Deck Simulator for Hearthstone: Practical usage example 1

The posts up to this point have mostly been about various features of the simulator, however there hasn’t been much talk about how to actually use it for a useful purpose.

In this post I’ll go over a practical example and give all the steps involved to help you understand how you can use the simulator to help your deck construction.

One of my decks contains a Ragnaros the Firelord card, and I have noticed many times that when I am able to play it I have a pretty good chance of winning. However, I’m not sure if this is really the case or if it’s my biased thinking. If Ragnaros is really not helping me as much as I think I could turn it to dust and use that dust to craft cards to buff up my decks.

Let’s use the simulator to see how much effect Ragnaros actually has on my win rate.

1) Download the app from the apple app store (iTunes)  and run it.

2) Click Edit Decks.

3) I included this specific deck in the database, it’s called “J’s mage deck”. Click on that deck and then on “Copy deck” on the top right side of the screen.

4) Click on the field next to “Rename deck:” (under the deck list) and change the name from “J’s Mage Deck (Copy 1)” to “J’s Mage Deck Var 1”

5) Do steps 3 and 4 again and create another copy called “J’s Mage Deck Var 2”

6) Click on “J’s Mage Deck Var 1” and then click on Ragnaros in the “Cards in Selected Deck” table. He’s near the bottom.

7) Now click on the right arrow (looks like a triangle pointing right) to remove the card.

8) Now find “Sunwalker” (4/5 Taunt, Divine shield for 6) card in the “Cards in database” list. It’s sorted by alphabetical order by default so scroll down to the S’s and you’ll find it easily.

9) Click on the left arrow (directly below the right one) to transfer the card to the deck.

10) Now do the same process for “J’s Mage Deck Var 2”, except this time choose “Goldshire Footman” (1/2 Taunt for 1)

11) Next click the black “Save” button on the bottom right to make sure both decks are saved in the database. Now even if you close the app or restart your device the decks will be saved.

12) Now leave the Edit Decks area by clicking Back (top left of the screen), and click on the “Simulate” button.

13) Click on “Evolved Planner (med)” on the left under “Players” and then “Evolved Paladin 215” on the right under “Decks”. This is one of the strongest combinations in the starting database and is used as a reference to judge the other deck’s strengths.

14) Now click the “Add to Simulation” button in the middle of the screen. This adds the combination of deck and AI player to the list of participants.

15) Now repeat the above steps for the following combinations:

(Note: You don’t need to click on “Evolved Planner (med)” each time since it should stay selected)

  • “Evolved Planned (med)” / “J’s Mage Deck”
  • “Evolved Planned (med)” / “J’s Mage Deck Var 1”
  • “Evolved Planned (med)” / “J’s Mage Deck Var 2”

16) Click on “All play all” under “simulation type” in the bottom left.

17) Set “Matches per pairing” to 100 (or something close) using the slider or clicking on the initial value (20) and using your virtual (or physical) keyboard.

18) Finally, click “Start simulation”!

19) Because of the planner AI type this simulation may take a little time. It depends on the device you have but it should be done in a few minutes at most. You can watch the game results updated live and guess how things will turn out.

20) Here are the results I got:

  • Evolved Planner (med) > Evolved Paladin 215    Wins 85.3%
  • Evolved Planner (med) > J’s Mage Deck    Wins 43.1%
  • Evolved Planner (med) > J’s Mage Deck  Var 1   Wins 35.9%
  • Evolved Planner (med) > J’s Mage Deck   Var 2   Wins 35.6%

Here is what we can determine from the results:

1) My original deck is significantly weaker than “Evolved Paladin 215”

2) Removing Ragnarok and replacing him with another card seems to reduce my win rate vs roughly 8%.

3) Whether I swap Ragnaros with Sunwalker or Goldshire Footman doesn’t make much difference. The 0.3% difference between those two decks isn’t statistically significant

Thinking about this, I think the results are reasonable. I wasn’t expecting a major increase in wins (30% or more), but rather something a bit smaller which matches with that the simulator computed.

Of course we could run more tests, like including more decks to see how the modified decks play against other decks, or even run the same simulation again to see how statistically accurate the results are. If we get results that are very different from the first time we could consider running the test again with a much greater number of matches (say 200 or 300) for a more accurate result. I did this and ended up with “79.2% 46.9% 41.9% and 32.0%” for the winning percentages, with the decks in the same order as above. This shows us that the Var 1 deck might actually be a little stronger than Var 2 (again this seems logical), but regardless both variation decks are significantly weaker than the original deck with Ragnaros.

I was curious so I ran the same simulation again, this time with 300 matches per pairing. I ended up with results very similar to my first run, which increases my trust in them: “85.5% 45.0% 35.6% 33.9%”. Ragnaros is giving around 9% increase in wins, and the two variation decks are pretty similar in strength (win rates are within 2%).

Although it may seem like there was many steps involved here, once you try the process yourself you’ll quickly get the hang of it, and be running simulations of your own in no time. And don’t forget that getting the most out of Deck Simulator for Hearthstone will take some effort – the program is really intended as a research tool more than anything else, and that implies a bit of trial-and-error.


Disclaimer: Hearthstone is a trademark or registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., in the U.S. and/or other countries. 



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