Razzle

How to practice with every class?

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Hi all,

 

I'm fairly new to Hearthstone.  I leveled all my classes to 10 when the game first came out, then went on a long hiatus.  In the past couple weeks, I've purchased both Naxx and Blackrock and acquired most of their cards.  I've also started playing ranked games for the first time.  Playing a priest, I won several games in a row and made it to level 20 before my first defeat, which was well-deserved -- I played too quickly and made mistakes.

 

Anyway, now I'm wondering about how best to improve my skills.  In particular, I've read advice that I should play all 9 classes, and that certainly makes sense to me; "know thine enemy" and all that.  But how should one practice each class?  Against the AI?  In casual?  In ranked?  In arena?  

 

Thanks in advance!

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I'd say that practicing against the AI is kind of useless. It is really bad. I'd also say that you don't have to play all 9 classes, though it is useful to broaden your scope to a few classes and playstyles. (Several classes can have wildly different playstyles. A mechmage is generally aggressive while freeze mage is ultra defensive). But you will learn a lot about other classes by just playing against them. Unless you have all the cards to build e.g. an Oil-rogue deck or a Handlock deck I think it is more beneficial to play against them, than to play with a half-hearthed homebrew.

 

Ranked is probably the best way as it has the most chance of matching you against a similar skilled player. Casual is -despite its name- in fact pretty hardcore and you will encounter a lot of top quality decks there. It can be instructional but expect to lose a lot. Arena is kind of a separate beast as its dynamics are very different from constructed. Without the synergies of constructed decks and the metagame aspects (i.e. knowing which decks are popular and how to deal with them) it focuses more on general things like tempo, board control and generating value in the correct proportions. While it is certainly useful to learn these concepts and they certainly have a place in constructed too, the arena game is in general so different from constructed play that it is a completely different game. So it is really up to you to decide which variant you enjoy more. 

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Modalko, thanks for that helpful reply.  You're actually kind of telling me what I want to hear; I'm enjoying playing my Priest at the moment (even if it's not the strongest class), and I'm having success with it, so why not keep playing it?

 

I do want to play more Arena because it's fun, and because I've had enough success with it that it does earn me new cards.  But first to finish Naxx, then a bit more ranked play.

 

Anyway, thanks again.  If others have views, please feel free to chime in!

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I think it's a good idea to explore all the different aspects of the game and see what you enjoy. You mentioned that you're having fun in Arena - that's great! Hearthstone is a game, so having fun should be the main reason we all play. I suggest spending time in both Arena and Ranked mode (there is no reason for you to have to play only one mode exclusively and ignore the other). I personally don't play casual mode because I don't find it very exciting. I enjoy playing Ranked to see how far up the ladder I can climb, and I enjoy Arena to see how many wins I can get. They both provide different challenges that will test your skills, and I think they're both a blast. 

 

I agree with Modalko that playing the AI isn't good "practice." If your intent is to be able to beat other people, playing against the AI won't help you. The Adventure Modes provide unique challenges and can also be fun, but the play style required in those modes won't translate to Arena or the ladder.

 

It's also true that you can learn about the other classes by playing against them. However, I don't think that gives you the same knowledge as playing each class yourself. You won't fully grasp the various interactions or capabilities within each class unless you play them. So to become a great Hearthstone player, I think it's absolutely necessary to have extensive playing experience with each class.

 

Having said that, you can't experience all the interactions until you have all the cards anyway. So as a new player I think it's okay to focus on only a few of the classes while you do the daily quests, earn gold, and acquire new cards. As you obtain more and more cards, you will likely want to start playing other classes to try them out. As for myself, I enjoy variety and find all the classes fun to play with, so I find myself switching between all 9 pretty regularly.

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Thanks for your thoughts, Darb.  Very helpful and encouraging.  Like you, I enjoy playing each class, and I like your suggested compromise of picking a few classes for now and branching out to others as I gain cards.  

 

And yes, I find everything about this game fun!  It's surprisingly complex.  I used to play Magic, which is a wonderful game, but a computer CCG has certain advantages: easy to find opponents, computer-enforced rules, animation and sounds, and Blizzard can tweak/nerf cards as necessary.  

 

You mentioned acquiring new cards.  I have about 500 gold, and I'm thinking I might open one or two GvG packs (as I don't own any of those cards at all), and save the rest for arena entries.  I might even be willing to purchase a few packs with money; I did pay real bucks for the two solo adventures, and I don't regret either purchase.

 

I assume it's too early for me to be crafting?  I've got about 16-18 class-specific cards per class -- e.g., two-plus pages of mage cards, two-plus pages of paladin cards, etc.  And I've finished all but one wing of the two adventures, so I have most of those cards.  But I don't have much dust.  I'm thinking I should wait and let cards fill in naturally as I open packs.

 

Also, is there an easy way for me to see a summary of how many cards I have, how many 2-drops and 3-drops etc., how many rogue cards, etc?  Is the only way to manually enter cards into an online deck database?  I did that last week, but I've acquired a bunch of new cards, and I don't feel like updating it, lol.  Er, maybe I'll poke around Icy Veins and see what's available here...

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http://hearthtracker.blogspot.com/p/hearthtracker-client-download.html    a very awesome little  deck tracker tool for you. It tracks stats too!  And  Iwanted to give you a little piece of advice, dont craft too many cards early. At least untill you have that one or teo solid class decks you find you enjoy/have the most success with. I made that mistake a while back and it made me stuck getting the same bunch of low-dissenchant value cards I already had. Granted, my luck sucks lmao... I opened prob 200 packs and havent gotten anything worth a damn besides Alextrazza and a couple rares, most of the epics I got (not many) de/ed but I now have to scrounge for a key cards im missing.

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Razzle, keep in mind that you will receive a GvG pack with every Arena entry, so you may still want to stick to Classic packs when making purchases outside Arena. I guess it depends on how much arena play you expect to do. I agree with Pizzon that you don't want to rush into crafting. It would be awful to craft a bunch of cards and then end up opening them in packs. I would patiently collect gold and dust and only start crafting after opening a bunch of packs. At that point you can better assess which cards you need.

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Thanks for the advice, everyone.  I've been following it.  I haven't done any crafting at all, and I've been playing some Arena, acquiring GvG packs that way.  I went 1-3 in my first run, 3-3 in my second, 2-3 in my third, and 4-3 in my most recent, so I think I'm improving.  I've been watching Trump's iDraft series, and that's helped me a ton with my drafting, along with the tier lists here at Icy Veins.  I probably spend more time watching Trump than actually playing Arena, but he's really helpful and fun to watch, and my Arena play does seem to be improving as a result.

 

I also find that it helps to slow down when I play games.  The order in which you play cards can make a huge difference.  And the decisions can be really difficult.  Again, watching Trump gives me a sense of what plays are better -- how long does he hold Flamestrike, what cards are worthy of Hex, how does he use his Warrior's weapons, etc.  His intro education series was great too.

 

As for a tracker, someone pointed me to a spreadsheet, and I've been using that.  I've also been using arenavalue to track my Arena decks and my stats.  I consult it when drafting, but not slavishly; I'm trying to focus on cohesive decks, not just always drafting the highest-value card.

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I'm glad you're improving, Razzle! I'm also glad that you mentioned how much you're learning from Trump. I have not yet spent any time watching the streams that many of the top-tier players put out. I feel like I have too little time to play Hearthstone as it is, but I have no doubt that watching the streams would be beneficial. Maybe one of these days I'll look into it.

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The best way to practice is to just play against players. If you play the ai, you will learn how they work which is close to pointless because players would try to be unpredictable. I would say for the first bit, you should play with all the classes and find which ones you work with the best. And from there, find a play style that suits you (agro, control,etc.). Then make a deck and keep playing with it and keep improving it. Another way to practice is arena since you have to build decks with restriction of cards. Just throwing ideas out. I hope it helps. :D

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Thanks, folks.  Darb, I do hope you find time to watch a little of Trump.  He has a ten-part series aimed at beginners, not at experienced players like you.  It helped me a lot, though, and I can see why Blizzard promotes it on its website.  

 

His iDraft series is an Arena series more aimed at not-quite-beginners like me.  In part 1 of each series, he does his draft.  He pauses the video before he makes each of his 30 Arena picks, then you pick one, then he grades you on your choice.  In the process, he also tells you his rationale for each pick, and as the draft moves along, you see him focusing more on mana curve and the overall play-style of the deck.  In Part 2, he plays the entire Arena run with the deck he just drafted, again commenting on his decisions.  These parts are edited so that you don't have to sit through a lot of thinking.  Accordingly, sometimes things happen rather fast, and I even rewind occasionally, but the upside is that the pace is fast.

 

Milkguy, yeah, real players seems best.  I did "warm up" my Shaman deck by testing it against the innkeeper on expert once or twice.  Heh, the innkeeper beat me both times, but in Ranked, the same deck won me three straight wins.  :)  

 

My pattern now is to play at least one Arena a day, and if that doesn't finish my quests, I then play Ranked with whatever class(es) are called for by my quests.  Thus far it's worked well enough; Arena winnings and quests continue to pay my Arena entry-fees.  My most recent Arena was 3-3 as a Shaman -- I won the first three in a row, then promptly lost the next three.  I really enjoy that Arena exposes you to lots of cards you might not otherwise have tried.

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Razzle, thanks for the info on Trump's Arena series. It definitely sounds like something I would enjoy watching. And I like your pattern between Arena and Ranked play. I've actually been playing the same pattern recently. I also like that I can play cards in Arena that I have not yet crafted for Play Mode. It's a lot of fun!

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