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ICC Winner Arena Guide

Blizzard's blend of traditional TCG mixed with WarCraft lore is making waves across the competitive community but finds itself entangled in the tried and tested debate of whether or not your wallet is the secret to success.

Pay-to-win is the concept that exists when there is no marginal way to be competitive without paying for a certain items, characters, or in this case, cards.

Unfortunately, without the help of your wallet, the only feasible way to gain access to gold and cards is to partake in the Hearthstone Arena - and do well.

In Arena, players compete against one another using specially constructed decks to earn substantial rewards of gold, dust and 5-card boosters.

The Arena Mode features strong elements of luck and chance with players 'essentially gambling upon their own success'.

The player must select one of three randomly chosen classes. They then choose from a series of randomly selected cards to build a new, unique deck. Unlike other play these cards are not limited by the player's current collection, and there is no limit on the number of each card that can be included in a deck (including legendaries).

Players then use their decks to do battle until they have suffered three losses, or claimed 12 victories, at which point they will be granted a number of rewards depending on their success. Winning at least seven games before being eliminated guarantees that the player will earn their entry fee back in gold.

But, as any Hearthstone player will tell you, putting together a successive string of victories in Arena isn't easy and Telkom Do Gaming caught up with Bravado's Dylan 'Pixelpusha' Henderson to share his top tips for besting the difficult game mode.

The MTG veteran defeated Andrew 'pIjIN' Clark[/b] convincingly in the Hearthstone (HS) Insta-Clash Cup (ICC) Valentine’s Edition Grand Final on 5 March.

The champion has mirrored his cup success with devastating league form having picked up eight wins from ten games in the 2014 Telkom Do Gaming League Hearthstone Summer Leg to sit top of Group A.

Pixelpusha’s Hearthstone Arena Guide

1. When drafting always try to pick the ‘better’ card and avoid trying to draft your deck with a specific focus. You want to avoid ‘situational’ cards and look for picks that are strong on their own.

2. A strong mid-game is vital if you are to take control in Arena play. Four drops are particularly efficient.

A deck that spikes on the four drops will help you exert a lot of pressure on your opponent during the midgame but also allow you to stabilise if you take a hard knock.

3. You can often be a bit more lenient with your life than you can in constructed play. This means being able to ping a bigger minion with a hero attack without fear of losing too quickly.

4. Argent Commander, Azure Drake, Chillwind Yeti, Dark Iron Dwarf and Harvest Golem are all instant neutral picks. They often get you 2-1 trades with ease, especially with Azure Drake, the instant draw means you didn't lose anything except the mana by playing the drake and if your opponent uses a card to kill it, it's already a 2-1.

5. In my opinion the Mage and/or Paladin tend to be the strongest drafted decks in arena. They have such good class cards while the mage’s ability to ping is great for board control.

Blizzard recently announced that Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft has moved out of open beta.

Hearthstone is now available on Mac and PC, with iPad support coming soon. Android device, iPhone, and Windows tablet versions are in development and will be available in the future.

The launch patch brings with it bug fixes, balancing, ranked play improvements and the new golden portraits and powers which you can attain by winning 500 ranked matches.

The free-to-play title is here, along with a list of the version 1.0 patch notes.

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