Tempo is an unofficial term that describes which way the "momentum" of a match is going, as well as a label for decks which aim to keep tempo on their side. It is one of the major types of advantage a player may have over the opponent. Tempo is concerned with the player`s control over the game in the immediate and short-term, particularly with minions Bloodfen Raptor, a simple minion card. A Beast-type minion, it has 3 Attack, 2 Health and a mana cost of 2. Minions are persistent creatures on the battlefield that will fight for their hero. Minion hearthstone played on the board The battlefield (or game board) is where the action takes place, representing the board on which each game is played out. Around the battlefield are various important UI elements, such as each player s hand, deck hearthstone , whereas card advantage is about having more options and resources than the opponent over the long run, including cards in the hand A typical hand. The green highlighted cards can be played, while the yellow highlighted card has a special effect enabled by the current state of the game. The hand is where each player keeps the hearthstone . Given enough time, card advantage naturally turns into tempo advantage, since maintaining momentum requires having cards that can respond to enemy obstacles.


While tempo is often considered to be fairly simple term to understand, it is also often considered to be among the more difficult things in Hearthstone to describe verbally. Multiple suggestions have been made, some of which are below:

  • The momentum of the match. About the original and among many unofficially accepted "right" definition. Be that as it may, its obscureness can lead to misunderstandings and odd interpretations causing confusion in discussion.
  • The change of the board state in a given time (usually either a play or a turn, as in "a good/bad tempo play/turn"). The pros of this definition are it`s simplicity.
  • The speed at which a player is reaching his/her win condition. An alternate interpretation of the original definition that is especially useful when discussing decks that don`t mainly win by gaining board control or that don`t aim at reaching that goal at the start of the game.
  • The value of the effect on the board state divided by the mana used. The main upside of this definition is its form of a mathematical formula, so in the future it could be applied in other calculations.



Tempo is strongly associated with board control Board control is an unofficial term usually referring to a player s ability to keep the opponent from building up minions on the battlefield, or "board". Control decks are named after this strategy, aiming to control . It could for example be defined as the change of board state in a given time. A player with a clear tempo advantage will have multiple minions in play which the opponent is not able to easily remove. On the other hand, if both players end up losing and replacing all their minions each turn Hearthstone takes place in turns. Each turn gives a player the opportunity to act. At the end of each turn, play is passed back to the other player. A round describes one turn for each , the tempo is close to even.

Often the advantage can be judged by whether a player could kill the opponent`s minion(s) without sacrificing all of their own minions. For instance, if a paladin has a Spider Tank Spider Tank Set: Goblins vs Gnomes Type: Minion Subtype: Mech Rarity: Common Cost: 3 Attack: 3 Health: 4 "What if we put guns on it?" -Fizzblitz, staring at the spider-transportation-machineSee this card on Hearthpwn data hearthstone and a Shielded Minibot Shielded Minibot Set: Goblins vs Gnomes Type: Minion Subtype: Mech Class: Paladin Rarity: Common Cost: 2 Attack: 2 Health: 2 Abilities: Divine Shield Divine ShieldHe chooses to believe what he is programmed to believe!See this hearthstone at the end of their third turn while the opponent has no minions, the player would likely be able to kill the opponent`s 3-drop, such as another Spider Tank, while keeping at least one of their two minions alive. Since the paladin enters each turn with living minions and plays even more minions during the turn, the pressure is on the opponent to respond to those minions with their own cards, without having the benefit of minions already in play. Thus, the tempo is on the paladin`s side.

It is possible to control the flow of the game even without a statistical advantage of minions in play, if the opponent`s actions are sufficiently restricted, such as with effects like Taunt The shield-like Taunt visual effect Taunt is a minion ability which forces the opposing player to direct any melee attacks toward enemy targets with this ability. Minions with Taunt (commonly referred to as Taunts) serve hearthstone and freeze A Frozen minion A Frozen hero Freeze is an ability that marks a minion or hero as Frozen. Frozen characters miss their next possible attack. After this, the Frozen status is removed. Frozen status only hearthstone . Because the opponent is not free to take desired actions (such as using a minion to kill important enemies, or dealing damage to the player), while the player has versatile options (from making advantageous trades to simply racking up damage against the opponent), the player can still be said to be winning the tempo game.

Gaining and reclaiming tempo

The limited supply of mana is the primary restriction on playing cards in the beginning of the game, so making good use of all of it is the primary factor in generating tempo early. This includes playing drops "Drop" is a colloquial term used to describe a minion of a specific mana cost. For instance, a "3-drop" is a minion which costs 3 mana, such as a Silverback Patriarch. The term may be each turn that efficiently consume all available mana, trading up A trade is the loss of one or more cards in exchange for the elimination of one or more enemy cards. Most often, trading refers to minions dying in combat, but the term may be and using removal Removal is the term used to refer to the elimination of minions from the battlefield. Hard removal describes cards and effects that can neutralize minions regardless of most defenses, such as high Health or Divine hearthstone when necessary to make one`s own mana "do more work" than the opponent`s, and sometimes using effects that decrease costs or increase the actual amount of mana available.

Various mechanics have different effects with regard to tempo:

Player health and damage

Having the tempo on one`s side often leads to damage against the opponent, since any minions not used for trading can be used to attack the face See more: Hero The face is a slang term for a player s hero as the target for damaging attacks and effects, as opposed to minions. "Going face" or "attacking the face" refer to focusing one s . It is possible for a player with a significant tempo advantage in the early game to kill the opponent before any card disadvantage can be gained or put into full effect. Or, they may eventually lose the tempo, but not before dealing enough damage that the opponent can be killed with a sudden burst Burst damage or burst potential refers to a player s ability to deal a large amount of damage in one or two turns, allowing a player to finish off a previously damaged opponent, or deal an later on.

As the latter scenario illustrates, player health is not a reliable direct indicator of tempo. A player at 30 health facing a player with 15 health might have the tempo, but they could just as easily have done the damage in the first few turns of the game, then lost their advantage after the opponent made a series of favorable trades or efficient removals.