December, the First 2016 Blizzcon Season: How I Am Preparing Myself

Hi guys, how is it going? Today I am going to bring a slight different subject to the table: How I am preparing myself for December’s season, which is the first season worth of points for the 2016’s Blizzcon Qualifiers. On this quick article I am going to be telling you guys how I prepared […]

Introduction

Hi guys, how is it going? Today I am going to bring a slight different subject to the table: How I am preparing myself for December’s season, which is the first season worth of points for the 2016’s Blizzcon Qualifiers.

On this quick article I am going to be telling you guys how I prepared myself in order to compete at my maximum this season, everything I did and the arrangements I had to do, including what I think I still need to do during this season to be able to reach a safe point cap.

November Season

The november season started out pretty slow for me, I only started to care around november 10 when I started pushing for Legend. Thankfully, the experience I have with most decks is very high so even when I don’t care I am still able to win a lot of games, so I was already rank 5 when I started to play to get to know different decks. During the whole season I played a lot of decks I have never played before, such as Control Shaman, Reno Decks,  Aggro (Raptor) Rogue, and other various lists. The thing about learning how to play these lists is that you also learn how to counter them, and also in case they are not so popular and out of nowhere get a huge buff (like, let’s say Control Shaman) you have an edge over other players for knowing how to play it better, thus winning more games than others.

I got to Legend around day 12, when I started playtesting a lot of decks. It is important to note how this season’s only players who cared reached Legend, meaning all the testing I did before reaching that point is nearly meaningless. And why do I say that? Well, I know that during december’s season I will only be playing against those players, they don’t commit misplays as often as the people I faced during my Legend grind so any data I have during that grind won’t be as accurate (I win a lot more during the grind than when I reach the actual Legend rank, the difference numbers are so high they can’t even be compared, something like 85% win-rate before Legend, 55% in Legend).

Information is Important!

The Legendary ladder in December’s season will be brutal. Everyone will be trying too hard to be at the top of the Ladder, so getting to have information on decks you are about to face is very important. Reading websites daily and gathering information before entering the Ladder is deciding as many players will be picking up successful decks in the Legendary ladder rather than playing random decks, at most doing small tech changes to them to fit their playstyle (most of the times, these changes are wrong).

There are three Netdeck phases and you have to pay very close attention to this(this applies mostly to Legend rank):

  • First Phase – The deck is published, the author reached a very high Legendary rank with it, during the first hour or two people who play this deck will also be successful with it, sometimes even highly successful, reaching equal ranks.
  • Second Phase – The deck is already known, it has been over 5 hours since it has been published and now everyone is playing it and the success rate of this deck has decreased greatly.
  • Third Phase – Preying on the players still playing this other-time-successful-deck, people are now playing counters to this deck more often, this 3rd phase usually follows up with the beginning of a new first phase.

Knowing this and reading the time of the publishing you are able to pinpoint exactly what you should do, if the deck has just been published you should definitely play it, but if it has been over a few hours since it has been published, playing a deck that counters that specific deck is suggested.

An example in case you didn’t get what I say: Let’s say a Warrior Control list got to #1 Legend right now, I publish that list on /r/CompetitiveHS, you see that list and start playing it. Within a couple of hours you’ll see quite a lot of people playing that same list, and a few moments later the ladder will be filled with Midrange Druid.

At some point, as it usually happens, someone will publish a list of Midrange Druid that (surprise surprise!) reached a very high Legendary rank.

How I Plan on Doing my Grind

Luckily for deck builders like myself, we are just in the period of an Expansion release, meaning there will be chaos in the ladder and a lot of people playtesting decks during the Legend grind, I will take my time doing the grind as I will be testing new cards in deck lists that are already known to be very efficient.

In case you want a suggestion for a list to play, Thijs’s Dragon list is still very efficient in the early ranks grind, and is possibly the fastest way to get to rank 5.

After I reach rank 5, I will still be playtesting (brews!) and I will keep doing so until I reach the Legend rank, there I will then move to a tryharding point, where I will either play the most successful deck I had during the grind or (if I don’t have success doing so) start the process listed on the last section.

At some point I am probably to hit a very high position in the Legendary ladder, but different from other seasons I won’t keep playing just for the pleasure of it.

Once you reach a high Legendary rank, let’s say top 20 or top 10, it is best to only play a very small portion of games daily rather than an actual whole stream section. Usually, it is best to just play a couple of games daily to maintain your ranking (since a lot of people will be passing you daily). There are a lot of ways to play Hearthstone that don’t involve Ladder, and Open Points tournament are the best ways of doing so. Always try to look for tournaments that can give you Blizzcon points and play them, those tournaments are as important as playing the Ladder, won’t risk you losing points and you can easily playtest decks in them without the risk of getting destroyed and dropping miserably in the ladder.

During the last 2 days of season the “tryharding” level will go up, and if you are still by the top ranks within these days your rank will drop a lot faster than the other days of Season. My recommendation here, in case you have been sitting in the Rank and only playing to maintain it is that you simply let it be. You will start to face a lot of random players and decks that you didn’t face before, since it is the end of season and even bad players have reached the Legendary rank by now, you are bound to randomly lose to rank 2000 players playing completely random decks and simply throw all your Blizzcon points away. Keep in mind a top 50 spot is just fine and all you have to do is maintain the points coming the following seasons.

Of course, if you are not by the top ranks within the last 2 days of season, I recommend you to simply ignore the forums, the posts, the articles and everything else and play the deck you feel most comfortable with, because you’ll be facing a lot of randomness and everything said on the section before this one won’t be applied here.

Where information should be gathered

Usually, every bit of information about top Legend deck lists can be found in the subreddit /r/CompetitiveHS, which is this one right here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/CompetitiveHS/

I don’t know who started doing this, but it ended up being the standard place to post top deck list and to look for them.

In case you want a clearer but digested find, you can also come here to read the weekly top Legend articles, written by me and Stonekeep (who is starting to write similar articles to the weekly premium “Decks to Play” article series I have). Here is usually where you will find the best digested weekly report, with everything that happened on the ladder together with nice and different deck lists for you to both reach legend with as well as play during your Legend grind.

Conclusion

December grind will be awesome, I just can’t wait. I hope I was able to deliver the message of how I prepared myself for this next season, and I also hope you guys are able to prepare yourselves for it too!

Play different decks, learn their weaknesses, get to know how they work, counter them, get good lists, there a lot of things you can do to become a better Hearthstoneplayer :3

Love you cuties, see you later with this week’s Brews to Play!

Cuddles,

Nuba