New matchmaking?

Either there are FAR more players with full 17 decks than I’d previously thought possible, with names I don’t recognize, or we’re matching bots very frequently in the level 17 arena. So many of these “players” seem to have perfect counter decks, too.

Has anyone else had this experience? I’m used to laughably bad draws (Chuckles and I use almost the exact same deck and we compare draw notes sometimes - I have really bad shuffle luck) but my win rate has gone down considerably against similarly decked opponents.


For a really detailed discussion, please grab your favorite coffee mug and check out this post.

A slightly shorter answer:

  • You will not play bots in ranked play. This is identical to pre-2.50 pvp where Diamond and higher ranks would only match with human players. The bots simply aren’t good enough to challenge our best players.
  • When you see players you don’t recognize, you’re playing in a “special match” (aka boosted matches aka handicapped matches). This happens when we couldn’t find a competitive match for a higher ranked player (like you) in a reasonable amount of time. Rather than making that player wait for a very long time, we give them a match with a weaker player. To make the match competitive, we uplevel some of the lower ranked player’s cards so that the match is more balanced.

I personally desire short queue times and competitive matches. I’m indifferent to how the card levels of my opponent are set, as long as I get a challenging game quickly. As more strong players join the game, special matches will become less necessary. Eventually, I hope they will become unnecessary and disappear altogether.

EDIT: In the previous version, our special matches weren’t always making competitive matches – we would make special matches, but the weaker player wouldn’t receive any boost (to make the match even) if they had any level 17 card. This led to many spectacularly unbalanced matches in which high level players were getting very easy matches. This led high level players to have extremely high win rates. Now that we’ve improved this (players with one level 17 card are no longer “unboostable”) matches are actually competitive (leading to lower win rates to high level players since their matchups have fewer pushovers now).


Thank you for fixing this.

It’s interesting to me that I win against players I recognize a lot more often, it seems, than against the boosted players. This would suggest the true skill in the game is overwhelmingly locked behind low cards/pay walls, or that the boost is overly aggressive.

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@Holeesmokes Do you really buy this bs? Have you ever been boosted or heard of one alliance mate being boosted, lol

I have played against my girlfriend several times, one in front of each other, against names we don’t know doing our exact same moves with our exact same cards. I played against an unknown player with lvl17 cards doing exactly as my girlfriend, while she was playing against an unknown player (called “Elarrogante”, name that actually fits me :slight_smile:) doing exactly as me.

I didn’t have a dinner that night, but god it was worth it.

Kind regards,


I thought part of the whole point of the arenas was to get rid of this nonsense. That if a person chose to play in an arena above their level then it was on them and they wouldn’t get a boost. Now it turns out they get a boost and get the award for that level arena when they win despite not earning it on their own. How about get rid of the boost and if players want to punch up let them and let them do it legit. If they want to play an arena befitting their actual level then that is their choice too. With this system there is no reason for someone with a single level 17 card to ever play anything but the level 17 arena. This is exactly opposite of what you guys said was the way arenas would work, bots and boosting were supposed to go away.

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@Lyth The lower level person doesn’t get any extra rewards. They see the higher level players cards as a lower level (as if the higher level player were playing in their arena). The higher level player likewise sees the lower level player as if the lower level player was playing in the higher level arena, with their cards boosted up partially, as needed to make the match competitive.

The net impact is higher level players don’t have to wait as long for a match. It’s purely a good thing for high-level players.

Arenas help matchmaking by only exposing players to higher level opposing cards if they opt into it. This puts more control into players hands. When players opt into it, they will also get higher rewards, so its worth fighting for (imo). Arenas don’t help liquidity – that is, there are no more high level players now than there were before. So, for now, we still need to make these special matches in order to help high level players like you. If we didn’t do this for you, you’d have to wait in queue (much) longer on average and your long-term win rate likely wouldn’t change – a purely worse experience.

Are you saying these boosted players are coming from other arenas? Not the level 17 arena?

We updated the rules for how this would work in the other thread


Makes sense. Thank you. And you are still working…wow.

Makes sense to me. Thanks for the explanation. Go home take a break.

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