I think I understand what aggro means in the context of an MMO and explicitly in World of Warcraft. Arqade even has a good answer to What does "Aggro" mean?

What I am not understanding from the aforementioned links is how the term applies to an aggro deck in Hearthstone. Is an aggro deck:

  • a deck which is aggressive towards attacking the opposing hero?
  • a deck that aggravates the opposing hero by forcing them to attack minions instead of your hero?

I am probably reading too much into the use of the term, but each time I see aggro deck I am not sure what is being described.

  • 7
    In terms of a lot of real-world card games, an 'aggro deck' simply means that your deck is built in such a way as to deal high amounts of damage quickly, with little to no focus on defense. Whether or not that carries into hearthstone, I am unsure as I don't play it.
    – Robotnik
    Nov 12, 2013 at 4:48

1 Answer 1


Aggro-deck is a term borrowed from games like Magic the Gathering. It means a deck that intends to play aggressively and kill your opponent as quickly as possible.

An aggro deck in Hearthstone is characterized by the following:

  • Low mana curve (allows you to play many cards quickly)
  • Aggressive creatures (high power relative to toughness) with abilities like charge, battlecry, overload and stealth
  • Direct damage (burn) spells

Forcing the opponent to attack your minions with taunt rather than your hero is not a primary characteristic of aggro decks, because an aggro deck will not worry about taking damage since it is going to kill you before you kill them. An aggro deck will typically avoid playing taunt cards because the player is choosing to sacrifice defensive power for offensive strength.

Some cards that would fit the classic "aggro deck" include lava burst, reckless rocketeer, unleash the hounds, and nightblade. These cards fit because they focus on dealing as much damage to the opponent as quickly as possible, and have an effect the turn they enter the battlefield.

The opposite of an aggro deck is a control deck, which is a deck focused on removal and counters, defenses, cards that get stronger over time, and keeping a full hand of cards.

Cards that are neither aggro nor control can be referred to as "midrange" decks. Those focus on cards that are extremely efficient.

  • 4
    Worth noting that it's one of the three major archetypes (Aggro, Control, Combo), so it's a very broad description. Nov 12, 2013 at 4:56
  • 6
    There aren't 3 archetypes in Hearthstone though. Combo does not exist. Its more like a sliding scale from aggro-midrange-control.
    – Lawton
    Nov 12, 2013 at 4:58
  • 2
    Also useful to mention then. Nov 12, 2013 at 4:59
  • I'd assume there is no control archetype yet.
    – scenia
    Mar 17, 2014 at 18:33
  • 1
    At this point I have to revise and say that there are some combo archetypes, though they are gimmicky. The reason for this is that combo strategies in games like magic the gathering are reliant upon the ability to search your deck for the cards you need reliably, and this isn't necessarily possible in hearthstone. However the emergence of decks like miracle rogue and alarmobot/innevate does mean that combo decks exist although they suffer from obvious weaknesses caused by the inability to get cards reliably
    – Lawton
    Apr 15, 2014 at 0:03

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