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Coining the Hearth – Board State

The board state in Hearthstone is often a lively thing, and tends to swing quite rapidly in either direction at a moment’s notice. The biggest thing to remember when dealing with board states is the fact that using as little cards as possible to stabilise is essential when wanting to win a game of Hearthstone, purely because you only have 30 cards to work with in the first place.

When people refer to the board state they are talking about what the board looks like if you were playing watching the game as a spectator, and who is seemingly at the advantage at the time. For example, you will often seen control mages hold a Flamestrike at the cost of some life just so that the opponent gets more creatures out onto the table and makes the Flamestrike even more effective when it hits.

“Where will that leave me?”

This is an important question to ask every time you are dealing you are looking at the board, as it isn’t always the obvious option that is actually the correct play. It is always good to look at what creatures you and your opponent have, and how you can kill the most creatures while losing the least.

If you end up using more than one card to get rid of one of your opponents cards this should never be considered a good trade, although in some circumstances it can be unavoidable. If you ask yourself “where will that leave me” or alternately “what will that leave me with?” before you make a play, you can often find a much easier route to killing your opponents creatures and aggression without much cost to yourself.

Don’t Play Everything at Once:

If the board state is in your favour, you always have to be careful as your opponent may well be trying to change that. If you are playing against a Mage for example, you can only guess that if you have a lot of creatures on the board that a Flamestrike will come down from his hand on turn seven, and you can bait out these plays to your advantage as well.

If you have the advantage ask yourself if it is worth the risk to play more creatures, or will they just die to some area-of-effect (AoE) clearance that your opponent has in his hand? More often than not it is well within your interest to just keep the board state exactly the same and bait out some more spells and cards from your opponent to deal with what you currently have on the board.

Holding cards in your hand for a safe place also, from your opponents perspective, makes it even more difficult for him to make plays, just because you have more cards in your hand. Sure it may hinder yourself slightly, but it also makes your opponent think twice every time he plays a card.

Always Watch the Board:

Keeping an eye on your opponents hand is integral, as he will often have his most powerful cards on the left hand side of his hand, just because of the high spell cost. This lets you make some predictions as to what he is holding, and also what he may still be holding in his hand depending on where he plays the cards from.

If you are able to predict what is going to happen or even one of the cards your opponent is holding then you can easily force him to use that card in a less than opportune circumstance for your opponent, and can then bring on your own aggression after that.

Watching what is happening on the board and in your opponents hand is integral and cannot be emphasised enough, and is something you should be conscientious about it when practicing your competitive game for the Hearthstone Telkom Do Gaming League 2014.

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