Hearthstone players stuck at ranks 5 to 10 sometimes cannot understand what exactly is going wrong. They refuse to accept their misplays and try to find other reasons for failures. Oftentimes they blame imbalanced decks and matchmaking system, which constantly pairs them with unfavorable opponents, as well as a new expansion that “completely ruined” the game.
In this guide we will cover basic tips which will help you get out of these negative mindsets and start climbing the ladder.
Introduction and Basic Tips
Let’s start off with one simple thing: randomness is not what slows down your ranked climb. Perhaps randomness is what makes Hearthstone fun and fascinating. But if it all was about random, there would not have been competitive aspect involved, no tournaments, no professional players who get their Legend in one day, no thousands of players in Legend, no questions about how to climb Legend, etcetera.
Get ready for both a series of victories and a series of defeats. While climbing the ladder, you will periodically lose stars. It can be frustrating to run in circles with the win rate of 50%. If you do, then you probably make certain mistakes and rely on randomness and your opponents’ mistakes. This approach will not get you far.
But it should not get you tilted. If you make the right moves and plays, then defeats will not distract you from the ultimate goal. Players who do not realize this often fall into destructive mindsets. As a result, they try to change decks and, due to emotional distress, start to play even worse than usual.
What you should aim for is a stable deck with minimum missplays from your side. As NickChipper once mentioned in one of his streams, winning 6 games out 10 will eventually get you to Legend. Here are some tips that can get you to the point of 60% win rate and improve your performance.
Learn Popular Decks in the Meta
You do not want to play perfect against all the archetypes (in fact you cannot), but you should have an idea of the general strategy and key mechanics in a particular matchup. What is the win condition of your opponent? What are his weak points? And his strengths? Always keep in mind the worst probability events, what will it lead to and how could you solve it. This is extremely important.
Study the most common opponents and try to play 10 to 20 matches with them. Study the cards and mechanics they use most often. Understand their strengths and weaknesses, their win conditions and the combination of cards/spells. All this will give you a huge advantage over opponents. However, for a true understanding of a deck, you still have to play a few matches with the deck itself.
Slow Down Your Play
It would seem that this advice is so obvious. But Hearthstone can be deceptively obvious and simple sometimes. It is not even about problems with calculating lethal (which is still very widespread at low rating), but about using your resources wisely and not giving up your removals.
Take your time choosing the right option. You must always think, check, and double-check which move will be the best in a particular situation. This is often neglected by those who play combo or agro decks. Sometimes, it’s not even about playing what is best this turn, but taking into account the long-term ramifications. Does your opponent have any removals? If they do, will it be crucial for you? What is the left-most card in his hand? Why does he keep it?
It all depends on peculiarities of a deck and particular matchup. Everything comes with the experience and practice. That’s why you should play a lot, preferably on one strong deck at first.
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Keeping statistics significantly improves your skill. Even a small percentage of games allows you to determine how successful the deck is, when you should stop and when you should make a push. Study most played decks in the Ladder, daily class frequency (the meta changes on a daily basis), and deck archetype matchups. There are numerous handy platforms out there with abundant statistics.
This will allow you to study the most widespread decks in the ladder and how to counter them. It can dramatically boost your win rate if you know when and how exactly to counter a particular deck and archetype.
Play One Deck and Don’t Change It
If you are reading this article, then you are not likely a guru of Hearthstone. You may be playing a lot, but you are stuck at a rank 5 to 10 plateau. And if you think that it is all about randomness and being unlucky, then by playing a variety of different decks you only maximize the randomness.
Just bare with it: you need one stable deck that guarantees you 55% to 60% win rate. It’s not even about one deck, but about your proficiency and understanding of this one deck. This proficiency will give you these precious 10% to 15% that will eventually get you to the Legend.
You can resort to counter picks and rely on the strength of a particular deck against another one, but it will not work out on the long run. This is a great strategy for those who play in the top 50. They know their opponents perfectly, they understand the meta, and if they counter a particular deck, it will easily get them to the top 10 in just one game.
For better or worse, if you are not in Legend, you should play by different rules at your rating. Just watch streams of pro players, for instance. You will see that they usually use one deck for climbing. And they can easily get top rank in a span of several hours.
Usually, there are three main decks that dictate the meta. On your way to the Legend, you want to solely rely on them.
Your first climb to the Legend is a difficult but very exciting road. While climbing the ladder, keep in mind these tips! Constantly improve your skills! Remember that progress can be frustrating and slow at first. Everyone has been through this.
Mastering the fundamentals of Hearthstone is incredibly simple, but at high levels you will have to always analyze your actions and strive to improve them. Be persistent and be ready to spend a lot of time on the game, and sooner or later you will achieve Legend!