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 '13 at 4:48
up vote 44 down vote accepted

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. – SevenSidedDie Nov 12 '13 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 '13 at 4:58
  • 2
    Also useful to mention then. – SevenSidedDie Nov 12 '13 at 4:59
  • I'd assume there is no control archetype yet. – scenia Mar 17 '14 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 '14 at 0:03

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.