Decision making in HearthStone, analysing puzzles, #1

HearthStone is really fun to play. Even more when you manage to pull out a combo. There are classic combos like playing [Force of Nature] with [Savage Roar] with the druid for 14 damages (3*(2+2) +2) a turn for 9 mana. This is simple though and takes no consideration of the board and the different minion abilities.

Other types of combos can happen, just optimizing the synergy between your cards, your board and the opponent board. When they are not so easy to detect, they are called puzzles.

The most funny ones are probably to find the lethal play: being able to finish your opponent without him being able to counter it. I invite you to check out Amaz puzzles serie on youtube or the youtube channel Animated HearthStone Puzzles While some puzzles are more likely to happen with some classes like Priest, it can happen with any class. I’ll try to create manually a puzzle for each class with my knowledge of the game and make it educative. The goal is not to make it the most difficult to spot by counting too much but to highlight one or two interesting concepts of HearthStone that can help you win games.

Here’s the first one as a Mage (edit: there are actually two solutions for this puzzle, one is quite easy and the other one intended for the puzzle :/ sorry!)

HS puzzle lethal mage
HS puzzle: find the lethal as Mage*

On your board: [Dalaran Aspirant] with 0 stack of spell damage, [Novice Engineer], [Mana Wyrm] not yet buffed, [Illuminator].

On the opponent board: [Twilight Guardian] with his battlecry buff and [Chromaggus].

In your hand: [Dragon’s Breath], [Blizzard] and [Ice Lance].

It could be tempting in this configuration to use Blizzard, clear the Twilight Guardian, go face and wait next turn to end the game. But then you’re exposed to counter-plays by the paladin who could even win depending on his hand and his draw. If you hadn’t been told there was a lethal play here, would you have found it?

Solution in the next episode!

*Puzzles are created using Very nice site for creating puzzles. Too bad they are not dynamic enough to allow the users to test the puzzles.




  • GibiP

    use blizzard, then use ice lance on the twilight guardian. suicide the novice engineer on chromaggus so that dragon’s breath costs 3. use dragon’s breath on your oppponent. You should reach 1 damage over leathal.

    • That’s actually the simple solution I did not think about when creating the puzzle. Funny how I could miss this. Could you find the 12 damages solution?

  • Pascal

    ping twilight (2 mana), suicide illuminator into twilight, blizzard for 3 (8 mana), suicide engineer in chromaggus, ice lance for 5 chromaggus (9 mana), 4 creature has died dragon’s breath cost 1=>face 5 damage(10 mana), attack with aspirant (8 damage) and wyrm (12 damage)

    • the illuminator does not die from the twilight guardian 😉

  • Charley

    I believe this is the intended solution:

    Ping face, inspiring the Dalaran Aspirant. (11H 8M)
    Cast Blizzard for 3 and Ice Lance on Chromaggus for 5, killing it. (11H 1M)
    Attack the Novice Engineer and the Illuminator into the Twilight Guardian, killing all of them.
    Flame Lance now costs 1 mana. Cast it on face. (7H 0M)
    Attack with the Dalaran Aspirant and the Mana Wyrm, which is now a 4/3. (0H 0M)

    • it is quite close to the intended solution indeed. But here the Illuminator does not die from attacking the Twilight Guardian 😉

  • Supertriskel

    Blizzard + ice lance sur le twilight drake
    Suicide de la novice sur le chrommagus

    Full face + dragon breath ?

    • ouep c’est la solution simple que j’avais zappé en créant le puzzle ^^. Il y a une autre solution compliquée à 12 dégâts.

  • Daniel Howard

    ping Illuminator (2M)
    Blizzard for 3 (6M)
    Ice Lance Chromaggus (1M)
    trade Engineer and Illuminator into guardian
    Dragon’s Breath now 1M and 5 damage. Mana Wyrm now 4 attack.
    Face gets Mana Wyrm (4) + Dalaran Aspirant (3) + Dragon’s Breath (5)