Novice Engineer is a 1/1 creature, costs 2 mana and allows the player to draw a card when it is played. Under what circumstances (if any) would it be worth playing the coin on the first turn to summon this card, sacrificing future mana advantage for immediate card advantage?

  • 6
    I voted to close because it is too opinion based. It really depends on your setup, what starting cards you got etc, etc. If you got trolled by RNGesus and all your starting cards are like 5-6 Mana Cards and this is your only low range card and you need that damage right now, maybe, but you could also go for a higher card later on that let's you regain control of the battlefield, such as a 5 mana tank etc. There is really no universal answer to this and for thus, too broad.
    – user28015
    Jul 9, 2014 at 17:53
  • 4
    I disagree that this is too opinion based. A good answer should go into when this is a good or a bad idea. Specific strategic questions are the epitome of Good Subjective. Jul 9, 2014 at 18:03
  • @Frank I disagree, I would expect a good answer to provide some backup to its claims in order to demonstrate that it isn't opinion-based. Nevertheless, I've edited the question.
    – toryan
    Jul 9, 2014 at 18:10
  • 2
    @toryan The backup can be experience-based or math-based; it doesn't have to use an external resource. It's best to just ask the question you want answered and let the answerer determine the best resources to use to answer it. Jul 9, 2014 at 18:11
  • A lot of different opinions with the answers coming through. I think that there will be no definitive answer unless someone did a thorough study on W/L ratios while coining NE and keeping the coin.
    – FoxMcCloud
    Jul 9, 2014 at 18:24

3 Answers 3


In almost all situations it would be best to save the coin. Assuming every other card in your hand cost 3+, it still allows you to slightly beat the tempo with one of those cards and to play your Engineer or a "3 drop" on turn two.

Other factors to consider, besides your hand, is your and your opponent's class abilities. If you are playing against a Mage or Druid, they could easily use their ability turn 2 to kill off your creature and you have basically exchanged you 1/1 and the coin for another card on turn 1 (making this a horrible play). Even if it was a rogue, getting in 1 damage would not really be worth the cost.

If you are running a Tempo or Rush style deck such that the majority of the cards are 1 to 3 cost and RNGesus gave you all of your 4+ cost cards, I would still save the Novice Engineer for turn 2 and play a 4 cost minion on turn 3.

Generally speaking, it is usually a bad idea to use the coin on turn 1. However, if you have another good "2 drop" in your hand, that would be the only time I would consider using the coin turn 1. For example, if you use the coin to drop a Faerie Dragon turn 1, you could then play out your Novice Engineer on turn 2.

I am stretching REALLY FAR here to come up with any other ideas where it could be an acceptable play. If your opponent had an ability that would not affect the field, such as a priest, it might not be a horrible play (still, depending on your hand there are probably other uses of the coin that are better).

  • To give credit to @ChaseC, it would be good to use the coin against a tempo/rush deck to get out your 1/1 on turn 1. However, even in his example #1, I would hold onto the coin and drop the NE on turn 2 and save the ability to get out a 4 or 5 cost minion on turns 3 or 4. I would only use it to cycle cards if the cards in hand all cost 6 or more. Jul 9, 2014 at 18:27
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    Turn 1 coin isn't always bad -- like Defias Ringleader combo.
    – spudone
    Jul 9, 2014 at 23:14
  • @spudone I agree with that. But Novice Engineer is a MUCH weaker play then Defias Ringleader or Faerie Dragon. Playing a match with a friend I got a dream hand once... 4/6 cards needed to combo into 12 dmg turn 2. Coin Defias turn 1. Turn 2 Backstab his 2-drop into 2 Cold Bloods. Drop him to 18 life, his turn 3 and you have a 6/2 and 6/1 in play. That is "The Exception" and not "The Rule" though. That kinda silly happens when you've played thousands of games. Jul 10, 2014 at 17:58

It depends on a couple things first. Your hand, what hero you are playing against and what type of deck you are playing. I'll put them in order of importance to me.

  1. Your hand: If you mulled and got a bunch of higher cost cards, it's worth coining. You want to cycle through your deck as soon as possible to get some cards you can play in turn 2, 3, 4. Not having anything to play on a turn is really bad. It's worth it in this case.

  2. If you are playing against any type of rush down deck, DO IT. Even a 1/1 creature can help slow down their tempo. Also that extra card could help if it's a removal card for some of their mid-tier cards. If you are playing against a late-game control Druid/Priest for example, it's not worth it. A 1/1 creature or even another card will not help in turn 2, 3, or 4. Save your coin for a higher cost card that will speed up your late game.

  3. If you are playing a Paladin, it might be worth it. You could buff your NE by giving it divine shield, extra attack or add another 1/1 soldier. If you're a druid you could give it +2/2 and taunt. If you are playing a high tempo deck, it might be worth it to hit them for 1 damage on turn 2 or even make a Mage use their hero power to end her turn 2.

More times than not, it's worth it. But again, it all depends on a few factors.

  • More times than not, it's Not worth it, I would say. I would not use the coin for a 1/1 on turn 1 as a Paladin. However, as a druid with Mark of the Wild in hand, I would use the coin if my opponent was not a Mage, Druid, or Rogue. It is not worth giving up the coin just to get them to use their ability. Jul 9, 2014 at 18:32
  • More importantly, you're using the coin for a 1/1 AND a card. It's a good way of exchanging the coin for another card in your deck if you need it. You, in this case, would WANT your opponent to use their hero ability because that means they aren't playing a creature on turn 2. So you effectively exchanged the coin for a draw and your opponent gave up their turn 2.
    – FoxMcCloud
    Jul 9, 2014 at 18:34
  • So it adds to your tempo, but it is bad from a Card Advantage stand point (your deck now has 1 less than your opponent). And if you do not have a good turn 2 followup to keep the tempo, you lost the potential power of the coin in mid game. Situationally it could be okay, but as a general rule turn 1 coin play is not considered a strong play, I would say especially in the case of a Novice Engineer. It is more a move of desperation if you are doing that. That's my opinion, anyone else have thoughts on the effectiveness of turn 1 coin into Novice Engineer? Jul 10, 2014 at 18:02
  • Well yeah my #1 category was based off of your hand. If you have no turn 2 play, you want to keep NE and use it on turn 2. But you also are free to use your hero power if you coin turn 1. Having your deck 1 less than your opponent on turn 2 is no big deal. It's arguable that it is actually a good thing because you're cycling through your deck for a chance of a 1 or 2 cost card if your hand is full of higher cost cards.
    – FoxMcCloud
    Jul 10, 2014 at 19:14

It would ultimately depend on your hand however I would advise that you do not do this as there will be times of more importance that you will need the card. And due to the low cost of novice engineer it can be played easily later on in a match when using up extra mana crystals

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