Top 10 Hearthstone Tips for Beginners
Kevin Lynch gives you some top Hearthstone tips!
Blizzard’s quite frankly addictive collectable card game is now in Open Beta! There’s plenty of well written guides that have been released to show you the basics of the game and the tutorial is well made. So instead of going over this I thought I’d pass on some wisdom that I’ve picked up after being slaughtered on numerous occasions in ranked and arena play.
1) If you can play a minion, play a minion
Do not make this mistake, having something on the board is better than having nothing on the board. Battlecry is an awesome mechanic but if you can’t make it work then don’t hold back. For example, Shattered Sun Cleric is an awesome card to play if you have another minion on the board to buff, but if you don’t and you need a threat to play then it’s still a 3/2 for 3 mana, not optimal but not bad and will at least give you a bit of time to try get something heavier out on the field.
2) Don’t let minions snowball
I can’t stress this one enough. Minions that have an ability that add attack or health are a problem, especially in early game. Leaving a Frothing Berserker to have its way in the early game is a bit of a problem. Remember, that’s ANY minion and means that if you’re opponent trades minions you could be quickly looking at a 6/4 very early on, and if you’ve got no removal…that stings.
3) Play the Advantages
Try and keep a board, hand and health advantage. Basically, try to have a better looking board than your opponent. More, bigger and threatening positions are obviously much better. Try have more cards in your hand. More cards means more options and finally, have a health advantage. Not exactly majorly important but less health means fewer options! It’s a simple mantra but it will help you out.What you’ll also want to do is “Trade” minions effectively. Get the most value out of your mana. If you’re 2 cost creature has managed to kill 2 other 2 cost creatures then it has been valuable. If your minion dies to a mana cost totalling less than what you paid to cast it, that’s a bad play.
4) Be careful when using buffs and removal
Buffs and removal are AWESOME. There’s nothing better than having a Windfury Harpy and throwing on a Charge for 9 mana you’ve got a 6/5 that can attack twice straight out the blocks. A Buffed minion can really throw your opponent off his game. Lightspawn + Divine Spirit is also an awesome combo, that’s a 10/10 for 6 mana. Just be careful though as
both of these combinations will leave you sad when someone plays an Assassinate or worse still a Mind Control. Make sure you have a Plan B when buffing minions, try to leave it for late game or when you know you’re going to have some board control for a while. Buff behind taunts if you can, it will help you protect those minions.
Same thing goes with removal. Spells such as Fireball are great, they give you some pretty big options. Make sure you use it wise though and if you’re in a good position board wise, keep it for something scary. Do not take out any smaller minions with this unless absolutely necessary and only target your opponent’s character if you can kill them on this turn or get them extremely low. Don’t remove weak creatures or you’ll end up sitting wishing you could Polymorph Deathwing
5) Hero powers are there to be used
Use most hero powers liberally and learn their usefulness:
A) Warriors are great at keeping their armour up, pretty much a health buff, and warriors can use this armour to great effect with spells such as Shield Slam
B) Druids are similar with giving one attack and one armour, nice for some quick and easy removal.
C) Mages fireblast is awesome for removing early game and for finishing off minions. Use it often and use it well.
D) Paladin’s summon a 1/1 minion which doesn’t seem like much but will allow you to treat it like a minion, throw down a Stormwind Champion and a 2/2 is not bad for finishing off a tough minion. Remember, lose a 1/1 summoned minion, you’ve not lost a card.
E) Priests can heal minions or themselves for 2 health. Great for keeping your health up when you have no other options and pretty good for cards like Northshire Cleric and the previously mentioned Lightspawn
F) Hunters can attack your main character for 2 damage. This is a pretty strong option and can be used to finish off your opponent in the end game. Going toe to toe with a hunter on turn 15-16 is going to start to hurt a bit.
G) Shamans have a pretty random ability to summon a totem, this can be either a healing, taunting, + spell power or 1/1 card. It’s a bit random at times but can sometimes really help out. Having a 0/2 taunt out for 2 mana can stall and give you a benefit on the next turn.
H) The Rogue’s ability is to equip a 1/2 knife. This is great for rogues as they can grab cards such as Deadly Poison for some pretty good early game removal. Just remember that if you attack a minion with a weapon, you’re going to take their attack power to the face. Do not attack Magma Rager you’ll feel it.
I) Warlocks let you take a hit of 2 health to draw a card. It’s great to rush ahead to an early board and card advantage, but use it too liberally and you’re going to have a tough time staying alive. 2 health can definitely be the difference between winning and losing and you may not have even used the card you drew for losing that health.
6) Cards with no text aren’t bad
They don’t need to be buffed and they aren’t susceptible to silence. All of their mana cost goes straight to the stats. Cards like Chillwind Yeti and Boulderfist
Ogre are solid choices. 5 health and 7 health tend to be pretty tough cards to get rid of. Use these cards, they’re big, mean and meaty and can be buffed!
7) Learn all the flavour meanings
You need to know these, some of these will destroy you if you don’t know what they are.
Battlecry: This is one of the main abilities in Hearthstone, minions with Battlecry do something specific when they come onto the field. Many of the most fun and effective combinations will be down to those cards battlecrys.
Deathrattle: This is the same as a Battlecry but only comes in to effect when that creature dies. Deathrattles can be silenced but cards like Cairne Bloodhoof can be tough to deal with.
Silence: means that your card will no longer be able to use its flavour text. Silence can be devastating when used on cards such as Sunwalker 6 mana for a 4/5 is horrible.
Taunt: The vast majority of your opponent’s abilities and minions will need to come through this minion before it reaches you. Can be used as a delay tactic or to keep a valuable minion behind this ready to attack.
Stealth: Minions with Stealth can hide away and are unable to be attacked until you decide to attack with this minion. They cannot be hit
with targeted spells or attacks from minions or weapons. They can be hit with spells that state “all” minions. This can make Patient Assassin both awesome, and easily removed at the same time.
Spell Power: This will add a specific number to the power of your spells. If you have a Kobold Geomancer on the field your Fireball will cause 7 damage.
Divine Shield: This allows your minion to be hit with one attack or spell and not die. Be careful that no matter how big your minion is,
1 damage to this creature will remove the shield. A buffed Scarlet Crusader
can be pretty tough to remove.
Windfury: This allows any minion with Windfury to attack twice in one turn, you will lose health when attacking other creatures in the way that you usually would.
Freeze: Frozen minions can’t attack and technically miss a turn, you can’t unfreeze a frozen minion and they can be attacked for some pretty lethal damage, mainly from Mages’ Ice Lance
Combo: This is currently a rogue only mechanic, but will allow a card to come into play with a more powerful effect. It’s best to think as combo as being an empowered Battlecry. You trigger the combo by playing any card and then the card of the combo you want to use. Combo does not trigger off the rogue’s main ability.
Overload: Shaman Only ability. A card with overload means that the Shaman forfeits the amount of mana that the Overloaded card shows on the next turn. For example, Earth Elemental will mean that Shaman has 3 less mana next turn but gains this back for the turn after.
Charge: Charge allows that minion to attack on the turn that it is played. Good for removal and battering your opponent down with a clear board.
Secret: Secret cards are played face down and will trigger an ability when its conditions are met. Secrets cannot be removed by the opposing player but are unpredictable for both players. Experienced players will know what to watch out for though. If you only have a Vaporize on the board and your opponent has 2 minions on the board. You can be damn sure he’ll attack with the smaller minion first out of fear of what the secret is.
Learn all secrets, this will help you make better, judged, decisions on your game when they are in play. Only Paladins, Hunters and Mages have secrets.
Constants: Finally, some cards have constant effects, these will not trigger and are there for as long as the card is in play. Stormwind Champion and Sorcerer’s Apprentice are examples of these.
8) Make sure you’re covered for all 3 parts of the game
It’s hard to resist but make sure you don’t overload your deck with heavy cost creatures. You’ll be toast before you can even play them. In my opinion there’s no sure cost way of splitting a deck, play to your strengths and your play style and chose cards accordingly. Too many low-cost creatures will also hurt. It’s fine controlling the game early doors but if it gets to turn 4 and your opponent plays Consecration and you lose 3 creatures you’ll be instantly on the back foot
9) Spend your gold in the arena
This might seem pretty harsh for new players but it will help! Trust me! It cost 150 gold to enter but even if you lose 3 games and get kicked out then you’ll still come away with at least 1 pack of cards. Seeing as 1 pack cost you 100 as standard, your best bet is the arena. Win 3 or 4 games and you’ll make your money back in gold and a card pack. 12 wins (which is the most you can gain) will give you 2 packs and an insane amount of gold, pays for itself.
If you pick a decent deck in arena that works well for you, write it down or take some screenshots, construct it in your deck builder and change it until it works for you. One of my decks is about 95% arena, plus a card or two. It’s also insanely fun and you’ll be making plays that you wouldn’t have thought about in your wildest dreams! Just remember, your opponent can have more than 2 of any card in his deck. Sometimes even 3 or 4.
10) Second guess your opponents cards
This is pretty tough for new players to do. Keep in mind when you’re playing constructed “Play mode” that your opponent cannot have more than 2 copies of any one standard card and one copy of any legendaries. Best way to do this is to think about what removal that player might have. If you go up against a Mage who has used his two Fireballs you can be safe in the knowledge that he’ll struggle to remove that big Mountain Giant you just played. Just remember to watch out for Polymorph or a desperation Pyroblast on the topic of this card. Keep your health above 10 when playing mages!
Best thing to do is just to keep playing. The more you play the more you’ll understand play styles of the heroes. Warlocks may try to rush you down fast, paladins buff a lot. Priests will use frustrating healing mechanics and Mages have masses of removal. Pick a class that works for you, if you’re not sure at first, play them all!
Lastly, I would avoid finding flavour of the month decks. You’ll not learn anything, some of the cards will be nerfed and you’ll be left all sad and alone. Just ask Unleash the Hounds which used to be “Give your Beasts +1 Attack and Charge”. This nerf ruined a lot of hunter decks!
If you want to add me on Battle.net and discuss anything here my ID is Sylokir #1199