League of Explorers Card Highlights

What is League of Explorers bringing to the Hearthstone table?

“The Discover mechanic!” is the easy answer. As the Zinaar boss already showed us in a not so subtle way, Discover lets you pick between three different cards and add one of them to your hand, just like an Arena draft. Discover isn’t going to take over the game, but its a new way to gain card advantage. You play a card that has a Battlecry: Discover effect and then it trades with something. You traded card for card, but you also got a bonus card through the Battlecry.

With that said here’s a few of the cards that look the best to me in the League of Explorers adventure for Hearthstone.

Sir Finley Mrrgglton

Super useful if you’re building a deck for a class, but don’t plan on using that classes hero power very much. A Rogue Inspire deck for example. And if you wanted to have more Murloc stuff Sir Finley Mrrgglton can be included in a deck with these two beauties: Everyfin is Awesome and Anyfin Can Happen

Brann BronzebeardRumbling Elemental

Both of these cards will make Battlecry decks way more popular and viable. I’d wager that this will be on the level of the rise of Deathrattle decks after the release of Naxxramas.

Reno Jackson

He was released in the first wing and already has a few highlights on YouTube. Good in any control deck. Reno’s Battlecry will trigger based off the cards in your deck at the time he is played, so if you are using a deck that runs two of everything, but you’ve drawn or played one copy of each of those cards then his effect will trigger.

Arch-Thief Rafaam

Just a strong late game card. Rafaam lets you choose between three different cards and put one in your hand. These three cards are:

Mirror of DoomLantern of PowerTimepiece of Horror

Rafaam has the advantage of giving you whatever tool you need to take control of the game. His disadvantage is that you won’t be able to take advantage of that tool until the turn after you play Rafaam. Also, imagine a combination of Rafaam and Brann. Two super cards! They remain super expensive though.

Animated Armor

I saw a lot of buzz about this card being good and how it will make Mages even more untouchable. I gotta say that’s not true. Most of the time this will act as a 4/4 taunt. Just a slightly different stat allocation that Sen’jin Shieldmasta.

Keeper of Uldaman

This one functions a lot like Aldor Peacekeeper but it has an alternative use, buffing a Silver Hand Recruit up! When use that way it comes with a grand total of 5/6 stats making it one of the best 4 mana cards out there.

Unearthed Raptor

I routinely compete in a Hearthstone card creation contest on Order of the Stick’s Forums and cards like this have been suggested many times in the past. I’m glad that Blizzard has introduced the card. It’s got good stats and it should reliably have a good Deathrattle effect. Or it could be used to make Mill Rogue stronger by copying Deathlord or Dancing Swords Deathrattle.

Explorer's Hat

I don’t think this card will be particularly good, but I’m excited that it was released. Hearthstone is based off of Magic the Gathering and there are obvious similarities between the two games. Hearthstone has spells that buff creatures, and Magic has enchant creature spells. Enchant creature spells hang around as a card that is actively affecting it’s creature while Hearthstone cleans up that mess by having the effects of the spell visually appear on the card’s stats.

But what if you want to separate the buff/enchant creature from the creature after you’ve played it? that was easy enough in Magic, if you have a card that lets you do that, you move the enchant creature to a different creature. Wizards of the Coast made that process even easier with the release of equipment cards. In Hearthstone… There’s no easy way to do that and have it integrated with the game’s current mechanics.

So instead we get this janky mess! It hearkens back to the early days before Magic’s equipments were released. When Rancor and Angelic Destiny were the staple for reapplying enchant creatures. I understand Explorer’s Hat perfectly well, but it’s going to be a confusing card for novice players.

There’s a lot more cards but none that wowed me like these ones did. If you want to look at the others they are all posted here.

-GoCorral

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GVG Meta Shifts

The meta has been shifting in Hearthstone which is predictable after the release of a new set. GVG is shaking things up just like Blizzard wanted.

So what are some of the biggest new decks? Well, Mech Mage is one of them.

The expansion came with plenty of new minions to flood the board early such as Clockwork Gnome, Mechwarper, Micro Machine, and Snowchugger for Mages.

Chugga-Chugga-Chugga!
Chugga-Chugga-Chugga!

For the mid game there’s Piloted Shredder, Madder Bomber, Bomb Lobber, and Goblin Blastmage. Each of them brings a decent body of their own along with an ability that will usually trade with an opponent’s minion while still leaving your minion alive, either through a damaging battlecry or the Shredder‘s deathrattle.

What are you doing with that stapler and an Arcane Missiles card? Stay back!
What are you doing with that stapler and an Arcane Missiles card? Stay back!

Add in the normal strong spells of a Mage and the deck is quite solid. What makes it devastating is the new Spare Parts cards. They’re cheap and the deck has Clockwork Gnome, Tinkertown Technician, and Mechanical Yeti to create them.

Flip-flop! Now my deck's on top!
Flip-flop! Now my deck’s on top!

The cheapness is wonderful. They can activate Mana Wyrm to pump it up. They can activate Gadgetzan to draw cards. They can activate Antonidas to create three Fireballs on the turn you drop him. They also work with the new legendary, Gazlowe, to create tons of mechs for you to play.

Mage also got a new toy with the epic spell, Echo of Medivh. The spell is used in the old Freeze Mage Giant deck which focused on freezing out their opponent and drawing cards until they could play giants and Duplicate them. Well now you can duplicate them another way!

I don't really know who or what Medivh is.
I don’t really know who or what Medivh is.

Say you’re at 10 life. You feel safe because you’ve got two Molten Giants that you gave taunt to on the board and you have an Ice Block secret. Now throw in Echo of Medivh and suddenly you have two spares of one of the most powerful minions in the game! Day9 has a video where he fills his board with 6 Molten Giants in one turn using this trick.

The deathrattle aggro decks that Warlock, Priest, and Hunter run all got some improvements with Clockwork Gnome and the Piloted cards. Mechwarper and Micro Machine also help out with mech aggro decks.

Ramp Druid got some new tools. Grove Tender helps them ramp up faster while also providing a body. Tree of Life allows a full reset of life when you’re facing an aggro deck.

Handlock got Mal’Ganis, so now your opponents can’t even rush you down if you drop that. Fortunately, some cards were added to counter Handlock and any other oppressive control matchup. Goblin Sapper and Clockwork Giant are perfect against decks that like to stock up on lots of cards.

There are tons of other cool cards that have slightly altered existing deck. Shrinkmeister and Voljin for Priest. Muster for Battle, Quartermaster, and Bolvar Fordragon for Paladin. Gahz’rilla for Hunter. A slight Murloc focus for Shaman along with Crackle for burst based decks. Rogue got some awesome new mech cards along with the means to possibly create a viable pirate deck. I haven’t seen one yet, but I’ll bet its coming.

So lots of new cards to try out! I’ve only just now finished spending out all my gold on Arena runs to learn the new cards in that mode. Now I have to see how what I have works in Ranked. I just got a Mal’Ganis for a Demonlock deck in my last Arena run. Maybe I’ll give that a try!

-Mister Ed

GVG Latest Cards

After playing with the new Goblins Vs. Gnomes cards in Arena I’ve determined some of the better ones.

First up! Bomb Lobber!

Bomb Lobber

While the Bomb Lobber has absurdly low stats for its cost, the battlecry is just insane. In Arena the 4 damage is basically guaranteed to kill a minion.

And after the battlecry the Bomb Lobber can still trade with most 2 or 3 cost minions.

So let’s say you play the Bomb Lobber. His battlecry destroys something. Then next turn you attack and he takes out a 2/3 minion of your opponent’s. THEN you hit him with the Recombobulator!

Recombobulator

This one’s kind of complicated, but the Recombobulator changes a Bomb Lobber into any other 5 mana cost minion card. Could be a Spectral Knight. Could be a Stranglethorn Tiger. It can even be class minions such as a the towering colossus that is the Shaman’s EARTH ELEMENTAL! Now the Bomb Lobber that already created a card advantage of two for you is a 7/8 with taunt.

Recombobulator is insane in decks with strong battlecries. I suspect a nerf incoming on the Recombobulator so that his target is random like Tinkmaster Overspark. If he’s kept as is… People might start playing Nerub’ar Weblord to counter the battlecries.

And the final card I’d like to talk about isn’t necessarily good in Arena, but it is hilarious. I present to you, Fel Reaver!

Fel Reaver

So 5 mana for an 8/8 puts it in competition with the other giant cards. Fel Reaver is different because it’s ALWAYS discounted.

But it comes with a penalty. A pretty significant one at that. Usually within two or three turns of playing him you will be out of cards.

Fortunately, Fel Reaver does not actually draw you cards, so the activation of its effect by itself will not deal you fatigue damage, but it does put you on a timer with just the cards in your hand to beat your opponent with.

The card has mixed performances. I put together a deck to try it out and uploaded the games to Youtube with the title Fel Reaver Concept. You can check it out for yourself and tell me what you think. I like the card a lot, but is it competitive? We’ll have to wait and see.

-Mister Ed

Defeating Heroic Naxxramas

I’ve been messing around with the Heroic bosses on Naxxramas and they are pretty hard!

Fortunately, I’ve started to learn a few tricks to beat them.

Initially I was looking up decks on the internet to try and get past them, but I just beat all of the Military Quarter using my own creations.

A part of me feels like looking up decks to win was cheating, like looking up the answer to a riddle.

So I think I’ll try beating them on my own in the future.

For those of you who don’t share the same compulsion, here’s the basic outline of a few decks that will help.

I’ve only needed four decks to beat the Heroic bosses so far.

The deck I use most often is a Divine Spirit and Inner Fire combo Priest deck.

I featured a game against Heroic Heigan using that deck on my Youtube channel. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o_T9poGgwk

The deck list for the Priest deck is:
Circle of Healing x2
Inner Fire x2
Power Word: Shield x2
Northshire Cleric x2
Divine Spirit x2
Shadow Word: Pain x2
Lightwell x2
Nerubian Egg x2
Shadow Word: Death x2
Deathlord x2
Stoneskin Gargoyle x2
Lightspawn x2
Mogu’shan Warden x2
Holy Nova x2
Sludge Belcher x2

The deck works by plopping down a minion with lots of health, like the Stone Gargoyle I used in the video. Use Power Word: Shield and Divine Spirit to increase that minion’s health and then turn it into an unstoppable monster by using Inner Fire.

So far this deck or slight variations on it have worked for Heroic Anub’Rekhan, Faerlina, Noth, Heigan, Razuvious, and Baron Rivendare. Make modifications for those battles based on what cards you have and what your own experience with the bosses. I’m sure you can quickly modify the deck to win against any of the Heroic bosses.

The bosses that required special decks were Maexxna, Loatheb, and Gothik.

I already detailed a proposed Maexxna deck in a previous post.

That deck ended up working. Load up a Paladin deck with as many battlecries and heals as you can.

The objective is to fill Maexxna’s side of the board with 7 minions all only having 1 attack. Humility and Aldor Peacekeeper both help greatly with this for when she plays her Giant.

Voodoo Doctor, Earthen Ring Farseer, Lightbringer, and Holy Light will all help keep your health at a good level.

The game winning combo is Guardian of Kings and either a Wolfrider or an Arcane Golem if you have one.

Play the Guardian of Kings every turn to restore 6 life and then play Wolfrider or Arcane Golem to charge at Maexxna and deal her 3 or 4 damage.

Maexxna will bounce the Guardian and your charge minion back to your hand and then attack with all 7 of her minions to deal you 7 damage.

Then you repeat! Each turn you’re only taking an effective 1 damage while she takes 3 or 4.

If your health gets dangerously low you can play a Guardian and a Voodoo Doctor or Earthen Ring Farseer to gain a little health past what her 7 minions can deal you.

I beat Loatheb using a heavily modified version of the Divine Spirit/Inner Fire Priest deck.

Shadow Word: Pain is pretty much the only card that can remove Loatheb’s starting Fen Creeper before it deals you too much damage.

The Priest provides heals with the hero power and Lightwells to mitigate Loatheb’s hero power damage.

The additional cards needed are Elven Archers, Ironforge Riflemen, and Holy Smites to take out the spores. It’s best to get the spore bonus on as many minions as possible so the addition of Haunted Creepers, Murloc Tidecallers, or Razorfen Hunters is a good idea.

The final boss that requires a special deck is Gothik. Here’s the deck I used:
Innervate x2
Claw x2
Naturalize x2
Mark of the Wild x2
Wild Growth x2
Doomsayer x1
Sunfury Protector x2
Mark of Nature x2
Savage Roar x1
Coldlight Oracle x2
Deathlord x2
Poison Seeds x2
Swipe x2
Druid of the Claw x2
Ancient of Lore x1
Ancient of War x1
Ironbark Protector x2

The plan is to outlast Gothik until he has drawn his entire deck.

Kill the smaller of his minions and then turn them into taunts with Marks, Sunfury, or a Defender of Argus if you have them.

Naturalize should be saved for Gothik’s bigger minions.

Savage Roar is another good way to get rid of the Spectral minions Gothik gives you. Poison Seeds is also great.

Swipe is great for board and can sometimes do double duty if it clears an Abomination or Unstable Ghoul. Starfall would also be nice, but I didn’t have one.

Eventually Gothik will run out of cards and fatigue damage will kill him.

I’ll try to do some more posts for beating the Heroic bosses of the Construct Quarter and Frostwyrm Lair in the future!

-Mister Ed

Trying to Beat Maexxna

Giving my standard Rogue deck a try against Maexxna and failing miserably.
Giving my standard Rogue deck a try against Maexxna and failing miserably.

I’ve been playing around with beating the Heroic version of one boss in Hearthstone’s Curse of Naxxramas.

The boss is called Maexxna and she is a giant spider.

The normal version was easy to beat, but the Heroic version is way harder.

She starts off with effectively three spider minions to your zero. Plus, if you kill one of those minions they turn into two other spiders.

She also has an ability she can use every turn for free to throw two of your minions back to your hand.

The best way to beat her seems obvious for Hearthstone veterans, play a deck with a bunch of minions that have effects when they’re played from your hand.

For example, there’s one minion that deals 1 damage when it is played. She returns it, but then you get the free damage once again!

There’s another few that heal you up. Play one of those every turn and she can’t bring you down as quickly.

Maexxna has a tendency to flood her side of the board with her weak spider minions. She can only have seven total and there’s a way to take advantage of this as well.

The best strategy I’ve heard so far is to play a minion who restores six life every turn. If Maexxna’s board is filled with seven minions that can each only deal one damage, then you’re only taking one damage per turn total.

Then you play a minion that can attack on its first turn to deal 4 damage to Maexxna directly.

So once you get to that point in the game you’re only taking 1 damage for every 4 damage Maexxna takes.

I haven’t tried that deck yet and I’m it takes a bit of luck and skill to succeed with it. Given enough time I’m sure I can manage it.

There’s still a lot more bosses to go after Maexxna though! I’ll be looking forward to them after my vacation.

-Mister Ed

EDIT: I did the strategy I talked about above and it worked perfectly. Give it a shot with Paladin if you’re having trouble with her!