Welcome back to another guide on Hearthstone by Calm Down Tom. This time round we look at tips to really bolster your decks and your understanding of Hearthstone.
The key to success lies in many different factors; something as simple as a card choice or forcing an early aggressive attack can give you the upper hand and even having the right cards in your deck might help you in your bid to be the best.
(1) First off, and I can’t stress this enough, turn order means everything. Even the placing order of your cards is key. For instance, having a Defender of Argus in your deck means that coupling certain characters will force the enemy to attack specific cards that are given taunt, which could be costly. Another example is attacking at the start of your turn before you place cards when a secret is present. Not only does it prevent you losing a minion to a clear-all type trap, but it may help you to work out what trap it is (i.e. if it didn’t pop it might be a placement trap which you could bait with a lesser disposable minion).
(2) Identifying key cards in an opponents deck is also crucial. It can vary depending on the hero and the approach they choose to take, but if you are on the ball and are able to identify a play a crucial silence or even sacrificing a minion to prevent them from gaining momentum is a good call. One example is identifying a Scavenging Hyenna in a hunter deck, or an alarm-o-bot in several decks that could stop a player ramping up the volume early game and stop serious damage.
(3) Understand the approach that best suits you or your chosen hero. It might seem simple, but if you choose an approach that doesn’t compliment your play style or doesn’t have great synergy with the unique hero cards available to you, you will struggle. The appeal of a high health taunt might seem appealing but a Defender of Argus can give good cards with no particular strengths or abilities a +1/1 buff and taunt. Although that’s not to say your deck needs no taunt minions.
(4) Know key cards that work well in every deck. It’s a simple piece of advice but often hard to implement. Some cards are more valuable to different approaches than others. Obviously spell damage cards are more valuable than charge cards in mage or spell focused decks and in aggro warrior decks charge cards take precedent above the rest. Other cards work well across all decks, like the Argent Squire, Harvest Golem, Nat Pagle, Sen’jin Shield master and of course the Defender of Argus, which work well in most decks. The same applies for Swamp Ooze, Ironbeak Owl, Leper Gnome and Loot Hoarder.
(5) Have a good understanding of mechanics in your deck. A great deck is one that is easily malleable and the mechanics work well throughout the whole deck. Nothing hinges on one single play or card. The deck should be able to sustain itself and win. For example, one deck that can fall apart at the seems is a Hunter deck that relies on the Unleash the Hounds spell. If this spell is countered or the draw doesn’t come at the perfect time it can really hurt your chances of winning.
(6) Sometimes not playing a card at all is your best play. Seeing how an opponent reacts early game could show some tell tale signs of the type of player you are facing. In low level play some Mage’s might even burn a mana crystal to use fireball in turn 1 if they have second pick, while other heroes can also rush for their powers early game while lacking a specific card and it can give you an idea of whether the value early game minions or are aiming to kill you asap.
(7) Forcing a play is just as vital as attacking a hero. For instance a Leper Gnome will force an opponent to attack early game and take damage or let it live and take 2 damage every turn until it dies. Minions with Divine Shield can also do the same by either making the opponent remove the shield and sacrifice a minion or waste precious mana to expose the minion.
(8) Save your dust. It’s hard to come by a lot of dust towards legendary cards and in the current meta many of those cards are exceptionally strong. Some people have even went as far to dust all the cards they don’t need and focus on just one deck to ensure they have the best possible iteration of that deck. Obviously this might make it harder to complete all your daily quests but in terms of competitive play it could speed up the process dramatically.
(9) Watch the top ten plays of the week/streams of people playing Hearthstone. Although this might not be the norm for your evening viewing, I feel I have learned a lot from the few videos I have watched. These videos and streams are always a great showcase of turn order, plays, deck builds and you can see what high level play is like if you aren’t quite able to work towards it yet.
(10) Finally the best piece of advice I can give is to check up deck building sites. Hearthpwn is one I frequent regularly. Here you can find some in depth discussion on decks, explanations of what cards work well together and decks that are still strong without needing legendary cards or even rare cards.