One thing we know about Blizzard is that they are masters at creating technically and mentally challenging games. Regardless of the genre or style, when Blizzard has a novel idea, they intend to execute it. It’s what has maintained Blizzard’s success in the past and will continue to do so in the future. That’s why, when Blizzard announced the development of strategy card games that were inspired by the lore of the Warcraft series, the likes of Hearthstone came out and fans were understandably ecstatic.
Especially at a time, when there wasn’t a lot of attention focused on strategic deck builders. Well, Blizzard had intentions to turn that around, and they did exactly that with the release of Hearthstone in 2014. The game blew up in the gaming world, with everyone flocking to play it. And, since Hearthstone and strategy card games aren’t going away anytime soon, we’ve compiled a list of the top five strategy card games like Hearthstone. So, if you’re a fan of strategic deck builders, there’s certain to be a game on our list that can eat up your spare time.
5. Legends of Runeterra
If you’ve played League of Legends (LoL), you’ll probably like the game’s digital collectible card spin-off, Legends of Runeterra. The cards are based on all of LoL’s most notable characters, and their attacks and abilities they conjure are all implemented into the strategy card game as well. This results in some identical cross-overs, which add to the strategic card game’s appeal to gameplay. You can level up your cards to give them a unique game-changing special attack, give characters new abilities with spell cards, and even combine combo attacks.
Just like Hearthstone, players take turns going on offense or defense. But what’s unique is that you alternate moves with your opponent. This means that if they play a champion or card, you can as well. However, this is a double-edged sword as playing it too early may cost you the card and you won’t utilize its full potential. That’s why Legend of Runeterra is all about quick time thinking, constantly reacting, and countering your opponent in the field of battle.
4. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
If you’re a fan of The Witcher series, then you should definitely consider taking a look at its strategic card spin-off Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. Better known as just Gwent, the card game is an epic scope of knights, sorcerers, monsters, and of course, Witchers. Incorporating every facet of the novel RPG series that fans love, into a strategic card counterpart.
First, you start by choosing a faction, each with its own playstyle, cards, and leaders. From there you must build a deck with up to 25 cards, however, you can’t exceed the recruiting cost. This means you can’t just fill your deck with the greatest cards in the game; instead, you’ll need to carefully design your deck with cards of both high and low levels.
Gwent contains two rows for each player in combat, one for melee and the other for range cards. Players must score more points than their opponent in a round to win and must take two rounds to capture the game. Gwent has a unique playstyle, but it’s one of the best strategic cards games that plays similar to Hearthstone.
3. Slay the Spire
Not many strategic card games branch out from their conventional style of player vs player. One of the very few to do so successfully is Slay the Spire. The single-player game has a unique take on strategic card games by doubling as a rouge-like dungeon crawler. It may not be similar to Hearthstone in that you duel other players in their decks, but the mechanics are evidently the same. However, this time you’re using your deck to take down a beast in a dungeon, rather than an adjacent opponent.
What’s similar to that of Hearthstone is that each class you pick set’s the base for its playstyle. There are also tons of ways you can go about building your deck, even throughout the story, making the game a continually unique experience. If you’re looking for strategy card games like Hearthstone, then you’ll surely get a refreshing and original experience like it with Slay the Spire.
2. Magic: The Gathering Arena
Magic: The Gathering is one of the first to do strategic card games. Not on the video game scene, but as a physical card trading game. The card game began in 1993 and inspired the likes of other notable card-trading games like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon. Besides this fact, Magic: The Gathering is still prospering today, indicating that the strategic card game is up to par with its skillful mechanics and gameplay.
That’s why it’s a surprise that the game didn’t get a videogame counterpart sooner. However, in 2018, the game finally came to life in pixelated graphics with Magic: The Gathering Arena. The games are nearly identical crossovers, however, what’s got fans excited about the videogame is how it brings the card game to life. There is a tough learning curve to Magic: The Gathering Arena, but surely if you enjoyed Hearthstone, this is a strategic card game that will offer a similar experience.
1. Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel
Growing up, there was always seemed to be a turf war depending on which trading cards you sported. One that almost every kid got their hands on for some time, was the trading card game, Yu-Gi-Oh! It’s another physical trading card game that we wish saw come to our monitors sooner. Well, the wait is over as just this year in 2022, the trading cards video game counterpart sprung to shelves with Yu-Gi-oh! Master Duel. Which you could say brought the excited and nerdy little kid in all of us out of hiding.
Filled with over 10,000 cards, there can be a lot to digest in this complex strategic card game. However, the game doe’s a great job of introducing you and even comes with a solo mode that dives into the lore of the cards. Then once you’re prepared you can step into tournaments and competitive matches. This is where you can show off all the knowledge you’ve learned about turn-based attacking from Hearthstone, which plays pretty similar to how you chain attacks and must directly hit your opponent to beat them.