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Guide to Ranking in Hearthstone

HOW TO RANK up in hearthstone

If you're a fan of digital card games, then you've probably heard about Hearthstone—the pathbreaking digital collectible card game by Blizzard Entertainment. Get ready to step into the lair of battle strategy because it's not just about the cards, but where you stand—the ranks. Today, I'm going to take you on a thrilling tour of the Hearthstone ranking cosmos, a fundamental cornerstone of competitive gameplay. 

All Hearthstone Ranks Listed

Welcome to the grand stage of Hearthstone! Before we delve into the essence of the ranking system, it's crucial to understand the ranks themselves. Knowledge is power, and understanding what each rank represents will provide context and motivation as you climb through the ranks. 

The Apprentice Ranks

The Apprentice ranks are where your Hearthstone journey kicks off. Each aspiring contender starts from the 40th rank, with the goal to work their way up to the 1st rank. These beginning ranks allow players to familiarize themselves with the game mechanics, understanding different hero classes, and experimenting with deck-building strategies. Rankings within this tier don't employ Elo/MMR consideration for matchmaking; thus, it is more about learning the ropes and having fun while at it! 

The Normal Ranks

Once graduated from the Apprentice tier, you journey into the normal ranks. Starting in Bronze, this is where things heat up a little. It's not just about learning anymore but about competing. You're no longer a beginner and should have a decent grasp of gameplay mechanics. The normal ranks serve to sharpen your skills further and solidify your command over your chosen decks. 

The Legend Rank 

After climbing the Normal ranks, you arrive at the coveted Legend rank. This is the pinnacle of Hearthstone's ranking system. Achieving Legend status is no small feat and is a testament to your prowess in the game. Here, players are no longer ranked in numbered tiers, but based on their match-making ratings (MMR). Achieving and maintaining Legend rank requires consistent performance, strategic decision-making, and an in-depth understanding of Hearthstone's intricate gameplay.

Matchmaking in Hearthstone 

Matchmaking is a crucial aspect of Hearthstone that’s often overlooked but greatly influences how you rank up. Whether you're just starting out on your Hearthstone journey or you’re a seasoned player, understanding the matchmaking process can give you a distinct advantage on your path towards the Legend rank. 

Understanding MMR 

Hearthstone uses a particular system known as Matchmaking Rating (MMR) to pair you with opponents. This system considers your win-loss record and your rank. So, you can trust that you're consistently matched with players of similar skill levels. The deeper you get into the game, the more this system refines the matchmaking process. Yes, this might make the climb tougher, but that’s where the thrill of the game truly lies! 

Gaining Stars and Star Bonuses 

Rank in Hearthstone is expressed through stars. Whenever you win a match, you earn a star, and when you have collected enough stars, you’ll rank up. However, losing a game would mean losing a star. But don’t worry, certain ranks called 'rank floors' exist where no stars can be lost! 

Then there’s something extra sweet on top - Star Bonuses. These are designed to help players rank up quickly especially at the start of the season or when they’re ranked lower than their actual skill level. At the beginning of a new season, your good performance from the previous season can earn you these bonuses. The Star Bonus gives you additional stars for each win and they remain active until they’ve been ‘used up.’ This means you could rank up doubly quick! 

Keep in mind, though. As you move up the ranks, the number of stars needed to rank up also increases. So, be prepared to put in a little more effort in each progression.

Stats Tracking & Tools for Learning

Now that you have a good grasp on the Hearthstone ranking system and what it entails, you're on a solid footing to take your game to the next level. It's about understanding your strengths, identifying your weaknesses, and altering your approaches as needed. Tracking your performance, match history and the current meta picks can provide valuable insights into your strategy. 

Here are some of the best homepages for tracking performance and match history: 

  • HSReplay: Offers comprehensive stats on decks, cards and more. Their tools allow you to track your performace and offer replays to analyse your games. 
  • Hearthstone Top Decks: Provides meta deck analytics and latest news on Hearthstone. It also provides a user friendly deck builder tool. 
  • INNKEEPER: A desktop application that assists in managing your collection, tracking your pack openings and also helps with deck building. 
  • Firestone: An all-in-one tool, offering a deck tracker, collection manager and even achievements tracking for Hearthstone. 

Can't decide on which app to use? This video will help you decide.

The above-mentioned sites not only serve to track your game progress, but can also be instrumental in providing insights to craft a more effective gaming plan and strategy. Couple your passion for the game with these tools, and you're well on your way to climbing the ranks of Hearthstone. 

Rewards from Ranking Up in Hearthstone 

One of the driving factors in the Hearthstone ranking system is the prospect of unlocking fantastic rewards as you climb. Apart from the thrill of competition, Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone's developers, have integrated an incentive-based system that grants players rewards depending on the rank they achieve each season. 

Apprentice Rank Rewards

For new players undergoing the Apprentice rankings, each rank advancement grants you a small reward. Rewards include but are not limited to Hearthstone card packs and class unlocks. At the end of your Apprentice journey, reaching Apprentice 40 grants you a fancy Welcome Bundle, including a Classic Legendary card and some extra card packs. Does the Red Carpet treatment sound good to you? 

Normal Rank Rewards

Exiting the beginner-friendly Apprentice Ranks, you'll realize the rewards become a tad more enticing. As a participant in the higher leagues, from Bronze to Legend, end-of-season rewards await you. The higher you ascend on the ladder, the better your loot! 

  • Bronze: Ending the season at Bronze gives you 1 card pack and a random Epic card.
  • Silver: At Silver, you'll earn 2 card packs, a random Epic card, and 20-25 Arcane Dust (used for crafting new cards).
  • Gold: Should you achieve Gold rank, you're looking at 2 card packs, an Epic card, 2 Rare cards, and 50 Arcane Dust.
  • Platinum: Reach Platinum, and you'll net 3 card packs, 1 Epic, 2 Rares, and 100 Arcane Dust.
  • Diamond: Diamond rank awards you with 4 card packs, an Epic, 2 Rares, and a quarter gram of top-quality Arcane Dust!
  • Legend: Finally, if you breach into Legend rank, you will be rewarded with 5 card packs, 1 Epic card, 2 Rares, and the fan-favorite 550 Arcane Dust.

How to Rank Up Faster in Hearthstone 

If you're eager to climb the Hearthstone ladder quicker, then you've hit the right spot. Speeding up your ascent in Hearthstone isn't just about relentless grind; it's about strategy and efficiency. Here's how you can make your journey upwards a breeze: 

Know Your Deck 

Understanding your deck is instrumental to winning. Each card set comes with its own strengths, weaknesses, and synergies. World of Warcraft aficionados might lean towards a 'Hunter' or 'Mage', but don't ignore how a 'Warlock' or 'Demon Hunter' deck might fit your strategy better. Familiarize yourself with each card’s potential, conceptualize possible card combinations and anticipate the effect each play may have on your foe. 

Focus on a Few Decks 

Instead of trying to manage multiple decks, concentrate on mastering a few. Sticking to 2-3 decks allows you to be intimate with its dynamics and nuances. This helps reduce the chance of misplaying and increases the likelihood of predicting your opponent's moves. 

Keep An Eye on the Meta 

The 'meta', or most effective tactics available, is perpetually evolving in Hearthstone. It refers to the current trends in the game - which classes are the strongest, which decks are most used, etc. By being privy to the metagame, you can effectively counter mainstream strategies and even capitalize on less popular decks to gain an edge. 

Analyze and Learn From Your Games 

Every game, win or lose, presents an opportunity for learning. Analyze your plays, identify areas of improvement, and evolve. Perhaps you made a strategic blunder you can avoid next time. Maybe you uncovered a potent card combo you hadn’t considered before. The goal is to consistently refine your understanding and execution of gameplay mechanics to naturally ascend the ranks. 

Rising up in Hearthstone takes patience and practice. But with these strategies in your arsenal, you're equipped to climb the ladder quicker and more efficiently. Remember, though, at the heart of it all, the most important thing is that you enjoy your Journey in Azeroth's beloved tavern game.

About the author

Adan Cabal

I’ve cultivated my writing skills and learned to marry my interests by working as a gaming journalist here at Game Champions. This is a perfect way to talk about the things I’ve always loved and share my thoughts with a wider audience.