Hearthstone is a collectible card game developed by Blizzard Entertainment, the company responsible for titles such as World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch. The game’s title refers to an item of the same name in World of Warcraft, which allows players to teleport back to a location that the Hearthstone is bound to.
Hearthstone was released in 2014 and is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android with cross-platform play. The game builds upon the already existing Warcraft lore, as all of the cards and heroes within Hearthstone are taken from the Warcraft series.
The game is a turn-based card game between two opponents in which each player has a 30-card constructed deck from one of nine different classes: Mage, Druid, Shaman, Warrior, Rogue, Warlock, Priest, Hunter, and Paladin – each with their own unique cards and hero power.
The game’s objective is to reduce your opponent’s health to zero using minions, cards with attack and health values, and spells with your limited mana pool.
Upon winning games and completing quests, players receive gold, which allows them to purchase card packs to increase their collection and construct more well-rounded decks. Card packs can also be purchased through microtransactions in the store.
Cards found in these packs possess four different rarities: common, rare, epic, and legendary. These cards can be turned into varying amounts of dust, a card-crafting currency used to make specific cards that a player might want to add to their deck.
There are several modes of play within Hearthstone. Besides the standard duels for both casual and ranked play, players can challenge themselves in single-player quests, draft a deck of 30 random cards in the arena, or play the weekly custom tavern brawls which provide players with bizarre and unique deck guidelines.
As of May 2017, Hearthstone has gathered over 70 million players and has become a popular esport, generating large cash prizes for tournaments across the world.
Card expansions are released every 4 months, and every year cards cycle out of the game’s Standard rotation format, changing the game’s meta at a very consistent pace. Cards removed from Standard can still be played in the Wild format, where all cards that have been released are allowed to be used.
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