We've all been there. The point at which Hearthstone stops being a fun game and starts being a dreadful nuisance. Where you can't think clearly anymore, your mind is filled with rage, but you persist you must keep playing. This, in Poker and many other games, is called tilt. And it's potentially worse for your overall Hearthstone experience than a disconnect or two. Which is why I present to you: 5 bulletproof ways to not go on tilt! Written by a person who used to tilt about every other day.
1) Know when to take a break
I used to think that as long as I played with a positive winrate and I keep on playing, I'd eventually just hit whatever the Rank was I desired. I couldn't have been more wrong. The flaw in this way of thinking is simple: You (and I) will eventually tilt. When running into a lost matchup for the third time in a row, when getting screwed over by RNG or when your opponent topdecks the win, there will be a point at which you simply tilt. That's fine, it happens to the best of us. But this mental state will affect your ability to perceive and judge plays and subsequently your skill will suffer. This is when you just need to take a break from the game.
Go outside for a walk, get some fresh air and drink some water, play a different game, listen to some music, maybe even work out a little. There are several ways to distract you from the annoyance you just faced, to lighten up your mood so you can go back to the game and have some fun. Maybe even watch a streamer like Day9 play a deck you enjoy. Seeing someone else having great fun will greatly improve your mood as well.
2) Get a friend to play with/talk to
Hearthstone can be frustrating. The fact that the better player will not always win is very frustrating for some. But instead of raging by yourself, clogging your thoughts with negative ideas about the game or your playstyle, there is a much better way to get rid of it: Vent your thoughts to a friend. Not only is this method proven to be better for your brain in comparison to keeping your thoughts to yourself, but most of the time your friend will be able to calm you down, be a rational power in an irrational situation. Exactly what you need to hear in situations like those.
3) Play a deck that you personally like
Now, I know this sounds silly, but the amount of people that I see playing decks they personally don't appreciate is staggering. Forcing yourself to play a Tier 1 deck that you don't like will not only result in you most likely playing worse, but most importantly have a lot less fun. Remember that just because a deck is regarded as Tier 3 or 4 even, that doesn't mean it's bad or you can't hit Legend with it. You can hit Legend with Pirate Rogue if you feel like it.
A similar rule applies to tech cards: Are there certain cards you really like to run, but are deemed to slow or unfit for the Meta? Put them in anyway. I much rather lose a game or two due to me running Confessor Paletress in Control Priest over a Sludge Belcher, because the few games I do manage to pull of Paletress are awesome! It lightens up my mood and makes the whole deck a lot more enjoyable for me. It improves my overall experience and lessens the probability of me going on tilt.
4) Set yourself goals
When I started taking Hearthstone somewhat seriously, my goal was clear: Hitting Legend rank. But that was a goal way too huge for someone who previously barely managed to hit Rank 9. So I'd eventually get frustrated when finding out that there was no Bonus Star System from Rank 5 onwards, and how mind-numbing that made the whole grind. But instead of going for the big Legend Rank, I should've just been happy to make it to Rank 5 for the first time.
The idea behind this is a psychological one: Instead of trying to get from 0 to 100 with one jump, you reward yourself for reaching new milestones. In this case, reaching a new highest rank. Your brain will then release endorphins that generate feelings of pleasure and happiness. It's similar to eating a piece of chocolate, but instead of having to buy and eat the chocolate, your brain will do it all on its own: As a reward for reaching your next step. So setting goals not only makes your Hearthstone ladder experience less stressful but also more pleasurable, hitting two birds with one stone.
5) Accept that you are going to lose
There is no easy way to put this: You are going to lose when playing ladder. A lot. Like, A LOT!
Due to the nature of the ladder system and Hearthstone being a card game, it can frequently happen that you will lose a game without doing anything wrong, simply by facing your counter or your opponent drawing very good. It's not a nice piece of knowledge, but it's true, and the sooner you accept this, the sooner you'll be accept it when you are loosing. And you are going to. A lot. Keep in mind that even professional Hearthstone players and streamers have winrates of usually 70% on ladder. Meaning that even the World Champion Ostkaka will lose about 30 games out of 100. That's a lot of games. If you can't stand the idea of losing due to something as simple as luck, then maybe Hearthstone, at least the ladder experience, isn't something for you. For the rest, you'll have to accept this fate. But the earlier you do, the better you're off.