Hearthstone – Blizzard’s online strategy card game – has been around for over eight years, yet remains one of the most popular online card games to date.
But if you’ve just picked the game up, what should you know going forward? Here are five tips for new players to improve their win rate.
5: Practice Mode Is Your Friend
Once you make a new account and log into the Battle.net app, Hearthstone greets you with several beginner battles. These teach you the basics.
From there, the game encourages you to enter practice mode, where you can face off against computer-controlled versions of all 11 classes.
Each class plays quite differently from the others, and it’s here you’ll learn which classes are better suited for aggressive, control, or mid-range oriented decks. As you win more games, you’ll acquire additional cards, unlock other classes to play as, and gold to purchase more card packs to start building your virtual collection.
We’ll get to competitive play in a bit, but in the early stages, collect as many cards and gold as possible.
4: Hone Your Skills In The Apprentice League
Hearthstone offers new players a taste of competitive play in its Apprentice League. This system goes through 40 ranks before cracking into the Bronze League – where competition starts to ramp up across five additional leagues – each becoming more difficult to surpass without better cards.
When you win a game, you earn a star. If you earn three more, you transfer into the next rank, and if you win multiple games in a row, you’ll earn additional stars to help you leap through an entire rank at once.
Every five ranks you climb rewards you with three packs of cards that can be used to craft better decks as you unlock more rewards, and so on. However, there’s much more that Hearthstone offers than strictly competitive play.
3: Solo Play in Hearthstone Offers A More Relaxing Atmosphere
Don’t want to be bothered with learning what the top decks are in standard play, struggling to learn the mechanics or all of the keywords that give cards certain powers and abilities? Battlegrounds could serve as an easier way to deal with all of that. In this mode, you and seven other players draft from a pool of minions, duking it out until one player comes out on top.
Mercenaries may be a better fit if you don’t like the idea of a battle royale. This mode is Hearthstone’s version of a dungeon-crawler. It’s kind of like Mortal Kombat’s tournament ladder, except you have more branching paths to choose from. You draft a team of mercenaries, fighting through a ladder of enemies until you reach the top. Here, you’ll have a final battle that you must pass to challenge more foes along your journey.
If neither of those options strikes your fancy, Hearthstone’s Solo Adventures may be your calling. These are story-driven narratives where you fight through waves of enemies – like dueling people in competitive play.
The Solo Adventures feature some of the biggest foes and heroes in Warcraft history. If you’re looking for intriguing lore to explore, this mode has you covered.
2: There’s No Need To Pay For Card Packs
New players may go to the in-game shop to see welcome bundles and other items for sale thinking they must pay real money to enjoy this game and to have equal footing in competitive play. This isn’t the case. You can spend the gold you get from winning games on “normal” card packs in the shop. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with spending money on these items. However, when it comes to collectible online card games, if you can avoid spending money, you probably should.
Hearthstone revamped its reward track two years ago, allowing players to earn gold and cards at a significantly higher and faster rate than what system the game had during its first six years. And, the best thing about this new rewards track is that you earn XP from every game mode you play, not just the default standard mode.
The further you get on the rewards track, the more gold you’ll receive as you level up. Since each pack of cards costs 100 gold, you’ll be able to get new packs in no time.
1: Be Creative Through Trial And Error in Hearthstone
As you collect more cards, you’ll be able to unlock pre-made deck types. If you want to experiment, you can make a custom archetype, too.
At its core, this is what makes Hearthstone so much fun. Each class has its own set of cards – a combination of spells and minions. But there’s a plethora of neutral cards which can be used by every class. The combinations aren’t endless, but they can feel like it once you have a big collection saved.
If you have an idea for a theme for a deck, you can probably do it. There are even single cards that promote themes, too, like decks with no minions or decks without neutral cards. You can go far beyond that as well.
Do you want to make a deck with minions that make up the Horde or Alliance? You can do that. Do you want to play as a Warrior with a bunch of weapons with cards that can either draw more weapons or reduce their cost? You can do that. You can even try and recreate the abilities and spells from your character in World of Warcraft, given you have the right cards to choose from.
If you’re looking for an online card game with a good amount of variety, bright visuals, and easy-to-pick-up mechanics, Hearthstone may be the game for you!
Have you tried out Hearthstone? Do you have any tips to share with the Average Gamer community? Join the conversation in the comments section!