Decision Making in HearthStone, analysing puzzles #3

Welcome back on this series where I create puzzles to highlight interesting concepts of HearthStone. This will probably be more entertaining for beginners, but I guess it can still be fun for long time players. Link to previous episode.

Puzzle #2, clear the Hunter board the most efficiently


Perfect turn for the hunter who managed to pull a highmane out of Ram wrangler which he directly buffed with the houndmaster. The goal is to define the best way to deal with the board of the hunter since it’s not possible to kill him.

puzzle warrior clear the board
HS puzzle: clear the board as Warrior*

On your board: [Shieldmaiden] + [Death’s Bite] equipped.

On the opponent board: [Webspinner], [Ram Wrangler] which summoned a [Savannah Highmane] buffed by the [Houndmaster].

In your hand: [Whirlwind], [Fiery War Axe], [Unstable Ghoul], [Charge] and [Bloodsail Raider]

You sit with 2 HP and 5 armor while the hunter is at 12 HP.

Below is one possible solution which seems the safer play to me.

Possible solution

  1. Attack with the Shieldmaiden the Savannah Highmane.
  2. Play Unstable Ghoul with Charge and attack the Savannah Highmane. Both die + Webspinner. Two hyenas 2/2 are summoned from the highmane. 5 manas left.
  3. Whirlwind + go face with Death’s Bite. Hunter is at 8. 4 manas left.
  4. Play Fiery War Axe, death’s bite deathrattle triggers finishing to clear the board. 2 manas left.
  5. Either play the pirate or hero power depending on how safe you feel. The raider (5/3) ensures a lethal next turn if the hunter cannnot deal with it nor destroy the weapon.

What’s interesting here is to trigger the deathrattle of a weapon by playing another one. It was needed along with Whirlwind and the charging ghoul to get rid of Ram Wrangler, the two hyenas from the dead Savannah HighMane and the HoundMaster. Even if we “lose” one durability of the weapon, the deathrattle effect is here more useful.

Moreover I think a good play here is not to rely on the Unstable Ghoul as the only defense. Imagined you had played Charge on the Bloodsail Raider to kill the taunt. You could trade the Ram Wrangler with Death’s Bite and Houndmaster with the Shieldmaiden. There would be still two 2/2 or 2/1 depending on the play of Whirlwind. Your total health would be 2 + 4 of armor. If the hunter has a silence effect like [Ironbeak Owl] (played in most of the hunter decks) for the ghoul, then it’s game over.

Remember as well that the hunter will get a beast from the Webspinner in his hand. Better to clear the board and lose your minions. Well it depends on how many cards the hunter has in his hand. Indeed, when we play a control deck against an aggressive one, and the situation is almost desperate, it’s sometimes better to play risky to hope for a win, instead of persisting in defending. We’ll probably talk about this in an other puzzle.


  • Playing another weapon will trigger the deathrattle of the current weapon. It does not appear often, but once I just forgot and misplayed. Two other weapons have deathrattle: [Powermace] and [Charged Hammer].
  • When playing tempo/control decks against aggressive decks, it’s better to trade your minions with opponent minions instead of relying on a taunt. Your late game is better, allow you to reach it. For example playing Freeze Mage, Control Warrior or Mill Rogue.
  • Always think about what the opponent can play next turn. Knowing cards the opponent can play is necessary to progress in the ranks. It comes mainly by playing every classes and with practice.

Puzzle #3, avoiding mistakes with mill

This week, I want to talk a bit about mill decks. For those who don’t know, milling is a way of defeating opponents by forcing them to draw a lot of cards until they don’t have any more cards in their deck. At this point any card you can’t draw deals you fatigue damage: 1 then 2 then 3 etc. Also, if a player has 10 cards in hand and draws, the drawn card is lost.

When playing mill, it’s easy to do mistakes. I hope these puzzles will help you prevent from doing them. Let’s check this druid puzzle.


This one is about finding the lethal. With mill decks, it can go very fast!

HS puzzle: find the lethal as Druid Mill against Mage*

There are only two cards left in your deck wich are [Kezan Mystic] and [innervate]. The mage has only three cards left in her deck.

On your board: [Dancing Swords].

On the opponent board: [Sludge Belcher]. The mages also has a secret and you are sure it’s an [ice block]

In your hand: [Ironbeak owl], [Tree of Life], [Youthful Brewmaster], [grove tender], [swipe], [poison seeds] which hides, [deathlord], [coldlight oracle], [druid of the claw] and finally [ancient of lore].

You sit with 1 HP while the mage is at 6 HP. 

The Tree of Life could lull you into a false sense of security while there is actually a possible lethal. Can you find 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.

  • Kandiru

    IronBeak Owl the Belcher, hit face for 4 damage (2HP, 2mana spent). Hero power, hit face for 1 (1HP, 4mana spent). Grove Tender to draw a card, Coldlight Oracle to draw 2 cards. You take 1 fatigue damage (1HP remaining.) Mage draws a card at the start of his turn and loses!

    • Thibaud

      it works! I should have removed the grove tender as it was not the intended solution 🙂

  • NiChi

    Silence belcher (2 mana), hero power(2), do 5 dmg to face, play coldlight oracle(3), draw card with grove tender(3), End turn
    Mage is left with 1 hp and draws into fatigue.
    Great puzzle, it was pretty hard because i have never touched a mill deck before

    • Thibaud

      thanks! Actually I intended not to use the grove tender so there are two (similar) solutions.

    • xkillo blue

      wouldn’t you die from fatigue since you are at 1 hp?

  • Moniar

    Coldlight Oracle (7 mana, Opponent left with 1 card)
    Innervate (9 mana)
    Silence Belcher with Ironbeak Owl (7 mana)
    Hit opponent with Dancing Swords (Opponent left with 2 HP)
    Brewmaster the Coldlight Oracle (5 mana)
    Coldlight Oracle (2 mana, Opponent draws last card and takes 1 fatigue, going to 1 HP)
    Hero Power and hit opponent to trigger Ice Block
    End turn, opponent dies to fatigue

    • PanchamKing

      You killed yourself with fatigue by playing the Coldlight the second time.

      • Moniar

        So I did. Also forgot that secrets cannot trigger on own turn so you don’t need to trigger Ice block.

        • Thibaud

          yeah 10+ card was a trap :). So was the brewmaster 🙂

    • TechnoBacon

      You die to fatigue.

      My version is Ironbeak the Belcher (8 mana left), hit face with Dancing Swords, Poison Seeds (4 mana left, opponent has 2 cards in deck), Coldlight (1 mana left, opponent is in fatigue.) Innervate (3 mana), Hero Power face (1 mana, he’s 1 hp, Ice Block can’t trigger on your own turn, so he dies to fatigue next turn.)

      • Thibaud

        you got it right!

  • PanchamKing

    Ironbeak Owl to silence Sludge Belcher -> 8 mana left

    Hit face with Dancing Swords -> opponent on 2HP

    Poison Seeds -> 4 mana left, opponent draws card from Dancing Swords death rattle and so left with 2 in deck

    Coldlight Oracle -> 1 mana left, both decks empty

    Innervate -> 3 mana left

    Hero Power, hit face -> 1 mana left, opponent on 1HP

    End turn -> Opponent draws 1 fatigue and dies

  • Devil’s Advocate

    You missed a super easy solution. Silence, face with swords, druid of the claw w/ charge.

    • Thibaud Jobert

      The mage has an ice block 😉