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Maximizing Your Chances for a Top 100 Finish by F2K_Dethelor

by - 5 years ago

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Written by @F2K_Dethelor

The last day of the month is the most stressful one for almost every competitive Hearthstone player. The rankings of the season reset and the top 100 players are awarded additional points based on their standings on the last minute of the month.

  • Rank 1 Legend gets 15 WCP points
  • Ranks 2-10 get 12
  • Ranks 11-25 get 10
  • Ranks 25-50 get 8
  • Ranks 51-100 get 5

Also, every Player achieving Legend gets 1 point. Sounds easy right? The point is that the last day and even the last minutes severely determine if a player will get any additional points.

rank 78

ThijsNL’s perspective

As seen by the expample of Thijs, a single game can be responsible for a drop of 74 ranks. The MMR difference between players in the top 10-120 is incredibly small and can be overtaken by the outcome of a single Bo1 ladder match. However, climbing from 100-200 could take several hours even if the player possesses a huge winning streak since the MMR gaps are way larger there. Players who are anywhere between 100 and 200 will keep playing games and in theory will only stop if they hit a rank greater than 100.

The current ladder system is far from ideal. Huge MMR swings, one single game deciding your “fate” of the season and the matchmaking system allowing a Rank 200 player to queue into a rank 8000 (dumpster) player are very problematic.

However, the biggest flaw of the system, which also gets consistently abused by the Players, is the fact that a game’s outcome will only count towards the season’s ending if it ends before exactly midnight (12:00 a.m.) server time.

What does this mean?

It means that players can simply queue ~8-15 minutes before the season’s end and either grab one (or two) quick wins or, if the game does not go into their favour, rope their opponents into oblivion.


That was exactly the case with the pro player Purple who suffered from the problem explained above. We can’t really blame his opponent since the system is so flawed, that it almost “forces” you to abuse it. For example, let’s say a player is at rank 97 at 11:47 p.m. (server time). If he doesn’t queue into a game he risks not even getting top 100 without even playing. However, if he queues into a match, there is a chance that he will keep top 100 even without finishing his game. If he manages to win in time, he will probably land above top 50 or sometimes even beyond top 25! In short: the difference of a player finishing at ranks 24, 43 and 101 may be the result of thevery last game of the season, which is incredibly random.

A large number of pros agree, that the system is far from ideal, but in order to qualify for the Regionals, every player needs at least one top 100 finish (except if they finish exceptionally well in tournaments). So what can we do? Except from complaining to Blizzard about the faulty system, we can do whatever is in our hand to skyrocket our chances of securing a top 10/25/50/100 spot. In the past 3 seasons, I was lucky enough to finish 19th in March and 31st on April. However both of these finishes were done in the last day and at some point I had to climb up from around ~1000. This season I didn’t manage to continue my successful streak and obviously it wasn’t only for my luck to blame.

10 Short Tips on Maximizing Your Chances of a High Legend Finish on Ladder

  • Put yourself in the best position possible before starting the final day climb. A top 10 is ideal since it’s usually enough for a high finish but anything between 80 and 200 will make your climb much less painful.
  • Play on multiple servers if possible. You will get more chances to attain your goal and it’s important to remember that the reset times are different on each server.

Thijs did the following this season. He finished #2 on Asia and then could safely play up to rank 1 since he was guaranteed points for a top 10 finish. It is important to keep in mind that you get the points for your highest finish but you can achieve that on any server, for example an American player can get points from a high Europe finish.

  • Decide which deck(s) you will use to climb! Usually 1 deck is more than enough but you should be ready to switch if the metagame counters your deck heavily.
  • DO NOT constantly change decks since this is a recipe for destruction. Just because you didn’t draw well in 1 game or got unlucky doesn’t mean the deck is bad. Variance should be your friend and in the end it’s the consistent decks which get rewarded.
  • Play consistent decks: Playing Harrison Jones in a weapon meta is more than acceptable but having a deck full of tech cards makes the deck very inconsistent. Be mindful that the ladder meta is very different than tournament meta so tech cards aren’t that powerful.

This may sound obvious but people often forget how important it is:

  • Play as optimally as possible and give yourself the best chances of winning every game. There are plenty of articles that explain what you can do to increase your % of winning so I will not go in depth but try to give equal importance to every game. One tiny missplay can snowball into a loss which can ultimately deny you the desired finish
  • Since every game matters, make sure your pc, hardware, connection are as stable as possible when playing the final games. Unless it’s your only option, playing from your phone on an unstable WiFi is a big no-no.
  • Do not Tilt! Do not let the outcome of your plays and the randomness of the game affect you and even if it does try to get rid of it before continuing. This is something I learned from my poker times – if you have a bad streak, make a break and take a bath, go for a walk or do something that will relax you and clear your mind.
  • Don’t stop til you’re there: Being on 92 3 hours before server reset is never going to be enough to guarantee you a top 100 finish so don’t wait until you have dropped from 100 since you are denying yourself the chance of playing more games.
  • But also! Don’t overdo it! If you manage to hit 65 1 hour before server reset then it’s probably going to be enough for a top 100 finish so don’t risk losing a game except if you need more than 5 HWC points.

Last but not least:

  • Don’t be unlucky 🙂

So these were my tips on giving yourself the best chances to go for a top 100 finish. I believe that an experienced player who commits enough time (and ideally plays on 2+ servers) has a very high chance of getting top 100 every single season. Results do not lie and if you check the standings you will find players who are extremely consistent. Hero progress: https://www.heroprogress.com/hearthstone/eu is also your best friend! Let me know what do you think of my article in the comments and good luck in your ladder adventures in June!

Martin "OtakuMZ" Z.

Real life physician and afterhour card battler. Martin "OtakuMZ" contributes to the Hearthstone team of BlizzPro since late 2015. Additionally, he contributes analytic articles for Hearthstone and Gwent as a member of Fade2Karma and in his collumn on the Gwentlemen site. He is best known for his infographics which can be accessed at a glance at https://www.facebook.com/hsinfographics and https://www.facebook.com/gwentinfographics

0 responses to “Maximizing Your Chances for a Top 100 Finish by F2K_Dethelor”

  1. ElegarGr says:

    Incredible article very eduactive for new players and old ones trying to hit the high ranks in legend ladder! Thanks a lot Dethelor looking forward for more!

  2. Alexandros Themelis says:

    And there is me..Grinding for hitting rank 12 seeing legend as miles away

    • Ro drigo says:

      Just keep playing, dude, it’s easier than you imagine, unless you have less than 60% WR. Anything over 50% makes it doable, just slower. Keep playing, there’s no secret.

      • OtakuMZ says:

        Just keep on trying (as I do). The tips mentioned above really help. One thing that for us non-legendary players is also really important is not to change decks too quickly when you lose some games. All top tier decks are viable to reach legend. You have to invest the time (300-450 games) and you have to be familiar with the deck. I am stuck all seasons at rank 4-5 because of time restrictions. But once you reach rank 5 consistantly you should be able to make the push for legend with enough time.