Tag Archives: Blizzard Gaming

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 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.

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).

Hearthstone Trial By FelFire Review

Introduction

Hearthstone Trial by Felfire just proves that someone at Blizzard is a frustrated poet. And that they want the entire world to know it.

Hey, I’m not one to cast aspersions. After all, I have written my own version.

What is all of this rhyming about? Keep reading and you just might find out.

The Great

Free: Normally there is a fee. This time, the adventure is free. I am glad there is no charge. I didn’t want to pay 20 large. sure, I could have used gold. However, using it for that instead of packs gets old. And so, I played. And discovered the true prize is the friends I made.

Packs: Actually, the adventure comes with a quest. And, what is there in that chest? For your trouble, you get three free card packs. They can be won without any hacks. Simply complete Chapter 1. There, now you are done.

The Good

Variety: There is a variety of fights. It isn’t all about might. Sure, some are a race. That require you just to go face. Others require a different tact. And, that is just a fact. Against one boss a fatigue strategy works well. After drawing his last card he faces the death knell.

Length: Even though this adventure is free. There is plenty in Outland for you to see. Four rounds of four bosses. Be careful for some may cause losses. Then, at the end. You face off against one who was a friend. In order to escape Outland, you must take a stand.

I was prepared…

The Decent

Reward: Other than the cards, all you get is a card back. Compared with other adventures, that’s kind of wack. Again, I realize that it’s free. But it just seems like to me–that they could give more. Instead they put a bundle in the store. Like a sucker, I paid. But it included some packs, so better decks can be made.

The card back isn’t even that good of a design.

The Verdict

Overall Trial by Felfire is fun. Even if you don’t do the adventures, you should try this one. The story is decent. You won’t be sad you went. To the plane of Outland. Just make sure you have a plan. You wouldn’t want to get lost. And captured by some demons and tossed–into a pit of despair. Or maybe they’d just set fire to your hair. So pay my warning fair heed. And get on over to this adventure via your trusty steed.

Felfire Festival Week 1 Post Mortem

Introduction

Felfire Festival Week 1 Post Mortem already? Surely, it isn’t dead. Well, yes and no. The week is technically over. However, the ramifications continue to reverberate through the game. At least, I assume they do. I thought I might play the game more now that it’s been updated.

However, I have not. I’ve tried playing a couple of times. I just can’t get into it. Battlegrounds is frustrating and boring. It takes almost all of the strategy out of a normal auto battler game. In most cases, that has worked to Blizzard’s advantage. Without a coherent strategy, the game just becomes ovals banging into each other.

The Great, The Good, and the Decent? No, just a verdict

No, I’m not even going to give lip service to these categories for this review. I could go back to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for one article, but that seems suboptimal. And, so, I will leave the reader to decide for themselves if it’s worth it to come back if you left. In the humble opinion of the writer of this article, it very much is not worth it.

There are plenty of other autobattlers out there for you to play instead. I would suggest either Autochess or TFT if you’re on mobile. Underlords is also on mobile, but I’ve found that it is a better PC experience. In any case, don’t waste your time on Battlegrounds.

Thanks for taking the time to read my Felfire Festival Week 1 post mortem. Some of you more astute readers might attribute my snark to salt. Honestly, you’re partially right. I’ve played 3 or 4 matches to try things out and I have yet to crack the top 4 in any of them. So, yes, I am frustrated. But, I also have many other things to keep me occupied. In any case, I hope next week is better!

Hearthstone BattleGrounds June 2020

Introduction

I was taken by surprise by yesterday’s Hearthstone Battlegrounds June 2020 update. But, I put together a quick article with my thoughts. It was close to dinner time and then we were maybe going to go to the lake. So, I didn’t talk about the minions because there were a good amount of them being added. We didn’t end up going to the lake, but I hung out in the front yard with Quinn and his stuffed Pokemon. Therefore, I’m going to take some time this morning to give my thoughts on the minions.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds June 2020 Minions

Deck Swabbie: Reducing your tier cost by 1 is huge, especially if you get it early. It’s like getting a token, but you don’t have to sell a minion to get the benefit. I think that this is going to be one of the strongest early game minions.

Scallywag: This isn’t as strong as the tier 1 murloc token because it doesn’t give the extra gold. However, 3/2 are good early game stats and trade well with almost everything.

Freedealing Gambler: A free 3/3 early game? Sign me up.

Southsea Captain: A bit of a whiff if you aren’t already in pirates and early game is too early to commit to a tribe of minions. This is probably the weakest of the tier 2 pirates.

Arcane Cannon: Aside from being the new tier 2 minion sure to be sniped by your opponent, this one is pretty good early game especially if you can get a token and guarantee first attack.

Monstrous Macaw: There are some decent early game deathrattles. Selfless Hero, Rat Pack, Harvest Golem, Kaboom Bot. Heck, even Ghoul is good against a low health board, but it could backfire against you, too.

Salty Looter: These types of minions are always a trap.

Bloodsail Canoneer: This is a strictly worse version of Deathwing’s old hero power. Hard pass unless you get it late and are already in pirates.

Yo-Ho-Ogre: This is a good card. The stat are insane. You’re virtually guaranteed to get at least 3 attacks from it. Late game, unless you get some buffs on it, it falls off, but this is a great tier 3 minion.

Southsea Strongarm: Stats are decent, but the battlecry is only good if you’re in pirates already.

Goldgrubber: Strictly worse Razorgore and honestly, that card isn’t all that great to begin with.

Ripsnarl Captain: Stats aren’t awful and could potentially get better. Similar to Waxrider and that card falls off quickly. I feel like this one would never get going.

Seabreaker Goliath: This one might be good enough to switch strategies. I guess it depends on how sold you are on what you have and what else is offered in the pool.

Cap’n Hoggar: Reducing the cost of pirates by 1 is pretty good. It’s like having a better Millhouse power if you are offered pirates.

Nat Pagle, Extreme Angler: I don’t know what a treasure chest does. I guess I could always check out reddit, since I got my answer to the digging for a golden minion. But, I’m just not in the mood right now.

The Tide Razor: These deathrattle fiesta cards are either good or bad, depending on what they pull. Right now, pirates aren’t strong enough to make this card any good, in my opinon.

Dread Admiral Eliza: Buffs are good, especially if they’re repeated. But, you’d have to be deep into pirates in order for this to pay off. I guess if you’re pulling a 6 star, you very well may be. Otherwise, this plus Megasaur with no murlocs and Nadina without dragons would be a huge whiff. I get that’s a single scenario, but I guarantee I’ll get it more than once with the luck I have

The Verdict

I don’t see anything in the Hearthstone Battlegrounds June 2020 update that makes me want to play pirates. They have a good early game, a decent midgame and then seem to fall off hard in the late game. I could be wrong. Often, I am. However, it still feels like murlocs, dragons, and even mechs are much stronger tribes. Granted, this is just the introduction of pirates and they have time to adjust or add new minions. See you on the Battlegrounds!

Note: All pictures taken from the official Hearthstone patch page. Please don’t sue me Blizzard. You’ve already taken enough money from my World of Warcraft habit and various pack bundles I’ve bought in Hearthstone.