Welcome to Midgame Week! Previously, during Opening Moves Week, we looked at how Hearthstone pros navigate the first phase of the game—everything from choosing your win condition and building a deck to how to mulligan or play your first turns. In Midgame Week, we dissect the sequence of decisions a pro player makes each turn as they look to advance to the late game—and victory.
The first question you should ask yourself every turn in the midgame is one that will come as no surprise to Hearthstone aficionados—can I win right now? Do I have lethal? To dig into that, we asked Raymond “rayC” Cipoletti of Panda Global for advice.
“Frequently, even at the highest levels of play, we see players missing lethal,” rayC says. “Whether it’s an easy lethal or the most complex puzzle in Hearthstone, there are steps you should take every turn to ensure nothing is missed.”
The first step? Take a deep breath. “You need to slow down,” rayC says. “The most common reason for missing lethal is simply playing too fast. Take your time to analyze the board state.”
Once you’ve done this, run through your choices. “Think about every single option at your disposal—especially if your opponent is low on Health,” rayC says. “Go through every scenario with the cards you have in hand. You have until the rope starts to burn to make your actions, so make use of that time!”
Accounting for your outs is important, too. “When I play any given turn, I treat it like a math problem,” rayC says. “Remember order of operations from math class? Sequencing applies to every turn of Hearthstone.” Sequencing is a skill players must work at constantly, but rayC suggests doing things like drawing cards once you’ve established you don’t already have lethal before taking any other actions.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, check your work. “When you finally spot lethal, re-count it,” rayC says. “Make sure the math adds up. You never want to commit to a play only to realize you were off, and potentially lose because of it.”
Thanks to rayC for his wisdom! Check back every day this week for even more Midgame Week advice from top Hearthstone pros, including tomorrow’s critical companion entry to this one—figuring out if you can survive your opponent’s next turn.