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- For the Ranked system used in the past, see Ranked (2013-2020).
Ranked (also known as Ranked Play) is the serious side of Play mode, with players being able to earn special ranks to reflect their prowess in battle and gain lucrative rewards every season. There are two separate Ranked ladders, one for each game format: Ranked Standard and Ranked Wild.
The two Ranked ladders each consist of five leagues (i.e. Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond), with a top-most Legend rank above these leagues. Each league is made up of 10 ranks, and players climb through these ranks by winning matches and gaining stars. Different from these two Ranked ladders, new players to Hearthstone play in a special beginner's ladder called the Apprentice League in which there are 40 ranks.
Ranked play occurs in seasons, each a month long. During a season, many rewards are handed out to players who participate in Ranked ladder, including the Highest Rank Bonus chest at the end of the season, season card backs, first-time Ranked rewards, and golden heroes.
Ranks[edit | edit source]
There are 40 new player ranks, 50 regular ranks, and a prestigious Legend rank above all other ranks. Each rank has its own colored medal, number, and picture, with the majority of ranks pictured as minions from the game. At any time, the highest rank that a player has achieved during a season can be viewed in the player's Quest Log or friends list. Only the better rank of either the player's Standard or Wild rank is displayed, and this rank is also used in determining the player's end-of-season reward. Additionally, ranks are numbered such that the smaller the rank number, the higher the rank is.
At the end of a season, players are given out rewards based on the highest rank they achieved for that season in either Ranked Standard or Ranked Wild. At the start of each season, every player's rank is reset back to Bronze 10 to begin the climb again.
New Player Ranks[edit | edit source]
- See also: New player experience
New players to Hearthstone start in the Apprentice League, which contains 40 ranks, from Apprentice 40 to Apprentice 1. These ranks are exclusive to new players only, and players cannot lose stars in these ranks.
Many rewards are given to players for climbing the Apprentice League. Players earn 3 Classic card packs upon reaching rank milestones at Apprentice 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 and 5. Upon advancing out of Apprentice 1 and the entire Apprentice League, the player earns 2 Classic packs and 2 packs each for the most recent four Hearthstone expansions. The player will then be promoted to Bronze 10, gaining access to the normal player ranks and the ability to play with Wild cards.
Normal Ranks[edit | edit source]
There are five leagues for established Hearthstone players: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Each league has a range of 10 ranks, numbered from 10 to 1 in increasing rank. For example, a player can be categorized as being in "Gold 5", "Gold 2", or "Diamond 1". The following table lists all the normal ranks for a typical player, from Bronze to Diamond:
Promotional rank floor
Non-promotional rank floor
Legend Rank[edit | edit source]
Players advancing out of Diamond 1 of the normal player ranks will be inducted into the prestigious Legend rank.
Players at Legend rank have their rank displayed as a yellow number on top of an orange gem. For example, if a player's gem displays the number 275, that player is ranked the 275th best Ranked player in their region. For a live leaderboard of Legend players, please visit the official Legend player leaderboards for both Standard and Wild in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions.
With the new Ranked mode overhaul in April 2020 alongside the 2019-2020 coronavirus pandemic, a record-breaking number of players achieved Legend rank in China, reaching as high as 100,000 Legend players in Standard.
Gaining stars[edit | edit source]
Winning matches earns players stars, and stars are needed to advance ranks. Each rank contains three "star slots", so only three stars are needed to advance out of each rank. The number of stars awarded for winning each match is determined by a Star Bonus, which is given at the start of each season, and also by a winning streak bonus. Players are awarded a Star Bonus based on both the player's MMR and numbered rank in the previous season. This Star Bonus is a multiplier on the number of stars a player earns from each match win.
- For example, a Star Bonus of 7x means that a player will earn 7 stars for winning a match.
Every player starts with at least 2 Star Bonus at the beginning of a season. Also, if a player misses playing for multiple seasons, the player will not lose much of their Star Bonus. The following is a table of the minimum Star Bonus a player can start with at the start of a season, provided the player's best rank performance in the last season:
|Best rank last season||Minimum Star Bonus|
|High Legend||11x |
In Ranked, losing games causes players to lose a star, unless they are at a rank floor. At a rank floor, a player can never fall below that rank for the remainder of the season. Rank floors occur at every 5 ranks in the ladder, for example at "Bronze 5" or "Gold 10". Upon climbing and hitting each ranked floor, a player's Star Bonus will decrease by 1, meaning that as a player climbs up in ranks, it will become more challenging for the player to climb up to higher ranks.
There is also a winning streak feature that doubles the amount of stars earned from a win if the player also won their previous two ranked matches. This winning streak multiplier, however, is not given to players at or above Diamond 5. Games do not need to be played in the same session to be qualified as a winning streak, but winning streaks do get reset with each season.
- For example, if a player has a Star Bonus of 7x and also a winning streak, the player receives a whopping 14 stars for winning a match.
Matchmaking[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Matchmaking
There are two matchmaking pools: matchmaking by rating (i.e. by MMR) and matchmaking by rank.
When playing with a Star Bonus greater than one, players are matched by a hidden Ranked matchmaking rating (MMR). This means that all players playing with a Star Bonus will always be matched against players who are close in skill level to them, until the player climbs to a rank which causes the player to run out of Star Bonus. Once a player runs out of Star Bonus, they will start matching with opponents by rank and not by MMR. The matchmaking system, however, can accept looser matches if necessary in order to ensure players are not left queueing for too long.
Players at Legend rank are matched according to the same hidden Ranked MMR. MMR is in fact tracked during all Ranked Play activity, and it is used whenever matchmaking involves at least one Legend rank player. MMR also determines the player's initial numbered seeding upon reaching Legend rank. While the system aims to limit "Legend vs sub-Legend" matchings as much as possible, Legend rank players are sometimes inevitably matched against sub-Legend players due to compromising calculations in MMR matchmaking.
MMR calculations in Hearthstone are highly specific to the game. They are complex and do account for different amounts of playtime over time, among many other factors.
For more information about matchmaking in Ranked mode, please check out the official Ranked matchmaking FAQ.
Season reset[edit | edit source]
Each month of Ranked play is called a season. The first time the player logs in or enters a match following the start of a new season, they will be shown a special announcement informing them of their rank at the end of the last season, their best rank during that season (which determines end-of-season rewards and next season's initial rank), their rewards for that season, and their rank at the start of the new season.
At the start of each Ranked play season, all players are reset back to Bronze 10.
Rewards[edit | edit source]
Players can earn a variety of rewards by participating in Ranked play. These rewards include:
- The Highest Rank Bonus chest
- Season card back
- First-time rewards for hitting ranked floors in Ranked mode
- Golden heroes
Highest Rank Bonus chest[edit | edit source]
At the end of each season, players who have won 5 games or more in Ranked mode will be granted a Highest Rank Bonus chest containing rewards based on their highest rank attained that season, using whichever is higher of their Standard or Wild ranks. The rewards found inside the chest increase cumulatively with every five ranks that the player surpassed in that season. Rewards from the chest include rare and epic Standard format cards, and card packs from the latest expansion.
The following table lists the rewards inside the Highest Rank Bonus chest. Note that the rewards are earned cumulatively upon reaching each ranked floor.
|Legend||1 latest expansion pack|
|Diamond 5||1 Standard epic card|
|Diamond 10||1 latest expansion pack|
|Platinum 5||2 Standard rare cards|
|Platinum 10||1 latest expansion pack|
|Gold 5||2 Standard rare cards|
|Gold 10||1 latest expansion pack|
|Silver 5||2 Standard rare cards|
|Silver 10||1 latest expansion pack|
|Bronze 5||1 Standard rare card|
Season card back[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Card back
Each season brings with it a unique card back which players can collect by winning 5 games in Ranked play. These card backs are designed to be available to all players. After each ranked game prior to the 5th victory, players are reminded of how many wins they still need to earn the Season card back with an animation on the victory screen. Progress can also be checked by visiting the Quest Log.
Additionally, reaching Legend for the first time will award the Legend card back.
First-time rewards[edit | edit source]
First-time rewards are awarded to players who reach a ranked floor for the first time in Ranked mode. These ranked floors occur at every 5 ranks in the league system. The rewards earned by reaching such ranks consist of cards and card packs from the Classic set, aimed to help new players get started with deck building. The single-card rewards also obey the duplicate protection rule afforded to opening card packs, meaning that if not all cards of that rarity have been acquired yet in the Classic set, the single-card reward will be a Classic card that the player does not own. The following is a table of the rewards earned by reaching each rank:
|Legend||1 Classic legendary card|
|Diamond 5||1 Classic pack|
|Diamond 10||1 Classic epic card|
|Platinum 5||1 Classic pack|
|Platinum 10||1 Classic epic card|
|Gold 5||1 Classic pack|
|Gold 10||4 Classic rare cards|
|Silver 5||1 Classic pack|
|Silver 10||4 Classic rare cards|
|Bronze 5||1 Classic pack|
Golden heroes[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Golden heroes
Whenever a player completes 500 wins in Ranked play or Arena mode with a given hero, that hero will be permanently replaced with a golden version. These are similar to golden cards, with golden borders and special animations for the hero and their Hero Power, and are automatically used in Play mode instead of the regular version. Players can track their win progress to a golden hero on the Ranked deck selection interface.
With the 15.0 patch update on October 8th, 2019, whenever a player completes another 500 wins for a total of 1000 wins with a given hero in Ranked play or Arena mode, the player's hero can be replaced with a special golden 1000-Win hero skin.
Seasons[edit | edit source]
|Season||Month||Card back reward|
|Season 79||October 2020||The Breaker|
|Season 78||September 2020||Faerie Tail|
|Season 77||August 2020||Scholomance|
|Season 76||July 2020||Rise Up!|
|Season 75||June 2020||Mystic Forest|
|Season 74||May 2020||Swamp Light|
|Season 73||April 2020||Blushroom|
|Season 72||March 2020||Playing Koi|
|Season 71||February 2020||Desert Bloom|
|Season 70||January 2020||Shoring Up|
|Season 69||December 2019||Hellfire Peninsula|
|Season 68||November 2019||Cake of the Dead|
|Season 67||October 2019||Darkmoon Faire|
|Season 66||September 2019||Sea of Dunes|
|Season 65||August 2019||Year of the Raven|
|Season 64||July 2019||Shado-Pan|
|Season 63||June 2019||Suramar|
|Season 62||May 2019||Awesome Blossom|
|Season 61||April 2019||Card of Shadows|
|Season 60||March 2019||Kul Tiras|
|Season 59: Pizza Stone||February 2019||Pizza Stone|
|Season 58: Just Chillin'||January 2019||Chillin'|
|Season 57: Friend of the Frostwolf||December 2018||Frostwolf|
|Season 56: All's Well That Moonwell||November 2018||Moonwell|
|Season 55: Defias the Odds||October 2018||VanCardback|
|Season 54: On the Level||September 2018||Dr. Boom's Lab|
|Season 53: Refreshing Lemonade||August 2018||Lemonade|
|Season 52: Put Your Faith in the Lightforged||July 2018||Lightforged|
|Season 51: Back in Blue||June 2018||Back in Blue|
|Season 50: Garden Party||May 2018||Lunara's Garden|
|Season 49: Raise the Roof||April 2018||Raise the Roof|
|Season 48: Mammoth Memories||March 2018||Year of the Mammoth|
|Season 47: Savage Sparkles||February 2018||Sparkles|
|Season 46: Frostfire||January 2018||Frostfire|
|Season 45: Gear Up, Get Down!||December 2017||Catacomber|
|Season 44: Hooked on a Reelin'||November 2017||Gone Fishin'|
|Season 43: Unholy Horror Knights!||October 2017||Unholy Knight|
|Season 42: Furious Frost Knights!||September 2017||Frost Knight|
|Season 41: Blood Knight Bash!||August 2017||Blood Knight|
|Season 40: HearthS'mores||July 2017||HearthS'mores|
|Season 39: The Magic of Dalaran||June 2017||The Magic of Dalaran|
|Season 38: Sunwell Unleashed!||May 2017||Sunwell|
|Season 37: Un'Goro Bound!||April 2017||Un'Goro Mystery|
|Season 36: Let's Get Kraken!||March 2017||Year of the Kraken|
|Season 35: Come one, Kabal!||February 2017||Kabal|
|Season 34: Grimestreet's Back!||January 2017||Grimy Goons|
|Season 33: Paid in Jade||December 2016||Jade Lotus|
|Season 32: Over the Halfhill!||November 2016||Halfhill|
|Season 31: The Pie is Not a Lie!||October 2016||Pie|
|Season 30: The Burning Legion||September 2016||Legion|
|Season 29: An Intriguing Invitation||August 2016||Medivh’s Invitation|
|Season 28: Tanned Tinyfins||July 2016||Tinyfin Beach|
|Season 27: Back in Zul'drak||June 2016||Zul'Drak|
|Season 26: Shadowmoon Shenanigans||May 2016||Shadowmoon Valley|
|Season 25: Clutches of Evil!||April 2016||Clutch of Yogg-Saron|
|Season 24: Riverpaw Ruffian||March 2016||Hogger|
|Season 23: We're Not Bluffin'||February 2016||Tauren Thunderbluff|
|Season 22: You've Won My ♥-Stone||January 2016||Love Is in the Air|
|Season 21: The Slammin' Shaman||December 2015||Shaman Thrall|
|Season 20: The League of Explorers!||November 2015||Explorer's Map|
|Season 19: Highmaulin' and Brawlin'||October 2015||Highmaul|
|Season 18: Exodar’s Exodus||September 2015||Exodar|
|Season 17: The Grand Tournament!||August 2015||Tournament Grounds|
|Season 16: Darkspear Delight!||July 2015||Darkspear|
|Season 15: Nature Rises!||June 2015||Darnassus|
|Season 14: Go Ninja, Go!||May 2015||Ninja|
|Season 13: Sweet, Sweet Victory!||April 2015||Cupcake|
|Season 12: Raging Ragnaros!||March 2015||Ragnaros|
|Season 11: Luminous Lunar New Year!||February 2015||Lunar|
|Season 10: Marauding Maraad!||January 2015||Maraad|
|Season 9: Go Big or Go Gnome!||December 2014||Gnomes|
|Season 8: Lobbin' Goblins!||November 2014||Goblins|
|Season 7: Hallow’s End!||October 2014||Hallow’s End|
|Season 6: Plundering Pirates!||September 2014||Pirates!|
|Season 5: The Chill of Icecrown||August 2014||Icecrown|
|Season 4: The Dread Necropolis||July 2014||Naxxramas|
|Season 3: Colors of the Rainbow!||June 2014||Rainbow!|
|Season 2: Brave the Black Temple||May 2014||Black Temple|
|Season 1: Pandamonium||April 2014||Pandaria|
|Season||Start date||End date||Rewards|
|Test season 4||1 March 2014||31 March 2014||None|
|Test season 3||1 February 2014||28 February 2014||None|
|Test season 2||9 January 2014||31 January 2014||None|
|Test season 1||10 December 2013||9 January 2014||None|
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- End of season rewards (after April 1, 2020)
Patch changes[edit | edit source]
- Server-side patch (2020-05-01):
- Patch 22.214.171.124222 (2020-03-26): (Implemented on 2020-04-01):
- Large overhaul of Ranked system. Now uses 50 Ranks, divided into 10 of each Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. All players reset to Bronze 10 at the end of the season.
- New players are put into a new "Apprentice league" with 40 ranks.
- Matchmaking is no longer based on rank, but instead internal MMR.
- Patch 126.96.36.199747 (2019-11-05):
- Patch 188.8.131.52670 (2019-10-08):
- Achieving 1000 wins in Ranked play awards players with 1000-Win heroes.
- Patch 184.108.40.206556 (2019-01-24):
- The number of Stars required to advance in lower-level ranks was reduced.
- Patch 220.127.116.11996 (2018-10-02):
- 25 new special player ranks, from Ranks 50-26, were introduced into the Ranked system to allow new players to better ease into the game, with free packs along the way during their climb.
- Patch 18.104.22.16820 (2017-02-28):
- Upon achieving certain milestones in Ranked Play, it will no longer be possible to lose ranks beyond those milestones for that season. The milestones are Rank 20, 15, 10, 5, and Legend.
- Patch 22.214.171.12474 (2016-04-24):
- With the arrival of game formats, Ranked has been split into Ranked Standard and Ranked Wild. Rewards are now based on whichever rank is highest.
- Patch 126.96.36.19986 (2015-08-18):
- A bonus chest will be granted at the end of each season based on the highest rank reached in Ranked Play mode.
- The gaining rank animation has been updated and lengthened.
- Patch 188.8.131.5211 (2015-03-31): The end of season rank announcement now includes a percentile for the player's success on that month's Ranked play ladder: "That puts you in the top _% of our ranked play players!"
- March 21st 2014: The remaining duration of the current Ranked season is now displayed upon logging into the game, or entering Play mode. This system was added with Patch 184.108.40.20644, but not activated until March 21st.
- Patch 220.127.116.1144 (2014-03-11):
- During each Ranked Season change, players may now start the new season at a rank higher than the default Angry Chicken rank, depending on the rank that was obtained at the end of the previous season. You’ll receive one bonus star for every rank you achieved in the previous season.
- The Angry Chicken rank now starts with 0 stars, instead of 1. Bawk!?
- Rewards for ranked play have been implemented.
- A special card back will be available each season, gained by reaching Rank 20
- Golden heroes are now available, gained by achieving 500 wins on that hero in Ranked play
- Unknown patch: Sound effects have been added when gaining or losing stars
- Patch 18.104.22.16817 (2013-12-10):
- The Ranked play system has been completely redone
- There are now month long seasons that reset at the end of each month
- There are new ranks and minion portraits for all levels of play
- You earn a star for each win and lose one for each loss and your stars determine your rank
- Players who get to top rank of legend and are in the top 10,000 players have their exact region-wide ranking displayed
- There will be rewards for playing ranked mode in the future, but they were not implemented with this patch, and will be added at a future date
- Unranked is now known as Casual
- User interface:
- The toggle between Casual and Ranked Play modes is now more explicit.
- Your player rank (icon and number) is now visible in the friends list, the versus screen and your BattleTag in-game.
- The Ranked play system has been completely redone
References[edit | edit source]
- CN has more than 65000 standard legends now which causes bug. (2020-04-18). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-04-18.
- The China Server just hit 100k Legend Players in Standard. (2020-04-26). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-04-26.
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-04-06).
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-04-03).
- Kerfluffle (April 1, 2020). FAQ: RANKED MODE OVERHAUL MATCHMAKING. Blizzard Forums. Retrieved on 2020-04-03.
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-03-18).
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-05-01).
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-05-31).
- Blizzard Entertainment (March 17, 2020). Welcome to the Year of the Phoenix!. Retrieved on 2020-04-18.
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-04-01).
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-04-01).
- Beta Forums: Ranks reset, ELO/MMR stays the same - is this working?
- Casual mode is brutal. (2015-01-30).
- Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-03-27).
- Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-03-27).
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-04-01).
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-05-31).
- Whirthun on Twitter. (2015-08-19).
- Chadd Nervig on Twitter. (2020-03-31).
- Good News, everyone: The one-time rank rewards also benefit from duplicate protection! Get those new Priest cards easily!. (April 1, 2020). Reddit. Retrieved on 2020-04-03.
- Hearthstone® January 2016 Ranked Play Season – You've Won My ♥-Stone
- Kerfluffle (2020-05-01). Duplicate Cards in Season Rewards Chest. Blizzard Entertainment.
[edit | edit source]
- Official blog post explaining the new 2020 Ranked league system
- Official FAQ for matchmaking in Ranked play