In-depth Turn Analysis

In-depth Turn Analysis is a series where I (and sometimes other writers) focus on analysing a specific turn of a game. We post a screenshot, give you some data about the game (e.g. what cards have been played, etc) and then try to explain what we/I think the best play is and why. Positions are typically […]

About the Series

In-depth Turn Analysis is a series where I (and sometimes other writers) focus on analysing a specific turn of a game. We post a screenshot, give you some data about the game (e.g. what cards have been played, etc) and then try to explain what we/I think the best play is and why. Positions are typically chosen for their difficulty, counter-intuitiveness, and/or educational value!

Personally, I love delving into theoretical discussions, and so if opportunity arises I’ll try to drop some ‘theory bombs’ on you as well. 🙂

In order to get the most from the series I would encourage all readers to do background research (if applicable) and think about what they would do in the position before reading the analysis. By comparing your thoughts with mine/ours you may gain some insight as to what you need to improve.

A note on multiple writers

As mentioned, some of the articles in this series have several writers contributing. It is worth noting that all writer’s submit their opinions independently (unless otherwise stated).

This has the unfortunate consequence of repetition, but that’s not always a bad thing: hearing the same idea expressed in several different ways can help understanding. Another advantage of repetition is that it can help highlight how Legend Players think in general: If all of the writers analysing the position focus on a particular aspect(s), then that ought to serve as a good indication that this is a skill/understanding that most Legend Players posses. In short; if you want to hit Legend, focus on the similarities in our thoughts rather than the differences.

The main reason we have gone down this route is that it prevents various forms of ‘group think’ and ‘conformity bias’. Sometimes everyone will agree on the play but then there will be other times where there will be several opposing views. And in my opinion, genuine disagreement is exciting, fun and likely to be more educational than the instances where we all agree.

The last thing to be said is that, even though most of us are strong players, we are all still human and we all make mistakes (checkout episode #17 if you want to see Smashthings get it all wrong :)).

Why We provide decklists

You might not know what deck your opponent is playing, but in every game you should know what deck you are playing. Therefore, before we show you the position we will usually take a quick look at our deck.  If you have not seen/played a deck like this before I would recommend that you play a few games with it yourself and/or learn about the deck (e.g. Watch videos of the deck in action, and/or read articles about it, etc). If you take the effort to learn how the deck is supposed to work you will probably come up with a better answer when you study that week’s position.

Strawpoll voting

I’m always looking for new ways to spice up the series. Starting from episode #16 we have started to add polls to some of the episodes. Here the idea is that you check out the position have a think about your move and vote (before reading the analysis).

As a reader, you might find it useful to see what your peers thought about the position, if might be comforting to know that hundreds of other players picked the wrong move as well, for example.

For the HSP writing team participating in the polls can help us gauge what things you guys understand and what you guys struggle with. We can then try and specifically cater our content accordingly.

Please do not however, that this feature is mostly intended as a bit of fun and it of course relies on the honesty of participants; we have no way to check whether readers voted before or after the analysis nor do we have a way of stopping one person voting multiple times.


Okay, so directly below is a list of the articles in the series (most recent first). Alternatively, you can view this list which is ordered by last update.

The ‘Deck used’ column tells you what deck you are playing in the puzzle. If you want to understand how to play a certain deck better then you might find the episodes that use those lists especially useful.

I have also added a column that tells you whether it was just me (or several of us) writing. I know that some of you lovely readers prefer the multiple writer versions, so I thought I would give you a quick and easy way to find all of those episodes. 🙂

Oh and if you see a number in square brackets with an asterisk (like this: *[1]) then that means I have written a little note on it.

Episode Deck(s) Used Multiple Authors?
#21 Blizzcon (2015) Day Two *[4] Druid/Paladin/Hunter No
#20 Blizzcon (2015) Day One *[4] Druid/Freeze Mage No
Special Episode: A Game From Start to Finish *[3] Control Hunter

(A.k.a ‘Drop Dead Hunter’)

#18 The Tiny Little Things… Ramp Druid No
#17 7 isn’t always the Lucky Number Dragon Mage

(A.k.a. ‘Mother of Dragons’)

#16 You Role Huffer and Go Face, Right? Hybrid Hunter Yes
#15 Dat Sylvanas Tho Freeze Mage No
#14 Totems! Totem Shaman No
#13 Playing to Win Tinker Oil Rogue Yes
#12 Hungry, Hungry Demons Demon Zoo Yes
#11 The Lion, the Witch, and the Patron Grim Patron Warrior No
Understanding Match-up Theory Part Three: ‘Anticipating the Curve‘  *[2] N/A No
#10 Your Traps are Annoying, Rexxar Freeze Mage

(With Dr. Boom Bonus Puzzle)

#9: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Giant? Grim Patron Warrior No
#8: Arithmetic Freeze Mage No
#7: Everyone Get In Here! Grim Patron Warrior Yes
#6: The Executioner’s Axe Grim Patron Warrior No
#5: Seeing Possibilities *Any* Druid (also applicable to Mage, Rogue) No
#4: By Fire Be Purged! Mech Mage Yes
#3: Firebat Did What? Control Warrior No
#2: War Coach Handlock Yes
#1: Bombs & Fire Priest (Homebrew) Yes
How to Play Turns Two & Three in Arena *[1] N/A (Multiple Arena Decks) No
4 Paladin Scenarios *[1] Control & Midrange Paladin No


  1. At the very bottom of the table, I have linked to two articles that maybe of interest to you (assuming you like the series). It is perhaps worth pointing out that those two articles are the ‘spiritual predecessors’ of the current series.
  2. The understanding Match-up’s article (Part Three) contains Three ‘Test Positions’ that maybe enjoyed by fans of these current series.
  3. This episode, as the title might suggest, studies a whole game: from Mulligan to Checkmate.
  4. This episode briefly analyses multiple positions from different games with different decks.


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Reader Submissions

[spoiler]If you have a position you would like us to look at please do post a link to it in the comments below.  If you would like to submit a position we would ask however that you follow a few basic rules:

  1. Submit an interesting position (can be Arena, but with that said the focus of this series shall be on constructed). It doesn’t have to be from one of your own games.
  2. Submit a high quality image in a format we can use (Imgur links are fine).
  3. Supply all the ‘extra data’ we need. Deck Lists (Imgur link is fine), cards played, etc.
  4. If you have a Youtube video or a twitch VOD (preferably permanent) with how the game ended that’s a bonus but not necessary.
  5. Again, totally not necessary but if you wish to do so please feel free to jot down your own thoughts on the position. If its good stuff, we might use it in the article (credit given, of course). 🙂

Please also note that submitting a position and following all the above necessary steps does not necessarily mean that we/I will do an episode on it. At the end of the day I talk about whatever the Hell I feel like talking about. 🙂  [/spoiler]

Comments & Questions

If you have any comments or questions regarding the series in general please post below and I’ll try to get back to you. You can also show your support for the series by liking this page.