Hearthstoned: Striving for Seven Arena Wins

Hearthstone is an incredibly addictive duel-style game. Here's why I can't stop playing.
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Hearthstone is an enthralling card-duelling game with none of the risk of a paper cut. Which isn’t to say it’s not dangerous, as it has really nailed that “oh just one more game wont hurt” mentality. Next thing you know, it’s been five hours. And you’re still playing. This often results in one or two quick games before bed ending with the sounds of birds obtrusively chirping away as dawn breaks through the window. (The resulting exhaustion may or may not lead to a car accident which is arguably more inconvenient than a paper cut.)

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The missed sleep is totally worth it.

Despite the heightened chance of automotive mishap, Hearthstone is not a game to be missed. It’s very accessible and beautifully polished, therefore it’s perfect for anyone looking for something fairly casual to play on the bus or during breaks. That being said, it’s also great for anyone with too much time on their hands to dive into. I’ve been playing for the last 2 weeks, and I’ve sunk so deep into it I’ve forced myself to write this just to justify the many, many (many) hours spent on it.

Not all these hours were spent playing either, as many were spent watching streamers and YouTubers in a desperate hunt for tuition. This is because my biggest gripe with Hearthstone is that I wish I was better at it. I don’t think I’m too bad but I’m yet to achieve my mission: seven wins in The Arena.

A 2 looks a bit like a 7

For those that haven’t played Hearthstone, The Arena is where you go if you want to pull your hair out and cry deeply. Players pay an entry fee of 150 precious gold pieces and pick one of the three randomly selected hero classes. You then construct a deck by going through 30 one-of-three card selections, like a fantasy version of blind date, and go up against other players who’ve done the same. Three losses and you’re out, but the more wins you get, the better your rewards.

The entry fee of 150 gold is fairly steep. When playing in the normal, constructed mode – which doesn’t have an entry fee – you earn 10 gold for every 3 wins until you’ve earned 100 gold. At that point, the game tells you that you’ve already won 30 games. (Read: You should go outside and say hello to your loved ones. They’re worried about you.) On top of this, you get a daily challenge of worth 40-60 gold. Usually the challenge is to get 3 wins with a certain hero, or something similar. Basically you can get a shot at the arena at least once a day, assuming you won a bit of gold in the arena last time.

Seven Wins = A Steal 

This is why I want seven wins. At seven wins in The Arena, you earn your 150 gold back, as well as a card pack and one or two other goodies. It’s basically stealing. Suck it, Blizzard. Unfortunately getting seven wins without losing three times is tough, as everyone is out to do the same. Getting kicked from The Arena with no wins is a harrowing experience, but every victory you do get gives a euphoric high. Call it being Hearthstoned. 

I very much enjoy playing Hearthstone, but if you view the nervous wreck that I am when playing Arena you wouldn’t think I do. If you haven’t played Hearthstone yet I definitely recommend it. But if you do pick it up, remember that you still need to sleep. Oh, and drive safe. 

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