A Week of Hearthstone

Posted by Brian On November 9, 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Day 1

I have just completed my first Full day of Hearthstone, and I love it!

Just to give some background to my TCG playing, I have enjoyed about 10+ years of Magic: The Gathering, about 2-3 years of Pokémon, and 1-2 years of the WoW TCG. I have also played the Battletech card game and tried Yu-Gi-Oh (no I didn’t like it). This brings me up to Hearthstone. In simple terms, I love it. It’s true that it doesn’t have the feel for the instant spells, which Pokémon didn’t have either (making it more simplistic and easier to follow), however Hearthstone adds in the secrets which activate on the enemies turn, giving a little bit more strategy for you and your foe to think around.

Also, automatically gaining 1 mana crystal per turn up to 10 alleviates the problems of having resource ‘clumps’ or ‘droughts’ during your game and is a huge plus. The fact that the game also adds in ‘the coin’ to allow the 2nd player 1 turn of being ahead of the 1st player resource wise is also an interesting concept to balance who goes 1st and 2nd.

The 9 different characters all have their own unique spells, abilities and even creatures makes them all very appealing, provided you know what type of deck you want to make.  This gives a lot of interesting choices for what may even be the same theme behind a deck, but can be executed in up to 9 different ways, based on the innate hero ability, as well as the extra cards they bring to the table.

I look forward to playing against more opponents, live and npc, and getting a much better feel for this game.

Click More to see how the rest of my week went!

Day 2

Today I found out the game gives you 1 free arena play, which I was ecstatic about, because I have never been to a draft style TCG match before (draft games being where players open packs of cards on the spot and make a deck with the cards they receive). So, my choices were either the Hunter, Warrior or Priest. Being the Pro caster that I am, I went with the priest. Sadly most of the creature choices I could get were what I consider to be ‘bologna’ because they are just fillers. The reason why is that they a certain mana cost with no special ability. For example the River Crocolisk that you can get in the game is 3 mana for a 2 attack and 3 health creature and that is it. I had about 7-10 of these types of creatures, and I didn’t want my whole deck to be spells, since most of the abilities I had gotten were heals.  Now you might say that atleast I had heals to back them up, but only 2 of these bologna creatures had more than 3 health.

I went 0-3 in that arena, which is a real let down for me, but at least the 1 pack of cards I had gotten from it contained an epic (purple) card and a golden common. This of course made the beating feel a little less harsh, and actually won a several unranked games afterward. I now have 4 level 10 heroes (meaning that I have unlocked all of their basic cards) out of the 9.

Day 3

Today, my arena play went awesomely. My hero choices were Warlock, Rogue or Mage.  This time, my choice was the Warlock and I am glad that I had. Not only for the fact that I needed to level my Lock class to 10 or higher, but due to the fact that I went 8-3 today. I managed to get a wide variety of creatures with this deck, focusing on those that can deal damage in other ways besides attacking, and then creatures with taunt.  So, using this, I had 2 demolishers which deal 2 damage at the beginning of my turn to a random target, 1 Knife thrower, which deals 1 damage to a random target when another creature comes into play. Then I had a good amount of Taunt (have to be attacked before any creatures without Taunt or the Hero) and Battlecry Creatures (that have an effect when they enter play).  All of my battles went extremely well (even when I lost I still felt like it was a great match) except the last one, where I just couldn’t get anything I needed and was just ripped apart, but hey, that happens in TCG’s and you get back to your deck and keep going… ok, maybe not since it was my 3rd loss in an arena but still had fun!

Especially from the loot that I received.  210 coins (usable to buy more packs of cards or to enter the arena), Magic Dust (used to create cards that you want extra copies of, or that you don’t have yet) and 1 pack of cards.  I didn’t like the pack of cards contents so I used some of the coins to get another pack, which had a better yield from.

Now I have 6 Level 10 classes!

I can’t wait to see what happens the next day!

Day 4

Not going for the arena today, though I have the coins for it, I want to save some up and gain some levels with more classes. Had some great battles using my Warrior deck. It has really been great trying to find the strengths and weaknesses to boost/cover for these classes to really make them function how I want them to. I have my Warrior deck really beat down its own minions to suit my purposes for the deck (go figure with Garrosh being the lead, huh?) and then to turn around and hit my opponent even harder. His Armor Up (+2 armor for himself) ability is very interesting though doesn’t quite seem to be his character from the actual game itself, but hey, what can you do!

I now have 8 of the heroes at level 10, with just the Paladin being the next to really join the fray.

Day 5

Did some battles against some friends of mine as well as my brother, which were all a lot of fun. My brother and I actually did 9 battles, one with each class.  The funny part being not even telling each other which class we were going to use and still had a few in which the same class was used against each other. It’s always fun to see how people go about using decks differently.  One player using a mage may go with a high amount of spell power and a ton of damage spells, while the next goes a completely different route using more taunt characters, with spells that draw cards or freeze enemies. Yet in those cases, there is the potential for both players to learn and understand the other’s point of view on why they chose that deck, and may even alter their own deck to mirror it slightly or find a way to better combat against it.

The last class is extremely close to being level 9 but I’m just too tired to go for another game, so I’ll head to bed, and continue at a later time.

Day 6

Tried arena again today. My choices were Warlock, Priest, and Druid. Since I have done the Lock and Priest already, I decided to use the Druid. I love my druid deck so I figured this should go well. Unfortunately, it did not. Throughout my entire draft, I had no choices that would give me any additional cards, so I knew that I would get stuck top decking (running out of cards from my hand to be stuck with only 1 card per turn, the 1 that is drawn) in the late game. My hypothesis was correct. First match was against Garrosh. I took him down to about 8 health, then I was pummelled. Thrall was up second, which I was able to take down to 11 when he turned the game around with about 3 minions getting added in per turn to my 1 and then killed me. Lastly it was Anduin. I had a few good hits on him at the start, and then he crushed me.

I still love this game, don’t get me wrong, but no matter what card game I play, I cannot stand top decking. The reward for today’s arena was 25 gold, 5 dusts and 1 pack of cards. At least the pack contained an epic card though, Snake Trap, for my hunter deck, so I’ll take it for the game apologizing for giving me no card drawing options.  Still looking forward to day 7 though, playing against more humans to hopefully get more gold to do another arena.

Day 7

Did one match with each of my characters today to get some more gold. Since every 3 matches you win against players (not in arena) gives you 10 additional gold. There was also a quest called ‘Beat Down’ which gives players 40 gold after you deal a total of 100 damage to enemy players. So, let’s go over how my opponents and I did. I’ll mention what character I used followed by my opponent’s character.

Rexxar VS Garrosh

In this match I kept at much pressure on him as early as I could. I was able to keep at least 2 creatures out at any given time including a very pumped up Iron Fur Bear. This creature is normally a 3/3 Taunt, however I made him become a 7/7 Taunt with some buffs. Of course he did take some damage, but he also helped me win this game!

Ending Health 30 vs -3

Anduin Vs Guldan

I’ll go ahead and say it, this player beat the crap out of me. This match started with a cheap hand. A very good thing in card games so that you can make some plays early in the match. The opponent, Guldan, was throwing murlocs into play like crazy along with a Cult Master that allows the controller to draw cards whenever one of their creatures dies. This lead him to getting a lot of cards and ultimately defeating me. Rglrglrglrgl!  Oh, and the damage he took, was mainly because of his power to lose 2 life and draw a card.

-1 vs 23

Valeera Vs Uther

This match had a good amount of the trickery that every rogue needs and loves. When I had a lot of low cost creatures with battle cry abilities (which activate when they are played from the controllers hand) and the enemy had only 1 taunt creature and a 1/1, I used vanish to return all creatures to their owner’s hand.  When he played his taunt creature again I cast Murder on it. Sadly his creature was Tirion Fordring, which gives Uther a 5 attack 3 durability weapon which he was able to defeat me with.

0 vs 23

Thrall Vs Rexxar

This was a fun match. I had 2 Gurubashi Berserkers in play, which gain 3 attack any time that they are damaged. I gave 1 of them Windfury, allowing him to attack twice per turn, and used him to pick off smaller creatures getting bigger each time and then healing him with totems or other spells. The bigger of the 2 was an 11/2 by the end of the match, which was caused by a the opponent conceding the game.

24 vs 3C

Jaina Vs Thrall

Started the game with the Mirror Image spell, which creates two 0/2 creatures with Taunt. This coupled nicely with 3 spell power minions along with an Arcane Intellect which allowed me to draw cards. Most of which were damage spells.  In one turn I launched an assault of spells doing over one half of Thrall’s life. The creatures pounded the rest for me.

30 vs -3

Guldan Vs Garrosh

This was a difficult fight for me, where I played well with what I was given… which was no taunts. Considering this, I was able to take down his creatures pretty well and I also got a good amount of my creatures that restore Health.

0 vs 22  (yeah, he still whooped me, lol)

Malfurion Vs Anduin

My Druid deck is all about using the higher costing minions to buff my smaller minions.  Starting off with a couple of tiny creatures then using spells to take down larger creatures and then summoning my own heavy weights, I brought out 2 Stormwind Champions. These guys each give all minions I control +1/+1. I over powered him with 3 additional minions along with them.

21 vs -4

Uther Vs Uther

I started this game very defensively, using a couple of taunting creatures and Noble Sacrifice. This makes it so that whenever an enemy minion attacks, I get a 2/1 creature that is the new target instead. However he started to get more and more creatures in play while I only got a weapon and a Hammer of Wrath.

My weapon healed me when I attacked, and I had some heals in my hand. If it weren’t for those, I’d have lost.

30 vs -2

Garrosh vs Jaina

This game was constantly switching between who was winning and who was getting whipped. I’d have moments of wailing on her with my axe and a couple of minions. Then she had her Water Elemental which freezes whatever minion or hero it hits. Which of course prevented me from attacking a lot. Then after killing it, I had more moments of beating her with my Arcanite Reaper and getting 7 armor with Shield Block. Then she started to get some spell power features and used Flame Strike to kill my minions.

1 vs -4 (I thankfully got my 2nd Arcanite Reaper and got the last hit. We were 1 vs 1 prior to that. So close!)


So that brings me to the end of my first week of hearthstone. I was very enthusiastic about the games announcement and the beta’s arrival and after completing my first week, I am still as just as eager for its arrival. The game is fast paced for a good duration, and even when an opponent is taking their time (like any other card game) it just builds up more suspense. Thankfully though, you won’t have to worry about the opponent thinking for 10 minutes due to the cut off timer. Also, the game does quite well in allowing players to manage their cards. They have a way to search your collection via name, type and casting cost. They even have a mechanic allowing you to ‘disenchant’ unwanted cards (poor quality or duplicates, since you can only have a maximum of 2 in any deck at a given time), and gain dust to turn them into other cards. My question is though, of a player hypothetically has 2 cards of each type, and possibly their golden versions as well, what do they do with their dusts then? I would hope that they could trade them for coins.

A few complaints that I have are not really with the gameplay itself, but rather instead with the way you chat with other players. It gives you a little bubble with whatever the other player said that disappears in about 10 seconds. If you click their name to talk to them it does give you the last tell, but if they have a lot to say or break up their sentences, then you can miss a lot.  For that reason, they should probably put a chat window in the bottom left that maybe shows 2-4 lines of texts, so it’s still out of the way.  This would allow the player to see multiple messages and be able to scroll through to see what they may have missed.

As for spending real money on fake cards. Personally, I won’t spend real money on virtual cards. If other people can have it in their budget, more power to them. However, I disagree with those that say this gives other players an advantage. They may have a larger card pool to choose from quicker than those that don’t, however all cards can be made in crafting mode with dusts so you can create what you can also buy. Also, winning matches can give you coins over time to get yourself more packs, or enter the arena to win more coins, dusts and/or packs. Also, as with pretty much all TCGs, rare cards can still be defeated by commons, it’s just a question of how, and do you have immediate access to it.

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