So, I was watching @lyteforce stream some Hearthstone recently, and I stated I could make a small guide for him to better theory craft his decks. So, while working on one I though you know what while I’m at it I might as well share it with everyone on Strats. So, this is Freshie’s guide to Hearthstone Deck Building.
Rule one and the most important rule KNOW YOUR WIN CONDITION
So when making a deck the key is to know how you will mainly win the game. A win condition may be something as simple as killing them before they can get a chance to play or something as complex play certain set of cards to activate a super strong cards effect. Generally most decks can be split into 3 deck archetypes and to save space here a good explanation of what each deck goal to win. I recommend giving this page a real and learning the different archetypes and sub -archetypes
Know the 3 types of cards that will make up your deck. Core, Support, and Counters. Core cards are cards necessary to the win condition these cards must actively get you closer to winning the game or allow you to win the game outright. Support cards are the cards that allow you to enhance or get your core cards. Counter cards are rather self explanatory there are cards that will help you stop your opponents plan to defeat you.
Be prepared to play multiple games to fine tune your deck.
Now lets break down these rules and how you will form a deck.
So, first you choose your class and card you want o build around. Lets say you choose Shaman, next you look at what card you will build around (generally legendaries are you best cards to build around), and lets say you choose Shudderwock. You look at the card and decide due to its high cost and its effect that you want to build a control deck around it. First off you need to figure out what other cards will allow you to win when you play Shudderwock or what cards that are played in tandem allow you to win. So, you gather all the battle cry cards your interested in copying and start figuring out what will work to your win condition and maybe cards like Lifedrinker, Saronite Chain Gang, and Grumble stand out as they allow you to repeatedly drain your opponents health while healing yourself.
Now that you figure out your core cards you need to figure out what cards allow you to increase you chance of drawing these core cards or delay opponents so that you can get these core cards. Some of these can also be counter cards such as Healing Rain or Volcano, who respectively have a very strong healing and area of effect removal that will help delay your opponent in getting your core cards. Another card you decide you can try is Mana Tide Totem that will allow you to at least get one guaranteed card draw.
Next, you look at what decks are being played and if they’re any cards that counter it, and for example lets say murlocs are seeing a lot of play so it may be wise to put in a card like Hungry Crab that will allow you to destroy one murloc and help delay or eliminate the opponents win condition.
At this point you should start to form a general plan and collect the card that will help you achieve you win condition. Next, you win play several games like maybe even 50 games taking note either mentally or physically on what your noticing is either slowing down your win condition or having little to no effect on the board or getting you closer to winning. Then subbing cards that might do the job better, for example let say your playing Hot Spring Guardian in you Shudderwock deck but you see that it heal isn’t really helping your win condition with its battle cry but its an ok taunt which does help slow down but there might be something better. So, you look at other 3 cost taunt minions and find Tar Creeper that has a little bit better stats but doesn’t have the battle cry and since you don’t want the battle cry it may be a better fit. So, you replace the card and then test again. These changes and test allow you to fine tune your deck into what you want and realize what you need to look out for and tried to find counters for those without compromising your deck.
So, now you have a general idea on how to theory craft and build decks in Hearthstone. Again, this is a rough outline and there are plenty of finer details that will allow you to better theory craft you decks before building them but that is a lesson for a latter date.