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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

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Photo Credit: Media Submitted

Photo Credit: Media Submitted

Photo Credit: Media Submitted

Michael Keeley

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For players that enjoy collectible card games, Blizzard Entertainment offers a new and unique take on them with their Free-to-Play online card game: “Hearthstone.”

battleboard“Hearthstone” battles take place on an interactive battle board where you duel with your opponent playing spells and minions until their health reaches zero. To summon minions and cast spells, you’ll need mana crystals, as each card has a mana cost ranging from zero to ten. Each player starts the game with 30 points of health and one mana crystal. You gain a new mana crystal at the start of every turn until you reach ten, and you can never lose these crystals. If you use them, they are simply depleted and will recharge on your next turn.

heroesBefore you can build a deck, you must first choose one of the nine classes to play. The classes are: Warlock, Warrior, Shaman, Rogue, Paladin, Hunter, Druid, Mage and Priest. Each class has its own unique playstyle and cards, called class cards. Unlike general cards, that every class can use, these class cards are exceedingly more powerful and really feed into the style of the class. Warlocks summon powerful demons, Priests can heal and telepathically control enemies, Shamans can obliterate targets with bolts of lightning. Each class also has a unique power, called a hero power, that can be used for two mana crystals. For example the Warrior class hero power gives you two armor, effectively adding two hit points, while the Mage class hero power lets you deal one damage to any enemy.

legendaryNow that you’ve selected your class, you’ll want to build a powerful deck. You’re limited to 30 cards per deck, and you can choose however many minions or spells you want. To obtain more cards, you’ll have to purchase packs using their in-game store using real life money or gold from completing daily objectives and winning three matches. You can only have two of the same card in your deck, and you can only have one if the card’s rarity is Legendary. Legendary cards are easily identifiable with their golden medallion and unique portrait border. To the left is an example of a legendary minion, a familiar name in the Warcraft Universe.

senjinEach minion and spell have their own abilities and powers, but they’re not overly complicated. Most cards adequately describe what their power does right on the card, so you don’t need to have a handy rulebook with you. For example the card Darkbomb, a Warlock class spell that costs two mana, simply deals three damage to any target you cast it on. The minion Sen’jin Shieldmasta has Taunt, which means minions cannot attack your hero while he is in play and must attack him instead. Creating combos and synergy with your cards will be essential to winning any match you face.

If you enjoy a little randomness in your card games, especially if you’re like me and really enjoy the old “Magic: The Gathering” booster drafts, “Hearthstone” offers a mode called the Arena. The Arena costs gold or real life money to enter, then has you select a hero from three randomly chosen heroes, then build a deck by choosing between three random cards, 30 times. You play your random hero/deck until you either win 12 times or you lose three times with rewards based on how many wins you obtained.

“Hearthstone” has been an absolute blast and is easily in my top five  video games of all time. Starting out can be slow if you choose to strictly play for free, but it’s still an incredibly addicting game that will leave you in awe.

Grade: A+

 

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