Hearthstone Battlegrounds is Blizzard's Puzzling Reaction to Auto Chess

Hearthstone Battlegrounds is Blizzard's Puzzling Reaction to Auto Chess

Its autobattling, but also very much Hearthstone.

It looks like autobattler fever isn't done just yet. Blizzard is putting its hat in the ring with a new game mode for Hearthstone called Hearthstone Battlegrounds, a puzzling half-step into the world of automated battling.

An eight-player mode that Blizzard says is directly inspired by the growth of the autobattler genre, Hearthstone Battlegrounds looks something like a mix between a real-time deckbuilding game and regular Hearthstone. You can make out some star ranks and card battling, as well as abilities like bombs being lobbed across the board.

Hearthstone does seem like a natural fit for an autobattler, since the genre's conventions of building up synergies through repeated drafts isn't too different from a deck-building game. But Battlegrounds also looks to try and keep step with Hearthstone, even living inside the client like Teamfight Tactics does with League of Legends.

In a blog post, Blizzard also confirmed a few more details about Battlegrounds. It seems to carry many of the conventions of autobattlers, from combining identical cards to level them up, to rerolling and leveling up your "tavern" to find rarer, more powerful cards. Battlegrounds' twist looks to be Heroes, which will add twists to your game plan like buffing up cards or spending cash to add new attributes to existing minions.

We'll see more when the game goes live next Tuesday for BlizzCon 2019 virtual ticket owners and those who have pre-ordered Hearthstone's next expansion. Either way, Battlegrounds is launching into a fairly crowded marketplace; Riot Games and Valve have already staked out pretty hefty claims with Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords. Both also recently launched major, game-changing updates. We'll see if Blizzard is the kind of company that can make a dent in the autobattler genre.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

In other news

A New Halo Teaser Indicates Infinite Might Have Ties to Halo Wars 2

Could the events of Halo Wars 2 connect up with what we'll see in Infinite?

Evil Genius 2 Shows Off Some Gameplay

Now we know that Evil Genius 2 will play... just like Evil Genius.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim Finally Comes to North America This September

Vanillaware's latest game is hopping in a mech and stomping to North America.

EA Begins Rolling Out Titles on Steam, but There Are Some Notable Absences

Also, EA Access via Steam isn't ready just yet.

You may also like

Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat Out of Evo Online Over Recent Allegations [Update]

As more withdraw from Evo Online, two major players won't be present.

What Game Would You Like to See As a TV Show?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | With the new Fallout TV show announcement, let's dream up other game adaptations.

Ubisoft CEO Promises "Profound Changes" at Company After Accounts of Systemic Abuse

Yves Guillemot says Ubisoft is "not looking for a quick fix" to its reportedly toxic culture.

Madden 21's Devs Have Heard Fan Outcry and Are "Bolstering Plans to Support Franchise"

"We see your fix Madden Franchise tweets and we understand your frustration," executive producer Seann Graddy says.