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RCC #4: Weapons Expounded – Part 2

crazerk

In this week’s RCC, we will be continuing where we left off on Weapons!

In this column, Ranked Climb with crAzerk (RCC, for short), our resident writer crAzerk will share his insights into the game of Hearthstone via strategy articles, blogs about his own ranked experiences, and other write-ups. These are catered to both new players as well as the average player of Hearthstone. Please leave any suggestions/requests for future articles in the comments below, or contact crAzerk directly at atqhteo [at] gmail [dot] com.

This article is the second of a two-part series aimed to teach players how to properly utilize weapons in Hearthstone. Enjoy!

Weapons
Images from Hearthstone, Blizzard Entertainment

Introduction

Weapons are a crucial element for several classes in Hearthstone, but new players often misuse weapons, such as being afraid to attack the board as they will lose Hero HP. This two-part series aims to help you better understand what weapons can do for you and how to use them optimally.

In the first part I went through some general weapon usage tips. In this second part, I will go through the class-specific weapons.

Weapons Expounded
1. General Weapon Usage
2. Class-specific Weapons

Table of Contents
1) Rogue
2) Warrior
3) Paladin
4) Shaman
5) Hunter
6) Druid
7) Warlock

Rogue

Hero Power – Wicked Knife

The most basic of weapons, Rogue’s Hero Power equips a 1/2 weapon. A common scenario occurs on turn 2, when there’s nothing to do and players equip this …. and make the mistake of attacking the enemy hero. Why this isn’t an optimal play is because you have one less durability to deal with any board threats, and one less durability if you drew Deadly PoisonSometimes it may be acceptable if you have no turn 3 move either, and you’ll be equipping it again anyway.

But most of the time, exercise patience, and keep the durability, until you draw a Deadly Poison and need it to kill off a 3 HP minion, or there’s a need for that bonus 1 damage on the board. (unless, of course, you have 2 leftover mana, and you’re going to reequip it anyway. Remember to attack BEFORE reequipping!)

Assassin’s Blade

5 mana for potentially 12 damage is good value – the downside is that your hero takes damage 4 times too (assuming you’re attacking minions). As such, you may consider striking the enemy Hero after the first 2 blows (depending on your own HP), or even use Blade Flurry with it.

Special case : Blade Flurry

This isn’t a weapon per se, but its synergy with weapons is apparent. Do note that this scales with spellpower, so a well-timed Bloodmage Thalnos (or Kobold Geomancer!) comboed with a Deadly Poison, this and your hero power is a nice 4 damage AOE! (Remember to attack once with your weapon if it still has 2 durability before you cast!)


Warrior

Probably the class most recognized for weapons, the Warrior has powerful weapons at its disposal.

Fiery War Axe

The humble Warrior weapon, almost equivalent to two charging Bloodfen Raptors! Good to remove early damage threats and maintaining early board control, this weapon is essential in every Warrior deck.

Arcanite Reaper

Arcanite Reaper is solid mid game minion removal, though may be a bit less useful against minion heavy decks which have lower HP minions as you don’t get the full 5 damage utilized. Still a solid card to have in any deck.

Gorehowl

This is one of the strongest weapons in the game. Even if you ‘destroy’ it with a Hero attack on the 4th attack, that’s already 18 damage for a mere 7 mana! Removes pesky high HP threats, and if you can hide behind enough armor, you can utilize it for the full duration. If you draw this card late, it can function as a 7 damage burst to the enemy hero too to deal lethal damage.

Others – Heroic Strike, Arathi Weaponsmith

Heroic Strike is slightly situational, and depends if you already have many weapons. I generally wouldn’t include this in my decks. Arathi Weaponsmith is great value, though you may want to make sure you don’t have too many weapons in your overall deck as your hero may take a lot of damage

Paladin

Light’s Justice

I’m not a big fan of this weapon. It does too little to justify the damage done to your hero, and unlike in a Rogue deck, you can’t buff this weapon (apart from Spiteful Smith).

Truesilver Champion

A very solid 4 drop, good for either removing a mid-sized threat or for healing up your hero (by attacking the enemy hero). I generally prefer to use it to remove threats rather than heal, unless you are at critical HP.

Sword of Justice

Another solid Paladin weapon, this card is able to snowball your average minions to a win. Playing it at Turn 3 (or coining it at Turn 2) is risky but has high payoffs – if you don’t get Oozed, your next 5 minions are going to be +1/1 which should translate into solid board advantage. Do remember that this card sacrifices tempo for potential board advantage, so if you’re already behind in tempo (e.g. your opponent has 2 minions out) it may set you further behind despite the +1/1 boosts. A good assurance to know whether you can retain tempo is if you have a consecrate or other board clears in hand (e.g. Wild PyromancerEquality)

Shaman

Stormforged Axe

The basic Shaman weapon; usually removes a 3/2 on turn 2, but do bear in mind that you will be overloaded by 1 next turn. This is perfectly fine, as you get to swing for another 2 damage (twice!) to remove another 2 HP, and can totem next turn (Assuming you play this on Turn 2).

Doomhammer

May be good to combo with other cards that buff your weapon damage (e.g. Spiteful Smith; Rockbiter Weapon) so it deals more per swing, though most of the time you would not want to be attacking minions for the full 8 durability but swinging at the enemy Hero as well (Otherwise you’ll be taking minion damage 8 times!). Do take note of the hefty overload on this card – you will be 2 mana short next turn.

Rockbiter Weapon

Not a weapon per se, this gives you a 3 attack swing if you want to cast it on your Hero. You can also boost your minion for one turn too. Use it as a removal, don’t just attack pointlessly with it (e.g. on the Hero when no clear kill is in sight)

Hunter

Eaglehorn Bow

Very nice when used in conjunction with secrets, otherwise just an expensive Fiery War Axe.

Gladiator’s Longbow

Among the most expensive weapons, this is in essence 10 damage for 7 mana, which is great value (average damage cards are typically Mana Cost + 1 for damage). Pair it with cards that can buff your weapon damage like Spiteful Smith or have weapon-dependent Battlecries (e.g. 7/3 Bloodsail Raider, anyone?), and you get ridiculous value out of this slightly pricey card.

Druid

Druids’ ‘weapons’ are special as they all last only one turn, and most damage is usually mitigated because of the armor gain they come with. Use them as removals on minions, try not to go for the face! (Unless it’s a killing blow, of course)

Claw

The only immediate counter to a coined Faerie Dragon on Turn 1 (Faerie Dragon users take note!), this card is a solid early game removal considering the large number of 2 HP minions in the early game. Paired with your hero power, you usually take 0 damage when used on early game minions. I would normally keep this card in my starting hand unless facing a mid-late game deck with few early game minions.

Bite

More of a mid-game removal, you usually end up with net gain in armor/HP unless you’re attacking something bigger than a 4/4.

Warlock

Wait, what? Warlock? Warlocks don’t have weapons?!

Lord Jaraxxus

Oh, right. Lord Jaraxxus is almost like a countdown timer – you either win in 3-4 moves or you lose. Why this is so is because it is a huge tempo loss – you only get to attack with the almighty Infernals 2 full turns after playing Lord Jaraxxus, but 2 mana for 6/6 is pretty ridiculous and means that your opponent HAS to kill you within 4-5 turns as there’s no way he can keep trading for the 6/6s.

I like to clear the board by trading minions once I’ve played him, as this makes way for the almighty 6/6 Infernals to begin raining down.

Bear in mind how much damage you can do in 3 turns – 3 + 3 + 9 = potential 15 hero damage, assuming no taunts. Calculate your probabilities from there and make your decision on whether to clear minions or go for the kill.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Weapons Expounded series! I hope that now you know how to use your weapons efficiently and this will snowball you to many future victories!

-crAzerk#1308

What do you all think of this guide on Weapons? Let us know in the comments below!

Stay tuned to Hearthstone Alley, or our Facebook and Twitter for more quality Hearthstone and community news!

Image Credits: Blizzard Entertainment, Jeremy, crAzerk

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This entry was posted on January 22, 2014 by in Ranked Climb with crAzerk.

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