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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone's January card back: Marauding Maraad

The tenth season of Hearthstone ranked play has begun. This month's card back features a draenei theme -- or more specifically, a Vindicator Maraad theme. It's a beautiful card back and a nice counterpoint to the Iron Horde-themed card back from purchasing the Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition.

As always, you need only reach rank 20 to earn this card back. You can't lose rank until you've surpassed 20, making it a relatively simple goal.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone now available for Android

Android fans rejoice, for today Blizzard's super-addictive digital card game, Hearthstone, is available for Android tablets. Sure, it's been out on PC and iOS for a while, but it's a newcomer amongst the Android ranks -- and since it's a game that's really designed for the touchscreen experience, that's definitely a tough fact for Android owners to cope with.

The rollout of Hearthstone for Android has already begun, with the game currently available for free on Google Play for players in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Gamers in other regions still have a bit of time to wait, but Blizzard promises that Hearthstone for Android will be available worldwide in the coming days (including on the Amazon Appstore for Kindle Fire owners). Android players will get to enjoy all of the content the game features elsewhere, including Curse of Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes. Anyone playing a match on Android will also get a free pack of classic cards -- so there's no reason to wait!

Unfortunately, not all Android tablets will be supported: you'll need a tablet with at least a 6" screen and 1GB of RAM that runs Android 4.0 or higher. Check out the system requirements for full details.

Filed under: News items, Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone's Goblins vs Gnomes now live

Hearthstone's first expansion, Goblins vs Gnomes, is now live. In celebration of the launch, all players who log into the game before December 19 will receive three Goblins vs Gnomes card packs free of charge. In addition, success in the arena will grant Goblins vs Gnomes card packs as rewards. Classic card packs will no longer be available through the arena, but they are still available of purchase with gold.

Of course, this being a Blizzard launch, the Hearthstone servers have been suffering from instability today. Many players have been unable to connect to the game (and other Blizzard titles) this evening. The draw of new cards is strong.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Get an early taste of Goblins vs Gnomes in the Hearthstone arena

Though Hearthstone's Goblins vs Gnomes doesn't officially launch until December 8, the new cards are already active -- in the Hearthstone arena. In addition, if you log in between today and December 8, you'll receive one free run at the arena. If you want an early look at Goblins vs Gnomes cards in action, now is your chance.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone's Goblins vs Gnomes launches December 8

Hearthstone's Goblins vs Gnomes, which was announced at BlizzCon, has been slowly trickling out new information about the expansion, such as a selection of its new cards. Today, Blizzard has announced that Goblins vs Gnomes will go live December 8 -- a little less than a week from today. Those in Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and China will need to wait until December 9, however.

Goblins vs Gnomes cards will be acquired through new in-game card packs available for purchase with real money or the in-game gold currency. Goblins vs Gnomes cards can also be crafted with dust like any other card or won via the arena.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone December ranked play card back

Hearthstone's December ranked play season has begun, and like every season, brings with it a new card back. In celebration of the impending Goblins vs Gnomes, this month's card back is gnome themed -- actually somewhat disappointing for those who wanted a Winter Veil card. As always, you need only reach rank 20 to earn this card back. A simple task, given you can't lose rank until you've surpassed 20.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone's November Ranked Play season ending soon

If you were hoping to earn the goblin-themed card back above, only two days remain to do it. As the reward for November's ranked play season, you must earn ranked 20 or better before the end of the month. As we've said previously, you can't lose stars (or ranking) until you've surpassed rank 20. Until then, you have nowhere to go but up.

Given the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion launches next month, we're curious to see whether December's card back will follow the tinker theme or if we'll see a Winter Veil aesthetic.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Deathrattle in Hearthstone's Goblins vs Gnomes

The Deathrattle mechanic was a major focus of Hearthstone's Naxxramas adventure pack. While it isn't the central theme of Goblins vs Gnomes, Blizzard's latest look at the upcoming expansion makes it clear there may yet be strong synergy with Deathrattle cards. The expansion preview highlights three cards in particular:
  • Feign Death Trigger all Deathrattles on your minions.
  • Lil' Exorcist Taunt. Battlecry: Gain +1/+1 for each enemy Deathrattle minion.
  • Scarlet Purifier Battlecry: Deal 2 damage to all minions with Deathrattle.
Feign Death (a Hunter card, naturally) has the potential to be extremely powerful -- not only with Naxxramas cards, but also with the Hunter's own Savannah Highmane, which is already a powerhouse unto itself. Savannah Highmane on the field with Baron Rivendare followed by Feign Death would result in a full board of minions. Lil' Exorcist and Scarlet Purifier seem more of a reaction to Naxxramas, a small balance to some of the adventure pack's more powerful cards, though your Scarlet Purifier triggering an opponent's Nerubian Egg might be bad news.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

More new Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes cards revealed

We're all hyped with Warlords of Draenor, but those of us who play Hearthstone are also looking forward to the impending release of Goblins vs Gnomes. Since BlizzCon, the Hearthstone community team has revealed a few more new cards from the expansion set.

First among them is the Illuminator, a 3 mana cost 2/4 minion that restores 4 health at the end of your turn if you control a secret. The Illuminator might provide the mage and hunter decks with new healing capabilities, or give the paladin deck even greater capabilities on that front. Also revealed: Jeeves, which provides both players with continuous card draw, the warrior minion Shieldmaiden with a +armor Battlecry, and the shaman's Ancestor's Call, which puts a random minion from each player's hand on the field.

While the Hearthstone playing field will certainly be altered by the release of this expansion, we're curious to see which of these cards will actually make their way into players' decks. A number of additional cards will be revealed before the expansion's launch, and if you want a say in what will be revealed, head over to the Hearthstone site and cast your vote.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes cards and mechanics

Hearthstone announcing its expansion, Goblins vs. Gnomes, is no surprise. The fact that it releases in one month is a surprise. At BlizzCon this afternoon, Hearthstone Game Director Eric Dodds discussed some of the expansion's new gameplay developments in their Fireside Chat. You can see all of the newly revealed cards in our gallery embedded at the end of this post or follow along to learn about the new Mech minions, Piloted Mechs, Spare Parts, and new class cards.


Goblins vs. Gnomes introduces a new minion type: Mechs. Not only are many of the new minions Mechs, but a number of old minions will be placed in this new category, too. The Harvest Golem was offered as an example along with the Alarm-o-Bot and Mechanical Dragonlings. There are enough new Mechs included in the expansion that you could, if you wanted to, build a full Mech Deck.

Read more →

Filed under: BlizzCon, Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes Announced

Today at BlizzCon 2014, Blizzard announced Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes. This will be the game's first expansion -- the previously release Curse of Naxxramas was just an adventure pack.

Goblins vs. Gnomes will launch next month. It is playable from the floor at BlizzCon today.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Blizzard teases Hearthstone announcement at BlizzCon

Select Hearthstone fansites and general gaming outlets have received curious mail from Blizzard Entertainment over the course of the last week. BlizzPro, Polygon, TouchArcade, and Hearthstone streamer Noxious have each shared a postcard which presents a blueprint of an in-game gadget and the following text: Making plans for BlizzCon -- I hope you like my invention!

These postcards, combined with recent teasers on the Hearthstone website and November's goblin-themed card back, it seems likely BlizzCon will present an expansion themed around the mechanical side of the Warcraft universe and the long-standing goblin/gnome engineering rivalry. Some Hearthstone fans have even been attempting to read between the lines on Blizzard's on-site teasers, speculating on the addition of new game modes, new creature types, and possible new hero abilities. Given BlizzCon begins in less than 24 hours, it might be best to wait and see.

Filed under: BlizzCon, Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone patch notes and November card back

Hearthstone received a minor patch yesterday -- its major points are the inclusion of new card backs. The October Hallow's End card back was added, as well as the BlizzCon card back, the Warlords of Draenor card back, and November's upcoming goblin-themed card back, which can be seen above.

The patch also includes the following bug fixes for the iPad version of the game:
  • [iPad] The search field is now properly shown at the top of the screen when the keyboard is present in the Collection Manager.
  • [iPad] (China only) Login sessions are now preserved when switching between wi-fi points.
Personally, I'm not digging the goblin card back, but they can't all be winners. No doubt, there are people out there who love this one but aren't big fans of, for example, the pirate card back.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone on Android possible "before the end of the year"

Those of you waiting for an Android version of Hearthstone, your wait shouldn't be too much longer. The Hearthstone community team provided an update on the game's mobile development today, stating their aim is to release the Android version before the end of the year. Phone versions of the game, both iPhone and Android flavors, are further off, potentially releasing in early 2015. Hearthstone's desktop and tablet UI don't translate well to the phone, what with the significantly smaller screen size, and will be customized for the phone experience.

It's somewhat surprising that this information was shared via a blog post with BlizzCon right around the corner. Then again, this isn't the biggest news in the world -- we've all known Android and phone versions of the game are on the way, we simply didn't know when. There may be bigger and better things in store for BlizzCon, such as the possible expansion the developers have mentioned in recent months. Or there may be nothing. We'll know in a few weeks.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone's Americas Championship deck builds

If you're a Hearthstone fan, you already know the game is partially strategy, and partially building the right deck of cards to play with. The top players at the recent Americas Championship certainly know all about deck building as well as strategic play, and the official Hearthstone site put together a comprehensive list of decks used in the Championship via Hearthhead. Every playable class has at least one entry, and all cards are laid out clearly so you can see what was used.

Although constructing identical decks won't be an instant win in championship play, browsing through the various builds might help you identify which cards are particularly valuable when it comes to competitive play. Head over to Hearthstone's website for the full list -- even if you're an experienced Hearthstone player, it's worth checking out.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

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