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Although I’m by no means a Hearthstone pro, I manage to worm my way up to rank 5 each season and have amassed an impressive number (45) of legendary cards for a casual player. In the spirit of Christmas giving, I thought I’d share some tips for relatively new Hearthstone players. These suggestions are designed to help you get more and better cards in your deck in a relatively short period of time.
Tip 1: Complete Hearthstone achievements and get a bunch of gold and card packs.
Websites like Hearthstone.wikia and Hearthhead.com list all possible achievements and their rewards (see http://hearthstone.wikia.com/wiki/Achievements ). You receive 100 gold when you defeat all heroes in expert mode in solo play, 100 for collecting every card in the basic set, 300 gold when you’ve won 100 games in any mode, and another 300 when you’ve won 1000 games.
You can also collect a fair amount of packs just for playing a single game on different types of devices. You get 1 basic pack for playing a game on an iPhone, another pack for playing one game on an iPad, one for playing on an Android phone, and one for playing a game on an Android tablet. You get THREE packs for opening the game on a Samsung S6. Most people don’t have access to all these devices. If you don’t, download an emulator. I’m an Apple geek, so I don’t own any Android products. I worked around this constraint by downloading Genymotion, an Android emulator. Genymotion emulated an Android phone, which allowed me to collect a pack. See step-by-step instructions here: http://www.hearthpwn.com/news/946-obtaining-the-galaxy-gifts-card-back-3-free-packs. If you’re having trouble using this method, try http://www.bluestacks.com/, which provides a much more straightforward method of emulating Android.
Tip 2: Don’t get too serious about ladder play until the end of the month.
At the start of each month/season, Blizzard pushes everyone down the ladder. This means a higher concentration of great players will be further down the ladder early in the month. As the month/season progresses and people make their way up the ladder, ranked play becomes easier. Don’t beat your head against the wall trying to get a good rank early in the season. Use the first half of the month to create FUN, experimental decks. I don’t get serious about climbing the ladder until the last week of each month.
Tip 3: Know the meta.
Meta refers to the game inside the game. In other words, what decks are most people using? Knowledge of the meta allows you to anticipate your opponents’ moves and plan/respond accordingly. If, for example, the meta is taunt-heavy, you probably want to include The Black Knight in your decks; if the meta’s weapon-saturated, use Harrison. In my opinion, Tempo Storm’s website provides the best overview of the game’s meta and outlines top-tier decks. Check out the “Meta Snapshot” at https://tempostorm.com/ every Sunday for an updated list of the week’s most competitive decks. The better acquainted your are with the season’s meta-game, the easier time you’ll have hopping up the ladder and completing quests in a timely manner.
Tip 4: If you’re a casual player, anything above rank 5 is waste of time.
A few months ago, Blizzard incentivized ranked play. Working your way up the ladder means you get bigger and better rewards. Rewards take the form of treasure chests (http://hearthstone.gamepedia.com/Ranked ). Any player who makes it to rank 20 earns a chest. The rank 20 chest includes 1 golden common card, 5 dust, and a card back. Most people opt to dust the gold card, resulting in 55 dust, which can be used to craft better cards, like epics and legendaries. There’s a significant quality shift in rewards when you make it to rank 15. Rank 15’s chest includes 1 golden common and 1 golden RARE card, which result in 150 dust. The next substantial enhancement occurs when you reach rank 5 because 5’s chest includes 2 gold common cards and 1 gold EPIC. Once these cards are disenchanted, you receive 500 dust for reaching rank 5 (plus an additional 5 dust in your chest). There’s not much incentive for going above rank 5, so I revert back to fun and experimental play once I’ve reached that point.
Tip 5: Grind for gold.
Fill your coffers by completing daily quests. But don’t waste time with pursuits that only result in a 40-gold reward. Each day, you get to re-roll one quest you’d rather not play. Skip the 40-gold missions and re-roll them each time you have an opportunity. You’ll also want to win one Tavern Brawl each week, which usually puts an additional classic pack in your pocket. If you complete a quest a day and win one Brawl a week, you’ll open roughly 25+ packs each season/month. That’s about one legendary card every 30 days. Not too shabby.
Tip 6: Create a second account.
I have 3 Hearthstone accounts. That’s right. I have absolutely no life. I initially opened these two other accounts so that I’d have more opportunities to play arena. I quickly learned that there are multiple benefits to having an additional Hearthstone account. First, I don’t have to wait around for friends to log in when I want to complete a “Watch an Learn” reward. (That free-pack incentive is incidentally my favorite reward.) I use one device (e.g., iPad) to watch with one account as I play on another device (e.g., iMac). Friends? Pft! Who needs friends? Second, different accounts land different cards. For instance, I got Black Knight in a secondary account long before I crafted it in my primary one. This allowed me to play around with the card months before I started using it in my primary account’s more competitive decks. Finally, over the last year, I’ve accrued great cards in both secondary accounts. One secondary membership has amassed 19 legendary cards, including staples like Dr. Boom, Ragnaros, Alexstrasza, and The Black Knight.
Here’s the crazy part. You can SELL your additional accounts at websites like http://www.playerauctions.com/hearthstone-account/. As a point of comparison, an account on this site is currently being sold for $150. This account pales in comparison to my secondary account. This person only has THREE legendaries (most from opening wings), 3 Naxxramas wings and one Blackrock wing. My first secondary account includes 19 legendary cards, all of Naxx, 1 Blackrock wing, and half of League of Explorers. Best of all, I haven’t spent a red cent on either of my secondary accounts. Whatever money I make off of them will easily cancel out any cash I’ve spent on my primary account.
Tip 7: Make your priority creating ONE solid, competitive deck.
A Paladin secrets deck, for example, doesn’t cost that much to craft. All it takes is one competitive deck to work your way up the ladder. After you get one competitive deck, focus on building a second one. Before you know it, you’ll have a killer deck for each class. The lesson: Don’t be scattered. Focus, young Jedi.
Tip 8: Know how to prioritize solo adventure wings.
If I were new to Hearthstone, I’d complete wings in the following order:
- First, I’d hit Blackrock Mountain’s first wing. Emperor Thaurissan is a wickedly good card that can be used in a variety of decks. Moreover, Quick Shot has become a staple in Hunter Decks and Grim Patron is a must for warriors.
- Second, I’d finish Naxxramas. All of it. This adventure has, IMHO, had the most profound impact on Heathstone’s meta. The first wing will get you must-have cards like Haunted Creeper and Nerubian Egg. Naxx’s second wing puts favorites like Sludge Belcher and Loatheb in your possession. You’ll earn more techy cards like Deathlord and Voidcaller in wing 3. Truth be told, the third wing is a clunker. But wing 3 is just a stepping stone to 4’s rewards, which include Mad Scientist, Zombie Chow, Death’s Bite (Warrior’s most consequential weapon) and Dark Cultist. Naxxramas’ 4th wing is probably packed with the highest concentration of great cards out of any wing from all the adventures. The final wing gives you greats like Shade of Naxxramas, Kel’Thuzad, and Avenge (easily the best Paladin secret).
- Third, I would hit the first two wings of League of Explorers. Wing 1 includes Reno Jackson. Wing 2 is fantastic. You’ll get Tunnel Trogg (the key to Shaman’s agro build), Unearthed Raptor, Brann Bronzebeard, and Keeper of Uldman. Wing 2 is the only wing that rivals Naxx’s third.
If you’ve made it all the way through this entry, I hope you’ve found it useful. Feel free to add me. My name is Ragan and battle tag is 1594.