Decision Making in HearthStone, analysing puzzles #4

Welcome back on this series where I create puzzles to highlight interesting concepts of HearthStone. This will probably be more entertaining for beginners, but I guess it can still be fun for long time players.

Puzzle #3, avoiding mistakes with mill

 

Last time I left you a puzzle as mill druid. There was the tempting solution of [Tree of life] to probably win the game after, but this depends on the remaining cards of the Mage.

Puzzle

HS puzzle: find the lethal as Druid Mill against Mage

There are only two cards left in your deck wich are [Kezan Mystic] and [Innervate]. The mage has only three cards left in her deck.

On your board: [Dancing Swords].

On the opponent board: [Sludge Belcher]. The mages also has a secret and you are sure it’s an [Ice Block]

In your hand: [Ironbeak Owl], [Tree of Life], [Youthful Brewmaster], [Grove Tender], [Swipe], [Poison Seeds], [Deathlord], [Coldlight Oracle], [Druid of the Claw] and finally [Ancient of Lore].

You sit with 1 HP while the mage is at 6 HP. 

Solution of the puzzle

  1. Silence the sludge belcher with the owl. 8 mana.
  2. Attack face with the swords. 2 HP.
  3. Hero power attack face. 6 mana. 1 HP
  4. Play the oracle. 5 mana. The mage has 1 card left in her deck
  5. Innervate and poison seeds (or grove tender, shield from hero power prevents the 1 fatigue damage) resulting in the mage drawing her last card. No cards are left in both decks.
  6. End your turn for the mage to take 1 fatigue damage at the beginning of her turn as she can’t draw more.

Discussion

Why does it work?

I think that a lot of players did misplay when they started playing with secrets. Secrets can only trigger during the turn of the opponent. Hence here the ice block does not protect the mage during her own turn.

One another thing here is to be careful not to mill yourself. When playing mill, you draw a lot, it’s quite easy to burn your own cards. You sit at 10 cards. Playing the oracle first will burn either innervate or Kezan. If it does burn innervate, the only play is ancient of the lore to get back to 6 health, hoping the mage doesn’t have 1 damage in her hand as you will take a fatigue damage next turn. Playing Kezan will not help for the same reason written above.

You must remember when playing mill that your win condition IS milling the opponent. Indeed there will be games where you can win before fatigue. As the fatigue damages increment, sometimes you will want to sacrifice your dancing swords instead of going for 4 damages face. Here you can do both so it’s wondeful.

You’ll find coldlight oracle in every mill decks, it’s really a core card of it. Comboed with [Brann Bronzebeard], it makes people draw four cards. It’s alco comboed with [Youthful Brewmaster], [Ancient Brewmaster], [Echo of Medivh], [Duplicate], [Gang Up] and [Shadowstep] In mill decks you will need strong removals because you cannot afford to take too much damage per turn: [Poison Seeds] + [Starfall] and [Naturalize] (perfect for mill) for druid, or [Vanish] for rogue. You will also need heals like [Tree of Life] for druid, [Antique Healbot] and [Reno Jackson] to be able to live through the turns. Finally you need taunt minions, you really want the opponent to trade your minions instead of going face. So [Deathlord] and [Sludge Belcher] are pretty common, though the deathlord should be played very carefully: while it allows you to remove another card from the opponent deck speeding up the mill, you must be prepared to handle a potential big threat.

I’ve been having a lot of fun lately with mill druid, you can find the decklist here . I haven’t been able yet to go past rank 15 with it, there are a lot of aggro decks in the meta which are difficult to handle. In many games I went to low health pool before being able to heal, and I died to damage spells.

Takeways

  • If you’re playing mill, damages to the face are not so important compared to other card draws and clearing the board.
  • Secrets always trigger during the opponent turn.
  • Obviously the coldlight oracle is at the center of this deck. There are many combos, be it with [Youthful Brewmaster], [ancient Brewmaster], [Echo of Medivh], [Duplicate], [Gang Up] [Shadowstep] and lately thanks to the last expansion with [Brann Bronzebeard]
  • Don’t mill yourself!

Puzzle #4, dealing with secret paladin

 

I’m sure you’ve encountered a lot of paladins with all their famous [Mysterious Challenger] bringing almost 4 secrets each time, or more. You should not react to this puzzle the same way you react to a mysterious challenger as once again we’re looking for a lethal play.

Puzzle

puzzle #4, find the lethal as control priest vs paladin secret*

The paladin just played the [Mysterious Challenger] bringing 4 classic secrets into play ([Redemption], [Avenge], [Noble Sacrifice] and [Competitive Spirit]) along with a [Leper Gnome] directly buffed by [Coghammer]’s battlecry. The [Wild Pyromancer] was dropped through the deathrattle of a [Piloted Shredder] and the [Secretkeeper] was buffed by [Keeper of Uldaman].

On your board: [Reno Jackson] at 1 HP.

On the opponent board: [Mysterious Challenger], [Shielded Minibot], [Wild Pyromancer], [Haunted Creeper] at 1 HP, [Leper Gnome] buffed by [Coghammer]’s battlecry and [Secretkeeper] with 3 HP.

In your hand: [Ironbeak owl], [Mass Dispel], [Velen’s Chosen], [Shadow Madness], [Auchenai Soulpriest] and [Light of the Naaru]

You sit at 2 HP while the paladin is at 9 HP. If you choose to draw, you draw a [Deathlord].

You already saved yourself once with Reno (yes usual control priest don’t run mass dispel or reno), but mysterious challenger made the paladin think that he couldn’t lose. Prove him otherwise.

Solution in the next episode!

*Puzzles are created using http://www.hsdeck.com/puzzle/. Very nice site for creating puzzles