Legend in Hearthstone: How do I get there? A comprehensive guide
I remember myself when I first hit Legend, I think it was April 2016. Before I always struggeled to get over rank 10, but that month it was different.
I played a Shaman Deck and got to rank 2 – 3 stars with an amazing 28 game winstreak. I knew I needed to use the chance to get Legend. I tried very hard and needed in the end over 150 games more games to hit Legend, but I managed to get Legend in Hearthstone, I was so happy.
In this article I try to provide you with some stats, tips, tricks and hope soon you will feel to same as me or the streamer you see in the videoclip below.
My name is neon31 and this is the ultimate guide to get Legend in Hearthstone in 2020.
10 tips to improve your legend climb
This Chapter is provided by hearthstonenewbie1
 Find preferably one (or two if you must) decks that are good for climbing and learn them well
One mistake people make is switching decks when they hit a losing streak. While this is fair to do, if you really want to climb, you need to learn your deck (or 2 if you get too bored playing just 1) like the back of your hand. This means learning how it plays against different opponents as well as the synergies, strengths and weaknesses of the deck itself.
It is really important to learn your deck well. When you start a season off with a new deck, don’t even worry about your rank. Set a goal of “I am going to learn this deck.” More on learning your deck well below!
So what makes a deck good for climbing? Here are my basic criteria:
- It is tier 1 or tier 2. The difference between a tier 1 vs tier 2 deck is often 1-2% points in win rate over THOUSANDS of games. So you are actually BETTER OFF playing a tier 2 deck that you like than a tier 1 deck you find boring or difficult to pilot well. I recommend vicious syndicate for standard tier lists and them, teamrankstar or tempostorm for wild tier lists. Unless you pay for the subscription on HSReplay, I do not recommend using them as their stats are severely skewed by the R10-20 meta.
- You enjoy it and are able to pilot it well. Let me emphasize that you enjoy it. I once tried to do a legend climb with odd pally. The deck has its moments but did not feel enjoyable to me playing game after game. I hit rank 2 and got so sick of playing this deck I just decided to meme. So play a deck you actually like. You will play it better and face less “ladder fatigue.” I believe you can do better with a deck you enjoy that is tier 2-3 compared to a deck you don’t enjoy that is tier 1.
- The deck’s games are on the shorter end. Just based on how many games you have to play, to grind from R5 to legend can take a long time if you are closer to a 51% win rate. So all things being equal, a deck that averages 7 minute games will get you there twice as fast as deck that averages 14 minute games. That said, you are better off playing a control deck you like that does well than an aggro deck you dislike that does poorly. But if you can help it, go for a fast deck (this is why the R5-L meta is typically aggro decks and less so decks that hard counter aggro decks).
Later in this article we will provide you with a bunch of decks you might wanna try. Different players used the same archetype in the past to hit Legend with a fresh account in under 20 hours!
 Learn your opponents decks
Just like you have to learn your deck, you also need to learn the netdecks you face. This starts by looking them up. When you face a deck you don’t personally play or know very well, hop on-line and pull up the deck list on your phone (since you are playing on your other device; if you play on your phone this is ofc hard to do). Keep the list beside you as you play. Look at their mana – they are coming up on turn 5, what 4-5 mana card do they run that they might play? Of course your opponent may not run the exact deck list you find online, but you should typically find the same “25 card (or so) core” in most net decks.
Sometimes you cannot tell what a deck is right away (all standard shamans right now besides control or big shaman often run the same 4 murloc package no matter what) but what you can do if you are unsure is get on HSReplay and search decks by cards. Add the cards as you see them played then find the most popular deck (and narrow it down until you find a specific net deck archetype, ideally).
 Play around, and don’t play around, your opponents’ cards
When many people start they just like to play in a style that executes their decks’ plan. You have an aggro deck so you dump minions til you run out of mana and go face, right? Well as you get better you need to learn to play around your opponents’ cards. You may have enough mana to play 2 minions as aggro shaman but know your opponent will likely have mass hysteria next turn, so you may be better off toteming, hoping to hit a 0 mana totem to soak up some damage, and playing 1 minion. Or, if you are not shaman, maybe you just play 1 minion anyway, so after they clear your board (if they do), you have another one to play. It is counter intuitive to not use all your mana at first but this is a vital skill that very much seperates beginner and intermediate players.
The same goes for control players. Let’s say you are control warrior and have a brawl and the opponents board is fairly scary. But maybe that is your only answer and you really need to live long enough to draw Dr Boom so you can actually win. So ask yourself – do I brawl here to spare the opponent attacking with his minions twice? Or can I absorb 8 damage to the face and hope they play 2 more minions and I get more value from my brawl? If you find you often lose because you get “too greedy waiting for the perfect time to get max value from brawl,” try several games playing it what you consider “too early.” On the other hand if you find that you tend to run out of answers late in the game even though you clear the board often enough early, start holding back more with your clears, and learn to become more comfortable with a lower life total.
The next step is knowing when NOT to play around cards. On one hand, if you are only going to win vs this token druid by rushing them down because you have no way to deal with wide boards, then just play hoping they do not draw savage roar. If you can tell they have a good hand and you are not able to clear their board, and you are almost out of resources but maybe have their life down to 15, you may be more likely to win just going “all in” on face damage. If they draw savage roar you lose. If you play around it and they don’t draw it, you still lose. Trying to play around savage roar may keep you alive another 2-3 turns only for you to forfeit any actual chance of winning. So if you are going to lose no matter what if they draw it, play as if they don’t have it and if they don’t, you can actually win.
The other thing is playing around cards too much even when you are doing okay in the game. In general you want to play around cards more when you are in the lead, and play around cards less when you’re losing. But sometimes you play around cards so much, you actually are not able to execute your win condition well. It takes practice to find the right balance, and sometimes your opponent gets the best cards every time, but in general think about “am I playing around TOO much?” as well as asking if you are not doing it enough.
 Identify your role in the match up
The aggro player in the match up is trying to kill the opponent before the late game, when the opponent out values him. They may value trade to keep a board but their priority is going face. The control player is just trying to survive to make it that far when they can get control of the board and out value their opponent. They may lose value on trades just to stay alive, and don’t really care about their opponents’ life because they know if they stabilize into the late game, they will eventually have enough value to kill them.
Often your role is obvious – murloc shaman vs control priest. But others times it truly is not. Odd rogue plays as the control vs aggro most of the time (unless they are losing the board for sure and their only hope is to rush face), but many players mistakenly play this like a face deck in all matchups (a huge mistake).
In some instances, the control player facing a midrange or another control deck may continue playing as control when they actually are going to be outvalued. They need to start playing as aggro. I am not going to go into more detail here but if you haven’t read the article called “Legend in the Making”, it goes into excellent detail on this topic! I will refer you guys there because it is such a great read (or refresher) on this topic in more detail.
 Check your psychological state when it comes to grinding
This is really not mentioned enough. We can all grind the ladder down to a nub but few of us check our mental game before hitting the play button. And that is how tilting and loss streaks often happen. We do often talk about “do you find yourself losing 3 games and getting mad and making bad plays?” in which case we know (well, some of us…) to take a break. But what if you are exhausted from work, hungry and also juggling friends/family while playing? Maybe skip ladder that day and play solo or casual mode to get your fix.
Just like in school, you can study forever and still make a C. Or you can study enough, eat well, sleep well and try to have a positive attitude and make an A. If you are playing a good deck you know well but losing, ask yourself, is today good for me to play or should I do something else to relax / unwind and come back to HS another day? The biggest mistake players make is losing sleep to get more HS, hoping to grind more. If you actually make sleep the priority, you actually will play better, and even though you play less, you will wind up a better rank!
Also, you have to believe in yourself to make legend (or, at least it helps). For a while I ended each season rank 2, got frustrated as I never hit rank 1 for a while, and decided “I am a rank 2 player.” In reality, if you can hit rank 3, if you have enough play time and don’t give up, you CAN hit legend. It helps for you to ackowledge this to prevent tilt and help combat ladder fatigue.
 Learn from more experienced players
The best way is to watch twitch videos of players who use a deck you also use. You can also find pre-recorded ones if you are busy, and also you can use this sub to ask for players that are good to watch. I also really like watching tournaments on youtube as you see both players perspective. It helps you know what cards to play around as well as how your opponent may be trying to play around your cards.
When you watch others play, do so ‘actively’ not ‘passively.’ What I mean is pause or think fast about what you would play, see what the better player does, and ask yourself if your play was better or worse. Sometimes it actually is better and even pros make stupid mistakes sometimes. But engaging in this process is FAR more helpful than just watching a game like TV.
If you want some “extra credit,” there are some good books out there about sports psychology in general. “The Art of Learning” is excellent and I have read excerpts of “Thinking in Bets” (about professional poker) which is also good. This sub has a sticky thread of good reads and I recommend when you have time going through and finding some to check out.
 Learn to mulligan better
Just improving your mulligan game can make a huge impact. Some decks are easy to mulligan and some are harder. Think about what role you play (aggro vs control) in the anticipated match up and think “what is my win condition and what kind of early game do I need to achieve that?” Can you afford to keep that super good card even though you can’t play it til later because it’s a) so good (like hooktusk) or b) you have good enough cards to go with it even if you maybe don’t always keep that kind of card (like fungal with sn1p sn4p in odd rogue)? People ask on this sub “how do I play deck xyz better?” and get good advice but not enough people ask “when I am playing mech hunter and face a mage what should I be mulliganing for?” which will give others the chance to give you really good and specific advice.
 Get realistic – this is in large part a numbers game
Sometimes you just don’t have enough time in a month to push for legend unless you hit a win streak. So if you see that unfolding, why stress yourself out grinding when you can instead focus on learning a deck or just play for fun? Or maybe spend that time playing decks you won’t ultimately grind with to learn them (so you can later play against them better).
Skill is great but luck is a large part of HS when it comes to ladder no matter what anyone tells you. Not only is there the luck of getting the right cards and your opponent not drawing better than you, but also the luck of getting favorable or winnable match ups often enough to actually climb. Don’t be hard on yourself or think you are not a good enough player when in reality you just got 5 unfavorable match ups in a row. Plan out your play time and be realistic when you set a goal.
For the grind to rank 5, it has a lot to do with hitting win streaks. A great deck can linger getting to rank 5 with a lot of bad matchups, and a tier 4 deck can hit several favorable match ups in a row and hit rank 5 off a big win streak despite being actually a crappy or only meme worthy deck. Past rank 5 there are no win streaks of course.
 Learn from your mistakes
If you can re watch your own games that is ideal. I don’t use any kind of tracker but a pro player who did an AMA told me to take screenshots when I didn’t know the play, and after the game ended, check the screen shot and think through the play. Pro chess players will record their every move and analyze them after a game, move by move. I’m not that extreme and have to admit I only used the screenshot thing a couple of times, but after my games I do like to sit and think, whether I won or lost, what I would’ve done differently.
Think through your singular plays (micro play) and your over all game play (macro play). Did I play as aggro when I should’ve played control? Did I trade when I should’ve gone face? Was I not greedy enough with a value card? Sometimes you make the right play and lose anyway. But other times you can say “you know, if I had held back on playing minions, knowing the mage probably had a clear, I could’ve won,” or “if I had fought for board instead of going face, I could’ve got to the late game and drawn hooktusk for the win, instead I got too excited going face and my opponent value traded me and won.”
 At the end of the day, it’s just a game
I had a season I “made up my mind” I was going to hit legend. I got rank 2 very early in the season, then spent almost the rest of the season between R1 and R2. Towards the end of the month I was not even having fun so just took a break from the game. Then this season I was not even trying for legend per se but wanted to focus on just playing odd rogue in wild, and I was able to do it even when I wasn’t expecting it. This is not because I somehow played way better this season than that past one. In reality it has a lot more to do with me hitting good match ups than playing better. Sure I did improve some and changed my deck by 2 cards, but in reality, I never should’ve let myself get so frustrated over my “failure” to hit legend that other season.
At the end of the day, it’s a game. No one but you cares if you hit legend. Your friends and family won’t like you better. Your life won’t be better (in fact your social life and health will suffer if you play too much and/or put too much value on hitting legend, especially if you lose sleep over it). And you may just enjoy the game a lot better without any specific rank goal. When the game is no longer fun, take a break (or switch modes) and when you come back, forget about rank. Set a goal a season or two later to hit legend, because it’s truly not worth becoming frustrated over HS. If there is one piece of advice you take to heart it’s that the legend “achievement” is really pretty meaningless at the end of the day. A crappy player who gets lucky and grinds 24/7 can hit legend and a great player with bad luck and/or limited rank time may not. It’s just a game and at the end my hope is that you have fun with it more than anything else.
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