Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hearthstone Tips and Useful Links *Updated General section*

- I found a very useful guide for beginners by Icy Veins website. It's definitely worth a read if you are starting out at the game. Many aspect of the game is covered. I agree with their advice on spending your gold in Arena instead of buying packs as for around the same cost, you get to enjoy playing drafted matches along the way. (Drafting is where you build a deck on the spot from a pool of cards and play using it)

- If you played Magic: The Gathering (MtG) before, a lot of concepts applies here. You definitely want to build decks that take into account of the mana curve; slightly more low cost creatures than high cost creature, etc. While I was learning how to play MtG, I was also taught to consider the effectiveness creatures based on their cost and stats. It is very useful again in Hearthstone and was pointed out in the beginner's guide in the previous point.

- The concept of card advantage applies as always, with card games. Aim to make many-for-1 trades. Edit#1: or rather, 1-for-many in your perspective. Edit#2: I've been watching a few streamers and reading Reddit and find that sometimes, you need to go for tempo/maintain board control over getting the maximum value for a card. E.g. I've seen players put out Battlecry minions that benefits friendly minions on an empty board just to maintain pressure.

- Given the way the game allows attacking of the other player directly unless he/she has a taunt creature up, I personally think the optimal way to attack might be to go for the player almost every time as long as they have no taunt and your creatures can survive theirs with higher health. Baring a spell to clear your horde (some heroes have no direct damage?), it is basically a race to get your opponent's life to zero and force the other player to clear your creatures instead of attacking directly. Edit: A more control style will be to clear their creatures by trading advantageously and you'll eventually win once they run out of steam. Update: Read Icy Veins Arena guide on Combat Techniques for a better analysis on attacking. It's also a good guide for Arena.

- I'm not able to find the rules so here's what I've encountered so far:
  • There is a max limit of 7 minions you can summon onto your side of the board.
  • There is a hand-limit of 10 and once reached, all other cards you will draw is discarded.
  • I have not encounter running of out cards to draw (deck out) and there was no mention of it being a lose condition so I think the cards are recycled back into your deck. Update: I manage to draw my whole deck with Priest. It turns out you will take increasing damage every time you try to draw from an empty deck;-1 for first time, -2 for second time, etc.
- If you play around 11-12 matches of practice matches, it should level your hero to 10 to get all the basic cards for the character. I used to play against every character once but lately, I just challenge Warlock as his hero power helps up the matches quite a lot.

- I've played some expert games and it seems the AI's better cards are making the games harder. I've also lost once due to drawing out of cards and the AI clearing out my existing cards; it seems like 30 cards make it too hard to play control.

- State of the Metagame: 04/27/2014 by onGamers - the top decks of each class featured there.

- Returning token creatures to the hand in this game gives you back the creature as a card. I'm pretty sure in Magic: TG, the token creatures are destroyed as they did not came from the hand technically... Edit: well, in Hearthstone, these tokens are known as uncollectible cards so it is a different concept.

- I enjoy watching people play video games or spectate chess/card matches in the past. With, you can now do it online easily. The Hearthstone section is very active most times of the day and is a good source to learn how to play by watching how others do it.

- *New* I think it is very important to always remember to check if you have lethal at the start of every turn from the midgame onwards. You definitely want to end the match as soon as possible before your opponent draws outs to the current state of the board. If you do not have lethal this turn, then it is better to clear opponent's side of the board of minions and chip away opponent's health with leftover minions to maintain board control.

- *New* If you watch how some of the streamers play, they think of their plays before executing them out, almost without hesitation. If you hesitate while aiming your spells or casting your minions, your opponent can almost guess what you are trying to do and good players can gauge from the rough mana cost, what cards you are holding.

- Check out the Quest page on gamepedia for the unique quests list. They are hidden and cannot be viewed until completion but are a wealth of goodies and rewards.

- I've read that a tip from the Reddit forums that you should re-roll 40 gold daily quests (except the win 2 games with particular classes as those are quick) by refreshing them for 60 and 100 gold ones. You can skip one per day, so just collect them.

- I also like to collect more quests (you can have a maximum of 3) to see if you get overlaps of the 40-60 gold ones where you have to win with 2 specific classes which will end up netting you 80-120 gold for winning 2 games with a particular class. Edit#1: Due to not being able to get the same quest and the combination of classes in quest, you won't be able to get a matching class in 3 "Win with 2 specific classes" quest, if I'm not mistaken. Edit#2: I noticed 60 gold quests have the win with 2 specific classes criteria too so I've updated this overall point to reflect that.

- You can get 10 gold for 3 wins per day in Play or Arena mode, for up to 100 gold a day. I noticed in in casual play that the 3rd win match's opponent seems to be harder. This is probably the MMR (match making rating) in play where you are getting matched with players who are winning as much as you.

- The Unlockable Rewards section in GameFAQs listed a reward for winning 50 games against human players in Play Mode which is to get better Daily Quests. I have 50 wins and seem to notice more 60 gold quests these days. Edit#1: With that, I think the most efficient way to earn gold per day is to re-roll for that 60 gold quest and completing 6 7 more wins to get 100 gold. (60 gold quest includes 6 wins for 20 extra gold + 6 more wins for another 20 gold 5 wins with extra 10 gold for the inclusive 3 wins + 7 more wins for another 30 more gold altogether) Edit#2: If you have limited card resources, then the 60 gold quests might be tougher. I think it might be easier to use Arena matches to accomplish them as theoretically, you have better cards for the class if it matches.

- Arena Card Tier List by Hearthstone players/streamers, Trump and AntiGrav1ty.

- Arena simulator by You can test out your drafting there.

- ArenaValue, a card value calculator and I tried comparing to Trump's tier list above during one simulator run and it seems that the valuation is quite similar.

- Check out this article Beginner’s Arena Guide: Choosing a Class and Drafting a Deck from It advises to pay attention to card synergy and mana curve other than just following Tier List blindly which I think is important to note, under the "Which Cards Do I Draft?" section.

With the Nexxrammas cards being released, it might be good to hold back on some of the usual top crafting choices like Azure Drake and Harvest Golem, if you still haven't gotten them, because I read there Spectral Knight and Deathlord might be suitable replacements. As you get more packs in the future, you might get Azure Drake and Harvest Golem while Nexxrammas cards are readily available just by getting the expansion. I think quite a few of the Nexxrammas cards are going to find their way into a lot of decks so it will probably be good to wait it out to see if more cards do not need to be crafted.

- There are a lot of guides about the top cards to craft if you googled and even has one for the top 5 crafts of each class. However, I personally think it is better to craft cards towards a particular deck you are building. Update#1: I think it might be good to go for neutrals that are commonly used in competitive decks first as those can help you in the multiple classes' daily quests. With better cards, you can win games faster. Update#2: Even with good neutrals, I am still finding it hard to do the classes' daily quests without the class specific rares IMO. I think it should be easier to do it through Arena. Thus, it is back to the old saying: "Jack of all trades, master of none" and is better to build one specific deck; winning 3 games for 10 gold each might be faster then trying to complete the class-specific daily quest.

- Pocket Gamer has all-round good advice about crafting in this article; rare-s have the best disenchant value and also crafting towards a particular deck like what I've written in the previous point. Conversely, I also personally think that the best cards to craft first are rare-s as they are worth more dust when you get duplicates, compared to duplicate commons.

- If you are not in a rush to build the deck you want, you can wait to disenchant only extra cards or you can disenchant cards which are not very good and hardly used in any competitive decks but there is a minor possibility that Blizzard could buff the card in the future.

- Top 5 Rare Crafts for Season 4 article from Hearthjunkies is a good guide for early rares to craft. As I start getting 60 gold daily quests more, I decide to stick with getting the best neutrals first to help complete those quest faster as different classes are required. I intend to get 1xKnife Juggler and 1xDefender of Argus as the first 2 rare crafts. I find Argent Commander not that commonly used now (used to be powerful but got nerf) while I think Azure Drake is getting competition from Naxxramas' Spectral Knight soon, although the spell damage might still have its use. 1 of each first to minimise the impact of getting duplicates soon while still getting to use them early.

- Disenchanting Guide from Massan is a Hearthstone player/stream and I found his guide to disenchanting. You normally find guides to what to craft but I think a guide to what you can disenchant is equally important. Before following the list, do check out the latest decklist from Heathstone Topdeck to make sure the card isn't use in a deck you are planning to build because the meta could have changed since the point of writing.

- Liquidpedia Hearthstone Wiki is another good resource for card info as some cards include current metagame information like Spellbender and strategy section like for Mindgames. It's great to check there first to confirm if certain cards, not usually found in competitive decks, can be disenchanted.