you have only have two copies of a card you can have two copies in every single deck you own. Two is also the maximum any deck can contain, so if you find yourself with three or more you might as well disenchant the surplus into crafting dust. This allows you to save up to create rarer cards you might not otherwise find. Don’t forget that gold cards count toward your maximum, so if you’ve got, say, two standard copies and one gold, disenchant a standard copy.
- Card Draw — Cards that let you draw more cards are invaluable. “Top-decking” (having an empty hand and relying on whatever you draw each turn) is a death sentence unless the enemy faces the same or you’re in an unassailable position to win. Novice Engineer is a good example of a card-draw minion, and can be dropped early in most matches. Arcane Intellect is a good Mage spell for the same reason, but it also highlights the greatest strength of the Warlock. At first, a Warlock’s hero ability (spend two mana, lose two health and draw a card) seems poor thanks to the damage it does to its user. However, because it’s always available it means the hero never need worry for cards and, perhaps more importantly, need not to waste deck space on cards like Novice Engineer. That space can instead be used for heftier minions and annoying spells.
- Board Control — Blizzard admits that Hearthstone is balanced heavily in favor of board control. That means you want more minions on the field than your opponent at any given time. When it comes down to your minions versus the opponent’s, you want to make mathematically agreeable “trades.” Unless you’re certain it will let you win in a few short turns — or your deck is built around the idea — don’t go for the enemy hero’s health directly with minion attacks when there’s an agreeable trade to be made (a good trade would be killing a bigger, more expensive monster by sacrificing a weaker one or something similar). To that end, these last few tips will focus on specific minions to help you earn board control.
- Murlocs — Unless you’re building a murloc deck (which can be seriously effective) don’t use these. They are designed to work well together, and serve almost no other purpose. Skip them every time you get to an Arena draft, as you can never rely on your picks to give you enough of them to make a serious contender.
- Chillwind Yetis — Put two of them in every deck, unless you seriously can’t afford to. These are pretty much the most cost-effective basic minions in the game and are almost never a bad idea.
- Brewmasters — Brewmaster minions are generally cost-effective in their own right, but come with a special ability most other cards don’t have. That is, they let you withdraw a single minion from your side of the board when summoned. This can be used to heal important creatures, recharge Divine Shield, or double up on Battlecries or Combos. Almost any deck can benefit from this, but tricky Rogues synergize especially well.
Congratulations! You’ve just completed Gamezebo’s strategy guide to get you started in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Be sure to check back often for game updates, staff and user reviews, user tips, forums comments, and much more here at Gamezebo.