Card Advantage in Hearthstone
One of the most deciding factor for an outcome of a game in Hearthstone is card advantage. Experienced Hearthstone players will try to achieve and maintain card advantage over their opponents. This means that they will have more cards in hand than their opponent’s, while of course, doing so without risking being overwhelmed on the board.
By gaining card advantage, you will be able to play every round with several possible ways, and have the choice to pick the best possible way to deal with your opponent. While every player draws a card at the beginning of their turn, there are two possible ways to gain card advantage in Hearthstone. You can either form your deck with good drawing power, or make good value of your cards, which will force your opponents to play sub-optimally.
Good Drawing Power
In order to succeed, your deck must contain ways to draw more cards than what is provided by default each turn. The reason is simple, as your deck should not have many high mana cost cards, and as you gain more and more mana each turn, you will eventually run out of cards to play. When you are faced with the situation where you are forced to play the card you have just drawn, your options would be severely limited.
There are neutral cards which allow you to draw additional cards. For instance, Gnomish Inventor draws a card for you upon summon, Cult Master draws a card for you when any of your other minions die, and Nat Pagle has a fifty percent chance to draw you an extra card at the start of your every turn.
There are also class specific cards which allow you to draw additional cards. Priests can draw additional cards with their Northshire Cleric whenever a minion is healed, Hunters can do so when they summon beasts if they have Starving Buzzard on the board, and Shaman have Mana Tide Totem which draws them a card at the end of each turn.
As a rule of thumb, you should have enough drawing power in your deck. You can quickly tell this when playing with your deck and decide whether you need extra drawing power or not. If you are regularly running out of cards, then it might be a good idea to increase your deck’s drawing power.
When evaluating whether to include a spell to draw more cards in your deck, always remember that you are wasting a card for doing this. So a spell like Arcane Intellect which draws 2 cards would be a good choice, but Far Sight which only draws 1 card is rather poor.
Maximise Card Value
While drawing power is important, drawing power alone won’t give you card advantage unless you know how to use your cards efficiently. You should constantly try to use fewer cards to deal with your opponent than they are using to deal with you. Playing your cards to their maximum potential will ensure that you will have more cards in your hand, and more options to response to your opponent’s play later on.
You should always look for a good trade with your opponent’s card, for instance, 1 for 2 or even higher trade. That means you should try to make 1 of your minions to take out 2 or more of your opponent’s minions, preferably at the same cost level.
For instance, when you are playing mage, and you have a 3/3 Raging Worgen on the board, while your Priest opponent has a 4/3 Injured Blademaster and a 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit. There are two possible ways which you could deal with your opponent’s minions during your turn:
- Attack Silver Hand Recruit with your Raging Worgen, thus, killing his minion and activating Enrage on Raging Worgen, making it a 4/2 minion with Windfury. Then, attack Injured Blademaster with the same Raging Worgen, killing both.
- Attack Injured Blademaster with your Raging Worgen, killing both minions. Then kill Silver Hand Recruit with your Hero Power, Fireblast.
The end result of both situations is that you would have killed both of your opponent’s minions. However, in the first scenario, you used your Raging Worgen to take out both of your opponent’s minions without activating your Hero Power, which would also save you 2 mana to summon minions on the board or cast spells.
This is just one example to use your cards efficiently. Most importantly, read the description on every card, even if you think you know how the cards function. There are many ways to increase the value of your cards, the most common way to do so is by buffing your minion in order to take off a stronger minion on your opponent’s side.