Hearthstone is picking up some steam with its iPad release. Your friends have been playing for a while, where do you even begin? If you’re looking to get started in Hearthstone without opening your wallet for a big collection boost, here are some tips to get started.

•    You’re going to want to unlock the core class cards right away. Each class has a bunch of cards that can only be unlocked by getting levels, so if you’re interested in playing a class you may want to just steamroll the computer for experience in practice mode to get up to level 10. You can always take on other players to level up as well, but you’re going to be lacking some of the core essential cards. Many of the cards unlocked in this fashion are high-quality class staples like the Paladin’s Truesilver Champion or the Druid’s Swipe. As you continue to play the game and level up past level 10, you’ll unlock golden versions of these core class cards.

•    If you do have an iPad, make sure you play a game on it. You’ll get a free pack!

•    As a new player, you will have access to one free Arena play. Arena is Hearthstone’s limited format, where you’ll construct a deck of 30 cards by picking one of three options thirty times. You won’t get to keep the cards you pick, but at the end of the Arena you’ll receive rewards based on your performance. You play until you get 12 wins or 3 losses, whichever comes first. Playing in Arena costs only 50 more gold than purchasing a single pack, so if you have the time it can be a cost-effective way to build up your collection after you’re familiar with the cards.

•    Players can feel a little overwhelmed when jumping into casual or ranked play when the opponents are dropping Ragnaros and golden Cairnes. There’s good news, a number of competitive decks exist that use mostly basic and common cards, you’ll earn enough dust/gold to get the rares you want to add over time. In general these decks are usually aggressive and focus on 2 mana cards that can aggressively swarm your opponent before the heavy hitters come down. Check out Trump’s mostly free deck that he took to legendary rank this season https://sites.google.com/site/trumpdecks/freetoplay#freewarlock

•    Always do your dailies. Let them stack up for a few days if you wish, but your main source of gold will be knocking these out. It can seem like a chore if you keep getting dailies for classes you have no interest in playing, but you can click the little “x” mark in your questlog to drop a daily quest and replace it with something else. These can also be completed in Arena, so if you’re feeling salty because you have a log full of Priest quests and your Priest deck doesn’t look great, you could try to Arena it up for some prizes and quest completes. Daily gold really adds up as you play the game.

•    Don’t have the card you want/need? Hearthstone doesn’t have trading, but you can break down and create any card you desire through the crafting system. While legendary cards will run you a ton of dust to craft, you should be able to get all the staples and essentials you need with ease. As your collection grows, you may lose track of what you have extras of. Hearthstone has an easy disenchant option that allows you to mass disenchant all of your copies over 2 of regular cards, so you’re in no danger of dismantling your playsets.

•    Take advantage of playing with friends to try out decks before bringing them into player-vs-player. You won’t get gold or daily credit, but you’ll still get experience points.

Hearthstone, like many other digital card games, can seem a bit intimidating to new players coming in and sitting at the table with grizzled veterans that have stacks of cards. Do your dailies, level up classes, and watch your collection grow – You’ll be comfortable in no time. Looking for more? Check out our recent "Hearthstone School" or our review!