Arena Strategy: Video Draft & Game 1 Walkthrough
Hello there! My name is MrShine, I'm a 28 year old from Wisconsin who's been in love with games of all sorts for as long as I can remember.
I've played a variety of trading card games in the past (Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon to name a few) but it was Hearthstone I fell in love with when I joined the beta last year. I found Hearthstone's arena mode appealing right away, and have built my card collection up almost exclusively through arena earnings and daily quests. I am currently an "infinite" arena player (My average arena winnings are greater than the 150 gold entry fee) with a win rate of over 71%. If you're interested you can check out my arena stats here.
I enjoy discussing Hearthstone almost as much as I enjoy playing it, and - if you can put up with my pondering playstyle - I hope you'll find my videos both entertaining and educational.
In the first video guide I'll walk through my thought process and draft decisions while assembling a Druid deck for the arena. In the second video we'll take the deck for a test drive as we cross cards with a Paladin who proves to be almost too hot to handle.
Draft Comments & Pick Justifications:
Pick 4: Scarlet Crusader, Starfire, Stranglethorn Tiger
I picked the Scarlet Crusader, but the other two were strong options. Starfireis strong in the late game but costs a lot of mana for the benefit of the card draw. I personally value it slightly less than other arena players may, simply because it's not a card you want to play on turn 6 due to the tempo loss. Stranglethorn Tigeron the other hand is a fantastic card that I love in the arena and probably value higher than other sites. It's "Flamestrikeimmune" in the late game due to its stealth (unless the mage has + spellpower) and can often set up a strong follow-up turn. I passed it up here however because at this stage in the draft I'd prefer a strong 3 drop over a strong 5 drop.
Pick 26: Power of the Wild, Shattered Sun Cleric, Savage Roar
This one was tricky. I had enough 2-drops to rule out Power of the Wild, but while I picked the cleric Savage Roarwas very tempting as a finisher or a bit of burst damage. I had a low curve so there was a good chance I could have some small minions out on the board, and Savage Roarcould help me end games before they get too deep into the late game. In the end though arena is about drafting consistently strong cards, and for every game Savage Roarmight win for me there would be another game where it would be a very inefficient card to play. Shattered Sun Clericon the other hand has more opportunities to be successful, and when combined with certain two drops (of which I had many in this deck) it can be a huge tempo play to set up the rest of the game.
Pick 30: Questing Adventurer, Mana Wraith, Knife Juggler
I just wanted to point out that Knife Juggleris the pick in this situation 9 times out of 10, but I stand by my choice for the last card in the draft going with the questing. I had a large amount of 2 & 3 drops at this point, and what I needed was big minions. Treating Questing Adventureras a potentially big late-game minion worked well for this deck since it was likely I could make it a 4/4 or greater on the turn it came into play, and my opponent would be required to deal with it immediately otherwise it could grow out of control. I would have preferred a more consistent late game minion over it, but in this situation I had to make do.
Comments & Alternative Plays:
Bringing out Sunfury Protectormay have been better if I was mostly afraid of Argent Protector, but if he didn't have that it potentially could have made my turn 3 Youthful Brewmasterpretty awkward, especially if he went face. Playing Sunfury Protectorwould have also been very vulnerable to an Abusive Sergeantfollow-up by the paladin. Playing Youthful Brewmasterwas vulnerable to the nightmare Argent Protectorbut was probably a "safer" play as far as follow-up turns were concerned.
A very bizarre play from the paladin here. I was convinced he had a Mind Control Techbased on his non-play, and even at low hp I reacted accordingly by doing nothing. I had a pretty strong handle on the board, and was content holding cards to potentially pump my Questing Adventurer. Generally if I have a strong board position I don't play 4 minions unless I need to keep pace or don't have a minion that would crush me if stolen. In this case if he somehow stole my Druid of the Clawit would likely have been an instant loss.
It was tempting to use my hero power and take 6 damage to clear the Stormwind Championand leave my Druid of the Clawalive, but that would have put me in lethal range to Consecration, Hammer of Wrath, or Truesilver Championclearing my taunt & killing me the following turn. I felt more comfortable with 6 hp and no taunt than 1 hp and a 4/4 taunt, since it's hard to do 6 damage as a paladin without using a multi-card combo.
Not much to say, other than THANK RNGESUS for the topdeck Sunfury Protector. Without that I would have been blasted by Reckless Rocketeerto start me off 0-1. At the end of the day a little dose of luck goes a long way :D
I hope you find these videos helpful. I'd appreciate any feedback, comments or suggestions in the comments section below! I would love to continue making exclusive video guides for HearthstonePlayers.com in the future, but in the meantime if you want to see some of my other videos check out my youtube channel & subscribe for more.