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The Coin

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The Coin
The Coin(141).png
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The Coin(141) Gold.png
Set: Basic
Type: Spell
Cost: 0
Tags: Mana-related
Artist: Ben Thompson

Gain 1 Mana Crystal this turn only.

See this card on Hearthpwn

The Coin is a special uncollectible spell card granted at the start of each game to whichever player is selected to go second. Together with the fourth starting card, The Coin is intended to counter some of the disadvantage of going second, although going first is still slightly better on average.

How to get[edit | edit source]

The Coin is generated once at the start of each game, for the player selected to go second. It is uncollectible and cannot be included in players' decks.

Generated by[edit | edit source]

This card can also be generated by the following cards.

Booty Bay Bookie(90280).png
Licensed Adventurer(184980).png
Gilded Gargoyle(77005).png
Hoarding Dragon(76912).png
Tomb Pillager(27229).png
Soldier of Fortune(90633).png
Umbral Skulker(127277).png
Burgly Bully(49704).png
Lucrative Contract(90995).png

Against bosses[edit | edit source]

The following cards will generate The Coin when played against an adventure or Tavern Brawl boss, or the playable Ragnaros the Firelord hero.

Undercity Huckster(33135).png
Pick Pocket(89408).png
Blink Fox(89423).png

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • If a player's deck is composed entirely of golden cards, they will be granted a golden version of The Coin when going second.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

The Coin can be used at any time during the game to give the player an extra Mana Crystal. It is possible for The Coin to be used more than once each game with the use of copying effects like Lorewalker Cho or Mind Vision, or with cards that generate new The Coin cards like Cutpurse.

This can be useful in the early or late game to play a card one turn earlier than they would otherwise be played. In the early game, it can help to overcome a difficult card draw, or to allow you to place a high-cost minion on the field ahead of time. In the later game, it can be saved until an opportunity presents itself for The Coin's extra mana crystal to provide a substantial benefit.

The Coin is a regular card, and counts towards your hand size, so you may want to keep it in your hand to use it with cards that counts towards your hand size, such as Twilight Drake. It also counts as playing a spell, which is significant for cards such as Mana Wyrm and Archmage Antonidas.

Players have a maximum of 10 mana. If you play The Coin with 10/10 mana, the extra mana will be wasted. Instead, one should play any card that uses mana and then play The Coin to refill an empty mana crystal.

Design[edit | edit source]

The Coin, full art

The Coin was designed to counter the disadvantage of going second in a match. A variety of approaches were considered and tested for this purpose, including Avatar of the Coin, and the second player starting with 35 Health.[1][2] However, The Coin (as well as drawing an extra card) was ultimately selected to even the balance.

In March 2015 Brode stated, "the win rate is very close to 50-50 regardless of who has the coin", but that "Going 1st is slightly better".[3] With regard to tournaments and high level play, Brode confirmed that even in the "very top 0.01%" it's "still better to go first, on average".[4] This state of affairs was confirmed in April 2016.[5][6]

Previously, during the late beta on 5th February 2014, Ben Brode stated "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."[7] Eric Dodds followed this by asking "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."[7] Blizzard statistics from 8th November 2013 had previously shown a 51.3% win rate for high-ranked players going first, with a slightly higher 53% for players at lower levels.[8]

It can be argued that good use of The Coin requires an additional degree of strategy, therefore offering a disadvantage for less experienced players.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

  • Patch (2014-03-11): If a player’s deck contains all Golden cards, a Golden Coin will complement your deck if you happen to go second.

References[edit | edit source]