Welcome to my beginner’s guide to Hearthstone. Hearthstone is an online collectible card game developed by Blizzard Entertainment back in 2014, and is still growing in popularity to date.
However, there are lots of people out there who have never heard of Hearthstone, let alone played it. If you are one of these people—and want to know more about this game—then this guide is for you!
I first started playing Hearthstone back in January 2018, but it was only in 2019 when I decided to take the game seriously and get better it. I am no pro player, but I definitely feel capable enough to write a proper guide for beginner players.
WHY SHOULD I PLAY HEARTHSTONE?
Although Hearthstone is arguably the most popular collectible card game out there, there are other much more popular game genres in the market such as battle royale (e.g. Fortnite) and multiplayer online battle arena (e.g. DOTA).
So why Hearthstone then? Perhaps you just want to try a new game genre. Or you want to play a slow-paced game that doesn’t require quick reactions since Hearthstone is a turn-based game.
Personally, what I really like about Hearthstone is that it’s a game where I have time to think. I don’t need quick reflexes and I don’t have to react immediately to the unexpected. I like to consider all my options and think ahead on how I can outsmart my opponent.
On the other hand, some people don’t like randomness. The gaming lingo for this is called RNG (Random Number Generator). You can lose games solely based on your starting hand and card draw, which is understandably quite frustrating. But this is the reality of card games after all. So if you can’t stand RNG, maybe Hearthstone isn’t for you.
HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED TO COMMIT?
Hearthstone is a game targeted towards casual players, and it can be played on PC, tablet and phone. Basically, you can play Hearthstone wherever you are and whenever you have a bit of free time.
But if you want to get good in Hearthstone, you need to pay attention to the meta (Most effective tactic available). In Hearthstone context, meta refers to the best decks in the game at a particular point in time. Obviously if you play the top performing decks, you should expect to win more games.
Keeping track of the meta means that you need to spend a significant amount of time reading up on it—and on a regular basis since the meta changes frequently. HSReplay is my site of choice for keeping track of the meta.
However, having a top tier deck doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know how to play it. Like all things in life, you can only master a deck if you practise playing it regularly. The way I like to learn a deck is by watching Youtube videos of streamers playing that deck because they explain their thought process during the video.
IS IT F2P (FREE TO PLAY)?
The short answer is yes. But in reality, it doesn’t seem that way.
There are two forms of currency in Hearthstone: gold and arcane dust. Gold is primarily earned through completing daily quests. A daily quest rewards you with 50-60 gold on average, and you can complete a maximum of three daily quests per day. Gold is used to purchase card packs, which cost 100 gold each and contain 5 random cards per pack.
Arcane dust is mainly obtained from disenchanting cards—meaning deleting them in layman’s terms—that you don’t need. It is used to craft the cards that you want, but weren’t able to obtain from opening card packs. I won’t go into detail here, but keep in mind that the amount of arcane dust you get from disenchanting a card is MUCH LESS than the amount needed to craft that same card.
So what does these all mean? If you want to craft a top tier deck, which could easily cost more than 7000-10,000+ arcane dust, you will need to grind out a lot of daily quests. This will take a long time, especially if you keep getting cards that you don’t want from card packs.
To hasten the process of crafting top decks, lots of players spend real world money on card packs. Hence, the truly F2P players who don’t play Hearthstone regularly will feel that they are at a big disadvantage because they can’t afford to craft the good and popular decks.
But at the end of the day, don’t ever forget that there are also a number of good budget decks—capable of climbing to high ranks—for F2P players to craft. A simple search on Youtube or Google will give you a bunch of viable budget decks to consider.
If you are still interested in trying out Hearthstone after reading this, then look forward to my future posts. I will explain the basic stuff you need to know and also share tips on how to get better at Hearthstone.
Just an important note: I DO NOT play Wild format or Arena mode. This guide will only cover Standard format.