What is Hearthstone Battlegrounds?
Earlier this month in Blizzcon 2019, the Hearthstone team announced a brand new game mode coming to the game. Hearthstone Battlegrounds is an auto-attacker game mode and if you are familiar with Auto Chess, Underlords and Team Fight Tactics, this is just Hearthstone's version of it.
Hearthstone Battlegrounds is available in open beta starting today, 13th November. Any player can play the new mode. However, if you have not pre-ordered packs from the latest expansion Descent of Dragons, there will be a couple of limitations such as only having two starting Heroes to choose from.
Without further ado, let's get into the mechanics of Hearthstone Battlegrounds.
Choose a Hero
You will get a choice of 3 heroes to choose from. Hover over the Hero to see their Hero Power. Some of them have active Hero Powers which cost Gold and some have Passive Hero Powers. If you did not purchase the Descent of Dragons set, your choice will be limited to 2 heroes.
Below are the Heroes available to choose from in this mode and their Hero Powers. Many of them are 'villains' from previous Hearthstone expansions and adventures.
10 new cards have been introduced that will be exclusive to the Battlegrounds mode. Here's a list of them. Some of these are very strong cards in this mode.
After choosing a Hero, you will be directed to the 'Bar'. Here, you have to recruit minions to fight for you. Every single minion has a buying price of 3 Gold and a selling price of 1 Gold. You can also sell token minions such as the ones generated by Murloc Tidehunter. Gold starts at 3 for the first turn and increases every turn till it hits the maximum of 10.
The 'Star' next to Bartender Bob indicates Upgrading your Tavern Tier. Everyone starts at Tier 1 with 3 minions to choose from. There are a total of 6 tiers you can upgrade to. Each tier also has different minions. The minions have a 'Star' above them, which indicates which Tier they are from. Hearthstone's website has a list of all minions in all Tiers.
To the right of Bartender Bob, the arrow indicates a "Reroll". If you want different minions than the one you see on the board, you can Reroll and get new minions for 1 Gold. To the right of the arrow is the snowflake symbol which indicates a "Freeze". Freezing is free and it indicates that you want these same minions to choose from once the next round starts. Usually, the minions will change if you do not Freeze.
Once you buy a minion, simply put in your board. You can re-arrange the order left or right as you wish. You cannot put a minion back in your hand, you can only sell it once it is out of your hand. You will have 40 seconds in the Recruit Phase. You can see on the left hand side who your opponent has done damage to, if they are on a win streak, if they upgraded a card or if they upgraded a Tavern Tier.
If you buy 3 of the same minions, they will upgrade to a "Golden Minion". Golden Minions have either Double the stats and Double the effects (for example a 2/1 Murloc that summons a 1/1 will become a 4/2 Murloc that summons a 2/2) or a custom effect.
In the below picture, an upgraded Golden Brann triggers Battlecries 3 times. You cannot upgrade a Golden Minion but you can have multiple Golden Minions.
But that's not all. If you play a Golden Minion, you also get to Discover a free card from 1 tier up. If you are Tier 1, you discover a Tier 2 card for free on playing a Golden minion. If you're in Tier 2, you'll find a Tier 3 card. This goes on till you can get Tier 6 minions.
Combat is automatic in Battlegrounds. After the Recruit Phase, minions will attack from left to right at random. Keywords come into play in Battlegrounds as well. For example, enemies or you MUST attack Taunt minions before others. Windfury allows a minion to attack twice.
The objective of the game is to clear your opponents minions. If you clear your opponents minions and you have surviving minions on your board, you will deal damage to your enemy. If both you and your opponent lose all your minions, the round will be a tie.
After the round is over, you will go back to the Recruit Phase where you can plan and strategize your board.
How do you do damage?
Damage is done based on your Tavern Tier and your minion Tier. Let's say you have a board with two 1-star Murlocs and your Tavern Tier is 1. You will do 1+1+1 = 3 damage to the enemy if he has no minions left. If you are in Tavern Tier 4 and you have a 1-star, 2-star and 4-star minion on board, you will do 4+1+2+4 = 11 damage.
Damage is simply calculated by your Tavern Tier and the minion star tier on your board. If you lose your minions, your opponent will do damage to you in the same manner based on how many of them survived. Damage will go as low as 2 and go as high as 50.
How do you win?
There are 8 players competing in this mode. You duel every one of them at random and the objective is simply the last man standing wins. Defeat your 7 opponents (sometimes others will defeat them for you), survive and beat the last remaining player to win. There is also an MMR system which will rank you based on your wins/losses.