Odinn

My Journey to Legend in Hearthstone

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13482-my-journey-to-legend-in-hearthston

 

Back in January, I wrote up a very basic primer on the grind to Legend - information on expectations around having an extensive card collection, learning a ton of decks/styles, and playing a ton of games. Last night, for the first time, I reached Legend myself, and I wanted to give some feedback on the experience.

 

First and foremost, let's get the formalities out of the way:

 

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This was no small task, and I was incredibly proud to finally pull it off. Hearthstone is a game that people broadly play for fun and enjoyment, but getting to Legend was part of that enjoyment for me - and it took a long time:

 

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The first 3,700 were just practice wins.

 

By my math, I've probably played around 10,000 games of Hearthstone at this point across the era prior to tracking coming to the Hearthstone client and now. I've consistently finished the ranked seasons (since the number system came in!) in the rank 5+ range (with a couple of lazy seasons in the 6-8 range, before I got serious about it). I have played, spectated, and watched a LOT of Hearthstone.

 

The path to Legend was actually a lot easier for me than I indicated in my post in January, from a purely numbers perspective. I was at 3,400 wins in early July, so I've 'won' another 450 games since then. I don't run any trackers or third party software, out of preference, but I estimate I probably only got 100 or so 'wins' in August, and I maintained a very, very strong win ratio (napkin math from memory says 70-75%) in the rank 5 to Legend range. In many ways, it echoes Sottle's post on my January remarks - once you're experienced and find a deck that works, you're not looking at a huge, slow grind, but more of a quick pace with something effective.

 

My experience with the Legend grind in August was actually fairly limited - I was focusing on taking in the new content as updates to the new Grand Tournament card pool were being announced for the Well Met! podcast, and played very little ladder pre-TGT (other than to get out of the weeds rank-wise and up to maybe rank 7 or so). It was only on the very last day of the season, using an updated Midrange Druid deck, that I finally made the push:

 

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Playing the game at this level involves a lot of game knowledge, and a fair bit of skill, but there are two factors that fundamentally outweigh those things - time and variance.

 

Time

 

My amount of Hearthstone played is pretty significant, but I guarantee you it pales compared to any decent Hearthstone pro. You don't get the raw game count to reach Legend once, let alone consistently, without playing a lot, and staying up-to-date on the meta requires a lot of games played - especially when things are in a state of flux, like the window following a new card release. People who have pushed me to try and grind to Legend before have often balked when I told them that it would mean spending in excess of 50 hours in a given month playing Hearthstone.

 

I played probably 20-30 hours of Hearthstone in the last two days of the season. Of that, only the last six or so were meaningful, as they were the ones where I ran the above Druid list from rank 5 straight to Legend in less than 50 games. But you don't just roll up to the bar with a decklist and pull that off - you have to have played enough to know the game well, and to be able to pilot even a phenomenal decklist to Legend requires practice and extensive knowledge gained from raw games played. There is also the other variable...

 

Variance

 

One of the things you'll notice when you see people post decklists boasting incredible win rates on the path to Legend is that they have very few games played. The reason for that is obviously at least partially strong play, but a portion of it has always been variance - variance in draw (yours or your opponents), variance in RNG, etc.

 

Perhaps most importantly, variance in what opponents you face matters. If I played a Control Warrior deck and ran into nothing but people playing Freeze Mage (which is, for all intents and purposes, a statistical impossibility - it's just an edge case example), I could reach Legend in probably the fewest games played that has ever been managed. That won't happen. Many decks, however, will post results where they simply got incredibly lucky - the Hunter who never ran into any Priests or Control Warriors, or the Druid who simply didn't see any Zoo.

 

You cannot control that variance, and you will be its beneficiary roughly as often as you are its victim. The only variable you have any control over, in this particular regard, is the one previously discussed - your time spent playing.

 

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I think this window of time after the new expansion is a great opportunity for people to attempt to go for it if they've ever thought about reaching Legend, and would be happy to share thoughts, review decklists, or otherwise converse with people going for it themselves. I'm also happy to take questions if people have any (and want a very amateur player's opinion on them, rather than our in-house expert, Sottle!). I had a lot of fun doing it, and appreciate the support friends and fans gave me along the way!

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and hit me up with questions in the comments! Good luck to those of you pushing for higher goals on the ladder in the September ranked play season.

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I didn't pre-order TGT because of budgetary reasons at the time and i've been playing Hearthstone for a while. Should I buy 40 - 60 packs of TGT to possibly reach legend this season?

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I didn't pre-order TGT because of budgetary reasons at the time and i've been playing Hearthstone for a while. Should I buy 40 - 60 packs of TGT to possibly reach legend this season?

 

TGT cards won't help you reach legendary. If you feel you need cards, buy normal packs or GvG. TGT has low value to deckbuilding and decks without TGT cards are more than viable to reach legend.

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