Stan

Hearthstone Midgame Moves Compilation

Sign in to follow this  

1 post in this topic

VB5I31Y6E5R81531353351241.jpg

Here's a roundup of all Midgame Moves for Hearthstone that have been published last week. The series is aimed at educating players and covers a variety of topics.

Table of Contents 

Part One: Do I Have Lethal? [Return to Top]

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Welcome to Midgame Week! Previously, during Opening Moves Week, we looked at how Hearthstone pros navigate the first phase of the game—everything from choosing your win condition and building a deck to how to mulligan or play your first turns. In Midgame Week, we dissect the sequence of decisions a pro player makes each turn as they look to advance to the late game—and victory.

The first question you should ask yourself every turn in the midgame is one that will come as no surprise to Hearthstone aficionados—can I win right now? Do I have lethal? To dig into that, we asked Raymond “rayC” Cipoletti of Panda Global for advice.

“Frequently, even at the highest levels of play, we see players missing lethal,” rayC says. “Whether it’s an easy lethal or the most complex puzzle in Hearthstone, there are steps you should take every turn to ensure nothing is missed.”

The first step? Take a deep breath. “You need to slow down,” rayC says. “The most common reason for missing lethal is simply playing too fast. Take your time to analyze the board state.”

Once you’ve done this, run through your choices. “Think about every single option at your disposal—especially if your opponent is low on Health,” rayC says. “Go through every scenario with the cards you have in hand. You have until the rope starts to burn to make your actions, so make use of that time!”

Accounting for your outs is important, too. “When I play any given turn, I treat it like a math problem,” rayC says. “Remember order of operations from math class? Sequencing applies to every turn of Hearthstone.” Sequencing is a skill players must work at constantly, but rayC suggests doing things like drawing cards once you’ve established you don’t already have lethal before taking any other actions.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, check your work. “When you finally spot lethal, re-count it,” rayC says. “Make sure the math adds up. You never want to commit to a play only to realize you were off, and potentially lose because of it.”

Part Two: Am I Dead? [Return to Top]

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

YCB4Q8ANKGAJ1531353421514.jpg

To figure out whether your opponent is about to end the game is tricky. You have to evaluate the current board state, your opponent’s hand, what (if anything) you can do to prevent them from winning, and how that will impact your own game plan. For such a challenge, we asked the inimitable Edwin “HotMEOWTH” Cook—winner of the 2016 Americas Summer Championship—for help.

Evaluating these variables is difficult, but sometimes your opponent will give you information. “It’s important to know when your opponent is showing signs of aggression or making riskier plays that might be setting up lethal,” HotMEOWTH says. “In a scenario where you are suspicious of your opponent setting up lethal the following turn, it’s important to track the cards they have left in their hand, cards left in their deck, and how much mana they will have available to figure out how much damage they can possibly do.”

“One trick to find out if your opponent can kill you next turn is to track their hand and see if there are cards they have held for more than a few turns,” HotMEOWTH says. “If so, they might be holding onto dangerous burn spells or combo pieces.” (Hand-tracking is a skill unto itself, and the focus of tomorrow’s Midgame Week entry—so check back for that!)

Mana considerations are hugely important as well. “Oftentimes, your opponent could have more than enough damage to win the game, but not enough mana to utilize all of those cards. Keep in mind whether you have to make the safest play—even if your opponent has held a few cards for a long time,” HotMEOWTH says. That’s especially great advice for facing off against aggressive decks.

“If your opponent isn’t holding any specific cards, it’s still important to keep track of what’s left in their deck,” HotMEOWTH says. “What are the odds of them drawing a card that would allow them to win? Ask yourself whether you can afford to play safe and prevent it or not.” (We’ll also talk more about the strategy of playing to your outs later in Midgame Week.)

Finally, your own Health is a crucial consideration. “When you’re facing opponents that are playing decks that can burst you down from a high Health total, it’s important to count the maximum damage they can do with their combos,” HotMEOWTH says. “For example, Druids can unleash large chunks of damage using Savage Roar with just a few minions on the board." If facing off against such a deck, he suggests playing minions with Taunt and making trades accordingly.

Part Three: Reading Your Opponent [Return to Top]

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

0RW140E7XYV21531353487382.jpg

While you’ve been navigating the game—thinking every turn about whether you have lethal or if you can survive your opponent’s next turn—you also should be monitoring the state of your opponent’s hand and deck. Matthijs “Theo” Lieftink, a two-time representative of The Netherlands in the Hearthstone Global Games (HGG), has strong advice for anyone looking to improve their hand-reading skills, including how to bluff your opponent’s reads.

“Hand-reading is an important part of pro-level play, and you can get an edge if you are doing it better than your opponent,” Theo says. His advice? “Keep track of how many cards your opponent keeps in the mulligan.” If they’re still holding one of those cards into the midgame, it’s probably a critical tech card or a high-value element of their strategy. Of course, “It depends on what your opponent is playing,” Theo adds.

To learn hand-reading, he suggests thinking about what the absolute best play could have been every turn. If your opponent didn’t make the optimal play—for example, playing a Flamestrike on turn seven to clear your board of four-Health minions—that tells you that they probably didn’t have the tools to do so.

Countering your opponent’s hand-reading is the next level of difficulty. “Bluffing that you do or don’t have a certain card can be done in several ways,” Theo says. He suggests making plays that suggest a specific follow-up for your next turn is in-hand, whether you’re holding it or not. “The same thing can be done the other way around—making worse plays to pretend you don’t have a certain card in hand.” He’s quick to point out, however, that this can be risky—your opponent might play around the card you’re hiding anyway. “It’s important to know when you can afford to bluff,” he says. “Making ‘worse’ plays to set something up can always backfire.”

A special thanks to Theo for his continued provision of expert advice! Hand-reading is an enormously difficult skill to learn, and it’s one that even the best players continue to work at every day.

Part Four: When the Plan Falls Apart [Return to Top]

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

4R7XZZ1BL60D1531353529593.jpg

You had a grand plan. It was perfect. A flawless combination all but set up, waiting for that last crucial card—and then you realize that your opponent will win, unless you expend one of your key cards to stay in the game. Fear not! All is not necessarily lost, and Esteban “AKAWonder” Serrano of SK Gaming—a fixture of the European pro Hearthstone scene—will help you understand how to navigate what’s left when your deck’s win condition is scattered to the wind.

Regardless of your deck style, AKAWonder says you must look for a new strategy if your original one has been derailed. “When you lose your win condition, you need to find an alternative plan to win the game," he says. "Most likely, your chances to win are lower than they were.” But so long as they aren't zero, you have a chance. He suggests looking for every point of win percentage you can, by any means possible.

“In order to find an alternative plan, I think about different situations—denying my opponent their win condition, going to fatigue, or just creating pressure using minions,” AKAWonder says. He adds that certain cards can offer new outs all their own, like The Lich King.

It’s not always easy, but practice helps. He says, “You need to find a new way to win—and the more you play a deck, the more alternative game plans you will discover for different matchups.” If you’re newer to Hearthstone, he says this is actually a valuable lesson to learn: “Your win condition is important, but not if you lose with it in your hand. Go for an alternative plan if the situation forces you to!”

Sounds like AKAWonder recommends a whole string of keywords: you need to Discover new ways to play and Adapt to the situation! Every game is different, so playing with that in mind just makes sense.

Part Five: Playing to Your Outs [Return to Top]

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

6RRSCALZJPL91531353605017.jpg

There’s a surprisingly wide gulf between winning and not losing yet. A very kind Jace “DrJikininki” Garthright, best known for his 2017 Americas Winter Playoffs victory, lends us his guidance today to distinguish between the two, helping you to “play to your outs”—making sure you’re still working towards a game-winning play.

“It’s important to ask yourself every turn—how can I win this game?” DrJikininki says. “Some games, you may have a very slim chance to win, but recognizing when you are in that situation and adapting is a very important skill.” He cautions against what may seem instinctual, which is to make the "safe" play each turn. “All players have a tendency to make plays that would be considered safer,” he says. “Plays as simple as trading into minions on the board to live for an extra turn.”

But the concept of playing to live isn’t how you should play. “Use critical thinking about the potential reach in your opponent’s deck,” DrJikininki says. “Taking slim percentage chances is what you have to do sometimes!” His advice makes sense—evaluating how a given line of play sets you up to win later is incredibly important.

Getting there takes time, so DrJikininki echoes what others have said: practice. “Next time you play a game and are in a losing position, ask yourself—what hands can you beat? What play with your hand leads to you winning the most often? This will help you out more than just playing a large number of games.” He notes that understanding the variables—your deck’s reach, your opponent’s deck’s reach, whether or not either deck can afford to play a value game, and more—all factor into those questions.

That’s it! We hope you’ve enjoyed this series of educational snippets from pro players across the competitive Hearthstone landscape, and that Midgame Week inspires you to take your game to the next level.

Which of this week’s skills do you think is most important? What advice would you offer other players looking to learn more about how to level up their play? Offer up your thoughts in the comments and stay tuned for even more pro player insight right here on playhearthstone.com/esports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Zadina
      Two new cards were revealed by Asian streamers: an Epic neutral minion and the Paladin Spirit.
      The first card was unveiled by Chinese streamer LaLaLa on Douyu. The name of the card isn't final.

      The first thought that comes when looking at this card is that it's great support for Quest Hunter. The problem is support cards for this archetype were printed in previous expansions and the result was always the same. Beast King could definitely fit into a Beast deck along with Oondasta - and since they are both Neutral cards, this doesn't necessarily have to be Hunter. Hi'reek, the Warlock Loa, and his copies could benefit from the +2/+2 buff. Beast King could also find its place in a Beast Druid deck with minions like Charged Devilsaur and Tyrantus. These Warlock and Druid combos, though, sound a bit like win-more situations.
      The Paladin Spirit was revealed by Korean streamer (and dancer) Rhdgurwn.

      The text box may not be the final version as "stats equal to its Cost" is a bit vague, since it could mean a 4/4 or a 3/1 or a 1/3 or a 2/2. However, it would make sense that if you cast a 4-mana spell, the Spirit would summon a 4/4 Tiger and that's how we are going to treat it. At 4 mana, this different version of Summoning Stone seems a bit slow and definitely promotes a more Spell Control-oriented playstyle, which is what Paladin seems to be heading to in Rastakhan's Rumble. It definitely makes for a strong combo with Spikeridged Steed.
      Images courtesy of Hearthpwn.
    • By Stan
      Grave Horror is a rare Priest 12/7/8 minion and Rogue's Raiding Party makes you draw two Pirates from your deck for 3 Mana.
      Check out our Rastakhan's Rumble hub for more details about Hearthstone's upcoming expansion.
      New Priest Card - Grave Horror
      Costs (1) less for each spell you've cast this game. Costs 12 Mana.

      (Source)
      New Rogue Card - Raiding Party
      Draw two Pirates from your deck.
      Combo: Draw a weapon

      (Source)
    • By Zadina
      The reveal season for Rastakhan's Rumble has kicked off with the customary live stream. This time, the hosts are Senior Game Designer Peter Whalen and Regiskillbin.
      The stream has conculded. All the cards revealed will also be added into our Rastakhan's Rumble hub. The full schedule for the following card reveals can be found here.
      Nine cards were revealed:







      The counter doesn't start over if you bounce Jan'alai!
      The Hero Power hitting adjacent minions counts for Jan'alai's counter! Works with Frost Lich Jaina's Hero Power. However, Ice Walker only freezes the targeted minion and not the adjacent ones with the Spirit present.
    • By Zadina
      It wouldn't be a proper reveal season without some leaks! This time it was the official Twitter account of Hearthstone Brazil that accidentally revealed four new Warlock cards.
      These four cards were supposed to be revealed during the kickoff live stream, as the audience had to choose between seeing gameplay of a Mage or a Warlock deck. Since the audience picked Mage, the Warlock cards were supposed to remain a mystery for now but Hearthstone Brazil jumped the gun and revealed them off-schedule on Twitter.

      Here is the English version of the cards. All images are courtesy of Hearthpwn and the names of the cards may not be final.


      Surprise, surprise: Team 5 is trying to make Discardlock a thing again! Unfortunately, no matter how many times they have tried to make the archetype viable, it never really caught on. Who knows, though? This might be their lucky time!
      This package looks alright on paper. A major concern in Discard decks has been that there's no way to get back valuable cards that you have discarded; Soulwarden does that in a better way than Cruel Dinomancer. Targeted discard is also a major improvement: Shriek can probably see play, especially after Defile rotates out. Reckless Diretroll looks like a toned down version of Lakkari Felhound. The legendary High Priestess Jeklik can potentially be quite powerful, but at 4 mana she's not quite cheap to be reliably discarded by the two aforementioned cards that target the lowest cost cards.
      The new cards are here, the support for them already exists (see Lakkari Sacrifice and The Soularium). Is it finally the time for Discardlock to shine in Rastakhan's Rumble?
    • By Zadina
      The community card reveals start with an Epic Warrior minion with Dragon synergy.
      The live stream with Peter Whalen and RegisKillbin kicked off the reveal season (the schedule can be found here). Now, we have our first Rastakhan's Rumble community reveal by Spanish streamer Snoodyboo:

      Smolderthorn Lancer is both overcosted and it has two conditions (Dragon in hand and damaged enemy minion). It certainly gives a clue as to the direction Warrior is heading into Rastakhan's Rumble, as Team 5 might be trying to revive Dragon Warrior (which again was just a less powerful type of the good ol' Wallet/Control Warrior). On the bright side, Odd decks now have an Execute and perhaps we might see Odd Dragon Warrior.
      Does this card have too difficult to be met conditions or is it the new Duskbreaker? Let me know what you think in the comments below!