For our 11th entry to the Hall of Legends, we have Ray. Below is the story he sent in. Congratulations on your achievement and thank you for listening.
Hello Hearthcoach! I can't remember when I started listening to your podcast exactly, but after a look back over the archives it might have been around episode 12 or thereabouts. Quite some time ago, anyway. In that time, I've very much enjoyed Dan's journey of self-improvement and discovery (of the face) and FRID's wealth of experience and patience, along with the wide array of guest coaches that have come across the show.
I started playing Hearthstone casually at the end of 2013, but once they released the mobile version, I started playing more regularly. As someone with an extensive background in competitive Magic: The Gathering, but now helping raise a young family, I no longer had time to play Magic, and mobile Hearthstone fitted into my schedule of "playing on the train and in my lunch break" perfectly.
With only limited play time available, I knew that my own personal goal of one day reaching Legend would be a tough one, but not impossible. While I slowly worked on my own play limitations over the last year (limited time, distractions, and playing while walking) hearing you guys talk through your plays every week on the Hearthcoach podcast has also helped me gain a better understanding of the intricacies of the game.
Partially inspired by the Hearthcoach podcast and my desire to again produce content as I once had for Magic: The Gathering, I started my own podcast called "Walk to Work - A Mobile Hearthstone Podcast" where I narrate my own games while walking to work. Like Hearthcoach, this is to help me improve my own play through dialogue and introspection. The episodes are only around 15 minutes long and I usually release 2-3 a week, so if you like Hearthcoach, consider checking it out.
Initially, I wrote February off as a month in where the Legend climb would be impossible. It was a short month, and I was going to spend 10 days of it in New Zealand for the wedding of one of my closest friends. I set a personal goal of getting at least to Rank 5 before flying out on the 12th, and despite making little to no progress in the first 3 days, somehow made to Rank 5 with days to spare. I played Zoo to Rank 10 and Midrange Hunter to Rank 5.
Once in New Zealand, I found I had some time in the evenings to sneak in a few more games, but also found that Midrange Hunter was starting to struggle. I tried Murloc Paladin for a few games, but eventually settled on the Hyrbid Hunter list Orange used to win Dreamhack Leipzig 2016. Hybrid Hunter somehow carried me well into Rank 3 with an impressive 14-2 win streak across our holiday.
I arrived back in Australia on the 22nd but thanks to a very early flight, I was so exhausted I only managed 3-3 that day. The day after though, I was back on the horse, and hit Rank 2, and the day after that I hit Rank 1. Leaving work on the 24th, I was Rank 1, 1 star, and won 4 straight that evening meet my first Final Boss.
The first Final Boss was not kind, but I faced my second not long after, and they were even less kind. I finished the evening back on Rank 1, 1 star. As I regrouped the following morning, FRID offered some words of encouragement in game and on Twitter. I gave my deck choice some consideration and concluded that Hybrid's Freezing Traps had thawed out considerably. Over my lunch break I toyed with Zoo again, but only went 3-3. I then tried Midrange Hunter, but only managed 2-3 with that, so I felt stuck.
As I got back to work for the afternoon, I listened to FRID and Dan play Zoo in the latest episode of Hearthcoach and was inspired to give it another go, adjusting my list to be closer to theirs (-1 Gormok the Impaler, +1 Sea Giant, as the Giants were crushing the mirror). That evening, I went 5-0 with Zoo to finally get Legend for the first time, thanks to Hearthcoach, and especially FRID's friendship and support!