Early this month, Blizzard's Hearthstone [Free (HD)] soft launched, but it wasn't until this past Wednesday afternoon that the iPad version hit worldwide. I'm not sure it surprised anyone that we loved it in our review, and it's safe to say that if you haven't at least tried the game (Which has been available on the PC and Mac for quite some time!) you really should give it a shot, regardless of what platform you're playing it on. I'm even starting to warm up to the game, as I slowly come to grips with my main criticism of it which seems to be that it's not Magic the Gathering.

One of the cool things about the game, which you likely already know, is the way the different classes work. Instead of just having a deck like traditional CCG's, you also have persistent class abilities and cards that only your specific class can use. This is instrumental in what gives the game it's World of Warcraft-y flavor, as the cards make it feel a lot like you're actually in a duel with a mage against a druid, or whatever classes happen to be fighting at a time. It's crazy how well Blizzard nailed this.

Anyway, aside from arguments over which classes are the most overpowered right now, it seems like everyone has their own favorite class to play as when we discuss the game around the ol' TouchArcade virtual water cooler. Personally, I find myself leaning towards the warlock, largely because it seems to mirror the play style I prefer when playing Magic or other CCGs. In Magic there's a deck type commonly referred to as "Suicide Red," which uses lots of very fast cards that have almost no defensive abilities, and sometimes even cause you damage in the process. The idea being, you kill your opponent before you kill yourself.

That's exactly how the warlock works. Your class-specific cards are under-costed when it comes to mana crystals, but often have an additional life cost associated to them. I've always really enjoyed the often too random risk and reward that playing these types of decks allow. They might not be the most consistent thing in the world, because you can totally kill yourself then have your opponent make you pay for it... But the games where you just explode out the gate make it all worthwhile.

We've had a thread in our forums, since the soft launch hit for Hearthstone, but I figured I'd start a more focused discussion here to see which class everyone's playing and why. Sure, you need to face every class to unlock the arena so everyone probably knows what each class does, but until you spend significant time playing you might not know all the cool interactions that makes a particular class truly awesome to play.

So, what are you playing? What makes it awesome? Why should someone consider switching off their main class and focusing on learning yours?

  • https://www.youtube.com/HansKaosu HansKaosu

    I only play mage. Once a mage, always a mage. This goes for any game

    • Nycteris

      You think the same way I do.

      • JoeriD

        This mirror image agrees also.

      • Nycteris

        I'm Nycteris#1658 on Battlenet - if anyone wants a friend.

  • Amenbrother

    I would say Paladin for some reason. But honestly I kind of lost interest in this already.

  • Muggin

    You can pick your favorites, mine is currently shaman, but with the dailies for gold and the shifts in the meta when they need cards you have to be flexible.

    • Muggin

      *nerf cards, durn autocorrect.

  • LousyHero

    Hunter. Played one in WoW, and any time a game features an archer I play that.

  • HadToDoItToEm

    Druid is a beast

  • CooleTeeps

    I like the Mage because of the powerful spells such as Polymorph

  • Poo

    Rogue.

  • darkteletubbie

    Like warlock for the same reason, good risk reward feel. Enjoy shammie too

  • torosama

    Love the priest! Which would explain why I'm lvl 40 on priest, but my lowest is lvl 25 and that is warrior.

    • Nekku

      Same here. I rly like the priest.

  • Nycteris

    I play Mage, but the current meta is not very good for the class, admittedly.

    • Dixon Koontz

      I just started playing last night, can you elaborate about the mage's disadvantage in the metagame? Is it just the current state of balancing between classes?

      • mclifford82

        Not only that, but at which point in the meta? The early ranks aren't the same as those approaching legendary.

      • Nycteris

        I think if you are a good, strategic player you could hit legendary with any class. I will never be that player.

  • http://weekntv.com/ MaZZM

    Warlock one of if not the best hero ability in the current meta. That said I also love Shamen for it's flexibility between control and aggro.

  • Opinion

    Hunter or shaman. My least favorite is probably warlock or paladin just because making a good deck for either of those requires more than basic cards.

    • caaalrb

      Aggro Warlock is pretty much the cheapest viable deck you can build...

      • Opinion

        Yeah but in ranked the aggro Warlock deck is a shot in the dark. I feel like every other class has a distinct point where you see your win panning out which i enjoy. I think maybe the whole hurt yourself risk/reward thing is out of my league.

  • Thawkk

    I've really jumped around a lot since I started in the beta. Right now I think I get the most wins on my Hunter deck, but I also like to play around with the Mage, Rogue and Druid.

  • speedyph

    IM PLAYING WIF MAGE

    • br4nd0n

      You seem pretty excited.

  • Nate Heagy

    I love rogue but it wasn't working out for me. Netdecked zoo and started climbing ranks :S

  • Bowflexman

    Probably warrior. I love the aggressive play style. Paladin is awesome too.

  • Notawii

    It may be just me but it seems current internet collectives indicate the Druid class as being the most dominant. On a playthrough of just level 12 Druid deck I'm pole vaulting through ranked with a basic Druid draw deck. Anyone else got ideas for a mid level Druid deck?

    • countermind

      I like ramp Druid, but the current one I am working on I call "Druid Growth Hormone". I will have to respond on the website instead of the iPad app to post the deck list. It's pretty fun, but requires some rares.

      • mjgarwood

        What's "ramp Druid?" Follow-up: is there a site you'd recommend that has a primer for the card game noob?

      • Exact-Psience

        Ramp is a deck archetype in magic that uses cards that increase your resources/mana/crystals early on and take over with overwhelmingly bigger minions in the mid game. In Hearthstone, the druid has access to cards like Innervate (adds 2 temporary crystals while it costs 0), and Wild Growth (add 1 permanent crystal, max is still 10 though).

        One of the famous, and scary things a ramp druid can do is a turn-1 Yeti (4/5) with just an innervate, while going in second to have access to the mana crystal card.

      • Opinion

        Hearthhead is the best website i've found when it comes to deck building assistance. They have all the info on the cards and the people on there are really helpful. Also if you're into it, they have prebuilt decks you can replicate and see if they work well with your play style.

      • countermind

        Hearth pwn is also a pretty decent site.

  • DeLtAg1An9O

    I do play Rogue because its focused in attack (Thats my opinion).

  • RLennon

    This is what makes this game so well balanced. There is no one dominant class. Everyone lives something different.

    I myself like the Mage, but am shifting to Hunter.

    • Nycteris

      I like Mage also, and getting pinged each turn by hunters drives me nuts! The Buzzard/Hyena/Hounds/Leeroy comes out faster than my Antonidas, too.

  • B1GW1G

    Is the "meta-game" pvp or something else?

    • Slothwerks

      The "meta" in this case I think generally refers to the 'trend' in deck types. People talk about meta "evolving"; basically, as certain common types of decks rise/fall in favor, the meta of the game changes.

  • xander134

    Been playing Hunter, as I especially enjoy the Beast effects. I end up with a team of minions, all powering each other up. Yes, it's less direct damage, but it's a lot of fun.

  • CkX82

    I'll tell you when it comes out on iphone...
    :-/

    • mclifford82

      Do you not have a computer at all? Or you just won't play it unless it's 3.5 inches?

      • CkX82

        Wow, you're not very good at this are you ? Yea, I got a computer, in fact I have tons of computers, I have so many computers I went to open my cabinet to make some dinner and computers fell out all over me. I just prefer to play on a mobile device and it's a 4" screen, you dummy.

      • mclifford82

        Internet rage is the best kind of rage.

      • CkX82

        That was rage ? I was typing that with a smile from ear to ear. I don't have a mean bone in my body.

      • bobcorrigan

        I sure felt the love.

  • Slothwerks

    Enjoying Warlock right now. Favorite part is the character ability (lose 2 health, draw a card). Really helps keep the momentum going as the game gets through the 5-6 crystal mark.

    A mistake a lot of players make is being too protective of their health. In my book, it's just another resource that I can spend to increase my card advantage. I'm pretty much always Life Tapping as Warlock.

  • Pivi

    I'm playing priest now, great fun. :-)

  • vapourtrail

    I like priest and mage best but I get owned a lot in ranked/constructed. I always take them in arena (if possible) and do well as I know em inside out. Rogue maybe 3rd. Priest can definitely be the most annoying to play against when played right. I swear I could hear people smashing their keyboards on a priest run today when I pulled 3 mind controls in a row near endgame 5 different times.

  • falco

    Druid and Paladin

  • mclifford82

    In WoW I'm a hunter all day erry day, but I love the combo mechanics of the Rogue class in Hearthstone. So I prefer Rogue, but also play a hunter, and hate mages with every fiber of my being.

  • Edmilan

    Rogue here

  • Pray For Death

    Playing a warlock, but from what I've seen, Shamans are freakin overpowered with their totems

    • vapourtrail

      If you're not playing a class using crowd control spells a good way around totems are silencing them. Specifically the taunt and health one. Then keep them on the board for as long as possible. Shaman can't call an ability totem that is already on the board and they usually rely on those 2 in particular heavily. Problem here usually only comes from when they play a totem that gives plus attack to all totems or use their own silences to regain them. But if you can take those out quick you can keep their totems in check.

      • countermind

        Until they Bloodlust all of their 0/2 totems.

  • Exact-Psience

    Warrior. I guess there's only a few here who favor the warrior too it seems.

    I have 3 Warrior decks currently. A combo oriented warrior, a midrange warrior, and a control warrior.

    • vapourtrail

      Warrior is the only class I've been beaten without them playing a minion, twice. When their cards fall right, weapons, shield block, heroic strike, armor ability, and their removals, they can win single handedly by turn 7-8. Brawl is one of favorite cards in the game. Fun card.

  • Ultima12

    Priest for sure. I've tried all the classes and they all have their benefits. I seem to do best with the priest though :)

  • lux fox

    Something tells me drawing a card for two mana is absurdly good. I'll definitely have to check him out. Currently I like mage and hunter.

  • Ben Mudrow

    I use the paladin. Any one having trouble beating the priest class? He has a lot of healing and taunt cards.

  • Mister Bump

    I love priest. I really like controlling the board and bringing aggressive builds to a screaming halt!

  • gmattergames

    Just when I think I've found a favorite, someone whips my ass with a class I thought was useless. The balance is zen-like. I'm no fan-boy, but bravo Blizzard.

  • sceaduwulf

    Warlock. Its card draw ability is a big advantage. Also, tends to favour shorter, more agressive games when combined with aggro.

  • Schw2iizer

    It's all about the Paladin, baby! Uh huh. Uh huh

  • Raketemensch

    Personally I can't play it online, because the matchup algorithm seems horribly broken. There's nothing like joining a game as a level 5 character and watching your opponent drop 3/5 purple cards to start the match. If you get your ass kicked like 8 games in a row, yes, you suck, but you can't be the *only* person who sucks. It's incredibly frustrating to be just starting out in a new game and constantly being pitted against people who have researched and tuned the hell out of their decks.

    • ScornedNerdvana

      This might be true, but you also need to take into account that going in with a level 5 character means going in with 6 fewer card choices than a level 10, and possibly less experience of playing your class of choice.

    • fullerena

      Try playing ranked, at least until you hit rank 20. In the early stages you can't lose rank, so the good players can't hang around.

      Or give arena a shot. First one's free, and it's only 50 gold over a booster pack if you suck.

    • PolishTank

      Play practice rounds until you unlock all the class cards for your chosen character. Usually that takes you to about Level 10.

  • PolishTank

    I really like the Druid. Good minion buffs and their abilty to heal/armor themselves every turn towards the end makes it tough for people to beat me.

  • Kallizm

    I'm madly in love with the Warlock. For some crazy reason I'm enjoying the rush of getting your cards out quickly and playing dangerously with your health to draw more cards. While other decks can heal and do more damage directly with their classes' skill, I can have more cards at my disposal to control the battlefield. I'm also playing around with the Druid and once I get Cenarius I think I'll really enjoy that one too.

  • bobcorrigan

    I started with Mage, and got my $*#& handed to me by the Druid with a "increase health twice then swap health and attack" thingie, which I'm currently trying to figure out how to counter. I'm sure I'll play all of them sooner or later.

  • Slothwerks

    I'm at level ~18-19 and have far from the optimal deck the top-tier warlocks are playing. I really just like the warlock's ability to draw cards so I don't end up top-decking myself :P