10 Bold Predictions for ‘Knights of the Frozen Throne’

10 Bold Predictions for ‘Knights of the Frozen Throne’

The following is a guest post from Tehl (@TehlHS), multi-legend player and my occasional arena co-op partner. He is the creator of Snakes and Drakes. You can catch him on the Hearthstone podcasts Top Deck Kings and Hearthcore.

10 Bold Predictions for The Frozen Throne

10. Rogue got the best Death Knight.

Valeera the Hollow(62876).png

Valeera the Hollow is an insane card.  This card essentially locks out the game with infinite Vanish followed by Arcane Giants allowing you to continuously swing in for 16 damage as long as your opponent doesn’t have removal for them.  In addition, to that the stealth that gives you when it comes down allows you the time that it takes in order to set up the combo.  The only decks that are going to punish this are burn mage and decks that play aggressively on the board,  which brings me to my next point…

9. Druid is going to be the only class playing on the board.

Spreading Plague(62841).png

With Mage and Taunt Warrior (particularly good matchups for Jade Druid) probably sticking around, Druid now has insane tools to combat aggro as well, especially Spreading Plague.  This card is at worst a stall of probably two turns and at best clears their board in the process, but either way, aggro is losing one of it’s best matchups in the game.  Rogue also has new tools to combat aggressive decks with the Shadowblade and it’s counterpart Doomerang which will undoubtedly see varying degrees of play depending on how long aggro sticks around.  Either way you will have time to play your Death Knights because I predict a much slower meta where aggro will be punished.

Bonus Bold Prediction: Skulking Geist was printed for the sole purpose of beating Jade Druid and it will see some (if it makes up over 30% of the meta a lot of) play for that reason.  (Note: I don’t count Taunt Warrior as a deck that plays on board)

8. Hunter is going to be worse.

Build-a-Beast(58725).png

The new hunter cards that are being introduced are terrible…I guess that’s all I really have to say.  Deathstalker Rexxar is the worst Death Knight and arguably may give you a worse hero power than Steady Shot.  For Hunter to continue to challenge the meta they needed more sticky aggressive minions to pressure the opponent, instead they got durdly, inefficient, clunky minions that when everything goes perfectly you probably still are going to lose a majority of your games…

7. The Lich King is the best neutral legendary in the game.

The Lich King(62922).png

This one may be slightly hyperbolic, but if I said The Lich King is a very good card that wouldn’t exactly be a bold prediction.  The Death Knight cards are as powerful as the Ysera Dream Cards, with taunt it gives it initiative, and if all goes right it can give you insane value while smashing face for 8.  While I am less confident in this prediction than some of the other ones, I also have no doubt this will be in more meta decks than any other card currently in the game.

6. Ultimate Infestation was a mistake.

Ultimate Infestation(62879).png

When you look at this card it instantly looks like a Firelands Portal that gains you some life and gives you approximately 8 mana worth of card draw.  So we already have a card that should cost approximately 16 mana, but the card is actually better than that, doing all of this at the same time gives this card increased value.  Normally we would have to play one card that is a Firelands Portal, one card that is an Iron Hide and one card that is a super-Sprint, now all of this is combined onto one card, meaning that this card kind of reads draw seven cards and play three of them…

5. Priest moves up a tick.

Shadowreaper Anduin(62889).png

While most of their new cards are as disappointing as the Hunter cards, Eternal Servtiude should definitely see a good chunk of play and their Death Knight is a game-changer.  While Shadowreaper Anduin on it’s surface may not be that impressive as far as the Death Knights go, it gives priest an opportunity to do something that it’s never been able to do very efficiently, close games.  Raza the Chained also could see an appearance back in the meta allowing priest to machine-gun chain two damage as long as they can continue to play cards.

4. Aggro Paladin will see a come-back.

Righteous Defender(62864).png

I know this is completely contrary to point number nine, that no one is going to be playing on the board, but on the backs of Bolvar Fireblood, Righteous Defender, and Light’s Sorrow all of the board clears that are going to be in the game may be playing right into this decks trap.  I don’t think this will be a very good deck, especially out of the gate, but with some tweaking and as the meta starts to settle, you may be able to catch some people off-guard with this old classic.

3. Mage will not play any of the cards released, and it will still be good.

Frost Lich Jaina(61810).png

Frost Lich Jaina and Sindragosa are definitely cuspers, and I may end up being wrong about them not seeing play, but neither of these cards buy you the late game tempo advantage that Medivh the Guardian does that usually wins you the game just fine on his own.  With the deck already relying on Alexstraza to stabilize, I don’t think there will be room for the new cards.  That being said, this will be one of the most fun decks to mess around with, although I think the best Mage list is already established, and it will continue to stick around, as it is one of the premier decks to contend against new Rogue.

2. Freeze Shaman will not be a thing.

Moorabi(62845).png

While you aren’t going to be bummed out ripping a Voodoo Hexxer from a Stonehill Defender, it is still going to be the third-best taunt that you are hoping for and that’s the best freeze card to be introduced by a mile.  Blizzard is definitely afraid of making another overpowered Shaman deck and acknowledges the power of Jade/Token Shaman in the meta, so they do the thing they are apt to do, which is try to introduce a new mechanic.  This deck will not be good, it will not be fun to play, and it will lose to everything in the game, maybe including new players playing Chillwind Yetis and Boulderfist Ogres.  With nothing being implemented to help its existing archetypes, shaman will definitely be taking a major step back in the Frozen Throne meta.

1. Defile is the best card in the game, and Warlock still may not be playable in Standard.

Defile(62840).png

This card was my whole reason for wanting to write this article to begin with.  I rated Ultimate Infestation a 10/10 and could see a nerf, I rate this card an 11/10 and will probably see an emergency nerf. Everyone is sleeping on Defile.  This is the most efficient, cheapest, and easy to accomplish board clear in the game, that requires little to no set-up.  Next time you are playing a game pay attention to how many huge boards could be cleared with a Defile.  On top of this, after this card stops clearing the minions on the board, it starts clearing their deathrattles, making minions like Dragon Egg and Haunted Creeper also susceptible to it’s reign of devastation, if you are playing Egg Druid or Pirate Warrior in Wild, I’m sorry to say that your days are numbered.  On top of this, this card has an insane synergy with Grim Patron which allows you to defile ad infinitum and wipe all boards and leave yourself with 15-21 power on the board.  Okay so we’ve established that this card is the most broken wild card ever printed, but will it have any impact on Standard?

If Warlock is viable in standard, it will be on the back of Defile.  Possessed Villager is still around to kick the defile train off and it will really punish Token Druid, Shaman and Pirate Warrior, furthering point #9, but Warlock may not have powerful enough tools to contend in the late game, even with the most efficient AoE in the game.  Honestly it makes my brain hurt trying to think of what a standard warlock deck would look like these days, cards like Kabal Trafficker have never seen any play and on an unchecked board, may make for an alright deck with the new warlock Death Knight which is okay and the Lich King definitely making a cameo, but even I am not bold enough to say that Kabal Trafficker Warlock will be the new meta.

Speculation: Bringing Up New Valeera

In less than 24 hours, Hearthstone player Savjz will reveal the new Rogue Death Knight Hero card, for release for Knights of the Frozen Throne.

savjz reveal.PNG

Exciting! For the first time, we see the official artwork of the card. What could the card be?

What we know

  • Hero card – Like any other Hero card, we can expect the new Valeera to take over the existing Rogue hero. Also, you will gain 5 armor by playing this card.
  • Artwork differences – The Death Knight form of Valeera looks mostly the same, without the characteristic “Blood Elf green,” which glows like Kryptonite. The green daggers, green pendants and jewels are gone and replaced with glowing purple skulls. The new weapon is a bone dagger. Her chest armor is shorter and other vestments are more ragged. Her hair is now red and blonde.

Speculation

  • Comic clues – There is a promotional comic for the new expansion, which looks a lot like the Word of Warcraft Comic. This issue, Freedom, tells a tale of Garrosh and Valeera killing Anduin. Here are some snippets that give a clue of the new card.

freedom comic 1freedom comic 2

There’s a clue about growing power, which is something that is not unfamiliar to Miracle Rogue and Questing Adventurer. It is possible that each hero attack will be additive to more attack or power.

The second panel shows Valeera throwing a knife or using some psychokinetic ability. While throwing knives is depicted with Fan of Knives, which could allow a possible ranged ping attack, instead of using face damage.

  • New set themes – As of this writing, 4 Rogue class cards have been revealed, and they are interesting for the most part. Plague Scientist gives the Poisonous mechanic. Shadowblade gives one turn Immunity. Leeching Poison gives Lifesteal. Runeforge Haunter gives weapon Durability immunity. It would not be radical to expect the Hero card to deviate too much from these themes. Mostly, I see a theme of sustain, something Rogue never had prior to this expansion. I would also expect Poisonous to play a role somehow.
  • Minions – Back to the Savjz card reveal. We see a bunch of minions in the artwork, including Shadow Rager, Wailing Soul and a banshee of sorts. While a new hero power of summon a 5/1 Rager sounds fun for memes, it doesn’t seem too outstanding. There could be a way to summon stuff, give minions Poisonous or Deathrattle, etc.
  • Old tricks – Rogue has seen the Burgle and Coin mechanics pushed in recent sets. There is nothing in this set so far that has done that, and I don’t expect the new hero to be a thief. But never say never.

I will end this with a snippet of an interview with Mike Donais, which is something about the power level of the new card.

busted.PNG

Rogue legendaries haven’t disappointed recently (well, The Caverns Below, for other reasons), and this one is expected to be good as well. While I will auto-craft the card for reasons, I am still excited to explore potential new directions for Rogue.

 

Rogue Cards Banished to the Shadow Realm

Rogue Cards Banished to the Shadow Realm

By now, everyone who plays Hearthstone should be aware that Crystal Rogue aka Quest Rogue, is getting a nerf. Instead of requiring playing 4 cards with the same name, it will require playing 5 cards with the same name. There still isn’t word on when the card is going to get changed, but it is the only known card to get hit in the near future. Team 5 devs chalked up the nerf for two main reasons:

  1. Crystal Rogue wasn’t fun to play against.
  2. Crystal Rogue inhibited control decks and caused a more aggressive meta.

Despite being a Rogue apologist, I am mostly okay with this happening. Yes, I think Rogue gets hit with nerfs every time. Yes, I think other cards should have also been included in the nerf. I find losing to Primordial Glyph more damning than losing to Crystal Rogue. All in all, the story of this nerf makes me wonder how rigorous the play-testing process is. The negative effects it caused should have been expected I think.

That’s all the opinion I will provide. With any nerf, there is a chain reaction to other cards put in that deck. Crystal Rogue was unique in that the deck brought back a lot of old, boring cards. It was also very cheap to operate. Let’s look at some of the cards that will disappear from play once the nerf hits. Banished to the Shadow Realm, if you will.

A lay of the land

Below is a simple list (hsreplay.net) of all cards that appear in over 30% of Rogue decks, according to tracked Hearthstone Deck Tracker users.

rogue pop

One can assume the average Hearthstone player using HDT is better than the average Hearthstone player. But some good players use Track-o-Bot, and some use no tracker at all. This is just the population of HDT users.

The quest Caverns Below is in 56.5% of Rogue decks, so we could assume this is the representation of Crystal Rogue in all Rogue decks. Some cards have near identical usage, so we could assume those are definite staples. Other cards have higher usage, others lower.

Most popular Crystal Rogue

The most played Crystal Rogue list, by a big margin, is listed below:

top list.JPG

Predicted card shifts

  1. The Caverns Below – If the history of nerfs in Hearthstone are any indication, the cards typically become literally unplayable. While cards like Gadgetzan Auctioneer and Leeroy Jenkins have survived, more often than not, the card is gone. Aggro decks would feast on the extra turn, and any other decks should be able to get use from the extra turn. Really you are getting two turns on Crystal Rogue, since you need to play the 5-cost Caverns Below. The Paladin quest is represented in 1.3% of Paladin decks now. While I don’t expect it to sink this low, I think it will definitely be dropped by most players. There may be a few players who will continually trying to make it work.
  2. Youthful Brewmaster – Cheap bounce effects were Crystal Rogue’s MO, and this was identified immediately. While it will disappear almost entirely, it is a neutral card, so it will not be gone completely. In the past two weeks, the card was played 20k times outside of Rogue, notably 10k times by Priests, who sought to reuse powerful Battlecries.
  3. Gadgetzan Ferryman – This card has been through a lot in it’s short history, first being known as a bad card reveal for Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, when the class was in trouble. It finally saw use specifically for Crystal Rogue. This card will fall with the nerf, and I expect it to be played just as much as the Quest card.
  4. Vanish – Vanish will literally vanish once the nerf hits. It was a card used in the past when Mill Rogue was a thing, and has no uses outside of that. With the future list of Quest Rogue in flux, it is possible that Vanish just becomes too expensive to play. Best case scenario is that it remains a Quest staple.
  5. Novice Engineer – This card did a lot for completing the Rogue quest, and was often the trigger card for activating the quest. Being a free card and plus card advantage, Novice Engineer may never go away. Novice Engineer was played 100k times outside of Rogue in the past two weeks. It will see play in Mage, which would serve as extra card draw.
  6. Stonetusk Boar – One of the most boaring cards around, this fit well as a 5/5 charge after the Quest was achieved. Another free Neutral card, this card would never disappear completely. It was played 40k times in the past two weeks outside of Rogue, and will likely only appear in Hunter.
  7. Bilefin Tidehunter – Bilefin was not immediately identified by the pros as an optimal card for the list, but was just too good at providing 10/10 for 2 mana. Being a token creator and a Murloc, the card will still see play, as it was played 170k times outside of Rogue in the past two weeks. I expect it being played in Token Druid and Shaman.
  8. Glacial Shard – Another later addition to the final optimized list. It had use in protecting the weak minions on the board to get bounced. The card was played 50k times outside of Rogue in the past two weeks, mostly in Shaman (24k).
  9. Igneous Elemental – The Flame Elemental generator was identified right away as a good Quest Rogue card, and this one provided 2 of them. The card isn’t really going anywhere, as it was played 130k times outside of Rogue in the past two weeks. It saw most play in Shaman again (59k), owing to token and elemental synergy.
  10. Fire Fly – Out of all the known Crystal Rogue ingredients, I think Fire Fly will take the smallest hit. It was played 2.3 million times outside of Rogue in the past two weeks by other classes. The card is just too much value. Still an elemental and having token synergy, it provides a lot of stats for the cost. I do play this myself in Aggro Water Rogue, and it is just a good Rogue card for what it does. It will see play in Druid and Shaman, and some Rogue.

Upshot

Rogue decks are going to be seen a lot less. In some ways, Crystal Rogue was the budget deck to play for people who don’t have a bunch of legendaries for the class. The new Miracle Rogue has expenses and Water Rogue sure isn’t cheap either. The card quality will improve with some boring cards leaving.

All of it is really up in the air, as we still don’t know when this nerf is coming, and there is an expansion coming out in August. We may have this changed Rogue pool for just a little while. Or it will be completely moot when new cards are here.

February 2017: 30 Arenas Complete

February 2017: 30 Arenas Complete

Playing arena in Hearthstone was always a challenge in that accomplishments were never acknowledged. Your arena average isn’t officially recorded anywhere, and there is no counter on how many times you got 12 wins. Job postings for Blizzard still ask how many times you got Legend. Well, when they released the first arena leaderboards last month, it was the first time that arena accomplishments could be validated.

I set a goal at the beginning of the month to at least qualify for this leaderboard by playing 30 arenas. It was a tall task from the start given that February is a short month, and that #100 in the Americas had a 6.46 win average last month, a full 1.5 games above my regular arena average. In the end, I failed in getting anywhere near the leaderboard, but I was able to play exactly 30 arenas in February 2017. Let’s take a look at what went down for me.

Hearthstone Screenshot 02-22-17 00.20.59.png

Stats

feb17stats
Courtesy of Hearthstone Decktracker

The Decktracker recorded an average of exactly 5 wins per run, a 150-84 record, a 64% clip. A day of disconnects sabotaged 2 games I played out and won, but were counted as disconnects from previous games that disconnected me. In the end, costing at least 2 games wouldn’t even get me to 5.1, so that point is moot. I had the full range of arena games from 0-12 wins. I did not get high-win runs of 8, 10, or 11 in the month.

After 18 games my average was 5.94 wins, and I felt good. Then I closed out my last 12 games with a 3.58 average.

Despite being a self-proclaimed Rogue player, the class did not do well for me, averaging 3 wins per run for 8 runs. Warlock and Mage averaged over 7, with Mage only accounting for just 1 run. Paladin and Priest were also solid contributors with 6.8 and 6 wins on average.

On the opponent side, I faced Mage and Warlock almost half (43%) of my games on the month. This was predicated by Mage being OP forever in the arena, and the rise of Warlock thanks to broken cards.

Hearthstone Screenshot 02-18-17 00.09.34.png

Experiences

I don’t think I have ever played 30 arenas in month, as I usually take 1 or 2 days off each week. Making sure that I hit this mark was a bit tiring. As February was a short month, I had to double up runs a few days, or do 1.5 runs on certain days. There were also days that I didn’t play an arena because of life business, so I doubled up more than I wanted to.

I was out of it to start the month, and contemplated giving up on the task right away. But, the horrible ranked meta didn’t give me incentive to stop, and I felt like getting the dust rewards in the end. And of course, I like playing arena more than anything, so that kept me in it. I wound up playing 29 (19-10) ranked games during the month of February, ending at Rank 12, something I haven’t done in a long time.

There were highs, in that I got my 12th and 13th Lightforge Keys. I also possibly played against Hafu (and won!), who is known to play under the tag “Battlepants.”

My last arena of the month, my only Druid run, was played with a Wild deck, while the Standard arena was implemented for the first time. I got to play with GvG stalwarts Zombie Chow and Mechanical Yeti for the last time in that run, while I faced opponents with golden cards and spells.

Overall, I played this month of arena with the least  thought possible. While I did know to play around meta-heavy cards like Abyssal Enforcer and Potion of Madness, I just didn’t play around much else, and play a fast style. Opponents seemed to be playing fast as well, which was interesting.

I’m not going to play 30 arenas next month. Chasing the #100 spot on the leaderboard appears beyond my capabilities. But it was a good experience to partake in.

Looking at the New Look Miracle Rogue: Cores, Techs, and More

Looking at the New Look Miracle Rogue: Cores, Techs, and More

Many complaints emerged prior to the release of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, about the state of Rogue. A combination of lackluster laddering ability against a hostile meta, and gimmicky expansion cards, and a host of other reasons led tot his “uprising.” It all hilariously culminated on Thanksgiving, when Gadgetzan Ferryman was revealed.

Flash forward to today, January 2017, and Rogue is the third most-played class in the meta. While it is easy to attribute the bounceback of Rogue to the introduction of new neutral pirate cards, other innovations have been made to the class that have it’s current success. Namely, the rather large core set of Rogue cards is seeing variation, allowing the building of various viable Miracle Rogues.

Entrenched Core Cards (20)

  • 2x Backstab
  • 2x Preparation
  • 2x Cold Blood
  • 2x Eviscerate
  • 1x Edwin VanCleef
  • 2x Fan of Knives
  • 2x Tomb Pillager
  • 1x Patches the Pirate
  • 2x Small-Time Buccaneer
  • 2x Swashburglar
  • 2x Gadgetzan Auctioneer
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-08-17 10.56.43.png
Early tempo VanCleef central to this deck.

 

Core Cards of Debatable Usage

  • Counterfeit Coin – Most Miracle Rogue decks have one Coin, but other builds run two Coins, which could lead to a bigger Edwin VanCleef in the early the game to contend with. Obviously, the problem with this is that adding two Coins adds more dead cards to the deck.
  • Bloodmage Thalnos – Thalnos has had a firm spot as a Rogue legendary since the beginning of time, until now. He just doesn’t do enough against a Pirate Warrior, serving as a 1/1 on Turn 2. While the spellpower is nice, doing 3 damage on a Backstab, or 2 damage AoE on Fan of Knives could be too late against a Warrior.
  • Sap – Still an entrenched core card, but decks are starting to use only one Sap instead of two. Sap is still very good against any slower decks, and Shaman overloads, but does next to nothing against Pirate Warrior.
  • SI:7 Agent – Definitely a former core card that usually is played with two copies or none. Most decks will either use SI:7 in lieu of Questing Adventurer or vice versa. Can also be used in conjunction with Questing Adventurer in decks without Leeroy.
  • Questing Adventurer – Certainly the most fluid card in Miracle Rogue, where he can serve as the primary win condition, be an intermediate threat, or be cut altogether. While I have seen/used decks with Questing and Leeroy, I think they are cards that basically do the same thing, and don’t synergize well together. Questings are meant to stick around on the board and do the snowball damage over a few turns, while Leeroy is just the end-game burst.
  • Azure Drake – Still an entrenched core card that is often run two of. I have tried running just one copy in Questing-dedicated decks, to offer a lower mana curve. I’ve also had experiences against other Pirate decks, where the Azure Drake just doesn’t get you out of a tough spot.
  • Leeroy Jenkins – Mostly still a core card in Miracle Rogue, except for in dedicated Questing Adventurer decks. He is being cut, as the one time burst mechanic doesn’t do much against heavy aggro Pirate Warriors, and doesn’t fight for the board.
hearthstone-screenshot-01-07-17-20-23-12
New card!

Flex/Techs

  • Conceal – Many decks, especially Questing decks, still run one Conceal. With the usage of Counterfeit Coin, decks are trying to reduce the amount of dead cards. This has lead to some decks cutting the card altogether, in favor of more coins.
  • Shadow Strike – Typically Shadow Strike is the replacement for the second Sap in decks. While it is better against cards like Thing from Below and Kor’kron Elite, I can still see Sap being better run as a double, against most other cards.
  • Shaku, the Collector – A new tech choice of a card that was ballyhooed (by people like me) when it was revealed. The reasoning for Shaku is that he provides a “sticky” 3-drop, while being super effective in getting cards against classes like Shaman and Mage. I have to say that he has been solid so far, and will see further innovation in future decks.
  • Beneath the Grounds – Purely a tech choice against any Kazakus or Reno shenanigans. Not a horrible idea, given that Priests, Warlocks, and Mages comprise about 1/3 of the meta. Also solid against the mirror, but pretty bad against Warrior.
  • Burgly Bully – KremePuff (@KremePuffHS) runs a Burgly Bully, presumably to serve as a sturdy 4/6 body, and to generate coins. I can’t speak as to hell well this card does overall against other classes, but I assume it is working.
Hearthstone Screenshot 01-07-17 13.21.08.png
Reno decks countered with Beneath the Grounds.

 

The Future of Miracle Rogue

  • From my experience, and according to data, the current Miracle Rogue struggles a lot against Pirate Warrior. I have tried Earthen Ring Farseer, but it doesn’t seem to do much against this powerful deck.
  • The cards being played now are all based on the dominance of Pirate packages in Warrior, Shaman, and Rogue. Rogue typically dominates versus Control matches, but the inclusion of more Midrange decks could force changes.
  • This is the last stand for Tomb Pillager. The card, along with any other card from League of Explorers, is rotating out in the next expansion release in a few months.
  • The potential replacement for Tomb Pillager is anyone’s guess, but Xaril immediately comes to mind. I can also see Ethereal Peddler fitting in as the big body drop of Miracle Rogue, though the Coin being a card/spell is big.
  • There is also new speculation that Azure Drake will get cut from the Standard Set. This speculation comes from the popularity of Azure Drake, and Ben Brode’s comments on potential changes (https://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone/comments/5mqebr/ben_brode_has_spoken_about_changes_in_classic_set/).
  • I tried using Undercity Valiant (while I can), and I lost all the games with this deck. You can’t just put any card in and expect to win after all.

The Harms of Misinformation: Debunking the Myth You Can Ladder Well with Rogue

I’ve been hanging out on Hearthstone Reddit quite a bit, and there is the ongoing rage about frankly lousy Rogue cards. While overcomplaining is obviously toxic behavior, a common argument against the state of Rogue is that it is a fine class for laddering. People on this front often cite The TempoStorm Meta Snapshot as why the Rogue is actually fine. I went on TempoStorm to check out the Meta Snapshot.

ts_meta.PNG

Lo and behold, there are the two “viable decks” of Rogue in Tier 2. Anyone who plays Rogue to a good degree knows that it is pretty good against control, but pretty bad against faster decks. Malygos Rogue in particular is rather slow. While these decks could be better in the high ranks or in the Legend bracket, most people aren’t there. The people reading TempoStorm are probably somewhere between Rank 5 and Rank 15. Anyone who thinks a Rogue deck is on the same level as Tempo Mage in Rank 5 to Rank 15 is out of their gourd.

The Vicious Syndicate Data Reaper report, a great resource, relies on actual user submitted data. Let’s take a look at the latest report.

vs data reaper freq.PNG

Nothing new here. Just the same old sauce of Shaman being top dog, and Mage rising fast to #2. Thrall x Jaina powercouple confirmed.

Now look at this matchup log. Blue means winning, orange means losing.

vs data reaper matchup.PNG

There’s a big streak of dark blue over Paladin and Priest for Rogues. Rogue dominates over the two least played classes, and a control deck here and there.

Now finally, here are the win percentages Rogue does against the top 5 decks from Rank 10 to Rank 1.

  1. Midrange Shaman – 43.7%
  2. Tempo Mage – 47.1%
  3. Spell Druid – 46.2%
  4. Zoo Warlock – 45.3%
  5. Secret Hunter – 39.6%

Winning a below 50% clip doesn’t feel good. I should know! I’m like a 51 or 52% player on Ranked and always feel miserable playing.

So there you have it, people are misinformed, thinking that Rogue is a decent ladder class, when it clearly isn’t in this meta.You can still ladder with Rogue if you’re really good. But the average netdecker tryhard will be mislead.

Jaded: An Evaluation of Jade Golems

Jaded: An Evaluation of Jade Golems

With every Hearthstone card release, the expectation of a new mechanic becomes regular chatter amongst the playerbase. I personally believed (https://creators.co/@GreenRanger/4139409) that positioning would be  focus of the new expansion, but that turned out to be unfounded. Triclass cards became the new mechanic, flush with 9 cards being shared across classes. The Grimy Goons employ a new mechanic of buffing minions or weapons in the hand, while the Kabal brings more cards that push singleton decks aside from Reno Jackson. Many thought that the Jade Lotus gang would stress an emphasis on mana manipulation, given the similarities binding Druids, Rogues, and Shamans. But the loosely bound Jade Lotus gang wound up sharing the new Jade Golem mechanic.

Jade Golems: An Explanation

Jade Golems are vanilla minions that are summoned to the field, as an add-on to another card with the mechanic. The first Jade Golem starts out as a 1/1, and each additional Jade Golem summoned with add +1/+1 to the last Jade Golem summoned.

Jade_Golem_animation.gif

It appears that Jade Golems go up to a level 30 30/30.

Valuation of Jade Golems

Below is a table showing the stats of the first 10 Jade Golems, and their approximate mana worth. The mana calculations are made comparing the Jade Golem statlines to currently existing vanilla minions like River Crocolisk and Chillwind Yeti. It is noteworthy that no vanilla 9-drop currently exists, but a 9/9 or any vanilla 18 point minion should be worth 9 mana, given the benchmarks for vanilla 8 (Eldritch Horror) and vanilla 10-drops (Faceless Behemoth).

Jade Golem Stats Mana Worth
1 1/1 0
2 2/2 1.5
3 3/3 2.5
4 4/4 3.5
5 5/5 4.5
6 6/6 5.5
7 7/7 7
8 8/8 8
9 9/9 9
10 10/10 10

Triclass Neutrals

  • Jade Spirit – 4 mana 2/3 + 1 Jade Golem
    • Jade Spirit is a River Crocolisk that costs 4. Hence, it costs 2 mana to summon this Jade Golem.
  • Aya Blackpaw – 6 mana 5/3 + 2 Jade Golems
    • The leader of the Jade Lotus has an underwhelming 5/3 body, which costs about 3.5 mana. The ability to summon 2 Jade Golems across the -2.5 anti-tempo makes each of her Jade Golems cost 1.25 mana.
This picture doesn’t show how small Aya Blackpaw is.

Druid Cards

File:Jade Behemoth(49718).png
“Elephants guide me”
  • Jade Blossom – 3 mana Wild Growth + 1 Jade Golem
    • Jade Blossom is simply a Wild Growth (+ empty mana crystal) that costs 1 more than it should, so the Jade Golem here clearly costs 1 mana.
  • Jade Behemoth – 6 mana 3/6 Taunt + 1 Jade Golem
    • The 3/6 Taunt is a unique distribution, but should cost 4.5 mana, as it is just a tad better than Tazdingo. Hence, this Jade Golem costs 1.5 mana.
  • Jade Idol – 1 mana Reshuffle 3 into deck or + 1 Jade Golem
    • Jade Idol is easily a staple of any future Jade Druid deck, as it allows the deck to proliferate to an infinite number of Jade Golems to be summoned. At most, this card will only cost 1 mana for the first Jade Golem to be summoned, and be worth playing for Jade Golem #2.

Rogue Cards

A lot of weapons for a 1/1.
  • Jade Swarmer – 2 mana 1/1 Stealth + 1 Jade Golem
    • A 1/1 Stealth is worth less than 1 mana, but the Stealth actually has value, as it allows a Jade Golem deathrattle to trigger later. I’d say this overall package is worth 1 mana, so the Jade Golem costs 1.
  • Jade Shuriken – 2 mana 2 dmg + 1 Jade Golem
    • Jade Shuriken hits like Arcane Shot, so the Jade Golem costs 1. This noticeably has to be played as a Combo for the Jade Golem, so it isn’t guaranteed on every play.

Shaman Cards

File:Jade Chieftain(49720).png
Awkward when this guy has to work for a Pandaren.
  • Jade Lightning – 4 mana 4 dmg + 1 Jade Golem
    • Direct damage spells that do 3 damage typically cost 2 mana, with things like Quick Shot, Frostbolt, Lightning Bolt, and an average Eviscerate. Wild Shaman spell, Crackle, averages 4.5 damage with a cost of 2 + 1 Overload. As such, Jade Lightning is overcosted about 1.5 mana.
  • Jade Chieftain – 7 mana 5/5 + 1 Jade Golem with Taunt
    • Taunt is a worth a point, no matter who gets it. So the Chieftain is sorta like a 5/6 or a 6/5, meaning it costs 5, and the Jade Golem is a costly 2 mana.
  • Jade Claw – 2 mana 2/2 weapon (1) Overload + 1 Jade Golem
    • Stormforged Axe is a Shaman weapon that costs the same but is a 2/3. So if the Jade Claw makes the 2nd Jade Golem, it breaks even with Stormforged Axe. Let’s just say this makes a Jade Golem that costs .5 mana.

Example of Jade Golem Usage

Let’s say you are building a Jade Rogue deck. You run 2x Jade Swarmer, 2x Jade Shuriken, 2x Jade Spirit, and an Aya Blackpaw for max Jade. The Jade Shuriken can only be used once unless it is duplicated by a Thistle Tea. You can run 2x Shadowstep and 2x Gadgetzan Ferryman to take advantage of Jade Battlecries in Jade Spirit and Aya Blackpaw. Further, you can run 2x Unearthed Raptor for the Jade Deathrattles. This equals 14 Jade Golems. Jade Swarmer is about 1 mana anti-tempo, and Jade Shuriken is a little less. Jade Spirit costs 2 extra, and Aya Blackpaw about 2.5 mana. But 14 Jade Golems is over 100 points worth of stuff. This is even before you throw in Brann Bronzebeard for more Jade Golems. This early overpay seems to be well-worth the massive mana gain in Jade Golems in the late game. The question is striking the balance between having deck staples versus making a massive Jade Golem army.