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I’m surprised you haven’t seen any paladins. The buff version is probably the best deck currently - it can just keep chugging out big minions. 

 

I initially enjoyed Quest Druid as a very effective counter to Quest Mage. However there’s always another side and it is very effectively countered by Buff Paladin. Ho hum.

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  • 1 month later...

Nerfs and buffs incoming.  Warlock is being hit again - questline is banned outright in wild (and for good reason, it was ridiculous in that format) and has been slowed down to require more damage in standard.  The weapon costs more mana.  Both of these will slow it down, but I'm, not sure its enough.

 

Mindrender Iluciana has been redone.  It was always seen by some as an issue, as it could really disrupt combo decks in a way that didnt feel very fun, but in shadow priest decks, its had a new use which is that its often easy for them to dump their hand, switch, and almost skip your opponents turn while you take cards off them

 

Shaman has had a few reasonable nerfs- questline took a really minor hit and the flame spell thats really good at clearing small boards for 1 mana has been bumped to 2.

 

They've actually given mage some buffs, but only reducing the cost on a few things in their hero power package - wildfire is 1 and Mordresh is 8 mana.  I actually really like that deck, so thats good.

 

Warrior gets a couple of pirate buffs, mainly small stat increases to make some pirates more durable.  Hunter gets a couple of beast related buffs.

 

I honestly hope that the warlock buffs are enough to seriously hinder that deck.  I frickin' hate it.  Its just super tedious to play against as they can do too much.  Surprised spell mage didnt take a hit - ignite i think could have been altered.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So mercenaries is out and it feels a bit….well, it’s some solo content I guess but it not super engaging in my opinion, and I can see it being super grindy too.  And yet I’ve found myself occasionally dipping back in to have a go.

 

Part of the issue I have with it though is that it seems a bit like it’s designed to try and get you to part with your dough.  Shocking I know.  But not in ways that give you particular value, I don’t think.  One is that synergies often seem to be put with rarer cards.  Want some fire synergy? Rag and Alextraza are both legendaries and make up that synergy with Antonidas who’s epic.

 

Next is how you get mercy in general, which is not worded great on the packs but someone worked it out.  Your “guaranteed” slot applies to rarity, so that slot rolls what rarity itll produce, then rolls from there.  If you have all the mercenaries from that rarity, but are missing ones that are higher, you don’t get a higher merc, so you can roll packs with no mercy in after a bit.  The non “guaranteed” slots can roll mercy but do similar - roll rarity first, then roll for a small chance of a merc in that rarity.  Some people were a bit annoyed because they read it as “you get a merc each pack, guaranteed”, but that ends reasonably quickly and id argue the value of pack drops a tonne after that point.  Id opened about 30 and was getting just tokens in packs so it’s pretty low - id suggest spending no more than the fiver on the welcome bundle.

 

You can craft mercs but the amounts of tokens needed are so high foe the good ones that I don’t think it’s something reasonable to aim for.  You can spend cash but the tokens you get are random so you’re probably spending a lot.

 

It’s worth a mess about with, but it’s not something that is worth your money, so stick to free stuff from it is my suggestion.

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So I've been grinding away to complete the reward track and started wondering if it was worth the effort.  Mainly because this expansion and the last, it feels like standard is entirely made up of people playing a very limited range of decks that have been lifted from the top slots of the tier lists.  Even at low rankings, I'm playing against about 3 decks repeatedly, never much variation, and usually they've been decks that are super unfun to play against.  Not going to go too much into it as I have before, but decks that generate cards like crazy, and still take forever because they do about 10 things on a turn.  However, I've found a way to make it much more enjoyable.

 

Play wild.


Seriously, I didnt even think to as I thought thats where you'd find people playing super unfair decks that do tonnes of bullshit (and you probably do at higher ranks) where there are some seriously broken things going on - and quest warlock was bad enough in standard, it was worse in wild because of some cards that were busted with it.  But then I saw a vid with an evolve deck that looked good, and evolve shaman was always one of the decks I really enjoyed (and its not good in standard now) so I gave it a go.  To my surprise, the deck variety I've played against has been shockingly wide.  I dont think I've played against the same deck twice, and it feels like a lot of people are just playing what they find fun.  I've seen more people playing Uldum/Un'goro quests than the new ones, meme decks like the sword of 1000 truths deck (that actually beat me because they got lucky with their combo pieces, and a few weird ones where people have blatantly built around some cards they saw to try and see if it would work.  The current decks I'm playing are evolve shaman and odd quest hunter.  Quest hunter is so much better thanks to that twinspell card which virtually completes the quest for you and gives you a 0 mana 3 damage nuke.  But it means you can run a more rounded deck and still get the quest done early, where its obviously loads better than standard.  Evolve still has the issue of having a pool with loads of trash, but you can do things to mitigate that easier, and its easier to line up turns to drop your things that clone and evolve them all.

 

If you've not liked the state of the game recently, seriously, give wild a go.  Its so much better than playing standard, it silly.

 

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I might start to give Wild a go as I’m burnt out and I’ve got a large collection in the Wild pool.
 

It feels like a long time since the expansion came out. Mercenaries taking over the normal mini-set release is annoying as I have little interest in the mode. I know making money is the whole point of the game but this is just a little too obvious. 
 

I’m presuming the next big expansion will have the Mercenaries as hero cards?

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Not sure what they're going for with the mini set, though thematically, I like the parrot theme of the repeating something that happened previously.  Nice work whoever came up with that.  However, more draw for DH isnt needed, and the pirate package for warriors is already very strong, defias canoneer sounds nuts in that context.  Shadow aggro priest is also good, so that minion is really good for that deck.  I like that they've actually done a bit more with the tradeable mechanic - felt like litereally the only other way it got used was with that rubbish legendary, now there are cards where trading actually does something else as well, which is nice.

 

I'm still occasionally playing mercenaries as mechanically its quite fun.  Its just super grindy and cost wise its wildly overpriced - you can a Jaina pack that gives you her and some coins, but its over fifteen quid, and that insane for one character and enough coins to upgrade her level 1 abilities to level 2.

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  • 2 weeks later...

New expansion announcement today, and the culmination of this years sets is (predictably) Alliance vs Horde themed with Fractured in  Alterac Valley, based on one of the original battlegrounds in WoW.

 

New features are a new keyword - honourable kill.  If you deal the exact amount to kill an enemy, then you get an effect happen.  Example shown was a mage spell that deals 2 damage and if it honourably kills, reduces the cost of the cards in your hand by 1 mana.  There are also “objective” cards, which are spells that have an effect that lasts 3 turns.  Examples were a rogue spell where for 3 turns your deathrattles trigger twice, and a paladin spell that buffs any minions summoned for 3 turns by +2/+2.  Lastly, as the big payoff to the mercenaries stories that have run this year, each one is getting a class hero card as well.  They’ve shown 2 so far.  Guff is 5 mana and sets your max mana crystals to 20, gains you a mana crystal and draws a card.  Your hero power becomes choose 1 - draw a card or gain a mana Crystal.  Cariel is 7 mana, deals 2 damage to all enemies when played, and equips a 2/5 weapon that doesn’t lose durability and halves any damage you take.  Hero power buffs a random minion in your hand by +4/+4.

 

So to start positively, I really like the continuity this year with the heroes, and how they’ve scattered more storytelling in the game.  Even the quest lines had a lot of flavour or nods to larger stories in them, and some of them have been good.  And the book of mercenaries stories have been good, especially the Roane sisters which gets very dark in places.

 

However, the meta is the worst I’ve known it, plagued by popular decks that swarm all ranks of standard and are super unfun to play against.  Each time there would be about 3 decks that made up 90% of your games that either were super non-interactive or easily set up really unfair feeling plays that you couldn’t counter.  The announcement of hero cards does not fill me with hope that this will be better as I can see it being that at least a few have op effects that do something that makes them bs to play against.  We’ll see.

 

it arrives in 3 weeks, in the meantime you can pick a legendary for each side in some event.  The side that wins the most during the event gets a diamond version of it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Expansions live and I played a bit of standard and regretted it immensely.  Most the matches were the exact same pirate warrior list that’s not that bad except they get the juggernaut down super quick and from then on you’re just at such a disadvantage.  The other matches were a priest that had ridiculous health and armour gain and a warlock that had a OTK up their sleeve.  That owl that deals 8 damage as a death rattle - they played that, then used cheap board fillers to make a full board, played the new spell that gave them all deal 8 damage as a death rattle, then killed them all themselves using the 5 damage board clear which cleared mine so they all went face.

 

I wanted to try standard because it feels a bit weird playing standard decks in wild, and I wanted to see some of the new cards as they’re intended so to speak.  I know that’s not really necessary, and now I think im off standard for good.

 

I did get lucky with cards though.  Opened 40 packs, which were all free or with gold, and got Cariels hero card, and the non hero legendaries for warrior, rogue and shaman.  

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Yeah dipped back in wild and it’s been loads more fun.  Main issue is that no matter the rank, I never face anything in standard that isn’t clearly a meta deck that’s pretty optimised and is just copied from hearthstonetopdecks.com or something, and has all the cards required.  Wild at my rank feels like similar levels of decks that i end up playing - either daft stuff like evolve shaman, or decks where they’ve obviously slotted in cards they have or have the theme of the deck, but it’s got non optimal cards in.

 

Ive seen high ranked streamers playing wild and yeah you do get a lot of BS decks there at high ranks, decks that generally kill you by turn 5, or have some super broken stuff going on.  But low ranks feel how they should, imo, unlike standard.

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  • 3 months later...

New expansion announcement is here - it’s called voyage to the sunken city, and is themed around a long lost Naga underwater city, and potential treasures/monsters that lie there.  With that, there’s a new minion type - pandaren.  Ok just kidding, it’s obviously naga.  There is a little mini theme with them which involves effects that become active if you play specific cards while holding them.  For example one naga has a battle cry that only works if you played a spell when you had that minion in hand.  Honestly, sounds a bit clunky to use.

 

Then there’s the new keyword - dredge.  They’re going for a bit of an idea of your deck being a bit like the water, because as well as this, some cards can send cards to the bottom of the deck, as if “sending them to the depths”.  Dredge actually works like dredging does, but for the bottom of your deck, allowing you to look at the bottom 3 cards and pick one to send to the top of your deck.  You don’t draw it, just put it as your next to draw.

 

Lastly, they’ve added minions with a keyword colossal.  This is followed by a number, so it could be colossal +3.  What this represents is something big, so big the entire thing is represented by several cards once played, which is what the number denotes.  In the example I gave, it would create 3 additional token minions on play, so take up 4 board spaces in total.  The 3 tokens would be all the same, but the examples shown have had them as different to the main minion that you play.  I like this idea a lot, theme wise it’s great as an example shown was basically a big tentacle monster, and the artwork lines up across the tokens to make one large creature.  In that example, it had 4 tokens representing its tentacles that were 1/2 creatures that dealt 1 damage to a random enemy at the end of the turn, and the main minion (which was the card played) was a 3/6 that at the start of the turn, increases the tentacles end of turn damage by 1.

 

I think it’s interesting so far.  I really like the idea of the colossal beasts, and theme wise it seems cool.  Standard since the last patch has actually been pretty playable too, and once the rotation hits there’s a bunch of annoying cards that go.  They’ve also said a few things about some types of play like mass mana reduction they want to reduce, which is good.  They haven’t announced the core set rotation yet, they still have that as well as a map for the overall theme for the year, which I believe is in the next few weeks.

 

Edit: one thing to note about the colossal cards is that it doesn’t work like a battle cry, and that you don’t have to play the card like one to get the tokens associated to spawn.  By that I mean, if the card comes into play, it always also generates the rest of it.  So spells that summon from hand/deck, stuff like cenarion ward, evolve type effects - if they hit the colossal minion, you get all of it..

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...

Battlegrounds “Season 2”

 

A lot of people very unhappy claiming it’s now pay to win. Personally I’ll be happy to see it shifting to be more goal orientated and if it means paying <£10 every few months to unlock the 4 hero choice then so be it.

 

More ominous is the fact that the “Runestone” currency will be implemented game wide, but BG is pretty much the only mode I play these days.

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58 minutes ago, makkuwata said:

Battlegrounds “Season 2”

 

A lot of people very unhappy claiming it’s now pay to win. Personally I’ll be happy to see it shifting to be more goal orientated and if it means paying <£10 every few months to unlock the 4 hero choice then so be it.

 

More ominous is the fact that the “Runestone” currency will be implemented game wide, but BG is pretty much the only mode I play these days.

 

I think the problem with the 2 vs 4 hero choice is that hero balance is so poor. If the hero pool was broadly even in terms of quality then paying for a larger number to choose from is just variety, or more likely getting one you prefer to play. It isn't really pay to win. But as it stands being offered two could badly dent your ability to finish top 4 and your MMR if you get a few bad choices.

 

But in general I'm not against a fee of some form in the mode so long as it's not too expensive. If I was playing a lot for a few weeks then say £5-10 isn't much really compared to what I spend elsewhere. I guess if I had it all the time I'd probably like the yearly cost to stay under £30.

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Oh and the biggest issue... The runestones are likely to do the normal shit of coming in multiples that don't match anything you buy. Like fuck off. If the pass costs 100 runestones then sell me exactly 100, not 130.

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From reading stuff it appears that the battlegrounds thing is pretty much due to having a consistent player base that plays just that, so they’ve been trying to find ways to monetise that.  Cosmetics were never great as you could buy portraits that you never use (which is why you always get them in packs of 10 or such, to increase the chances you get offered a hero you have bought one for).  It’s a tough one to classify as it’s more “pay to increase the odds of favourable rng”.  Some people will absolutely feel the need to have it, but it won’t always give you an advantage.

 

I’ve not really played much tbh.  There’s some fun decks there for sure, and I love the theming of the expansion.  I played a Druid token deck that has guff and bran/denathrius as a finisher.  The Druid legendary that gives you 3/3s with rush on nature spells for the rest of the game is insane.  Plus with Guff you can always get your finisher on the same turn.  One match I did 32 damage without Bran though.

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I understand why they need to do something. Constructed doesn't really seem to be growing and is more likely shrinking. Their approach of building ancillary modes into the core game was nice whilst they felt like bonuses that people dabbled in but broken once they became a large segment of the audience's focus. Battlegrounds is really just an entirely different game to HS and many play only it. It deserves to be paid for in some way.

 

I'd rather they just started with a battle/season pass that didn't have any gameplay differences and you couldn't buy with gold. People will still bitch and moan but you justify it by adding daily/weekly/seasonal quests and badges or something for paying players. Basically improve the meta game.

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Apparently I’ve now clocked 2397 hours in Battlegrounds. 100 days! That’s entering WoW /played territory, and I haven’t been paying a monthly subscription all this time.

 
56BF6444-0C23-43BB-B174-5AECB7D2EF4A.thumb.jpeg.0b20e0713f13ac3c591a41243203eabe.jpeg

 

Can’t believe they’ve let it slide this long, so I’m happy to pay.

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