Top 5 mistakes that (not just) newer players make:


Steven Zuccaro shares his thoughts on the top 5 mistakes newer Hearthstone players are making.

5. Leaving Games

TL;DR- Leaving games is actually a surprising common occurrence (I’m not talking about connection issues here). Your team needs all five people working together to win. Just because you are playing against a hero you really hate (*cough* No-Skill-Nova *cough*) or because you don’t have a really “OP” hero on your team doesn’t mean you can just leave. Sooner or later you’re going to have to learn to play against them/play without them. Leaving is punishable by not being able to play Hero League (HL), and being matched with other leavers for a varying amount of Quick Match (QM) games.

I originally wasn’t going to put this on the list as I thought it wasn’t all that common. Turns out someone who existed on my friends list was actually a very frequent leaver. They had left so many games that by the time they were account lv 13 and had to play three games in Quick Match (QM) to remove the penalty (when I partied up with him/her). That is not fair to all the people he left in QM. They did have the AI playing the hero, that left but the AI is usually a poor substitute for a player (note the usually). Moreover, there are plenty of leavers in the Versus AI mode (bot matches).

The justification I’ve found by private messaging (pming) the leavers, and asking why they left, is that “It’s just a bot game” or “you’re bad” (When I’m the one with 0 deaths and they thought they could just fight the entire enemy team on their own, over and over again. We’ll revisit this point later). To be fair, some people actually have other, legitimate things to do, or things that come up, so they did a bot match. That’s okay. What is NOT okay, is just leaving because you won’t “get good”, don’t have that “OP” hero, or just to be disruptive.

4. Over-Extending/Chasing (I still get reminders to not do this sometimes :/)

TL;DR- Over-extending and chasing are arguably the two most common ways that (newer) players die. To overextend means that you stray too far away from your defensive structures, too close to the enemies defensive structures, or too far away from your team. This allows you to be an easy kill for the enemy team. Chasing is when you chase an enemy hero with very little health. Chasing will cause you to die by separating you from your team OR your whole team walking into an ambush. This ambush will then put the enemy team very far ahead, allowing them to capture objectives, get boss, or simply murder your core.

Ah, over-extending AND chasing on the list? Oh boy this is gonna be another brick of text right? Not really. Look, over-extending happens frequently in QM and in HL to a lesser degree. It only makes or breaks games if both teams are evenly matched, which doesn’t happen enough (for me at least). Hell, even pro players sometimes get greedy and get punished for it. If you can SAFELY get a kill/ objective/ watchtower/camp/ANYTHING, and by SAFELY I mean you all know where the rest of the enemy, where your team is, and confident that you can do it in time, then do it. Make the plays. Win the game. But if don’t have the pieces of information then be careful because you are now opening up to get punished.

Stiches is a great example of being the over-extender punisher. If you are over extended Stiches will get some damage in, use his Hook (Q) and pull you back to him for more damage. If he is able to catch you with it from long range, AND PULL YOU INTO his team, then he is essentially making you hella over extended!

3. Not communicating

TL;DR- If you don’t talk to your team about plays, or at the very least ping, don’t play with people. You’re withholding vital info from your team and causing them to lose. If you’re “On the Way” broadcast it by holding G and bringing your cursor to the right (there are a variety of uses the G key has for pings) AND MEAN IT! Press V if you think you should pull back in the case of an emergency or a bad feeling.

I’ve lost too many games because there is this one jackass just wouldn’t talk to us. It’s the same normie, too. This friggin’ normie keeps on playing the same way. Poorly. Every now and then they get their friend to play for them, but they’re still playing like a normie, just marginally better. “Why did you go for that bait? That bait was soooooooooo obvious”. Well if someone took the bait, it’s not all that obvious, now is it? That normie still had plenty of time to ping retreat for their teammate. That’s pressing the V key.

If you clicked that V key, you could’ve saved your teammate AND not get hunted down by the rest of the enemy team. Oh, hey, did we lose the game because the ONLY time you ever had some form of communication with your own team, the same team that also wants to win, was just to talk down to them? Be vocal, but positive. Make sure you’re heard but also be polite and not overbearing. Oh, and even if you have perfectly valid points/concerns to not do something, and you let your team know not to do something by pinging voraciously and using chat, your team might just say “#$%* it” and do it anyway. In this case, you’re usually going to have to commit to something that you might not want to do.

Even if it might be suicide committing anyway will be the best action to take, because if 4 of your teammates die in the ambush, you’re going to be the only one left and absolutely helpless against an enemy team of 5 (99% of the time). Sometimes your teammates will learn to listen to you, other times they won’t. You have to learn to deal with it, unfortunatly. In the case you do go with your teammates there can actually be a chance of success. I’ve turned baits into advantages before. It’s very tricky to do, but possible if your team is level headed and coordinated enough.

2. Not Grouping/Diving Into 1v5s

TL;DR- At the midgame (lv 10) you need to group with your team to do things and only split when it is safe to do so, AND regroup BEFORE it becomes unsafe. Not doing so plays to the enemy team, especially Zeratuls and Novas. If you don’t group, the enemy will and kill you one by one. Having an idiot player thinking they can take on all 5 grouped enemies at once is a curse. I find Illidan players and friendly Nova players to do this the most, but this behaviour is not exclusive to them.

Not grouping in the midgame will cause you to lose games. You need to hit lv 10 as fast as possible and then you need to stick together. You don’t understand how serious I am about this. I’m talking about “holding each other’s hands when going to the washroom” close, so close that “if you fart in your room, EVERYONE on your team knows you just farted” close. Yeah, that’s hardcore. The reason you do this is that you make it really hard for the enemy team to get to your more vulnerable back line.

If your less durable teammates just goes off to wander alone they will simply die. The enemy gets vision of the area by their minions; they’ll know where you are. They’ll also know where to go to kill you, so be prepared. Always keep this in mind when going anywhere! This also leads to diving. If you try to rush in head first into an enemy team by yourself, or with your team too far behind you, you’re going to have a bad time. The person who is diving will be killed very quickly without support and now the rest of the team has to pull back.

Most of the time you can avoid this by communicating with your team to plan the assault, by there’s always non-talkative normie (same loser from #3) waiting to just ruin everything and going in too early. Very recently I lost a game on Sky Temple because our Uther kept diving a Kerrigan and Lt. Morales. It went as well as you’d expect. We kept losing our healer and couldn’t mitigate any damage the Kerrigan kept dealing which lead to our loss. If you willingly dive into a fight where the odds are clearly stacked against you, you’re going to have a lot of painful lessons and defeats to learn from.

1. Blaming your team

TL;DR- Your team is made up of people. You need to do your best to respect and watch out for them. If you blame your team in a harsh/negative way, especially if YOU’RE the one at fault, you’ve just lost the game. Congrats. On the flipside, if you’re a warrior you need to peel (help your mate(s) escape) for your team, even if it’s a disruptive normie. If you’re a healer, you need to do your best to keep your team alive, even if they’re all ungrateful about it.

Oh, there’s a lot of this. Waaaaaayyyyy too much of this. Sometimes it’s just down right hilarious of how self-absorbed some people can be. I’ve died sooooo many times because some normie thinks it’s funny to just throw the game for the lulz.

Here’s an example: A Butcher player

The Butcher player, who had the master’s skin on, kept on diving into 1v5s. For no reason. Just why? Why? You can cancel Butcher’s charge ability by pressing E again after casting it. Yeah, I saw him/her cancel it once that game. I was playing Rehgar, a support character, but I can’t heal him if he’s halfway across the damn map. He kept on dying over and over again and kept blaming me for not supporting me when he’s clearly WAY out of position and out of range for heals. Like, what goes through your head? Do you have a mental condition? Because you’re losing us the game.

The best part was when he gave me hell for not using Rehgar’s heroic: Ancestral Healing (AH, which is a MASSIVE single target heal) on him to keep him alive, after he dove into a 1v5. If he had an attention span longer than a potato, him/her would know that my AH was used and is now on cooldown (I had to use it on our frontline Leoric to keep him alive earlier). Still blamed me anyway. One idiot single handedly took the fun outta that game for me, while simultaneously feeding the enemy team kills. We lost that game, AND had a sour time, too

0. The Minimap (the real MVP)

Lordy, lordy, lordy, this thing is soooo important. It gives you SO. MUCH. INFO. Why don’t new players look at this thing? It tells you where the enemies are! Freaking look at it! If you pay attention to the minimap, you can make the right decision 95% of the time. It is pivotal to keep on looking at this screen and to sometimes scan the battlefield with your cursor to look at key points of the battlefield. You never know, you might be able to catch a lone Valla or an Abathur player. It will help your team to make decisions to take boss, or where the enemy is most likely waiting. This wins games. I cannot stress that enough!

Written by Steven Zuccaro exclusively for