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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

× Talk about collectible card here.

Hearthstone Players!

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14 Aug 2020 16:14 - 14 Aug 2020 16:16 #313139 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Hearthstone Players!
I'm back in! Sort of. It's better than it was! High praise indeed.

Battlegrounds
Wins with 19 characters, and a 6100 rating. Proudest of my Galakrond win, as that Hero is terrible. Huge Murlocs still finish most games, but huge Pirates can give them a run for their money. The best plan is to knock those players out before they get absolutely nuts.

Recent changes include Amalgadon at Tier 6, a 6/6 Amalgam (all types) who gets 1 Adapt per different minion type you have. So if you take Mixed Minions into Tier 5/6, you can score a Taunted Bubbled Poison 7/7 or so that can be buffed by everything or it's a 12/12 that makes plants. Alas. Pretty good, and less demanding than Holy Mackerel. They also swapped out Menagerie Magician and Zoobot for new minions that do the same buffs but apply them to any three types instead of just Dragon/Murloc/Beast. More flexible.

Some new Heroes too, I haven't had time with these as yet, they both seem a little bad: King Mukla Hero power gives you two +1/+1 Bananas and your opponents 1 Banana, and Mr. Bigglesworth lets you Discover a minion from a dead Hero's war band AND keep any buffs on it. Could get nuts, but does nothing in the early game. Solid addition to Heroes is Brann, who refreshes the Tavern with only Battlecry minions. You can do some cool stuff with this guy, score some early triples, and the temptation to hang out at Tier 2 and just roll Pogo-Hopper every turn is real.

Standard
Obviously, huge turnover on the Ladder. Priest is totally in the mix now, and might be even MORE annoying to players that hate Priest already. Cabal Acolyte (2/6 Taunt for 4) let's you Spellburst steal a minion à la Cabal Shadow Priest. Pretty effective with Lazul's Scheme. I stole a 16/16 Ysera from a Druid using this trick, it's for real. AoE has moved to Tempo as well, because you can swap out Breaths/Dragons for Wretched Tutor (2/5 for 4) who can Spellburst deal 2 to every other minion. This card is Neutral and likely makes some other decks viable, like a Controlly Hunter or some kind of Mage bullshit. Priest also got Raise Dead (Spell for 0) that deals 3 damage to you to put two minions that died this game into your hand. So those Spellbursts, Invokes, and Sethek Spellweavers come back for more. Following Zetalot gets you ahead of the Priest curve and he's running the package above with Hecklebots and Ogremancer (3/7 for 5, Whenever your opponent casts a spell, summon a 2/2 Skeleton with Taunt). Things are weird.

Highlander is largely on hiatus. It's out there, but like, Demon Hunters are using it. Terrible.

I've seen some fragile Combo decks in Mage, praying to not draw their second Potion of Illusion (Spell for 1, Add 1/1 copies of your minions to your hand, they cost 1,) so they can keep cycling their Tortollan Pilgrim and other minions turn over turn, ideally making a big… something. Frostbolt off Mozaki maybe? It's not great. Tempo Mage seems workable, they can make all kinds of spells and guys and accomplish things. Not sure it's enough to hang though. Mage stock seems down.

Warrior's are still out there trying. They are missing something in the midgame though, especially with the nerf to that big Rush fella last set. They are either going pure Pirate/Bombs or trying to go Control and play huge stuff off Dimensional Ripper. Eh.

Hunter is still good. Demon Hunters have access to Skull of Gul'dan upon request if they play Lorekeeper Pokelt. Druids are still cheating out stuff. Warlocks and Paladins explained above by Jackwraith.

Shaman. Hmm. Not much change there, for the most part. Spell Damage aggro would probably still work, gaining Lightning Bloom (Spell for 0, Gain 2 Mana Crystals this turn only. Overload: 2). Quest is largely unchanged, maybe adding Cult Neophyte (3/2 for 2, Battlecry: Your opponent's spells cost 1 more next turn.) Totems didn't actually gain much. That 4/5 Totem that makes the Totems is a little wonky, as noted by Jackwraith. Runic Carvings (Spell for 6, Choose: Summon 4 four 2/2 Treant Totems or Overload (2) to summon them with Rush) is too expensive. Trick Totem (0/3 for 2, At the end of your turn cast a random spell that costs (3) or less) is good; but I worry about it screwing me, and not recovering. That card is better in Mage.
Last edit: 14 Aug 2020 16:16 by jeb.
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14 Aug 2020 17:51 #313142 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Hearthstone Players!
Trick Totem is the ultimate Team 5 HS card. It can be totally amazing (Reflection, Frostbolt something of your opponent's, etc.) Or it can be totally useless (Frostbolt itself, etc.) I was using it in my totem deck largely because it was an 0/3, which means it was mildly more difficult for opponents to kill so that I'd actually have something on the board to apply Reflection/Surge to in order to try getting something out of the board. But the randomness is something that neither Mage nor Shaman (or any class trying to be competitive) would want.

You're right that Runic Carvings is too expensive for what it does. But it's also the only thing that even vaguely resembles a reload or a finisher in totem.dec. I was trying it out, but it seems to be standard for a tier 4 deck, since Vicious Syndicate is running it in their list.

Raise Dead is also brilliant for that Warlock Pain deck I mentioned. Since they want to kill your Vultures and Darkglares ASAP, it's a great way to play them right back on the next turn.
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28 Aug 2020 17:22 #313596 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Hearthstone Players!
So, I've barely played since my last post, but I've been having a conversation in the last couple days on Reddit over the problems with Shaman. Vicious Syndicate's latest meta report came out and basically condemned the class to irrelevance, where it has been for the past three expansions. Then, the NoPros report about the tournament scene was posted and, of course, there are decks from all 9 classes actually in the game (albeit few from Hunter, Paladin, and Warlock), but none from Shaman. I made a joke about it and the OP argued that Control Shaman is the second-highest win rate deck in their analysis. I said that seems to be a case of sample size. Another guy I was talking with in the VS thread said that he'd made legend with a control list, but was often frustrated with it because the smallest of mistakes would cost him games. Now, that can be said about most high-level play and I'm willing to accept that it's possible for Shaman to get there. It just seems, similar to Warrior and especially Priest at various times over the past few years, it takes a lot more thinking and niche scenarios to make it genuinely viable. Not wanting to talk without trying, I put his list together and tried a couple games:

### Control
# Class: Shaman
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Phoenix
#
# 2x (1) Devolving Missiles
# 2x (2) Diligent Notetaker
# 2x (2) Wandmaker
# 2x (2) Witch's Brew
# 1x (3) Instructor Fireheart
# 2x (3) Lightning Storm
# 1x (3) Plague of Murlocs
# 2x (3) Serpentshrine Portal
# 2x (4) Groundskeeper
# 2x (4) Hex
# 1x (4) The Fist of Ra-den
# 2x (4) Torrent
# 2x (5) Hagatha's Scheme
# 1x (5) Kobold Stickyfinger
# 1x (6) The Lurker Below
# 2x (7) Earthquake
# 1x (8) Tidal Wave
# 2x (8) Walking Fountain
#
AAECAaoIBuGlA4ixA+a3A5PCA5zOA67SAwz1BP4FrZEDipQDxZkDkKcD27gDk7kD4MwD4cwDodED/tEDAA==

I'm playing a Plague of Murlocs where he had a Gidra, because I don't have the latter. He said she was a recent addition, anyway.

hsreplay.net/replay/eiZLSeRwXo3Vi4UYCnPB8a

So, here's a game against Pure Paladin; a deck that's a frequent inhabitant of the ladder, but also not top tier. I mulligan the Groundskeeper and Fireheart because I want more active cards early on against Paladin, even as control. And the Tidal Wave, obvsly. But I keep the Portal because it's a great card for those early buffed minions that also leaves a pretty decent one behind. Most 3-drops these days are pretty solid. And, in fact, I Coin out a Portal on turn 2 because the last thing I want is a Priestess constantly buffing things like Goody Two-Shields...

Who shows up on cue. We do some trading and I use the other Portal. On turn 5, I'm thinking that I made a mistake. I could've let the Shotbot live instead of using a weapon charge and, instead, got yet another useful thing from it when I cast one of my multiple spells. Once he put down the Apt Pupil alongside the 2nd Goody, I was not at all interested trying to hammer through all of that, so I Plagued. It got me an Ace Hunter, which would've been kind of brilliant, but it also gave him Murlocs that were just as good, if not better, than mine. He cleared with the Skipper.

On turn 7, another mistake, as I could've just hit the Mage with Murmy and gotten full effect on my Lurker, rather than wasting another weapon charge. But I also get the best possible 4 result off the Hex of Turalyon and play a Groundskeeper, too; completely assuming control from this point forward. Turn 9 is debatable. I could have Devolved the frog and taken a Libram from him, but I assumed he had Liadrin, anyway, so it wouldn't have mattered much in the late game, which is where we were headed. Plus, I wanted the missiles for the next play, which was Libram of Hope. Once I dealt with that, look at my hand. There was basically nothing that was going to survive.

Turn 10 is also debatable. I could've used Nozdormu to clear the taunt and kept the Fountain available for next turn as a 4/4, forcing him to either take 8 or 12. But I was kind of determined to press the issue before Liadrin arrived. With Instructor, my choices were based on building up board position and keeping the effect going for as long as possible (value.) I had zero worries about the 12/2. Drawing into the Notetaker just meant it was over before he could cast another Hope.

Keeping in mind my two mistakes, this also wasn't an optimal challenge, since he was playing Turalyon, which is an awful card, and because too many Pure Paladin players tend to get tempted into overplaying into something huge, which is exactly what Devolving Missiles is for. But it's a demo of what the deck can do.

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