In Hearthstone often I have the choice of attacking with a minion against a taunt, but it will cause a loss. The alternative, just leaving the minion on the board and doing nothing, risks losing it to AOE or a spell.

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Above is a typical situation. I can attack the 2-6 Stegosaur with my Phoros. Then I might be able to kill it next turn by using the 3-6 Water Elemental and a Fire Blast. If I leave it on the board, I risk it getting killed by a multishot, but if he has no spell then it might be better to leave it.


Ask yourself this:

  • What can my opponent do the next turn?

    Multishot is not common but let's say he does use multishot. He just spent his entire turn killing your 2/2 and leaving you with a 3/3 against his 2/6 which can still kill his minion over two turns. He's better of just playing a Stranglethorn Tiger.

  • What can I do the next turn?

    You want to get a board as strong as you can. And ideally spend all your mana. So next turn you probably want to play your Gurubashi Berzerker. This does not leave you space to fireblast his minion.

Conclusion: I would leave it up. If your opponent trades into it, you have the same result as if you attacked it. If he doesn't, you can attack it with your frost elemental over two turns and leave your pyros alive.


Attacking into taunts really depends on the situation. You should attack a taunt:

  1. if you can kill it in the same turn

  2. To set up to kill it on the next turn

  3. Attacking into the minion prevents your opponent from having a favorable trade

You should not attack into a taunt when:

  1. You can not kill it within the next couple turns

  2. You have multiple minions that die to your taunt and you can use another piece of removal to destroy it

  3. Attacking into the taunt allows your enemy to make favorable trades

Generally, whether you trade with a minion or not really depends on the situation. In the situation of the post, I don't think you should trade because his stegadon will most likely trade into your pyros, which you can follow up with frostbolt + ping or Frost Elemental + ping

If you are new to Hearthstone and would like advice while you play, feel free to add me. My battletag is DragonHaert#1923 and I mostly play on NA. I've been playing since the release of the Grand Tournament and play many hours a day so I believe i could help you quite a bit and provide insights on game dynamics if you need it. :P

  • In addition to general advice, I am looking for answer to the specific situation shown in the question. Jul 29 '17 at 3:17
  • Consider the likelihood of your opponent being able to heal/buff the taunt on their turn as well when deciding. If you were against a priest they could easily heal the damage. Against a hunter with a beast taunt, a buff is likely.
    – kicken
    Jul 29 '17 at 5:49
  • @TylerDurden Fringe case; if the Hunter has an explosive trap in hand, he may be inclined to attack the elemental. That would mean you'd likely use your elemental again (as pyros can't kill the taunt but the elemental can), leaving both minions at 2, weak to explosive trap. You could pyros+pyro instead of attack with the elemental, but I suspect most people will be inclined to used their elemental as a one-hit kill to free up 2 extra mana if they don't see the explosive trap coming.
    – Flater
    Feb 23 '18 at 12:02

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