Grinding Tools

February 2016 was a rather unusual month for me Hearthstone-wise. I’ve considered myself an arena player for quite some time, and expect to play plenty in the future. But a baffling inability to win games in the arena forced me to turn to Ranked Play. And playing quite a few constructed games gave me a bit of insight into the grinder mindset.

Gory stats

Feb16 stats

Deck Tracker kept track of my games for the last month. The 93-72 record equates to a 56% win rate, which is only better than my Priest and Warrior arena records. It has been said that players can reach Legend with a low 50’s win rate, but only through quite a bit of grinding and some lucky win streaks. You just have to endure lots of losing, some winning, and need to have gobs of time to play Hearthstone.

  • As much as I like to complain about the Druid Combo, I don’t do the worst against them.
  • Mages were very predictable this month, allowing me to get quick reads and prepare well.
  • I didn’t lose to Rogues all month in Ranked!

Grinding Tools (Decks)

  • LiveHigh Tempo Rogue – (Ranks 20-8) – This deck did all the heavy lifting to get me through all the lower ranks. A Rogue deck with the Gadgetzan Auctioneer draw engine, Sabotage, Antique Healbots, and the surprise wildcard of Ragnaros. LiveHigh makes some amazing decks.
  • Kolento Aggro Shaman (Ranks 9-6) – The popular aggro/burn Shaman is common in competitive ranked play. Kolento’s Shaman in the Curse Trials is a board control-based version of the Burn Shaman with Antique Healbots, Elemental Destruction, Lightning Storm and Hexes.
  • Brann Reliquary Warlock (Ranks 12-9) – I crafted Gormok this month, and decided to make a Warlock deck. I previously enjoyed the Reliquary Deck, but the addition of Brann Bronzebeard was new to me. My variation of the deck contains Enhance-o-Mechano and Gormok, so it is slightly slower than the average flood Warlock.
  • Ryzen Oil Rogue (Ranks 8-6) – Ryzen’s Oil Deck has the classic look of the Oil Rogue you have seen for ages, but with Edwin VanCleef and Sludge Belcher.
  • My Reno Rogue (Waffling in Rank 6) – This is the Reno Rogue I made myself, which can use some solid tweaking. While it is useless against the lower ranks during a season grind, it won about 50% of the games in Rank 6.
  • J4CKIECHAN Injured Camel (Ranks 7-6) – I fell off Rank 6 on the last day of the season. So I spent Leap Day getting back to Rank 6 with this new flash in the pan Hunter deck. A completely surprise of a deck, which features Desert Camel summoning a 2/4 Injured Kvaldir from the deck. A board control-based deck that baffles opponents while it is still new. I ran out of steam often with this deck, unless I had my Cult Master on the board.

What I learned

I put some time in Constructed the last month, and I got my best rank ever. This is what I learned.

  • A big component of Ranked is the element of surprise. When someone comes in playing a deck you don’t expect, you can’t play around things or make correct reads. While the tried-and-true meta decks you see over and over are effective and popular for a reason, you can make better reads against them.
  • It takes a different animal to succeed in the grind for Legend. I have somewhat diminished game stamina now, and am occupied with work. No wonder the top Hearthstone players don’t have jobs!
  • I can’t wrap my head around playing the same deck for a whole season. The Tempo Rogue got me far, but when I started losing games, I turned to other decks to keep pushing my rank up. Keep cycling your decks to prevent things from getting stale.
Hearthstone Screenshot 03-01-16 08.47.00
Hearthstone Screenshot 02-02-16 23.25.35
I decided to craft Ragnaros on February 2nd. It paid off big time! But then I got one in a pack a week later.
Hearthstone Screenshot 02-20-16 21.32.18
Surprising effective anti-aggro move.
Hearthstone Screenshot 02-17-16 20.39.11
4 Coghammers for the price of none.
Hearthstone Screenshot 02-28-16 01.00.40
I guess there’s a reason Aviana costs 9.



4 thoughts on “Grinding Tools

    1. I had a 50% win rate with it in Rank 6 and 7, so definitely viable for those ranks. I actually had fun playing Hunter with the deck, as it is different from a Face deck, and it was a good element of surprise with it being new. The problem with it is that I ran out of steam really fast, but if you get a Cult Master out, the game is essentially won.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It got a lot of press from Reddit and now appears to be Hearthpwn front page material. The ladder might be overrun by this deck already! But best enjoy it before standard hits later in the month, most likely.

        Liked by 1 person

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