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I've not managed a win of this magnitude before
Winning with emotion

It's rare for me to manage to get that many high-strength cards out at once. To get them out _and_ a Stormwind Champion to boost them all - not managed that at all. Needless to say, my next turn was nasty, brutal, and short.

Also, I feel good about getting to rank 19. Getting to rank 20 is easy, as wins move you up while losses do nothing to your standing. But once you're there you have to win more games than you lose to claw your way up to the next rank. Against players who may well have better cards than you. The mismatch there puts me off the rankings - but arena play, which uses a random set of cards, is still great fun. Which, presumably, is why they try to charge for it.

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.

Ah that looks familiar. The spousal unit is playing that all the damn time. His username is Halfshadow#1458. If you see him around, tell him to log off and do the dishes already feel free to say hello.

Nice win... but whoa... I've got to call you for strategy there. You're against a paladin so your big risk is a card like equality and its combo with wild pyromancer. He has cards in hand and it's game over for you. Even without both, just equality messes with you if all your big hitters are on table and then he has five cards in hand and you have nothing.

Some of the skill of hearthstone is learning when not to play your cards. Your opponent would be just as dead if you had just put two or three of those big guys out there and taken a few more turns to get a less decisive kill -- if he zaps one, fine, you've got another to play. When I play sometimes I'm keeping cards in hand looking at the guy with two big cards on the table thinking "put a third down and you're toast".

Hope you don't take this the wrong way because it really does feel good to get the big thump down on someone but I think you took a bit of risk to do so.

Oh by the way if, like me, you play without paying (once or twice I paid for an arena run) then a good tip is if you get a 40 gold quest then zap it to try to get a 60 or 100 gold quest. It never occurred to me, you might already know it. If you get the right quests you can get an arena run every day without grinding too much and arena runs mean cards. (Arena is TOUGH! Still my best run is 5 and more often I get just 3).

Edit: I really hope this doesn't sound bitchy and patronising. It is an honest desire to help. I think my game play picked up when I started to think more about what not to play.

Edited at 2014-06-01 02:07 am (UTC)

Oh, no, I appreciate the advice. I've been getting much better at not playing cards early on, and being willing to take damage in order to get myself lined up better for a future round. Not there yet though :->

Much more of an issue against some enemies than others.

I just finished a game where a mage played "four damage to all of enemy" (flamestrike) taking out three minions and damaging the other. It would have been game winning if I hadn't held back a couple. It's always tempting though when you have stompy creatures in hand and mana to spare.

This guide is pretty good.

These are a couple of decent general strategy articles which you might find useful:

I don't much rate icy-vein's deck building or arena tiers, but their general advice is great.

Trump's arena tiers are generally spot on though -

I got to 10 in arena the other day, I couldn't believe it :D (I got really lucky on the draw though - three Truesilver weapons, 2 Consecrates, and Raggy)

Christ... you must have been on the edge of your seat. I find arena runs very exciting when they go well.

I usually start getting tingly when I get to 5 or 6, or about 3 if I get there with no losses. I hadn't been tracking win/loss rates before this conversation, although having done so since my feeling that I was averaging around 4 turned out to be about right.

I'm at two losses, five wins now, so wish me luck ;)

2/6 now - won the last one at 1 health. *fans self*

And lost :( Another really close match though, we were top-decking it for about 5 turns....

Any tips? I am averaging 3-3 which is pretty poor really... I am wondering if I get the mana curve right. I know my card play is not dreadful because I do OK in ranked but that is using constructed decks where I have a chance to look at what works and "tweak" (and begin by stealing decks from those posted on the net).

How do you judge mana curve and balance of spells/minions?

Generally you want a lower mana curve than in constructed. Good 2-drops can make or break the game. Weapons are stronger in arena, as there's much less chance you'll meet an ooze. Taunters are rarely worth it except taz'tingo and and sunwalker.

Hero choice makes a big difference - paladin or mage should be your first choice even though they're fairly mediocre in constructed, as they rely much less on combos than other classes, and the mage hero power is really strong. 2nd best is rogue or druid, again for the hero powers.

I use trump's tier lists ( as a rough guide, although I think leper gnome and abusive sergeant are better than he does.

Interesting. I rely heavily on taunts because that's how my constructed decks tend to work though obviously they're less "value" than non-taunt if they're just going to attack. I've seen that trump list before... I'll look at it again.

My "lower" mana curve you mean fewer cheap minions or more cheap minions. (Sorry, I don't know whether you mean that the average cost is lower or that the "peak height" is lower). I'd been playing with, on average, higher cost minions because arena games are less likely to be over super early because you're not going to hit a tightly constructed overwhelming aggro deck that takes you down in just a few turns -- so you're more likely to get into the end game or top-decking where you'd far rather draw something costing 6 or 7 than somethign costing 1 or 2.

I mean more cheap minions. It's true that you won't meet very tight aggro decks, but more choice early on makes it more likely that you'll get into the end game with card advantage.

Thanks. That's the opposite of what I expected but I guess also because it's not constructed people are less likely to have mass deck-clear so it's more feasible to have a bunch of cheap minions out there. Interesting... seems my strategy was exactly wrong.

Thanks for tips, really helped -- first arena run after I equalled my best run and the three I lost two were card play faults on my part and the enemy was down to 1 both times.

Up until the previous round he'd been knocking them down as fast as I was setting them up, and generally had one less card than me out there. I finally got the upper hand one turn previously, and got out the third large one.

I didn't need the Stormwind, I agree. But I couldn't resist at that point.

Don't think I've encountered Wild Pyromancer more than once. Presumably because I'm playing at a significantly lower level than you.

Fair enough -- I was just being pedantic really -- it's a hard toss up between playing a card (and risking the big beat down) and holding back and risking being whittled away.

Heh, Becca and I are currently addicted to Hearthstone too. I have yet to try climbing the rankings much - collecting cards first.

Email me your username - I should challenge you to a game some time!

It is super-fun getting them all lined up like that :) I mostly play very very aggressive decks, so don't really have any big minions, but the one or two control decks I do play do lead to tbe more exciting end turns :)

Oh, and it's worth knowing that getting to rank 19 today is much more impressive than at any other time, because with the season having just reset, a lot of the people you'll be playing against are those who were ranking a lot higher yesterday, and haven't had time to work their way back up yet.

Hah -- that is very true. I was at rank 16 IIRC before the reset and now I'm losing regularly at 19 and 20.

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