End Year Arena Ranks

End Year Arena Ranks

In 2015, I became a Hearthstone Arena player. During my first year (December 2013 and most of 2014), I was testing the waters. I played a lot of Ranked games to try to get Legend. I played Casual. I even joined an online tournament for two weeks. I played Arena too, but it was something I never put as my main focus.

And then for whatever reason, I became fixated on the Arena. Maybe the Ranked meta had me facing aggro every game and I got tired of the struggle. Maybe I was up for the challenge of the seemingly difficult environment. I started watching Arena-only players stream games, and podcasts. I used drafting tools. All in all, I became an Arena player in 2015.

Though an Arena player, I am by no means good, and this progress report will glean on what is going on in my Arena experience.

Overall average wins: 4.91, n=225  – Once upon a time, I ran a 5.14 average or so. I spent most of 2015 somewhere around 5, sometimes above, sometimes below. 5 is the pseudo-infinite level, where with dailies, your winnings form the Arena can finance your runs every day. With the LoE expansion, my play has tanked a little, to the point where I sometimes can’t afford to play Arena everyday.

 

comic hamstring
Cutting through the competition.

Rogue – 5.8 wins/run – I’ve always found it weird that the only class I know how to play well in Hearthstone is the most complicated class. Because of my relative success playing Rogue, Valeera remains the only hero I will pick over anything else. A new trend since the LoE expansion has my Rogue average at 6.5 wins/run, and something a lot worse for every other class. My inability to adapt to other classes will likely continue this trend.

Mage – 5.0 wins/run – On paper, Mage seems the best arena class. Lots of removals around, and now Ethereal Conjurer! I possibly play Mage too slow and too reactive. My Mage average has always been above a 5 it seems, but I would need to adapt the gameplay to something faster perhaps, if I want to continue that.

Shaman – 4.8 wins/run – A bit of a surprise, considering Shamans are considered somewhat weak in the Arena. While still below-average, my Shaman play is something that I’m not particularly concerned about, and one that I think will gradually improve.

jainathrall
Hey my most average Arena classes in one romantic comic screen.

Warlock – 4.6 wins/run – Warlock is the class I think I’m good at, but am not really. My second-most played class after Rogue, the Warlock playstyle is one that I like a lot. I will use Life Tap when I can to maintain card advantage, while putting stuff out on the board. Like Shaman, I like playing Warlock, and think the win rate will gradually get better.

Paladin – 4.5 wins/run – Once Paladin was my best class. Now it is somewhat nosediving with really low win runs recently. Paladins are one of the easiest classes to play in Arena and Constructed, so this goes into the baffling issue with being best at Rogue. Yeah I can’t explain it. I will still play Paladin, if worse choices are offered.

Hunter – 4.2 wins/run – Hunters are at a crossroads in the Arena. Things are slower, and value picks are a bit better. This is troubling for the headlong aggro class. I like to think I can play Hunter well, but the win rates are a bit lower than Shaman and Warlock.

Druid – 3.8 wins/run – Druids are typically a solid arena class, but my own inability to play Druid (level 34!) in Constructed has permeated to not knowing how to play the class in general. This low win count could also be a product of small sample size, so I am willing to give Druids a bigger shot.

anduingarrosh
And now, my worst two arena classes! (Minus Jaina)

Priest – 3.2 wins/run – Priests are the true draft-dependent class, which will make or break it in the end. I recently had the 0-3 police get me for a Priest run, so I may continue to avoid Anduin when picking.

Warrior – 2.8 wins/run – The worst class in the Arena got some help with the new cards, which makes Warrior much more competitive. People are still not playing Warriors, but when they do, the games a bit closer. Still bad, but one I am willing to play more, unlike Priest.

Going forward

Even with the lull in Hearthstone content, I will continue playing predominantly Arena. This month has me at my highest Constructed Rank of 8, and it seems I’m hitting a wall at every number. So, I will try to get better and back to a 5 win average.

defias
Every good Rogue run requires at least one Defias Ringleader.
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The Most Annoying Minions in Hearthstone

All minions in Hearthstone are not created equal. There are different characters, with different stat points, with different effects, and with different art and voiceovers. Thanks to the advent of netdecking and drafting tools, certain cards will be faced on the battlefield significantly more than others. All of this shapes how we perceive cards in Hearthstone. It is likely that anyone who plays Hearthstone has opinions on minions, just like they would in any game. In Diablo III, I have a preference of playing Demon Hunter. In Borderlands 2, I have a preference of playing Gaige. In Final Fantasy VII, I liked having Cid in my party.

In my nearly 2-year history of playing Hearthstone, some cards just make me say/think “not this again.” With this thought in mind, I sought to find the most annoying Hearthstone minions, in my opinion. Some factors that go into my judging of annoyance include frequency of minion seen, it’s relative effectiveness as being a pest, and it’s voiceover/quotes. My frequency of playing a certain class will also influence what goes in this list (i.e. no Rogue staples).

Honorable mention – Mysterious Challenger – If I was a decent ranked player, or even a Hearthstone player who plays a lot of ranked, this guy would definitely crack the Top 10. A 6/6 for 6 mana with the potential to put out 6 more mana worth of secrets is just ridiculous. Otherwise, the MC is not particularly annoying voice-wise or what he says.

Honorable mention – Undertaker – A former most annoying card that got buried in history with a big time nerf. It was so unbalanced that it was common to see a 2/3 + 1-drop on turn 1 or a 3/4 + 2 1-drops on turn 2. If you played Hearthstone back in the day, hearing “Bring out your dead” was likely heard in a nightmare at some point. The “Skeletor undead” voice is a little annoying but not bad in the overall spectrum.

10. Voidcaller – The Voidcaller itself only makes on the list due to it’s amazing effect. A Warlock could put out some really big demons right off the bat, or put out a no-cost Doomguard with charge. Like other demons, the voice is not annoying and is just hammy.

9. Armorsmith – A fairly staple Warrior 2-drop that provides virtually endless armor. Control Warrior decks are annoying in the same way that Priest decks are (before Dragon), they revolve on completely reactionary gameplay, and there is nothing proactive. Just sit and armor up and ping here and Execute here, and armor up some more. Armorsmith plus Whirlwind plus Death’s Bite just adds layers and layers of armor that make the Warrior untouchable. There isn’t anything annoying about the voice.

8. Cabal Shadow Priest – When I first played Hearthstone, I thought Priests were the most annoying class. I believe they did nothing but steal things from you. This is a completely valid mindset. As Priest got better class cards, this stealing happened less and less. Well, it still does with Cabal Shadow Priest. This card isn’t that annoying if you have cards in hand, but it is the worst in a topdeck situation, and your only minion is stolen. The voice isn’t annoying at all, and is actually a decent medium-deep female voice.

7. Mad Scientist – The meta-dominating classes all use secrets, and no wonder Mad Scientist makes the grade. Like Voidcaller, you don’t really want to kill it off, but then you don’t have a choice when it starts trading with your minions or going face. Annoyance perpetuated by aggro decks. The voice is hammy that is a bit entertaining and just a tad annoying.

6. Murloc Knight – Murloc Knight is often referred to as “adorable.” But then your opponent’s board just fills up, and good luck coming back from that. The only saving grace is that people would put Murloc Knight out on Turn 4 or 5 sometimes just for tempo or not expecting you can handle it that turn. When aggro Murloc decks were strong in the meta, I found murloc noises the most annoying thing ever. Now, they are just a novelty. The Murloc Knight has a high-pitched murloc noise, which makes it a little more annoying.

5. Harrison Jones – Oh gawd. Nothing like losing a poisoned weapon you’ve been saving up for the Blade Flurry to this guy. Your opponent breaks your weapon, draws cards, and has a decent body on the board. I find the “That belongs in a museum!” call annoying in it’s pedantic tone. Like an annoying teacher who nags you too much. It doesn’t help the depicted art is some creepy guy.

4. Mechwarper – A staple mech that makes this list primarily thanks to Mech Mage decks. For all the powercreep discussion on Ice Rager and Evil Heckler, this card was actually a powercreep to a bunch of cards like Razorfen Hunter, Defias Ringleader, and Murloc Tidehunter. For 2 mana, you could play a 2/3 and a 2/1 (Clockwork Gnome), better than the before mentioned cards. Anywho, the potential to put out a wall of cheap mechs like Annoy-o-tron on turn 2 is annoying. It also has that “annoying robot voice.”

3. Knife Juggler – I’ve long hated Knife Juggler. For one, the annoying, high-pitched gnome voice is just grating to hear for me. My disdain for Knife Juggler is primarily because of it’s inclusion in aggro decks. It is rightfully good and justifiably used.

2. Leper Gnome – Aggro decks are like the New England Patriots. Year after year, they are very good, and they do it with overlooked players. The Leper Gnome is that unassuming little guy that does a lot for an aggro deck. Leper Gnomes are the Julian Edelman/Danny Woodhead/Wes Welker of Hearthstone. It’s annoyance is bolstered by the annoying gnome voice, and it’s auto-inclusion for aggro. Yes, everyone knows you feel icky.

  1. Shielded Minibot – You are playing against a Paladin. Doesn’t matter if it’s Constructed or Arena. Doesn’t matter what type of deck. You know it’s coming. You more than likely can’t kill it this turn (especially on Turn 1). It also has that annoying robot voice on Mechwarper. Understandably, the Paladin has nothing to do on Turn 2, so that is why it is in every deck.

So that’s my list of the most annoying minions in Hearthstone. Agree? Disagree?