How To Play

Itching to pick up a deck and start playing? There's no better way to learn than to simply download Hearthstone now and get started! And if you still have unanswered questions after the in-game tutorial, the pages in this section will help you catch up on anything you've missed.

Board Overview

All you need to know about Hearthstone's game interface can literally be summed up with just one screenshot. Don't believe us? Well, check it out for yourself below.

  • Your Hand
  • Your Hero
  • Your Hero Power
  • Your Mana Crystals
  • Your Weapon
  • A Minion
  • Your Opponent
  • Your Deck
  • Turn History

You draw a card from your deck and add it to your hand each turn. Cards with a glowing green border can be played, while cards without it either require more mana or some other condition to be met.

Hey, look at you, being all heroic-like! At the bottom right of your portrait is your current health; it diminishes as you take damage from minions and spells, and refills from healing spells. If it drops to zero, you lose.

Every hero has a unique power they can use once each turn. Warriors for example can add armor to their health, Shamans can summon totems, and Rogues can pull daggers seemingly out of nowhere. Heh, Rogues. Nothing in their pockets but knives and lint.

Each card you play costs a certain amount of mana. Your mana replenishes at the beginning of your turn, and each turn your mana crystals increase by one up to a final maximum of 10.

If you summoned a weapon for your hero, it'll show up here. Your weapon's durability is reduced by one each time you strike, so you only get a limited number of swings with each. Make 'em count!

This is one of your minions. Use minions to attack your opponent or his minions. Many minions have special abilities that give them a unique strategic purpose.

Defeat your opponent to win the game. Clobber him with minions and spells until you bring this hero down to zero!

At the beginning of each turn, you draw one card from your deck and add it to your hand. Every deck contains 30 cards; no more, no less.

This detailed summary of the most recent moves will surely come in handy for all those "What the hell just happened to my health? And why are all my minions chickens?!?" moments.

Playing Hearthstone

Let's get started by checking out the first few turns of a typical game of Hearthstone.

Pick Your Starting Hand

The match begins with a coin toss to determine who goes first, followed by both players drawing their starting hands: three cards for the coin toss winner, four for the other player. And because going first does offer a slight strategic advantage, the loser of the coin toss also gets The Coin: a special zero cost card that temporarily increases your mana by one! You can mulligan as many cards from your starting hands as you like. Once both players accept their hand, the match proper begins.

Draw a Card

You draw a card from your deck at the start of each turn, and some cards allow you to draw additional cards during your turn.

Play Cards

One mana crystal isn't much, but there are plenty of low cost cards you can play during your first turn. Like this Argent Squire for example. Minions can't attack the turn they are played unless they have the Charge ability, so the squire is taking a nap until it's her turn to act.

Attack

Our opponent played a minion, and now it's our turn again. With two mana crystals, we can summon another minion, play a spell, or use our hero power. Decisions, decisions... Our Argent Squire is also ready to attack now; we can attack our opponent, or we can take out his minion. Since our squire has Divine Shield, we could take out the opposing minion without sacrificing our own.

Use Your Hero Power

Rogues can summon daggers, so let's grab a knife and use this weapon to take out our opponent's minion, saving our Squire's shield. Weapon-wielding heroes can target heroes or minions, but watch out: each attack costs one point of durability, and once your weapon runs out of durability, it's discarded for good.

End Your Turn

Satisfied with our play, we end the turn. Now it’s up to our opponent to find answers to our threats and adapt his tactics. Will he develop his board by playing more minions? Will he focus on removing ours? Will he bide his time until he can spring a deadly combo on us? Turn by turn, each match becomes more challenging, complex, and fun. What will your strategy be?