16 June 2014 - 20:00

How to make the Jump from Casual to Rank Guide

Dot Esports

Hello, Everyone I’m Lux, I am an established Deck Builder, Hearthstone veteran and Meta Analyser.

Recently it has come to my attention after tutoring some players that many are struggling to make the jump from casual Hearthstone to rank guide Hearthstone as people often underestimate  the rank Hearthstone scene, So here is my analysis of making the jump and a few tips and tricks to make things go smoothly.

When should I start playing Rank?

Well this is a question I get a lot, I understand that many people are hesitant to even start playing rank but really you shouldn't be scared here I will be addressing some of the questions I get.

"I don't have enough Cards to play Rank"

I can identify with people saying that the reason they don't play rank is because they don't have the cards required to win matches and it lowers there self esteem when they play against people who have full constructed decks. Which to me is a horrible excuse. Sure it is nice to own the perfect cards and to be able to afford a deck full of legendary cards but a well constructed deck is more than good enough most of the time and you can successfully climb to a respectable rank.

"What should I do if I don't have the best cards"

Look at what cards you can substitute for example if you had your heart set on creating a rush/agro type deck and wanted a good finisher such as Leeroy Jenkinsbut didn't own him and don't have the dust required to craft him, You can go with a more affordable replacement such as Arcane Golemor Argent Commanderpeople seem to forget that for almost every single card there is an alternative for it.

"But Lux when should we start playing Rank?

Short Answer: It depends on the person

I hear from a lot of fellow top tier players that, "I started rank as soon as I started playing I saw no point in playing casual" in my opinion unless you have a vast understanding of CCGs like Magic the Gathering you should practise your skills, learn what class you like to play the most learn the best cards to keep on the first turn (varying from different matchups), Test alternative cards to see if your win rate improves and have fun playing casually until you realize  that you have a good win rate with your deck aim to have at least 60% with your deck.

Don't feel ashamed if you don't feel confident playing rank even for an entire season, often people who are rash and rush into rank play easily get stuck in low ranks never learning from there mistakes often doomed to never improve, While people who take there time learning aspects of the game can quickly smash through the low ranks and get to a high respectable rank.

Optimal time to play Rank?

OK first we need to go into how the rank system works for Hearthstone, Sorry if this is a bit basic for some people. There are 25 Ranks in Hearthstone each match you win you gain 1 Star each loss you will loose 1 Star,  The first 5 Ranks 25-20 you cannot loose stars therefore this is a good spot for people to test decks without the fear of loosing ranks. After Rank 20 you can start loosing Stars initially you will need to gain 3 Stars in a Rank to progress to the next rank although the number of required Stars does increase as your rank Increases making it harder to get to higher Ranks.

But Lux isn't there a quick way of climbing Ranks?

Yes, there is and its called winning streaks (Bonus Stars) if you win 3 matches in a row you will start earning bonus stars +1 extra star for each victory if you loose a match your Win Streak is over and you will have to win another 3 matches to get the Win Streak again. This is how many of the top tier players climb to Legend so quickly once a new season starts.

So Lux What is Legend?  

Once you have hit Rank 1 the top rank, you can progress to Legend if you win the required amount of stars, once in Legend you cannot be demoted back to Rank 1 and you do not gain Stars like normal ranks you are given a number for example 261 this your legend rank to explain in best way possible there are 260 players who are better than you, if you win a match your number will decrease and if you loose your number will decrease. However, most players will never see Legend rank but if you are interested in Legend in more detail there are some brilliant guides on this website.

What happens to my Rank after a season ends?

For each rank you progress through you will gain 1 bonus star for the next season, For example if you finish in Rank 15 next season you will start in Rank 20 instead of Rank 25, this is great as it helps you climb better and you play against better people the more seasons you play the higher you will rank the next season.

When in the season should I start?

It depends on your personal preference, I personally play non-meta classes in rank so I personally advise against playing rank in the first few days of a season as usually rank is flooded with Aggro decks and people who were much higher rank than you in the previous season as at the end of a season people are reset back to higher ranks Legend rank players are only a few ranks away from you so unless you like playing against Legend rank players give it a few days into a new season before you attempt to climb.

What Deck/Class should I play in Rank?

OK now this is a tricky question I get quite a lot I advise people to find a class that they really enjoy playing and create a deck around that class. However, I understand some people just want to use the strongest Meta Decks to play so here are a few Decks for each class that you can try out.

Warlock:

Handlock (Control)Zoo (Aggro)

Druid:

Ramp (Control)Token (Mid Range/Aggro)

Priest:

Anchient Watcher (Control), Wild Pyro (Anti Aggro)

Mage:

Aggro Mage (Aggro)Freeze Mage (Control)

Hunter:

Facehunter (Aggro)Trap Hunter (Mid Range, Control)

Warrior:

Rush Warrior (Aggro)Control Warrior (Control)

Paladin:

Aggrodin (Aggro), Mid Range Paladin (Mid Range), Control Paladin (Control)

Rogue:

Miracle (Combo)

If you want to suggest any other successful deck types please leave a comment so I can make changes

Any Final Tips?

Here are a few tips that I encourage people to take on board while playing Rank.

  1. Don't get stressed, Loosing streaks happen to everyone, Take a break once in a while so you can cool down and start thinking rationally so many people I know have made themselves so stressed that they would make stupid misplays and loose hours and hours of progress just because they didn't go take a break.
  2. Listen to Music if it Relaxes/Stimulates you, many players will tell you that listening to music gets them pumped to play Hearthstone ranks. However, music selection is important many people listen to Metal or Rock if they want to get pumped, but also think about listening to some more calming music to relax such as Smooth Jazz or Other Genres.
  3. If you start loosing games frequently and find yourself stuck at a certain rank, start taking notes against what decks you are winning against and what decks you are loosing against, Being able to spot a pattern of deck losses can make your life much much easier, For example if your deck is strong against mid range decks and you are facing nothing but Aggro decks, Take a look at your deck and make small changes to help you win against Aggro classes this will help you climb better if you adjust your deck to the majority of the meta.
  4. Take note of your Matches, I personally use Hearthstone Tracker a piece of software that tracks how well you are doing with a certain deck against different classes, its also good to see how long matches are lasting so that you can make small adjustments to be able to keep yourself alive better in the early game or to strengthen your late game. I pen and piece of paper work well too if you don't want to use any software.
  5. Don't complain, instead of shouting to everyone that Leeroy Jenkinsis broken and it should be Nerfed. Think about how you can play around someone running Leeroy Jenkinsand how you can make a deck which is stronger then theres, this is how the meta evolves people thinking outside the box and being able to win against decks which are popular in the meta.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading my Guide on making the Jump from Casual to Rank Guide play, I tried to make this guide easy to read. However any concerns or any questions at all please feel free to leave a comment below and I will try to respond to it. Many Thanks  - Lux.

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