Becoming a Better Player: Recognizing your Win Condition

Becoming a Better Player: Recognizing your Win Condition

Recognizing your win condition is not particularly difficult to do, but it is something that most players don’t seem to be looking for. There are two aspects to this strategy, being recognizing your own win condition, and that of your opponent. Both will be discussed in detail here.     

If this is a concept relatively new to you, don’t worry. A lot of decks, especially those in the Meta right now, such as Zoolock and Aggro Shaman, have a relatively simple win condition, being their board. The idea is to flood the board with enough minions to bring your opponent’s life total to zero or below. In a sense, this is easy, but even in decks like these, it is important to designate some cards in your hand as a win condition. If, say, you are playing Zoolock, and you don’t have a particularly strong board control, a Soulfire in your hand could be used to either gain Tempo, or saved as a piece of your win condition.

Some decks are not as easy to recognize. For example, Freeze Mage typically uses a combination of Archmage Antonidas, Fireball and Alexstrasza. Part of being good at Freeze Mage is being able to expertly analyze a hand of cards and be able to see which can be used to win the game, and which can be used to not lose the game. This is not just for the cards in your deck, either – a lot of mechanics exist which can give you a tool or card that should also be categorized, such as Cabalist’s Tome, Spellslinger and more. Things such as Polymorph: Boar or general Mage spells like Fireball, Frost Lance, or Frostbolt can be used for either, and it’s up to you, the player, to analyze the current board status and designate these cards as won condition or tempo.

While this is not an easy mechanic to master, you should also be recognizing your opponent’s win condition as you proceed throughout the game. Similar to before, Aggro Shamans and Zoolocks are easy to see, and you should mulligan and play around those accordingly. However, if your opponent is playing, say, a C’Thun Warrior without much board control, it is likely that C’Thun himself is his win condition. In cases like these, your own condition may bleed into theirs. If you are able to efficiently shut down their win condition, this can often serve as a secondary condition for yourself. A Polymorph saved to counter their C’Thun can supplement a condition for yourself when you don’t necessarily have the cards for it yet.

Part of being a better player is through analyzation and recognizing the board’s condition. This includes thinking through plays, and double checking as to if there isn’t a better play to do instead. Many players make the mistake of thinking they can do well without putting in much effort. For example, some players play Hearthstone on phones while doing something else, such as watching TV or playing a more APM heavy game in the process. This seriously diminishes the amount of thought that goes into the game, and causes an embarrassing amount of misplays. My point is this: if you want to do well, consistently, in Hearthstone: pay attention all the time. There is always something you can gain from simply analyzing and re – analyzing the board, such as plays for upcoming turns, or even just how your opponent plays. If they start to cast a spell in one of your minions, but cancel it, take that into consideration that one card in their hand is certainly a spell. All of this is important information – all you have to do is notice it.