It takes a while to be very good at HearthStone. You have to know the cards, the meta (the most played decks at a time), and you have to actually play well. These 5 basic tips won’t make you a legend in one day, but could help you progress some ranks.
Know how to build your deck
Building a good deck is very important. Even a very good player will have a hard time winning with a bad deck.
So what’s a good deck? It is NOT a deck full of legendaries. We’ve already spoken about legendaries and they do not make you win games just by themselves. It is NOT a deck full of blasts either.
A good deck must be balanced and have a good mana curve. The idea is to have cards you can play at every turn. Depends of course on your draw and your style: aggressive, midrange or control. But if you’ve got only one turn-2 drop for example, the chance to have it in your starting hand is very thin, so your early game will most often be weak. Even for control decks which focus more on the late game. Look at a control warrior deck, it has four T2 drops: 2 [Fiery War Axe], 1 [Armorsmith] and 1 [Cruel Taskmaster]. A good deck will also contain at least one draw potential, taunts and heals for control, at least a silence for aggressive decks etc…
Blizzard recently implemented deck recipes, it should help new players to have balanced decks. Else the solution is to use popular decks on the net, like on HearthPwn for example. Good guides will also propose cards as replacement to the ones you may not own.
Know your win condition
You have to know how to win against the different classes. You usually do not play the same versus aggressive decks as versus control decks. You must have a plan. You have to know several things:
- what to mulligan for
- the best cards against your opponent in your deck
- the cards from your opponent that you need to be careful about
Of course you don’t know directly during the mulligan what your opponent is playing but you can expect the most classic decks.
For example against paladin I always mulligan as if he plays a secret paladin deck.
What is also very important is to know the win condition of your opponent to play around it. It means also to know when to use your removals. If you blow your removals on the wrong threats, either you manage to get enough momentum to finish before the threat comes into play or you just lose to it. For example, against Freeze Mage, you need to remove [Archmage Antonidas] the turn after it comes into play.
Take your time to play
A lot of new players don’t take the time to think when they play. Each turn you have more than one minute to decide what to play. I’m not telling you that you need to wait for the rope each turn. Plus the rope is usually stressful so it doesn’t help.
Even if you have what looks like a simple turn, you have to think about what your opponent can play and also plan your next turn according to it. Sometimes you will plan your turn in advance while your opponent is playing and that’s great but you should not forget to take your draw into consideration before playing. Taking your time to play will greatly reduce the number of your misplays.
Overall it helps you play around the cards of your opponent. Deny a board clear by putting a sticky minion out, denying card draw, playing [Loatheb] or a taunt at the right moment…
Don’t think that for aggressive decks, there is nothing to think about. On the contrary, they usually have around 7-8 turns to take the game, or they start losing the game, so every turn is important.
Have the proper state of mind
You need to forget your losses. Being mad about a previous loss won’t help you win games. You need to have your thoughts on the current game to take the best decisions. Better take a pause after a frustrating game.
You have also to accept that some games won’t be winnable. It can be due to RNG, or due to the fact that you had a bad draw and your opponent had the perfect curve. Anyway it happens. Actually you should feel better losing like that instead of losing because you misplayed. If there was nothing you could do, you cannot be mad about it.
Finally, when you’re playing, you cannot do something else, be it watching TV or reading an article on the net… Your mind should be focused 100% on your game for you to be efficient in your decisions.
Review your games
This is a good habit to take: check the replays (or possibly videos) of your losses, and try to find a way to play differently and not lose. Sometimes you would play the same so an advice from someone else can help. An external and fresh point of view will be able to challenge decisions that your mind decided not to question.
This is what we propose to players on Zero to Heroes: a simple way to progress and understand their mistakes.