Tag Archives: Blizzard Games

2023 Mobile Game of the Year

Introduction

We wrote some words a few days ago about the contenders for the title this year. While familiar, none of them are any less deserving of the title of 2023 Mobile Game of the Year.Actually, let me tell you a possibly funny story about why all of the games are familiar.

In my Financial Algebra class, while they worked (and some didn’t work), I reflected on the mobile games I played. I offhandedly asked the class, “Does anyone know of any good mobile games?” One student answered quickly, “No. All of them are garbage.” I replied, “I just play the games that aren’t really mobile, but have been ported like Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone.” Another made a face and we talked for the last 15 minutes of class about games. Okay, maybe not hilarious, but I laughed when he, without hesitation, declared every mobile game as trash.

My Criteria in Picking the Winner

Before I reveal the worst kept secret until next week when I write another set of these articles for PC Games, let me write a little to pump up the legitimacy of this page a little bit. You need to know the criteria that I used to pick the game.

Genuinely, the only criteria that I use is the personal and hard to define “fun”. Obviously what’s fun to one person is not fun to another. But, honestly, I can’t use things like graphics because all card games use the same basic graphics template. I could use sound because they take different tact in their use of sound. But, most of the time I play without sound, so I have little to no data for that criteria.

Variety of game modes just came to me as I wrote. In that area, the winner wins without question. Both Magic the Gathering Arena and Marvel SNAP offer differing game modes. But, ultimately, they both boil down to different versions of the same game. Slightly different rules or standards, but just playing cards. Hearthstone gives you Battlegrounds at the top of the list and a variety of other dead or nearly dead modes that they tried.

Silly and Stupid Hearthstone

I started to post with more regularity to the YouTube channel for the page. With that new commitment, I uploaded a couple of Hearthstone videos that I thought were fun.

Speaking of dead game modes, the first video comes in the recently deceased Mercenaries mode. I started playing the mode earlier in the year and enjoyed it. Then, of course, came the announcement that Blizzard killed the mode. Oh well. Enjoy the video. Note: This came before I shortened the introduction, so the video starts about 20 seconds in. You live, you learn.

My favorite game mode, by far, is the Battlegrounds. I’ve been playing it since it first released. I can’t remember if I got early access or not. I also can’t 100% explain the appeal. It’s just fun.

The Verdict

Yes, my 2023 mobile game of the year is Hearthstone. It’s not always fun. In fact, I hate the game more than I love it. But, when it’s fun, it’s really fun. And, they know just how to keep me coming back for more with rewards tracks, special events, and Twitch giveaways. Congratulations, Blizzard, the award is well deserved.

MTG vs. Hearthstone Part 2: Story/Art

Introduction

It’s that time of year when things get pushed to the background, especially here on the page. But, I remain committed to updating as often as possible. And, so, MTG vs. Hearthstone Part 2 and Part 3 becomes Part 2 only. Who knows? I actually think this works better.

Again, similar to my previous article in this series, a direct comparison between the two feels ridiculous. Wizards of the Coast takes their art and story very seriously. They also worked tirelessly recently to clean up some loose ends and make the story more consistent and coherent. Blizzard went the route of making their stories sillier and their art less realistic. Being someone who likes that style less, I side with Magic the gathering on both.

Showdown in the Badlands Art

As if proof of concept, I found no art in the new Hearthstone set that impressed me other than the new Reno. And, honestly, I think that’s just because I like the card style of the hero cards. The art itself leaves much to be desired. It’s simply a portrait of the hero. Some of the new Druid dragons look cool, too. Other than that, though, the set art is very plain.

Showdown in the Badlands Story

From the Blizzard Hearthstone site:

“The Bloodrock Mining Company found powerful Azerite in the Badlands. They’re digging deep and bleeding the land dry, disrupting the Badlands and awakening slumbering elementals! Now mysterious outlaws are riding into town to set things right. Tumbleweeds roll by and high noon looms. Grab your horse and your hat, it’s nearly time for a Showdown in the Badlands!”

I mean, that’s not a terrible set up for a decent story. But, after that, the pay off lacks some punch. Some of the cards and the mechanics mention the Azurite and other parts of the storyline. However, Blizzard doesn’t weave their story into the game as much as Wizards. So, while I like the story, I wish they gave fans like me a little more to work with.

Lost Caverns of Ixalan Art

I picked these three cards for a reason. The only one I genuinely like as art is Hurl into History. The art matches the card description perfectly. It also gives a great sense of motion. I picked the dragon to give a comparison in art styles between the two games. The Fabrication Foundry does the same. Even when they come up with some ridiculous idea of a being, they still make it seem like it exists in a real and living world. That adds to my enjoyment and appreciation of the art.

Lost Caverns of Ixalan Story

I can’t hope to include the entire story here like I did with the Hearthstone excerpt. The story on the official Wizards page scrolls for thousands of words and follows several different characters. But, what I remember from Ixalan before, it features dinosaurs and pirates. What more can you ask for?

As far as I’m concerned, nothing. But, as Billy Mays always said, “There’s more!” WotC also gives us gods in this set. Unlike some other planes, these gods aren’t explicitly immortal. Rather, when they die, they transform into temple lands with a mana ability that allows the god to reascend later in the game. I like that twist because you can remove the god from the board for a time without having to use an exile spell.

The Verdict

Again, without directly comparing the two, I need to wrap up this MTG vs. Hearthstone Part 2 article. The art for Showdown in the Badlands doesn’t impress me at all. The story, on the other hand, works well enough. I always love looking at old Magic the Gathering sets to revisit the art. I keep track of the story when it’s interesting. Other than the pirates and dinosaurs, I don’t find Ixalan particularly compelling.

Legendary Hearthstone TITANS

Introduction

I realize the title Legendary Hearthstone TITANS might come off as misleading. I tried the title Hearthstone TITANS Legendaries (but spell check tells me you can’t pluralize Legendary). Legendary Cards works, but makes the title too long. So, while you possibly came to this page looking for my thoughts on the actual TITAN cards, you missed by one article. Check out the very next article.

Instead, this article talks about the new legendary cards released with the set that don’t belong to the “Titan” keyword. Blizzard calls them Keepers and the lore explains that the Titans created them to develop and watch over the new planet. Basically, they became Azeroth’s first mythical heroes.

Death Knight: Helya

Helya comes with a basic stat line for a 4 drop card, but she shuffles 3 plagues into the deck and makes them “unending”. I looked up what that means. The cards get shuffled back into the deck for a chance to draw them again. Not what I thought, but sometimes Blizzard gets weird with their wording. Certainly not as logical as WotC and Magic the Gathering.

The plagues, for information sake, are Blood, Unholy, and Frost. All three deal 3 damage to the player. Blood restores 2 health to your hero. Unholy summons a 2/2 on your board. Frost increases the cost of the next card your opponent plays by 1 (not over 10).

Overall, a fine card for the cost. Especially if you plan to play plagues in your deck. My verdict: Good.

Demon Hunter: Jotun, the Eternal

Less to explain on this one. As they always say, “text on card.” Does anyone actually say that? I feel like there’s a saying for when the card does exactly what it says. Kind of sarcastic way of saying, “Hey, buddy, just read the card.” Maybe that’s the saying. I don’t know. Some sort of memory tickled the back of my brain when I realized that this card needed less explanation. And, still, I spent an entire paragraph explaining that. Hey, we do what we do here.

Anyway, perpetual effects can be fun in Hearthstone. This one works very well in a deck that I played a few times, Spell Demon Hunter. If you draw it on curve, you get a copy of basically ever other card you draw for the rest of the game. Right now, I really like this card. Maybe I’ll craft it and play it to see if it’s as good as I think. My verdict: Great.

Druid: Freya, Keeper of Nature

Okay, we determined that there’s no sarcastic way to say, “text on card.” Unless you read that in a sarcastic tone. In which case, that’s on you. I meant no ill will with my explanation. If you can read, you know what this card does.

“Choose one” is standard druid stuff from the beginning of the game. While this seems like a potentially powerful effect, my experience in game is that this can brick more often that blow out the opponent. Maybe I’m just jaded because luck (I know, I know, but trust me I’m unlucky in these games) goes against me so often. Plus, 8 mana feels so expensive. My verdict: Decent.

Hunter: Hodir, Father of Giants

Okay, no more mention anymore to increase my word count. Let’s just talk abouot this one. I saw a video where they played this one and then two one mana minions with rush. Effective removal and youo end up possibly with 3 8/x on the board next turn. Also, in a beast hunter, you can combo it with some of the smaller minions with charge (but there are fewer of them) for a quick kill later in the game. My verdict: Good.

Mage: Sif

Okay, so some explanation required here. If you cast just from Mage, there are three schools that can improve spell damage. If, however, you pull from other classes, you might potentially get it higher. As with many mage minions, this one feels quite situational. I think that if there’s room, Casino Mage might find a spot for it. My Verdict: Decent

Paladin: Tyr

Okay, now this one is absolutely situational. The only deck that immediatly comes to mind is mech paladin, which sees play every now and then. Plus, mechs offer some very good cheap minions. My verdict: Decent.

Priest: Ra-den

I play a couple of priest decks depending on the quests of the day. One is a terrible quest priest, but I played the reward more than half a dozen times to kill the opponent. The other incorporates C’thun and Yogg into a Renethal deck. I can rework that one to fit this card in and see if it works at all. My verdict: Good.

Rogue: Mimiron, the Mastermind

Looks like they’re trying to make mech rogue a thing. As you will see in my Titans article on Friday, the Rogue titan is also a mech. The random gadgets are one of six cards that all cost one except for the coolant; coolant (next card played this turn costs 2 less), cloak field (give a minion +3 attack and stealth until next turn), switch (two minions swap stats), horn (give a minion taunt and divine shield), rewinder (return a minion to your hand), and blades (deal 3 damage). A decent card with some utility, but I wonder how many rogues will bite on the mech angle. My verdict: Decent.

Shaman: Thorim, Stormlord

Wow. This is the best card of the set so far. I looked ahead and the other two and the only one that feels as strong is the Warrior one. Cheap, versatile, card draw and it unlocks your mana? This one will absolutely see play. My verdict: Great. Best card of the Legendary Hearthstone TITANS.

Warlock: Loken, Jailor of Yogg-Saron

This card is fine in a big Warlock deck. Other than that, I don’t see a place for this card. I’m quite underwhelmed. This might be the worst card in the bunch. My verdict: Meh.

Warrior: Odyn, Prime Designate

Okay, now this card is great. Expensive, but Warrior often plays the long game anyway. Well, my Warrior deck do at least. Initially, I thought this might rival the Shaman card but, now I’m not so sure. The cheaper cost and utility of the Shaman card just give it an edge. I will definitely craft this one because I love playing Control Warrior, but I just think the Shaman card is better. My verdict: Great.

The Verdict

Legendary Hearthstone TITANS bring some fun cards into the mix. Overall, I can see myself playing every one of them at one point or another in a deck to finish out a daily quest. Come back on Friday to see what I think of the actual Titans.

Hearthstone TITANS Keywords

Introduction

Hearthstone recently released their new expansion, TITANS. Based on the Uldum storyline and the end of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion (if I remember correctly), it introduces some new game play elements into the game. One of those new elements is the Hearthstone TITANS Keywords.

I decided to structure these articles differently. Instead of rating each card and building a terrible deck around the ones I thought were great, I plan to take three articles to talk about the new elements that I mentioned in the previous paragraph. If this doesn’t work as well for me, maybe I will go back to the other format.

New Keyword: TITANS

The titular card style combines the two card styles of minions and spells. When you play the card, it takes up board space like a minion. However, it can’t actually attack until it performs all three actions that it is capable. An example is shown above. Aggramar equps a weapon and then gives you the choice of three abilities to enhance your weapon. Once you play an ability, you can’t repeat it. When you play all three abilities, Aggramar becomes a 3/7 minion and attacks as normal. I like the idea. The article I write on Friday discusses the Titans and my thoughts about them.

New Keyword: Forge

Forge works similar to trading, a keyword introduced in United in Stormwind. It then became evergreen in Festival of Legends. If you have a card with Forge, you drag it back to your deck for 2 mana and it gains a special ability or mana reduction. The above card shows an example. You can either play this for 8, or Forge it back into your deck for 2 less. This one works endlessly, so you could end up with a 0 mana 8/8 taunt in your deck with enough patience and a long enough game.

Returning Keyword: Magnetic

Magnetic belongs to the Mech tribe. They even worked it into Battlegrounds and further expanded on it by allowing you to magnetize on a full board. When you magnetize a minion, you pull the minion from your hand, place it to the left of the minion and they merge together. Any stats and abilities get combined onto the original minion. It offers some variety and strategery when playing Mechs. You can magnetize or, if more beneficial, play the minion as is. I’m not a huge fan of mechs, but based on my opponents on ladder, much of the Hearthstone population enjoys playing them. Excelsior!

The Verdict

Hearthstone TITANS Keywords brings new and interesting possiblities to the game. I still mostly only play to gain the rewards track and have fun in Battlegrounds. But, they released a new quest chain that has me playing the standard mode of Hearthstone. I don’t see TITANS bringing me back into the game full time, but I’ll have fun while I play through the track. Come back on Wednesday to hear about the cool new Legendary cards we get in the set. Read more about it straight from the source.

Hearthstone Audiopocalypse Check In

Introduction

Blizzard started releasing mini sets a couple of years ago. I rarely, if ever, play any of the cards from the set. But, they offer them for gold, so I always buy them. Hearthstone Audiopocalypse proved to be no different. I bought the set like clockwork.

However, I can’t tell you a single card from the set. As a result, I can almost guarantee that I won’t play a single card from the set. Nevertheless, I got the idea this week to catch up with the various card games that I play. I wrote the Marvel Snap article on Monday. Today is Hearthstone and over the weekend, I plan to tackle the MTG Lord of the Rings abomination.

New Mechanics

The challenge of writing an article like this is that there are a limited amount of cards, so I can’t really write it like my traditional great, good, decent or even cards I love. Thankfully, Hearthstone often offers fun and new mechanics regularly.

Hearthstone Audiopocalypse brings back a fan favorite in dual cards. These allow two different classes access to the same card. These allow for classes to share identities and gives you more flexibility when building your decks. I wish they produced more of these cards. But, then, it would ruin the special sauce that they bring to the game.

Priest/Rogue example. You know I picked this one for the stupid pun, right?

The other major addition to the game from this mini set is “remixed” versions of cards These gain an additional effect while in your hand. Reminds me of the cards from an older set that did the same. But, those cards gained an effect when drawn. These ones gain a different effect each turn. So, you can wait it out and try to roll the effect you want. Removes some of the undesirable RNG of the game and puts some of the power back into your hands.

The Verdict

Overall, I don’t expect this mini set to change my game play in any significant way. But, I bought virtual cards for virtual currency, so my induction into the Matrix Hall of Fame should come in the virtual mail any day now. If I have more time later, maybe I’ll come back during the slow days of summer with a more full featured review.

Note: Single image taken from Hearthstone Top Decks. See the cards.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds May 2023

Introduction

I learned from my mistake in my previous Hearthstone review. You probably noticed that I never mentioned Battlegrounds once. Previously, I complained that they neglected Battlegrounds in their update. Heck, they lost a chance to add an all new minion type to the pool. Then, they released the Battlegrounds update separately and I wished they forgot to include Undead in the minion pool. After Festival of Legends, they performed a huge overhaul of Hearthstone Battlegrounds May 2023.

They removed, reworked, and added minions to every type. They released a new rewards track and restarted as a new season. Heck, they even put together a plan to roll out certain minion types instead of releasing them all on the same day. Supposedly, that move came in response to not wanting to overwhelm players. I firmly believe that because nobody play tests anymore, they anticipated a large amount of bugs and unintentional interactions and wanted to limit their exposure to support tickets.

New Hero

Hero Power: Passive. At the end of every 3 turns, get a plain copy of the left-most card in your hand.

I played him a few times. I think, as I often do, I became too enamored with greed in trying to triple with his hero power that I lost track of the actual game. If I remember correctly, I shame conceded the first game I played and then went out in 5th the second time. Oh well, plenty of time to figure out the play style and get that first place achievement.

New and Reworked Mechanics

In keeping with the spirit of Voone’s hero power, they added “upbeat” minions. These minions do something after a certain number of turns on the board. Sometimes they add other minions to your hand. They might turn a minion in your hand golden. Still others add stats to the minions in your hand. I don’t know why they called them upbeat. There must be some sort of musical pun in there.

In addition, they reworked poisonous into venomous. As another page said, in addition to being more accurate, it provides an autokill with only the first time a minion deals damage. So, no more losing your big minions to cheap poison boards. A final change, they removed mega-windfury as a mechanic on golden windfury minions. Of the three, I like the venomous change best and find the mega-windfury decision a bit perplexing at best.

New Reward Track

The only reason for me to care at all about this change is the rewards track. Last season I made a minor push to see how high my rank got. Just under 7000 is my peak. Other than that, I saw no reason to play the game mode at the end of the season. Those who follow the page know that I have a bit of a checkered history with Hearthstone.

However, I finally grew up and grew into the same familiar pattern as with MTGA. I play the game to finish quests, gain cosmetic rewards, and not much else. Hell, with the most recent MTG set, I only recently even opened my packs. I mainly wanted the sleeves and avatars. Oh, I also wanted the rewards track.

The Verdict

If you came here for an in depth analysis of the patch, you must be new here. In that case, welcome! Look around and I hope you enjoy your stay and come back soon. However, I promise to come back in a month or so when things slow down for the summer and give my second impressions of Hearthstone Battlegrounds May 2023.

Hearthstone Festival Part 4: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

We made it to the end of Hearthstone Festival of Legends! In Hearthstone Festival part 4, I cover Warlock and Warrior. What about neutrals, you ask? Well, first, I rarely ever run neutrals. Look at my decks over this series and ask me that question again. I think in one or two of them, I used only class cards. Who knows? Maybe I write a bonus article talking about the neutrals at some point. I need a break, so on to Magic the Gathering starting tomorrow.

Narrator: He will never write any such article.

My history with Warlock starts and ends with control. I loved playing during the Handlock days and remember inviting Chris to watch me end the career of several players back when we were able to get together on a monthly basis. I reluctantly played Implock a couple of times recently to finish a quest, but I’m a control player. Same with Warrior. I have a wild Krontrol deck that I play and built a standard a set or two ago that I revisit every now and then. With that in mind, let’s look at some cards.

Warlock

Decent: Not knowing enough about demons in Standard right now, all I think of when I see these cards is some ridiculous combo involving them that either ends with a full board or in wild, a full board and your hero gaining immunity.

This is a mish mash hodge podge of cards that makes almost no sense. But, that’s what we like around here, so they get tossed into the good bucket. Likely, never to be heard from again. Hey, you don’t come here for meta. You come here for the inconsistency of the memery.

Crazed Conductor

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Great: I think they started this trend with the last expansion of taking fatigue damage without actually exhausting your deck. I like the idea of bending mechanics in new ways, so of course I chose to build around that. Now, time to see if I’m right about there being more cards to support this terrible build

Warrior

Decent: A card that increases the amount of armor that you gain plus a card that benefits from that armor gained? Hey, we got a combo over here! Combo right here! There’s a combo here. See, nobody cares.

Reference for those who need it.

Good: (a) I have no idea what these cards mean when they say play your last riff. (b) I refuse to look up what these cares mean when they say play your last riff. (c) They might be great cards, but because there are three, I put them in the good section.

Blackrock 'n' Roll

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Great: Menagerie build in Battlegrounds remains my favorite to this day. Looking at the statistics from the webpage, others copied me because it always ranks as the top build for nearly every hero. Now, they took that and brought it into standard with these cards. Shove every stupid minion type into your deck. ????? Profit?

The Verdict

I take no credit or blame for that warrior deck. This series is over with Hearthstone Festival part 4 and I’m officially done with these cards. It might actually be a decent deck. It probably just sucks. I return tomorrow with a review of March of the Machine and I don’t entirely know the format yet, so I will either think about that tonight or just repeat the format from the last set. Come back tomorrow to see!

Note: I used Hearthstone Top Deck builder for the decks. I know it isn’t the best, but it works and I like it aesthetically for the screenshot of each deck.

Hearthstone Festival Part 3: Great, Good Decent

Introduction

I admit that the last article wrote much easier than the previous article. Hopefully, this one follows suit. Next week, I scheduled the new MTG set review, so more easy pickings to keep ramping into our summer schedule. Though, admittedly, the end of June and beginning of July bring the Germany trip, so not much in the way of updates for about a month there. But, that’s a couple of months off. Maybe I’ll figure out a way to schedule updates for that time. Right now, I need to discuss Hearthstone Festival part 3; priest, rogue, and shaman.

I play a lot of priest and shaman in wild. Usually, I play Galakrond priest (yes, still) and Highlander Shaman. For a while there, rogue was public enemy number one again. I saw some of those decks, but mostly I just autoconcede when faced with something like that. I have no interest in climbing the ranks. I simply want to finish quests and get as many collectibles as possible in the game.

Priest

Decent: The legendary spell might just be great and find its way into numerous standard and wild decks. Saving two mana is a big deal. However, as I’ve hopefully expressed over the years, I am not about great decks. I’m about jank and just plain bad decks. So, you want to min/max? There are plenty of other web pages for that. Here, I’m all about “Love Everlasting” into Power Chord: Synchronize.

Good: Definite removal vibe in these cards. When I play priest, usually I play for removal. So, more likely than not, all of these cards will be included into my next priest Wild deck. I especially like the idea of the fight card. Not only is it removal, but it gives card advantage, too. The budget dismember seems fun, too.

Heartbreaker Hedanis

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Great: These cards pushed for heal and overheal, which makes sense. They introduced the mechanic in this set and added it to some of the cards from the new “core set” available to Standard players. Overall, these cards underwhelm me more than any of the other cards in the set. I often say that I don’t care about good decks, just fun decks. But, this one feels like neither. Who knows? Maybe it will surprise me.

Rogue

Decent: Remember, just a paragraph ago, when I said how underwhelmed I was by those priest cards and deck? Well, apparently, that’s going to be a theme in this article. Because these cards stink on ice. Sure, deal damage and buff your weapon has utility. But, how many times do I have to say it? We aren’t looking for utility here. We want jank!

Good: Rogue bounce card annoy the hell out of me. These ones seem less annoying, other than maybe the one that makes them all cost 1. I’m sure somebody somewhere already came up with a way to exploit that card along with all of the other mana reducers available to rogue. But, I have no interest in that, so into the good bucket it goes.

Beatboxer

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Great: Ever since the beginning of Hearthstone, Combo defined rogue cards. Hell, one of those cards launched the career of one of the most famous streamers of all time. At the very least, it gave him a clever name to call himself. So, why not try to piggy back off that success and jam all of the new combo cards into a deck?

Shaman

Decent: As with most of the cards in this set, these are decent but not great. Both are costed okay with upside depending on the finale or overloaded clause. But, they just don’t “WOW” me, you know what I mean? And, so, I deem them decent.

Good; This is the part in the review where I start to feel like I repeat myself. Because after just repeating myself above, I’m going to repeat myself about repeating myself. Or, I can just wrap this thing up, walk away for a little bit, and come back to it tomorrow.

Flowrider

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Great: Like rogue, Blizzard focused on an oldie but a goodie…hey, wait a minute. Was this music themed expansion just a long con by Blizzard to get people to say that phrase? If so, well played. In any case, they focused on an oldie but goodie Shaman keyword. Quite possibly the most maligned and misunderstood evergreen of the entire game; overload.

The Verdict

Hearthstone Festival Part 3 contains possibly the most underwhelming collection of cards so far. None of these cards made me interested in playing the game other than maybe “Jive, Insect.” And I just like that one for the stupid fun potentially involved. Other than that, I’d rather just forget that Hearthstone Festival Part 3 never happened.

Decks created with Hearthstone Top Decks. I know it isn’t the best builder, but it works and I like the screen shots for aesthetic reasons.

Hearthstone Festival Part 1: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

We last wrote about Hearthstone in the traditional sense of the game during the Barrens expansion. Since then, I meant to write reviews of the Sunken City expansion, but things got busy. And, so, we join Hearthstone nearly a year later with the release of Festival of Legends. Hearthstone Festival Part 1 brings cards from 3 classes; Death Knight, Demon Hunter, and Druid.

Speaking of things getting busy, I’m sure that I will repeat this several times this week during the various projects I need to update. I already discussed it in the finale episode of the podcast. Now, I write about it here. My days over the last few weeks go like this; I wake up, I go to work, I pick up Quinn, take him to play, watch play, come home, maybe work out, cook dinner, take Aiden to soccer, come back home, play around on the computer or watch TV for a half hour or so, rinse and repeat. So, things have been busy.

A Note Before The Review

Having last reviewed Hearthstone cards about a year ago, I went to look at that article. It surprised me how in depth I made the review. I split the cards into the decent, good, and great categories. Then, I built a deck around the great cards. Quite the undertaking, to be sure. But, a good idea is a good idea. Plus, I’m on vacation now, so I have a bit of time over the rest of the week to make it happen.

Death Knight

Decent: Both of these cards are pretty good, but situational. Immediately, I think of something like Sylvanas for either or both of them as an absolute eff you to opponents playing big minions. As I look now, I think we can have fun with Saurfang or Cage Head (more on him in a bit) shenanigans.

Good: Hardcore Cultist is a fun little card. If you pull off the finale (spend your last mana on the card), you get consecration on a stick for one less mana. Harmonic Metal becomes Dissonant Metal every other turn where the numbers swap, which is a cool little effect. Cage Head works very well with the other cards mentioned in the decent category, so maybe I’ll make an extra deck with some deathrattle effects.

Great: As I look at these cards, I think I might have tried to combine two strategies. One involves manipulating health to advance cards and the other uses corpses in a similar manner. In my limited experience playing Death Knight, corpses are plentiful and can be worked into any strategy as a secondary win condition. We all know that whatever I build won’t win you any tournaments. But, hopefully it plays fun and brings joy.

Health/Corpse Manipulation Death Knight

Demon Hunter

Decent: As expected, the finale cards have decent upside. Taste of Chaos is no different. You know I like a discover card, too. Unfortunately, I don’t play enough Demon Hunter to even consider any kind of control strategy, which is where that fits. 2 mana for 2 1/1 dudes and the opportunity for a third with outcast just doesn’t do it for me.

Good: These cards push you in a definite rush direction. Even while writing this, I considered that direction. After all, I more or less admitted in the last section that I have no idea how to build control Demon Hunter. I know it’s possible. I played a minionless control Demon Hunter through last expansion. I just can’t build it myself. So, why not the rush minions? I don’t know. Too obvious, I guess.

Glaivetar

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Great: After all that crap I talked about not being able to build a control Demon Hunter deck, it sure looks like I picked cards that lend themselves to control. I think my thought process for this article is trying to build around the legendary spell for each class. In this one, I saw a weapon control deck with some lifesteal thrown in. That’s the one thing i always wished for as a rogue when I started playing Hearthstone.

Demon Hunter Weapon Control?

Druid

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Decent: Well, the druid cards broke the streak of building around the legendary spell. I tried, but there’s just no synergy between the card and anything else that I might want to do with my deck. It’s a fun card with some utility, but just not what I want. Same with Peaceful Piper. A decent card with pretty good utility. So, they both fit in this section.

Good: These three cards work very well together. They do what big druid wants to do and make big dumb creatures to wallop your opponent. I think they might find a place in a Prince Highlander Druid deck if that’s even a thing. If not, I might just make it a thing. I know I say these things and then I never follow through. But, let me make a note of it now. Big dumb druid deck and whatever I said for Death Knight earlier. Ha!

Zok Fogsnout

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Great: All of these cards either improve attack or armor or take advantage of that improved attack and armor. That led to an obvious deck idea similar to the Demon Hunter above. You can either use your attack and armor as removal and play more control or just try to race the opponent. Not knowing what the current meta is, I’m not sure which is more likely.

Druid Attack/Armor Manipulation Deck

The Verdict

Hearthstone Festival Part 1 gives us Death Knight (first time we reviewed the class), Demon Hunter, and Druid cards. Overall, the decks seem fun and decent. The druid deck is a bit of a mess, so I definitely want to revisit the class with another deck, probably in wild. After I finish the series, I will consider coming back to any other ideas that I have. Well, i’ts late, but I powered through to finish the Hearthstone Festival Part 1. Here’s hoping the rest of the series goes quicker and more smoothy.

Battlegrounds February 2023 Second Impression

Introduction

I gave a first impression//preview of all of the new stuff in Battlegrounds at the beginning of the month. Even though I wrote it within a week of release, Blizzard still put out an emergency balance patch because the new Undead tribe came out a bit too spicy. At the time, I only played enough to know that much and that, as a consequence, the reworked hero Putricide followed in that OP-ness. So, after having played quite a few more games, I return to give a Battlegrounds February 2023 second impression.

I come into this article without much of a plan, to be perfectly honest. Is this a list of the strongest tribes? Doubtful. When have you ever known us to give tier or meta lists? What about my impressions of the game mode and thoughts about the longevity going forward. Getting warmer and I might include that as a bonus. Let’s just go with the obvious 2 Generations Gaming standby of my favorite new minions.

Favorite New Minions Honorable Mention

I picked these minions as either situational minions or ones that I think might be good if I ever figure out the situation for them. I actually end up taking General Drakkisath often. It gives two triggers for two of my favorite minions, explained below. Twitch chat loves Felemental. I see how repeated triggers might be beneficial. I always feel like I’m losing tempo though when I play it. Maybe the game offers me at the wrong time. We all know that I think these games have it out for me. I only take Deathswarmer when I think that I might go Undead.

Sinrunner Blanchy falls into the category of “haven’t figured out the situation yet”. What makes me laugh is that it should be easy. Beast and Undead both have numerous buffs available. And, yet, I continue to field a 4/4 with reborn and no buffs to be reborn with. Finally, Titus Rivendare only drops into this territory because it requires a very specific strategy. They reworked him so that multiple copies give extra triggers. But, let me show you the dumb build that got me second place.

And there you see in my hand, the horsie doing little.

Favorite New Minions 10 through 6

10 – Ghoul of the Feast – I probably rate this one too highly because I generally like to go Menagerie with my builds and this one ticks that box for me. But, if you’re here, it isn’t for my strategic analysis.

9 Possessive Banshee – This one buffs the Eternal Knight and the Horsie. But, as mentioned, I almost never get to take advantage of the best buffs on the horsie. If I ever get that one to work, though, you all will be the first to know.

8 Eternal Knight – Speaking of Eternal Knight, I always take the first one in hopes of getting the second one or the Banshee. Playing one without either of those cards just feels bad.

7 Blazing Skyfin – I love these minions that trigger based on other mechanics. Murlocs alone have an almost monopoly on good battlecries, so if I see this one early in the game, I pick this one without hesitation.

6 Colossus of the Sun – A larger Bronze Warden with the Undead tag? That fits so nicely in with my menagerie builds. Plus, the few times I run undead, he gives me the warm and fuzzies.

Favorite New Minions 5 through 1

5 Mecha-Jaraxxus – I remember when Chris first encountered Jaraxxus in game. He texted something about his opponent turning into a demon something or another and then he swore. He swears a lot when playing Hearthstone. I never got the Mecha-Jaraxxus skin. I guess I make up for it by picking this card every time.

4 Cyborg Drake – Second only to my enjoyment of menagerie is divine shield build. This card fits right into that build. Not much more needs to be said.

3 Felstomper – Like many of the six drops, I don’t encounter Felstomper very often. But, the couple of times I played him, the game went well and I enjoyed the hell out of it. See the silly build above. Plus, just look at that art. How can you not smile when you see that?

2 Thorncaptain – Dear god, that one drop makes me giggle. I pick it every single time, often double it, and then hold on to both copies for way too long in the hopes of a triple. But, that’s the exact janktastic gaming you come to the page to see.

1 Magmaloc – This comes as no surprise if you read my other article earlier in the month. They nerfed him down to a 4 drop and I think they nerfed his drop rate. But, I still force him into every single build as soon as I see the card.

The Verdict

I think I adequately figured out this Battlegrounds February 2023 second impression article. It truly captures the essence of our page. Just enough strategy to make you wonder. A heaping helping of jank that makes you wonder the other way. Thanks for reading. Another update tomorrow.

Battlegrounds February 2023 minion pictures taken from the main Hearthstone page.