Beginner’s guide to Hearthstone: Understanding minions in depth

As mentioned before, minions are a staple of Hearthstone. If you don’t play minions, you can’t get control of the board. And if you can’t kill off your opponent’s minions, you are quite likely to lose.

Hearthstone has a huge array of minions. There are minions ranging from seemingly overpowered to those that are impractical (and intended to be internet memes).

In a previous post, I explained the common minion abilities that are always of relevance in Hearthstone. But here, I will discuss more in depth about minions.

Although I don’t expect a beginner player to delve into deck building, this post helps with understanding part of the thought process behind building a viable Hearthstone deck.

Minion types

Minion type is displayed at the bottom of the card. There are a number of minion types in Hearthstone such as murlocs, beasts, demons, dragons and so on.

It is quite easy to miss out on the minion type if you’re too busy reading the card text. Although they seem to be of little relevance, minion types can be important if they synergise with other cards in your deck. Take a look at the example below:

Minion type synergy.png

“Timber Wolf” is a beast minion. If you have it on the board, the Hunter spell “Kill Command” will deal 5 damage instead of 3. Dealing an extra 2 damage is certainly a big deal in Hearthstone.

Always keep this in mind when playing decks that revolve around a specific minion type.

Minion practicality

If you analyse the popular meta decks in Hearthstone, you will notice that more than half of the minions available are never included. This seems particularly true for minions Living Monumentthat have high mana cost. Why is that?

Let’s look at a high-cost minion like Living Monument. Why is it ineffective? Firstly, you spend all 10 mana just to place one minion—that can’t even attack immediately—on the board.

There is also a good chance that in the late game, your opponent has already drawn—and been saving—damage/removal spells to deal with powerful minions.

Therefore, minions like Living Monument are considered as a slow play. They can only be played in the late game. And the later you play minions, the higher chance your opponent:

  1. Has spells in hand to deal with your minions.
  2. Already established many minions on the board, and is ready to kill you off in the next few turns.

However, the main reason why majority of minions in Hearthstone are not included in meta decks is simply because they don’t synergise with the deck’s game plan.

Crafting a viable deck involves a lot of consideration over card synergy and whether the cards are core to the deck’s intended win condition. Beginner players don’t need to bother about the deck building process. You just need to copy decks that others have created.

But if you want to play a deck well, you must understand why the cards are paramount to the deck’s game plan. I strongly recommend watching Youtube videos of streamers playing decks for this.

Useless minions

Technically speaking, any card in Hearthstone can work; it may be unfair to brand a card as useless. After all, Hearthstone also caters for players that want to fool around and create meme decks.

However, some cards—including spells and weapons—are just too impractical to play. Angry ChickenMinions that require too much set-up, give your opponent an advantage or have very limited application are generally considered as useless.

Angry Chicken, one of the most famous gimmick cards in Hearthstone, requires too much set-up to make it work. As if it isn’t difficult enough to buff its health, you still need to get it to take damage (without dying) to gain the 5 attack.

Millhouse Manastorm


Millhouse Manastorm is one of the worst legendary cards in Hearthstone (Yes, even legendary cards can be trash).

Why the hell do you want to let your opponent throw out free spells during their next turn? That is just suicidal!


Mischief Maker


Mischief maker is what we call in Hearthstone a combo disruption tool. Its effect can potentially remove an important card from your opponent’s deck.

But in most scenarios, how do we know what the top card of the opponent’s deck is? This minion can also backfire on yourself. Accidentally giving a good card to your opponent might just lose you the game.

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