Climbing the ladder in Hearthstone is a skill not everyone has. And even those who do have it, don't always have the time to commit each and every month to making Legend. But there area few steps everyone can take to make that process take less time. Most don't optimize their performance and all the possible factors to support them. Rather we usually just play and hope we win while playing the deck to the best of our ability. However, there's much more you can do outside of just playing your deck well. Here are a few tips that should help you step up your ladder climb.

Stick with What You Know

Don't just follow the meta blindly. Even though plenty of websites out there (ourselves included) recommend decks almost every week, you should remember that experience is key. There's no substitution for having your own mulligan techniques, understanding your matchups, and keeping your win conditions in mind. A new archetype might indeed be better given the meta, but it'll likely take you a good amount of time to get used to it, and in the meantime your win-rate will suffer.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't adjust. Just keep in mind that it's likely going to take a few weeks for familiarize yourself with a new archetype. Don't just swap decks based on what you think the meta is.

Track Your Deck

Oh crap. You just drew N'Zoth, the Corruptor but can't remember which Deathrattle minions have already been played and killed. This is particularly troublesome since you've been doing something else while playing and you really haven't been paying all that much attention to minute details. Programs like Hearthstone Deck Tracker (HDT) help you with this! They have a variety of features, but we mostly use them to see what cards are yet to be drawn.

There are other features too like tracking what your opponent has played as well if that's something you really struggle with.

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Programs like Hearthstone Deck Tracker allow you to see what cards remain in your deck.

Focus on the Game

Speaking of doing other things while playing. Don't! We do this all the time as well and it can cost you wins left and right. Even if you don't think it's having a very big impact it probably is. Surely you've had a moment where you're in a rush to finish your turn and return back to whatever else you were doing only to realize there was a better play to be made. It's not impossible to climb the ladder when doing this, but it will make you take much more time to do so.

Follow Your Win Rates

If you're really committed to improving you can also track individual matchups. Sometimes this can be hard to do if you're unfamiliar with all of the different archetypes out there, but you can easily just put all this information in a spreadsheet. On the left-most row put the name of your deck and in each column put the name of the deck your facing, making sure to add new archetypes as you go along. This way you can easily track the decks overall win-rate against each type of deck and adjust based on what you're encountering in the meta. Notice you're struggling against Aggro Shaman and it's all you see on the ladder? Maybe it's a good time to switch decks.

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A dated example of what this process looks like. Value = Number of Wins / Number of Games

List Out Your Tech Cards

While it's easy to keep track of what you are and are not running when you're actually building the deck, it gets much harder when you're into your 50th game. For example, at the start of this season when there was a ton of Zoolock, we slotted Revenge into our Control Warrior list. Here we are almost halfway through the season and it's still sitting there. Has it been useful? Is it just ending up as a dead card in our hand?

Situations like these are why you should actively be monitoring the performance of tech cards in your deck. There will inevitably be a time when the meta has shifted to a place where that card may no longer be the most optimal decision.

But don't get impatient! Variance is very much a thing. One day you may only run into control decks, the next might be more midrange shifted. There's nothing necessarily wrong with switching out cards on a daily basis, just make sure your sample size is large enough such that you aren't just jumping to conclusions.

Know When To Quit

Stopping when you're getting stomped is the easy part. The hard part is knowing when to stop when you're ahead. There have been countless times we've climbed and climbed only to lose and lose and lose. Sometimes during the course of your matches the meta will suddenly shift away from you and it'll be time to call it a day and approach the next day anew.

If you're tilted, by all means stop. Some players will recommend stopping after losing as little as two games when you're dealing with ranks above five. For everyone else there's much more wiggle room, but if you're losing because of your own bad mood, stop. Otherwise...

Know When to Keep Pushing

This is probably the hardest thing to do when playing Hearthstone: understand when you're simply experiencing variance and that it really isn't your fault that you've lost five or six matches in a row. Maybe take a quick break and come back before trying again. Sometimes there's truly nothing you could have done, you had bad draws, it was a bad class to play against, they got a perfect combo and beat you in four turns. These things happen. Knowing how to not tilt and give up is an important skill.

Practice some of these enough and you'll start noticing and improvement in your game. Whether that be breaking the Rank 20, 15, or 5 barrier doesn't matter. There are areas in which all of us can improve, it's just a matter of having the discipline to keep up the best practices.