Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hearthstone Tips from Hearthstone Senior Designer, Mike Donais

From Kotaku article

The standout points for me:

- "1. Start with cheap minions
If you don't play any cards on the first three turns, you'll likely get too far behind, so make sure your starting hand has at least one 2-mana card even if it means you have to mulligan (redrawing at the start of a duel) a good 4-mana card."

- "2. Spend your mana
First, consider a play that would spend all your mana, and then compare that with your other options. Getting big minions out early is usually the best strategy because it puts your opponent on the defensive. If your opponent doesn't have the right card to deal with your early minions you end up with a big advantage."

- "4. A clear board is a happy board
Trading one of your minions for a similar enemy minion is generally a good idea. Meaning if you have say a 3/3 minion and your opponent also has a 3/3 minion, you should attack and kill theirs with yours. By doing this, they won't be able to surprise you with a buff spell that could make that 3/3 minion a 4/4 minion.
This is also important because if they play a spell that damages all of your minions, it won't be as big of a problem."

- "6. Card drawing is for late game
If you have a choice between playing a minion or drawing cards it is almost always better to play the minion first. Putting out minions puts your opponent on the defensive while drawing cards doesn't improve your board at all. When you are out of minions then you can play your card drawing to get more.
This applies to minions like Loot Hoarder, too. On turn 2, if you have a Faerie Dragon and a Loot Hoarder you should play the Faerie Dragon first because you don't need to draw cards yet. Having the bigger minion out is more important."
Note: shadow1psc commented that the above is not a catch-all rule. However, I don't agree that card advantage is more important than board presence in Hearthstone. I will say sometimes you need to go for board presence and give up some card value.

- "7. Hero power
If you can kill an enemy minion by using your hero power it is a big advantage because you didn't spend a card. However, most of the time, playing a creature from your hand will give you a bigger board presence than using your hero power. In the early game focus on getting out minions so that you control the board. In the late game you will have more mana so you can use your hero power more often."

I think most card games center around getting card advantage but one thing that is consistent with most of the above points is the importance of developing your board which is really key to Hearthstone games.