Author Topic: Hearthstone Tutorials  (Read 3588 times)

Clockwork

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Hearthstone Tutorials
« on: October 17, 2014, 06:31:32 PM »
Hearthstone is a free Blizzard ccg with (as with all Blizzard games) simple to understand mechanics with a higher skill cap than meets the eye. There is a singleplayer mode to get you familiar with the game but the real hook is the 20 million other players you can face in (relatively) troll-free ladder and casual play. The ranking system is easy to understand with ranks ranging from 25-1 and then Legend rank after that where the best players each have a position on their server (EU, Asia, US North, US South I think).

The format for playing cards is that you get one mana per turn. i.e on turn 1 you get 1, turn 2 you get 2, 3, 3 etc. Each card costs a mana amount roughly equal to its power. Minions get attack and health shown as */* e.g. a yeti is 4/5 for 4 mana, a razorfen raptor is 3/2 for 2 mana. Each deck consists of 30 cards, no more, no less.

I'm not amazing at the game by any means but I do regularly pop into the top 25% of players if only for a short while.

I'll write a couple of pieces on the basics and maybe one on Arena gameplay and a couple on deck builds.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 04:26:52 PM by Colossus »
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Clockwork

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Re: Hearthstone Tutorials
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2014, 06:31:41 PM »
Life totals are 30 and cannot be raised any higher, healing can only heal wounds not buff health above 30. There are several mechanics in game which are carried over from various other card games which you might recognise. Although as of yet there aren't any activated abilities such as in MtG.

Taunt - forces enemies to attack this minion instead of others or the hero.

Windfury - Can attack twice

Battlecry - Does something when its played

Deathrattle - Does something when it dies.

Spellpower - Gives your spells more power by the number indicated. E.g. Malygos give Spellpower +5 and so your 10 damage Pyroblast now does 15 damage. Or your 3 damage headcrack now does 8.

Hearthstone has a choice of 9 avatars which are your hero and class, all of which total towards your progress in ranked play. Each has a hero power costing 2 mana.

Mage gets a fireblast which does 1 damage to anything.

Shaman gets to summon 1 of 4 random totems which taunt, heal, increase spellpower or have a point of attack.

Warlock gets to draw a card at the additional cost of 2 health.

Druid gains one armour and 1 attack

Warrior gains 2 armour

Paladin summons a 1/1 minion

Rogue gets a 1/2 dagger

Hunter deals 2 damage to the enemy hero

Priest heals 2 damage to either minions or heroes

Play starts with 3 cards which you can mulligan individually for new ones and consists of uninterrupted turns between players with the player playing second getting an extra card at the start for balance.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 12:59:32 PM by Colossus »
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Clockwork

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Re: Hearthstone Tutorials
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2014, 06:31:49 PM »
The main themes of hearthstone are card advantage and board control. What I mean by this is:

Card Advantage

Having more cards than the opposing player. This seems obvious but has a bit more depth. You can gain card advantage by killing enemy minions with your own without losing one, or by casting an area of effect spell (or one which hits multiple targets) which kills multiple enemy minions for the use of a single card. Also there are more traditional methods of playing cards which draw other cards.

Board Control

Board control is making sure you have minions on the board while the enemy doesn't. This is important because there are so many cards to buff your own minions in the game. Suppose the enemy has a 1/1 minion on the board and you leave it alone, a paladin can then buff it by 4/4 with a card that costs 4 mana to a 5/5, probably killing whatever you have out. A druid can buff it by 2/2 with taunt, a priest can give it 6 health, the possibilities are numerous.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 01:46:25 AM by Colossus »
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Clockwork

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Re: Hearthstone Tutorials
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2014, 12:38:22 PM »
Arena

Arena is played differently to constructed play. You get a choice of 3 cards per slot and pick one for your deck. I'll give a rough guide on how to best pick an arena draft.

First off, each class is pretty much even in Arena, shaman and warlock might have a slight advantage but its not a lot at all.

Things to avoid

1 hp minions. They can get killed by half the classes hero ability and so you've effectively wasted one card.

Combo minions. Things that rely on other things to work are best avoided unless you already have the required minions/spells in your deck when the pick comes up. This is because by and large these cards are over-valued to take into account their synergy.

Spells. Most spells are to be avoided, things that give you a card advantage like a huge AoE are nice to have but most spells are either situational or just kill one minion which you can also do with one of your minions and still have a minion on the board.

Murlocs. The dream of getting off that combo is tempting to try but 9/10 times it will end in disaster.

Things to grab

Good value minions. Minions which are good value are usually minions that trade well into others or have a lot of stats on the card. For example, the Yeti is typified as the height of value at 4/5 for 4 mana. The 5 hp puts it out of range of even really heavy AoE like Flamestrike (4 damage) and the 4 damage means it can kill (almost) all lower cost minions in one hit. The Dark Iron dwarf is a 4/4 for 4 minion with battlecry +2 damage for a minion for that turn only. This totals 6/4 worth of stats as usually cards only last a single turn on the table anyway and the element of surprise is nice if the opponent hits your face instead of a weak minion because theirs is 'out of range' of yours.

Spells. Spells which create value such as Flamestrike or that fill a niche your deck is lacking if its a later pick. E.g. if you roll warrior and have no big cards capable of taking on giants and the like, pick up an execute. Or spells which give you a card advantage like thoughtsteal.

Disruption cards. Things like Sylvanas and Mind Control Tech (Or mind control if priest) can turn the game around if played at the right time and if your opponent is lacking in a specific area and your disruption card neutralises/disables it then you'll find you have board advantage later on in the game.

Minions that help you draw cards, Acolyte of Pain and Azure Drake are the best, Buzzard was acceptable before the nerf, now its not good enough to justify putting it in an Arena deck. Novice Engineer is one of the few 1hp minions I think are acceptable, as well as loot hoarder for this reason. Although I would still only pick up Novice if I had a way to not make her useless, such as with a buff or synergy with cards that die easy. Loot hoarder is good in most decks as the 2 damage can mean it sometimes trades with a 3/2 which is good value for you as despite them both being 2 mana minions you get a card advantage in your hand. If they hero ability to take it down, their early game is slowed. Not a huge loss in Arena admittedly as most decks end up as control but if your deck is aggro/rush then it can help hugely.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 01:20:31 PM by Colossus »
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Clockwork

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Re: Hearthstone Tutorials
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2014, 01:14:39 PM »
Common Deck Types (bear in mind the usage of them changes per season depending on the meta). Control is all about favourable trades on the board and thus controlling it. All classes can do it with varying degrees of effectiveness. Aggro decks consist usually of good early game play, looking to do as much damage in as short a space of time as possible and causing the opponent to use spells/early minions to make bad trades simply because they cannot afford to take more damage. I'll go into more detail later as there are different types of aggro decks but that is the general principle. The other types of decks I've listed are more specialised to a certain class and are usually the decks at the very top of metas but require expert timing and judgement to pull of. Apart from zoo, which is a lot easier. But it does take more tactics than people give it credit for.

Control Warrior
Aggro Warrior

Control Druid
Ramp Druid
Aggro Druid

Miracle Rogue
Control Rogue
Aggro Rogue

Frost Mage
Aggro Mage
Control Mage
Secrets Mage

Priest Control

Paladin Control
Paladin Aggro

Hunter Aggro
Hunter Beast
Hunter Control
Traps Hunter

Shaman Control
Shaman Aggro
Shaman Deathrattle

Zoo Warlock
Handlock
Control Warlock
Aggrolock

If anyone wants an explanation of any of these decks or how to counter them just leave a message and I'll have a reply and maybe a decklist as well as soon as possible ;)
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Tom

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Re: Hearthstone Tutorials
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2014, 03:38:57 PM »
I think I try and play a hunter beast synergy deck but not really having read up on it i'm not sure if I'm doing it right, do you have an idea about how to play that?

Clockwork

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Re: Hearthstone Tutorials
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2014, 04:17:44 PM »
Yeah that died with the current meta more or less, I used to play it all the time, had a really great win ratio with it, but objectively it was overpowered. To nerf beast synergy decks the cost of starving buzzard was increased from 2 to 5 and it got a stats buff. Beast synergy decks now pretty much play a little like handlock. Keep dogs, cheap minion and a hyena in hand and wait until the opportune moment to cause devastation. Don't wait too long obviously and try and use cards like ogre/highmane/sludge to lure out hard removal and silences.

A deck built around that will suffer against aggro without some early game cards so I'd take 2 zombie chow and 2 spiders as a minimum. You'll also want the typical hunter cards mark target for their legendary or early giant, charge kodo x2 etc. This build skips things like traps although you may want to add in a firetrap if the eminently popular zoo/hunter aggro become a problem. Ideally you're looking for a priest/paladin/warrior control match up and I'd put you about even against control warlock given the amount of removal they have, you'll have to make sure you can buff the hyena over 5hp otherwise you're in trouble from infernal/soulfire combo.

For a sample deck which I haven't tried and will most likely need tweaking.

1x Hunters Mark
2x Chow
2x Webspinner (so much value from this card, it's basically a free 1/1 with an extra beast)
1x Flare (In this secrets heavy meta its generally a good card to have)
2x Haunted Creeper
2x Scavenging Hyena
2x Animal Companion
2x Unleash the hounds
2x yeti
2x houndmaster
2x oasis snapjaw (excellent at killing minions, exceptional when buffed with houndmaster.)
1x Explosive shot
2x Sludge Belcher
2x Stampeding kodo
2x Tundra Rhino
2x Savannah Highmane
1x King Krush (One of the best finishers, imo vastly underrated card.)

If you don't have some of the cards, replace like with like in terms of power, e.g. Savannah highmane could be swapped with boulderfist ogre, krush can be replaced with core hound paired with Tundra Rhino.

EDIT: The deck plays like a OTK (One Turn Kill) deck crossed with aggro pretty much. Build up your hand that can kill them in one hit while defending the board with everything else and waiting for an opportune moment to make your play. This deck is actually a lot more flexible than some OTK decks like Miracle Rogue as you get King Krush (or corehound/Rhino) to make it a Two Turn Kill. Use the early minions to put pressure on the opponent if you can, try and get their hp as low as possible while leaving the board clear of taunts and the like. Hunter has some powerful early game in Animal Companion, if you get a Chow in hand, I'd mulligan the rest to try and get that for your turn 3 play (2 can be arrow unless you get something better). Otherwise mulligan everything for turn 1 plays.

EDIT 2: Just thought of a tweak, add unstable ghoul and snake traps for early hyena boost. As the ghoul detonates, the snakes will die and you'll have a 8/5 hyena perhaps as early as turn 3/4
« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 11:59:09 PM by Colossus »
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Tom

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Re: Hearthstone Tutorials
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2014, 04:00:52 PM »
Thanks for that Colossus, I'm going to try out my current build a bit more and see how far I can get with it before switching it up though. My biggest issue is running out of cards late game (no more starving buzzard) so I'm trying to keep cards in my hand until I can get off the combos I want/need. Just won three straight games but against pretty poor opponents, will need more testing. I'll post my current build in a bit.

Clockwork

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Re: Hearthstone Tutorials
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2014, 11:37:15 PM »
No problem dude, I was planning on testing the deck out by now but I haven't got around to it, only played four game and I subbed a few cards as I don't have them all but it performed as well as expected so far.

EDIT: Deck suffers from wanting a specific set of cards but little draw, playing risky I'm going sub the belchers and snapjaws (which didn't fit the tempo anyway, I just fit them in because they're awesome) for azure drakes and loot hoarders
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 11:44:42 AM by Colossus »
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Clockwork

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Re: Hearthstone Tutorials
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2014, 02:40:23 AM »
Made a warrior deck which I've taken to rank 12. It's pretty standard I guess, maybe slightly more weapon heavy than some.

Includes the nightmare Taskmaster/Armourer/Frothing Berserker/Unstable Ghoul combo for early game, taunt cards (Senjin and Belcher) and weapons (2 Death bite, 2 Reaper) for mid game and heavy hitters including Grom, Sylvanas, Gruul, 2 mercs and a Gorehowl for either clearing or finishing. Also includes an execute and a brawl for many minions/large minion.
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Re: Hearthstone Tutorials
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2014, 02:42:35 AM »
Death Nade plays this a bit, he'd be able to talk to you about it a bit, if only he were around more. :/
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Clockwork

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Re: Hearthstone Tutorials
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2015, 06:50:17 PM »
Ok so I've been playing a lot recently. Got to rank 15 using only joke/themed decks.

Decks I've been running:

Yum, mana! (Takes all the blood elf cards and sticks them in a rogue deck with assassination type spells and poisons)
Dark Priest (Mind controls, Soul priest, use healing to damage the opponent)
Northrend Paladin (Ghouls, shades, skeltons, acolytes, Nerub'ar)
Fear the Forest (Druid token deck running lots and lots of trees, treants and grove tenders, uses innervate and wild growth)
Arcane Mage (Uses only arcane based cards and spells and ancient mages/secrets, Mirror Image + Arcane mage + Sorc apprentice gives some really cool combos)
Light Protect You (Take Draeni cards and stick them in a priest deck)
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