I often have the problem that I can get a Cryomancer out or wait a turn or two and get it with +2/+2. Below shows a really stark example:

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So, in the example above I have a choice (note that the board is empty and I am playing against a Paladin). I can use all my mana and deploy the Cryomancer immediately, but it will have no buffs and just be +5/+5. Otherwise, I can do nothing except use my hero ability for one damage against the enemy hero and waste 3 mana. However, if I opt for choice 2, then I get to get out the Cryomancer next turn with +2/+2 (for a total of +7/+7) and the Glacial Shard.

In this particular example, I chose to wait. My thinking was that even if the Paladin played a 6-mana minion, I would freeze it for one turn anyway with the Glacial Shard and get out the Cryomancer with +7/+7. So, I just wasted the 5 mana and waited a turn.

3 Answers 3


There isn't actually one answer for all cases here. You already know what deck you're playing, and by turn five you should have a good idea of the type of deck your opponent is playing (face, tempo, combo, control).

You already have a turn six play in the archmage, so in all matchups except one, you want to play the 5/5 on turn five for the tempo (this statline is only slightly below vanilla stats for a five mana card and totally fine to play tempo).

The only matchup where you would want to wait is control-vs-control where your deck is slower/heavier. In all other cases the tempo from the 5/5 will be much more useful to the coming turns.


In this case specifically, there's an empty board, you have three other 6 mana cards, and if you don't play Cryomancer, you have no play. In this case, taking the tempo and playing the 4/4 is incredibly valuable. In situations like this, you should absolutely go for tempo over value. However, if you had other five mana plays, throwing one of those down and playing the cryomancer on turn six would generally be preferred.

  • 1
    That's pretty interesting. Your answer is the opposite of Jaken Herman's. I can definitely see the logic of using the 5 immediately since I already have multiple options for 6. If I had no play for 6 however, then I gather from what you are saying, I might want to wait. Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 13:02
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    I think this specific answer is better than the more general one above. The question is never JUST "should I play Cryomancer without the buff?".
    – Erik
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 13:51
  • @TylerDurden Jaken's answer, generally, isn't necessarily wrong. But in your specific situation I'd argue that it is. Playing the Cryomancer without the buff, VALUE-wise, is a waste. But the tempo is often worth it. The hardest part of Hearthstone (other than deckbuilding) is deciding on your value vs tempo plays. The professional streamer/player Trump has some great videos about it on his YouTube channel, I'd definitely recommend them. And yes, you're correct. If you had no six you would probably want to wait.
    – Allball103
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 13:55

Playing Cryomancer with no buff on an empty board would have absolutely been a waste. If your opponent has no pressure on you, there is no point in wasting the +2/+2 opportunity, especially since you know you can use it next turn.

  • Acting now gives you advantage, the enemy has to catch up to you. Waiting a turn gives your enemy the advantage, as you have to catch up to they. I'd say that the choice here depends on the rest of your hand. If you have good removal, let the enemy go first. If you have tempo plays for several turns, gain the advantage now.
    – Flater
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 11:49

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