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Hearthstone Players!

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17 Apr 2020 14:50 #309347 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Hearthstone Players!
And Sac Pact is officially dead, once again: www.hearthpwn.com/news/7398-17-0-2-balan...-the-nerfs-and-buffs
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17 Apr 2020 15:24 #309351 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Hearthstone Players!
I was playing this Tempo Rogue deck on ladder at Silver 3 or so:

### tempo
# Class: Rogue
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Phoenix
#
# 2x (0) Backstab
# 1x (0) Shadowstep
# 2x (1) Pharaoh Cat
# 2x (1) Spymistress
# 2x (1) Worgen Infiltrator
# 2x (2) Ashtongue Slayer
# 2x (2) Eviscerate
# 1x (2) Patient Assassin
# 2x (2) Sap
# 1x (3) Edwin VanCleef
# 2x (3) EVIL Miscreant
# 1x (3) Fan of Knives
# 2x (3) Greyheart Sage
# 1x (3) Hooked Scimitar
# 2x (3) SI:7 Agent
# 2x (4) Dread Corsair
# 2x (4) Waggle Pick
# 1x (6) Heistbaron Togwaggle
#
AAECAYO6AgayAu0CmwXtCJKXA/+lAwy0Ac0D7gaIB+IH3QiPlwOJmwP1pwO5uAO6uAPPuQMA

It's not great, but it's fun. Recommend changes! I don't mind! That said, I played last night and a Demon Hunter got me down to 2, with an empty board. I had a Treasure to make two Legendaries on my turn, but no Taunts showed up (I took Octowhatever the 8/8 is; the DH was at 20 or so). I make the dudes, poke for 3 or 4 and hover over the Concede button. They have about 5 cards.

They hero power up. They think. I hover. They draw 3 cards with reduced costs. I hover even harder. They hit me for 1. Pass the turn and get killed. What happened there? How can a DH with 5 cards look at 4 more and not be able to kill me there?

I have seen two builds of DH in my admittedly limited time back:
  • Make a lotta guys Zoo
  • Control the board unit your spells are free and OTK

Either of these should be able to generate ONE extra damage in the late game across nine cards. I was floored. Mercy maybe?

----
I am playing Battlegrounds, and it's pretty fun! This is one of things I really missed about Blizzard. Their throwaway ideas are some of the best games of the last few years on iOS. The rogue-like adventuring in the Dungeon Runs are still fucking great solo entertainments, and now this auto-battler for some light PVP is just amazing. The polish here is just remarkable. ELDER SCROLLS, SLAY THE SPIRE, and other folks make cool games, but they don't have the same build quality as Blizzard, not even close.
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20 Apr 2020 17:57 #309431 by Space Ghost
Replied by Space Ghost on topic Hearthstone Players!
I decided to go with a Dragon/Demon/Warlock/Removal deck....so far it has gotten me to Platinum 10. Generally, I think it just catches people by surprise since it isn't Galkarond or straight dragons. Can be a bit slow against Demon Hunter, Hunter, and Druid -- but not too bad. Lot's of legendaries though...I only play Warlock and Mage, usually.
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21 Apr 2020 11:35 #309469 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Hearthstone Players!
Kibler was doing something like that over the last couple days with his Shaman Highlander "DragonQuest" deck. It's Quest Shaman, but with dragons so it can do all kinds of tricks, plus the doubling effect, and still put decent bodies on the field. He put it together in 20 minutes and was bragging about his 80% win rate. Of course, part of that is being Kibler, but it looked interesting. But, yeah, a lot of legendaries.

I feel like Demon/Vulture Zoo is maybe trying too hard. You're so tempted to hold on to your two key guys (Vulture and Darkglare), instead of just putting bodies down and winning the board, that I'm wondering if those are more suited to a kind of midrange deck? I decided that I hadn't seen enough of Tekahn and Co., so I went back to a Lackey version for a few games:

# 2x (1) Argent Squire
# 2x (1) Fiendish Servant
# 2x (1) Flame Imp
# 1x (1) Guardian Augmerchant
# 2x (1) Sinister Deal
# 2x (1) Voidwalker
# 2x (2) EVIL Cable Rat
# 2x (2) EVIL Genius
# 2x (2) Expired Merchant
# 2x (2) Imprisoned Scrap Imp
# 1x (2) Kanrethad Ebonlocke
# 2x (3) EVIL Recruiter
# 2x (3) Magic Carpet
# 1x (4) Grand Lackey Erkh
# 2x (4) Nightshade Matron
# 1x (5) Dark Pharaoh Tekahn
# 2x (6) Hand of Gul'dan
#
AAECAf0GBIKlA8e2A9a5A96+Aw0w9QXCCLSRA4idA7WfA/qkA/ykA/2kA7C2A7W5A7a5A8e5AwA=

I'd also never tried Erkh. A version of this was one of my all-time favorite decks when I stopped playing. The inclusion of the good stuff from Ashes (Scrap Imp, Hand, Matron, Servant, Augmerchant) just makes it that much more focused. Of course, finding Tekahn is still quite important and I feel like the Rats and Sinister Deal are slow early on, but it's a Lackey deck, so... It beats Demon Hunters silly, but Spell Druid gives it issues.
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21 Apr 2020 13:42 #309478 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Hearthstone Players!
I have been messing with a greedy Quest Shaman deck that goes about 50:50. If they can stitch together about 20 dmg in a turn they will probably get me in the late game, but outside of that it just makes huge guys turn after turn. I'm Highlander now to abuse double-battlecries on Zephyrus and to access Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, but I wish I could go for more consistency. There just isn't enough high-end threats in the Shaman toolbox that don't crush you with Overload. Back in the Shudderwork domain there were more options, but now it's like a Taunt guy with Reborn or something that the whole world can go through.
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21 Apr 2020 13:49 #309480 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Hearthstone Players!
One of the reasons that Kibler put the deck together is that he wanted to try to abuse the quest with Lurker Below, so that even if someone put out a huge board of dragons, he could probably clear it. I'm inclined to believe that the SFX on Lurker (a constant stream of water from minion to minion) was based on the presence of the quest, so you didn't to see the whole "fireball warm up" doubled as it moves down the row, which would probably have eaten up a lot of turn time.

I don't own either Zephyrus or DQ Alex and I've never been hugely fond of highlander decks to begin with, so I think I'm keeping my dust and staying out of that.

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23 Apr 2020 13:16 #309573 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Hearthstone Players!
Like I said before, I haven't played much with Demon Hunter because I'm not that enamored of the playstyle of the two major decks I've seen: Face and OTK. The only games I've played have been with one of the standard pre-mades that's a lot more midrange-y. It has some interesting cards that don't get seen that often. So I had Play 3 as Any and Play 3 as Priest/Rogue/DH today, plus Use your Hero Power 20 times, so I figured I'd run through three games with it. The first was a turn 5 concede by a Paladin against whom I had the board, but the game was far from over. I think he'd just had his fill of Demon Hunters. But the next two were actually good games:

hsreplay.net/replay/2BsLukJ8p64ZiqwkhjADtm

That's Spell Druid, which is one of the top decks in the current moment. I think he may have played his second Glowfly a little early as he didn't want to surrender the board to me. It's also encouraging to know that I can put out a horde of tokens in preparation for later turns and know that it's unlikely that they'll be erased by Swipe, since a lot of Druid decks have cut back on their use of it since Glowfly lets them contest the board. The key card in this game, as it has been in multiple games with this deck, was Wrathscale Naga. That card is an Epic for a reason.

The next one was just as interesting:

hsreplay.net/replay/nDtbYk3sWHg64KY8PVWcw7

This is Galakrond Rogue with Secrets. Right away, my opponent made a mistake on turn 2, deciding to dagger up and kill the Fiend instead of trading with the Cat, thinking he had an advantage. But, as a DH, I'm almost assuredly playing something bigger on turn 3, so why not Ambush and give yourself more options? It's the difference between immediate board control and building into a much more solid form of control. And, of course, on turn 3, I drop the Overseer and suddenly have total control of the board. (Just a side note: Shadowjeweler Hanar is AMAZING. I've seen a couple streamers WRECK people with that card. It's too bad it's not seeing more play.)

The Naga again proves its value, clearing my opponent's board, but also setting up for the other card that was valuable in both games: Feast of Souls. I could have Eye Beamed the Wraith, rather than lose my last Satyr, but I figured the draw was worth it and I could get better value out of the Beam later. That Kargath may be the best result I've seen on a Witchy Lackey in many, many games, too. I played a little aggressively with the Altruis because I had him down to single digits in health and I was trying to press the advantage. However, the tables turned with a 0-mana Kargath Prime (here's where I thought about Jeb's rant about cheating mana costs) and Edwin. That's when he gave me the "Well played", too. Sorry! Eight more turns to go! But, once Galakrond was played and he got the 3/9 taunt off the 2nd Witchy (another great result), it was pretty much over and I just played it out. Great game, though.

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23 Apr 2020 15:36 #309580 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Hearthstone Players!
Secret Galakrond Rogue is pretty out of control. I romped from Silver 4 to Gold 9 and am still streaking as I type this. Playing a secret on Turn 2 is pretty bad tempo unless it's the one that makes a snake (Ambush), so Jackwraith's opponent probably knifed up to save the secret for a big Hanan turn or a Blackjack Stunner bounce. Makes me think of Shadowreaper Anduin back in the day, where the biggest struggle in the game was figuring how not to overdraw. The opponent is there doing stuff; I am sure, but that'll work itself out.

In Casual, I am enjoying a Ramp Druid that just makes big fat fatties. Opponents so far can only handle the first three or four 7/7s. It's that fifth one that gets ya! (Also it's a 4/12 and is Malygos).

In Battlegrounds, I am slowing climbing in MMR (~4450 now) and now trying to get wins with each hero I can access. So far: George the Divine Shield Guy, Dragon Lady who buffs one from each tribe, and The Curator (I remembered one!).

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25 Apr 2020 23:02 #309646 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Hearthstone Players!
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27 Apr 2020 12:46 #309691 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Hearthstone Players!
In my usual HS pattern, I basically just try to keep myself amused with various decks. I had Play 3 Warlock (or Rogue or Priest) and Cast 25 Spells this morning, so I figured I'd mess around with Darkest Scheme:

# 2x (1) Mortal Coil
# 1x (1) Plague of Flames
# 2x (1) Unstable Felbolt
# 2x (2) Twisted Knowledge
# 2x (3) Dark Skies
# 2x (3) Rafaam's Scheme
# 2x (4) Hellfire
# 2x (4) The Dark Portal
# 2x (6) Blatant Decoy
# 2x (6) Darkest Hour
# 2x (6) Khartut Defender
# 2x (7) Evasive Drakonid
# 2x (8) Enhanced Dreadlord
# 2x (8) Twisting Nether
# 1x (10) Colossus of the Moon
# 2x (10) Scrapyard Colossus
#
AAECAf0GAp2pA9+pAw7bBrYHxAirkQP+lQOhoQOYqAPrrAOXrQOttgO/uQPEuQPzuwO9vgMA

It's a mild combo: Leave Scheme in your hand for 4 or 5 turns and then cast that plus Darkest Hour and put your opponent in an impossible situation. It's also been around for- what? 3 or 4 sets now? What makes it work NOW as opposed to the last 3 or 4 sets where it just didn't? I dunno. More early control tools like Unstable Felbolt? Twisted Knowledge to find even more early control tools? (I've had games where I tossed out 4 Dark Skies and needed every one of them.) More double-your-money DR guys than just Khartut so that when you do pull off your big combo, your opponent doesn't just cast a clear and leave you feeling stupid? It's also a turn 9 (or 8 with Coin) combo, so it's not degenerate... until it actually works when you drop 30 mana of creatures on the board for, y'know, 9 mana.

It also doesn't go off that often. I end up playing a lot more games where I'm just bog-standard control Warlock than actually doing the "you should just concede now" turn. The best thing about it is that it's a really cheap deck: 1 legendary (from 3(?) sets ago) and 6 epics, two of which are Classic. Everything else is rares and commons. I do think Enhanced Dreadlord is kind of an underrated card, but it's also a pretty narrow card for just this kind of deck.

hsreplay.net/replay/KyVfF9AuFZMkXvMqWzLQiM
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09 May 2020 17:17 #310117 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Hearthstone Players!
Just finished watching Trump do yet another Libram Paladin experiment, which failed miserably and dropped him to the bottom of Gold division. Of course, he was playing Pure Libram Paladin, which is much worse because it doesn't allow access to the saving grace of Paladin decks since the beta: Wild Pyromancer. But even Kibler's versions that included the latter weren't really worthwhile. So, Paladin is, once again, dumpster tier except for one deck (Murlocs) which is a pretty average aggro deck that can only occasionally compete with the real aggro deck (DH) but often can't apply enough pressure to get past all the board clears of Control. It's also boring as shit. How many years in a row do you want to play the same standard minions (Warleader, Seer, Tidecaller)? This is the same problem they've run into in almost every "Year Of" with Paladin because the "EXCITING NEW MECHANIC" can't get over the hump against the same, old stuff that other classes always do, unless it's something almost literally gamebreaking like Baku/Grenn. Both Paladin quests? Subpar. Secret Paladin? Worked once with the cheatingest card devised to that point (Mysterious Challenger) and when the dev team thought "wacky stuff!" was the way for the game to go. Otherwise, (Rhyssa, etc.), Secrets are a weight on the class Basic/Classic set. No one likes them. No one uses them. But they sure do show up a lot when you drop your Crusader to fill your hand with random Paladin dreck. At the moment, Paladin Secrets are actually better for Secret Rogue, since it means they only have to spend 1 mana to get another, often more usable spell.

The problem with Librams is that it's set up to be a midrange deck, but it depends on card combos in order to work. That's not how midrange/tempo is supposed to function. Every card is supposed to be useful in and of itself and they mesh together to create a whole. Instead, you need a River Crocolisk to make your Libram of Wisdom a decent cost, because no one wants to pay 2 mana to give a minion +1/+1. They thought Libram of Justice might be similar to Muster for Battle... except that the latter was usable 2 turns earlier and gave you board presence, while the Libram just encourages you to use your face on a now 6/1 Illidari. But if you have the 2-card combo, you'll be fine! That's right. Have your trusty Pyromancer on hand or, if you're still alive on turn 9(!), follow Libram with a Consecration and you'll be in business. Hey, maybe your Libram was even discounted! Doesn't matter. You still need the other half of the combo to make it work. (This neatly sidesteps the fact that Hunters can pay 1 more mana and get a 7/6 dragon (Board presence!) and the same effect.)

So, if everything in your class depends on card combos, what do you need to make that work? The one thing that Paladin doesn't have: draw. There are three draw cards in standard Paladin: Blessing of Wisdom, Hammer of Wrath, and Hand of Ad'al. The last is amazing at almost any point in the game. Hammer is occasionally worthwhile. Blessing is bad, like most 1-cost cards. And most Paladin cards, most especially Librams, are dependent on that accelerated draw to function. Warlock has been burdened with a lot of "less than" cards over the years because of how good Life Tap is. You'd think that Paladin, more hard up for good drawing cards than any other class, would have a fair number of "more than" cards to make up for it, right? So when you did get the draw at the start of the turn, you'd think "Aha!" on a regular basis? This is the whole premise of Pure Paladin, right? That the class is so flooded with good cards that you can ignore all neutral stuff to get the bonuses of Zealot and Crusader? Yeah... no.

Here's an interesting side note: Healing was overcosted when the game started. That's why Priest was so bad and remained so for so long and why no one ever touched things like Holy Light. The devs later figured out their error and slowly changed healing effects to have some impact. Now you have stuff like Renew (1 mana for 3 health and Discover a card) and it's why Amber Watcher seems so good. It does as much healing as Lay on Hands for 2 less mana AND gives you a 4/6 minion (Board presence!) But, the fact remains that healing is still a low-impact mechanic. I watched Trump revel in the fact that he had both Amber Watchers in his hand against a Demon Hunter and then watched his astonishment as he lost despite playing both of them. All he did was drop a vanilla minion that doesn't affect the board and delay his death for (maybe) another turn. It's better than just a heal like Holy Light, but it's still not good enough. That's basically what you could say about the whole class: "Better than trash cards, but not good enough."

The key may be looking at how many Basic/Classic cards are still used by Paladin decks. I think there are two: Consecration and Truesilver Champion, and the latter is much rarer than it used to be. Until the class gets an overhaul like Priest did or some serious buffs midseason, it's basically dead in the water (Like Shaman, the other Murloc class...)

/rant
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11 May 2020 18:26 #310193 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Hearthstone Players!
Pretty fair criticism, all around, on Paladin. It's not in great shape, and like Priest, it is burdened with decisions made five years ago about what kind of cards it's "allowed" to have.

1-cost Secrets shouldn't do much. Make a little 2/1 to dive in front of an attacker. Punish playing some fatty. That all seems fine. But it means the basic core set is laden with these "little" cards that can't really move the needle on what Paladin does and means. Not to mention you don't want them in your actual deck, because drawing one is almost universally terrible. That's what made Mysterious Challenger good--once you played it, your deck was great, all the shitty cards were pulled out and you might even get something cool to happen because of them. If they made a card that was 6/6 for 6, "Battlecry: Take all the shitty little cards out of your deck," people would play it. After turn 6 you want to be doing big things, not drawing Repentance.

I'm not mad that Wild Pyromancer is good and is a neutral card. It's not like things would be better if it was limited to just Paladin, thematically. I managed to pull off some wins (a streak!) with (Libram-less) Control Paladin this month, just to see if it was a doable thing. It's tough. I needed Wild Pyro to handle Warlock and Demon Hunter. It's not negotiable. Not sure WHAT'S negotiable with respect to Demon Hunter; that deck is poisoning the game. At the top end it was Alexstrasza Dragonqueen and Tirion Fordring. You need to cheat stuff out to win, that's just how this game works this Standard season. Paying full cost is a sucker's game. Paladin has access to enough decent dragons to maintain some measure of the board and can exploit asymmetric removal to keep poking, but it's a slog.

I helped my kid get out of "Apprentice" and that takes forever. We didn't want to play Demon Hunter, so that means we only win two out of three games, so it took a LONG time. There are ten packs and a sweet Legendary-laden deck waiting at the end, so it's worth it, obviously. But they could tune the length of it WAY down. Or give "Credit" for losses or something.
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11 May 2020 19:28 #310196 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Hearthstone Players!
Exactly. The deck thinning property of MS was the other half of what made the card so good, in addition to cheating on both mana cost (4 or 5 spells for free) and card draw (cards drawn and played for free.) It's the only thing that made Paladin Secrets worth it and it was completely broken. The aggravating thing is that a couple of the Secrets that Paladin has been given in recent times have been good just based on their effect (DShield a minion; all your little dudes get +2 health; draw cards because your opponent played a bunch.) Those effects are great. But you don't want to draw them when you're behind on the board on turn 6 because it doesn't do anything about the two 4/2s and two 2/2s that your opponent has out there. (You know what sounds good there? Explosive Trap. Or Flame Ward. Or Ice Barrier. Oh, wait! Get Down will stop one of them...) Because he's not going to cast a spell or play three cards or bother attacking your minions. He's going to beat your face and win.

I think Wild Pyromancer is a great card. It should be available for decks that want to engage in some of that self-sacrifice that Warlock and Warrior are supposed to be famed for. I just object to the fact that it's, as you say, non-negotiable for success in every Paladin control deck since the closed beta. The reason for that is the same reason that every Priest deck, without question, ran Cleric: it was the only good card in the Basic set. That's what I meant by only Truesilver and Consec appearing and generally only in control decks which, again, are bereft of options outside of Wild Pyromancer. The fact that the only other deck continues to be Murlocs now that the janky OTK deck is finally gone has the same issue: How many more years do you want to be throwing the same frogs at your opponent's face? How many more years do they look at the board and calculate the impact of Warleader on turn 4 or 5? How many more years do you reserve two slots for Pyro and two slots for either Equality or the newest equivalent (if not both) while trying to get the latest mechanic (Reborn, Librams) or the oldest one (Secrets) to work? It's just tired, at this point.

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12 May 2020 05:22 - 12 May 2020 05:22 #310207 by Matt Thrower
Replied by Matt Thrower on topic Hearthstone Players!
Not having a great time with the current meta. There are very broadly two healthy states for HS: a balanced meta where mid-range decks thrive and a polarised one where extreme aggro and control models are the way to go. We're in the latter right now, and I vastly prefer the former.

I've been running Dragon Hunter for a while now, through most of the last expansion, and I'm grateful it's still viable so I've stuck with it. I tried Demon Hunter and found the endless face, face, face depressing, even though the concept of things like Outcast is pretty fun in theory. I tried Spell Druid too and found the endless block, block, block depressing even though it clearly takes a lot of skill to play well.

Priest can get in the bin. Blizzard have made a class that can only be played effectively by making the game as miserable as possible for the other player: in a tempo-based game, that's the only way a wholly defensive class can work. The fact it's not been competitive for a while has been a blessing on the game, and I hate that the decks are now workable and a bit more common. I often quit on sight, unless I'm on a streak. I wish they'd just abandoned the class to make way for Demon Hunter.

Once I've got 500 Hunter wins (about 20 to go), I'll likely move on to a budget version of Galakrond Rogue. I don't have Flik or Heistbaron Togwaggle or Hanar and I'm not crafting three class-specific legendaries. I reckon the deck will work okay without them. Especially at the gold/diamond bracket where I'm spending most of my time.

Not sure what to make of the new ranking system. The reason you get any given number of bonus stars is a mystery based on the opaque MMR and I don't know how to increase it. Still looks like there's no way into the higher ranks without grinding, which is all I'd really want to see. The extra rewards are nice, tho.
Last edit: 12 May 2020 05:22 by Matt Thrower.
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12 May 2020 14:30 - 12 May 2020 14:31 #310234 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Hearthstone Players!
The bonus stars are a function of the previous season's performance. It's one star per extra "floor" achieved. The previous season I was unranked, so I was at 1 star "bonus" on streaks. Last season I finished at Plat 10, so that's (Bronze 5, Silver 10, Silver 5, Gold 10, Gold 5, Plat 10) 6 stars of bonus at Bronze 10, diminishing by 1 each time you hit one of those floors. So by the time I was Silver 3, I would only get 3 stars, &c. The top Legend folks come back with 11 stars, so on a streak in Bronze 10 (everyone reverts to Bronze 10), they get 22 stars to zoom back up the ladder.

Your matchmaking is MMR-based, without regard to ranking. So that's why you see Diamond 9 against 1200 Legend sometimes, it's because the Diamond is likely a Legend player climbing late in the month and the 1200 Legend lost a few games. So their MMRs align and they get paired.

Priest can play a decent Tempo deck. That's what I am running now. I am as likely to kill you with whatever Lazul stole as I am with Apotheosis on Kronx. It's a mix. I agree the Cartrina Muerte deck is a slog. The deck I have now doesn't play Convincing Infiltrator or Khartut Defender! Honestly, this deck got too slow in the age of Hunter, Demon Hunter, Warlock, Paladin, and Warrior (!) running Face Aggro decks.

Dragon Hunter looks a blast, I am jealous of that one. I ground up all my older junk to make Egg Warrior though, so it's out of range for me. I am playing a Highlander Hunter, but it would be better if I could focus on Dragons more, alas.

Not sure the Rogue deck will work without Togwaggle. You can make the Stealth Rogue deck pretty easily and avoid the need for Hanar, but Togwaggle is pretty huge in the longer games. Flik is really only needed against Druid to handle Wave 3 of whatever bullshit they get up to. Swap for a Sap and pray is the best course there.

Demon Hunter, though, Jesus. How did they SO bungle this thing? If I make to turn 7 or 8 (I often don't), why do I always see them with
  1. More creatures than me
  2. More cards in hand than me
  3. Nine cards further ahead in their deck than me
Let's take everything they ever got wrong about Warlock, Genn, Secret Paladin, and roll em all into one humongous mistake.
Last edit: 12 May 2020 14:31 by jeb. Reason: clarity
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