Today I’m talking about “Attacking the right minion”. Sometimes I’m really surprised how often people attack or trade off the wrong minion. In mathematics I’m fairly sure that:
1 = 1
in Hearthstone however a 1/1 body is often not equal to another 1/1 body!
Here is why:
Subtype matters (Beast, Murloc, Pirate ….)
A common scenario against Hunters is that there are some 1/1 Spectral Spiders left when you kill off a Haunted Creeper. Later in the game the Hunter is using Unleash the Hounds and is doing favourable trades with them. What people sometimes do wrong is to use the Hounds first and are left with the 1/1 Spectral Spiders on the board…
THIS should never happen!
A 1/1 Spectral Spider is not a Beast and therefore isn’t that valuable as a 1/1 Hound (Beast). A Beast can for instance activate the full effect of Kill Command, can give Houndmaster a target or is buffed by a Timberwolf. This is also true against Warlock: A 1/1 Imp (Demon) can be more valuable than a Spectral Spiders because of Demonheart, Demonfire, Mal’Ganis or even Sacrificial Pact :).
Same things can apply with other Subtypes..
Example: If you are playing against a Hunter and have the choice between trading a 3/2 body (non-subtype) and a 3/2 Puddlestomper (Murloc) on the board it is almost always better to trade off the 3/2 Murloc just in the rare case he got a Hungry Crab from a Webspinner.
A Battlecry minion on the board is always a threat even if the Battlecry is already done. This is especially true in Arena with Youthful Brewmasters & Ancient Brewmaster. Bouncing back a powerful Battlecry minion and using his effect a second time can sometimes be devastating.
Besides the Brewmasters there are also some spells like Freezing Trap, Sap, Echo of Medivh, Gang up, Dream (Ysera) or Time Rewinder (Spare Part) that could be used to reuse minions (and therefore their Battlecry) a second time. For that reason you should always kill a minion with the most powerful Battlecry if you have the choice between two or more minions with the EXACT same stats. Vice Versa this is also true: Always trade off your least favoured Battlecry minion.
Example: You are playing Oil Rogue against a midrange Hunter and you have the choice to trade off your SI7-Agent or your Earthen Ring Farseer (both 3/3). Depending on the situation trading off the SI7-Agent first seems to be more reasonable because if the Hunter is using his Freezing Trap later in the game you would rather heal you instead of dealing 2 damage. Note: Depending on the situation this might be the other way around.
State of the minions matters
This might seem pretty straightforward but if you have the choice between a minion which is damaged down to 2/3 and a regular 2 drop which has 2/3 make sure to kill the damaged one because it can be healed up.
If you are playing against Priest or you have a Recombobulater in your deck the manacosts of two minion with the exact same stats also matters.
Example: You have a 3/3 Earthen Ring Farseer and a 3/3 Antique Healbot on the board. Both have 3/3 stats but the Farseer cost 3 Mana and the Healbot cost 5. This fact matters if you have a Recombobulater in your deck because you would rather transform the 5-drop than the 3-drop because on average you can expect better stats of the 5-drop.
If you are playing against a Priest he might use the Shadow Madness –> Recombobulate combo. Therefore the 5-drop harms you more than the 3-drop in that regard.
Let’s start with an example…
Example: Your opponent is playing a Piloted Shredder. You respond with a Sylvanas Windrunner on your turn. He is responding with a second Piloted Shredder on his following turn.
In this example the first and the second Piloted Shredder are not the same! The fact that the second Piloted Shredder was played after Sylvanas was on the board makes him more valuable for your opponent than the first one. Reasoning: Deathrattles are triggered in the order they entered the board.
If later in the game the scenario arises that you have 5/1 Sylvanas and your opponent has only one Piloted Shredder left on the board you would rather have the first one than the second one. If the first trades with your Sylvanas you get at least his 2-drop. If the second trades with your Sylvanas you will get nothing.
Conclusion: If you want to trade your Sylvanas with one of the Piloted Shredder’s make sure you take the one which was played after your Sylvana was dropped.
Alright hopefully I could show you that 1 is not equal 1 in Hearthstone terms.