Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

Let Slip the Murlocs of War

Cry Havoc! And Let Slip The Murlocs Of War! (That needs to be a t-shirt!)

Much like their World of Warcraft counterparts, Murlocs in Hearthstone like to work in packs. They have buff mechanics that strengthen others of their kind and if you have enough of them together at the same time they become an interweaving buffed up wall of scales, fins, and razor sharp teeth. Today we talk about the Murloc Deck. Mrrrrrrrgl!

Let take a look at how well these cards synergize with each other.

  • Murloc Raider is a 2/1 for 1 and doesn’t have any special text. He’s good for bumping up the number of Murlocs on the field though.
  • Murloc Tidehunter is a 2/1 for 2 mana and he summons a 1/1 Murloc Scout to the party. Bumping up the number of Murlocs on the board is a good thing as we’ll see when we get to the higher cost cards.
  • Grimscale Oracle is a 1/1 for 1 and he gives all other murlocs on the board +1 attack.
  • Murloc Tidecaller 1/2 for 1 and he gains +1 attack when another murloc is summoned.
  • Coldlight Seer is a 2/3 for 3 that draws two cards for you AND your opponent.
  • Murloc Warleader is a 3/3 for 3 that gives all other murlocs +2 attack and +1 health.
  • Finally there is Old Murk-Eye who has charge and gains +1 attack for every murloc on the board. Both your murlocs and your opponents count. He is a 2/4 for 4.

As you can see, with enough of these guys on the board they become extremely powerful. However, they are also low health minions so they are extremely vulnerable to AOE spells and abilities. We’ll talk about how to mitigate that in a bit. But right now this is what you’re striving for…

 

MurlocLocDeck

We need something to buff our Murloc army’s health so that they aren’t quite so squishy. In my case I’m using the Blood Imp from the Warlock deck. The imp gives my other minions +1 health and it has stealth so as long as you don’t attack with him and he stays away from AOE’s, etc., he continues to provide that buff. That +1 Health buff is just enough to make the murlocs difficult to kill until there are enough murlocs on the field to really be dangerous.

Our little fishy buddies are cheap and once your opponent has exhausted all of their AOE’s you can build another raiding party to ruin their day.

Here is my Warlock Murloc deck….

Cost / Card / Quantity

Most of the other cards are for removal of obstacles that your opponent may place in your path. Summoning Portals make playing cards a little cheaper. If you get in trouble during the end game Jaraxxus and Ysera can help out. But if you play it right you’ll win before they can even be played.

I like the warlock for this, but other heroes work as well. Which hero do you play with your murlocs and why? Let us know in the comments below.

Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

New Ranking System

newrankingsystem

During their Fireside Chat last Friday at Blizzcon, Eric Dodds and Ben Brode explained that the current ranking system is confusing and frustrating to try and understand (and I agree with that). So they came up with a new system which they explained.

Basically, it’s like this…

There will be seasons for ranked play and each season will be a month long. At the end of a season, if you did what is required, you will be rewarded with new artwork for the backs of your cards. We’re not sure what the requirement for that is yet. It could be earn a certain rank, or play/win a certain number of ranked matches, etc.

newcardbacks

New card backs. This one is based on Pandaria.

There are 25 ranks that you can earn. Each has the picture of a minion on it. Except for Rank 1 which is the Hearthstone Innkeeper.

newranks

The 25 ranks

Your rank has a number of stars above the minion portrait. Earn all of the stars and you’ll go up to the next rank. Generally it’s win one game and earn a star. But at higher ranks this may change. You might have to win more games to earn a star and you might even lose a star if you lose a game. Lose enough games and you might lose a rank.

stars

Earn stars to gain a rank

If you make it to Rank 1 you can earn one more rank above that called Legend. You can not lose the Legend rank until the monthly reset.

The Legend icon is an amber gemstone with a number on it. The number is your overall ranking among everyone in your region. Regions are North America, Europe, etc.

legend

Legend….275th in North America! woot!

The season is over at the end of the month/beginning of the next month. Your rank will be reset to Level 25 (Angry Chicken) and the whole process begins again.

It was unclear when this new system will be put in place, but with open beta coming next month it can’t be too long. They did mention that there will be a patch in a week or two but didn’t mention if this will be included in it.

What do you think of the new system? Is it easier to understand? Do you like the monthly reset? Let us know in the comments below.

Jim Meeker

 

A Classically Trained Gamer, Parrot Herder, Retired Sailor, and Team Member of Hearthstoneplayers.com. Be sure to get in touch with me at jim.meeker@gmail.com, with any feedback or suggestions. Follow me on Twitter at @Zalajin and check out the Hearthstone Players community on Google +.

Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

Rogue Post-Patch Aggression

postpatchaggro

Before the big patch Rogues ruled the Hearthstone landscape and the Miracle Rogue deck ruled them all. After that patch, well, not-so-much. Rogues got nerfed hard. In fact, according to Ezm0d and Noxious from ManaGrind they were not even represented in their tournaments after that patch (See their Tournament Metagame Forecast for some interesting info about the meta-game).

It has also led to me procrastinating and letting the Rogue/Druid Dominance and Rogue/Shaman Dominance daily quests pile up in my quest queue.

Until now that is. Enter the Post-Patch Aggression rogue deck…

    Cost / Card / Quantity

As you can see the highest cost card in the deck is 3 mana. Having all low cost cards means that you can play more combo’s. This deck really shines for me. I won 5 out of 6 games giving me both of the Rogue Dominance daily quests (in unranked mode). The only loss that I had was to a mage and I almost won that one (The mage drew a pyroblast on the last turn and destroyed me before I could land the winning blow).

Having all low cost cards can also lead to playing too many cards in a row and running out. Be careful to not get into the position of playing off the top of the deck. With classes that can draw out the game that can be very difficult to do. Which is why we put 2 of everything in the deck, to increase the chances that a useful card will pop up.

The deck is also very vulnerable to AOE spells.

It’s probably not going to win any tournaments, but it got me through the dailies with very few problems. Give it a try and let us know how you fared in the comments below.

Posted by: Grumpy | August 17, 2013

Hearthstone Update!

TitleGraphicTop

So the Hearthstone Beta started yesterday. I talked a little about what happened on the Hearthstone Players web site. But I think I’ll chronicle the progression of my heroes here on this blog.

I started out as Jaina and worked my way through the tutorial. It starts out easy and gets progressively more difficult. At the end I was on the edge of my seat wondering if I’d finish it or not. But I did. As long as you’re paying attention to what’s going on, you wont have any problems.

Once you’ve cleared the tutorial you can jump into the Practice Mode (aka Normal AI) and level your hero. There are 9 of them and at the beginning the only one you can play is Jaina. To unlock the other heroes you have to defeat them on normal AI.  I was (and still am) excited about the Priest deck so that was the first one that I unlocked. And I played the priest for a long time, trying to unlock the others. I was able to level him up to level 11. But defeating some of those heroes with a basic priest deck is really difficult. So I switched to Warlock and was able to finish up unlocking all of the heroes.

ChooseHero

Once you’ve unlocked all of them you get access to the Expert AI and the Arena. Which I saved for today. By the end of the night I’d leveled Anduin and Jaina to 11 and Gul’dan to 7.  That’s where I called it a night.

Today I tried the Arena. Which was probably a bad idea. I was familiar with the 3 classes that I’d leveled a bit so I figured at least one of the Hero Picks they gave me would be a familiar one. What I forgot was that with a 33% chance of getting a familiar class there is a 66% chance that you wont get one of those.

So I got Druid, Warrior, and Rogue. I’d seen that Druids are pretty strong so I picked that one. And I lost 3 games in a row. :(

The rest of today has been spent leveling Anduin to level 18 through the Normal Play mode. That is playing against other people.

Here are a few tips that I’ve learned…

1) When switching from Mage to Priest remember that your hero power now heals instead of doing damage. I don’t know how many times I accidentally healed the enemy when I meant to kill it.

2) At the bottom of the deck selection page there is a little arrow controller that switches between your constructed decks and the basic decks that are provided. The default setting is basic decks you have to switch it to play with your constructed deck. I made it all the way to level 14 before I realized this. Total noob mistake!

3) Don’t feel bad if you start out and are getting defeated a lot. That’s normal until you’ve had some time to build up your deck and learn how the different cards synergize.  You’ll get it. It’ll just take  time.

Good Luck! This game is a blast!

 

Posted by: Grumpy | July 11, 2013

Hey! Where’d I Go?

hearthstoneheader

Yes, my posts here have been few and far between. That’s because I got a new gig writing for HearthstonePlayers.com.  I’m writing about Blizzard’s new online collectible card game. So please go check it out!

Posted by: Grumpy | June 25, 2013

Account Security Alert!

Posted by: Grumpy | June 13, 2013

What’s Cooking at Hearthstone

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Earlier today Blizzard announced some changes and additions to their upcoming Hearthstone game. Here they are along with my thoughts on each…

Gold is Hearthstone’s new currencyUse your hard-earned Gold to purchase more packs of cards to complete your collection. Gold can also be used to gain entry into The Forge!

I’m very happy about this. After you’ve played your heart out to earn new card packs, or paid good money to buy them, it seemed wrong to have to pay those packs back just to get into The Forge. Paying with gold feels much better.

Explore the world of Hearthstone with QuestsImmerse yourself in new, ever-changing quests that you can complete to acquire valuable Gold. New Quests await you every day!

This seems like a really good idea to me. As fun and exciting as the Hearthstone card game looks, eventually it could get boring to some people with only the card game as the focus. Having daily quest goals (as well as achievements) gives us something else to do as well as another way to earn gold.  I wonder what the quests will be like? Defeat a Warrior today? Win a game vs Expert AI? Play 5 random players?

Leveling systemHave a favorite class? Level them up to new heights to gain basic and Golden basic cards the more you play. Gain experience for any game you play, win or lose –  you’ll gain additional experience for a well-fought victory.

This leads me to think that the higher your level the more cards, or perhaps better cards, you’ll earn. I can’t wait to level a priest! I have more questions though. What if you have more than one deck for a class? Can you even do that? I can think of different types of priest decks that I’d like to try. When you level, do you level the deck or the class? I guess we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

Battle your friendsWant to challenge your friends to a friendly fireside duel? You can now add them to your friends list and challenge them to a game. Talk about Hearthstone strategy as well with our added friends chat feature!

I completely expected this to be implemented soon. It’s one thing to restrict communication among random opponents (Probably a good thing), it’s another to restrict it among friends. I’m wondering how this will be implemented though. Will it be text based chat or voice? A Skype-like voice chat would be nice and it wouldn’t clutter up the playing field. I know my iPad does Skype nicely, so it’s not that much of a stretch. It’d have to be MUCH better than the in-game voice chat in WOW! It might be easier to just run Skype in the background.

cardframes

Card Changes

They’ve updated the card frames to make class cards more recognizable. And they’ve changed how some cards work.

  • Vaporize now triggers when an enemy minion attacks your hero.
  • Illidan Stormrage redesigned—you may want to grab some fire resistance gear for this change. For 6 mana, Illidan is a 7/6 minion that has the ability: “Whenever you play a card, summon a 2/1 Flame of Azzinoth.”
    • Extremely cool. I know someone who will like this a lot. Hey Illidarian!
  • Onyxia has a new power: “Battlecry: Summon 1/1 Whelps until your side of the battlefield is full.” Many whelps! Handle it!
    • THAT’S 50 DKP MINUS!!! Gotta love it.
  • Mind Vision now costs 1 mana and copies a card from your opponent’s hand.
  • Mind Control Tech has lost his mind and has built a new, more polished one. His new power reads: “Battlecry: If your opponent has 4 or more minions, gain control of one at random.

New Cards

Here are the new cards they announced today.

shieldslamfarsightsavanahhighmane

The Hearthstone Beta Fish

The Hearthstone Beta Fish

It’s almost summer. Is the beta far off?

Posted by: Grumpy | May 14, 2013

Hearthstone Fireside Live-stream

A while back two Team 5 members, Eric Dodds and Ben Brode (If you’ve watched any of the Blizzcon live-streams you’ll recognize Ben’s voice), put on a live demo of the Hearthstone Alpha.

hearthstone

Clicky Clicky

In the video Ben Broder plays the Priest, Rogue, Hunter, and Warrior decks. I was very pleased to get a glimpse of the Priest deck. I will probably be playing that, at least at first.

The Hearthstone Beta Fish

The Hearthstone Beta Fish

There’s no word yet on when Beta testing will begin. All we know is a summer-time beta with a release later in the year.

Illidarian’s latest Lore & Pet Video is on the Tushui and Huojin Factions. The battle pet portion is about the Darkmoon Eye.

I tried to get the Darkmoon Eye for 6 months and finally got it last week.

 

 

Posted by: Grumpy | May 10, 2013

Feasel Isn’t As Big Of A Weasel Anymore!

Darkmoon Eye

Darkmoon Eye

I usually do pet battles during the afternoon. But today I forgot so I headed over to the Darkmoon Faire after tonight’s raid. I even swapped in my Crimson Geode to give some more of my elementals some play time. Jeremy went down like a sack of bricks. And Lo and Behold tonight my bag held the Darkmoon Eye. FINALLY!!!

Unfortunately the Darkmoon Rabbit wasn’t up.

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