Hearthstone Cards Beginner’s Guide

Hearthstone Cards Beginner’s Guide by Fluxflashor



What would a collectible card game be without cards? Well, it would be a collectible game.. Heh.

Cards are the medium in which Hearthstone is played with. Almost everything in the game is represented by a card, whether it is Abilities, Minions, Weapons, Heroes, or Hero Powers. Cards are brought into play through various methods, all of which will be demonstrated below.

Types of Cards



Ability Cards, or Spell Cards as some players call them, are cards which are not put directly into play but when played from your hand, will make changes to the game. Abilities range from allowing yourself to draw a card, to buffing your minions, or dealing incredible damage to your foes. Ability Cards are class specific, with the exception of some cards which insert abilities into the game, such as King Mukla, who gives your opponent Bananas.

Be sure to check out our complete collection of ability cards!


Minion Cards are responsible for filling your side of the board with magical creatures. Your minions are responsible for protecting you and dealing damage to your enemies. Players are limited to a maximum of seven minions out at once on their side of the board. If your side of the board is full and you activate a card that would otherwise place a minion on the board, that minion will not be brought into play and will instead be destroyed.

Minions are summoned into play using Mana from your Mana Pool. Once brought into play they will have Summoning Sickness and be unable to attack until your next turn. Minions have both offensive (Attack) and defensive (Health) stats. Once a minion’s Health reaches zero, it is removed from play and placed in to the Graveyard.

Minions may be class specific like the Ethereal Arcanist (Mage only), or neutral like Deathwing (Everyone can use him!).

Although in Warcraft Lore, minions may be associated with a faction, in Hearthstone for the sake of gameplay, factions are irrelevant. Both Horde and Alliance minions may coexist within your deck. Hugs for everybody! Except the Trolls. Ugh, those feet..

For a full listing of Minions, we’ve got you covered. Make use of our powerful filters to narrow down your results.


Weapon Cards are class specific cards which are equipped to your hero. Your hero may only wield one weapon at a time. Equipping your hero with a weapon will allow him or her to send out devastating attacks against your enemies to knock them to the ground. Weapons attributes are like Minions, except instead of having Health, they have Durability. Durability is lost each time you make use of your weapon, which means you are only able to attack with a weapon for each point of Durability you have. When a weapon runs out of durability, it is removed from play and placed in your graveyard.

Using Sword of Justice, a Paladin weapon, as an example, You may attack with the weapon a total of five times, each attack will deal one damage to its target. Sword of Justice has an additional effect though, which forces it to lose durability each time you summon a minion while it is in play, but at the cost of one durability. Sword of Justice is unique in this regard and can be used to buff your minions instead of attacking your opponent.

Check out our database to see all of the different weapons in the Hearthstone arsenal.


You’ll be able to build a deck based on one of nine epic Warcraft heroes, each representing one of the original World of Warcraft classes: DruidHunterMagePaladinPriestRogueShamanWarlock, and Warrior.

Hero Powers

Each Hero has a Hero Power that can be used for 2 mana, once per turn.  Hero Powers may be used on enemy or friendly characters, unless otherwise stated on the Hero Power (i.e. Rexxar is limited to enemy Hero). Hero Powers which summon a Minion onto the board will always summon the minion to the right of the furthest right friendly minion on the battlefield.

The following is a table of Heroes and their Hero Powers.

Hero Hero Power Description
Malfurion Stormrage Shapeshift Gain 1 attack this turn and 1 armor. The attack is temporary, while the armor remains until used.
Rexxar Steady Shot Deal 2 damage to enemy Hero.
Jaina Proudmoore Fireblast Deal 1 damage.
Uther Lightbringer Reinforce Summon a Silver Hand Recruit.
Anduin Wrynn Lesser Heal Heal target minion or Hero for 2.
Valeera Sanguinar Dagger Mastery Equip a 1/2 Wicked Knife or give your weapon +1 attack this turn.
Thrall Totemic Call Randomly summons a Healing TotemStoneclaw TotemSearing Totem, or Wrath of Air TotemAlways summons a totem not in play.
Gul’dan Life Tap Lose 2 life and draw a card.
Garrosh Hellscream Armor Up! Gain 2 armor.

Card Attributes


Mana Cost
Every card has a mana cost associated with playing it.  This mana cost is represented by the number in the blue crystal on the upper left of the card.  Players start with 0 mana and gain 1 mana at the beginning of their turn.  Players may only play cards from their hand into the battlefield during their turn, not on their opponent’s turn.

The amount of damage you do when you attack.

The amount of damage you can take before dying. When this reaches zero, you’re dead!

The amount of swings you can take with your weapon.

Effect / Description Text
The text of any card, as well as the Hero Abilities, indicate the effect of that card or power.  To understand how the impact of a card’s text, it is useful to understand some other terms used by Hearthstone to describe minions and the players:

  • Enemy – other player’s hero or minions
  • Your/friendly – your hero or minions
  • Character – both Heroes and all minions
  • Adjacent/next to – minions immediately to the left and right of the target, you can choose where to place your minion on the battlefield to maximize this effect.
  • Damaged – current health is less than maximum health (shown as a red number in Hearthstone)

Unless otherwise indicated, the stated effect exists as long as the card is in play.

Sets & Rarity

Basic cards are the “starter” cards that form the foundation of each hero’s class, and are earned each time you play a game (you can have up to two of every basic card in the game in your collection).

Expert cards are cards that can only be found in card packs or created using the crafting system (certain achievements grant them as well). They’re distinguished by their rarity—common (white), rare (blue), epic (purple), or legendary (orange). Generally, the rarer a card is, the more complex it is . . . often providing you with new strategic options. You can have any number of expert cards in your collection, though only two of any common, rare, or epic card, and one of any legendary card, can be placed in a deck.

Both basic and expert cards have important roles to play in all decks, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or are a Hearthstone grandmaster.

Acquiring Cards

Players will earn their first set of cards as soon as they start playing Hearthstone, and certain game modes and features will award additional cards through gameplay. In addition, players will have the option to purchase additional card packs through the in-game store using Battle.net Balance or other supported payment methods, such as major credit cards. Here are the different ways to get cards:

  • Practice Mode: Play against A.I. opponents representing different classes to unlock new heroes and basic cards.
  • Play Mode: By participating in traditional head-to-head matches, players have a chance to win card packs.
  • The Arena: Build a deck by selecting one card from each of a series of randomized card choices, and then play against other Arena participants. At the end of your run in the Arena, you will unlock a chest using your key (upgraded through wins) which has a chance give you Booster Packs, or even Golden Cards!
  • Crafting: Disenchant expert cards in your collection to receive arcane dust, and then use your collected dust to craft other cards of your choosing. Basic cards cannot be disenchanted.
  • Card Packs: Purchase card packs containing five random cards using your Battle.net Balance or a variety of supported payment methods. One of the cards will always be of “rare” rarity or greater; in some cases, you may find that one or more additional cards has also “upgraded” to a higher tier of rarity.
  • Achievements: Certain achievements in the game may grant additional cards.

Resolving Cards/Combat

Unlike other games, combat and spells are not resolved in phases.  Instead, each action taken by a player is immediately resolved and then the player can take further actions.  For example, if you want to attack with three minions, you attack with each minion one at a time, resolve that attack and then move to the next minion.  As the attacker, you usually choose the target.  Friendly minions/Heroes cannot attack other friendly minions (but a Hero may be able to use its Hero Ability on friendly minions).

Resolving actions one at a time is not limited to combat.  You can use card abilities, Hero abilities, play cards from your hand (at mana cost), attack with your minions and/or attack with your Hero in any order you prefer.  Your strategy may change during the course of a turn based on the results of random or other effects from cards.  For example, you could play a card, attack with a minion, attack with your Hero, and then play another card.

Card text effects are generally resolved in the order in which they are played, with card text effects already on the battlefield resolving before the card text effect of a card that is being played.  For example, if a Knife Juggler is in play and you play a Leeroy Jenkins, the 1 point of damage from the Knife Juggler will resolve before Leeroy Jenkins and his whelps enter the battlefield.  Therefore, the whelps cast for your opponent cannot be targeted by the Knife Juggler damage.

For resolving combat, the attack value of the attacking minion/Hero is subtracted from the health of the defender.  If the defender’s health is reduced to 0, the defender is destroyed.  At the same time, the defender’s attack value is subtracted from the health of the attacker.  This is known as retaliation damage.  If the attacker’s health is reduced to 0, the attacker is destroyed.  The same mechanic applies for direct damage spells or card abilities.  The damage of the spell or ability is subtracted from the target’s health.  However, the target does not deal retaliation damage back to the “caster” of the spell or ability.

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One Response to “Hearthstone Cards Beginner’s Guide”

  1. Hi thanks for the guide! appreciated! gonna look to get into this game properly

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