An old meme sparks the discussion about Deck-building in Hearthstone again. Is it a problem for the casual player base?

An old Tavern Brawl meme spiked again and triggered the discussion about Deck-building in Hearthstone. Is it a real barrier for every game mode? Is deck-building just a bummer for Tavern Brawls, or does it affect other Hearthstone game modes? Does this sentiment change among highly competitive players?

Deck-building in Hearthstone

Atlas revived an old meme that seems to be still true about Deck-building in Hearthstone. This meme talking about Tavern Brawls is so old that some might not even recognize Hearthstone’s menu. But is this sentiment just about Tavern Brawls, or is Deck-building an actual Hearthstone problem for some players?

What are Tavern Brawls?

Tavern Brawls are weekly events that bend a bit Hearthstone’s ordinary rules. Players might be fighting another player, the AI, or even co-op against a common enemy. After the first win, players get a Standard Card Pack. We can argue that the one-pack prize that Hearthstone Tavern Brawls grants does not make it attractive for players to put in any Deck-building effort. How does this translate to other game modes?

Is Deck-building hurting Hearthstone?

Hearthstone is almost eight years old, and the game and the resources players can find online have changed dramatically with time. The early days in which Firebat had dozens of spreadsheets to compare stats and track decks and card choices are over.

Now, sites like HSReplay or Vicious Syndicate, to put just two examples, offer a wide variety of stats and Hearthstone deck options for players to copy-paste into the game. 

However, all these are resources outside the game that probably many casual players aren’t aware of or aren’t that much into Hearthstone to look for them. This attitude changes with players who are more invested in the game. But, in the end, isn’t this a symptom that Hearthstone’s Deck-building aspect is becoming a problem for the game?

When we compare Hearthstone’s different game modes, one clear difference stands out between Battlegrounds and all the others, the deck-building aspect. Iksar, Hearthstone Lead Game Designer, seems to realize the problem, but the solution isn’t something simple in a complex game like Hearthstone.

Hearthstone’s Deck-Building solutions

Hearthstone has tried to eliminate the Deck-building barrier from the constructed game modes for a while. There are many in-game tools available to players now, some being highly effective.

Hearthstone Deck Recipes

Whenever a player wants to build a deck, the game offers three different premade recipes. This could be a solution for some casual players. Hearthstone offers three premade deck options, with the first one being free-to-play and the other two more oriented to archetypes similar to what you might find in ladder.

Hearthstone Deck-building recipes
Hearthstone recipes

Moreover, each deck comes with a short description of what is it about. Don’t expect a guide, but for a player that isn’t familiar with every archetype, this is added value.

The problem with these deck recipes is that they aren’t as polished as what you might find on other websites. Furthermore, some archetypes are sort of memes, incapable of hitting a 50% win rate.

One positive thing is that there are Deck options for the ten Hearthstone Classes and that they get updated after each set release. Last but not least, if the player is missing any of the cards in the deck, the game offers replacement options. They might not be ideal, but it is a way to help.

Hearthstone Deck-building tools: Pick a Replacement
Hearthstone tools: Pick a Replacement

Hearthstone autocomplete deck feature

In 2019, Hearthstone improved the autocomplete deck feature to help players. If you were trying to build a homebrew deck and you weren’t finding the last few cards, you could hit the autocomplete button and let the game fill it up for you.

The algorithm behind it is a mystery, but most likely it takes the best win rate cards that could synergize with what the Hearthstone AI understands your deck is missing.

Hearthstone autocomplete Hunter
Hearthstone autocomplete Hunter

What is more interesting, is that you can autocomplete an empty deck. If you go for this crazy option, you likely get offered one of the best Hearthstone decks for that class. There is a catch however, this doesn’t work well with highly synergistic/combo decks when you don’t have a complete card collection.

To sum up…

Deck-building seems to be perceived as a big barrier for casual Hearthstone players. The devs are aware of it and have put their hands into work to solve it. But do Hearthstone players know these tools exist? There isn’t much in-game information on how to build a deck or what guidelines to follow. Maybe there is some room for improvement in those areas.

Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more Hearthstone guides, news, and updates. See you next time in the tavern

Manuel

Manuel "Rane" Delgado

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @RaneTDF

Manuel “Rane” Delgado is an experienced Hearthstone caster, content creator, and tournament organizer from Argentina. He started his career on Esports casting his own tournaments, now he currently covers Hearthstone Grandmasters’ Americas region for LATAM, among other content creation. Besides esports, he works in a construction company, which made him kind of a "handyman" when fixing everyday house problems.