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Five Tips for Hearthstone Beginners

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By alexander_hinkleyDate: Feb 11 2015 Views:

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Last year Hearthstone surpassed 20 million players and has already become one of the most successful online card games of all time. Because the game is free to play, there’s really no downside in downloading it and trying it out. New players do face an uphill battle when they just start out, however, because it can take awhile to unlock enough cards to make a competitive deck without paying any money. Here are five tips for new players that will help them speed up this process while also keeping their real life wallets closed.

Start off by playing Solo Adventure

Five Tips for Hearthstone Beginners

Solo Adventure is the single player mode where you go up against a computer opponent. This is obviously a good place for you to start when you first download the game because it will allow you to get used to the game’s mechanics and also see how many of the cards work and interact with each other. As you increase your game knowledge, you’ll be able to see which cards you like playing most and which cards you aren’t happy to see and this will help you later on when you are working on customizing your decks to play against actual people.

Another reason Solo Adventure can be helpful is that although wins in this mode do not count toward completing daily quests for gold and you get less XP per game, wins do count toward your overall total. There’s an achievement called “Chicken Dinner” which is to win 100 games in any game mode. Solo Adventure wins count toward this achievement and when reach 100 wins you will be rewarded with a whopping 300 gold – good for three packs of cards.

You receive another bonus 100 gold for unlocking each hero (which is done in Solo Adventure) and once you’re more familiar with the game you can bump up the difficulty to Expert and work on the “Crushed them All!” achievement which gives you yet another bonus 100 gold for defeating all of the heroes on Expert.

Level all of your heroes to 10

Five Tips for Hearthstone Beginners

One mistake some players might make is to choose a hero they like and then exclusively stick with that hero. You actually want to play all of the heroes a little bit early on. This is helpful for two reasons. The first is that you can gain some personal experience with each hero’s tactics and class unique cards. This will help you to identify each hero’s specific strengths and weaknesses.

Another reason you want to play each hero when you just start out is because if you level each of your heroes to level 10, you will be awarded the “Got the Basics” achievement and earn 100 gold bonus gold. This is equivalent to one free pack of cards. Normally you receive 10 gold per three game wins so attaining 100 gold through wins alone can take quite a long time (you would need to win 30 games). When you are just starting out, take any bonus you can get your hands on so you can increase your card collection as quickly as possible.

If you count all the bonus gold I talked about in the previous section, the amount of bonus gold you can acquire from playing Solo Adventure alone is now up to 600 gold.

Play in the Arena whenever possible

Five Tips for Hearthstone Beginners

The Arena is a really good way to maximize the benefits of your gold. It is kind of like playing the sealed deck format in Magic: The Gathering in that instead of using your own cards you construct a deck from a pool of cards given to you. Rather than making a deck from one giant pool, however, you have to make a series of selections between three cards presented to you at a time until your deck is finished.

Once your deck is complete, you keep playing against other people until you’ve lost three games. The goal is to see how many wins you can accumulate before you reach the three loss mark.

The Arena can be a lot of fun especially when you are new to Hearthstone because it enables you to play with powerful cards you don’t actually have. It can pretty old playing dozens of games with just basic cards so the Arena can be a welcome breath of fresh air. You might even get to use a Legendary card now and again.

Normally it costs 150 gold (or $1.99) to do a round in the Arena but if you’re able to win a bunch of games you can receive prizes worth more than the cost of entry. Even if you win zero games you still get a pack of cards (worth 100 gold) and either a small pack of gold or a pack of dust which can be used to craft cards. If you manage to get 12 wins, the highest prize tier, you will receive a pack of cards, over 200 bonus gold, and an assortment of dust, gold, and/or rare cards. Your first trip into the Arena is completely free so definitely check it out early on once you are familiar with the game.

Don’t concede too early

Five Tips for Hearthstone Beginners

Many veterans of card games have the tendency to concede matches the moment they feel things have turned against them. This can be a huge mistake when you’re just starting out because you will never get to experience the pain of powerful cards or the synergy of certain tactics. If you’ve read the article this far, you’ll see a common theme with these tips is that experience is very important. This is because when it comes to card games, experience is how you get better.

You have to make mistakes so you can learn from them. Once a strategy or a card is used against you and crushes you, you know in the future that you have to be prepared for it. Don’t simply concede when your opponent plays that beefy Legendary card – keep playing until your hero bites the dust! Who knows, you might top deck an answer. A simple Polymorph can deal with pretty much any threat!

Five Tips for Hearthstone Beginners

Build an aggressive deck

  • Wolfrider - a 3/1 with charge for 3
  • Novice Engineer – a 1/1 for 2 that draws a card when you play it
  • Direwolf Alpha – a 2/2 for 2 that gives adjacent minions +1 attack
  • Razorfen Hunter  - a 2/3 for 3 that also summons a 1/1
  • Raid Leader – a 2/2 for 3 which also gives all your other minions +1 attack
  • Acidic Swamp Ooze – a 3/2 for 2 that also destroys your opponent’s weapon
  • Shattered Sun Cleric – a 3/2 for 3 which also gives a friendly minion +1/+1 when it enters
  • Chillwind Yeti - a vanilla 4/5 for 4
  • Frostwolf Warlord – he’s a 4/4 for 5 but also gets +1/+1 for each other minion you have on the battlefield when you play him. This can be quite good in an aggro deck where you have a lot of low costing minions. It’s not all that unusual to see him as a 7/7 or 8/8

There are also some very strong basic cards that are hero specific. Fireball, for example, is a mage-specific card that deals six damage for a mere four mana. Mages also have another great damage spell called Frostbolt and a powerful board wipe called Flamestrike. Mage is definitely one of the best heroes in the game. I also really like Hunter for newbies just starting out because it is pretty easy to make a powerful aggro beast deck. Hunters have basic cards like Timber Wolf, Animal Companion, and Houndmaster that are awesome in beast decks.

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