Monday, September 29, 2014

A Little Friendly Competition

JodyPlays released a Hearthstone episode featuring yours truly in a little friendly challenge.
I'm pleased that he sees me as a mentor when it comes to Hearthstone. I don't feel I'm nearly as good as he likes to make me out as, but it's nice to know I can help and provide useful advice.

In return, thanks go out to Jody for his initial call to have his viewers play along on the Fossils and Archeology public server (for Minecraft). Many of us are still close friends and we talk and play games online together pretty much everyday. It's a great community (now called The Lazy Dog) that's been growing a little each day, and it's all thanks to you Jody!

Friday, September 26, 2014

MinecraftShorts: Neighbor

If you enjoy funny Minecraft animations, you should definitely check out Element Animation. Recently, they made light of some big Minecraft news...
I've yet to talk about Microsoft's purchase of Mojang and Notch's immediate departure for two reasons. First, I was pretty surprised when I heard about it and have been trying to collect my thoughts. Second, we'll not know for sure how things will turn out until Microsoft makes any announcements or changes - anything else is pure speculation. That said, I'd still like to voice my opinion at some point and will likely give it more attention in a future post.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

R.I.P. Leeroy Jenkins

A recent Hearthstone patch made changes to both Starving Buzzard and Leeroy Jenkins, removing many of the crazy combos for both cards. To honor the memory of what was, here's a video showcasing Leeroy's best moments.
I find it odd that it took this long to "nerf" Leeroy honestly. The explanation given for the change was pointing most of the blame on hunters with Leeroy + Unleash the Hounds... which was far more broken months ago when UTH was only 2 mana. The wombo combos seen in the video above have been available mostly since the beginning (except for the one using the new shaman card from Naxx of course).

As for other decks that made extensive use of Leeroy, Miracle Rogue was probably most affected by the cost increase. Leeroy + Shadowstep x2 costs 11 mana now, eliminating the combo (short of tryharding with Pint-Sized Summoner... I suppose). Considering that Loatheb and Sludge Belcher are so prevalent (and so good), pulling off lethal burst for Miracle Rogue was already getting tougher. On the bright side, perhaps we'll see some new rogue builds and maybe even a viable Miracle variant.

When it comes to Starving Buzzard, I don't agree with such a harsh change to that one card. Hunter was getting out of hand, but this doesn't seem like the right way to fix things. One of the biggest issues with buzzard allowing players to draw so many cards was the amount of cheap/free answers playable in the same turn from those newly-drawn cards. When you can Buzzard + Unleash and still be able to play another cheap beast or two and any number of Hunter's Marks on top of that, there's a problem. I think a more reasonable change would've been 4-mana Buzzard (with a slight stat increase) and 1-mana Hunter's Mark.

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.