Category Archives: Digital Playground

From 8-bit to whatever-the-hell-bit we are in right now, plug in and take a ride with us.

Rapid Fire!..Random Thoughts 2/19

-To buy a box of M25 or not? I wish the spoilers were flowing a little more freely since the boxes are below $200 at the moment and while the thought of possibly pulling a Jace, the Mind Sculptor out of a pack is dancing in my head, it’s not quite enough to make me jump and preorder. My prediction for the big ticket cards in the set: Enemy fetches, Tarmogoyf, Aether Vial, Liliana of the Veil, Wurmcoil Engine, Force of Will, Mana Drain and Crucible of the Worlds.

-The first DLC characters for Dragonball FighterZ have been announced; Borly and Bardoc. Bardoc is Goku’s pops so it’s essentially another Saiyan which is a little disappointing. While I have gushed uncontrollably about the game, I do wish they would bring in some more non-Saiyan characters. On the other hand Borly should be the largest character in the game so it’ll be interesting to see how powerful the character actually is.

-A Japanese bike company (Khodaa-Bloom) designed a really cool Megaman themed bike. It can be yours for the low, low price of $2700 USD. For that price, it better come with a friggin’ Buster Shot on the front.

-Not sure where I’ve been, but somehow I missed the fact that Gamestop managed to swing a deal to have a Secret of Mana remake for the PS4 be a Gamestop exclusive. Interesting to see if this becomes a thing, (i.e. Target gets exclusive games, Walmart gets exclusive games,..).

-Only 59 more days until God of War 4 is released. But who’s counting?

-For all of my Star Wars fans out there, you can preorder the largest Star Wars toy that Hasbro has ever made, Jabba’s Sail Barge, for a mere $499.99! This monstrosity is 4 feet long, a little over a foot wide, and a 1 ½ feet tall, and comes with either divorce papers or a letter from your child expressing their undying love and gratitude. There is a catch, Hasbro will only start production if they get 5,000 preorders by 4/3 (currently, as of this post, they have 1,259 orders). You can place your preorder at www.hasbrolab.com.

-Finally, I want to thank everyone who follows us on Twitter and/or Instagram!

The Death of Marvel vs Capcom

Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite is dead. Let’s just get that out there in the open. I know, you know it, Capcom knows it. Capcom knows it so much that they omitted MVC from their Capcom Pro tournament. Think about that. The company that designed, marketed and released the game is saying that their own game is not good enough for their own tournament. Holy hell, people. This is a sad day for me as I have been a huge fan of the MVC series and to see it get the ol’ Street Fighter V treatment, aka releasing an unfinished game, and then to basically lose support from its studio, is a travesty to me. At least Street Fighter V has been updated and Capcom supports it. Do you know how many Twitch viewers MVC gets? A few hundred at a time. Really. A few hundred. Which essentially means that the general gaming community has lost interest in it. To pour another pile of crap onto this growing mountain of fertilizer, it won’t be included in EVO this year. For those of you not familiar with EVO, it’s essentially the World Series of fighting games. This is a death sentence. If the game is now not going to be in any noteworthy tournaments that’s a wrap folks. It appears that Dragonball FighterZ has taken its place as the premier 3v3 tag fighter on the market (rightfully so).

So with all that doom and gloom out of the way, I’m really trying to find a way to look at this from a positive point of view. Is this the wakeup call that Capcom needs? Are we as a collective group saying, “Stop releasing beta versions of your fighters or your product will sit on the shelves”? God, I hope so. Enough is enough. Capcom has always been guilty of performing the blatant cash grab (re: releasing the same game over and over again with a new mode, or with a couple of new fighters that you have to download), but to knowingly release an unfinished game and forcing the consumer to download massive update files to patch it, is unforgivable. They have done it twice in a row with Street Fighter V and MVC. By the way, Street Fighter V was rereleased as Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, which is the exact same game as the original version but comes with a download code for more characters. Yup. Cash. Grab. I love Street Fighter, I really do, and I was so disappointed when I bought SFV only to find that I needed to download a 9gb file just to play it. With that said, I love the MVC series even more, so it’s even more of a travesty that Capcom, well, Capcom’ed it, and released the game with a weak roster which has led to weaker sales. So what better way to remedy poor sales then by…rereleasing the game in a steelbook case and a download code for more characters. You know what? With some games this would be okay, and by some games, I mean any game that feels like a finished product. I know that in the past I have complained about DLC as being greedy but I know that’s the way the gaming world works today: companies have to try to get as much revenue off of a title as possible and if it’s by selling digital content then it’s easier to increase their margin and also cover the production costs of eventually rereleasing the title with everything included. In the case of MVC, it feels like the download code should have been given out for free in order to decrease the unhappiness of the community, instead of trying to sell another copy of the game with everything that was missing from the first version but in a metal friggin’ case. Capcom, clearly you’re able to release quality games, you *literally* just did with Monster Hunter World, why can’t you show the same love for your fighter fans?

I hope this isn’t the end of the MvC franchise but I have a hard time believing that Capcom will be in a hurry to invest money and resources into another title after they have essentially pulled support from the franchise. Who knows? Maybe after Avengers: Infinity War is released and sells a bazillion and a half tickets, Capcom will be inspired to ride the hype wave. Ah well, either way life goes on, so I’ll dry my eyes and then play some Dragonball FighterZ.


Also, MvC 2 is the best of the MvC series. I don’t know why people say 3 is. 52 characters! 52, people! *drops mic*

Deck List! Hearthstone Secret Aggro Hunter (Standard)

I discovered this little gem online and decided to give it a whirl. I went 6-1 with it only losing to a Warlock deck (shocking..). Regardless it’s very cool, and you can quickly overwhelm your opponent right out of the gate. As far as mulligan tips go, try to get a Secret Keeper in your opening hand along with some of the 2 drop Secrets in order to pump it. You can also look for an Alleycat and a Cloaked Huntress. The Alleycat puts instant pressure on your opponent and on T3 the Huntress comes out and your secrets are now free. It’s a very synergistic deck that can put up a fight against anything out there, besides Warlock apparently. I definitely recommend you try this one out and let us know what you think.

Currently Playing…Battle Chasers: Nightwar (PS4)

I’m hoping that all my fellow comic nerds out there remember the late 90’s comic series, Battle Chasers. It was created by one of my favorite artists on this planet, Joe Madureira, who is known for mixing Anime designs with really detailed American-style shading techniques. His style blew my mind when he was drawing Uncanny X-men, but once he started to work on Battle Chasers, he really started to hit his stride as a penciller. He was and still is one of the major influences of my pencil work, which makes this review a little hard to do. But my job is to give unbiased opinions for you guys, and I would be doing a crappy job if I told you that this game is amazing.

Battle Chasers starts out promising. The visuals are really sharp and you can tell that a ton of time was put into character design, the environments as well as the cut scenes. I was a little annoyed that the beginning of the game was a longer cut scene that lasts several minutes before you can actually play. Once you can actually play the game is pretty decent to begin with. It’s an old school JRPG with some unique elements that work well. There are two different kind of maps in this game: one that is an overworld view with different map points you move between and enemy encounters that are clearly identified, and the others are Diablo-esque dungeons. I really liked the dungeons and love the idea of mixing dungeon exploration with a turn-based JRPG. Each character in your party has different abilities that help you get through the dungeon. Before you enter a dungeon you have the choice of difficulty level, the harder the difficulty the better the loot you can pick up. The majority of Nightwar is actually spent in the randomly generated dungeons. But there is also plenty of side quests, crafting, and exploring to do in this game, I still haven’t become disinterested in the game because there is always something to do.

Ok, so what else did I like about this game? Other than the visuals and the dungeons that I mentioned above, the combat feels old school, which I love, yet also had a fresh feeling with the Overdrive mechanic. Usually you pay mana to use spells and special abilities, but by doing attacks you build up your Overdrive meter, which when fully charged, lets you use abilities for free, increases damage, etc. It adds an additional element of strategy to each fight, do you use the Overdrive early and try to build it up again? Or do you hold off until you have a boss on the ropes? I also like that random enemy encounters are not a thing in this game. It’s one of my pet peeves about other RPGs. Nothing worse than trying to walk somewhere and getting constantly bombarded by random enemies.

Okay, so now onto the bad stuff. The game crashed a few times on me. After some interwebz research, I wasn’t the only one that this happened to. I was very, very thankful that it autosaves so much so I didn’t really lose much. Still, this is something that is unforgivable in a finished product. I also found the inventory screen to be clunky and confusing, as well as having tiny font (I played this on my 60″), and the font was still on the smaller side. If it wasn’t for these issues, one being major, this game is actually decent as far as a JRPG goes. So back to the end of the first paragraph, I can’t say this game is amazing, don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly one of the better JRPGs that has been released in the past couple of years, but the bug and the menu design hold it back from being great. Is it worth the $25 price tag? Absolutely. Is it perfect? No, but still fun.

Buy it: If you’re an old school JRPG fan, like Diablo and used to be a fan of the Battle Chasers comic. It’s really neat seeing the characters come to life so to speak.

Try it: If you like JRPGs, this game is worth giving giving a shot. Is it Final Fantasy 3? No, but you might want to consider adding it to your collection anyways.

Walk by it: If you’re looking for a perfectly polished game. Or you have kids. Seriously, don’t buy this for your kids. Red Monika’s outfit is a bit much, and hers is not the only one, there is a witch in the game that leaves very little to the imagination.

Deck List! Hearthstone Secret Tempo Mage (Wild)

This is probably one of my most favorite decks to play. The synergy between Flamewaker, Mana Wyrm, Sorcerers Apprentice and all of the cheap spells make it easy to go off for 6+ damage every turn. All of the secrets in this deck give you some breathing room to keep going face on your opponent as well as pump up your Mana Wyrms.

Mulligan Strategy: Try to get a Mana Wyrm in your opening hand as well as some 1 drop spells or a Kabal Lackey with a Secret. Maybe its just me but it’s pretty easy to get a decent opening hand with this deck.

Super Saiyan!

Introduction

The 2 Guys Gaming got together for the first time in months.  With the business of the holidays, the start of the new semester, and just general overall old man Mr. Winter, we just weren’t able to connect and make plans.  Whenever we do, we both say that we need to do it more often and then life gets in the way.  Well, I’ve made last year and this year about telling life to go to hell when it decides to get in the way of my grand plans.  We’ve got games to play and podcasts to record!

During this visit, we tried out his new arcade stick emulator, Padora’s Boxx by beating the old classic puncher X-Men.  It seemed much shorter and easier than when I was a teenager.  it’s a game where you walk sideways and punch things.  It’s not like we were playing 3 dimensional chess back then.  Why did the game seem so difficult?  Well, Chris and I didn’t have to plug quarters into the machine.  When you aren’t paying a quarter every 5 minutes to revive your character, you aren’t as aware of your limitations when playing the game.

The difficulty is ratcheted up, though when you are hitting the enemy with skateboards and vacuum cleaners instead of lasers and Adamantium claws.

We also did a Winchester draft (more on that in a couple of days) and played some of the new fighting game Dragonball Fighterz.  Chris has raved about the game to me and he even wrote a review of the game last week.  He was so excited about the game that I couldn’t wait to play it.  We waited until the end of the night to play.  Without giving too much away, it was worth the wait.

The Good

The best part of the game is that they have made it very noob friendly.  I had never played the game.  I hadn’t even watched any gameplay videos like I told Chris I might after seeing some screenshots and thinking that the game looked absolutely gorgeous.  I was going in completely blind, so to speak.  That made no difference.

The move scheme is, as Chris explained it, “If you can do a fireball motion, you are all set”.  Because of that, I was pulling off crazy combos right out of the gate.  Well, based on my previous experience in fighting games, they were crazy combos.  I imagine in this day and age, they are just a basic combo that any preschooler could pull off with his eyes closed and both hands ties behind his back.  I even beat Chris in the first game.  Beginner’s luck?

And you had to walk through the snow, uphill both ways, in order to pull off a combo.

Then I beat him again, and a third time.  I can’t remember how many times I actually beat him in a row before he finally got a win, but it was at least three.  More on that in a bit.  It sounds weird and it might just have been because I was new to the game, but it felt like something different happened every match.

One time, one of the characters flew up into the air, seemed to collect a bunch of energy, and then threw it down onto the other guy.  Another time, Chris finished my guy off by throwing him threw 3 mountains, bringing the third one down on top of me.  Several times, it looked like an atom bomb went off to end the fight.

One time, I somehow pulled off some sort of “finishing” move.  It was called an ultimate devastation or something like that.  It wasn’t quite a fatality like from Mortal Kombat.  The camera panned back, the animation was a huge explosion, and then the words came across the screen.  I can’t remember exactly what the words were and I can’t find any evidence of it online, but both Chris and I sat in stunned silence for a few seconds.  He finally said, “I’ve never seen that happen before.”  Mind you, he’s been playing the game about 2 hours a day for a week to this point.

Animations like this are commonplace. Needless to say, this isn’t a game for those with epilepsy. Heck, they may find that it’s bad for people who have functioning eyes.

The Bad

Naturally, having grown up during the hey day of Street Fighter 2, I’m a Capcom baby.  Since this game utilizes a lot of the same functionality in moves and super combos, it made me think of the Capcom games.  In fact, during our games, Chris said something like “Capcom should take notes.”  While I agree, that’s not quite my main disagreement.  Because I grew up with the Capcom characters, I know which characters I like and which I don’t.  Having never watched any DragonballZ, I had no idea about anything about any of the characters.  I knew some of the names from various memes and everyone knows the “over 9000!” line.  Other than that, though, I knew nothing.

In addition, there aren’t that many characters to begin with.  I mean, the character selection screen is full, but many of those characters are just alternate versions of the other characters.  I think I counted 3 or 4 different Gokus and that might be low.  Again, as a new entry into the Dragonball Z universe, maybe there just aren’t that many characters in the series.  However, as someone who likes a variety of characters to choose and try out in a new game, that was a bit disappointing.

Finally, with all of the interaction and animations, they do get stale.  Most notably, the entry animation when one of your characters gets knocked out gets old real fast because it never changes.  The new character just flies in along with the opposing character and they punch each other’s fists.  This is quite disappointing as I was at least expecting each pair of characters to have their own animations similar to the beginning fight sequences.

Yep, that’s it. I kid you not.

The Ugly

I know that I often struggle to find “The Ugly” for many of these articles, but this game is as close to a perfect fighter as I’ve played in a long time.  Other than the few minor nit picks I had for “The Bad” section, I have no complaints about this game.  Certainly not anything that could possibly be elevated to “Ugly” status.

So, I will just take this space to gloat a little bit more.  It took Chris a few matches to finally beat me and I probably won about 70-75% of the matches that we played.  I suppose we could just call it all beginners luck, but I’m going to go with L2P Noob.  I’m just too good for you.

Shots fired, Bro.

The Verdict

As we were playing, I said to Chris, I definitely have to get an XBox One.  I actually said that I wanted to get an XBox One and a PS4 because I didn’t think that Dragonball was a cross platform title.  I have no idea why I thought that.  I think I’m just looking for a reason to spend money that I don’t have on things I don’t need.  I’m a complicated individual.

So, now more than ever, I want to buy an XBox One.  We can get Minecraft that allows for cross platform support.  We can get Dragonball Fighterz and Chris made the point that the boys would really get a kick out of the game.  He’s right.  Dragonball Fighterz is selling consoles (at least to me) and I don’t know when the last time a fighting game made me want to own a console.

I’m sure anyone who wants to play the game already has done so.  However, if you are like me and have somehow avoided both purchasing either and XBox One or PS4 and the game, then you need to go out and buy it right now.  You will not be disappointed.  Heck, the game has even made it to EVO already as Chris predicted that it probably would.  At least for me, that is must see viewing.

Hearthstone Deck List – Priest N’Zoth Greed (Wild)

Introduction

Chris posted a Hearthstone deck list a couple of days ago.  I checked it out and then texted him with encouragement.  It’s a Paladin aggro list and those are very strong in Wild right now.  I used one that I threw together to beat the same poor soul three times in a row by turn 5 in each game to finish off a quest that I had to do.

His post inspired me to think about maybe with some possibility probably posting one of my own.  I have this debilitating controlly greed Priest deck that I use to crush any hope out of my opponent.  I told Chris that I can almost see the point at which they realize that it’s hopeless and give up on the game even though they are an anonymous avatar in a computer game.

The Deck

Some Notes

The deck hasn’t been updated with any new cards for maybe two expansions.  So, it probably isn’t as strong as it could be.  I do know that I discovered a cube from my curator in one game that seems like it could be very strong in the deck.  Maybe I’d remove one or both of the curators so that I just had the cubes without having to rely on discover.  I also only have one shifting shade, so maybe cutting a Shrinkmeister for another Shade would add that extra death rattle minion for your eventual N’Zoth.

The only board clear is Nova, which generally isn’t an issue.  With the Velen’s Chosen cards and the Thalnos, you can generally get a 3 or 4 damage nova.  I don’t know much about the meta of wild, but a Lightbomb might also be an addition if you wanted to swap out one of the Novas.  Other than that, I have good success with the deck as it is.  The one downside is getting stuck with a heavy hand or the Shrinkmeister without any other minion.

Playing/Mulligan

I usually hard mulligan for a cleric against most decks.  The card draw let’s you cycle through the deck and get to your heavy hitters/defensive cards quicker.  Having a Shrinkmeister is nice, too for decks like Shaman or Paladin, that can coin or play big minions on 2.  Aside from that, just shoot for a low curve out hand so that you are making a play each turn and getting that board presence.  PW: Shield and Velen’s chosen allow you to get great value trades and a follow up Holy Nova often wipes their boards completely.

Entombs are there to clean up possible big taunts/high impact minions.  It can also be used for those pesky 4 attack minions that people think they’ll play to give you trouble.  Then again, a Shrinkmeister/SW: Pain or Cabal Shadow Priest will give you a big to massive swing in the early game with Pain or the late game with the Shadow Priest.  Once you’ve exhausted all of their resources, the N’Zoth turn is often back breaking.

I’m no professional deck builder.  I just put together things that I think are fun.  This one plays right into my fun police player profile and it gets good results most of the time. If you have any constructive criticism, I’d like to hear it.  L2P Noob?  I’ve heard that all before.

Silver Hand Recruit Paladin (Hearthstone:Wild)

Yup, you read that right, a Hearthstone deck list. I know, I know, for a couple of years now I’ve expressed my disdain for the game but I’m starting to come around. Since our “nerd nights” have become less frequent and the ol’ MTG group has disbanded, my competitive itch has not been scratched. This is where Hearthstone comes in. At first I was just playing as something to do but slowly I realized that I was starting to enjoy it. While I will forever maintain that W.O.W TCG was better and will forever hold a grudge against Blizzard for killing it, I can admit that my previous judgement of Hearthstone was…harsh.

Anyhoo, back to the decklist. This is a “Wild” format Paladin deck. The strategy is to overload the board with Silver Hand Recruits and pump them up with spells and minions’ abilities. There are different variations of this deck online but this is the one that I built and has worked wonders for me.


Paladin Class Cards

2 x Lost in the Jungle
2 x Righteous Protector
2 x Drygulch Jailor
2 x Equality
2 x Warhorse Trainer
1 x Steward of Darkshire
2 x Muster to Battle
2 x Quartermaster
2 x Lightfused Stegodon
1 x Level Up!
1 x Stand Against Darkness
1 x Crystal Lion
2 x Vinecleaver
2 x Consecration
1 x Truesilver Champion

Neutral
2 x Silver Hand Regent
2 x Knife Juggler
1 x Shielded Mini-bot

Mulligan Strategy:
You should aim to have a Lost in the Jungle, Drygulch Jailor, or a Shielded Mini-bot in your opening hand. With Lost in the Jungle being the better option of the three. Right away you get 2 minions on the board to pressure your opponent.

Currently Playing…Dragonball FighterZ (PS4)

Well, if you read my “Rapid Fire” post from a couple of days ago then you know that I was eagerly awaiting my copy of Dragonball FighterZ. Turns out our local UPS terminal must be avid readers of this site because lo and behold, the game was delivered that night. I eagerly ripped opened the box and had the game in my PS4 before you could say “Goku”. I then received the familiar message that most PS4 owners have seen, “Not enough memory”. After the stream of expletives fell out of my mouth, I started the unpleasant task of finding items that I could delete. 35 minutes later, I was able to finally the start the game. Have I mentioned how much I love to play this game? Y’know, the find and pick stuff to delete that you don’t really want to delete game? Thanks to Sony for putting such HUGE hard drives on these things. Yes, I’m aware that I can go out and spend $60-$150 for an external hard drive but I shouldn’t have to after dropping 300 on the console! But I digress, this is about Dragonball Fighter Z and not Sony.

When I first fired it up I was a little disappointed that I had to setup an online username and character. I’m a pretty antisocial gamer and I wasn’t planning on spending ANY time online with it so this felt like a waste of time. After getting setup, you must choose a lobby to join. The maximum characters in a lobby is 64, so there might be times when you start up the game and you won’t be allowed into that lobby because of too many players, so then you have to either choose another lobby or hit [Triangle] to go to an offline lobby, which is just you (Hoozah!). The lobby is essentially just an area that serves as a main menu for the game, so you can walk around to what modes you want to try out or hit [L2] to bring up a list of areas and you can just warp to it. After perusing the lobby for a while, I found that I didn’t mind it has much, yes there are other players running around, but unless you go into a tournament or the arena, you don’t really interact with them.

After the playing the game for a couple of hours, I sent Shawn a text saying that while I might just be in the moment, this is the best fighter I have ever played. And most of the games that I play are fighters. After putting more time into the game, I can confirm that it *is* the best fighter I’ve played. The graphics are amazing, the combat is fast paced, the combos are really easy to perform, and if you can throw a fireball in Street Fighter, you can perform any super combo. No “hold back for 2 seconds, forward, back, down-right, forward” nonsense in this game. It really keeps the fight flowing and after a match or two, I was performing 30+ hit combos. If you hit the heavy attack [Circle] you hit your opponent against the wall and they bounce off of it, hit [Circle] again and you perform a “Dragon Rush”, which means that you fly into the character to juggle them. The game does take skill though, you have to time those combos to keep them going. Dragonball FighterZ is the closest thing to Marvel vs Capcom 2 that I’ve played to date. MvC2 is usually my benchmark that I compare all other fighters to, but after many years, I have to say that it’s been dethroned as far as overall gameplay goes. While similar, (both are 3 on 3 tag fighters with great gameplay mechanics), MvC2 has more than twice the amount of characters that DBZ has. I believe MvC2 has 56 characters, as opposed to DBZ having 21. That said, I found that I wasn’t bored with the character selection at all. Although, I did buy the “Day One Edition” which comes with a code for an additional 2 characters that you normally have to beat “Arcade” mode on hard to get. At this point I have played as all of the characters multiple times and I’m still figuring out new ways to chain combos together. That’s the thing with this game, it’s easy to pick up and play, but only after putting in a good chunk of time was I able to see that while it looks simplistic, it’s intricate under the surface.

I thought I was going to have buyer’s remorse after paying full price for this game, but I had been looking forward to it since E3 and just couldn’t help myself. I’m happy to report that I don’t regret it all, this game is worth every penny. It’s an instant classic and the hype was real.

Buy It: If you’re a fan of 2D fighters, crazy 3 on 3 battles, or just love stringing together those combos in fighting games.

Try It: No, just buy it. It’s worth owning.

Walk by it: If you’re not into fighters, or more of a “realistic” fighter fan (i.e Tekken, Soul Calibur, DOA).

Final Score:
Dragonball FighterZ: 10/10 (!)

Some Notes on the Nerfs

Introduction

I know that you don’t come here for the latest breaking news in games.  Also realize that this article won’t change that.  I barely have the time right now to post my articles about 30 year old video games and my status as a filthy casual as a Magic the Gathering player.  I’m not going to even attempt to keep up with all of the current video game news.

However, I did notice a post on the Instagram feed of one of the people that I follow.  It had a picture of Patches the Pirate from Hearthstone and the tagline “I’m in charge now”, but with the “now” crossed out and “next turn” scrawled above it.  I didn’t know what to think because Hearthstone players have been screaming for a nerf of that card since it was released.

I mean, seriously, what the hell was Blizzard thinking with this one?

Initially, I thought it was a joke and laughed accordingly.  But, something nagged at me, so I went in search of an article that I didn’t even think existed.  I typed “Hearthstone Nerfs” into Google and expected to only find articles from the past.  Much to my surprise, an article written that day was the top search result, so I followed the link.  Apparently, Blizzard finally got around to nerfing the card right as it was on the cusp of rotating to Wild.  More on that later.

I texted Chris about it, but then we got to talking about something else.  Later in the night, he must have checked out an article about it because he texted me out of the blue “I actually agree with the nerfs” in response to my assertion that maybe Blizzard had gotten it a bit wrong.  It’s not that I don’t agree with the nerfs.  It’s just…warlock right now.  Jeeze.  How could they not do anything about Warlock?  I know that they want the players to use the tools available to them to figure out the meta, but c’mon.  When they nerf one of those tools, what are players supposed to do?  More on that later.

Patches the Pirate

This is the big one.  As I said earlier, this is the one that players have been talking about since before the card was released.  It thins your deck, gets played automatically most of the time, and has an immediate board impact.  There was a time when players were running pirates in their deck just for this card.  It was absurd.  The power level has diminished some in standard due to the proliferation of control and durdle combo decks, but this guy is still all over wild.

It’s gotten to the point where when I see this card in wild, I just concede.  Sometimes I will just concede if I see a warrior or rogue because I know that they are probably pirates.  Rogue also has the mill archetype.  They are both just such triggers for me.  They are just no fun to play against.

I will say that I’m impressed that Blizzard is at least making an effort to support their eternal format.  I was afraid that it would just be a dumping ground for past standard cards and they’d never even think about it again.  I like wild because I like the eternal formats, so I play it almost exclusively.  Instead of ignoring the format, they actually made a nerf that was at least partially due to their thoughts of how the card could warp in Wild.

Raza the Chained

This is one that has only recently gotten on to people’s radars due to the Priest Razakus combo deck that has taken over Standard.  According to Blizzard, though, that wasn’t the main reason.  Actually, come to think about it, their statement makes it sound like that wasn’t even a consideration.

I find that strange.  They’ve nerfed cards in the past to prevent one turn kills and the Razakus combo is exactly that.  Then again, it takes some effort to pull off, standard rotates every 3 or 4 months, and the card will eventually meet it’s match.  Where it again becomes a problem is Wild, where Razakus could rule, potentially forever, squeezing out any creativity and imagination in deck building.

Since Wild gives you all of the cards to build your decks, that’s exactly what it needs to be.  There needs to be room for new and interesting decks that are constantly evolving due to new cards rotating into the format.  It doesn’t need to be a stagnant swamp of durdle deck against durdle deck that makes  you want to throw yourself off a cliff.  Again, good job thinking of us filthy casual Wild players.

The problem with this one is that Razakus was the only thing keeping Warlock from being a truly dominant force in the Standard meta.  They may have plans to deal with Warlock in the coming months with some rotation/hall of fame moves, but in the mean time, Warlock is going to be mean.  This doesn’t affect me much because I never play Standard at any high level, but the streams I watch will become Gul’dan v. Gul’dan, which is troubling.

Corridor Creeper

0 mana 5/5?  What could go wrong?  This card is crazy stupid in a game that encourages minion trading.  At least with the giants, you can get them to 0 mana, but it takes some skill and strategy.  This thing, you just throw your little guys into the other guy’s little guys and play him for free.  Good riddance.  It might still be borderline playable in arena, but the other two picks would have to be pretty bad.

This is the one that I’m least concerned about.  It has a powerful effect and delaying that effect for one turn might make it unplayable.  Because, we all know, when Blizzard nerfs a card, they either miss completely and the card just becomes slighly less powerful or they ban hammer it into a deep hole.  I think this card might be in the first category instead of the second.  It’s still a decent late game card in arena and maybe even in constructed control decks.  I have no idea and I’m honestly not all that concerned if it isn’t.  This card just doesn’t register all that much, but that might be because it is an arena nerf and I don’t play much arena.

The Verdict

While I ultimately agreed with Chris and all of the nerfs hit the spot, I’m a bit concerned about what Warlock will become.  I like to watch streams because I’m terrible at the game, but I do enjoy the interaction.  I have no idea when the next expansion is going to hit, but until then it is going to be all Warlock all the time.

It’s going to be like when Pirate Warrior and Aggro Shaman were all over the place, but as of right now, there isn’t a natural enemy of the Warlock.  I’m sure that streamers and pro players will find that counter and hopefully they do soon.  Because during the aforementioned Pirate Warrior and Aggro Shaman meta, I watched less and less Hearthstone.  Maybe that’s a good thing.