Hearthstone Season 44 Overview
Hearthstone Season 44 is finished! November 2017 was a bit hectic for me, as it including a wedding and honeymoon, leaving little time for Hearthstone.
Still, I was fortunate enough to be included in Control’s Wild Invitation #1. While I’m a bit disappointed in my early, I had a good exit, I had a good time taking part another Wild Hearthstone tournament and appreciate the opportunity to compete.
On the Wild Ladder, my busy month led to a late Legend climb. Even still, I was able to put together a decent run in the last few days to end Season 44 with another Top 50 finish. While not my best result, given the circumstances, I’m still satisfied with it.
In Arena, I nearly hit my goal set for the previous month, both in terms of runs and wins. The timing of this return to old form couldn’t have been better with the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion right around the corner!
In the first half of the month, most of my focus was on my wedding and honeymoon. As such, I didn’t have much time to put into Hearthstone. I was honestly a bit surprised when, early on in what amounted to a (much-needed) relaxing honeymoon, Wild Hearthstone superstar Control(theboard) extended an invitation to his premiere format-specific community tournament.
Away from my computer and having taken a significant amount of time off of competitive play, I had to scramble a bit in my preparation. The result was jamming a lot of mobile Hearthstone games during the downtime of the honeymoon. (I’d like to thank my very patient and supportive wife for this.)
My decklists for the tournament can be found over at Hearthstone Top Decks. While some of the lists performed well during my testing, I wouldn’t recommend taking these lists to ladder. For the tournament, I had a very specific game plan in mind and I think, overall, the lists are suboptimal for general play (and possibly even for my strategy).
In general, I was looking to punish some of the board-centric tempo builds that were popular at the time. This is why you’ll find cards such as Spikeridged Steed and Golakka Crawler in Paladin and Devolve in Shaman. Zoo Warlock was a last-minute (and regrettable) deviation from this game plan. Instead of a what was meant to be a cohesive lineup, I went with a comfort pick, in part, due to my lack of preparation.
Round 1 vs. Bananaramic
Game 1 included one of the absolute worst Aggro Shaman draws I’ve ever had. Despite being a favored matchup against Combo Priest, turn after turn I had awkward decisions to make. Often, felt like there was no correct choice but, in hindsight, there were some turns where I made inferior plays. While the outcome of the match was pretty much locked in with the opening hands, I still didn’t give myself the best chance to win.
Return to Form
After this match, it was difficult not let my emotions get the best of me. Given that it was Conquest format, I was randomly queuing decks and the dice decided Shaman was once again the pick. Frustrated by the draw I just suffered through, I hesitated at first but stuck with my game plan. I was quickly rewarded for this decision and, with a much more reasonable draw, took a quick victory.
This win was followed closely by another from my Aggro Druid which, in spite of some questionable card slots, is a deck I’m much more comfortable piloting. In the deciding match, our roles were reversed from the first game as Bananramic drew truly horrifically as a Rogue against my Zoo Warlock.
Round 2 vs. Hazer
The following day, I was match against Hazer for a chance to move on to the finals. To be honest, there isn’t much to analyze from this set. Hazer brought better decks, drew good hands, and made better decisions than I did throughout the match. Both his Aggro Druid and Midrange Paladin made quick work of my own Paladin deck. The former was thanks to a strong matchup and opener (coupled with well-played turns and good knowledge of the match up). However, the latter game was larger thanks to strictly better deckbuilding from Hazer as his Knife Juggler (notably absent from my own Paladin) absolutely decimated my board state.
This result pitted me up against a deck Hazer had recently piloted to #1 Legend on the North America server. Despite this, hope wasn’t completely lost, as this was one of the decks I was specifically targeting. Once again, I went to the comfort pick in Aggro Druid. Though Hazer had another reasonable opening hand, I was able to pull out my first victory thanks to two timely Jeeves pick ups.
A Costly Deviation
In the next match, much of my confidence had returned from this win as I had a strong showing with Paladin against Rogue in my limited practice. A close game in the early turns, Hazer and I battled for board swinging back and forth with no real clear leader. The game, however, was decided on turn 5 where I had two decisions.
Going into the turn, I was planning on dropping Steward of Darkshire into Hero Power to ensure a minion would in play for Spikeridged Steed. After a topdeck Stand Against Darkness, however, the obvious play was to spread wide against a deck that has difficult handling minion flood. Knowing that he had a Dark Iron Skulker in his deck and that Steed could easily seal the game against Rogue, I was still leaning towards the Steward and Hero Power. At the last minute, I deviated from my earlier line and played the Stand Against Darkness quickly getting punished by the Skulker than Hazer kept in his mulligan. The board swing quickly locked down the board state and I never had the opportunity to land the Spikeridged Steed. Hazer’s superior read on the metagame and brilliant tech choice end up losing me the game and the match.
Hearthstone Season 44 Wild Ladder Stats
As mentioned earlier, little time in Season 44 was dedicated to laddering. Despite this, I was able to accrue a steady win rate throughout the month.
While I was away on my honeymoon, I was unable to track my stats. As such, the statistics reported below are incomplete. That said, I’m confident my win rate would have been higher if they were. On mobile, I amassed a significant amount of wins on Warrior and Paladin propelling me up the Wild Ladder and leaving me in striking distance of Legend.
Legend Rank was finally achieved late in the season on stream with Pirate Warrior. Then, I spent a few days grinding my way up the Legend ladder in the final few days of the stream. Once again Pirate Warrior played a big role, but it was really Reno Priest that carried me to a Top 50 finish. As many familiar with the format will tell you, the deck is a powerhouse in the format.
Having never piloted Reno Priest before, I was surprised by how easy it was to play and forgiving it was to mistakes. Even blatant misplays were covered up by the simplicity of drawing [Raza the Chain] and Shadowreaper Anduin on curve. In the past, the Spawn of Shadows win condition gave me a little hesitation but, after enough games, it was clearly superior to Prophet Velen.
Season 44 Wild Win Rates
- Season 44 Wild Win Rate: 55%
- Wild Legend Win Rate: 55%
- Highest Wild Rank Achieved: Rank 47 Legend
- End of Season Wild Rank Achieved: Rank 48 Legend
- Best Wild Deck: Reno Priest (62%)
Season 44 Wild Class Breakdown
- Most Played Class: Druid
- Class Faced Most: Priest
- Class Faced Least: Hunter
Hearthstone Season 44 Arena Stats
A lot of time at the beginning of this month was spent on grinding out Arena. While I didn’t quite hit my goal of 6 wins in 20 runs, I came close to both marks in Season 44. Once again, Druid was my best performing class this month, in large part thanks to the power of Ultimate Infestation.
Despite averaging a reasonable amount of wins, my rewards were a little lower than typical due to relatively few high-win runs. Aside from a lone 12 win campaign with Druid, I never managed more than 8 wins in a single run. Consistency, it turns out, is not quite as rewarding as going for the huge payouts of double-digit victories. As such, it is more beneficial to swing for the fences with Arena, drafting riskier at times and looking for big payoffs.
Season 44 Arena Results
- Number of Runs: 19
- Average Wins: 5.6
- Win Rate: 66%
- Best Run: 12-2 (Druid)
- Best Matchup: Warrior (86%)
- Worst Matchup: Warlock (46%)
Season 44 Arena Class Breakdown
- Most Played Class: Rogue
- Class Faced Most: Priest
- Class Faced Least: Warrior
Season 44 Arena Average Rewards
- Gold: 104.74
- Dust: 20
- Packs: 1
- Cards: 0.32
- Golden Cards: 0.21
Hearthstone Season 45 Goals
With the holidays fast-approaching and adjustments needing to be made as I transition into married life, it’s certainly likely that less time can be dedicated to competitive play. This may be for the best, however, since after the F2P BTW Challenge, I’ve been incredibly burnt out of grinding ladder.
Kobolds and Catacombs may revitalize my desire to play Hearthstone, however, so I’m very much looking forward to new cards released in the expansion. As a true f2pbtw gamer, I do spend a fair amount of time pushing Arena early in new expansions’ lifespan, so you can expect another uptick in my quantity of arena runs.
More and more it’s becoming difficult to queue into Ranked Play knowing that in a mere 30 days, I have to start all over again the next season. I still enjoy playing Hearthstone, but the monotony of the current competitive play is wearing on me. If something doesn’t change soon, it’ll be difficult to justify seeking top ladder finishes.
As such, I’m comfortable aiming for anything in the Top 100 come December 2017. Having finished in the Top 20 4 out of the last 6 months, I don’t feel there is much left for me to prove. Instead, I’d like to focus my efforts on promoting the Wild Format and pushing quality content related to it.
I’d like to once again continue pushing my Arena wins in December in order to earn valuable card packs from the new expansion. As such, my goal is once again to reach a 6 win average through 20 runs. Doing so will not only bring me back to my old average, but also accumulate a lot of in-game resources to spend on the new set of cards.