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Rating  32

Contributed by

pabzi

Guide Type

Last Updated

November 20, 2014

Table of Contents

New Players: Whats My Playing Style?

Introduction


Hey guys! My name Is Pabzi and I’m here to help you find the classes and playing styles that best fit you!

Before I get started, I would like to know if anyone has ever gone through this type of situation? Your friends tell you to play X or Y classes, and when you do, you quickly realize that maybe those classes don’t exactly fit your playing style.

The thing is, it wasn’t you or Hearthstone, it was them. They indirectly tried to push their own preferred way of playing on to you. We need to realize that we are all unique, and we all have a unique definition of what the word “fun” means. What’s fun for you, could be the opposite for somebody else.

For the newer players out there, Hearthstone might seem difficult to understand at first, but in reality, it isn’t! The reason some new players may have difficulty getting into Hearthstone isn’t because they’re “unskilled” but rather, they aren’t playing with their strengths. Some people might be amazing Aggro players, some may always know the right cards to use as Control, and maybe some just know how to bait out huge monsters in mid-range. Its more than just the cards you play, if the players interest isn’t directly linked to the deck or strategy that they play, they’re never going to give the 110 % that’s going to earn them the victory.

At the end of the day, Hearthstone is still a wonderful and unique card game that holds a lot of fun. In fact, there are so many ways that you can enjoy this game! However, nothing is perfect and like any other card game, the problem has always been figuring out what type of deck to play.

There are a total of 9 classes and about 2-4 deck variations (Depending on the class) for each class! Sure, there are staple cards that every unique class MUST include, but Hearthstone is a game where diversity still reigns supreme.

Yes, the goal is to get your opponent’s life total from 30 to 0 and essentially win. But its best to do it under our own terms. The game is more enjoyable when our definition of fun grants us that sweet victory.

This article is here to help you understand just what type of player you are, as well as what classes were created just for you.

The “Triforce”Of Playing Styles


Preferred Classes: Mage / Hunter / Rogue / Priest / Warlock

General Info

Aggro is by far the most popular playing style. It’s popular because of its easy to pick up nature. The deck is also quite easy to craft, they have such little Arcane Dust requirements. This specific playing style has been known to help players reach Legend. Aggro has little trouble with some matchups and can counter other matchups. Momentum is key because without it, the deck just falls apart. It’s generally considered a hit or miss deck because you either win fast, or you don’t win at all.

Aggro decks are strong. Aggro decks are fast. The name of the game of speed. The player can usually win by turn 5-7 (longer, if your opponent has dropped a creature with taunt). The goal is to distribute constant damage to your opponent, before they have the necessary cards to wipe your entire board and turn the game around. But lets say that does happen, and your board gets wiped, your opponent may have only delayed the game, instead of winning it. You see, this playing style comes with its own safety net. The deck runs creatures like Haunted Creeper and Nerubian Egg. Haunted Creeper and Nerubian Egg are creatures that summon other creatures, when they get destroyed. This puts a heavy strain on your opponent as they will have to trade some of their creatures, before using their AOE spells.

The creatures we use are usually on the smaller side. The idea is to swarm your opponent with low costed value creatures. Aggro is heavily associated with the Deathrattle mechanic. Deathrattle creatures are found in aggro decks because of their extra effects. Undertaker is the poster child of this playing style. The Dream is to always summon Undertaker by turn 1 and then pumping him up to extreme levels. Deathrattle creatures are also extremely versatile. Besides being powerhouses like Undertaker, Deathrattle creatures like Loot Hoarder, can offer extra resources.

Its worth bringing up that sometimes, attacking directly isn’t always the smartest play. Its better to clear your opponents board and limit what options they have against you, instead of going for face damage.

Weaknesses

  • Board wipes and taunters are what usually stops Aggro’s momentum.
  • Powerful AOE spells like Explosive Trap, Lightning Storm, Blizzard, Flamestrike, Hellfire, Blade Flurry, Holy Nova, and Consecration can easily destroy your creatures.
  • Taunters like Sunwalker and Sludge Belcher forces Aggro to trade creatures and cripple the aggro players board position.
  • Long games. The longer the game, the easier it is for your opponent to bounce back and win the game.
  • Another possible threat is the Warrior class.
  • The majority of Warrior decks run Baron Geddon, a legendary creature that deals 2 damage to all other characters. It’s effectively a one-sided board wiped if used correctly.
  • Whenever you’re facing a Warrior, always try to play around Brawl (If possible).
  • Lastly, the Warrior’s hero power of adding 2 armor per turn, can quickly add up and delay aggro from getting the kill.

 

Preferred ClassesDruid / Hunter / Shaman

General Info

Mid-Range decks can often get out of control. This playing style is all about having access to some of the most powerful “mid’ish- high’ish costed” creatures and spells. Legendary creatures like Cairne Bloodhoof, Sylvanas Windrunner, Loatheb, and The Black Knight are staples in all Mid-Range decks and can greatly improve your chances to win. High costed creatures like Cenarius, Al'Akir the Windlord, Ragnaros the Firelord, and Ysera come out late game but have the effect to quickly steal games by creating instant board value.

In order to further understand Mid-Range, we need to first understand that Mid-range decks are the very definition of versatile. They are essentially a jack of all trades type of deck. Neutral legendary creatures only make half of the mid-range equation. The other half depends on the druid/hunter and shamans access to powerful class specific spells and hero powers. Regardless of the situation, Mid-range decks have a variety of options that can help them get back in the game. For example, If a player can commit to using a well-timed Secret, Hex or even a Swipe at the right moment, the game can instantly turn around.

Not all Mid-Range decks are the same, some classes have more perks than others. For instance, Druids can easily summon high costed creatures by using Innervate. However, Druids are still limited in the AOE department (besides Swipe). Shamans have access to AOE, and transform spells but they lack any other defenses for the early game. Hunters can use a variety of secrets, weapons and damaging spells but *usually* have no way to draw extra cards.

The Mid-Range playing style isn’t for everyone though as it comes with a heavy price. Before considering this type of strategy, make sure that you’re alright with giving up any chance for early board aggression. At the cost of early board aggression, the player gains amazing stability during the mid to high late game.

Mid-Range decks can sometimes be hard to craft. This is due to relying on legendary creatures and Epic class specific spells. However, if you can afford the dust, the deck handles like a dream.

Weaknesses

  • Mid-range can *sometimes* have a tough time against Aggro decks because of its inability to counter early aggression.
  • Transform spells like Hex and Polymorph can turn your powerful creatures into wimps.
  • Against the Hunter mirror match, Flare can steal games.
  • Weapons or damaging spells.
  • Harrison Jones can destroy popular weapons like Eaglehorn Bow and Doomhammer.
  • Control decks can disrupt mid-range decks by utilizing spells or creatures that either destroy, silence or transform your creatures into weakened states.
  • Control decks will stall the game until they draw into their combo and win the game before you do.

 

Preferred Classes: Mage / Priest / Paladin / Warrior / Warlock

General Info

Control Decks are built to last. When using a control deck, the player needs to always play smart/patient. The late game is a control decks friend. The Control playing style revolves around keeping the board in check. Control has access to powerful stun spells, the ability to draw extra cards, and extra options to outlast your opponent.

Out of the 3 playing style, Control is definitely the slowest. It’s not necessarily the worst out of the 3, but it does demand more thought to use optimally. If the control player can’t outlast their opponent or makes good trades, the game can very well end in an instant.

Each class has their own take on “Control”. Some control decks are more aggressive than others. Other control decks rely on stalling the game. The win condition varies from class to class. For example, Warlocks and Warriors rely on setting up an almost unbeatable creature based board. The creatures can range from Grommash Hellscream, Mountain Giant + Molten Giant, to even Lord Jaraxxus. Both classes also have access to a variety of spells that excel at destroying minions and dealing damage.

Control Mage is a stall based deck that waits until turn 9-10+ in order to set up the Alexstrasza / 15 spell damage Combo. This combo is really deadly and can lead the mage into winning the game on their next turn. Mages have access to defensive secrets like Ice Block and Ice Barrier. Ice Block is essential to a control mage, as it gives us 2 extra lifes. Ice Barrier just extends the amount of damage we can take, before we get into lethal range. A good Control Mage will need to learn how to use all of their resources wisely. Before using any spells, a control mage will have to look for many windows of opportunity’s. For instance, mages will want to use Blizzard when your opponents board is almost full. Remember that a mage can’t use any of their spells without developing another defensive strategy for their next turn. This isn’t always the case though, as sometimes, the better play is to not go on the defensive. A mage can decide to save their stun spells, take face damage and use card generating creatures and spells instead.

Control Paladins rely on powerful “stun” cards like Aldor Peacekeeper, which changes a creatures high attack and turns it to 1 instead or Equality, a spell that changes each creatures health on the board to 1. Control Paladins also have access to the “Equality / Consecration” combo, which is a one-sided enemy board wipe. Paladins have direct access to healing spells, as well as multiple ways to draw extra cards. With the combine power of weapons, creature manipulation, powerful taunters, a control paladin can either turtle their way to victory or go for the offensive and win games in record time.

Control Priests have access to one of the most powerful and versatile hero power in the game, lesser heal. Lesser heal is essentially a tool that improves the players chances to maintain a creature based board advantage. Control Priest can opt into drawing extra cards with Northshire Cleric, destroy minions with spells and if that wasn’t enough, Control Priests are always using their opponents cards against them.

Lastly, its worth mentioning that Control decks are by far the most expensive decks in the game. It goes from Control to Mid-Range to Aggro, in terms of high arcane dust requirements. The amount of investment a player must make before making a control deck can be quite troublesome. On the other hand, If a player creates one, they will have access to an overwhelming amount of powerful creatures and spells.

Weaknesses

  • Control Mages are severely hurt by Flare.
  • Control Warrior counters Control Mage. The matchup is just so horrible.
  • Not drawing defensive spells during the early game.
  • Having a huge hand that consists of draw spells.
  • Being the victim of a well-timed Loatheb.
  • Using many resource before the late game.
  • Priests have trouble against creatures with an attack power of 4. (Because the #4 gets around Shadow Word: Pain and Shadow Word: Death)
  • Control can sometimes have a difficult time facing One Turn Kill Classes like Rogue or Mage. Because against these classes, longer matches are a given and the rogue or mage can draw into their combo before you and win.

Conclusion

Win or lose, try to remember that no person is ever limited to just one playing style. In order to further increase your chances on winning, try to play all 3 playing styles. A little knowledge can go a long way, especially when it can help you win the game. By having knowledge of the opposing class and strategy, you can easily pick up on what threats their deck might hold. Also, anytime you’re playing, try to imagine yourself as your opponent. Don’t just focus on your best possible plays, predict your opponents best possible plays against you.

Oh, and one last thing! Never give up, never surrender. Because you never know if you can make that awesome comeback from the brink of defeat.


Twitter: @pablowithlove

Twitch: /pabzi

I stream Hearthstone, Starcraft 2: Heart Of The Swarm, Heroes Of The Storm and more!

Enjoyed this article?



My name is Pablo. I'm from Ecuador. I stream Hearthstone and various other games. I love Anime. I'm a Foodie/ Pop Culture Fanatic / and Movie Buff. But I mostly just daydream and stuff.

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6 Comments

Leave a Reply

  1. Jonathan Tetreau says:

    I really like the article! I think it demonstrates very well the flexibility of hearthstone and some of the basic thought processes that go into making a deck. Like you mentioned though there are variations from the “major archetypes” that are really fun to play too! Especially combo decks, or the (fingers crossed here) soon to be mill deck! These are other decks that you can consider playing too to catch people off guard and win some games! Overall, great read.

    • pabzi_ says:

      Thank You! I also play other card games like MTG and I would LOVE it if Hearthstone gets access to a *Good* Mill Deck XD Who knows, maybe December might throw us a bone!

  2. dreamphase says:

    I like this guide!

    Question, what deck do you mainly play?

  3. Jeremiah says:

    I would also emphasize that it’s important for all players to not only try out each style, but to have a grasp on the basic decisions one makes for every play style. For example, at some point, an aggro player is going to face another aggro player who is faster, gets a better draw, or is simply on the play, and they will have to take a more control-oriented approach to win the game. Midrange players in particular need to be very flexible.

    Good article though.

    • pabzi_ says:

      Thanks! I agree. People need to tap into their adaptive state. But that comes from a lot of experience. Yeah I COULD of mentioned it, but this guide is more of a starters guide. I will improve on it as time goes on though.