Play Mode is the game mode in Hearthstone where you get to match player vs player in their matchmaking system to pit yourself with an equally or similar skilled opponent.
The reason for Play Mode is to pit yourself against other people in a test of skill and card collection. Play Mode also gives the players more experience than practice mode and allows them to complete daily quests for more rewards.
Casual play allows the players to participate in matchmaking without losing their rank. This is a great opportunity to test out new decks before taking them to Ranked Play.
The Ranked mode of Hearthstone is the league play similar to Starcraft2 where players will be given a rank based upon their skill level and matched agaisnt players of similar skill.
The Ranks players get are based on their skill level and their are 25 total ranks plus a special 0 rank which is Legend. You advance in rank by winning games and after a certain amount of ins your rank will increase to the next level. After a certain point losses will start to effect your ranking making it harder to advance if you are not consistent with winning your games
If a player manages to reach the rank of Legend during a season that rank will stay there til the end of the current season before everyone's ranks are rest. Below is a table listing all the raks in the game.
|25||Angry Chicken||12||Warsong Commander|
|24||Leper Gnome||11||Big Game Hunter|
|23||Argent Squire||10||Ogre Magi|
|22||Murloc Raider||9||Silver Hand Knight|
|21||Southsea Deckhand||8||Frostwolf Warlord|
|19||Novice Engineer||6||Ancient of War|
|18||Sorcerer's Apprentice||5||Sea Giant|
|17||Tauren Warrior||4||Mountain Giant|
|16||Questing Adventurer||3||Molten Giant|
|15||Silvermoon Guardian||2||The Black Knight|
Matchmaking matches players in similar ranks and star levels to try and make sure players are not given an unfair advantage or given unfair odds. The exception however is that Legend players are sometimes matches against non Legendary players.