How to play Hearthstone’s super fun single-player Adventure modes, including the brand new Trial by Felfire
While Hearthstone is primarily a multiplayer game, it also offers a single-player mode called Adventures. Single-player gameplay has evolved over the years to provide a variety of fun, with Adventures that range from story-based romps to challenging puzzles to build-a-deck-as-you-go dungeon runs.
The latest addition to the Hearthstone single-player lineup is Trial by Felfire, and it’s available now. And even though it’s based around a card game, it sounds like this Adventure has an interesting story to tell. According to the Hearthstone team, “The story adventure is pretty epic. Like, it made us cry when we did the first rehearsal.”
So you may be interested in playing this one even if you aren’t a Hearthstone regular. And because the entire Adventure is free and you don’t need your own card collection to play, there’s no reason not to give it a spin. But before you do, there are a few things you need to know to get started.
If you’re new to Hearthstone Adventures, here’s everything you need to know about playing Trial by Felfire — and all of the other Adventures.
What are Hearthstone Adventures?
Think of Adventures as the PVE part of Hearthstone. In Adventures, you play against a computer-controlled player, but that’s really the only thing you can count on across all of the Hearthstone Adventures.
Sometimes you have to build your own deck with your own cards. Sometimes the game provides a prebuilt deck. Sometimes you build a deck progressively through the game, out of cards that are provided for you. In Adventures, anything goes. You’ll see custom cards and mechanics not experienced anywhere else in the game — which can include some super overpowered (and super fun) cards to play around with.
Each Adventure has a distinct theme, with its own story, music, and voice acting. Though we don’t usually think of Hearthstone as a narrative game, the voice acting in Adventures is some of the best written and performed in all of Hearthstone, and the Adventures’s stories never fail to delight.
How do I play Hearthstone Adventures?
To get started, you’ll need to click the Solo Adventures button from the main menu. This will send you to the the Adventure menu where you can choose what to play. Be aware, that some Adventures cost money or in-game gold to play — but if you don’t want to pay, there are quite a few freebies to check out, including Trial by Felfire.
If you’re a brand new player, you need to go through the introduction and unlocked every class, which the game will walk you through when you first log on. After that, you can dive into Adventures!
What kinds of Hearthstone Adventures can I play?
While all single-player modes are labeled “Adventures,” there’s a great deal of variety among them. I categorize the Adventures into four different types: raids, missions, puzzles, and dungeon runs.
This isn’t how Hearthstone itself categorizes these Adventures, but it’s a useful way to explain what they’re like.
These Adventures have the player face off against a series of boss encounters, just like the bosses you would fight in a World of Warcraft raid. They have their own Normal and Heroic modes, and the bosses are even divided up into groups called wings, which perfectly mirrors the architecture of WoW raids.
Raids require you to build a deck, usually from your own card collection. While some powerful decks can get you through several bosses, most of the time, you’ll want a specific deck crafted to defeat the next boss in the raid. Raids are played in Wild format, meaning you can use any and all cards in your collection — which opens up options for players with a large collection, but can make it challenging for new or casual players.
Raids unlock specific cards — rather than random packs — for your collection that you can’t get anywhere else. You can use these cards in your decks in the game’s multiplayer modes — but you’ll have to score some wins to earn them. Typically, there’s a Class Challenge for each class you need to win to unlock your cards. But just because you earn cards doesn’t mean you can use them: almost all Raid Adventures are Wild, which means their cards can’t be used in Standard play. Only Galakrond’s Awakening is currently in Standard format, so if you’re looking to collect cards, that’s the one you want to play.
Raid Adventures include:
Galakrond’s Awakening: The climatic battle between the League of Explorers and the League of E.V.I.L. over Wyrmrest Temple. There are four wings with six bosses each, and you can earn 35 cards by playing through the whole Adventure. Normal mode gives the player a prebuilt deck, but Heroic mode requires the player to build their own deck. Galakrond’s Awakening didn’t have any Class Challenges.
For the rest of the Raids, both Normal mode and Heroic mode require the player to build their own deck, and Class Challenges give the player a prebuilt deck.
One Night in Karazhan: Feel the night, feel the night fever at a crazy Karazhan Disco party. This Adventure has four wings with a total of 13 boss encounters and 45 cards to earn.
League of Explorers: If you’ve ever wondered where Brann, Elise, Sir Finley, and Reno came from, here it is. This Adventure has a total of 13 boss fights, with both Normal and Heroic mode. There are 45 cards to earn.
Blackrock Mountain: It’s getting hot in here! This Adventure has five wings plus a bonus encounter. You’ll have to defeat 17 total bosses to earn all 31 cards.
Curse of Naxxrammas: The dead speak! Then they kill you. This Adventure has five wings with three bosses each. you’ll earn 30 cards for your efforts.
These Adventures share many characteristics with raids, pitting you against a series of increasingly difficult bosses. But instead of being a separate cost, missions are considered a core part of an expansion, and are available for free. Because they’re free, missions don’t award unique cards like raids do, but when the Adventure is new there’s usually a quest to play it in exchange for a few card packs.
Mission-style Adventures include:
Trial by Felfire: The latest Adventure puts you in the role of Aranna Starseeker as she ventures to Outland, has a run-in with Illidan, becomes a Demon Hunter, and faces off against Mecha-Jaraxxus. The adventure has five wings with 17 total boss encounters, plus a prologue.
Knights of the Frozen Throne: What if Arthas had won? You’ll see Death Knight versions of all your favorite heroes. This Adventure has three wings with a total of eight boss encounters, plus a prologue. You always lose the prologue, so don’t stress about it: that’s the beginning of the story of you falling to become a Death Knight, but I’ve never liked a game setting you up to fail. Defeating the end boss (Arthas) with all nine Classes awards the Arthas Menethil alternate Paladin skin.
These Adventures don’t focus on traditional Hearthstone gameplay at all, but instead encourage you to solve puzzles with clever card combinations. There’s only one Adventure like that, and it was pretty fun, but it hasn’t aged well:
The Boomsday Project Puzzle Lab: Do we cut the green wire or the red one? The “bosses” in this Adventure are specific puzzles the player has to solve. You’re presented with a board and told what the final board state needs to be — it’s your job to figure how to get there. Unfortunately, nerfs to cards over the years have rendered several of the puzzles unsolvable, so we can’t recommend picking up this Adventure.
Dungeon run Adventures
These Adventures still have you face off with exciting boss encounters, but now which bosses you face are random and each run is different.
With these Adventures, you start with a small deck which you build progressively throughout the game. After each win, you can add new cards from several random options (called “buckets”). You also get some extra fun custom cards called treasures — and though you’ll only have access to a few treasures, they have the power to make a good deck into a great deck.
To win a dungeon run, you have to defeat eight bosses — and if you lose at any point, you have to start your run over from the beginning. I find these to be the most fun and most replayable type of Adventure.
These are the dungeon run Adventures:
Tombs of Terror: This is the second part of a three part story which begins in Dalaran Heist and and culminates in Galakrond’s Awakening. In it, you play as the League of Explorers on a mission to stop the League of E.V.I.L. The final boss has a huge health pool, but instead of defeating it in one go, you’re expected to work it down over the course of successive runs.
Dalaran Heist: Kicking off a year-long narrative arc for Hearthstone, in this Adventure you play as the League of E.V.I.L., which has just strapped rockets to the city of Dalaran and stolen it. Yes, that’s really the premise. The Hearthstone team also gave us disco Medivh, so we probably shouldn’t be surprised. Are you not entertained?
In both Tombs of Terror and Dalaran Heist, decks and special new Hero Powers are unlocked over the course of multiple runs.
Rastakhan’s Rumble Run: Are you the best around? In this Adventure, you join one of nine Troll teams, each representing one of the original nine Hearthstone classes. You then defeat champions of the other eight to rise to be the Champion. Rastakhan’s Rumble Run introduces special minions called Shrines which eventually found their way into the card collection.
The Witchwood Adventure: Spooky things come out at night. You’ll choose to play one of four dual-class heroes and progress through seven random bosses, then the eighth Boss is a specially-tailored nemesis for the hero you’ve chosen. If you defeat your nemesis, you face off the with the final boss, which takes all four heroes to defeat. Completing a single run awards the card back.
Kobolds and Catacombs: You no take candle! As the prototype for the dungeon runs, this one can be a little rough around the edges. If you can complete a run with each and every class, you’ll receive a special card back.
What do Hearthstone Adventures cost?
The Adventures range from free to $24.99 on the Blizzard Shop. Many can also be purchased with in-game gold, but the interface isn’t all that intuitive. While you can buy the full Adventure in the game’s shop with cash, you can usually only use gold to buy one wing at a time — which is only available from a different menu. To see if you can buy an Adventure you want with gold, go to the Adventures menu and try to play it, where you should get a prompt telling you what it costs.
Each wing usually costs around 700g and most Adventures contain three or more wings, though the first wing is often free even for Adventures that cost cash.
Here’s what each Adventure will cost you if you buy the whole thing with cash:
- Blackrock Mountain
- One Night in Karazhan
- The League of Explorers
- Galakrond’s Awakening
- Curse of Naxxaramas
- Tombs of Terror Adventure
- The Dalaran Heist
- Trial by Felfire
- Knights of the Frozen Throne Adventure
- Kobolds and Catacombs
- The Witchwood Adventure
- The Boomsday Project Adventure
- Rastakhan’s Rumble Adventure
How hard are Hearthstone Adventures?
The difficulty ranges quite a bit across Adventures, and even within the Adventures themselves. Most have a story or Normal mode which most players should be able to reasonably beat, but it can take some time and effort. Dungeon run style Adventures are highly random — you could win on the first go or you could spend dozens of runs trying to get the right card combination to score a victory.
For Adventures with Heroic modes, you’ll need specific cards, strategies, and just a bit of luck. Even seasoned players with large collections struggle with these, but new and more powerful cards over the years have served as a kind of nerf to the older Adventurers. In general, Heroic modes are great if you have a good card collection and like a challenge, but may be a little too tough for the casual player.
There’s no reason not to try Trial by Felfire (and other free Adventures)
Even though many Adventures cost cash — particularly those that give out card rewards — there are lots of free Adventures that anyone can enjoy. So why not give them a try? The latest Adventure, Trial by Felfire, has a fun story for anyone interested in Illidan or Demon Hunters in general.
If you want to jump in and give it a go, Trial by Felfire uses a format similar to Galakrond’s Awakening, just without the card rewards. You can play Normal mode with a prebuilt deck, so your card collection doesn’t matter — making it perfect for the casual player. There are five chapters, and they’re all available now.
But if you want something more difficult, there’s a Challenge mode — basically the new name for Heroic mode — that requires the player to build their own deck. Though Normal mode is live now, Challenge mode will go live next week
Defeating Normal mode will award a card back, while defeating Challenge mode will earn a Golden Kael’thas Sunstrider Legendary card. And for the low cost of free, you can give this Adventure a try.
Adventures can be a great deal of fun without the stress of competing against another player. If you like PVE more than PVP, they might be the exact Hearthstone offering you’re looking for.
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