How to Get Better, a New Player’s Guide - Episode 54

August 18, 2015


  • Jim is on the show this week
  • Topic: Helpful tips for new players!
  • Reasons to be happy this week
  • News: The Grand Tournament is ALMOST HERE

Tip #1: Follow the Rules

Even though Hearthstone is supposed to be fairly simple, there are many odd situations where cards interact in unexpected ways. It’s good to be aware of these, and try to use them to your advantage!

Tip #2: Take Your Turn Slowly

It’s easy to rush, but you have 90 seconds. Use all of it.

Here’s a helpful checklist to go down each time you start a turn.

  • 1. Check for lethal damage to your opponent.
  • 2. If any of your expected choices draw you cards, do that first.
  • 3. Think of what your opponent can do next turn to disrupt your board and play around them. Example: The common AoE spells and their mana costs are (2)Explosive Trap, (4)Swipe + Consecrate + Hellfire, (5) Holy Nova, (7) Flamestrike.
  • 4. If you’re winning at the moment, see if you can clear your opponent’s board.
  • 5. If you’re left with equal options at this point, do the one that costs more mana.
  • 6. Use your Hero Power only if you have leftover mana. It is often very inefficient use of mana.
  • 7. Think through your whole plan again before you play anything.

Hearthstone Noob Consecration

Tip #3: Choose the Right Time for your Minions

  • If you play a minion that requires a choice (targeted Battlecry effect or Choose One effect), you can hit ESCAPE or select it again after placing it on the board to cancel it and put it back into your hand!
  • Don’t play your surprise-damage minions until you can kill your opponent with it. The surprise factor is a huge part of its value, and your opponent will play differently once they know you have it on the board.
  • Don’t cast damage spells onto your opponents’ face until it’s lethal damage either. Lull them into a false sense of security, and then nuke them all at once!

Tip #4: Search out the Secrets

  • When a Secret is on the board, your first goal is to figure out what it is without causing major damage to yourself.
  • First thing: Pull up a list of all the Secret cards for the class you’re playing against.
  • Then, start to play your turn. When evaluating each choice, imagine what the worst-case scenario is for what their Secret could be. Determine if the risk is acceptable.
  • When you take an action and the Secret does NOT trigger, take note of what that tells you about the Secret. If you’ve attacked the champion and killed a troop without the Paladin Secret triggering, you know by process of elimination that it must be Repentance. Now you can play around it.
  • When making your first tests against a Secret, play small cards and attack with small minions — just in case their Secrets affects them.
  • Look for ways to exploit Secrets to your benefit, such as Freezing Trap putting a minion back in your hand, or Mirror Entity copying a minion you play.

Tip #5: Build Your Collection the Smart Way

Hearthstone Noob Adventurer

Tip #6: Give Us a Quest!

  • Daily quests actually accumulate in a hidden queue behind the 3 you can see. If you haven’t completed a quest in 6 days, you can do 3 quests in one day and then get 3 brand new quests in your log the next day!
  • Rerolling a quest (swapping it out for a new one) resets your hidden queue! So don’t do that on the first day if you want 3 the next day.
  • Reroll a Quest every day, even if you aren’t going to play that day. Find the quests you want to do, so they’ll be ready when you can play!
  • Overlapping Quests (Examples: Win with Rogue or Druid / Win with Rogue or Mage) will help and can save you a lot of time, but they aren’t necessary.
  • If you have a weird combination of quests, don’t be afraid to create unique decks to complete them!
  • Hearthstone has a lot of secret Quests (Achievements)! It’s lots of fun knowing about them and achieving them.

Tip #7: Learn How You Have Fun

There are many different playstyles and ways to enjoy card games like Hearthstone. Don’t let others tell you what you have to do to have fun!

  • Find your fun and play that way (or experiment!). We don’t all fit into the same box!
  • Timmy – Smash your opponents with big, flashy cards
  • Johnny – Build your own decks
  • Spike – Win lots of games
  • Jim’s recommendation: No matter what style you are, play silly decks every once in a while!

Hearthstone Noob Aldor

Tip #8: Don’t Rush to Ranked

  • Casual is a great, totally viable mode. I played only Casual for a long time.
  • Tavern Brawl is a great new silly/fun mode every week. You have to be level 20 to play it, so try to level your favorite class to 20 ASAP so you can join in!
  • If you just want to hit Rank 20 and get your card back each month, wait until after the first week of the month. After all the more experienced players have climbed up to higher ranks, it’ll be easier to win!
  • If you’re into Arena, try playing that during the beginning and end of the month, when everyone is rushing into Ranked!
  • Don’t get discouraged if you lose in Ranked! Some higher-tier players farm wins at low ranks to complete those Secret Quests we mentioned!

Tip #9: Listen to Podcasts, Watch Streams, Talk to People!

Jim put together a huge list of links to help you out, and even gave some short descriptions of each one!



Beginner Guides

Friendly Devs


  • Tony: Advice for new players with other CCG experience?
  • iTunes Reviews


  • Jayme: Sent some awesome GenCon Hex codes!

Card of the Week

Hearthstone Hobgoblin


  • Contact Jim on Twitter or TwitchEmail him or add him on as DigitalJim#1762
  • What you want to see in future episodes
  • What hosts you want to visit the show

The Dragon Priest Deck - Episode 53

August 2, 2015


  • MYSTERIOUS Ben is on the show this week
  • Topic: Dragon Priest Deck Battle!
  • Reasons to be happy this week
  • News: The Grand Tournament

What is a Deck Battle?

Once a month, a guest host brings their favorite deck onto the show to battle the current reigning champion deck for control of the Happy Hearthstone Deck Battle Throne!

If the challenger wins the best-of-3 series, their deck becomes the new Reigning Champion Deck and will fight off future challengers until it loses, or until it’s earned its place in the Happy Hearthstone Hall of Fame!

View the Deck Battle Archive + The Happy Hearthstone Hall of Fame

Defending Deck: Andrew’s Warlock Demon Zoo deck has reigned supreme for 3 months, and has beaten 2 decks before this episode.

Challenger Deck: Ben’s Dragon Priest deck goes for quick kills, but brings a few beefy dragons as late-game backup.

Hearthstone DP Swarm

The Deck




In case you don’t have some of the ideal cards, here are some quality back ups and alterations you can make that keep with the same theme and strengths of the deck.

The Duel!

Post-Duel Commentary

  • Who won
  • Obligatory bragging session
  • Challenger Deck: How well did it perform?
  • Defending Deck: How well did it perform?
  • Best moments in the matches
  • The Happy Hearthstone Champion Ceremony(tm)


  • Tom Briscoe: Dusting doubles
  • iTunes Reviews


  • Jake Crawford: $10/month
  • Ian Nowakowski: $5/month
  • Leon Chen: $1/month
  • Mike Burgess: $25
  • Andrew: $25
  • Pontus Welin: $10

Card of the Week


  • Find Mysterious Ben on Twitter or Reddit!
  • What you want to see in future episodes
  • What hosts you want to visit the show


Kill all the things. Kill them with dragons! Our latest battle deck is all about dishing out damage with giant, scaly monsters — and bringing in the broodmothers to seal the deal late game.

You can hear us talk about this deck, and watch us duel with it in episode 53 of the Happy Hearthstone!

Note from Josh: The rest of this article was written by Ben. Thanks, Ben!

The Dragon Priest

Why should you play Dragon Priest? To put it simply, I find this deck really fun. There are always cool combos and strategy. You have to use your head, but you don’t have to run insane numbers like some Warrior decks. The more you play this deck, the better you get with it. It’s not a perfect deck, so feel free to copy as much or little as you want. Have fun with it!


2x Northshire Cleric


Arguably the best 1-drop in the game. It is almost always draws removal. People don’t want to deal with it because there are too many factors to watch. It makes the enemy think “Is he going to buff it? Is he going to attack and heal to draw a card? Is he going to drop another Northshire Cleric and heal one of my creatures?” It’s also versatile for when you use it. You could use it to bait early-game removal from a Warrior or Mage, or keep it for card-draw later.

2x Twilight Whelp

At first glance, this is a very underwhelming card, so I don’t blame people asking why this is in here. (At one point, I had Shadow Bombers in this spot.) But the bonus 2 health is a big deal. People play Zombie Chow and he has the same stats, plus a chance to heal your enemy! The main problem here is that these do not activate unless you have a dragon in hand, so you obviously shouldn’t play them in a non-dragon deck. They are good because they can trade up, and if they don’t activate, they can stick around being a target for my buff cards.

2x Faerie Dragon

A great filler card for really any dragon deck, it can be used to activate Twilight Whelps or Blackwing Technicians. Being untargetable by spells is useful, but not vital to this card’s value.

2x Knife Juggler

In my opinio,n Knife juggler is the best 2-drop in the game. At 3/2 for 2 mana, he already passes the vanilla test. That means that his activations are pure bonus value. This deck has tons of potential synergies that can make him a gold mine of damage.

1x Big Game Hunter

As much as I think he takes fun out of the game, BGH is important because he stops giants from being overpowered. He’s in this deck as an anti-Handlock card and just a general Dr. Boom killer

2x Blackwing Technician

Blackwing Technician is an awesome early game card. It allows you to play more value than your opponent at the extra cost of telling them that you have a dragon in your hand. Think of it as a potentially better Spider Tank.

2x Blackwing Corruptor

As I said in the show if I could play a fire elemental in every deck I would but I cant so I have this as a concealment prize and what a prize is he. the 3 damage he packs gets rid of pesky shredders and most other 3 or 4 drops (although after this expansion he may get worse with all the massive health minions) he is just a good value card and even if he doesn’t activate he is 5 damage on the table they have to remove.

2x Dragonkin Sorcerer

A very strong body with great potential in decks like Paladin and Priest, which have many cards to activate off of. In this deck, it’s actually more valuable as a threat than an actual power play. Putting this on the board lets you bluff your opponents. They’ll typically remove it by trading or wasting some premium removal, which is great. That means I can play a safe Dr. Boom or Ysera later. If they don’t remove it, you can hit it with Velen’s Chosen to make it a 6/10 with +1 Spell Damage.

Hearthstone DP Ysera

2x Azure Drake

Another card that is pure, unadulterated value. Just being a dragon gives it synergy, but the main reason it’s here is the card draw. This deck lacks consistent draw. You have the Northshire Clerics, which you typically get 1, maybe 2, cards from if you’re lucky. And you have Power Word: Shield for 1 draw. Having 2 more card-draw minions may not seem like much, but they effectively make your deck thinner if you play them on curve, and having 6 less cards in your deck makes it a lot more chance that you will draw your combos. Plus, with a 4/4 body they can take and give a solid beating in midgame.

1x Vol’jin

Vol’jin is my favorite legendary to come out of Gobins Vs Gnomes. A 5 mana 6/2 sounds really bad, but his ability to swap health with any minion makes him so valuable. Take out the enemy doom sayer with a swap and then a lesser minion you already had on the board. He’s effectively a specialized Power Word: Death that can hit Ysera and Malygos. On turn 10 and up, you cano drop him and then Holy Nova to kill their bomb.

1x Emperor Thaurissan

Emperor Thaurissan is a very strong card. He has the potential to run away with the game and look outright broken. If you hit any one of the combos with him, it gets playable. If you hit 2 or more, it becomes extremely strong. He will almost always be your 6-drop if you can, but he’s great bait for the opponent’s premium removal anytime.

1x Dr Boom

Just like the BGH I don’t really like him and I don’t have much to say except that his value makes him so strong. You are behind, even before the game starts, if you don’t have him in our deck. The only realistic way of dealing with him is with Light Bomb to get rid of his bots. And even then, you can potentially get 8 damage to the face. He also has great synergy with our Knife Juggler.

1x Onyxia

I don’t think Onyxia has ever been mentioned on the show. I think this is where she gets her power: absolutely no one expects to see her. If you combo her or a Knife Juggler, they become the 10/11-mana combo to summon an 8/8, a 3/2 and 5 1/1’s and deal 6 random damage. She’s not a vital card, but just really fun.

1x Ysera

Ysera is my favorite Legendary dragon. She has so much value for every turn that she’s on the board. Her ability is crazy. All of the cards she gives are really strong. In a top-decking situation, she will hands-down win you the game. Plus, she can’t be Killed by the 3-mana fun-killer that is Big Game Hunter. Surprise: If you look at the card art, she’s a dragon who has people hands! That has to count for something, right?

Hearthstone DP Checkmate


2x Power Word: Shield


A really high-quality cycling card (replaces itself when played) that gets you more health so you can survive a trade and then use your Hero Power to get some health back. It’s the perfect buff for the Dragonkin Sorcerer. This is a Priest staple that should have 2 copies in every deck.

2x Velen’s Chosen

A really strong spell that’s allowed to be strong because it’s a class card. If you Northshire Cleric on turn 1, and then drop this on turn 2, you’ll be laughing. A 3/7 is not easy to remove! It also combos really well with Dragonkin Sorcerer and Holy Nova. The only real drawback is that it’s a dead card when top-decking.

1x Shadow Madness

A largely unseen card for a while that’s slowly getting more play. Shadow Madness is great for dealing with Warlock zoo and face Hunter decks. It feels really good to kill their Defender of Argus-ed imp with their own Voidcaller!

2x Holy Nova

Another staple priest card. Can be used with Northshire for massive card draw, Azure drake for high damage AoE spell, with Vol’jin for killing sticky legendaries and even by itself for good damage and good healing.

1x Lightbomb

A fantastic board clear! One of the best cards to help you come back from behind. It’s also a perfect anti-Handlock card for dealing with giants and Mal’Ganis, and is one of the only consistent ways to deal with Grim Patrons.

Hearthstone DP Swarm

Possible Additions

Like I mentioned earlier, the deck list is pretty specific because the deck revolves around playing Dragons and the cards that are affected by them. That being said, there are a few cards you can swap in until you get the stuff you need.

Drakonid Crusher

A very strong and fun card to play. Back when this was a zoo deck, I had 2 and they were my late game Dragons. They can be played as 9/9 or 6/6, which gives them the bonus strength of letting you choose if you want to make a Big Game Hunter target or not. Swap for Ysera or Onyxia.

Volcanic Drake

Another card in my original build, back when it was zoo and I did not want to play Dr Boom. Volcanic drake is a strong card that, when played corectly, can come down on turn 4 giving you huge board swing. Swap for Dr Boom and Emperor Thaurissan to make the deck faster.

Shadow Word: Death

A Replacement for Vol’jin, while also being a good quality piece of premium removal. It should be in most decks and the only reason I don’t have one is because this deck is experimental.

War Golem

Not an amazing card, but it gets the job done. Pretty good stats and can be strong when played on curve. Swap for Dr Boom or Onyxia.

Mind Control

One of my favorite cards in the game and extremely good value. It not only destroys the opponent’s minion, but also summons a copy of it for you. If you don’t have a fancy Legendary card, just use your opponent’s! I’m upset that there’s no room for it in my deck. Only play one, because it can be a dead card if there are no big targets or if you need it on turn 8 or 9 to stay alive. Swap for Ysera.

Dark Cultist

In my opinion, this is the best 3 drop in the game. The only reason it’s not in my deck is because it’s not a dragon. If you wanted, you could swap it for Shadow Madness or any other early minion you don’t have.

Shadow Word: Pain

Another high quality card that I just didn’t have room for. It gets rid of Armorsmiths and Acolytes of Pain without doing damage to them. Or early-game demons and pesky taunts. Swap for Shadow Madness or any other early game minions you don’t have when you’re facing a lot of rush decks.

Final Thoughts

This is an intricate deck with many nuances that needs to be played many times to understand. It has an above 50% win rate on early-to-mid ladder rankings, but I think that — when it comes down to it — unless a deck is fun to play, there’s no point in playing it. Let me assure you that this deck is fun! You won’t win every time, but you will pull off an Onyxia Knife Juggler combo and have an 11/21 Dragonkin Sorcerer, and Light Bomb an entire board of Grim Patrons! You will feel great and that’s what Hearthstone is about.