Tag Archives: PC Gaming

February 2023 Battlegrounds Update

Introduction

I wrote an article about Battlegrounds at the beginning of the Lich King set release. I came away from that update severely underwhelmed. They gave us nothing in Battlegrounds aside from a new hero. I honestly don’t know why they waited to release the update because it certainly wasn’t to properly balance. They turned nerfs and buffs around so quickly, we can cover them in this February 2023 Battlegrounds Update.

Improvement #1: New Hero

Granted, they gave us Enhanc-o-mechano with the set release. And, I played him a couple of times and enjoyed every time. But, I expected an undead theme in Battlegrounds and, with it, a new undead hero. That never happened until this update. But, boy oh boy, did they give us a hero.

Because I play in 4-8k plebeian territory, the cries of “OP! Plz nerf” went right over my head. I tried playing the new Putricide and failed miserably both times. But, he utilizes my favorite mechanic in the game, Discover, and I think I can have some fun with him eventually.

Improvement #2: Rewards Track

I wrote in that December update that one of my biggest problems with the release of the new expansion was that nothing reset. I knew a new season of standard loomed on the horizon. No such luck with Battlegrounds. As far as I knew, they killed the mode without telling anyone.

There is precedent for such a thing after all.

Without a new season and no Battlegrounds specific quests, only weekly quests kept me playing the game. I got so bored, I even tried Mercenaries. Actually, pretty fun, and I worked it into my daily rotation. Who knows how long that lasts.

Thankfully, Blizzard released the new Battlegrounds season and, with it, a new rewards track. I get to earn new strikes, hero skins, and other cosmetics that make the game worth playing.

Improvement #3: New Tribe, New Minions

Last, but certainly not least, they gave us the new minion type I hoped for back in December. Yes, undead crashed the party big time. Many of the nerfs involved undead and I swear to god, somehow lobbies for a couple of weeks showed 7/8 playing undead. I admit that I tried playing undead a few times, but also farmed them a little bit with elementals, mechs, and the occasional pirate build. Some players, as they do, pissed and moaned about the monotony. In spite of the repetitive gameplay, I found the games mostly fun. While, I don’t have a problem with the balances, it made no difference to me.

A final bonus in the whole ordeal surprised me but, at the same time, I saw it coming. You might even argue that I inspired them to make this change. Blizzard introduced dual type minions! Actually, they created one dual type minion a while ago and I extrapolated then that more were on their way. Well, they’re here. There’s dragon murlocs, undead mechs, and an elemental murloc that warms my heart.

The Verdict

Overall, I like the update to Battlegrounds. As I said, some people cried until Blizzard rolled out the nerfs, but I found the game fun in spite of the fact that every game looked the same. We know the new tribe always ends up overrepresented in the beginning. But, yeah, it was pretty damn ridiculous with undead this time. I hope you enjoyed my February 2023 Battlegrounds update and I’ll be back with more Hearthstone content around the release of the new standard season.

Teamfight Tactics Update 2023

Introduction

A few weeks ago I wrote about possible mobile games to add to my daily rotation. For those wondering, Marvel Snap made the cut. I even paid for the “deluxe’ battle pass or whatever that includes 10 levels. It gives me exactly what I want. An IP I’ve been following my entire life since becomign a teenager. A quest chase that takes no more than 15-20 minutes. Just enough strategery that makes every match interesting and unique. What other game can give me that? As today’s Teamfight Tactics Update 2023 shows, certainly not the topic of today’s article.

So, why take the time to write an entire article about the game? Well, just because TFT lacks the qualities of Marvel Snap doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the game. In fact, I took quite quickly back to playing it and played it nonstop over the weekend, both in anticipation of writing the article and because I genuinely enjoyed the game.

So, Why TFT?

My enjoyment of “autobattlers” goes back to one of the originals. I kept hearing about Dota Auto Chess a few years ago. I played some Dota and League of Legends, but stink on ice at both games. My favorite story is when I famously played 5 games of LoL and only won one single game and that’s because one of the players was friendly and helpful enough to just carry the rest of us on his back.

And, I’ll bet you do, too.

But, I figured, “I like chess.” Why not check out this game that has the word in it’s title. It instantly hooked me and before long, I actually chased some fame and status in ranked. Then, something happened. I think they updated the game and started inundating me with paid content. As with most of you, once a game does that, I lose interest quickly. Sure enough, I played less and less.

Through some research, I found Dota 2 Underlords and TFT. I liked TFT more. The graphic style and colorful characters kept my interest far better than the grimy surroundings of Underlords. Quinn hung out with me during my gaming time often then, too, and he preferred TFT as well. Then, something happened. This time I think my gaming PC crapped the bed (again). Either the mobile app didn’t exist or I didn’t own something capable of playing it. To be honest, I still don’t My phone screen is way too small for my old eyes and the app taxes my poor tablet.

After exploring my options, I tried both Underlords and TFT. This time, I actually preferred Underlords. I quickly discovered that Valve more or less killed it. I downloaded Autochess to check that one out. But, I haven’t been patient enough to let it download the data to get started. And, so, TFT became my main autobattler again.

What About Battlegrounds?

Okay, I play Battlegrounds way more than I ever play TFT. But, for the time begin until the patch hits, I load up TFT for a few games every night. It helps that I dropped the 13 bucks or whatever for their battle pass. So, cart before the horse, that gives me motivation to keep playing.

I started with Hyper Roll. According to my research, the games went faster and you farmed battle pass XP faster as a result. Personal experience shows that isn’t entirely true. Playing normal often pits you against only 3 or 4 actual humans and either bots or AFK players in the other slots. As a result, getting a victory there becomes much easier since you basically just have to have a functioning brain to get top 4 or above.

I enjoyed Hyper Roll, especially when I got a top 2 and thought I might finally have gotten the hang of it. The game quickly disabused me of that notion and I fell back to my usual 5 or 6 spot. That’s when I looked up to see if completing quests gives me credit in normal. It does, so I main normal now.

The Verdict

It took me longer than usual to accept TFT into my normal rotation. I suspect that without the battle pass and my discovery of normal, it might end up rotting or getting deleted after writing the article. As it stands, writing the article inspired me to fire the game up to check on my quests. My Teamfight Tactics update 2023 finds the game healthy and firmly in my rotation at least until I evaluate the next version of the battle pass.

2023 PC Gaming Look Ahead

Introduction

I altered the format of the title slightly. I think it gives a little something more. A je ne sais quis, if you will. I haven’t decided yet to go back and change the other titles in the series right now. It requires a bit more tweaking in the background than I’m willing to do right now. Maybe over the weekend when I have no other articles to write. So, what’s in store for this 2023 PC gaming look ahead?

To be honest, not much. While committed to finding my roots as a gamer once again through the page and maybe some other content, I’ve never been much of a PC gamer. Discovering Steam and the masterpiece that is Portal 2 helped, but mostly I prefer consoles and, especially recently, mobile games. But, I saw a couple of titles that I want to highlight.

Three PC Games That Caught My Eye

As I’ve done with the other articles, I started with a Google search for “2023 PC games”. That took me to this page. I scrolled…and scrolled…and scrolled. As the heading of this section says, I found only three that I consider to be worth my time to discuss here. Let’s take them in order of excitement level.

Hogwarts Legacy (Excitement Level: Slightly Above Meh)

Once I finally got around to reading them, I liked the Harry Potter books. I also enjoyed most of the movies. It bothered me that they split book seven into two movies and then made quite possibly the most boring fantasy movie I’ve ever seen with Part 1. No lie. I fell asleep the first two times I watched that one. That has nothing to do with my reaction to this game. I actually wanted to illustrate how much I like Harry Potter and that I should be more excited about this one. I’m sure once I get to play it, I’ll have fun. I know that I liked the original games and this one gives me more of a chance to be the wizard I want to be instead of one of the main characters from the story.

Street Fighter 6 (Excitement Level: Hadoken!)

Wow, didn’t realize just how light that logo was. They framed it on a dark background, so it showed up much better on the actual page. Oh well, too lazy right now to go and fix it up in GIMP, so it is what it is. Speaking of the page, I only scrolled through and read some of the basic information there, so I have little to no information about this game. Even so, as long as I can throw fireballs and dragon punches, I’m in.

Diablo IV (Excitement Level: Send Me to Hell!)

It took me forever to play Diablo III. Like many, I heard the negative feedback from the launch and never fully recovered from that. In fact, I played Torchlight II until my fingers bled and never even considered Diablo II as an option. Then, I think Chris might have picked it up. Or, we played it to compare to Torchlight for the podcast. Either way, once I finally played it, I loved it. I am again in a bit of a hiatus from the game, but once I get back into it, I’ll be ready for the fourth one.

The Verdict

All of these games will be available on consoles and that’s probably where I will play them. Nevertheless, I might end up splurging again on a gaming PC to get that experience from Diablo and Hogwarts Legacy. I mean, honestly, Street Fighter is meant to be played on a console sitting next to your best friend on the couch. Honestly, three games is more than I thought I’d be able to find for a 2023 PC gaming look ahead, so consider that a win.

2022 PC GOTY: Yeah, About That…

Introduction

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I wrote 2022 PC GOTY in my calendar for this week. I knew that I’d be home the whole week and able to write every day. Definitely, I wanted to fill the week with posts. Surely, I had an idea for this when I put the plan together, right?

Right now, goodness only knows what that plan was. While I have a laptop and recently accessed my Steam account again, I played little to no games on the PC. I loaded up 1 Screen Platformer a month ago to write an article and keep the page active. But, to call it the game of the year is a stretch.

No Time to Game?

When I set up the two computers in the basement to work on my IT stuff, I played some Magic the Gathering Arena and Hearthstone. Mostly, this year, I messed around on CodeWars and W3Resource to practice my coding because I thought I might go back to school for computer science focusing on data analysis.

More recently, I wrote a few programs for Raspberry Pi Pico W.

That still may happen. However, I found a new job that so far I enjoy much more than my previous teaching job. So, I postponed my enrollment in the Master’s program until next year. I will revisit it again over the summer depending on how the rest of the school year goes. Right now, though, things look positive.

I suppose I could take the cheap way out and name Magic the Gathering Arena or Hearthstone as the 2022 PC GOTY. Actually, now that I say that, I think my plan was to give the award to Hearthstone. So, let’s go with that one.

Congratulations? Hearthstone

Now this just feels weird. I mean, technically, Hearthstone is available on the PC and I played it on the PC. I probably played it the most of any other PC game this year. But, I played it mostly on the phone and consider it a mobile game at this point. Okay. Let’s make this work.

So, what’s the big deal with Hearthstone this year? Well, they are getting almost as bad as Magic the Gathering with the expansion releases. I count three major set releases plus 2 mini set releases in the calendar year. For some reason, I don’t feel the same fatigue, though. I think it might be for a couple of reasons, actually.

First, Hearthstone has varied game modes. The one that I play the most is Battlegrounds, but I also messed around with Mercenaries some this year. I never play Arena, Tavern Brawl, or Duels anymore, but they still exist. Also, since Hearthstone is only digital, I just have to buy the set digitally, where in MTG I buy online and in real life. That’s exhausting.

The Verdict

So, while Hearthstone brings me the same amount of joy and, more accurately, stress and anger as Magic the Gathering, I follow in the footsteps of the previous article and give this infuriating game an award for 2022. What this tells me is that I need to play more games on my computer next year.

December 2022 Hearthstone Battlegrounds Update

Introduction

As you all know because you read my most recent articles, Hearthstone released a new card set. Blizzard brought us back to Northrend and one of the greatest fantasy story lines ever. The fall of Arthas still haunts my dreams. You all know what a sucker I am for story in video games. I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that this set came with an update to Battlegrounds, too. And, so, I planned to write a December 2022 Hearthstone Battlegrounds update.

Best laid plans, as they say. Spoiler Alert: No major new update to Battlegrounds ever came as a result of March of the Lich King. No new minion types or minions. No new quests. And, no update to the rewards track. I, and I assume most other players since I’m nowhere close to the top time played in this game, finished the track about a month ago. Now, I mainly play to finish the main weekly quest and advance that rewards track.

So, Nothing Then?

Not nothing, no. While I thought that the introduction of the “Undead” keyword into Hearthstone meant big things for the world of Battlegrounds, for now Blizzard kept them out of the game mode. I trust the developers and programmers, so I know they will eventually add them into Battlegrounds, but it’s curious that they didn’t as part of the new set release celebration.

What, then? A new undead hero to serve as a foil for The Lich King? Well, yes and no. Or, rather no and yes. They gave us a new hero. I played him the other day. He’s pretty fun. Technically, he isn’t alive, so you could argue that he fits the theme. Okay, I pulled a muscle stretching that metaphor. Okay, with little further ado, our new hero! *drum roll*

Yes, it’s true. Our intrepid new hero is Enhanc-o-Mechano. *cymbals crashing awkwardly* *a lone cough in the back of the room*

Yeah, a bit of a let down. But, along with this new hero comes a new quest reward. I admit to being underwhelmed by most quest rewards. I had a lot of fun with the one that gives your minions plus seven on stats, but they die after attacking. That took me to a first place finish a couple of weeks ago. Giving a hydra plus twelve stats in your hand every turn is fun, too, and figuring out when to finally play it adds some strategry. But, I think this one might be my favorite.

You can roll the usual bonuses; divine shield, windfury, and reborn are the most fun in that order. There’s also one that gives taunt, which pairs well with Leeroy and poisonous minions. Man, just talking about it makes me want to load up and play Battlegrounds even though I already finished my quest for the week.

The Verdict

Yeah, the December 2022 Hearthstone Battlegrounds update underwhelms for sure. I expected much more. Really, I just wanted them to add undead type to the game mode. That, alone, makes me sad. I hope you’re listening, Blizzard.

Paladin, Priest, and Rogue Lich King Cards I Love

Introduction

This article brings me to three for three in writing my review articles for March of the Lich King, the new expansion for Hearthstone. I already reviewed neutral (with two special bonuses!) cards and Druid, Hunter, and Mage in my previous articles. As the title so eloquently states, this one covers Paladin, Priest, and Rogue Lich King cards. (Editor’s Note: While three for three in writing them, I botched the release and pushed these two articles back into this week. I have a new plan to get to the end of the year, though.)

These articles came to me because as I opened my packs from the bundle I bought, I kept saying, “Wow!” “Cool!” and “Neat!” However, as I wrote in my previous article and reiterate here, the initial high seemed to have worn out or I read cards wrong. Because, as I look through the card listing, I find myself saying any of those words much less and struggling to find cards that I actually love.

Paladin Lich King Honorable Mention

The one thing I noticed while looking through the Paladin cards is that they are leaning into self damage as a mechanic. While not new to the game, it is new to the Paladin class. Usually, Warlocks (and sometimes Priests) have this mechanic on their cards. As a potential healing class, it makes sense in the priest context. This could also be fun if they ever end up doing another multi-class focused set like they did in Gadgetzan.

Paladin Lich King Card I Love

Not a great card. Heck you might even argue that it isn’t a good card. But, that’s not why we are here. We pick fun cards and I see this card being a ton of fun. Also, not for nothing, but it can serve some utility functions in the right deck. Phase your own minions against inevitable board clears or phase others to give yourself time to dig for your own.

Priest Lich King Honorable Mention

These cards look like they work well together in my least favorite priest archetype. I despise playing against thief priest. I know it stinks of logical fallacy, but I always feel like they steal the best cards from my deck/class/etc at the best time to counter what I try to do.

Priest Lich King Card I Love

I know what this looks like. But, I promise I’m not just picking Legendary cards for the cards I love. Yes, legendary cards often have powerful effects and lend themselves to being the “best” cards. However, I don’t always go for the “best”. You know that about me by now. I like this card because of the permanent card that you get. When Hearthstone first came out, Chris and I wondered how a digital card game might distance itself from it’s paper counterparts. Cards like this. That’s how.

Rogue Lich King Honorable Mention

I saw the word concoction and wondered why we needed something else when we already had poisons. I should have known that Blizzard’s development team knew what they were doing. Concoctions are like the old Kazakus spells in that they can be combined to do things. See all of the concoctions and combinations here.

Rogue Lich King Card I Love

See? Not a legendary. Hell, this one is even a common. And, no I didn’t simply choose a common to contradict the assumption that I chose only legendary cards for the cards I love. I genuinely think this card is cool. To my knowledge, it is the first Hearthstone card with two different minion types. Does this show the future of the game? Provide for a more diverse and deeper Battlegrounds experience? The possibilities are endless.

The Verdict

I left the previous article underwhelmed by the choices in my cards. I genuinely enjoy all of these cards and plan to play many of them over the next few weeks to see if they wow me as much as I hope they will. Paladin, Priest, and Rogue Lich King cards are truly some cards I love. See you in a couple of days for the rest of the set.

Disclaimer: All images taken from this page.

Hearthstone is a Gift

Introduction

Regular readers of the page might wonder about that title. Seeing as how most of my articles (except for a recent slate of complimentary reviews), I wrote about a hate/hate relationship with the game, you might wonder how I arrived at “Hearthstone is a gift”. Like most of my changes of heart, it came in stages over a period of time. I kept coming back to finish daily quests. They kept me around by introducing a new game mode. Now, I stay because I genuinely enjoy the game.

I Still Don’t Get It

Blizzard knows how to keep their players on a treadmill. At the height of my World of Warcraft playing, I logged in on a daily basis simply to complete a series of quests. As the days went on, the number of those quests grew exponentially, but they only gave credit for a limited amount. 25, maybe? I don’t remember. You know what else I don’t remember? Why I even finished these quests and what virtual rewards they granted. At least with Hearthstone, they tie the quests into their “Battle Pass”. This gives cards, packs, and cosmetic rewards. The collector in me shudders with glee every time I unlock a new tier. Plus, I can complete the quests in Battlegrounds.

Yes, You Mentioned a New Game Mode

I can’t explain the appeal of Battleground. You use gold to buy and sell minions. If you collect three, they become golden. You can use that golden minion to discover another new minion. These minions run into each other until one or both boards are empty and then you do damage to your opponent. It all sounds so ridiculous. And, yet, I play the mode on a daily basis. I even log in and play Battlegrounds when I have no quest to complete. Hell, a couple of years ago, I watched streams of the game.

What, even, is this?

The Verdict

I still swear profusely when playing the traditional mode of Hearthstone. I still wonder how and why my opponents luck seems so perfect in nearly every single game. But, honestly, it’s that way with all of these CCGs. MTGA, Eternal, and Hearthstone cause me emotional damage on a scale incalculable. However, I play every single one of those games on a daily basis and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Keep giving me skins, packs, and card sleeves and I’ll keep playing your stupid game. Because, truly, Hearthstone is a gift.

Thankful for 1 Screen Platformer

Introduction

For the last few weeks, I dedicated Thursday to my Dungeons and Dragons club play through of Curse of Strahd. As you can read if you follow the link, one of the reasons I am not doing so is because my group is slowly falling apart. Last week, I stopped the game early and this week I threw out two of my group from the club before we got a chance to play. Also, Spooktober is over, so time to focus on other games I enjoy. Today, I write about how I’m thankful for 1 Screen Platformer.

I wish I remembered how I became aware of the game. Being that it is on Steam, I either purchased it during a Steam sale or it came as part of a Humble Bundle. A quick search of my Humble Bundle history shows no evidence of the game, so apparently, I bought it as part of a Steam sale.

Why I am Thankful for 1 Screen Platformer

In any case, I played the game obsessively for a month or so last year. Every now and then (like earlier this week), when I load up my Windows partition I give the game another shot. I never regret the decision. The game’s title tells you all you need to know. Instead of moving from one screen to another to advance in the level, the camera follows your character as it pans left/right/up/down to capture the game play. But the catch is that the game fits on one screen. I’ll let the trailer give a better explanation than I ever can.

The Verdict

See what I mean? Tight controls, challenging levels, varied characters and achievements for each of them come together to make (possibly surprising) for hours of entertainment. Even if you get bored after a few plays, I guarantee that you’ll be back for more. What do you have to lose? The game only costs 2.99 and there’s a “prologue” level for free to give you a better idea of the game play and if it’s something you’d enjoy.

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.