Introduction: Comprehensive Guide to Legend in Hearthstone

Greetings Traveler,

This guide is aim to help players in achieving the rank of legend, Whether you are a standard player or a wild player. I hope you would enjoy it!

You will need

- Understanding the basic concepts of hearthstone such as value, tempo and win condition etc.

- Lots of time, typically 30+ hours every month, depending on your win rate and the decks you play

- Enough dust to piece together at least a top tier deck in the current meta

Step 1: Understanding the Meta

There are generally 4 major archetypes in hearthstone when it comes to deck building.

Aggro, fast decks that are designed to control the board early and finish off the opponent with burst

Defining aggro decks

  • Zoo
  • Aggro Shaman
  • Aggro Paladin

Control, decks that aims to removes opponents minion early and win with late game threats

Defining control decks

  • Control Warrior
  • N'zoth Paladin
  • Hand lock ( Pre-molten giant nerf)

Combo, decks that rely very heavily on card synergy to gain advantage and finishing games

Defining combo decks

  • Combo Druid (pre FoN Nerf)
  • Patron Warrior
  • OTK decks

Mid ranged, decks that plays strong mid game minions and win by tempoing out your opponent

Defining combo decks

  • Mid ranged hunter
  • Mid ranged Shaman
  • Tempo warrior

These four deck archetypes exist in every meta, because they counter each other, control counters aggro, aggro counters mid ranged, mid ranged counter control etc. However, some deck archetypes are favored in certain meta because of the cards released the previous expansion, such as the pre nerf undertaker aggro meta, a brief period of control meta after the release of Whisper of the Old Gods, or Mid ranged/Combo heavy meta where pre nerf patron warrior and combo druid dominated the scene. Therefore, Identifying the top tier decks in every meta is the key to success.

The meta snapshot of Tempostorm provides in depth observation and explanation of the meta every couple weeks, it will give you a rough idea about the meta in the ladder.

Step 2: Using a Deck Tracker

1) Download and use a deck tracker

Tracking cards in your deck as well as your opponents are a very underrated part of hearthstone. Knowing what cards are left in your deck is extremely important especially when you are playing decks such as freeze mage and miracle rogue. In hearthstone, every bits of information is important, using a deck tracker allows you to have access to information that is often times overlooked.

Here are the two deck trackers that I recommend

if you want all the basic tracking tools

If you want a more visually appealing tracker

Deck trackers are completely legit according to blizzard, just click on the download link of the respecting platform and you are all set!

2) Check your overall win rate after the season ends

Check your stats when the season ends, it would give you a rough idea on how much time you take to get legend.

Step 3: Grinding for Ranks

Now this is the step that separates the dedicated " I want to get to legend player" from " I just wanna get that dang sweet ranked 5 chest player". Generally speaking, the amount of time you need to get legend from ranked 5 is mostly equivalent to the amount of time you spent from getting to ranked 5 after the season reset. Though it's only a difference of 5 ranks, this is what makes the push to legend extremely exhausting for many players.

Interesting article about time to reach legend vs win rate

  • Ranking up with a mind set of improving yourself

The other important aspect of ranking up in hearthstone is the ladder anxiety, the fear of losing ranks. it is extremely helpful if you convince yourself that you are playing to improve your skill instead of gaining ranks. This way losses wouldn't hit as hard because you know you are improving every game you play, and the better you get, the easier it is to rank up.

Here's an article about combating ladder anxiety

Strategies for ranking up

1) Play aggro decks lower ranks (it changes as the season progresses, but generally they are rank 25 ~ 13)

This particular range of ranks is filled with many random and unrefined decks. It is your best interest to avoid playing reactive decks, because it is hard to play around random stuff in a reactive way. Play aggro decks and close out the game as early as possible to prevent any shenanigans.

2) Try out different decks in mid tier ranks (rank 12~5 rank 5)

This is the point where you will start to see more and more refined decks in play. Start playing different decks and explore their strengths and weaknesses, so you will be more comfortable when you play against them in higher ranks.

3) Play the deck you are most comfortable with in higher ranks ( rank 5~ legend)

Players in this range of ranks are extremely skillful, they can punish even you for every mistake you make. Playing the deck you are most comfortable with reduce the chance of you making a misplay, because you already have tons of experience playing with the deck.

Step 4: Looking Back at Your Plays

1) Take screenshots of tough decision turns

When facing a hard decision turn, take a screenshot of it, because often times 75 seconds are not enough for you to think through all the possible plays and outcomes.

2) After the game is finished, turn back and look at your screenshots , think through all the possibilities.

  • Did you make the best possible play in that situation?
  • Why the play you make wasn't the best play to make?
  • Could you have made a different play that would result in a different outcome of the game?

You can make yourself a better player just by reviewing your past plays.

Step 5: Tech Cards

Tech cards are situational cards that have below average stats but has the potential to have a very powerful effects when use correctly. Sometimes, a Kezan Mystic can single handedly win you a game versus freeze mage, but often time it is just a overpriced four mana 4/3 that gets contested easily by other minions.

Tech cards do lower the consistency of your deck, but it does improve your win rate versus the classes that you are teching for, so when to tech in cards depends on how popular the decks that you are teching in for. If warriors and shamans are running rampant, it is probably a good idea to put in a Harrison Jones or a ooze in deck.

Some neutral tech choices examples

  • Ooze ( for weapon heavy meta)
  • Harrison Jones ( for weapon heavy meta)
  • Eater of Secrets ( If mage and hunter becomes a top tier class)
  • Kezan mystic (If mage and hunter becomes a top tier class)
  • Crazed alchemist ( Only run this if you are playing aggro decks and in a control heavy meta)
  • Big game hunter ( I used to run it in every deck when it cost 3 mana, but since blizzard made it 5 mana and boom got rotated out, it is hardly ever tech in decks besides Reno lock)
  • Elise Starseeker ( Increase your odds in control vs control matchup)
  • Black knight ( In heavy control/taunt meta)

So when to tech in cards in your deck and how much should you tech for?

Ask yourself the following question

1) Do you come across the match up very often

If you don't encounter that particular match up very often, say one in every 20 game, it is better to just take the loss against that match up instead of lowering your deck consistency.

2) Is the match up already favored towards your side?

If your deck is already favored in the match up, don't tech in cards. How often do you see control warrior teching in cards like Kezan Mystic agaisnt freeze mage? Never, because they are already favored in the match up, and tech cards are supposed to help you against unfavorable match ups

3) Does the tech choice lower the deck consistency by a huge margin?

Choosing which card in your deck to replace with tech cards is a very tough decision to make, but the general rule of thumb is to choose a slot that has the lowest impact to the overall consistency of the deck to be replaced.

Step 6: Have Fun

Keeping the fun in the game is what keeps the laddering experience worth while, don't fall into the trap of letting the ladder take away the fun from you!