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TOPIC: Hearthstone Players!

Hearthstone Players! 29 Apr 2018 17:50 #272206

Still messing with Even Shaman. Went 6-0 and then lost two straight. What occurs to me is that the deck works as an archetype only because of two things: Sea Giant and Hex. One is a neutral card that has always worked with swarm decks, although typically with more active ones like Zoo. And the other is a linchpin card of Shaman that has appeared in almost every non-aggro Shaman deck ever made and even in a couple of those. Interestingly, Odd Shaman might even be a thing if Hex had remained 3 mana. But without Hex, the very controlly nature of the Baku upgrade (pick your totem, instead of RNG) doesn't mesh well with any other Shaman approach, so Odd just isn't an option. Of course, the contrary problem exists with Even, in that you're frequently able to create massive boards of trash... and no Bloodlust. Every single game I've played with the deck, I've reached a moment where I'm thinking: "Bloodlust is game here." But I have to plink along for three or four more turns because I can't close out.

This can't be too surprising, because when you compare the results of the upgraded hero powers in the other classes, they're still vastly superior to the RNG-fest that is Totemic Call. Yes, you can roll the dice for 1 mana or you can get a Dude; or deal 1 damage; or get a two-use weapon; etc. Same with the Odds, in which you can get two Dudes or deal 2 damage to any target or 3 to your opponent or get 4 armor or get a 2/2 weapon. Or you can select which piece of chaff you'd like to have. I can select a 0/2 Stoneclaw for 2 mana and save my face! Or I can spend 1 mana and get the same thing with Divine Shield on it. (Yes, opportunity cost of including and drawing the card. I get that the example is not perfect.) If you're playing the deck in order to get more totems out, great. But you can't play the standard finisher (Bloodlust) and you can't even play the meme card (Stormcaller) that showed up two sets ago. You're playing the whole deck really for the opportunity to play a 2/3 that deals 2 damage when you play it. That's it. It's just not worth it; like Shaman, in general.

Had a "Win 3 with Paladin or Priest" so I figured I'd try the Control deck again. I spent a few minutes losing to Odd Paladin before I just decided that the whole Spiteful/Dinosize package just wasn't worth it. Like all other Spiteful decks except Priest and Druid, you just can't stay alive long enough to make it viable against anything even vaguely aggro. I was making this case to Jeb last week while watching him try to pilot it in Warrior. The highest-cost spell that Warrior has is the Spellstone, which is a 7. 7-costs are generally underwhelming and, uh, so is the Spellstone, even with Dragonfire rotated. I was packing 3 8s in my Paladin deck (2 x Dinosize and an LoH) but that meant no Equality and no Consecration, both of which are just essential to make the archetype work at all; similarly to Hex for Shaman. They're crutches because the class lacks any other options. It's those two things and/or Pyromancer or you're dead. And the funny thing is that the original idea for the deck was to make Blackguard work. But you generally only get healed once per turn. That makes Glass Knight really useful, but it makes Blackguard (still) way too fucking slow against aggro, in addition to the RNG nature of its ability. So you're condemned to use Consecration and Equality. There's just no way around it... which kinda begs the question as to why you'd use Blackguard in the first place.

This game is a good example: hsreplay.net/replay/MGAYs4EVztKmX66xF6mQj5

Amusingly enough, I'd just removed the Spiteful package and I end up playing Spiteful Druid. Despite the fact that he opens the game with the two key components of his deck in hand, his draw is very slow. I'm a control deck, so I don't really mind being the way it was, although the Paragons continue to bug me, since they're underwhelming without some way to buff them in hand before you draw them (Keleseth, SoJ, etc.) Bells might be awesome here, except that control decks aren't usually lacking for answers in the late game, when the card is best. It also works much better with Pyromancer, which I'm not using (yet.)

He plays turn 3 Mindbender which is... strange. It's not horrible as tech cards go. It will certainly slow down Warlock and maybe the Paladin decks (presuming they're not running Blessing of Might), but it hinders Druid's ability to control an early board. And here is where Glass Knight shines. I have a Dude out that he can't kill because the Mindbender is in play, so his choice is to either take 4 off the Bender and pop the bubble or just kill the Dude. He opts for the latter and plays Chain Gang to try to get the board back. But I'm more than happy to clear right back with a Chillblade and restore the bubble. Keep in mind that this trick wouldn't have worked if he didn't hit me on turn 2. No healed, no shield. Now he's still stuck, since he can't pop the bubble himself with the Mindbender in play and if he kills the latter, he can't finish the Knight without a Wrath or a Swipe. So instead he tries to take the board back with weenies. I topdeck Truesilver at just the right moment and reduce him to two guys who wouldn't have been able to clear the Knight. My other option was Consecration, which would have accomplished the same thing but left my Knight without a bubble.

Turn 6 Spiteful, Sea Giant, and he goes face with the Fireflies. Turn 6 Equality-Consec clears his board, leaves my bubble, and hits him for 4, leaving me with a charge for the bubble still on my Truesilver. The midgame is basically mine now. Turn 7 Spiteful, Deathwing meets turn 7 bubble bounce, Tarim, restore bubble while clearing. His deck has made its two big plays and I have total control. Malfurion's poison bugs are, again, cleared by the Knight and a gladly-sacrificed Chillblade, serving exactly the purpose it's intended for. Then I Stonehill into the other Paladin power card that isn't in the deck (The Man) and I don't see too many ways out for Malf. Two Taunts are cleared with the help of the worst DK in the game, but which restores the Knight's bubble and, again, I have total control. For the first time in 14 turns, I end a turn with no bubble on my Knight. I decide to press the issue rather than clearing the Cobalt because I'm trying to finish up and I do a couple turns later.

The problem with the deck is that it requires the right draws in fairly specific order. The Paragons are just Carrion Grubs without some kind of buff. That's not to say that Grub is a bad card. It has great control stats for a 3-cost. The problem is that the Paragons require setup (Keleseth, equipped SoJ, on the board followed by Tarim, an 8-cost weapon) and until then are just a great Arena card in stats that doesn't do anything the turn it's played. They're not easily removed without Dragonfire in the environment, so perhaps I should be a bit riskier with them and just use them as blocking dummies in order to maintain tempo, but I usually find something better to do on turn 3 so far (Acolyte, Djinn, Stonehill, SoJ.) Without something like Dire Wolf to take advantage of, the Paragons are very non-tempo cards, which generally means death in HS, even for control decks.
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Hearthstone Players! 29 Apr 2018 18:09 #272208

Thanks for the advice! It’s funny cuz that’s why I think I like Trump, I tend to be a far better pilot but an awful deck builder and optimizer so I identify with him a bit, thinking maybe he overvalues cards he pilots well.

But I’ll take your advice and try to go with those other tools.

If Magic Aréna gets big, im really curious if a tool will get developed for their draft mode. It sounds fun. You draft versus AI but play against people. Three losses and you’re out. I think 7 wins is the max payout
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Hearthstone Players! 29 Apr 2018 18:29 #272209

And, just to be sure, I'm not suggesting that Trump's advice on drafting is resolutely poor. He's still good at it. I just think he's better at actually playing than he is building and part of my assessment is certainly colored by his building exploits in constructed, which have almost always been subpar. Give him a deck built and refined by others, though? He routinely shoots into legend. He's a very good player.

That Magic Arena sounds cool. I loved- LOVED -drafting. Even years after I'd given up Magic tournaments, I could be (and was) talked into drafts on a regular basis. My most enjoyable MTG memories center around the drafting group we had in Ann Arbor. Pat Chapin and Erik Taylor were there regularly and we had a great time, since we all varied between good (me) and amazing (Chapin, Taylor) at the game, so the drafts were always solid and the games afterwards usually were, too. If their AI is good, that means a draft should come out well and you'll have decks that are more even.
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Hearthstone Players! 30 Apr 2018 04:44 #272233

Black Barney wrote:
Thanks for the advice! It’s funny cuz that’s why I think I like Trump

Get your politics out of the Hearthstone thread.

New meta has not been kind. Going to take a big rank hit unless I can do some good climbing today.
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Hearthstone Players! 30 Apr 2018 11:11 #272258

Trump scores cards well for Arena, by and large. He is so value focused, and value is the easiest way to win Arena games, so it's all good. I don't think he could build or take an Aggro build anywhere though, it is well outside his wheelhouse. Personally, I use heartharena, but I play Arena so rarely it doesn't likely matter. When I watch Arena, it's Educated Collins or Shadybunny. They are both excellent.
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Hearthstone Players! 01 May 2018 05:01 #272350

Played for a good two hours yesterday, but the miracle didn't happen. Got dumped down to rank 16 which is, crucially, under the floor of risk-free losses. Partly it's my own fault: was doing okay with Spiteful Druid but it's slow, so I switched to Zoolock and that deck just doesn't have the same traction at the moment.

Spiteful Druid does well against a lot of decks, but I'll be damned if I can see how it can beat Cubelock or any other flavour of control Warlock. The only chance against those decks, now they've got Lord Godfrey, is to rush them down hard, before they can play Gul'dan. I don't think I won a single matchup, including a ludicrous one where I used Mind Control Tech to steal *both* his resurrected Voidlords. His response? Wipe the whole board with Godfrey and Lifesteal me to death.

Still, I'm stuck with it for now as it's the only top-tier deck I want to run. I've got golden Paladin, so I'm not playing that, and I don't feel like crafting Godfrey right now. Should have built him instead of the Shudderwock, but I wanted to try that out. At least it's fun to watch, when it works.

Because I'm bad at maths, I wrote a little computer program that works out the average number of stars you can earn if you play 100 games. I wanted to know how many games it would take to maintain your rank. The results were really surprising. At 50% win rate, the average is about 12 - so only two ranks in the new system. At 55% the average is about 25, so if you can make that, you can stay ahead of the end season ranking dump. You need 53% wins to break even. At higher levels, though, it goes nuts. Manage 60% wins and you'll climb 8 ranks per season.

This means that, unless you play a lot of games, you've got to do slightly better than most other people at your rank in order to stand still. Although the new ranking system is better, that still doesn't seem quite fair. Busting playering down 3 ranks insted of 4 would seem to be nearer the even keel.

I doubt I play 100 Ranked Standard games in a month, so at least this tells me I must have an above-average win rate. Maybe I should start keep track of how many games I play and how many I win again. I wish the game would do it for you. The code is here if you're interested - modify the vchance value at the top of the Javascript window to change the win % and click run in the top left to output the average stars over 500 tests of 100 games.

What do we all think of the Monster Hunt? I like the idea of new heroes and making them work together to flush out the boss, and the basic concept of the dungeon run still holds true, but I think they messed up the difficulty. There were a lot of - valid - complaints about the sudden difficulty ramp at the end of Dungeon Run, so they've made the hunt smoother. Trouble is that because they can't make a decent AI, "difficulty" in solo Hearthstone equates to "cheating deck". Some of those bosses look almost impossible to beat unless you can tailor a deck against their specific shtick. In particular, I played one yesterday - I think it was Raeth Ghostsong - and I wiped his whole board and he just resurrected them all with a single card. How can you play against that without running multiple heavy AoE?

Had a ludicrous match up with The Whisperer in the same run. Power is "All Spells Have Echo" and I had a power that let me cast spells at -1 mana cost. Got a Flamewalker out and copy of Smuggler's Run in hand which cost zero. So I just echoed it over and over until all my minions in hand were 20+/20+ and he was dead.

Screenshot_20180430-202109.png
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Hearthstone Players! 01 May 2018 11:30 #272371

I like Monster Hunt. It's a puzzle. not one you can always beat, but you should be able to come close. I like that's there's no timer too, so my kids and I can think about things debate this or that move as we try to beat some of this absolutely unfair shit. The first time that Amalgam guy Amalgamated, I was wrecked. Now I am ready. One of the toughest ones is that guy who's sickle gets bigger and bigger. Once he gets the board state down, you need to rebuild from scratch or he will just MOW you down. Lesson learned.

I hit 5.4 like six times and never got back over, so I dropped to Rank 9. Alas. I will keep poking away. Things got easier at the end there, but I was making too many mistakes to advance and just 50:50'd for the last two days. In my experience, Aggro works best in the early part of the month. So I would be thinking Paladin now if I were you all, and looking for board control mulligans to counter everyone else thinking the same thing. So, keep those taunty bubbles and wait on Knife Juggler until you know it will wreck them.
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Hearthstone Players! 01 May 2018 11:38 #272373

Hey Jeb -

Were you 5-4 in Standard or Wild? Either way, that is awesome.
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Hearthstone Players! 01 May 2018 11:56 #272379

In Standard. I see you there, boo. I saw you on 4 yesterday. You get higher?

edit!
Back at it, playing Inner Fire Priest. It is very effective, but it looks so bad on paper I am not sure why this matches the meta so well.
AAECAa0GBtwB7QHWCqbwAonxAr3zAgz4AuUE9geNCNEK0gryDPsM0cEC2MECyccCy+YCAA==
(this list shows Wildwood Piper, but I swapped that out for SW:Death).

You don't play a lot of threats. Two Twilight Drakes, two Primordial Drakes, and maybe the Scalewurms are the only thing that might last a turn or two and start dealing damage. But you only need the Drakes to last a turn or two, because they hit for 30+. The other big threat is Shadow Madness. More often than not, the opponent is killed by their own fat-butted dude. Voidlord, Tarim, Water Elemental(!) have won me games. I had a hilarious win yesterday against a Quest Rogue (terrible matchup!). He left a 5/1 Southsea Deckhand out on the board the turn before he was going to kill me with his bullshit:
Inner Fire it to 1/1, steal with Shadow Madness, Circle of Healing to 1/5, PW:Shield to 1/7, Divine Favor to 1/14, Inner Fire to 14/14, attack for exact lethal. That was on my phone, so no replay, alas. I hope he uninstalled.

Here is a game from this morning that shows some of the plays that come up
hsreplay.net/replay/8TCiFseBNyVNpBUY8hXmsK

It's against Even Paladin, which makes dudes and buffs dudes and kills you with Tarim'd/Stegadon'd dudes. So off the mulligan I am looking for dude control: Wild Pyromancer, Duskbreaker, and card draw because I might not get a lot of chances to win.

I think the opponent makes a couple of mistakes, but she might have been thinking I had the Mind Blast build, perhaps. Her early Equality + Consecrate seems panicky, as does the midgame Avenging Wrath to kill a Northshire and deal 7. Meh. The key turn obviously is turn 9. She'd played a The Lich King, and I have got nothing to handle that in hand or on the board. So let's draw six cards and have enough left to play that SW: Death. Whew. By the time the Sea Giant hit, I was more comfortable with the situation, because I had Primordials to chip it down and a 'breaker to kill it when needed. I ended up using an Inner Fire defensively to make it a 3/3 and started doing math on how big I could get it (20 without CoH, 36 with (it had been buffed to 12/12 base by BoK)) if I had to steal that for the win. Even that Northshire at the end can be a factor, as if she had to weapon to kill that Primordial Drake somehow, the Northshire could go to 20/20 with PW:Shield + tricks.
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Hearthstone Players! 04 May 2018 01:52 #272649

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Hearthstone Players! 04 May 2018 12:10 #272670

Ha, that's pretty good. I flip them (/fenster fo real) with Void Ripper and they do fine.

5-1 in the Brawliseum with Inner Fire Priest so far...
  • 1-0 Even Paladin. Standard operating procedure. Wreck all his dudes over and over. Steal Tarim and hit as 28/28.
  • 2-0 Elemental Mage (no Jaina? not that I saw, at least) with a 20/20 Duskbreaker.
  • 2-1 Quest Warrior, just couldn't get the pieces together. I think I could have won being even more patient, but I am too scared.
  • 3-1 Ramp Druid (? not Hadronox, not Spiteful) We were both in fatigue and I think his only cards were UI and Acolyte of Pain or something. I had too many threats (he conceded when I played Primordial Drake #2. He did deal with an 18/18 Twilight Drake, so credit to him). He also didn't play Naturalize which seems really risky in this day and age.
  • 4-1 Control Lock. This one almost got away from me. I don't think they could find Gul'Dan, and Inner Fire were my last two cards, literally. but I outdrew them something fierce, I was maybe 6 cards ahead. I had Duskbreaker to their 5/3 Doomguard and 3/6 Rin, The First Disciple. I played Mass Dispel (normally need this to attack through 6 frigging Taunts, but alas) and killed the Doomguard (I was around 16 life). They hadn't Cube'd a Doomguard so I wouldn't insta-die off Gul'dan, but I don't think that would matter without Mass Dispel to deal with the 2 Voidlords. Again, they didn't have it, and didn't wound the silenced Rin, so as I drew my second to last card I was able to finally Radiant Elemental --> Shadow Madness on Rin --> PW:Shield on Rin --> Divine Favor --> Divine Favor --> Inner Fire for 32/32 on their 26 health. Whew. Even the opponent had to admit it was "Extraordinary." Over and over again!
  • 5-1 Spiteful Druid. She drew both UIs, so nothing for me to SW:Death on turn 6's Summoner play. I had combo pieces in hand, but had to dig twice for a Shadow Madness. Luckily I drew it the turn after, so I could spend one killing the 1/1 Tar Creeper, crashing it into Crypt Lord. Then I had to hope she made Crypt Lord bigger, which she dutifully did. It was a 36/36 when I attacked with it on turn 7.
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Hearthstone Players! 04 May 2018 20:52 #272695

What list are you using?
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Hearthstone Players! 04 May 2018 21:45 #272699

It's up above in the thread, Remember to swap Wildwood for SW:D!
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Hearthstone Players! 04 May 2018 23:15 #272700

Hm. Interesting, because the games that you're recalling seem to depend on the cards that you have as singles: Mass Dispel, Shadow Madness, etc. Has Visions been enough to make those more prominent than they'd otherwise be? I saw Firebat running a Priest deck that was tailored to beat Warlocks and he was running two Shadow Madness.
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Hearthstone Players! 05 May 2018 23:28 #272725

This is Firebat's list from a couple weeks ago, so I assume it's working well. I tuned it to drop Wildwood for SW:D, sounds like he tuned for Shadow Madness. I was seeing a lot of Spiteful, so SW:D was important to me, and it seems like he's seeing lots of Warlocks. Shadow Visions does a great job tuning your hand. Once I know what I am playing against I start building the win condition. Warlock these days tend to kill you pretty slowly (in contrast to Cube'd out 5/7 Chargers), so I start compiling a hand of Radiant Elemental, a Mass Dispel, a Shadow Madness, 2@ Divine Favor, and an Inner Fire: 10-mana, 36 damage. Same for Taunt Druid. Warrior needs me to build a big Dragon and protect it because their removal is bad. Aggro Mage is scary, and I just need to race while managing their grotesque early game. Most Paladin and Hunter games come down to how efficiently I manage Wild Pyromancer.
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