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Hearthstone is huge, and that means it’s time to actually get good at it! Here are five habits that you need to pick up if you want to improve at Blizzard’s new card game.
I’ve put a few hundred hours into it, and I’ve learned a lot. If you’re not on your toes, you don’t climb the ladder. I’ve made a lot of regrettable mistakes through Ranked and Arena, and some of them have hurt so much that they’ve left me with Hearthstone scars. I’ll remember some of my gaffs forever, and that’s a good thing.
Seems crazy, right? There are many instances in a Hearthstone game where attacking or affecting your own minions can greatly benefit your play. An obvious scenario is when you’re playing the Mage class and you’ve got a card in play that can be affected by Enrage. You can drop this card and then use the Mage’s class-specific power to deal a single point of damage to it and activate the Enrage.
Another worth mentioning involves play of the Ancient Watcher.
Being that this card is unable to attack, isn’t it useless aside from being turned into a Taunt? Wrong! The Ancient Watcher can be affected by Silence, removing it’s inability to attack. Always be mindful of Battlecry effects, because many of them can be used against cards on your own side of the board.
Always draw first
This is a mistake that has even caused the best Hearthstone players to drop down the ladder. If you have plans to make a draw during your turn, you should consider making the draw before you put any other cards in play. Who knows what you’ll draw? It could completely change the outcome of the game. This is especially true when you’re playing Warlock and have constant access to card draws through the Life Tap power.
While the video above shows a rather extreme example, through use of a Miracle Rouge deck, you can see exactly what I mean!
Be mindful of minion placements
This is a tip that I myself am still struggling to adjust to. When you’re playing cards, you can’t just drop them wherever you’d like. Your position of minions on the board is extremely important.
The card above is one of the most powerful neutral cards in the game, especially when you’re drafting a deck in Arena mode. If you topdeck Defender of Argus and your minions are placed on the board in an awkward position, you’re forced to either throw a Taunt on a minion you wouldn’t prefer to or just not use the card at all.
“Baby” minions first
After losing enough games to the annoyance that is the Secret card, you’ll quickly adapt to this.
Shown above are two particular Secret cards in the Hunter deck that defend this rule rather well. Imagine playing Azure Drake (a 4/4 card) into the Snipe secret, when you could have played an Argent Squire (a 1/1 with Divine Shield). Imagine being up against Misdirection when you’re attacking with a 9/5 Core Hound! It’s not good at all.
While this isn’t a counter to every type of Secret, and isn’t necessarily always the best play, it’s generally a smart route to take. When you are against an unrevealed Secret, it’s best to start out small.
Don’t end your turn early
Ending your turn prematurely is a poor habit and one that impatient people (like myself) can fall in love with quite easily. There are a lot of things that can happen during the course of you putting cards into play and when you should officially end the turn.
If you’re ever drawing cards anywhere in between there, even when you have no mana left, you should stop and take a breather. There are several cards that have no cost, such as a Molten Giant (when you’re below 10 Health). Another instance is when you’re dropping a card that can spawn something random, such as a Beast or Demon. The Animal Companion card shouldn’t be put in play followed by the immediate end of your turn. You could draw a Huffer, which is a card with Charge. Ending the turn without getting that 4 damage out could be disastrous.
Be patient. Sometimes it’s worth it!
Get in a groove and train yourself to obey these five rules, and you’ll see some serious improvements in your gameplay. The better you are at Hearthstone, the better you can be (by advancing through Arena, getting better rewards, and so on). Develop yourself as a skilled and intelligent player, and the powerful cards will eventually come to you. It doesn’t take a pay-to-win deck to become the best. Hone your skills and you can become a Hearthstone master even with the free decks.