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HearthstoneSep 16, 2020 6:00 pm CT

How to defeat Kael’thas Sunstrider in Hearthstone’s new Jaina-themed adventure

Hearthstone has just released the first episode of Book of Heroes, a new (free!) single-player adventure featuring our favorite mage: Jaina Proudmoore. This adventure, which requires nothing from your collection of cards, is worth playing through if you have an interest in Warcraft lore (or just want a refresher on Jaina’s story). The adventure retraces Jaina’s journey from a novice to naive apprentice to one of the most powerful Archmages on Azeroth — all the while going through fun fights — and it’s a pretty fun run.

While most of the fights on Book of Heroes don’t seem to be very difficult, making them accessible to a large number of players, there is one specific fight that has given people some trouble. Out of the adventure’s eight fights, it’s the second one: Kael’thas Sunstrider. So if you find yourself struggling with the Kael’thas fight, this is our strategy for beating that smug, self-adulating sorcerer!

Do you have a moment to talk about your deck? We need to talk about it.

Your deck… isn’t great.

  • You have a lot of freeze options, which implies you want to control the board until you can get a way to kill Kael’thas… but you simply don’t have too many spells to close the game, so you’re buying time for very little gain.
  • You have a Luna’s Pocket Galaxy (which reduces the cost of your minions) in a deck with… six minions, two of which only cost three mana. This isn’t a spell worth casting.
  • Similarly, you have a Potion of Illusion (which gives you extra copies of your minions) that only three minions in your whole deck can really benefit much due to their Battlecries.
  • You have a card draw spell that gets improved by spell damage, Cram Session, but only three minions with spell damage, and one of them, the Archmage, is expensive.

The game sends mixed messages with this deck, which is the crux of the issue in my opinion. You get no clear strategy of what to do in order to win. So, let’s dissect this jumbled mess of cards and see what we can work with.

  • You have two Iceballs — Jaina’s ice-themed take on Fireball, though mechanically identical. Even though it’s tempting to blast Kael in the face with them, I’ve found them to be more useful as removal tools, against his bigger minions, such as Violet Spellsword.
  • Luna’s Pocket Galaxy is such a powerful card!… but much less so in here. I’d even be willing to say it’s a bit of a bait, unless you really have no better things to use your mana on during a particular turn. Avoid the temptation!

How to beat Kael’thas in Book of Heroes

So, let’s start with the two most important things:

  • Remember that your Hero Power deals two damage. Don’t be afraid to use it as much as you can. Your ability to deal damage in this fight is very limited, so you will want to squeeze every last bit out of it.
  • Always play your minions. Kael will spend his spells on them, and he will do it a lot. So much that his hand will often be empty, or close to it, as long as you keep playing them. Spells spent on your minions means fewer spells hitting your face.

Keeping Kael’s board under control is a challenge, but there are a few key strategies:

  • Use your Deep Freeze as soon as you can, which gives you two “free” Water Elementals. For this fight, think of this card as a way to generate extra minions more than as a control tool to actually Freeze an enemy threat.
  • Save your Frostbolts for Fire Hawk, because it’s a dangerous minion. But don’t be afraid to use one on a Mana Wyrm that might get out of control if you need to.
  • Kill his Firebrand as soon as you can. That Spellburst effect of his can really ruin your day.
  • Remember you can sacrifice the Ice Shards that are summoned by Hailbringer to freeze enemy minions, before using effects that play off the Freeze status, like Shatter or Ray of Frost. Again: every little bit of extra damage you can do helps. Your resources are limited, so activating your synergies is important.

Beating Kael’thas requires unorthodox gameplay

You will win this game by attrition, which is not what Mages usually do. You have to keep playing minions, over and over, replicating them with Potion of Illusion if needed. Kael will spend all of his cards dealing with them, but eventually he will run out of gas. That’s when your minions are free to start hitting his face more regularly. So, do that, along with using your Hero Power. And if everything goes south, your Ice Block can buy you some time.

The main problem players have with this fight is the unorthodox, unintuitive deck design. It leads you to think that you need to keep freezing their board until you find some way to finish them off with big spells — but those big spells just aren’t there. It’s your Elementals and minions that have the burden of carrying you to victory, with a little help from your Hero Power.

So put those minions down and watch as Kael spends his fuel getting rid of them. Then replace them with new minions, over and over, as needed, until Kael can no longer deal with them — all the while using your spells to clear his threats as well — and earn your win.

Good luck!

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