I’ve been playing Hearthstone, Blizzard’s card game battler, for a month or two now and am enjoying it very much.
Although by the very nature of a collectible card game people that pay money will have access to more cards, it’s currently very possible to win most matches without paying. My philosophy on free games is to pay the developer around as much money as I would have for the game if it was paid, but not more.
That said, if you are looking to play better here are some things I have discovered (I’m not involved in the HS community or read any strategy guides so my advice might be old hat):
I always change the name of my custom decks to the following format: X/Y [Approach of the deck]. X stands for the number of matches won, and Y for the numer of losses. After every couple of matches I rename the deck and update the stats. Example: 15/4 DrawHeal is my popular Priest deck.
Naming your deck this way allows you to keep tabs on if the approach works with the cards in the deck, if your deck is any good ‘in the field’, and it helps you remember your playstyle.
Refine one card at a time
You’re only as good as the hand you draw so before decimating your deck make sure you give it enough plays. One way I like to do this is to play a few matches and find any weaknesses in my deck, then swap one card for a better suited one.
This gives you valuable playing experience with the deck whilst incrementally making it better (hopefully). Should you take out 4 or 5 cards at a time then you might imbalance the deck in another way.
Spread of cards
Unless you have a specific approach you want to try out, try to have cards more or less evenly spread out across the mana spectrum (1-7).
This ensures you have the best chance of opportunities at every turn.
Nothing is more devastating to have a hand full of cards you cannot play.
Also make sure you have creature cards across the mana spectrum. As you don’t know in what order you’ll draw the cards, it is important that you can go on the defense or attack at any point in the game. Thus you need creatures across all mana levels.
Make a note of what is not working
Why did you lose? Did you end up with a lot of high mana cards in your hands that you couldn’t put into play? Or did you have a lot of low mana and high mana creatures but nothing in the middle ranges?
Perhaps you were unable to stop the rushing Hunter because you didn’t have enough area of effect spells (spells that affect all (enemy) creatures)? Or did the right cards not come up, maybe you should draw more cards? Sometimes you’re just unlucky.
Slowly adjusting your deck in this way makes it more flexible to deal with any situation that arises.
Understand the classes
Initially I had a lot of trouble playing the Paladin (even though in World of Warcraft this is my favourite class) because I didn’t understand how to play it. Look at the unique cards the classes have. In this case, my impression is that the paladin tries to preserve and grow their creatures, so using it in a deck with sturdy defensive creatures and then growing them can be a viable approach.
You can’t play any approach with any class. Although combining cards to allow a certain approach is a risky but fun experience.
A game is only as fun as its players. So be kind and say hello, and compliment a player on a impressive play.
Personally, I do not like to admit my mistakes during the match because the opponent might not know that I made a mistake.
I’m sure you have your own tips and hints so any feedback is welcome via twitter.