Category Archives: Gaming

Hearthstone: Twig Druid (Rank 9 to 5)

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here. I watched Strifecro on youtube playing this deck a while back. I thought the deck was pretty spiffy and since Blizzard was giving dust for this week’s daily quests, i decided to craft the three cards i was missing, Branching Paths and King Togwaggle.

TwigOfTheWorldTree

1 x Twig of the World Tree

2 x Moonfire
2 x Lesser Jasper Spellstone
2 x Naturalize
2 x Wild Growth
2 x Wrath
2 x Ferocious Howl
2 x Branching Paths
2 x Swipe
2 x Nourish
2 x Spreading Plague
1 x Malfurion the Pestilent
2 x Ultimate Infestation

1 x Bloodmage Thalnos
2 x Arcane Tyrant
1 x King Togwaggle
1 x The Lich King
1 x Malygos

Deck Code:

AAECAbSKAwa0A+0Fws4CmdMCm+gC/esCDEBf6QHTA8QG5AigzQKHzgKY0gKe0gLb0wK/8gIA
#

The deck concept is pretty simple. Ramp up, draw lots of cards, gain lots of armour, choke the board with Spreading Plague Tokens, Twig, do some damage along the way, Malygos, Break Twig for the win.

KingTogwaggle

So how does Togwaggle fit into all this? Honestly.. i find it hard to evaluate the value of King Togwaggle. Alot of times, Togwaggle just sits in the hand waiting for the deck to run out. Yet other times, Togwaggle simply wins you the game.

The most important thing to realize about Togwaggle in this deck is that its role is not to steal your opponent’s deck. Well, atleast not for most of the games. Togwaggle’s role in this deck is mostly that of tempo. It costs 5 mana for your opponent to take back his deck. And if he does spend the mana to take back his deck, he might not be able to deal with Togwaggle itself, letting you hit him for 5.

With cards like Arcane Tyrant, twig, Togwaggle, Branching Paths, this deck is all about seizing tempo suddenly to bring your opponent’s health to Malygos’s burst range.

While the twig is one of the components of the Malygos combo, losing it is not the end of the game. Without the twig, Malygos can still do 12 burst damage with double Moonfires. It is not essential to keep the twig for the combo. Sometiems, it’s better to make tempo plays like Lich King, break twig, Ultimate Infestation.

With this deck, you don’t have to always choose draw with Wrath. Alot of times, it’s better to keep it for the full 3 damage to kill off a minion. That way, you can control the board better and have a better chance of playing Ultimate Infestation without burning cards.

Ferocious Howl is not a turn 3 play, unless you really need to dig for cards. Best to save it up for later when you can gain more armor or power up a spellstone with it.

Mulligan wise, always look for mana ramp. Keep Nourish or Branching Paths only if you already have Wild Growth. Keep a Naturalize if your opponent is Warlock (against Even Lock or Rin). Personally, i like to keep a spellstone for upgrading.

Class Win Loss
Druid 2 1
Hunter 3 2
Mage 0 0
Paladin 4 0
Priest 1 0
Rogue 1 1
Shaman 2 0
Warlock 4 3
Warrior 1 1
Total 18 8

Geek Generation out.

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Hearthstone: Taunt Paladin

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here. On the main server, i’ve managed to hit rank 5. So i’m at that time of the month where i play whatever deck that gives me giggles not caring about ladder as long as i do win sometimes (don’t play this deck if your goal is to ladder up).

I decided to port over the Lose Me Warrior deck from the euro server and tried to tune it up. I went with Paladin because Uther provides more sustain than Garrosh.

2 x Lesser Pearl Spellstone
2 x Consecration
2 x Truesilver Champion
1 x Lay On Hands
1 x Uther of the Ebon Blade

2 x Aldor Peacekeeper
2 x Earthen Ring Farseer
1 x Gluttonous Ooze
1 x Ironbeak Owl
2 x Stonehill Defender
2 x Tar Creeper
1 x Chillblade Champion
2 x Saronite Chain Gang
1 x Spellbreaker
2 x Rotten Applebaum
1 x Mossy Horror
1 x Sunkeeper Tarim
2 x Primordial Drake
1 x The Lich King
1 x Tirion Fordring

At first, i had Marin the Fox. But it’s hard to get the treasure with this deck. The last straw was when the opponent silenceed the treasure, i replaced him with Mossy Horror. Even though Mossy Horror comes a turn after Fungalmancer, i’m still pretty happy with it for the fact that it comes 2 turns earlier than Primordial Drake. Unfortunately, it’s also the Equality Consecration turn, which opponents do play around.

I don’t really like Lay On Hands. Against aggro decks, it’s a huge tempo loss. Against control, you tend to be unable to play it because you have too many cards in your hand. I’m thinking of replacing it with Deranged Doctor. I’ll try it in a couple days. Maybe even try to fit in Equality and/or Wild Pyromancer.

Matchups

Against hyper aggro decks, don’t be reluctant to play the spellstone for a 4/4 taunt. It helps alot with the attempsts to stabalize the board.

I won a good many games against Odd Rogue, which surprised me as well. I’m guessing it’s because the minions in the deck mostly have more than 2 health, which in turn means the Rogue can’t kill them off with a single weapon hit (Backstab is even). Against Odd Rogue, be wary of Hench Clan Thug as this deck doesn’t have many ways to deal with them. Save the Truesilver Champions for when they play them.

Against Murloc Paladin, the chance of winning is slightly less than 50% i think. There isn’t anything you can do if the curve out well.

Against hunters, you must hope that Deathstalker Rexxar is their bottom card. It’s hard to win against a stream of Beast value. The good thing is that they don’t heal. So every hit that brings Rexxar closer to death has an effect on his Zombeast choices. The double 5 attack weapons help alot in pushing for the board against giant Zombeasts.

You have a pretty good chance against Mage as long as you get good heals after dealing with the board. Keep Ooze against Aluneth or the mage will draw into burn faster than you can heal. Against Big Spell Mage, it’s a 100% loss, unless they don’t have Dragoncaller Alanna. There’s simply no way to deal with Alanna.

The deck doesn’t seem to have any problems with Spiteful Druid. Mainly because of Aldor Peacekeeper. Their only chance against you is either turn 2 Keleseth or pray very hard you don’t get any Aldor Peacekeepers. I had 2 games against Devilsaur druids, winning one losing one. Against them, you have to fight very hard for the board playing your healing minions and Applebaum even at full health. The more Naturalizes and Spellstones they use, the safer you become. Don’t worry about them getting lots of armour, with Ultimate Infestation, you’ll eventually grind them into fatigue.

Not too sure about the Priest match up, i’m pretty sure this deck loses to priest too.

Deck Code: AAECAYsWCqIC0gTyBfoGucEC08UCws4C99ACjtMCy+wCCtwDzwaPCfMMm8ICysMCyccCm8sC9tICxfMCAA==
#

Ok so much for now, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Use What You Have Warrior Starter Deck

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here. I’ve been playing a little on the hearthstone euro server which i don’t have many cards. And since i didn’t have many cards, i didn’t really want to rank up with bonus stars to get slayed by a host of T1 decks.

So i had a “Lose Me Deck” that i play whenever i got to 2 consecutive wins. I hadn’t expected to win with this deck, but it turns out to be quite frustrating for aggro decks.

1 x Molten Blade
2 x Cleave
2 x Execute
2 x Slam
2 x Warpath
2 x Fiery War Axe
1 x Brawl

1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 x Stubborn Gastropod
1 x Mind Control Tech
2 x Stonehill Defender
2 x Kor’kron Elite
2 x Militia Commander
2 x Saronite Chain Gang
2 x Spellbreaker
1 x Blackhowl Gunspire
2 x Tar Lord
1 x Marin the Fox

So how does the deck win?
It’s not supposed to.

What’s Blackhowl Gunspire doing in the deck?
It’s the only warrior legendary i have. It’s for giggles. Sometimes the opponent assumes you have some way to abuse it and they try their best to kill off that 8 health minion. I’m thinking of changing it do Nozdormu. Yeah, i know. The legendaries i got are really pathetic.

What’s Molten Blade good for?
This deck does drag games out and Marin’s treasure sometimes fail to produce anything good and you’ll end up needing more value. Most of the time, i’m waiting for it to turn into Val’anyr. But it always seem to get silence. The deck probably needs more silence baits.

Deck Code: AAECAQcGS94FigfMwwKk5wKB7QIMHJED8gWRBqwHsgibwgLmwgKZxwKbywKb8wLR9QIA

Ok so much for now, Geek Generation out.

Into the Breach: Steel Judoka

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here. Today, i’ll be reviewing the squad Steel Judoka.

SteelJudoka-Prime-Judo SteelJudoka-Ranged-Siege SteelJudoka-Science-Gravity

Considerations:
– Only 2 damage dealers
– 3 crowd controllers, counting Judo mech’s throw
– Starting damage 2

Pros:
– High mobility burst via Judo mech throwing other mechs

Cons:
– Extremely low starting damage
– None of the mechs can reach 4 damage on their own
– Has Judo mech blindspot blocking.

ItB-VekHormones

I have difficulty finding advantages for the Steel Judoka. On their own, i feel that Steel Judoka is pretty weak. The extremely low starting damage and the low max damage makes the squad pretty reliant on Vek Hormones and picking up alternative weapons.

As such, whenever i get a full clear on an island (which is not often for Steel Judoka), i tend to go for the equipment rather than pilot as the bonus reward.

Steel Judoka is particularly weak against Hornets and Burrowers. If a Hornet attacks a grid from the sea, Steel Judoka has only 1 mech to deal with it, Siege mech. None of Steel Judoka’s mechs fly. Similarly, Steel Judoka also only have one mech to deal with Burrowers. Judo mech can’t throw Burrowers, Gravity mech can’t pull Burrowers.

Much like Rusting Hulk’s Jet mech, Judo mech’s throwing skill can become blocked if the tile on the other side is blocked. This makes Judo mech somewhat weaker compared to Jet mech as Jet mech has flying, cc via smoke, 2 starting damage via smoke. The only good thing is that Judo Mech can throw allied mechs helping to extend the mobility range of fellow maps to nearly the entire map. Provided there’s no Judo mech blocking 😀

Steel Judoka builds are not so straight forward as i tend to want to stick other weapons into the mechs. As such, Steel Judoka builds tend to vary depending on what you manage to pick up. Quite often, if i picked a Science weapon, i’ll move Vek Hormones onto Siege mech.

My first few reactor cores always go to 2 things, Siege mech’s building immune and Vek Hormones +1 damage. Siege mech’s building immune is really important because of the massive collateral damage in tight places. Vek Hormones +1 damage is also pretty neat, enabling 1 damage Vek to kill of 3 health Veks. Do not underestimate the power of Vek Hormones in Steel Judoka. It’s your staple source of damage in the squad!

Depending on what i picked up, i might put the next reactor core into Siege mech’s +2 hp. The reason being that the squad tend not to kill stuff quickly enough. Which in turn means there’s more Vek running around which in turn means a greater need to block Vek shots with your mechs. After that, go for Siege mech’s +1 damage, which helps with Vek sniping.

You do not need Judo mech’s Ally Immune until you’ve gotten +2 damage for the Judo mech. Getting thrown around by Judo mech for only 1 damage isn’t too bad. Which is why i suggested going to +2 hp for Siege mech. Allows it to be thrown about a couple more times.

However, if you managed to pick up a better damage dealing skill for the Judo mech, feel free to divert all reactor cores to the new skill. The throw skill works just as well as an alternative utility even if it is the skill that defines the Judo mech.

Achievements

– Unbreakable (absorb 5 damage with mech armor)
This achievement does require some setup. With only 1 mech with armor, you’ll need to block every turn. Attempt this achievement when you have Abe (1 armor) piloting one of your other mechs.

– Unwitting Allies (kill 4 Vek with other Vek)
This achievement does not require special setup. You should get it naturally by playing the squad and utilizing Vek Hormones ability. An additional power to improve the ability (which usually happens with the builds anyway) should be sufficient in get the achievement to happen.

– Mass Displacement (push 3 Vek with a single attack)
This achievment also does not require special setup. You should be able to get it naturally by playing with the squad.

Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: May 2018 Balance Changes

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here. Blizzard has announced a bunch of nerfs ala balance. Personally, i’m generally satisfied with all the changes except the one for Call to Arms. Most of the changes reduce the power level of the cards without changing functionality, which is a really good way to balance card, imo.

All images are from Blizzard’s announcement page.

CallToArms2018Balance
For all other cards, the affected decks can still play the changed card, albeit at a diminished power level. However, the most common decks for Paladin are funneled into odd and even shells. With the change to Call to Arms, Blizzard has effectively announced to all Even Paladin players, “nope, you can’t have this card in your deck anymore”.

And this is what the upcoming change to Call to Arms is. The card has been banned for an entire archtype. I would much rather that Call to Arms be changed to something like “Recruit 2 minions that cost (2) or less” rather than changing its mana costs.

Granted, changing the mana costs of any card is going to affect an odd/even shell. But even Spiteful Summoner and odd Possessed Lackey decks are pretty uncommon.

SpitefulSummoner2018Balance
Will this change utterly kill off Spiteful Summoner decks? Possibly. Considering that Spiteful Priest isn’t anywhere near the power level of Spiteful Druid, it’s possible that Spiteful Druid could fall off the charts. But then again, Spiteful Druid’s have Ultimate Infestation for a power tempo swing + card advantage. It’s possible that the deck would perservere.

Chances are, Spiteful Druid would drop off the charts and only people who really like the deck would craft them back again.

DarkPact2018Balance
PossessedLackey2018Balance
Both changes is targeted at the non-zoo Warlock. Delaying the ability to cheat out a Void Lord and reducing its heal package defniitely gives the aggro decks a better chance against it. Tempo Mages will have a better chance to burn out a Warlock.

But Warlock still has alot of pretty good cards at their disposal. While the changes would reduce the Warlock win rate, i doubt the various archtypes would dissappear anytime soon. Maybe Earthen Ring Farseer would see a return to Warlock.

NagaSeaWitch2018Balance
This change affects only Wild format. The changes to Naga Sea Witch that made its combo available happened when it was moving into the wild format. And since then, Blizzard has abandoned adventures and i have no more avenues to play wild decks; i don’t play Wild ladder.

While i don’t play the Wild format, i can certainly empathise with the frustration the players are experiencing having encountered dungeon bosses that vomit out an entire hand of giants. The feeling of helplessness and unfairness is definitely there.

CrystalCore2018Balance
It’s pretty hard to evaluate Crystal Core’s changes. Will it kill off Crystal Core? I don’t think so. The only thing that seems to be affected is that it’s easier to clear the board with Lord Godffrey and Flamestrike can also clear the board.

The changes results in the quest Rogue player having to make around 2 more hits with the minions to kill the opponent. Maybe it gives one more turn to react, but at its core, quest rogue still does what it does. I’m of the opinion that quest rogue would perservere.

As i finished writing the previous two paragraphs, i realized that i forgot something. Tar Creeper! The new quest Rogue wouldn’t be able to kill off Tar Creeper with a single hit and that’s pretty significant.

Maybe Quest Rogue would dissappear after this. More science is needed.

Geek Generation out.

Into the Breach: Best Equipment

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I was playing with the Steel Judoka trying to reacquaint myself with the squad for a squad review while also completing the 2 and 3 island win for hard mode. I was looking for an equipment that could let the Judo mech do a push cc for the occasions when the Judo mech couldn’t do anything useful. And i chanced upon Wind Torrent from one of the pods. And boy was i blown away : D

I never knew how strong that piece of equipment was and had always traded it away for 1 reputation. So here i am today, instead of talking about Steel Judoka, i’m talking about the best in slot equipment. Also, i feel that i needed 1 more 4 island playthrough to better understand Steel Judoka before doing a squad review on it.

Though i should add, the list i have might not be all of the best equipment. There could be some that i never tried because i evaluated wrongly upon initial reading.

Aside: All images are from Into the Breach gamepedia wiki. I did not make the screenshots myself.

WindTorrent
Wind Torrent is extremely strong not just because it affects all Vek, allowing you to push multiple Vek into water, if they were so positioned. Wind Torrent removes all web effects even if your webbed mech is moving together with the webbing Vek. It’s like the wind is too strong for the flimsy web. Even if reactor core is a premium, Wind Torrent is still strong even without infinite usage. This is a must buy equipment.

GrapplingHook
Grappling Hook is definitely my favorite equipment. It is versatile, cheap to equip (even for off-class), and has the strongest pull cc in the game. It can pull a Vek across the entire map! I’ll pick up this piece of equipment from the reputation shop even if i don’t have a Brute class mech. This is a must buy equipment.

AcidProjector
The Acid Projector is also another must buy equipment. It’s cheap to equip and grants the ability to both push and Acid. Get this even if you don’t have a science mech.

AcidTank
Among the tanks, the Acid tank is my favorite, mostly for the same reasons as Acid Projector. Though it isn’t cheap in terms of reactor core investment. But having an acid tank is like having an additional Science mech. 4 mechs is definitely better than 3. Plus, the tanks can move and fire the turn they are deployed, minimizing the opportunity cost of performing an action that does nothing to the Vek.

While i like the acid tank alot, it is not a must buy equipment. The times when i don’t buy it is when i don’t have enough reactor cores. But if you’re looking for a tank to supplement your Science mech, acid tank is the best. Also, if your Science mech has two equipment and one of them is a passive, just move the passive over to another mech that wouldn’t be using an alternate equipment.

As to why Science mechs are the best mechs to carry the tanks, it’s mainly because the Science mechs don’t normally deal damage. Very often, a Science mech would either have nothing to do or would perform an action that can also be performed by the tanks.

PrimeSpear
Because of the variable range and acid capabilities, i like the spear alot too. Though it is not a must buy equipment. I usually want it when i have mechs that lack cc (i.e. Lightning mech), or have unwieldy AoE that causes too much collateral damage (i.e. Laser mech), or are prone to encounter positional difficulties (i.e. Judo mech)

Ok so much for now, Geek Generation out.

Into the Breach: Rusting Hulks

RustingHulks-Brute-Jet RustingHulks-Ranged-Rocket RustingHulks-Science-Pulse
Hello everybody, Geek Generation here with a squad review of the Rusting Hulks.

Considerations:
– Only 2 damage dealers
– 3 crowd controllers, counting smoke
– Starting damage 4

Pros:
– 2 of the mechs are able to reach 4 damage in single attacks
– Able to zone off tiles with smoke

Cons:
– Lack pull crowd control
– Has blindspots

Rusting Hulk’s signature theme is Storm Generator which causes smoke to deal damage to any Vek in it. The good news is that smoke is ally immune and building immune. But that doesn’t mean smoke is all that friendly. If your unit is in a smoke tile, it still can’t attack or repair.

As such, Camila’s immunity to smoke easily makes her the best pilot for Rusting Hulks. Kazaaakpleth and Henry Kwan could complement the Pulse mech, but none of them brings value to the squad like Camila does.

Camila could go into Jet or Rocket mech. Personally, i think putting her to Jet mech is the best as the Jet mech requires alot of positioning to operate well. Very often, the Jet mech will need to jump from a smoke tile.

While i listed being able to reach 4 damage in single attacks with 2 mechs, it takes alot of reactor cores to reach that stage. Reaching 4 damage with 2 mechs is probably only possible for 4 corporate island wins.

There are two style of play for Rusting Hulks, Direct damage style and smoke style. With direct damage style, you aim to get the Rocket mech to reach 4 damage by sinking 4 reactor cores into +1 Damage.

The good thing about direct damage build is that it’s very good for sniping off Alpha Hornets, Alpha Scarabs and Alpha Blobbers. Especially with the Alpha Blobbers, you can sometimes position the Rocket mech to shoot the Blobber and smoke the blob behind. At 3 damage, Rocket mech can snipe Alpha Diggers by pushing them onto their own rocks.

However the direct damage style only benefits the Rocket mech. By upgrading smoke instead, all mechs including Pulse mech (you can push Vek into existing smoke) benefits from the upgrades. With the smoke style, you aim to hit 4 damage with the Jet mech instead. Smoke style is more reactor core intensive than the direct damage style.
L-Shape_Blindspot
The major disadvantage of the Rusting Hulks is that the squad has blindspots as shown in the screenshot. Whenever a Vek sits at the crook of an L shape layout, the Jet mech wouldn’t be able to get to the Vek. Imagine that those mountains were your power grid instead. That makes even the Rocket Mech and Pulse mech unable to do anything to the Vek without pushing it into your grid.

As such, always be very wary of maps that has these nooks and crannies. If opportunity provides, it’s best to smoke it with your Rocket mech. Maps that require extra care include destroy dams and destroy mountains missions. Only the rocket mech can destroy them.

Rusting Hulks start off with pretty good movement and health. Though the Jet mech still has alot of positional requirements, it’s best to have a +1 move to help out. +2 health is also a good suplement for the Jet mech, since it has only 2 health.

Regardless of the style you choose, the first 2 reactor core should probably go into Jet mech’s +1 range. That upgrade lets you do 3 things.
1) Hit 2 Veks
2) Jump over a Vek that you couldn’t have because of blocking on the other side
3) Enhanced mobility in the form of jumping

After that, depending on which style your prefer and depending on your needs, the next reactor cores will go into any of the following
– Extra damage from smoke (3 cores)
– +1 Damage x2 for Rocket mech (2 cores x2)
– +1 move for Jet mech
– +2 health for Jet mech

With this build however, i find that the Pulse mech tend to have nothing to do. As the starting damage of Rusting Hulk is not too bad (starting damage: 4), you can alternatively begin the build with upgrades to Pulse Mech’s shield self and shield allies. This makes protect and escort missions safer. Starting this way, it’s best to transition to some other equipment upon completion of the first corporate island. Get any Ranged weapon and stick it into the Pulse mech. Or anything with the pull capability or any tanks.

After that it’s best to skip the Jet Mech’s range and go for +1 damage for the Rocket mech. You’ll need the 3 damage to start sniping off 3 to 4 (with push) health Veks.

Grappling Hook

Although the Grappling Hook is a Brute class weapon, i find that it’s better to use 1 reactor core to equip it onto the Pulse mech to supplement complement its crowd control capabilities rather than fitting it onto the Jet mech.. Though Grappling Hook can still go onto the Jet mech if reactor cores are a premium. However, every turn that the Jet mech is pulling is every turn that it is not smoking the map. Which might be a good thing, but more often than not, it’s best to have lots of tiles with smoke when playing Rusting Hulks.

Smoke Drop (drops smoke on 5 tiles)

Smoke Drop is pretty useful. Not just because of its synergy with Storm Generator, but also because it helps out against Vek that attacks the squad’s blindspot. Alot of times, the Jet mech wouldn’t be able to do anything if a Vek is in the blindspot. That’s the best turn to launch the Smoke Drop with the Jet mech.

Achievments

Overpowered (Overpower grid twice) – Easily completed just by playing the game

Stormy Weather (Deal 12 damage with smoke in a battle) – Requires playing the smoke style

Perfect Battle (take no damage in a battle) – This achievement is not too difficult. It should happen some times during the course of playing. However, if you’re in a rush to complete the achievement, just play an Easy difficulty game with Rusting Hulks and you’ll get the achievement.

Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Blizzard Is Turning Arena Into Constructed, A Relook At Kripp’s Stats

Edit: I just realized that card buckets are not categorized by card rarity as was the case in the past. Apparently Blizzard categorizes card by power level and offer them in power level buckets. So cards of different rarities can occur in the same bucket, which makes the premise of my entire point wrong. So if you do continue to read onward, bear in mind that i’m putting forth a wrong point.

—-

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here. Ok first off, i’m not criticizing Kripp or anything. It’s just that the stats he used in his video Blizzard Is Turning Arena Into Constructed has another way to be looked at.

In that video, Kripp claims that Blizzard is turning arena into constructed, based on how often seen the top 6 most cards of each class were. I’m not saying what he is saying is correct or not. I’m not saying that Blizzard is or is not turning arena into constructed. What i’m saying is that the way the stats used were iffy at best.

One of the major themes is that he is confusing occurrence with seen in decks. Occurrence is how often you see a card show up for picks. A card gets seen in decks only if a player picks it after it has showed up for picking. I.E. Stonehill Defender is seen in decks more often than Secretkeeper simply because Stonehill Defender is picked often.

This also helps to explain why Stonehill Defender is seen more often in Paladins. It is rated 96 in the tier list for Paladin compared to say 81 in Rogue.

Kripp says that a “certain epic card should not see more play than a certain common card”. That is different from saying “epic cards should not see more play than common cards”. The example he gave was that epic cards like Meteor and Primordial Glyphs are up there in the top 6 cards played, together with Blizzard and Flamestrike and given that Flamestrike is common while Meteor is epic, that this should not be the case.

However, while buckets of common cards occur more often than buckets of epic cards, we must remember that there are alot more common cards than there are epic cards. Even without any weighted adjustments by Blizzard, Meteor has a higher chance of occurring in epic buckets (whenever an epic card appears) simply because there are less epic cards to choose from to fill the epic bucket. Common buckets occur more often than epic buckets, but you don’t get to pick Flamestrike if it doesn’t get offered.

Next he went on to talk about top Rogue cards claiming Elven Minstrel is an anomaly. It is an anomaly if he compared Elven Minstrel with SI:7 Agent. SI:7 Agent being rated 93 compared to Elven Minstrel, so why is Elven Minstrel being seen more often than SI:7. But saying Elven Minstrel shouldn’t show up more often compared to common cards is as i already mentioned, Elven Minstrel simply shows up more often in its own bucket because it exists in a smaller pool of cards.

He mentions Hallucination, saying its not “even that good of a card”, yet it is rated 70. He even mentioned earlier that class cards and spell cards get an occurrence bonus. Which is what Hallucination is.

He goes on to Druid. Starfall, same thing. Ultimate Infestation.. this is where it becomes clear how the statistics are used wrongly.

Competing with Ultimate Infestation for being a class spell card in the epic bucket is only 3 other cards, Force of Nature, Living Mana, Branching Paths. Not to mention Ultimate Infestation exists in a very small pool of cards to draw from. Compare that to Swipe, Swipe has slightly more competing class spell cards, has alot more of other cards to compete with to show up in a common bucket.

So even if you pick every Swipe and Ultimate Infestation that you see, it’s possible that you don’t see Swipe show up in a common bucket as often as Ultimate Infestation show up in an epic bucket. Even though common buckets appears more often than epic buckets, Ultimate Infestation getting seen in decks more often than Swipe is not necessarily an anomaly.

So is Blizzard manipulating the occurrence probabilities of cards? Probably. They have already shown themselves to be willing to do these things starting from back when they removed Purify from Arena. Is Ultimate Infestation rigged to occur more often than Swipe, beyond that of occurring more often due to being in a smaller pool of cards? Maybe, maybe not. We don’t have the stats to show it either way.

Geek Generation out.

Into the Breach: Zenith Guard

ZenithGuard-Prime-Laser ZenithGuard-Brute-Charge ZenithGuard-Science-Defense
Hello everybody, Geek Generation here. My last squad review, Blitzkrieg listed 2 damage dealers and 2 crowd controllers as a con. I’m thinking that it’s not so much of a con but something to consider when choosing the squad, since most squads only have 2 damage dealers. I’ve edited both Riftwalkers post and Blitzkrieg post for a better presentation.

Considerations:
– Only 2 damage dealers
– Only 2 crowd controllers
– Starting damage 5+

Pros:
– Laser beam that can potentially hit multiple enemies
– Able to reach 4 damage in a single attack

Cons:
– Laser beam causes alot of collateral damage
– Depending on starting pilot, build order can be very different from what you’re used to with other squads

Personally, i feel that Zenith Guard doesn’t really have a theme. It’s a mish mash of random stuff glued together. It’s like they were made by post apocalyptic mechanics with a budget constraint and a “sounds cool” philosophy.

“Hey dude, the science dept just make a f-ing huge laser gun, we should mount it on a mech.”
“Sounds cool.”

“Hey dude, you think we can do anything with this tank?”
“We’re out of guns though.”
“Oh.. it’s such a waste though.”
“Hmm.. maybe we could upgrade it’s engine and use it like a battering ram.”
Sounds cool.”

“Hey dude, we need a third mech to complete the squad we’re building.”
“But we’re out of mechs.”
“How about that coffee serving bot from the cafeteria? We could mount a tractor beam onto it.”
BOOM!
“What the hell was that?”
“The laser we mounted on the mech just blew up the science department.”
“Better mount the shields gun onto the mech to complement the laser mech then.”
“Sounds cool.”

Like the Blitzkrieg, Zenith Guard took me many tries to complete hard mode for both 3 and 4 island wins. Like the Blitzkrieg, the prime mech has an aoe that causes collateral damage and lacks a crowd control skill. The main difference is in the collateral damage. Blitzkrieg’s lightning damages friendly units while Zenith Guard’s laser damages only buildings (there’s an upgrade for unit immune).

If you unlocked the squads based on price, the Charge mech would be the first time you’ve encountered a self-damage mech. At 3 health, it is impossbile to attack every turn. So the first order of things for Zenith Guard is to enable the Charge mech to attack atleast once every turn.

Because of the collateral damage caused by Laser mech, positioning is top priority for the Laser mech. Which means the second thing to do is to improve Laser mech’s +1 move.

There are basically 2 ways to build Zenith Guard.

Charge Mech Start

You can start with Abe, Mafan or Ariadne (or any experienced pilot with +2 hp) on the Charge mech. Abe and Mafan ensures that you can charge every turn. The main difference armor catches on fire if you end up in a forest tile even when there is no damage.

Using the Charge Mech Start strategy, The first reactor core would go to +1 move on the Laser mech. I cannot stress enough the importance of +move for the Laser mech. Subsequent reactor cores should go to any mechs that did not get a +move from their pilots.

With a starting damage of 5+, Zenith Guard does not need to worry much about damage for the first 2 islands. There is a temptation to pick up Ally Immune as early as possible for Laser mech. But it’s not really a priority until you’ve upgraded your Laser mech’s damage. Pick it up after you’ve ensured the +moves on your mechs (either pilots or core), before you pick up the +1 damage on the Laser mech. After that, go for +1 damage on the Charge mech and you’re pretty much done with th build. Extra cores go into +hp.

Henry Kwan Start

After starting with Abe without success for many times, i felt that mobility for Laser Mech is really important. So i changed to this build order instead, starting with Henry Kwan on Laser mech. The first thing to note with this build order is that your Charge Mech is very likely to die. So pull the pilot out when using the Henry Kwan Start.

The first reactor core is to give the Charge mech +2 hp. This lets you put the pilot back into the mech and also the ability to attack every turn. After the first core, the rest of the build is the same as Charge Mech Start.

Tips

As with all squads, always pick up Grappling Hook if you see it. Tanks might seem nice for Defense mech, but that means the shields have to go somewhere else. With Laser mech’s collateral damage, it’s probably a bad idea to simply ditch the shields. Putting the shields abiility onto Laser or Charge mech is probably a bad idea, since they’re your damage dealers.

You can throw shields onto Charge mech to keep it from burning the forest tile it lands on. You can thrown shields onto buildings that would otherwise suffer Laser mech’s collateral damage. Unless you upgraded the shields for more charges (which i personally never do), treat it as a precious resource. Don’t throw it around just because your defense mech has nothing to do. The only time you might want to do something like that is to throw it onto the train in train escort missions.

Last but not least, don’t forget the Defense mech can kill off 1 health Vek by pulling them in for a bump.

In most squads, i usually get as many cores as i can from the first island’s reputation shop. With Zenith Guard however, since they already have such high damage output, i think it’s better to just buy 1 core and sink the rest into the power grid. This lets you shoot into your own buildings with greater peace of mind (but rest assured, collateral damage still happens more often you’ll like it to). It is risky though, because if the second island turns out to be a disaster and you can’t get the 3 cores for the +1 damage on the Laser mech, it’s pretty much gg from that point onward.

Be wary of missions that require mechs to have less than 4 damage. It’s a hard mission with the Charge mech around.

Achievements

Get Over Here
Zenith Guard acheivements are not too hard to complete. You’ll be killing off 1 health Vek with the Defense mech very often.

Glittering C-Beam
Hitting 4 enemies with Laser mech is also not too difficult in the spider or Jelly boss missions where there are higher quantities of Vek.

Shield Mastery
Blocking damage with shields 4 times is not too hard either. If need be, put in Mafan and Bethany for 1 star missions, where the grid already begins with some shields.

Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Witchwood Monster Hunt – Hagatha

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here with a review on the Witchwood Monster Hunt’s finale, Hagatha.

The finale is a straight up boss fight with Hagatha, with no deck building or intermediary bosses. You start of as Houndmaster and get Toki, Darius and Tess as Hero card board clears in your hand. The finale is nice in that all the monster hunters are present for the fight, quite a thematic finale, i would say.

There’s no way you can win as Houndmaster without transforming the hero. The Houndmaster’s deck is only a couple cards. With every hero you transform into, a chunk of cards gets added to your deck. Toki and and Darius is only useful as a board clear. To win the value game against Hagatha, you’ll definitely need Tess’s ability to Scavenge.

Passives

Houndmaster
– Crystal Gem (+1 mana cyrstal)
– Lunar Signet (trigger minion’s deathrattle upon play)
– First Aid Kit (heal 2 health to all friendly characters at end of turn)

Lunar Signet is the worst as you didn’t get the build your own deck to fill it full of deathrattles. Crystal Gem is not that good either, because in the long value game, it didn’t matter whether your started with 1 or 2 mana crystals. As long as Hagatha’s start is not too explosive, a normal start for you is fine.

First Aid Kit is the best in my opinion. It helps to keep your health pool high so your don’t die to any Al’Akir shenanigans.

Toki
– Double Time (extra cast for every first spell)
– Expediate (minions cost 1 less)
– Robe of Magi (+3 spell damage)

Expediate is generally good, but outclassed by the other two passives. Mainly because you’ll eventually morph into Tess and both Double Time and Robe of Magi complements very well with Scavenge.

Personally, i feel that Double Time isn’t that good in this fight. With Tess, you tend to be Scavenging up Polymorphs and Jade Lightning. The unreliability of the second cast makes playing spells difficult. You don’t want to turn your Mukla’s Champion into a frog. Which in turn results in hand size management difficulties. My hand tends to be choked full with high cost minions that i simply do not have the time to play and spells i cannot play as the first one for fear of destroying my own board.

Darius
– Tactical Reinforcements (reduce cost of card in hand by 2 after firing cannon)
– Pillage the Fallen (replace weapon with a new one whenever it is destroyed)
– Entrenchment (minions have +2 health)

Tactical Reinforcements is easily the worst choice, the cannon goes away after you transform your hero. Unless you’re using Darius as the final champion, but Tess has way too much value to do give up on. Still.. for some reason, i chose Tactical Reinforcements -_- 😀

I didn’t think Pillage the Fallen was good in Darius’s personal hunt, i don’t think it has changed in the fight against Hagatha. It might work with Houndmaster’s First Aid Kit, but Hagatha’s minions are all usually giant size. You won’t be hitting minions with weapons very often.

Entrenchment is the only choice left, it’s not very strong, but it’s not terrible also. It can help your minions to survive a random Volcano.

Tess
– Cult of the Wolf (hero power costs 1 and can be used twice)
– Sticky Fingers (cards cost 1 less if didn’t start in deck)
– Cloak of Invisibility (minions have stealth)

Cloak of Invisibility might be useful for Antonidas or Questing Adventurer end game. But that’s only 2 minions out of so many cards, i feel that Cloak of Invisibility is not the best in slot for Tess passive.

Both Cult of the Wolf and Sticky Fingers are strong choices. Personally, i think if you picked Double Time for Toki, it’s better to pick Sticky Fingers. Mainly because, alot of the time, your hand would be so full that you can button twice without milling yourself. And if you chose Robe of Magi for Toki, then it’s better to pick Cult of the Wolf to make up in value.

Tips

As a general tip, try not to play the heroes on curve. Keep them for a turn later to hit one more minion. Toki on 4, Darius on 6, Tess on 9. And always keep in mind not to overcommit starting from turn 8, until Hagatha has played Almagamate. Always keep in hand some variety of answer to Almagamation until it has been dealt with. Though i don’t know if Hagatha has more than one Almagamate.

Hagatha has a pretty op weapon which i don’t remember the name. It has 3 attack, lifesteal and can increase its durability. It the weapon becomes troublesome, don’t forget that you can destroy it with Blingtron 3000. That said, don’t play Blingtron for tempo. Keep it for Hagatha’s weapon, unless she milled her weapon during the early turns.

All in all, Hagatha is not too difficult to fight as long as she does not do any Al’Akir shenanigans or Hadronox recursion with Lich King in the graveyard. Survive the early game, survive Almagamate, and eventually you’ll outvalue Hagatha with Tess’s Scavenge.

In terms of balance, rng plays too big of a role. I’ve had games where Mute tears Toki apart in the early rounds of the Hunt. There’s one boss that can play a spell that fill its board with gnomes on turn 4. And gnomes are not small little things. Rin is a gnome! Deck building is less forgiving. You can’t build a fast aggressive deck as the end bosses are all value grind.

Personally, i think Witchwood Monster Hunt is pretty well made in terms of thematic experience. I like Toki and Tess alot. The extreme value from card generation is an awesome experience, even at the risk of encountering Troggzor.

Darius is fun in a way too. He makes the Inspire mechanic good. But.. the Inspire mechanic is not a Witchwood mechanic. It’s not even in the Standard format..

Houndmaster is.. uninspiring. I didn’t even see that many variations to the upgrades of Houndmaster’s hero power. I think Houndmaster is reminiscent to Hunter’s weak identity. What Hunter’s identity? Vaguely something to do with beasts. Face decks, because hero power. But i digressed.

If you haven’t played Monster Hunt, give it a chance. It’s so much better in quality than than the previous Dungeon Run. Ok so much for now, Geek Generation out.