A Duel or battle in Hearthstone is a 1 on 1 match between 2 players or one player and AI. Hearthstone is a turn based card game where each player gets to think and play the cards they desire before they use up all their mana.
Players choose between 1 of 9 possible classes to play as, and their cards usually reflect the type of class they are. For example, the priest and paladin specialize in minions and spells that involve protection and healing.
At the start of every turn one card is automatically drawn and the players turn can begin. During their turn they can play spells, summon minions or even add weapons to their Hero in order to inflict damage with their Hero itself. Also every hero has a special hero power they can use to help them in battle.
When a battle or match is complete each player will receive experience to level their character. The player that wins the match gets more experience.
Each match will take place on a randomly selected battlefield. There are currently four battlefields: Stormwind, Orgrimmar, Pandaria and Stranglethorn. The battlefields hold no strategic purpose they are only for visual appeal. For example, Paladins do not get a special buff when playing in Stormwind.
Order of Play
At the start of the game a coin is tossed and the winner goes first while the loser gets a special card called The Coin which allows them to replenish 1 mana crystal at any time they wish during the match. During the beginning of each turn mana crystals are replenished and each player gets one additional mana crystal until they have a maximum of 10 total mana crystals.
During a players turn they can use their mana to summon creatures, use their hero power, cast spells or equip weapons and once the player is satisfied with their turn they can click end turn to allow play to shift over to their opponent.
Each player has a deck with 30 cards in it. Once a player runs out of cards they will not automatically lose, but they will start to lose health overtime and the amount of health they lose overtime will increase with each turn.
The match will be played until one of these conditions are met:
- One of the players run out of health and is defeated.
- One of the players decide to surrender and leave the game.
- A draw can occur when both players run out of health on the same turn, but it is very rare.
Since Hearthstone is still in Beta the social aspect of it is still quite minimal. After a game you can see who you recently played if you want to add them to your real ID friends list over Battlenet and private message eachother. Other than a few basic social abilities there isn't much to it.
Hearthstone employs a matchmaking system similar to Blizzards Starcraft2 Matchmaking system where they try and pair opponents with equal or similar skill level.
Cards is the life of Hearthstone obviously and they come in many forms. There are Minions that can be summoned, Spells that can be cast, and weapons that can be wielded and much more. There are hundreds of cards in Hearthstone and as the game progresses there will undoubtedly be more added.
At the present time there are four game modes that players can choose to play.
- In Practice mode, players choose to play vs either Normal or Expert AI opponents to increase your hero level and learn the basics of the game.
- Play mode This is the matchmaking mode where you are pitted against human opponents of similar skill level to test your deck and your skill at the game.
- The Arena Is a little different as you have to select and create a deck using a random selection of cards and then see how many wins you can get in a row.
- A more friendly game mode is to just challenge people on your friends list to a 1 on 1 duel for fun....or is it?
Quests in Hearthstone are given either as daily quests or sometimes as hidden quests that players are not even aware that they are completing. Completing these quests can earn you rewards such as gold to spend on game packs.