Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hobbs Hates ALL the Cards!

Another amusing video from Hobbs worth sharing!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Mickin's Miracles Rank 1 Legend

Congratulations to MickinX - one of the most informative Hearthstone streamers around - for making it to Rank 1 Legend (NA) last night on stream! This is wonderful news because he's been away from streaming for months now and about a week ago he decided to try streaming again for 90 days to see if it's worth making a more serious go of it. Perhaps this win will help to get him more visibility.

He's been playing a Miracle Rogue variant that drops Conceal, teching in Loatheb and a Southsea Deckhand for the meta. As you can see, it works pretty well! Here's a link to the decklist - there will be more info on the deck page soon.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Deathrattle & Faceroll Warlock

I've neglected Hearthstone ladder for so long. Between recording the Curse of Naxxramas series, learning other games and scrambling to get a new PC after the old warhorse finally died, I haven't had much time otherwise. Things seemed to have settled down a bit though, and this week I had the time to see what constructed looks like.

I heard about the resurgence of hunter now that Mad Scientist is out, and even played it a bit in casual to see how it handles. It's pretty gross, but it also meant the meta would be shifting to beat it. I played priest for a couple of days, running Zombie Chow for early removal then pulling the "Auchenai surprise", but priest just doesn't feel consistent enough to me. It's still very reliant on getting the right cards at the right time to even make it work, and if you like that playstyle Miracle Rogue just seems better at combo.

I've really been wanting to see how Undertaker handles, and settled on a deathrattle-loaded warlock deck for several reasons. I wanted to pack the deck with small deathrattlers to maximize the Undertaker, and the hero power compliments that nicely (we're all familiar with zoo I'm sure). I also wanted some early protection and Voidwalker fits the bill. With a nearly empty hand after the first couple turns, Soulfire is amazing spot removal. Additionally, Void Terror and Power Overwhelming are just nuts in a deathrattle deck.

The difference between this deck and zoo though is fairly large. Zoo struggles significantly more to bounce back when AoE removal hits the table. With so many deathrattles, opponents have to play their board clear very carefully and in most cases will find it hard to get the perfect time to do so. Zoo can also run out of gas against good control decks, while this build has a more solid lategame.

It also feels surprisingly strong in the meta right now too. With all the taunts (especially Unstable Ghoul), hunters will have a hard time getting a good Unleash the Hounds off. Additionally, decks designed to beat hunter aren't doing too hot against this either. I typically win against druids and control warriors (which brings a smile to my face). Things get a little more dicey against priest, as they have a lot of tools to wreck you with... though thankfully Mass Dispel hasn't been teched against me yet.

The last few days have been pretty good though. I went up seven ranks or so with a couple hours of play, so I'm happy. Best of all the deck is incredibly fun and often pretty trollish. If you get Undertaker and some small deathrattles in the starting hand, you can usually play very aggressively. Otherwise, Voidwalker and some of the other early minions make the deck appear to be more like typical zoo, which can be great for confusing opponents.

I run only one Void Terror - I think two is overdoing it because you'll not always have the right place to play it. There are times even one can feel like a dead card, but it's definitely strong enough to run a single. Kel'Thuzad and Baron Rivendare are also really greedy choices, but K.T. can turn a close late-game to a sure win. I've made no changes to the deck yet since I built it (and honestly it didn't feel that hard to put together), so we'll see how revisions go. I don't have Cairne, otherwise he'd be in here too.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Corruption in Gaming Journalism = Great Life Lesson

I've been nose-deep in Curse of Naxxramas and haven't had much time to stay on top of gaming news, so the video I'm about to post was my heads up. Supposedly there's a lot of stuff going down over at Kotaku concerning corruption of their journalism.

Not to knock Kotaku, but it should come as no surprise if there's a deep level of corruption in a major gaming journalism site. These websites have pretty much taken over where printed magazines used to be, and as a veteran gamer I can tell you the majority of those were propaganda pieces meant to entice you into buying games that in reality were utter trash.

In any event, I'd like to present Boogie2988's (you may have seen him as 'Francis') video about this - not because it goes into great detail of the story so much as his opinion on the subject. What he has to say about journalism - gaming or otherwise - as well as life in general is great advice worth sharing.

Curse of Naxxramas Ep39 - Heroic Kel'Thuzad

This is it, the final boss of Naxxramas awaits!
Heroic Kel'Thuzad is by far the toughest boss of the adventure (and rightfully so). He packs a ton of removal (both mass and single-target), has 65 health including armor, two ridiculous hero powers... and he cheats! The first hero power does 3 damage and freezes your hero (zero mana), and once you knock off his armor he immediately begins his turn. At that point the hero power changes to stealing a random enemy minion permanently for 8 mana and he summons two 5/5 taunts!

After battling him with numerous deck ideas (and fighting to connect to servers), I finally found what worked for me. It's based around buffing minions to crazy size and pounding the lich's face in with a huge amount of card draw to dig for the combinations... a "Miracle Priest" of sorts. While it was frustrating trying to record an episode of the winning game, I felt the challenge was indeed worthy of a true heroic end boss. In some ways, I almost wish some of the other bosses were a bit tougher to get you ready for heroic Kel'Thuzad... but it's probably for the best that wish goes ungranted.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Curse of Naxxramas Ep38 - Heroic Sapphiron

Just one slight change can make all the difference between normal and heroic mode.
Heroic Sapphiron gets a small boost to health (as per all heroic bosses), but the real clincher here is that you do not get a Frozen Champion. That means at the start of each of Sapphiron's turns, all your minions will die. How does one combat a foe like this? I went with weapons and charge minions!

Warrior is a great choice due to the sheer number of weapons available and a respectable charge minion, though mage might also be a good class (assuming you have both Pyroblasts). The deck I played really felt reversed as my minions became removal and my weapons were used for face damage, but it worked pretty well.