1. What is the difference between a CCG, TCG, and LCG?

CCG = Collectible Card Game. That means you can buy cards but you cannot trade them. Hearthstone is a CCG. There is no way to trade with other players. TCG = Trading Card Game. That means it’s a CCG but with trading functions. LCG = Living Card Game. That means you start with all the cards available and you focus on designing and playing your decks.

2. So if Hearthstone is a CCG what do I do with my extra cards?

There is a crafting function where you can turn your cards into dust and then use that dust to create new cards. You don’t need to own a card to be able to craft it. The amount of dust you need to craft a card and the amount you get from disenchanting it depends on the rarity. For example: You get 5 dust for disenchanting a common card and it takes 40 dust to craft a new common. You get 20 dust for disenchanting a rare card and it takes 100 dust to craft a new rare. You may also craft gold cards (which are like foil cards from Magic the Gathering) but they do cost more dust. Currently, there is no way to upgrade an existing standard card in your collection to a gold one.

3. What are the different rarities of cards and how can I tell a card’s rarity?

There are 4 rarities and they are shown on the card by the color of the gemstone in the middle of the card. Common = White. Rare = Blue. Epic = Purple. Legendary= Yellow. Each card also has a chance to be a gold card. Gold cards are purely cosmetic and does not alter the card’s function.

4. How many cards and card copies can I have in a deck?

Decks are always made up of 30 cards and there can only be 2 copies of a single card in the deck. You may only have 1 copy of a legendary card in your deck.

5. What kinds of cards are there in the game?

Minions are the creatures you play in the game field. Minions have an attack power and health. You can only have 7 minions in play at one time. Damage to minions is persistent and must be healed. Damage does not heal naturally. Spells are one time use cards. Secrets are cards that are hidden from your opponent after they are cast and take effect when something specific happens (you are attacked, an opponent plays a minion, etc…) Weapons can be placed on to your hero so your hero can attack. Heroes cannot attack by default. Weapons have attack power and durability. When an hero attacks the durability is reduced by 1 and when it hits 0 the weapon goes away.

6. How does the game work? How do I win or lose?”

Players starts with 30 health and 4 cards in their hand. Using minions to attack, or spells/secrets to deal damage, you must reduce your opponent’s life to 0. You draw 1 card at the beginning of each turn. You can only hold 10 cards in your hand and if you try to draw a card with 10 cards in your hand then the drawn card is discarded. To play a card you must pay it’s mana cost denoted by a number in a blue gem at the top of the card. You start the game with 1 mana gem and every turn you gain 1 more mana gem to use. So you have 1 the first turn, 2 the second, 3 the third, etc… up to 10. 10 mana is the max mana you can have. You use mana to cast your cards and the the mana you used refills every turn. If your deck runs out of cards then the first time you try to draw you will be dealt 1 damage. The second time you try to draw you will be dealt 2 damage and so on, until you die or win. On a side note, when playing against another player turns are on a 90 second timer.

7. How do hero classes come into play when making my deck?

There are 9 different hero classes. Your class defines what special ability you have and what cards you can use. Each class has a unique special ability that always costs 2 mana. For example: The Mage has a firebolt spell that deals 1 damage to any target. The Priest has a heal spell that can heal 2 damage on any target. There are also certain cards that only certain classes can use. Fore example: Priest cards can only be used by the Priest. Because of this, classes have their own flavor and play-style. However, there are a great number of cards that can be used by all classes so you’ll often see crossover between decks.

8. Is there a drafting function in the game?

Hearthstone’s drafting is called the Arena. You must pay 150 gold or $1.99 (US) real money to enter the arena. When you start you are presented with 3 random classes to choose from. You must choose 1 of them and then you are presented with 3 random cards. These are always cards you could use with that class and they are chosen from every card in the game and not just cards you own. You must choose 1 of them then 3 more random cards are presented and you must choose 1 of those. You continue to choose between 3 random cards until you have filled your 30 card deck. NOTE: Unlike standard decks, you may have more than 2 copies of a card in your deck when drafting cards in the Arena. After creating your deck you play against other players whose decks were also created randomly. You continue to play games until you win 9 or lose 3 games (not in a row, just over time). Once this occurs you must cash out your prize. The quality of your prize relates to how many games you have won. NOTE: You always receive at least 1 pack of cards as one of your prize boxes even if you lose your first 3 games. You open 5 prize boxes which either contain a park of cards, dust, or gold. Unless you’re winning 7-9 games consistently in the Arena (which is hard) you most likely will not earn enough gold to fund your entry fee back into it again. Therefore, you often have to play games on the ladder to get enough gold to fund your entry or pay real world money. Also, you DO NOT get to keep the deck or the cards you drafted after your Arena matches are over.

9. What if I just want to play with a deck I made?

You start with the Mage deck for the tutorial and it’s the only class you have unlocked at the beginning. You cannot build decks with a certain class until you beat that class in practice mode. You will play against a computer with a pre-constructed deck. After you beat a class you can use them and have access to their pre-constructed deck. There is also a ladder system in the game that pits you against a random human player. After you design your own deck with the cards you have collected you can Que up for a game against another random player. You can play unranked ladder or ranked ladder. If you play ranked ladder you move up in the standings as you win games. You start at bronze and then go up to silver, then gold, then platinum, then diamond, then master, then grand-master. There are 3 stars in each standing so you start at bronze with 0 stars, then move to bronze with 1 star, then 2 stars, then 3 stars, then you move to silver. The game will always try to pit you against players that are close to your skill level. It’s also important to note that as you play more with a specific class you gain experience and your level for that class will go up. As you level up you will unlock certain cards for that class. At a certain point (I think level 20) the level of your hero isn’t really important since you can’t unlock anymore cards for them. At that point just of an indicator to let you know how much you’ve played with that class.

10. How much is it to buy packs of cards and what do I get?

Packs of cards cost 100 gold or about $1.50 (US) real money to purchase. In each pack you get 5 cards. There is always at least 1 rare card in each pack. Sometimes there are multiple rare cards. Other times there will be an epic or legendary card instead. Sometimes there can be a combination of rarities, like 1 epic and 1 rare in a pack. The chance of getting a legendary card is about 1/100. NOTE: Collections will be wiped after beta but any money you spend will be reimbursed as packs/gold when game is released.

11. How do I make gold in the game?

You can make a lot of gold in the arena, as stated above, if you do well in it. There are also daily quests that you can complete (kill 40 minions, deal 100 damage to a hero, etc…) which will get you about 40-50 gold per day. Other than that you must play games on the ladder against random human opponents. You gain 5 gold for every 5 games you win.

12. Sounds like it’s hard to make gold, is this game pay to win?

It is hard to make a lot of gold unless you play a lot or are really good at the Arena. It just takes time and that’s the bottom line. If you don’t want to take the time you can pay the money to get the packs faster or go to the arena more often. It’s not pay to win. There are many people who haven’t payed a cent and win all the time. It’s very possible to unlock every card and do everything you want without paying anything. It’s also worth mentioning this game is Free-to-Play so the only way Blizzard makes money is by people buying packs or buying entry into the Arena using real world money. However, I can’t state this enough, you can do all those things without paying any money.

13. Is there chat and other social functions?

You can add friends to a friend list and play games against your friends. However, you will NOT make any gold if you play against your friends. There is NO in-game chat. There are certain preset speech options your hero can do (taunt, congratulate, etc…) but you can’t chat directly to your opponent. Why, you may ask? You know why. Don’t pretend you don’t.

14. When is the release date? I want it now!

Unconfirmed. Right now it’s in closed beta and Blizzard usually sends out beta keys in waves every few days. A lot of the online and gaming communities also have beta key give-a-ways. Go try your luck in one those places if you absolutely need to play now. I don’t have a key, yet, so I know I will.