By: Dylan Hardy
Are you a fan of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and Collecting Card Games? I hate to say it, but Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft might be just what you need to pass your day away. Released in 2014, Hearthstone has grown exponentially since launch. With millions of users logging in daily and new expansions being released every few months, Hearthstone is more than a fad. If you’re new to the game and are wondering how everything works, then sit back, get comfy as I break down the game for you.
The first thing is that Hearthstone is a free-to-play game. There are in game purchases to buy card packs, expansions and more heroes, but the entire base game is entirely free to play and more or less every card – minus the expansions – can be made entirely for free. Naturally players who put money into the game will have an advantage of cards, but for you new players, it wouldn’t matter anyway!
Each game of Hearthstone is in a one-versus-one style, where there is no teams and the game, like other card games, goes on a turn-by-turn format. Each player controls a hero, all from the World of Warcraft universe, who have thirty health. The goal of each match is to damage the opposing hero until they reach zero health. Each player has a starting mana pool of one, which then increases by one every turn until it reaches a max of 10. How do you damage heroes you say? Well, each card in Hearthstone has a mana cost and can be either summoned or played for a ranging amount of effects and power – some of these are defensive, others offensive, giving the players the ability to play in whatever style they wish.
Now let us go into a little more detail on the different heroes in the game. Each hero controls a certain class in Hearthstone. Each class has a different kind of playstyle as well, so find the one that fits the way you want to play, and start deck building!
Thrall: Thrall is the hero that controls the Druid class. Druids have the hero power of Totems, being able to summon a random totem for a cost of two mana. Generally druids have a mechanic called “overload” which locks up mana crystals for the following turn to do something better the turn before. Overall the general playstyle of Druid ranges from aggressive to very defensive.
Rexxar: Rexxar is the hero that controls the Hunter class. Hunters have the hero power of Steady shot, dealing two direct damage to the opponent for a cost of two mana. Generally, Hunter classes have a large range of beast cards at their disposal, with a lot of their cards having a lot of synergy because of this. Primarily, Hunters have been known as one of the most aggressive classes in the game because of Rexxar’s hero power. So if “going to face” is your kind of attitude, Rexxar might be the hero you’re looking for.
Jaina Proudmoore: Jaina is the hero that controls the Mage class. In the tutorial for the game, you will play as Jaina, so typically new players will continue to use the Mage class as they are by this point in the game the most comfortable with Mage. Mages have the hero power of Fireball, dealing one damage to any target for two mana. Usually Mages have a slower and thought out style of play. Typically mages will use their large amount of spells to turn the tides of games, whether it be early or late game. If a more slower-paced, methodical game is what you want, Mage might be up your alley.
Uther Lightbringer: Uther is the hero that controls the Paladin class. Paladins have the hero class Reinforce, which summons a 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit for a cost of two mana. Paladins are arguably the best-rounded class which focuses on powerful minions and useful spells that bestow boosts to your minions as well as a mechanic called Divine Shield – an effect that allows your cards to be damaged once without taking any damage. Paladins are the most versatile class in the game, with a bunch of different playstyles already out there, and more being created every day. If you’re looking for a jack-of-all-trades kind of class, Uther’s your guy.
Anduin Wrynn: Anduin is the hero that controls the Priest class, utilizing the hero power Heal, which heals a target of your choice for two healing for two mana. Typically the Priest plays a very slow style of game. Typically Priests like to control the board with their spells, healing and buffs that the class is known for. Normally, Priests will drag the game out as long as possible, having arguably one of the best late games in Hearthstone. So if waiting it out and then winning with powerful minions seems like something you’d do, then give the Priest class a try.
Malfurion Stormrage: Malfurion is the hero that controls the Druid class, possessing the hero power Shapeshift, which gives Malfurion himself one and attack and one armour for two mana. Typically Druid decks are a short of mid-ranged variety, not too aggressive and not too defensive. The Druid class, however, have some devastating cards that be combined to do massive damage. If mixed decks with powerful combos is for you, then Malfurion just might be your hero.
Gul’dan: Gul’dan is a hero that possesses the Warlock class, harnessing the power of Life Tap – a unique ability that allows the player to draw a card and take two damage for two mana. Primarily Warlock decks never have the issue of drawing cards because of their hero power, as well as having cards that heal. Generally Warlock decks hurt themselves early with their hero power to benefit them greatly late game. If high risk, high reward is your style, give Warlock a try.
Valeera Sanguinar: Valeera is the hero that possesses the Rogue class, having the only hero power to equip a one power, two use weapon for two mana. Primarily Rogue decks are combo heavy, using cards in combination for devastating effects. The combined power of Valeera’s weapons, spells and minions cards makes for a deck that is quite powerful and annoying for beginners. If weapons, spells, and combos (OH MY), are your forte, team up with Valeera against the other heroes of Warcraft.
Now that you’ve gotten acquainted with the Heroes of Warcraft, the next part will be learning about the vast amount of cards available to the players in Hearthstone. Tune in later next week for part 2!