It is testament to the brilliance of the digital card game Hearthstone that its players have come up with dozens and dozens of crazy, effective strategies over the past year. One tactic that's becoming particularly popular these days? Forcing players to run out of cards.
Let me explain. Every Hearthstone deck consists of 30 cards, and on each player's turn, he or she has to draw one. Some abilities and spells will force one or both players to draw even more cards, which can be either beneficial or detrimental, depending on the circumstances. See, once your deck is empty, trying to draw a card will instead result in damage — called "Fatigue" — that increases incrementally over time. The first time you hit Fatigue, you'll take one damage, then two, then three, and so on.
So with some clever deck-building, you can create a Hearthstone deck that is solely designed to force your opponent to run out of cards before he or she can beat you. That's how two players created this scenario, where a player died after drawing 784 cards.
Although there have always been decks designed around forcing opponents to die from Fatigue, I've noticed the strategy go particularly widespread in recent weeks. One of the most popular recent decks is Fatigue Druid, which uses cards like Naturalize ("Destroy a minion. Your opponent draws two cards.") and Coldlight Oracle ("Each player draws two cards.") in hopes of quickly whittling down an opponent's deck.
Running Fatigue decks can be ridiculously entertaining, although they will always lead to some very long matches. There are few things more frustrating than trying to face one unprepared.
If you're a big Hearthstone player, here's one deck you might want to experiment with. A couple of days ago on Reddit, Hearthstone player itsotter posted some ideas for a Fatigue Mage that uses board-clearing and minions like Coldlight Oracle and Deathlord to grind out an opponent's cards. Sometimes it's fun to be annoying.