Getting started in Hearthstone is becoming more and more of a daunting task according to many new members of the community. With the sheer power of decks and increased number of cards needed to viably compete, there's simply no time to learn all of the crucial mechanics necessary to eke out wins against your opponents.
We've put together ten tips to help you step up your game when first getting started.
Health Is a Resource
This is one that a lot of new players struggle with. Losing health isn't always a bad thing, in fact, sometimes it's preferable over having your minions endangered.
There will be times when your health is low enough that it is more important than anything, but some decks are relatively comfortable in being close to death, particularly ones that run Reno Jackson and can return to full health at a moment's notice.
Warlock is probably the best embodiment of this factor of Hearthstone play. You can Life Tap to increase your card advantage but sacrifice two health to do so and many of its class cards also trade some health to provide stats or effects that wouldn't otherwise appear on the card like Flame Imp or Doomguard.
Play to Win
It's easy to get stuck in the mindset that you simply have to not lose and then you can win, but that isn't always the case.
For example, say your opponent has enough damage on the board to kill you in two turns at the moment. They might have more direct damage in hand so your first conclusion is to reduce the threat on the board with a Flamestrike. But they're also a bit low on health and you have a Fireball in hand that gets you close to lethal. You can clear the board, but it's safe to say that you'll likely lose since they might have N'Zoth, the Corruptor to bring the entire board back. So one play to consider is to simply throw the Fireball at their face and hope you draw some more damage or card draw the next turn.
Don't get caught up in not losing. Most of the time you'll have a higher chance of winning if you play to your outs rather than hoping they don't have theirs.
Count for Lethal
We've been playing a lot of Egg Druid lately and Savage Roar can be incredibly powerful. The state of the board can be deceiving. That one or two damage may not look like much, but combined with what's in your hand you very well might be able to finish off your opponent.
Since taking the time to check (nearly) every turn as to whether or not we have lethal, we've seen an overall increase in our win-rate.
Make sure to do this before you make any of your moves at the start of each turn.
The Obvious Play Might Not Be the Best One
You might know what seems like the obvious play, but it might not actually be the best one.
There's undoubtedly few better feelings than plopping down a giant minion late in the game. You have ten mana and Tirion Fordring in hand ready to make his grand entrance. But you're against a deck with a massive C'Thun building up in the background and it very well might be in your opponent's hand. While your instinctive reaction might be to slam down Tirion and sounding the trumpets, you're probably better off playing Sylvanas Windrunner instead. Her Deathrattle keeps your opponent from playing C'Thun as she has a chance to steal it leaving them with no opportunity to respond and robbing them of a crucial win condition.
Play Decks That Suit Your Style
It goes without saying that players naturally have a type of deck that they like to pilot.
We've had lots of success with tempo based decks like Tempo Mage and Midrange Hunter and struggled with others that rely on combos. This is completely normal and varies from player to player.
Find what works for you and stick with it in general. There will be meta shifts that might require you to change exactly what decklist you're playing but there will always be a competitive archetype for you to choose from.
Draw Before You Play
Plan out your turns before you begin them. Most players think about attacks they're going to make, minions they're going to play, and spells they're going to cast. When any of those involve drawing cards, you play those cards first because drawn cards can easily change how your entire turn progresses. There's no worse feeling than realizing that had you drawn first, you would have won the game then and there. Don't fall into that trap.
Be Smart With Your Coin
It can be tempting to use The Coin as soon as possible to get a board advantage. But that's not actually how the coin is always best used. Oftentimes it should be considered a way to help you play on curve.
Say you have a 2-Cost and 4-Cost minion in your hand with the rest of your hand consisting of late game spells. You really don't want to cast The Coin on the first turn, you're better off holding onto it on the off chance you don't have anything to play on turn three. This way, you have the option of coining out that four drop and keeping yourself from falling behind.
Understand Your Opponent's Feelings
Putting yourself in your opponent's shoes can frequently give you a leg up. This is important when trying to bait them into the proper board state, or if you're just trying to distract them from trading into your minions.
For example, it feels good to trade a few 1/1 tokens into weak cards like Huge Toad. So if you need to set up Deadly Shot, it makes sense to try and push them towards trading their tokens into the Toad so your removal can hit the proper minion.
On the other hand, if you'd rather protect what you have on the board and are less concerned with your health, it may make sense to leave up a minion with a higher attack. People hate trading away value, especially high attack minions. If they have to overkill your minion by two, three, or even four health, they're really going to consider not making the trade at all simply because it doesn't feel good, even if it's the right play.
Use things like this to your advantage.
Don't Overextend Onto the Board
It goes without saying that playing too many minions at once can be a game ending mistake. If you already have a lot of pressure, and zero card draw in your hand, it's important that you don't use all of your resources too quickly.
All it takes is one Lightning Storm to end a Pirate Warrior's chance of winning the game. The same can be said for many aggressive decks out there, but this also applies to some slower decks when you're in matchups against similar archetypes.
Blizzard has 100% confirmed that Casual takes a player's collection into account when you first start playing. No matter how much fervent you feel about getting your toes wet in Ranked you should still be playing Casual for as long as possible. Not only will it be easier, but you won't have to worry about all of the expensive decks full of legendary and epic cards that you don't have access to (hopefully).
That isn't to say you shouldn't try to get each month's ranked reward card back, just don't dive in and never look back.