Review: Hearthstone

Will write glowing review of your indie game on this site for Hearthstone Beta Key.
Duel of Champions beats it on all levels (well, except visuals, but who cares about that?). Plus it's already available and got much more pleasant f2p system,
This is the last thing I'd expect to see Blizzard doing. +1 if it's actually fun.On a side note, do you need to spend 200+ hours to acquire minimum viable equipment and gear?
Malygos is just a ridiculous card. Legendaries in general aren't that special, as shown by the 19 legendaries deck floating on youtube somewhere.
Just wait for dem pay2win decks and rosters.
How is "static mana system" a negative? The randomness of the land/mana mechanic in MtG is utterly stupid and only in there to facilitate their drug dealing random cards business model.
Sorry, this was not meant to be a reply to Random.
Right now? The grind is pretty small. I suspect that's "beta speed" and will get slowed down significantly later, unfortunately.
Having played Magic for a long, long time, I felt like the mana system allowed for fine tuning of decks that otherwise wouldn't have been possible. Yes, mana screw was a problem but the Hearthstone implementation (just build 1 per turn up to 10) takes away a huge strategic element as well as undercuts the deck diversity that MtG accomplished with multi-colored environments.I see the value in the Hearthstone model, I believe that, on balance, it costs you more than it gains you as a game developer.
hearthstone is solid. Another contender in this category to look at is SolForge.
How much time does it take to acquire reasonable cardpool, say 50 packs, without using RL currency?
Avatar :vNot to say I don't like the hearthstone system, I think it simplifies the game and makes it easier to enter. There is still a ton of room for strategy, but magic leaves room for interesting and complex interactions, as well as the traditional (almost "hearthstone style") normal decks. Play land, play spell, etc. The difference being that pretty much all decks in Hearthstone fall into one or two magic archetypes, and there isn't room for stuff like combo. (Though some might consider this to be a good thing).
"That said, Hearthstone is definitely worth playing. Sign up for the beta or try to get a beta key from a friend."If you are not a dedicated streamer, Beta keys are impossible to come by. Besides the beta key giveaway failures so far, Blizzard has currently suspended all website promotional giveaways.Currently the only way to get a beta key is through the "opt-in" through battle-net, or to have a homeboy hookup.
the patch today makes it a lot faster. 50 packs is quite a lot. it would cost about 60 dollars cash to get 50 10 gold per 3 wins you would need to get 30 wins for one pack. I suggest doing arenas because you are guarenteed a pack and a chance at cards or another pack . Arena cost 150 so 45 wins.Dailies give you 40-100 but usually lets say you get 9 wins a day and call it.that'd be 30 gold + 40 for the daily so 70 gold.50 packs would be 5000 gold but as i said you should do arenas50 arenas would be 7500TL:DR at 9 wins a day you're looking at roughly 100 days for 50 arenas or 70 days for straight up packs.
I should also add that within the first month you play, there are various hidden achievements which net you a TON of gold. I would say its enough for 10-15 packs.
Even assuming one Hearthstone pack is equivalent to three MTG packs, $60 is still very competitive if you don't buy boxes.
Looks like very reasonable price, compared to b2p oldschool online ccgs. But in comparison to modern f2p games it's pretty tough, to say the least. Let's hope they'll tweak it to acceptable levels before open beta.hits
Played the game for about 30 hours, and im not so sure I agree with its lack of staying power you refer to. And the legendarys are very rare but I managed to get one in my second pack. I think there should be more ways to earn gold however since you have to win 18 times and do a qust just to get a cardpack! I did like getting 300 gold or 3 packs when I had won a total of a hundred games but thats only a one time thing. I also feel that i like HS a lot more than say Scrolls.
I got my key in a giveaway at Ign Norway 5 days ago, it was easy since only like ten people read the page and they had lots of keys..
Yeah Malygos should at least be reduced to maybe a 2/8 or something just because of that rediculus spelldamage!!
You only get one quest per day ... the three quest thing is on your first day. Did you play beyond a single day before writing this review?
Doesn't it look like Duel of Champions a bit? I'd say it does...
I don't think you're being fair. There are many legendary and epic cards that are almost necessary for a "good" deck. Raganros are insanely good. Sylvanas is a 5-mana card that can boost any deck. In terms of epics, the class-specific epics such as Pyroblast are essential to a good decks. Have you seen a high-level mage who doesn't use Pyroblast?

Blizzard's Hearthstone may only be in beta, but it's generating a fairly high amount of buzz, and even has a sizable, healthy streaming population (frequently the number 2 or 3 game on which is odd because it's not an action game.

That's not entirely true, though. Hearthstone is the "action game" of card games.

Hearthstone is a World of Warcraft themed Collectible Card Game (CCG), but it's not the World of Warcraft CCG. Think Magic the Gathering on the computer. MtG fans in particular will see Hearthstone as "dumbed down Magic," and while that may be true, it doesn't paint the whole picture.


Each player starts with 30 health and a hero from one of the core WoW classes (no Death Knights or Monks, yet). The goal is to take your opponent's health down from 30 to 0 before they can do the same to you through the use of minions, spells, and abilities. Games generally take 10-20 minutes (the game has a per-turn time limit to prevent griefing).

Each turn follows the same sequence:

  1. Refill mana crystals and gain 1 new one (up to 10). Mana crystals are the resource used to put cards into play. The better the card, the more mana crystals it costs.
  2. Draw a card
  3. Player uses mana to play new creatures and/or spells
  4. Player attacks with any creatures they have
  5. End of Turn

The attacking and card playing can (unlike MtG) be done in any order or combination (attack with one, play a spell, attack with two more, play a second spell, and so on).

Like most games, the minions come with an attack and a health rating. Health is persistent and will dwindle over time, though there are ample ways to heal your creatures. When you attack with a minion, the attacker chooses who to attack. This gives considerable advantage to the attacker, as they can use a cheap, tiny 2/1 minion (2 attack, 1 health) to take down a big 5/2 creature that would otherwise pound their face every turn.

It also means that creature stalemates are relatively rare. Your creatures don't "tap" or otherwise expend themselves to attack, so it's very unusual if there's a turn where you don't attack. If you can't attack your opponent's creature profitably, your creatures can at least punch your opponent in the face for some damage.

Minions have a variety of special abilities. The most common are:

  1. Taunt forces attacking creatures to kill the creature with Taunt before they can choose another target. It does not force them to attack in the first place.
  2. Charge allows creatures to attack the turn they come into play. otherwise they have to wait a turn with cute little "zzz"s coming out of them.
  3. Battlecry makes a creature do something when it is summoned. It can be drawing a card, doing damage, or whatever.

Hearthstone is rather straightforward. There is no interaction between players in a turn. When it's your turn, there's nothing your opponent can do to disrupt your actions. There are a few "secret" cards that can be played by your opponent ahead of time that will trigger an event based on some action (being attacked, losing life, etc), but these are generally easy to play around, and they're not all that common because they actually take choice away from the player playing them (he doesn't get to choose if they're used, he HAS to use them when the triggering event happens).

As mentioned, you play as one of the 9 core WoW classes (Hunter, Rogue, etc) in Hearthstone. Each of these heroes has a unique ability. These abilities cost two mana and can be used once per turn. They're hugely effective, and proper use of them is absolutely critical to success. Most of them (poor Hunter and Warrior) can be used for a card advantage, which is the most critical concept in Hearthstone. There are three abilities in particular that are quite powerful.

Paladin: 2 mana to summon a 1/1 creature. This allows you to freely put creatures into play, and can be used to survive (and even thrive) in the early game without expending cards. Good for card advantage, but also good for deck construction, because you can largely skip those 1 and 2 mana creatures and make your whole deck stronger.

Druid: 2 mana to give yourself 1 attack and 1 armor. Your hero can, if he has equipment or something else (like this ability) attack the enemy. This Druid ability is powerful because it lets you clear off creatures at nearly no cost. Those creatures do damage back to you, but the armor helps to mitigate that. You can also attack your opponent, effectively giving yourself extra health.

Shaman: 2 mana to summon a random Totem creature. Totems summoned are one of the following:

  • Stoneclaw Totem: 0/2, Taunt
  • Healing Totem: 0/2, heal everything on your side by 1hp at the end of the turn
  • Wrath of Air Totem: 0/2 +1, spellpower (makes all your damage spells more powerful)
  • Searing Totem: 1/1

The Healing Totem in particular is amazing. It not only heals all your creatures; it heals you as well. Keeping a Healing Totem alive and on the board for multiple turns will often be enough to win a game all by itself.

The metagame: Getting cards

The natural question is how do I get these wonderful cards? Each day, you're given three quests. These quests are tasks like "Win two games as Priest" or "Kill 40 minions". Each completed quest gives you 40 gold. 100 gold lets you buy a pack of cards. In a pack of cards, you get five cards, with one guaranteed rare. Don't get too excited, though; the rarities are "common", "rare", "epic" and "legendary". It's fast food naming conventions for this stuff, and the "rare" you are guaranteed is really just an "uncommon" in any other game. I've opened maybe 10 or 15 packs so far, and have yet to see a legendary or even an epic card.

That's a problem. The Legendary cards are amazing and will absolutely wreck your face. I was completely dominating a game my first night of playing, when all of a sudden my opponent used 9 mana to play a 4/12 dragon with spellpower +5. I could have used all four of my creatures to attack, but elected to simply attack him (taking him down to about 5). Then he played a card that did 2 damage to all characters on the board. Except that it did 7 because of his stupid dragon. He then buffed the Dragon by +4/+4 and proceeded to do 15 damage to me in one turn. A game that was an easy win for me was lost in the blink of an eye.

In fairness, part of the problem was that I didn't understand what the cards were capable of. But the greater part of the problem was my card collection. After that game, I went and looked and found that I had zero cards in my deck that could do anything to that dragon by themselves. In fact, if I could have magically picked from every card in my collection (not just my deck), it would have taken three cards just to clear the dragon off.

As your collection grows, that becomes less of a problem. When you're first playing, though, it feels really frustrating and swingy. Because the really powerful cards are Legendary, the new player doesn't ever get to experience the that strength in their favor.

What's Good

  • Quick, simple nature
  • Very action-oriented play
  • Excellent theme and UI
  • Free to play
  • Hero-specific abilities

If you're feeling a void from MtG and don't want to get sucked back into that expensive habit, Hearthstone is a decent option to explore. While you can buy cards for money, the pace you gain cards is sufficient that you certainly don't feel compelled to. They will probably tone it down once it's out of Beta but, at least at present, it doesn't feel overly burdensome or "grindy".

What's Bad

  • Lack of complex interaction
  • Ultra-rare legendary cards
  • Limited strategic decisions
  • Static mana system

Hearthstone is just good enough to play for free, but lacks the lasting appeal necessary to get people paying for it, beyond "fill my collection".

Hearthstone lacks a little bit of "heart" right now. Because so many of the cards are "all class" cards and you can't mix and match "class-specific" cards in any way, there's only nine different deck archetypes you can build. Sure, you could try to go with a "direct damage" deck for your mage as opposed to a "control" deck, but ultimately they're both mage decks. You have the same hero ability and the same 20 class-specific cards to mix with the group of communal cards that everyone gets.

Maybe I'm nostalgic for the old days and being able to mix and match two colors to make an oddball deck. Because you're limited to 2 instances of any 1 card, you're also restricted in building cool, combo-oriented decks. Most games of Hearthstone go back and forth, trading one card for another until someone can gain an advantage, either with a two-for-one trade or by putting a bigger creature on the table. It's hard to build your deck around cards in that kind of environment.

That said, Hearthstone is definitely worth playing. Sign up for the beta or try to get a beta key from a friend. It's a nice diversion while you're waiting for other things to happen, and shows plenty of promise.

I enjoy the intellectual / theorycrafting side of his games and write about what I enjoy. Follow me for mostly LoL rated tweets @econocentric and join the in game chat room "" in LoL. You can also email me at