Each player uses a hero card and a deck consisting of allies and other supporting cards. In booster and starter packs, gamers can find cards representing weapons, abilities, armor, items and quests. Some booster packs also contain legendary rares, or loot cards (i.e. special versions of normal cards) which contain a scratch-off code. This code can then be redeemed in the online game for a virtual prize. The prizes include special tabards, gimmick items, non-combat pets, and mounts.
During play, players start with a single hero, and then play additional cards to augment the hero's powers or add additional members to his or her party. As in games such as Magic: The Gathering, the goal is to reduce the remaining health of the opponent to zero. Unlike Magic, combat attacks are always directed at individual heroes or allies, rather than simply declaring an attack with a number of creatures. Furthermore, damage done to characters accumulates between turns, making combat more expensive for both the attacker and defender.