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Minion placement is not all that important for most of the game, but there are a few cases where it makes a difference. There are various spells or abilities that hit one minion and adjacent ones, and preventing those from achieving the maximum effect seems to be a good idea.

The only part I currently pay attention to is to always play my Faerie Dragon into the middle of my minions. This prevents spells that hit adjacent minions from being used optimally, as my opponent has to target one of the minions at the edge and can only hit two minions at once.

But I'm pretty sure that there are many more instances where minion placement can make a difference that I currently don't pay attention to. Are there any general rules on how to place minions most effectively? I'm interested in general principles that I can always apply, but also more specific cases like when playing against specific classes.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

There aren't that many spell cards right now that take minion placement into consideration:

Spells:

  • Betrayal - An enemy minion deals its damage to the minions next to it.
  • Cone of Cold - Freeze a minion and the minions next to it, and deal 1 damage to them.
  • Explosive Shot - Deal 5 damage to a minion and 2 damage to adjacent ones.

Obviously, most of these are highly situational and its up to you if you want to allow 2 high value targets to take damage, or potentially lose a low value target instead.

The only one that really matters is Betrayal, where you don't want to place high attack minions next to each other to minimize damage. Like you said, Faerie Dragon is a great mid position card as is any other stealth creature. If you can force them to target an end position card, that's great but the likelihood of being able to maintain something like that for the entire game is very low.

Also, here are all the creature cards that boost adjacent minions:

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1  
@JohnB thanks for adding the links. Great job. –  z ' Jan 30 at 21:07
2  
It's also useful to note that 'auto-spawn' minions like totems/tokens always spawn on the right. Therefore you may want to 'balance' your board by playing new minions to the left. See tip #23 here: link –  Andrew Jan 30 at 22:54

It is best to recognize what AOE (Area of Effect) cards your opponent may have. Break it down by the class and plan according to mana and play-style. It is also important to remember some AOE attacks hit multiple random targets where it simply comes down to luck. For Example: Mage's Arcane Missiles hit random targets whereas their Cone of Cold hits the middle card and whatever 2 are surrounding it.

As an example; Against mages I always plan to avoid cones if I can as it is or used to be a common card played. The problem is Flamestrike and Blizzard are also a very popular removal cards which simply damages everything. It is my opinion it will be more important for you to familiarize yourself with the cards where placement matters and utilize placement strategy when it is needed. Otherwise your focus of strategy would be better spent elsewhere.

You can use sites like HearthPwn to review cards, decks, and forums related to Hearthstone and Hearthstone strategies.

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Keep in mind defensive minion placement is currently only worth thinking about when playing against rogue, mage, or hunter. Otherwise the only placement issues you might want to think about are with offensive minion battle cries like argus.

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