Every month, Hearthstone players have an opportunity to earn a new card back for their collection. My best guess is that the majority of players are much more interested in racing to the top of the ladder than whatever the current card back is.

Not me. The only reason I participate in Ranked Play is to earn the card back. In this blog, I share what I learned about how to earn the card back every month without getting frustrated and no matter what cards you have or your skill level.

They can’t stop you. They can only slow you down.

A player must get five wins during a Season in order to earn the card back. This puts the entire focus on how quickly you can win five games. For me, this meant I was getting really frustrated after losing again, and again, and again. All I wanted was the card back.  Why did that have to be so difficult?

I learned that I had been looking at the game the wrong way. You need five wins to get the card back. The number of losses don’t matter (if you have no interest in climbing the ladder). Realizing this made the game less frustrating for me. I’m going to get five wins eventually.  The other players cannot stop me from reaching my goal – they can only slow me down.

Start at the beginning of a new Season.

I am writing this blog not long after having earned the card back for this Season.  Four of my wins were because the other player conceded.  One of them conceded immediately after the match started.  The fifth player “left”, which I think means there was a problem with their internet connection.

Of course, this is not an ideal way to get to five wins.  I figure it would be more fun if I’d actually got to play the game, and use some cards, and feel like I did something to earn those wins.

But here’s the thing to remember – the game doesn’t care how you won. It doesn’t matter if you used the most popular, internet approved, deck to get those wins, or if you won entirely because the other player quit. Hearthstone sees all wins as having the same value.

With that in mind, the easiest way to get five wins is to get into Ranked Play at the very start of a new Season.

Why did those players concede?

I thought it was odd that so many players I was matched with conceded. After doing a little internet research, I learned that many players concede at the start of a new Season as a form of strategy. NOTE: This does not mean all of the high-level players are doing this.

If what I read (in the Blizzard Hearthstone Forum posts, on Reddit, and in various articles about Hearthstone) is correct, many players who intend to climb the ladder intentionally concede a lot at the start of the season.

Why?  There is a belief that doing so reduces their win/loss rate. In other words, they are attempting to make the game think they are incredibly bad at playing Hearthstone, so the game will match them with other players that are just as terrible.

It seems to me (again, assuming this strategy works the way many players believe it does) what happens next is these players, who actually are incredibly good at Hearthstone, start getting matched with players who are really bad at the game. The incredibly good players, with the best, newest, most effective card decks, get matched up with… people like me, who don’t spend money on the game. Or, they get matched up with people who are brand new to Hearthstone.

This allows the players who are incredibly good at Hearthstone to rack up a lot of wins in a row at the start of a new Season. They stop conceding and start playing the game against opponents – whom they have the greatest chance of beating.

They are basically “farming” for wins, and taking advantage of both the game’s matching algorithm and the players who are not as skilled as they are. I’m guessing this gives them some sort of boost that moves them up the ladder quicker than if they didn’t concede.

Players like me, who only want the card back, can actually take advantage of this. Get in at the very start of a brand new Season, and you are extremely likely to be matched with players who intend to concede.

The cards you have, and the decks you build, don’t matter.

You only need five wins during a Season to get the card back. If you get into Ranked play early in a Season, you will likely get matched with players who concede – and hand you a win. It doesn’t matter what cards you own or what kind of deck you built.  Five wins gets you the Angry Chicken’s Crate, which will include the Season’s card back and some other goodies.

It doesn’t matter if you lose every match against players who stick around and play the game as intended.  Eventually (if you get into the Season very early), you will have five players concede the game. I honestly wish I had figured this out a long time ago, because this knowledge makes Hearthstone a lot less frustrating for me.

If you are a very casual Hearthstone player (like me), there is no need to waste time looking up deck builds and crafting the cards you do not have but need for a specific deck. You don’t need to spend money on Card Packs to earn the card back. Get into Ranked Play at the start of a new Season. You can use a Basic deck, wait for five players to concede, earn the card back, and be done with all this until next Season.

For what it’s worth, it took me less than a day to earn the card back without winning any matches due to my own efforts. I mean, I tried my best to win, but failed every time.  It is entirely possible to earn the card back entirely as a result of wins earned thanks to conceding players.

Hearthstone: How to Win the Card Back is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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