Hearthstone Guide for the new Grand Tournament Expansion
Hearthstone is officially a phenomenon, not just an iPad time-taker-upper but one of the best online games in recent years, funnelling the charming characters of infamous PC time-sink World of Warcraft into a simple-to-play-yet-incredibly-hard-to-master card game. It’s like Top Trumps if you actually cared about winning.
With the recent arrival of the game’s second expansion ‘The Grand Tournament’, the amount of cards, modes and features might be intimidating for newbies. But sod all that – it’s amazing, and you need to play it. With the right approach, you can get up to speed super-fast, too.
Completing the game’s Daily Quests is not only a valuable source of Gold (in-game, not real, obvs) to spend on new card packs without stumping up cash (real money this time), it also forces you to try out new Heroes, the various classes you can choose from.
While it might be tempting to stick to the powerful Mage class when you start out – and with its powerful Basic cards, it’s not a bad idea initially – branching out into other classes will teach you what each one can do.
It’s an effective way of learning what your opponents are capable of – and you might also find a new favourite in the process.
Another thing worth remembering is that you should opt for Ranked play over Casual. Not only is Casual the place where more advanced players try out their experimental decks, but Ranked will better pit you against players of your own ability.
You also earn a free Card Back for reaching level 20 each month, and another reward when you beat your previous best in that month, giving you an incentive to push further.
Like any card game, Hearthstone is about momentum. If you’re getting cards on the board and your opponent is struggling to keep up, then keep building on the offence and you can end the game sooner than you realise.
Similarly, don’t go all out just because you can. Sometimes, it’s wise to keep cards in your hand even if you have Mana to spend. A very basic example is not playing the two mana Acidic Swamp Ooze – a decent card in its own right, but can also destroy an enemy Weapon – as soon as it becomes available, and instead, waiting for that Paladin or Rogue to equip something first.
Another notable example in competitive play is the arrival of the seven Mana Dr. Boom, a card so powerful and popular it was important to keep Big Game Hunter at bay to clear it from the board for when it showed like clockwork.
While Hearthstone has its share of powerful, single use cards that can upend a game, it’s all about knowing what each class is capable of. Build decks with cards that play off each other to cause opponents hassle, and be patient enough to make those moves for when the time is right.
Have fun playing the game and experiment with new ideas
Once you’ve become accustomed to Hearthstone’s basics and feel up to creating your own deck, the choice of cards on offer can be intimidating.
Thankfully, whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned Ranked player, there’s plenty of decks online that you can use as inspiration.
We highly recommend copying a basic deck made of the game’s default cards (that way, you don’t need to worry about spending money on card packs, or getting deep into Crafting) to get you started. While at first it feels like cheating, these decks will quickly teach you the best ways to play each class – from the cards you absolutely must use, and those you can do without.
Website Icy Veins offers a good selection, and with a guiding hand, you’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn. From there, you can use the basic deck as a template, and swap in comparable stronger cards when you feel confident – without the experimenting first.