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Hearthstone: Aggro Druid into rank 5

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I’ve been playing variations of Dinomancy Hunter, Sherazin Value, Control Paladin up to rank 10 tier. But i usually hovered around ranks 8 and 7 with those decks.

For breaking into rank 5, i decided to switch to Aggro Druid chiefly because the deck has faster games. Additionally, the deck can simply win by some crazy opening turns.

2 x Innervate
2 x Bloodsail Corsair
2 x Enchanted Raven
2 x Fire Fly
2 x Hungry Crab
2 x Mark of the Lotus
1 x Patches the Pirate
2 x Golakka Crawler
2 x Mark of Y’Sharrj
2 x Power of the Wild
2 x Ravasaur Rant
2 x Tortollan Forager
2 x Savage Roar
2 x Vicious Fledgling
1 x Swipe
2 x Druid of the Claw

There are probably better versions of Aggro Druid out there. The list is as such because i didn’t have epics like Bittertide Hydra and Living Mana. Living Mana is really important for Aggro Druid. With Living Mana missing, i’m missing plan B of the deck.

I used Hungry Crab as substitution for Living Mana. Hungry Crabs are not too bad even when there are no murlocs to eat. As a 1 drop beast, the crab kind of helps out with the buffs.

Golakka Crawler is necessary. It hits quite a few decks, not just Pirate Warrior. Variations of Rogue, even fellow Aggro Druids have Pirate targets.

The seemingly weird inclusion is probably Tortollan Forager. I find it to be a great card though. It’s a 2 drop with no hesitation attached. Unlike Golakka Crawler, there’s no concern for saving it for Pirates (or even unwanted consumption of your own pirates). And unlike Ravasaur Rant, there’s no need to consider having more minions on the board. Plus, it occasionally gives some pretty good late game minions.

Prolly the only decks that doesn’t want Tortollan Forager is Jade Druid. Give Tortollan Forager a try if you’ve never used it before. You won’t be dissapointed.

Mulligan wise, i always keep Vicious Fledglings. The card has so much win written on it. Keep Innervates (but not both), and trade in everything else for early drops on turn 1 and 2.

So much for now, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Ungoro Park Results

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here. Prior to my Ungoro Park run, i had reached rank 15 with Jade Shaman sporting Dirty Rat. As i said before, Dirty Rat is an all round good minion because it disrupts minion-based quests and the only drawback is dropping out a giant. Even Sherazin is easily answered with Devolve.

¬†Without further ado, here’s Ungoro Park’s deck list again, with no changes.

2 x Jeweled Macaw
2 x Raptor Hatchling
2 x Crackling Razormaw
2 x Dinomancy
2 x Kindly Grandmother
2 x Scavenging Hyena
1 x Trogg Beastrager
2 x Animal Companion
2 x Eaglehorn Bow
2 x Kill Command
2 x Rat Pack
2 x Dispatch Kodo
2 x Houndmaster
2 x Tundra Rhino
2 x Savannah Highmane
1 x Swamp King Dred

With Ungoro Park, i pushed from rank 15 to rank 10. You’ll notice there wasn’t much games played, because i hardly lost from rank 15 to 12, garnering lots of bonus stars. At rank 12, the opponents become a little tougher and i started to lose one or two games every now and then.

Against Rogue, again there wasn’t much the deck can do accept hope for bad draws. The times i won was against Quest Rogue and an unanswered turn 5 Tundra Rhino. The games simply could not be won without Tundra Rhino on board.

Against Fire Plume warriors, it depends on how much control they bring/draw. Two Executes usually seals the deal for them. Sleep With The Fishes is also devastating, since the deck controls the board with ever growing but damaged Beasts.

Swamp King Dred won me a couple games, not just because of its utility, but it’s a 9/9 for seven mana.

Mulligan wise, you’re looking for early drops that costs one or two mana. Keep Eaglehorn or Animal Companion if you have a one or two drop already, Houndmaster if you have (a one or two drop) + (coin). You’ll also want to mulligan away one drops if you’re going second against classes that can deal one damage with their hero power, like Paladin, Mage, Rogue. Unless you got the Trogg in the opening hand.

I always keep 1 copy of Dinomancy. It is the core of the deck, after all. The usual turns to play Dinomancy are turns 2 and 4+. Turn 2 Dinomancy happens only when you don’t have any 2 drops. In that case, swapping out Steady Shot helps improve mana efficiency in the later turns. For turns 4 and 5, always fight for board presence even if it means forgoing the chance to play Dinomancy. It is always better to buff an attacking Beast rather than a Beast you’ve just played.

Ah.. i was about to put the win rates in here and then i realized i didn’t turn on Hearthstone Deck Tracker : ( Oh well.. Ungoro Park is good for playing to rank 10, if that helps. Fares badly against Pirate Warriors, but didn’t see much of those.

So much for now. I think i’ll try out Sherazin next, since i opened it in the packs. Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Ungoro Park

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

This week’s Tavern Brawl is pretty sweet. This week’s brawl lets us choose from 9 Ungoro decks (one from each class). If you’re hesitating about crafting some cards like quests or elementals, you can try playing with them in the Brawl before you decide.

Dinomancy

Although i didn’t get to play with The Marsh Queen, i am glad that they showcased Dinomancy. Dinomancy is surprisingly good. Even though the hero power is restrictive, in that it not only requires you to have a minion on board, but that minion has to be a Beast too, it does seem powerful enough.

Dinomancy is one of those sleeper cards whose power level is way too subtle, until it gets played against you. Since i had playset of it, i decide to try it out using the deck recipe as a base.

2 x Jeweled Macaw
2 x Raptor Hatchling
2 x Crackling Razormaw
2 x Dinomancy
2 x Kindly Grandmother
2 x Scavenging Hyena
1 x Trogg Beastrager
2 x Animal Companion
2 x Eaglehorn Bow
2 x Kill Command
2 x Rat Pack
2 x Dispatch Kodo
2 x Houndmaster
2 x Tundra Rhino
2 x Savannah Highmane
1 x Swamp King Dred

Swamp_King_Dred

Since i also had a copy of Swamp King Dred from the packs, i decided to chuck it into the deck for a test. It turns out that Swamp King Dred is a also pretty neat. Even though the only time i played it, it had died to Brawl the next turn, the dinosaur does have a certain Doomsayer feel to it.

But don’t worry if you do not have Swamp King Dred. Any big beast will fit into the game plan. You can replace with King Krush if you have it, and if all else fails, there’s still that golden Volcanosaur.

The lone Trogg Beastrager is ok. Back when Hunter was going though its identity crisis, playing beasts always gets mixed up with Deathrattle non-beasts. With Dinomancy, the Beast focus is alot sharper and Trogg Beastrager is seldom a vanilla 3/2.

Even though there’s only one Trogg Beastrager, i feel that Dispatch Kodo is a must include in any Hunter deck. With the loss of Quick Shot, Hunter really needs the Kodo for board control.

All in all, the deck has a couple variation options to refine to your playstyle. There’s Unleash the Hounds + Knife Juggler package, King Krush is always good, Black Knight is pretty good in the current meta.

Raptor_Hatchling
Raptor Hatchling is probably the weirdest card in the deck. Is it any better than Alley Cat? Or is Alley Cat better, given the stats that hit the board, Alley Cats have one more health. The way i see it is that Raptor Hatchling works like reverse deck thinning. More like deck bloating, adding one more chance to draw a mid-size Beast in the late game rather than a small 1/1. Admittedly, Raptor Hatchling’s value is a little harder to gauge because its value is mostly intangible.

Plus, the little dinosaur is so cute. Already i’ve passed on playing Ravasaur Runt, there’s no way i’ll pass only playing Raptor Hatchling for a while. Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Jade Shaman in Un’Goro

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

So i played a little more of Jade Shaman, with a splash of concede decks, Zoolock Discard and Murloc Paladin. Still didn’t get into rank 15. I made some changes along the way, swapping out Harvest Golem for Tar Creeper. Because Tar Creeper is simply that good. I even put it in my Zoolock, i think.

As powerful as Tar Creeper is, It doesn’t do anything in Quest Rogue match ups. In those match ups, the despair is very strong. My only viable play is to hope that the Rogue doesn’t get a streak of bad draws and run out of cards (and minions) after my Lightning Storm.

So i was thinking of replacing both Tar Creepers with two Dirty Rats. I gather from the forums that the Dirty Rats are good against Quest Rogues. The more i think about it, the only thing Dirty Rats are bad against are Giants. But even then, most of the time, i lose to Plant Lock not because of the Giants. It’s usually because of Jaraxxus.

But i have only one Dirty Rat and i’m hesitant to craft anything. There’s so much possible strong choices for dust. There’s the epic elementals for elemental decks, not to mention the Shaman Legendary Elemental. Then there’s the quests. And then there are some neutral legendaries that can go into multiple classes. With the retirement of Sylvannas and Ragnaros, i prolly have enough to craft two legendaries and some epics.

But since i’ve got a quest to play lots of Shaman cards, i think i might go with Dirty Rat. I’ll put my bets on it. Believe in the Dirty Rat.

2 x Earth Shock
2 x Evolve
2 x Flametongue Totem
2 x Jade Claws
2 x Hex
2 x Hot Spring Guardian
2 x Lightning Storm
2 x Mana Tide Totem
2 x Tar Creeper
2 x Jade Lightning
2 x Jade Spirit
2 x Jinyu Waterspeaker
1 x Lotus Agents
1 x Aya Blackpaw
2 x Thing from Below
2 x Jade Chieftain

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

Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Streets of Un’Goro, Jade Shaman

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

Journey to Un’Goro has been released. The expansion seems to be pretty exciting. Unfortunately, there are so many build around cards in the legendary and epics that if you do not open them, then you don’t get to bathe in that excitement.

I opened all my pre-order packs yesterday, didn’t get a single quest or the important Elemental cards, and end up not playing at all. The dissapointment. Especially so when i’ve logged in to the message that i did not have any standard decks.

I tried Jade Shaman today. The deck seem to have transitioned pretty well. Played a couple games at rank 20, didn’t lose any. Will play more with the deck to see how far it can go.

2 x Earth Shock
2 x Evolve
2 x Flametongue Totem
2 x Jade Claws
2 x Harvest Golem
2 x Hex
2 x Hot Spring Guardian
2 x Lightning Storm
2 x Mana Tide Totem
2 x Jade Lightning
2 x Jade Spirit
2 x Jinyu Waterspeaker
1 x Lotus Agents
1 x Aya Blackpaw
2 x Thing from Below
2 x Jade Chieftain

Hot Spring Guardian and Jinyu Waterspeaker represents an extra 18 health, which is pretty good against most aggro. Double Earth Shock and Devolve helps alot too and reduces the dependence on drawing Hex.

I wanted to play more Lotus Agents for the card advantage. But there didn’t seem to be room in the deck. Plus, i reasoned, Lotus Agents is usually not a 5 drop. More often than not, i would be playing Jinyu on turn 4, overloading for 1 on turn 5. It sets up Jade Lightning for Turn 5 and Aya for Turn 6. Though in a world without Azure Drakes, Jade Lightning on turn 5 is not so critical.

The odd inclusion has to be Harvest Golem. It’s my replacement for Totem Golem. I wanted an early drop to deal with aggression, and i wanted the early drop to have plenty of fight in it. In the games i played, Harvest Golem does a pretty good job of sticking around.

Before i go, i like to say this. Do not underestimate the Adapt mechanic. It is quite a strong mechanic. If you’re building a deck and are looking for some good fighters, don’t forget Volcanosaur. You can hardly go wrong with double Adapts.

Geek Generation out.

Faeria: First Impressions

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I’ve been playing a little bit of Faeria, it coming to Steam and all. In Faeria, each player plays minions to a board of lands that they must build up to both gain influence and walk-able tiles to reduce the opponent to 0 life.

Mana in Faeria is colorless and each player gains three mana every turn. Additional mana can be collected from wells by minions. Every turn, a player can choose to perform one of the actions:
– place 1 influence land onto the board
– or 2 neutral lands (plains) onto the board
– draw a card
– gain 1 mana

To play cards, a player has to meet the influence requirement of that card. For example, if a card has 2 mountain requirement, the player must own 2 mountains on the board and play that minion on the one of the owned mountains.

Land in Faeria not only controls what cards you can play, but also where your minions can spawn and where spawned minions (both yours and opponent’s) can walk.

You can only place lands adjacent to your avatar, or adjacent to existing owned lands, or adjacent to a minion (standing on land you do not own) (you can’t do it with flying/swimming minions that are not standing on any land). So placing of lands does take some strategy. Do you gain influence quickly, fill the board to deny the opponent positions, gain positions?

I’m pretty sure the duality of lands has stumped many a new comers to Faeria who are pretty experienced in other card games. It does take a while to learn the land system.

Another aspect of the game that has stumped me is the mana. In most other games, you gain one mana per turn. With 3 mana a turn, that’s plenty of mana right? But that’s not the case. Often, a 3 mana neutral card is a turn 1 play. So what turns are a card that costs 1 or 2 or 4 or 5 mana? I find that it is important not to underestimate the collection of mana from wells in Faeria.

Another aspect is the balance is more important than tempo. First, a 2 influence card is usually not a turn 2 play for two reasons. First, if you have two influence by turn 2, it usually means you have taken over only 2 spots. Which hinders board development quite significantly. But if you develop the board too quickly, then you’ll lag behind in influence. A balance must be reached for developiong board and influence.

Second, most minions only move only 1 spot a turn. Developing a giant minion near your avatar would likely mean that the minion is only ever going to be used for defence, because it takes forever to reach the opponent by walking 1 spot a turn. If you want an attack, it is better to develop the board and save the giant minion for later.

Ok so much for now, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone Journey to Un’Goro: Awaken the Makers

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here. Blizzard has announced that the next Hearthstone expansion is Journey to Un’Goro. Along with the announcement, they also reveal some cards to showcase the new mechanics.

awaken_the_makers amara_warden_of_hope

Of the revealed cards, i’m most excited about the quest cards. At first glance, it’s easy to assume that Amara would replace the role of Reno Jackson quite nicely. But that is not the case. The requirement to play 7 Deathrattle minions would mean that Amara is unlikely to see play even on turn 8.

The other reason it doesn’t replace Reno Jackson directly is mainly because existing decks that use Reno Jackson are highlander decks. And the highlander requirement would have to remain if the Priest player intends to continue to use Raza and Kazakus. If the Priest decides to do this, then the number of good Deathrattle minions in the deck would go down. That would make it harder to Awaken the Makers.

Considering that Sylvanas and Museum Curator are leaving Standard too, it would seem Amara would not be joining the ranks of Raza and Kazakus. Pure N’Zoth decks would love to have her though.

Ok so much for now, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Upcoming Year of the Mammoth

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here. Blizzard made more announcements some days ago. Year of the Mammoth is coming and there are going some goodies.

First order of things is Standard rotation. When Year of the Mammoth (it’s year of the Kraken now, since Whisper of the Old Gods) rolls around, almost all the adventures will be gone. Blackrock Mountain and League of Explorers will be leaving standard, which means bye bye most dragon decks, Reno decks, Brann Bronzebeard.

The Grand Tournament would also be leaving. Notable cards from TGT are Twilight Guardian and all the other dragon related stuff, Justicar Truheart, Aviana, Totem Golem, Thunder Bluff Valiant, Bash.

Year of the Mammoth will see the retirement of alot of decks. Even if they do not retire, they are forever changed, in Standard that is. Aviana Kun combos are gone, Reno decks are gone, existing Control Warriors will have to return to non-Elise, non-Justicar versions, i don’t even remember what they look like before. And Shamans.. with the lost of Totem Golems, and Thunder Bluff Valiant and the changes to Pirates (or Pirate), will Shaman decks survive?

Then there’s the Hall of Fame retirement set. Azure Drake, Sylvanas, Ragnaros, Power Overwhelming, Ice Lance, Conceal are all going to be retired. What does this mean for Classic packs though? Are there going to be replacements?

With Tomb Pillager and Conceal going away, is Miracle Rogue going away too?

As a bonus, Blizzard will be refunding the Hall of Fame retirement cards up to a playset of dust. So now would be a good idea to craft those cards if you don’t have them. Effectively, the playset refund would mean you’ve crafted for free. Even if you don’t play Wild, it’s a good idea to craft them because they might be useful in Adventures and Tavern Brawl.

Ok so much for now, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: More Floor Ranks

Hello everybody Geek Generation here. Other commitments are taking time away from my gaming for this week and next week. Things will normalize after next week and i’ll start posting more stuff then.

An aside, i have been playing Eternal when i have free time this couple days. I’ll start posting Eternal deck lists i’ve been using after next week.

Blizzard just announced a couple upcoming changes to Hearthstone. I’ll give my opinions on the balance changes in another post. Other than balance changes, Blizzard is going to add more floor ranks to Ranked play.

What they mean by floor ranks is that, for any season, once you’ve ranked up to a floor rank, you cannot lose ranks until you become lower than the highest floor rank you’ve achieved for that season.

The additional new floor ranks are going to be 15, 10, 5. So much like rank 20, once you hit those ranks, and you’ve lost all the stars of that rank, you won’t lose any more stars to drop to a lower rank. You’ll stay at, minimally, the floor ranks, until the season resets.

I do welcome such a change. Previously, i have a reluctance to try to rank up early in the month, mainly due to the fact that i do not want to lose ranks playing the other weaker classes when trying to complete quests. With the new floor ranks, i could experiment with more decks without feeling punished. I suspect that this change would help to add more diversity to the decks you’ll match up with (at the floor ranks).

Another thing that’s good about this additional floor ranks thing is that people can’t do things like rank up to 5 for the monthly rank 5 rewards, than purposely lose stars to rank down to 20 to farm the rank 20 players. I do believe this helps with the new player experience. Right now, rank 20 player experience is horrible. It’s one thing to see a Pirate Warrior at rank 20, it’s after all a relatively cheap deck. It’s another thing to see a Reno deck with a huge host of legendaries at rank 20.

Ok so much for now, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Budget Shaman

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here. I was on the other server working through the quests to trying to get enough gold to pop the pity timer for legendary for Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. I had a play Shaman cards quest and looked through the collection and came up with the following list.

2 x Lightning Bolt
2 x Spirit Claws
2 x Tunnel Trogg
2 x Flametongue Totem
2 x Maelstrom Portal
2 x Totem Golem
2 x Hex
2 x Lava Burst
2 x Lightning Burst
2 x Mana Tide Totem
2 x Unbound Elemental
2 x Fireguard Destroyer
2 x Jade Lightning
2 x Azure Drake
2 x Thunder Bluff Valiant

fireguard_destroyer flamewreathed_faceless jinyu_waterspeaker
I did not have any Flamewreathed Faceless (henceforth acronymed as FF) in the collection and went with Fireguard Destroyer. The thing is, i think a case can be made for using Fireguard Destroyer over FF. While Fireguard Destroyer is strictly worse in stats than FF, and it’s not just it’s vulnerability to Silence effects, it does have one advantage over FF. Fireguard Destroyer overloads for only 1 mana.

Overloading for only 1 instead of 2 makes for a better turn 5. You could still play Jade Lightning on the next turn! Overloading, unlike pure stats, is harder to quantify and appreciate. Nevertheless, try out Fireguard Destroyer and you’ll definitely come to appreciate the tempo plays that can be afforded for overloading less. You won’t be disappointed.

If it helps, instead of comparing with FF, compare it to Jinyu. Sometimes, control decks do play out Jinyu for tempo, mostly disregarding the heal effect. At times, it can be a strong play because of it’s 6 health. Fireguard Destroyer has the same health and more attack.

Ok, comparing it to Jinyu doesn’t work quite so well, but take it as a compromise between FF and Jinyu. You want a strong beater but do not want to overload for so much that it destroys your turn 5. Or even turn 4, because coin-ing Fireguard Destroyer is so much less risky.

Ok so much for now, Geek Generation out.