Rank 1 EU Arena Guide
Greetings reddit, my name is Thraun and last month I achieved rank 1 on the arena leaderboard for the EU region! Since that hopefully gives me a bit of credibility, I thought I would write an arena guide to provide some of my thoughts and advice on improving as an arena player. This guide is mostly aimed at intermediate players looking to improve, but will hopefully be useful to players of all levels and can maybe help stimulate some discussion. I have assumed readers have some knowledge of commonly used terms in Hearthstone like value, tempo, mana curve, etc.
Some background on me as a player (feel free to skip if you’re only interested in gameplay!). I’ve been playing Hearthstone since December 2014, and aside from 3 or 4 adventures and the Nax expansion I have spent no money on the game. This meant I built my collection for ranked pretty slowly and I spent a lot of my first 10 months or so playing arena. I would say my average at the end of that period was around 6 wins. This average would not have been high enough to reach the arena leaderboard (if it even existed back then), which lists the top 150 players in the region. Between that period and July this year I played almost exclusively ranked, before switching back to focussing on arena after becoming a bit bored of the Witchwood meta.
November was my 4th time on the leaderboard, out of the 5 times I did the 30 required runs to qualify. From around a 7.0 average my first month I improved to 8.97 last month to take the top spot, although I accept this could be outlier.
Just to be clear, I do not consider myself an exceptional player and I know there are many better arena players out there – many streamers for example don’t really tryhard for leaderboard because they don’t particularly care and would rather focus on entertaining their viewers, which means choosing more varied (worse) classes and picking ‘fun’ cards over the best options. They also have to contend with stream snipers which must cost them quite a few wins over a season. I hit rank 1 in November by being a dedicated anti-fun tryhard, choosing the best classes, and probably getting good variance on class options and buckets offered (my 30 runs consisted of a whopping 14 rogue & 10 warrior drafts, which were undoubtedly the strongest 2 classes for me).
Choose your class
There’s no doubt that if you want to improve your average and make a run at the arena leaderboard, then focussing on the best classes will help. HSreplay.net is a great resource for checking which classes are performing best in the current meta. Even without a subscription (which I don’t have), you have access to a lot of data including class winrates, card inclusion rates within each class, highest winrate cards etc.
However, you should also keep an eye on your own personal success rate with each class as this could differ to the overall meta. For example, warlock was considered the 3rd best class statistically but in November I must have completely screwed up my warlock drafts as I managed an atrocious 3.67 average over my 3 warlock drafts. Additionally, despite warrior being considered the best class for a few months now, I was pretty bad with it up until last month, perhaps due to avoiding it prior to that as warrior has historically been the worst arena class for years. Always bear in mind it takes time and experience to learn a class you haven’t played much, or even a class that changed a lot in the meta due to new cards, tweaked offering rates, changes to buckets etc.
The Boomsday Meta
I won’t spend much time analysing the meta because with the release of Rastakhan’s Rumble the meta has moved on and any analysis would be pretty much obsolete. But in the Boomsday meta, I would say the classes roughly tended towards the following archetypes:
Aggro/midrange – Paladin, Hunter, Rogue, Shaman
Control – Warrior, Priest
Flexible – Warlock, Mage, Druid
Obviously you could have success by drafting differently, but overall this was my impression of the classes. The three classes I qualified as ‘flexible’ felt like you could go in any direction depending on what was offered, either aggro, control or something in between. Taking druid as an example, most opponents I faced went with a token style deck with Power of the Wilds and Savage Roars, but that didn’t work particularly well for me – I had more success drafting either solid 3-6 curve minions with some late game or even wild growth decks with a lot of late game value. Bear in mind though if you draft a heavy deck you need some form of catch-up mechanism (like board clears, spreading plague, or just many big taunts to run your opponents out of stuff without dying).
For each class you should find what works for your playstyle and try to move drafts in that direction.
I would say the Boomsday meta was a tempo based metagame, where it was important for most decks try to get on board early to win the game, and I expect that to continue in Rastakhan unless there are significant changes to the offering rates. I think the main reason for this is the offering rates of spells and weapons, which are considerably lower now than they have been in the past. If spell offering rates were increased then there is a higher likelihood of successfully drafting control decks, since you would have more consistent access to the aoe (area of effect) and removal spells you need to survive until the late game.
Every player is different but for me I think the main area I improved from when I was around a 6.0 average player to now is in the drafting/deck building phase. I use Heartharena.com as a guide on the relative strength of cards in the meta, it’s a very good resource that is constantly updated and tweaked as more data becomes available. I play on ios so I don’t actually have the program installed which would provide the card scores that are specific to your current deck, but I’m sure most players would benefit from this advice, even if you will sometimes go against their recommendation.
You will always learn something from how your deck performs, whether it is better or worse than you expected. It’s a good idea to take some notes (I have a spreadsheet of all my arena runs and take a few notes besides the data as a reminder of what was good/bad/surprising about it), which can help inform future drafts. In very general terms I would say the success of an arena deck is some combination of the following factors:
· Your mana curve
· Deck consistency
· Deck tempo
· Deck value
· Deck synergy
· Removal cards
· ‘Win condition’ cards
· Overall card quality
Of these, only the first seven (this list grew a few times as I was writing) can be influenced by the player, since card quality within each bucket is relatively similar (apart from a few outliers which have been under or over-bucketed), so these are what we should focus on.
Mana curve – The form of mana curve you aim for is obviously different for each class, and will vary within each class depending on what cards you are offered. In simple terms, you should think about how you are aiming to win the game – is it through early tempo and killing your opponent (an aggressive/midrange deck), or slowly grinding your opponent out of resources and overwhelming them in the late game (control deck)? This will affect whether you prioritise low cost or higher cost cards during the draft.
This might go without saying, but in the 2nd half of your draft, when comparing cards of different mana cost, you might consider prioritising filling out the mana slots you have less of, rather than the overall most powerful card. This will help prevent you from floating mana throughout the game, which ultimately costs you tempo.
Some classes are more susceptible to this problem than others, because some hero powers are better than others and can be used to fill out the curve without costing much tempo. For example, when I draft rogue I have very little interest in 2 drops, because the hero power is so good in the early game it very nearly matches the tempo of a 2 drop, without costing you a card (rogue dagger is 2 damage over 2 turns for 2 mana, comparable to a bad 2 drop). Because of this, I draft a lot of 3 drops so that I should almost never pass turn 3 (if I do I probably lose). I’ve had 12 win rogue runs with something like 12-15 x 3 cost cards, although that is a little overkill (note, not all are minions, some good rogue spells like fan and envenom also cost 3 so you shouldn’t count those as ‘drops’). I mention rogue here specifically because the mana ‘curve’ often looks wrong for this reason, but for me this was the best way to draft rogue decks.
Deck consistency – this goes hand in hand with mana curve as drafting a lower curve enables you to fill out your mana each turn more often, and in different combinations, allowing greater flexibility in your plays and a more consistent deck that isn’t as vulnerable to ‘losing to itself’. Conversely, a heavier deck means you will usually have more clunky draws and will more often be locked into just playing one card per turn, while your late drops aren’t playable due to high mana costs. So it is important to have some early game, whether it is in the form of minions or removal, so that you don’t lose games without being able to make a meaningful play.
Including card draw in your deck will also improve consistency as you will have more options in hand to make your plays. You want to try to do this without sacrificing too much tempo if possible.
Deck tempo – If you are drafting an aggressive deck you will want to have consistent early game minions to play out and some high tempo cards. Rogue is in my opinion the best tempo class – it has the highest tempo hero power (apart from priest, but priest requires a minion on board to make use of it), and it has great tempo cards like Backstab, Sap, Vilespine Slayer, Plague Scientist, Envenom Weapon, etc.
An example of a pure tempo card is Sap – this card has no actual ‘value’ attached to it unless you use it on a buffed minion (or opponent has a full hand and you destroy the minion with it), it costs you a card and your opponent gets the card back in hand so all it does is affect the board. But when you are trying to kill your opponent you often don’t care, because he just played a (say) 7 mana taunt, which you removed from the board for 2 mana, netting you a 5 mana tempo advantage on that turn. This allows you to out-develop your opponent’s board, or just push damage to face and kill them before they can use that value advantage.
Situational removal cards are often high tempo when they hit, which is the benefit they get for sometimes not finding targets – Defile is usually a very high tempo board clear at 2 mana, which allows you to develop minions after clearing in the same turn. Shadow Word: Pain/Death often hit targets which cost more than their mana costs. This can allow even control decks to regain tempo or swing boards against faster decks. Cards that remove a minion and replace with one of your own are often high tempo (Flanking Strike, Fire Elemental, Vilespine Slayer, Argent Commander and The Black Knight – more on him later).
Deck value – deck value is something that is important to all decks to some extent. Even aggressive decks need enough stuff to keep making strong plays until your opponent dies. The exception might be a very aggressive hunter deck, which can sometimes close games with just their hero power even after the opponent stabilises on board (although this strategy tends to struggle against priest and warrior hero powers). One of the hardest things about drafting is finding the right balance between tempo and value, I’ve had plenty of miss-drafts where I went too all in on tempo and ran out of cards (this is probably my most common drafting mistake).
You don’t necessarily need high mana cost cards to add value to your deck, low cost cards that draw or discover more cards can be easier to weave into your turns, for example Stonehill Defender, Elven Minstrel, Battle Rage, Town Crier, Cult Master, Arcane Dynamo. I’m generally quite a fan of cards that give you both a minion, and add a card to your hand, and I often prefer these to pure draw cards like Arcane Intellect, Thoughtsteal or Sprint, which sacrifice board tempo entirely in order to give you cards in hand. If you do draft these cards however, you do not want to play them in the early game, play out your cards that affect the board first, then use the card draw to refill your hand when you are out of options. This will help prevent you from falling behind.
Deck synergy – Synergy cards are always tempting but it is often difficult to build a fully synergistic deck, and you can get punished for picking early cards that require synergy to work if you don’t get the right cards offered later in the draft. Some synergy cards are good enough by themselves (e.g. Leyline Manipulator is fine as a 4/5 body for 4), and if you get offered synergy later that’s just a bonus. Other cards, like Blazecaller, Duskbreaker, are pretty bad if you don’t get activators for them, so I generally only pick those if I already have some activators for them.
These are tribal cards with specific synergies, but what is usually more impactful in arena is cards which don’t have specific synergy with each other, but work well together. For example, if you draft a deck with lots of small minions and tokens, cards like Cult Master, Necrotic Geist, and Dire Wolf Alpha, become stronger. You can often build a deck around these types of synergies, particularly Druid and Shaman in this example, where you can also try to pick up a Savage Roar or Bloodlust for a burst win condition. Other cards have less obvious synergy but just work well together, for example Glacial Shard can help set up clears with Supercollider or aoe spells. In the 2nd half of your draft you can often pass on individually stronger cards in favour of synergies which work well with your overall strategy.
Removal cards – You usually want to include at least a few removal cards in your deck that compliment your win condition – for aggressive decks a way to get through big taunts, and for control some aoe spells. Minions with initiative (immediate board impact) like rush, charge and battlecry minions, can also be considered ‘removals’ in some cases (e.g. Steel Rager, which almost always dies after trading and is therefore similar to a 5 damage removal spell). Whichever role you plan on adopting, including removal cards will help your deck be more flexible, and able to respond to your opponent’s plays. They give you a way to recover when you fall behind, or push an advantage when ahead.
Win condition cards – Your deck doesn’t need a specific win condition to do well in arena, you can just build a well-rounded deck, curve out decently and win with the right balance of tempo and value. But I like to have a few cards in the deck that I consider ‘win conditions’, basically cards that either close out the game by themselves, or give you a huge advantage of some kind when played. For an aggressive deck, often these are what people might call ‘win-more’ cards – cards that are only good when you are already ahead. Examples include Fungalmancer, Cobalt Scalebane, and Bonemare. These cards are pretty bad when you don’t already have the board, but in my experience you usually need cards like these to close out games before you get outvalued by the greedier decks.
Class specific win condition cards would be things like Pyroblast, which allows you to draft and play more aggressively since you can threaten lethal from such a high health total, Mind Control – a massive value/tempo swing on the right target, Supercollider – which can give insane value as well as making your opponent’s turns extremely awkward, Silver Sword – threatens huge value and board tempo if they can stick just a few minions in the late game, Savage Roar – burst damage from a few minions on board.
For a control deck you might consider board clear cards like Flamestrike, Psychic Scream, Warpath, as a win condition, but only if you are confident you have enough value to out-develop your opponent in the following turns. Psychic Scream is a very highly rated card (and rightly so), but if you have drafted too light it will be next to useless, as it is a dead card when you’re ahead, and will likely only delay your loss if you fall behind. So keep these things in mind when these cards show up in your draft (particularly with two-sided board clears).
Additionally, big minions can be considered a win condition, cards like Violet Wurm which is very hard for your opponent to answer, or legendaries which are just huge value and/or board swings themselves (e.g. Deathwing, Onyxia) or generate extra value if they stick (Ysera, The Lich King).
You won’t always be lucky enough to get offered specific win condition cards, but particularly in the latter stages of your draft you should be asking yourself, ‘how does this deck win?’, and try to add cards that complement that win condition.
Mulligan & early game planning
The mulligan is a crucial part of the game and if done incorrectly can put you at a disadvantage before ‘the game’ even starts. The obvious part is that you want to mulligan for your early game cards, but there’s quite a lot more to it, and what you look for specifically depends on your class, deck, opponent’s class, and whether you’re going first or second.
You will usually be looking for 1, 2 and 3 drop minions, and early game removal spells/weapons. When going first, you probably just want to hit the best curve possible, and generally won’t keep two cards of the same cost. On the coin, I’m usually looking for coin 3 drop into 3 drop opener, so in a deck that has a lot of 3 drops I might even mulligan a 2 drop to look for double 3s (this is deck dependent though). On the coin you can also keep very good 4 drops like arathi weaponsmith, but I wouldn’t keep a generic 4 without hitting other early drops. Keeping cards that cost 5 or more should only be done situationally, usually if you have at least two other early game cards already, although again very strong cards like Supercollider can be considered.
Some people will be tempted to keep insane cards like The Lich King in their opener, but this is usually too greedy and you will often be too far behind by the time you get to turn 8 for it to make a difference. Always prioritise the first few turns of the game, and only consider keeping high mana cost cards if you already have some early game.
I usually like to be proactive in the early game, especially when going first. So I’ll prioritise looking for minions that can be proactively played on the board regardless of what my opponent does, rather than more reactive cards like removal spells, or minions with situational battlecries. For example, if going first and pre-mulligan I have been offered a Spring Rocket and a Blackwald Pixie, I’m usually inclined to keep the Pixie, and mulligan the Spring Rocket to give me a guaranteed turn 3 play plus a better chance of hitting 1, 2 and 4 drops on curve. If your deck lacks early game overall, you can keep both and accept that will likely be floating 1 mana on turn 4, but this is generally not ideal.
I usually only have a few 1 drops in the deck (between 0 and 3), so I don’t hard mulligan for them since I’m unlikely to hit them anyway. Additionally, a lot of the better 1 drops have some utility attached to them (Elven Archer, Glacial Shard, Abusive Sergeant), and these are often better played when you can get value out of their battlecries. You can choose to keep these cards in the mulligan but not play them on turn 1, to give your hand some flexibility in the first few turns, especially if you have at least one other card to keep.
Another consideration is your opponent’s class, especially when facing a rogue. Rogues often hero power on turn 2, and so I generally don’t like keeping one health minions against them. A lot of times when I’m playing rogue my opponent will keep and play a Glacial Shard on 1, and I’m usually pretty happy about that – I take 4 damage but gain a 1 card advantage and have 1 charge of dagger remaining – this is a trade I’m happy with since I will often be planning to dagger on 2 anyway. So personally I would often mulligan cards like Glacial Shard, Microtech Controller, and Eggnapper against rogue because their hero power deals with them so well (assuming I have a decent number of alternative early game cards in the deck to mulligan into).
Another card I see people use incorrectly (in my opinion) is Hallucination. The majority of my opponents will keep this card in the mulligan and play it on turn 1. I’ll explain why I think this is a mistake. Let’s look at the pros and cons of doing this:
· You utilise your 1 mana on turn 1 instead of potentially floating it
· You will sometimes adapt your game plan depending on what you get (for example, if you highroll and hit a hero card, you can play a control game and aim to win with late game value
· You can find a curve play for the next couple of turns if you don’t have one
· On turn 1 you generally don’t know what you want – could be single target removal, burst, value, aoe, etc. If you save Hallucination for later, more of the game has unfolded and you can pick something specific to the situation
· You lose a 1 mana card which is a good activator for your combo cards – SI: Agent, Elven Minstrel, Vilespine Slayer, Crazed Chemist etc. The spell component is also occasionally relevant for things like Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Mana Addict, Mana Wyrm (RIP)
· If you keep Hallucinate in the mulligan, you are less likely to hit the early game cards already in your deck.
I think the downsides of keeping and playing Hallucinate outweigh the positives so I almost always mulligan it and look for my early game cards. You could apply similar arguments to Shadow Visions and Primordial Glyph, which are also cards I wouldn’t often keep (again, deck dependent), however I think it is more excusable to play them early when you have no other play because utilising two mana you would have to spend later is a much bigger deal than the one mana for Hallucination (and also mage and priest don’t have combo cards to activate).
What cards do I play around and when?
When do you play around cards that your opponent might be holding? The very short answer is – “when you can afford to”. In the early game you mainly want to follow your own game plan, you just want to make the strongest play on board each turn to try to gain an advantage. You generally should always take favourable and equal trades in the early game, to play around buffs like Abusive Sergeant, Shattered Sun Cleric, and particularly Deathspeaker. You should almost always take even trades in the early game (like trading a 3/3 into the opponent’s 3/3), because the Deathspeaker punish if you go face can be game breaking. The exceptions are if you can hide your minion behind a taunt to prevent that trade from happening, or otherwise gain an advantage (e.g. freezing his minion). But don’t ignore a trade just for the sake of 3 face damage, it’s almost never worth it.
Play around the commonly picked cards in the meta when you can still make a strong play while doing it. For example, you want to try to deny a turn 5 Fungalmancer by only leaving one minion max on your opponent’s board. But, if you have to hero power and pass instead of playing your 4 drop to do this, then it’s not worth it, and you just have to hope the opponent doesn’t have it. Always make strong plays on board, don’t play too defensively or give too much respect to certain cards. Usually there is some card or card combo your opponent can have to wreck you, but if you don’t make strong plays then they can beat you with just regular curve plays.
Certain cards you can almost never play around – like Dragonslayer, The Black Knight, weapon removal cards. It sucks when they hit but you just have to accept it and move on. Only play around it if you have an equivalent play of the same strength available (like playing a Blackwald Pixie instead of Nightmare Amalgam on turn 3 to play around Dragonslayer/crabs, then maybe they will tempo play their Dragonslayer before you have to play it). Only worry about Mind Control Technician if again you have a very similar play which avoids it, or you are very far ahead and can afford to play sub-optimally to prevent the potential swing.
On the subject of tech cards, if you are holding them yourself you have to decide when it is worth saving them and when you should hold them to try to find their intended target. This depends on what stage of the game you are at, how likely it is they will find a target in a relevant timeframe, and how strong the card is independently without activating its affect.
Dragonslayer for example, is perfectly fine as a 4 mana 4/3, so if you have no alternative 3 drop to play on turn 3 you should almost certainly play it for tempo. Likewise, Corrosive Sludge is a perfectly decent 5 drop that you should probably play for tempo if you don’t have an alternative, unless it is shaping up to be a very slow control matchup vs a weapon class. On the other hand, cards like E.M.P Operative and Scorp-o-matic are so weak for their mana cost if you don’t make use of their battlecries that you will usually want to keep them in hand to try to find a target. If both players have empty hands and you are in a topdecking war then you are pretty unlikely to find a target and should just tempo play anything with a semi-reasonable body.
The further you are ahead in the game, the more you can afford to play around things. If Deathwing is the only card in the game you can lose to, then play around it (if possible), especially if the opponent has a suspiciously weak turn after you killed his Bone Drake…
When you are ahead, play around the commonly picked removal and aoe cards for each class. You should check out Hsreplay.net to see how often cards are picked so you can judge when to play around them. For example, at time of writing Warpath is in 66% of warrior decks, with an average of 1.4 copies per deck. So if you are on board and dictating play, this is a card you should prioritise playing around, particularly when your opponent has been holding a few cards for a long time. Check their mana available for the following turn to count how much aoe damage it would do, and plan accordingly so that something on your side survives.
Also, at higher wins you can expect your opponents to have strong decks, so they are more likely to have the premium cards for their class (and neutrals) and you should usually give more consideration to playing around them.
The further behind you are in a game, the more risks you should take. At some points you will basically not play around anything, and just hope your opponent has nothing useful if it’s the only way you can win.
Playing to your outs
Always think about how you can actually win the game. If you are an aggressive deck, you pushed some early damage but feel like your opponent is about to gain control of the board, then it might be time to give up on the board and go face. Then you hope to topdeck the damage you need to close out the game. This is often better than fighting a losing battle on board and inevitably losing on value over a few turns. You should consider the board state, your cards in hand, remaining cards in your deck, and the number of cards your opponent has when making this decision.
Likewise, if you are far behind on board you need to think about what cards in your deck can actually save you. Playing vanilla minions on board might just lead to a slower death, whereas maybe you would be better to play a draw card like Loot Hoarder to try and topdeck your aoe spell to get you back in the game. Or you might need a hail Mary from a discover card, or Bone Drake into Deathwing etc. If you are too far behind to regain the board by normal plays, then you might aswell pray to RNGesus by playing your random effect cards instead of stronger minions which will still leave you far behind on board.
The disasters & avoiding tilt
You need to play a lot of games to even qualify for the arena leaderboard (30 runs minimum), and assuming you also need to average around 7 wins, that’s around 300 games played for the month. At say 8 minutes a game, that’s 40 hours of play. I believe that’s a longer grind than even hitting legend after the old reset to rank 16. No matter how well you play, you are going to have some bad runs in that time due to unlucky drafts or just bad rng in game.
Last month, after going pretty well for the first 20 runs of the season, the 0-3 police caught up to me. I drafted what I thought was a pretty reasonable priest deck, maybe a touch on the greedy side but I would rather that for a priest deck than going too light. My previous priest run was a probably weaker deck that went 10-3, so I was fairly optimistic. That optimism did not last long. First opponent was a pretty strong warrior deck, it was a reasonable game but I was behind the whole game and eventually died before I could stabilise. Fine, sometimes you run into strong decks at 0-0, nothing to worry about.
My 0-1 opponent was another warrior. He had in his deck (in no particular order) Forge of Souls, Woodcutter’s Axe, Fiery War Axe, double Supercollider, Militia Commander, Cruel Taskmaster, Kor’kron Elite, Darius Crowley, Battle Rage, Omega Assembly, and a bunch of premium neutrals like Shroom Brewer, Nesting Roc, Violet Wurm, Gilnean Royal Guard. Probably one of the strongest decks I’ve seen in arena at any win count, let alone 0-1. Needless to say, I got destroyed on both tempo and value.
Last opponent was a shaman, who Unstable Evolutioned into Lich King on turn 6, I couldn’t clear so he killed my 7 drop with Obliterate, followed up with Death & Decay to clear my board after I dealt with Lich King. This put me miles behind but eventually I regained board on about 7 health partly due to a dirty Dragonslayer hitting his Bone Drake. With me on board he pretty much passed his next turn, which pretty much told me the dragon he has is either Temporus (unplayablein that situation), or Deathwing. But he has other cards in hand he doesn’t play either, so it’s almost certainly Deathwing and he’s baiting me to throw out more cards before playing it. I have two Mind Controls and a Shadow Visions in the bottom half of my deck, no taunts in hand, no deathrattles and no card draw, so I can’t play around Deathwing even though I know it’s coming. He Deathwings me next turn and I die to it on the following turn. I’m definitely not bitter about it or anything though, absolutely not…. It’s just a character building experience…..right?….
Ok so that might have been a bit of a rant, but the point is you are going to have some shockingly bad luck at some point, and you need to try and not let it affect you. My main advice would be that after a bad run, or even just a bad game, take a break rather than queuing up again. Whether it’s 5 minutes or a break until the next day is up to you. I don’t think I’m particularly susceptible to tilt, but often my bad drafts are clustered within the same day or couple of days, which suggests that even if I don’t realise it, I’m playing badly after my bad results. I often don’t take this advice, because the temptation after a bad result is to try and ‘recover your losses’, but if you want to get a good leaderboard ranking it is probably the wise choice. It is probably also a good idea to change classes to help reset your mentality and get the previous run out of your head.
Stats for Rank 1 EU November 2018
Class Runs Average 12 win runs
Rogue 14 9.2 4
Warrior 9 9.7 4
Warlock 3 3.7 0
Priest 2 5 0
Mage 2 12 2
Druid 1 12 1
Total 30 8.97 11
I did not play Shaman, Hunter or Paladin, because they were rated the lowest on winrates and I was tryharding for a good ranking. You shouldn’t always go with the statistically strongest classes because personal preference can make more of a difference, but I decided to play it safe after getting a very good start to the season.
Some highlights stats
My single Druid run went 12-0, making me undefeated with druid for the season (what do you mean irrelevant sample size?). One Warrior draft also went 12-0.
Winstreak of 22 games with a Druid and two Rogue drafts.
Winstreak of 25 games with a Mage, Warrior and Rogue draft.
Most consecutive 12 win runs = 3 – all Rogue drafts.
My first 0-3 run in at least 198 arena runs (since before records began), yay!
Best 15 consecutive runs average 9.73 (15 of the first 16 runs of the season).
One more win in any run would have given me a nice even 9.0 average for the season.
My most hated arena cards
What I hate most in arena is massive game swinging effects which either can’t, or shouldn’t, be played around. So I thought I would take a moment to just mention those cards which have that special place in my heart, reserved for things I truly despise. So it will probably come as no surprise that my most hated cards are – the ever-present Mind Control Technician, “it’s just a fleshwound” The Black Knight, and the thankfully rotating next expansion Dragonslayer. These cards can just be so destructive when they hit, and are so impactful that often it makes all of the decisions you made in those games irrelevant to the outcome. I would love to see these kind of cards removed from arena for good (I doubt this will ever happen though).
In a similar vein, I dislike most ‘tech’ cards in arena, Hungry Crab/Golakka Crawler, although not quite to the same extent as those above since the minions they remove are usually smaller and not as game swinging. E.M.P Operative would have made the list but fortunately the stats and mana cost are so prohibitively bad that it is very rarely picked (good job everyone). Weapon removal I feel is more reasonable, because most weapons have just 2 charges and you will usually use 1 charge the turn you equip it, so losing 50% of your card’s value to a tech card isn’t quite as painful.
Shout outs to arena streamers
I would just like to give a brief shout out to some great arena streamers who helped me to improve as a player, from when I started four years ago until now. There are many other good streamers out there too, but I’ve picked out the ones who I believe influenced me the most.
· Trump – the one and only mayor of Valuetown
· ADWCTA & Merps – developers of heartharena.com and the Heartharena tier list
· Educated Collins – super chilled streamer who very nearly won the Goldrush challenge
· Shadybunny – great analytical player
· Dreads – the untiltable… Dreadnought? (sorry ran out of descriptions, but nice guy and great arena player)
That’s all people, thanks for reading and I hope you found the guide useful. If you have any questions please leave in the comments and I’ll try to answer to the best of my ability. Hope you’re all having fun in the Rastakhan arena and I’ll hopefully see you in there. Cheers!
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