Hearthstone Newbies, let’s talk about the coin
Hearthstone officially launched yesterday and Blizzard cleverly decided to try and tempt WoW players into trying it out with the one thing they know we can’t resist: a new mount. To get the mount players must win three games against another player, either in Casual or Ranked mode.
Winning three games is actually a very obtainable goal, even for new folks! It might take a little practice, but it’s entirely doable. In my case my favorite decks are supplemented with a few cards I won in beta, and I knocked out my three wins last night on Casual mode in just over an hour.
With the huge influx of new mount-seeking players, though, there are a lot of (understandable) strategy mistakes being made and the most common one I saw was misuse of the coin card.
The game randomly picks which player gets to move first at the beginning of each battle. Board control is very important in Hearthstone so to migitate the advantages of going first, the second player gets one extra card and a coin card which gives you one extra mana crystal for a single turn.
The coin can make the game, in my experience, and should be used wisely. Do not, ever, ever, use the coin on the first turn to cast your hero power. Using your coin to get +2 armor on your warrior for the first turn or to hit me for 2 damage on your hunter or whatever is a waste!
I am an experienced Hearthstone player, if not a particularly amazing one, and I have some suggestions for solid coin use:
1) Get creature that costs 2 mana (a “2-drop”) on the table on your first turn. Do you have a Faerie Dragon or a Bloodfen Raptor or any small creature in your hand? Get control of the board early by using your coin card on your first turn and then playing the creature.
This tactic is particularly great if you’re playing a hero that naturally supports playing large numbers of creatures, like Paladin or Shaman. I use my coin for a turn one creature easily 80% of the time I have one.
2) Save it to play something really big a turn early. One of the ways experience pays off in Hearthstone is that over time you learn to anticipate the big cards that each hero is likely to have. For example, the priest deck has a Mind Control card that costs 10 mana, and every experienced player will be on the lookout for it around turn 10.
Get the jump on your opponent by using your coin to lay out mind control on turn 9. This also works great on big creatures — the earlier you can drop something big and nasty, the less prepared I’ll be to deal with it.
(This also works in the reverse. If you have a good removal card that will take one or more enemies off the board and you’re getting overwhelmed, use the coin to play that card early!)
3) If you’re playing a hero with combos, the coin counts as a combo card! If you have any card in your hand that says something about an ability “whenever you play a card”, pair it with a coin for a really cheap combo.
Those are my tips! The coin is a powerful card, and saving it for a crucial moment can win a game.
Still confused about Hearthstone? I made a video a while back with 10 Hearthstone vocabulary words for newbies!