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Hearthstone strategies: a complete guide to the Heroes of Warcraft

Everything you need to conquer Blizzard's strategy card game, from basic deck building and easy gold to the most important cards for your online battles.


Although still in beta, Blizzard's card battler Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has become something of a phenomenon, with tens of thousands of players taking to the online strategy game to test their mettle.

The basics

Each player chooses a character class which defines special cards and the unique hero power available to them. They engage in fast-paced one-on-one battles, each taking their turn to draw a card from their hand in order to cast spells, use weapons or summon minions to fight on their behalf. Players start with a Health of 30, but once that number is reduced to zero the controlling player loses the game.

Each player has a collection of 30 cards in a deck, drawn before the start of a game. During their turn a player can use a card from the deck, cast a spell, jump into the fight with a weapon equipped, command minions or use their special hero power. Actions are partly determined by a heroes Mana, and while a majority of cards are open to all, some are only available to a certain class.

The basic objective of the game is to reduce your opponent's Health to zero and win the battle. As with all good strategy games it's easy to pick up and play to begin with, but with more exploration it can become a complex and overwhelming beast. That is unless you've got access to essential information - how to build the best deck with basic cards, the differences between each character classes, the best way to earn free gold and dust (the in-game currency), mastering the lingo and building enough confidence to enter the Arena and dominate your opponent.

This is where our Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft strategy guide comes in. Bookmark this page, read up on the basics, and come back when you're ready to move up from a student to a master.

Hearthstone strategies: beginner’s tips and tricks
Hearthstone strategies: advanced tips for seasoned card battlers
Hearthstone strategies: how to build the best decks with basic cards
Hearthstone strategies: a beginner’s glossary, guide to terms & deck types
Hearthstone strategies: earn gold fast and get free cards
Hearthstone strategies: the 25 best cards to play

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is also a cheerily social game, eschewing any potential harassment by adopting the simple use of emoticons to communicate between players. Split between voluntary and involuntary, players can also use the Squelch option to disable an opponents emotes in order to concentrate on the game at hand.

Each battle takes place on one of four Battlefields which display the player's hand, deck, mana crystals and hero - although it's important to note that the battlefield does not influence play. The four battlefields are all based on World of Warcraft locations; Stormwind, Orgrimmar, Pandaria and Stranglethorn

There are almost 400 cards available in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft with more than 130 available to players from the very start. Others are awarded through winning them in Arena battles or levelling up a hero - or they can be bought from the store for real money or in-game currency. Once players have gotten to grips with the basic decks, a significant focus should be placed on building a custom deck of cards to suit a player and his or her chosen class, within the enforced 30-card limit.

So that's all the basics you need to know before getting stuck in to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Blizzard has said that it intends to to introduce up to 200 more cards and is considering a two-versus-two player mode. You can also expect the game to appear on Apple's iPad and iPhone, after which Blizzard will roll out a single player Adventure Mode with an extra 10-20 cards. The game has also been picked up by the eSport community, and after initial tournaments looks set to become a regular on the competitive gaming circuit.

Clearly, Blizzard is just getting start on Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. You should to, so get stuck into our strategy guide and we'll see you online.

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