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It frustrates me that whenever I go to play, it seems like 80% of my opponents have legendaries like Kel'Thuzad, Ysera or Ragnaros.

They all have those, and I'm just here sitting with my basic cards.

Is it normal for unevenly matched players to be... well, matched up so frequently?

The game's great but this is frustrating and might be a deal-breaker for me. And no, I'm not willing to shell out cash... yet.


Fun update : Fast forwarding 7 months from a newbie to now, I'm now a consistent Rank 8-10 player with a bunch of legendaries! (6ish from packs, 2 crafted, and all Naxx and BRM legendaries)

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  • Kel'thuzad is actually the easiest legendary to acquire, since all you have to do is defeat Naxxramas on faceroll mode.
    – nzifnab
    Nov 10, 2014 at 17:25
  • Also, getting ALL the legendaries is really hard to do -- but getting just 1-2 is not very difficult. The first ones people tend to get are things like Ragnaros, Ysera, etc, because they are so strong.
    – nzifnab
    Nov 10, 2014 at 17:26

2 Answers 2

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My guess is that you are playing unranked. The problem is that unranked is where high level players go to test out new decks, so you tend to fight a lot of unbalanced matches. You will probably have more success playing low level ranked once you unlock it.

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  • Yes, I was playing unranked. I see. Thanks. I'll look forward to low level ranked then. :)
    – Zaenille
    Oct 29, 2014 at 5:36
  • 17
    Tried Ranked and now I'm fighting players my own level. Thanks!
    – Zaenille
    Oct 29, 2014 at 7:11
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    @MarkGabriel Once you play ranked for a little while and improve your skills, you will run into some players with cards you don't have access to again. My advice is: don't worry about it. If this player is rank 20 (or whatever) with Ragnaros and Ysera in his deck, it must be because he plays very badly. So trust in the matchmaking: once you find your level, you should have roughly a 50% chance of beating anyone you run into. Some will have legendaries and some will play well, but few will do both.
    – amalloy
    Oct 29, 2014 at 9:18
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    @amalloy Some people purposely drop ranks to farm wins for golden portraits. So, whilst I agree that you come across a lot of bad players with amazing cards, you also meet players who de-rank for easy wins (you could argue these players are "bad" if they have to resort to this).
    – Lyrical
    Oct 29, 2014 at 10:02
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    Sometimes you'll get a game against someone purposely dropping ranks with a deck that outclasses yours, but other times you'll get a game against someone purposely dropping rank...in the process of dropping rank and they'll leave and give you a free win. It roughly evens out.
    – Troyen
    Oct 29, 2014 at 10:08
17

There are two major play modes outside of Arena, ranked and casual. In both you are supposed to be matched against players of similar strength, the difference is that ranked is reset every month and your ranking is visible.

The matchmaking doesn't work perfectly, one issue is that some players concede intentionally to drop their rank so that they can then do their quests against easy enemies. The other major issue is that in ranked the rank is reset every month, you play against much better opponents at the beginning of the month than at the end if you're at a low rank yourself.

Casual is generally less predictable, you might get an opponent that tries out a fun, but not really competitive deck, or you'll get someone grinding quests with a very good deck.

If you want to have fun playing Hearthstone, you shouldn't let it bother you that your opponents have better cards. They will have more legendaries than you very often, unless you pay a lot or have played for a long time.

Legendaries are not as important as it seems to a new player. Yes, they're better than the cards you have right now, and a player with legendaries currently has an unfair advantage over you. But the overall quality and composition of the deck matters more, with a few exceptions most of the competitive decks have rather few legendaries (but those legendaries are rather important).

As a general rule, more aggressive and faster decks are cheaper and easier to build for a new player. They usually don't need legendaries, decks like Warlock Zoo or Aggro Hunter only need a few rares to work. And if you win before turn 8, it doesn't matter that your opponent had the big stuff on his hand.

I also found it occasionally satisfying to beat a deck that had more legendaries than I have in my whole collection. I once played Mage against a Control Warrior, a competitive deck with a lot of legendaries. I anticipated that he had a lot of them on his hand, I got lucky and drew my sheep and a fireball, and just removed every legendary he played for four turns straight. While this doesn't happen very often, it was quite fun.

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