Posted by: Grumpy | December 30, 2013

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 37,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

What’s With the Flood of Hearthstone Posts?

HearthstonePlayers

It’s sad really. HearthstonePlayers.com will be closing it’s shiny doors sometime soon. Liam, the guy managing the site, is moving on to work for ManaGrind and the guy who owns the site isn’t interested in keeping it open right now. So really soon now, the site will come down. I wanted to keep the stuff that I wrote over there (at least the good stuff) online, so I copied it over here.

You’ll notice everything is in reverse order. Sorry about that. I copied it most recent first and posting the oldest, last. So that makes it look first on this blog.

Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

Ask Anduin #1 (July 5th, 2013)

“Tong! I believe we are ready to begin,” explained the young black dragon. With a quick bow the Pandaren turned to go about his task and Wrathion moved toward his guest. “Please my young human friend, make yourself comfortable.” He gestured for Anduin to sit. 
 
“Thank you, you are very kind,” said the Crown Prince of Stormwind. Beside them was a large wooden table of the sort used in seedy taverns for dining or gaming. Anduin’s muscles protested as he eased himself into the chair across from Wrathion. It had been some time since the battle at the Divine Bell. The Alliance healers had made remarkable progress but he was far from being completely recuperated. 
 
The Pandaren returned and placed a small parcel wrapped in windwool cloth in the center of the table and then began to pour tea for the two princes. 
 
“Thank you Tong. That will be all.” Wrathion dismissed his servant with the wave of a hand then returned his attention to Anduin and began to explain, “During their tireless searches for auction-able materials with which to make profit, Madam Goya’s associates have come across a new game.” The young dragon picked up the package in front of him and began to unwrap it slowly, revealing two smaller packages. One he placed in front of Anduin. “I am hoping this will relieve some of the tedium while you recover from your injuries.”
 
“Interesting,” remarked Anduin. “And quite thoughtful of you. Shall we play now?” He examined the package in front of him lifting up one corner to have a peek at the markings underneath. It looked like a stack of playing cards wrapped in leather, bound and sealed with a small rune-marked stone that reminded him of his own hearthstone. 
 
“Of course,” the black dragon smiled. The two of them glanced down examining their packs. Anduin broke the seal first, grinning broadly as he revealed his first card. 
 
“Jaina Proudmoore”
 
He rubbed his chin and wondered, now what would Aunt Jaina do in his shoes?

(Well, it COULD have happened that way!)

Welcome to the first edition of “Ask Anduin” our weekly Question and Answer column about Blizzard’s new game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Let’s jump right in.

Questions:

1. Can two people play together or is it a solo game?

Player vs. Player is the central method of play. You can play against a random person selected for you by Battle.net matchmaking or you can challenge people on your friends list. There is also solo play vs AI if you want to play alone or test your new decks before letting them loose on the wild.

2. What if you get multiple cards that are the same? Can you get rid of them?

Blizzard has introduced a crafting mechanic in Hearthstone where you can disenchant cards that you don’t want. Disenchanting cards leaves you with a pile of arcane dust. Then you can use the dust to craft the cards that you DO want. So you’ll be able to make that awesome “Lord Jaraxxus, Eredar Lord of the Burning Legion” card that you want. It’s very similar to enchanting in World of Warcraft and a nice alternative to buying card packs.

3. Which is your favorite hero/deck and why?

The title of the column kind of gives it away doesn’t it? My main character in World of Warcraft is a troll shadow priest. And all of the Fireside Duels that have featured the priest deck have really drawn me in. I like the combination of healing, doing damage, and borrowing the other players minions. And who wouldn’t like a 10/10 lightwell?

4. Is online the only option for playing?

Right now we don’t know. My initial feeling about this is that it will be online only due to the storage requirements on tablet devices. Right now there are about 18 different AI settings for single player mode. Normal and Expert for each class. I expect that would take up a big chunk of memory on a tablet. We want people to keep Hearthstone on their tablet instead of deleting it to make room for their next movie rental. So I expect the AI will be running on the server and the client will just relay messages and drive the cool display graphics. I could be completely wrong about that though. We wont know for sure until we see it in beta.

5. Why haven’t I heard back regarding my beta opt-in?

Because the beta hasn’t started yet (At least, not when I’m writing this). Don’t worry, it will very soon. It’s not an “Opt-in get immediate beta access” kind of thing at all. Initially it will be a closed beta and you’ll need to be selected to participate. There are a few other things to consider. I wrote a guide on how to Opt-in here.

6. When will the beta begin?

Technically sometime between now and September 21st. However, during last week’s Fansite Mixer a question was asked about a card being updated and the answer was that it would be updated very soon. But then they added that Beta was coming before that card receives an update. So read that how you like.

7. What about possible deck setups? Or tactics?

Now we’re getting to the meat of things! It’s always fun to talk strategy and tactics but right now is a bit early to talk specifics. We’ve already seen pretty large deck changes in the last patch and I expect there will be more as beta goes on. Lucky for us Liam Hockley wrote a great article on the different type of decks and how to use them. You can find it right here.

8. Why did you name the column “Ask Anduin?”

Alliteration’s Always Awesome!

9. How often will you be writing this column?

The initial target is weekly. However, it depends on the questions being asked. I can adjust according to how many questions we receive. So if you..

Have questions about Blizzard’s new Hearthstone game? Leave them right here in the comments. I’ll try and answer them in the next column. ~ Jim

Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

What To Do While We Wait

Friday’s stream of The Arena (formerly known as The Forge) showed us that the current Hearthstone build isn’t quite ready for prime time. It’s getting there but there were a few graphical glitches that stood out. The biggest issue was the server disconnect that took a lot of the scheduled play time to fix. It looks like the Hearthstone beta isn’t quite as imminent as I thought it was. So what can we do while we wait?

One thing that many people are doing is posting threads on the official forums asking and trying to pressure Blizzard into starting the beta. Bad people! The blues at Blizzard have enough on their hands without having to read that all day long. I’d like to discourage that behavior and suggest a few alternatives.

Hearthstone Lodge, Idaho

Road Trip!

There are still eight weeks of summer left. That’s plenty of time to take a cool Hearthstone related road trip. But where to go? There’s Hearthstone Castle in Danbury, CT. It was listed on the National Register of Historical places in 1987 but has since been closed to the public due to safety. The pictures of the castle look really cool. It’d be nice if someone could renovate this place and re-open it.

If you’re in the Midwest there’s the Hearthstone Coffeehouse and Pub in Fishers, IN, just outside Indianapolis.

And of course there’s the Hearthstone Lodge in northern Idaho. Although it looks like Ben Brode got there first.

Sculpting

There are dozens of examples of people sculpting hearthstones on the internet forjewelrykey-chainscustom soaps, and phone charms. Here is a video showing how one person sculpts theirs out of polymer clay.

sculpt_video

Cooking

It seems like there are even more examples of cooking hearthstone style on the interwebs. Cookiescakes, and cinnamon rolls to name a few. Here’s Rosanna Pansino and WowCrendor on the Nerdy Nummies YouTube channel making Hearthstone candies.

NN_video

Sewing

Pillowssewncrochetedknitted, it doesn’t matter. If needlework is your thing there are many ways to make your own hearthstone. I’d love to see someone do the whole hearthstone box as a pillow.

hspillows

Opt-In

Finally, if you haven’t opted in for the beta lottery you can still do so. Just follow the instructions here.

As you can see there are plenty of things to keep you busy while we wait for the beta release. There’s no need spam the forums. If you know of a cool Hearthstone related place to visit, or a recipe, or craft that I haven’t mentioned please let us know in the comments.

Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

Hearthstone Priest 101

I have to say that the priest deck in Hearthstone is one of the most entertaining decks to play. It’s combination of cards that take the opponents strengths and twist them to our side along with it’s buffing spells and end game nukes make it enormously fun to play and watch. The following is a strategy that can be used to successfully play the priest deck. It is written for the beginning of game play when you don’t have many epic or legendary cards. However, many of the ideas presented should carry over into later stages of the game’s lifetime. I do list a few epic and legendary cards that will help out so that you can be on the look out for them.

Overall Strategy

The priest deck isn’t very strong at the start of play. This is the time where priests are in danger of being overrun. We don’t have a lot of priest specific minions. So you’ll have to grab some useful neutral minions. We’ll go over that in more detail below. But the overall strategy for priests is to survive until the end game and then bring out the big guns. If we can harass, damage and remove resources from our opponent along the way then so much the better.

Survive

It’s been said that the priest deck becomes more terrifying with every turn. Let’s see how that happens.

Tactics

Tactics are the things you do to achieve the overall strategy. These are probably not the only tactics out there. But they work for me.

Harass, Heal, Extend:

(Survival) This is pretty self explanatory. Heal your self so that you survive until the end game. Use your hero power and healing minions. Along the way take out the opponents taunters and other minions. Do damage to the opponent’s hero if you can. Don’t let the opponent get too many minions or you’ll be overrun.

Tanks Are Our Friends:

(Survival) Tanks protect the adventurers in World of Warcraft by keeping the boss attacking themselves instead of the party members. In Hearthstone that function is provided by taunt minions. As long as you have taunt minions on the board you are relatively safe from attack. There are some exceptions to this of course. Some spells and minions can bypass taunt minions. A good rule of thumb is to keep a taunt minion up as much as possible.

Send Them On A Wild Goose Chase:

(Survival) This tactic baits the opponent into spending precious resources on something that isn’t important to your plan. Many of us have seen the Fireside Duel where Hearthstone Community Manager Zeriyah played a warlock against a priest. The priest used the pump and switch tactic (see below) to create a very offensive 10/10 Lightwell that went on to do massive amounts of damage to the Warlock.

People who’ve seen that video will sometimes drop whatever plans they are working on and do whatever it takes to remove a Lightwell from the board before you can buff it. This is a great way to get them to spend resources that they could have otherwise been using to kill your hero.

Dropping a Core Hound can have the same affect. At 9/5 your opponent can’t afford to leave that on the table or they will take 9 damage somewhere during the next turn. They pretty much have to remove it and in doing so will spend resources.

Preventing Card Starvation:

(Survival) Card Starvation happens when you play all of the cards in your hand and the only cards you have left to play are those you are dealt at the beginning of your turn. It’s also called playing off the top of the deck. This is a bad thing because your options are limited by whatever the next card is. It would be better to have a selection of cards in your hand to pick from.

To prevent this problem we put cards in our deck that cause us to draw more cards.Loot Hoarder and Northshire Cleric are good examples of these kind of cards. Cards like Mind Vision and Thoughtsteal copy cards from your opponents hand into yours and also help. Also it’s really fun to polymorph a mage’s minions or hex a shaman’s.

What Was Briefly Yours is Now Mine:

(Big Guns) We can learn a lot from René Belloq and I’m not talking about how to get your face melted.  I’m talking about taking control of your opponent’s minions and using them against him. Mind Control does just that. It is arguably the most fun card to play in the entire priest deck. Imagine if you will, your opponent skillfully allowing you to lower his health so that he can play the enormously powerful Molten Giant card only to have you Mind Control the giant over to your side. I imagine your opponent tearing out his hair and screaming at the universe. But hey, I’m weird that way.

Mind Control has a little brother called Shadow Madness that takes control of a minion with 3 or less Attack power for this turn only. It’s useful for taking one of the opponents minions and pitting it against another minion. If you do it right they will destroy each other. Otherwise the minion goes back to the opponent at the end of your turn.

Mind Control Tech is a neutral minion that takes control of a random enemy minion if they have 4 or more of them.

Also Sylvanas Windrunner‘s deathrattle effect takes control of a random minion and would be a plus in a deck focused on this kind of removal.

The Pump And Switch:

(Big Guns) We buff the health of a minion with things like Power Word: Shield andDivine Spirit. Then we use Inner Fire to make the minion’s attack equal to it’s health. This makes very sturdy and very offensive minions.

That's a very offensive lightwell

Fireside Duel: Warlock vs Priest video is a good example of using this tactic to buff a lightwell.

Shadowy Goodness:

(Big Guns) The Auchenai Soulpriest twists healing into damage for as long and it’s on the board. So your Greater Heal becomes “Do 2 damage for every card in your opponent’s hand.”  Combine this with Prophet Velen and/or Malygos and you have one heck of a nuke.

Be very careful with this though. Once in play the Soulpriest changes your Lightwell and Holy Nova so that they damage friends.

Shadowform converts your hero power to “Do 2 (or 3) points of damage” and lasts until the end of the game.

Deck Building Advice

  • Get a wide variety of taunt minions.
  • And Neutral minions to fill in where the priest deck is weak
  • If your minions do more than one thing that’s even better.
  • Fill the rest of the deck with cards needed for the tactic you want to concentrate on.
  • That should give you way more than the 30 cards allowed in the Hearthstone deck.
  • Pare down the cards that are needed the least until you get to 30. Then play test and adjust from there.

A few example decks for you:

I’ve been playing the priest deck for a little over a week now and I’m really loving it. I hope this guide helps you get started and that you enjoy the class as much as I do.

DISCLAIMER: The game is in early beta and many of the cards and tactics mentioned above may change before the game goes live.

Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

Hearthstone Paladin 101

Paladin101-300x141

The Paladin deck in Hearthstone is one of the most forgiving, easy to learn and play decks in the game. I usually recommend it to new players for their first deck. That doesn’t mean it’s a pushover later in the game. It’s assortment of healing, secrets, weapons, buffing, and powerful minions makes it a difficult deck to defeat. The following is a strategy that can be used to successfully play the paladin deck. It is written for the beginning of game play when you don’t have many epic or legendary cards. However, many of the ideas presented should carry over into the later stages of your gaming experience. I’ve also listed some epic and legendary cards that will help out so you can be on the look out for them.

Overall Strategy

The paladin hero has many strong tools to damage the opponent and other abilities to limit the opponent’s use of his own tools.

Tactics

Tactics are the things you do to achieve the overall strategy. These are probably not the only tactics out there. But they work for me.

Harass, Heal, Extend:

This is pretty self explanatory. Heal yourself so that you survive until the end game. Use your hero power and healing minions. Along the way take out the opponents taunters and other minions. Do damage to the opponent’s hero if you can. Don’t let the opponent get too many minions or you’ll be overrun.

Tanks Are Our Friends:

Tanks protect the adventurers in World of Warcraft by keeping the boss attacking themselves instead of the party members. In Hearthstone that function is provided by taunt minions. As long as you have taunt minions on the board you are relatively safe from attack. There are some exceptions to this of course. Some spells and minions can bypass taunt minions. A good rule of thumb is to keep a taunt minion up as much as possible.

Send Them On A Wild Goose Chase:

This tactic baits the opponent into spending precious resources on something that isn’t important to your plan. Play a card that looks dangerous that your opponent will want to remove from the board.

Dropping a Core Hound is a good example. At 9/5 your opponent can’t afford to leave that on the table or they will take 9 damage somewhere during the next turn. They pretty much have to remove it and in doing so will spend resources that they could have been using to kill your hero.

Preventing Card Starvation:

Card Starvation happens when you play all of the cards in your hand and the only cards you have left to play are those you are dealt at the beginning of your turn. It’s also called playing off the top of the deck. This is a bad thing because your options are limited by whatever the next card is. It would be better to have a selection of cards in your hand to pick from.

To prevent this problem we put cards in our deck that cause us to draw more cards. Loot Hoarder and Divine Favor are good examples of these kind of cards.

Shields Up!:

We can’t quite Bubble – Hearth like in Wow, but the Paladin can bubble his minions. The Argent Protector, for instance, can bubble a friendly minion while Hand of Protection is a spell that does the same thing.

Big Heals:

The paladin has a couple of methods to keep his health up there.  Holy Light costs 2 mana crystals and restores 6 health. Guardian of Kings gives you a 5/6 minion and heals your hero for 6 health. Lay on Hands heals you for 8 and costs 8 mana.

Weapons:

Paladins are one of the few classes that gets to use weapons in Hearthstone. Light’s Justice is cheap and does 1 damage with 4 durability. That means it can be used 4 times before it becomes destroyed. The Truesilver Champion does 4 damage and it heals you for 2 heath, but only has a 2 durability. The Sword of Justice doesn’t hit for much but it has the ability to add +1/+1 to each summoned minion. Every minion reduces it’s durability by 1.

Finally, the Ashbringer isn’t a usual weapon. You gain it’s use when the legendary card Tirion Fordring dies.

Shrinkage Problems:

This tactic allows you to lower a stat on your opponent’s minion. For instanceEquality takes all minions health to 1 hp. The Aldor Peacekeeper and Humilityreduce the Attack Power of your opponents minion to 1.

Nasty Little Secrets:

Paladins get to play secrets. Secrets are actions that are hidden from your opponent which only trigger under certain conditions. For instance, when you are attacked Noble Sacrifice summons an new target for the attack. When you are damaged Eye For An Eye reflects that damage on your opponent.

Board Clear:

Equality changes ALL minions health (Yours included) to 1 hp. Follow that up withConsecration for a total board wipe. Obviously this is only good at certain times. You wouldn’t want to play this when you have a lot of minions on the board.

Legendary:

Who wouldn’t want Tirion Fordring in their deck just for the chance to wield theAshbringer (5/3)!

Deck Building Advice

  • Get a wide variety of taunt minions.
  • And neutral minions to fill in where the paladin deck is weak.
  • If your minions do more than one thing that’s even better.
  • Fill the rest of the deck with cards needed for the tactics you want to concentrate on.
  • Think mana curve when building your deck – not only ramping up, but what you can cast together with 5-10 mana.
  • Take your time. Having two copies isn’t always the best solution, if they don’t fit.
  • You probably now have way more than the 30 cards allowed in the Hearthstone deck.
  • Pare down the cards that are needed the least until you get to 30. Then play test and adjust from there.

Have a tactic that I missed? Have more deck building advice? Please share it with us in the comment section below.

DISCLAIMER: The game is in early beta and many of the cards and tactics mentioned above may change before the game goes live.

Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

Hearthstone Hunter 101

hunter101

Our ol’ buddy Rexxar is quite the hero. He saved Orgrimmar and the Horde over and over again before settling down with his faithful pet bear Misha at Thunderlord Stronghold in the Blades Edge Mountains. In fact he’s the perfect hero to represent hunters in Hearthstone.

The Hunter deck in Hearthstone is one of the easiest to learn and play in the game. I recommend it to new players for their first deck outside of the mage of course. That does not mean that Hunters are a pushover later in the game. It’s assortment of skills makes it a difficult deck to defeat. The following is a strategy that can be used to successfully play the hunter deck. It is written for the beginning of game play when you don’t have many epic or legendary cards. However, many of the ideas presented should carry over into the later stages of your gaming experience. I’ve also listed some epic and legendary cards that will help out later on so you can be on the look out for them.

Overall Strategy

Rexxar has many strong tools to damage the opponent and the strong synergy between hunters and beasts makes him extremely powerful.

General Tactics

Tactics are the things you do to achieve the overall strategy. This first group of tactics are general in nature and apply to all classes.

Harass, Heal, Extend:

This is pretty self explanatory. Use minions that heal so that you can survive longer. Along the way take out the opponents taunters and other minions. Do damage to the opponent’s hero if you can. Don’t let the opponent get too many minions or you’ll be overrun.

Tanks Are Our Friends:

Tanks protect the adventurers in World of Warcraft by keeping the bosses attention on them instead of the party members. In Hearthstone that function is provided by taunt minions. As long as you have taunt minions on the board your hero and other minion are relatively safe from attack. There are some exceptions to this of course. Some spells and minions can bypass taunt minions. A good rule of thumb is to keep a taunt minion up as much as possible.

Send Them On A Wild Goose Chase:

This tactic baits the opponent into spending precious resources on something that isn’t important to your plan. Play a card that looks dangerous so that your opponent will want to remove from the board.

Dropping a Core Hound is a good example. At 9/5 your opponent can’t afford to leave that on the table or they will take 9 damage somewhere during the next turn. They pretty much have to remove it and in doing so will spend resources that they could have been using to kill your hero.

Preventing Card Starvation:

Card Starvation happens when you play all of the cards in your hand and the only cards you have left to play are those you are dealt at the beginning of your turn. It’s also called playing off the top of the deck. This is a bad thing because your options are limited by whatever the next card is. It would be better to have a selection of cards in your hand to pick from.

To prevent this problem we put cards in our deck that cause us to draw more cards. Loot Hoarder and Divine Favor are good examples of these kind of cards.

Getting Rid of That Annoying Thing

Being able to get rid of an annoying ability or that taunter that is in your way is incredibly helpful. If you don’t have an ability that Silences or Dispels a minion keep a couple of minions in your deck that do. The Ironbeak Owl comes to mind right off the bat and is a beast so it works well with hunters. Actually it works well in any deck.

578

Hunter Tactics

Now on to the Hunter specific tactics.

Nasty Little Secrets:

Hunters get to play secrets. Secrets are actions that are hidden from your opponent which only trigger under certain conditions. For instance, if your opponent plays a minion card Snipe automatically deals 4 damage to it. When you’ve played Misdirection, if an enemy attacks your hero the attack will instead hit another random target. It could be your opponent’s or yours. There are a few other traps. I’ll let you discover how much fun they are.

Weapons:

Hunter’s have two weapon that they can wield (at the time that I’m writing this). The Eaglehorn Bow has 3 attack and 2 durability but whenever a secret is revealed it get’s +1 durability.

The Gladiator’s Longbow has 5 attack and 2 durability for a cost of 7 mana. It makes your hero immune when attacking. Which is especially handy when dealing with really large  attack power minions. It’s epic though so it will be difficult to come by.

Synergy With Beasts

The synergy between hunters and beasts is so strong that many deck building guides just flat out say try to get the cards listed below. If you don’t have a card that is listed just fill in with any beast until you can get the card in question. A lot of the beast buff other beasts and a few of the hunter’s abilities either help beasts or do more damage when the hunter controls other beasts.

TL:DR = Get Moar Beasts!

Hero Power

The hunter hero power is Steady Shot. It does 2 damage to your opponent’s hero, bypassing taunt, etc. Unfortunately you can’t use it against minions. It’s really easy to forget to use your hero power. So remember it.

Deck Building Advice

  • Get a wide variety of taunt minions.
  • Beasts are best.
  • If your minions do more than one thing that’s even better.
  • Fill the rest of the deck with cards needed for the tactics you want to concentrate on.
  • Think mana curve when building your deck – not only ramping up, but what you can cast together with 5-10 mana.
  • Take your time. Having two copies is not always the best solution if they don’t fit.
  • You probably now have way more than the 30 cards allowed in the Hearthstone deck.
  • Pare down the cards that are needed the least until you get to 30. Then play test and adjust from there.

Here’s an example of a Hunter Aggro/Control Deck. I’ve used a variation of it for a while now and have done really well with it. The deck does list some epic cards that are going to be difficult to obtain at first. But that’s alright, just fill in the cards that you don’t have with other beast minions. You’ll do fine.

You can always put the cards into the deck as you earn or craft them later on.

Here’s another example of a Hunter Control Deck. I haven’t tried this one yet (mainly because I don’t have most of the cards yet), but it looks interesting.

Have a tactic that I missed? Have more deck building advice? Please share it with us in the comment section below.

DISCLAIMER: The game is in early beta and many of the cards and tactics mentioned above may change before the game goes live.

Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

Zala vs MikeB

One night, before the big account wipe, I was trying to get the Warlock Dominance daily quest finished. It had you win five matches with that deck. I don’t usually play Gul’dan (I usually play the Hunter or Pally) so I hadn’t built the deck up much. But over the course of the evening I’d been able to piece together 4 out of 5 wins. I just needed one more win to get the 60 gold. Then I could buy another pack of cards.

So the matchmaker spins and finds me a worthy opponent, akamikeb, who I remember from watching Legendary over on Gamebreaker.tv and has recently been doing the Hearthstoned videos. So we fought for two matches. The first was my lock against his priest. The second was against his rogue.

To my surprise he recorded it for an episode of Hearthstoned. The video is pretty cool. You get to hear what Mike is thinking during the game and his commentary is always fun and entertaining. So here it is Hearthstoned, Episode #12 where I lost one and won one against MikeB.

vod

… and I FINALLY finished the Warlock Dominance quest.

Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

Stupidly Great Combos #1

I just had this happen to me (/facepalm). I figured I’d highlight it since it made my head spin when it hit me. It’s an incredibly great Warrior combo if you can piece it together.

I’ll set the scene. It’s the end game. I’m playing Rexxar and am just about out of cards. My opponent, Garrosh, has been holding on to some cards the whole game and drawing things out. He’s obviously waiting to set something up. I don’t remember the specifics as far as what card was played when, but it took two turns and he ended up with this on the board.

1 –  Gurubashi Berserker (5 mana cost)
2 – Amani Berserkers (4 mana cost)
2 – Frothing Berserkers (6 mana cost)

That’s 5 cards for a total of 15 mana. I only had two tiny cards on the board (probably not the ones in the picture, I can’t remember exactly what they were) and was playing off the top of the deck. Yeah I know, I need more draw cards, or I shouldn’t have played so many early on. But I digress, that’s not the point of this article.

I wish I had taken a screenshot of it. I didn’t, but I’ll recreate the board with HSDeck’s puzzle generator.

ouch

This is going to hurt!

THEN he drops a Whirlwind doing 1 damage to every card on the board.

Let’s do the math.

Gurubashi Berserker takes one damage and enrages going to 5/6.
Amani Berserkers each take 1 damage and enrage, each of them going to 5/2.
The Frothing Berserkers gain 1 attack for each minion that was damaged. The warrior had 5 minions damaged and I had 2 minions that took damage, for 7 total. So each of the Frothing Berserkers went up to 9/3.

5 + 5 +5 +9 + 9 = 33 damage incoming.

Needless to say I was a crater in a matter of seconds.

Well played Garrosh, well played.

Have you seen any really great combos during your play? Let us know about them in the comments below.

Special thanks to HSDeck.com for the awesome Hearthstone puzzle generator that allowed me to reconstruct this combo from memory.

Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

To Concede, or Not

hs_board_wow

You find yourself with no possible way of winning. You have a couple of minor cards on the board that can only do a few of points of damage. You’re opponent has a wall of minions both large and small waiting to grind you into sausage many of them are taunters. You have nothing in your hand that can save you. No taunters in sight and you’re very low on health. You’re in a no win situation.

Do you concede, or not?

It’s an interesting question at this point in the game’s life when no standards of etiquette have been established.

On one hand you have the established norms from other card games. In Magic: The Gathering, from what I’ve heard from other players, if you are in a no win situation you should concede. In fact it’s frowned upon if you draw the game out unnecessarily.

In Hearthstone this does a couple of things for you. It gets you your gold reward quicker and gets you into your next game quicker.

On the other hand if you do concede you are denying your opponent the reward of seeing your character blow up leaving a crater. You’re denying him or her the satisfaction of landing that killing blow or executing a skillfully crafted combination.

Those are rewards, of a non-substantial kind sure, but they are rewards none-the-less. And rewards in games are important. Should you deny your opponent that reward?

What do you think? Do you concede when you’re in a no win situation? Or do you let the winner get his or her “explosive” reward? Let us know in the comments below.

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