Monthly Archives: January 2014

Hearthstone: Mage Control Update

Hello everybody, this is Geek Generation.

Along with my one and only legendary, i’ve also managed to open up some other nice rares, including two Azure Drakes and one Blizzard. The updated deck list is as follows; you can compare it with the old list. I’ve been getting quite a few wins with it on Casual mode and i think it might actually be viable to play it to rank 17 or 16 on ranked play.

2 x Mirror Image
2 x Arcane Explosion
2 x Frostbolt
2 x Arcane Intellect
1 x Frost Nova
2 x Fireball
2 x Polymorph
1 x Blizzard
1 x Flamestrike

1 x Bloodmage Thalnos
2 x Novice Engineer
2 x Harvest Golem
2 x Gnomish Inventor
2 x Sen’jin Shieldmaster
2 x Water Elemental
2 x Azure Drake
2 x Lord of the Arena

Bloodmage Thalnos doesn’t seem to do much except to provide an occasional spell power bump while preserving card advantage and is rarely a game winner or tide turner compared to other legendaries. If you don’t have Bloodmage Thalnos, i guess a Kobold Geomancer could function as well. Or even a lone Arcane Missiles could work, which sometimes i wish i have in the deck. Just one is enough to complement the Arcane Explosion for doing one damage to one creature at a low mana cost.

Arcane Explosion is played over Arcane Missiles for two reasons. Arcane Missiles seems a little too random and also i feel that it’s role is a better fit in an aggro deck than a control deck as it can hit the opponent. Arcane Missiles are better against a sparsely populated board because there are less targets to hit. Against a densely populated deck, Arcane Missiles becomes unreliable, possibly hitting none of the targets that you want to hit. As a board control, Arcane Explosion is far superior and a better fit for a slow control deck that’s hoping to delay the beats into late game.

Azure Drakes are a strict upgrade to Ogre Magi. Sure it costs one more mana, but the card advantage is so much more precious. Unless you have a full set of Blizzards and find yourself often wanting to play your spell power booster and Blizzard in the same turn, Azure Drakes are going to be the better choice. And if playing a spell power booster together with Blizzard is too important for your games, then Kobold Geomancer or Dalaran Mage might even be better than Ogre Magi.

If more better cards come along, the next to go are Arcane Intellect. Sure Arcane Intellect is superb card draw, but during my games, i’m often playing near to the ten card limit for much of the mid game. The times when i’m not playing near the ten card limit, there’s just so much other things to do than to cast Arcane Intellect. With the nerf to Novice Engineer, it can be replaced by Argent Squire. However if you do replace them with Argent Squire, try to keep atleast one Arcane Intellect in the deck.

The one card i’m hoping very much to open into is Pyroblast *sigh*

Frost Nova has to remain, unless replace by another freeze spell.

So much for now, Geek Generation out.

Edit: I’ve removed Sorcerer’s Apprentice in favor of Harvest Golems. The staying power of Harvest Golems is much needed in a control deck. Sorceror’s Apprentices’ role seems to fit aggro decks better.

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Hearthstone: Warlock Control (Budget) Analysis

Welcome back to Geek Generation. Previously, i posted a deck list on Warlock Control budget deck. If you’ve played with it, you’ll know that it isn’t very good. In today’s post, i’ll talk about why it isn’t good, aside it being a budget deck.

I’ll start off with a card of the month, that has nothing to do with what this post is about. I managed to open a Mind Control Tech from a pack and i was excited to start using it, but this is what it says on my card.

MindControlTech_B

Back to Warlock Control. I’ve made some changes with the deck and swapped Darkscale Healer for Kobold Geomancer. The Darkscale Healers generally do not do anything useful. Kobold Geomancers gives your board control the reach that would otherwise be short by one.

The deck concept revolves around a pretty simple principle. The warlock’s ability is to take two damage to draw an additional card. So if the majority of the minions have Taunt, then the opponent’s minions can’t race damage by hitting you, and you can afford to draw more cards, hence achieving card advantage. It isn’t very strong, so why play such a deck? It’s the times when the deck does work, it is satisfyingly amusing. More often than not, you’ll win from opponent frustration : D

The biggest problem with such a concept is that Taunt creatures don’t really do alot for you besides absorbing damage and board control. They don’t grow bigger or make your other minions better or make enemy minions weaker or charge or generally change the game state in any spectacular way. The Taunt minions are basically meat shield with your Warlock’s card advantage drawing you into even more meat shield. The way to win with this deck would actually be to race your opponent and throw burn like Soulfire and Drain Life directly at your opponent. Your minions can hit him, but his have to go through your meat shield to get to you.

Therefore, as far as possible, creature trades should not be initiated by you. Pretty much like what happens with aggro decks. It’s a slow deck with an aggro play style.

The second significant problem is the hero’s power. Unlike Mage or Druid control or even Hunter control, where their powers can actually deal damage to the opponent, this deck’s hero ability only lets your draw more meat shield. Other control decks gain advantage naturally by making the games longer while this deck has to rely on its meat shield. Mage have game winning cards like Fireball and Druid their Ironbark Protector. Coupled with a host of other spells that can deal damage directly to the hero, Mage and Druids become the default control decks, as far as budget decks go that is.

That is not to say Warlock control decks do not exist. Just that in most of its forms, it’ll not be a budget deck.

Hearthstone: Open beta

Hello everybody, this is Geek Generation.

Hearthstone has entered open beta for the U.S. server. Not sure how that works exactly, i’m assuming that if you could access the U.S. server for Diablo 3, then you’ll probably be able to play Hearthstone open beta on the U.S. server. And if you can’t, fret not, open beta will become available to everyone soon, according to the news that is.

One thing i noticed after the open beta is that there are alot more players who’d resign a game over bad starts. For example, one game, i was playing against a mage, and i drew my one and only Questing Adventurer (1/1 Whenever you play a card, gain +1/+1). So on turn three i played Questing Adventurer -> Coin -> Hand of Protection. And then the mage resigns. Sure, it was a good start for me, but one good start does not a seal the game. Especially against a mage which has such strong board control.

In any case, i clicked the play button immediately for the next pairing, and i was paired to the same mage again; i looked at the name earlier. And the mage resigns against, at first opportunity available, without any plays being made by either of us. My deck was not even an aggro deck..

Then before the mage there was a warrior. I played a turn two or three (can’t remember very well) Harvest Golem (2/3 Deathrattle: Summon a 2/1 Damaged Golem). On his turn, he does some stuff to hit my golem and proceeds to resign on the same turn. Told ya Harvest Golem was op : D

Anyway..

I managed to luck into a Bloodmage Thalnos the other day. Maybe i’ll make a spell power deck. Geek Generation out.

Guild Wars 2: The Origin of Madness (Wurm)

Geek Generation here.

FirthVigilWp
The first thing to note about the wurm part of the new content is that the in-game mail points you to the wrong waypoint. The event begins at the Firth Vigil Waypoint. The event begins with three escort missions. Each escort leads to a different location in Bloodtide Coast, with a different wurm at each location. There are Amber, Crimson and Cobalt wurms. Each wurm has a different fight mechanic.

Amber Wurm

PlagueCarrierAbomination
With the Amber wurm, the players need to kill Plague Carrier Abominations and stand at close range when the Abomination dies. This would give the players a poison status, the yellow sign above the head.

RedArrow
Upon getting the poison status, players have to stand at the red arrow to be swallowed whole by the wurm.

WurmGut
Once swallowed, players have to fight their way out of the gut inducing the wurm to vomit. Not very sure of the significance of this, since it didn’t seem to do any damage at all to the wurm.

After the first abomination, an insane amount of hardy minions enters the fray to bounce you around. It becomes impossible to get to the abomination for a poison status, or if you got the status, impossible to stay alive long enough at the arrow to be swallowed, and i’m assuming if you do get swallowed, not enough people with poison status get swallowed making the whole exercise a futile activity.

As it stands, the event is insanely difficult.

Crimson Wurm

From what i gathered in the map chat, there are three color bars that you need to fill up before damaging the wurm.

Cobalt Wurm

From what i gathered in the map chat, the players need to plant barrels of bombs at the red arrow to be swallowed by the wurm before the wurm can be damaged.

After the failed wurm fight, there was a new build for Guild Wars 2. Hopefully some sense has trickled into the developers’ heads and they made the wurm events less insane.

Edit: Ok, i see that the achievements for the wurms have a category of their own called Triple Trouble (like Tequatl). And since the wurms are a permanent addition to the game, the insane difficulty is probably on par with Tequatl.

Guild Wars 2: The Origin of Madness (Marionette)

Hello everybody, this is Geek Generation.

Guild Wars 2’s new Living Story content, The Origin of Madness, is released today. Just had my first attempt on the Marionette. Here’s a brief run down on what happens and what to do.

The wurm and the marionette event ocurs at every alternate hour. So at the hour mark, if it’s not the marionette happening, it’s the wurm then.

With the marionette, there are five lanes. When you arrive, pick up the new waypoint and choose a lane to go to. Once you’ve picked it, there’s no switching of lanes. But one lane is as good as another. Commanders would likely tag up and try to organize things to ensure that lanes are not undermanned.

The lanes have two parts that matter. The part which ends in a wall, which is also the player portal to enter to the Marionette room. The player portal is not active and will not be usable until it charges up. The other part of the lane that matter is the opening of the lane, that is the opening from which you walk into the lane. When the event starts, an npc portal will appear at the opening and start spawning giant clockwork champions. The clockwork champions will start to move toward the player portal, picking up speed as it goes, until it’s actually running.

For this phase of the event, players have to kill the clockwork champions as quickly as possible to prevent them from reaching the player portal, which i assume will charge the marionette and cause it to fire a laser to kill everyone instantly, and thus fail in the event. While this champion clockwork killing is going on, the player portal charges up.

Once the player portal is fully charged, the tunnel walls of the lane will start displaying arrows pointing toward the player portal. At that point, drop everything that you’re doing and head to the player portal, interact with it to enter the marionette room. Not sure if it should be called the marionette room since i don’t see the marionette itself. In the room, is another champion. The champion’s aoe are not the traditional red, but avoid them all the same.

Once in the room, kill the champion and once the champion is dead, destroy the marionette’s chain link. Which should be something one part of the wall. We weren’t successful tho, since not many players entered the room.

At this point, i’m assuming that once all the five chains links are severed, the event would complete. Remember to do a /cheer as there seems to be an achievement for it.

More at Geek Generation once i try out the wurm.

Hearthstone: DC but no reconnection, maintenance but no warning

Welcome back to Geek Generation, i know, it’s not more than a day, but the title says it all.

I was just playing Hearthstone Areana, finishing up my fourth win (after two losses). The opponent had conceded and emoted “Thank you” to me. I thought it polite to reply with a “Thank you” emote and i did, quickly, before the match locks out. And lo behold, i was disconnected after sending the thank you, apparently there was going to be a maintenance in 10 minutes. PST time was 0249 and maintenance was scheduled for 0300. Yes, it wasn’t the scheduled time yet ><

I'm left wondering whether the win was recorded or i would log back in after the maintenance to discover that i've finished the Arena with three losses, counting my last win as a disconnection, hence loss. I know, i didn't read the message of the day in small text. But when i want to play a game, i just sit down and log in to play. Do i have to check when's the next maintenance scheduled? Imagine you went to the movies, bought a ticket and when you tried to enter the cinema, lo behold, your movie time was scheduled for maintenance!

It's not like Blizzard does not have the data for estimating the average time for a match. The game could've stopped me from starting a new match, or at least warn that there might not be enough time to complete the match. Utterly disappointing in this aspect.

Which also makes me wonder about something really peculiar in this game. Since disconnection results in losses, why can't Blizzard let us log back into the match? I know, disconnection has to result in a loss, it prevents abuse from players since if it doesn't result in losses players would simply disconnect their internet whenever they're going to lose to preserve their win streak. But i'm not asking for disconnection to not be counted as a loss. I'm asking for reconnection back into the match to resume.

Sigh, i only hope i didn't lose my Arena streak : ( Geek Generation out.

Update: It was recorded as a win fortunately.

Hearthstone: Warlock Control (Budget)

Geek Generation here. If you’ve been playing against Warlock decks, they’ve probably come in the form of aggro decks, running kobolds that range from cheap to legendary. What they do is to push for damage with quick beats and refill their hand (and board) with the Warlock’s card drawing ability. Compared to Hunter, what it lacks in Starving Buzzard, it makes up for in the Warlock’s card draw.

Speaking of Hunter, Unleash the Hounds is a truly amazing card after the change. You can easily swing for six damage with only three mana.

Anyway, like all budget decks, it’ll probably bring you up to the rank of Novice Engineer and Sorcerer’s Apprentice and no further. Which makes me wonder, all these decks that are filled with rares and wonderful legendaries, are they no stronger than my budget decks : D Why are they still playing against me at Sorcerer’s Apprentice rank?

2 x Soulfire
2 x Mortal Coil
2 x Drain Life
2 x Shadow Bolt
2 x Hellfire

2 x Voidwalker
2 x Frostwolf Grunt
2 x Harvest Golem
2 x Ironfur Grizzly
2 x Sen’jin Shieldmasta
2 x Spellbreaker
2 x Booty Bay Bodyguard
2 x Darkscale Healer
2 x Dread Infernal
2 x Lord of the Arena

The idea of the deck is simple. Since every two health nets you a card, then the less your opponent’s creatures hit you, the more cards you can afford to draw. Which is why there are so many Taunt creatures in the deck. There are plenty of upgrades for the deck. Booty Bay Bodyguard is the least impressive of them all, and i would gladly swap them for Fen Creeper whenever i get any.

The severe weakness of this deck are Hunters and Mages. With mages, they simply wait for their tenth mana to Pyroblast for the win. With Hunters, they turn their decks into a form of control, playing their Hero ability every turn they can. With a Kill Command, they would have taken out half your life by the time you get to plopping Dread Infernal on the table. Warlock control, as it exists now, almost can never win against Hunters and Mages. The hero’s ability become such a big liability that it’s as good as not playing any hero.

Ta now. Geek Generation.

Hearthstone: Hunter Beast (Budget)

Geek Generation here, hello everybody.

In the last season of Hearthstone’s ranked play, i was at rank Angry Chicken for the longest amount of time. The reason for that was pretty simple, i assumed that all non-Arena games were ranked play. Turns out that there were Casual and Ranked tabs and that i needed to click on the Ranked to play ranked games.

An aside, the deck editor’s ui is a little clunky. I can’t seem to be able to exit the deck editor and discard all changes that i’ve made.

The patch kicked in with the last maintenance. I actually played before the patch without realizing that the patch hadn’t applied yet. Got myself a terrible two back to back zero-wins for Arena matches.

Anyway, here’s the budget deck list for the Hunter Beast deck which i have that has me fluctuating about at the Sorcerer’s Apprentice rank. With the nerf of Novice Engineer and Blood Imps, this deck actually becomes better by virtue of the meta being filled with these cards.

2 x Hunter’s Mark
2 x Arcane Shot
1 x Bestial Wrath
2 x Stonetusk Boar
1 x Timber Wolf
2 x Bloodfen Raptor
2 x Dire Wolf
1 x Ironbeak Owl
2 x River Crocolisk
2 x Starving Buzzard
2 x Animal Companion
2 x Kill Command
2 x Ironfur Grizzly
2 x Multi-Shot
2 x Houndmaster
1 x Stampeding Kodo
2 x Tundra Rhino

The deck is highly aggressive (coupled with Hunter’s ability) and punishes bad draws and bad play, including yours. As far as possible, unless a highly unfavorable trade exists on the board, your beasts should always be hitting the opponent. Do not be afraid to commit your Dire Wolfs to push for more damage even if it means a trade on your opponent’s next turn. Similarly, do not be afraid to commit Starving Buzzards either. If you managed to draw three cards off it, the bird has done a good job already. That said, do not commit Starving Buzzard on turn 2. Play it only when you can play additional beasts in the same turn.

The next important thing to remember is to not over-commit. Your creatures are tiny and extremely vulnerable to board removal. Be mindful of the mass board removal turns (and Coin card) when playing against Warlocks, Mages, Paladins, Priests, Druids, and even Warriors, Shamans and fellow Hunters.

Warlocks deal 3 on turn 4, Paladins deal 2 on turn 4, Priests deal 2 on turn 5, Druids deal 4+1 on turn 4 or earlier. Against warriors and shamans, you’d prefer to play Crocolisks over Raptors because of their cheap 2 damage cards. Actually, unless you’re playing the Raptor on turn one with the coin, you’ll usually want to play Crocolisks over Raptor. The additional toughness can encourage a different play in your opponent, like holding off from playing a 2/2.

The deck has little board control and should be used sparingly. As far as possible Kill Commands should be reserved for shooting the opponent while Hunter’s Mark and Ironbeak Owl should be reserved for bigger creatures with Taunt.

If you’re commited to playing Animal Companion, always play it before you attack. There’s a chance you might get Leokk and score additional damage. Don’t be hasty in clicking the End Turn button either, coz you might get a hasty Huffer.

Last but not least, remember that Houndmaster is not a beast. Geek Generation out.

Edit: I didn’t realize that Bestial Wrath was an epic. The deck might not be so budget after all..

Hearthstone: Patch 13th Jan

Hello everyone, Geek Generation is back again. Usually i’d give a few days in between each post. But since Hearthstone is releasing a patch soon, i’d talk about one or two of the upcoming balance changes.

First off, recently, i’ve been seeing alot of Warlock aggro decks running Blood Imps and Sylvanas Windrunner in almost every deck. So i guess it’s kind of expected a nerf was coming their way. Not much for me to mind about since i don’t have those cards anyway.

Novice Engineer (Battlecry: Draw a card.) is going to be nerfed into a 1/1. It’s such a great aggro stopper at 1/2 that it’s good in every kind of deck, from aggro to control. The problem with the nerf tho is that it hurts control decks more than it hurts aggro decks. Aggro decks are going to switch to Loot Hoarder or even just play a plain 3/2 vanilla with little disruption to their original plans. Control decks however do not have any good substitute. The closest that i can think of is Argent Squire (imagine the divine shield as a card draw into another 1/1 rofl) which pales in comparison to the old Novice Engineer.

The most disappointing change is Warsong Commander (Your other minions have Charge.) reworked as: Whenever you play a minion with 3 or less Attack, give it Charge. It is one of those cards that lets Warriors turn the tide in a game. By itself, it’s a legitimate threat. Like how you’d kill a Starving Buzzard on sight. With the change, the threat represented by the card dropped drastically. And if Blizzard was really concerned about OTK (one turn kill), they should’ve reworked Molten Giant instead of Warsong Commnader. 8/8 for zero mana is simply a recipe for abuse even with Warsong Commander changes. Players will always be looking at Molten Giant to see what they can do with it.

That’s all i have to say regarding the patch. This is Geek Generation, till the next time, have fun.

Guild Wars 2: Shiverpeaks Explorer Achievement

Hello everybody. Geek Generation is not going to talk about CCG today. Well, i do play more than just CCG.

In Guild Wars 2, there’s an explorer achievement where the player has to visit all the places available on the specified maps in the Guild Wars 2 world. The maps included for the Shiverpeaks Explorer achievement are Wayfarer Foothills, Snowden Drifts, Lornar’s Pass, Dredgehaunt Cliffs, Timberline Falls and Frostgorge Sound.

Before my Guild Wars 2 hiatus, my Shiverpeaks Explorer was at 173/175. You would’ve think that getting the 100% map completion achievement would mean you’ve explored all the possible places. But that wasn’t the case. Some of the places are so out of the way from the normal hearts, waypoints, vistas and points of interests that they are never encountered or traveled to during the course of the 100% map completion.

When i came back to playing Guild Wars 2, i still wasn’t paying the achievement any mind until i noticed one of the changes to the ui. On the achievement page, there’s a column in the table that displays the nearly completed achievements and it was clogging up with the explorer achievements. So i decided to try to finish up all the explorer achievements beginning with the Shiverpeaks Explorer.

I looked through the list of jumping puzzles available in Shiverpeaks and visted all the ones that i’ve never attempted before. That brought my Shiverpeaks Explorer up by one to 174/175. After googling abit more, i found that i was missing the Forsaken Halls in Dredgehaunt Cliffs. To get to this place, requires entering a dwarven gate near the Wyrmblood waypoint.

GW2_ShiverpeaksExplorer

The red arrow shows the location of the dwarven gate, which is just west of Wyrmblood waypoint. When you arrive at the dwarven gate, the gate is closed. Interact with it, and it’ll tell you to head to the Travelen’s Steading to look for Gerrvid, pointed to by the blue arrow. Finding Gerrvid in the steading, he tells you to read three books lying around him. Read all three and talk to him again and tell him you’ve solved the riddle (You don’t have to actually solve any).

This starts an escort mission. When you’ve successfully escorted Gerrvid to the dwarven gate, the gate opens and you can enter the portal to Forsaken Halls. Shiverpeaks Explorer 175/175. Yay.

Extra (spoiler alert): Gerrvid’s quest line.
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