12 Win Shaman -Arena on Fire

12 Win Shaman -Arena on Fire

Last night I queued up a Hearthstone Arena (like most nights), and decided to play Shaman. 85 minutes later, I got my 6th Lightforge Key, and the first with a Shaman. Here are some possible explanations about this:

  1. All the pro Hearthstone players were playing Duelyst, leaving a weaker crop of opponents.
  2. I have been virtually devoid of extra Hearthstone thought of late, given the blizzard and watching football. Oh yeah, and playing lots of Diablo 3.
  3. I drafted a good deck, and things went well this run.

Unlike previous Arena recaps, I will try a different format. The deck tracker actually lost the replays of my last 4-5 games, so there is no point in doing that. So instead, I will grade every card I drafted, and how well it did in this particular arena run.

Hearthstone Screenshot 01-24-16 22.22.02.png

Report Card

  • Lightning Bolt – B – This was one of 2 removal spells in the deck, and it did what lightning bolts do, remove small things. Occasionally, the Wrath of the Air Totem provided 4 damage.
  • Abusive Sergeant – B – While the battlecry was triggered a few times in the game, this was my go-to 1-drop, to trigger ping minion. That 1-drop tempo at times is very useful in forcing coin usage.
  • Stormforged Axe – B+ – Typically a great weapon, but in this run, I didn’t draw it too often, or had it in the late game. It did it’s job in the few games I had it, allowing me to clear small stuff.
  • Lava Shock – B+ – Did about the same as the Lightning Bolt, though the removal of overloaded crystal helped 1-2 times this run.
  • Acidic Swamp Ooze – A- – I was able to destroy a poisoned dagger once, and a bunch of Light’s Justices from Paladins. Against non-weapon classes, played a typical 2-drop.
  • Bloodfen Raptor – C+ – I don’t know if this card can ever be amazing outside of Hunter and Druid. But he did his job, trading with things, getting traded by opponents, etc.
  • Flame Juggler – B- – Normally a solid card, but he was a the bad side of RNG consistently in this run. He hit face a lot, when clearing a minion would be better. This won’t stop me from drafting him though.
  • Micro Machine – C+ – Micro Machine is a card people get greedy with. In this run, the card did help me win one game, when it was boosted by a Powermace. Otherwise, it stayed in my hand, or was a good distraction piece.
  • Sunfury Protector – B – This deck doesn’t have a ton of 2-drops, and this was my consistent 2/3 drop, which I prefer. The taunt bonus was used a few times, though mostly played a tempo role. I drew her a lot in this run, giving her a plus.
  • Whirling Zap-o-Matic – B+ – Whirling Zap single-handedly won a game, applying constant pressure to my opponent, and played a big role in another. Otherwise, it was a tempo 2 that got killed right away, or was a distraction.
  • Powermace x2 – A – Just a solid weapon, and the added bonus helped a bunch of my mechs through the run.
  • Hex x2 – A+ – Hex is the best removal in the game, and having 2 was vital to getting 12. I hexed anything that got in the way, from Chillwind Yetis to Force-Tanks.
  • Shattered Sun Cleric – B+ – Shattered Sun provided me a few key boosts, in which the 1-health boost allowed my minions to survived after trading, and trade some  more. Great for totems.
  • Spider Tank – B – Just a steady 3-drop that traded its usual 2-for-1 deal.
  • Dark Iron Dwarf – B+ – I think I only played this guy for tempo once the whole run, so he was otherwise boosting things for trading the whole game.
  • Defender of Argus – A- – The boost helped a lot of minions and totems trade and survive subsequent attacks. Helped stop an aggressive deck once.
  • Fireguard Destroyer – A – Played the role of the beatstick in this game, and I had him in most games for whatever reason. 75% of Fireguard Destroyer outcomes are worth or provide benefit for the cost, so overall great. I don’t recall getting the 4/6 outcome at all, so good RNG.
  • Maiden of the Lake – C – Really didn’t do much in this game, besides sticking around the board. It became a 3/7 taunt with Defender of Argus once. I didn’t abuse the 1-cost totems too much.
  • Rumbling Elemental – A – Bah gawd. This card is overlooked a lot, but one must consider how many battlecry minions there are. This deck had 14. The constant triggers, coupled with good RNG, helped wipe boards consistently of weak minions. I have a whole new appreciation of this card, though it will probably screw me over once in a while.
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-25-16 00.20.00.png
Naxx out? Get it, get it?
  • Spellbreaker – A- – Spellbreaker had a key save on a super-aggressive deck, by silencing all the buffs off this 9-attack Argent Horserider, allowing me to come back and win. He also stopped a Sunwalker once, among other fancy things.
  • Thunder Bluff Valiant – C- Normally a very good card, but didn’t do anything in this run. I think I boosted totems once in the entire run. It was more a product of my deck, in which Fire Elementals dominated my late drops. In a loss, he just served as a distraction. Next time bud.
  • Argent Commander – A – I honestly used him to go face a good few times this game, which helps much, given the divine shield.
  • Fire Elemental x4 – A+ – During the draft, I was offered 4 Fire Elementals, and drafted all of them. I was considered I had too many big drops, but I was wrong. This card made up for the lack of removals in the deck, consistently clearing boards and providing a biggish body. Always draft Fire Elemental over any card, with the exception of Hex, if you really really need 1 Hex. Otherwise pick this guy. I probably would have had 6 wins if I didn’t have so many Fire Elementals.
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-25-16 00.13.20.png
Yes, I played Fire Elementals for 4 straight turns once.
  • Force-Tank Max – C+ – Often times, this was too big for me to play, but I often paired it with a totem. I did some fancy Powermace buffing with the tank at least 2 times. Just a big threat that did more intimidating than action.
  • Archthief Rafaam – B – The true win condition of the deck, I played Rafaam a total of 3 times the whole run. Once the Mirror of Doom and 3/3 Zombie flood actually helped me win a game. In the other 2 games, Rafaam just served as intimidation, causing people to concede soon after, knowing I had an artifact. Solid legendary pick over Gruul and Bronzebeard.
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-25-16 00.21.32.png
Low-gold 12 win award. I did get Epic cards I didn’t have from both packs.


  • Shaman becomes my third best class in the arena, actually having a almost identical percentage as Paladin.
  • I had good RNG, though the Rumbling Elemental + Battlecry setup will let you win the randomness battle more than not.
  • Fire Elementals are money.
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-25-16 00.21.05.png
I got a bonus reward for my 12th win!

Enter the Shadows: Diablo 3 Patch 2.4

Enter the Shadows: Diablo 3 Patch 2.4

This is not a Hearthstone post, be warned!

Diablo was likely the first “violent video game” I ever played to a great degree alone. Sure there were your Street Fighters, Mortal Kombats and Contras on gamepad consoles that I didn’t own. But Diablo was something that I played at my leisure from my home, in a cold dark basement. And as a child, the striking red and black demonic themes, the dismembered bodies with bone and blood, and the haunting sounds of the game all had a great sensory effect on me.

One of these demons looks fake…

Flash forward to today, and Diablo 3 is out with Patch 2.4 in full throttle. No, the game isn’t scary like it once was. Nor is it something that completely galvanizes my attention. But Patch 2.4 is something that has successfully brought me back to the game, and many others.

I’m worthy!

Diablo 3 in a nutshell

Diablo 3 came out a good 4.5 years ago, so it is practically in it’s “middle age” by now, until the next game. Back then, the game was strikingly simple. There was only a story mode. You cap out at level 60. I remember certain bosses in the game, like Belial, being impossible to beat at the highest difficulties. Through trial-and-error, bosses were beat, gear was pretty good, and the game shifted to “what’s next?” This stale era persisted for a couple years, and there was a change in management. An expansion came out, clans were added, and adventure mode came out, providing virtually infinite gameplay. But the seemingly similar problem occurred, in which the game gets stale when everyone hits the peak. Thus, we are in the phase of D3 now, where content patches come out a few times a year. New content seems to emerge in the form of Seasons, various lootable items, new levels, ramped difficulty levels and challenges, etc. This has been going on for the last couple years, and 2.4 is the latest of these new content patches.

Sometime during my Unhallowed Essence era.
Season challenges

97 million?! Where’s the Auction house?

Throwing knives – the Demon Hunter shift

As someone who is often afraid of change, I have been playing exclusively with the Demon Hunter class, the class I played most often in D3. Patch 2.4 brings about a huge shift in the Demon Hunter gameplay. Prior to the patch, Demon Hunters were essentially bound to weapons involving Bows, Crossbows, and Quivers. The Shadow’s Mantle, a previously unused armor set, changed that. First, using a melee weapon increased all damage by 600%, and special Demon Hunter daggers were released. This allowed Demon Hunters to hold a melee weapon with a quiver. Second, the set brought Impale into prominence, probably the first time in D3’s existence. Impale is a skill that lets the Demon Hunter throw a knife at an enemy for moderate damage and a low-moderate cost. It was trumped by virtually every Hatred spender, until the new Shadow’s Set, which gives a 40000% damage boost for Impaling the first enemy. Coupled with the dagger Karlei’s Point, Impale Demon Hunters are now a competitive entity.

One knife, big damage
Knife juggling

More about the impale build

  1. Specialists – Demon Hunters using the impale build are pigeonholed more than ever as the “damage class.” Demon Hunters have always been classified as the damage class, but now the Impale build makes them Rift Guardian and Boss specialists. Ambush and Single Out are two passive skills that amp out the Impale damage even further, making the Demon Hunter standout over the other classes. At high levels, Rift Guardians have a lot of HP. The Impale amplification provides a huge time saving in killing a Rift Guardian, which is vital to completing a 15 minute Greater Rift.
  2. More Damage – Gems like Bane of the Trapped and Bane of the Stricken provide flat damage bonuses, and should be included for this DH. Marked for Death is another flat damage source, and the Contagion rune will help out greatly, especially in group play. Having high Dexterity, Critical hit chance, and Critical hit damage are always key for a DH. Area Damage is pretty important to help out against group mobs, which are a weakness of this build.
  3. Resource Generation – With Impale becoming a premium skill, the generation of Hatred has become very important. Karlei’s Point, which returns about half the Hatred of an Impale, helps. Vengeance has become staple skill for DHs in this patch, and it helps out a lot for the Impale DH. The Seethe rune, which generates 10 Hatred a second, can help replenish the resource quickly. Vengeance downtime is reduced greatly by the Dawn crossbow, which should be absorbed by Kanai’s cube. It also helps to have a generator rune which generates 7 Hatred, like the Thunder Ball rune for Bolas.
  4. Defense – My gameplay with the Imaple DH has been very physical compared to past builds. Unhallowed Essence had an emphasis of having no enemies near you. Marauder’s focused on Sentries doing the dirty work. With the Shadow Impale DH, I am constantly in the middle of a gigantic mob, in a huge scrum with the melee classes. The main source of damage reduction comes from the Visage of Gunes, which reduces damage by 50% when Vengeance is active. With the reduced downtime of Vengeance thanks to Dawn, Visage of Gunes becomes a near auto-include in Kanai’s Cube as well. The Chain of Shadows belt removes the cost of Vault after using Imaple, and is essential. The Elusive Ring reduces damage another 50% after using Vault. Plus, the Shadow Set allows all runes of Shadow Power to activate, providing more defense. With this huge damage reduction, it works well to fight in the middle of a scrum, in order to better pinpoint the boss or elite in a pack.
  5. Element – As far as I can see, the Lightning and Cold Impale runes are the best, as they allow Impale to hit multiple enemies. Lightning allows a guarantee hit of 3 enemies, while Cold has big time upside of hitting everything in a line. So it’s good to have at least 2 elemental bonuses in your armor or quiver.
Inventory, gear check
Lightning impale shadow DH
In the middle of the action

Other thoughts

I am still building up materials to play the other DH builds, to see how they fare. But I feel as if I have played the most radical build so far with the Imaple DH. The gameplay shift is truly refreshing, and needed. I’ll see how long D3 Patch 2.4 keeps me entertained, before some new thing comes out for another game (Hearthstone, I’m looking at you).



Druid Arena Run – Velociraptor Mafia

5 years ago, I was a second semester senior at college. Coasting through the semester, me and some friends decided to play weekly trivia Tuesday nights at a local bar. We were a consistently competitive team, winding up in the top 3 most nights. One of the other competitive teams was a sorority group, named Velociraptor Mafia. When I drafted 4 Mounted Raptors in this arena run, I thought of them.


Arena Druid 1.16.16.png

  • Mostly decent card quality for this run, highlighted by the 4 raptors. Likely faster than a standard Druid arena deck, given the high amount of 1-3 drops.
  • While I do have removals, and card draw cards, there are no synergies in this deck.
  • I still am inexperienced playing Druid in Arena and Constructed.


  • Mage – Coin – 1-0 – Aren’t the first games in an arena run sometimes the most difficult? An 18-turn game here. My board was blown out with a Flamestrike in Turn 13. A Webspinner which dropped from a Raptor was Faceless Manipulated by my opponent, as they were down on cards. My Webspinner wound up giving me a Gahz’rilla, while opponent got a Hungry Crab. My opponent plays Reno Jackson on Turn 17 to heal up, but my boosted Gahz and board were too much. Maybe due to fatigue, my opponent makes a misplay in the end, by playing a minion rather than Fireblasting my Gahz. Oh well.
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-16-16 23.53.00.png
Playing around Mirror Entity is easy and makes you feel good.
  • Hunter – 1st – 2-0 – I played a guy named BattleZerg, and it was a bit of an aggro swarm. I had a boosted Scarlet Crusader (4/2) that my opponent was never able to deal with. Things died and my Scarlet kept applying pressure. An opponent Desert Camel brought out enough for a lethal.
  • Mage – Coin – 3-0 – I started with a hand of 3 Raptors, which is a bit much too be honest. But the Raptors did play a big role in giving me things on the board. I simply had minions on the board, while my opponent was left with tech cards and specialty removals.
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-17-16 00.03.48.png
Velociraptor Mafia. The 4th one was taking a nap.
  • Warlock – 1st – 3-1 – I used Innervate to get a Mounted Raptor out in Turn 1, but it was countered well by my opponent. It was over when an Imp Gang Boss was out and a Twilight Drake joined in Turn 4. A Jeweled Scarab into Demonwrath cleaned off the board. I tried to stick around the last few turns, but it was clearly over.
  • Mage – Coin – 3-2 – I do the worst against Mages, and this was a straight up Grinder Mage. Flamecannon there, Arcane Explosion and Arcane Missles, 2 Frost Novas here and there. Eventually I got beat by big things like a boosted Ethereal Arcanist, Sea Giant, and Force-Tank Max. Impressive deck that was virtually spells and big things.
  • Paladin – 1st – 3-3 – I was applying pressure most of the game while the board was contested, as evidenced by the 24-8 score by Turn 10. But I was in topdeck mode, while my opponent had a growing board and The Beast. With my opponent at 4 life, I played Raven Idol to attempt to get a spell for damage. I got another Raven Idol. I play it again, and get… Wild Growth. I play Excess Mana, and no extra reach in my deck.
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-17-16 00.49.48.png
Possible misplay here.


  • Deck was good, but I still have no idea how to play Druid.
  • Mistakes in playing Druid include not knowing when to play Innervate, mulligan options, etc.
  • The Mounted Raptors were useful but not “amazing.” Definitely worse than Piloted Shredder.
  • Possibly the lack of synergies hurt me in this run.

An Exercise in Reporting Bad People

Yesterday I beat this Dragon Priest deck in Rank 16 with an aggro Mech Rogue deck. I won with some kind of burst attack with Cold Blood and Tinker’s Oil. Then, the magic toast,

A recent opponent would like to be your friend!

The day before in my 12-win run, I was friended by 2 people who were actually not pissed off, so I was feeling alright. The following exchange wasn’t a roach boy talk, or something crazy, but a quick exchange that violated the “official policies.” I wasn’t particularly affected by the exchange because I did not meet the racial requirements of the insult, but I wanted to teach em a lesson. What’s better than getting someone suspended from playing Blizzard games for a few days!

Most people online say something like, “grow thicker skin” or “it’s your fault for accepting their request.” I say, “let’s get this guy suspended for a few days in boredom.”

“For justice!”

Armed with screenshots of the offending dialogue in question, and his battle.net battletag, I scoured the internet for a way to report people. This is all I got.

Then I took my efforts to Twitter, where I contacted customer support. Responding within minutes, the lady with customer support said that I had to have the dialogue window open, and that screenshots were invalid. I was also told that I should report them if they were to harass me again.

The problem with this reporting system is that everyone who gets off getting on other people immediately unfriends you. So they’re gone before you can right click their name and hit “report.” Cowards.

The epilogue of this story actually began as I started writing this post. Last night, because I had the offending person’s Battletag, I kept trying to friend them back. Today they accepted  the friend request. At this point, I had the individual in my sights, with the ability to report them. But as I only had screenshots, they were invalid. I just let the whole thing go.

tldr; Blizzard doesn’t really actually have a policy for reporting people who verbally harass you. And in this, we not only have a view of a blatant perversion of human decency, but also, a “government” (Blizzard) that is willing to do little about it.

12 Win Paladin – Praise the Lord (RNGesus)

Given my baffling inability to play Paladin, I was glad to get back to 12 wins. While I played well for the most part in this run, I did not deserve to get 12 wins. I will try to highlight all the times I won the benefit of adverse probability to pull off the 12 wins.



  • I personally don’t own a Ragnaros, so it was a pleasure to use it. I chose him over a pick of Deathwing and Ysera.
  • The draft took me this way, and I benefited much from the plethora of card draw. There are 7 cards that help card advantage, and I only had 1 game where there was topdecking going on. Very underlooked.
  • I was offered Equality, giving me the chance of the sexy Equality + Consecration combo, but I didn’t like the chances and took the Argent Lance.


  • Paladin – 1st – 1-0 – I had the board for a good 7 turns and was doing some face damage until my opponent put bigger things out. I used MCT to steal the Mukla’s Champion, and subsequently had the opponent MCT my Amani Berseker. Jeweled Scarab got me another MCT, to which I stole a 6/7 Emperor Cobra in Turn 12.
  • Priest – Coin – 2-0 – My opponent never had the board, and I did, so the game was over by Turn 7. Keeper of Uldaman helped a little in controlling the board.
  • Shaman – Coin – 3-0 – My opponent was aggressive with a boosted Gadgetzan Jouster and Micro Machine, but my Argent Lance helped control the board a little. In an evolution of my gameplay, I used Aldor Peacekeeper on a 4/4 Ogre Brute, just to preserve my minion (Spellbreaker (4/3) on the board, when trading. I was able to deal with some big threats like Earth Elemental and Force-Tank Max. MCT stole me a 5/2 Arcane Golem, to which I boosted to clear the tank.
  • Paladin – 1st – 4-0 – A 16-turn game, so a long one. MCT stole a 2/1 Squire for his first failed steal. I was consistently losing the board, but was winning the card advantage game. I guess my opponent was losing patience and threw their entire hand out on the board on Turn 11. It was a pure topdeck game by Turn 13, and just a lot more trading. Opponent puts out Tirion Fordring on Turn 15. I get Cult Master, and trade into a Aldor Peacekeeper. My Evil Heckler taunt stood up to protect me from hits.
  • Paladin – Coin – 5-0 – A game that involved a lot of trading, as evidenced by a 29-29 score by Turn 9. MCT stole a Silver Hand Regent, so it was good, but not amazing. I had pure card advantage, and threw out Ragnaros for his debut in Turn 9. Ragnaros his face a good few times, before getting killed off, but I had enough on the board to win.
  • Rogue – Coin – 6-0 – Another very competitive game, which lasted 12 turns. My opponent had some Mech Rogue thing going on early (Iron Sensei too) for board presence. In my evolved gameplay, I used Aldor Peacekeeper on a 3/4 Spider Tank. After the mechs died, the Rogue starts playing Crowd Favorite, and a ton of battlecry minions, eventually buffing it to 10 attack. Cult Master won me the game here, as I had pure card advantage. Ragnaros showed up to help close the game. MCT stole a 1/1 Boar out of BM.
  • Mage – 1st – 6-1 – A 19-turn slugfest, in which I played an attrition Mage. I got Flamestruck on consecutive Turns 10 and 11, and then an Arcane Explosion on 12. My opponent was doing some Gorillabot shenanigans with Duplicate, giving them a good cycling of cards through discover. I put out Ragnaros out of desperation but died immediately to a Flame Lance. I was just exhausted and was out of resources by my concede.

I decided to go to sleep and continue the next day.

  • Druid – 1st – 7-1 – I was getting SMOrced, as evidenced to the 28-9 score in Turn 8. While opponent wasn’t particularly trading much, I was able to control the board. Cult Master was big, as I was able to cycle a lot of cards through trading.
  • Mage – Coin – 8-1 – With one Consecration in the deck, I had to resort to putting stuff out on the board just to get hit, to wear my opponent down. This happened a bit here, when I was down on the board. And I was able to use Consecration, when it counted most. My MCT stole a 6/3 Ethereal Conjurer. The game dragged on for a while, until I  was able to draw Argent Commander for lethal.

I watched the Steelers – Bengals football game. The final stretch to 12!

  • Rogue – Coin – 9-1 – The replay disappeared. But there was the highlight where Ragnaros was silenced and swung for lethal.
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-10-16 00.04.30.png
Ragnaros saves up his hits to hit extra hard.
  • Paladin – 1st – 10-1 – Lost the replay, but it was a competitive 15-turn game that involved Murloc Knights, blessings and secrets. I somehow overcame it all.
  • Mage – 1st – 10-2 – Lost the replay, but the game only lasted 5 minutes. I attempted to use a Tinkmaster Overspark to transform a 6/4 Piloted Sky Golem, but I only turned my minion into a 1/1 Squirrel.
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-10-16 00.22.45.png
Go squirrel!
  • Rogue – Coin – 11-2 – The run should have ended right here. This 13-turn game ended with the screenshot below. I had 8 life, while my opponent had a 3/3 SI:7, 4/4 Anubisath Sentinel, 3/4 Unearthed Raptor (with Anubisath deathrattle), along with a 7/7 Eerie Statue (can’t attack). Option 1 would have been to kill the Anubisath Sentinel, and hope for a 33% chance to buff the Eerie Statue, allowing me to potentially survive the turn. I went with Option 2, kill the SI:7, play Elven Archer to hit face, and hope Ragnaros hits face. I went with a 25% chance play vs a 33% chance play. The rest is history.
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-10-16 00.36.03.png
eSports! glory chaser
  • Rogue – Coin – 12-2 – Hey, the replays back! A 10 turn game, but only lasted 5 minutes. I was losing the board, but had pure card advantage. I discovered a Deathlord, which helped protect my 6 HP. MCT stole a 5/5 Frost Elemental, and a bunch of Seal of Champions allowed me to trade effectively and put out big stuff on the board.

Stray notes

  • My 5th Lightforge Key, 2nd with Paladin. I didn’t save the screenshot, but I got 250 gold, 2 TGT packs, and a gold Lance Carrier.
  • Card advantage won me a lot of games. I appreciate Gnomish Inventor and Cult Master a lot more now.
  • I learned to be not greedy with Aldor Peacekeeper and Keeper of Uldaman. I learned to let the situation dictate the play. I can’t say how many times Aldor Peacekeeper on a 3 or 4 attack minion helped me preserve a minion.
  • I also think I learned how to play Questing Adventurer. He helped a lot just as a 3/3 or 4/4 for board presence. No greed here.
  • I’m so glad I picked Ragnaros over Deathwing.
  • MCT stole more good things than bad things. He stole a lot of things.
  • I got friend-requested 2 times in this run, with both people not cussing me out and unfriending me. Yay humanity!

Facetime Inc.

The decision to go face or trade is one of the toughest things to do in Hearthstone, as the situation seems to be unique is many cases. In constructed, trading ranges from never to always, while in the Arena, it all depends on the board and game state. And as such, minions vary in their ability to go face. Some minions like Wobbling Runts are much more useful when trading into something, and have little benefit going face. Well what minions always/should go face? And the answer is not all Hunter cards. Here are the top Hearthstone face-goers.

In the face!!!

10. Leper Gnome – Leper Gnomes are a face staple because of their ability to put our 4 damage for 1 cost. If you want to crank out 6 damage, face is the place.

9. Cutpurse – You don’t see this guy much in the game, but his only use is going face. A 2/2 for 2 is not good. Usually, he won’t trade effectively. So just go face and get that Coin.

Hearthstone Screenshot 09-15-15 22.30.05

8. Frothing Berserker – The Warrior Miracle card was pretty powerful when Warsong Commander  allowed a charge. Now he is more a “stop me if you can” guy. Still a very deadly face hitter.

7. Southsea Deckhand – The main Rogue charge minion , whose ability is helped much my Rogue daggers and Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil. The “Ha Ha” opening cry is 9/10 BM.

6. Wolfrider – This guy has a pretty badass attack cry of “Taste my steel!” It is not right if he isn’t saying that to a minion.

5. Arcane Golem – To play Arcane Golem, you have to give your opponent an extra mana crystal. Not worth it if you’re not going face.

4. Grommash Hellscream – Grom is a great card, given the plethora of enrage mechanics that the Warrior has. It’s also refreshing to see Warriors not armor up.

3. Huffer – Its a known fact that Hunters don’t like to trade, and when you get Huffer (which is always), it is a good idea to get closer to that W. If Huffer trades, take a screenshot!

2. Treant – It’s a known fact that Druids have spent thousands of years perfecting Force of Nature + Savage Roar. That’s probably what happens in the Emerald Dream.

  1. Leeroy Jenkins – He didn’t go into that cave with a plan. He didn’t wait for Pals for Life to give him enchantments. He didn’t become a pop culture icon by trading. If minion has to go face, it’s Leeroy.



I’m Starting to Understand

Blizzard finally decided to offer me Rogue in the Arena and my first run of 2016 had a pretty good draft. The deck was very fast, had a lot of signature Rogue spells and cards. But I only got 4 wins. I immediately decided to play another run, and got 5 wins with a Rogue.

Following these runs, I closed out Hearthstone (without opening my GvG pack), and decided to play something else. But for the first time, probably the first significant time, I understood the anguish over RNG in the game. A lot of “good players” have had these gripes over the game for some time. Some have quit. Others have just accepted things for what they are.

I’ve always been in the accepting group for RNG in Hearthstone, as I feel that playing the percentages to increase your RNG odds would be more good than bad. But yesterday, as I attempted to get back to a 5-win average, I didn’t feel good about it. I didn’t like the RNG.

Flame Jugglers and Huge Toads were sniping my 1-health minions left and right. Arcane Missiles were killing 3-health minions. And then there was this:

Hearthstone Screenshot 01-01-16 22.18.43.png
Not heard: lots of profanity.

The deck had 8 cards that cost 5 or more, a really fast deck. My opening hand/mulligan and subsequent next 3 turns got 5 of them. I had nothing to do for 4 turns. All of the 2-drops came at the end and were useless by then. While bad draws are a function in any card game, this was the worst of the worst. Besides 1 big misplay in the second run, I didn’t really notice anything else. The RNG floodgates cost me too many games.

Of course, my mediocre runs couldn’t all be blamed on RNG. The Hearthstone arena is seemingly at its high point, with more skilled players playing more than ever. Players are drafting better decks, and making better decisions in the game. But for the first time maybe, I noticed the inches that I gave away, and the ultimate outcome of it.