We are all sinners in this very serious card game of Hearthstone. Maybe those things seem to be harmless one at a time, but each time you sin, you bring yourself closer to Ladder Hell. If you want to get into the Legend Heaven, thou shall not commit those wrongdoings. Therefore, I will be your teacher, your guiding light, your road to purity and salvation. Hearken me and no harm will be done. Stray away from my path and thou shall be banished into eternal damnation.
Alright, enough. Writing this way is a nightmare for a non-native speaker, so I will stop and not hurt language anymore. But we’re still in a kinda biblical theme (or rather Christian, because I don’t think the sins themselves were listed in the bible), since I’ll be talking about seven deadly sins of Hearthstone. Things that you are doing or were most likely doing at some point, even though you shouldn’t. I think that I don’t need to mention it, but I still will – this post isn’t 100% serious and I don’t mean to mock your religion or anything.
You shall not think about the game and want to play it wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
I know that Hearthstone is fun. Playing it a lot isn’t wrong. But just like with gambling or lots of other stuff, you can get addicted. I was addicted to video games a long time ago. There were a few months when I couldn’t stop thinking about playing, I wanted to play it all the time and I was thinking about it even when doing completely unrelated stuff. It wasn’t Hearthstone, but the principle stays the same – if you can’t stop the urge to play Hearthstone, if you feel like you’re getting too much into it, stop. Maybe talk about it with someone, maybe get the help. I know it might sound funny, but as someone who has experienced it, it’s pretty serious.
So really, try to control yourself and treat it like a game – something fun, but something unnecessary. I mean, it’s probably better to be addicted to game than to gambling or drinking, but it’s still bad.
You shall not say “just one more game” when you are out of time or should be doing other things.
This is kinda connected to the last one, but not completely. “Just one more game” syndrome happens when you KNOW that you should stop playing the game, because it’s 2 am already and you should already be in the bed, because you have an important exam in 2 days and you need to study, because you have work to do etc. but you still continue, you still play “just one more game”.
There might be different reasons for doing this. Maybe you are on a winning streak and you don’t want to ruin it. Maybe you’re on a losing streak and you really just want to win that one game to feel better. Maybe the game helps you with forgetting about the stuff you really should be doing right now. But that’s wrong – not only when playing Hearthstone, obviously, but HS is a great game to showcase that. Matches are quick, so “one more game” is “just 5 more minutes” after all, it’s not a big deal, right? No.
When you really need to be doing something else, just stop playing and start doing it. Easier said than done, I know, but procrastination won’t lead you anywhere.
You shall not play greedy decks in fast meta or make any moves that are considered too greedy if you want to climb.
This one is really simple. Hearthstone is a game where you can make a lot of “greedy” decisions. Those decisions are usually great if they pay out, but they have really low chance to do that. First one is deck’s preparation. Do you REALLY need that 6th 8+ drop in your deck when you face Aggro Shamans and Pirate Warriors all day long? Don’t you think that removing the life gain or Taunts and adding more card draw instead is just a tad too greedy?
But greed doesn’t end with deck building. Keeping into your removals until it’s too late “because I don’t want to waste it on a 3-drop”. Doing a efficient trade even though enemy is very likely to have a way to punish it. Not healing/armoring up when enemy might have enough burn to kill you. Playing turn 3 Acolyte of Pain instead of a real 3-drop against Aggro deck, even though it doesn’t trade well with anything. There are A LOT of ways to play greedily and you generally want to avoid them.
Sometimes “greedy” is the way to play, for example if you’re losing and you need to take a risk, you need to make a greedy move in order to come back – sure. But generally playing too greedily is one of the biggest issues on the ladder and will most likely lead to much more loses than wins.
You shall prepare well for your every game and be willing to adapt.
The “lazy approach” might work well if you’re a great player and you can pilot any deck to Legend or if you want to stay at rank (insert your average rank) forever. Preparation is a big deal in Hearthstone and can significantly increase your win percent. The lazy approach is when someone just copies a deck card for card from a Hearthstone site, ignores the fact that the tech cards might not fit against the decks he faces; that he has never played it and the deck might be too hard for him; that the deck might be one fit for tournaments, not the ladder; that the list might be outdated (and mind you, sometimes even a week or two old might mean “outdated”) etc. That’s something you should NOT be doing if you want to climb.
I’m not saying that you should play your own decks and that you need to thoroughly analyze the meta on the sample of 500 games before you pick the right deck to climb and then calculate which tech cards will give you highest chance to win (0.03% win rate improvement is so huge after all!). All I’m saying is that preparation is important – if you want to maximize your chances, you need to work for it. I’ve heard people saying that it’s not worth just to increase your win chance by 2 or 3%. But that’s exactly why it’s worth doing that, 3% more win rate over the whole season might put you a few ranks higher.
And please, if you’re serious about climbing the ladder, update your decks from time to time. I have a friend who still plays the decks that I made for him in TGT (so no LoE or WoG cards at all) because he’s too lazy to update them with new cards. If you’re only netdecking (which is fine), you should check out for the new versions of the decks you play every few days.
You shall not rage at the game’s outcomes, the decks opponents play or invite your last opponent just to curse him.
Hearthstone, due to its heavy RNG nature, is one of the most rage-inducing games I’ve ever played. Remember that 1 in 1000 chance for enemy to draw the perfect card and get the perfect RNG rolls 3 times in a row just to kill you, even though you had clear lethal next turn? Yeah, that’s right. Even thinking about those situations can make you angry. I’ve been there. I was VERY emotional about the game, as in getting terribly upset about RNG loses and cursing in front of the monitor too much. But that’s not the way to go.
One of my first advice for anyone who plays Hearthstone is – control yourself. Yes, you might have lost that RNG roll but getting mad won’t change it. It will only distract you and make you play worse. Which will lead to even more loses and even more rage. It’s like an endless downward spiral of anger, I know people who are constantly mad when playing this game. And where’s fun in that?
Good things will happen to you, bad things will happen to you, that’s the nature of a card game. It’s random to a certain extent. But in the end what really matters is your own skill, so if you play well enough, you will climb. I’ve seen an improvement in my play when I’ve stopped getting emotional over every RNG roll (I mean, there are dozens of them each game, some less and some more meaningful, you can’t get upset about every one you lose) – so I recommend you to do the same. If you lose a game because of the RNG and you’re angry, take a break. Go for a walk, watch a YT video, just do something else. That’s what I did and I realized one thing – after 5 minutes I didn’t even understand why I was so angry, so what was even the point in getting angry in the first place?
Another whole level of raging is raging at the deck opponent plays. It may vary from person to person. People tend to hate Aggro decks most, but I know players who are getting upset when they face Midrange Hunter, Freeze Mage, Patron Warrior, Midrange Shaman, pretty much any strong meta deck. Getting mad just because opponent plays a good deck is silly. You need to understand that people play to win – just like you (most likely) do. If it happens that an Aggro deck is one of the best decks to grind the ladder with in the game right now, people will play it. And there’s nothing wrong with it – you can play whatever you want too. As long as he plays within the game’s rules, and playing cards that the game devs provide is exactly that, there is nothing wrong with what he’s doing. And no, Aggro decks aren’t mindless and people playing them aren’t bad at this game. If you rage about playing against Aggro all the time without even trying to adapt or counter it somehow, you’re the bad player.
And please, DO NOT send rage friend invites. And do not BM people by intentionally roping, spamming emotes etc. because you’ve lost the RNG roll. I’ve seen people doing it, even I did it a few times in the past after insane RNG wins from my opponent (and I still feel bad about doing it). It won’t help you, it won’t change the outcome, you will just earn yourself a reputation of an asshole. After all, it makes no sense to curse the guy you’ve just played. It wasn’t his “fault” that he won the 1 in 100 roll. He had as much control over it as you did – zero. So if you want to blame anyone/anything, blame the computer that did a random roll which you’ve lost. But how silly is that? Or you know what, if you want to blame anything, you should probably blame yourself – you might not realize that, but you could have won A LOT of the games that you’ve lost. Not everything is about RNG, the way you play is what really matters most.
You shall not blame your loses on the fact that opponent has more Legendary cards than you do.
That’s a thing very common among new players. “I can’t win any games because my opponent had a LEGENDARY and I don’t have any!”. “My opponent has a better deck so I can’t win!”. “I’m playing SO MUCH BETTER than him, but he’s winning only because he has spent thousands on this game!”.
Although those statements might be accurate to a certain extent, it has been proven time and time again that the big collection isn’t most important thing in this game. There are a lot of competitive decks, decks which thousands of people took to Legend, which are very cheap at the same time. After playing for just a month or so, you can easily build a deck that might take you to Legend. But here is the problem – YOU are not good enough, not the deck.
It’s nothing personal. Maybe you’re just started playing this game. Maybe you’re just not great at card games. But if you blame your losses on the fact that “enemy has more expensive deck than I do”, I can clearly tell that you’re the one at fault here, not your deck. You can easily make a deck in 2-3k dust range with no Legends. Even in 1k dust range (no Epics) if you just want to climb to rank 5. And if you can’t afford the deck that’s all Commons and Rares, well, that most likely means that you’re a new player. And if you’re a new player, it’s only natural that you won’t climb. No matter how confident you are in your skill, you need a lot of experience to get good at Hearthstone. Playing for a few days isn’t enough to hit a higher rank EVEN if you had the full collection.
So before blaming your rank or loses on small collection, try to play one of the whole bunch of cheap/budget decks that were piloted to Legend. If you still struggle, maybe, just MAYBE it’s not the deck that is a problem. Once you realize that you are the one making mistakes and playing badly, you will have a much easier time improving… and that’s how we jump into the last sin.
You shall admit your mistakes and understand that you aren’t the best player in the game.
First step of getting better at Hearthstone is knowing that you’re not playing perfectly. You are making a lot of mistakes. Heck, I’m playing this game for almost 3 years now and I’m still making a lot of mistakes. Most of the pro players you see on the big stage, playing for thousands of dollars make mistakes. What makes you think that you play the game well?
From time to time I hear someone saying: “I’m rank 15, but if I really tryharded I could hit rank 5 at least, maybe even Legend. I just don’t have time/I’m not lucky/my collection isn’t big enough/I don’t like grinding/insert another excuse here.” You’re rank 15. You know what does that make you? A rank 15 player. Not a rank 5 player, not a Legend player. When you hit rank 10, you will be rank 10 player. And when you hit Legend, only then you can say that you’re a Legend player.
People tend to overestimate their own skill, while underestimating skill of people around them. It’s called Dunning–Kruger effect (it’s pretty interesting, so I recommend googling it). You have probably seen it a lot of times in many different fields (it doesn’t only affect gaming, although it’s quite obvious there).
And that’s a huge trap when it comes to learning. After all, if you think that you’re doing something right, you will continue doing it this way. To learn from your mistakes, you first need to know what are those mistakes. So if you really think that you’re better than you really are, your learning will be much slower. The easiest way to see that is to ask someone better to watch your games and point out the mistakes. After just a few games you’ll see that you can improve by a lot.
So stop thinking that you’re the best around and nothing’s ever gonna keep you down. Admit that the enemy might have played the game better, that you might have made a mistake, that you don’t know everything about every deck in the game and you’re far from being an expert. Once you do that, getting better is going to be much easier.
Like I’ve said in the introduction, we’re all sinners. And that’s true. I’ve done most of those things. My friends have done them too. I don’t know a single Hearthstone player who hasn’t sinned. So don’t feel bad if you were thinking “oh snap, that’s me” too many times when reading that. Just like when talking about Pride, all you need to do is realize what you’re doing wrong and well, try to change that. It’s not easy, but getting rid of bad habits will improve both your gaming experience and performance.
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Good luck on the ladder and until next time!