I recently passed the ‘100 hours played’ milestone for Hearthstone and I’ve been reflecting upon my time spent with it. After getting access to Hearthstone close to the end of the beta, I decide to pick a single class and stick with it. At the time not wishing to spend too much (if any) money in the game, it made sense to me to focus on a single class and spend gold and arcane dust making cards to make a single deck better. I loved how simple the Mage was. There are so many ‘Deal X damage’ spells, and spell damage creatures allow you to ramp up the damage and make silly plays.
As I played more, I was able to invest more into making the Mage deck of my dreams. I took to the Hearthstone Ladder around the time that they started the first Test season, and was pleased with the results. I never made it far beyond rank 18 or so, but I had fun with a Turn 1 Mana Wyrm into Coin and Mirror Image. Even after Pyroblast took a significant nerf, I continued on playing Mage, casting all other classes aside to focus on making a fun burn deck..
At some point though, even shenanigans like an Arcane Explosion for *4* Damage or Arcane Missiles for *6* stopped amusing in the same way that they used to. Around the time that Test Season 2 ended, I found my interest in Hearthstone waning and soon stopped playing altogether. I had never been very interested in the Arena, and constructed play just wasn’t as satisfying as it had been before. It wasn’t until April, when the first real ladder season began, that I found myself back in the game. To be totally honest, I was still unenthused about playing my Mage deck an was just playing to get to rank 20 and earn the Pandaria card back.
After quickly achieving rank 20, I thought about what I should do next. I found myself in Casual Play mode trying out a number of silly gimmicky decks. At the time unaware of the meta game, I was running my own version of a Warlock Zoo deck, along with a basic Warrior deck that focused on creatures with charge, and a Paladin deck that centered around cheesing out a huge Blood Knight. While the Warlock deck was more cut-and-dry, the Warrior and Paladin decks re-ignited my interest in the game. Neither deck was spectacular, but swinging in for NINE or more damage on turn four was a lot of fun. At this point I was back and playing Hearthstone almost daily. I had a variety of decks covering most classes and enjoyed completing my daily quests with the weird decks I made.
Time passed and I continued playing the ladder only to unlock the card backs each month, otherwise sticking to causal play to do my dailies. I had discovered a passion for building decks with weird card interactions, and was enjoying running the decks through their paces against unsuspecting victims in the queue. None of the decks were ever highly successful, but they did their job in keeping me amused, and for that I was happy. Having four or five different decks I can play at any given time has helped me to avoid getting too burned out on a single class or deck archetype, and because these aren’t competitive decks I’m always making change to them on a whim.
I’m looking forward to Naxxramas unlocking over the next few weeks and adding more cards to the pool. I wouldn’t say that Hearthstone has gotten stale since its release, but a fistful of new cards certainly mixes things up a bit. For the time being, I’ve actually discovered a new love for Priest decks, and I’m spending a lot of time on the ladder with a slightly modified version of Amaz’s ‘F2P’ Priest deck he went Legend with recently. I really enjoy how the cards interact with each other, and it seems a lot deeper than most of the more common archetypes.
So for now I’m sticking with this Priest deck. I’ve managed to get up to rank 15 on the ladder (my best ever!) and I’m hoping to be able to take it even higher. I’ll probably keep bashing away at the ladder while the wings of Naxx slowly unlock, but I suspect that once all of the cards are out I’ll be back to tinkering with ridiculous combos again.