Genre: Card
Year: 2014
Developed by: Blizzard Entertainment
Published by: Blizzard Entertainment
Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Feeling Like: Taking a card…any card

Hearthstone is going to sound like it didn’t get a fair shake. Frankly, the only reason it’s up here is that it rekindled my love for Magic: The Gathering after a 22 year hiatus. However, that’s no small feat and I must give thanks where thanks is needed.

Thank you, Hearthstone!

The first thing I thought when I downloaded it was “oh, this is just like Magic: The Gathering.” A few tweaks here and there, obviously it has the added benefit of animations, a vibrant color palette and vintage Blizzard polish. There didn’t seem to be too much wrong with it; I was familiar with the basic mechanics, and thankfully since I wasn’t a teenager anymore, I wasn’t under any kind of delusion that I was going to win more than a handful of games.

All these cards LOOK impressive, until I put them in my deck.

The addition of having avatars to choose from, each with their own skill, added another level of strategy beyond card selection. Not only do you now have to concern yourself with synergy among your cards, but also the cards AND your character. And while it’s tempting to think you just have another weapon at your disposal, remember that it goes the same for your opponent.

When I got in early, matches seemed fair. Normally, when I try out a game at beta, or launch, I lament the decision shortly after. Diablo 3 was a prime example. My impatience got the better of me, as I played and beat the game right away only to find out that as the years have passed, it only has gotten better and better. I didn’t want to miss the party, but I should’ve overstayed my welcome and waited. With Hearthstone the longer I played, less games I won. Something didn’t seem quite right.

With collectible games, particularly collectible card games as Hearthstone, I’m not sure when the best time to jump in is. I can tell you that at this point, it’s completely unrealistic that I can play with skilled players unless I’m prepared to spend a lot of time, money, or both. As the meta changes over and over, updates come in, quality of life improvements are added and a hundred new cards are all injected into the mountainous stack of options, my longing to return to Hearthstone wanes.

This is more my speed.

Really, I just wanted to get into Magic: The Gathering again. And, I did! Mercifully, Wizards of the Coast finally put out their online/Hearthstone competitor with Magic: The Gathering Arena. That won’t be on the 500, even though I’ve played it a lot more than Hearthstone. Figure that one out!

Really, this should have been Magic: The Gathering Arena. It’s a better game, I’ve played it more and we’re still doing tournaments at work with the new sets in sealed format. Anyway, both are great, they can be free to play (sort of), they both have a near-impenetrable meta and both have re-affirmed that I absolutely addicted to any type of card game, in any format.

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