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Dec 22, 2004

Canu'r dydd a canu'r nos


First Annual Tazdingo Memorial Closed Beta Hearthstone Goon Tournament

A goon tournament is being run by Zombie Samurai. You can sign-up and discuss the tournament in this thread. It's open for goons playing on the US server only, so make sure you have a legal deck constructed on that server, before signing up.


A Public Service Announcement About Thread-making GBS threads

Although this game contains noticable variance, we cannot stress enough that success or failure ultimately does down to the decisions made by each player, either during the game or during the deck construction process. Having access to more expensive cards does not give you any meaningful advantage over new players, and card rarity is so trivial that gold is best invested in playing Arena Mode. Several goons in this thread are posting winrates of over 80%, and have reached the highest tier of matchmaking without spending any money on booster packs.

Whether you win or lose is down to you, and the decisions you make. If you think the game is unfair, or that other players somehow hold an advantage over you, then please read the thread through, and consider how you can improve as a player, before complaining to us about your perceived 'fairness' of the game, or the inherant power levels of high-rarity cards. You will not have a good time trying to argue that this game is unfair, if you've played less than 10 hours of it.

Please do not discuss the distribution of Beta Keys in this thread. We have a separate thread dedicated to giveaways. This includes promotional giveaways held by other websites.


Hearthstone is a fast-paced Card Game set in the Warcraft universe. Players collect individual cards from a pool of over 300, and build customized decks around one of 9 distinct classes. New cards can be unlocked by opening Booster Packs, or through the in-game Crafting system.

Hearthstone is not a game where spending obscene amounts of money, or investing hundreds of hours in a daily grind will give you a clear edge over your opponent. The vast majority of Hearthstone games are won by the player who displays superior decision-making and risk assessment. Only a small percentage of matches are decided by deck superiority, bad starting hands, or random outcomes.

Hearthstone is designed around correspondence gameplay, meaning you don't make any decisions during your opponent's turn, and only need to pay attention on your own turns. This means it's easy to to play on a second monitor, laptop or tablet. You can play it while AFKing in the MMO of your choice, and it's even possible to play it while writing the OP of a thread, although I don't recommend doing this if you plan to play Rogue :{

Hearthstone isn't what most people expect from a 'Free To Play' game. The thing that sets Hearthstone apart is that it really is absolutely free. Throwing money at booster packs will is possible, but will only leave you heartbroken and regretful. Trying to rush a class to level 50 is possible, but will cause you to spend a lot more time losing, than if you worked your way through Arena Mode. The most enjoyable Hearthstone experience is to simply collect gold from Daily Objectives, play Arena Mode for free once every 4 days, and play an hour or two of Constructed decks when you feel like it.

Hearthstone isn't a life-encompassing game, like a new MMO release, or something you should sit down and practice for 4 hours a day, like Dota 2. It's, a fast, skill-based game that's perfect for playing in short bursts, but has enough depth and variety to never get stale. So just put this apple on your head, give me a quest and pull up a chair by the hearth. Mind if I roll weeeed?

Other Hearthstone Threads
Hearthstone: Arena - A regressive tax on the unskilled
Hearthstone : Heroes Of Warcraft - Beta Key Begging & Battlenet Tagging[/url

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Podcasts / Streams
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Prada Slut's Video For Players Who Are Bad
Previous Thread - It's Time To D-D-D-D-D-D-D-Dual-Wield

Will cards / progress be wiped after the Open Beta ends?
A complete wipe has already occurred during Closed Beta, and Blizzard are insistent that there won't be another one.

Is This Based On The Previous WoW TCG?
It's an entirely original game, but it's very close in terms of gameplay. As with all card games, it borrows many mechanics from the games that came before it, so most of the rules and strategy involved will be instantly recognisable if you've ever played WoW TCG or Magic The Gathering. As well as the core mechanics, all of the artwork is borrowed from the WoW TCG, although the cards themselves are completely different.

Why Are TCG Players Going Nuts For This?
There are a dearth of online TCGs on the market right now, but the unique selling point of Hearthstone is that it's designed as a computer game, rather than a TCG played by two people sitting in the same room. To build on this, Blizzard have explored the mechanical limits of a TCG, and incorporated a whole ton of card effects which aren't mechanically possible in a physical TCG. There's a priest spell which lets you draw a random copy of any card in the entire game. Can you imagine how awkward that would be to try and work into a real TCG?... Can you imagine how loving awesome it is when you do it in Hearthstone?

Are Powerful Cards Expensive?
Blizzard have gone out of their way to avoid calling Hearthstone a TCG, as cards can't actually be traded to other players. Every card can be earned in-game, in any order that you like, via the in-game crafting system

How Do I Earn New Cards Without Paying Real Money?
By playing the Single Player campaign, you'll unlock basic “Starter Decks” for each of the 9 classes, as well as booster packs to help you make improvements to these decks, and begin playing online. Every day that you play online, you will (almost certainly) earn 40-60 gold, by completing a simple daily objective. After that, you will earn 1 Gold for every victory in online matchmaking, and bonuses for meeting certain milestones. You can buy booster packs in-game for 100 Gold, or enter Arena Mode for 150 gold, which includes a free booster pack, and can potentially earn you enough gold for even more booster packs, and arena entry tickets.

I'm Seto Kaiba And Want To Spend Real Money On Pretend Cardboard!
Booster packs are $1.50, and can be cheaper if bought in bulk. Arena entry is $2. Don't buy booster packs unless you actively hate both having fun and becoming better at the game. Arena Mode is the most fun you can have in this game, and even losing players will get more cards for their money, by ploughing all of the gold they earn into Arena Mode.

How Rare is X?
Each Booster Pack contains 5 cards, and is guaranteed to contain one rare, although they can actually contain multiples. The approximate rarity distribution is :
Common (white) – 0.25 packs
Rare (blue) – 0.85 packs
Epic (purple) – 5 packs
Legendary (orange) – 20 packs

Dear Gamesmaster, How Do I Unlock Secret Cards In Hearthstone?
There are 2 legendary cards which cannot be crafted. To unluck Old-Murk Eye, collect every other Murloc card, and to unlock Captain's Parrot, collect every other pirate card. The complete set of Murloc minions is definitely worth crafting if you have a chance, since they fit easily into any class, and can be used to quickly finish the daily “win x games” quests.

How Exactly Does Silence Work?
When a card enters play, any text written on it will become active. If any other cards are later played which change the properties of the card, they will add their own text to the card. This can be seen in a seperate text box below the card, when you hover over it. If that minion is silenced, then all text on the card is erased, including the text which was added by other cards. If a card indicates that it is currently being given an effect by another card in play, then it will remain even if the card is silenced, as you would have to silence the source of the effect, in order to remove it.

Can you choose not to play a Battlecry
Nope! Some really great cards are balanced out by the fact that they may actually hinder you with their battlecries, if played under the wrong circumstances.

Each player constructs a custom-built 30 card deck from their collection of cards. Cards with grey backgrounds can be used in any deck, while cards with a coloured background are class-specific, and can only be used in the deck of a hero of the corresponding colour. The vast majority of class-specific cards are Spells. Although there are some class-specific minions as well, such as Hunter, Priest and Warlock pets. When building a deck, you can only include 2 copies of any single card, but only one copy of a card of 'Legendary' rarity.

By choosing a class, you also get assigned a Hero to play the game with. Each hero starts with 30 health, and has a unique 'Hero Power' that they can use every turn, regardless of which cards they draw. These abilities cost 2 mana to activate, and can only be used once per turn, but allow you to spend your mana doing something constructive, even if you happen to draw a hand full of cards that aren't of any use to you.

Using the Hero Power and playing cards both cost Mana. Each player starts with 1 'Mana Crystal', and can use the crystal to play cards that cost 1 Mana. At the start of each of their turns, players receive another Mana Crystal, and their mana pool refills to full. As the game goes on, both players' mana pools will get increasingly larger, and the amount of cards they can play per turn will increase, as well as the cost (and power) of the cards being played.

At the start of the game, each hero draws a hand of 4 cards. Ideally, each player wants to start with low-cost cards in his hand, so that he has can afford to play them all during the early turns, while his mana pool is low. The player who is chosen to go first gets the enormous advantage of making the first aggressive play, so his opponent draws an extra card to sort of maybe make up for it. The aim of the game is to create an army of cardboard 'Minions', and use them to fight off your opponent's equally paper-based army. When you play a Minion card, you pay it's Mana Cost, and place it down onto the Battlefield, where it fights battles against other Minions, until it's destroyed.

The top-left of each card displays it's Mana Cost. This is how many Mana Crystals you need to spend, in order to play the card. The Crystals all refill at the start of each of your turns, so while you'll have to wait until Turn 3 to play this card, you'd also be able to spend that turn playing 3 cards that only cost 1 Mana each, or any other combination you can afford.

Attack : A Minion's purpose is to fight, and once you've paid the Mana cost and played the card, it enters the battlefield where it will (hopefully) engage in battles. The Attack stat shows the amount of damage the card will deal to anything it enters into combat with.

Health : When a minion does receive damage, it's loses health equal to the damage it's being dealt, and if the health remaining ever reaches zero, the Minion instantly dies. For example, if two Flesheating Ghouls were to enter combat with each other, they'd both deal two damage to the other Ghoul's 3 health. Both Ghouls would survive, but would be left on a single remaining health point. Unlike some TCGs, a Minion can only gain it's health back if an effect or Spell Card allows you to heal it.

Type : Some Minions have a specific 'Type' printed on the card. Some spells will affect “all Beasts”, or only trigger when “a Murloc attacks”. Not all Minions have a type, but so far we've seen Beasts, Dragons, Demons, Murlocs and Pirates.

The vast majority of Minions will also have an Effect printed on the card. The very best effects allow you to draw a card or indiscriminately destroy an opponent's Minion, but there are also some interesting combos that can be setup by having Minions with different effects in play. Because some of these effects are similar, they're often written with 'Keywords' that are fully explained when you mouse over the card.

Battlecry : This effect happens when the card is played, as The Minion enters the battlefield. If you can somehow return the minion to your hand, you can play it again to get it's Battlecry a second time.

Charge : The Minion is immune to Summoning Sickness, and may attack the turn it's played.

Combo : This effect only happens if a card has already been played this turn.

Deathrattle : This effect happens when the Minion is destroyed.

Divine Shield : The first time this minion is damaged, the entire damage is absorbed.

Enrage : One the minion has been damaged (by anything), it will permanantly receive it's Enrage effect, if it's healed.

Silence : When a minion is silenced, all effects written on the card are removed.

Stealth : A stealthed minion cannot be attacked or targetted by any effects.

Taunt : If a Minion has Taunt, the opponent cannot attack your hero (or any of your other minions), until it's destroyed.

Every time a player plays a Minion card, it enters play, any 'Battlecry' effects happen, and then.. It just stands there. Unexplained TCG Law #1 decrees that they have 'Summoning Sickness', which prevents them from attacking until your next turn. This means that any Minions already in play will be able to get a free shot at it before it can do anything. This is why going first and being able to play your 7-cost Minion a turn earlier than your opponent's 7-cost Minion is a big advantage.

However, the player going second gets to draw one extra card, and also receives another card called The Coin, which they can play at any time in the game, to receive 1 (temporary) mana. This is generally considered to be an even bigger advantage than going first.

When your next turn rolls around and the Summoning Sickness wears off, your Minion can start attacking things. Unlike some TCGs, you'll be able to choose the target of your Minions' attacks – you can either attacj their hero, or any of their Minions. When a Minion enters combat with another Minion, they each deal damage to each other at the same time, based on their Attack stat, and lose Health equal to the opponent's Attack stat. 

The best way to control the game is to create combat situations where your Minion will kill the opposing Minion, without dying itself. Having a Minion enter combat and live to see the next turn is a great thing, because the opponent has not only lost one card to it in combat, but will now have to use another card to kill it. This is known as 'Card Advantage', and creating situations where you can use one card to either destroy or waste two of your opponent's cards will quickly help you dominate games.

The game continues until one player can attack his opponent's hero enough to reduce their health to zero. Some crazy stuff usually happens along the way, involving weapons, dragons and the fetching of Arclight Spanners.. Whatever they are.

There are 9 classes in Hearthstone, and they're all awesome in some way. Each class has a unique Hero Ability and access to all Neutral Minion cards, as well as their own class-specific cards. Everyone is bound to have a favorite right off the bat, but between Daily Objectives and Arena Mode runs, you'll end up playing each class in fairly equal doses.

As you play each class, you'll accumulate experience points, and begin to unlock new cards after you reach every even-numbered level. The first 10 levels can be unlocked in any mode, and will award you with five new class-exclusive cards. The remaining 40 levels can only be unlocked online, and award the foil versions of the hero's basic cards.

Jaina is the first hero introduced in Hearthstone, and perhaps the most straightforward to play. Although the other classes have access to their own unique and powerful minions, Jaina instead has access to a much wider variety of damage-dealing spells, including her re-usable Hero Power :

(2) : Deal 1 damage

The Mage Hero Power and Spell cards are both very flexible, as they can be fired at either the opposing hero, or any of his minions. The most popular use of Jaina is as a “blue deck”, which uses her spells to keep an opponent's minion population under control, while she plays Minions that help her generate card advantage. Mage can also be played as a very aggressive deck, which attacks relentlessly with minions, and makes use of Jaina's damage spells to either remove taunters, or to finish off the opponent's hero.

As well as all that damage, Jaina has access to 6 secret cards, with 4 of them considered to be playable. The large amount of playable secrets actually makes them much more effective than other classes, since it's much harder to deduce which Secret in actually in play at any given time. Counterspell and Spellbinder both nullify the next spell cast by your opponent, although Spellbinder is actually much better, as it summons a 1/3 minion and then re-directs the spell onto it. This can potentially give you a very large, very free minion, if the spell being cast was a creature buff. The remaining Secrets don't create any card advantage, either destroying a creature attacking your hero, or creating a duplicate of any creature your opponent put into play. Mages also have access to Ethereal Arcanist – a 3/3 for 4 mana, which gains attack and health every time you end the turn with a Secret card in play.

Jaina is a great Arena hero, able to kill most low-cost minions with her Hero Ability alone, as well as having access to 4 direct damage spells and 3 AOE spells. She only has one playable class-exclusive minion in Water Elemental, but can draft multiple copies of Polymorph - the second-best removal in the game. Drafting with Mage is a bit different from other classes, as you'll often have so many removal cards being thrown infront of you that it's easy to forget the importance of picking up high quality Minions, and making sure you only take the best of the removal on offer. It's very easy to draft a lower-tier removal spell over a great creature early on, and then find yourself swamped with removal spells, with no second chance to draft the creatures you desperately need.

When Rexxar has a beast.. Good things happen! When Rexxar has no beasts, he has to resort to using his terribly single-minded Hero Power :

(2) : Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero

Playing Hunter is all about playing aggressively, and dealing with any threats that get in your way. Most important, it's also about having Beasts. Starving Buzzard is an amazing 2-drop, which lets you draw a card every time it sees a beast come into play. In most games, it's best not to actually play this on Turn 2, but to wait until you can play it together with a Beast card. Against some classes, you can actually drop it on Turn 2, and watch it survive for long enough to amass some great card advantage, but be aware of which early-game cards your opponent potentially has access to. Savannah Highmane is also a pretty big deal – a 6/5 Beast minion for (6), which survives every AOE ability in the game, and creates two 2/2 Beast tokens when it dies. If Starving Buzzard is in play at this point, he sees all 3 beasts come into play, and happily dispenses 3 cards.

Rexxar's removal is all fantastic. Kill Command deals some bonus damage if you have a beast in play, but the base damage is more than enough for it's mana cost. Multi-Shot and Deadly Shot are both “random”, but can actually hit exactly what you want them to hit, if you don't mind clearing the board around the intended targets.

Hunter is one of the three classes to have access to Secret cards, but like other classes, they're very situational, very easy to play around, and very rarely manage to hit valuable targets. Although there are quite a few more useless abilities cluttering up the class, the same can't be said of Rexxar's weapons, both of which are fantastic, and should be picked up in Arena Mode wherever possible.

Hunter is a solid Arena class, offsetting the terrible Hero Power with the highest ammount of 'A+' rated cards of any class in the game, and some positive synergy with some of the lower-ranked cards. You'll notice when drafting that Beasts aren't actually exclusive to the hunter class, and a fair amount of low-tier minions are a lot more playable if you pick them up and pair them with Starving Buzzard.

Garosh “All-In” Hellscream is a very angry man, with some very angry friends. Warrior's primary keyword is Charge, and the class gimmick seems to be that every time you play a card from your hand, something is probably going to immediately die.

By combining strong weapons with charge allies, Garosh never has to wait for his cards to make an impact. Warrior feels very unique, because it almost removes the idea of Card Advantage from the equation. Narrowing you decision-making down to “what do I play” and “what does it want to damage”. This doesn't make Warrior any easier to play, because Garosh himself is just as fragile as any other hero, and after a turn or two of swinging his weapons around, health management becomes a major issue. In order to offset the huge amount of damage he voluntarily inflicts on himself, Garosh has a rather strange Hero Power :

(2) : Gain 2 Armor.

This is the only Hero Power in the game which doesn't allow you to gain hand or board advantage in some way, as it's designed purely to stymie the health cost of equipping a weapon, and constantly using it to clear the board. In practice, people don't even seem to use it, opting instead to play hyper-aggressively, and throwing everything at the opposing hero before they have a chance to draw any affordable removal.

While fun to play in constructed, Wariror's gimmick doesn't translate very well to Arena Mode. Without a steady supply of weapons, Garosh's Hero Power can only be used to draw out the game, and while other classes can hope to draw into AOE removal, the best Garosh can hope to draw is a large minion. Blizzard have suggested that Warrior is currently the least successful class in the game, and hope to address this before launch.

Finance Minister Thrall is the official loan-broker of The Horde, allowing you to play the Ability card you want now, and spread the cost across your two turns. Many Shaman cards are fantastic value for money, but come with an 'Overload' cost in their effect, which you must automatically pay at the start of the next turn. Making smart use of Overload cards adds a level of complexity to playing the Shaman class, making it an early favourite amongst seasoned TCG players who are more than happy to do the math, and reap the rewards.

Thrall's Hero Power gives him access to a unique subset of minions known as Totems. These are regular minions which don't exist as actual cards, and can only be summoned (at random) from the Hero power. It's important to remember that only one copy of each totem can exist at any one time :

[0] Searing Totem - 1/1
[0] Healing Totem : At the end of your turn, restore 1 Health to all friendly characters – 0/2
[0] Stoneclaw Totem : Taunt – 0/2
[0] Wrath Of Air Totem : Spell Power +1 – 0/2

While none of the totems are particularly useful as a 2-cost minion, they can be summoned every turn without giving up any hand advantage, can be buffed by other minions, and if left unchecked can make the board very hard for the opponent to clear. There's also is a fifth Totem, in the form of Mana Tide Totem - a 0/3 minion that allows you to draw a card whenever you end your turn. While easy to destroy on it's own, the Shaman can use his other totems to make this task harder, and has access to an enormous amount of single and multi-target removal abilities.

While most Shaman decks are traditional control decks, Thrall can also be used as a basis for a Rush Deck, by marrying Lava Burst and Bloodlust with the full set of Murloc minions. There are also some gimmick decks which involve playing a minion with Windfury, and pumping it's attack with Rockbiter Weapon to deal an insane amount of damage in one turn.

Malfurion may look like a large topless purple man, but he's actually a deer / elf thing that turns into three different bears and three different cats. He's a walking toolbox!

The Druid class is all about having multiple options, and many of Malfurion's abilities and minions will offer you a choice of effects, whenever they come into play. This gives Druid decks a huge amount of flexibility, as one single card can serve as a vital solution for two completely separate scenarios. A great example is Starfall : a 5-cost removal card which can either deal 5 damage to one huge minion, or 2 damage to all enemy minions. While not as strong as the two Mage cards it emulates, the flexibility more than makes up for it's weakness, and opens the door to many more potential ways to play out your turn.

Malfurion's secondary gimmick is his Hero Power. It's lets him turn into a huge loving bear :

(2) : +1 Attack this turn. +1 Armor.

Although the Druid doesn't have access to any weapons, the 'Huge loving Bear' thing is kind of a big deal, even if it only lasts a turn. Malfurion can pick off 1-health minions at will, and has a number of Ability cards that boost his attack high enough to take down even larger threats, and a couple of not-very-good cards, which can heal his health back up afterwards.

Druid is currently one of the more fun Arena classes, thanks to some huge minions and some very cheap tricks. Innervate is essentially a second (better) copy of The Coin card, and can be used to play an Azure Drake on turn 1. Wild Growth and Nourish also give similar 'Mana Acceleration' effects, which allow you to play high-cost minions several turns before your opponent can answer them. Although the cost of doing this is very steep, it can have a dominating effect in Arena Mode, where your opponent has to have not only drafted removal, but needs to have drawn it quickly enough.

Anduin 'Funtime' Wrynn is the poster-child for wacky card-related hijinx. While most devoted men of the cloth would frown upon such wacky antics, Anduin wants nothing more than to bring a smile to your face with his crazy ability cards, even if it means that somewhere else in the world, a neckbeard is smashing his keyboard into his wall in frustration.

The Priest Hero Power has a huge effect on board control, letting you spend 2 mana to help a damaged minion live through an attack where it would otherwise die, and allowing it to take out 2 (or maybe 3!) cards before it dies :

(2) : Restore 2 Health

Anduin's ability to heal a minion every single turn and access to cards that can increase a minion's health both open up a lot of possibilities. Many low-cost minions have great effects, but often come with drawbacks such as a low amount of health, or an effect that forces them to damage themselves. By boosting the health of these heroes, Anduin lets them to stick around longer, and get more bang for their buck.

Outside of boring old Board Control, Anduin is all about fun. If your idea of 'Anduin Funtime' is to break the rules, Shadow Madness and Mind Control allow you to take possession of your opponent's creatures, while Thoughtsteal, Mind Vision and Mindgames all allow you to play cards directly from your opponent's deck.

Mind Control in particular is incredibly strong. For 8 mana, you take control of target minion. Although it can't attack the turn you take control of it, you' re effectively destroying an opponent's minion, and creating a minion for yourself, giving you +2 card advantage, and the very real possibility of capturing the enemy's win condition. In Arena, this is especially likely, as anything being captured after Turn 7 is going to be very hard for the opponent to deal with, without using multiple removal abilties.

Alternatively, if your idea of 'Anduin Funtime' involves making big-rear end dudes, then pick up Divine Spirit, Power Word Shield or Temple Enforcer to increase a minion's health to absurd levels, and then Inner Fire to raise it's attack to match it's health value. Lightspawn is a priest-only minion which has the Inner Fire effect built into itself, and can become absolutely massive if left in play long enough. All of these cards are amazing in Arena, allowing a low-cost minion with a great effect to stay in play much longer, and use it's effect for more turns than any other class can expect to.

Valeera has a unique card effect called Combo, which is tacked onto many rogue abilities. Whenever you play a card, you'll get it's standard effect, but if you've already played a card (any card!) this turn, you'll also get the card's Combo effect. Rogue decks have access to some fantastic single-target removal spells, and tend to supplement their other low-cost, low-damage abilities, by also playing minions with Spell Power.

Ontop of having access to Combo cards, Valeera has one of the strongest Hero Powers in the game :

(2) Equip a ½ dagger, or give your weapon +1 Attack this turn.

Unlike similar hero powers, the weapon doesn't vanish at the end of the turn, so get used to making the dagger whenever you have 2 mana to spare, and then holding onto it until your hero has a chance to snatch some easy card advantage, by taking out any minion sitting on 2 health. If you're brave enough to throw your hero at a massive enemy minion, then being able to deal the final 2 damage necessary to kill it instead of trading a creature can often turn the tide of the game in your favour.

Rogues have access to four different 0-cost abilities, and are the class that benefit from a Gadgetzan Auctioneer. Playing the Auctioneer followed by Conceal is the safest way to get him into play on Turn 5 – the Auctioneer will net you a free card to replace the Conceal, and unless your opponent has an AOE spell in his hand, and some Spell Power minions in play, there's simply no way to kill him in the foreseeable future.

Rogue is currently very popular, and considered by many to be the strongest class. A lot of people attribute this to the way that The Coin card interacts with Combo cards, allowing you to not only play big cards a turn early, but also get their Combo effect for free, simply because they played The Coin.

For long, we have pondered The Mystery Of Uther, as men, elves and orcs alike all struggle to decipher the eternal question - “what does Paladin DO?”. We don't have an answer, although his cards suggest his themes are healing himself (which isn't very useful), buffing his minions (although nowhere near as effectively as a priest), and de-buffing his opponent's minions (which is ok!).. He does have a nifty Hero Power, though :

(2) Create a 1/1 Minion

Uther is primarily considered an Arena hero, as his Hero Power allows him to summon a steady stream of 'throwaway' minions that can trigger other cards' effects as they enter or leave play. Knife Juggler, Frostwolf Warlord and Cult Master all become a little bit stronger, as Uther's Hero Power makes their usually-situational effects a lot easier to pull off. Infact, most Paladin Arena runs consist of drafting many more neutral Minions than normal, as very few Paladin-specific cards tend to be a lot worse than the neutrals on offer. However, the few that are worth picking up are incredibly strong, including three great weapons, and Aldor Peacekeeper, which is easily one of the best Minions in the game.

In Constructed, most Paladin decks seem to favour rushing out low cost minions, and emptying their hand as quickly as possible, in order to make full use of Divine Favor – a 2-cost ability that lets you draw cards until you have as many as your opponent. By flooding the board with minions (usually murloc-shaped minions), Uther hopes to end the game before the opponent can stabilise the board, and can buff his minions in order to ramp up the damage, deal with taunters, and help his little guys survive a number of AOE abilities likely to be thrown their way.

Although Paladin has access to 4 Secret cards, they're all too weak to make any impact, and the narrow selection makes it very easy to telegraph which secret is currently in play. The most useful of these is Redemption, which triggers upon one of your minions dying, and brings it back to life with only 1 Health, but all of it's non-Battlecry effects back in place (usually Divine Shield or Charge). It can create some devastating two-for-one effects with cards like Argent Commander, but the fact that you have to play it immediately before you voluntarily kill the Minion you want to return effectively negates the fact that it's a Secret Card, making it even easier to telegraph the remaining 3 Secret cards, whenever one comes into play.

You'll read often in this thread that your Hero's health is a resource you should put to work for your own advantage. Nobody takes this advice to heart quite like Gul'dan, offering perhaps the best Hero Power in the game, but at the greatest cost :

(2) : Draw a card and take 2 damage.

Following the 'Pain For Progress' theme, Gul'Dan has several unique Demon allies, which are all fantastic, but come with an additional cost of taking damage, or discarding cards. He also has the most damaging AOE removal in the game, at the cost of damaging Gul'dan's minions, as well as his opponent's.

Gul'dan is the only character in the game to have access to a Master Hero card – a 9 cost card which sets Gul'dan's life to 15, gives him 3 permenant Attack, and a new Hero Power :

(2) : Summon a 6/6 Infernal Minion

In Constructed, Warlock seems to be represented by very fast rush decks, which try to kill their opponent before their own life total becomes an issue. By dropping high-quality allies onto the field and either ignoring or playing around the additional life / cards required to play them, Warlock can make some amazing trades, and requires a lot of removal to hold at bay.

In Arena Mode, this is all a lot harder to pull off, as Gul'dan is less likely to have access to his full set of tools, and discarding random cards in order to play minions is a much higher price to pay. His Hero Power is, of course, fantastic in Arena, but there's some debate to be had over the value of drafting minions that heal Gul'dan, as well as the possibility of playing against players who might be holding 3 Fireballs.

A major complaint of most TCGs is that whenever you open a booster pack, all but one of the cards in it will be worthless. No matter how good a common card may be, a player can only ever need 2 copies of it at any one time, but will inevitably end up opening 20 copies of it, on his quest to collect the rares he actually wants. Trying to trade these extra copies away is a possibility, but with the supply being ten times the cost, very few cards have any real value.

Hearthstone skirts around this problem, by eliminating the trading element entirely, and allowing players to create the cards they want, by disenchanting cards they don't want. Any card opened in a booster pack can be disenchanted. This destroys the card, but awards you Arcane Dust in return. The Dust can then be spent crafting the specific cards that you do want.

Cards disenchant into ¼ of their value, which seems to split the community on how best to approach crafting : Do you disenchant absolutely everything you open, and use the Dust to craft the deck you really want to play, or do you hold onto everything, so you can play a wide variety of decks, and make the Daily Quests more enjoyable to complete?

One common mistake is that people spend their dust the moment they get it, and slowly craft pieces of their deck as they can afford them. The problem with this is that after crafting 2 copies of Sunwalker, they might open a booster pack containing a third Sunwalker. Since you can only play copies of any card, and allows you to play those 2 copies in every deck you create, you'll have no choice but to disenchant your third Sunwalker, sending 80 dust down the drain. Don't craft a card until you're ready to actually play with it.

That said, you should absolutely, definitely think about crafting the following cards as soon as you can, as they can be used in a wide variety of decks, and can help you get through the random Daily Quests, until you've played enough Arena Mode to put together a Constructed Deck.

“Mind if I roll weed?..” 420 #YOLO mAke CaRd ADvantage eVery daY! These guys are collectively 'the cantrip minions', and almost every deck plays at least one of them. The benefit of the 2-drop minions over other cantrip cards is that in addition to 'replacing' themselves by letting you draw a card, they're actually capable of trading with other minions that are likely to be in play on Turn 2. In most circumstances, your opponent will have to spend at least 2 mana and possibly a card in order to destroy them, which gives you card advantage, and costs them a turn. These cards are both absolutely phenomenal in low-bracket games where players are likely to be playing multiple 1-drops, as the Engineer can potentially draw you a card, kill one of their minions outright, and still not die.

Azure Drake is more expensive and less flexible, but his Spell Power effect is very powerful in Rogue, Mage and Shaman decks, and most opponents will happily spend a removal spell to get rid of him, instead of saving it for your bigger threats. If you plan to play any of those classes, then you should pick him up as soon as you can, since his cantrip effect makes him one of the better cards to start playing immediately, while you amass the rest of the deck.

In a game that regularly features dragons, demon lords, immortals and demigods, the most powerful card in the game is of course a fat, badly-drawn owl that costs 2. The impact of this card cannot be overstated, as it instantly shuts down any strategy the opponent may have, and can counter almost any minion in the game, reducing even the most powerful legendaries down to a pair of numbers. Of course, you still have to destroy the minion somehow, but with such a low cost, the Owl should leave you enough mana leftover, with which to turn the tide of the game. Another less common use of the owl is in Rush decks, where he can not only contribute to the swarming offence, but can nullify Taunt minions with his silence.

Mr Ooze is another acceptable 2-drop minion, but also a solid card to draw later in the game. Weapons are a very reliable way in which to gain card advantage, and by destroying them the turn after they come into play, you can claw back the card advantage and still have enough mana left over to play out the rest of your turn. At higher brackets of play, the Ooze is overlooked in favour of a much better legendary minion (Harrison Jones), but for your first few thousand games, the Ooze is your friend!

Although he appears to have a deformed left arm and the wrong voice, Knife Juggler has overcome both of these disabilities to become the darling of the Rush Deck Scene. Although semi-random, Juggler's effect is a cheap way of dealing additional damage to a hero, with the added bonus of possibly hitting a Taunt minion along the way. He's a staple in Paladin, Shaman and Rogue rush decks, where his effect can be triggered multiple times a turn by using Hero Powers or Defias Ringleader.

The Divine Shield fatties aren't huge threats, but they do create some great card advantage, and can really punish players in low-tier matchmaking. Think of the Commander as a removal spell, rather than a minion. He charges into play, and kills anything with 4 health, while his Divine Shield prevents all damage, and leaves him in play. He's then a minion which your opponent has to waste a second card dealing with, in order to stop him killing something else on your next turn. It's a simple example of two-for-one card advantage, which can swing games.

Sunwalker is a more traditional fatty that wants to be dropped onto an open board. Although Druid, Rogue and Mage have Hero Powers that allow them to remove the Divine Shield, the other classes will almost certainly have to pay 2 cards in order to kill her, and if their only answer is “play minions and wait a turn to attack with them”, then she can potentially gobble up 3 cards before she dies.

Gadgetzan Auctioneer is literally the living incarnation of card advantage. Often played in control decks an in conjunction with a low-cost spell, Auctioneer simply draws you a card every time you play a spell. An average Auctioneer play sees the goblin enter the game on Turn 5 or 6, followed by The Coin, followed by a low-cost spell. After watching you draw 2 spells, the opponent simply has no choice but to kill the Auctioneer at any cost, either by trading multiple cards for it, or blowing a powerful removal spell.. And this is in his “best case” scenario. If he can't find 4 damage the turn after it comes into play, Auctioneer will continue to draw you cards for the rest of your opponent's very short life.

Tyma fucked around with this message at Nov 30, 2013 around 04:18


Dec 22, 2004

Canu'r dydd a canu'r nos

This maddeningly addictive Single Draft mode is a skill-intensive contest where players pay an entry fee to construct a semi-random deck, and play upto 11 matches against other players with equally-random decks. After 9 victories or 3 losses the game awards you a booster pack, along with Gold and Arcane dust based on how well you performed.

After paying 150 gold to enter, each player is given a choice of one of three random heroes to play, and then starts picking cards from random sets of 3, in order to construct a 30-card deck. The first and last picks will always contain rare cards, with rarer cards also popping up throughout the draft. The art of drafting a deck is almost a game of it's own – players have to pick quality cards, but also watch out for a chance to pick up cards that synergise well with cards they already have, as well as cards that compliment the hero they've selected to play. Picking the right quantities of cards is important as well, since you don't want to run out of steam too early, or flood the players' opening hand with Minions you can't play until much later in the game.

After placing all of their hopes and dreams in a selection of 30 random cards, players face off against other (equally random) decks, and try to build up as many wins as possible, before suffering 3 losses.

If you manage 5 wins, you should “break even”, receiving the booster pack, around 50 gold, and a small amount of Arcane Dust.

If you manage 7 wins, you should make back your 150 Gold entrance fee, allowing you to enter Arena Mode again, while also earning the booster pack and around 90 arcane dust.

If you manage 9 wins, you can usually “double-up” on your entrance fee, winning 300 gold, plus the booster pack.

Our current understanding of Arena Mode is “Pick good minions, pick minion removal.”. The best picks are usually minions which give you card advantage in some way (drawing you cards or creating another minion when they enter play), or minions which can survive AOE spells, either by having a high ammount of health, or creating another minion when they die. All the 1-drop minions are terrible, and should be avoided at all costs, and while most legendary minions are fun to play with and fun to play against, they usually aren't as reliable as some of the top-tier common and rare minions.

As you draft, an on-screen graph will track your Mana Curve. This is a visual representation of how expensive the various cards in your deck are to play, and helps you make sure you end up with a deck that will allow you to play good cards every turn, and doesn't leave you sitting around turn after turn, with a hand full of cards you can't afford to play. A good Mana Curve in Arena Mode usually has a large amount of cards that cost 3, a few less that cost 2 and 4 and only a very small amount of big-impact, high-cost Minions.

The best strategy for Arena Mode is simply to draft good stand-alone minions, which can be relevant at any point in the game. Never fall in love with an idea or a combo, and then pass up great cards in favour of lesser cards that fit into whatever deck they want to play. If the game offers you a fantastic card early in the draft, then by all means take it and let it control the general direction you take the deck in, but never build a deck in the hope that another key card might show up later on.

One common mistake is that players go into Arena Mode with the intention of drafting a specific deck, such as a Murloc rush deck, or even specific combos. People seem to fall in love with the idea of powerful, techy combos, but the chance of actually pulling it off in a game is pretty small, and the effect you'll actually get might not be as strong as you'd think. Unless the 2 combo pieces are strong cards in their own rite, ignore the temptation, and just draft the best cards you get offered.

A good example of ineffective, techy combos is Inner Fire and Shieldbearer. The Shieldbearer is a 0/4 minion that costs (1), and it by all standards, absolutely terrible. Inner Fire is a spell that costs (1), and changes a target minion's attack to be equal to it's health.. If you play it on the Shieldbearer, you have a 4/4 minion on turn 2, which seems very good on paper, and people in lower tiers seem to go nuts for this combo.

However, the idea falls flat on a few levels – In addition to paying (2) mana, you need to pay 2 cards in order to create this 4/4 minion. It dies to most removal in the game, most Arena decks can easily kill it before Turn 5, and it creates no card advantage. In a best case scenario, it might kill one minion, and then trade with a second, letting you spend 2 cards to kill 2 cards, and ultimately achieving nothing. Worse still, the 2 component pieces of the combo are almost worthless, unless you draw BOTH of them in your opening hand. The Inner Fire can be used with a few other minions to create some nice effects, and can potentially be played on your opponent's minions as a neat little trick, but it's ultimately not a piece of removal, and at best creates an even trade that nets you no card advantage. The Shieldbearer on the other hand, it completely worthless in any game where you don't also draw an early Inner Fire.

Compare that to a less romantic and more realistic combo – Gadgetzan Auctioneer and Backstab. The Auctioneer is a solid minion, who lets you gain advantage whenever you play a spell. He works with all of your spells, and if you happen to draft him early in a draft, then you should also make sure you pick up some Backstabs. The real reason you should pick up Backstabs is because the card is amazing in it's own rite, but the dream is obviously to play the Auctioneer on turn 5, and then cast Backstab for free, since it costs nothing. You'll definitely net a card, and probably kill a minion in the process, gaining card advantage. The reason this combo is valid in Arena is because it's barely a combo at all, but rather two great cards which have an added bonus if you stumble upon a dream scenario, where you can play both together.

The list below is a rough guide to card quality in Arena Mode. Card Quality is subjective, but following a rough guide, and picking only good cards that follow a healthy mana curve is a much better start than trying to think of the various interactions between the cards you draft.

Keep in mind that mana curve is as important as card quality. Cards are rated primarily on their ability to trade with others, and could slide up or down a tier depending on your class. Some classes have flips which give cards better trading potential, or allow the cards' effects to activate more frequently.

Acidic Swamp Ooze - A+
Abomination - B
Abusive Sergeant - E
Acolyte of Pain - B
Alarm-o-Bot - F
Amani Berserker - B
Angry Chicken - F
Ancient Brewmaster - B
Ancient Mage - D
Ancient Watcher - F
Arcane Golem - D
Archmage - D
Argent Commander - B
Argent Squire - F
Azure Drake - A
Bloodfen Raptor - E
Bloodsail Corsair - E
Bloodsail Raider - C
Bluegill Warrior - D
Booty Bay Bodyguard - D
Boulderfist Ogre - C
Chillwind Yeti - B
Coldlight Oracle - F
Coldlight Seer - F
Core Hound - D
Crazed Alchemist - E
Cult Master - A
Dalaran Mage - D
Dark Iron Dwarf - B
Darkscale Healer - D
Defender of Argus - B
Demolisher - B
Dire Wolf Alpha - C
Dragonling Mechanic - C
Dread Corsair - C
Earthen Ring Farseer - C
Elven Archer - F
Emperor Cobra - C
Faerie Dragon - D
Fen Creeper - D
Flesheating Ghoul - D
Frost Elemental - C
Frostwolf Grunt - E
Frostwolf Warlord - C
Gadgetzan Auctioneer - A
Gnomish Inventor - B
Goldshire Footman - F
Grimscale Oracle - F
Gurubashi Berserker - D
Harvest Golem - B
Homing Chicken - F
Imp Master - C
Injured Blademaster - E
Ironbeak Owl - A+
Ironforge Rifleman - D
Ironfur Grizzly - D
Jungle Panther - C
Knife Juggler - C
Kobold Geomancer - D
Leper Gnome - D
Lightwarden - E
Loot Hoarder - C
Lord of the Arena - D
Mad Bomber - C
Magma Rager - F
Mana Addict - C
Master Swordsmith - C
Mind Control Tech - D
Mogu'shan Warden - D
Murloc Raider - F
Murloc Tidecaller - F
Murloc Tidehunter - F
Nightblade - F
Novice Engineer - C
Oasis Snapjaw - D
Ogre Magi - D
Pint-Sized Summoner - A+
Priestess of Elune - D
Questing Adventurer - C
Raging Worgen - B
Raid Leader - E
Razorfen Hunter - C
Reckless Rocketeer - E
River Crocolisk - D
Scarlet Crusader - C
Secretkeeper - E
Sen'jin Shieldmasta - B
Shattered Sun Cleric - B
Shieldbearer - E
Silver Hand Knight - C
Silverback Patriarch - E
Silvermoon Guardian - D
Southsea Deckhand - F
Spellbreaker - A
Spiteful Smith - C
Stampeding Kodo - B
Stonetusk Boar - F
Stormpike Commando - D
Stormwind Champion - C
Stormwind Knight - D
Stranglethorn Tiger - D
Sunfury Protector - C
Sunwalker - C
Tauren Warrior - E
Thrallmar Farseer - D
Twilight Drake - A+
Venture Co. Mercenary - B
Violet Teacher - C
Voodoo Doctor - E
War Golem - E
Wild Pyromancer - E
Windfury Harpy - E
Wisp - F
Wolfrider - D
Worgen Infiltrator - C
Young Dragonhawk - F
Young Priestess - E
Youthful Brewmaster - C

A spell or effect such as Flamestrike, which hits multiple minions, and successfully destroys them. This is sometimes known as 'sweeping' an enemy's board.

An exceptionally powerful card, which gives one player a seemingly unfair advantage in a Sealed competition (in this case, Arena Mode). Although this phenomenon is fairly rare in Hearthstone,Ysera and Mind Control are both considered to be Bombs.

Returning a minion from the board back into a player's hand. In most TCGs, this is something done offensively, to disrupt the opponent's gameplan, and set them back a turn. However, Hearthstone's focus on powerful Battlecry effects seems to encourage you to do this to your own creatures, either to save them from fatal damage, remove Silence effects, or to trigger their Battlecry effects on multiple turns.

Cards which deal damage directly to a target, instead of damage though attacking, such as Ironforge Rifleman, Fireball, and the battlecry from Perditions Blade (but not the weapon itself). Sometimes called "DD" cards, decks that revolve around using these cards to win are known as "burn" decks.

A card which is statistically worse than other cards of it's cost, but has the bonus of “drawing a card” tacked onto it's effect, to make up for the higher cost.

CC (Crowd control)
A spell or ability that removes or effectively negates a creature, such as Hex, Assassinate, or Sheep.

The amount of turns you have until your life reaches zero. For example, it's late in the game, you're up against a hunter and you have 8 life remaining, you can assume that the hunter will deal you 2 mana per turn via his Hero Power, giving you 4 turns in which to win the game. Time is against you, because no matter which plays you make, you have 'a 4-turn clock', before you will definitely lose the game.

A game or tournament in which players enter with their own custom-built decks. In Hearthstone, both Ranked and Unranked Play Mode award constructed.

The act of selecting a card in Arena mode. You're “drafting” the best little dudes from the ones you have on offer. Arena Mode is a revival of an old gaming format called “Single Draft” (which you might also know from Dota 2), so many people simply refer the whole mode as 'Draft Mode'.

The turn on which a card is designed to be played. For example, Senjin Shieldmasta is a great 4-drop, because it costs 4 mana, and when you drop him onto the field, your opponent will struggle to kill him with any minion that costs less than 5. Many other cards cost 4 mana, but aren't necessarily very good 4-drops, because they have very little impact on the game at that time, or may be designed to be played in conjunction with other minions, much later in the game.

An opening hand which contains the ingredients needed to perfectly execute your decks' offensive strategy, typically used in combo decks.

The current state of the game as a whole. This is “the big picture” - what decks are popular, which minions people currently so afraid of, that they'll happily throw multiple cards onto the board, in order to try and kill them. Keeping track of the current Metagame is important, as it not only informs you which decks are the most successful, but also lets you know what other players are thinking, and which cards they may be likely to play against you.

A strategy where you aim to win by running your opponent out of cards, instead of damaging them directly. Rarely seen in Hearthstone due to lack of effective cards.

A 'One Turn Kill' deck or strategy aims to kill your opponent with a very specific combo, and fills out the deck with cards that help the player set up the correct circumstances. These strategies are very popular in Hearthstone, best demonstrated by the (now-defunct) 'Miracle Rogue' deck.

A game or tournament where players construct decks from a random assortment of cards. In Hearthstone, this is Arena Mode.

Summoning sickness
The ancient and mysterious law of the universe which states “your minions can't attack unless they were in play at the start of your turn”. Some cards like Shadow Madness inexplicably bypass this rule, while Mind Control doesn't.

A player who is in a situation where he has no choice but to draw (and then immediately play) the top card of their deck (regardless of what it is) is said to be 'topdecking'. You'll often find yourself in this position when you play all of the cards in your hand too quickly, or your opponent plays a minion which you cannot kill using any of the cards you currently have, and need to somehow hope that the top card of your deck will provide you with an answer. Successfully managing to topdeck the card you need is sometimes known as 'ripping' the card, or possessing 'the heart of the cards'.

TCGs have been around for 20 years now, and very little has changed. The advanced strategies employed in the very first TCGs still apply to Hearthstone, and the quickest way for any new player to progress through the game isn't to practice playing, nor to buy more booster packs, but to take a few hours to read up on TCG theory, and start applying more strategy to their game.

The following info-dump is an amalgamation of posts from Tyma, Bottom Liner and Prada Slut, where we each attempt to explain the basics of TCG theory, as they apply to Hearthstone. There's no easy way to write or absorb 20 years of theorycrafting into one post, so you might also want to explore strategy write-ups for other games such as WoW TCG or Magic : The Gathering, as you will see these terms (amongst others) used repeatedly in the thread, and the concepts behind them are at the very core of every decision a player will ever make.

This is a term you'll hear a ton in Hearthstone, basically meaning how efficient a card is/was during play. Some cards have innate good value, making them a great choice in Arena drafts. Take Leper Gnome for example. No matter what, he's going to do 2 damage for 1 mana, and either another 2 damage to a minion, get an attack on the hero, or force a removal, all of which is great value for 1 mana. In game, cards can generate great value depending on how the game goes. A Knife Juggler that pings a couple of 1 life minions then gets a few attacks on their hero has great value, because he single handedly did direct damage and removed a few of their minions. A Knife Juggler that gets immediately shived next turn has little value, as it didn't get to do much before dying. 

Trading can mean minions or cards. If you attack a 4/4 with a 4/4, that's an even trade. If you manage to take down a 4/1 with a 1/1, that's probably a really good trade for you. You can also trade cards, meaning you used x amount of cards to remove a threat from the board. Generally you want to be able to make favorable trades that give you an advantage but sometimes you have to make bad trades to remove a big threat (like using 4 minions to take out one big guy). 

Board Control
Having a better presence with your minions and equipment. If you have a big taunter and a few beefy minions and they only have a few weenies, you have board control and they will have to make a big play to take it back. Think of board control as who's on the offensive and who's on the defensive.

There are a few “AOE” spells in Hearthstone which allow an opponent to deal damage to all of your minions in play, and the more you have out there at once, the more damaging this will be to your gameplan. Warriors and Rogues can deal 1 damage to all of your minions in play with one single spell, Druid / Hunter / Paladin / Priest can deal 2 with one spell. Shamans and Warlocks can deal 3, and Mages can deal 4. Be very mindful about over-extending against Mages, and make sure you have just have enough creatures in play to dominate your opponent, but not so many that an AOE spell will turn the tide in their favor.

Card Advantage
This is a measure of how many cards you've used to get where you are, compared to how many your opponent has used. If you both have 2 3/3 minions out on the board and they have no cards in your hand to your 4 cards in hand, you have a 4 card advantage. Card advantage can be given by draw spells, discard spells, favorable trades, etc. 

Think of tempo as the opposite of card advantage. You trade long term advantage for short term bigger plays. The Shaman overload and Warlock demon cards are a perfect example of tempo, you give up something (mana crystals next turn, discards) for an immediate advantage and stronger card that turn. It puts a lot of pressure on the opponent, hence upping the "tempo" of the game. 

Any spell or ability that kills minions. Removal is a huge part of Hearthstone, especially the aoe spells. Learn all of the classes big removals so you can anticipate them and not over extend and give them more value from it. There is also "soft" removal like silence, hex, polymorph etc. They are great for dealing with big threats, making them next to useless. If you have 2 big creatures and are scared they might have a hex, drop the less valuable one first and try to bait out the removal before you risk you big game winning guy.

Kill Spells
Cards which indiscriminately destroy a minion are very, very powerful, and you should try to hold onto them until your opponent plays something that you cannot destroy without losing several creatures, or you see an opportunity to destroy something which your opponent is relying on as a key part of his gameplay. For example, your opponent might play a couple of 2/2 minions, and another minion which gives them both +3/+3. The opponent is probably playing the minions on the assumption that they will still both be 5/5 at the beginning of his next turn, and by instantly removing the combo piece, you can easily kill them, and possibly swing the game in your favour. In this situation, you might be playing 1 card in order to kill 3 cards, which an incredible deal, and the true power of 'Kill Spells'.

Aggro Decks
Aggressive decks that try to win fast. Pirates, Beasts, and Murlocs are all aggro style decks in this game. Shaman and Paladin are generally aggro flavored, winning by flooding the field with minons and buffing them for big attacks.

Combo Decks
These decks tend to not rely on minions for their big plays, but use spells instead. Miracle Rogue is an example of this. Lots of direct damage and spell power/card advantage synergy to nuke you down. 

These decks try to keep board control with lots of removal and secrets until they can drop their big threats and win late game. Mages have a lot of great control ability thanks to great Secrets and aoe removal. Druids are another great control class. 

Using The Coin
If you play second, don't be tempted to waste The Coin on an early turn. Not being able to afford any of your creatures on Turn 1 or 2 isn't a huge deal, but being able to call on the extra mana to play a pair of great cards in the middle of the game certainly is. If you're playing Rogue, then The Coin becomes one of the best cards in the game, not only allowing you to play combo cards out of a tight spot, but also guaranteeing yourself the combo effect.

Everyone has removal and there is nothing you can do about it
You need to understand this point. You have removal, they have removal, they can hex your Azure Drake, you can Assassinate their Senjin Shieldmasta, that's the way the game works, deal with it! You cannot be afraid of the threat of removal to the point that it dictates your gameplay. If you are holding back a good creature drop because they might Assassinate / Hex / Whatever it, you are giving them control of the game. It is smart to consider what they might have when you are deciding which plays to make. It is dumb to let that completely dictate your play.

You also have to realize that your opponent also loses something when they use removal--the potential to use that card on something else.

When debating between drops, you should ask yourself "all things equal, if my opponent does have removal, which of these creatures would I rather have it used on? Remember that you are protecting another one of your creatures by baiting removal on another. Also, you can often determine if someone has removal or not by how unfavorable their trades are. If someone just traded three of their creatures to stop your beef, they probably don't have removal in their hand.

In the case of mass removal (Flamestrike, Twisting Nether), you need to ask yourself if the risk is worth the board control. If you have control of the game and are doing fine, just sit and hold back and force them to react to you. If you are behind or in danger of losing, YOLO it and hope for the best. If they have mass removal, you're dead anyway. If they don't, maybe you can get back in the game. There is nothing wrong with holding back cards if you have control of the board. Remember that people will use their mass removal when they feel like they are on the defensive, or in danger. If you can make your opponent feeljust enough in danger, that will force action (removal, playing creatures, etc).

Smart players will often save multiple removal cards in their hands. Just because you baited out one doesn't mean you should go full retard and play your entire hand to get eaten by Flamestrike. Look at the board, and play only what you need to.

The threat of removal is just as good as the actual removal if you let it dictate your play. If you're so scared of removal that you don't play a creature you should, your opponent has effectively removed it--it has no presence on the board and no affect on the game.

* Removal is not "a free kill", it is still a trade. They are trading their removal card for one (or more) of yours.
* Removal often has a greater mental effect on you than actually affects the game. It's discouraging play your super awesome creature to have it hexed. Keep your focus and look at things analytically.
* Do not let the threat of potential removal dictate your play, and stop you from making good decisions.
* Players use removal when they feel threatened. If you are slightly tilting the control of the game in your favor, you can more easily bait removal.
* All things equal, play the cards that are least valuable to you first. This doesn't mean playing lovely cards at the wrong time, just that if you think to yourself "I can only have either Auctioneer, or Twilight Drake, which one would I rather have on the board?" Play the other one first.
* Unfavorable trades often indicate a lack of of removal in-hand. Why would your opponent trade 3-for-1 if they had a Hex instead?

There are three advantages in the game: life, board control, and card (having a bigger hand). You want to balance those three advantages, sacrificing some to gain others, depending on the state of the game.

Let's look at Stormforged Axe (2/3 weapon). When you use this to kill creatures, you sacrifice life for card advantage (trading 3 for 1) and board control. If your opponent drops a bunch of 2 toughness creatures, you can take them out (taking a small amount of damage yourself). This is a hugeadvantage.

You basically need to control the board just enough to keep your opponent on the defensive. If you have the advantage, hold cards back in your hand. Let's say you can trade creatures in such a way that you have only one left, and they have zero. Even if you lost some life to do it, you are now in control of the board, and you are forcing your opponent to act. Unless you're running low on health and in risk of losing, cards are always more valuable than life. It doesn't matter how much life you have, as long as it's more than 0.

If you're overloading the board with bullshit creatures, you are exposing yourself to catastrophic mass removal. If you're already ahead, why take the risk of playing more cards just to try and end the game faster? Slow and steady, whittle them down, force them to act. Likewise, don't play removal if you're fine with taking some damage. If you have a Lightning Storm (2-3 damage to all opponents creatures), consider your game state. Are you okay with taking X damage this turn for the chance to remove more creatures next turn (trading 1 card for however many they have)?

All things equal, if the board is empty and you both have a hand, do you play your massive creature, or a medium one? The medium one. Force your opponent to waste their removal (or trade unfavorably) to take it out, while you hold back your bigger things until you need them. Likewise, if your opponent has a medium creature out, you need to look at your removal options and decide which advantage you have the most of, and use that one. If you have a lot of life and can trade life for cards, do it. If you have a lot of removal, use that. If you can play some fat creatures, use those instead.

I have no idea if you're a chess player, but there's a theory in chess that says when you're ahead, trade evenly and you will be more ahead. If you're at 15 and they're at 10, both players trading 5 damage puts them further behind. Likewise, if you have 5 cards and they have 2, trading two creatures evenly hurts them more than you (specific cards in hands notwithstanding). The only time you should go balls out with your cards is when you are in danger of losing. If you're barely hanging on, all-in, play everything you've got, and hope for the best. The biggest mistake people make is just going balls out from the gate. You want the game always just barely tipping in your favor.

TLDR Hearthstone Strategy
1) Always be barely ahead, and forcing your opponent to react to you.
2) Even trades benefit the player with more of that specific advantage (life, board, card).
3) Don't blow your big cards until you need them. Don't get greedy and try to end the game quick.
4) Always weigh the cost/benefit of trades. Is it better to take an extra turns worth of damage from an attack in order to hit more creatures with a board clear next turn?
5) Trading life for cards at the start of the game is a huge benefit to you. A Stormforged Axe can take out three of your opponents early creatures for the "cost" of those creatures damaging you once.

(2) When an enemy attacks your hero, instead he attacks another random character
(2) When one of your minions is attacked, summon three 1/1 Snakes.
(2) When your hero is attacked, deal 2 damage to all enemies.
(2) When an enemy minion attacks, return it to it's owner's hand. It costs (2) more.
(2) When your opponent plays a minion, deal 4 damage to it.

(3) When an opponent plays a minion, summon a copy of it.
(3) When a minion attacks your hero, destroy it.
(3) As soon as your hero is attacked, gain 8 armour.
(3) When an enemey casts a spell on a minion, summon a 1/3 as the new target.
(3) When your opponent casts a spell, counter it.
(3) When our hero takes fatal damage, prevent it and become immune this turn.

(1) When your hero takes damage, deal that much damage to the enemy hero.
(1) When an enemy attacks, summon a 2/1 defender as the new target.
(1) When one of your minions dies, return it to life with 1 Health.
(1) When your opponent plays a minion, reduce it's Health to 1.

Hearthstone is currently in Closed Beta for the PC and Mac platforms, with a rapidly approaching Open Beta, but no firm release date An IOS version is to follow the PC release. Before any of that happens, the current plans for the remaining beta period are :

* A reset of all players' accounts and card collections.
* A major patch introducing balances to existing cards, and a new levelling sytem.
* The invitation of every account which has opted into the Closed Beta.
* Further balance checks.

If you would like to join the Beta, you can opt-in for beta testing via the Battle.Net homepage, or try your luck by registering your interest in this thread. Please state whether you wish to enter the US or EU Beta, and avoid mentioning any beta key-related purchase or begging aspirations in the megathread, as this is probatable.

When the game launches, Blizzard plans to open regional restrictions, to allow players from all regions to play Hearthstone on both the North American or European servers. Before rushing to join the larger North American server, please remember that there may be potential payment issues, should you decide to buy additional Booster Packs or Arena Entry tickets.

Tyma fucked around with this message at Oct 31, 2013 around 16:20

Dec 22, 2004

Canu'r dydd a canu'r nos

[Reserved For Decks]

May 5, 2010

Yeah, beat it!

Great OP.

Jul 4, 2007
Please insert forced meme to Continue:

I fully expect this opening to be shamelessly stolen and uploaded as countless EPUB's and PDF's being sold on eBay called some varient of HOW TO WIN: Hearthstone.
I have read shorter and less comprehensive Prima Guides.

Great work Tyma.

Jun 21, 2012

Thank you for the nice new OP.

Blizzard has stated the game will be released "Soon". Not "Blizzard Soon".

Some decent streamers are regularly playing alot on Twitch. The most popular being Trump, Kripp and ek0p.

Nov 3, 2011

Unless there's a new patch in US that hasn't hit EU yet, Mage racial [2]cost for 2 damage should be 1 damage. And its still OP :<

Oct 15, 2007

Sweet Deity!

Mage hero power does 1 damage. /\ argh!

Chocolatebuddha fucked around with this message at Sep 30, 2013 around 13:57

Dec 15, 2008

Diane, I just posted in the most amazing thread!

SierraNovember posted:

Unless there's a new patch in US that hasn't hit EU yet, Mage racial [2]cost for 2 damage should be 1 damage. And its still OP :<

Surely those sort of fun times are reserved for the shadowpriest.

May 13, 2013

To add to the list of Twitch Streamers, Ellohime ( isn't all that good, but by golly he's loving hilarious. Doesn't take it anywhere near as seriously as the previously mentioned streamers.

Fejsze fucked around with this message at Sep 30, 2013 around 18:40

Inquisitive Banana
Aug 24, 2005
I'm not Chicken, You're a Turkey!

The Mac version is already in beta. My PC died and I'm having no issue playing on the OSX my parents let me borrow.

Apr 2, 2008

Inquisitive Banana posted:

The Mac version is already in beta. My PC died and I'm having no issue playing on the OSX my parents let me borrow.

One issue I've noticed on a MacBook is that you can't right-click with the trackpad, so cancelling cards or using emotes can be tricky.

Apr 7, 2002

Why do you call the Hunter hero power "terrible" in the OP? It isn't, and it seems like the OP should be a little more objective anyway.

moostaffa posted:

One issue I've noticed on a MacBook is that you can't right-click with the trackpad, so cancelling cards or using emotes can be tricky.

For canceling you can use Escape, at least on PC.

Jan 6, 2012

It's 2 damage you can ONLY aim at the enemy hero. While that does seem strong on paper, in my (admittedly brief) experience, you're pretty much in topdeck mode if you're regularly using it every turn in a match. Not only that, but if you're at that point, odds are good you'd rather have something that deals with the opponent's minions.

Apr 7, 2002

I'm well aware of the drawbacks and played Hunter almost exclusively to Masters. It's not the worst hero ability and it fits in well with the Hunter's cards. I just don't agree with calling it terrible multiple times in the OP.

Bottom Liner
Feb 15, 2006


Hey, glad to contribute to the OP! I felt like noone noticed that post before and now it will help tons of newbies

Feb 22, 2007

Evernoob posted:

Blizzard has stated the game will be released "Soon". Not "Blizzard Soon".
Could this be added to the OP? I haven't been fortunate enough to get a Beta invite, and this information was the primary thing I was looking for.

Jan 4, 2003

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Fejsze posted:

Too add to the list of Twitch Streamers, Ellohime ( isn't all that good, but by golly he's loving hilarious. Doesn't take it anywhere near as seriously as the previously mentioned streamers.

Ellohime is, by far, my favorite streamer. He's amazingly interactive with his followers (sometimes to the detriment of his game), but he seems to have more fun with it than the other streamers. He may not be 'as good' as Trump or whatnot, but I can watch Trump when I want to see someone be more seriouspants about the game. But Ellohime would be fun to watch no matter the game he's playing.

Oct 28, 2005

I got this title for free due to my proximity to an idiot who wanted to save $5 on an avatar by having someone else spend $9.95 instead.

Chocolatebuddha posted:

Mage hero power does 1 damage. /\ argh!

And Wrath of Air totem is 0/2, not 1/1.

Jul 20, 2006
a jerk

Patch Summary!


The rate that you acquire gold has been one of the other most-commented on topics on our forums. This patch will improve the gold output of Play mode, changing the gold generation rate from 5 gold per five wins to 10 gold per three wins. We will be monitoring this update as we progress further into closed beta and will continue to make changes as needed.

We’ve made significant changes to the Arena as well: In general, rewards gained will include less dust and more cards, as well as guaranteeing more gold for both five and six Arena wins. To further entice you to become an Arena Grand Master, an extra pack OR a golden card is now guaranteed at nine wins.

10 gold for 3 wins is pretty nuts unless you're super casual so that makes Arena way more attainable as a free player.

Phoix fucked around with this message at Sep 30, 2013 around 17:14

Bottom Liner
Feb 15, 2006


Wow, that's all great news. Very cool. Can't wait to see the balance changes.

Nov 3, 2011

Fejsze posted:

Too add to the list of Twitch Streamers, Ellohime ( isn't all that good, but by golly he's loving hilarious. Doesn't take it anywhere near as seriously as the previously mentioned streamers.

I really like the relaxed atmosphere and poo poo on Ellohime's stream too, although I'm partial to a bit of piano now and again. There's just different scales: Trump - serious business/good play > Kripp - Not serious at all/good play > Ellohime - whatever goes lets have some fun!

Not Al-Qaeda
Mar 20, 2012

Fingers crossed for the bigger optin wave coinciding with the patch!

Aug 17, 2008

Favorite Food: Milksteak
Hobby: Magnets
Likes: Ghouls
Dislikes: People's knees

Wow that'll definitely make collecting cards a lot more fun. An actual reason to play constructed without investing too much money. Though I did think 5 gold every 5 wins was too slow (one pack every 100 wins), 10 gold every three wins (one pack every 30 wins) might be a bit too fast? I mean, in terms of if they really wanna put the squeeze on some wallets. I guess we'll have to wait and see if sales of packs isn't enough.

Lyrax fucked around with this message at Sep 30, 2013 around 17:36

Dec 27, 2006

Games (and dogs) are my passion!



Apr 5, 2008

I hope this means patch is tomorrow! I can't wait to start collecting again and playing with a fresh deck and knowing that everything I get will be kept.

Apr 25, 2003

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.

Wow, those changes will make the game way more enticing to grind on. Blizzard you bastards, just when I was feeling a bit burnt out

Oct 20, 2011

You know what might look better on your nose?

Lyrax posted:

Though I did think 5 gold every 5 wins was too slow (one pack every 200 wins)

I think that would be one pack every 100 wins.

Aug 14, 2004

Awesome OP! I look forward to getting out of the lowest tier.

Jan 10, 2003

a very bad frogger

It's nice that since there's no trading in the game, they can actually increase rewards without ruining everything. 45 wins for an arena ticket instead of 150 is way more generous than I could have possibly imagined though!

Tyma, love the OP(s), just a few small notes though. You list out the Shaman totems and even mention Mana Tide but somehow forgot to throw out Flametongue, which is one of the few cards that actually makes you want to think about how you position your minions. Also, your sentence about the Mana Curve in the Arena section just seems to end abruptly.

Lots of good info though, even the stuff I've seen before was worth reading twice.

CrashCat fucked around with this message at Sep 30, 2013 around 18:11

Bottom Liner
Feb 15, 2006


Between the better arena awards, much better constructed gold awards, and daily quest gold, it's going to be really easy to play unlimited arena. I've been doing 1-2 arenas a day since EU beta started and haven't dropped a penny on the game, but my gold did dip below 150 a few times. Now it should be super easy to always have at least 150 in the bank.

May 13, 2013

SierraNovember posted:

I really like the relaxed atmosphere and poo poo on Ellohime's stream too

The other day he called a mod from Germany and let him pick the cards for an Arena deck. It was terrible and hilarious.

That and his GF ate a spider for the stream.

Far more entertaining to have him on in the background at work during the day

Dec 27, 2006

Games (and dogs) are my passion!

That's the wonderful thing about this being a Blizzard game, they don't have to scheme on how to wring every penny out of you, I'm impressed that they in fact made the game more accessible to folks.

Funso Banjo
Dec 22, 2003

Good OP, except

Hunter power is not awful. It is fairly strong, especially with a strong early game deck, which hunters excel at. Get plenty of damage on the board early, opponent eventually manages to get close to even, but now he is on an x turn clock.

Nov 25, 2002

All the world is blue and there's nothing I can do...

Funso Banjo posted:

Good OP, except

Hunter power is not awful. It is fairly strong, especially with a strong early game deck, which hunters excel at. Get plenty of damage on the board early, opponent eventually manages to get close to even, but now he is on an x turn clock.

It's a good OP except it consistently uses it's instead of its. If it's has an apostrophe in it, it's a contraction for "it is." If it doesn't have an apostrophe, it's the possessive. Counter-intuitive yes, but that's English for you. Makes me twitch every time I see it.

Steady Shot is an okay power, but has far less flexibility than other hero powers and can't grant board advantage or card advantage. Every other hero power gives one or both of those. It's good until you start comparing it to any other hero power; at that point it's thematically appropriate and mediocre.

I went 1-3 in the Arena this morning with probably the worst draft deck I've ever had to put together. I had one 1-cost card and one 2-cost, four 3-cost and the rest of the deck was 5+. Four Fire Elementals don't help any when most decks are functional on turns 1-5. One of the games I had a chance of winning went south when it turned out my mage opponent had drafted four Flamestrikes. So much for minions.

On the bright side, in that Arena round's pack was ample compensation: Sylvanas Windrunner. I immediately threw her into Mindfuck at took it for a spin. And then I learned something. My opponent played a Stranglethorn Tiger as his only minion. I played Sylvanas expecting to get the minion and guess what? She can't steal stealthed minions. Good to know, huh? I figured since it says "random minion" maybe it would take the Tiger since it was the only choice, but nope.

Feb 29, 2008

bartolimu posted:

On the bright side, in that Arena round's pack was ample compensation: Sylvanas Windrunner. I immediately threw her into Mindfuck at took it for a spin. And then I learned something. My opponent played a Stranglethorn Tiger as his only minion. I played Sylvanas expecting to get the minion and guess what? She can't steal stealthed minions. Good to know, huh? I figured since it says "random minion" maybe it would take the Tiger since it was the only choice, but nope.
Sylvanas is a deathrattle, not a battlecry. Did you immediately murder your own sylvanas and still not get the tiger?

Nov 25, 2002

All the world is blue and there's nothing I can do...

chrisf posted:

Sylvanas is a deathrattle, not a battlecry. Did you immediately murder your own sylvanas and still not get the tiger?

Or it's possible I can't read.

Shut up, I'm on muscle relaxers it's not my fault.

bartolimu fucked around with this message at Sep 30, 2013 around 20:28

Katana Gomai
Jan 14, 2007

"Thus," concluded Miyamoto, "you must give up everything you have to be my disciple."

Just finished a 6-3 Arena (lost the last game by 4 HP ) and got a golden common and 70 dust as a reward. No gold. So glad they're fixing that.

Jan 10, 2003

a very bad frogger

I'm debating keeping one of the two play modes (ranked vs unranked constructed) for quests only so that it doesn't rank up as much, to make it easier to knock those out when I want to. Especially since the ranking itself is only worth bragging rights at the moment, it seems like it would be more profitable to have an easier time when it counts. I don't know how practical this would actually be to put in practice though, and if it's easier for me that just means it's going to catch up unless I'm putting in a ton of time on the other mode.


Bottom Liner
Feb 15, 2006


Apparently unranked still uses your ranked rating, so that wouldn't work.

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