Hearthstone: Why Now Is a Great Time to Start Playing

With the Year of the Raven coming up, there's never been a better time to jump into Hearthstone. Read on for some beginner's tips and ways to progress without spending any real-world money.

With approximately a month left until the release of a new expansion and an exciting transition into the Year of the Raven, now would be an excellent time to join the Hearthstone community.

What the flock is the Year of the Raven? Well, each year has a particular theme. Currently, for instance, we're in the Year of the Mammoth, and within each year are three unique expansions released across, roughly, four-month intervals. At the end of each thematic year, several of the older expansions rotate out, meaning that the available card pool for standard play is at its lowest point, and decks would consist of three to four sets of cards at most. New players can greatly benefit from this transition since they don't have to purchase older expansions or worry about not having enough cards. This is as fresh of a start as it can get.

So you've downloaded the game; Hearthstone is free to play, might as well. Where do you begin? You have no idea what the differences are between the nine unique heroes, you barely have any cards to play with, and, to top it off, you have zero gold. You should probably start by completing the tutorials, which will net you some gold and additional cards, as well as teach you the basics of the game.

Your main income, at least initially, will come from daily quests. Each day you will receive a quest and, upon completion, it will reward you with a set amount of gold. There are several: 40, 50, 60, 80, and 100 gold quests, each with varying requirements. However, after the transition, 40 gold quests will reward 50 gold instead, and many of the requirements will be lowered. This is welcome news and demonstrates Blizzard's willingness to accommodate a fresh player base. For now, a 40 gold quest might require you to "Win an X amount of games with class Y." On the other hand, a 100 gold quest would often require you to win a larger amount of games but would not restrict your class choice. And by the way, the 80 gold quest is by far the best, as it only requires you to play (not necessarily win) against a friend. And you both earn the reward, regardless of who has the quest.

Lastly, you can re-roll any quest you have once per day, and you can have up to a maximum of three at any given time. So make sure you always have a slot free for a new quest by completing the older ones. But I've bored you enough with the details. You simply want to know how to earn more of that cash-money, right? I got you covered.

Typical daily quests in Hearthstone

Ever since I started playing over three years ago, I've diligently followed the same, simple method of completing my dailies. This won't be anything new to the game's veterans, but if you're a rookie in the world of Hearthstone, then you might want to consider the following. Say you're on a clean slate, and your first quest is a 40 gold one. You re-roll it, and you get another 40 gold quest. If that is the case, leave it. If it requires you to win with a certain class, simply play with another. You're looking for 60+ gold quests; you want to maximize profit. And if 20-40 additional gold doesn't sound like much, then trust me, it adds up. If all three of your quests end up being 40 gold (and this can definitely happen), then just complete one to free up a slot for a new one.  If you get a quest requiring you to play a deck you're not comfortable with, then play in casual mode. That way, any potential losses won't affect your rank in the current month.

Is that it?! Sounds like a lot of work for an insignificant reward. No, there is also the infamous Arena mode, and I strongly suggest that you take the time to learn it. With enough practice and persistence, you could pay for card packs and any new expansions by only using in-game currency.

Hero selection screen in Hearthstone

In Arena, upon paying a 150 gold entry fee (your first entry is free), you are presented with a choice of three out of the nine heroes, randomly. Once you pick your champion, you will enter the draft stage, during which you will be offered 30 consecutive sets of 3 random cards, but you can only pick 1 out of each set until you've built a deck of 30 cards. Afterwards, you will play against other players who've built their deck in a similar fashion, up to a maximum of either 12 wins or 3 losses. Once you inevitably reach one of those numbers, you will be presented with rewards based on the final amount of wins.

Rewards are randomized and can consist of a combination of gold, dust (from which you can craft new cards), card packs (a value of 100 gold), and cards, either regular or golden. By the way, always disenchant golden cards for dust; they don't offer any gameplay benefits and only differentiate themselves with animated card art. Here's the kicker: If you can consistently average seven wins, then you may continue to play Arena indefinitely. That amount will always reward you with at least 150 gold, which already covers the entry fee, and additional rewards, one of which is always a pack from the most recent expansion, leading to a grand total value of 250+ gold.

Don't get too excited, though. That level of consistency requires a substantial time investment and practice. Begin by watching some of the more proficient Hearthstone Arena players who regularly reach high win counts, like Grinning Goat, Kripparian, or Shadybunny. Follow their draft choices and the decisions they make during each match, and then, eventually, you will become a much better player. You can also download the Hearth Arena Companion App, which will support your draft by suggesting cards of high power level, or a significant amount of synergies. I found this app extremely valuable when I started out. In addition, you can refer to the Lightforge tier list brought to you by the jolly guys at Grinning Goat. Many players have gone infinite (7+ wins) thanks to their hard work and input. It took time, but I got there; so can you!

Published Mar. 15th 2018

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