Which cards do you keep when you look at your opening hand? Most people just think about what their own strategy is, but Adam guides us through the process of basing your card selection on what your opponent wants to do instead. It’s a subtle mindshift that has already proven to boost win rates around the Happy Hearthstone headquarters, so hopefully it helps you too!
Along the way, Adam shares the top-meta decks for every class and specific counter strategies. Good luck on the ladder!
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- Topic: Choosing which cards to keep and throw back, based on your opponent
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Choosing Which Cards To Keep
- Scope of this guide
- How much it can affect your win rate
- Lots of questions from Josh
Playing against Druid
- Popular Druid deck type:Ramp, with late game threats
- What that Druid deck wants to do: Use Innervate to cheat something out early, then use minions and spells to control the board and keep tempo in its favor through mid and late game.
- Types of cards you want to keep:Any large minion that is hard to remove like Sludge Belcher or Cairne Bloodhoof/li>
- Types of cards you want to throw away:Any slow spells like Flamestrike or Holy Fire that take a long time to develop.
Playing against Hunter
- Popular Hunter deck type: Fast early minions that punch to the face
- What that Hunter deck wants to do: Deal as much damage as fast as possible, using charge minions and its hero power
- Types of cards you want to keep: Leper Gnome, Undertaker, any strong 1 or 2 drop
- Types of cards you want to throw away: High casting cost cards and secrets that the hunter can easily flare away
Playing against Mage
- Popular Mage deck type: Late-game control
- What that Mage deck wants to do: Keep the board clear with lots of removal and burn you down with spells and fatties late
- Types of cards you want to keep: Sturdy troops that will survive most removal like Kel’thuzad or Sunwalker, because this game is going to go late whether you want it to or not
- Types of cards you want to throw away: 1-health minions that don’t have an immediate impact on the board. The hero power will kill them easily.
Playing against Paladin
- Popular Paladin deck type: Slow control
- What that Paldin deck wants to do: The Paladin deck wants to get as much card advantage from its big equality combos as possible, while slowly leaning on you gaining small advantages over a long period of time
- Types of cards you want to keep: Card advantage cards like Acolyte of Pain or good mid range sticky minions like Harvest Golem
- Types of cards you want to throw away: Late game cards, you want to draw your big threats later on in the game, not early.
Playing against Priest
- Popular Priest deck type: Control
- What that Priest deck wants to do: Wait for you to make a move so it can counter on their turn with one of their many spells or minions
- Types of cards you want to keep: Any 4 power minions that are hard to remove like Cairne Bloodhoof, Chillwind Yeti, or Spectral Knight
- Types of cards you want to throw away: Big minions that usually get Shadow Word: Death’ed or Mind Controlled
Playing against Rogue
- Popular Rogue deck type: Miracle or Tempo
- What that Rogue deck wants to do: Miracle Rogue wants to draw Gadgetzan Auctioneer and then cast many spells all in one turn. Tempo rogue wants to completely control your board while casting midrange minions
- Types of cards you want to keep: Against Miracle you want a lot of taunt defense, against tempo you want easily casted early minions
- Types of cards you want to throw away: Anything slow or clunky like 5 casting cost minions or above, unless they have taunt
Playing against Shaman
- Most popular Shaman deck type: Mid-game board control
- What that Shaman deck wants to do: Use efficient spells to keep his minions on the board and then empower them all at once for a huge attack
- Types of cards you want to keep: AoE removal and minions that are spell-resistant like Faerie Dragon and Harvest Golem
- Types of cards you want to throw away: Slow, high-cost minions. You need to get board control early.
Playing against Warlock
- Most popular Warlock deck type: Handlock
- What that Warlock deck wants to do: Drop his health low and stack his hand while controlling the board, then unload huge minions
- Types of cards you want to keep: Early aggressive cards and strong removal spells. He will play huge minions eventually.
- Types of cards you want to throw away: Slow minions and low-damage AoE removal
Playing against Warrior
- Most popular Warrior deck type: Control Warrior
- What that Warrior deck wants to do: Lots of AoE removal and enough weapons to arm an entire country.
- Types of cards you want to keep: Weapon destruction like Acidic Swamp Ooze or Harrison Jones, and high-health taunt minions to force the weapon attacks
- Types of cards you want to throw away: Late-game bombs like Ironbark Protector and low-damage aoe spells like Fan of Knives
- Question: Best class card from Naxx set
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