A Beginner’s Guide to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Some basic tips to help players begin his/her journey into the World of War... Hearthstone.

It seems like Blizzard is a company bent on slapping a ball and chains around our attention span. With its new PC-based card game, Hearthstone, recently being released into open beta, the familiar addictive itch is beginning to plague many gamers worldwide. I hopped on Skype to talk a friend through the tutorial and decided maybe writing an article could tune some new downloaders in to the basics. 

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The Tutorial 

Now that you’ve downloaded the game, and unlocked the gates of addiction, you’ll be hurled into the tutorial. This is a series of games, using the mage, teaching you the basics. You won’t need very much help steamrolling the bots. 

Card Keywords

This is the tricky part. The way that the cards are worded means A LOT more than one would think. Here are all the relevant card keywords I would have enjoyed explanations for:

Taunt: Minions with taunt are basically saying “You Shall Not Pass.” The part worth mentioning, however, is that you can’t attack anything else until you kill this minion. This will come in handy for you if you need to protect another minion or, you know, yourself. 

Silence: Think how different that girl with the extravagant makeup would look if you wiped it all away. This is essentially what a silence does. Anything a minion does, any way it previously got buffed, or any status effect is now wiped clean and it basically boils down to the health and mana of the original card. Here’s the kicker: you can silence your own frozen minion.

Battlecry: This one gets me every time. The mistake a lot of players make is thinking that the battlecry of a minion carries onto every minion placed after it. IT DOESN’T! A battlecry is a one time thing that happens as soon as the minion is played, so place these ones carefully. 

Deck Strategies

Once you’ve completed the tutorial you go on to “practice” mode where you play the basic decks until you level each one to 10. I’m going to very honest here when I say that the basic decks are just that, basic. You’ll have a better chance of beating your friends with a deck of random cards than one of these. I would suggest you start searching for decks online, there are many great resources such as HearthPwn, IcyVeins, or the actual forums. Once you start to get a feel of what decks are good and why, you can start creating your own. Speaking of which, there are two main strategies every serious Hearthstone player should know before taking the plunge into ranked play:

Rush decks: If you’re a rager type, you should plan on buying a new computer. These are the most obnoxious, aggravating decks out right now. These decks are designed to ignore everything except your hp and win before turn 7. These generally consist of minions with charge ranging from 1-3 mana. If these decks interest you, you should look into the infamous “murloc decks.” Warlocks work great with these because of their hero power.

On the other end, we have the Control Decks: These do the complete opposite of the rush decks. They’re meant to perform slow and steady, and eventually win the race. Common control decks are currently being used by druids because of their ability to summon big creatures early due to innervate and other mana-increasing spells. It also works due to the druid’s immense amount of board clear. 

Other tips and tricks
  • A general rule of thumb that many beginners aren’t aware of is to make sure you attack with with every minion on your board before you end your turn. 
  • Don’t be too hasty with your mana. If you have enough mana to play another card it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Slow down and evaluate the situation before dumping your entire hand – it might leave you with nothing. 
  • Learn “value.” A lot of experienced card players have hear this term before. You basically don’t want to use 3 cards to kill 1 of your opponent’s minions, that’s a bad value. A good move should be 1 card for 1 card. A great move would be 1 of your cards for many more of your opponent’s. For example, if you use 1 AOE spell to wipe out 4 of your opponent’s minions, you got a lot of “value” from your card. 
Good Luck!

Reading about the game can only do so much for you; the best way to learn is to experience it for yourself. So get out there and don’t be afraid to play. You can’t drop ranks until 20, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Good luck and happy Hearthstoning! 

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Danielle Marie
All I'm saying is, no one's ever seen me and Batman in the same room.