Welcome to my beginner’s guide for Hearthstone. Hearthstone is a digital collectible card game developed by Blizzard Entertainment back in 2014. The player base to date is over 100 million, and the game is still growing in popularity.
However, there are also 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 in January 2018, but only in 2019 did I decide to take the game seriously and get better at it. I am no pro player, but I am definitely capable enough to write a proper guide for beginner players.
WHY SHOULD I PLAY HEARTHSTONE?
Although Hearthstone is arguably the most popular digital 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 2).
So why Hearthstone then? Perhaps you just want to try out digital card games. 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 get to consider all my options and think ahead on how to 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 can be very frustrating. But do note that this is the reality for all digital card games.
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.
But if you want to get good at Hearthstone, you need to keep up to date with the meta (Most effective tactic available). The meta reflects 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 you need to spend a significant amount of time reading up on it—and on a regular basis too since the meta changes frequently. HSReplay is my site of choice for this.
However, owning a top tier deck is half the battle won. Like all things in life, you can only master a deck if you play 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 gameplay.
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—or deleting in simpler terms—cards that you don’t need. Dust is used to craft the cards that you want, but weren’t able to obtain from opening card packs.
Now this is an important note: the amount of arcane dust you get from disenchanting a card is MUCH LESS than the amount needed to craft that same card.
So, if you want to craft a top tier deck—which typically costs 8000-13,000 arcane dust—for free, you need to grind out a lot of daily quests in order to get gold for card packs. And if you have bad luck, you might only receive cards that you don’t need.
To hasten this process, lots of players spend real world money on card packs. Hence, the truly F2P players that don’t play Hearthstone regularly will feel that they are at a big disadvantage because they can’t realistically afford to craft the good decks.
But don’t ever forget that there are 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, then look forward to my future posts. I will explain the basic theories you need to know and 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.