Sottle

The Rate/Improve my deck thread.

1031 posts in this topic

Hey guys, Sottle here. In case you don't know who I am, I am the new person in charge of Icy Veins Hearthstone content, and responsible for all the new deck guides since a little while before GvG.

 

I thought it would be nice to have a thread where people can post decks they were working on, or looking for advice on, and i'll take a look at them, suggest possible improvements, and hopefully help you to tear up the ladder.

 

To help us out, please try and stick to the following format as much as possible.

 

-Deck Image, or Decklist

-Available Cards (just a general idea is fine, "I have most Rares", "Good Vanilla Set, but few GvG cards" etc.

- Amount of adventure wings.

- Your current rank on ladder.

 

Go ahead and get posting smile.png

 

positiv's edit: If you want a 0 dust change (ie. using only the cards you own), you can give me link to your collection uploaded through Innkeeper. Your collection gets uploaded to Hearthpwn, you can find the link somewhere on the site. 

Also, it would be nice if you wrote the amount of available dust.

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I've pinned this topic, so that people would immediately see it! :)

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In my forum admin experience, pinning a post is the best way to ensure that no one sees it. :P

 

Kidding, kind of...

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Okay, to start things off, I have this DemonLock deck that I've been working on. Right now it's just theorycrafting, because I don't have many cards yet, but I love the idea of a demon deck, so this is just something to work up to. I feel like it's good, but not good enough. I would love some suggestions. I've been thinking of adding implosion, shadowflame, mountain/molten giant, and sludge belcher, I just can't find any room for them.

Here's the deck: http://www.hearthhead.com/deck=90840/demon-army

Edited by Toxicroaker

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Okay, so my first suggestion is that you're playing too many demons. I know that sounds weird, but the key to a good Demonlock build is to make your Demon pool really dense and powerful, that way Sense Demons and Voidcaller always hits the big stuff. You don't want to be spending 3 Mana on Sense Demons to draw a Flame Imp and a Voidcaller, you want to be getting Voidcaller and Doomguard for example. What I would look at doing is cutting some of the weaker Demons like Voidcaller, Felguard etc. and replacing them with more cards that you see in Handlock like the ones you suggested.

 

Honestly, I feel like the key to a good Demonlock is to get it as close to Handlock as you can, whilst still maintaining a good pool of Demons.

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I've made a mech rogue deck that works kind of like a midrange-aggression playstyle. It's built around synergy with Iron Sensei and Mimiron's Head to try to get as much value out of my minions as possible, and to try to control the board to win. This is the list:

 

2x Backstab

1x Cold Blood

2x Conceal

2x Deadly Poison

2x Blade Flurry

2x Eviscerate

2x Sap

2x Annoy-o-Tron

1x Goblin Auto-Barber

1x Mechwarper

1x Big Game Hunter

2x Harvest Golem

2x Iron Sensei

2x S.I.7 Agent

2x Mechanical Yeti

1x Antique Healbot

2x Azure Drake

1x Mimiron's Head

 

The overall goal is to put strong pressure and control on the midgame while also working towards the kill through use of Iron Sensei buffs, and Mimiron's Head+Cold Blood. I'm thinking of adding more defensive/end game minions such as Dr. Boom, Foe Reaper 4000, and Arcane Nullifier X-21, and also Sprint+Preparation. Please let me know what you think and what cards I should exchange for!

I have Naxxramas, and I am currently rank 9 on the ladder.

 

I've got a lot of dust to craft cards, around 1.2k

Edited by Gromdar

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Alright, I took what you said into consideration, and completely remade my old deck. Here's what the new one looks like: http://www.hearthhead.com/deck=91026/demon-army

What you said made complete sense, I had already thought of the sense demons/voidcallers losing value with my smaller minions, but I just disregarded it. Thinking about it again, I think the deck looks much better now. My main concern now is the chance that you voidcaller your Jaraxxus. With a much smaller supply of demons, it's much more likely to get him from sense demons, and ruin his battlecry. Do you think I should switch him with something else like Dr. Boom, Alextraza, Dread Infernal, etc.?

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Ok, although I've been having good results so far, there is something off about this deck. Sometimes it just doesn't work and instead of aggression I just find myself trading my own minions for surviving and hoping for a blade fury save. Not sure about the role some cards play and maybe there are better options. Maybe it is just too focused on Mech, should I change that? 

 

Backstab x2

Preparation x1 (i'ts expensive!)

Deadly Poison x2

Cogmaster x2

Blade Fury x2

Eviscerate x2

Sap x1

Goblin Auto-Barber x2

Mechwarper x2

Cogmaster's Wrench x2

Fan of Knives x1

Harvest Golem x2

Iron Sensei x2

Tinker's Sharpsword Oil x2

Arcane Nullifier X-21 x2

Azure Drake x2

Sprint x1

 

Some thoughts:

About Azulli Drake: no doubts an anwesome card. Amazing vs Priests. I'm not using its full potential tho (spell damage +1 hardly ever serves me)

About Iron Sensei: I find it most often turning the board in my favor. However, it severely increases my needs for mechs. I still think that in the current stage of this deck, Iron Sensei is better than SI:7. I might be wrong. Also, Iron Sensei + Arcane Nullifier X-21 creates a huge board pressure.

About Preparation: Broken card rogue-wise, but since there aren't that many spells that benefit from it on this deck I should either remove it from the deck or maybe add another Sprint. This is an important change.

About Cogmaster's Wrench: another card that creates a need for mechs on the board. Maybe removing 1 and adding a Sprint would be good for the deck. Helps the problem above.

About Fan of Knives: is it better than Sap? I'm still testing. Likeing.

About Conceal: is it worth it? -1 Sap -1 Fan of Knives +2 Conceal?

 

Thanks guys :D

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I've made a mech rogue deck that works kind of like a midrange-aggression playstyle. It's built around synergy with Iron Sensei and Mimiron's Head to try to get as much value out of my minions as possible, and to try to control the board to win. This is the list:

 

2x Backstab

1x Cold Blood

2x Conceal

2x Deadly Poison

2x Blade Flurry

2x Eviscerate

2x Sap

2x Annoy-o-Tron

1x Goblin Auto-Barber

1x Mechwarper

1x Big Game Hunter

2x Harvest Golem

2x Iron Sensei

2x S.I.7 Agent

2x Mechanical Yeti

1x Antique Healbot

2x Azure Drake

1x Mimiron's Head

 

The overall goal is to put strong pressure and control on the midgame while also working towards the kill through use of Iron Sensei buffs, and Mimiron's Head+Cold Blood. I'm thinking of adding more defensive/end game minions such as Dr. Boom, Foe Reaper 4000, and Arcane Nullifier X-21, and also Sprint+Preparation. Please let me know what you think and what cards I should exchange for!

I have Naxxramas, and I am currently rank 9 on the ladder.

 

I've got a lot of dust to craft cards, around 1.2k

 

This deck looks fine as far as a Mimiron's Head deck goes, but I would like to point out that the archetype as a whole is not very competitive at a high level.

 

I would definitely cut the Mech Yetis for Arcane Nullifier, Nullifier and Annoy-o-Tron are really important for protecting your board and helping you to build up enough Mechs to activate the transformation.

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Alright, I took what you said into consideration, and completely remade my old deck. Here's what the new one looks like: http://www.hearthhead.com/deck=91026/demon-army

What you said made complete sense, I had already thought of the sense demons/voidcallers losing value with my smaller minions, but I just disregarded it. Thinking about it again, I think the deck looks much better now. My main concern now is the chance that you voidcaller your Jaraxxus. With a much smaller supply of demons, it's much more likely to get him from sense demons, and ruin his battlecry. Do you think I should switch him with something else like Dr. Boom, Alextraza, Dread Infernal, etc.?

 

This looks better, but I think you've gone a little far with the 1 offs. Playing as many single copies as you are in the deck usually just leads to not having access to the card you need, when you need it. That problem is diminished in Warlock a little since you draw so many cards, but still. I think you should playtest the deck, and pay close attention to which of the 1 off cards are performing poorly, and then swap them out for 2nd copies of some of the others.

 

Pulling Jarraxus off Voidcaller shouldn't be a concern, having a 3/15 minion on board is extremely valuable, especially when you play Taunt givers in the deck.

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Ok, although I've been having good results so far, there is something off about this deck. Sometimes it just doesn't work and instead of aggression I just find myself trading my own minions for surviving and hoping for a blade fury save. Not sure about the role some cards play and maybe there are better options. Maybe it is just too focused on Mech, should I change that? 

 

Backstab x2

Preparation x1 (i'ts expensive!)

Deadly Poison x2

Cogmaster x2

Blade Fury x2

Eviscerate x2

Sap x1

Goblin Auto-Barber x2

Mechwarper x2

Cogmaster's Wrench x2

Fan of Knives x1

Harvest Golem x2

Iron Sensei x2

Tinker's Sharpsword Oil x2

Arcane Nullifier X-21 x2

Azure Drake x2

Sprint x1

 

Some thoughts:

About Azulli Drake: no doubts an anwesome card. Amazing vs Priests. I'm not using its full potential tho (spell damage +1 hardly ever serves me)

About Iron Sensei: I find it most often turning the board in my favor. However, it severely increases my needs for mechs. I still think that in the current stage of this deck, Iron Sensei is better than SI:7. I might be wrong. Also, Iron Sensei + Arcane Nullifier X-21 creates a huge board pressure.

About Preparation: Broken card rogue-wise, but since there aren't that many spells that benefit from it on this deck I should either remove it from the deck or maybe add another Sprint. This is an important change.

About Cogmaster's Wrench: another card that creates a need for mechs on the board. Maybe removing 1 and adding a Sprint would be good for the deck. Helps the problem above.

About Fan of Knives: is it better than Sap? I'm still testing. Likeing.

About Conceal: is it worth it? -1 Sap -1 Fan of Knives +2 Conceal?

 

Thanks guys biggrin.png

 

I definitely think cutting the Preparation is a decent starting point here.

 

Here's my suggested changes.

 

- 1 Prep

- 2 Cogmaster

- 1 Fan of Knives

 

+ 2 SI 7 Agent

+ 2 Piloted Shredder

This will slow down your starts a little bit, but it will go some way to address the lack of card draw, since it ups the curve of your deck a little, it makes you average draw bigger and more powerful, which makes your cards last longer. With access to the SI7 tempo play, you should also find yourself having to play catchup a lot less. Cogmaster is a fine card, but in a deck like this that really starts to become powerful in the midgame through Iron Sensei/Nullifier etc, I think you want to focus less on a fast start and more on making sure you really do dominate once you get momentum rolling.

 

Conceal is absolutely not unreasonable either, but I would only play 1 copy. You could also consider just something like a Gnomish Inventor to provide some more cycle.

 

You could also choose to go the other way, cut Azure Drake and Sprint entirely, and then top your curve out at Arcane Nullifier, add Double Jeeves, Cold Blood, Conceal etc and turn it into a more all-in Aggro deck. There's really a lot of things you can do with this shell.

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So Mimiron's Head isn't competitively viable? In that case, should I exchange it for another big minion like Dr. Boom? And if so, should I also replace Cold Blood?

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So Mimiron's Head isn't competitively viable? In that case, should I exchange it for another big minion like Dr. Boom? And if so, should I also replace Cold Blood?

 

You can stick with it, when I say a deck isn't competitive, I mean it's not a deck that people will be using to get high Legend ranks, or play in tournament, for mid-level ladder purposes it's totally fine if you're enjoying playing it. Honestly, part of finding a successful ladder deck is having fun with whatever you're playing, since a lot of being successful on ladder is just playing a large quantity of games.

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You're absolutely right, Sottle. I shouldn't really think so much of hitting Legend, when it's more important to just enjoy the game and let ranks be a side thing. I'll find a place for Arcane Nullifier in my deck like you said. I'm also working on a mech warrior, I'll list the rough draft here:

 

Warbot x2

Cruel Taskmaster x2

Armorsmith x2

Bouncing Blade x2

Acolyte of Pain x2

Whirlwind x2

Fiery War Axe x2

Screwjank Clunker x1

Iron Juggernaut

Death's Bite x2

Arcane Nullifier x2

Shield Slam x2

Junkbot x1

Siege Engine x1

Dr. Boom

Crush x2

Shield Block x2

Grommash Hellscream

This deck revolves around damaging your own minions while trying to control the board. Junkbot is here to exploit the damaged/weak mechs such as the Boom Bots from Dr. Boom and Warbots. A potential synergy I want to work out is Armorsmith and Siege Engine. I don't use execute due to Crush's synergy with Whirlwind, Bouncing Blades, Cruel Taskmaster, and Death's Bite. I think Junkbot and Siege Engine could be interchange-able though, perhaps for something like Alexstrasza.

 

 

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You're absolutely right, Sottle. I shouldn't really think so much of hitting Legend, when it's more important to just enjoy the game and let ranks be a side thing. I'll find a place for Arcane Nullifier in my deck like you said. I'm also working on a mech warrior, I'll list the rough draft here:

 

Warbot x2

Cruel Taskmaster x2

Armorsmith x2

Bouncing Blade x2

Acolyte of Pain x2

Whirlwind x2

Fiery War Axe x2

Screwjank Clunker x1

Iron Juggernaut

Death's Bite x2

Arcane Nullifier x2

Shield Slam x2

Junkbot x1

Siege Engine x1

Dr. Boom

Crush x2

Shield Block x2

Grommash Hellscream

This deck revolves around damaging your own minions while trying to control the board. Junkbot is here to exploit the damaged/weak mechs such as the Boom Bots from Dr. Boom and Warbots. A potential synergy I want to work out is Armorsmith and Siege Engine. I don't use execute due to Crush's synergy with Whirlwind, Bouncing Blades, Cruel Taskmaster, and Death's Bite. I think Junkbot and Siege Engine could be interchange-able though, perhaps for something like Alexstrasza.

I feel crush is an exceptionally weak card. Most of the synergies with crush would work just as well with execute, yet wouldn't require the damaged minion on the board. It's too situational, and the pay off isn't worth it. 

 

One of the biggest strengths with mech decks are their "sticky" deathrattle minions, such as piloted shredder, piloted sky golem and harvest golem, these cards are almost always "2 for 1" minions and allow you to keep minions on the board to synergise with later. I'd imagined harvest golem would work exceptionally well with junkbot, as you can get 2 buffs from it. 

Including Alexstrasza would be good I think, as it provides a great win condition (Alex into Grommash the follow turn). 

 

I can definitely see games where a siege engine spirals out of control very quickly, especially if you find a way to make it stick on the board for a turn or 2. 

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Hi! Let me introduce myself, I'm drafterITA, an Italian youtuber / streamer.
Since I started playing Hearthstone, around the beginning of this January (so a few weeks) I have found many many good advice here on Icy-Veins, so thanks Sottle! Keep up the good work.
Now I seek advice for my deck. I crafted your suggested Midrange/Aggro Legendary Hunter deck (http://www.icy-veins.com/hearthstone/legendary-hunter-midrange-aggro-naxx-gvg-deck) and with the upcoming Undertaker changes I was pondering if it needs adjustments..
Being assured that only the new meta will tell, I was thinking to replace the undertakers with 2 annoy o tron and the clockwork gnomes with 2 Hunter marks..
I don't have a lot of cards.. I basically disenchanted all my earned arena and booster packs cards to make this deck.

edit: I forgot to say that I'm around rank 15 in the ladder

Thank you very much for this post and the good content found on this website!
Regards,
drafter

 

edit: correction of a few errors, sorry for my English :)

Edited by drafterITA

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Hi, I'm not sure if this is a place for a noob like me, I will try though wink.png

I just started to play recently (rank 19) and made a Paladin deck based on your beginners guide.

I would like to know if I can improve it using my other cards and what cards I can work toward.

 

I have:

Commons: Seal of Light, Abusive Sergeant, Explosive Sheep, Mechwarper, Scarlet Crusader, Silvermoon Guardian, Antique Healbot, Spider Tank, Windfury Harpy
Rares: Injured Blademaster
 
And here is my deck:
qnSIfpo.jpg?1

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Hi,

 

I´am stuck in rank 13 for about 2 seasons. So, I think that I need some help to improve my decks.

 

I play mostly with Shaman and Hunter.

 

I have 2 Shaman decks:

 

I would like to know what is the better and what cards I need to change.

 

I have all the Naxx collection cards;

Shaman cards like:

  • forked lightning
  • Mana Tide Totem 
  • Far Sight

And some rare neutrals like argent commander and epics like faceless manipulator.

 

About the Hunter where´s my deck: http://www.hearthhead.com/deck=93115/aggro-king

 

I don´t have savannah, snake trap. I only have 1 eaglehorn bow. 

About mech I have a few like: clockwork gnome, annoy-o-tron, spider tank, arcane nullifier x-21, mechanical yeti and piloted shredder.

 

A would like to hear your opinions! Thank You :) 

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Hi, I'm not sure if this is a place for a noob like me, I will try though wink.png

I just started to play recently (rank 19) and made a Paladin deck based on your beginners guide.

I would like to know if I can improve it using my other cards and what cards I can work toward.

 

I have:

Commons: Seal of Light, Abusive Sergeant, Explosive Sheep, Mechwarper, Scarlet Crusader, Silvermoon Guardian, Antique Healbot, Spider Tank, Windfury Harpy
Rares: Injured Blademaster
 
And here is my deck:
qnSIfpo.jpg?1

 

Do you have Naxxaramus? 

On my F2P account I've made a very budget "zoo" paladin using some of the cards from Naxx, very solid deck up to rank 10 or so.

If not, lets see what we can do.

I'd add a raid leader  and an abusive sergeant to the deck. The raid leader gives all your minions +1 attack, while the abusive sergeant is a 1turn + 2. This allows your recruits to trade up and gain value. I'd add a taunt or 2. With Naxxaramus Sludge Belcher is the best (imo), without it, you can use Senjin Shieldmasta which is a great card. Right now, I think you're curving a bit too high. Perhaps take out 1x boulderfist and 1x Stormwind

For cards to work towards:

1 . You need a strong early drop. Zombie chow is good, or shielded minibot. I'd usually run 1 chow and 2 minibots. (but 1 of each or 2 minibots is more than good enough)

2. You're lucky you've already picked up muster for battle and a knife juggler, that's a really strong combo. If you can get 2 of each of these, and then a quartermaster , that forms the basis of a really powerful paladin deck. 

3. The end goal Legendary is Tirion Fordragon, he's considered the best class-legendary in the game, so if you're still playing paladin as your main when you have enough dust, he's a very solid craft.

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Hello :)

Though my main class is Paladin, I want to use Shaman more often & I put together a deck that got me to rank 11 (im currently rank 9 now)

I know there is room to improve so I've come here to get some advice

x1 Earth Shock

x2 Lightning Bolt

x2 Rockbiter Weapon

x2 Crackle

x1 Annoy-o-tron

x2 Flametounge Totem

x2 Whirling Zap-o-matic

x2 Powermace

x2 Hex

x2 Lightning Storm

x1 Arcane Nullifier X-21

x1 Mechanical Yetty

x2 Piloted Shredder

x1 Doomhammer

x1 Antique Healbot

x2 Azure Drake

x2 Fire Elemental

Dr. Boom

Al'Akir the Windlord

I have all the Shaman commons & most rares, no epics other then Doomhammer & no Neptulon

I have most of the more used legends, Sylvanas, Cairne, Black Knight, Ragnaros & Sneed's Old Shredder.

A few neutral epics & the more used rares.

I also have the Naxx cards

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Hi! I'm rather new to Hearthstone, and at the moment will only be able to use gold, as work doesn't pick up for a few months. I'm grateful for this site, and the Basic deck for Rogue seems to be working well, but I was wondering if there were any cards I could use in addition to the ones for the Basic deck? I haven't crafted many cards but have bought quite a few decks. I have Rogue up to a level 22 at the moment if this helps. I know this may be a bit vague, and if so I apologize!

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Hi! I'm rather new to Hearthstone, and at the moment will only be able to use gold, as work doesn't pick up for a few months. I'm grateful for this site, and the Basic deck for Rogue seems to be working well, but I was wondering if there were any cards I could use in addition to the ones for the Basic deck? I haven't crafted many cards but have bought quite a few decks. I have Rogue up to a level 22 at the moment if this helps. I know this may be a bit vague, and if so I apologize!

I'm not a Rogue specialist, but when trying to find out how to improve my own deck I found few useful places:

Hunter Crafting Guide - though there is not that much info there, so you may want to look at hunters decks Here or Here and see what cards are commonly used to decide what is worth crafting.

It's not much, so if anyone can add something - don't hesitate!

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Hi! I'm rather new to Hearthstone, and at the moment will only be able to use gold, as work doesn't pick up for a few months. I'm grateful for this site, and the Basic deck for Rogue seems to be working well, but I was wondering if there were any cards I could use in addition to the ones for the Basic deck? I haven't crafted many cards but have bought quite a few decks. I have Rogue up to a level 22 at the moment if this helps. I know this may be a bit vague, and if so I apologize!

A few Rogue cards that are a must are Eviscerate & SI:7 Agent. Both can remove minions or provide enough damage to finish your opponent. Other very common cards like Cold Blood, Azure Drake, Blade Flurry & Goblin Auto-Barber are also very good for Rogue. Best of all, said cards are all Common or Rare, which is great for when your new. Im also NOT a Rogue specialist but these cards show up over & over again when ever i face Rogue or when i have played it. Of course there's also other cards that can work so if anyone else wants to pitch in that'll be great! I hope this helps!

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I'm working on my mage aggro deck since GvG came out. In the current meta I've had a fair amount of success with this:

 

MghVbDk.png?1

 

The focus is simply early spell damage and good tempo.

 

Any feedback would be great!

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Hi, I'm not sure if this is a place for a noob like me, I will try though wink.png

I just started to play recently (rank 19) and made a Paladin deck based on your beginners guide.

I would like to know if I can improve it using my other cards and what cards I can work toward.

 

I have:

Commons: Seal of Light, Abusive Sergeant, Explosive Sheep, Mechwarper, Scarlet Crusader, Silvermoon Guardian, Antique Healbot, Spider Tank, Windfury Harpy
Rares: Injured Blademaster
 
And here is my deck:
qnSIfpo.jpg?1

 

 

The changes you've made the the basic deck so far are pretty reasonable.

 

Out of the cards you have listed, you should definitely include Spider Tank and Scarlet Crusader in place of the Razorfens, definitely an upgrade there. But you seem to have a solid understanding on how to improve on the basic build. Keep it up and work towards one of our low budget decks instead!

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      Part One: Do I Have Lethal? Part Two: Am I Dead? Part Three: Reading Your Opponent Part Four: When the Plan Falls Apart Part Five: Playing to Your Outs Part One: Do I Have Lethal? [Return to Top]
      Blizzard (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 (Source)

      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 (Source)

      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 (Source)

      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 (Source)

      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.
    • By Stan
      Blizzard posted changes to game mechanics that will be implemented with with the Boomsday Project 12.0 patch.
      Highlights
      Ghostly Charger will no longer have the Beast tag. Ixlid, Fungal Lord is losing the Elemental tag. Shifter Zerus, Molten Blade, and Shifting Scroll will no longer keep any enchantments when they transform. Voodoo Doll's curse will be broken if you transform the minion that's already been cursed by Voodoo Doll. The transformed (formerly cursed) minion will not be killed when Voodoo Doll dies. Shadowboxer will be updated to deal 1 damage to a random enemy, whenever a minion is healed. Players will be able to disenchant the card for its full Arcane Dust value for two weeks after 12.0 goes live. Blizzard (Source)
      Dr. Boom’s bringing more than just mayhem to the Netherstorm. The 12.0 update will also come with several rule changes to Hearthstone’s gameplay. Read on to learn about another minion Type update, the copy a card rule change and the transform rule change.
      More Minion Type Changes
      There was a ton of feedback following the last minion Type update we posted, and after reviewing all of it, we realized that there were a couple more minions that needed changing. Here are our decisions following the full review of your feedback.
      Ghostly Charger

      We made a decision that, at least by default, spectral/undead/ghost/spirit versions of animals are not considered Beasts in Hearthstone. There are quite a lot of these sort of cards, most of which are already not Beasts, and changing them would have extensive balance implications.
      Ghostly Charger is one of those cards. Clearly a ghost in both its name and art, its Beast tag has also not been relevant in any significantly used interaction. As a result, we’re planning to remove the Beast tag in a future update.
      In the much rarer case of spectral/undead/ghost/spirit versions of Dragons, Murlocs, Pirates, and Elementals, they will still remain their Type. There aren’t a whole lot of these cards, but there are a few, and they’re already consistently their type. Examples of these are Ghost Light Angler, Cursed Castaway, Bone Drake.
      Ixlid, Fungal Lord

      World of Warcraft uses a looser definition of Elemental than what we decided to standardize on for Hearthstone. In Hearthstone, an elemental is something that has been brought to life by being inhabited by an elemental spirit, but is otherwise not alive. These are easy to recognize: a Fire Elemental looks like a living creature made out of fire; A Water Elemental looks like a living creature made out of water.
      One of the biggest outliers to this definition are plant creatures. There are a ton of minions in Hearthstone that are some sort of plant. We’ve decided that these do not count as Elementals in Hearthstone. Examples of these include The Voraxx, Fen Creeper, Biteweed, Vilespine Slayer, Rotten Applebaum.
      Ixlid, Fungal Lord, is by this definition, a plant creature. Although we’re committed to consistency, there are also other criteria that we consider when changing card Types. One of them is how often a card’s current Type matters when it comes to interacting with other cards. Ixlid’s Elemental tag is not significantly used in current decks, so we’ve decided to remove it in a future update.
      We also looked at the following minions but decided against making any changes. We’ve included our thought process as to how we came to our decisions with these cards.
      Kindly Grandmother
      Kindly Grandmother/Big Bad Wolf looks like a Worgen (which are not considered Beasts) but is actually some other sort of wolf-like creature that is a Beast. The Beast tag is also extremely relevant to its gameplay, and defines most of the card’s intended usage. With this in mind, we will not be changing Kindly Grandmother’s/Big Bad Wolf’s Type. In the future, we’ll be more careful to make the art clear when it comes to Worgen or similar races.
      Arcane Giant  & Arcane Golem
      On top of Elementals and plant creatures, there’s another category of things that have been brought to life via magical animation. These are creatures like War Golem, Arcane Giant, and Avian Watcher—which are not Elementals.
      Arcane Giant, Arcane Golem, and The Curator are all examples of another sort of creature collectively referred to as Arcane Golems. These mechanical constructs utilize arcane energy as a power source, with The Curator being a Mech Type as part of his character in the One Night in Karazhan Adventure. This is actually subtly different from something like War Golem, which is carved from stone and then magically animated. While the “golem” definition refers to something that has been magically animated and is therefore neither a Mech nor Elemental, both Arcane Giant and Arcane Golem’s card art don’t clearly show them to be one or the other. Since the correct type for these creatures is so unclear, we will be leaving them unchanged for now, but would love to hear what you think.
      Bogshaper
      Bogshaper seems to be the same type of creature as Ixlid or Fen Creeper, and that would logically lead to removal of its Elemental tag. However, as mentioned above, we look at more than just the fantasy of a card when determining if it needs a Type change. While Bogshaper’s fantasy criteria checkbox is filled, it’s currently heavily utilized in the meta, and features in many decks, including that of the 2018 Summer Champion, Bunnyhoppor.
      We are holding off on changing Bogshaper's Type for now, but would love to hear what the community thinks we should do in this case. We’re also considering making this sort of change when a card rotates to Wild.
      Copy A Card Rule Change

      Card copies currently only retain enchantments when both the original card and its copy are in play—think Molten Reflection. In Update 12.0, this rule will be updated to match the one regarding enchantments being retained when a card transitions zones.
      Zones in Hearthstone are defined as areas where cards are hosted: your deck, your hand, in play, and in the graveyard. In Hearthstone, there is a general forward-moving flow through zones. Whenever a card moves forward in that flow (Deck -> Hand, Hand -> Play, Deck -> Play), it retains enchantments. If a card moves backwards in zones (Play -> Hand, Hand -> Deck, Play -> Deck, Play/Hand/Deck -> Graveyard and Graveyard -> Play/Hand/Deck), it loses enchantments.
      With this update, card copies will retain enchantments in the following scenarios.
      Cards that are resurrected currently do not and will continue not to retain any enchantments, unless specifically stated otherwise. If you copy a card from a deck to a deck, the copy retains enchantments. (eg. Archbishop Benedictus) If you copy a card from a hand to a hand, the copy retains enchantments. (eg. Mind Vision) If you copy a card from play to play, the copy retains enchantments. (eg. Molten Reflection) If you copy a card from a deck to a hand, the copy retains enchantments. (eg. Thoughtsteal) If you copy a card from a deck to play, the copy retains enchantments. (eg. Mindgames) If you copy a card from hand to play, the copy retains enchantments. (eg. Kobold Illusionist) Transform Rule Change
      When transformed, a Hearthstone card typically loses all of its enchantment. Most cards in game already obey this rule. However, there are four cards that we are changing to keep in line with the rule, as part of this consistency pass.

      Shifter Zerus, Molten Blade, and Shifting Scroll all transform in your hand at the start of every turn. Following the 12.0 update, they will no longer keep any enchantments when they transform. This includes things like hand buffs and Emperor Thaurissan mana-cost discounts.

      The impact on Voodoo Doll is a little different with the update. If you transform the minion that’s already been cursed by Voodoo Doll, the curse will be broken, and the transformed (and formerly cursed) minion will not be killed when Voodoo Doll dies. Silencing the cursed minion will also break the curse, in addition to silencing the Voodoo Doll.
      Shadowboxer Update

      Since the creation of the Lifesteal keyword, Shadowboxer has been a high risk card, in that it can trigger off of itself and deal up to 30 damage in one turn if you ever give it Lifesteal. Because of this, we have changed it to: Whenever a minion is healed, deal 1 damage to a random enemy.
      Once Shadowboxer's card change is live with Update 12.0, players will be able to disenchant it for its full Arcane Dust value for two weeks.
      These are all the changes that you’ll see come into effect with Update 12.0, in line with our commitment to consistency within the game. Let us know what you think in the comments below, or via Facebook and Twitter!