#1 Posted by TheMasterDS (2066 posts) -

So I watched Patrick's stream of Hearthstone earlier today. It's pretty plain he needs some pointers. Others might too for what it's worth. I think we as a community could have a topic here and just assemble some good basic tips and tricks so that he might learn.

Personally I was as new as Patrick to CCGs more or less. Hearthstone was the first DIgital CCG to hook me and for good reason since it's super polished, super accessible and super smart. Anyway for me the best thing for learning was watching others play. This is true on many levels. On the simplest level it's good to watch people and see how they make choices and weigh their options. Think about what you would've done and see if their move works out better for them. Think harder about each move so you don't make simple mistakes and, once you get a firmer grasp of the game, match up specific ones.

It also works on another level entirely because Hearthstone is vaguely Fez like in a really weird way. No one plays the game in a vacuum. It'd be impossible as there's no air. Everyone's looking at what's been done, what's popular, and adjusting. There are popular decks you see everywhere. New decks are created that beat the popular decks. Those decks become popular. Rinse repeat. Use the knowledge out there to work out what's best for you. You could simply only look to the internet to find out if a card, like the Raid Leader, is any good (it isn't) or you could mimic popular decks as best as you can with what cards you have.

To end the watching bit I'd suggest looking at Trump's Arena videos or his Free To Play videos where he hits legendary rank with a new account without paying any money. He's done that with Mage, Shaman and Warlock so far. That's probably exactly what you need to start out.

I'm just going to throw out basic tips too.

Trade your minions. It's tempting to go for the face all the time but sometimes it's better to trade your minions for your enemies. This is good because you get to decide which minions attack which. You can make trades that favor you like trading a 2 1 (2 attack 1 health) for a 5 2 (5 attack 2 health). Good rules of thumb include: Never make a trade your enemy is going to make. Always make a trade where your minion doesn't die. Trade if he can kill you if you don't. Make good trades.

Getting a curve is more than mana. You don't just want a 3 mana card to play on turn 3, you want a 3 mana card that would make for a good turn 3. Typically this means you want 1-3 mana minions in your opening hand. You probably want to throw back an Arcane Intellect then as drawing 2 cards does not a productive turn 3 make.

Check for lethal. Very important little bit, see if you can kill the enemy in this turn. In Hearthstone once it's your turn you're in full control baring secrets. If you see a way to kill your enemy breath a sigh of relief and execute on it. This involves counting all your damage on board as well as what you could do with your hand. Once you have lethal you can forget trading and all that because you've won.

Surrender when your enemy has lethal on the board and you're powerless to stop it. Say well played of course but do it. Pointless not to, just a waste of time to let it play out. It's not rude when the game is already over and both of you know it. This isn't to say one should surrender before that. You can say things like "if he has 1 direct damage I lose" and still win. Sometimes it's super close you know.

Anyway that's a few tips. Hope Patrick takes note of some. Do you guys have any tips for Patrick or any other new players?

#2 Posted by BisonHero (6526 posts) -

@themasterds said:

Trade your minions. It's tempting to go for the face all the time but sometimes it's better to trade your minions for your enemies. This is good because you get to decide which minions attack which. You can make trades that favor you like trading a 2 1 (2 attack 1 health) for a 5 2 (5 attack 2 health). Good rules of thumb include: Never make a trade your enemy is going to make. Always make a trade where your minion doesn't die. Trade if he can kill you if you don't. Make good trades.

There are plenty of times where you should just go for the face with minions (like nearly any time your side of the board has more minions than your opponent's does).

You eventually mention it, but the real tip here is "Try to make advantageous trades where your 1 card effectively requires the opponent to give up 2 cards". I see why you phrased it this way because Patrick was just not killing 1/4 minions with his 4/5 for no good reason, but I think it's better to highlight the underlying rationale so @patrickklepek has a better sense of what he should be considering when he makes decisions, instead of randomly choosing spells and attack targets like on the stream earlier today.

#3 Posted by TheMasterDS (2066 posts) -

@bisonhero: There's definitely times when you should go for face, yeah, it's not always as simple as you should always trade your minions when there's great trades available but it's a good starting off point I think.

I do think there is something to be said about trading a lower value minion for a higher value one such as killing a 4 2 with a 2 1. That trade isn't a 2 for 1 but you are losing a less powerful minion than your opponent.

#4 Posted by Levius (1131 posts) -

Play MTGO/Duels of the Planeswalkers instead is a pretty hot tip.

I only mean this semi-facetiously; Magic is clearly very similar to Hearthstone, and both Magic games will allow him to experiment with a wider variety of decks/strategies than Hearthstone and its reliance on booster packs will in the short term. Many of the lessons learned will be applicable to Hearthstone, hell the tips in the OP directly correlate to Magic as well showing how close the strategies between the two games can be.

I guess the only tip I can give is try and keep an eye on card advantage, so always try and be the guy spending one card to deal with the effects of two cards. Of course in Hearthstone this is more tension with the need to manage tempo, it is really important to be the guy momentum behind them as there aren't so many cards that dig you out of a hole. So stuff like arcane intellect, while pure card advantage (you spend one card for two), have a significant tempo hit so you need to be careful, and build around this drawback.

#5 Posted by spraynardtatum (2951 posts) -

Buy all the decks and call it a day.

#6 Edited by OtakuGamer (1237 posts) -

I would for now, just play with the game and get familiar with it and don't worry so much on the details. Experiment with the cards, see what works and what doesn’t. Enjoy it. Once you reached an intermediate level, then perhaps go into the details.

#7 Edited by Homelessbird (598 posts) -

I honestly think the best way to learn Hearthstone is to just play a lot of it.

That said, I think the main things as would be helpful to be Patrick would be to try to spend all his mana/gems each turn if possible, and to mostly clear the board unless he has the advantage. Both of those things have caveats, but as basic rules for learning they're pretty good to stick by.

#8 Posted by cooljammer00 (1743 posts) -

I just can't believe Patrick's never played a card game before. No Pokemon? Yugioh? Magic?

Also, him mocking Max for playing card games when Max's job is making card games.

#9 Posted by Gelatinousgelboy (195 posts) -

Four suggestions for Hearthin' with Scoops:

  1. As mentioned by OtakuGamer, don't sweat the details. Have fun.
  2. I highly recommend checking out Day[9]'s HS content (oh my god game-personality-crossover-wet-dream), as he's very experienced at teaching and explaining what he's doing and why. Also he has fun with it and makes ridiculous decks.
  3. Make a custom deck. Look at what you have, decide on a strategy or theme (whether you think it'll work or be hilarious) and throw it together. Play it and have fun, then swap out cards if it doesn't feel right.
  4. Play for the quests with custom decks. This is super helpful in getting you to experiment with new strategies and different classes. Then buy packs with the gold you get to see and play with new cards!
#10 Posted by TheMasterDS (2066 posts) -

@gelatinousgelboy: Patrick should always Arena with his gold I think. It's only a little bit more expensive than a pack and once you lose you'll always get a pack. Plus it's good practice in many respects and, also, fun.

#11 Posted by FinalDasa (1733 posts) -

Good idea, I thought about writing up basic tips as well but you beat me to it!

1. It's already been said in the thread, but it really needs to be emphasized. Have fun. After years of collecting the occasional Magic cards I finally dived into playing the game. When it was with a few friends during lunch in high school it was fun. They taught me the basics and we were never doing much more than passing time and having fun. Eventually I tried out tournaments and drafts and the fun was sucked out of the game. No one dared help me because they worried about losing more. So if you're being told how to play, the best way to play, or told you're playing wrong, don't listen.

2. Find a hero you like and just play with them. Each hero has their own specific cards only used by those heroes. They emphasize the heroes abilities and can help you understand which cards work best with others, hopefully sparking your understanding of combos.

3. Take your time and pay attention to your opponent. Sometimes watching someone who knows what they're doing helps. Seeing how your opponent deals with certain cards, strategies, or situations can give you ideas and strategies of your own. And don't be afraid to copy someone else's strategies, it's what everyone else does!

Moderator Online
#12 Edited by Icemo (642 posts) -

I would say the most important thing for beginner is to maintain board control and card advantage as it is a safer strategy. You want to have more cards on the board than your opponent most of the time when you end your turn since that way you have more ways to deal with the cards your opponent will play on his/her turn.

If you have control of the board, for example your enemy doesn't have any cards on the board and you have 3 cards on the board at the start of your turn, you don't have to spend all your mana and cards and can just attack with your cards since your enemy might have "removal" in his hand. Removal means cards that have a spell effect that deal damage for multiple cards, a weapon or cards that have charge ability so if you play all your cards and the enemy clears the board next turn, you don't have as many answers in your hand anymore and the opponent might have the card advantage now instead.

These strategies are not always the right answer but they are pretty good tips for getting started. As you play more you get to know the cards better and you can predict what cards your opponent might have and that way you can develop more advanced strategies to counter your opponent.

#13 Posted by BisonHero (6526 posts) -

@themasterds said:

@gelatinousgelboy: Patrick should always Arena with his gold I think. It's only a little bit more expensive than a pack and once you lose you'll always get a pack. Plus it's good practice in many respects and, also, fun.

I think that's a terrible idea, as Arena really is meant for more advanced players (most Limited formats are). Sure, he'll still get a pack at the end, but he's basically wasting the extra 50 gold because I almost guarantee he'll end up going 0-3 and 1-3 every single time because the only people who play Arena regularly generally know what the good picks are. Anyone who has ever played a CCG before can pretty easily jump into Arena and put together a decent deck, but at this point, THAT IS NOT PATRICK.

#14 Edited by bemusedchunk (692 posts) -

If theres one thing that over 20 years of playing Magic has taught me, it's that controlling the board matters.

Control. Control. Control.

Once you understand that, and the flow of a game (much like Dota 2), then you can start getting into more nuance, such as card advantage and mana curve.

#15 Edited by TheMasterDS (2066 posts) -

@bisonhero: All I'm saying about Arena is the advice that was given to me. Arena is a good way to get feet wet. So sometimes you might draft a terrible deck because your priorities are whack and you find yourself just unable to do anything useful and losing because of it. That happened to me the first time in Arena. You know what, it was a great way to learn that the cards you play don't exist in a vacuum and you need versatility!

There's no reason to not Arena I think. It lets you play with entire decks of cards you've never seen before and, given how Arena works, is a great way to internalize deck composition issues and get a feel for what actually constitutes a good deck.

#16 Posted by Ares42 (2664 posts) -

I didn't watch all of it, but from what I saw his biggest issue is that he's just doing things without thinking. Card games are all about strategy, so my suggestion would be to always think "why am I doing this" and "can I accomplish that in a better way". It's probably easy to think that you need to be more snappy since people are watching, but if you look at the most successful hearthstone twitch channels it's the people that spend time, think and vocalize their thoughts that end up being more popular. It's all about the strategizing and mind-games, not what's going on on the screen.

#17 Posted by Icemo (642 posts) -

@bisonhero: @themasterds: I think if Patrick would let the chat choose the cards for the arena he could get something out of it. You need to play/watch hearthstone for quite some time before you can draft a good deck and use it effectively in the arena. It's not a place for a beginner really.

#18 Posted by BBQBram (2236 posts) -

@icemo said:

@bisonhero: @themasterds: I think if Patrick would let the chat choose the cards for the arena he could get something out of it. You need to play/watch hearthstone for quite some time before you can draft a good deck and use it effectively in the arena. It's not a place for a beginner really.

Not a bad idea.

#19 Posted by Jnal (214 posts) -

I don't play a ton of card games but have in the past. I've had the most fun playing Hearthstone but I also play it differently than the other card games I've played. I've only used the starter decks so far but I play it almost like a puzzle game. I might sound crazy but I look at each turn as a small puzzle to solve. Which pieces do I move to "win" this turn. The upside is that so long as I do well at that board control just falls into place. I doubt I did a good job explaining how I play but maybe when I get off work I'll edit it to make more sense.

#20 Posted by Gelatinousgelboy (195 posts) -

@themasterds: Either method can work. I think making custom decks is fun because you have more control over your strategy/theme and can alter it until it feels right, and there's less pressure to make the best decision because you *can* change it later. The Arena, as TheMasterDS says, can be a really great way to initiate yourself to a lot of different concepts and see all sorts of card synergies that might not have occurred to you before.

More stuff for Patrick:

  • Take Ares42's advice: take your time and think or talk through your options. You have a long time to take your turn if you need it (even when the fuse starts burning).
  • Focusing on how "insane/rare" your opponent's cards are is extremely toxic. Yes, it can be frustrating to deal with your opponent playing a card you've never seen before and magically crushes your strategy. But don't let yourself think that you can't compete because you don't have "the good cards." Winning or losing is a combination of deck composition, luck of the draw, playing out that draw, and to a degree the "quality" of cards. But I've won games with a rogue deck I called "Vizier of tinies," made up of ONLY 1-2cost minions, lost games with my good decks, and won games that I pulled out of a terrible place because I played well or happened to draw the one card I needed (heart of the caaards!).
  • Play with what you got. Whether your collection or your hand, don't be wishful about what you *could* get/draw and focus on the moment. Play out to the best of your ability with what you have and you might be surprised. Making a deck with a strategy is good, but one with lots of synergies (especially those that work with the worst of hands) is often better.
#21 Posted by Asmo917 (411 posts) -

These are all great tips. Taking some time to play off-stream and understand the basic mechanics like Charge, Enrage, and Spell Power + X would probably be the easiest path to some short term improvement. It's a small step from that to knowing how to apply that knowledge to the situation you find yourself in, i.e. being able to recognize "Oh shit, those +1 spell power minions for a mage are bad news even if they only do one attack damage, I need to deal with them sooner rather than later."

I really enjoyed the stream. I've been playing a lot of Hearthstone despite being intimidated by not really knowing the metagame or what cards are "essential" for what play styles. I'm certain if he plays semi-regularly, Patrick will become a better player in no time.

#22 Edited by DonMFJohnson (152 posts) -

As a newbie of TCG I have learned this:

  1. This is a strategy game, treat it as such
  2. Health is a resource
  3. Think about card synergy and interactions

I found Trump's (http://www.twitch.tv/trumpsc/) streams and card decks useful as a new player. There's much insight to be had for strategy and card interactions, definately helped me to start my journey.

#23 Posted by BisonHero (6526 posts) -

Having watched Super Professional Fridays, I'm shocked at how little Max Temkin knows about the game after having played it for 20-30 hours. You'd think most people would've messed around with Arena and more Hero types after that long. Also Patrick seemed better about knowing how to use the Mage ability to pick off minions, though he's still using the shit starter deck, which I'm pretty sure is just half of the Mage basic cards (so no Flamestrike, no Water Elemental).

So his deck is kinda just 2 copies each of Arcane Missiles, Polymorph, Fireball, Arcane Intellect, maybe a 5th card, I forget, and then a bunch of the most boring Neutral creatures possible. I can only imagine how much more engaging Patrick will think the game is once he puts together a deck that isn't 2/3rds boring vanilla creatures.

#24 Posted by jakob187 (21671 posts) -

The only suggestion I can offer to him is to play Magic The Gathering.

Online
#25 Posted by Shortbreadtom (780 posts) -

Watching someone play is super helpful. Trump is always someone to check out, but as someone who was shit about 3 weeks ago I don't think he's so useful for absolute beginners like Patrick. Weirdly, he's too good a player to show you how to handle it when things go wrong. I don't really like the rest of his content, but TotalBiscuit's Lord of the Arena series I found to help me the most. He talks through his moves very eloquently, and when he makes a mistake he usually realises and explains why it was a bad decision.

#26 Edited by SJSchmidt93 (4895 posts) -

Knowing whether or not to go for the face is a very complex decision and some pros even struggle with it. You should always justify WHY you are killing there minion. Killing a 1/1 with a 4/5 may not sound like a good idea but if you afraid of blessing of kings or you happen to have a 2/1 on the board, then it is right to kill it. If their minion poses no threat to any of yours (it's attack is less than the health of all of your minions) then it's usually right to let it live, unless you fear they may have a taunt and you would be unable to deal with either minion next turn. A lot of people think that having a taunt minion on the board is a good enough reason to not trade minions but then you are really weak to hard removal (hex, sheep, etc.) and burn spells (fireball, eviscerate, etc.). In general, going for the face is more risky but if you've really thought out the possible consequences and you think you can deal with whatever happens, then it is fine.

Playing around hero powers is key, you should almost treat all druid/mage/rogue minions as if they 1 more attack that they really do. Obviously taunts interfere with this thought process and the druids and rogues actually have to take damage, but it's still something to pay close attention to. In the example I mentioned earlier, it would right to trade off your 2/1 for the 1/1 because the 2/1 would just die to a hero power next turn for free.

It gets even more complicated when you start to play around things like flamestrike, consecration, unleash the hounds, etc. If you fear these spells, make inefficient trades because if you don't your stuffs gonna die for free.

It's really hard as a beginner but always try to put your opponent on a hand. If you KNOW that flamestrike or hex or whatever would have been a better play than what he did, then you know he doesn't have that card.

@bisonhero said:

@themasterds said:

@gelatinousgelboy: Patrick should always Arena with his gold I think. It's only a little bit more expensive than a pack and once you lose you'll always get a pack. Plus it's good practice in many respects and, also, fun.

I think that's a terrible idea, as Arena really is meant for more advanced players (most Limited formats are). Sure, he'll still get a pack at the end, but he's basically wasting the extra 50 gold because I almost guarantee he'll end up going 0-3 and 1-3 every single time because the only people who play Arena regularly generally know what the good picks are. Anyone who has ever played a CCG before can pretty easily jump into Arena and put together a decent deck, but at this point, THAT IS NOT PATRICK.

He has to learn the cards, and he's not gonna do that playing constructed. Each time he will improve, which is worth more than 20-30 gold.

#27 Posted by BisonHero (6526 posts) -

@sjschmidt93: Why wouldn't he learn the cards in constructed? Also, I'm pretty sure he's coming at this from a very different perspective than all of the CCG diehards in this thread (the very idea that he didn't just play against the AI for like 40 minutes to immediately unlock all of the classes and all of their starter cards is baffling to me; instead he is using these super terrible premade decks against actual people). So given that he's a beginner, I find it hard to believe that Patrick isn't going to be overwhelmed by going into Arena and having to evaluate various cards against each other that he has never seen before, especially with no past CCG experience. Based off the couple streams we've seen so far, aside from Explosive Trap, it doesn't seem like Patrick is really internalizing any of the new cards he sees, and is instead writing them off into a nebulous "cards I don't own" category.

So I 100% contest your idea that "each time he will improve". He should mess around creating and playing his own deck in constructed until he feels more comfortable and familiar with the game. Which may only mean a couple more hours, who knows. But I really doubt he would get very much out of arena right now.

#28 Posted by MachoLucha (25 posts) -

I actually found playing arena early on really useful, since I was seeing and playing with the same cards over and over in casual/ranked, so breaking out of that comfort zone and finding out what the other heroes I hadn't played as could have in their deck was pretty interesting.

But then again, I had a friend tell me not to expect to win, so I went into it with the mindset of treating it as simply a lesson.

#29 Edited by phampire (285 posts) -

I also agree that arena is useful, you can play with cards that you don't have so it's a good learning experience. The only situation where I would recommend not doing arena is when you only play 1-2 matches a day. Arena with chat is also a neat idea. Having a mentor would be immensely useful.

Never concede unless there is clear lethal on the board. Matches can turned around and can even be decided by the last card.

Learning about class specific cards (including mana costs) that are big threats and are usually used such as flamestrike, truesilver champion, unleash the hounds, swipe etc. Try to think about how you opponent can counter your moves and try to play around them, this will take time and practice. For example filling your board with 4 health minions just before turn 7 against a Mage is generally a bad idea, as flamestrike is a popular card (that costs 7 mana) and is likely to be played (if in hand), resulting in a poor trade for you.

#30 Edited by StarvingGamer (8239 posts) -

Do this: