You’ve heard the term “Competitive Hearthstone,” but do you understand what it means?
For Hearthstone players, the excitement around getting to challenge and push themselves is tempting. Where do you begin? Your journey into playing more competitively can take different paths. For the beginner, here are a few of the various lanes you can choose to transition to more competitive Hearthstone play.
Investing in Hearthstone
Investment isn’t solely breaking out the credit card and buying packs. There are different ways you can invest in Hearthstone. There’s nothing wrong with buying packs. If you’re serious about the game and taking it to the next level, you better be good enough to handle the cards you purchase.
Get the “Pay2Win Attitude” out of your head and realize there is no such thing as a lucky competitive player. Under no circumstances can a player expect to buy tons of packs and think they will automatically win. It’s not that easy. Hearthstone gets more complex and challenging as you build a collection and have many more cards you have to learn to pilot.
More importantly, dedication to playing or investing time is something a competitive player has to do. You can’t become a great Hearthstone player without putting in time. Invest your time in learning the ins and outs of the game’s mechanics first, then buy packs with real money or gold.
Time is the most significant investment you have to make in Hearthstone. Investing your time builds experience, and when you become more seasoned, you’ll know what cards you need to compete. You’ll also learn from your opponents which cards and decks are worth playing and crafting. If you decide to buy cards, the experience you’ve gained will influence the decision process. You’ll know exactly the cards you need to complete decks and from which expansions you should be cracking packs.
It all starts with recognizing your style of play. Play your way with your style. One of the best ways to do that is to become a student of the game. There are tons of articles, streamers, YouTubers, podcasters and information on the web. By finding material and content creators that you resonate with, you’ll be able to hone in how you want to play.
Of course, Twitch is a fantastic place to find some great competitive Hearthstone players who explain their plays and decks. You can get Andrew’s recommendations in his free downloadable PDF “Ultimate Guide of Twitch Streamers to Help You Get Better at Hearthstone,” by signing up for The Happy Hearthstone newsletter!
Don’t become a victim of “analysis paralysis.” If you try to be like everyone, you can get too much advice. Filter out the noise, and choose your material wisely. Pick a handful of people you feel add value to your style of play, and follow them mindfully. Read their articles and fine-tune your style of play. We have a group called the Inner Fire where Hearthstone players around the world are committed to getting better at the game. We share decklists, ideas, replays, and more every day. Come join us on The Happy Hearthstone podcast Patreon to make sure you’re surrounded by the best people to help you get better at the game.
Hearthstone Gold Mining and Grinding
Without an unlimited Hearthstone budget, you must mine gold by completing daily quests and win rewards. Competitive players need to have a vast collection of cards. If you can’t afford to buy packs, then you have to be willing to grind and mine.
A player can earn a maximum of 100 gold per day by winning 30 games (10 gold per 3 wins) and 50 to 100 extra gold per day by completing quests. If an average game of Hearthstone is 8 minutes long, 30 wins will take you at least 4 hours. You can mine gold by winning in Casual, Ranked, and Tavern Brawl when it’s available.
Want easier wins?
Some may cringe at the thought of playing Casual Mode, but in Casual Mode, you can choose your matchups and win quicker and more often. For example, playing against a Warrior takes about 25 turns to win or lose. To save time, you don’t have to worry about conceding too early if the match is going badly.
Believe it or not, your best learning experiences can be in Casual Mode as you can evaluate your play during the game and try combos without hurting your rank. As this is a Beginner’s Guide to Competitive Hearthstone, we don’t want to get too cerebral and save the “Set Your Ego Aside” article for the advanced reader.
Casual Mode makes the daily grinds easier. Don’t feel like playing Shaman? Knock out a “Play 10 Overload Cards for 50 Gold” in Casual Mode and whether you win or lose, no problem. Casual Mode grinding is a tool that is not below the standards of a Competitive Hearthstone player’s arsenal.
Tracking Your Results and Reaching New Levels
The Competitive Hearthstone player can find satisfaction in one or both of these accomplishments:
1) playing in tournaments, achieves accolades, wins money and competes in events
2) pushing to the highest rank they can attain for their self-fulfilment
Challenging yourself to reach the highest rank you can each month is part of being a competitive player. Later in this article, we’ll discuss playing in tournaments. However, a competitive player doesn’t necessarily have to play in tournaments or championship series.
You can play competitively to achieve self-validation, knowing that you have reached the highest rank you can and revel in its glory. Only you can determine which type of player you want to be, whether you’re a tournament champion or a consistent high legend finisher, you’re a competitive Hearthstone player. You get to determine your own goals and achievements.
If you want to play competitively, then you should also have Deck Tracker by HSReplay.net. Tracking your results is key to getting better and understanding your style. You have to evaluate your play with different classes and determine which ones you play best. There are many filters and options for assessing your statistics and determine where your strengths and weaknesses are.
A Fireside Gathering is an easy way to step into the competitive scene. You can get some live play under your belt without too much anxiety as they’re not nearly as ominous as striding into a much larger competitive event.
Even more, as far as finding live events, Fireside Gatherings are a beginner’s best bet. The Hearthstone website will show you which upcoming events are closest to you. Use the “Search for Gatherings near” feature. No matter how well you compete, you’re in for a treat with the cardback and Nemsy hero available at most events.
Keep in mind that competitive play includes playing for fun. You have to enjoy playing seriously and also understand that Hearthstone is still a game. Fireside Gatherings are an excellent way to get together with fellow Hearthstone players and help one another in deck building, to strategize, and learning Hearthstone.
When you organize your Fireside Gathering, it can be a great way to have fun. You’ll find like-minded friends quickly who can help you get better no matter where you’re at in your competitive journey. Talking about your experience and competitive Hearthstone goals with other Hearthstone players in person can help you understand how to get through those times where things aren’t going your way.
Competing in Tournaments
If you want to have a decent chance at winning in-person or online tournaments, you should first focus on your ladder play. You should consistently be hitting Rank 5 on the ladder. Rank 5 means you have the skills to get to Legend and is a benchmark that you’ve got an understanding of the mechanics and matchups in Hearthstone.
Work with a Hearthstone coach to set up your lineup a week or two in advance of the event. Knowing the right decks to play in competitions is difficult and requires experience. A coach will evaluate your style and help construct decks that will give you the best chance of playing to your strengths.
Once you’re ready to take the plunge, there are sites like Battlefy.com where you can search for online or live tournaments in your region. Pick a competition, and make sure you read the rules. Being a competitive player requires proper attention to the rules and regulations. You should have a general idea of what you’re supposed to do. As a beginner, don’t be afraid to ask an admin for help. Get focused and be ready to enjoy fierce contests.
As a final point, your reward in playing is what you make it. Competitive Hearthstone means different things to different people. Whether you want to play in tournaments or not is up to you. Push yourself, always be willing to learn, and most importantly, keep Hearthstone fun.