Work Hard, Learn Hard – Keeping Current with the Meta

Struggling To Find The Time


It always seems to happen the same way. Hearthstone decides to release new content and in the same week half the staff at work decides they want to go on vacation and your boss picks you to cover half the shifts. On top of that it seems like everything from your dog needing a haircut to your house needing some serious repair pile up at the same time. Well this is for you serious players out there who love the game but are forcibly shoved into reality each day you wake up because being a pro just isn’t for everyone.

Let me start by saying I feel your pain you casual serious players. Recently the first wing for the new adventure in Hearthstone was released, The League of Explorers! All new cards, all new strategies and ideas and opportunity and meta shifts; you name it, this is when the cool stuff happens in Hearthstone.

Well, while everyone was exploring the new cards, pun intended, I was working all week. In fact with my jobs combined I worked an 80+ hour week. It was a small slice of hell but all that aside I missed the new cards and the interesting meta shifts that come with them. More importantly I am behind on the learning curve now and this is where my article stops rambling and you stop wondering why you’re reading this.

Catching Up With Limited Time

How do you catch up after falling a week behind on big meta shifts like the introduction of Reno and Djinni of Zephyrs? Well this is where you learn just how to do that. These are not magical answers and most if not all of them are obvious but this is an opinion piece on the pros and cons of each way of catching up.

To outline how to fix your problems of having a life that takes precedence of gaming I’ll mention the ways in which you can learn the new meta as quickly as possible now and then go more in depth soon after. Firstly streams are an excellent source of learning the new meta but also time consuming. Another way to catch up is to do personal, let’s call it reflection, on the new cards. To stay relevant research is going to be the key to your survival. Finally you could also consider coaching, an excellent balance of time, cost and efficiency.

Watch Streams – Whenever, Wherever

Screenshot_1So let’s start with what’s first on the list, streams. Streams offer a great resource for learning the new meta for a few reasons. There are a variety of high skilled streamers that stream throughout the day so it’s near impossible to find any down time in which you can’t catch a streamer on to learn from. Streams are a good source for learning because it allows you to watch a player experience the new meta whilst giving you the opportunity to observe it second hand therefore opening up your view of the game. By that I mean when you’re playing the game you’re playing to win and often don’t have time to consider potential plays with potential cards. If you watch a streamer play you have the second hand view and the available concentration to think ‘hmm wouldn’t Reno be a really sweet play right now, maybe I’ll add it to deck X and see how it goes. The positive to watching streams is also that you don’t have to stay focused if you are working on something at home, you can walk away when you need to without fear of losing the game. The downside to streams is simply that there is no one to bounce ideas off of.

Personal Reflection

Make_a_List[1]Now this is my favorite way to catch up though I’m sure some will disagree: personal reflection. Have a list of the new cards on hand and what their effects are and just contemplate where those cards can be effective during the day, during work, during lunch and dinner, while you’re changing your kids diaper or feeding your dog or taking a shower. Any moment your mind isn’t occupied think about Hearthstone instead of thinking I wish I could be playing it.

Tying in with personal reflection is research. Go out and read about the cards and how they have been utilized thus far and then consider how you might utilize them differently. It’s important to read more than one source because the differing opinions often lead to unique combinations of thought so don’t be afraid to read every article you can on why Djinni of Zephyrs in a priest deck is about as much fun as you’ll ever have despite not being overly consistent. Your research coupled with personal thought about the cards is probably the most efficient and cheapest way to get ahead on a meta you’re already behind in.

Get Coaching- You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

coaching[1]Now for the final option which is in my opinion the most efficient way to learn a new meta that you have skipped a beat on: coaching. Picachu used coaching and it was super effective! Coaching is the combination of streaming, research and personal reflection all in one. The only difference is it costs money but a lot of places that offer coaching do offer reasonable prices and it’s not like you need to pay for 8 hours of coaching a day for a week, a few hours is all you need to catch up. Coaching allows you to play while being overseen and to oversee a player and all of it is one on one so it’s more efficient than a stream. A coach is most likely going to be a player who has the time to do the thinking and research for you so when you play with them they are able to describe the clear options that the new cards have while you on your own time can conceive new more unique ideas. It’s the foundation that a coach can offer that’s important though. In fact here at Vicious Syndicate we offering coaching from an array of excellent players, some of which I have personally been coached by before and it helps immensely. Coaches build the foundation for you to build upon but the foundation is always the hardest part of knowledge to set.

Well then birds and nerds I think that’s about it for my rant, hope you enjoyed it, hope you take my advice no matter which piece it is and may the RNG be with you.