Hello everyone. It’s time to talk about the most played card not only in the arena but in whole Hearthstone – the-coin. You get The Coin when you are the second player along with an extra card. It’s purpose to offset the inherent advantages of going first. Since you have a 50% chance of getting a coin while playing it is important to know how to use it to its fullest effect. I’m here to help you with that. In this article you will find most of the things you need if you want to use The Coin to it’s fullest.
Going first vs going second
To understand how important The Coin is to the game we must first understand the disadvantages of going second. In most card games the player going first has an advantage which needs to be compensated. Hearthstone in particular, chooses to give an extra card to the player going second. On top of that of course he gets The Coin. Let’s talk about why the player going first would have an advantage if second player didn’t get an extra card and The Coin. One word can describe it well – initiative. A more in-depth explanation would be that player going first will be able to attack with his minions first every turn. Here is an easy example: your opponent on his turn 2 plays a bloodfen-raptor and on your turn 2 you do the same and play a Raptor. Even though you both did the same thing player going first has the advantage of initiative. He can make a choice to either trade his Raptor into yours or attack your face directly. Player going first has the power of choice while you hopelessly stare at your Raptor and wonder what your opponent will do. As long as player going first plays his minions on curve he could have the initiative throughout turns 1-10. This, however, can be countered by utilizing coin correctly. The extra card that you are given when going second helps, yet it’s not enough to outweigh the advantages of going first so you have to play The Coin if you want to catch up with the player who goes first.
Now let’s look at the card itself. The Coin is a spell which gives you mana crystal for one turn only. Few important things right off the bat. The Coin is a spell meaning it has synergy with quite a few cards like mana-wyrm , violet-teacher or wild-pyromancer. In some situations it may be correct to use The Coin even if you won’t use up all the mana for that turn. Sometimes trading The Coin to get a card from gadgetzan-auctioneer or to deal 1 damage AoE with wild-pyromancer. Also since it is a spell it will trigger the troggs: burly-rockjaw-trogg and stonesplinter-trogg so watch out for these on opponent’s board.
Now let’s see how much The Coin is worth in terms of card advantage. If we look at innervate we see that Coin is basically half of Innervate. Based on that we can value The Coin at around 0.5 of a card. This means it is a good deal to trade it for a card with archmage-antonidas or with gadgetzan-auctioneer since you gain 0.5 card advantage just by trading in Coin for fireball.
It is important to mention that The Coin allows you to have 11 mana essentially at turn 10. If you play a card then use Coin and play another you’re able to use 11 mana in one turn which can make for some interesting combos like sylvanas-windrunner with brawl.
Lastly The Coin is the best combo activator in the game. As a Rogue you need to be extra careful of how you use The Coin. On top of that planning out turns ahead of the time is even more important when playing Rogue since there will be so many different options. In the early game using The Coin to activate early combo cards like defias-ringleader or si7-agent can really swing the tides of a game. Sometimes it’s correct to use coin to play Ringleader even if the only play next turn will be to use hero power. Same goes with Si:7 Agent, who is able to kill a 3/2 on turn 2 while leaving a 3/3 body on the board. Unlike other classes, Rogue can use The Coin effectively even in the late game. Having a sprint come out a turn earlier can help finish out the game with reach for aggressive deck. There are some combo cards for late game like shado-pan-rider.
Coin in the early game
Curving out correctly with a coin is a difficult task. When going second there are a lot more different curve combinations than going first. Below will be written most common situations which may occur when going second with The Coin. Quick note: when the curve says 2-2-3-4 for example, you may play two 2 mana minions instead of one 4 mana minion, a 1 drop and a 2 drop instead of one 3 drop and so on.
2-2-3-4 along with 1-3-3-4 and 1-2-4-4 are arguably the best curves when you have The Coin. It is important to remember that the earlier you use The Coin, the better results you get. If you use Coin on turn 1 you double your mana for that turn. Whilst if you use it on turn 4 you only gained 25% more mana than you had. Therefore 2-2-3-4 is a bit better than 1-3-3-4 and the latter is a bit better than 1-2-4-4.
Often times you can use removal instead of playing a minion. For example use the-coin to play frostbolt to kill a zombie-chow. The next turn you can play a 2 drop like a bloodfen-raptor. However don’t expect that your opponent will have a minion which you will be able to kill. If you have a bloodfen-raptor, shadow-bolt and a spider-tank along with The Coin on turn 2 you may be tempted to use The Coin and play Spider Tank. The next turn you hope that your opponent will play a minion that you could remove with Shadow Bolt. That is a wrong way to look at things though. Your opponent instead of playing a minion himself, may remove your spider tank with say a shadow-strike. Then you’re left hanging on extra mana that you don’t have a use for. In that scenario the coin was essentially wasted as it did not gain any advantage for you.
In some situations it may be correct to coin and use your hero power. Especially if you play a hero that can ping (deal 1 damage) with his hero power. Those heroes are Druid, Mage, Rogue. If your opponent plays a 2/1 minion on turn 1 (arcane-anomaly for example), coin hero power is a good play if you have a 2 drop to follow-up on the next turn. If you don’t you are much better off waiting patiently to use the coin next turn to coin a 3 drop or to hero power the 1 drop.
1-2-3-4 curve is quite tricky. You will find Coin stuck in your hand since you won’t have a good time to use it, however that isn’t necessarily a bad a thing. As you will have a play for each turn of the early game you have few ways to use the coin. First of all you can save it for later game to play a big threat like a boulderfist-ogre earlier. Or you can use it to play a removal early on to gain a tempo advantage. For example you have the 1-2-3-4 curve. On turn 2 you play your 2 drop and in addition you use coin and rockbiter-weapon to remove opponent’s 2 drop. Lastly you could always just coin an additional 1 drop if you have one It’s a bad idea to try coin a 3 drop or a 2 drop if you don’t have good follow-up. For example don’t coin out a spider-tank on turn 2 if you don’t have another 3 drops. As you will be forced to play 2 drop like bloodfen-raptor on turn 3. There you put both drops on the board as you would with playing Raptor on turn 2 and Spider Tank on turn 3. The only difference is that you lost the coin and gained initiative to attack with Spider Tank first which isn’t even good.
1-2-4 and 1-3-4 curve options are a little bit desperate. When you miss a drop it can be very tough to catch up on the board especially if your opponent curves well. Coining out a 3 drop or a 4 drop without follow-up is a bold and risky move but it can surely pay off. You can get punished very easily though. If you coin a 4 drop and then your opponent removes it with a fireball, you won’t have a good on curve play for the next turn. At that moment you will be forced to play a smaller minion like a 2 drop and waste mana or in worst case scenario just use hero power and end turn in turn wasting 2 mana. Even though both 1-2-4 and 1-3 curves are risky, sometimes you don’t have other options and you’re simply forced to coin a 3 or 4 drop without having a follow-up for next turn. In that case your best bet is that your 4 drop can kill both your opponent’s 3 drop and 4 drop or in the case of a 3 drop – hope it can kill opponent’s 2 drop and the 3 drop. There are minions that can do this for sure. For example chillwind-yeti which was coined on turn 3 can kill both opponent’s injured-blademaster and ogre-magi with a bit of luck. If you want to coin 3 drop on turn 2 it will need to kill both 2 drop and 3 drop from the enemy. A spider-tank can kill a Raptor and a Blademaster whilst a razorfen-hunter can’t. If you have removal in hand, using coin to play a 4 drop or a 3 drop becomes a lot more attractive. If say you have a Yeti and a Fireball in hand you should feel comfortable coining Yeti. With this play you hope that next turn your opponent will play a 4 drop instead of removal. This plan will often backfire for sure yet in the end it’s worth it. If you don’t blindly coin you’re forced to either play a small drop or hero power and pass. Out of these 3 options the first one makes most sense.
Coin in the late game
Most of the time you should have used The Coin in the early game. In the off-chance that you’re stuck in the mid to late game situation becomes quite tricky. There are a few ways to use a coin well even in the late game if you found yourself stuck with it. First of all it can be used to play a big drop like boulderfist-ogre or bog-creeper a turn earlier. This will let you attack with your big guys one turn earlier and allows you to dictate the phase of the game in the late game. On top of that another good way to use the cin is to play a swing card before time when your enemy doesn’t expect it. Playing a board clear like a flamestrike or twisting-nether a turn earlier can catch people who are off guard. Lastly use the coin to have 11 mana for a turn usually to make a big swing. For example play Flamestrike then use Coin to play Yeti. WIthout the coin this play wouldn’t be possible. Overall how to use The Coin in the late game depends on various situations and differs from situation to situation.
That is all for now. Thank you for reading through. If you have any questions or feedback feel free to leave a comment below. And as always stay tuned for more arena articles.
Have a great day.