There's a lot of knowledge that seasoned Hearthstone players take for granted, and sensible use of the weapon cards that many classes can take advantage of is certainly one of those areas.
If you're just getting started with one of the many weapon-wielding Heroes in the game, here's our essential guide to getting the most value from the blade in your hand.
Hit minions or hit Heroes?
Unless you're in a position to inflict lethal damage against your own opponent, in all but the rarest circumstances it's better to use your weapon to destroy a minion than hit the enemy Hero. It might seem counter-intuitive to both deliberately damage your own health pool, and hold back from pushing against the opponent's, but using weapons to enhance your board control position is almost always the superior move. Your health is just another resource to be spent on the ultimate objective of winning each game, after all.
Holding your weapon instead of spending it
Following on from the first point is the concept of spending Mana on loading your weapon up, even if you have no intention of actually using it on the current turn. It's better to be Mana-efficient, and leave your opponent in a sweat about what minion they can afford to play. It's certainly true that Acidic Swamp Ooze is a thing to be wary of, but it's far less common a play than it was in Hearthstone's vanilla day. Sometimes you have to take risks to get ahead.
Understand the weapons you wield carefully
Many weapons come with either a bonus effect or a penalty effect - or both - so make sure you've fully accounted for your blade's strengths and weaknesses before making your plays. Consider Gorehowl, for example, which can deliver seven points of damage to the enemy Hero before expiring, or gradually lose its durability and power if you focus on minions instaed. Do your Death's Bite maths carefully too, in order to make that extra one point of damage count. Shamans will want to think about the Overload penalty of Stormforged Axe and so on.
Plan ahead if you have multiple weapons in hand
One occasion where you might be tempted to hit the opponent in the face when their board is empty is if you have multiple weapons clogging up your hand. If you're know you're going to end up reloading your weapon slot in the name of Mana efficiency on the next turn or two, you should spend the damage productively before arming up again and potentially wasting the durability of your current weapon.
Use weapons and minions to control the board
Stop and pause before making your clearance plays, particularly if you're a new player. Consider how you can use your weapon and the minions you have on the board to clean up the opponent's fighting forces, and make sure you do so in the most efficient way possible. With that said, don't forget about the board clearance spells the opponent might be able to make use of on the next turn, and how much damage that would consist of. It might be worth losing one of your minions entirely if it means another will survive the coming onslaught.