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A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Monday, June 09, 2014

The Best Hearthstone Basic Free Cards

Over the last couple of days I've mostly been leveling up the classes I don't commonly use (read: essentially everything except Mage and Priest) in order to unlock all the basic class cards and get a fat stack of gold for the little mini-achievement.

I've been doing this in ranked mode because, of course, you can't lose stars or ranks when you're lower than rank 20, so even one win in twenty still takes you onwards to the next rank.

After getting half of them up to level 10 I'm still struggling with Rogue and Warrior, but every loss is still XP to the goal. Part of my reason for struggling, I think, is deck construction.
The easiest thing to do is use the automatically generated deck, using the cards you own, that the game provides. This, however, is several shades of awful. Much better, then, to build your own deck using the wonderful cards you have at your disposal, throwing in what you need that you've already managed to unlock.

But, without knowing how a deck should play for each class, how do you choose? Trial and error, mostly, but I've found there are always cards that I like to include in every deck, no matter what. When you're first starting out and you've not got a lot of card packs to open, these are the staples for most decks you'll make, supplemented by your class cards and other free cards that help your deck style.

Sen'jin Shieldmasta - 4 Mana
The best value taunt in the game, thanks to his 5 health. Lower-cost taunts may come out quicker, but how much damage are you likely to receive in the first three turns? One of my favourite cards, he's almost always in my decks, and thus he's the illustrative graphic for this post. Almost always trades up, as very few 4 mana minions can do 5 damage and take more than 3 in return.

Shattered Sun Cleric - 3 Mana
A 3/2 for 3 mana is fairly standard, but the bonus of giving another of your minions +1/+1 so cheaply can't be beat.

Boulderfist Ogre/Lord of the Arena - 6 Mana
6/7 for the Ogre and 6/5 with Taunt for the Lord represents a strategic decision for your deck as both are very good but you're unlikely to be able to fit two copies of each in there. Taunt is always nice for messing up the opponent's plans, but the extra health of the Ogre makes him a more durable minion. Consider adding Stormwind Champion (7 mana, 6/6, all your other minions are +1/+1), too, for some late-game goodness, especially if he can combo with one of these boys.

Acidic Swamp Ooze - 2 Mana
3/2 for 2 mana is already nice, matched by the Bloodfen Raptor (or the 2/3 River Crocolisk), but the free Battlecry of destroying the opponent's weapon is often the only way you have of getting rid of those nasty daggers and axes that are sure to smack you in the face at some point..

Chillwind Yeti - 4 Mana
4 mana is where your deck can really start to kick in, and a couple of these hard-to-remove 4/5 Yetis make a powerful presence on the board, and are very hard to get rid of easily. You'll usually be trading up for one of these, or making your opponent waste something useful like a Fireball that should be used on bigger, badder minions.

Novice Engineer - 2 Mana
Without Loot Hoarder or other draw mechanics, your simplest bet is the 1/1 Engineer to draw you an extra card and get something on the board early. The more expensive option is the 4 mana Gnomish Engineer, coming as a 2/4 for less overall value, but a more durable minion.


  1. Boulderfist Ogre - fantastic, extremely good value stats for the cost yet still small enough to avoid Big Game Hunter.

    Stormwind Champion - decent, at it's strongest when you're likely already winning but can be used as a strong turn-over play at times.

    Lord of the Arena - fairly pants, 5 health on a 6 mana taunter is not good, thoroughly outclassed by the Masta of Shields. Decent Arena pick (lol) due to less prevalent removal.

    1. I'd say that free, basic cards that end up 'decent' in the overall scheme of things are actually pretty darn good! I included Lord of the Arena because, unless I've got Fireball/Polymorph in hand, rarely do I ever say "oh, okay, that's fine" when my opponent puts one down.