Long-time Hearthstone players all have a favorite class deep down in their hearts. And while it's common to play all nine of them to complete different daily challenges, try out new decks and climb the ladder, everyone has one they prefer playing most for one reason or another.
Perhaps the fantasy of being a Hunter in the World of Warcraft universe appeals to you. Or you feel powerful wielding massive weapons that Garrosh holds in his arsenal that attracted you to play Warrior the longest. Maybe you just are a naturally good Shaman player and that has been your go-to class of choice when you want to put your "try hard" pants on.
For Dawid "Zetalot" Skalski, a Hearthstone player for Fade2Karma, his five-year-plus relationship with Anduin Wrynn is the stuff of legends.
"The Priest God"
Last Tuesday, while streaming on Twitch, Zetalot, who resides in Poland, hit a milestone that, supposedly, no one else in the world has accomplished...30,000 wins with one class.
To put that into some perspective: the average Hearthstone game takes an estimated seven minutes and, if you were to just calculate his time spent playing just Priest victories, that number is about 210,000 minutes or 145 days, conservatively. Factor in his losses and the number of games he has spent playing other classes, that's a lot of Hearthstone.
One may imagine that playing one class for that amount of time could get a little boring but Zetalot, in a recent conversation with InvenGlobal via email, said that's not the case.
"What I like about Hearthstone the most is making decklists with cards that no one would ever think of putting in their lists. Some of them are clearly bad and unplayable but once in a while, you will find something that no one noticed, some synergy or some interesting concept that haven't been explored yet. I believe that Priest class has the most of these kind of cards, that's what keeps me playing it. [sic]"
That's not to say he only plays Priest. His next closest class in terms of the number of Ranked wins he has is Mage with 494. So, maybe he does only play Priest, contextually.
Even though no one in the world has as many wins with the class as he does, he remains humble when asked if any Priest player is better.
"It's hard to define "the best" in Hearthstone, especially when it comes to one class. I don't know if I'm the best Priest player but I'm probably the best deck builder when it comes to this class."
Hearthstone's development team aims to keep the game as fresh as possible by adding in-game events, creating expansions with new cards numerous times throughout the year and much more.
Similarly, to every other class in the game, Priest has had its' highs and lows. There was a period of time where opponents' dreaded going up against Shadowreaper Anduin, the class' Death Knight card as it meant a gross combo was coming to end the game unless they acted quickly. In fact, Zetalot, says that period of time was the best era for Priest players in the game's history. That, or very recently.
"It's either Deathrattle Undertaker Priest era or Raza Priest era. To me, it was definitely the Undertaker one because that's probably the best decklist I created and it got me multiple #1 legend hits and #1 legend season finish. Raza Priest was great as well but I didn't like the fact that it was so draw-dependant (mirror match up would usually come down to who draws Shadowreaper Anduin first)."
Although the class has evolved and changed over the years, some things remain the same. When to utilize your healing resources, how to pull off an OTK combo with bulky minions and when to heal your opponent's face on turn 2 when you have nothing else to do all take time to master.
For those looking to improve their Priest skills but don't know where to start, Zetalot has a suggestion of what not to do.
"I think the most common mistake is in Priest vs Priest mirror match ups when one of the players decides to play double Northshire Cleric. People joke about this play since the beginning of Hearthstone and refer to it as "going full Northshire". This play is usually punished by the enemy player taking advantage of that and making clerics mill the entire deck(it's very easy to do with Wild Pyromancer + Circle of Healing/Divine Hymn)."
No matter the good times and bad, Zetalot has found ways of making Priest work for him, doing it better than anyone else in the world and will continue to do so moving forward.
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