Hearthstone Improving Your Game Guide

Hearthstone Improving Your Game Guide by sipiwi94

Hi I’m sipiwi94. I have played chess for 11 years now and have reached legend some seasons in a row now. I discovered that there are a lot of similarities between chess and hearthstone when it comes to improvement. One major thing is that improvement can be split into two different groups: skill and memorizing/things you just need to know. This guide will mostly be about the first part, but here is an example that shows the different. Learning about card advantage and board control improves your skill level. Memorizing a new deck list doesn’t improve your skill level. You will probably perform better, but the skill level is about the same. Both kinds of improvement are important, but in my opinion you should focus on skill as much as possible. This guide will try to give you some tools to help you improve at hearthstone. You will not be a much better player after reading it (hopefully a bit), but if you use the tools that it gives you, you will, hopefully, improve faster than you would without it.


This part is more important in chess than memorizing openings etc and I would argue that the same goes for hearthstone. When you use a deck made by a pro you will often experience a high boost in rank. This is very nice and motivating, since most of us have a goal that would now be closer (rank 5, legend etc), but first of all your goal should be to improve – nothing but that. With this mindset you will not be as frustrated if you go down 2 ranks or something like that, since you improved. If your goal was to reach rank 5 you didn’t come closer, or did you? Yes, because you need to be a better player to reach a higher rank. A second point about using a pro deck is that once your deck is outdated you will drop down to about where you were before you found your pro deck. So what happened? What happened was that you experienced a “false” boost in skill level. You didn’t actually become a better player. What makes you a better player is something else. In chess there are two different things that make you better. The first one is reading about certain themes of the game improving your general understanding. In hearthstone this would correspond to understanding the classes (removal, secrets, how they are played etc). The second way to improve in chess is to practice your calculation skill by solving puzzles or playing games. This practices your brain like soccer players do physical exercising. In hearthstone the easiest way to practice this is by playing the game. But you need to be 100% focused. It doesn’t work if you look at facebook in your opponent’s turn, watch television at the same time or whatever people do. After you have played a game being focused try to figure out what mistakes you made. It doesn’t matter if you won or lost, if RNG was on your side or if it wasn’t. There will always be mistakes that you can learn from and doing that is an important part of improvement. Try to solve the puzzle in this link: http://imgur.com/bJtJF6z

The solution becomes clear once you get the right idea. You have to Equality and then use Ironbeak Owl. Now the Boulderfist Ogre is at 7 hp and you can buff him to 28 damage, which is lethal. Regardless of whether you found it easy, hard, or unsolvable the way you thought about the puzzle should be very similar to the way you think when you play.


  1. Look at the game This sounds very simple and in fact it is. By looking at the game without thinking about finding the correct play you stimulate other parts of your brain, which often makes you see different things. When I solved the puzzle above it was when I looked at the game that I figured at that Equality + Ironbeak Owl could heal any minion. I don’t think I would have seen this point if I was trying to find the right play (not as fast at least)
  2. Define a goal for your turn A goal could be to remove a big minion, play around certain removal spells, damage your opponent for as much as possible, survive until late game etc. By defining a goal you can sort out plays that don’t help you achieve it. In the puzzle the goal was very obvious, since you would die if you didn’t kill him. By knowing this you didn’t even think about a lot of plays. This can also be the case in less obvious examples if you are aware of it.
  3. Find the plays with potential to be good You shouldn’t be critical while selecting these, since you don’t want to sort out the best play. Every player looks at different plays, but by organizing your thoughts like this you don’t miss as many plays. You also avoid looking at the same play multiple times wasting time.
  4. Evaluate the plays with potential and choose the one you want to play This step is pretty obvious. You evaluate the plays you chose in step
  5. Which play is safer, more ambitious, weaker to removal, creates the most board control etc. After evaluating each play you choose the one you think is the best. Important things to take into account here are: Do you have a good play next turn (a play that uses all your mana and is useful)? Could your opponent have a good answer to your play and how likely is it
  6. Why is your play bad? This requires an explanation. In this step you want to pretend that the play you chose is bad and figure out why. This, like step 1, activates a new part of the brain, which sometimes finds things you missed. Sometimes you figure out that you missed something essential that makes your play bad and sometimes you remember that your opponent could have a good, but decide to make your play anyway. If he doesn’t make that play you can expect him to not have those cards, which gives you a lot of information. So this step is not always useful, but it can be very important.
  7. Make sure that you do everything right Play your cards in the right order!! I think we all have forgotten about cards like Wild Pyromancer on the board, traded Knife Juggler before playing your minions etc. The order in which you play your cards can be essential. A rule of thumb is “card draw” before “random effects” before everything else. Note that this doesn’t mean that the order of “everything else” doesn’t matter. Place your minions correctly!! This is very important if you play against Mage, Hunter, and Rogue (Cone of Cold, Explosive Shot, Betrayal), but just do it in general. It is almost always important, since most decks contains cards that buff adjacent minions (Defender of Argus, Flametongue Totem, Dire Wolf Alpha etc.) Attack in the right order!! This is not important very often, but I still want to mention it. Minions buff each other so think about it.

These steps should eliminate a lot of mistakes. There are not equally relevant each turn, but you will hopefully figure that out yourself once you are familiar with them.

  • How to practice using these steps One way of practicing was to play while being 100% focused on the game. Another way is to find very skilled streamers that explain their plays. But don’t just watch the stream and nodding at their plays when the streamer explains them. You have to decide what you would do in their situation while they are thinking. This makes you learn by practicing the 6 steps and you learn something when your play is not identical to the streamer’s. If the streamer plays too fast for you look it his videos so you can pause until you figured out how you want to play the turn.


A very important thing in this game is to get information out of the cards played and the cards that are not played.

  1. What cards are left in your deck? This information can be very important. It is always important when there are only few cards left in your deck, but it is also important in general when you need to know what answers you have for his 12/12 Van Cleef or whatever your opponent might have. If you already used all you late game cards against a control warrior you know that you have to try to end it quickly etc. There is a lot of information to be found if you ask yourself what cards are left in your deck.
  2. What cards did/didn’t your opponent play? Did/didn’t your opponent play all of his board clears, did/didn’t he play his late game threats, what kind of deck contains the cards he plays etc.
  3. What cards didn’t your opponent play even though it would be good to do so? This is very useful, since you don’t have to play around those cards the next turn/turns.
  4. How did your opponent mulligan? If he threw away many cards it is less likely that he has a good starting hand. The cards he kept also give you a tell. It could tell you many things depending on what deck you play and what deck your opponent plays, but generally it is early game cards or essential cards in the matchup. Pay attention to whether or not your opponent has played the cards he kept in his starting hand.
  5. Looking at cards, almost playing at cards etc. Sometimes you can get information out of paying attention to what cards your opponent is hovering over with his mouse and what cards he is about to play, but not playing anyway. I don’t do this, since people can bluff making the information you get unreliable. But it can give you very useful information, especially at lower ranks. Two examples are: If a mage “almost casts” a spell on your minion turn 2 it’s probably Frostbolt and if your opponent “almost casts” a minion turn 3 pointing it at his other minion it is most likely Shattered Sun Cleric. Whether you want to use this information or not you should make sure not to give your opponent tells this way.


  1. Use as much mana as possible This lets you play more cards overall, which gives you more board control, which lets you trade more efficiently etc.
  2. Encourage your opponent’s mistakes This game is about two things. The first one is to make the best play every turn. The second one is to make your opponent fail at this. The latter is something that people often forget. There are several things you can do to make him fail. One thing you can do is to use cards like Blood Knight, The Black Knight, Big Game Hunter, Mind Control Tech, Harrison Jones. Your opponent rarely expects you to use these cards, which could turn out to be a mistake. You can also use cards that are hard to play against. Sylvanas Windrunner and Cairne Bloodhoof are good examples. Even taunts are sometimes hard to play around. You can also try to predict what your opponent will do and make that play bad because of the cards you have in your hand.
  3. Don’t make the best play. Make the play that gives you the highest winning chances. An example is that you are in a bad spot and your only chance to win is to go all face and hope that he doesn’t have some cards that will just make you lose on the spot. You might lose 90% of those games, but if going for efficient trades loses 100% of the times it’s still something. This game is about risk/reward.
  4. Play as many classes as possible This will make it easier to face each one of them. If you don’t have the cards you can do it in arena.
  5. The best play isn’t always the one that gives the best result. You might run into the perfect counter to your play, but if it’s very unlikely don’t be frustrated. You still made the right decision!


I will now spend a little time talking about what is important to memorize and how to improve well doing it. When you play chess you have to memorize openings (the best moves possible at the start of the game), BUT it is very important that you understand why every move is the best. In hearthstone it is very important that you have a good deck, BUT it is very important that you understand why it is a good deck. When you find a good deck on the internet best case scenario is that there is a description telling you what every card is doing in the deck and a video with some game play. If there is a description DON’T use it. The way you learn is to look at each card yourself, trying to figure out why each card was chosen instead of others. Afterwards you should look at the description to find out what points you missed. Play some games with the deck (at least 20 I would say). This will teach you a lot about the deck and if you can’t make it work in 20 games find another. You still learned a lot especially if you face the deck.

The meta game is also necessary to learn about and can teach you surprisingly much about the game. What is the most popular deck right now? What counters it and why aren’t those cards/decks played? How can you change your deck making it more effective against the meta? Instead of just playing the same decks as everyone else you should try to understand why these decks are popular. This improves your skill and you will also be one step ahead if you change your deck accordingly.


So what makes you a better player? Practicing, thinking, focusing, understanding.

Take your time when you play. You have 90 seconds per turn every second you don’t use is lost.

Use the 6 steps mentioned above. (Maybe copy paste them to a note so you have access to it while playing)

  1. Look at the game
  2. Define a goal for your turn
  3. Find the plays with potential to be good
  4. Evaluate the plays with potential and choose the one you want to play
    a) Do you have a good play next turn
    b) Could your opponent have a good answer to your play and how likely it is
  5. Why is your play bad?
  6. Make sure that you do everything right
    a) Playing order
    b) Minion Placement
    c) Attacking order

Get as much information as possible out of what happens in the game.

Learn from the things you have to memorize.

If you do all this I am quite sure that you will improve fast, but there is one last thing, which is very important: Have fun! Don’t forget why you play this game. This game is not about topping the ranking lists it’s about having fun and if you have fun improvement will come soon enough.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments below or at https://www.facebook.com/sipiwi1994,https://twitter.com/sipiwi94, or when I’m streaming at http://www.twitch.tv/sipiwi94.

Other Hearthstone Articles
Hearthstone How to Practice Effectively Guide
Hearthstone Pirate Warrior In-Depth Guide
Hearthstone Old Gods Ultimate Control Warrior Guide
Hearthstone N’zoth Renolock Rank 1 Legend Deck Guide
Hearthstone Yogg Tempo Mage Legendary Deck Guide
Hearthstone Control Warrior Ultimate Guide
Hearthstone Legendary Crafting Guide 2016
Hearthstone Face Shaman Guide
Hearthstone Malygos Freeze Mage Guide
Hearthstone Fatigue Warrior Guide
Hearthstone Mill Rogue In-Depth Guide
Hearthstone Legend Illuminator Freeze Mage Deck
Hearthstone Legend Midrange Secret Paladin Deck
Hearthstone Arena Detailed Guide
Hearthstone Decision Making Checklist
Hearthstone Competitive Guide for Casual Players
Hearthstone How to Hit Legend Guide
Hearthstone Playing Around Secrets in Arena Guide
Hearthstone Crafting and Deck Guide for New Players
Hearthstone Attacking the Right Minion Guide
Hearthstone Arena In-Depth Beginner’s Guide
Hearthstone Building a Collection Guide
Hearthstone Gang Up Mill Rogue Guide
Hearthstone BRM Wing 1 Heroic Decklists
Hearthstone Blackrock Mountain New Cards
Hearthstone Legend Control Paladin Deck
Hearthstone Oil Rogue Guide
Hearthstone Beginner’s Legendary Crafting Guide
Hearthstone Combo Warlock Guide
Hearthstone GvG Arena Class Tier List
Hearthstone Fatigue Mage Deck
Hearthstone Legend Handlock Deck
Hearthstone Mill Druid Guide
Hearthstone Paladin Buffadin Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Druid Hobgoblin Token Deck
Hearthstone GvG Hand Demon Warlock Deck
Hearthstone Piloted Shredder Analysis
Hearthstone Priest Crazed Alchemist Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Deathrattle Hunter Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Rank 1 Legend Druid Deck
Hearthstone Recombobulator Probability Statistics
Hearthstone Getting Legend with Zoo Guide
Hearthstone Handlock Meta Analysis
Hearthstone Voodoo Miracle Rogue Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Naxx Watcher Druid Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Duplicate Freeze Mage Guide
Hearthstone Arena Success Guide
Hearthstone Control Warrior with Silence Deck
Hearthstone Freeze Mage Tips
Hearthstone Common Deck Types
Hearthstone Shaman Detailed Legendary Guide
Hearthstone Deathrattle Priest Legend Guide
Hearthstone No Leeory Zoolock Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Handlock Beginner’s Guide
Hearthstone Crafting and Disenchanting Guide
Hearthstone Deck Types Overview
Hearthstone Naxx Watcher Druid Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Legend Zoo Anti Hunter Guide
Hearthstone Midrange Hunter Mirror Match Guide
Hearthstone Midrange Priest Anti Hunter Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Full Aggro Face Hunter Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Control Priest Legendary Guide
Hearthstone Naxx Control Warrior Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Senpai Shaman Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Deck Building Guide
Hearthstone Naxxramas Hunter Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Arena Basics Guide
Hearthstone Naxx Tempo Rogue Deck
Hearthstone Haunted Creeper Midrange Hunter Deck
Hearthstone No Combo Ramp Druid Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Naxxramas Zoo Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Naxxramas Wing 1 Heroic Strategy
Hearthstone Naxxramas Arachnid Quarter Meta Guide
Hearthstone Miracle Rogue In-Depth Guide
Hearthstone Warlock Zoo Strategy Guide
Hearthstone Rogue Wisp Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Fast Ramp Druid Guide
Hearthstone Aggro Freeze Mage Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Warlock Zoo in Arena Guide
Hearthstone Paladin F2P Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Warlock Zoo Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Becoming Legend Guide
Hearthstone Mage Budget Aggro Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Arena Beginner’s Guide
Hearthstone Tempo Warrior Top 50 Legend Deck
Hearthstone Basic Tempo Rogue Zero Dust Deck
Hearthstone Tempo Rogue Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Card Ideas
Hearthstone Beating Freeze Mages Guide
Hearthstone Druid Midrange Ramp Druid Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Glossary of Terms
Hearthstone Life, Card Advantage and Tempo
Hearthstone Enable Play History and Logging
Hearthstone Automatic Deck Tracker
Hearthstone Control Paladin Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Terms and Concepts
Hearthstone Cards to Dust Immediately List
Hearthstone Miracle Rogue Matchups Analysis
Hearthstone Mage Competitive Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Aggro Mage Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Shaman Detailed Matchup Guide
Hearthstone Control Warrior Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Warlock Murlocs Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Warlock Power Overwhelming Rush Deck
Hearthstone Shaman Budget Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Top 10 Arena Mistakes
Hearthstone Rogue Aggro Mill Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Shaman Combo Deck
Hearthstone Improving Your Game Guide
Hearthstone Legendaries Crafting Guide
Hearthstone Warlock Aggro Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Deathwing Ramp Druid Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Priest Hybrid Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Druid Mill Miracle Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Warrior Weapons Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Druid Token Legendary Rank Cheap Deck
Hearthstone Paladin Rush Legendary Ranked Deck
Hearthstone Deck Strategies for Beginners
Hearthstone Rogue Malygos Legendary Deck
Hearthstone Tempo Shaman Legend Rank Deck
Hearthstone Rogue Legend Rank F2P Deck
Hearthstone Anti-Hunter Priest Deck
Hearthstone Aggro Mage Guide
Hearthstone Amaz Legendary Priest Deck Guide
Hearthstone Rush Priest Guide
Hearthstone Druid Ramp/Roar Deck Guide
Hearthstone Fireside Cardback Easy with Evolve or Tunngle
Hearthstone Gaara Dreamhack Druid Ramp Deck
Hearthstone Mid-Range Hunter Guide
Hearthstone Hunter Turn 7 Legend Rank Deck
Hearthstone Priest Blast Legend Rank Deck
Hearthstone Mage Legendary Rank Deck
Hearthstone Control Warrior Guide
Hearthstone Druid Legendary Rank No Taunt Deck
Hearthstone Warrior Rank 10 Easy Deck
Hearthstone Hunter Important Tips
Hearthstone Beginner’s Tips
Hearthstone Aggro Priority Targeting Strategy
Hearthstone Warrior Rank 4 Budget Deck
Hearthstone Warrior Enrage Deck
Hearthstone Hunter Rank 5 Budget Deck
Hearthstone Hunter Rank 5 No Legendaries Deck
Hearthstone Shaman Rank 1 Control Deck
Hearthstone Rogue Rank 10 No Legendaries Deck
Hearthstone Druid Rank 4 Deck
Hearthstone Druid Rank 3 Seven Legendaries Deck
Hearthstone Druid Rank 5 Deck
Hearthstone Priest Rush Rank 4 Deck
Hearthstone Terms and Mechanics List
Hearthstone Warlock Masters Deck
Hearthstone Druid Masters Deck
Hearthstone Druid Legendary Ranked Deck
Hearthstone Mage Enrage AOE Deck
Hearthstone How to Win Guide
Hearthstone New Player’s Guide
Hearthstone All Achievements and Quests Guide
Hearthstone Priest Rank 4 Deck
Hearthstone Legendary Crafting Priority Guide
Hearthstone Merloc Rank 1 Warlock Deck
Hearthstone Rogue Basics Guide
Hearthstone Rogue Rank 3 Aggro Deck
Hearthstone Starter’s First Steps Guide
Hearthstone Newbie Tips
Hearthstone Basic Cards Rating and Guide
Hearthstone Rogue Rank 5 Deck Guide
Hearthstone Frost Giant Mage Deck
Hearthstone Arena Drafting Guide
Hearthstone Golden Soulbound Cards List
Hearthstone Mage Burn Deck
Hearthstone Shaman Bloodlust Summoner Deck
Hearthstone Free Player’s Guide
Hearthstone Arena Card Pick Guide
Hearthstone Druid Beginner’s Guide
Hearthstone Mage Master 3 Decklist
Hearthstone Budget Player’s Guide
Hearthstone Secrets List and Guide
Hearthstone Tips and Terminology
Hearthstone Starter’s Guide
Hearthstone Legendaries Guide
Hearthstone Suicide Warlock Competitive Deck
Hearthstone Quests and Daily Quests List
Hearthstone Official FAQ
Hearthstone General Guide to Card Games
Hearthstone F2P Guide
Hearthstone Beginner’s Guide
Hearthstone Playstyles Basic Guide
Hearthstone Thrall Shaman Guide
Hearthstone Card Advantage Guide
Hearthstone Miracle Rogue Deck
Hearthstone Paladin One Shot Deck
Hearthstone Priest Control Two Star Master Deck
Hearthstone Basic Only Decks List
Hearthstone Paladin Control Masters Deck
Hearthstone Leveling System Rewards List
Hearthstone Beginner’s FAQ
Hearthstone Crafting Introduction
Hearthstone Game Modes Introduction
Hearthstone Class Tier List
Hearthstone Cards Beginner’s Guide
Hearthstone Warrior Useful Cards Guide
Hearthstone Basic Info Guide
Hearthstone Hero Tactics Guide
Hearthstone Warrior Basic Tips
Hearthstone Shaman Guide
Hearthstone Arena Guide

Leave a Reply