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1 hour ago, John0 said:

Been playing a little bit of OTK Warrior after watching Thijs play it on ladder. It's pretty fun, and competitive.. and cheap! I recommend it:

 

http://www.hearthstonetopdecks.com/decks/thijs-otk-worgen-warrior-seatstory-cup-v/

 

That's what I've been doing, apart from the Faceless Manipulator. Extremely satisfying to get that combo, unless they put down a load of taunt minions the turn before. Grr.

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1 hour ago, James Lyon said:

That's what I've been doing, apart from the Faceless Manipulator. Extremely satisfying to get that combo, unless they put down a load of taunt minions the turn before. Grr.

 

Played a Shaman yesterday that hexed his own minion and then played Ancestral Spirit on the Frog because he knew what was coming :).

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Some more ONIK cards revealed - would link but I'm on mobile and it doesn't seem to want to play nice for some reason.

 

Druid portal card revealed (all classes are getting a "portal"card, if the ones revealed so far are anything to go off, they're going to be "do x effect, summon a random x cost minion).  Druids get Moonglade Portal - restore 6 health, summon a random 6 cost minion.  While the minion quality is likely better than the Mage portal as there are some really strong 6 cost minions like Sylvanas or Emperor, the heal effect isn't amazing, and there are some stinkers you could get due to not getting the battlecry.  It'll still be good for arena I think but in constructed you'll almost certainly be better off just with a 6 cost minion.

 

Medhiv is a neutral legendary, 8 mana, 7/7, battlecry - equip Atiesh.  Atiesh is a 1/3 weapon that acts like a Summoning Stone at the cost of 1 durability.  I think this'll be pretty decent.  7/7 is reasonable for the cost, if weak, but the effect is great.  Summoning Stone has seen play in several deck types, and I think a lot of the time players using it would love to be able to guarantee 3 uses from it.  This pretty much does that unless they have weapon destruction.

 

Fools Bane - 5 mana warrior weapon.  3/4, you can attack as many times as you want during your turn, but cannot attack your opponent directly.  So for 5 mana in one turn you can do 12 damage to whatever your opponent has on the board, as long as you don't mind taking the damage to the face.  I think this ones hard to judge.  It seems like it'd be awesome to the point of OP against aggro decks, as 3 attack deals with a lot of the early stuff aggro uses.  But I think at that mana cost, it can come out a bit late to really deal with stuff efficiently unless you can also trade minions or are willing to take lots of face damage.  It also competes with brawl for a slot, and I don't think the situations where it's better than brawl outnumber where brawl is better.  Might get played as a one of in some control decks, but don't think it's an auto include, and certainly won't be replacing fiery war axe.

 

Zoobot - 3 mana, 3/3, battlecry: give a random beast, dragon and murloc +1/+1.  Assuming the wording means 1 of all three types gets the buff if you have one of each out, that's great value.  The likelihood of that is pretty much zero though.  While it's obviously support or a deck you'd put the Curator in, most people looking at those decks are looking at 2/3 of the card types, and even then, it being mostly one type with a few strong cards from another type.  So even getting 2 cards buffed isn't looking that likely. So would you play it if only 1 card gets buffed? Possibly.  Shattered Sun Cleric is still an ok card, and while this is less flexible, it has a potentially bigger upside.  I think it'll get some play from people trying to build decks to out the Curator in, but you won't see it in decks that only have 1 of those card types.

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Medhiv and some of the portal spells (if they do end up all having a "summon a random x cost minion" component) spells could be pretty insane.  Over 2 turns for 15 mana you'd get a 7/7, a random 5 cost minion, a random 7 cost minion and deal 5 damage with the mage one.  Thats pretty big.  He's definitely a card I'm going to be trying out in a few decks.

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New bunch of cards dropped last night, some quite interesting ones.

 

http://www.hearthpwn.com/news/1605-karazhan-live-card-reveal-event-all-the-newly

 

And in tavern brawl news, I beat Stormwind, I blew it up before my health was gone, had to do over 1000 damage to do it! You can see I still have 9 HP in the pic lol. There seems to be slight bug, if you fill your board and have KT out the enemy minions won't attack! So it's kinda cheating, or clever use of mechanics :D

image.png

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All the cards have been revealed now.  Turns out not all the classes are getting a portal spell after all - rogue, hunter, warlock and priest all miss out.  Bit odd there, thematically I thought warlocks were more likely to have a portal related spell than warriors.  The newly revealed portal spells are;

 

Warrior - 5 mana, gain 4 armour, random 4 cost minion.

Paladin - 4 mana, give a minon +2/+2, random 2 cost minion

Shaman - 2 mana, do 1 damage to all enemy minions, random 1 cost minion.

 

Other than that, there's a few other interesting bits.  There's a few secret based cards, but this one caught my eye;

 

636060319097636005.png

 

It's like they decided what hunter needed was Mad Scientist back, but better.  Well, that's only true sometimes, as you need the secrets in hand rather than getting them pulled from your deck like Scientist did.  It also has the disadvantage that it competes with eaglehorn bow for turn 3, making that play a bit more awkward.  But it's also a better tempo play than Scientist in the situation it doesnt bring a secret into play, which could also happen with Scientist, you dont need it to die for it to happen, and you can get the effect on multiple secrets.  This doesnt have the value in its effect that MS had which effectively drew you the card it then discounted, but I still think that overall, the value you'll get from this is at least as good, possibly better.  I think you'll see this in a lot of hunter decks.

 

Also, rogues get;

 

636060317790883730.png

 

Which along with Etheral Peddler and the already existing Huckster and Burgle cards means I'm sure we'll be seeing a rogue deck based around them.  I'm deffo going to try out a deck with them in for fun, even if its not competitive.

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Blizzard have properly screwed up with this expansion. Priest needed more love than all the other classes combined in constructed and arena, and they get two garbage cards and a third card that is so unspeakably shit that it confirms suspicions that were briefly suspended by the introduction of standard, that Blizzard don't know how to balance their own game, and frankly don't care about balancing it.

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Yep. I've noticed random is the theme they just can't help keep on pushing either - they went insane with it in GvG and I thought they might back off - but nope. I think Ben Brode is a big problem (at least the impression I get) in pushing through "ZANY CRAZY - SO MUCH FUN NUTS OMG" 

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On 03/08/2016 at 21:23, Mr Cochese said:

Brawl this week is lame.

I understand what they were going for, but it sort of feels like it should be an additional mode. A rotating single player campaign in addition to Tavern Brawl.

 

I tend to try and maximise my gold for the week by hardly playing Monday through most of Wednesday, but logging in to cancel low value gold quests

 

Each match of this thing is a massive time sink with little reward beyond reaching a high score...but it'll be gone by Monday morning, so who cares.

 

 

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Wow, Forbidden Ancient is pretty sweet in arena. Sure, he's below the curve as an early drop, but from about turn four he's a perfectly reasonable body to keep you on curve. If you don't need that, you can hang onto him until ten crystals or after a Flamestrike and drop a big dumb 10/10.

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Yeah, the lack of Priest attention is quite odd looking at it now.  Most class cards seem to be to support additional types of decks and (thankfully in some cases) have avoided cards that could have made strong decks stronger, which is something at least.  The exceptions being Hunter and Druid, who got cards that could possibly fit into existing decks, though Beast Druid isnt majorly powerful (even if thjis has gotten quite high legend with it if I recall) and I dont think Hunter is that powerful currently either.  Both still are better than priest though.

 

Purify is garbage.  No idea who thought that was a good design for a card, or even what the intended use for it is.  The other 2 cards arent as bad, but dont really do enough to make up for priests at the moment.  Even the neutral Dragon cards arent particularly strong to add in Dragon Priest.  Book Wyrms effect isnt nearly as valuable by the time it comes out and priests already have SW:P, and the other card competes with 2 already very strong 2 drops for Dragon Priest.

 

I guess they'll use the excuse that the adventure is more for fun, and the next "proper" expansion will be more for balancing, but they could have added something in the meantime for them.

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Anyone else find that success in Arena comes a lot down to how many three drops you can draft? So many times I've ended up with big spikes in the 2 and 4 cost slots and barely anything between.

 

My current deck is like that and just dying on its arse, despite the fact that I took every ok three drop I could (which was only 3). I'm playing two drops on turn 3 every game, and it just isn't good enough. The loss of tempo is pure death.

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Getting a good curve in arena is paramount. Even if it means taking some slightly less good cards. 

 

I'm saving gold for the new adventure - hopefully have enough that if I hit 50 a day it should be free and on time. 

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4 hours ago, Mr Cochese said:

Anyone else find that success in Arena comes a lot down to how many three drops you can draft? So many times I've ended up with big spikes in the 2 and 4 cost slots and barely anything between.

 

My current deck is like that and just dying on its arse, despite the fact that I took every ok three drop I could (which was only 3). I'm playing two drops on turn 3 every game, and it just isn't good enough. The loss of tempo is pure death.

 

Three drops are actually relatively unimportant in arena. The minimum number you need for good consistency is 4 and I would say if you draft more than 6 then your deck becomes too inconsistent to achieve either the mid game or aggro win conditions with enough reliability. Dropping a two drop in turn 3 obviously never feels good, but it's not the worst thing in the world. I can explain why this is if you'd like but it'll be a long post, so let me know if you want to read it before I write it!

 

If your deck is low on three drops then my best advice is mulligan hard for your two drops and play your higher attack minion on turn 3. 3 attack 2 drops trade one for one with the vast majority of 3 drops. The 4 health 3 drop is still relatively uncommon.

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I used read a lot of articles on tactics when I played Magic, so I actually would be interested in your thoughts. I'm sure not as many of my Arena drafts are as much a complete bust as I think they are, and I have had decks oversaturated with two drops romp surprisingly to victory.

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Alright, here we go.

 

When you are drafting an Arena deck the general consensus is that you want to have around 6 2-drops, 4 3-drops and 6 4-drops. The rest of your deck will ideally be filled with removal, board clears and bigger threats. This gives you the consistency you need to curve out early game and maintain tempo throughout to win until you play a big threat and overwhelm your opponent. The reasons for having these total numbers of x mana drops is because it will give you the basis for a good mid-range deck, and it is far, far easier to build a mid range arena deck than any other type. It's possible to build aggro and control decks, but the vast majority of the time you just will not be given the opportunity to build anything but mid-range.

 

I'm going to go real basic and talk about what constitutes a 2-drop, 3-drop etc. Generally a drop is something that you can play on to an empty board, which essentially means minions. However, if you find yourself with only 3-4 2 mana minions, certain spells and reactive cards also count as 2 drops for your arena run. I am thinking here of frostbolt, flamecannon, darkbomb etc. Anything that costs two mana and can remove their 2 drop can be considered a drop due to the regularity of you being able to play it on turn two. Weapons also fulfil these criteria. If on turn 2 or 4 your only mana efficient play is equip a Fiery Win Axe or Truesilver with nothing to use it on, then you equip that bad boy and be all like 'And what? You don't have Ooze motherfucker!'. Ideally, you would want these kinds of drops in addition to your 6 minions, but if you are struggling to draft 2 drops, and the ones on offer absolutely suck in comparison to other choices (Basically any 2 mana 2/2 or worse) your deck is still looking good if you have viable reactive cards to play early game. That said, the fantastic 3-4 mana cards that are available to some classes (Shadow Strike, Lava Burst, Blessing of Kings, Consecrate, Sap etc) that are capable of getting amazing value do not count as drops because you just do not want to play them early game. They are situational cards that you will almost always need to save for value and tempo. Then there are cards like Shattered Sun, Knife Juggler, Ravaging Ghoul etc which are amazing cards, but I don't like to think of as drops because even though you can play them on to an empty board, you don't want to unless you are completely desperate. Then, obviously, you have cards like Ancestral Knowledge, Equality, Humility, Repentance, most Hunter traps and so on that you are never going to play on curve and also do not count towards your 'drop' count.

 

It's really important to say at this point that this 6-4-6 spread isn't sacrosanct. It's definitely a target you should be aiming for, and which I definitely look to fulfil in every draft, but sometimes the draft just won't let you. If you are 15 cards in and you have 10 2-drops, then you are going aggro and there's nothing you can do about it. I recently had a 10 win Shaman deck that only had one card that cost more than 4 mana (bloodlust). I had like 12 2 mana cards and 10 3 mana cards, which again is normally terrible, but I also had 2x Cult Master, a Mana Tide Totem and Ancestral Knowledge. The deck was so aggro that I could tempo out at the beginning of every game by just vomiting cards on to the board, and as soon as I drew one my card draw engines like Mana Tide or Cult Master, I would gain a massive resource advantage of small minions that I could use to dominate the game whilst waiting for bloodlust. I went face more than I traded in that run, because I knew with no threats to play in late game, I had to get them low as soon as possible without sacrificing the board before I ran out of steam. All the games I lost were games where I didn't draw CM or MTT. In fact, during the draft of that deck, one of my last choices (28 or 29th card iirc) was something like Cult Master/North Sea Kraken/Fire Ele. In that situation I would almost never pick CM, given the ridiculous strength of the other two cards, but my deck needed the draw way more than a tempo swing to be viable.

 

On the other extreme I had a 12 win mage deck that had a zombie chow and 3 2-drops and 2 3-drops. This would normally mean you'd be screwed, but the deck also had 2x flamestrike, blizzard, 3x fireball, polymorph, flamelance, pyroblast, antique healbot and an ice block. Even if I lost the tempo game early it was virtually impossible for people to outvalue me because no matter what they did I had an answer and could eventually just blow them up with my pyro finisher. That said, I still mulliganed super hard for those 4 cards I could play on turn 2 every game. All my 2 drops had good battlecry effects as well, like sunfury protector, which you would prefer to use later, but if sunfury was all I had, then it was getting played. It is incredibly rare you will get the chance to craft a control deck like that, and more likely, but still rare, to be able to build an effective aggro deck. One of the most important ways to improve at arena is recognising what kind of deck you are building and what the win condition is. One of the reasons I've stopped using sites like heartharena is because they always push you towards building a mid-range deck, even if you have the makings of an excellent control or aggro deck. They would never have picked CM in that situation, especially with it being the second copy. Being able to recognise that you have to grind or go face with a certain deck is really high on the arena skill ceiling, but is what you should be aiming for if you want to be able to become an infinite player. The most important thing to recognise if you end up halfway through a draft with a deck full of small minions, or big minions and lots of clear/removal, then you have to be ready to alter the way you draft to get the most out of the type of deck that your draft is heading towards.

 

So to answer the actual question then, why are 2 drops and 4 drops more important than 3 drops? The simple tl;dr answer is pure card quality. 2 and 4 mana minions are on average much better quality than 3 drops. You can even extend this to even drops are on average better quality than odd drops, although it becomes more stretched at this point.

 

When I say quality, in arena, this always comes down to stats. Attack and health. Chillwind Yeti is always taken as the baseline for a better than average card because of its stats. It is a vanilla card, meaning it has no card text, so stats are all you get. You pay 4 mana, you get 9 stats. So, for a better than average vanilla card statwise, the criteria you are looking for you cards to fulfil is for their total health and attack to be equal to 2xmanacost+1. So a better than average card for mana costs will look something like 2 mana/5 stats; 3 mana/7 stats, 4 mana/9 stats and so on (I haven't included 1 drops because they are weird and don't conform to this rule at all). The next thing you want to look at is the stat distribution. For 2 drops the answer for 'which is better 2/3 or 3/2' has always been 3/2 apart from during GVG when Shielded Minibot was absolutely everywhere. Even then, the difference isn't very large as both cards will trade evenly with the other, but 3/2s always tend to win out because that 1 extra attack is far, far more important on any turn after turn 2. For any other mana cost, you always want to look for the higher health statline. 3/4 beats 4/3, 4/5 beats 5/4, 5/6 beats 6/5 (even though 6/5 doesn't exist as far as I am aware). This is because once you get to 3 mana+ turns, you are looking to have your minions survive as long as possible. This is also true for below average cards. So for turn 3 you want a card that is 2/4 rather than a 4/2 and on 4 a 3/5 is better than 4/4. On turn 2 you just want to play something and it doesn't matter which way round the stats are.

 

Better than average cards for 2 drops are numerous, vanilla cards like Raptor and Crocolisk are better than average, if they have text like Flame Juggler then they go from above average to really good. If I listed all of the 2 drops that had 5 stats at 3/2 it would take me ages. There are bloody loads. Then you move on to 3 drops. The most common statline on a 3 mana card is 3/3. Dies to a 3/2. So which of them have 7+ stats with a 4+ health statline? Spider Tank, Spellslinger, Dark Acolyte, Ogre Brute, Dancing Swords, Unearthed Raptor, Fierce Monkey, Druid of the Flame and Deathlord. That's it. 7 better than average cards that can survive a 3/2. 5 of them are class cards, so you only need to worry about them against that class, 1 of them is rare and 1 has a serious downside. That leaves Spider Tank and Ogre Brute for better than average neutral commons. None of them are in the most recent expansion, so nobody gets increased offerings for them. Chances are very high in almost every game that your 2 drops will trade with their 3 drop and vice versa. So in terms of 2 drops alone, chances are your 3 will be eaten by a 2. Then you come to the other good 3 drops that don't have better than average stats. The best 3 drop in arena is Imp Gang Boss, because you are almost always guaranteed 8 stats if not more (2/4+1/1 minimum) off it. All the other good 3 mana cards I have not mentioned get their power from their text, like Harvest Golem, and Scarlet Crusader. The other good 3s are situational, like Shattered Sun Cleric, Argent Rider (only 3 stats, but more than made up for by the charge and divine shield) and Earthen Ring Farseer (dat text effect).  If I have to I will tempo out these cards on to an empty board, but I'm never happy about it. You'll notice that lots of these minions have one health (harvest golem deathrattle included), meaning that if you are against a mage or rogue, which is like 70% of the arena past 5 wins, these cards lose a lot of their awesomeness by being dealt with by a simple hero power (same for 2/4 minions which can trade with 3/2s and then die to hero power, but also can't trade with 2/3s which is why that statline sucks). Ultimately, when it comes down to averages and likelihood of having a 3 mana drop on turn 3, it will die to a 2 drop. We've all been there on turn 3, having missed our turn 2, and having to play a flesheating ghoul or similar because it is the only card you can play, knowing it will die to a lowly Raptor. Feelsbadman. It happens all the time though because most 3 drops suck.

 

But not always! Sometimes, your 3/3 or Flesheating Ghoul will survive. And then they play their 4 drop. That 4 drop will almost always have 5 health and eat your 3 drop for free. Even if it has 4 health (Heckler, Plainstrider etc), they will go 2 for one against your smaller minion. If you have played a Spider Tank and eaten that 2/3, the Sen'Jin/Abberant Berserker/Trogg/Yeti etc that gets played next turn by your opponent will laugh at your Spider Tank and then trade for something else too. I mean, you could have a Dark Iron Dwarf or something in hand ready for that, but mostly your 3 drop will either die to a 2 drop, or get eaten by a 4 drop that survives. Pretty much every time. Because card quality. As you get later in to the game, and it becomes possible to play multiple cards on one turn and the number of choices goes up, the pure stats of cards becomes less important and that's where the real skill comes in to it.

 

There is one other reason why 2 and 4 drops are more important than 3 drops. Turn 4 is one of the most important turns, and if you can't play something turn 4 then you have probably lost already. If you can't play a 4 drop on turn 4, then playing 2 2drops on turn 4 will always be better than playing a 3 drop and in some cases is better than playing a 4 drop. If you have more 2 drops, you have a better chance of doing this if you miss your 4drop. The first time you can play two 3 drops is turn 6. Even if you can play two Spider Tanks on turn 6, a Yeti and a 2/3 or 3/2 will always be better, because even though it has the same statline (14 vs 14). In all scenarios where you are comparing better than average vanilla minions, the 2 drop and 4 drop win in terms of survivability over the double 3s.

 

I hope that helps. I got a bit rambly at the end there, it's late.

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Really liked listening to Ben Brode addressing the whole Purify furore. I do agree they've probably screwed up with Priest again this expansion, though it might well be the class they are most afraid of getting out of control. But hearing him calmly explain their decision making was really great regardless. Can't help but really like the guy, looking forward to his cameos at Blizzcon already! Here's the video if you haven't seen it.

 

 

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It's nice to hear them listen to feedback and make a minor course correction, but I can't understand how they ever thought that card would work. He talks about the team of internal playtesters in the same breath as the intention that the card makes for fun decks rather than competitive decks. I imagine it was a wide net of colleagues having fun experimenting with it rather than trying to beat each other. What other environment would you have the option to try and have fun? The other guy is always trying to beat you.  

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7 hours ago, shirubagan said:

Loving the Aggro Warlock deck in the current Brawl. 8:0 at the moment. :)

 

Yup, same here. I got about that far then the matchmaking started giving me people who knew what they were doing. Either way, it's a fun enough brawl to OCD level a class. I'm dangerously close to being 60 with everyone.

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