Going second

Arena Discussion
Going second sucks.
That is all
Yes.
It does
Thank you for this informative public service announcement.
Honestly it's just complete bull!@#$.

Coining out a 3 drop or a 2 drop, save your opponent already started with a 1-drop, will still %^-* you over, especially with deathspeaker as a commonly given card. Every removal spell going 2nd or 3rd will probably only remove one minion on your opponents side of the board and seeing that they've gone first they already have a 1/2 mana card usually a 2/3 or 2/1 body that can easily trade with your minion that you had to coin out or play regularly. There's no !@#$ing drawback for your opponent if he went first to remove your minion and he/she still %^-*ing maintains tempo.

Like almost every arena loss is me !@#$ing going 2nd.
Turn 1, he plays a 2/1 or a 1/3.
Turn 1, I play a 2/1 or a 1/3, or I coin out a 2/3 or a 3/2.

Turn 2, he uses a hero power, or a removal spell on my minion, or he trades, and plays a 2 drop or a 1 drop.
Turn 2, I have to either remove the minion, or play something with a higher health so it could survive a direct hit from the opponent's minion and he has to waste a turn trading. If I still kept my coin, my 1 drop would have already been dead by this turn and I can coin out a 3-drop minion, the best card would be Tar Creeper.

Turn 3, either he plays deathspeaker, removes my minion, or buffs his current minion, which in turn leaves him with two minions and me an empty board or a minion that could die next turn
Turn 3, I either have to play a %^-*ty 3-drop, skip a turn, coin out a 4-drop or two 1/2/3 drops removing most of my hand, remove both his minions and have nothing on the board.

With such a neutral heavy arena draft, the only chance I have is being dependent on certain class cards that can remove the board, but by then I either have to sacrifice my mulligan + any cards drawn to save health by the time I use a board clear, with my opponent dropping a big minion immediately after so I still lose. And even worse you can't even greed clear anymore because of buff cards like Fungalmancer.

:*(
11/22/2018 02:06 AMPosted by Ropemaster
Like almost every arena loss is me !@#$ing going 2nd.
Do you actually track your data or is this your feeling?
Here is my record of more than three years of Arena - 511 runs, 3691 games: https://www.heartharena.com/profile/bighugger
As you see, I win 63.51% going first and 53.35% going second. Going first does give me a good advantage. But I definitely do not "almost every arena loss is me going 2nd".
There will always be a difference between 1st and 2nd. Going 1st generates a huge tempo advantage. Coin + extra card go a long way towards compensating for that and take it as close to 50/50 as the development team was able to (according to statement Ben Brode once made on YouTube). Any other way to compensate would either have given the 1st an even bigger advantage, or given the 2nd a too high advantage.

If you have any suggestions on how this can be fixed to get the balance even closer to 50/50, then by all means share your ideas.
Until you (or someone) does find a way to make 1st and 2nd perfectly balanced, we'll just have to accept that we start at a slight disadvantage in half our games, and get compensated for that in the other half of our games.
They can start by not boosting the occurrence of the more problematic cards (afaik)...most drafts I am offered multiple Fungalmancers, for instance.
Haha that 2/3 1 drop, going 2nd is instant lose.
Just kill me, seriously.
11/22/2018 04:23 AMPosted by BigHugger
11/22/2018 02:06 AMPosted by Ropemaster
Like almost every arena loss is me !@#$ing going 2nd.
Do you actually track your data or is this your feeling?
Here is my record of more than three years of Arena - 511 runs, 3691 games: https://www.heartharena.com/profile/bighugger
As you see, I win 63.51% going first and 53.35% going second. Going first does give me a good advantage. But I definitely do not "almost every arena loss is me going 2nd".
There will always be a difference between 1st and 2nd. Going 1st generates a huge tempo advantage. Coin + extra card go a long way towards compensating for that and take it as close to 50/50 as the development team was able to (according to statement Ben Brode once made on YouTube). Any other way to compensate would either have given the 1st an even bigger advantage, or given the 2nd a too high advantage.

If you have any suggestions on how this can be fixed to get the balance even closer to 50/50, then by all means share your ideas.
Until you (or someone) does find a way to make 1st and 2nd perfectly balanced, we'll just have to accept that we start at a slight disadvantage in half our games, and get compensated for that in the other half of our games.


I don't need to track my data to know how !@#$ty going 2nd is. I have 4733 arena wins, which should account to 10,000 arena games, maybe 12000-16000 cause I lose so much.

Just this week, I lost 43 games, 37 of them going 2nd.
Coining out a 3-drop or a 4-drop isn't as strong as it used to be.
There are too many minion sustain cards, e.g. deathrattle, buff a minion, immune a minion, trading is basically useless unless your deck is super overpowered and you can spare to burn board clears every single turn with a cost-reduced card you discovered.

The solution to coining out is nothing, because if you go 2nd you are screwed unless your deck score is significantly higher or if your opponent has the %^-*tiest mulligan and opening curve. This is just a rant after all.
I just played a crazy guy who added me afterwards. I know I won purely because I went first all his cards were like deathspeaker fungalmancer etc, and my win condition was silver sword. I was curious what he wanted to say, expected him to tell me I won because I went first or something like that, which I already knew.

But he's like are you 11-2 can I watch your last game? I won't bug you, you can rm me after. I'm like nah I'm 11-1, but sure. So he watches my game and I lose to a control warrior, and he's like Thx bud and removes me first.

I queue up and lo and behold it's the guy. I had assumed I knocked him out when he asked if I was 11-2. I went first again and won the same way. He adds me again, says LMAO I spied on your deck and still lost. I wasn't trying to snipe you though I just wanted a break before playing my 3rd life ggs

So I told him I won because I went first both times. I woulda lost 100% if I went 2nd. He didn't even know what I was talking about... He's like huh you think so? I felt envy, for some reason. This goofball just having fun, don't give a fk about 1st/2nd imbalance or whatever. That's how I want to play this game, but I know I'm way past that.
12/07/2018 05:07 PMPosted by Ropemaster
I don't need to track my data to know
That's what I thought, before I started to track my data.
That's what a lot of people think.

I know first hand how bad people are at keeping track of things if they do not really track those things. Some things stick more in our brains than others. This has to do with emotional impact (such as losing a game where you constantly had the feeling you had to struggle to catch up vs losing a game that felt fair), but also with what psychologists call "confirmation bias" (people tend to better remember the observations that confirm their theory than those that contradict it).

I showed my tracked data. If you want to convince me that my situation is unusual and that other players have a bigger difference between first and second, then you'll need to come with better than "I don't need to track my data" - because I see no reason why I should trust your "knowledge not backed by numbers" (a.k.a. "feelings") any more than I can trust my own feelings.

12/07/2018 05:07 PMPosted by Ropemaster
Just this week, I lost 43 games, 37 of them going 2nd.
How do you know if you don't track your games?
I like going second because of my very control based playstyle. That being said, if they have a perfect curve going first it's impossible to keep up until pretty much turn 5 where you can dump an AOE to get flooded again.

This is especially prevalent against warlock opponents, who are constantly getting more resources; However, I feel like warlock got a significant nerf in Arena since the latest update. While when I used to draft warlock I'd get amazing cards combined with the best hero power, now I'm getting awful cards to make up for the best hero power.

If they don't have the perfect curve, which is possible as most control deck draft topheavy, you can generally easily catch up, and even surpass them. It's still a disadvantage if you like to aggro them down, however.
The biggest problem with going second is that there arn't all that many stabilazers in Arena. In constructed while going second is also a big disadvantage but not as big as Arena. I'm assuming not every paladin has 2 equalise board clears.

Sure a taunt wall can help you but its still your opponent that dictates how to trade wich will always be in his favor, same goes for board clears sure you can clear his board but you spent 6-7 mana to do so making sure you cannot play any minions to reclaim said board.

Playing second feels bad just due to the fact that all you are doing is reacting, if your opponents curves out perfectly all you can do is go trough the motions and hope to god he runs out of steam, if he doesn't well at least you tried.
Is there any !@#$tier feeling than going 2nd against someone with perfect curve...
That's what I thought, before I started to track my data.
That's what a lot of people think.

I know first hand how bad people are at keeping track of things if they do not really track those things. Some things stick more in our brains than others. This has to do with emotional impact (such as losing a game where you constantly had the feeling you had to struggle to catch up vs losing a game that felt fair), but also with what psychologists call "confirmation bias" (people tend to better remember the observations that confirm their theory than those that contradict it).

I showed my tracked data. If you want to convince me that my situation is unusual and that other players have a bigger difference between first and second, then you'll need to come with better than "I don't need to track my data" - because I see no reason why I should trust your "knowledge not backed by numbers" (a.k.a. "feelings") any more than I can trust my own feelings


It's not always about the numbers behind everything (although for the record my win % going first is 70.75 and my win % going second is 58.86), some matches just feel like a real gut-punch from the start when your opponent curves out well enough going first that there's little you can do to catch up in time. This generally hasn't been my experience going second, but it seems a little dismissive to say that feeling a certain way about trends one perceives in their games is invalid without record or tracking of said games- even if it is in fact confirmation bias.

Also, I think the entire purpose of this discussion was for rants. Going second against someone with a perfect curve can really suck.
snowballing in arena is unbelievable
buff minion, deathrattle, board clears don't do !@#$
If only i can actually gid Gud and always go first i'm sure my win rate % will go up for sure easy! takes skill to gid gud going first LUL this clown fiesta game
01/22/2019 10:34 AMPosted by Ropemaster
snowballing in arena is unbelievable
buff minion, deathrattle, board clears don't do !@#$


Don't you mean having mana initiative every turn?
Mate i been telling u this for along time u never believed me LOL now u make this post it's kinda funny a bit late to the party but atleast u see the light

this happened after like bone mare

cuz the swing is so hard at 7 mana you just get boned and hardly every come back even with PING and flame strike at 9? u can't clear the 5-5 body and u just get stuffed and rekt....... LUL been singing this crap since the dawn of time..... LUL funny people
12/21/2018 11:36 AMPosted by Priske
The biggest problem with going second is that there arn't all that many stabilazers in Arena. In constructed while going second is also a big disadvantage but not as big as Arena. I'm assuming not every paladin has 2 equalise board clears.


Sorta, but there are 2 other main factors why p1 pulls further ahead. First is general card power increase. A 6 mana card used to be worth one 6 mana card in both material and tempo. Nowadays you have 7 mana cards worth 2-3 old cards, and 18 mana in tempo (ie vinecleaver), 5 mana cards worth 4-5 cards and 16 mana (ie collider), 5 mana cards worth 3 cards and 14 mana (ie omega agent) nonsensical design like that. You get to it first, and it singlehanded blows the game out. The analogous situation to maximum effect would be to fast forward power level increase until every class has a 1 mana deal 30 dmg spell for every class. It's fair for everyone, since we all get it. But whoever gets it first wins.

Second is the reduction in relevance for 1 extra card. p2 gets a coin and an extra card to compensate for being down mana all game. p2 isn't down only 1 mana, as most new players believe. The mana differential sequence goes 1,0 ,2,0,3,0, .... n because p1 and p2 don't get mana simultaneously, they take turns. p1 is ahead 1, then p2 gets 1, to bring differential to 0, then p2 gets 2, and so on and so forth. In a 20 turn game, p2 is actually behind 2.75 mana on average, with just a coin to compensate. That's where the 2nd card comes in, to offset the other 1.75 mana. However, this extra card's value goes down and down. The extra card used to eventually translate into having stuff to play while p1 runs out. Nowadays nobody runs out of cards. Everything not only has more material value built in, they even generate further material. In classic, p1 might run out of cards around turn 9-10. Now p1 will have full mana usage well into turn 15.

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