I said it’s most similar to Hearthstone because it really is. Elder scrolls has the board divided into 2 and the right side board has an extra effect that grants stealth to units on their first turn, meaning they won’t be attacked and guard is also ignored.
See the funny cloud symbol on the creatures in the image above, on the right side of the field. They can’t be attacked on first turn after being played, they are basically safe.
Hearthstone has a single board where you can place cards. Yes the cards are copied directly from TESL, but they are also slightly modified. Not only this but you can find most cards on the current list in Hearthstone. Even the abilities you see on the cards can be found in hearthstone (not sure about breakthrough, havn’t played the game in a while)
The 12 mana minion isn’t found in hearthstone, since there is no creature with that many abilities in that game, but instead there are creatures with far more unique abilities instead of higher count.
Since the cards are overall very similar in all 3 games and only the battlefields are different, i call this Hearthstone, because TESL has a completely different strategies with the 2 different boards. If you lose dominance on one side you can try to push on the other side where the opponent has weaker presence until you draw a better card for example.
See in TESL the 4 mana 9 attack 1 health would be quite efficient in the “shadow lane” (right side board) where it gains stealth on first turn since you have almost guaranteed direct player damage next turn.
It’s a completely different game from the one in the contest and more complex for sure.
In an ideal card game with perfect card balance, you would play each turn a creature that is proportionally strong to its mana cost, on curve. Playing on curve means you would spend all your mana to not waste 1 mana.
So you would try to draft in such a way that you have good chances to play a 2 mana on turn 2, a 3 mana on turn 3 and so on …
In order to achieve this you go generally with a safe formula that results in good chances for drawing cards that you can play early on. Something like:
8x 2 mana creatures
6x 3 mana creatures
4x 4 mana creatures
Any high cost card you have in your hand early on is basically dead weight since you can’t use it until much later in the game and by that time the game might already be decided in your opponents favour because you didn’t have the chance to establish a decent board presence.
Mana curve mattered less in this contest since lethal is a powerful ability. The 2 mana 1/2 with lethal and guard is strong early and late game since it can remove big creatures, while a regular 2 mana cost creature wouldn’t have any chance against a big creature late game.
A strong 2 mana creature can be counted as a good 3 mana creature while it still costs only 2 mana, So this is where the mana curve starts to be less important and your 2 cost creature count and 3 cost creature count check should be less strict.
When it comes to late game cards, the ones that have an immediate impact on the board are more valuable, such as the nightmare 12 mana card. You want something that can affect the board immediately if possible.A 8 mana 8/8 with no skills can be ignored the turn it’s played by the enemy’s weaker creatures, they don’t have to trade with it, they can just hurt the face instead.
So that 8 mana 8/8 you play on turn 8, is in fact a creature you played on turn 9. Of course the opponent might take it into account if their board side doesn’t have enough damage to win the game.
If however there’s two big creatures then raw stats matter more.
Now about spells, you generally want a few low cost low damage spells to remove small creatures (maybe those annoying ones with lethal on them) and wounded big creatures. About 3 maybe?
And then you want a few big damage spells that remove the big nasty enemy creatures, such as the cheap 5 mana red spell that deals 99 damage, seriously overpowered imo.
You can treat the 4 mana 1/1 creature with lethal and charge as a damage spell and only summon it when you need it so the opponent doesn’t remove with with some cheap damage spell.
The green buff spells are good based on the picks you drafted. Bonus health on a lethal creature with small health can be great if the opponent didn’t draw his lethal cards yet.
If you miss out on a lot of 2 cost creatures because you opted for higher cost creatures with higher value during the early draft, you can could compensate by picking more red / blue damage spells later on in the draft.
When drafting, a good approach is to go by pure value the first 15-20 turns and then try to smooth out your mana curve and pick based heavily on card synergy.
So let’s say it’s turn 20 during the draft and you have a lot of low cost (2-3) creatures you know you are likely going to win easier if you rush for your opponent’s face, in which case cards with card draw effect are very useful to get faster through deck and commit more units to the board so your opponent has less chance to deal with them and pick less high cost cards if possible, maybe only 1 king nightmare at most or a big red removal spell to get rid of a guard creature that prevents you from winning. You would also pick more 4-5 cost cards as opposed to 7+ cost cards when you get the chance, because throwing a lot of lost cost creatures on the board is best backed up by mid-level creatures that you can play immediately after the first few turns and have a moderate impact on the board, instead of having to wait some extra turns to play the high cost high impact creature.
See the icy veins website for more details on how recognizing the type of deck available to you at round turn 20 in the draft and where you can go from there on. That website contains all the basic info you need imo.
One thing i considered doing but didn’t bother with due to incomplete information of opponent’s turn:
check the instance of the opponent’s cards when it had a huge effect on the board
If you keep track of all the cards during draft, then during the game when you see the instance of a card being successful you can adjust the value in your draft.
It’s like optimizing 1-2 cards draft picks based directly on your opponent’s outcome.