Play in Arena consists of a series of matches between Arena players, with each player using their specially constructed deck.
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During each Arena run the player can suffer up to three losses, with the number of losses so far displayed on the Arena screen. Once a player has lost 3 times, or won 12 times, their run will end, and rewards befitting their success or lack thereof will be offered. Once the run has ended, the player's deck will be destroyed, and cannot be viewed or played with again.
Players can also choose to retire their deck at any time and claim their reward. However, it should be noted that completing all of a deck's Arena matches cannot reduce the reward on offer, only improve it. Retiring a deck should therefore be a last resort used only when unwilling to play with the deck any longer. It should also be noted that if either player is disconnected from the server during a match and fails to return through the reconnection feature , that match is counted as a loss for the disconnector.
For players on their first few Arena runs, matchmaking is intentionally altered to provide an easier transition into the game mode. The exact number of games required to be eligible for this adjustment is something that the developers are "still tweaking a little", but as of April is "in the realm of 2 or 3 runs.
Once the player has won 12 games in total, lost 3 games, or retired their deck, they will be given a Key to open up the chest for their reward. Much like when opening a card pack, the player will be presented with a number of individual rewards, and must click on each in turn to discover their contents.
A range of rewards are possible, with both the number of individual rewards granted and their possible contents determined by the number of games the player has won. Rewards may consist of card packs , gold , Arcane Dust used for crafting and individual cards, including golden cards. Each Key grants the player a number of prize boxes as rewards.
The contents of each prize box are determined randomly according to a range of possible items and values. Higher-level Keys grant a larger number of prize boxes with more valuable content. Certain prize boxes are guaranteed for each Key. The remaining prize boxes are determined randomly from one or two reward pools.
The below table aims to chart the range of possible rewards for each Key rewarded. More valuable items in the random reward pools appear in prize boxes with less probability than other items in the reward pool. For example, the random prize boxes for 12 wins have extremely low chances of giving out legendaries, golden epics, and golden legendaries. Occasionally, Blizzard will change Arena for a limited time, either by adding exclusive cards or modifying the drafting system. Players are able to participate in Arena events for free via Arena tickets, which can be obtained by starting up but not finishing their Arena run prior to the date when a new Arena event starts.
When a new Arena event is released, any unfinished Arena run that the player has had will end at its final state, and prizes are rewarded to the player based on the player's progress in the unfinished Arena run, and a free Arena ticket is given to the player. Arena tickets allow the player to enter the Arena for free during the Arena event or in any future normal Arena run. Arena tickets will be consumed upon use, but will never expire.
During the Hallow's End event in and , players are able to play as two classes at the same time. The first pick adds the class's cards to the hero pool which the second pick also chooses the Hero Power. For Jun 11th-July 2nd, , 28 new Arena-exclusive cards are able to be drafted, 2 for each class and 10 neutral cards. During Wildfest, Wild cards were able to be drafted.
For period of time , each class gained one Arena-exclusive card that was able to be drafted. The cards were chosen by the community from a vote between three class cards. Before the release of Goblins vs.
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Gnomes expansion, cards from the set were able to be drafted in Arena. The strategy in Arena is considerably different from constructed play. The emphasis in "draft" mode is on knowing the powerful basic cards and which classes have the best class-specific cards. Constructed, on the other hand, is much more reliant on the player's card pool and synergies between the cards they choose to play. Players may wish to make sure they have a good grounding in the game and the capabilities of each class before entering the Arena, as the admission charge can make Arena play costly for unsuccessful players.
There are two key differences between Arena and constructed play. Firstly, the deck is not limited to 2 of each card. This can allow players to build outlandish and otherwise impossible decks, such as a mage with 7 x Frost Nova , a priest with 5 x Northshire Cleric , or a warlock with 2 x Malygos.
In regular play players can use this limit to anticipate their opponent's possible cards; for example, it can generally be trusted in regular play that a priest who has already played 2 x Mind Control has no more Mind Control cards in their deck.
Arena offers no such certainty; a player may lack many key basic cards, or may feature several of the same card. This affects Arena play because players are far less able to anticipate the deck construction and play of their opponent. Secondly, players must select their cards in a fairly random process.
This typically results in relatively random and unpredictable decks, and has two consequences: Class-specific cards are also generally selected less commonly in Arena card sets than in constructed play, making strong synergy decks less likely to find success in Arena. At the end of each month the top players in the Americas, Europe, and Asia regions are listed on the official site for the corresponding region. Players are ranked by their average wins per run, with a minimum of 30 runs. Arena end of month leaderboards use a player's best 30 consecutive runs as their average.
Arena competition presents a very specific pattern of player elimination. This allows players to mathematically rank their run in the Arena according to the percentage of players who have achieved the same record. Note that these statistics do not represent the player's actual chances of reaching any number of wins. Success in Arena is substantially determined by deck construction and skill in playing each match. The numbers below merely reflect the proportion of players who reach each number of wins.
In addition, while these numbers reflect the intended design, for reasons of shortening queue times it is possible players will not always be matched against players with precisely the same score. However, given the large player pools currently seen in-game, any deviation from the design is expected to be negligible. Players may complete their Arena runs with between 0 and 12 wins, with the number of wins directly determining the scale of the prizes awarded. The below table lists the percentage of runs that reach each number of wins.
For example, Arena runs achieving 5 wins are in the top Each Arena run features a potential of 14 matches for each player, with runs ended upon reaching 3 losses or 12 wins. In each match, it is possible to win or lose the game, dividing the players between one of two possible paths. The below table shows the percent of runs that will reach each given point on the overall potential sequence of matches, with numbers rounded off to two decimal places.
The numbers in bold indicate possible final scores, assuming the player does not retire their deck. For example, we can see that only 0. In October , official statistics were released for Arena play between January and September A series of infographics listed the top players in each region , followed by some global statistics.
The original infographics can be found here. The performance of individual players was broken down by region, and by a number of criteria. Some of these statistics are collated for all regions below. As a rule China and Asia tallied higher numbers of total wins, runs and win runs, compared to the Europe and Americas regions. The individual class records were mostly claimed by the Americas region, while the Europe region dominated in areas related to average run performances. The following stats were presented collated for all regions, for January-September period.
Additional stats can be found in the original infographics. The design of the Arena provides for a very different way of playing Hearthstone than that found in constructed play. In comparison, Arena rewards players based more on their ability to construct decks from a less than ideal selection of cards, and to improvise in unlikely match circumstances. It also features a greater emphasis on basic gameplay skills, rather than complex strategies and specific gimmicks.
Arena is far less dependent upon knowledge of the current meta, and sees far fewer highly organised decks, but frequently features unlikely, improvised and sometimes extraordinary plays which can be extremely hard to predict. Arena also provides a second chance for cards rarely seen in constructed play. Many cards widely considered poor choices for constructed decks are presented to players as Arena picks, and end up finding their way into players' decks.
Because of this, the diversity of cards seen in Arena is far greater than that of constructed, again contributing to a greater focus on improvisation in response to unexpected circumstances. This is one answer to the often asked questions regarding the existence of certain seemingly poor cards; while they may rarely be chosen in constructed, their presence in Arena broadens the variety of the game mode, and allows it to offer almost an additional set of cards to that seen in constructed play.
Not only does their presence provide a greater range of options, but due to the random nature of Arena picks, these otherwise panned cards have the opportunity in Arena to become valuable and even game-winning choices, due in part to the other unlikely cards presented to players when constructing their decks. Because of the far greater difficulty in constructing a deck with a specific design, knowledge of the current meta, and the ability to play around a central gimmick or specific strategy are far less valuable in the Arena. Improvisational skills are highly important, both in responding to an unpredictable opponent and in playing a less than ideally constructed deck.
Players cannot rely on a common sense expectation of what the opponent's deck should hold, nor on a consistent or balanced deck of their own. While "net-decking" the latest top-ranked decklists can provide great advantage in constructed, Arena is far more rewarding of a knowledge of the constituent parts of a deck, and the many ways in which they can be combined when ideal opportunities fail to present themselves.
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For these reasons, a different type of player can expect to shine in Arena than in constructed play. While it is possible for players to excel at both, many will find themselves consistently seeing more success in one type of play than in the other. Players with a greater knowledge of the current meta and a focus upon refining specific decks and strategies will likely fare better in constructed, while those less well-versed in the latest trends may have a better chance in the Arena.
The lack of opportunity for ideal deck construction allows players with less advanced deck building knowledge a greater chance of success, with familiarity with the latest decklist less valuable than a shrewd instinct for the basic building blocks of the game. Arena can also provide a break from the relatively construction-focused domain of constructed play. While success in constructed often requires constant tweaks to a deck, and may punish players who do not keep an eye on the latest developments in the meta, a deck made in Arena cannot be changed, and once built must be played as is for better or worse.
This can allow players to simply enjoy doing their best under less than ideal circumstances, without excessive focus on where they could have improved the deck, especially considering the great variety between the cards offered in each Arena run.
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Arena also gives players a chance to experience many interesting and hard to obtain cards which they may not have the opportunity to play with in the rest of the game. While higher rarity cards are relatively uncommon picks, Arena is the only mode besides the limited realm of adventures ' Class Challenges and certain Tavern Brawls in which players can play with cards that they do not actually own.
This can provide great insight into which cards to craft , or simply highlight the fun of playing with cards the player has never chosen to experiment with. The variety of classes found in Arena can also give players an opportunity to experience playing with classes they do not often choose, as well as sampling those classes' higher rarity cards and higher basic cards, which the player may not yet have earned.
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The Arena - originally titled 'The Forge' - was first conceived as a way to incorporate 'draft mode' style play into the game. Drafting with a physical CCG involved players passing round packs of cards, drawing individual cards until they had each built a deck - something many of the developers enjoyed, but which would be difficult to implement within Hearthstone.
To solve this problem, the developers implemented asynchronous drafting, allowing each player to separately - yet randomly - build, or 'forge' a unique deck. Early versions of the Forge had players keeping all the cards they drew for their deck. Admission cost several card packs, and would win packs in exchange for achieving wins. One snapshot of the development process shows the player earning a pack for each win above 4, with 10, 15 and 20 wins granting 5, 15, and 30 additional packs. The developers eventually decided to remove both the card pack admission cost, and the reward of keeping the chosen cards.
One reason for this was to remove the conflict between whether to choose the card that was better for the current Arena run, or the card which the player ultimately wanted to add to their collection. This change allowed players to focus purely on building the best possible Arena deck. Another reason for the change was to remove restrictions on which cards were presented.
When the player kept the chosen cards, it was necessary for the range of cards presented for selection to match those which would have been obtained if the player had simply opened the card packs spent to enter the Arena. I'm a seasoned arena veteran and I notice that the first matches are often unusually tough. It seems strange that subsequent games are easier, considering that your opponents are then at positive wins and 0 losses. As others have said. It's like this is the first time you played Arena.
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Oh and you picked Hunter, hopefully you drafted a really good deck with that otherwise you won't get far. More topics from this board What current decks do you see surviving rotation? Keep me logged in on this device. Forgot your username or password? BrokenBoone BrokenBoone 2 years ago 3 The number of times I'm matched against an overpowered first opponent seems ridiculous.
Rachenar Rachenar 2 years ago 7 This is true. JCcalderon JCcalderon 2 years ago 8 As others have said. DK Rexxar is so dumb. Decks that won't change dramatically when the rotation hits? What's your go-to fun yet terrible deck these days?