The Arena Play by Play series covers a complete Arena run with very detailed commentary – more so than the video format would allow. With almost every ingame event showcased on a separate screenshot, you can be sure you won’t be missing out on anything! This also allows for a more extensive commentary than a video would. All the plays will be documented with pictures except when noted: I set my recording software to take a screenshot every second. (That means around 6-700 per game for me to go through and choose from.) I hope you will find it informative and entertaining!
Find the other parts here: Part 0 – Part 2 – – Part 3 –
– Part 4
With the draft of our arena deck concluded in the previous article, it’s time to play the first game! I wasn’t that confident about the success of this deck – I did only predict 6 wins, after all – but let’s see if I can prove myself wrong.
In all seriousness, Rogue is not the worst pick in Arena. While it isn’t a Mage, a Druid or a Paladin (which I consider to be the premium class choices – Shaman isn’t bad, I just can’t stand it), it is nowhere near the levels of a Warlock (probably the most difficult one to play). Its hero ability is pretty good in the early game, which could be a big problem for me if I don’t have a fast enough start.
For all my worries about a slow beginning, this is a very good opening hand. I’ve got minions for the first three turns and I can always just use the coin to play the Arcane Missiles
I couldn’t resist the temptation of sending a “Well played” after that. Here’s the thing about Sinister Strike
The Acidic Swamp Ooze
My turn is actually pretty straightforward at this point: while I could use the coin to play the Ogre Magi
Also, the Rogue hits my face for one. Maybe that Sinister Strike was actually worth it? It has been 75% of his overall damage output on me so far, after all! Only time will tell if that proves to be the straw that, in retrospect, breaks the mage’s back. (To be fair, it probably won’t be. But you never know!)
I know what you’re thinking. Buff the golem with the cleric, then use the coin and then Frostbolt to kill his minion. I’d have a very nice board for this stage of the game!
It’s such a neat idea that I’m not really sure why I didn’t go for it. The one possible issue is the lingering threat of Backstab
Two missiles to the face, two to the minion. I make the trade and await my opponent’s next move.
I could get myself a 5/5 right now by playing this card and then trade, but why would I do that when I can get myself a 5/5, a 3/2 and remove the enemy minion as well? This should put me in a very commanding position.
Apart from something really special, I would have gone for a 6/6 minion in the form of the Warlord: now I can go for a 7/7! I must say this is a pretty lucky draw: of course, an Assassinate
Needless to say, I did not suicide my Cleric into the Frost Elemental
Glad I didn’t get punished for that! The rogue makes the obvious trade (gives up the Frost Elemental for the buffed Ogre Magi), then daggers up and hits me in the face once again. Only 25 more dagger cuts and I will be dead! Gotta be careful about this.
This is an important moment in the game. Clearly, my opponent has not shown great resistance so far. No strong removal yet, no board pressure: should I be ultra-careful and trade the Mana Wyrm and the Warlord for the Sea Giant, guaranteeing my board control for now?
As much as I generally prefer cautious play, I opt against it here. Imagine what is the worst that could happen and ask yourself: could you deal with it? I would put my opponent on 4 health. Maybe they would throw a Yeti and a Defender of Argus
I suppose we should also ask the question: should I worry about dying this turn? If I get daggered and hit by the Sea Giant, I still have 16 health. This is no Miracle Rogue. There is almost no way I can die here. No point worrying about that. Let’s bash his face in.
With that I successfully take down my first opponent in the Arena. It wasn’t a particularly difficult game: most of my choices were pretty straightforward I had a much stronger early game and it frankly didn’t seem like that I’ve been up against a well-drafted deck anyway. In retrospect, it may have been more efficient to play the cleric on the Harvest Golem on that particular turn, but it worked out great when I managed to buff the Ogre Magi. In any case, I probably need to play a little bit better later on! Not every opponent will draft a Sinister Strike, right?
In any case, I got off to a decent start: here’s hoping I can keep going in similar style! It’s only going to get more difficult from here on out, after all…
Find the other parts here: Part 0 – Part 2