Knowing how to use your cards effectively is only half the battle. Knowing how to pick the best cards in Arena, and how to build the best decks in standard play, is an essential part of victory!
Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest things to learn early on. This week, we bring Scott Lantz, Arena hero and card game mastermind, back onto the show to share all of his secrets for picking the best cards to build your deck with.
We talk math, we talk philosophy, we talk about pretty pictures on cards. Join us for another episode, and share your own card-picking techniques in the comments section!
- Read the latest patch notes
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- Download the game right now!
- Scott Lantz is on the show this week
- Topic: Card Evaluation 101
- Reasons to be happy this week
What Is Card Evaluation?
- Goal: Teach players how to determine the value of any card
- There are good and bad cards in the game on purpose
- This is the fastest way to get better at Hearthstone!
- All card evaluations are subjective to player personality and deck types, so think critically
The Vanilla Test
- Compare the bare-bone stats of a card to see if it’s good
- Rule of thumb: Attack + Health = (ManaCost * 2) + 1
- You can lump the stats of summoned “pets” with the card that summons them
- Chillwind Yeti
- Razorfen Hunter
- Find the closest similar card in cost/stats/effect and compare them.
- Bloodfen Raptor vs. Knife Juggler
- Razorfen Hunter vs. Harvest Golem vs. Imp Master
The Cost of Standard Effects
- Most standard effects (healing, direct damage, card draw) have a typical mana cost associated that Blizzard adds to the minion.
- There’s no magic answer with this. This is hard to define and uses fuzzy math.
- Spells vary too often to make an accurate list for them. These numbers apply to effects attached to minions
- 1/1 on a creature = 1 mana
- Stealth = 0.5 mana
- Taunt = 0.5 mana
- Divine Shield = 1.5 mana
- Spell Damage +1 = 0.5 mana
- 1 Card Draw = 2 or 2.5 mana (variable)
- 1 point of Direct Damage = 1-2 mana (variable)
- Charge = variable; expense increases with power of the minion
- Shattered Sun Cleric vs. Flesheating Ghoul vs. Thrallmar Farseer
- Some of the special abilities cannot be directly evaluated since they’re so variable
- But many give simple benefits, like +1/+1 or 1 damage under certain situations. It’s generally possible to figure out how many activations they need to break even with their cost.
- Frostwolf Warlord
- Priestess of Elune vs. Frost Elemental vs. Hogger
The Class Benefit
- Class cards tend to be better than neutral cards
- Goldshire Footman vs. Voidwalker
- Boulderfist Ogre vs. Temple Enforcer
The Randomness Factor
- Randomness is inherently risky, so be careful overvaluing it.
- There are different types of randomness, though. Randomness that can be “shaped” to control the outcome are generally better
- Mad Bomber vs. Deadly Shot
- Drawing cards is good, but cards that draw other cards are all over the value spectrum, good and bad. Evaluate each just like any other card!
- Azure Drake vs. Arcane Intellect vs. Novice Engineer
- Versatility sometimes comes in the form of explicit choice, like Druid cards
- Sometimes it comes from different and potentially unexpected ways to use an ability
- Blessing of Wisdom
- Inner Rage
- Low maintenance cards don’t need special circumstance to be played and get their full value.
- Chillwind Yeti and Arcane Intellect
- High maintenance cards need things to be in place in order to get its full value OR they somehow make your situation worse.
- High cost is high maintenance!
- Ancient Watcher and Defender of Argus and Venture Co. Mercenary
- Darkscale Healer vs. Spiteful Smith vs. Faceless Manipulator
- Mountain Giant vs. Sea Giant vs. Pyroblast
The Board State
- There are four states you can be in, in a Hearthstone game: Developing, Ahead, Parity, or Behind
- Cards are often better in some of those states and worse in others
- Some states are more important to be better in. Ahead is the least valuable, because you’re already winning.
- Question from Nerdvana247: Are Rogue underpowered?
- iTunes Review: MrBthoven
Card of the Week
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- What you want to see in future episodes
- What hosts you want to visit the show