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A Free-to-Play card collection/strategy game by Blizzard Entertainment set in the Warcraft universe. 

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Overview



Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free-to-play collectible card game set in the Warcraft universe. Conceptually, the player takes on the role of a Warcraft hero, playing a card game to relax while inside one of that universe's many inns. Using a shuffled deck of 30 cards, players attempt to defeat their opponents either by attacking with an army of minions, casting spells directly at the enemy hero, or a mixture of both.


The game was revealed at PAX East 2013. Hearthstone supports online multiplayer and matchmaking via Battle.Net.


Deck Construction


The game comes with nine default, basic decks, but also allows players to construct new decks as they gain new cards. Cards can be obtained by leveling up a hero character (by participating in duels), by completing quests, or by purchasing Expert Packs in the store. There are five levels of card rarity: free, common, rare, epic, and legendary.



Deck construction begins by choosing a hero. The available heroes correspond to classes from the initial launch of World of Warcraft (Death Knights and Monks, the two classes that were added in expansion packs to WoW, are not currently represented in Hearthstone). Each hero has an assortment of cards that are exclusively available to that hero, as well as a unique hero power that is reusable every turn.


These are the currently selectable heroes, alongside the Warcraft character that represent them while playing the game, and their Hero Power.


Hero Character Power

Mage Jaina Proudmoore Fireblast: Deal 1 damage.

Druid Malfurion Stormrage Shapeshift: +1 Attack this turn, +1 Armor.

Warlock Gul'dan Life Tap: Draw a card and take 2 damage.

Warrior Garrosh Hellscream Armor Up!: Gain 2 Armor.

Priest Anduin Wrynn Lesser Heal: Restore 2 Health.

Hunter Rexxar Steady Shot: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero.

Paladin Uther Lightbringer Reinforce: Summon a 1/1 Silver Hand recruit.

Rogue Valeera Sanguinar Dagger Mastery: Equip a 1/2 Dagger.

Shaman Thrall Totemic Call: Summon a random Totem.

Decks must be 30 cards in size, and no more than two copies of any single card (and only one copy of any legendary card) can be added to a deck. Arena mode is an exception to this. Your deck must still contain thirty cards but through the random draw it is possible to use more than two copies of a card.


Gameplay



All Hearthstone matches are duels where one hero fights another. Order of play is determined randomly; the player who is chosen to go second will gain an extra card, known as the Coin, to compensate. When played it gives the player an extra mana crystal on the turn it's played only. Each player begins with three or four cards drawn randomly from their deck. They also each begin with thirty Health, and play continues until one hero loses all of his or her Health.


These are some of the game's core gameplay concepts:


Mana Crystals

A player may cast as many cards as they wish during a turn, but they will be restricted in their ability to do so by the number of mana crystals that they possess. Each hero begins with one mana crystal, and gains another crystal each turn, up to a maximum of 10. Mana crystals are expended to cast spells or minions, but are refilled every turn. Thus, if a player has 10 mana crystals, they can cast one spell or minion with a cost of 10, or two cards that each cost 5, and so on.


Minions

Minions are the most common method of attacking your opponent in Hearthstone. They act similarly to creatures in Magic: The Gathering, in that they have attack and defense ratings, and many of them also possess special abilities, such as Battlecry (performs a special action when the minion comes into play) or Taunt (forces enemy minions to attack the creature before any other target).


Spells

Most non-minion cards are spells, which have a wide variety of effects. Some spells will deal direct damage to enemy minions or heroes, some will buff your own minions or hero, some will grant you more mana crystals or card draws, etc.


Hero Powers

Each hero has a unique power, listed above, that can be used once per turn at a cost of two mana crystals.


Hero Weapons

Heroes can equip weapons via hero powers or spells that will grant the hero the ability to attack the enemy hero or minions.


Secrets

These cards activate based on different conditions your opponent may trigger (playing a minion, attacking your hero, etc). Your opponent will see that a secret card has been played, but will not know the triggering conditions or the card effects until the card has activated.


Card Functions


The flavor text of certain cards describes certain types of effects. So on certain spells or minions there are bonus effects that can be achieved besides simply using their base stats. There are multiple of these


Taunt


Any minion with Taunt has a large border around it. Any minion with taunt must be defeated before hitting a non-taunt minion or the enemy hero directly. The only way around this is to use spells which are not limited by taunt minions, and , after the release of Goblins Vs. Gnomes, the Ogre class - which causes the specific minion (or all minions on the field in Mogor the Ogre's case) to have a 50% chance of hitting the wrong target. This means that it is possible to randomly bypass a taunt with a minion. This is the only way to hit a hero directly when there is a minion with taunt up with one of your own minions. Taunts can be silenced.


Stealth


Minions with stealth are grey shadowed with a thick cloud covering their portrait. Minions with stealth cannot be targeted by enemy minions, spells, or hero powers directly. A minion comes out of stealth when the controlling player decides to attack with it, or if they silence it themselves which has no benefit. The only way to clear a stealth minion which the enemy player refuses to reveal is to use an AoE damage spell like Flame Strike. Stealth cannot be silenced.


Divine Shield


Minions with divine shield are encased by a golden circle. The divine shield simply means that the minion gets 1 free hit from anything without taking any damage. It will however be affected by the side effects. Using Frostbolt on a minion with divine shield will result in it not taking damage but it will still be frozen for the next turn. Divine shield does not protect the minion from any instant kill battlecries or spells. Divine shields can be silenced.


Windfury


Minions with windfury are circled by moving winds. WIndfury gives the minion the ability to attack twice in one turn. Windfury can be silenced.


Charge


A minion with charge can attack immediately once they are played. Generally when you play a minion you must wait until your next turn to attack with it.


Battlecry


A minion with a battlecry means that whatever affect they have listed will come into play as soon as the card is played on the field.


Deathrattle


A minion with a deathrattle has an effect which comes into play when it dies. Deathrattles can be silenced.


Overload


A shaman-only penalty. The Shaman class is based around playing fairly strong cards for fairly low cost. To make up for this many Shaman spells contain overload, as well as one weapon and a couple of minions. Whatever the overload amount listed means that the player loses the use of that many mana crystals their next turn. If you play something with an overload of 2 at turn 5, then on your next turn you can only use 3 mana.


Enrage


Enrage is a function on minions which triggers their specific effect when the minion is hit. When a minions enrage is triggered the sides of their portrait turn bright red. A minion getting enraged can have any kind of effect, from giving your weapon additional attack damage to giving the minion itself windfury.


Game Modes

Practice


In this mode players play against computer AI. New players will only have the Mage class unlocked. Defeating other classes will unlock them for the player. A small selection of class specific cards can also be earned.


Play - Casual


In this mode players play each other online. A random matchmaking mode can be utilised or you can issue a challenge to players in your friends list.


Play - Ranked


Almost exactly the same as the Casual mode except that wins and losses dictate your current rank. The lowest rank is "25 - Angry Chicken" and the highest is "0 - Legend".


Arena



Choosing a Hero to play in Arena mode.

This is a challenging mode that rewards players with any combination of gold, arcane dust, individual cards and card packs dependent on performance during the arena run. The fee for entering the Arena is either 150 in-game gold or a real money fee of $1.99/£1.49. Players must pick from one of three randomly selected heroes. They then move on to deck construction. The player must choose one of three cards that have been randomly selected to add it to their deck. This process is repeated until their deck is full. The player is guaranteed at least four sets of cards at rare or higher rarity, but the opportunity to select epic or legendary cards is random and varies in each arena draft. The matchmaking process then selects an opponent for the player to battle against. A new opponent is selected after each match. A player can continue in the Arena until they have either lost three times, won twelve times, or retire of their own will whichever comes first. Once the run is completed the Arena deck is deleted. A key is also rewarded at the end of the player's run which unlocks a chest of rewards. The more victories a player has accrued, the greater the rewards.


It is interesting to note that there are no card limits for arena, except for the fact that you cannot receive class specific cards for a class you are not currently playing. This means that even though the normal limit is a maximum of 1 of any kind of legendary and 2 of any other card in any deck, in Arena you can get any amount of the same kind of legendary in a deck and you can get an unlimited number of any other card as well.


Solo Adventures


With the introduction of the "Curse of Naxxramas" single player expansion a new tab was added to the main screen. From this screen players could now go practice against the A.I or go into any of their purchased weeks of Naxxramas. Additional weeks can be purchased from this screen as well as seeing the reward cards for each wing.


Currencies

Gold


This in-game currency can be spent on purchasing more card packs or paying the fee to enter the Arena.


Arcane Dust


This is used to craft cards. Unwanted cards can also be "disenchanted". This destroys the card and issues a small amount of Arcane Dust to the player.


Real Money


This can be spent to purchase card packs or pay the Arena fee.


Expansions


Curse of Naxxramas


On April 11, 2014, Blizzard announced its single player Adventure Mode for Hearthstone titled Curse of Naxxramas: A Hearthstone Adventure at PAX East. The expansion will include one new play area, 30 new cards, and some huge bosses to defeat as the player winds her/his way through the five wings of Naxxramas, an ancient necropolis.


The first wing of the necropolis will be free for all users during the first month, but the rest of the dungeon must be purchased with in-game gold or real money. It costs $24.99/£17.49 for all the wings and 700 for a individual wing. The expansion was released on 23rd July 2014 for PC.


Each wing of the necropolis contains 3 bosses. A regular version and a more difficult "Heroic" version. Defeating the regular bosses gives the player some of the new cards in the expansion. While if you defeat all the heroic bosses in the expansion you will get a new card back. Included in the expansion are class challenges which give the player a specific deck to beat one of the bosses with. Doing so gives the player a card for that class.


Curse of Naxxramas was split up into five wings which were released over the course of five weeks. Each week had three matches which rewarded you with a series of new cards and 1 new legendary. In addition to the standard three matches each of the weeks had 1 or 2 class challenges where the player has to use a pre-made deck to defeat the boss of that wing. Beating any class challenge gets you that card for use in constructed decks for that class. At the time of release there was a lot of value placed on the class cards.


Quarter 1 : The Arachnid Quarter


Beating the standard wing rewards players with 4 new cards: Haunted Creeper, Nerub'ar Weblord, Nerubian Egg, and the weekly legendary, Maexxna. The class challenges for week one are for Druid and Rogue.


Quarter 2: The Plague Quarter


Beating the standard wing rewards players with 4 new cards: Stoneskin Gargoyle, Unstable Ghoul, Sludge Belcher, and the weekly legendary, Loatheb. The class challenges for week two are for Mage and Hunter.


Quarter 3: The Military Quarter


Beating the standard wing rewards players with 4 new cards: Dancing Swords, Spectral Knight, and Deathlord, and the weekly legendary, Baron Rivendare. The class challenges for week three are for Shaman and Warlock.


Quarter 4: The Construct Quarter


Beating the standard wing rewards players with 6 new cards: Undertaker, Mad Scientist, Zombie Chow, and Wailing Soul, there are two legendaries this week : Feugen and Stalagg. When played together in a deck where both of them die, the last of the two legendaries to die is replaced by Thaddius, a legendary only playable by these means. The class challenges for week four are for Warrior and Priest.


Quarter 5: Frostwyrm Lair


Beating the standard wing rewards players with 3 new cards: Echoing Ooze and Shade of Naxxramas, and the weekly legendary Kel'Thuzad. This is the only week of Naxxramas to only have one class challenge, which is for Paladin.


Goblins vs Gnomes


Goblins vs Gnomes was announced at Blizzcon 2014 and will contain approximately 120 cards. The new cards will come in a separate card pack and will replace the arena reward packs earned after using an arena key and will retail for the same real money and in game currency (Gold) price as the original packs. Goblins vs Gnomes is slated for release in December 2014.


Goblins vs Gnomes brings a new minion type the "Mech" to the table and emphasizes more cards with random effects and damage distribution to live up to the Goblins and Gnomes explosive tendencies.


The Goblins vs Gnomes expansion was foreshadowed by Blizzard with the announcement of the Goblin card back in November, and will be available at the end of ranked season 8 in time for the new expansion.


Blackrock Mountain

On April 2/3, 2015 Blizzard released Blackrock Mountain, the second single player adventure for Hearthstone. Along with a new play area, the expansion includes 31 new cards, 17 bosses and a new challenge for each of the 9 classes.


Blackrock Mountain features 5 wings, which may be purchased individually or as a package with real money or in-game gold. Each wing will cost $6.99/£5.99 (700 gold) or $24.99/£21.99.


Two new card backs could be earned with this release. Players who pre-ordered the expansion unlocked the Molton Core card back. An additional card back is rewarded for defeating each boss in Heroic mode.


Quarter 1 : Blackrock Depths


Beating the standard wing rewards players with 4 new cards: Grim Patron, Gang up, Resurrect and the weekly legendary, Emperor Thaurissan. The class challenges for week one are for Hunter and Mage.


Quarter 2 : Molten Core


Beating the standard wing rewards players with 4 new cards: Druid of the Flame, Blackwing Technician, Imp Gang Boss and the weekly legendary, Majordomo Executus. The class challenges for week two are for Warrior and Shaman.


Quarter 3 : Blackrock Spire


Beating the standard wing rewards players with 4 new cards: Core Rager, Dragon Consort, Dragon Egg and the weekly legendary, Rend Blackhand. The class challenges for week three are for Priest and Druid.


Quarter 4 : Blackwing Lair


Beating the standard wing rewards players with 5 new cards: Revenge, Flamewalker, Hungry Dragon, Fireguard Destroyer and the weekly legendary, Chromaggus. The class challenges for week four are for Warlock and Rogue.


Quarter 5 : The Hidden Laboratory


Beating the standard wing rewards players with 5 new cards: Volcanic Drake, Blackwing Corruptor, Drakonid Crusher, Dragonkin Sorcerer and the weekly legendary, Nefarian. The class challenge for week five is for Paladin.


System Requirements


Minimum

PC


OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 (latest service packs)

CPU: Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 X2

Video: Nvidia GeForce 6800 (256 MB) or ATI Radeon X1600 Pro (256 MB) or better

RAM: 2 GB

Hard Drive: 3 GB available space

Resolution: 1024 x 768

Mac


OS: Mac OS X 10.7 (latest version)

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo

Video: Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT or ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro

RAM: 2 GB

Hard Drive: 3 GB available space

Resolution: 1024 x 768

iPad


OS: iOS 5.0 or later

Hardware: iPad Air, iPad 2 or later, iPad mini

Recommended

PC


OS: Windows 7 / 8 (latest service packs)

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.2GHz) or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2.6 GHz) or better

Video: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT (512 MB) or ATI Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB) or better

RAM: 4 GB

Hard Drive: 3 GB available space

Resolution: 1024 x 768

Mac


OS: Mac OS X 10.8 (latest version)

CPU: Intel Core i3 or better

Video: Nvidia GeForce GT 650M or ATI Radeon HD 5670 or better

RAM: 4 GB

Hard Drive: 3 GB available space

Resolution: 1024 x 768  

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