Ranked Ladder Rework is Out – Everything You Need To Know About the New Ranked System!

The new ranked system has already launched (or will launch very soon, depending on your time zone). Since it’s working a bit differently than the old one, it’s only natural that some of the players might find it hard to understand at the beginning.

In this post, we’ll go over what has changed and how things will work now. If you have any further questions, be sure to ask them in the comment section!

New Ranks, Climbing, Resets

Since the changes went through, we have 50 ranks instead of 25. Ranks will be divided into five leagues (which you might be familiar with from other games) – Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. After all of that, players will be promoted to Legend (which works exactly the way it did before).

Each of the ranks will only have 3 stars, which means that you need to get a total of 150 stars to get all the way from Bronze 10 to Legend. There’s a rank floor every 5 ranks (at 10 and 5 in every league) – when you hit it, you can’t fall back during that season.

Each player will be reset all the way back to Bronze 10 when the season is over. It means that he will have to grind his way back to where he was previously. Luckily, players will not have to do it a single star at the time. Whenever you reset, you get a bonus star multiplier based on the rank you ended up during the previous season. The maximum star multiplier you can get is 11x (so 10 bonus stars for every win) for hitting “high” Legend (but we don’t exactly know what “high Legend” is). A more realistic one, however, is 10x multiplier for simply hitting Legend. Star multiplier only counts for the wins – e.g. if you have a 5x star multiplier, you get 5 stars for a win, but lose only 1 star for a defeat. Star multipliers are also affected by win streaks – e.g. if you’re on a win streak, you will get 10 stars instead of 5. Win streaks only last until Diamond 5, from there until Legend you need to climb without streaks.

Every time you reach a rank floor (and thus get closer to were you were before reset), your star bonus is reduced by one. E.g. if you were getting 10 extra stars and you hit a floor, you will now get 9 extra stars from now on. It means that players will have easy time getting back to their actual rank, but won’t be able to climb all the way to Legend with bonus stars if they finished lower previous season.

Additionally, new players have their own league (the same way they had R50-R26 in the old system), which has 40 ranks in total.

Matchmaking

Another important change is that all of the matchmaking will be MMR-based now. In the old system, you got matched with people who are as close to your rank as possible – so if you were at R5, you would play against other people who are at R5 (or one rank lower/higher if no one from your rank has queued at the same time). But in reality, that person might have a completely different MMR than you do. In the old system, MMR didn’t matter until you hit Legend.

In the new system, if you’re playing at let’s say Gold 5, you won’t face other Gold 5 players, but rather other players who have similar MMR. They will likely be at a similar rank, but not always. It’s a big deal, because it will make the pre-Legend matchmaking much more balanced. It will matter most early in the season after reset. Even though Legend players will go all the way back to Bronze 10, they won’t face newbies – they will still play against themselves (based on MMR).

More Rewards

There are also some changes to the reward system. We now have two kinds of rewards – end of season rewards and first-time rewards. The latter will be one-time bonuses for hitting a certain rank and will give you either Classic Packs or Classic cards (starting with Rares, then Epics, and finally Legendary for reaching Legend for the first time). It will be a nice way to speed up the progress and feel rewarded for new players. But of course, those will no longer apply after you already hit a certain rank and then do it again next season.

However, the end of season rewards also got better, and it will now make sense to work harder to get to higher ranks. Below is the full list of new rewards:

Ranking Up To End Of Season Reward First-Time Rewards
Legend 1 Latest Expansion Pack 1 Random Classic Legendary Card
Diamond 5 1 Random Standard Epic Card 1 Classic Pack
Diamond 10 1 Latest Expansion Pack 1 Random Classic Epic Card
Platinum 5 2 Random Standard Rare Cards 1 Classic Pack
Platinum 10 1 Latest Expansion Pack 1 Random Classic Epic Card
Gold 5 2 Random Standard Rare Cards 1 Classic Pack
Gold 10 1 Latest Expansion Pack 4 Random Classic Rare Cards
Silver 5 2 Random Standard Rare Cards 1 Classic Pack
Silver 10 1 Latest Expansion Pack 4 Random Classic Rare Cards
Bronze 5 1 Standard Rare Card 1 Classic Pack

Rewards are cumulative. So if you hit Legend in a given season, ignoring any one-time rewards, you will get five packs from the latest expansion, seven Rare cards from Standard sets and one Epic card from Standard sets. The biggest improvement is obviously getting packs – up to 5 extra packs per month. And the important part is that they’re from the latest expansion, which usually has the highest value. And with no duplicate rule applying to all rarities, packs have also increased in value ever so slightly.

Yes, Legend Card Back is still there! If you get to the Legend first time, you earn it just like you did previously.

Stonekeep

A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

Leave a Reply

71 Comments

  1. Dolf420
    April 3, 2020 at 3:02 am

    Hi! Sorry, but the matchmaking part does not make sense.

    so if you were at R5, you would play against other people who are at R5 (or one rank lower/higher if no one from your rank has queued at the same time). But in reality, that person might have a completely different MMR than you do.

    In the new system, if you’re playing at let’s say Gold 5, you won’t face other Gold 5 players, but rather other players who have similar MMR.

    “Even though Legend players will go all the way back to Bronze 10, they won’t face newbies – they will still play against themselves (based on MMR).” – how is this supposed to work?

    What do you mean? What do the old ranks and new Gold etc represent then? And how can you now what is your MMR then? It seems obvious that the players of the same rank have similar MMR.

    • ChessAddict
      April 3, 2020 at 7:08 am

      MMR stands for Matchmaking Rating. It’s a number that represents your overall winrate. Hearthstone doesn’t show you your exact MMR, it can easily get very confusing for new players which is why there are ranks and leagues instead. The reason why two players could have very different MMR despite being at the exact same rank is based on the number of games a player plays. For example, Player A plays 4 matches and wins 3 to reach Gold 5, and Player B plays 10 matches and wins 6 to reach Gold 5. Both are at Gold 5, but there is a 15% gap in the winrate between Player A and Player B. I can only assume that Hearthstone also knows the MMR of players in previous seasons, so even when a legend player hasn’t played any games in a new season, the game knows not to match them up against a new player playing their first game.

    • Gibilan
      April 15, 2020 at 9:30 am

      It`s not abvious at all. Players who have the same rank don`t need to have the similar MMR. A gold 5 can have the similar MMR as 1000+ legend, so the new system can match them. Until your multiplier runs out 11x….2x you get matched based on your MMR. After that, when you climb star by star, only then will you be matched based on the rank you are curently on.

  2. Lawrecords
    April 2, 2020 at 11:37 am

    Can you explain how the star bonuses work to get you back to the same rank as before, after a season changes? E.g. if I get 5 stars for hitting a certain rank, then next season, will my 5 star bonus help me get back to that same rank until i’m down to one star per victory again?

    • H0lysatan
      April 2, 2020 at 7:05 pm

      Every new season, all of ranked players will revert back to Bronze 10 and get star multiplier based on how well you did in the past season.

      For Example, if you reach legend in the previous season, you got 11x star multiplier.
      reach Diamond 5-1 —> 10x star
      reach Diamond 10-6 —> 9x star etc.
      This will help you reach your past level much more quickly.

      • Lawrecords
        April 3, 2020 at 12:11 pm

        Thank you. Do we know how many stars we get for each rank we get this season? E.g. if you get to Gold 5, you’ll get X number of stars.

        • H0lysatan
          April 3, 2020 at 12:26 pm

          It’s basic math I think.
          Like I mentioned before, Legend got 11x stars
          Diamond 5 got 10x,
          Diamond 10 got 9x
          Platinum 5 got 8x, 1 stars reduced every 5 level to the bronze

          So. Gold 5-1 will net you 6x.
          Assuming you got there every month. But say you can’t reach that level, and ended up on Gold 8 at the end of season, you will only get 5x stars. (since it’s 5 level below Gold 5).
          And vice versa.

    • H0lysatan
      April 2, 2020 at 7:15 pm

      In other words, just play ranked and you will learn how it works, and it’s pretty easy to understand. All in all, with this new system, you’ll get much faster to legend level.

      In the previous system, you need at least 25 stars (if you keep winning) to go from rank 5 to legend. In this new one, you only need 15 stars, because every rank only need 3 stars instead of 5. The only problem is that every match is so hard because everyone is on the same level as you.

  3. Pedrufa
    April 2, 2020 at 9:38 am

    So, are the one time rewards coming on the end of the month? Because it showed here I achieved them but I have no packs to open.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 2, 2020 at 11:12 am

      You should be able to get one time rewards (right column in the table in this post) right away. I could open the packs and got Rare cards right away. If you didn’t get them right away, you should probably report a bug.

      The monthly rewards are, like previously, in the chest that you will open at the end of the month.

  4. Beerdserkr
    April 2, 2020 at 9:31 am

    If anything the rewards are Worse not better, the one time rewards don’t count so I’ll be lucky to make it to Silver 5 every month is my guess so that’s about the same amount of cards as if I made it to rank 10 in the old system but they are not GOLDEN! and I don’t get any dust.

    • Essexmcintosh
      April 2, 2020 at 11:14 am

      I think that the rewards need to be viewed in light of the new economy and new ranks.
      Firstly, rank 10 in the old system got converted to platinum 5 equivalent… We shall wait and see if this is accurate?
      More to the point, silver 5 gives 4 duplicated protected rares and 4 duplicate protected commons. So if you really want a card, you can dust these for a common and rare and you’re in a similar state to old rank 15. But the next few packs you open are guaranteed to not have those 4 cards in them.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 2, 2020 at 11:16 am

      I’m pretty sure that you will be able to climb higher than Silver 5 🙂 Silver 5 would be like Rank 17-18 under the old system difficulty-wise. And for that rank, under the old system you got a golden Common and like 20 Dust. 3x Rare card and a pack from latest expansion is worth so much more.

      Rank 10 in the old system will be Platinum 10 in the new one. For which, again, the rewards are WAY better – you get 3 packs in the new system.

      No matter how high you got in the old system, if you get the equivalent of that rank under the new system, the rewards will be just better.

      I don’t know why you’re always so negative about everything.

  5. ErMiNik
    April 2, 2020 at 7:09 am

    Will I get rewards for climbing in both wild and standard or only in one ?

  6. Meiro
    April 2, 2020 at 6:16 am

    Is there an explanation on the Legend ranking system anywhere? After three consequetive wins my ranking has gotten worse after each… if my MMR is lower then the people around my Legend rank are the wins weighted less because my level of opponent is worse?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 2, 2020 at 11:19 am

      Wait, what do you mean? You WON and your lost Legend ranks? That’s definitely not how it should work. Did you take any screenshots? Or do you remember which ranks you were at before & after games?

      • Meiro
        April 2, 2020 at 1:02 pm

        No screenshots :/ but I started playing at rank 191 and then went to 192, 193, 194, after three consequetive wins.

        The results have been inconsistent most of the day. Some wins I go down 1 or 2, some I stay the same, and some have a small bump up.

  7. A person who reacts to this
    April 1, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    Question. Dosen’t MMR take losses in to the calculation?
    Then Dosen’t that mean that if I take a bunch of dives I will face a bunch of easier opponents and can just fly to a higher rank with ease?

    • JoyDivision
      April 2, 2020 at 2:27 am

      I hope not, taking in account the relatively high amount of luck that is still involved in most of the matches played in HS. 😉

    • Matlabber
      April 2, 2020 at 7:15 am

      Well, since you won´t drop rank every 5 levels it does indeed seem that you can tank your MMR as soon as you hit the ranking threeshold.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 2, 2020 at 11:20 am

      Technically you can do that… but you can do the same in any game with MMR system. And people don’t do it, because it’s too much hassle and kind of unfair.

      • Pooper
        April 3, 2020 at 7:27 am

        Even if they do its nice to sometimes to enter a game and win an instant concede

  8. Ahrimourn
    April 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks for this Stonekeep,
    It seems like potentially Bronze is locked throughout. Losing a game at Bronze 8 I got the ‘You cannot lose stars at this rank’

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 1, 2020 at 10:35 pm

      Interesting! I haven’t lost a game in Bronze to confirm, but I’ll look into it. It might be the case, given that you couldn’t lose ranks between R25 and R21 in the old system.

      • DrNoOne86
        April 2, 2020 at 1:44 am

        Hey, sorry for the out of topic comment, but is there a known issue with logging in from chrome? I can log in fine on my iPhone in safari but simply can’t on my Mac on chrome. Tried password reset and cookie wiping. Cheers in advance.

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          April 2, 2020 at 11:24 am

          Thanks for the report, I’m using Chrome all the time and I haven’t experienced it, although I’m using Windows… Do you get some sort of error or it just won’t log in?

          I’ll forward it to the devs either way!

          • DrNoOne86
            April 4, 2020 at 11:07 am

            No errors, the page would just refuse to acknowledge that I pressed the log in button. I figured it out tho, for some reason I had to go to Chrome settings and (while I allow cookies in general) individually whitelist this page, and now I log in fine. Might be some weird interaction with Mac’s privacy settings, the devs might know. Thanks!

    • JoyDivision
      April 2, 2020 at 2:28 am

      I second that. No losing stars at Bronze floors.

  9. Fareh
    April 1, 2020 at 9:46 am

    This was something i was asking long time ago so kudos to blizz/team5.
    Now we need an improved reward system in legend, something similar to reward grinding high legend.
    Aaaaaand a tournament mode with gold entry similar to arena/mtg arena

    • Fareh
      April 1, 2020 at 9:47 am

      In fact, they teased a “tournament mode” a few monts ahí, what happened to that????

      • Stonekeep - Site Admin
        April 1, 2020 at 9:50 am

        They teased it a few YEARS ago, not a few months ago :p Then a while later they’ve said that they stopped working on it. So there are currently no plans for tournament mode that we know of.

        Unless you mean the Chinese version – they’ve built kind of an “add-on” that let lets them play in-game tournaments a while ago. But it’s China-only.

        • Fareh
          April 1, 2020 at 12:47 pm

          “WHAT TOURNAMENT MODE MIGHT LOOK LIKE – A SIMPLE IDEA FOR THE NEW FORMAT – UPDATED: 7 MONTHS AGO” (just searched on article database)
          Thats the one im talking about… They said was abandoned also?

          • Stonekeep - Site Admin
            April 1, 2020 at 10:34 pm

            No, no. That wasn’t official announcement. That was J_Alexander’s predictions article of how tournament mode COULD look like if it was implemented :p

  10. Thanatos
    April 1, 2020 at 7:22 am

    I usually hit legend at the end of the month to avoid wasting time playing aggainst opponents with my skill level, that won’t work anymore…

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 1, 2020 at 8:55 am

      To be honest, the new system will be more fair. The point of ladder is to play against opponent of an equal skill. From the perspective of those weaker players you were beating at the end of season, the matchmaking was really bad.

  11. Vincent
    April 1, 2020 at 5:29 am

    It will problaby take time getting used to this new raking system.
    From 10 to 9 to 8 star bonus now silver rank 8. Right. A one time bonus makes more sense to me.
    How many wins do I need for Legend? I have no idea…

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 1, 2020 at 8:57 am

      It might take some time getting used to it, but it’s really not complicated, so after a month or two everyone should be familiar with it 🙂

      And I honestly never calculated how many wins you will need to get into Legend, unless I was already close, so it’s not an issue for me. But I’m pretty sure that someone will make a sort of calculator you can use eventually.

  12. TheTekin
    April 1, 2020 at 3:47 am

    I have an important question, and I couldn’t find a proper answer.

    Do we know how much star multiplier we’ll receive at the end of the season? We know it’s 11 for high legend, and 10 for legend but what about other ranks?

    • Eyasluna
      April 1, 2020 at 6:31 am

      I guess 9 for Diamond 5-1. Last Season I was rank 1 w/ 2 stars and got 9x Bonus today.

      Climbing was super smooth tho, just hit Legend 1h ago.

      • Guyopt
        April 1, 2020 at 7:18 am

        which decks did you play 🙂
        thanks

        • Eyasluna
          April 1, 2020 at 7:40 am

          I provided a link, but it seems aint working. You can check out my decks, its the only I uploaded so far.

      • TheTekin
        April 1, 2020 at 8:26 am

        but there is no official info at all, right? all we have is assuming.

      • JoyDivision
        April 2, 2020 at 8:16 am

        I finished last season Rank 3 with 2 Stars and got a 10 multiplier. 😉

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 1, 2020 at 8:54 am

      I think that it will be 1 star multiplier less for every floor down.

      E.g. Diamond 5-1 = 9x
      Diamond 10-6 = 8x
      Gold 5-1 = 7x

      And so on.

      But I don’t think we got an official word on it. Maybe somewhere on Twitter etc. but it’s hard to keep track of every single dev post on Twitter, reddit, official forums etc. :/

  13. Spronghi
    April 1, 2020 at 2:16 am

    guys can’t really see aything about the legendary card back, is it still a first time legend reward?

    • TheTekin
      April 1, 2020 at 3:48 am

      yes, stonekeep confirmed it in another post. we’ll still get that.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 1, 2020 at 8:44 am

      Yes, Legendary card back will still be there. I’ll update the post.

  14. H0lysatan
    April 1, 2020 at 12:44 am

    Just to confirm something.
    1. Does getting to 10th & 5th ranked on every Level reduced a multiplier by 1 star? or is it just the 10th?
    2. In the old ranking system, Rank 5th and above doesn’t give win streaks. How different is it now?
    3. Is first time rewards a one time obtainable only? or does it reset every season?

    • H0lysatan
      April 1, 2020 at 12:46 am

      Don’t mind the 3th. It’s only one time reward only.

    • H0lysatan
      April 1, 2020 at 12:54 am

      And don’t mind the 1st & 3rd.. I’ve found out that 10th and 5th level of every league will decrease multiplier by 1. And first time reward is one time only forever.
      The only question remain is how does win streaks work in this new ranked system.
      I haven’t found any info about that anywhere.

      • Nickus89
        April 1, 2020 at 2:25 am

        So far it works as usual. I have climbed to gold within few games thanks to win streak. It gives the same amount of stars as if you won an extra game. I don’t know if it is valid for all ranks though. In previous system, last 5 ranks before legend didn’t have win streaks anymore.

      • Eyasluna
        April 1, 2020 at 6:32 am

        Yes, after the multiplier runs out the ranking system works as before.

        • Gibilan
          April 1, 2020 at 1:06 pm

          Diamond 5-1 don`t have winstrikes, but the multiplier doesn`t run out if you start with 11x. Even in Diamond 5-1 you`ll go with 2 stars per win

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 1, 2020 at 8:45 am

      1. Yes, you get a reduced star multiplier every 5 floors.
      2. Yes, Diamond 5-1 have no win streaks.
      3. Yeah, you’ve already answered that :p

  15. Seb2ag
    March 31, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    Shouldn’t we wait a few days to get ashes of outland packs ? instead of descent of dragons

    • Rickert von F
      April 1, 2020 at 8:33 am

      The packs look like Ashes of Outland packs, which makes sense, since we won’t get them until the end of the month, anyway.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 1, 2020 at 8:47 am

      You don’t get your monthly rewards until the end of month anyway – only one-time rewards are instant. So you can already start grinding and you will get Ashes of Outland packs in the monthly chest.

  16. Styxh
    March 31, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    How is the MMR working between standard and wild? I usually play standard, but I also go for some wild games sometimes (I’m low rank there and I farm a few fast wins, but I also concede a lot to preserve my rank). Does one MMR affect the other?

  17. Daltobalto
    March 18, 2020 at 9:22 am

    So the rewards stack up after hitting each rank floor ? EX: after hitting silver 10 I would then get the reward for that and bronze 5 ?

  18. AYAME-chan
    March 18, 2020 at 7:51 am

    There’s a typo in the “More rewards” part.
    What’s written is : “Even just one rank below – at Rank 5 – […]”
    What I believe should be written is : “Even just one rank below – at Rank *6* – […]”, because the rewards mentioned afterwards are rank 6 rewards, not rank 5.

    I’m cautiously optimistic about this rank system update.
    Strictly speaking, better end-of-month rewards and new first-time rewards are a huge plus, while adding ranks and leagues should be fine as long as the star multipliers are correctly balanced.
    But reaching these rewards will be a vastly different experience. Previously, if I reached rank 1 or Legend on a month, I could take it easy even in the next month, because I was guaranteed rank 5 or 4 rewards with near equal value. Now, winning up to your previous rank, even if facilitated, is mandatory to earn similar rewards.
    That’s also a reason why I’m not sure about pure MMR based matchmaking : facing players of similar ELO consistently from Bronze 10 up to last month’s rank – and further – will most likely also make every match a challenge. Although star multiplier does mean you can get by early with even below 40% winrate, this will definitely slow down the climb. Analyzing the meta could also be more inconsistent as sorting data by rank can’t include players’ average ELO ranking since it’s hidden until Legend : data of players from many different levels could be mixed at Bronze 10 at least early in the season. But I’ll wait until the first meta reports to see if it ends up like this.
    Anyway, I think this new system will be a grind for everyone to reach same or better rewards as last month. The new reward help players long-term, but not day-to-day. For example, I would have liked to see a rework of daily quest and of the “10 gold per 3 win” system to make playing Hearthstone lightly (like 5-10 games) accumulate slightly over a pack’s worth of gold, while of course not allowing extreme gold farming. That would help more with the F2P experience than this ranked system overhaul imo, playing casually is way less tiring than grinding dozens of games, as long as the player is fine with only barely maintaining their current Standard collection.
    Even moreso since a 10th class is coming, with 15 new cards to every set from now on. This also counterbalances the new end-of-month and first-time rewards, since sets will cost more to acquire. At least, duplicate protection on all rarities will also help.

    So I think there’s a lot of give and takes with this new ranked system, especially since nothing has changed for daily rewards. Still, potentially earning more Epic cards, packs, and even a Legendary card per month sounds pretty good. I hope this system fares even better than my expectations.
    Lastly, adding leagues makes it convenient to market this reworking to players, but I can’t help but feel that there might be league-based events coming later on. That would be hype!

  19. Nickus89
    March 17, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Majority of those changes are wonderful and are helping both old and new players with extra incentive to play. In general I really like Blizzards decisions lately.

    I have only one concern about the MMR matchmaking. If someone hits a rank floor and decides to have fun, either playing meme decks or testing new strategies, he will naturally lose more than win. Thus his MMR will drop. If at some point, that player decides to start climbing again, his matchmaking will be hindered by his lower MMR. In a sense, player would be punished for trying to have fun which is somehow illogical.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      March 17, 2020 at 3:48 pm

      His MMR getting lower just means that he will face worse opponents. So if anything, climbing back up will be easier after messing around on a rank floor 🙂 And then, after facing weaker opponents and having a higher win rate, he will quickly gain back the MMR.

      • Nickus89
        March 17, 2020 at 11:43 pm

        In theory it could work, but this represents another potential problem: deliberately losing at rank floor to enable faster climb.
        We will see how it will work in practice.

  20. Tuscarora87
    March 17, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Do streaks work in all Leagues?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      March 17, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      They did not mention them not working after you climb higher, so I would assume that yes, they do.

  21. HuntingFor90
    March 17, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Didn’t know if rewards stacked and was really disappointed at first, now that we know they do I’m not feeling so bad about the ranked changes, and all the other changes are amazing. Props to Blizz not being the bad guy for once