Coming into HearthStone today as a new player on a budget can be a scary task. There are 472 cards included in the original game, 35 cards included with the “Naxxramas” adventure, 143 cards included in the “Goblins Vs Gnomes” expansion and another 31 cards included with the “Blackrock Mountain” adventure which was just rececntly announced at PAX East. As a free-to-play rookie it is extremely difficult to catch up, however there are ways in which we can help you earn gold and acquire cards without opening your wallet!
Win, Win, Win! – The simplest way to earn gold. You will be rewarded 10 gold for every three wins in play mode, which includes ranked and casual games.
Daily Quests – HearthStone also provides you daily quests that pop up at 2am CST which can grant you 40, 60, or 100 gold a piece. The quests vary daily and can include goals such as winning games as a specific class, dealing damage to the enemy hero, destroying minions, casting spells, and playing specific types of minions. Most casual players log on to their accounts only to complete their daily quests. Considering this, casual players will gain only an average of 50 gold per day which would allow them to buy one pack every two days. That means it would take 190 days to get every classic card even if you never opened repeat cards, which is highly unrealistic as repeat cards are very common.
Unique Quests – HearthStone doesn’t just leave new players in the dust though, they also provide unique quests that will give you more rewards such as a card pack or 100 to 300 gold per quest. Unique quests do a great job of helping a new player catch up, and can be found listed on this webpage.
Arena – The last way to acquire gold in Hearthstone without paying in real currency is to play arena. I have already outlined the rewards of arena above, and it is the best way to catch up as a new player if you can understand the basic concepts of the game and the arena strategy.
The only way to obtain the original cards that were included in the game is to buy packs from the in-game store. These packs cost 100 gold and contain 5 cards with a guarantee that you will open at least 1 rare card. There is no guarantee of epic or legendary cards, although they are possible. In fact, according to a study by Steve Marinconz the likelihood of obtaining an epic or legendary card from these packs is .04% and .005% respectively.
The “Naxxramas” expansion pack which includes 35 cards, can be bought for 3500 gold. For this article I will discount the enjoyment of playing the adventure mode and instead, consider aiming straight for obtaining the 35 cards as quickly as possible. If we focus on only the quantitative value of these cards they are 100 gold each. This is a steep increase when compared to the original card packs, which when priced out individually work out to 20 gold per card. However, “Naxxramas” guarantees you six legendary cards which would be more than you would get in 35 packs by way of chance. The value for 3500 gold is pretty good if you think strictly of the legendary cards you will receive, but as a new player I would suggest that you open original game packs to build a solid card bank first. “Naxxramas” also provides what are called class challenges, which use predetermined decks that are not directly revealed to the player at any point to battle an opponent. Completing each challenge will reward you with two copies of a class specific card for the class challenge selected. You can read more about class challenges here.
Lastly, the “Goblins Vs Gnomes” expansion cards can be bought as packs or won through arena runs. As is the case with the original game, “Goblins Vs Gnomes” packs cost 100 gold which include 5 cards and the same odds of receiving a rare card. The biggest difference being that these cards can also be won through the arena. To play in the arena means that players pay 150 gold to build a deck of random cards from their inventory and try to win as many games as possible before losing a total of three games. Visit this guide for more detailed information on the arena. It is the general consensus among HearthStone players that in order to break even with your gold spent, you must win three games per run. So if you find it difficult to consistently win three games in the arena, it is most likely better for you to continue buying packs and building up your deck.
Hearthstone is at an interesting point in it’s life with the original cards, “Naxxramas”, “Goblins Vs Gnomes”, and soon “Blackrock Mountain”. Newcomers are faced with a mountain to climb in order to catch up, and with the reward structure as it is today, some may be turned off from investing the time required to be competitive. We hope that by outlining the various ways in which you can gain cards and gold, some may find it more appealing and reconsider beginning their HearthStone career.