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Selecting practice mode, Expert difficulty

Practice mode is a type of game mode in which the player does battle against computer-controlled versions of the regular playable classes. Players can select the opponent of their choice, and either Basic or Expert difficulty, determining the deck and tactical ability of the AI opponent.

Practice mode is the ideal mode for learning the basics of the game, exploring new classes, leveling or unlocking heroes, and trying out new strategies. Practice mode matches are played against The Innkeeper.

Practice mode is accessed from the Solo Adventures screen.


  • Because Practice mode games are played against computer opponents, there is no time spent waiting for your opponent to choose their actions each round. This typically makes these games much faster than those played in other modes, which can be useful for progression or simply preferable for those who do not enjoy waiting.
  • New heroes can be unlocked in this game mode. This makes Practice mode the quickest and easiest way to unlock new heroes.
  • Players can gain XP in Practice mode, up to max level. Above level 10 extra XP is gained from played games against human opponents; however, given the relative speed of most Practice mode games, this may still be considered a quicker way of levelling up heroes.
  • Practice mode is perfect for learning a class, or levelling a new class to level 10 in order to acquire its basic cards, before heading out into the wider waters of Play mode.
  • Initially only Basic difficulty is available, with Expert difficulty enabled upon unlocking every class.[1]
  • Basic Practice mode is generally considered a fairly easy difficulty setting, although some class combinations can be surprisingly tricky. Basic opponents use only basic cards in their decks.
  • Expert Practice mode offers a fairly substantial challenge for newer players, and gives players the chance to try decks against reasonably well-arranged decks. As with higher level player vs. player battles, Expert mode opponents tend to feature specific strategies and intended plays, and use decks featuring Classic cards of common, rare and epic rarity.
  • Most daily quests cannot be completed in Practice mode.
  • Defeating all Expert heroes will complete the Crushed Them All! quest, awarding 100 gold.


Each opponent in Practice mode always plays with the same deck, with each class having a Basic and an Expert deck. This allows experienced players to learn the intended plays of that deck, and counteract them effectively.

All cards in Basic decks are from the basic set. The Expert decks feature a large number of Classic cards, including many common cards, a few rares, and the odd epic, but do not include any legendaries.

Below are listed the decks for each Practice mode opponent. Each card listed is included x 2 in that deck unless otherwise noted.

Basic opponents
Demon Hunter Druid Hunter Mage Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior
Aldrachi Warblades Boulderfist Ogre Arcane Shot Arcane Explosion Blessing of Might Bloodfen Raptor Assassinate Ancestral Healing Chillwind Yeti Boulderfist Ogre
Bloodfen Raptor Chillwind Yeti Bloodfen Raptor Arcane Intellect Gnomish Inventor Chillwind Yeti Backstab Booty Bay Bodyguard Darkscale Healer Charge
Chaos Strike Claw Core Hound Arcane Missiles Goldshire Footman Core Hound Bloodfen Raptor Boulderfist Ogre Drain Life Dragonling Mechanic
Chillwind Yeti Core Hound Houndmaster Bloodfen Raptor Hammer of Wrath Elven Archer Deadly Poison Chillwind Yeti Hellfire Execute
Coordinated Strike Darkscale Healer Ironforge Rifleman Boulderfist Ogre Hand of Protection Frostwolf Grunt Dragonling Mechanic Frost Shock Kobold Geomancer Fiery War Axe
Elven Archer Elven Archer Multi-Shot Fireball Holy Light Gurubashi Berserker Elven Archer Frostwolf Grunt Murloc Raider Frostwolf Grunt
Frostwolf Warlord Healing Touch Oasis Snapjaw Murloc Raider Ironforge Rifleman Holy Smite Gnomish Inventor Frostwolf Warlord Ogre Magi Gurubashi Berserker
Murloc Tidehunter Innervate Raid Leader Nightblade Light's Justice Mind Blast Goldshire Footman Hex Reckless Rocketeer Heroic Strike
Nightblade Lord of the Arena Razorfen Hunter Novice Engineer Lord of the Arena Northshire Cleric Ironforge Rifleman Raid Leader River Crocolisk Lord of the Arena
Raid Leader Mark of the Wild River Crocolisk Oasis Snapjaw Nightblade Power Word: Shield Nightblade Reckless Rocketeer Shadow Bolt Murloc Raider
Reckless Rocketeer Nightblade Silverback Patriarch Polymorph Raid Leader Sen'jin Shieldmasta Novice Engineer Rockbiter Weapon Felstalker Murloc Tidehunter
Sen'jin Shieldmasta Oasis Snapjaw Stonetusk Boar Raid Leader Stonetusk Boar Shadow Word: Pain Sap Sen'jin Shieldmasta Voidwalker Razorfen Hunter
Shadowhoof Slayer River Crocolisk Stormpike Commando River Crocolisk Stormpike Commando Shattered Sun Cleric Sinister Strike Stonetusk Boar Voodoo Doctor Sen'jin Shieldmasta
Shattered Sun Cleric Silverback Patriarch Timber Wolf Sen'jin Shieldmasta Stormwind Champion Silverback Patriarch Stormpike Commando Windfury War Golem Warsong Commander
Sightless Watcher Wild Growth Tracking Wolfrider Stormwind Knight Voodoo Doctor Stormwind Knight Wolfrider Wolfrider Wolfrider

Expert opponents
Demon Hunter Druid Hunter Mage Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior
Aldrachi Warblades Abusive Sergeant Animal Companion Arcane Explosion Aldor Peacekeeper Abomination Argent Squire Abusive Sergeant Blood Imp Acolyte of Pain
Argent Commander Acidic Swamp Ooze Eaglehorn Bow Arcane Missiles Argent Commander Acidic Swamp Ooze Assassinate x1 Bloodlust Dark Iron Dwarf Amani Berserker
Chaos Strike Bite Explosive Shot Azure Drake Argent Protector Acolyte of Pain Backstab Dire Wolf Alpha Demonfire Arathi Weaponsmith
Coordinated Strike Druid of the Claw Explosive Trap x1 Counterspell Argent Squire Faceless Manipulator Betrayal Dust Devil Doomguard Battle Rage
Cult Master Earthen Ring Farseer Freezing Trap x1 Fireball Blessing of Kings Holy Nova x1 Deadly Poison Faerie Dragon Dread Infernal Bloodsail Raider
Dire Wolf Alpha x1 Elven Archer Ironfur Grizzly Frost Elemental Consecration Injured Blademaster Defender of Argus x1 Feral Spirit Flame Imp Brawl x1
Flesheating Ghoul Harvest Golem Misdirection x1 Kirin Tor Mage Equality Leper Gnome Defias Ringleader Flametongue Totem Imp Master Cruel Taskmaster
Glaivebound Adept Ironbark Protector Multi-Shot Kobold Geomancer Noble Sacrifice Lightspawn Eviscerate Forked Lightning Knife Juggler Elven Archer
Inner Demonx1 Keeper of the Grove Oasis Snapjaw Mana Addict Redemption Loot Hoarder Gnomish Inventor Lava Burst Mortal Coil Execute
Knife Juggler Nourish Savannah Highmane Mana Wyrm Repentance Mind Control x1 Headcrack x1 Lightning Bolt Power Overwhelming Fiery War Axe
Murloc Tidehunter Power of the Wild Scavenging Hyena Mirror Entity Scarlet Crusader Northshire Cleric Novice Engineer Shattered Sun Cleric Sense Demons Frothing Berserker
Satyr Overseer Starfall Snipe x1 Polymorph Secretkeeper Power Word: Shield Questing Adventurer Shieldbearer Shadow Bolt Kor'kron Elite x1
Sea Giant Windfury Harpy Stampeding Kodo Sorcerer's Apprentice Spellbreaker Shadow Madness Ravenholdt Assassin x1 Stormforged Axe Shadowflame Raging Worgen
Sightless Watcher Wrath Starving Buzzard Vaporize Sunwalker Shadow Word: Pain SI:7 Agent Thrallmar Farseer Felstalker Spiteful Smith
Shadowhoof Slayer Youthful Brewmaster Timber Wolf Water Elemental Truesilver Champion Silence Stranglethorn Tiger Young Dragonhawk Voidwalker Tauren Warrior
Worgen Infiltrator Unleash the Hounds Temple Enforcer Worgen Infiltrator Whirlwind
Young Dragonhawk Youthful Brewmaster

The Starting Game screen[]

Main article: Starting Game

The Starting Game screen is the loading screen displayed while the system prepares a computer opponent for the player, featuring a selection of helpful tips and some comical elements. It depicts a mechanical element which slowly fills from left to right, supposedly representing necessary steps in preparing for the game. Once the loading bar has filled a certain number of times, the game is ready and battle begins automatically.


The names of the two difficulty settings originally corresponded to the types of cards used in those heroes' decks. 'Expert' mode corresponds to the 'Expert' set, since renamed the Classic set.

Patch changes[]

  • Ashes of Outland logo.pngPatch (2020-03-26): Practice mode now contains Demon Hunter.
  • Blackrock Mountain logo.png Patch (2015-06-15): The Practice mode pane of the Solo Adventures screen now has its own music.
  • Curse of Naxxramas logo.png Patch (2014-07-22):
    • Practice Mode is now entered through the Solo Adventures button on the main menu.
    • The AI in Practice Mode is now better at Hearthstone.
  • Patch (2014-05-08): Reconnect functionality has been enabled for Practice Mode.
  • Patch (2014-03-11): The Expert AI has been sent to Hearthstone training camp and should now be more challenging.
  • Patch (2013-12-10): The opponent in Practice mode is now called "The Innkeeper".
  • Patch (2013-10-02): You can earn XP in any game mode up to max level.


  1. Tested by User:Taohinton 2017-01-04: Selecting the Expert button on the Solo Adventures screen produces a pop-up text box with the words "Requires unlocking every class."