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Odinn

Reaching Legend In Hearthstone

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Knowing that only 0.5% or so of Hearthstone players ever reach Legend, it can seem like a daunting task to even set out on the quest. If you have a decent card collection, a deck or two that you've got lots of experience with, and - more than anything - the time, though, it's an achievable target.

 

To try and help people who want to make the push in the coming months, now that we have a semi-stable GvG meta and a window where there won't be any major new card additions or changes, here are those three variables broken down to help you:

 

1. Card Collection

 

For better or for worse, you do need a decent baseline set of cards to play competitive Legend-caliber decks. There are rarely, if ever, any decks that reach Legend that do not include at least one or more Legendary cards, and most also feature several epic rarity cards as well. Before you set out on your quest for Legend, either purchase some packs, spend the time to grind out your daily quests and wins (ranked or Arena) to rack up a good gold collection - preferably, a bit of both!

 

There is no definite point at which you have 'enough' cards, but you should make sure you have the core Legendary cards you see in most popular decklists. If you have to prioritize, focus on picking up neutral Legendary minions that you can use across multiple decks to adjust to the meta. One absolutely key recommendation - purchase the Naxxramas adventure and complete it. Unlocking those cards will be tremendously useful to you, regardless of what class or style you play.

 

2. Learn Decks

 

Despite the temptation to swap decks when you see counters to your own, the consistent advice you'll hear from people who have been successful on the Hearthstone ladder is to pick one or two decklists (tweak tech as required, obviously!), and just stick to them. You will learn a great deal about how to win matchups, how to mulligan, and what works or doesn't work by product of sheer volume.

 

Ranking up is a marathon, not a sprint, and you'll want to focus on playstyles that you understand and are comfortable with more than experimenting with the latest decklists you've found online.

 

3. Put In The Wrench Time

 

Subtle GvG joke goes here. Tons of excellent math has been done on how many games it will take you to reach Legend based on your win ratio, and the long and the short of it is that you should expect to play a lot of games during one of Hearthstone's relatively short seasons if you're hoping to go all the way.

 

If you're not already, you should open a HearthStats account. With an automatic utility for Windows or OSX and the ability to manually enter your games on their website if you prefer playing on your iPad or Android device, you can keep lots of great data that will help you understand how well you're actually performing.

 

You're going to lose. You're going to lose a lot. Top pros might go from Rank 20 to Legend in as few as 150-200 games played; without an exhaustive card collection and already being a Legend-level player, you should expect something more like 300-500 games (assuming you maintain a positive win percentage). If a typical game runs an average of 10 minutes in length (this is an estimate based on what little data is out there), that's 50-85 hours of time spent playing Hearthstone in a single month, or about 2.25 hours per day. Find a comfortable chair.

 

(Ref: http://www.reddit.com/r/CompetitiveHS/comments/2gkzf4/data_on_how_many_games_it_should_take_to_get_to/ )

 

Anyone who maintains a positive win ratio and plays enough games can conceivably reach Legend. Hitting those positive ratios can be affected by a lot of variables, but if you're willing to invest in the cards to have tech options for your preferred decklist and practice it a lot, you can make it.

 

One last thing. As tempting as it can be to think, "I made it to Rank 5! I'm in the top 2% of players!" - you're only about half of the way through the grind to Legend. You're a top caliber player and certainly capable of making it to the top, but you've only run the half marathon - the next half is still ahead of you.

 

Have you ever successfully reached Legend? Thinking of going for it in 2015? Let us know what you're running, and what's working for you!

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Nice article. I would question the real world applications of those numbers in the reddit article though. I suspect very few people actually reach Legend through the 500 games in one season route. I would imagine, if you're playing the game that much, you will probably improve to the point where you can achieve a high enough winrate to hit Legend in a much shorter time. 

 

Also, to give some hope to the people that don't have a huge collection of cards. A couple of months ago, I started a free to play account on the NA server, just as something extra to do for fun on my stream. Many people have done free to play to Legend runs in the past, but people have questioned how possible/practical it is now, since you now have to have Naxxramas, and the average deck you face is from a player who has been playing longer, and has access to more cards.

 

I spent the first month grinding gold to unlock Naxx wings and laddering as high as I could, I chose Hunter as a cheap and effective class to play, and in the first month, I reached Rank 5 without even having a second Savannah Highmane in the deck (I was still playing Boulderfist Ogre). Not to mention, I only started this quest on the 20th or 21st of said month. The second month I was able to hit Legend in reasonable time, by the 17th or 18th of the month, while still splitting time between that and my main account on EU. 

 

So, the moral of the story is, don't get disheartened by not having all the cards available, there are many cheap and effective decks like Zoo, Hunter and Fatigue Mage that can get you there if you're willing to put the time into them and really learn their matchups inside out as Odinn said originally.

 

Edit: So....having just hit Legend on stream today on NA, for what I thought was the second time, I was awarded the Legend cardback, which means that I hadn't already done it! Weird, since i'm sure I remember it happening, but my mods are on the side of the game :P.

However, the point still stands, I did it, today :)

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