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

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Goblins vs. Gnomes

With Bouncy, Flouncy, Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun!
With Bouncy, Flouncy, Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun!

The new Hearthstone expansion, Goblins Vs. Gnomes, comes out on Monday and I’m super excited!

If you’ve been keeping up with Hearthstone news then I’m sure you heard that the new expansion has two themes, mechs and randomness.

Blizzard has been releasing preview cards over the last few weeks such as these beauties:

Blingtron 3000Mechwarper

 

Blizzard is also giving everyone a free test run of the cards in Hearthstone’s Arena format. Everyone gets a free Arena run! The GVG cards are mixed in with the older cards, just like they did with Naxxramas.

I did my free run today and drafted a rush style mech warlock deck. The Mechwarper up there was a key part of the deck.

In one match I went up against a Priest. I coined out Mechwarper on my first turn along with another 1 mana cost mech that was reduced to 0 mana. The next turn I dropped a Harvest Golem for only 2 mana. Then I dropped this bad boy on turn 3:

Piloted Shredder

And after Turn 4 my opponent surrendered. Mechs are crazy!

The GVG set is also introducing a few new cards for the pirate, demon, and beast tribes such as:

Ship's CannonMal'Ganis

The new warlock legendary looks insane. I’m not sure it will be enough to make demon decks viable, but there were a few other demon cards that might make it work. You can check the cards out for yourself at Hearthstone Gamepedia

Before you get all excited to play on Monday I should remind/warn you. Blizzard has a tendency to announce that an expansion will come out on a specific date and then release it at 11:59PM Pacific time on that day and still claim they released it on time. This is technically true but it still leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Anyways! Lots of new cards to try out! Fun to be had! Even a new game board to mess with which includes an aimable lazer gun that you can shoot your opponent with, a rocket, bombs, and a transmogrifier! Sweet!

-Mister Ed

Overwatch

Who watches over the Overwatch?
Who watches over the Overwatch?

Blizzard announced an entirely new game at their latest Blizzcon extravaganza.

This won’t be a game based off their existing brands like almost every other game they’ve released. Warcraft to Starcraft, Warcraft to WoW, WoW to Hearthstone, and Everything to Heroes of the Storm making Warcraft and Diablo the only truly original games they’ve made.

The new game is a first person shooter called Overwatch set in the near future. The animation style is similar to Team Fortress 2 and Disney’s Incredibles.

I said Incredibles because the FPS has characters that you choose to play before each match and each character has a set of super abilities they can use during the match.

The super powers are simple enough. One person can teleport, another can fly, another one can create a big energy shield, etc.

Blizzard has already released a bunch of videos on Overwatch’s website including a trailer video that introduces the setting and a few of the characters.

So why be excited about this? I haven’t played a true FPS in over half decade, why do I care?

Well first of all, Blizzard has a very successful track record with their games. If they release an FPS its likely that it will perform well and attract a lot of people to the genre from other Blizzard games as well as increasing competition in the FPS field.

Second, Blizzard is branching out! Like I said, they haven’t come out with a truly original game in over twenty years. Are they too rusty to do well in a market without a pre-established fanbase? I don’t know.

It’s entirely possible that Overwatch will flop because Blizzard doesn’t know jackshit about what people want from FPS games. I doubt that will happen as Blizzard has enough money to attract designers who will prevent that from happening. It’s unlikely that Overwatch will fail, but will it succeed?

At this point… Hard to say. The game doesn’t offer any new mechanics. Everything the characters can do I’ve seen in other FPS games. The setting isn’t really new either. Its a cross between Team Fortress 2’s animation style and the futuristic setting of Halo (maybe a little bit less techy than Halo, but close).

But is there any FPS that’s really unique? Mount and Blade to some extent, but its so different from most FPS games that it falls into the realm of simulation games.

Halo wasn’t unique when it came out. Doom and Goldeneye both had the same weapon swapping and ammo systems. But Halo was massively successful. It was one of the first games you could talk about at school without having to be embarrassed that you were a gamer.

Will Overwatch reach that same level of success where gamer society embraces it? Maybe, but I doubt it.

Either way, “The cavalry’s here, luvs!”

-Mister Ed

Warband Streaming

Steam had their usual Halloween sale and I snatched up a game I’d been watching for when it went on sale, Mount and Blade: Warband.

I wrote a review of the original Mount and Blade game back in March 2014. While my review was positive, I felt like after two playthroughs that I was done with the game and probably finished with any sequels as well.

To be fair those two playthroughs were massive in length and I didn’t want to get any sequels because I felt the gameplay wouldn’t be any different. Kind of like how I’ve only played the first two generations of the Pokemon games. I caught all 250 already, dammit! I don’t need anymore!

But eventually the call of a game I loved so much becomes too strong… My mind says, “You know you want it. And its on sale. Its only $10. You can get it.” And my mind forgets to mention that the real cost of a game for me isn’t the money, but the time I spend playing it instead of doing other things.

I usually play Mount and Blade when I’m by myself, so what other things could I do by myself that I’d be missing out on by not playing? I could read, watch something on Youtube or Netflix, draw, write something, stream a video game on Twitch-

Wait! What was that last one? I could stream a video game on Twitch you say?

Well, why not stream Mount and Blade?

I’ve been doing that and it’s tons of fun!

I’m exploring more of the mods for Warband. I’ve been learning more about tech trees and trading within the game. I’ve found other people who play it (Finally!). All around I’ve been having a blast replaying it. I even got my wife to play it for a minute which is a rare thing indeed.

I’ve been streaming in the morning on weekends and I plan to do a little more during the week as well. You can catch me at http://www.twitch.tv/gocorral

-Mister Ed

Samurai War

It's back, baby!
It’s back, baby!

One of my favorite websites, Samurai War, has returned from the banished depths of the internet!

Samurai War is my favorite website mostly for nostalgia reasons.

When I first started going on the internet in the late 1990s I spent most/all of my time at the GameFAQs boards learning more about the games I was playing at the time.

GameFAQs has a series of discussion boards devoted to every video game ever.

When you post on the boards you have the option of every single one of your posts being followed by a signature. The signature can really be anything and often people would put links in their signatures.

The links could go to the user’s website or to something more fun like a browser based game.

Samurai War was one of those browser based games that I grew to love.

The concept of Samurai War is pretty simple. You’re a samurai/ronin in ancient Japan. Your goal is to become the most powerful samurai in Japan. Maybe you want to be in charge of a noble house or maybe you want to remain a ronin, either way the goal of the game is to advance your character’s stats.

Stats are advanced through training, but you have to pay for training. Where does money come from then?

Well if you click the link above to Samurai War’s webpage you’ll be introduced to the first method of earning money in Samurai War.

The second method is by engaging people in combat. The winner takes whatever is in the loser’s wallet. In the modern world we call this mugging, but in Samurai War it is called honorable combat.

Of course if you’re just stealing money from other players then no new money enters the system. The game fixes that by having a NPCs spawn every few minutes for you to rob and murde- I mean defeat honorably.

The game is extremely minimalist beyond that. It’s mostly text. There are a few images on the site but nothing stunning. There are zero animations in the game.

So with so little to offer in this game, why do I love it so much?

I’d have to say it’s mostly the friendly competitive atmosphere that developed between the me and the other people were playing it.

After you’ve got a decent amount of money you have to rush to use it to train before someone else in the game sees you with a wallet that big and decides to “honorably take it from you.”

And if they kill you after you’ve already used the money, then you get to laugh at them.

It’s a great game and if you’re into little time wasters you should take a look at Samurai War.

-Mister Ed

Hearthstone Tracker

Hearthstone Tracker Stats
More statistics than you can swing a stick at! That is, if you’re into swinging sticks at statistics…

I got a program called HearthstoneTracker to generate some statistics on my Hearthstone matches.

Do I win more against a certain type of class? Do I win more when I’m playing a certain class? Which matchups are favorable for which class? Which class have I been playing against the most lately? Do I win more often going first or second? Am I making enough money in Arena for it to be worthwhile?

Hearthstone Tracker collects the data that I can then use to answer those questions. It even has graphs!

Hearthstone Tracker Over Time
I lost a lot of games on September 14th.
And here you can see my win/loss rate is good, but not amazing.
And here you can see my win/loss rate is good, but not amazing.

The program is available for free at http://hearthstonetracker.com/

It’s a small download and it runs in a separate window while you play Hearthstone. You can minimize the window or even have the program stored in the tray if taskbar space is precious to you.

The program may collect a lot of statistics but it has a few issues.

Originally the program collected stats through a screen capture system. This is fine if you always keep the game open, but I like to do other things while I play (like writing blog posts).

I created a workaround for that through a little bit of window feng shui.

The program developer has since come up with a way to grab data from the stream going on to the internet or something.

And somehow that method is even worse. I don’t know how it manages to get the length of a game wrong every single time, but it does. There’s an option to manually enter the times along with changing which class you played, which class you played against, how many turns the game took, etc. But who wants to do that manually? That’s why I got the program in the first place!

Other than that it performs fine. It detects who won and who you were playing against. Ultimately that’s all that matters.

The Tracker also has a neat feature after you finish an Arena run. You can manually enter your rewards and it keeps a running total at the bottom of the application.

I’ve tested HearthstoneTracker against other tracking applications out there, Track-o-bot and HearthStats, and I found HearthstoneTracker to be the best one. If you’re interested in something that will keep track for you, I’d definitely recommend the little program!

-Mister Ed

Heroic Kel’Thuzad

 

The ideal situation against the big bad lich boss.
The ideal situation against the big bad lich boss.

Beating Heroic Kel’Thuzad was a pain.

What are Kel’Thuzad’s advantages over you in Heroic? EVERYTHING!

He starts off with 20 armor and 45 health.

If you’ve played against him then you probably already know that he has two hero powers.

His first hero power is used for free very turn. It freezes you and deals you 3 damage.

His second hero power is unlocked when you remove Kel’Thuzad’s armor or when you finish your tenth turn, whichever comes first.

The second hero power costs 8 and allows Kel to steal a random minion from your side of the board. And when his hero power changes he also gets two 5/5 minions with taunt.

Plus he’s got some of the best cards in the game in his deck.

I tried so many decks against him. I tried Paladin, Shaman, and Mage before I landed on Divine Spirit/Inner Fire Priest once again.

The Paladin deck I tried was too slow to build a board presence against Kel’Thuzad. The 3 damage a turn from his hero power brought me down before I could get the buff train rolling on my minions.

My Shaman deck focused around dealing lots of early damage with Dust Devils, but Kel killed the Dust Devils every time with Frostbolt.

The Mage deck I created had some success. It could consistently survive to Kel’Thuzad’s second stage, but it faltered at that point.

The Mage deck was a Secret deck. Mad Scientist and Ethereal Arcanist featured heavily in it.

I usually broke through Kel’s armor with a buffed Arcanist.

Then Kel would transform, drop two huge taunt minions, and steal my Arcanist.

I couldn’t figure out a way to recover from that.

Sooo… Back to the Divine Spirit/Inner Fire Priest! Here’s the deck list:
Circle of Healing x2
Silence x2
Inner Fire x2
Power Word: Shield x2
Northshire Cleric x2
Divine Spirit x2
Lightwell x2
Loot Hoarder x2
Novice Engineer x2
Deathlord x2
Imp Master x2
Stoneskin Gargoyle x2
Shadow Madness x2
Lightspawn x2
Holy Nova x2

Just the usual jazz for Divine Spirit/Inner Fire, but with the addition of a bit more card draw to get the required pieces. The Loot Hoarder and Novice Engineer will hopefully take some of Kel’s removal spells with them as well.

The Silence is added to remove any taunts that Kel might get. Racing him was how I won and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the Silence. Ironbeak Owl might work just as well though.

Getting a big beastie should be fine, but then Kel will transform and get his minion stealing power. What do we do then?

That’s why I put Imp Master in. Kel will steal a 1 attack creature more often than not, so he’ll just avoid using the ability entirely.

Shadow Madness is also quite useful against Kel’Thuzad because he runs Dark Cultist and Sludge Belcher. If they die on your side of the field then you get the deathrattle as well!

While the deck is pretty simple, the boss fight is still quite hard. I beat Kel’Thuzad on my tenth try after going into fatigue and being one turn from losing.

But I unlocked this baby!

Heroic Naxxramas

So good luck taking down the Heroic bosses of Naxxramas. My other Heroic boss guides can be found here: Maexxna, PatchwerkGlobbulus, GluthThaddiusSapphiron, Everyone else.

-Mister Ed