Monthly Archives: June 2015

Hearthstone: Dr Patron

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

After watching a couple eppys of Trump’s Patron Warrior boot camp, i thought the deck was kind of fun to play so i gave it a try. The problem was that i didn’t have all the cards. This is the deck list i went with:

2 x Inner Rage
2 x Execute
2 x Whirlwind
2 x Fiery War Axe
2 x Battle Rage

2 x Armorsmith
1 x Cruel Taskmaster
1 x Loot Hoarder
1 x Unstable Ghoul
2 x Acolyte of Pain
2 x Frothing Berserker
2 x Warsong Commander
2 x Death’s Bite
2 x Dread Corsair
2 x Grim Patron
1 x Emperor Thaurissan
1 x Dr. Boom
1 x Grommash Hellscream

Commanding_Shout

The card i didn’t have was Commanding Shout. Unfortunately, it is quite an important card. Without it, playing against Mage Mech becomes much harder when they successfully drop a bunch of Spider Tanks and its equivalent. Since there wasn’t really any good replacement, i went with Grommash. An angry Grommash is always good.

Grim_Patron Dr_Boom

Next up i swapped Slam for Dr. Boom. I really wanted Dr. Boom in the Patron Warrior, because winning with style is more important : D Plus, sometimes the opponent figured he’ll ignore Dr. Boom and try to race me. But it’s generally a bad idea for the opponent to do that since i could race with the doctor and follow up with a double Armorsmith into Whirlwind. That gives a ton of Armor.

I also swapped Gnomish Inventor for Loot Hoarder. There’s usually alot of things to do on turn 4, but turn 2 options are always lacking. I won’t want to armor up on turn 2 because i wanted to have some damage for Battle Rage. I didn’t want to do nothing either, because i felt that it was kind of a bad play. I found that i always mulligan the entire hand when i did not have a Fiery War Axe. I felt that Loot Hoarder made turn 2 more forgiving.

Grim Patron is kind of hard to play. I started at rank 13, and dropped to rank 14. But once i got the hang of it, i managed to push myself up to rank 10. I had to learn to restrain myself to stop wasting Whirlwind and Execute just to gain a board which i could not contribute to. I also had to learn that turn 1 Inner Rage on a Webspinner was kind of a bad play.

Emperor Thaurissan was not auto-cast on turn 6, it’s a good idea to hang on to it if the hand does not have any of the important pieces. Death’s Bite’s 2nd hit had to be saved for Patrons, Berserkers, or even Armorsmiths and Acolytes. Sometimes, the best play is to just armor up and do nothing else.

But Dr. Boom is usually good to play on turn 7 : D

Against warrior, try to be the one to cast Grim Patron first. Once 4 Patrons hit the table, it’s usually kind of hard for the opponent warrior to regain the board.

Ok so much for now, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Rogue Mid Range Tempo (Post BRM)

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I’ve been looking through Rogue deck lists but was kind of sad to learn that most of the Rogue decks online required Preparation, of which i have 0 copies. Which kind of means using Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil is not such a great option.

But i was determined to make a Rogue deck and came up with the following list. I played from ranked 15 to rank 13, which didn’t really mean many games. But i’m pretty satisfied with the result. Here’s the list:

2 x Backstab
2 x Deadly Poison
1 x Blade Flurry
2 x Eviscerate
2 x Sap
2 x Fan of Knives
1 x Assassin’s Blade
1 x Assassinate

2 x Abusive Sergeant
2 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 x Goblin Auto-Barber
2 x Ironbeak Owl
2 x Knife Juggler
2 x Ogre Brute
2 x SI:7 Agent
2 x Piloted Shredder
1 x Dr. Boom

There’s only 1 Blade Flurry because i have only 1. The deck would probably do better with 2 Blade Flurrys. There’s 2 Acidic Swamp Ooze, because i felt that Hunter, Warrior and Paladin encompassed a large portion of the pool of opponents.

The deck does not have any life gain or card draw which is also the weakest feature of the deck. Sometimes, you just can’t win against a Hunter if he wasn’t putting weapons out. Or i draw the ooze only after he’s done using his weapons.

One of the focus of the deck is to minimize the number of minions that die to a single use of the opponent’s hero power. Abusive Sergeants are ok, since their value is mostly in their Battlecry. And sometimes, they double up as a combo enabler.

Ogre Brutes are actually pretty neat. They seem to be pretty hard to kill and usually deal quite abit of damage when i have the tempo. Knife Juggler is usually not a turn 2 minion. It’s better to bait out a removal first before playing Knife Juggler.

I often use the coin to make a turn 1 Dagger to enable a turn 2 Goblin Auto-Barber. As long as there’s a 2 drop minion in hand, i would say it’s probably a good idea to do that as it allows a tempo play of Backstab + Dagger attack for 3 damage followed by an Ogre Brute. The times i don’t want to make a turn 1 Dagger is when i have SI:7 Agent in hand.

When it comes to mulligan, it’s best to throw away all Eviscerates, as they tend to have better value when it’s targeting the opponent’s hero for the last 8 damage.

With the exception of Dr. Boom, this deck is pretty cheap. With Dr. Boom, there’s really no good replacement. He brings alot of value with him to the table. Though Loatheb might work. Come to think of it.. i should squeeze Loatheb in somehow.

Hmm.. what can i take out? Until next time, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Banana Brawl

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here. This is a busy week, there’s so much post to post.

I was quite excited about Banana Brawl when i first learned about it. It seemed kind of fun. But like week one’s Black Rock Mountain duel, the excitement faded. It faded rather quickly when i learned that Banana Brawl was dominated by a single Mage deck. All hopes of spending time playing Banana Brawl to complete daily quests fizzled. If there isn’t much deck variation, it isn’t much fun. I suppose one could spend time figuring out a deck to specifically beat Banana Brawl Mage in Banana Brawl, but the format lasts only a couple days, i’m not sure it’s worth the effort to do it.

I’m guessing the way to play Banana Brawl is to have a mixture of low health minions and healthier minions. Low health minions are required to harvest bananas and healthier minions are required to survive the turn to eat bananas. Unless they have charge.

Anyway, i played for the Classic pack on all three servers and i’ll list my deck lists here.

Rogue

2 x Cold Blood
1 x Conceal
2 x Deadly Poison
1 x Blade Flurry
2 x Eviscerate
2 x Sap

2 x Dragon Egg
2 x Acidic Ooze
2 x Defias Ringleader
2 x Haunted Creeper
2 x Ironbeak Owl
2 x Nerubian Egg
2 x Stonesplinter Trogg
2 x Acolyte of Pain
2 x SI: 7 Agent
2 x Dragonkin Sorcerer

This was on the main server i play, so i had alot more cards and options compared to the other two decks. The win i got was kind of boring in terms of bananas. Imade turn 1 Trogg, he made turn 2 Creeper, i attacked with Trogg. I made Creeper, he made Creeper, I made Dagger, he made Eaglehorn Bow and killed my Trogg. I got a +1/+1 banana. Turn 4, i went Deadly Poison -> 2 x Cold Blood on my own Creeper. Attacked and Concealed. He made an Explosive Trap, which didn’t help because my 9/2 Creeper ate a banana.

With the other deck lists, i don’t remember much about the other games, but here are the deck lists anyway.

Paladin

2 x Light’s Justice
2 x Blessing of Might
2 x Hand of Protection
1 x Sword of Justice
2 x Truesilver Champion
2 x Consecration

1 x Clockwork Gnome
1 x Murloc Raider
2 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
1 x Argent Protector
2 x Haunted Creeper
2 x Murloc Tidehunter
2 x Nerubian Egg
2 x Acolyte of Pain
2 x Razorfen Hunter
2 x Dragonling Mechanic
2 x Gnomish Inventor

This list has alot of strange one ofs. It’s not because of any deck design considerations. I simply do not have the cards and was chucking in whatever cards i had. I think the game was against Rogue who played Vanish twice. But the Recruits kept bringing bananas to the table. When your minions eat more bananas than your opponent’s minions, you tend to win.

Hunter

2 x Hunter’s Mark
2 x Arcane Shot
2 x Animal Companion
2 x Kill Command
2 x Multi-Shot

2 x Timber Wolf
2 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 x Haunted Creeper
1 x Ironbeak Owl
2 x Murloc Tidehunter
2 x Ironfur Grizzly
2 x Razorfen Hunter
2 x Wolfrider
1 x Argent Commander
2 x Nerubian Egg
2 x Novice Engineer

This deck list i won against a Warlock. I’m not too sure what kind of Warlock it was, but it didn’t seem very Banana Brawl ready. It ran a host of removal spells including 2 x Hellfire. It was bananas and Argent Commander for the win.

So much for now, until next time, Go Bananas. Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Dr. Boom’s Fate

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

Dr_Boom

Since i crafted Dr. Boom, i thought i’ll start chucking it into all my decks, from control, to mid-range to aggro, to Grim Patron combo. Yes, it fits everywhere.

Novice_Engineer Sylvanas_Windrunner

The sad reality of card games is that cards that go into every deck will be banned or nerfed. This is true for all rarities of cards, i.e. Novice Engineer, Sylvanas Windrunner.

Card games like Magic the Gathering can afford to be more forgiving to powerful cards because they have some sort of rotation scheme. Every year, entire block of cards are rotated out of the season and become useless in the competitive scene. So designers can just wait a card out of existence as long as it does not break the game. Additionally, powerful cards help drive the secondary market, which i believe supports the health of a game in some way.

[b]Battlecry[/b]: Summon two 1/1 Boom Bots.
In Hearthstone, there is no rotation and the pool of cards grows indefinitely as more cards are introduced. Cards can be used competitively as long as the game servers remain. There is then a need to constantly revisit cards to maintain a balanced game.

However, all is not lost for Dr. Boom supporters. There is a chance that Dr. Boom might not get nerfed. That is if there is a change in design philosophy that we do not know of. Perhaps the designers had planned to bring the “power level” of the game, with future expansions, to the level of Dr. Boom. Maybe Dr. Boom is designed to be so powerful.

Personally, i think Dr. Boom is fine as it is. The reason i say this is that as more and more minions with Deathrattle get released, their staying power or their value per card would increase and up to a certain point, Dr. Boom’s relevance would diminish.

Conspiracy or not, i do believe the designers made Dr. Boom powerful so people would spend money to buy GvG packs. Probably they would nerf Dr. Boom some time before the next expansion comes around to pave the way for the next legendary mascot.

What do you think Dr. Boom’s fate will be? Geek Generation out.

Dr. Boom nerf?
Dr_Boom_7_5 Dr_Boom_9_mana

Boombot nerf?
Boombot_Small Boombot_MinionOnly

Or both? Or reboot?
Dr_Boom_FantasticBoar

Cards made using www.hearthcards.net

Hearthstone: Just crafted Dr Boom, yay!

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

When i first began talking about Hearthstone, I recommended that everyone should play arena instead of straight up buying packs. Reasons i cited was that you gain experience playing arena, something which does not come from straight up buying packs.

Also, if you get like 4 wins consistently, which shouldn’t be difficult to achieve once you’ve clocked some amount of experience, the rewards would tend to cover the the extra 50g you paid, effectively bringing down the price of your arena pack down to 100g.

However, quite abit has changed since then. First off, i’m lacking alot of cards required to play some of the newer decks. I want those cards and i want them now.

Secondly, arena now only rewards GvG packs, which means i would have to buy Classic packs if i want to open them. Or get lucky and get the spectator quest etc. Thirdly, i don’t really have much time to play these days. Which makes getting packs through arena a really long process.

So i decided to spend all of my 4000g to get 20 GvG and 20 Classic packs. There’s something addictively enjoyable about cracking packs open. I’m down to 0g now, my plans for the future in Hearthstone would be to start saving up 3500g for future adventures before i start playing arena.

Lots of people seem to estimate a rate of income of 100g per day. But that rate seems rather high for a casual player. My personal estimate is 50g per day, which means… a whole 2 months before i start playing arena O.o

The_Beast

40 packs cracked open, i got a lengendary which isn’t much useful, i think.

Millhouse_Manastorm_Gold Dr_Boom

Anyway, i had a golden Millhouse Manastorm in the inventory. Browsing the online information, the general consensus seems to be to disenchant golden Millhouse Manastorm and craft a better legendary with it. So i went with it and made Dr Boom.

The only risk of bad dust econmics is i opened another Dr Boom and Dr Boom didn’t get nerfed. I would end up with an extra copy. Or if Dr Boom were nerfed, and i didn’t refund it (because i’m a natural hoarder), and i opened another Dr Boom after the full refund was over.

In any case, considering my plan of saving 3500g, i think the probability of me getting a second Dr Boom in the next couple months seem pretty low.

Gelbin_Mekkatorque_Gold Elite_Tauren_Chieftain_Gold

Anyway, the decision to disenchant Millhouse Manastorm came down to the fact that i could never get a complete golden set. So much for now, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Tavern Brawl: First Impression

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

Tavern Brawl was available to play yesterday and boy was it over-hyped. Before i begin, Let me talk a little about Casual and Ranked play modes.

When i first started playing Hearthstone, i always went for Casual mode. After a while, the decks i encountered became so hard to win against that i switched to Ranked mode. Daily quests felt like they were easier to complete when playing in Ranked mode.

I never knew that Casual mode had an internal elo system too. I always thought that it just paired you randomly with whoever else clicked on Casual and that over time, strong players came to feast on the new players in Casual mode and all new players migrated to ranked mode.

But every now and then i would alternate between playing Casual mode and Ranked mode. But with the introduction of golden heroes, i never went back to Casual mode. The thought process was like: If i’m playing constructed, why would i play anything other than Ranked mode? Casual mode doesn’t help me work toward getting a golden hero.

The same fate that has befallen Casual mode awaits Tavern Brawl. After my first game, and getting that pack, there isn’t any compulsion to play any more Tavern Brawl. I would rather spend time playing my own constructed decks to work toward a golden hero. There’s not even an achievement or ladder board for playing Tavern Brawl.

It was not like an adventure where i would end the game with a couple more cards. Those cards would in turn generate more interests in Hearthstone as i thought about how i could fit those cards into existing decks, whether i could build decks around those cards etc.

With constructed on Ranked mode, even if i were net decking, i would’ve attempted to tune it to my own particular play style. Even if i didn’t tune the deck, i would at least have dragged/double clicked the cards to fill the deck. When i win a game because of certain tuned cards that i put in, it gives me satisfaction. It makes me feel like i was kind of clever. With preconstructed decks, Tavern Brawl didn’t seem very satisfying.

But to be fair, Tavern Brawl wasn’t all bad. I liked the idea of pitting Nefarian against Raganaros for the fact that the decks are an asymmetric match. There are lots of big minions and big effects, which is not something you can do with constructed.

Personally, i think Tavern Brawl works better for people who have lots of friends playing the game. It lets friends duel each other while eliminating/minimizing the power level differences in card collection between friends. A player who has an extensive collection could duel a friend who’s just starting out on Tavern Brawl without the advantage of a bigger collection.

I really hope they could add some weekly leader board for Tavern Brawl. They are counting the number of Tavern Brawl wins already, so it should be small matter to implement it. They could make Tavern Brawl both free to play, and registered. Registration fees should be similar to Arena, 150g. All who registered gets a Classic pack (at end of Brawl week). This helps new players to get Classic cards. Like Arena, Tavern Brawl should award goodies hidden in gift boxes. Top 5% of the leaderboard gets 4 gift boxes, top 10% 3 gift boxes, top 20% 2 gift boxes etc. Leaderboards are reset for every brawl.

With such a system, or similar system, in place, players would get more incentive to play Tavern Brawl. Otherwise, they would always prefer to go for Ranked mode to work toward their golden heroes, or Arena, which has better rewards for the time put in.

Last but not least, Tavern Brawl has more modes, hopefully, those other modes do not disappoint. Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: A thought on Sap vs Mind Control – A Case of Owners and Controllers

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I think Tavern Brawl should be playable today. I thought i’ll push this post through first before i go home to play later today.

Sap Mind_Control

I looking through hearthstone forums when i came across a question similar to this:

What happens when i Sap a minion that a Priest Mind Control led. The poster went on to say that the card text should say “Return minion to controller’s hand” and not “Return minion to owner’s hand”. It is only fair that those who do not understand the background of this issue cannot appreciate the differences between “controller” and “owner”.

I do believe that the roots of this pedantry between controller and owner lies in Magic the Gathering. It might have older roots, i’m not sure. The distinction between controller and owner arose from similar card interactions involving changing control of a creture and creature bounce (minions in Hearthstone = creatures in Magic the Gathering).

In Magic the Gathering, whenever a creature is bounced back to hand, regardless of the creature’s current controller, the creature is bounced back to the owner’s hand. This is completely opposite from what happens in Hearthstone when minions are bounced.

Magic the Gathering began as a physical card game. A game session in Magic the Gathering involves those physical card, all of which have owners. When a game session completes in Magic the Gathering (physical), players pick up their cards and bring it around with them. They did not have to reveal the cards in their hands.

The game designers at Magic the Gathering anticipated that this could become a problem with creature bouncing, if the creature cards did not return to the owners’ hand that is. All sorts of things could happen, from forgetting that you’re holding a card that’s not owned by you to forgetting that your opponent is holding your card to sleight of hand thefts to blame behavior arising from lost cards, etc.

Hence cards in Magic the Gathering had controllers and owners. If a creature has a cost that deals damage as a cost, then it would refer to the controller. If the card had to leave the board, it normally would refer to the owner.

Hearthstone did not begin as a physical card game. The contents of a game session are generated for the session and do not persist outside of the session. Hence, barring severe programming errors, cards do not have a chance to get misplaced when minions are bounced to the owner’s hand instead of the controller’s hand.

An obvious question is, which is the better method? Bouncing creatures to owner’s hand or bouncing minions to controller’s hand? I would say, if the developers intend to make both physical and digital versions of a card game, then they have to stick to the Magic the Gathering style to minimize card misplacement and also to ensure consistency between the versions. However, if a card game is ever only going to be digital, then i would say that Hearthstone’s style is makes more sense and is actually more elegant.

I know there’ll be alot of people with Magic the Gathering background who will disagree with me. At one point in time, i dislike the Hearthstone method too. But hear me out. There are three points i like to make with regard to saying bouncing minions to controllers hand is better.

1.) Bouncing a creature/minion to owner’s hand is a learned behavior/culture. Without considering the issue of card misplacement, one style doesn’t get better than the other. However, if we consider a card that has text “Return this minion to hand at end of turn”, a player with no background in Magic the Gathering would likely read the card as returning to controller’s hand.

Unstable_Portal

2.) Bouncing a creature/minion to owner’s hand is made this way because of the possibility of misplacement of cards. As a digital, it makes no sense to apply the constraints of physical cards to digital cards. If digital card games allowed themselves to be constrained like they were physical cards, then cards like Unstable Portals would not exist. Because, they simply cannot exist in physical card games. Imagine the logistics involved in playing Unstable Portal as a physical card.

3.) If a bounce bounces a creature/minion to owner’s hand instead of controller’s hand instead, it creates an enhancement value to the bounce mechanic. Not only does the bounce does what it do, it also has a cleansing effect on mind control mechanics. So this does two things:
a) Increase the power level of bounce mechanics
b) Decrease the power level of mind control mechanics

Hex Frog

To me, a mechanic should simply do what it says. Additional properties like cleanisng should not be added to effects like bounce if we could help it. But of course, bounce mechanics do cleanse. A minion with +1/+1 gets cleansed of it when it’s bounced. Damaged minions come back at full health when resummoned after a bounce. But we should note that bouncing a frog doesn’t give us back the original minion.

If you mouse over a card with +1/+1, the +1/+1 will show up in the effects list. But if you mouse over a Frog, it doesn’t say, “This Frog was once a Ragnaros” and it certainly doesn’t says, “This minion’s owner is Joe, controller is Jane”. These texts, imo, would make for a very convoluted list of effects.

Consider this, if bounce could cleanse a minion of mind control, shouldn’t a Silence do the same thing as well? Which loops back into point 3. More cards get more value, mind control loses value.

Ok, this has become a pretty lengthy wall of text. So much for now, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Warlock – Sensing the Void

Ah.. it’s been awhile. Geek Generation here.

I left Hearthstone some time before the release of the expansion Gnomes v Goblins and came back to the game right at the end of Black Rock Mountain. I did have some gold saved up, so i was able to purchase and play all the wings of Black Rock Mountain. I bought 10 packs of GvG (with gold again), but unfortunately, the card pool meant that i wasn’t playing a mech deck any time soon.

I went through a couple of my old decks and used them to complete the daily quest. The one i liked most was still Voidrattler. It was a mid range that that had quick starts in Undertaker.

Now that the Undertaker was nerfed, i felt that is simply didn’t have a place in the deck anymore. The deck was after all, not a small aggro deck. I took out Undertaker. Since i didn’t need the Death Rattle activators anymore, i took out Haunted Creeper, Nerubian Egg and, of course, Mad Scientist.

In came Kobold Geomancers, which are still my favourite minions. The deck now looks like this:

2 x Mortal Coil
2 x Power Overwhelming
2 x Soulfire
2 x Sense Demons
2 x Hellfire

1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
1 x Ironbeak Owl
2 x Kobold Geomancer
1 x Stonesplinter Trogg
2 x Harvest Golem
2 x Chillwind Yeti
2 x Defender of Argus
1 x Spellbreaker
2 x Voidcaller
2 x Doomguard
2 x Sludge Belcher
2 x Dread Infernal

I’m not sure what a previous iteration had before i changed it to Acidic Swamp Ooze and Stonesplinter Trogg. What’s with the single copy of Stonesplinter Trogg? Well.. it’s because i have only 1. I wanted a 2/3 body that didn’t go higher than 2 mana.

Before the addition of these 2 mana minions, the deck always had one problem: it usually didn’t make a bid for the board until turn 4. I’d never make a turn 2 Kobold Geomancer, unless i’m firing a Mortal Coil off the Coin. And sometimes, i’d rather cast Sense Demons even when i have a Harvest Golem in hand.

The 2 drops were my way of shoring up the weakness in the mana curve.

The deck’s concept remains the same. Sense Demons to bring in a Void Caller and a big ass demon. Void Caller’s Death Rattle plops the big ass demon on the board since they’re the only other demons around.

The thing is, without Undertaker and Nerubian Eggs, there’s nothing for the opponent to burn their Silence on before the Void Callers come in. I’d probably have to rethink abit on this problem with the deck.

Anyway, since Undertaker and the Deathrattle activators were taken out, i decided to rename the deck. It’s now called Sensing the Void. Not very iconic, i know : D

I’m pretty sure everyone names their own decks : D Geek Generation out.