I Am Not Prepared: The Diary of My Race to 1000 Demon Hunter Wins (Week 4)

I think my mind is starting to fray around the edges.

Climb log

Lowly Legends Everywhere

This must be what going mad feels like. It isn’t just the fact that I completely forgot the season would end in the middle of the week, though that certainly didn’t help things. I felt like I was getting into a good groove and was climbing fairly steadily, only to realize that the ladder was just about to reset in a day or two. Oops. The part that came after that is straight out of Edgar Allan Poe stories or gamer nightmares: the telltale face beating below the floorboards, a lack of decent sleep (for a multitude of other reasons), whispers of VENGEANCE everywhere, and perhaps the single most awful streak I had playing the game as long as I can recall.

I haven’t hit 300 wins but it certainly wasn’t for a lack of trying: in what was possibly the nadir of my entire Hearthstone “career” (not including the period of early-day F2P homebrew decks), I started the season with four losses in a row, a record which I then brought back to 4-5, only to lose my next nine consecutive games across two different play sessions. That awful streak pretty much tanked my winrate and caused a non-negligible setback in my win count chase as well – not to mention the damage done to my ego.

It’s a testament to the new ladder system that I still managed to hit Legend by Sunday thanks to the 11-star win streak awarded for “high” finishers in the previous month. It actually carries across the entire climb, awarding you two stars even in the high Diamond ranks as well. It certainly does get a Legend player back to where they were in an extremely swift fashion, so much so that I finished my ascent with a negative overall record (49% across 67 games).

By May 3 afternoon, there were already over 800 Legend players on EU. I entered at Legend 632. Turns out that’s the easiest way to hit top 1000! By the end of the week, I clawed my way back to a 50% record.

Now to figure out what led to this brutally and uncharacteristically poor streak. As it turns out, a tempo deck struggles when going second, especially when the build of your choice only runs two one-drops to get things started.

(Please Don’t) Toss a Coin to Your Demon Hunter

You probably also felt the struggle of fighting back as the second player in the Demon Hunter mirror. Most notably, the Raging Felscreamer/Priestess of Fury combo gut punch produce a particularly toxic kind of a mirror match where the player who goes second has to have pretty much the perfect blend of early pressure and strong follow-up if they want to have any chance contesting a turn 5 Priestess – not even your own will suffice as a good enough answer. Even in the other contentious matchups, like Eggro Warrior and Galakrond Rogue, a decent portion of your wins come from leveraging the damage done by your early-game minions. It’s rough, but I didn’t realize how bad it was until I went back and checked my stats: this season, my winrate going first was 66% and 36% on the Coin. It was 63% and 46% in April. The mirror match feels basically just as bad as the old Midrange Hunter mirrors (or certain poorly tuned Arena metas). where going second was as close to a death sentence as you could get. It makes sense: you’re looking at a tempo deck after all.

However, I think this showed me that you can’t throw enough wrenches into the opponent’s gameplan in the mirror to counteract the tempo loss. I certainly didn’t help myself in that sense by running the Frescha build which completely cut Battlefiends. Though I was very happy with the later inclusion of Mana Burn for Spectral Sight and one Sightless Watcher as they helped a lot in non-mirror matchups (Mage becomes a literal free win if you can disrupt their turn six play, be it Blizzard or Reno the Relicologist), I’ll probably jump back on the Questing Adventurer hype train to try and produce more pressure early on. Those builds are actually pretty happy to have the Coin at their disposal, too – whether it’s too finicky to attempt it alongside the Priestess of Fury package remains to be seen. I’ll be sure to let you know. Maybe you can get away with cutting Kayn Sunfury if you want to target the mirror and Warrior: they made up over half of my games during the Legend climb, after all, where it has little to no utility.

Deck Import

All that said, I keep taking breaks writing this for the proverbial ‘just one more game’. I think that’s a good sign. With 270 wins in 26 days, I’m still on track with my overall goal of ten wins a day on average, even if I keep missing the more optimistic weekly ones.

Hey, it’s me from the future (ie. Monday): 23-14 in Legend so far. Now I can actually win games going second! Give it a spin if you’d like.

My Predictions, for What They’re Worth

  • Questing Adventurer will cycle back into the meta in a big way
  • A much more aggressive Demon Hunter build will be experimented with
  • Highlander Hunter will grow in popularity

Yeah, my Demon Hunter winrate is still not even positive, but I did say that was more hope than prediction. At least I got the Eggro Warrior trend right – insert STONKS meme here. Based on my limited encounters with Highlander Hunter, I think that deck will also be able to claw out a niche for itself in the meta.

For this week, I’d like to leave you with this gem of a game. Super simple stuff. Who needs board presence when you have all the burn you need? Also, it marks one of the ultra-rare occasions where I felt like it was justified to cast Skull of Gul'dan without its Outcast effect so that I can fish for Mana Burn. Would love to know whether you agree with that decision based on the game state.

Yellorambo

Luci Kelemen is an avid strategy gamer and writer who has been following Hearthstone ever since its inception. His content has previously appeared on HearthstonePlayers and Tempo/Storm's site.

Check out Yellorambo on Twitter!

Leave a Reply

17 Comments

  1. Aiafa
    May 10, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Just popped back to this post to comment that I just reached legend somewhat swiftly with the deck you shared, and Questing adventurer was definitely MVP in many matches. People just don’t run silences right now. So thanks for the deck! I climbed last season with DH as well, hopefully some other archetypes come available for the class in the future. Though it seems whole meta is tempo-based right now, I did not face a single control deck during my climb. And that will get boring quite fast.

    • Yellorambo - Author
      May 11, 2020 at 9:17 am

      Nice! As you can see from this week’s edition, I also had a lot of success with it 🙂

  2. Bigturdblossom
    May 5, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    What do they consider “high” legend? top 1000 at any point of the season?

  3. Raymoney
    May 5, 2020 at 10:13 am

    The decklist looks solid!

    Good luck the next month. You can switch to wild aswell. It was easy to climb from Bronze to Diamond 5 with Odd Demon Hunter. After that you can better switch to Pirate Warrior if you do not like losing to that deck.

  4. Raymoney
    May 5, 2020 at 10:11 am

    So…. 11 stars….!!!!! That is a guaranteed legend climb in the first few days….

    What is a ‘high’ finish? And are they the same for wild and standard?

    Entered at 572 in wild today…!

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      May 5, 2020 at 10:15 am

      I think that it’s based on a % of players rather than a straight number.

      E.g. top 10% of Legendary players (I’m making the % up because it was not officially announced) is “high Legend” and get 11x star multiplier.

      And yes, it’s a guaranteed, super-quick Legend climb.

      • Raymoney
        May 5, 2020 at 11:48 am

        Shouldn’t there be one?

        An official announcement?

        Seems fair if there came one.

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          May 5, 2020 at 3:47 pm

          I think there should, but there isn’t one yet :p I’ll definitely share it if it happens, though!

          • Raymoney
            May 7, 2020 at 9:08 am

            And is there anything that gives me a heads up on how many legend players there are. In other words in wich percentage I am currently competing?

          • Raymoney
            May 7, 2020 at 9:10 am

            In game stats is very easy to implement. Isn’t the whole playerbase screeming for it?

            Winrate per deck, etc…

            Especially now that HS replay became a payed service…

  5. DemianHS
    May 4, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Whispers of Vengance… Madness incoming. xD

  6. Fontaneli42
    May 4, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    This week, in a mirror matchup, a faced a golden Demon Hunter. First I get impressed, but then I think that a certainly loss was coming mainly because I was starting to play with the class, and it doesn’t happened. It feels like the DH class is just about high rolling.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      May 4, 2020 at 5:46 pm

      It’s not just about Demon Hunter, though. Getting to 500 (or any other number of) wins is not equal to being good. It just means that someone has put a lot of time into it. Of course, with time you improve, but you can play thousands of Hearthstone games and still not be playing too well, it happens. I know people who have been playing the game for years and have never reached Rank 10 (in the old system), and I know people who just picked it up and hit Legend after 2-3 months.

      • Thankmar
        May 5, 2020 at 5:44 am

        Just to confirm that: I play since late beta days, never climbed above Rank 20, but have no golden hero also. For certain am on a very layman level, meaning that mostly I play my deck, without considering the possible plays of my opponent. HS is my go to game for short burst when I just have the time for that. If I have more time for gaming, I play sth. different. Very happy with the random Tavern Brawls, since there experience counts for much more, its not about knowing your ins and outs for certain matchups. BG was heavensent in that regard also. Arena is ok, but to be really good, you’d have to know more about the meta, which would be time consuming.
        So, I play to have fun. Sometimes that can be found in constructed with a fun to play deck. Never cared about climbing enough to put the time in.

      • Fontaneli42
        May 5, 2020 at 12:50 pm

        I totally agree that golden hero is more about time expend than being good. But in this case, with about a month of expansion, I think is a little diffent, because is like more than a 100 wins per week to get golden this fast. So, teorically, the player knows well how to play. Anyway, someone can spend lot of hours diary playing, just like you said.

  7. Sneakytodd
    May 4, 2020 at 10:56 am

    The Deck Builder is telling me that the best deck is BIG demon hunter?!?

    It’s supposed to use Blizzard stats to make its recommendations… is there a chance that it’s a hidden power?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      May 4, 2020 at 11:03 am

      Are you missing some key cards like Metamorphosis, Kayn or Warglaives by any chance? Because the deck builder only picks from the decks you CAN build, so if you don’t own some of the staple Tempo DH cards that are played in basically every build, it might not offer you that build.