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Last Updated

February 2, 2017

Table of Contents

Arena Strategy: Video Draft & Game 1 Walkthrough

Introduction


Hello there!  My name is MrShine, I’m a 28 year old from Wisconsin who’s been in love with games of all sorts for as long as I can remember. 

I’ve played a variety of trading card games in the past (Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon to name a few) but it was Hearthstone I fell in love with when I joined the beta last year.  I found Hearthstone’s arena mode appealing right away, and have built my card collection up almost exclusively through arena earnings and daily quests.  I am currently an “infinite” arena player (My average arena winnings are greater than the 150 gold entry fee) with a win rate of over 71%. If you’re interested you can check out my arena stats here.

I enjoy discussing Hearthstone almost as much as I enjoy playing it, and – if you can put up with my pondering playstyle –  I hope you’ll find my videos both entertaining and educational.

In the first video guide I’ll walk through my thought process and draft decisions while assembling a Druid deck for the arena.  In the second video we’ll take the deck for a test drive as we cross cards with a Paladin who proves to be almost too hot to handle. 

The Draft


Draft Comments & Pick Justifications:

Pick 4:  Scarlet Crusader, Starfire, Stranglethorn Tiger

I picked the Scarlet Crusader, but the other two were strong options.  Starfire is strong in the late game but costs a lot of mana for the benefit of the card draw.  I personally value it slightly less than other arena players may, simply because it’s not a card you want to play on turn 6 due to the tempo loss.  Stranglethorn Tiger on the other hand is a fantastic card that I love in the arena and probably value higher than other sites.  It’s “Flamestrike immune” in the late game due to its stealth (unless the mage has + spellpower) and can often set up a strong follow-up turn.  I passed it up here however because at this stage in the draft I’d prefer a strong 3 drop over a strong 5 drop.

Pick 26: Power of the Wild, Shattered Sun Cleric, Savage Roar

This one was tricky.  I had enough 2-drops to rule out Power of the Wild, but while I picked the cleric Savage Roar was very tempting as a finisher or a bit of burst damage.  I had a low curve so there was a good chance I could have some small minions out on the board, and Savage Roar could help me end games before they get too deep into the late game.  In the end though arena is about drafting consistently strong cards, and for every game Savage Roar might win for me there would be another game where it would be a very inefficient card to play.  Shattered Sun Cleric on the other hand has more opportunities to be successful, and when combined with certain two drops (of which I had many in this deck) it can be a huge tempo play to set up the rest of the game. 

Pick 30: Questing Adventurer, Mana Wraith, Knife Juggler

I just wanted to point out that Knife Juggler is the pick in this situation 9 times out of 10, but I stand by my choice for the last card in the draft going with the questing.  I had a large amount of 2 & 3 drops at this point, and what I needed was big minions.  Treating Questing Adventurer as a potentially big late-game minion worked well for this deck since it was likely I could make it a 4/4 or greater on the turn it came into play, and my opponent would be required to deal with it immediately otherwise it could grow out of control.  I would have preferred a more consistent late game minion over it, but in this situation I had to make do.

Game One


Comments & Alternative Plays:

Turn 2:

Bringing out Sunfury Protector may have been better if I was mostly afraid of Argent Protector, but if he didn’t have that it potentially could have made my turn 3 Youthful Brewmaster pretty awkward, especially if he went face.  Playing Sunfury Protector would have also been very vulnerable to an Abusive Sergeant follow-up by the paladin.  Playing Youthful Brewmaster was vulnerable to the nightmare Argent Protector but was probably a “safer” play as far as follow-up turns were concerned.

Turn 9:

A very bizarre play from the paladin here.  I was convinced he had a Mind Control Tech based on his non-play, and even at low hp I reacted accordingly by doing nothing.  I had a pretty strong handle on the board, and was content holding cards to potentially pump my Questing Adventurer.  Generally if I have a strong board position I don’t play 4 minions unless I need to keep pace or don’t have a minion that would crush me if stolen.  In this case if he somehow stole my Druid of the Claw it would likely have been an instant loss.

Turn 10:

It was tempting to use my hero power and take 6 damage to clear the Stormwind Champion and leave my Druid of the Claw alive, but that would have put me in lethal range to Consecration, Hammer of Wrath, or Truesilver Champion clearing my taunt & killing me the following turn.  I felt more comfortable with 6 hp and no taunt than 1 hp and a 4/4 taunt, since it’s hard to do 6 damage as a paladin without using a multi-card combo.

Turn 11:

Not much to say, other than THANK RNGESUS for the topdeck Sunfury Protector.  Without that I would have been blasted by Reckless Rocketeer to start me off 0-1.  At the end of the day a little dose of luck goes a long way 😀

Closing


I hope you find these videos helpful.  I’d appreciate any feedback, comments or suggestions in the comments section below!  I would love to continue making exclusive video guides for HearthstonePlayers.com in the future, but in the meantime if you want to see some of my other videos check out my youtube channel & subscribe for more.

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7 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why didn’t you play the oasis snapjaw and claw on turn 7? Plays around consecration a but better because you would have a 2/5 with a cleric and what you draw in hand versus just a 3/1 with claw on hand. At this point, you would have a minions that dies trading with anything and you don’t necessarily have anything going to out on the board. The game would likely be lost without amazing top decks. In addition you would have more life and have a more sticky board because of snapjaw.

    • Anonymous says:

      I realize my comment was confusing. What I was trying to say was that if you played claw and oasis snapjaw on turn 7, you would have more life and would have a difficult board to clear. If the opponent had consecration, playing the cleric on turn 7 would be lost if you didn’t draw perfectly. If you played oasis and claw, you would be able to play cleric and kill the blade master he may play and still have a 2 3/2s

      • MrShine says:

        Thanks for the comments! I skipped the snapjaw because at this stage in the game I’m vulnerable to a lot of things, and I felt like the best chance for me to win would be to get as many threats on the board as possible to have answers if he decides to flood the board with minions. The snapjaw is durable, but he won’t kill too much. True the play I made was weak to consecration, but in my opinion I was too low on life to play around much. If he had consecration I would have lost, but if I play too conservatively I’d also have lost.

        I kept the claw at the end because 7 hp was already comfortable enough against an empty board vs a paladin with 8 mana. He absolutely could have killed me, but he would have needed multiple cards to do it (or a VERY lucky avenging wrath – an epic card I shouldn’t play around in arena anyways). I thought the claw could help me clear something on the following turn, so I felt it was more valuable to keep. If playing claw could have brought much up to above 4 hp, I probably would have played it there because there are more ‘one off’ cards a paladin could have to kill me from 4hp or less.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sent you a message on reddit!

  3. I was picking with you, only change was soul of the forest :)
    But I still get only 3 wins in arena T_T

    • MrShine says:

      Thanks for the comment! That one was a tough call – I’m not a big fan of Oasis Snapjaw as a 4, but he’s at least more consistent than Soul of the Forest. I generally play conservatively, so I don’t like to allow many minions on the opponent’s board (and therefore don’t always have a ton on mine!) so realistically I probably wouldn’t be able to give more than a handful of my minions the deathrattle. Soul of the Forest does have more upside than snapjaw, but it also has more potential to give very poor value or just sit in my hand. I went slow & steady here.

      Regarding your 3 wins in arena, 3 is still average, so you have nothing to be ashamed of! It sounds like your drafting decisions are pretty good, so if you’re really looking to improve in-game decisions might be a good place to start.

      If you ever wanted to send me some video of your gameplay shoot me a message on Twitter (@The_MrShine) and I’d be happy to take a look and give some feedback!