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

Hearthstone Adventures: The Old and The New

League of Explorers Banner

Blizzard had released the next Hearthstone adventure and I still haven’t finished the Heroic versions of all the Blackrock Mountain bosses.

When the adventure was announced I rushed to do a few of them. Here are the decks I came up with.

image

A lot of double taunt creatures in this deck help with Direbrew’s nonstop aggression. Then there’s some high attack minions to deal him damage. The Windfury card is what really pulls it together. Drop it on something like a Core Hound to deal a bunch of damage to Direbrew at once.

image

Thaurissan’s challenge remains the same, you have to keep his wife alive. Only now instead of being a 1/3 she’s a 3/1. So you’re taking more damage from her each turn and she dies from just one stray point of damage. The solution? Flip-flop her attack and health with Crazed Alchemist, buff her health and heal her when Thaurissan gets all “wife-beaty,” and win in the end with the typical Divine Spirit/Inner Fire combo.

In this deck I also included a few cards to try and steal Moira. I never got the chance to use them, so I’m not sure what happens if you succeed. Let me know if you do! Either way, the minion theft cards are unnecessary to clear Heroic Thaurissan.

image

For finishing off Executus and Ragnaros I give you the traditional Divine Spirit/Inner Fire deck. This one works a little differently. The idea is to kill Executus and Ragnaros in the same turn so Ragnaros doesn’t get to use his double strength hero power. The deck also has some Light Warden/Holy Champion heal combos to try and get some more minions with super high attack while sustaining yourself. Executus has 30 Health and 15 Armor while Ragnaros has 30 Health and 30 Armor. Coming up with 60+ damage in one turn might seem difficult, but this deck manages it well.

image

Omokk kills a minion every turn. To get around that, we have to give him a lot of weak targets. Imp Master spawns a few and the Paladin’s hero power pumps out one every turn. Couple that with the Inspire spawning power of Silver Hand Regent and Murloc Knight and by the midgame you should be ending every turn with a board of 7 minions. The deck has a little difficulty starting because often you can’t play anything until turn 3 or 4 because Omokk will kill any minion you play by itself. If you stabilize after getting to the point where you can play some cards and hero power every turn, then you should win.

image

Drakkisath has a nice thing going because he can play two cards every turn while you only get one card. So what do we do? Try to trade two for one as much as we can! Not much else to say about this deck. Getting Alexstrasza and Ragnaros are probably the most important parts to beating Drakkisath and you need them to get you a big advantage before he plays Twisting Nether. Winning this takes some luck and as you can see, a lot of legendaries.

image

Defeating Razorgore means never letting his eggs hatch. They turn into 7/7 drakes once they reach 5 health. The deck has a lot of low cost minions so you can start keeping the eggs under control right away. Razorgore will build a little bit of an advantage while you concentrate on his eggs. You’ll take a lot of damage from his attacks, so the Tournament Medic is in the deck to help stabilize. Once you have enough minions the egg count will start reducing and you can slowly push back against Razorgore and win the game.

Now on to League of Explorers. The first wing is out, the second releases on Thursday, with a third and fourth wing coming after Thanksgiving.

League of Explorers has an Indiana Jones theme to it. Delving into ancient ruins to uncover forbidden treasure, trading witty insults back and forth with your trusted teammates, and battling Azerothian Nazis or something like that. All of these things and more are part of the League of Explorers.

Obviously there’s some new cards. I’ll be covering those and my opinions on them in a post later this week. For now I’d like to give some guides to beating all the Heroic bosses of League of Explorers first wing, the Temple of Orsis.

Zinaar Deck

Zinaar’s whole thing is that he has more cards and mana than you, but at the cost of giving you free stuff, specifically, a bunch of spells that cost 0 mana. To take advantage of that we make a deck that has Mana Addicts, Mana Wyrms, and Questing Adventurers in it (Flamewakers would also work). These get buffed every time you cast one of the wishes. You attack Zinaar with your buffed minions while freezing his hordes out with typical Mage freeze stuff. Easy win!

Phaerix Deck

Phaerix’s staff only makes him immune for Heroic and is a 3/8 for Phaerix while only being a 0/5 for you. A 3/8 is still killable with a Shadow Word: Pain spell though. Then proceed to do the typical Divine Spirit/Inner Fire nonsense. I had a perfect draw with this one where I got all three of the necessary cards in my starting hand. Phaerix had no answer for it and lost quickly.

image
Not sure if Duplicate and Lorewalker Cho do anything in this deck…

This boss was a lot of fun! Instead of trying to defeat the Temple, you are trying to get out as fast as you can. You need to survive ten turns while the temple’s guardians and traps attack you. Since you don’t need to (and can’t) attack your enemy, all you need to do is survive. Freeze Mage is perfect at surviving a long time and now the deck doesn’t even need a win condition like Antonidas! There is a specific sequence event for each turn as follows.
1. Summons a 6/7. You get to draw a card or gain a mana crystal.
2. Summons a 7/7 that also summons a 1/1 with Taunt every turn. You get to take 5 damage or flip a coin to take 0 or 10 damage.
3. Summons 2 8/8 minions with Divine Shield. A Rolling Boulder is summoned to the far right side of your board that destroys one minion to its left every turn.
4. Summons a 10/10. You draw 2 cards or gain 10 Health.
5. All minions are destroyed on both sides.
6. Summons 2 6/15 minions.
7. Summons a 7/7 that also summons a 1/1 with Taunt every turn. You can do nothing or reduce the turn counter by 1 and let the temple summon an additional 7/7.
8. Summons a 5/9 that deals 5 damage to you and all your stuff at the end of every turn (skipped if you summoned the 7/7).
9. Summons 3 10/6 minions.
10. Survive this turn and you win!

I hope all of this helps you beat a few more of the Heroic Hearthstone bosses!

Blackrock Mountain Progress

With the new expansion for Hearthstone announced, what progress have I made in defeating the Blackrock Mountain Heroic bosses?

I’ve beaten two more since I posted about beating Grim Guzzler, Thaurissan, and Drakkisath.

I didn’t record my victories this time, but I did keep track of my decks.

First up, I defeated the Dark Iron Arena using a Freeze Mage deck. Here’s the deck list:

Dark Iron Arena Deck

If you’ve seen other Freeze Mage decks, the idea is pretty simple. Prevent your opponent from killing you until Antonidas is on the board. Then use Antonidas’ endless supply of Fireballs to destroy your opponent.

The deck works best if the computer drops Millhouse Manastorm the turn before you play Antonidas. That didn’t happen during my game, but the deck was still strong enough to get me a victory in one try. Just destroy threats as they come up and use Antonidas as a finisher.

The deck is expensive to craft, but it gets the job done in constructed and in Heroic mode.

The other Heroic boss I took down was Garr, the guy with all the exploding Firesworn.

Here’s my deck list:

image

This deck is also pretty simple.

On Heroic mode, Garr’s Firesworn deal three damage per death and he starts with seven. That means if all seven blow up at the same time you take 49 damage.

Killing them off earlier helps, but you still take some damage.

So what’s the easiest way of preventing the Firesworn from activating? Silencing them!

Mass Dispel is the reason this deck works. And there’s tons of healing to save your butt too.

I won on my first try without even using the Inner Fire combo.

I kept my creatures alive by healing and adding health to them against Garr’s onslaught.

Once he ran out of threats I slowly took him out.

I also included Mind Control Techs and a Cabal Shadow Priest to steal the Firesworn. This turned out to not be that great. I’d replace them with either Circles of Healing or Gurubashi Berserkers if I was playing again.

Good luck against the Heroic bosses! I’ll post more guides as I best the challenges myself.

-GoCorral

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

Heroic Gluth

The killing stroke is at hand!
The killing stroke is at hand!

Beating Heroic Gluth was a pain in the butt.

Heroic Gluth has three advantages over you.

First, he starts with a Unstable Ghoul and a Zombie Chow.

Second, his hero power activates every turn for free and reduces the health of all your minions to 1.

Third, his Jaws weapon card is freaking broken and terrifying.

Dealing with Gluth’s first two advantages is easy enough, but the game will be decided by how you overcome the Jaws card.

At first I tried a freeze Mage deck. I was hoping to get a Water Elemental down and just constantly attack Gluth with it. He’d always be frozen and I’d never have to worry about his Jaws.

Turns out its harder to keep a 1 health Water Elemental alive than I originally thought. Let alone survive to get it on the board against Gluth.

So I abandoned the freeze Mage and switched to a funky Priest deck. Here’s the deck list:
Circle of Healing x2
Mind Vision x2
Acidic Swamp Ooze x2
Youthgul Brewmaster x2
Shadow Word: Death x2
Thoughtsteal x2
Coldlight Oracle x2
Shadow Madness x2
Auchenai Soulpriest x2
Dark Iron Dwarf x2
Wailing Soul x2
Holy Nova x2
Holy Fire x2
Argent Commander
Cabal Shadow Priest x2
Alexstrasza

To avoid losing you either need Gluth to not draw his Jaws or you need to draw an Acidic Swamp Ooze.

Coldlight Orcale will help you find what you need faster and Youthful Brewmaster will give you the Ooze back to use again when Gluth plays another Jaws card.

Gluth will probably build a large minion army. I wiped his out with an Auchenai Soulpriest/Circle of Healing combo.

I’d taken a lot of damage from his horde of minions, but most of them were Zombie Chow. I gained 20 life in one turn!

The two best ways to reduce Gluth’s life are Alexstrasza and stealing Gluth’s Jaws with Thoughtsteal or Mindvision.

There are a few derpy things in this deck that I wouldn’t repeat.

Stealing minions with Shadow Madness and Cabal Shadow Priest was occasionally useful, but I think something like Shadow Word: Pain or Magma Rager.

Dark Iron Dwarf was also a bit off. I don’t think I ever played one. Every other card I had in my hand was always a better choice. I wouldn’t include that again.

Finally, Wailing Soul. The intent of this card was to silence Gluth’s health debuff. After the debuff is silenced you can attack with your minions and destroy Gluth’s stuff without trading. On Gluth’s turn he uses his hero power once more and all your minions are back at 1 health without having really lost anything from the earlier trade.

While the Wailing Soul play made sense, I was never in a position to make those trades. I played the Wailing Souls in the deck only when I needed a body on the board.

Some good cards would be Sludge Belcher and Mind Control Tech. Both of those give you two good minions on the board for the price of one card.

Anyways, the deck worked, but not on my first try. Took me awhile, but I put a leash on that zombie dog and took him for a walk!

-Mister Ed

Naxxramas Construct Quarter

My Mage deck for taking down Heroic Patchwerk.
My Mage deck for taking down Heroic Patchwerk.

I did a Twitch stream on August 15th of the new Construct Quarter in Naxxramas. The stream will be available for a limited time on the GoCorral channel at Twitch if you want to watch.

I wasn’t able to finish all the bosses and class challenges this time. Mostly because the class challenges weren’t knock over easy anymore. I tried about a half dozen times on the Warrior challenge and had to end the stream defeated.

Later on I took a crack at the Heroic bosses and I took down Patchwerk on my first try with the deck pictured above.

If your eyes/computer can’t process pictures the decklist is:
Ice Lance x2
Mirror Image x2
Frostbolt x2
Mad Scientist x2
Murloc Tidehunter x2
Sunfury Protector x2
Arcane Intellect x2
Duplicate x2
Ice Barrier x2
Ice Block x2
Kirin Tor Mage x2
Fireball x2
Water Elemental x2
Sludge Belcher x2
Pyroblast x2

Patchwerk is the most unusual Naxxramas boss so far. He doesn’t have a deck.

All Patchwerk has is a weapon that he starts with and his hero power.

Patchwerk’s weapon, Hook, has a deathrattle effect that puts it back in his hand so he can play it again.

His hero power costs 4 and destroys one minion of Patchwerk’s choice. He’ll always pick a taunt minion or your strongest minion.

Patchwerk’s turn is easy to predict. If his Hook is in his hand he’ll play it. Next he uses his hero power if he has enough mana to do so to destroy the largest taunt minion you have or if there are no taunt minions, your largest minion without taunt. Finally, Patchwerk attacks your taunt minions or your face.

The only difference between the Normal and Heroic version of Patchwerk is the Hook. The Normal Hook has 5 attack and 8 durability. The Heroic Hook has 4 attack, 8 durability, and windfury so he can attack twice per turn.

So fiendish! So devilish! The Hook of Patchwerk!
So fiendish! So devilish! The Hook of Patchwerk!

A game against Patchwerk won’t take very long because his strategy focuses on hitting you in the face instead of clearing the board.

The deck I made is focused around freezing Patchwerk or stalling him with weak minions.

I won my first game against him by playing Mirror Image early, and then a Kirin Tor Mage to get a Duplicate secret down as well.

Patchwerk wiped out the Mirror Images, but the Duplicate put two more of them in my hand to stall him even further.

I used my Sunfury Protector, Murloc Tidehunter, and Sludge Belcher to stall further with other cheap taunt creatures while my Kirin Tor Mage hit Patchwerk for damage every turn.

Patchwerk hurt himself by using his Hook to take out my minions, but he was never smart enough to use his hero power to destroy the Kirin Tor Mage that was slowly murdering him.

I played two Ice Blocks to stall further and I had an Ice Barrier in hand to last another turn as well.

Another strategy of the deck is to get a Water Elemental down along with some taunts. The Water Elemental will keep Patchwerk frozen and unable to attack while the taunts will soak up the hero power instead of the Water Elemental. If you get that strategy going, you’re guaranteed a win.

Things I might change about this deck if you’re trying to build it or something similar include:
Taking out the Pyroblasts. The game ended on turn 9. Usually you won’t get a chance to use one.
Taking out Arcane Intellect maybe?
Adding Defender of Argus and Razorfen Hunter to have access to even more taunt creatures
Maybe adding cards like Dancing Swords and Coldlight Oracle to force Patchwerk to draw and hurt himself with fatigue damage.

I hope that helps you take down Patchwerk! I’ll be working on other decks to beat other Heroic bosses in the Construct Quarter soon.

-Mister Ed