The title is of course a bit tongue-in-cheek, I am not an arena master, but Slightly Above Average does not sound so exciting.
So, “Master” it is. 🙂
In March, Arena was switched from Wild to Standard, and the distribution of draft cards was adjusted (more rares and epics, less neutral basics).
But it turned out to be rather fun, more so than before.
Since then, I have experienced a remarkable rise in success in Arena. Which means I have gained more gold from my Arena runs, which allows me to play more Arena, which gives me opportunity to get better at Arena.
Power is its own reward.
During Mean Streets Of Gadgetzan (Early December to early April), I have managed to get to 12 wins exactly one time (with Warrior). In contrast I managed to crack the 12 wins since the beginning of April seven times by now.
I am sitting on an average of 5 wins per run, which is decent, it allows me to be pseudo-infinite (I can play about X arenas per week, as long as I also complete the quests.)
My personal pick order is this:
- Paladin (Easy to play, very strong)
- Mage (Medium difficulty, very strong)
- Rogue (Hard to play, very strong)
- Priest (Easy and fun to play, not as strong)
- Shaman/Hunter (Depends on my mood)
- Warrior/Druid/Warlock (I have personally given up on these. Maybe next expansion.)
Aggro is dead.
For one, many of the good two-drops, as well as some good one-drops (Zombie Chow, Clockwork Gnome) have left the format.
This hit decent neutral minions (Gilbin Stalker, Annoy-O-Tron, Boneguard Lieutenant, Flame Juggler, Haunted Creeper, Huge Toad etc.) as well as several class-minions.
None of these cards is required to make an aggro archetype work, but the sum of available 2-drops has been reduced by a lot.
It is often not possible to fill out a good aggro curve, a critical mass is missing.
This means that it is often hard to make an aggro curve work, where you go 1-drop, 2-drop, 3-drop, Yeti and have almost won.
But here, we enter the second major change, which might stop you even if you managed to make a nice curve deck:
I think this is the most significant change. Many good Taunt cards have been released in the last two sets.
They can be separated into two tiers:
Decent neutral Taunt cards that are available to everyone:
Nesting Roc, Stegodon, Giant Mastodon, Ancient Of Blossoms, Tar Creeper, Stubborn Gastropod, as well as the ones that were available before, Senjin, Bog Creeper, etc.
A turn three Tar Creeper can stop the classic 1-2-3 tempo push within a single card.
Similarly, breaking through a Spikeridged Steed is not impossible, but it´s basically as if your opponent has gained at least 12 HP and dealt a bunch of damage to your guys.
Fun and interaction
This creates an interesting interplay between these components: High-HP Taunts, Silences, Poison minions (two relevant ones are new, plus the Adapt cards), Hard removal and mass-trades.
I think this is far more exciting than turn 6 wins via tempo and win-more cards.
I have split this up into multiple parts, as I have a hard time sorting these thoughts into a consistent narrative.
In part two, I will talk a bit about my personal strategy and maybe some of the classes.
Sometimes you just have to get lucky ^^
– Rane2k out.