What is Start of Game in Hearthstone?

Hearthstone has many card effects that are common enough that they get their own keyword - a word or two that immediately tells you how the card works. Let's take a look at the Start of Game keyword.

Does something before the first turn.

Start of Game is a mechanic, that, as the name would suggest, occurs at the start of the game. There are only 3 cards in the entire game that use the mechanic usable in Constructed formats (all Neutral Legendaries), as design for this mechanic is particularly dangerous.

The ability was first used in One Night in Karazhan, although it wasn't made into a keyword until The Witchwood.

Keywords that Work Great with Start of Game

Start of Game is not a keyword that has any synergy with any specific keyword, although minions with the effect have weak stats for their Cost, and adding any enchantment to it will make it better.

Playing Against Start of Game in Hearthstone

Unfortunately, because the effect is guaranteed to happen immediately after the mulligan, the player cannot do anything to directly counter these effects.

In the case of Genn Greymane or Baku the Mooneater however, one can take note of the effect trigger and cross off any strong cards that cannot be played in these decks.

Example Hearthstone Start of Game Cards

There are only 3 cards in the entire game that use the mechanic that can be added to a deck.

Prince Malchezaar Card Image Genn Greymane Card Image Baku the Mooneater Card Image

Prince Malchezaar is the only such card that has no condition. At the start of the game, Prince Malchezaar will add 5 additional Legendary minions to your deck. Unless most cards that generate cards from outside the game, Prince Malchezaar follows normal deckbuilding rules, meaning he cannot generate Legendary minions that are already used in your deck or any from other classes. Although his effect may look appealing, the effect is often a drawback instead of a benefit, as it will often add some bad Legendary minions to your deck, diluting your draw pool. Even if he does shuffle some good Legendaries into your deck, it still makes it less likely that you'll draw the cards you placed into your deck on purpose, and there's no guarantee that your deck will be able to take advantage of those Legendaries to its fullest potential. Still though, the card does have some fun factor and allows players to play with Legendary cards they may otherwise not be able to use.

Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater are two of the most controversial cards in the game. So much so, that they were rotated one year before they were meant to. Genn will change the Cost of your Hero Power to 1 if your entire deck consists of even-Cost cards, and Baku will upgrade your Hero Power (in the same vein as Justicar Trueheart) if your entire deck consists of odd-Cost cards.


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