Characters of Cimmeria: Salzar

Salzar

Salzar was a Grey Elf warmage. He played a pivotal role in the First Alliance War as an organizer of the Alliance. It was on his urging that the Alliance broke the Golden Covenant that forbade the use of large-scale destructive magic against living targets. Salzar’s actions allowed the Xorians to retaliate and he became a war criminal. Amalgami the Betrayer, fearing that he would be blamed for Salzar’s actions, murdered his companion. Salzar’s life ended prematurely and the First Alliance crumbled soon afterward. Continue reading

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Characters of Cimmeria: Bigby

Bigby is actually not a creation of my own, but that of Gary Gygax and Robert Kuntz, two of the original creators of Dungeons and Dragons. My creation is more of tribute than a direct port of the character that Gygax and Kuntz created. If you’d like to learn more about the original Bigby, he’s actually important enough to have his own Wikipedia page! Who’d have thought?

bigby

Bigby was an Elven sorcerer whose magical style revolutionized many magical fields and has been often duplicated since. He lived in the forest that now bears his name and defended it from attackers of all sorts. Bigby joined with the other heroes of his time to fight in the Dragon War. He imprisoned the green dragon matriarchs that plagued his forest in the Green Orb of Dragonkind. After sealing away his foe, Bigby slept along with the other heroes of the Dragon War, ready to wake when the world needed him again.

Continue reading

Characters of Cimmeria: Tentineh

Tentineh

Tentineh was one of the most powerful wizards who ever lived. Master of the elements he came up with many new spells never seen before. He became the defender of Greshendale during the Age of Monsters. Frustrated with draconic tyranny, Tentineh led the heroes of the land during the Dragon War. He invented the Orbs of Dragonkind to imprison the dragons. Greshendale was destroyed during the war, but upon the heroes’ victory, Tentineh used half of the Orbs to rebuild Greshendale as a flying city. Tentineh now lies with the other heroes of the Dragon War, deep beneath the earth awaiting the return of the silver dragons which he personally imprisoned.

Tentineh was the first son born to a wealthy farmer in the Greshen Valley. Tentineh’s family did not know, but he was destined for great things. His mother had been attacked by one of the wyverns of the Terror Mountains in her youth. The poison from the wyvern’s sting lingered in her body and transferred into the babe during her pregnancy. The poison tested the boy and he came through, not weakened, but fortified with the might of the dragon.

Tentineh’s father saved up all his gold to pay for the boy’s education. He apprenticed his son to an accomplished wizard who also happened to be a descendant of Sadroston. From a young age Tentineh learned all the secrets passed down by Sadroston. He mastered them with a unnatural speed due to the draconic power flowing in his veins. He swiftly surpassed his master and rose to be the greatest spellcaster in the whole of Greshen Valley.

The dragons in the Terror Mountains did not permit the people in the valley to organize armies, but the same could not be said for the trolls in the foothills. Tentineh had experience repelling smaller troll attacks with his command over the elements, but his powers could not stop an entire army of the beasts when they attacked. Instead, the young wizard turned to dark, forbidden magicks. He summoned a fiery demon from beyond the realm of Hades to vanquish the trolls. This slaad, as it was called, defeated the troll army, but it demanded a terrible price. It would see the whole world burn in payment for it’s service.

Tentineh moved quickly to thwart this new threat to Greshendale’s safety. The infernal slaad rested after obliterating the trolls to regain its power. Tentineh  dug through old tomes of binding spells. He found what he needed and used the magic to imprison the slaad forever. A magical rod provided the key to the slaad’s prison and the key could only be turned by three mages, one of good nature, one of evil, and one of neither. The rod was broken into pieces and scattered across the realm to prevent the slaad’s return.

Tentineh never wanted to resort to such dire measures again. He began secretly training the people of Greshendale in the magical and martial arts. If the dragons would not let him have an army, then he would hide it from them. In time, a force of giants descended from the mountains. Tentineh could not halt the giants’ advance on his own. He was forced to use his army and in so doing, reveal it to the dragons. The punishment was certain, death.

Rather than submit to the dragons’ judgement, Tentineh gathered the heroes of the land alongside his army. Thus began the Dragon War. The war lasted many long years. Killing the dragons proved difficult. The elder wyrms that ruled their species could regenerate even the most dire of wounds. Tentineh’s past experience proved invaluable in solving this problem. Instead of killing the dragons he bound their leaders to ten crystal orbs. Each dragon color had two elder wyrms that led it. Each Orb contained within it one of those leaders while the other leader was set to guard the Orb for all eternity. The Orbs in turn gave great power to any mortal that possessed them.

Tentineh advised the other heroes he had fought with to place eternal defenses around the Orbs. Those who could not or would not gave their Orbs to their architect. Tentineh used them to build a new Greshendale, for the original city in the valley had been destroyed during the war. Vast power was poured into the city. A volcano imprisoning an ancient enemy of Zeus was used in the creation of the new city, freeing the monstrous Dahak and winning its gratitude. Other powerful artifacts besides the Orbs were used in the city’s construction but it was still not enough. Tentineh took more magic from the surrounding land and the valley died as its life energy was given over to the city. Holes in the fabric of the world were ripped asunder. These holes are still present in the valley as empty spheres, consuming all that is placed within them.

In the end, Tentineh completed his vision. Greshendale flew. The magic within the city made it a paradise, providing light, food, water, shelter, communication, and entertainment to all who lived within it. The people of the valley were offered a choice, live in the floating city or strike out on their own. Many accepted Tentineh’s offer and moved into new homes. The others attempted to settle a new Greshendale to the south, but the settlement upon the ground atrophied within a few generations.

Tentineh did his best to be a good leader to his subjects. He set up the War Mage Academy to teach them battle magic for defense. He invited druids, sorcerers, and psions to the city to teach other forms of magic. He bound elementals to his service to further enhance the city’s comforts. Tentineh even set up a ruling council of mages so that he would not have absolute tyrannical power over the city.

Despite all his accomplishments, a dark fear still lingered in Tentineh’s heart. The Orbs were not indestructible. The dragons could return in time. He worked out a plan along with the nine other heroes who had imprisoned the dragons. Should an Orb be broken, the hero who defeated that dragon would be summoned once more to re-imprison the beast. To keep their youthful edge sharp for all eternity, the heroes would voluntarily accept a death-like slumber. Eons could pass, but they would not age. They would wait, and when the dragons returned, they would be ready.

Tentineh sleeps with his companions beneath the earth now, awaiting the return of the silver dragons.

-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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Phoenix

The original concept for this city was created by one of the players in my group. His internet pseudonym is Middle_Snu, so he should get some of the credit for making Phoenix what it is. I expanded on his ideas to write what you see below.

Phoenix

At the merging of the Curving Stream and Delain Tribute lies Phoenix, a city of some 120,000 inhabitants. Phoenix has always revolved around guilds. Every Phoenixian worth their salt belongs to one of the influential guilds of the city. Guilds are legally allowed to kill unlicensed professionals who fall under their jurisdiction if those individuals refuse a position within the guild. As a result, being blacklisted from a guild generally means a move to a new city or a change in profession. Strangely, even the thieves of Phoenix have an official guild. In actuality, “thieves” keep the streets clean acting as a police force, assuming that a sum of protection money is paid to them. Unlicensed thieves, in the meantime, are tortured for days upon being captured.

Phoenix is a major trade center between Western and Eastern Cimmeria. Many things can be bought in Phoenix, including people. The Slaver’s Guild is a major force, though there isn’t much traffic in newly captured slaves. Phoenix imports a lot of metal from Jord, and grain barges moving upriver for the Dwarves are not an uncommon sight.

Spellcasters have a special place in the guild system. Sorcerers and wizards must register for the Mage’s Guild in order to be able to cast spells legally (costs 50 gp), but clerics, even those of the Titans, may cast freely. Because full members of the Mage’s Guild are required to create a certain number of magical items for sale every year, Phoenix has a booming trade in magical items. Arcane scrolls, potions, and magical items can generally be bought here for as much as 10% below market price. On the other hand, selling magical items without being a member of the Mage’s Guild or a member of the local clergy is a capital crime.

The Mage’s Guild and the rights of clergy were recently upset by the Xorian takeover of Phoenix. All resident clerics of the Olympian pantheon were given a choice, convert to Dragoviniysm or face execution. Most of the clerics chose to die rather than betray their gods. The members of the Mage’s Guild were given a similar choice, but they accepted. The majority of the mage journeymen were turned into Dragovinians to become the new elite of Phoenix.

There was an Adventurer’s Guild in Phoenix prior to the Xorian invasion. The members were simple individuals for the most part who hired themselves out to the highest bidder. Groups of six or more adventurers could be hired for contracts, although prices were steep. There was a ill-defined barrier between the Mercenary’s Guild and the Adventurer’s Guild as to the proper jurisdictions of each. This disagreement had sparked street-fighting in the past, but the difference between the two guilds were set aside when the Xorians approached the city. During the Battle of Phoenix, the Adventurer’s Guild was wiped out. Many of the mercenaries fought on to the last while the guild leaders of Phoenix escaped. Those who surrendered were given the choice of turning to Dragovinians. Many accepted this offer. The two headmasters of the Mercenary’s Guild, Gradorian and Junai, escaped and are rebuilding a military force in Jipangu to combat the Xorians.

Prior to the Xorian invasion the Thief’s Guild oversaw the day to day business of the city and, with the assistance of the clerics, arbitrated any disputes between the guilds. The laws of the city fluctuated based on what guild a person belonged to. Nonmember visitors to the city fell under the Thief’s Guild jurisdiction leading to a high pickpocket rate in Phoenix for people without guild membership. Since the invasion, the militocracy of Phoenix has taken over. King Jevaninada II has made Phoenix into a base to quarter his troops for the coming winter. Blendegad has also moved his throne to the main temple of Phoenix. Blendegad and Jevaninada II personally oversee the activities of the city.

The city’s supplies were already stretched thin during the protracted siege, but now they are forced to provide for thousands of additional Xorian soldiers who were once the city’s enemies. The Xorian supply chains alleviate some of this problem, but those same supply chains are also under attack by the Rebels in Gazeara. Not wanting his own troops to suffer, King Jevaninada II has taken food, clothing, and homes from the people of Xoria and given them to his own soldiers. Thousands of Phoenix citizens are left on the streets with food or shelter. The execution of most of the clerics in Phoenix has only exacerbated this issue. Winter will come soon and many malnourished people will die once the temperature drops.

The Innkeeper’s Guild continues to maintain only one inn in Phoenix, the King’s Rest. Spanning some three blocks, the King’s Rest has everything from a hard floor and gruel to the most luxurious suites with gourmet foot on demand. Prices range from 1 cp-100 gp a night. Stables are an additional 1 silver per night per horse. The Innkeeper’s guildmaster is Bernarda, a Human. The King’s Rest was used to house hundreds of Alliance soldiers before the invasion and now it holds a complementary amount of Xorian troops. Bernarda has taking a liking to Dragoviniysm. She attends services every week and hopes that her actions as the Innkeeper’s guildmaster will earn her immortality as a Dragovinian.

-GoCorral

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:

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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

Blackrock Mountain Wrapup

I haven’t posted anything about Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain adventure since it came out and I think it’s about time I got around to that.

The adventure was a lot of fun. The bosses had their own little quirks that you had to work around to win, but none of them were too hard.

The Mage class challenge was awesome and I have replayed it a bunch of times. The deck you get is a solid 30 Unstable Portals!

Unstable_Portal

I’ve tried my hand at a few of the Heroic bosses and beaten three of them. My decklists and a glimpse of how the decks work are available on YouTube at these links: Grim Guzzler, Emperor Thaurissan, and General Drakkisath.

Now that the adventure is over and I’ve collected all the cards, which ones are the best and most fun?

Hungry_Dragon

Hungry Dragon stays a favorite for me. You get a good creature and your opponent gets something useless or something that completely messes you up. Shieldbearer is one of my least favorite minions to pop for my opponent even though its usually trash.

Volcanic_Drake

Volcanic Drake is pretty good in Arena and might make mid-range Hunter much more viable. The Drake combines well with Unleash the Hounds. Drop the Hounds, wipe your opponent’s board, and then play the Drake for free.

Blackwing_Corruptor

Blackwing Corruptor is pretty much an auto-include if you’re building a dragon tribe deck. The Battlecry effect is just so strong. Get a decent sized minion and probably eliminate one of your opponent’s minions as well. Awesome card.

Drakonid_Crusher

Drakonid Crusher is another winner for Arena. 6 mana for a 6/6 isn’t bad. It’s only got 1 worse health than Boulderfist Ogre. And Drakonid is a dragon so it can activate the Battlecries of Blackwing Corruptor and other similar cards. Best part is that if you’re already winning and you drop Drakonid, you get a 9/9. Even bigger than a giant! Solid draft in Arena. Not so good in constructed because you usually need things other than huge creatures in constructed.

Dragonkin_Sorcerer

Dragonkin Sorcerer is terrifying when a Paladin plays it. It’s stats are average for its cost, but if the Paladin drops a buff spell on it, look out. And its a dragon for that dragon synergy as well.

Emperor_Thaurissan

Emperor Thaurissan made a lot of combo decks much more viable. Specifically Freeze Mage and Combo Druid. If the cards necessary for lethal are all 1 mana cheaper then the combo can be pulled of in one turn instead of two if needed or at an earlier turn thatn previously possible. Thaurissan is a great card.

NefarianMajordomo_Executus

Nefarian and Majordomo Exectus both underperformed my expectations to be honest. Nefarian often gets you spells that are completely useless in your current situation. Exectus is often a liability because becoming Ragnaros reduces your health to 8. In what situation would you want your health to go that low? Usually if its already that low. And if it is that low, then your opponent will just deal damage to you instead of Exectus.

Resurrect

Resurrect is one card that I’m excited to see more of. I’ve heard that it combos well with Injured Blademaster because it comes back at 4/7 instead of 4/3. I’d like to see if slightly modifying a Preist deck could make this card awesome, but I don’t play that much Priest anymore. I’ll give a try sometime! Maybe for the Heroic bosses.

Imp_Gang_Boss

Imp Gang Boss is a really nice Warlock card. Demons are getting better and better as Blizzard releases more of them. Imp Gang Boss is chock full of demons and quite difficult for your opponent to fully remove. Pretty much a solid card in any situation.

Lava_ShockFireguard_Destroyer

Lava Shock and Fireguard Destroyer are the two new Shaman class cards. Lava Shock is definitely cool. There are a few Shaman decks I’ve wanted to try out in the past, but Overloading too much stopped those decks from working. Lava Shock could fix that. And Fireguard is just a good card for its cost. It will almost always be worth the Overload cost you pay for it, just like Crackle.

Druid_of_the_Flame

Druid of the Flame is a good Druid card and it counts as a Beast to combo with Druid of the Fang. I once had Druid of the Fang, Druid of the Claw, and Druid of the Flame all out at the same time and I felt very naturey. You’ll almost always play the Druid of the Flame in 2/5 form just like Ancient of War, but its a good card regardless of the false choice.

Quick_Shot

Quick Shot is the latest upgrade to the Face Hunter deck. Out of cards? Why not deal damage and draw more cards! Plus it allows for more burst from the hand to surprise your opponent with lethal when they thought they were safe. Good card.

That’s all the new cards that stuck out to me. I’ll be posting more YouTube guides to beating the Heroic bosses as I manage to do it!

-GoCorral