Why I still play Hearthstone

On December 6, 2017, in General, by Neil Stevens

Why do I still play Hearthstone despite regularly complaining about how the designers have stripped so much skill from the game? Because sometimes, just sometimes, I get to outplay my opponent hard and earn a win.

Rank 16, 3 stars. Important match to hit the rank floor and be done for the month. My Keleseth Rogue vs what appeared to be a straight value-control Mage. No quest, no secrets, just playing good, solid Mage cards to try to outvalue me and win in the late game.

Play of the game: I knew he’d clear the board on Turn 6, stranding Bonemare on Turn 7. So on Turn 4 I Shadowstep a Southsea Deckhand and just keep it in hand at 0 mana. I then play Obsidian Shard. I make sure to miss at least one attack with the Shard, so I had charges left when Turn 7 hit. After his expected blow out on Turn 6 (he played Blizzard), I can play a zero-mana Southsea Deckhand (with charge due to the Obsidan Shard), Bonemare it, and recover from an empty board with a 5-5 and a 6-5 with charge.

I knew his game plan, I prepared for it turns in advance, I executed my plan, and reversed him. He thought he left me dead in the water on turn 7 with no board. He thought he’d just stabilized and was going to grind me out. But no. I was still on plan and set to win.

So, I won despite a followup Twisting Nether from Kabal Courier. No Prince Keleseth, and in fact the whole game was carried by commons (Shadowstep, Southsea Deckhand, Bonemare, Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil, Fire fly, Cold Blood) and a rare (Obsidian Shard). I did pull Patches the Pirate with Southsea Deckhand, and that did obviously add some value and a few points of face damage, but the total dust of the cards I drew and played that game was very, very low.


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