Sensei Spotlight: High-Level Hearthstone with Rosty

This week, the Spotlight falls upon a rare gem… With ten Rank 1 Legends under his belt, Rosty ‘Rosty’ Elkun certainly has a lot to teach us! Before anything else, let’s take a look at some of his achievements:

  • Top 8 – 2016 Spring Preliminaries
  • 2nd Place – 2016 Spring Championships
  • Top 12 – 2016 Summer Preliminaries
  • 2nd Place – ONOG 2016 Feature Tournament #4

Those are some serious accomplishments! We sat down with the Hearthstone pro to hear his story and advice…


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Hi there! Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hey! I’m Rosty (both in-game and in real life) and I’m from Los Angeles, California. I’m currently a student studying Computer Science, and I also coach on Gamer Sensei! Ever since I was young I really loved card games, and as I got older I grew to love strategy games as well. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy Hearthstone as much as I do. Now don’t get me wrong: there are a few too many important coin flips for my liking but I do enjoy the game! If it was up to me, the only randomness I’d have in Hearthstone is the card off the top of my deck each turn.


What part of being an esports coach do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy coaching because it helps people who are struggling to get better at the game, but it also lets me see the game from an outside perspective so that I’m better able to make a read on what my opponents are thinking in tournaments. One of my most fulfilling moments as a coach was watching a former student playing on stream at Dreamhack Atlanta in the top cut and cheering him on! Huge congratulations to him and well deserved!




What can you tell our readers about the future of coaching?

I believe esports coaching is the next big thing. Professional players who know what they’re doing can show you the ropes and save tons of time and effort. Seek out coaching! Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out experienced players and asking for help: that’s what we’re there for! If your goal is to improve, a good coach can guarantee you’ll end up satisfied. And if esports continue to grow, you can definitely expect coaching rates to go up too!


What’s are the most common challenges faced by players aiming for the top?

Easily time commitment and pressure management. The grind is called the grind for a reason! Top players have put countless hours into playing and working to master the game, so they’ve naturally risen to be better than those who haven’t – because they put in the time. There’s little to do except make it through high-pressure situations until eventually you get used to it. But remember: being under pressure will only make you play worse, so try to avoid it!




What’s your all-time favorite card?

I think Loatheb was one of the best cards in the game, because it rewarded good players and punished worse ones. Unless you were casually dropping it as a 5/5 on turn 5, there was a ton of decision-making involved in choosing when it exactly to play it. If you played it at the right time you could stop the Combo Druid from one-turn-killing you, which requires you to make reads on their hand. Or you could protect your board from a spell like Brawl. On the other hand, if played too early then your Druid opponent could summon Ancient of Lore instead, or two Druids of the Claw. Or maybe the Warrior would find a way to Armor out of range and just Brawl you next turn. Playing Loatheb at the perfect time was usually extremely rewarding, but play it too early and the consequences could be dire. Cards like that are my favorite!


Quick deck suggestion for the quick readers…

The new Token Druid list that’s floating around seems like it has incredible potential. Kolento even hit Rank 1 Legend with it! Here’s a typical list on Hearthpwn…


What would you say is an underrated card in the current meta?

Bring It On! I think this is an extremely underrated card for Warrior… The ability to gain 10 Armor for just 2 mana is insane. However the meta is currently very control-heavy, so this may not be the right moment for it. If the metagame does switch to more aggro you can expect to see me playing this card in Control Warrior!




Complete the statement: “The next Hearthstone expansion should…

…move Edwin VanCleef to the Hall of Fame!


Thanks for joining us! Any final words for our readers who are considering coaching?

Look no further! My coaching is personally tailored to each player’s strengths. Ever personable, my guidance feels less like a classroom lesson and more like playing co-op with a long lost friend!


Book with this Sensei now!