In this guide I aim to give everyone an understanding of how the stat budget of cards work in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft!
Understanding this concept is quite easy and it can give you a major edge when it comes to deck building and tweaking cards for the meta. So if you are interested in learning the ins and outs of tweaking your deck or trying to get that edge in the meta to take you to legend, this is a good place to start.
A Quick Overview
Here are the points to note broke down in a simple manner –
Attack – 1 stat point
Health – 1 stat point
Taunt – 1 stat point
Divine shield – Equal to attack
Windfury – Equal to attack
Charge – Equal to attack
Spellpower -1 stat point
Draw a card via Deathrattle – 2 stat points
Draw a card – 3 stat points
Damage/Healing Battlecry – See spell section
Stat Value Explanation
Minions are budgeted with a formula of ‘mana cost doubled +1’, this should give you the total stats your card has, if it does not reach the number from the formula then it in general is considered to be a poor card and should not be added to your deck except in very specific circumstances.
Low cost cards – Specifically on 1 and 2 cost cards to make them ‘worth’ the slot these cards are over budget by having their ability ‘free’, a good example of this is Knife-juggler which has the full stat budget of 5 for a 2 mana card (2+2+1) and its juggle ability free of charge, same for young-priestess, leper-gnome, Abusive-sergeant, Amani-berserker, etc.
Direct Damage Spells
Spells have a mana to power curve it should be mana cost +1 = damage.
There are a lot of exceptions to this though when spells have restrictions or additional effects for example ‘can only target opponent’ or ‘can only target undamaged units’ when the spells do a slightly increased amount of damage due to the restriction.
Priest – Holy-smite
Shaman – lightning-bolt / lava-burst / rockbiter-weapon
Warrior – Mortal-strike
Druid – Wrath
Rogue – Backstab / Sinister-strike / Eviscerate / Shiv
Hunter – Arcane-shot / Snipe / Kill-command
Paladin – Hammer-of-wrath / Avenging-Wrath
Mage – Frostbolt / Fireball / Pyroblast / Arcane-missiles / Ice-lance
Warlock – Shadow-bolt / Soulfire / Mortal-coil
I did not list all the spells, but i wrote the ones that you can see the curve on quite easily, some of the more complex spells still follow the curve but are a lot more difficult to calculate due to their situational nature.
Spells are different for certain classes to keep diversity, for example you can see the mage spells fireball and frostbolt are a little stronger than they should be.
Healing is valued at a lower price per point than damage, where the conversion is closer to 1.5 damage per mana, you get roughly 2.5 healing per mana, examples of this would be Holy-light and Healing-touch.
Chillwind-Yeti – This minion costs 4 mana and should have a stat budget of 9 (4+4+1), it follows the curve and has a stat budget of 9
Attack (4) / Health (5) = 9
The chillwind yeti is what we refer to as a ‘vanilla’ minion as it has no special effects and all of its budget is divided between its attack and health
Fen-Creeper – This minion costs 5 mana and should have a stat budget of 11 (5+5+1) while it actually as a stat budget of 10
Attack (3) / Health (6) / Taunt (1) = 10
Scarlet-crusader – This minion costs 3 mana and should have a stat budget of 7 (3+3+1), it follows the curve and has a stat budget of 7
Attack (3) / Divine shield (3) / Health (1) = 7
alakir-the-windlord – This minion costs 8 mana and should have a stat budget of 17 (8+8+1), like most class legendaries he is over by 1 point.
Attack (3) / Divine shield (3) / Charge (3) / Health (5) / Windfury (3) / Taunt (1) = 18
Leeroy-Jenkins – This minion costs 4 mana and should have a stat budget of 9 (4+4+1) while it actually has a stat budget of 14-1 (13)
Attack (6) / Health (2) / Charge (6) = 14
Each whelp is valued the same as a wisp which is 0.5 mana each or 1 mana combined, this leaves leeroy valued as a 6 mana minion (6+6+1).
Azure-Drake – This minion costs 5 mana and should have a stat budget of 11, (5+5+1) while it actually has a stat budget of 12
Attack (4) / Health (4) / Spellpower (1) / Draw a card (3) = 12
Draw a card (deathrattle)
mana-tide-totem – This minion costs 3 mana and should have a stat budget of 7 (3+3+1), it follows the curve if it draws 2 cards because each draw is worth 2 stat points
Attack (0) / Health (3) / Each card draw (2) = 5 + 2 per turn
This formula works for loot hoarder aswell, but i feel mana-tide-totem is a more advanced example.
Draw a card
gnomish-inventor – This minion costs 4 mana and should have a stat budget of 9 (4+4+1), it follows the curve and has a stat budget of 9
Attack (2) / Health (4) / Card draw (3) = 9
Fire-elemental – This minion costs 6 mana and should have a stat budget of 13 (6+6+1) while it actually has a stat budget of 14 (6+5+3)
Attack (6) / Health (5) / 3 damage nuke = 14
(The 3 mana nuke is almost worth 2 mana, but ill explain this) The reason the fire elemental is so good is becasue it is a 6/5 body which is worth 5 mana and then a 3 damage nuke for the extra 1 mana (think lightning-bolt which is worth 2 mana), this means the fire elemental is technically a 7 mana card, but obviously you dont have the versatility in buffing the nuke with spellpower or using it seperately from the minion so it is easiest to round it off to a 6 mana minion but an extremely good one.
When you understand all of the above the next thing to look at is setting up combo’s that give you an advantage by making cards more effective than they should be.
The best example of this is leeroy-jenkins combined with double shadowstep.
If i break this combo down you get a 4 mana charge minion (which is already over budget) cast 3 times for a total of 18 damage for 8 mana but the important part of this is that by using this combo as a finisher you actually get to use leeroy-jenkins as a slightly higher value than 6 mana minion due to the whelps never effecting the game in any way and you turn shadowstep into a 6 mana nuke for 2 mana (due to leeroy-jenkins cost after the spell is used).
That is one of the many examples in which you can use cards together in order to create ‘above curve’ plays
Every class is capable of these type of plays and this is what you should focus on in order to have an efficient strategy
Rogue – leeroy-jenkins + shadowstep
Paladin – wild-pyromancer + equality
Priest – wild-pyromancer + power-word-shield
Mage – sorcerers-apprentice / mana-wyrm + frostbolt / fireball / Arcane-missiles (any spells)
Hunter – starving-buzzard + unleash-the-hounds
Shaman – doomhammer + rockbiter-weapon
Warlock – Leeroy-jenkins + power-overwhelming + faceless-manipulator
Druid – Force-of-nature + savage-roar
Warrior – Grommash-hellscream + cruel-taskmaster
I hope you enjoyed this article and find it helpful, if you feel you disagree with anything written in this guide then please feel free to leave a post in the comments and ill be sure to discuss it, i will also check daily for any questions.