Reaching legend rank

So you're not really a great Hearthstone player and you don't have a full Hearthstone collection but you still want to reach legend?
Well, that makes two of us: Hearthstone is my first collectible card game and I'm also playing on a budget.
I reached legend by playing a rather unorthodox deck and I decided to write a guide to help others like me: average Joes that don't have all the cards in the game.

  1. Hearthstone is P2W. Pay for the core cards or be prepared to play hundreds and hundreds of hours to be on par with other players.
  2. Keep an eye on your win rate. Either use tracking software or do it old school style, but do it.
  3. Stop playing when you're tilting. If you're on a loss streak, just do something else. It's only going to get worse.
  4. Play to win. Risk more in match ups which do not favor you.
  5. Go for the surprise factor. A strange deck or a strange tech card can help you win games.
  6. Be patient. It will probably take hundreds of games to reach legend.

Keep reading if you want more details :wink:

Pay to win

Hearthstone is P2W

Ok, let’s face the hard truth: Hearthstone is a P2W (pay-to-win) game. You either pay with your time or with cash. And paying with time is very inefficient. So if you really like the game and can spare $40-$60 per year, do it. It will save you hundreds of hours of grinding.

Saying that Hearthstone is P2W is the quite controversial statement so I’ll explain: no, you cannot actually pay to win a game in Hearthstone. But you can pay for shortcuts by buying great cards through adventures or tons of card packs.

Let’s say that Joe and Mike are about as good at Hearthstone. If they play 100 games, they should each win about 50. However, if Joe doesn’t have key cards to counter Mike then Joe’s never going to win 50. He’ll win maybe 40 if he’s lucky.

Of course, skill is a factor. At different skill levels nothing can save you from having a sub-50% win rate against a better player. But skill levels equalize as you climb: players are better and better and you can’t just weasel your way out of a bad situation through sheer luck and brainpower.

If you want the legend climb to be fun, get at least 1 competitive deck that is not completely countered by the current meta. You will probably have to tech in cards.

You might even be forced to switch decks to another competitive deck. Or maybe even to a third one. So you need at least 2-3-4 competitive decks and their corresponding tech cards.

In my case I decided that I’d buy all the adventures with cash and get the rest of the cards through buying packs with gold. I sometimes feel that I would have enjoyed the game more if I had actually bought the adventures with cash as well as the pre-order packs (50 packs) for each expansion.

Keep an eye on your win rate

And now we get to win rate… Win rate is the thing that will either take you to legend or won’t. You will lose games. You will be annoyed by losses. But in the end, it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re still climbing and therefore winning more games than you are losing.

If you have a higher win rate, you’ll climb a lot faster.

Win rate Games from rank 20 to rank 5 Games from rank 5 to legend
45% 2743 111416 (!)
50% 444 929
51% 372 617
55% 223 227
60% 147 120
66% 101 76
70% 83 62
75% 67 49

If you’re playing on a PC you should probably use a deck tracker. If you’re playing on a phone or tablet… you’re out of luck. I’m playing on a tablet so I had to keep track of things the old fashioned way. When I reached legend I actually used a very simple system. I started at rank 3 and 0 starts with Raptor Rogue and I had 0 wins with Rogue on ladder. I needed 16 wins to get to legend. So I set myself a limit of 30 wins to get to legend. This meant that I had to sustain quite a high win rate since at 50% I’d just be back where I started.

Related to this: don’t get really angry when you lose. Win rate = rate at which you’re winning. This means that you’re also losing from time to time, it’s normal. Just make sure to notice when you’re losing more than you’re winning.

Tilt alert

Stop playing when you’re tilting

You need to be very focused. As I said, the opponents are at least as good you are at Hearthstone. If you’re tilting, you’re turning into a worse player. This means that you’re giving your opponents an advantage over you.

As a simple rule of thumb, I stopped playing after 3 consecutive losses, no matter what. In your case it might be 2 losses or 5 losses, depending on how easily you tilt. Still, stop playing ladder at least if you’re tilting.

You want to make life for your opponents harder, not easier, when they’re facing you :smile:

Play to win

There will be match ups where you’re not the favorite. If you’re Freeze Mage against Control Warrior, you’re most likely going to lose. So if you’re playing it safely, you’re going to lose. Your only real shot against a competent opponent is going all in. Where “all in” depends on how desperate the match up is.

This might mean doing things which seem silly in most match ups, like keeping a 5 or 6 drop during the mulligan phase, because being guaranteed to play it on turn 5 or 6 and having it left unanswered is one of the few ways to win the match up.

Of course, if at some point you notice that you’re encountering only unfavorable match ups, it’s probably time to switch decks. This is a judgment call, I generally did it when I noticed I wasn’t climbing after a higher number of games played (15-20).

Acidic Swamp Ooze

Go for the surprise factor

Almost all the good players I’ve seen at some point or another try a strange deck or add a strange tech card in their deck. This is because the surprise factor is important in multiplayer games. Predictability is good for your own actions (this is why Ogre Brute is a bad card, because you can’t guarantee what it’s going to attack) but it is not good when your opponent can reliably predict your actions. Of course, in most games you win you’re just going to use your deck’s main win condition.

But especially above rank 5, if your deck is popular enough, opponents will find or make decks that will counter that a main win condition. So it doesn’t hurt to have a plan B.

In my case I just took advantage of the surprise factor of the deck I was playing: Raptor Rogue. Most opponents facing a Rogue would be mulliganing for Oil Rogue (the most popular Rogue variety) and would often not have the required tools to react to a Rogue that plays more like Zoolock.

If using or creating a brand new deck is not possible (and usually it isn’t) then surprising tech cards can work as well. Acidic Swamp Ooze has destroyed many Doomhammer dreams over the years :smile:

Be patient

The last but most important point. Reaching legend, even if you’re on a hot win streak, will still take at least 100 games. Probably 200 or 300. When you go above rank 5 each win starts mattering more and more.

So you have to be patient and remember that you have to play a lot of Hearthstone games to reach legend. You also have to be patient during the actual games and take the time to think through your moves 1, 2 or even 3 turns in advance.

In the end you may ask yourself, is it worth it? I don’t know. It was probably worth it for me as I generally like achievements in game and this is probably the greatest achievement a non-pro player can get.

Reaching legend.

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Why doesn't Hearthstone have a workshop?

Every player that loves Hearthstone wants to see the game thrive. He wants to play the game a lot, now and in the future. For this Blizzard needs to make a lot of money in order to support both the current infrastructure and future development.

Many feel that the current system is unsustainable if Hearthstone wants to remain a game with mass attraction.

These are currently the main money makers for Hearthstone:

  • cards (bought via card packs or adventures)
  • arena entries
  • very limited cosmetic items (hero skins)

Apart from the cosmetic items I mentioned (which are extremely limited right now), everything else could be considered in the P2W (pay-to-win) category. This is not a major problem when the card collection is limited but can become one when the card collection becomes bigger and bigger.

As new expansions and adventures are added the cards needed to create the best deck come from more and more sources, thus requiring players to pour more and more cash into the game.

One could argue that players don’t need the most optimized decks to win or have fun. But over and over again we see that players don’t like to feel like second class citizens). And they also don’t like to invest huge amounts of money into the game, just to be on a level field with other players.

One of Blizzard’s competitors, Valve, has been trying to sidestep this whole problem with a different business model, based on cosmetic items.

^(Doesn’t she look dashing?) Lina Cosmetic Set

Two of Valve’s most important games, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, are free to play. Another one, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is very cheap.

The way Valve is making money with all 3 games is through cosmetic items: things you can buy in-game that in general don’t influence gameplay and are just vanity purchases, you buy them to look cool.

Now, Blizzard has been making steps in this direction. A while ago it published a survey asking Hearthstone players if they’d be interested in buying cosmetic enhancements for Hearthstone (I’ll just call them cosmetic items from now on).

Blizzard survey

Since the survey it has also added the hero skins: Rexxar can become Alleria, Jaina can become Medivh, Garrosh can become Magni.

Warrior skins: Garrosh vs Magni

However, the real problem, as any Blizzard fan knows, is the glacial speed at which these changes are made. The only cosmetic items in the game are 3 hero skins, almost 2 years after the game launch.

I think that what Blizzard should do is take a book out of Valve’s page and create a workshop for Hearthstone (and other Blizzard titles, as a long term plan).

The Valve workshop is the place where community artists can create and publish cosmetic items they’ve created for Valve games. In Valve’s case they can actually publish cosmetic and non-cosmetic items for Steam games, but that’s another story.

Anyway, in Valve’s case, Valve does not create the majority of these items. The community creates them, according to Valve guidelines and if the items are good, after a review, they are included in the game. Once the items are in the game they are sold and Valve gets a cut.

The sytem is win-win-win :heavy_dollar_sign::heavy_dollar_sign::heavy_dollar_sign:. The players win because they have more high quality items to buy, the artists win because they get money from items they’ve created, Valve wins because it gets a fee for each sale.

I can only think of 2 possible drawbacks for players:

  • cosmetic items change the character so much that you can’t recognize the original: this can be prevented with quality guidelines for artists, like the one Valve has published
  • cosmetic items have to be included as files in the game itself, therefore making the installation bigger; this can be a big concern for mobile devices: I believe this is not a major problem for Hearthstone since most of the art assets that would be changed in Hearthstone are not that big

In case you think that Hearthstone does not have a lot of things that could fit this “cosmetic item” concept, I beg to differ. I’ve actually thought of something which, I think, would be popular (if Blizzard does not price it out of the ballpark, $10 or more…).

Sets of cosmetic skins for cards.

Most players like a class and play it primarily, as a result hero skins are a good idea.

Alternative, cosmetic boards could also be a good idea, but Blizzard has so far not gone this way.

Individual card skins would be, in my opinion, a bad idea. The main reason being that cards go in and out of fashion and many players would be afraid of buying a skin for a specific card fearing that it might not be a good investment.

That’s why I thought of card sets. Eaglehorn Bow, on its own, might be abandoned sometime in the future. But a set of cosmetic skins for Eaglehorn Bow, Unleash the Hounds, Explosive Trap, Freezing Trap and Mad Scientist would probably have a long shelf life.

Meet the Hunter

When used together, they could have a powerful thematic effect (maybe even some sort of interaction?). When one of the cards fall out of popularity, the rest are still relevant. Including strong neutral cards in the set would make sure that this relevance is as big as possible. Including class cards which fit different archetypes is also a good idea for ensuring a long shelf life.

Besides this “Meet the Hunter” set, here are 2 other examples I thought about:

“Everyone, get in here”: Grim Patron, Emperor Thaurissan, Acolyte of Pain, Shield Block, Death’s Bite.

“Life Tap”: Mal’ganis, Dr. Boom, Implosion, Knife Juggler, Mortal Coil.

Same concept: strong cards, preferably that fit multiple archetypes, and 1 neutral per set.

So my question would be:

Do you think that a Blizzard workshop would be a good idea? If not, why?

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Cash - time - gold - dust

The most important thing in Hearthstone, as in any game, is to have fun. Kind of obvious, I know! :smile:

A slightly less obvious thing is that Hearthstone is a free-to-play (F2P) game. This means that you can start playing it without paying anything. But in life nothing is truly free, and all F2P games are paid somehow.

Either by tricking you towards impulse buying (“This skin for my character is cool!” “That animation for my spell is awesome!”) or by stuffing ads everywhere and anywhere or by many other mischevious means.

As a result one of the most important things you will need to manage in Hearthstone is your budget.


For that you will need to be able to play the game at a profficient level, so that your “investment decisions” are solid (see my guide for this: Welcome to Hearthstone, you suck!) and you will need to know how much things are really worth in Hearthstone.

There are 4 major resources in Hearthstone:

  • Cash
  • Time
  • Gold
  • Dust

and one of the most important things is to see how much each one of them costs, so basically we need several “exchange rates”.

The most important ones? The ones most related to “real life” things: cash to gold / dust, time to gold / dust.

Cash to gold: $1.33 for 100 gold

The easiest exchange rate? Cash to gold. We can figure it out through card pack and arena entry prices, both of which are shown by Blizzard in both cash and gold. I will use the prices in US dollars from now on, to keep things consistent.

So, let’s see:

1 pack: 100 gold. This is the only option which is available for gold, for the rest you’ll have to use cash. But we can use this price and multiply it for the number of packs to determine the gold cost of multiple packs.

Number of packs Gold cost Cash Cost
1 pack 100 gold -
2 packs 200 gold $2.99
7 packs 700 gold $9.99
15 packs 1500 gold $19.99
40 packs 4000 gold $49.99
60 packs 6000 gold $69.99

So this means that the cash to gold exchange depends on the volume, giving us a range of: $1.495 / 100 gold → to $1.167 / 100 gold.

I’ll average it to $.1331 / 100 gold to keep things simple.

The other cash to gold entry point is Arena. 1 Arena entry is worth 150 gold or $1.99. What do you know! The “exchange rate” provided by Arena is close: $1.326 / 100 gold. I’m kidding with the surprise part, I would have only been surprised if the Arena rate would have been way off :wink:

I’ll simplify things even more by using $1.33 / 100 gold as the exchange rate to have (hopefully) nice, round numbers further along.

This part was easy, compared to the other ones. The reason for this is that we don’t have access to Blizzard’s spreadsheets which determine the actual, price exchange rates they’re surely determined before the launch of the game for the rest.

But, thankfully, Hearthstone has a big and active community so we do have some data. And I’d venture to say that we’re damned closer to the actual number Blizzard won’t ever show us, than they ever thought.

Gold to dust: 100 gold for 100 dust

Ok, so along the way we’ll take a detour. We need to know how much gold and dust are roughly worth in relation to each other in order to make a good decision when making our collection.

And here is where the community comes in, let’s see what their number crunching determined.

And here they go: 1, 2, 3, 4.

There are even statistics pages and calculators if you want to dig deeper.

The overall conclusion? 1 pack is worth roughly 100 dust.

Since 1 pack costs 100 gold, therefore the gold to dust exchange is 1:1, or 100:100.

This will also solve…:

Cash to dust: $1.33 for 100 dust

Well, since gold to dust is 1:1, cash to dust is also $1.33 to 100. Phew, that was easy!

Well, it isn’t actually that easy since there are other ways to get dust, such as Arena or Ranked rewards, but those put is in a more complex equation I doubt anyone will be able to solve without getting Blizzard’s marketing guys drunk on a Friday evening :wink:

Plus there’s another component we haven’t covered.

Time to gold: 1 hour is 50 gold

Things related to time are incredibly tricky to determine, but we can at least try. For this to work we need to set some base rules:

Average game time is 10 minutes

For most decks, except perhaps Face Hunter, Aggro Zoo or Aggro Paladin, the game will last longer than 5 minutes. And even then there are factors which happen regardless of the deck type:

  • queueing time
  • slow opponent
  • opponent has an anti-aggro deck that prolongs the game

Based on my personal experience (personal games, friends, streamers, etc.) 10 minutes seems a reasonable estimate. I haven’t actually recorded game time but some people did that and their estimate is actually close to 10 minutes.

Average win rate is 66% or lower

I can’t find the source anymore (please comment below if you have it), but Blizzard released the winrate of the top legend player for 1 season and it was roughly 75%. So this could be taken as the highest average win rate possible for a large number of games.

But we have to keep in mind that this was one of the best Hearthstone players in the world, probably at the peak of his performance, while he was “in the zone”.

Mere mortals will probably be more than satisified with 66%, which I feel is still too optimistic for the average player. To simplify calculations I will use this ratio and maybe adjust the time estimates upwards at the end.

So, our hypothetical player plays 1 game in 10 minutes and wins 2/3 games he plays. How does he get gold? He gets it by winning 3 games. Then he receives 10 gold, up to a total of 100 gold per day, for 30 total victories.

Average gold per quest is 40

He can also get gold from daily quests. And the ever helpful Hearthstone community has already made experiments to determine the average gold value of a quest. The result is not as precise as I wanted, for various reasons, but apparently the average gold per quest we should expect hovers around 45-48. Since in my calculation I assume that the player is able to finish his quest during the alloted time period (1 hour), which might not be always possible in real life circumstances, I’m lowering the average gold amount per quest to 40.

So, when we add it all up… if our hypothetical player plays 1 hour of Hearthstone per day, he will play roughly 6 games, out of which he will win, on average, 4 games. This will net him 13.33 gold, on average, from the 3-win reward and will probably net him his quest reward if he pursues it, netting him 40 more gold.

The 13.33 gold seems a little too generous considering that most players do not have a 66% win rate so I’m arbitrarily lowering the gold amount to 10 gold. This also makes things simpler :smiling_imp:

Time to cash: 1 hour is $0.67

Since 100 gold is worth roughly $1.33 and we’ve determined than on average a player will get 50 gold for 1 hour played, then 1 hour gets you about $0.67 worth of Hearthstone value. Yay! :fist:

Enough already, how should I budget for Hearthstone?

So, if you want to play constructed (casual + ranked), you will need to buy:

  • adventures
  • packs

Adventures: buy them with cash if you can

Adventures generally contain some core deck cards. Almost every viable decks has them, so you will probably want to buy them. By the way, this is by design, Blizzard places core cards in adventures since it wants players to buy them. You will be able to play those key decks without adventures but you’ll be at a severe disadvantage. Like playing Patron without Grim Patron, Emperor Thaurissan and Deathsbite or playing Hunter without Mad Scientist…

Well, besides the fact that Blizzard gently nudges you to buy adventures because of those cards I mentioned, it also gently nudges you to buy them with cash. Why?

Number of wings Cash cost Gold cost Cash / 100 gold
5 $24.99 3500 $0.71
4 $19.99 2800 $0.71
3 $14.99 2100 $0.71
2 $9.99 1400 $0.71
1 $6.99 700 $0.98

Soo for $0.71 or $0.98 you’re getting 100 gold. So cool! Not really. This just means that you’re going to waste a ton of gold if you want to buy the adventures with gold, since you’re basically wasting $0.35-$0.62 per 100 gold spent, which you could have used on packs or arenas, for example.

The conclusion: buy the adventures with cash if you can. Of course, if your collection is almost full and you’ve already saved thousands of gold, then by all means, save your cash and use the gold! :smile:

Making a full collection: $1,415

Now that we have the adventures out of the way (and probably $50 out of your pocket), let’s see for the rest of the cards. And as previously, the community did the hard work!

So, let’s see:

Card set Number of packs needed for full collection
Classic 472
Goblin versus Gnomes 294
The Grand Tournament 298

So for a full collection you’d need 1064 packs, give or take a few. That’s 106,400 gold. Or $1,415.


Now, before you despair, there are some things I should point out:

  • first of all, get better at Hearthstone: you will need to prioritize cards and decks and you will be able to do it a lot better once you know the game
  • you don’t need all the cards; at best, maybe 40% of the cards are actually used in popular decks
  • there are daily quests which reward you with card packs
  • playing ranked and getting as high as you can will reward you with golden cards, which will boost your collection quite a bit
  • playing Arena well will definitely help you with getting a larger collection faster
  • there are some tricks for getting extra packs

Now that you have all this info you can plan your budget accordingly. And one of the first things you should remember is that you should never disenchant epic and legendary cards because you think they’re bad. If you’ll need them later on your costs will increase greatly.

If you have more tips for how to increase your Hearthstone card collection efficiently, please comment below.

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The vanishing history of Dota

When I started thinking about this blog I wanted to tell the story of Dota and Dota 2, from their earliest days in 2003. I started gathering information, carefully bookmarking things I found on the Internet.

As I advance with this project I’ve come to a sad realization: Dota history is vanishing.

The earliest days of Dota haven’t been recorded anywhere, it’s just oral history. To properly write the history of Dota interviews with people who have been there from the start will be required. So I will try to have those interviews with Dota’s creators and key personalities from the early days. But this will take time, and by then they might forget important details. So there’s a good chance we will lose forever some of the most important moments in this history.


Of course, not everything will be lost, there are already articles and interviews on the internet. But the internet is a harsh mistress: many of those community maintaned sites are no longer running. Many of them were PHPBB forums which are now vanishing from the internet. Even larger ones are threatened.

The original Dota site,, belonged to Pendragon, which was a sort of “community manager” for Dota. He’s since moved on to co-found Riot (aka League of Legends) and he caused a lot of bad blood when one day he just shut down the site & forum and put up a billboard advertising LoL on the site.

Luckily for us Icefrog had already drawn a large part of the community over to But some brilliant pieces of Dota history were lost forever. Yes, I know that years later, after he almost killed the community, Pendragon released the forum database and appeared but it’s mostly broken, unfortunately :weary:

Anyway, I want to bring back the atmosphere of those early years of Dota and I hope you accompany me on this journey! :smile:

And just for fun, here’s a brilliant article written by FoxNetworks a long, long time ago on the site (maybe in 2007?). I painstakingly recreated it on with the help of the Internet Archive (aka the Wayback Machine), a brilliant effort to save old sites. If you can, donate to help the Internet Archive as they’re an awesome non-profit.

Enjoy FoxNetworks’ article and if you have personal stories or resources about Dota’s history, please comment below.

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Timmy, Johnny and Spike meet Dota

Somewhat strangely for a Dota article I’ll start with a discussion about two other games, Magic The Gathering and Hearthstone :smile:

Magic The Gathering Black Lotus

Magic The Gathering (MTG for short) is a popular trading card game. In it you gather resources called “lands” which later on allow you to play creatures and spells which you use to beat up your opponent. It’s quite complex, there are a million cards you have to buy and they can be quite expensive. Who am I kidding, they can be incredibly expensive! If you don’t believe me click that link and look at the top 10. Number 10 starts at $700. Number 1 goes from $1500 to $3000. You can see #1 to the right, “The Black Lotus”.

Jaina, Hearthstone

Anyway, because the game can be so expensive, even though I knew people playing MTG and despite the fact that I liked the game concept, I did not start playing. I try to avoid games which are major money sinks. I do like games which are major time sinks!

Instead, I started playing Hearthstone, which is basically a simplified, digital MTG. Also called jokingly “Wizard Poker”. The game’s tutorial even has you playing the wizard mage. Yes, that’s Jaina Proudmoore aka “Crystal Maiden” from back in the Warcraft/Dota 1 universe, old-timers probably recognized her.

Anyway, getting back on track. The guys designing MTG are quite smart and they publish articles about MTG on their site. One of their articles has been very influential. It’s called Timmy, Johnny and Spike. Who are Timmy and Johnny and Spike and what do they have to do with Dota?

Well, I think that they’re relevant to almost any kind of competitive game.

The reason they are relevant is because they describe player types also called “player personalities” or “personas”. In MTG’s case they are used as sort of personas which represent the types of players the MTG designers target when they create new cards.

So, why are they relevant?


I’ll start with Timmy. Timmy is basically the kind of player that likes to crush his opponent. Timmy likes to win by destroying his opponents. To put it into Dota terms, he wants to destroy the opponent’s base with his fully farmed Anti Mage. He’ll head back to the woods to farm his 6th item so that his “suit” is sparkling when he’s destroying their throne, even though the enemy team has long given up their defense. For him it just doesn’t make sense to end the game: he’s just started to have fun as The Item TycoonTM, and everyone wants him to finish the game? Don’t be ridiculous! There’s 20 more minutes of fun neutral farming to be had!

We’ve all had this kind of player in our games:

Centaur and his big hearts He really needed to get the 6th heart in order to win the game!

Timmy will most likely stay away from tricky heroes, like Chen or Crystal Maiden. He will like big, beefy heroes that can farm quickly (or that he thinks he’s able to farm quickly with) and will feel awful for each game where he couldn’t get his shiny tier 4 items. Even if his team wins and also has fun along the way.

“What kind of game is this? Lame, we won in 20 minutes, I barely had Treads and Diffusal on my Phantom Lancer…” :unamused:

I think Timmies are actually the majority of Dota players. And when I said that these player personas are visibile in most competitive games, I wasn’t kidding. Anyone who has ever played Starcraft 1 or 2 “15 mins no rush” games against someone who wanted to attack with 15 battlecruisers or 20 archons, that’s Timmy in action.

Big Starcraft Battle Now, this is fun!

Ideally there should be at most 1 Timmy per team, playing the carry hero. Preferably not a tricky carry (Meepo comes to mind), instead heroes which don’t need many buttons to reach their full potential. He might surprise everyone with his ability to farm and win the game (and the best known Timmy in the world is an awesome farmer, Burning). Of course, that’s if he can be pulled out of the jungle long enough to win the game.


Johnny is the player type on the list, he’s basically the combo player. He needs to win with style. He thrives on tricky heroes. He’ll pick Invoker, Tinker, Earth Spirit and get flashy items such as Blink Dagger or Force Staff on everything. You’ll know that Johnny is in the house when your carry Terroblade at 40 minutes has Silver Edge, Dagon 5 and Ethereal Blade and keeps running around at 10% HP to do the good ol’ Sunder - Dagon combo. Even though meanwhile he could be doing 5x as much damage with the standard builds.

A standard Johnny in action:

Tinker and his many marvelous contraptions

Johnny is general at his best playing a flashy mid hero or sometimes an offlaner. Batrider or Clockwerk come to mind. Flashy supports such as Rubick work as well.

Johnny gets easily bored during long, drawn out games, even if he’s winning, since adrenaline is not pumping in his veins. He can also tilt if his combos fail. So the hardest part about Johnny is keeping his morale up. But he is in the zone, Johnny can make really wonderful plays (hi there, Ar1se!).


Spike is the third and final player type. Spike is the competitive freak. Spike cares about 1 thing and 1 thing only, victory! He will meticulously pore over hero and items in order to find the best combination. He will practice, often in practice mode, unlike the rest of us scrubs which practice on our poor teammates. He will try to find a way to squeeze more resources out of his current game plan so that his BKB is ready 10 seconds faster than in the previous game.

Spike won’t care about his role in the team. He’ll play the position 5 Crystal Maiden, running around at 30 minutes with Boots, Magic Stick and 40 wards, in order to provide vision for his team. He’ll keep a cool, level head when deciding if his team has a higher chance to lose if he sacrifices himself or if he abandons his team mate who is out of position and will be ganked in the next 5 seconds.

Spike will do whatever it takes to win. If that means he plays Lycan and never sees a human player all game long, so be it. He will suicide to kill the raxes, finish the game 0-5-0 and be laughed at by all his team mates, but deep down he will know that he won the game for his team.

Spike will try to become profficient in all roles and with all the heroes and will limit his hero selection only after deciding which ones offer him the best chances of success in the current situation. He is also prone to following the latest competitive trends and fads, becoming a Slark picker this month and a Leshrac picker next month.

If Spike plays a very long, balanced game with plenty of kills and a lot of action, Spike will still feel incredibly bad if he loses. He will be the one typing “bg” at the end of a 50-45 game ending with a base race.

Notail? BigDaddy? BigTail? NoDaddy?

Beyond Timmy, Johnny and Spike

Of course, not everything is as clear cut as I make it out to be. In reality, normal players are in-between the 3 player types. For example, I’d say that I’m 90% Spike, 10% Johnny. I like to win, and when I win I’m very happy but I also like to do things my way. For me, “my way” = micro. Necronomicon and Manta on all the things! :smile:

What do you think about these 3 player types? In which category do you fit it? Comment below :wink:

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Personal opinions about history, news, computers and programming.