I wanted to bring this print screen here, because I feel like it perfectly illustrates the topic of this thread. This was the board I was dealt with on my SECOND turn as P1. To note, I won the game by concession in the end, but again, illustrating the topic here. Legitimately, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.
My main thought was that the opponent had Deathfire Crescendo (Deathwatch +2/+2 for a minion). Other possibilities were Soulshatter Pact (the card they used), Wraithling Fury, Shadowwatcher (less effective), Soul Grimwar (which was a card they had), plus other nonfaction cards.
This is a situation where all I’ve gotten a chance to do is play 2 mana worth of cards. My opponent put out 5, and again, I really don’t know what the proper play would be to do here. I replaced and didn’t have an answer for the current situation, and pose a huge risk of damage by going forward against some card that I don’t have any certainty of them having.
I feel that a notion is overlooked in your takeaway @kingw. While many of us have learned about what’s a threat and what isn’t, the cards that are typically played are cards that often have immediate value in some form. With so many potential threats, it is impossible to play against these potential threats that you don’t know if they even have. As expansions come and the collection grows, so do the number of potential cards you have to worry about.
Regardless of how much you know, you can only get so far with a deck so good (even if it’s built by an S-rank player, yes S-rank players move up with new accounts pretty easy, but they are constantly upgrading their decks at a rapid pace, because as I just said, in the long run a low budget deck simply isn’t going to be good enough to hold it’s own against higher decks.) Also regardless of how much you learn, you can’t always know what threat is coming.
I think Vanar also illustrates this perfectly: Avalanche, Infiltrate and Glacial Fissure. When there are specific cards, but one for literally any position, how can you play around that?
I have other issues about learning being the end-all be-all answer and reply to it all because it diminishes the OP’s point that I still find very much valid. Learning will carry you, but you simply can’t do it on experience alone. You will need the cards to be able to carry out that experience and knowledge, and that’s something new players just don’t have the same access to (the whole crux of CCGs).