Tag Archives: Hearthstone

Hearthstone Barrens Part 5: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

Hearthstone Barrens Part 5 brings us, at last, to the end of our journey into Horde territory. It represents an arduous week and a half long trip through dangerous terrain. During our last entry, we fought against sneaky rogues and shaman wielding the very power of nature itself. I’m proud of our successes. We will learn from our failures. Overall, the journey made us stronger.

Nietzsche was a notorious ass, but this quote is pretty dope.

The final leg of our trip looks at Warlock and Warrior cards from the set. While I hate Rogue and Shaman, I always loved playing Handlock. Plus, any version of Wallet Warrior gives me a big happy. Neither of those archetypes appears in this set. However, wild exists. Maybe some cards from the set make it into those decks.

Speaking of Wild, I play that format almost exclusively. You think I’d (a) be better at it and (b) build decks around my favorite cards in the set. Let me answer in order. (a) I don’t care enough about the game to git gud. (b) That’s actually a good idea. Maybe after I review the new MTG set this week, I will revisit that idea. Thanks, random reader! For now, lets finish this set with Hearthstone Barrens Part 5.

Warlock

Decent: Broken record time. Look! Another ranked spell. This one is especially awful. Even if you get the fully ranked version, maybe you’ve exhausted all of your opponent’s removal. Highly unlikely, but that’s the only hope you have if you’re running this card. Honestly, the outfitter isn’t all that terrible, but this feels much more like they included it in the game to put it into Battlegrounds.

Good: A sub theme of Shadow spells for Warlock here. Similar to the sub theme of elementals for Shaman in the last article, I slacked on research. Therefore, this may be a strong archetype with other cards in the format. I will say that I haven’t seen much evidence of that. Who knows? Maybe they’re setting it up for a future set.

Great: As I mentioned, I loved Handlock. I tried playing Discolock a couple of times and performed terribly. Zoo is always there when I want to finish a Warlock quest quickly. But, my all time favorite deck was probably Mecha’thun Warlock. This strategy plays right into that deck. Another reason to revisit these cards in Wild.

Having played a mill strategy in both Hearthstone and MTG and also realizing that I said in my last article that I despised mill strategies, especially in Hearthstone, I find it funny that Blizzard forced Warlock into a mill strategy in this set. Yikes, how’s that for a run on sentence? I’d hate to diagram that almost as much as I hate mill strategies. On that note, I probably won’t ever play this deck. Oh yeah! How’s that for a transition? Ready for another, less smooth one?

Warrior

Decent: Okay, I won’t even say it this time. Instead, join me for story time. Once upon a time, Paladin utilized a strategy known as Hand Buff Paladin. I’m confident in your ability to figure out the base line of that strategy. These cards read like a worse version of that deck.

Good: Unlike some of the more recent classes, the good cards for warrior share little synergy. Perhaps I need to rethink my assessment of these cards. Honestly, it makes little difference. However, if I want to be taken seriously, I have to take myself seriously. When I redo my ranks in a few weeks, remind me to reevaluate Warrior more seriously.

Great: Blizzard pushing me to build a possibly terrible Frenzy Warrior deck. I’m more than willing to take that bait. It seems that others have, too. I faced more than one Frenzy Warrior during my recent play tests.

This deck combines Rush with Frenzy and the one taunt minion from above for some late game protection. It also is a deck that I shamelessly stole from Hearthstone top decks. The originator of the deck is Dekkster. Sorry for that, but I wanted to get this article done. 9/10 ain’t bad and you get at least one good deck from this all.

The Verdict

Hearthstone Barrens Part 5 wraps up the review of the set. Overall, I’m happy with how the new format worked and I may try it with my MTG Strixhaven review, hopefully starting tomorrow. MTG sets have many more cards, so I doubt I’ll include every card in the review, but I’ll try. Okay, off to swear at Hearthstone. I have some new decks to play!

Hearthstone Barrens Part 4: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

Hearthstone Barrens Part 4 brings us 2 of my least favorite classes. I both hate playing and playing against Rogue and Shaman. It hasn’t always been like that. When the game first released, I enjoyed playing Shaman. I’ve never been able to figure out Rogue. I remember watching a stream and asking the streamer how to survive hitting everything with my face. Warrior and Druid both have armor to mitigate their attacks on minions. Shaman has healing. Rogue…has aggression? I guess. Kill the other player before you kill yourself.

Rogue started to annoy me with Kingsbane and the fact that everyone who plays Rogue in wild chooses mill. Hearthstone mill annoys me even more than MTG. At least in MTG, you have the option to recur your cards from the graveyard. When they’re milled in Hearthstone, they’re gone. So, yeah, screw Hearthstone mill.

Aggro Shaman became a deck a few years ago. Then, evolve Shaman burst onto the scene and continue to annoyingly bubble up into the meta. Finally, battlecry Shaman with Shudderwock made me want to claw the skin off of my face. While I don’t react as viscerally to Shaman, it still ranks at the bottom of my list of classes. Let’s get this Hearthstone Barrens Part 4 review out of the way.

Rogue

Decent: I suppose that Yoink! can have some utility, depending on the hero power choices you get and the situation. Oil Rig Ambusher is overall terrible unless maybe you combo it with Shadowstep? Even that feels underwhelming.

Good: Wicked Stab deals 6 damage at top rank. Field Contact might work in the right deck as a pseudo miracle effect, but it dies far too easily to removal to be consistent. And, the Octo-bot has a good Frenzy effect that might actually trigger. Frenzy pops when the minion first survives damage. It just doesn’t fit my “Poison Rogue” build I made.

Great: Once upon a time, Rogue ran a weapon that received +1 durability when you played a card from another class. Usually, you only put one in your deck because the other cards synergized so well that you went infinite with the weapon. Well, other than the fact that everyone else played rogue, too, and nullified the effect. Okay, what does this “Poison Rogue” that can’t quite go infinite look like?

This deck might actually make me change my mind about playing Rogue. It looks like a lot of fun. The cheap spells and topping off at 5 mana with Secret Passage ensures that there might be some crazy lethal turns out of nowhere. I might have overdone it with the removal and probably should have Eviscerate instead of Brain Freeze since it can go face. Especially since I have Ironbeak Owl and Coerce already in the deck. Now that I read it, I think that might be a change that I have to make. Join us in a month or so when I revisit these decks to see if I actually do that.

Shaman

Decent: Once again, the effects of the “Decent” cards look and feel too situational for me to consider them for my deck. At least for Shaman, they synergize pretty well. I with that Chain Lightning worked like The Lurker Below, but that would be busted as hell.

Good: Elementals! Elementals everywhere! Not really. There’s only 3 in this set and I’m not sure how many others in Standard right now. And so my laziness, and frankly stubbornness perhaps, you are stuck with murlocs instead. Let’s see the murlocs!

Seeing that murlocs in Standard are currently grossly underpowered, this deck is sure to lose more than it’ll win. I can’t even promise you that you’ll have fun as you’re losing. Why build this deck then? Why? Mglrlgglrlrlrlrlg!

That last statement translates roughly to “Eff Shaman, that’s why.” I jammed all possible murlocs in the deck. Put in some buffs, a bit of removal, and viola! We have a deck. Mgrglglglrlglglrgl!

The Verdict

I said that Hearthstone Barrens Part 4 brings two of my least favorite classes. They might even be my least favorite. The rogue deck actually makes me want to play the class more this expansion. The Shaman deck makes me laugh because it’s so terribly bad and I’ll never play Shaman other than if my random number generator makes me for Tavern Brawl. As I am trying to get back on track with my articles, hope to see you tomorrow for the finale, Part 5!

Hearthstone Barrens Part 3: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

Hearthstone Barrens Part 3 covers Paladin and Priest cards. Slowly, but surely, we are making our way through the new set. So far, I’m happy with the new format. Sure, I often build terrible decks with either no synergy (or too much), but that’s part of the fun of the page. Once again, you can find meta decks at a variety of pages. Where else can you find ridiculous decks and occasional self deprecation?

In this day and age, there’s plenty of that to go around, too…Picture found here.

Once upon a time, in the recent past, I loved Priest. Blizzard unleashed the scourge of Demon Hunter on Hearthstone. I found a Galakrond Priest deck that absolutely destroyed them, so I played that exclusively for the last half a year or so. I never loved Paladin. It stems back to the PTSD caused by Secret Paladin. I never forgave the game for that meta. Even today, unless absolutely necessary, I refuse to play Paladin even to complete a quest.

More recently, Libram Paladin haunted me to the point that I automatically conceded every game against Paladin. I mean, Demon Hunter has become the new hotness in classes nobody wants to play. But, Paladin (and sometimes Priest) are the OGs when it comes to annoying archetypes. Hell, even now I play Galakrond Priest more than anything else and I still concede quite often because I’m in Priest ELO Hell. Let’s see what Hell Blizzard unleashed with our Hearthstone Barrens Part 3 review.

Paladin

Decent: Oh look, another terrible ranked spell and a worse Survivial of the Fittest. I considered Sermon for the “Good” section, but too many other good cards in the set reduced it to “Decent” status. Rank is a new mechanic and often times, they take a set or two to come up with some good cards for a new mechanic. Perhaps the next time they design ranked cards, they’ll come up with some better ones.

Good: To be fair, these cards might not all be better than Sermon. I just put them in this section because the synergy made me consider building a “Holy” deck instead of a secret deck. I nearly lost my mind when I thought that secrets might be “Holy” spells. Thankfully, they have no spell type, so that saved me from having to make too many decisions about my deck. Maybe I will revisit the “Holy” Paladin deck in a future article.

Great: I already talked in the introduction about the old Secret Paladin. Because this deck hasn’t annoyed me nearly as much as that deck, I’m willing to give it a chance and build it myself. I especially like the effect of Cannonmaster Smythe. I played it a few times and it was so much fun. What does this deck look like?

This deck has it all. There are secrets that are versatile, but hopefully won’t trigger immediately so that we can take advantage of Smythe. Both Fordrings can sync together if you draw Alex before Taelan dies. We need to search for Mankrik’s wife, which is a fun little Easter egg for those of us who played way too much World of Warcraft 5 years ago. Finally, Kazakus makes a return.

Priest

Decent: Both of these cards are very situational. I could see Soothsayer’s Caravan being good in a meta with high spell focused decks. Power Word: Fortitude only works with a high concentration of spells. Even then, consider what other spells it beats in any of the mana slots.

Good: Void Flayer fits in with that spell heavy deck I just discussed. However, the stat line is just good enough that it might be slotted in to some Priest decks as additional removal. Serena Bloodfeather is funny because it makes players do math, something that I’ve found CCG players to be surprisingly bad at. Hey, look! A ranked spell that is in the “Good” section. How did that happen? I was going to joke that this could have gone in the “Decent” section and what rule meant I couldn’t have 3 cards there? Instead, I’ll grudgingly admit that the card is pretty good late game.

Great: It appears that the theme for Priest this time is healing. Admittedly, not that inspiring of a theme. However, a timeless theme and less annoying that the theme they often unleash on unsuspecting Hearthstone players, resurrection. Accuse me of plagiarism if you must, but this deck will look a lot like the Blizzard deck in the Tavern Brawl preview for Forged in the Barrens.

As many of my Priest decks do, this one leans fairly heavily into the control aspect of the class. There’s ample removal, card generation, and finally healing to trigger the Xyrella for a big board removal. I might want to put in some of those annoying resurrection effects like Raise Dead, but Veilweaver and Palm Reading do give me a chance to add them to my hand. Hmm, come to think of it, Veilweaver might not be a good choice for this deck since the only trigger in the deck is Apotheosis. I will have to consider that for my revisit.

The Verdict

Paladin made out quite well in our Hearthstone Barrens Part 3 review. Priest is less fun as far as I can see, but I might be missing something. I have seen rumors of a Miracle Priest out there, but I didn’t see a ton of support for the cards I picked in my Great section. Then again, we’re not here to win games. We’re here to have fun and laugh at our ineptitude! Join us soon for Part 4.

Hearthstone Barrens Part 2: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

Welcome to Hearthstone Barrens Part 2. I decided in my last article to change the format of these articles. First, I changed from previews to reviews. That’s simply a function of me not being able to write the articles before the sets are released. Second, and more importantly, I decided to make a deck for the cards that I include in the “Great” section for each class. That leads into the final change. Lastly, I reviewed all of the cards from the set instead of just the cards that I found interesting.

I will fulfill my density as a Spike sooner or later…

Time to give the 2 Guys Gaming treatment to Hunter and Mage cards from the latest Hearthstone expansion, Forged in the Barrens. This expansion feels like the one that came after Naxxramas. Recently they introduced Old Gods into the same meta that contained Galakrond. The power level of Standard felt a little out of control similar to how Naxx released some severely overpowered cards into the Wild. (Was Wild even a format then?)

Forged in the Barrens now comes along and tries to bring balance to the cards. For the most part, they succeeded in that goal. I have yet to see a card from this set that causes me to automatically reach for the “Concede” button. Hell, not even Demon Hunters make me immediately rage quit anymore. Let’s explore together how Hearthstone Barrens Part 2 reduces the power level of Hunters and Mages

Hunter

Decent: What’s the best case scenario on that Legendary? Tracking, a secret, and Skill Command? That’s honestly not a bad outcome, but 5 mana is super expensive for such an outcome. But, hey if you have both of these on the field at the same time, you get quite the combo and the immediate gratification of a 2 hyena payoff!

Now that I said that, some Spike out there sensed it and brewed the ultimate deck to take advantage of that. The next time that deck will haunt me as a living nightmare until I have no recourse but to text Chris that I’m done with Hearthstone (again) and then immediately log back into the game to unleash my fury on solo adventures or Battlegrounds

Good: What do we have here? I 1 mana 1/3 with upside. Wait, but it costs two mana? What are you up to, Blizzard? Granted, that effect is still potentially hella powerful for 2 mana, but still. You can’t set a precedent and then break that precedent. It will cause pandalerium among the player base. Already, I feel my own grip on Hearthstone reality fading.

Piercing Shot might be overcosted, but I like any spell that has trample, so it gets upgraded to “good” status. Finally, Wound Prey is cheap and early removal. When I play, that usually means that I draw them at the most inopportune times. Pardon my French, but “C’est la vie.”

Great: Like druid, Blizzard often suggests Beast Hunter as the leading viable archetype. You can see from my card choices that I 100% took the bait once again. There’s that 1 mana 1/3 with upside. Two discover cards. Check. Surprise! An actual ranked spell. Honestly, it’s not that great, but it does have beast synergy, so I included it in the list.

Aggro Beast Deathrattle Hunter

I may have to rework this deck big time. As I assembled the pieces, I ended up doing what I often do. I got distracted by the fact that there are some pretty good deathrattle beasts in Standard right now. So, I jammed them into the deck with the other beast synergy. As a result, the deck contains no removal. It is strictly an aggro minion deck. If any class works with such a strategy, it’s Hunter. With that being said, I’m 99% sure that this won’t work with any consistency. But, it’s a first attempt.

Mage

Decent: Rimetongue is very situational. It has a similar effect as a treasure in Duels. Having played that treasure, I can say that the freeze effect is nice, but it doesn’t have a huge impact and it is easily removed. The luminary updates an old mage card used in a few decks. It may be again, especially since there are some elemental archetypes out there. I just doesn’t speak to me right now.

Good: All of these are decent cards in the right deck. I actually considered Runed Orb in my deck instead of Flurry, but Flurry just fits with the 4 drop. More on that in a minute. Refreshing spring water is just strictly better than Arcane Intellect in an all spell deck. And, in the right situation, the Oasis Ally has been a fantastic card.

Great: The first three cards in the list affect or respond to the effects of your hero power. The other two combine to give you a potential 4 mana Flamestrike, but with Frost instead of Fire. My first attempt at a deck uses only Mage cards. As with the other decks, I’m sure that it requires some tuning before it can be considered competitive. Nevertheless, we’re all learning here.

Check out this mish mash (or hodge podge) if you prefer of Mage cards thrown together as a deck. It might not even classify as jank. I defy you to find a consistent win condition. But, that’s not why we’re here. You want meta level decks to climb ladder with? There are plenty of places to find that. You’re here for inconsistent decks that might reward you with fun and unexpected wins, but will most likely frustrate you into deleting your client? Now, you’re talking. Get out there and and then come back to swear at me for leading you down the wrong path.

The Verdict

Hearthstone Barrens Part 2 took far longer to write than I’d like to admit. I still have some hope of getting back on track with my plan of providing content 5 days a week, but this article put me far behind the eight ball. Now, I suffer some side effects from my 2nd vaccine dose.

None of that has anything to do with these cards. I think Hearthstone tried to reduce the power level of Standard with Forged in the Barrens. For the two classes discussed in this article, they succeeded. Mage, however, still has some powerful cards and effects and the class is a ton of fun to play right now.

Hearthstone Barrens Part 1: Great, Good, Decent

Introducton

For this Hearthstone Barrens part 1 review, I present Demon Hunter and Druid cards from the latest Hearthstone expansion. I tried to come up with ideas to make these articles more interactive. I can’t promise that I have been successful. However, I tried and I will continue to work to mold this page into my image.

It hasn’t been that long, but it has been 7 years. So, roughly 84 months. Hey, the joke works!

I came up with the idea to review all of the cards in the set instead of just cards that I find interesting. Additionally, I stole an idea from another page to build decks around the cards that I include in the “Great” section for each class.

Regular readers know that my decks are on the Johnny Combo (or maybe Timmy) side. They certainly aren’t Spike. When I shared with Chris that Star City Games is looking for writers, he responded, “You know you’ll have to become a Spike.” Luckily, though, they are looking for pop culture writers, too, and that’s much more in my wheelhouse.

But, I digress. Join me while I review Demon Hunter and Druid cards from Hearthstone’s latest set, Forged in the Barrens. If you like possibly fun, but most likely just terrible, decks, then you’re in for a treat. If not, perhaps my witty banter will be enough for you to return for the remainder of the review. And, so, join me for Hearthstone Barrens part 1 review of Demon Hunter and Druid cards.

Demon Hunter

Decent: Sigils got their start in this set with Sigil of Silence and Sigil of Flame (see next section). I suppose that Sigil of Silence has some utility against certain minions. However, there are so many ways to play around the card that the utility isn’t much.

Vile Call reworks several druid cards with a Demon Hunter theme. Like the Sigil of Silence, though, the demons are easily removed, you’d never get the benefit of the lifesteal. Maybe at 4 mana and give the demons rush. I’m not entirely sure how mana efficiency works in Hearthstone, so that might even make the card 5 mana. Then, it is again, unplayable. Oh well, I guess you need bulk commons in ever set, right?

Speaking of bulk commons. If I could set Fury on fire, I would. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the fel flame necessary and we are forced to live with this terrible, terrible card.

Good: This card mimics the Ilidan hero power from Battlegrounds. I struggled where to put this card. The outcast effect is nice and could provide decent early game removal. Even late game if the opponent tries to hide minions behind taunt and doesn’t play around the card. Otherwise, in most cases, this is just a 4 mana 3/4, which is pretty awful, especially for a legendary. Maybe I should have swapped this with Sigil of Silence.

A 2 mana delayed mass removal spell is pretty dang good. It also works like a Doomsayer by delaying smaller minion plays by a turn. Overall, a fun card with some potential.

Great: It appears that someone at Blizzard really wants to make Deathrattle Demon Hunter a thing. I tried my hardest to make those wishes come true. Alas, I came to the unfortunate conclusion that Deathrattle Demon Hunter does not currently have the support cards necessary to make it fun. Nevertheless, let’s analyze this terrible deck together.

Terrible Aggro Deathrattle Demon Hunter

Upon looking at the available deathrattle cards in Standard, I knew this deck would be severely limited. The best I found in this first iteration was a sort of aggro build that tries to take advantage of Teron Gorefiend. I included several tech cards against taunt and the deck absolutely folds to any kind of removal. Funny enough, because of that singular focus on taunt, I threw in two Sigil of Silence. In addition, I did try to include some Warblades as a secondary win condition, but that is equally as, if not more so, flimsy as the minion aggro plan. I guess it is fitting that Demon Hunter is finally given a strategy that won’t require 5 rounds of nerfs simply to make it overpowered instead of game breaking.

Druid

Decent: Both of these cards have decent stat lines and effects for their cost. They might be good in a wild control deck, but I just don’t see that happening for Druids in standard right now. I put together a decent beast aggro druid deck that is fun to play and that just feels like the direction that they’re pushing druid right now.

Good: Again, the 2 drop and the 7 drop are decent cards in a slower control deck. Maybe as a bonus, I will build that deck for a future article. I am trying to provide more content as part of the plan to boost views on the page here. Why not my trademark terrible decks?

Great: As soon as I saw these cards, I knew the direction of this deck. Beast druid represents one of the oldest and most consistent archetypes in the game of Hearthstone. And, so, behold my Beast Druid Deck!

Non-optimal Beast Druid Deck

This deck is similar to some of the other beast druid decks I’ve seen out there. I actually net decked one by fr0zen to finish a beast quest in the game. For this deck, I took the bones of that deck and tweaked it slightly. I call it non-optimal because I had to include Pride’s Fury, which took out the new Kazakus. That’s too bad because that’s a fun card to play. Also, I’m not sure that Solar Eclipse has a place in the deck, but it might lead to some fun combos.

The Verdict (Hearthstone Barrens Part 1 – DH :Bad, Druid – Good)

Demon hunter definitely got the short end of the stick during this expansion. As I said earlier, it’s about time that class come back down to earth a little bit. In the early iterations, I autoconceded against every single Demon Hunter I saw. Even recently, I break out in cold sweats and reach for the concede button when faced against a Demon Hunter. Maybe with this expansion, I will be able to heal from that hurt.

On the other hand, druid gets a fun and viable archetype with all of the beast support cards. Granted, I’m biased because I enjoy playing beast Druid. Still, give the deck a try. Hopefully you’ll either find it entertaining or figure out ways to make it better. Thanks for reading my Hearthstone Barrens part 1 review. Join us tomorrow for part 2.

Hearthstone DarkMoon Mini-Set: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

I often want to brand January as “new year, new games” here at 2 Guys Gaming. Other than the previous article about my introduction to Pathfinder, this year’s theme has again been an utter failure. I hamstrung myself by taking the week in between Christmas and New Year’s to talk about Mario Kart and the new D&D adventures I purchased. Also, this year’s Christmas brought many fewer new games than in the past. Luckily, Hearthstone Darkmoon Mini-Set and Magic the Gathering Kaldheim arrive soon to save the day.

I guess Santa figured that since we only play Minecraft around here, we didn’t need new games.

Those of you who have been following the Hearthstone saga this year might be surprised to know that people still play the game. The decision to add a battle pass angered many players. They may have quit playing altogether. At the very least, they complained very loudly on Reddit. In spite of it all, Hearthstone survived.

Now, I won’t take full credit for that. But, I will say that I was a voice of reason within the chaos. Sure, streamers like Kibler also tried to talk our fellow Hearthstone players off the ledge, too. Let’s agree that it was a group effort. Everyone played a role. I never got to preview the Hearthstone Darkmoon mini-set. I just bought it with 2000 gold, though, so might as well do a review.

Dual Class

Yes, Virginia, dual class cards are back. I think that means that dual class is now an evergreen keyword. I remember having a discussion about echo and how a card used the echo mechanic, but not the keyword. Someone said, “Well, that keyword was from this expansion and this is the only card with that effect.” I shrugged. Never stops WotC from digging up old keywords to shove onto the latest mono green overpowered rare. I’m just waiting for the next Future Sighted card with banding or some nonsense. You know it’s coming. The point is, I don’t understand why a digital card game that can easily program tool tips for each keyword. Eternal does so. Then again, this is Blizzard and they aren’t exactly known for their efficient programming practices.

Great: Guidance is pretty amazing. Two spells for two mana? That seems like an autoinclude in any druid deck. The versatility alone makes it probable for Totem Shaman and maybe even Evolve. Nitroboost Poison looks good for a Pirate warrior or Aggro rogue deck. 1 mana with corrupt? That’s just unfair. I threw Barricade in as a border case. I will discuss the other possibilities now.

Good: I considered putting both Ivory and Deadeye in the Great section. However, with Ivory, you need another cheap spell to trigger the spellburst that turn. And, Deadeye is too easily removed to make it more than a single turn impact. The corrupt clause on the Hoarder is nice, but three mana to corrupt is a bit slow. Before, we had Mass Hysteria. Now, we have regular old Hysteria. Warlock and Priest get another board clear. How quaint.

Decent: Rally feels far too situational to me. I’m trying to think of the good minions for each class. I guess with priest, you have cleric and the bird man. But, you’d need follow up man with both. I got Resizing Pouch from a discover and never played it. I guess the Phoenix could be used for lethal set up, but I have yet to see it have an impact.

Class Cards

Great: 2 mana Consecration (most of the time)? Don’t mind if I do. The Racer combos with Frost Nova and Blizzard to be a board clear, especially if you have spell damage, which most mages do these days. X’anesh is a personal choice since I like playing Corrupt Priest decks. Outcast abilities are often ridiculous for their cost and this card triggers them automatically. The cheat feels like a power creeped Kirin Tor Mage. Likewise, they nerfed Fiery War Axe all those years ago, then gave us the 2/5 taunt guy who gives a free one and this is basically a 1 cost version. GG, Blizzard. Speaking of GG, 3 mana and 3 damage for 3 cards? Ye gods.

Good – Bola is removal and removal is always good. Drake, if corrupted, is solid stats for the cost. Some priest played Lightsteed against me and basically autowon the game with it. Celestial can be good in a combo with some bigger minions. Shenanigans are just that. Going to mess with card draw decks. Like the Wheel, this will almost always be a 4/6 and it is a battlecry, so persistent. Felsaber follows in the shadow of the Griffon (or Roc or whatever). However, being a DH card, it is naturally overpowered.

Decent: Anything with Treants is usually overcosted or just trash. This card is situational in token druid, I guess. Like Resizing Pouch, I discovered Biscuit. It’s delayed 2 mana. Good for cheap Spellburst, I guess? Libram of Judgement is an overcosted Truesilver Champion. However, it is a libram. I might be very wrong about this card. Mistrunner is normal Shaman trash buff. Rustwix is the randomness that Blizzard loves so much. And, Saddlemaster is typical trash Hunter random beast nonsense.

Neutral

Neutral – None of these cards merits too much of a discussion. There’s the undercosted 1 drop with 1/3 stats. A garbage murloc with some random keywords. Trash Legendary that will end up beating me at some point. I guess Blackwing is an answer to a solo Ragnaros on the board (which is something that I faced just the other day). Finally, Deathwarden feels like it could be fun in Battlegrounds. I wonder if they have any plans to make that happen.

The Verdict (Hearthstone Darkmoon mini-set is hopefully a nice change up)

I often give Blizzard a ton of crap. It is out of love. I can’t stand Hearthstone as a card game. More often than not, I end up swearing at the game in a way that I’m not proud of. Most recently, Demon Hunter was an error of epic proportions and they just keep piling on. Seriously, nearly every single Demon Hunter build is viable. It’s absurd.

However, they are willing to try new things and use the digital format to their advantage. I like Battlegrounds and will even try Duels every now and again because it is something different from other card games. This Hearthstone Darkmoon mini-set adds some new cards that will hopefully offer a change in the meta. Due to the fact that Blizzard mostly just supports Standard, the meta gets stale much faster than in other card games.

Console Look Back 2020: A Year in Gaming

Introduction

In this “final” week of 2020 here at 2 Guys Gaming, we’re starting with a familiar refrain. Similar to mobile two weeks ago and tabletop last week, I’m going to do a console look back 2020. I put final in quotes because I currently don’t have anything planned for next week. That may change depending on how motivated I feel after the holidays. However, I’ve been really good about updating this page for this year and especially the last few months.

I deserve a little R&R.

Besides, I have to get ready for the re-relaunch of the podcast and the re-re-re(?)-relaunch of the YouTube Channel. Also, who else can stream myself playing terrible games while making equally terrible dad jokes? I know that some can do either, but I’m confident that I’m the only one who can do both. Be on the lookout. 2021 is going to be 2 Guys Gaming’s year. Oh crap, we weren’t supposed to say that. Never mind.

Ah, who am I kidding? I will get some ridiculous idea or another to fill next week and we’ll all be here to do it all again. Perhaps I’ll review some of the new games we get for Christmas (even though that is tentatively on the schedule for January). Maybe I will convince the family to try Dungeons and Dragons again (if I can ever find my adventure I wrote). Oh, actually, I’ve got it. But, now, you just have to wait in suspense to find out what it is. For now, let’s dive into the console look back 2020. Note: I’m going to include PC in this as well, but the titles are already getting too long for my SEO optimizer.

Diablo 3

Long time readers of th epage know that I have a love/love relationship with Torchlight 2. It is even the topic of a now lost (thankfully in retrospect) episode 2 of the original podcast. I played Torchlight 2 far more than any of the Diablo games. Until Diablo 3. I think I bought it after Chris and I did some couch co-op at his place.

At first, it took some time to get used to the XBox controls. I also played the Marvel ARPG, Marvel Heroes, a ton on the PC. The controls on the PC for these types of games are just so intuitive. Easily and fully customizable, too. You can customize your build on the XBox, but the controls are not. They take some getting used to. I nearly stopped playing the game altogether because of the controls.

I kept playing. The story hooked me and we all know I’m a sucker for good story. The loot impressed me. I’m not usually one for loot, but Blizzard does a good job with their loot and cosmetics. I kept playing. Then, one day, something clicked. I enjoyed the game. The controls no longer kept me from doing mega damage with my rotation. I still have to finish the game, but that’s only a matter of time.

Minecraft and Minecraft Dungeons

These are two very different games. Minecraft is what it has always been. As I heard it described by some boomer reporter years ago, “You mine. And you craft.” As simple as it is, that’s literally all the game involves. How can it possibly be so popular then?

I can’t speak for anyone else. However, in my experience, the game is fun because it is one of the few modern games I can play with my kids. We have all spent countless hours on survival worlds mining entire mountains and crafting more than one nether portal. Sure, not that impressive to the Minecraft pros out there, but always an achievement when we finally get the experience of dying on another plane.

Quinn and I started a new world recently. Well, he started it and I joined it one day. Within the first hour of playing I had already fished up an epic fishing rod and several strong bows. We’ve both died in the nether and lost more than one of those epic rods in the weeks since. He built a villager farm that one day vanished. All in all, we are in it for the long haul on this one. In fact, he just ran another plan by me earlier this evening.

We haven’t played Minecraft Dungeons recently. For a few weeks over the summer, it hooked us both. I liked the Diablo like gameplay. He enjoyed the Minecraft setting. I logged in a couple of weeks ago to see they updated the game in many ways. We will be sure to play this one over break.

Hearthstone

What would a PC/console article be without me swearing about our favorite CCG that we all love to hate. Yes, it’s true that more often than not, the love/hate relationship is cemented firmly in hate. That is not the case this time. Plus, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t partially include Hearthstone on the console look back 2020 list just to make the mad nerds mad.

You might have heard about the kerfuffle surrounding the release of a “battle pass” for the game about a month ago. I, personally, didn’t see what the problem was. The mad nerds, though, attacked Blizzard, streamers, and even each other for not being mad enough nerds about it.

In spite of that, I come not to bury Heartstone, but to praise it. I genuinely like the latest expansion, Battlegrounds is a fun time waster of a mode, and I will even play a game of Duels now and then. Someone wrote an article that Hearthstone is the healthiest it’s ever been. Like Magic, you can argue if you want. But, I agree. The game is so much fun.

The Verdict

The console look back 2020 shows that this aspect of our gaming wasn’t as varied as mobile, certainly, but also tabletop. Nevertheless, the games I played were fun. Quinn and I have to continue that world we started. I need to finish Diablo 3. Hearthstone will continue to occupy my time until I finish the reward track. What about the new consoles? I’m glad you asked. Join me on Wednesday for that discusssion.

Hearthstone Duels Beta: Great, Good, Decent?

Introduction

What the heck is Hearthstone Duels Beta? Well, we are faced with yet another task as (unpaid) Blizzard beta testers. About a year go, Blizzard released Battlegrounds in response to the rise in popularity of auto battlers like Auto Chess, Dota Underlords, and Teamfight Tactics. As soon as I saw the gameplay for Battlegrounds at the event they put together to showcase it, I knew that I made the comment that I would play that mode almost exclusively.

I mean, who doesn’t want to watch cards smash into each other?

The same can’t be said for Hearthstone Duels Beta. The concept intrigued me. Blizzard took the Dungeon Run concept and made it PvP. That sounds interesting. However, instead of enhancing my interest in the game mode, watching the game play actually decreased my interest. Then, I received a drop from Twitch to early access to the game mode.

The mode is now in full beta, so I’m no longer special. However, I write this web page, so I am special here. You obviously read the page, so I think you’re pretty special. Let’s discuss among our special selves if this game mode is any good or not.

The Great

Do you love Dungeon Run? I do. Do you not know what Dungeon Run is? I forgive you if you don’t. Let me give a brief explanation. And, yes, I realize that almost nothing I ever write is brief. How about I promise to keep this one under 100 words? Deal? Deal.

Dungeon Run is a mode Blizzard introduced as an adventure in one of the expansions. You start with a deck. Then, as you proceed through the “dungeon” and defeat bosses, you get to choose random “treasures” and cards to add to your deck. Honestly, it’s a fun mode and I used to think that I wanted more of it. 59 words.

He’s on fire!

After playing Duels a few times, it turns out that I just wanted more Dungeon Run. Duels lets you build your starting deck. I don’t care. It lets you play against other people. Without some sort of chat feature, I don’t care whether it’s a bot or a person. Duels does retain the treasures (though most of them are garbage) and card selection, which is great.

The Good

Remember when I said that I don’t care about building your own deck. That was mostly for show. Even though most of the time, because it’s a competitive mode, you will build the same deck, that’s starting to change some. Blizzard has already released new class treasures and hero powers that promote some variety in deck building.

Because I don’t have the whole collection on many of my accounts (yes, I have multiple accounts and play all 3 regions on all of them), I have to be creative with my deck choices. Yes, creative there is a euphemism for bad decks. But, sometimes those bad decks will catch an opponent off guard because they’re not looking for the “creative” card choice. And, since it is ultimately “no risk, no reward”, that’s good.

The Decent

This game mode is ridiculously imbalanced. Granted, it is a beta. Also, it is Blizzard and their idea of game balance has infiltrated MTG. make extremely imbalanced cards, make your money from selling them, and then nerf them (ban them in the case of MTG). Sometimes, this strategy is employed multiple times. Since it’s introduction earlier in the year, Demon Hunter has been nerfed 4 times.

They have proved time and again that they are not prepared for proper card design. Eh, eh, Illidan? Not prepared? Achievement Unlocked: Lame Dad WoW joke.

So, expecting Duels to be completely balanced right out of the gate is a tall order. I wasn’t joking in the beginning when I said that Blizzard expects us to be their unpaid beta testers. In the case of the new heroic mode, you are paying them to be beta testers. God bless this brave new world of gaming.

However, Hearthstone Duels Beta is way out of balance. If you can high roll a certain treasure or card selection, you are guaranteed to breeze through to a high win total. I was watching a streamer last night who had two runs where he was dealing 20+ damage per turn starting on turn 4 or 5. In a mode where your starting life is a maximum of 40, that’s ridiculous.

The Verdict

Hearthstone Duels Beta has some fun aspects. I do like that I can build my starting deck. Dumbing into one of the ridiculously overpowered runs is fun as hell. The rest of the time, it is just as frustrating as regular Hearthstone with the addition of even more randomness and frustration of potentially low rolling your way into oblivion. I play standard for the rewards (though they stealth nerfed them) and Battlegrounds because it can be legitimately fun. I don’t see myself playing Duels unless they include it in a quest.

Cards I Love: Hearthstone darkmoon Faire

Introduction

Come one, come all to the Hearthstone Darkmoon Faire! If you’re thinking what I’m thinking then you’re thinking, “Didn’t we just have a Hearthstone expansion? ” Yes, it appears as if the Hearthstone developers have taken a page from the WotC handbook. They are releasing expansions once every 3 or 4 months now. That’s good to keep things fresh.

It is not goo, however, for my bank account.

Yes, in spite of my machinations to the contrary, I am still playing Hearthstone. Hell, Reno even screwed me in a game a couple of days ago. Those of you who are regulars remember that’s why I swore at the game and swore off the game. It’s another card game to keep me somewhat sane through this pandemic.

The Hearthsone Darkmoon Faire, as much of the Hearthstone card base does, takes inspiration from an even of the same name in World of Warcraft. Towards the end of my WoW career, I became an achievement hunter. The Darkmoon Faire filled far too much of my time as a result. But, the Hearthstone equivalent has a twist. Similar to MtG bringing the Eldrazi to Innistrad, the old gods spread their own twisted corruption into the Faire.

Demon Hunter

Felsteel Executioner: Speaking of corruption, our first card has one of the new keywords for this set. The corrupt triggers when you play a higher cost card while the card with corrupt is in your hand. It offers versatility. Honestly, though, it’s one of the weaker keywords.

Throw Glaive: Speaking of keywords, this is just “Echo” with more words. I’ve heard from several programmers who would know that Blizzard is infamous for their “spaghetti code”. Hell, even as an extreme novice to programming, I can see that their stuff is not optimized very well. Regarding this card, it’s gonna be situationally awesome.

Druid

Guess the Weight: In keeping with the faire theme, the name of this card is hilarious. The effect is pretty great, too. I like that Blizzard is willing to take the chance that they make an absolute trash card in order to give us something that we’ve never seen before.

Kiri, Chosen of Elune: At first glance, this card looks like garbage. After all, it does to lightning bolt. Mind you, that’s never stopped me from picking a card to be featured. However, I don’t think this card is garbage. Those two cards have synergy with druid and could lead to some fun combos.

Hunter

Mystery Winner: There was some talk about Hearthstone getting rid of the discover mechanic. I think that would be a very bad idea. Discover is probably the best mechanic to come out of this game. I think they wanted to (and eventually have) do away with the cards that have the ability to iterate the discover process infinitely.

Trampling Rhino: So, they use the keyword in the card name, but then write an entire phrase to explain what that keyword mean in the card description. Perhaps this is the only card that they have planned with this ability and they don’t want to waste the resources. Who knows?

Mage

Grand Finale: I love the elemental mage archetype. I’m not sure there are enough cards to support it in standard. But, I enjoy playing Wild better anyway. Give me all of the broken cards.

Deck of Lunacy: Can you play this card and all expensive spells to get a deck full of Pyroblast? Is that how this works? Well, I guess there’s also Puzzle Box of Yogg Saron. Either way, it’s dumb fun.

Paladin

Redscale Dragontamer: I picked this card because art is hilarious. Yes, Paladin cards this expansion are an absolute joke.

Snack Run: Hey, it’s got discover. That must mean you love it. Well, yes, discover is fun. However, it feels like any time I play the other card that has a similar effect, I get nothing but 1 and 0 cost spells to choose.

Priest

Insight: I think this is the type of card that they were envisioning when they developed the corrupt keyword. It is a decent card by itself with crazy upside if you decide to corrupt it. Compared to this, most of the other corrupt cards feel like an afterthought.

Palm Reading: In addition, this is the kind of discover card that I love. You discover something, plus you get a guaranteed good outcome. This is just a solid and fun card. Priest continues to get strong support cards.

Rogue

Swindle: 2 mana, essentially draw 2? Plus, it is targeted draw in both cases. Looking at the card now and thinking about it, I’m surprised they made it combo and not corrupt.

Tenwu of the Red Smoke: I’m about to go Johnny Combo on you here, but there’s gotta be a way to play this with either the new or old C’Thun to be able to cast the old God multiple times per turn. In fact, I think I’m going to workshop that deck once I get finished writing this article.

Shaman

Magicfin: This guy will fit quite nicely into my wild murloc shaman deck. What do you want from me? Like Paladin, the Shaman cards in this expansion are garbage.

Revolve: First we had evolve. Then we had devolve. Then we had turn everything into murlocs. Now, we have this trash heap of a card.

Warlock

Wicked Whispers: The old gods are back. Their whispers have returned as well. If you’ve ever been involved in a random whisper encounter in World of Warcraft, you realize just how creepy that is. Regarding the card, zoo was already strong. This is just going to make it more so.

Cascading Disaster: Another card with a reference to an MtG keyword in the title. It also almost has that ability. This is the only card I’ve seen that has the repeating corrupt. Once again, I think they missed an opportunity to have more multiple corrupt cards.

Warrior

Sword Eater: What power creep? Years ago, they nerfed Fiery War Axe to 3 and now for one mana more, you get a 2/5 body with taunt. Sure, it’s a turn late and you may lose tempo. However, warrior has so much targeted removal that you might not.

Tent Trasher: I’m not sure how often you’ll get the mana reduction on a regular basis more than one or two, but I like this sort of effect. I wonder if they tested as each minion type played and found it to be too powerful that way.

Neutral

Old Gods and a Bunny: I remember there being something in World of Warcraft with the Rabbit. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I think it was made into a battle pet after that update. Whatever the reason, this stuff is making me want to play WoW again. Must resist the temptation. Other than that and the old gods, none of the neutral cards are very interesting.

The Verdict (Hearthstone Darkmoon Faire looks fun)

I liked that Ashes of Outland introduced dual class cards. Even if most of the cards were garbage, it is a fun addition to the game that I hope they expand upon with future sets. The cards in Hearthstone Darkmoon Faire aren’t nearly as groundbreaking. What they are, though, is fun. That’s all I ask when playing these games.

Scholomance Academy Notable Cards

Introduction

Why am I doing a Scholomance Academy notable cards article? A couple of weeks ago, I texted Chris that I was done playing Hearthstone. He replied, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Ultimately, of course, he was right to question my commitment to quitting the game. However, if I’m being honest, I have no idea why I even play it anymore. I rarely have fun when I do and it usually ends up being a swear fest. And so it was with my latest threat to quit the game forever.

If you read the file name for this picture, it’s exactly how I felt.

I was playing as mage against a priest or a demon hunter, I think. Played the game pretty well. I mean, I’m not a pro player by any stretch, but I can usually hold my own in a game pretty well. That’s what I did in this game. I don’t remember how I ended up with an Archmage Antonidas on the board for lethal, but he was there. Well, at the beginning of my turn, Reno took care of all that. It cast Plague of Murlocs and I lost.

Live by RNG and die by RNG, right? Well, not so fast. Chris came up with an interesting conspiracy theory that I hadn’t considered. When I said something about the random effects, he responded, “Yeah, random.” I mean it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility. There’s literally a card coded to allow you to discover the “perfect” card for your situation. What if the whole game were coded similarly? But, that’s a discussion for another time. Let’s talk about Scholomance Academy notable cards.

The truth is out there.
Demon Hunter

Shuffle and draw effects are always fun. This one in particular could neutralize card advantage if it’s the last card in your hand and you are playing against a control deck that wants a full hand. Or, it could simply shuffle trash back into your deck to dig for better answers. I like this card a lot even if it doesn’t fit the Demon Hunter theme very well right now. Maybe they’ll move to a more control build in future sets.

Another shuffle effect, but this time it only targets your opponent. Hmm, maybe they are gradually moving to allow for a more control type build for Demon Hunter. I’d like that because the current aggro only builds are tired and I’m getting sick of seeing them in the game. Variety is the spice of life after all.

Druid

Druid didn’t get much in the way of druid only cards. A lot of their cards are dual class (yes, that’s a thing now) and I’ll pick a few of them last. Everyone else loves “Survival of the Fittest” of course, because it allows you to do broken druid things. However, I’ve mentioned in the past that I really like the discover mechanic and the discount on the next spell is so nice. The runner is cool because it virtually guarantees the card draw next turn.

Hunter got even less in the way of single class cards. At least, their list is much shorter than the first two classes. Back in the day, Huntertaker was the most broken deck, maybe in the history of the game. This card makes me think of that deck. Plus, it’s a discover and discount card!

Mage has gotten a couple of these cards in the past that are improved by spell damage. This one is neat because it ties card draw to the mechanic. Can you tell I’m a blue mage in Magic the Gathering? I doubt that it’s possible (Chris always keeps me in check when I ask about MTG), but I wonder if there’s a way to break this card. 2 mana, draw 9 or 10?

This is another one of those removal cards that is okay. It’s one more mana than Frostbolt and only does one more damage. However, with spell power it could be better. Also, like Betrayal, players have to think about positioning to avoid a potential board clear. Plus, it is versatile because it can be single target removal. It’s a well designed card.

Paladin

This card serves a couple of purposes. First, it lets me highlight that the Paladin only cards are kind of garbage if this one is making the list. Secondly, it lets me talk about Spellburst, which is the new mechanic. It triggers when you cast your first spell of the game. It is a neat idea with a lot of utility.

As long as the attack on this minion isn’t lowered in some way or another, this is a neat effect. It basically guarantees removal on any minion that you attack. The first one is guaranteed with rush. After that, you have to hope that you don’t run into some priest attack lowering nonsense.

Nothing about this card is new or interesting. It’s a “just priest things” card with Spellburst. However, it does combo nicely with some of the other “just priest things” out there and could make for some interesting interactions.

Speaking of interesting interactions, just once I want to combo this card with Myra’s Unstable Element to steal my opponent’s deck and then draw all of the cards. I know that Myra’s is a rogue card, but that would just be too funny in my opinion.

Shaman

This card is very expensive and it’s effect is on all minions. Even so, the lifesteal effect is powerful and can help late game against a wide variety of deck types. You know what. Honestly, I have no idea why this card impresses me so much.

I don’t know that there are a ton of lower level shaman spells that will cause this to be recursive in the way that some of the other cards with a similar effect are. However, those are the most fun cards. When you discover into discover into discover and then toss down a mana cyclone for a bunch of spells.

Warlock

All of the Warlock only cards are garbage.

Warrior

Warrior weapons have had cleave for some time now. This one is more difficult to trigger because of the Spellburst requirement. However, with something like Shield Slam, it more or less guarantees a board clear. I mean, is Shield Slam even a card anymore? I guess it could be in the right deck. Oh, the warrior studies card could be fun, too.

This is just a big dumb card that sticks around for 9 turns unless it is silenced. It’s like a persistent, er persist (keyword from MTG) card that is sure to get maximum value for one of my opponents sooner or later.

Neutral

I’m not sure what the running gag is at Blizzard that they keep printing these Rager cards. Every single one of them is garbage (other than the rush one is decent in Arena, or it used to be) but every so often, here comes another one. I guess this one could eat an Earth shock. *shrug*

I’ve seen this card played a few times on streams. I just like the design of the card. It’s card draw, tethered to a condition. However, that condition is generally met on any given turn by pretty much every single class. I have a feeling this one is gonna see heavy play in Arena, too.

Blizzard messed around with a scry like effect with the Demon Hunter card. This one is much more in line with actual scry. With that being said, a Mage played this against me on the first day of the release and lost. Granted, that’s a small sample size and he might have been a terrible player. Still, we have one data point!

Multi-class

I think I mentioned earlier that I would get to Scholomance Academy notable cards for multi-class cards. Now is that time. I’m not sure what about this particular expansion made them create multi-class cards, but I’m glad they did. These cards were some of my favorites when I played the old World of Warcraft TCG. So, let’s take a look.

I’m just going to talk about these quickly because this article is getting kind of long and you probably stopped reading about halfway through. Wave of Apathy is a great card and it combos well with priest stuff. Flesh Giant follows the cost reduction of other giants and fits with both of the classes so well. Lord Barov is instant removal if you can give it rush. Runic Carvings is actually kind of dumb. Not sure what I was thinking including it. The Demon Hunter/Hunter weapon is neat because it has versatility. Finally, I love the combo effect. Having it in other classes, especially mage (and discover to boot!) is fantastic.

The Verdict

Those are my Scholomance Academy notable cards. This expansion introduces some interesting and cool mechanics into the game. The dual class cards are a great addition that is long overdue. I was frustrated with the game because of the Demon Hunter screw ups (and 5 rounds of nerfs) and the previous expansion was kind of lame. But, they made up for it with this one and I might actually play more. No, I won’t. Eff this game. (Just between you and me, I will, but I don’t want to lose face in front of Chris).