Rediscovering Card Games

I actually wrote this post one day before I found out about the #PlayHearthstone competition that was going on in Facebook. So when the contest came around, I decided to TL;DR it into a status update to enter. Hopefully I win, it’s been awhile since I’ve won a contest!

I think I’ve reignited my passion for collectible card games. All it took was for one fateful night where I decided to play six games of Hearthstone in a row and talked about it to my friends the next day. This sparked their curiosity, which in turn led them to download and try it out. They enjoyed it, and now I have friends to play with.

It’s been about a week and I’ve been playing Hearthstone with them everyday (in addition to my daily quests) and it’s been super fun. Having people to talk about something you enjoy and revel in fosters bonds and closer relationships. And that’s what I love most about the game.

It’s been awhile since I’ve played games with Seng Yip and it’s nice to reconnect with him through Hearthstone. Brings me back to the days when we were kids scouring the streets of Singapore for Magic: The Gathering (MTG) card shops. Testing our decks in McDonald’s over chicken nuggets in curry sauce.

But I digress. What’s so great about Hearthstone? Coming from an ex-MTG player, what did this much simpler. less complex game have to offer? Well, for one – it’s free to play and online. One of the main issues I had with MTG was that if I wanted to play online officially, I would have to re-buy my card collection online. Something I was unwilling to do, seeing that I don’t know how much I could commit to the game.

Secondly, I love how short the games are – averaging 10 minutes a match, it’s a good way to take a breather from games like Dota 2 or even from work (during lunchtime of course).

Thirdly, I underestimated the game. When I heard it was simpler than MTG, I expected it to be shallow. But no, the simpler game introduces a different level of strategy not present in MTG. 30 life to start? 30 card decks? No instants? No declaration of blockers? No mana screw? It was a whole different ballgame. I never played MTG during the Planeswalker era but I’d imagine hero classes and powers being the equivalent.

I feel that Hearthstone also keeps the main strategic concepts of MTG which I can identify with – card advantage, life as a resource, tempo, overextension and so on.

I still have a lot to learn, I haven’t seen every single card in the game and a new expansion just came out. But I look forward to finding out more, learning new strategies and getting better at the game. Heck, maybe I’ll even reach Legend rank or win more than 2 games of Arena one day. One day.

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