Season 6 of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft's Ranked Play has begun. The bonus card back for this season might be the best reward offered to players thus far.
You can add the Pirate card back to your collection by hitting Rank 20 or better in Season 6. This card back replaces the usual art adorning the reverse side of your cards. It's a small way to differentiate your deck from other players'.
The Pirate card back is an impressive piece of art. It's a little more complex than the rewards for previous seasons. The back has a lot of discernible objects, each keeping with the nautical theme: rope nets, a flag, and a steering wheel. The wood and gold border reminds me of a treasure chest.
Why the pirate theme? Well, it's probably an homage to International Talk Like A Pirate Day on September 19th. Blizzard's always been fond of that holiday. They celebrate it with a special event every year in World of Warcraft. It's only fitting that they've bring the festivities to Hearthstone as well.
Getting to Rank 20, if you're not aware, is a pretty easy task. It's just a matter of getting a handful of wins against other players. You get bonus progress for win streaks, making it even quicker.
"Don’t forget that in Ranked Play, you’ll receive bonus stars based on your performance from the previous season —one bonus star per rank you attained," Blizzard reminded players today on the Hearthstone website. "The further you move up the ladder, the more bonus stars you’ll receive towards the next season! Please note that even if bonus stars from the previous season get you directly to Rank 20 or above, you still have to log in at least once each Ranked Season to qualify for the card back reward."
As I've said before, I wish there was a reward for Rank 15 or 10 as well. Right now, I think there are a lot of players who hit 20 each month and then give up. They don't bother with the grind past that point because they don't have any faith in getting to Legend, the only other rank that offers an actual reward.
Season 6 follows on the heels of an interesting summer in Hearthstone. Blizzard rolled out the game's first expansion pack, Curse of Naxxramas, through July and August. This expansion added 15 A.I. bosses with unique decks and abilities. Players could earn up to 30 new cards by defeating them. September marks the first full season since Naxxramas so we'll finally get to see the full impact that these cards will have on the meta.