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Entries from October 2013

The Hunter Beastmaster Deck - Episode 20

October 24th, 2013 · Comments

00:0000:00

Hello!

  • Dan is on the show this week
  • Topic: The first-ever Deck Challenge-palooza!
  • Reasons to be happy this week

What is a Deck Challenge?

The basic premise is pretty simple: the guest host brings a constructed deck that they’re having fun playing at the moment. They explain what the theme of the deck is, how it works, what the key cards are to have, and why they think it’s fun to play.

We’ll always include a full card list (below) so you can build their deck, but we won’t list every single card on the podcast, since, well, that’d be boring.

After they’ve explained their deck, we pause the podcast and play a best-of-3-series, where I’m using the current reigning champion deck.

If the guest host wins, they get the official title of Happy Hearthstone Champion, and their deck becomes the reigning champion deck for the show. Future guests will have to play against it to try and earn their spot among the LEGENDS of the show!

We won’t do this every show, but it’ll be one of the formats we rotate through during the recording. We want it to be fun and entertaining, but most importantly, we want it to help you find new deck types to play around with. Early on, these won’t be the ideal decks you could build if you had every card in the game—because we know that most players won’t have every card in the game. These are meant to be decks that embody good ideas, that you can build off of, based on what actual cards you have access too.

Plus, it’ll be great for bragging rights if someone can build a deck that holds the reigning spot for a long time!

The Deck

  • The Beastmaster: It’s a Hunter deck with a simple theme: every minion must be a Beast (type) or have something directly to do with Beasts.
  • How it wins: It’s got a lot of creatures, which is combos together to rush the opponent and hopefully get some big creatures on the board quickly. It’s kind of an overrun-type deck, where you throw a lot at the opponent to keep him on his heels and take him down before he knows what hit him!

Five Key Cards

  • Starving Buzzard: A decent beast, with a brilliant (and much-needed) card-draw effect that can be easily exploited.
  • Multi-Shot: Removal is very important for keeping your beasts swinging. Multi-shot (and Explosive Shot) are the best removal available to this deck.
  • Houndmaster: This is amazing. We should always have a beast on the table, but not many of them have Taunt on their own. This card fixes that, while providing an awesome stat buff.
  • Unleash the Hounds: This is one of those Common-quality cards that plays like a Legendary in this deck. Later on in the match, you can bombard the board with beasts and immediately go!
  • Tundra Rhino: Dan didn’t like this card before he built this deck, but like Unleash the Hounds, it’s way more valuable here.

Hearthstone Beastmaster Taunt

Full Deck List

You can read Dan’s full thoughts about why he built the deck the way he did, but here’s the simple deck list with no commentary (ordered by mana cost), if you want to try it out for yourself.
Important Note: As Dan discusses extensively on the show, this is not an ideal deck, but the deck he could build with the cards he has. This is meant to help you build a deck that can work without paying for tons of packs. You should adjust the card numbers to match what you have available to you.

Creatures

Spells

Sideboard

Cards that Dan recommends adding if you have them, ordered from most to least valuable. See his other post for details.

Hearthstone Beastmaster Tracking

The Defending Champion Deck

Because this is our first Duel, there’s no deck defending the throne. Instead, Josh played his favorite Warlock deck, which has pretty average cards in it. In future Duels, the last deck to win will be the Defending Champion Deck, and have to fight off all contenders trying to usurp it.

Post-Duel Commentary

  • Who won
  • Obligatory bragging session
  • Challenger Deck: How well did it perform?
  • Defending Deck: How well did it perform?
  • Best moments in the matches
  • The Happy Hearthstone Champion Ceremony ™

Community

  • Question: Card rarity vs. value from Derrick
  • iTunes Review: Rince Art

Card of the Week

Song by Lori
Hearthstone Summoning Portal

Farewell

 

DECK GUIDE:

Building a Hunter deck isn’t always easy, but we focused on a basic starter deck in last week’s Happy Hearthstone episode, which introduced our new deck-battling format.

The new format challenges the show’s guests to bring a personal favorite deck and play a best-of-3 series against the host’s deck. Dan Patriss, my guest-host on last week’s show, brought a Hunter deck to challenge me.

Note from Josh: I asked Dan to explain his deck and card choices on this blog to help listeners understand why he picked the cards he did, and why they might want to try building the deck. The rest of the article is from him. Thanks, Dan!

Hearthstone Beastmaster Boar

The Beastmaster Deck

You know my deck is THE BEASTMASTER. (That link is your homework: watch that movie!) It’s a pretty straightforward rush-type deck, which means it wants to punch the opponent in the face as quickly and as often as possible. Its strengths are having decent removal and a bunch of great Beast minions. Its weakness is that it’s kind of light on Taunt minions, which can leave yourself vulnerable.

Let’s get straight into the cards I used in my deck for the mighty showdown with Josh. You can find a completely plain deck list on the podcast episode. Here, I’ll provide additional commentary where I feel it’s helpful or necessary.

2x Hunters Mark

This, combined with Arcane Shot (below), can get you out of a lot of sticky situations. It only costs you 1 mana, but also takes 2 card slots. In that regard, it’s a bit expensive, but it’s still a decent combo.

2x Arcane Shot

This card is cheap, reliable removal, especially for early threats like a 3/2 with perks like Knife Juggler. If you’re not sold on this combo, I think you could also do fine with just 1 Hunter’s Mark and 1 Arcane Shot in this deck, and filling that space with more minions. (I list some ideas for what cards you could add in at the bottom of this post).

1x Tracking

I normally don’t like spending a card slot on something that makes me discard 2 cards, but this card will often help you dig to that one card you really need at the moment (see: Explosive Shot).

1x Unleash the Hounds

As I mentioned on the show, these cards are a huge deal in this deck. Being able to give The Beast or a pile of other beasts +1 and Charge will add a ton of damage to your opponent. The cheap cost means you can almost always play a beast alongside it, to benefit from the Charge.

1x Timber Wolf

This one is replaceable, despite first appearances. But 1-cost beasts are rare and the perks on this one allow it to still be meaningful, even in the late-game.

1x Explosive Trap

Not only will this often wipe the enemy’s board if you can get it out early, it will also toss in an extra 2 damage on your opponent. It’s a great trap!

1x Misdirection

This is another great Secret. When someone has that 7/7 minion out there and your board is empty, the opponent is likely to think you have an Explosive Trap or Freezing Trap. Then, all of a sudden, he gets hit by his own minion and that won’t make him happy.

1x Iron Beak Owl

These guys are soooo high on the meta-scale right now, it’s scary. They’re good in almost every deck because the current big-picture strategy makes Silencing super useful. It’s a great equalizer for virtually no mana cost.

1x Scavenging Hyena

I’m still not sure if I need 2 of these in this deck (I need to test more!). He gets +2/+1 when any beast dies, and beasts will be dying like crazy with this deck. If nothing else, it’s a card that your opponent has to kill before they target your other minions.

2x Starving Buzzard

This is one of the few draw-card effects in this deck, which makes it invaluable.

2x Animal Companion

I LOVE THIS CARD. Especially in this deck. All three of the beasts that this card can summon are useful, and the 3-mana cost is great.

2x Kill Command

This card wins games. It’s 5 damage almost every time you use it.

2x Ironfur Grizzly

This is a cheap, powerful taunt minion ’nuff said

1x Jungle Panther

This is one of the first cards you should swap out if you get something more powerful. But that said, getting it on the ground one turn before you get a Houndmaster that can buff it before it attacks is amazing, letting you pound someone for 6.

2x Multi Shot

3 damage to 2 opponent minions almost always means this will kill two of their cards, for only one of yours (a 2-for-1).

2x Houndmaster

You should ALWAYS have a beast on the board, so this is a free taunt and buff a friendly minion. This is irreplaceable and a key to this deck

1x Explosive Shot

9 total damage to minion. It might not always take out 3 things, but it will sometimes–and it should always get 2 at the very least.

1x Stampeding Kodo

I really wish it was 3 attack, but it’s still a nice effect to have. Plus, he’s 3/5, which is really solid too.

1x Tundra Rhino

In most decks, this is not a great card, but in this beast-heavy deck, it’s a great card to get rush damage mid-game.

1x Savannah Highmane

This one’s really only here to keep crowding the board with beasts, even if he dies.

1x The Beast

Normally, I don’t like giving my opponent anything for free, but you have to have faith that he’ll live a turn and, if he does, he can get you the win.

Hearthstone Beastmaster ArcaneShot

Possible Additions

Here are some cards you should consider swapping into the deck if you have them. They aren’t in my main list either because I haven’t unlocked them in-game yet, or because I think they’re better as sub cards.

2x Freezing Trap

It’s a decent bounce effect, but I’m not sure it fits the theme entirely and doesn’t protect as much as something like Explosive Trap.

1x Young Dragonhawk

When paired with Unleash the Hounds, this could be a turn 2, 4-damage beast. It’s not game changing, but it will scare your opponent quickly.

2x Dire Wolf Alpha

This is a possible replacement for the Timber Wolf, but it only effects 2 beasts. So, if you rush your opponent, you’re going to get more use out of a mid-game Timber Wolf than you would an Dire Wolf Alpha, which is also more expensive.

2x Emperor Cobra

When used with the Houndmaster, you have a lethal killing machine.

1x King Mukla

I’m not a fan of giving my opponent a free card, but some players might like to use him to just keep rushing the opponent.

1x King Krush

This is probably the best Legendary card for this deck. So much damage, so much beast!

Another Explosive Trap
Another Explosive Shot
Another Ironbeak Owl

2x Snake Trap
2x Deadly Shot
2x Gladiator’s Longbow
2x Eaglehorn Bow
2x Beastial Wrath

Hearthstone Beastmaster TundraRhino

Final Thoughts

This might not be a perfect or tournament-ready deck, but I still have a lot of fun playing with it. I hope you do too!

Be sure to listen to our last episode of the podcast, where we talk about the deck at length. If you try it out, tell us what you thought of it, and what cards you swapped in to have the most success.

Tags: Uncategorized

The Big Patch - Episode 19

October 8th, 2013 · Comments

00:0000:00

Hello!

  • Derrick is on the show this week
  • Topic: The big patch!
  • Reasons to be happy this week: vacations, esports, and marathons

Reassurances

  • Account resets
  • This is the last wipe (in theory)
  • More invites are coming soon!

The Most Important Nerfs

(Not necessarily the cards hit hardest, but the changes we think are most impactful on the game as a whole.)

Josh

  • Dalaran Mage
    Dalaran Mage now has 1 less Attack.
    These little guys are core to any spell power deck, and dropping it’s attack to 1 makes it a lot easier for the opponent to trade profitably with it — which basically means they should be able to kill it without losing one of their cards. It’s not a huge nerf, but almost every class can run a Spell Damage deck, so this affects a lot of players.
  • Sunfury Protector
    Sunfury Protector now only gives adjacent minions Taunt.
    Very needed. This is one of the only minions that felt, to me, like it was necessary in every deck. Everyone wants Taunt, and even if you don’t the card was ahead of the vanilla test without the perk! Seems to compete with Defender of Argus a bit now, though.
  • Fade
    Fade has been replaced with a new card:
    Shadow Word: Death – (3) Destroy a minion with an Attack of 5 or more.

    Fade was removed entirely, and replaced by a strong removal card (Shadow Word: Death). So it’s not a nerf to the Priest class overall, but the card got as nerfed as can be — removed. I think this is important because it’s a good example of a trend in this patch: removing the biggest Taunt threats. They clearly want to step back a bit from the Taunt spam.

Derrick

  • Headcrack
    Headcrack costs 3 Mana (up from 2).
    Omg thank you. I had my head cracked so many times playing against Rogues that I have absolutely no brains left. There were times when my opponent had both of their headcracks in hand. So they could smash me for 4 damage (for 4 mana) and develop their board with big things.
  • Twilight Drake
    Twilight Drake is now a 4/1 with ‘Battlecry: Gain +1 Health for each card in your hand.’
    Was a 1/1 that got +1/+1 for each card in your hand. Was often coming down on turn 4 or 5 as a 7/7 or 8/8. Or warlocks could go nuts.
  • Pint-Sized Summoner
    Pint-sized Summoner – The cost reduction has been reduced from 2 to 1.
    2 mana for a 2/2. Vanilla test pass! First minion each turn is 1 cheaper. Used to be 2 cheaper. The savings was way too huge. This is going to put this card in its place, was a bit OP before if you ask me Can you combo this with summoning portal if you’re a warlock? Man – the savings is crazy.

The Most Important Buffs

(Not necessarily the cards buffed strongest, but the changes we think are most impactful on the game as a whole.)

Josh

  • Lightwarden
    Lightwarden now gains +2 Attack per heal.
    This card was already pretty decent. It’s above the curve on the vanilla test, gives a great counter-card to Priest decks to all classes (notice it says “when any character is healed”). All it takes is one heal card or hero power and suddenly you got a 3/2 for one mana. Pretty darn impressive. This just became a staple for heal-centric Priest decks, and will really help them carry into popularity.
  • Northshire Cleric
    Northshire Cleric – Now costs 1 (down from 2).
    Speak of heal-centric Priest decks, I think this is the next big buff that makes the heal deck worthwhile. The heal deck now has two awesome turn-1 drops that can be followed up with a 2-mana heal hero power next turn. This card should always draw at least one (worth it) if you play it on turn one, and will often draw more (awesome).
  • Sorcerer’s Apprentice
    Sorcerer’s Apprentice has 1 more Attack. (2/3 for 2 mana now) 
    If there were any Mages NOT running a spell-heavydeck before this patch, this should guarantee they all will be now. This card was already hugely efficient for 2 mana, not it’s above the curve on the vanilla test AND has one of the best passive effects in the game. This is an absolute staple to every Mage deck.

Derrick

  • Greater Heal
    Greater Heal has been replaced with a new card:
    Holy Fire – (6) Deal 5 damage. Restore 5 Health to your hero.

    It used to be: heal 2 for each card in your opponent’s hand. Was clunky, not viable on turn 2 (don’t need healing). Holy Fire, in contrast, has huge efficiency. 6 mana to kill an X/5 is probably already playable. And the 5 heal is almost always relevant by turn 6.
  • Pit Lord
    Pit Lord – Now a 5/6 with ‘Battlecry: Deal 5 damage to your hero’.
    Harder to kill. Dishes out less damage, yes, but the new Battlecry is now only deal 5 dmg to your hero (instead of 7). I experimented with this card a lot. And I’m didn’t always get his 7 attack damage onto their hero. And if I couldn’t, it’s not worth dealing 7 to myself. Too many early Taunt creatures could make the old version of this card too clunky. A nice improvement.
  • Battle Rage
    Battle Rage costs 3 (up from 2), and also counts damaged heroes.
    Yes, it costs 1 more, but now is likely to draw 2 more cards than it used to. For 1 mana extra? Sign me up.

Hearthstone Beta Meta Frozen

The Most Confusing Changes

(Over-nerfed, over-buffed, or completely random—these are the changes we didn’t see coming.)

Josh

  • Rogue hero power nerf
    Hero Power – No longer has the ability to buff a currently equipped weapon.
    It’s now one of the most useless abilties. It has the same function as the Mage ability, but has to obey Taunt rules, deals damage to your hero, and can’t be used every turn. In exchange, it’s half-costed. Not a good trade-off.
  • Frostwolf Warlord nerf/buff
    Frostwolf Warlord now has a Battlecry effect instead of an ongoing effect.
    I’m not entirely sure if this is a buff or a nerf. It’s probably a wash. I’m just not sure why it was changed. I liked having two ways to deal with it as an opponent (more counterplay) and I liked having a way to keep buffing it as a player.
  • Captain Greenskin nerf
    Captain Greenskin is now a 5/4 with ‘Battlecry: Give your weapon +1/+1.’
    There are so many easier ways to get card draw, was this one really too powerful? It’s still a Rogue-only card, but now it’s much weaker. If Blizzard wanted to nerf card draw (which they probably should, this was not the card to target).

Derrick

  • Gelbin Mekkatorque’s Repair bot
    Gelbin Mekkatorque’s Repair Bot – Is now a 0/3 and has a new power: At the end of your turn, restore 6 Health to a damaged character.
    This is an odd change. Repair bot was an 0/5 and heals 3 to all friendly characters at end-of-turn. Now it’s an 0/3 but heals 6 to a single damaged character. Such a rare event, dunno if this is better or worse. It just feels different, I guess?
  • Questing Adventurer
    Questing Adventurer is now Rare.
    This seems like a very confusing change until you consider it’s ramifications in The Arena, where it’s rarity determines how often it pops up for players to pick.

The Missing Changes

(Things we expected to see in the patch notes, but didn’t find.)

Josh

  • Bigger nerf to Defias Ringleader
    Getting 2 heavy-hitting minions out on turn two is really strong. No other class has a comparable trick. The closest is the Murloc Tidehunter, but that gets you a 2/1 and a 1/1 (instead of a 2/2 and a 2/1). The new version is welcome– 2 health is within reach of a lot more removal spells, but it’s still going to be a go-to turn 1 move with the crystal that makes the opponent sigh. I would’ve much prefered to see them put it at a 3 mana cost. That at least gives your opponent a 3-mana turn to try and deal with it.
  • Change to Norzdomu
    I’m not sure I want this card to change, but I’m surprised that it didn’t. This is the one that changes the timer for every turn to 15 seconds. I love the flavor of it—it’s perfect. And it’s very unique. But a fair number of players complained that it stressed them out, so I would’ve guessed Blizzard would’ve changed or just removed the entire time aspect of it.
  • Buff to Harrison Jones
    It’s easy to pick on the Legendaries, but they’re Legendary, so we expect them to be incredible! If your opponent doesn’t have a weapon equipped (and a lot of decks run without any weapons), it’s a 4/5 for 5 mana. I wouldn’t run that as a Common card– and I expect better from my Legendaries.

Derrick

  • Nerf to Pyroblast
    8 mana to do 10 damage. That’s crazy efficiency. It can still boosted by spell power minions. After turn 10, you can still use your mage ability for 1 more damage too. This basically means by turn 10, if you have 11 health (more if they have spell power buffs), you’re dead. That’s more than a 3rd of your health!
  • Change to Silence mechanics
    I don’t like how silence can undo Battlecry effects. I wish silence could only remove ongoing effects. I feel like “silencing” something means it stops something from speaking from now on…not “ret-con silence!!”
  • Nerf to Harvest Golem
    Avoids AoE nicely, and super efficient vanilla test. for 3 mana you get a 2 / 3 and then a 2 / 1. That’s 4 attack and 4 HP for 3 mana, and has the AoE avoidance. To me, one of the better 3 drops.

Quality of Life Changes

(Changes, upgrades, and feature additions that just make life in Hearthstone a little more fun.)

  • Druid AI uses Choose One cards correctly now (so no more farming it to unlock decks)
  • New gold card animations
  • New crafting UI
  • Max hero level is 60
  • Gold gained from Play mode wins bumped up to ~3 gold per win
  • Buffs to arena rewards: more cards/less dust, more gold at 5/6, pack/legend at 9
  • “Spell Power” renamed to “Spell Damage”
  • Animation effect on deathtouch creatures
  • Click on chat bubbles to respond
  • Quests to win with classes give you 2 options
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, the farming area of the Pandaria board will now allow you to spawn three radishes.

Community

  • No questions this week!
  • iTunes Review: drizztman55

Card of the Week

Song by Nicole Christopoulos
Hearthstone Wild Pyromancer

Farewell

Tags: Uncategorized