Introducing Hearthstone Battlegrounds
Welcome to Hearthstone Battlegrounds!
Welcome to Hearthstone Battlegrounds, the brand-new auto-battling game mode that introduces a fresh, strategic, 8-player experience to Hearthstone. In Battlegrounds, you’ll take on the role of a familiar Hero straight out of Hearthstone history, craft a powerful board of recruited Minions, and face-off in an action-packed series of duels until a single winner is crowned!
Battlegrounds is everything you know and love about Hearthstone – familiar minion types such as Murlocs, Mechs, and Demons (oh my!), keywords, and cards – but played in a way you’ve never experienced before.
Battlegrounds will go live at 10 a.m. PDT on November 5 for a week of Early Access where only players who have acquired the Descent of Dragons pre-purchase bundle, BlizzCon Attendees, or BlizzCon Virtual Ticket holders will be able to access this new game mode. After this early access phase ends at 10 a.m. on November 12, we’ll enter Open Beta where everyone will be able to hop into Bob’s Tavern to try their hand at being the best of the Battleground Heroes!
Battlegrounds will launch with a fully functional tutorial (narrated by Bob himself, of course) which will teach you everything you need to know to get started, but let’s briefly go over some of the basics:
How to Play Hearthstone Battlegrounds
Hail your Heroes
Hearthstone Battlegrounds will launch with 24 different Heroes, each with their own unique Hero power that changes the way you’ll recruit, battle, and strategize against your opponents. Once a match begins, you’ll be presented with a selection of available Heroes. Take a little time to consider your options and start formulating a plan on how to best utilize your chosen Hero’s power.
For example, choosing Millificent Manastorm will passively cause all Mech minions that appear in Bob’s Tavern to gain an additional +1/+1, so you’ll likely want to focus on revving up your robotic recruits to make the most of Millificent. Alternatively, Arthas gives you the choice to spend a little of your hard-earned Tavern coin to grant your right-most minion Reborn, so careful positioning is key when you’re playing as the Lich King.
It’s Tavern Time
In Battlegrounds, rather than building a deck of cards, you’ll construct an ever-evolving board of Minions during visits to Bob’s Tavern at the start of the match and between combat rounds. You can check out the full list of Minions (and Heroes!) in Battlegrounds HERE.
As the match progresses, you’ll be granted an increasing amount of Coin to be spent upgrading and modifying your board. Most things you do in the Tavern will cost you Coin, and Coins can’t be saved up to be spent in future rounds. Here are the options you’ll be able to consider, but how best to spend your coin is completely up to you!
Recruit a Minion:
Drag minions to your hero to buy them for 3 Gold.
Build up an army to take down your enemies!
Every time you enter the Tavern, Bob will present you with a fresh line-up of minions willing and ready to be recruited onto your team. Of course, you’ll need to play any minion you’d like to recruit with coins before they’ll do your bidding. Recruiting a Minion will cost you 3 coins.
Refresh the Board:
Don’t see anything you like, or looking for that perfect minion to round out your line-up? You can also refresh the current line-up of available Minions for 1 Coin.
Fire a Minion:
Drag minions to Bob to sell them.
It frees up space and you get 1 Gold for it!
If it’s time to free up some space on the board or if a Minion just isn’t pulling their weight in your line-up, you can fire that Minion and regain 1 Coin.
Freeze the Board:
See something you need, but running low on Coin? You can freeze the current line-up for free, so that the same Minions will appear on your next visit to the tavern.
Improve your Tavern:
The strength and number of Bob’s Minion offerings and the base amount of damage dealt to enemy Health totals during combat rounds is determined by your Tavern Tier. The higher your Tavern Tier, the more powerful Minion offerings you’ll receive, and the more damage you’ll deal. The cost of upgrading your Tavern Tier will increase every time you upgrade to the next level, and choosing to forego upgrading your Tavern Tier will reduce the cost by 1 the next time you return to the Tavern.
Create a Triple:
Recruiting three identical Minions will automatically combine them into a powerful golden version of the Minion with significantly increased stats and effects. These triples will retain any buffs placed on them before they were combined.
When you have 3 of the same minion, they combine into a more powerful golden copy.
Play it for a reward!
- Once you’ve scored a triple recruit and place your combined Minion on the board, you’ll also be granted a reward card in your hand that allows you to discover a free Minion from the next highest Tavern Level!
Arrange your Minions:
After you’ve got a crew of recruits ready to join you in battle, you’ll want to choose how best to arrange Minion positions on the board. In between combat phases, you can place recruited Minions from your hand onto the board (much as you would in a traditional Hearthstone match) or switch their positions by simply dragging the card into the desired place. During combat, Minions on the left will attack first, but which enemy is attacked will be completely random unless your opponent has a Taunt Minion in place (which will always be attacked first). Pay attention to your Minion’s board positions to make the most of effects like Poisonous, Deathrattle, and Divine Shield.
Enter the Fray
Once your time in the Tavern is over, combat will begin! During the combat phase, you will be pitted against a randomly chosen opponent and your recruited Minions will battle to the death until a victor is decided. Minions will take turns attacking, starting with each player’s left-most Minion. Minion keywords work just as they would in a normal game of Hearthstone. For example, Taunt Minions must be attacked first, Poisonous Minions destroy any Minion they deal damage to, Divine Shield will block the first source of damage, etc.
The status of all other players (including which opponent you will face off against next) will be visible at all times on the Leaderboard to the left of the board, but you’ll have to wait until the battle begins to see your next opponent’s Minions and positioning.
Once a round of combat concludes, you’ll head back to Bob’s to repeat the Tavern phase, have an opportunity to reconfigure your board, then head once more into the fray. You’ll repeat this pattern of beefing up your board and taking it into battle until you’re knocked out, or you reign supreme as the last standing Battlegrounds Boss!
Ranking up and down in Battlegrounds is simple - your current skill rank is visible before heading into a match and is adjusted up or down after the match concludes, depending on your performance. The amount of points lost or gained is determined by which place you were in when you were knocked out and the skill rank of your opponents. Ending the match in the top 4 will generally increase your skill rating, while ending in the bottom 4 will lower it, though there may be cases where battling against players of significantly lower or higher skill rating could cause some variance.
- A leaderboard displaying top players will be available on the www.PlayHearthstone.com website shortly after Battlegrounds launches.
Prepare to Enter the Battlegrounds
Once Battlegrounds makes its way into Hearthstone, it will be accessible through a new “Modes” button from the Hearthstone main screen, which will also include the Arena.
While access to Battlegrounds will be completely free for everyone with a Hearthstone account, players who have acquired packs of the most recent Hearthstone expansion through any means (Quests, Gold Purchases, Bundles, Events, etc.) will have access to the following bonus Battlegrounds content:
- At 10 packs, you’ll gain access to detailed stats about your Battleground performance (accessible in the Battlegrounds queue screen).
- At 20 packs, you can choose from three Heroes at the start of a match, instead of two.
- At 30 packs, you’ll unlock unique Battlegrounds Emotes that are visible to everyone in your matches!
Battlegrounds System Requirements
Due to the nature of an 8-player match with tons of attacks, effects, and animations triggering at the same time, Hearthstone Battlegrounds is currently only supported on mobile devices with more than 2 GB of RAM. This means that some older devices may not be able to run Battlegrounds. As we progress out of Beta, we will be optimizing the experience so that players with older devices can participate in this new game mode.
Be sure to keep an eye out for more information on this new game mode at BlizzCon 2019 and in the coming days. We can’t wait to see you on the Battlegrounds!