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This is a temporary mechanic currently being tested on the alpha client. This ability is meant to be given as compensation to the player that loses the coin toss.
What Alcest says is somewhat true.
The Coin is live in closed beta currently, and yes, with an updated graphic.
There are two advantages to going second.
1. You get The Coin on your first turn. It can be played at any time. It costs 0 Mana and currently counts as a Spell, making it incredibly overpowered due to its synergistic effects with certain cards: the Rogue Combos, Questing Adventurer, Archmage Antonidas, Mana Addict, Gadgetzan Auctioneer, etc.
2. You draw 4 cards (instead of 3) that you can choose to replace any number of. This is important since you are essentially getting to take 8 random (4 seen) cards from your deck, up from 6 random (3 seen).
During Alpha, there was indication that first player had a significant advantage, and so many buffs were given to the second player. From my experiences in the Beta, it seems that Rogues would prefer to go second, as well as, possibly, Druids.
It is likely that the "Spell" classification and synergy of The Coin will eventually be nerfed, if the concept is even kept.
The Coin is given to the player that starts second in a match. It is not part of the 30 cards of a standard deck. The card is obtained after the mulligan, but just before the first player starts his first turn. This does mean that a Priest that goes first can copy The Coin by using
on Turn 1.
The Coin counts as a card and can be copied by
. The Coin counts towards bonuses for
, as well as towards the 10-card limit in the hand.
The Coin counts as a spell, and can be
. It will count towards
, and it will trigger any effects that will trigger on spells being cast (such as
The golden version of The Coin can be obtained by using a golden Mind Vision or a golden Lorewalker Cho to copy it.
11 March 2014 Patch
: "If a player’s deck contains all Golden cards, a Golden Coin will compliment your deck if you happen to go second."
An older version of the Coin was this card:
Avatar of the Coin
Closed beta information (on 13 Sep 2013) and statistics regarding The Coin's game balance by Ben Brode (Hearthstone game designer), and why it was designed the way it is:
(Dead link, Blizzard deleted the Closed Beta forums)
(Blue Tracker replacement link)
The summary is that going first during alpha testing (when The Coin didn't exist), meant "you were 20% more likely to win the game". They attempted to balance this by adding The Coin, which says "Gain 1 mana crystal this turn only." and costs 0 mana, and this card is always gained by the 2nd player. So the full effect as of closed beta is:
Player 1: Starts with 3 cards, can mulligan 3 cards, draws a card at the start of his Turn 1. (4 cards in hand)
Player 2: Starts with 4 cards, can mulligan 4 cards, draws a card at the start of his Turn 1 and also gains The Coin. (6 cards in hand)
Across all leagues – 4.4% better to go first, on average (i.e. 52.2% of the time, Player 1 wins)
Master League Only – 0.7% better to go first, on average (i.e. 50.4% of the time, Player 1 wins)
Now some classes are actually slightly better going second, in Master League only (Priest and Rogue win 51.5% of the time when going 2nd in this league), but this is much better than where we used to be, where winning the coin flip had such a strong correlation with winning the game.
Some other information is given, including the why and how. Combos revolving around The Coin are being looked at for selective balancing - such as The Coin counting as a card in hand, as well as a spell when cast and thus activate Rogue combos (
is a notable example), or
Ben also followed up that even in the Arena, it was still slightly better to go first.
(Dead link, Blizzard deleted the Closed Beta forums, see Blue Tracker link above)
Stats (photos of Powerpoint slides) regarding going first vs going second provided at Hearthstone Fireside Chat panel (8 Nov 2013) held on Day 1 of Blizzcon 2013:
(Images hosted by HearthPwn (Curse), linked from
Firechat chat summary
(Master level players)
(Copper and Silver players)
The 2 photos of the slides indicate that going first is still better than going second. To give the slides some context (I attended the panel in person), only 3 classes are listed because they are the percentages that are highest/lowest away from 50% (i.e the extremes), and the Rogue is listed to dispel the myths that The Coin gave significant advantages to the Rogue, particularly at the Masters level.
On 5 Feb 2014, Hearthpwn published an interview with Ben Brode and Eric Dodds, one of the questions is regarding the first turn advantage.
You guys said at Blizzcon that there was a slight advantage in going first over second. Is this still holding true, and are there any matchups which vastly differ from the median?
It's still true. Actually, I think for every class now there's a small advantage to going first at every level.
It's about three percent better to go first over second. It's only a tiny bit better to go first at the lower levels of play.
And that being said, are there some decks which are built around going second, and might have a small advantage for going second? Yeah, that's certainly the case, but the advantage for going second in those decks I would imagine is less than one percent.
In August 2014,
Arstechnica did analysis on 219 pro-level Hearthstone matches
. These matches were taken from online recordings the Hearthstone Invitational at Blizzcon 2013, at Dreamhack Bucharest 2014, and six seasons' worth of matches broadcast as part of ESGN's Fight Night Hearthstone. They found that the player going first won 110 times (50.23 percent) versus 109 times (49.77 percent) for the second player, although there are larger variances across each class. It is acknowledged that the sample side for class-based analysis is still too small.
Wowhead has posted an
in depth interview with Hearthstone's Lead Designer Eric Dodds and Production Director Jason Chayes
Here is what they had to say about how this card is working:
So there's already been a lot of discussion about
. Are you happy with the current state of
, and how things are balanced between who goes first and second? Or could there be future adjustments to cards that could have potentially OP synergy?
ED: So the route we're taking right now is to adjust the couple of outlier cards that really make
very very powerful. So the
both were changed in this patch that just came out to try to address that issue.
itself makes for pretty interesting gameplay. You play differently based on if you go first or second, you mulligan depending on what class your opponent is or whether they have
or don't have
. It makes for really interesting dynamic gameplay. There are these targeted specific card interactions that we're looking at.
What you can expect in the future is us to look at targeted interactions and again, all of that being said, at the highest levels, it's still looking like it's pretty even as far as first or second turn advantage goes. While there's sometimes an emotional feel like the person who has
has more say with what's going on, there's a lot of power to going first as well. We're pretty happy with how it's going although you may see some card changes in the future based on that interaction.
So for anyone looking for a golden version of the "The Coin" my friend just got one, by copying one of my card with a golden card, that card that he copied just happened to be the coin, here it is:
I find it to be a particularly awesome starting combo if a mage has this,
at the start of a game.
He would start with the Mana Wyrm, then Coin, then Mirror Images, ending with a 3-3 Mana Wyrm protected by two images with taunt. And the opponent will then follow having 2 mana, which I doubt is enough for any class (other than Shaman's
) to counter this
You will get a golden version of the coin if your entire deck consists of golden cards and you go second.
It's worth mentioning that if you already have 10 mana this card will do absolutely nothing for you
As mentioned, to use more than 10 mana in 1 turn, you must first spend some mana, then play the Coin. This applies to card combos, and not single cards that cost more than 10 mana to cast for whatever reason.
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