The Arena: A Guide To The Not-So-Obvious

Posts: 89
@ProudRacist

I've played Warrior a lot in Arena, and I think the frequency of weapons appearing hasn't changed. The main thing I'm noticing however, is that people are a lot smarter when facing a Warrior. Swamp Ooze popularity is very high now, to the point I expect a weapon to be Oozed at least once every match. I suspect it's also to counter Truesilver Champion. With this shift in meta, I may need to update my tier-list again.

Having said that, I do feel the pain of drafting only 1-2 weapons on Warrior. My advice is to be aggressive, lower their HP at the right time, and go into top-deck mode for the weapon as a finisher on their hero. Drafting charge minions is really important as a Warrior. If you see very few weapons, it may not be a bad idea to pickup extra Warsong Commanders.
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Posts: 65
thank you for this and for all the arena videos, ill be watching them all, I hope your partnered :P
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Posts: 13
Angry Chicken Arena video and Hunter play commentary for those interested:

http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3189555
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EUNO4lsq7s


Another great video. I always learn from them. Thanks!
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Posts: 89
New, shorter videos as requested:

Draft - Paladin
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3222076
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJvYCOxT-jU

9th Win - Paladin
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3222507
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX3egXNMUfQ

9th Win - Rogue
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/b/477958829
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3uHezUKajc
Edited by Ben on 11/10/2013 11:35 AM PST
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Posts: 5
enjoyed reading. Thanks
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Posts: 1
Good job think this is a great guide to get some players started. While the i do believe the Tier list mentioned is not quite absolute it does make some sense. Your mana curve analysis is very nice i believe. At the end of the day i believe its matchups and arena picks however. A mass minion Shaman or Paladin can still dominate an arena match after a wipe because the mage is not guaranteed to fetch 2 Flamestrikes/Blizzards ( I usually Arena Mage and i seen that happen , when only 1 flamestrike shows up in your picks). On the other hand however a mage can constantly cancel a Pala power with their Hero power and completely deny them board control. In the same sense a Priest can laugh at a Hunters Aggression that didnt kill him. Good tips for Counter-strategies though :)
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Posts: 11
well altough the guide is good for beginners -it have nothing to do with semi-pro to hardcore arena players :(
The problem with arena now is a totally random and very often weird algorithm who provide you with a often weird picks. In other words - all those guys who constantly going 8 - 9 wins in arena have big luck - nothing more and some skills :( That's the way how Blizzard designed this game.
I have watched about 50+ different movies, streams from people claiming 9 wins most of the time, And I can confess - they represent 25% skill and 75% luck or probability (name it as you want).
Theirs card pool are AMAZING - I have played 30+ arenas and had maybe 2 such amazing picks as their - so I easily went 8-3 and 9-1. All the rest was one big craaap :(
I know it is my problem - but on the other hand in MTG doing drafts I tend to achieve lot more.
So I would be grateful if you stop posting not so clever "strategies" how to achieve constant 9 wins and last but not least - I went 8-3 other day and have received 65 gold :( That's another myth broken that 7+ will always give you 150 gold :(
Edited by Traconis on 11/11/2013 5:38 AM PST
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Posts: 89
@Traconis

It's very possible to go infinite. If you watch my video series, starting from Warrior and going down the list sequentially, you can track my gold. I did all 9 class videos in a row, and managed 7 wins minimum (mostly 9) on all classes.

Luck does play a factor though, but I think the most important thing is to keep calm. Going on tilt makes you rush the draft and make poor gameplay decisions.
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Posts: 169
I've watched most of you videos now (and special thanks to the shorter ones!).
Finally got my 9:2 recently, and that even without a single dmg spell (though the 4 Fire Elementals did their Job pretty well too ;) ).
I also had a 7:3 and 6:3 and also a lot <5:3.
So its definitely more than just mere luck.

Sure sometimes you just get overrun by a perfect deck. But even that is manageable. I once fight a priest with my Warrior, and he had an awesome deck with for example 4 Mind Controls.
But I dealt with all of them. In the end we both were suffering from fatigue, he had the Brawl Card (through Thoughtsteal) and one middle monster and i had a molten giant.
He played Brawl and his minion survived. So even with his great deck he only won with pure luck.

And yes luck is always a factor, in the draft an while playing with the card draw (I for example are so unlucky with my early game and often don't know how to play with no 2-3 drops), but knowing how and when to play a card and how to use your minions in the field makes such a big difference.
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Posts: 169
phew just had an 5:3 with a mage.
one lo9ss was against a druid which was like: i kill you next round if you don't kill me this round: unfortunately he did.
Both the other 2 losses were against priest who had, maybe not a perfect draft but definitely a perfect card draw.
lightwell in 1. round with coin then shield and inner fire next round and so on,. there was really nothing i could do.
This is something that pisses me off, when you really can't do anything and this 2 times in a row...I know that was just luck from the priests to have such an incredible card draw in the beginning ( the 2nd one killed me with my own pyro blast he giot with mind vision...) but still 5:3 with much more possible just because of that....damn.
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Posts: 423
First of all thank you Ben for the great new videos! You're the best HS video player as you have very detailed explanations and you also don't begin to "steam" if you just get unlucky. I really look forward to new videos from you. :)

Anyways, I wanted ask your opinion about a deck I drafted for a Paladin: http://www.hearthhead.com/deck=7833/paladin-4-3

I thought it was a pretty sweet deck with 3 Truesilvers, 2 Argent Protectors, a Consecration etc. But still I only managed 4-3 with it. Granted, this was my second try with a Paladin at the Arena and my 21st Arena run overall so I'm not the most skilled and experienced player. Though I have gotten to 7+ wins seven times.

I think one of the problems was the lack of 3 drop minions. They simply were not offered to me during the draft. I thought that my strong 2 and 4 drops would still be enough. And well, in two of the losses I never drew Truesilver or Consecration and was unable to acquire board control with my minions alone.

Do you see any glaring flaws on that deck or is that a deck which should get to 7+ wins if played correctly?

Also, do you sometimes get awful runs even with a decent deck? It would actually be interesting to see a video of that if that happens. :) It could act as a comfort to us "newbs" that even the best players have a bad day sometimes... :D
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Posts: 1,094
Aajiix, It is definitely possible to get awful runs in the arena that only get 0 or 1 wins, but these are about as rare as the times you get to draft 8 Frostbolts in one deck.

I think the deck has too many weapons and maybe just 1-2 too many spells that could have been 3-drops. Sword of justice is very slow to build up, since you cannot kill enemy minions with it directly, and you have to sacrifice an early turn for it, and is easily defeated by ooze.
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Posts: 423
Aajiix, It is definitely possible to get awful runs in the arena that only get 0 or 1 wins, but these are about as rare as the times you get to draft 8 Frostbolts in one deck.

I think the deck has too many weapons and maybe just 1-2 too many spells that could have been 3-drops. Sword of justice is very slow to build up, since you cannot kill enemy minions with it directly, and you have to sacrifice an early turn for it, and is easily defeated by ooze.


Yeah, I can definitely admit that my poor run was probably a sign of my poor playing even though I also got bad draws in those two losses.

Actually I was "forced" to take the second Sword of Justice because the other two cards were utterly unplayable (don't remember those but still, not selectable). I too think that just one SoJ would be enough. I took three Truesilvers and I don't think that's too much. I actually skipped the fourth one because it was alongside a Consecration. :)

I just finished another Arena run with a Paladin and this time I got 9-2 with this deck: http://www.hearthhead.com/deck=7864/paladin-9-2

Now I had more than enough early game cards but only three 5 drops and not a single 6+ drop. Thus, finishing off the opponent took some time but I was able to maintain board control quite easily, thanks to the Truesilver, three Consecrations and two Argent Protectors, among others.
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Posts: 89
From your 4-3 Paladin deck, I noticed a lack of ways to buff your 1/1's attack early on (blessing of might, abusive seargent, dire wolf, shattered sun, dark iron dwarf, etc.), all you really have is Blessing of Kings and Stormwind Champion. This means you probably had a tough time if you didn't draw multiple Truesilvers, since you only have one 3/2 two drop and one 3 drop overall to hold you over early game.
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Posts: 423
Good point about my lack of early game power. I actually didn't even think about the importance to have something with 3 attack early on. If my opponent would coin something like a Amani Berserker on turn one, my literally only response would be to luck out and draw my Raptor. The lack of 3 drops however was due to the fact that I simply wasn't offered any, only the Panther and Aldor. :)

Couple of questions about the games I played yesterday, if you won't mind giving your opinions:

1) How should I play Noble Sacrifice? My second pally deck (the 9-2 one) had two of those. So many times I had it in my opening hand and I usually played it on turn one (if I went first) and then followed up with a two drop. Is it a good plan to have NS up early (if you have another one in your deck) or should it be used in late game? Against Rogues it didn't do much as they'd just make their weapon and attack.

2) Let's say you are playing a Rogue and are facing a Warrior. You go first and have no turn 1 play so you pass. The Warrior coins out Fiery War Axe but doesn't attack. You don't have an Ooze (or the pirate guy). What do you do? Do you just make your weapon and pass turns until you can play something with more than 3 health? Or can play more than one minion? (of course playing removal spells if the opponent plays a minion)
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Posts: 319
Most educational thing I've read so far.

A couple notes/questions:

Vs. Warrior a strong rush can work as well, as the weapon usage will wear his life down quicker than he can armor up. If you get him at a critical health level, suddenly his Arcanite Reapers will not be as scary.

Vs. Paladin, I'm not too sure about saving silences vs Scarlet Crusader. An unchecked Scarlet Crusader can 2-for-1 and/or dish out a heap of damage. Depending on what you can expect from your deck to deal with it, I'd think twice about letting it run free.

Vs. Hunter don't forget about the Misdirection and Freezing Trap secrets. They're the lesser used secrets, but especially the former can screw you over pretty bad if you don't attack with your weakest creature first.
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Posts: 5
Thanks so much for this guide it's very helpful.
Never realised paladin was actually viable in arena, but then again I've only drafted it three times and never pulled a true silver.
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Posts: 89
Noble Sacrifice - I would say play it whenever you have time to. If you're going second, coining out a 2-drop is more important. Playing things every turn and keeping temp is important. If your opponent remove sit with a hero ability, then they didn't spend two mana playing a minion.

vs War Axe - Playing multiple minions is the ideal solution, but definitely just play things to lower the durability on it. Otherwise later on, he can trade your Senjin Shieldmaster by crashing a 2/1 and using his FWAxe.
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Posts: 89
Most educational thing I've read so far.

A couple notes/questions:

Vs. Warrior a strong rush can work as well, as the weapon usage will wear his life down quicker than he can armor up. If you get him at a critical health level, suddenly his Arcanite Reapers will not be as scary.

Vs. Paladin, I'm not too sure about saving silences vs Scarlet Crusader. An unchecked Scarlet Crusader can 2-for-1 and/or dish out a heap of damage. Depending on what you can expect from your deck to deal with it, I'd think twice about letting it run free.

Vs. Hunter don't forget about the Misdirection and Freezing Trap secrets. They're the lesser used secrets, but especially the former can screw you over pretty bad if you don't attack with your weakest creature first.


I agree with warrior/freezing trap. Misdirection should be kept in mind if you can, but odd as it may seem, it's so infrequent that sometimes it's better to just not waste the brainpower worrying about it.

As for Scarlet Crusader, it's really situational. If I know I have only one silence in my entire deck, and it's early on, I would much rather use my hero ability to remove the shield (Druid, Rogue, Paladin, Mage), as an example. Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Wisdom + Divine Shield combo are both very prevalent right now, and a big concern when it hits the board. If I'm a Warrior however, then maybe it's worth using my only silence to keep up tempo.
Edited by Ben on 11/14/2013 11:33 AM PST
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Posts: 423
Warrior draft, pick number 8, choices:
Warsong Commander / Arathi Weaponsmith / Frost Elemental

No weapons or Warsong picked before that. What do you pick?

I went for Arathi because weapons are so strong and I thought that Warsong won't help me to take board control, it just helps to maintain it.
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