Why do i always lose in Hearthstone?
After playing Hearthstone for some time, there is no doubt that you will lose in games. I am writing this to help you understand why you are losing games, and of course proper ways to rectify this problem.
Contrary to what most new card players belief that luck plays the most important factor in deciding the game’s outcome of Hearthstone games, i will show you in this article that this is untrue.
Luck is not the most important factor that affects the outcome of the game, but is the most apparent factor, especially to inexperienced players. What we meant by luck is the occurrence of events beyond the player’s control.
Simply put, luck does not play the biggest role. Most of the time, poor decisions, either when building your deck, or during game play will result in your defeats. By looking at some players, either famous Hearthstone streamers or other top players, is evidence enough to prove this claim. With over 75% winning rate out of hundreds if not thousands of games, which holds true even for arenas, where each deck is built randomly each time, it is obvious that they are not using overpowered cards or any specific combination.
While it may be true that sometimes luck does decide the outcome of the game, but realistically, the lucky or unlucky draw just puts an end to the game which should be won or lost few turns before.
I will give you a scenario. Let’s say you are playing Shaman and you use your Hex on turn three, against Ironfur Grizzly, which is not very threatening but still rather annoying. Five turns later, your opponent plays Gruul, and you have yet to draw your second Hex. Few more turns go by, and you have yet to draw your second Hex. Then you lose the game. Do you think you are merely unlucky for not drawing the second Hex which resulted in a defeat? Probably most players would look at it this way. However, the truth is, the reason you can’t deal with Gruul is because you have used your first Hex sub-optimally. With the poor decision made many turns earlier means that you will probably would have forgotten about it, and would instead put the blame on being unlucky.
Furthermore, it is likely that you would have made more than one poor decision in the game. Poor decision could also be made during deck building, even when some players copy the deck of a top player, there is a good chance that it is not adapted for your environment, plus another few mistakes during gameplay. All these sums up and would ultimately cause you to be defeated by others. If you realized this now, and know what to look for, it is still not too late. However, if you do not know what to look for, you may well believe that you did nothing wrong at all, and that you have just lost to your opponent’s good draw.
You have to analyze your own moves and try to understand why you are losing your games. Taking on an excuse that you are unlucky might be the easy way out, but it will never help you to improve as a player.
From the previous example, if you had not drawn a single Hex until Gruul comes on to play, then it may hold true that your draw is unlucky. This type of unfortunate situations where you are truly unlucky do exist, but these situations affects all players equally. The sooner you realize this, and look for other areas in your gameplay, the sooner you will improve to become a better player.
Think less about the effects of luck on your matches, and let us look at the actual causes of your defeats.
2. Deck Building
To mitigate the effect of a bad draw, the first and most important step lies in deck building. You have probably experienced the frustrated moments where you have no cards to play. This happens too often to new players who would also put the blame on being unlucky. What actually happened is this:
- You put in all the awesome cards in your deck.
- When the game starts, you are dealed with one or two of those awesome cards, so you decided to keep it and replace the others.
- Then, the first few turns of the game, you are holding high mana cost cards in your hand, and you are unable to play any card.
- By the time you can start playing your cards, your opponent has already taken control of the board that there is nothing that you can do.
If you are experiencing something similar to this, then the problem is not that huge yet. You are merely looking at the value of cards wrongly.
Do you think a Stormwind Champion is better than a Shattered Sun Cleric, or a Boulderfist Ogre is better than a Harvest Golem? The Stormwind Champion and Boulderfist Ogre are definitely stronger than the other two cards. But a good Hearthstone player would rather prefer Shattered Sun Cleric and Harvest Golem to be in his deck. Why, you might ask? The answer is simple, because they can be played during the early stage of the game, at the first few turns, and also because these minions are very good for their cost.
The first few turns of a Hearthstone game, typically the first four turns has a great impact on the result of the game itself. Therefore, your deck should be built in such a way that you will often have one or more good cards to play during these early turns. However, your starting hand and draws are random, so it is advisable to at least put in some high mana costing cards for late game, keeping in mind that you must have sufficient low mana costing cards in your deck to ensure that you will have them in your hand during the early game.
Generally, you would want at least one third of your deck to be minions that are playable by the first four turns. It is not a rule inscribed on stones, as it also depends on the theme of your deck, but in practice, that would also mean you will have close to half of your deck with cards that are playable by the fourth turn, since spell cards like Hex and Equality does not really count as you should be saving them for a worthy threat, which will often be around the mid or end game.
When building your deck, you have to take note of the Mana Curve, which is the distribution of cards in your deck by their mana cost. Your draws would be much better if you place more low mana costing minions and spells. There would be far less unfortunate moments where you are unable to play any card. The Mana Curve for low mana costing cards effects the Arena more than normal play, as in the Arena it is almost impossible to build any combo decks.
3. Poor Decisions During Gameplay
As in the previous example above where the Hex was used sub-optimally, poor gameplay decisions is the most common cause of defeats. Even though Hearthstone might appear to be a very simple game, actually it is a game that is easy to learn but hard to master, with strategies and tactics involved.
Every situation will often have several possible solutions, no matter how easy the situation might appear. Most of the time, the best solution is actually doing nothing, for example.
Even top Hearthstone players will make mistakes sometimes, with a sub-optimal play, but they kept it to a minimum. Often, they make the best possible decision for each turn. On the other hand, inexperienced players will sometimes make the best decision as well, but the frequency of players making the best possible decision will define the difference in skill of the players. More complex situations will likely cause a player with less experience to make a sub-optimal play.
The most common mistake that inexperienced players can make is to think that they can easily and quickly identify the best possible decision for each turn. In doing so, you might overlook some of your opponent’s strategy, for a seemingly non life threatening Starving Buzzard for instance, can turn the game around if left unattended. Also, the game is not so much about making the best decision for each specific turn, but the correct play for the game as a whole.
During normal play, be it Casual or Rank play, you would usually have a general idea of the cards your opponent would have in their deck. The game is all about resource management, which means that sometimes you would have to make a sub-optimal play, in order to conserve your cards for a real threat later on in the game.
It is usually not easy to make such decisions, but as you gain more experience playing the game, and got more familiar with your own deck as well as your opponent’s deck, you will learn to play with the bigger picture in mind.
Try to look back after you have played a game, no matter whether it is a win or lose, and analyze the decisions you have made to see whether it is really the best possible decision or a sub-optimal play.
4. Get to Know your Enemy
Even though there is no way that you can control your opponent’s deck or his draw, it does not mean that everything is random.
When deciding which card to play during a specific turn, you should not only see what your opponent has on the board, but also what they might have in their hand. This does not mean that you will be able to see his hand, though. You should play your minions with the assumption that your opponent has the most damaging spells to your play. For instance, if you play your Gruul against a Mage that has not used a single Polymorth up to that point, then it is very likely that your Gruul would be Polymorthed instantly, especially if there are no worthy targets to be Polymorthed previously. This is completely predictable and avoidable, which has got nothing to do with luck.
When playing against a mage for instance, you have to be prepared for Flamestrike when your opponent has 7 mana, and not play more minions than needed. If you are playing against a deck with many legendary cards, do not use your Big Game Hunter in the early stage of the game, as it is very probable that you would be faced with cards like Gruul or Ragnaros the Firelord. If you played your Big Game Hunter earlier without making use of its Battlecry, when your opponent summons a strong minion which you can’t stop, it is not because your opponent is lucky.
In every situation, expect your opponent to play the strongest possible answer to your threats, and play around this. In doing so, you need to be within reason, and not envisioning your opponent to be playing a legendary card every possible turn. So, whenever you play a minion, ask yourself this, what is the worst thing that your opponent can do to this minion next turn? If in fact, you decided not to play any minion on a clear board, ask yourself what minion your opponent might play instead, and decide whether you will be able to handle his minions without having any minion on the board yourself.
Most often than not, your assumptions would be wrong, but the few times that your assumptions are right would more than make up for it. If you think in this way for every decision you make, eventually the cards in your opponent’s hand would cease to matter, since you are prepared for the worse, and the best case scenarios would not be a threat to you. In practical however, you would not be able to always employ this strategy, and forced to play a card knowing pretty well that your opponent would counter it. Just be prepared for it and try to choose a play that is least damaging to your game as a whole.
5. Current Meta-Game
There are many decks listed on the internet, even decks played by top Hearthstone top players, but after building the exact same deck, you are still losing games. Ever wondered why?
Great decks does not necessarily lead to success unless you understand the mechanics of the deck, and you really need to understand how the deck that you are using fits into the current environment.
For instance, rush decks that relies on swarming your opponent with low mana cost minions quickly will work quite well and able to net you a number of wins. But if rush decks had been played quite often by others in the current period of time, it is likely that other players who are not playing rush decks will have adjusted their decks to be able to handle rush decks, by including more cards to clear the board. Even players who are used to playing rush decks would have switched to other strategies, since players are more capable of stopping rush decks, or even built their own deck against rush decks to net them some easy win.
Therefore, your deck which would normally have a high chance of winning will go against many decks that are made specifically to stop it. You can either continue playing with your current deck which will have a low winning rate, or switch to a deck that will best handle the decks that you are coming up against most frequently.
With metagaming, you have to keep amending your deck, or switch to a new deck altogether to do well against the current meta-game in order to do well in Ranked play. So if you constantly come up against a type of deck, say rush deck that managed to defeat you quickly, it is time to revise your deck by including some cards to be able to better handle the situation.
6. How to Improve in Hearthstone?
How can you improve as a true player of Hearthstone? The first place to look into is yourself. Try to change your perspective and understand how the strategy in Hearthstone works. Analyze the way you handle the situation, and decide whether it is the best possible solution, and see the game as a whole. It is fine to play sub-optimally at a specific turn, if you are saving cards for the real threat later on.
You need to realize that Hearthstone is not a luck based game, and accept the fact that your defeats are the result of your own poor decisions. Once you do this, you will appreciate more that Hearthstone has a remarkable depth as far as strategy goes, and you will have more fun playing the game, which in turn will make you a better player in the process.