HS Journal #2: Taking Stock

A weekly journal chronicling one certain Hearthstone player's quest to climb the ladder, survive the Arena, and maybe have some fun in the process.


Hey, guys! I’m Chriseroi, a relatively new Hearthstone player who started in June of 2015 and has been playing and enjoying it ever since as a high school student! Don’t write me off just yet, though; I love Hearthstone just as much as you guys and have been working my way up ever since I started. Thus, the full title isn’t actually “Hearthstone Journal,” but rather, “High School Journal.” While I heavily enjoy reading a lot of these guides on Hearthstone Players from various parts of the community, each of these guys seem to have some sort of luxury that I can’t afford, unfortunately, whether it be time, money, or both. I wanted to contribute to the community by giving you a peek inside my own little amusing journey, whether it’s climbing up the ladder, getting better at Arena, or even just me building up my collection. I really hope you enjoy reading these little journals every week as much as I enjoyed writing them!

This is part two of a weekly series. Be sure to read part one!

Interlude: Determination

Ah, the weekend. These are the days that any self-respecting student looks forward to so much over the course of each grueling week. Some spend it sleeping, eating; maybe even catching up on missed schoolwork. So what did I do over the weekend?

Well, I tried to enter an ESL Hearthstone tournament, of course.

Self-confidence isn’t exactly at an all-time high when you see this screen three times in a row.

Okay, so maybe I lost the first round. But my hopes were pretty high! It was a weekly Tavern Brawl tournament that ESL held every Sunday, and considering how good I thought I had gotten at that week’s Tavern Brawl (I had a six-game win streak! Six!), you probably could imagine my surprise when my first opponent won three times in a row.

Whoever willyoui007 was, he must be amazing if he could beat MiZ.

Of course, I took a look at the bracket afterwards, and it looked crazy. The person who beat me went on to get completely destroyed by another person, and he went on to play for a couple more rounds after that. If I already thought my first opponent was tough, who’s to say the rest of the competition wasn’t going to destroy me just as easily, if not more?

In other words, I had no chance from the start. Sorry, it’s kind of a bummer way to start the week, huh?

Collection Status

After carefully considering all of the comments from last week’s journal, I realized that waiting for what seems like (and could very possibly turn out to be) ages just to open two common cards was a bit outlandish of an idea to begin with in the first place; I mean, I’ve never even opened a third Piloted Shredder yet, and I’ve opened a lot of those! So with that in mind, I decided that after I craft Archmage Antonidas, I needed to start using my dust for more immediate purposes and craft cards that I desperately need to finish a deck. Of course, it doesn’t mean I should go crazy, but I definitely shouldn’t be overly frugal for no particular reason.

However, I can’t just bite the bullet so easily and craft my two Unstable Portals without even giving it another chance, first. Thus, I decided that I needed to open some GvG packs first and see if I can’t score at least one from them.

There’s only one real problem with that plan, though: although I’ve played Arena almost exclusively in order to build up my collection, I haven’t managed to receive any GvG packs as part of my awards for the past three weeks, and it’s starting to worry me if I’m ever going to get any in the future. Because I’m a little pressed for time, I’m going to buy three GvG packs every week in addition to the other packs I receive until I craft Archmage Antonidas. This way, I can keep up with all three sets without breaking the bank, and it’ll give me a higher chance of scoring the cards I need before resorting to crafting them.

Some crazy Innervate shenanigans on Turn 2 can really get you places with the right hand.

Even with all of the new cards from last week (Explosive Trap and Tuskarr Totemic being key cards for Hunter and Shaman decks), they’re certainly not enough for me to try a new deck, nor are they any useful in improving my Mage or Warlock decks. Oddly enough, most of the cards I need seem to lie in the Classic set, so while I wish even more we could choose which packs we receive in the Arena, I’ll just have to keep up the grind in order to hope I receive any new cards for either of these decks.

However, there is one new deck I would really like to try sometime in the future: it surfaced on the internet only a few days ago, but it shows incredible promise as it was taken to legend in only a few days.

LOKShadow OTK Warrior

This is one of the more interesting OTK decks I’ve seen throughout my time playing Hearthstone, as there are a lot of unique components to this deck that aren’t typically the norm.

Well, for one thing, it’s an amazingly cheap deck. With a cost of only 540 dust (!!!), it’s amazingly versatile as a deck that can take you to legend in such a short amount of time, as the author of this deck, lokshadow, did himself; it’s a very interesting and effective deck that many people can play, and it’s one that I’m very interested in trying out once I acquire an Armorsmith.

On top of that, unlike other OTK decks which includes duplicate combo pieces, this deck only includes 1 of each, and if executed properly, can be combo’d for up to 34 damage (with a weapon equipped)! To do this, you’d need deaths-bite + Raging Worgen + Cruel Taskmaster + 2x Inner Rage + Rampage + Charge = 34.

So how do you deal with the opponent until then? This is where this deck doubles as a standard Grim Patron deck, which serves two distinct purposes: board control and card draw. By deciding when to use Grim Patron for board control and when to save them for card draw through Battle Rage. This is distinguished mainly through deciding whether the opponent is using an aggro deck or a control deck, and is where the complicated nature of the deck shines most for unexperienced Grim Patron players. Against aggro decks, Grim Patron should certainly be used for board control, while against control decks, Grim Patron should be carefully used to get as much value out of Battle Rage as possible.

In short, it’s a lovely and quite interesting deck that demands a good amount of skill to learn how to use the deck, but becomes quite effective once a player does so. As soon as I obtain an Armorsmith, this will most certainly be one of the first decks that I’ll be experimenting with.


Look, ma! No hands!

I thought you guys might want to know, but I’ve been making great progress up the ladder over the past week, and as of this Wednesday, I have finally reached Rank 14! Although my ultimate goal this season is at least Rank 10 (even if I could make it past Rank 10, I just don’t have the luxury of time on my side this month), I can settle down for the next week as I just focus on playing Arena to build up my collection instead. As a result, I want to get at least five Arena runs done over the next week to give me no less than nine packs to open – this includes the free Tavern Brawl pack and three purchased GvG packs, of course.

Has anything changed over the past week in terms of the deck I’m using to climb it? I can’t say it has! I haven’t modified the Renolock deck I posted last week, and it’s been working wonders for me so far. It seems like I’ll be using it for the majority of this season.


Nothing really incredible happened in my four Arena runs this week; my first run was a Mage 1-3, and while the draft itself was good enough (two Pyroblasts and two Flamestrikes were certainly highlights!), I had some poor games with better opponents, and all four games were very close. Hats off to them!

My second Arena run was actually done on a whim when I was out with some friends, and I drafted a Warlock deck for fun. By the end of the day, I finished with a surprising 6-3 as I opened my rewards to reveal a TGT pack and almost a full refund of 130 gold. Not bad!

And then of course, my third Arena run for Mage ended with a 3-3, and my fourth Arena run for Warlock ended with a 4-3. While not terrible (by any means!), it’s just disappointing to see that I’m not doing as well as I’d like to, especially since I thought I improved so much last week.

I was screwed long before he played Mana Wyrm.

I’m sorry to say that nothing particularly exciting happened in this week’s Arena runs too! Most of my Arena runs are pretty straightforward: either I’m just very lucky, or I’m just very bad – at least, when compared to my opponent. I wish I had more to talk about, but while we’re at it, I want to warn you and state that for the record, most of my future Arena runs will be similar to this week’s, where I might just not be improving and my runs end up boring and uneventful. Sorry in advance! Not all runs can be 7-3’s, I guess.

Tavern Brawl

This week’s Tavern Brawl was certainly a unique one, but all it really did was remind me of how much I hated the first time I had to play this. “Return of Mechazod,” a co-op Tavern brawl, is still different from its predecessor in a lot of ways. First, the two classes that are teaming up are now Druid and Mage, instead of Priest and Paladin. The fight itself has also been adjusted in some small ways, especially in terms of the RNG involved with Mechazod’s attacks. I don’t know the specific changes (actually, I think he might even have more health), but what I do know is that in the games I’ve played to win my free pack, he didn’t increase his attack very often and focused primarily on board control, which is good! For us, at least. This is because our ultimate end game is to build up enough spells and spell damage for our “opponent” until we draw a Milhouse Manastorm, and hopefully end the game if there’s enough burst in our opponent’s hand. At least, that’s how I played it.

This might hurt a little bit.

I don’t have much to say about this one, honestly, as I didn’t really enjoy the Tavern Brawl in the least. I certainly had a hard time communicating with my opponents through emotes, although they were usually smart enough to understand my cues, yet lucky enough to get screwed over by the RNG of Mechazod’s attacks. Darn you, Mechazod!

Busting Open Card Packs!!

My weekly ritual always ends with me opening all the packs I’ve saved over the past week right after I win my first Tavern Brawl of the week. With eight new packs to open, here are the new cards that I got this week.

Classic: 3 Packs  |  GvG: 3 Backs  |  TGT: 2 Packs  |  Total: 8 Packs

22 out of 40 cards were useful. (Any cards that I don’t have two copies of are considered useful.)


1x Recycle

1x Brave Archer, 1x Snake Trap, 1x Savannah Highmane

1x Kirin Tor Mage

1x Lightwell

1x Darkbomb, 1x Anima Golem, 1x Fearsome Doomguard

1x Rampage

1x Explosive Sheep, 1x Silver Hand Regent, 1x Armored Warhorse, 1x Kezan Mystic, 1x Maiden of the Lake, 1x Antique Healbot, 1x Silver Hand Knight, 1x Kodorider, 1x (golden) Priestess of Elune


For those of you who are keeping track of home, you might have noticed that I only listed 19 out of the 22 useful cards. Where did those three cards go?

Well, quick story, I suppose. This week, I was opening up the card packs with a friend who was watching. As I got down to the last two packs, I asked him to open the rest as I went to go grab a drink.

I barely walked back into the room when suddenly my friend ran up to me and shoved my iPad into my face.


He was practically screaming at me as I opened up my collection to see what he was so excited about.

I could barely believe it myself.

In two packs opened back-to-back, I got two legendaries! Never mind the golden Goblin Blastmage, the Nexus-Champion Saraad is good enough to justify ten card packs full of duplicates, maybe even more! I was just that excited.

Let’s discuss the potential usefulness of these two cards.

First, Flame Leviathan. While I’m excited to snag a legendary, this one wasn’t too impressive; its stats just barely pass the vanilla test with a 7/7 body, and its card text didn’t help matters either. I mean, deal two damage to everyone when the card is drawn? Who is that helping, exactly? So honestly, it might not be long until I disenchant it.

Next, Nexus-Champion Saraad. What a card. I mean, first off, it gives you a random spell every time you inspire. There might be a giant pool of both good and bad spells to choose from, but the chance to draw into a game-winning spell is much higher than drawing into a Sense Demons, for example. On top of that, I was already set on playing Tempo Mage, and this just seals the deal. This card is pretty good by itself, and if I insert it into a Tempo Mage deck along with Archmage Antonidas, I would be unstoppable. (okay it’s probably not that good but it’s still a great addition nevertheless)

What’s Next?

You’re nine cards into an Arena draft with Mage. Which would you pick? (Spoiler: I picked Elise!)

So with this all in mind, how should I proceed? This is where I leave the answer up to you, my readers.

Some quick points to consider:

  • I currently have 900 dust
  • If I disenchant my golden cards (Druid of the Saber, Powershot, Goblin Blastmage, Thunder Bluff Valiant, Priestess of Elune), I’ll have 1300 dust
  • If I disenchant Flame Leviathan, I’ll have 1700 dust

That would be just enough to craft Archmage Antonidas and two copies of sorcerers-apprentice. But should I wait until the end of the season to craft these cards? I’m already doing pretty well right now with my Renolock deck, and if any of the cards I need come up in any packs down the road, all the better for me. But I do really want to play Tempo Mage as soon as I can, so I’m split between where to go from here.

By next week, I’m not planning to go any further on the ladder, and instead I hope to build up my collection through Arena in the meanwhile. While I didn’t have any 7-3 runs at all this week (woe is me), I still had some good experience with the Arena and more importantly, some very exciting cards to come out of this week as a result, so I’m okay with everything that’s happened. It’s certainly better than losing a tournament, right? Again, I’m still prioritizing these cards for my Tempo Mage and Warlock decks – sorcerers-apprentice, Unstable Portal, Archmage Antonidas, Shadowflame, Siphon Soul, Sunfury Protector, and Defender of Argus – so hopefully I run into at least one of them next week, but who knows?


Well, that was quite the excitement, huh? I’ve probably peaked in terms of how many legendaries I can get in a single day, so something this exciting probably won’t happen for quite a while, but that’s okay! If you guys even read this far, thank you so much for reading! I really hope you enjoyed reading my ramblings, and I’ll try my best to write a new one every week! If you guys want to ask questions, give constructive criticism, or even yell at me for the stuff I said here, feel free to comment below! If you want to add me, my Battletag is Chriseroi#1902, and I hope to see you all in a game of Hearthstone sometime soon!