Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Trading card games have been around since 1993 and Magic: The Gathering was the first. You were able to buy a pack of cards and start playing against your friends, but you would quickly hit the skill ceiling of your deck. The cure, you ask? Buy booster packs and optimize your deck. And there you have it, arguably the first pay-to-win game.
I have watched many games of Hearthstone before I got into the beta, and all of them had one thing in common: Money. I have seen YouTubers spend an insane amount of real money to buy 40+ packs for a free card game. I don’t have that kind of money lying around and neither do I trust myself in setting up my account in order to “just buy one single pack.” (This sounds a bit like cigarettes, doesn’t it?)
Hearthstone is quite a bit different from Magic (apart from the obvious gameplay differences). Contrary to most TCGs you can get free new cards that will strengthen your decks, but it might take a while. In this post I will show you how to play and enjoy Hearthstone, without spending a single dime on the game.
The beginning is great
There are a decent number of unique quests that will get you started with enough card packs to build at least 1 or 2 decent decks. In the list below you can see those unique quests their value and if I have already completed them.
|First Blood||Complete a game in Play mode.||1 Card Pack||Done|
|Level Up||Get any class to level 10.||1 Card Pack||Done|
|Enter The Arena||Enter The Arena||1 Arena (Card Pack)||Done|
|Chicken Dinner||Win 100 games in any mode.||300 Gold|
|Ready to Go!||Unlock every Hero.||100 Gold||Done|
|Crushed Them All!||Defeat every Expert AI Hero.||100 Gold||Done|
|Got the Basics!||Collect every card in the Basic Set.||100 Gold|
|One of Everything!||Collect every card in the Expert Set.||100 Gold||Done|
|Total Value||600 of 1000|
At some point you’ll run out of starter quests and you’ll have to start grinding the ladder for gold. This process is sped up by daily quests that will offer you 40 Gold upon completion. This might be frustrating process in the beginning, as you will only have a limited number of decks with powerful cards, so prepare for some 2 out of 6 win statistics. The trick is to quickly evaluate if you can beat your opponent and concede early if that isn’t the case. Some dailies you can use your favorite Hero, mine is the awesome spell-focused Mage.
It’s not a sprint it’s a marathon
|*Herotype* Victory||Win 2 Games with a Herotype||40 Gold|
|*Herotype* Dominance||Win 5 Games with a Herotype||60 Gold|
|Destroy Them All!||Destroy 40 Minions||40 Gold|
|Only the Mighty||Play 20 Minions that cost 5 or more||40 Gold|
|The Meek shall Inherit||Play 40 Minions that cost 2 or less||40 Gold|
|Spell Master||Play 40 Spells||40 Gold|
|Beat Down||Deal 100 damage to enemy heroes||40 Gold|
|Total Dominance||Win 7 games in any mode||100 Gold|
|3 Victories!||Win 3 Games with any Class||40 Gold|
Next, you can get 10G for 3 victories. This doesn’t sound like much, but it helps when you combine it with daily quests. You should be able to earn 1 shiny new pack of cards every 2 days, even as a casual player. That’s 15 packs per month worth USD $19.99.
Well, I have taught you all I know, almost… the last advice I have for you is in regards to enchanting. Nothing is as infuriating as buying 100 booster packs but not finding the cards that you want or need. Fortunately, Blizzard has created a handy mechanic that lets us avoid this problem: enchanting. You might want to wait to use this feature until you’re entirely certain which cards you do and which you don’t need. For example, I destroyed a Legendary card for in order to create an Epic one: Pyroblast, one of the most useful cards in a mage deck.
And for the record, actually earning new cards feels much better and more rewarding than buying ever could.
Remember, you’re not buying actual collectible cards; you’re buying 1’s and 0’s.
As always, thanks for reading.