If you are coming back from a long break from Hearthstone or haven’t been back since release you may have missed a couple of major changes, from expansions to major card nerfing, here is a quick guide to catch you up on what you have missed in-game and in the community of Hearthstone. Maybe you are just returning for the recently released Goblins Vs Gnomes, or coming back from a Warlords of Draenor binge, don’t worry we’ve got you covered.
Since release, Hearthstone was set up slightly differently offering solo play in a separate area. Within that you can find your Adventures, Class Challenges, and Practice Mode.
Curse of Naxxramas
Curse of Naxxramas was the first expansion released for Hearthstone modeled after the exciting dungeon in Wrath of the Lich King. In Hearthstone you are faced with having to defeat the bosses of the Military, Plague, Construct, and Arachnid Quarter by creating unique decks and playing different classes to clear each boss. Eventually leading you to Frostwyrm Lair, where you have to face the truly vile Kel’Thuzad. Each wing is available on Regular mode and Heroic mode offering rewards for defeating both boss and wing like cards such as dancing-swords and even legendary cards like loatheb.
Goblins vs Gnomes Expansion
Pint size underlings have invaded our card game in a huge way with Gnomes, Goblins, Techs, Mechs, Ogres, and Spare Parts. Each class can unlock 8 new class cards, including 1 Legendary per class. The 124 total cards are unlocked by obtaining card packs, using dust, and playing arenas.
Before you just jump back in, there are some things you should know. Nerfs happened, maybe you need to refresh your memory on how to play, or tactics of aggro vs control? The following is information and resources to use in order to make a less painful reentry back into the game.
There have been several changes to balance the game over a couple of patches this Fall. The first card this Fall to be beaten with nerf hammer after certain decks like Miracle Rogue and Handlock were capable of doing 26 Damage in one turn was leeroy-jenkins. The change went from cost 4 mana to 5 mana. Followed by Hunter’s Starving Buzzzard. starving-buzzard was a hunter’s draw mill card and was nerfed because it was too low mana for how many cards the card was capable of drawing. The change went from cost 5 Mana (up from 2 mana) with a new 3 attack and 2 health instead of the old (2 Attack and 1 Health.)
The most recent changes made, pre-GvG, in an attempt to balance the game for the upcoming expansion are the following:
Warlock’s soulfire went from 0 Mana to 1 Mana.
Hunter’s flare now costs 2 Mana (up from 1 Mana.)
gadgetzan-auctioneer costs 6 Mana (up from 5 Mana.)
A Painless Reentry
Here are on some quick tips that work at any time you come back from an extended break from Hearthstone to make a painless reentry.
1. Check the updates from the last time you played the game. Those are those little patch notes offered after maintenance every once in a while. And sometimes there are some major changes. So always read the patch notes. To see a full history of patch notes from the source check them out here.
2. Before you jump back into the game, take a look at your collection and see what decks you will need to tweak based on balance changes. Take a look at your collection and see what decks are still viable. Are any of your decks useable? Have they all been nerfed? It would really be funny for your opponent when you think you have enough mana for that 26 damage Leeroy combo you are about to pull off, but oh wait you don’t because you have been gone and you didn’t read your patch notes. You didn’t look through your decks and tweak your collections. Fail.
3. How are your gold and dust reserves doing? Find out what cards you can build now. With new expansions there are new Legendaries, Epic, Rare, and Uncommon cards to play with. Try and maximize your dust reserves, do you have an old class or deck that you just can’t win with or can’t maintain the style of play anymore. Many players on a budget choose a class they never play to disenchant for dust. Then they can use the dust to create decks they can really get creative with. Also, If you are completely stuck and have no dust, no gold, and no expansion hopes until some Dear loving relative or Santa comes along for Christmas or the Holidays then check out our Meta-Guide for Free to Play (F2P) in Getting Started on Hearthstoneplayers.com decks.
4. With every new expansion a new meta comes along, so where does that leave your decks? Can you add to a favorite deck? You can start there or start from an idea or theme. You have seen them before frost decks, secret decks, what about Ghouls and Goblins or Ogres on Ice? Do one of the new cards seem like a fun replacement to an old card that is looking a little plain these days? Get creative and have fun with it. With 124 cards new cards there is endless tinkering potential.
5. Get involved with the Hearthstone community. Say hi to your friends list. Watch streams and read articles like this one. Check out deck guides. Watch tournaments. Check out all of the amazing drafting guides we have for Arenas here on Hearthstoneplayers.com, So you can take your hard earn gold and earn lots of dust. The more you immerse yourself back into the community, the more fun you have, the more you learn from others. It’s all about fun right?
6. Know the meta.
Getting to Know the Meta
With all of these tips I am ready to play! What deck do I play? There were so many changes I don’t know where to start. There are a few options:
First I want to know what people are playing. That is what is the meta doing? If it the start of a new season, the beginning of the month, people are climbing, I know people are playing aggro decks and zoo. That is the meta. Easy answer. For more decks and to see what is popular I check out the what is being played for the meta at www.hearthstonetopdeck.com where they compile the most played netdecks. If you do not know what netdecking is, it is when players copy decks they find online rather than construct their own. These decks usually become popular after players see them played by winning tournament players on streams.
After understand what decks are being played, you have an understanding of what kind of deck you need to make or play to counter the current meta. Armed with that information you can better select or create a constructed deck. The best way is to create your own deck and tweak it as you go if you are comfortable doing so and a strong player in deck-building or if you aren’t there yet read one of our outstanding deck guides here at hearthstoneplayers.com. Where we tell you why each card is selected and how to play the decks, rather than just showing you the deck and letting you figure it out on your own.
Hearthstone has been cementing itself as a legitimate e-sport within the gaming community. In case you missed it, Blizzcon held its first World Championship in November 2014.
A player named Firebat won the $100,000 prize against the most competitive players in the world.
There were several tournaments with huge prize pools this year all around the world. Here you can find a list of tournaments, locations, prize pools and winners.
Since tournaments have become successful within Hearthstone, there has been a need for an observation mode. Spectator Mode has been added to the game, which allows players to watch other player’s game play as it occurs, within the game client.
Some players who have grown with the community, I have learned from, and are just fun to watch.
For fun and entertaining my favorite stream to watch is P4wnyhof. Fun, informative, and he streams daily. He has been Legendary every season since Beta, hosted tournaments featuring players like Ek0p and Gnimsh, and is just an all around great fun player. His stream is in English, and is German friendly as he is from Germany. P4wnyhof plays for Planetkey Dynamics and you can get coaching from him for reasonable rates. Follow him on twitter @p4wnyhof and facebook.com/p4wnyhof.com to find out rates and streaming schedule. His stream can be followed at www.twitch.tv/p4wnyhof
Gnimsh is the Captain of positive game play and a great asset to the Hearthstone community. He makes excellent videos on mastering the basic skills of Hearthstone that take you from understanding the fundamentals, to understanding how to win constructed and arena games. He plays for Cloud 9 and streams at www.twitch.tv/Gnimsh
He is known for his outstanding attitude in-game play, Gnimsh Luck, and his excitement for Hearthstone and World of Warcraft. Catch him sometime and see why people say get Gnimsh’d! He has played and qualified in tournaments all over the world. Catch him stream and learn from a master player.
It has been a great, fast and full year for Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft and I have had so much fun growing with you all. As a World of Warcraft fan and a huge lover of Gnomes I am so excited to end the year with Gnomes Vs Goblins. I hope you all have a fantastic time tinkering and exploding, er exploring the new cards with me. Have a wonderful season, Happy Holidays, and cheers for the New Year! I hope to see you on twitter @ZapZapHS. If you liked this article please upvote this article if you enjoyed and if you have questions or comments please feel free to ask or leave them. Cheers!