HEARTHSTONE

The complete guide for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone is a free-to-play online digital collectible card game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. Originally subtitled Heroes of Warcraft, Hearthstone builds upon the existing lore of the Warcraft series by using the same elements, characters, and relics.

The game is a turn-based card game between two opponents, using constructed decks of 30 cards along with a selected hero with a unique power. Players use their limited mana crystals to play abilities or summon minions to attack the opponent, with the goal of destroying the opponent’s hero. Winning matches and completing quests earns players in-game gold, rewards in the form of new cards, and other in-game prizes. Players can then buy packs of new cards through gold or microtransactions to customize and improve their decks. The game features several modes of play, including casual and ranked matches, drafted arena battles, and single-player adventures. New content for the game involves the addition of new card sets and gameplay, taking the form of either expansion packs or adventures that reward the player with collectible cards upon completion.

Gameplay

Each Hearthstone match is a one-versus-one battle between two opponents. Gameplay in Hearthstone is turn-based, with players taking turns to play cards from their hand, limited by available mana. Games may be between two players, or one player and one computer-controlled opponent.

 

Each player is represented by a ‘hero’, a character from Warcraft lore representing one of nine specific classes. The nine available classes are Mage, Priest, Warlock, Paladin, Warrior, Druid, Hunter, Rogue and Shaman.

 

At the start of the match, each player draws cards from their respective deck of thirty cards after it is shuffled. One player is randomly selected to go first. The first player draws three cards while the second player draws four. Players have the option to mulligan any of the cards in their starting hand, with replacements coming from the rest of their deck. At the end of the mulligan, the second player gets a card called “The Coin,” a spell that gives a mana crystal at any point during a player’s turn.

Players then proceed to alternate turns. At the start of each turn, all empty mana crystals for a player are refilled and they gain a new filled mana crystal, up to a maximum of ten. The player is then required to draw a card from their deck, and if they have run out of cards, their hero takes an increasing amount of damage on each successive draw, called Fatigue. During their turn, each player may choose to play any of their cards, use their hero power, or direct attacks against the opposing hero and their minions. Nearly all cards and hero powers cost mana points, and the player must have at least that many filled mana crystals to perform that action, which then drains those crystals until their next turn.

 

Heroes typically start a match with 30 health points. Some cards and hero powers allow the hero to gain several points of armour, with no limit, or heal up to the maximum health for their hero. Any attack damage dealt to the hero first depletes the armour value and it must reach zero before damage can be done to the hero’s health. A match is concluded when one or both players have reached zero health, when a player chooses to concede or when the maximum number of turns, 45 turns for both players, is reached.

Decks

A deck is a collection of exactly 30 cards assembled before a match, as well as the zone which players draw cards from (and sometimes add cards to) during gameplay. Each deck is tied to a specific class. During a game, the deck of remaining undrawn cards is displayed on the right side of the battlefield for both players. All card draw and some discard effects cause cards to be removed from the player’s deck, and when a player has exhausted their deck, they will begin to suffer fatigue damage. Shuffle into deck effects, on the other hand, can add cards to the deck, including cards that were not originally part of the deck. Players can mouse over each deck to see how many cards remain therein.

 

Some card effects interact with the deck by shuffling cards into it, copying or moving cards from it, or checking it for duplicate cards. A very few cards have special effects that can activate even when the card itself is still inside the deck.

 

Each player deck is built for a specific class and must only use neutral cards and cards specific to the corresponding class. A class must be chosen before constructing a deck, and all playable decks must also include precisely 30 cards.

Hearthstone in Esports - The big players

Hearthstone is a very dynamic game and so, the best players are always changing, depending on performances during the Championship Tour. As a result, consistency is a big part of how a player is rated, and their monetary winnings is also a strong indicator. As a result, the biggest Hearthstone players include: Thijs, tom60229, Pavel, Jasonzhou, Hunterace, XHope, BunnyHoppor, fr0zen, Orange and Surrender.

Hearthstone Esports Tournaments

Competitive Hearthstone largely revolves around the Championship Tour, where players compete in a series of matches and games, to qualify for the Global Finals. At the end of the Championship Tour, the World Championship serves as the showcase event where the best players compete for a share of a cash prize, as well as championship points, known as Hearthstone Championship Tour (HTC) points.

 

Within the World Championship, players are seeded into 4 groups, where they play two matches (three in the event of a tiebreaker). Afterwards, the top two teams in each of the four groups are seeded into a quarter-final knockout, where a best-of-five series is played. The tournament then progresses in the same manner, until two players are left in the final, and a champion can be crowned.

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