Category Archives: Card

Clash Royale [Free] players have been complaining about Elite Barbarians being way too powerful ever since the new unit joined the game, and today Supercell has finally nerfed them by decreasing the hitpoints and damage by 4%. The unit did see a small increase in the hit speed from 1.4 to 1.5sec. Going by the many reddit comments, the nerf hasn't really hurt the Elite Barbarians in a substantial way, though that remains to be seen. The other big nerf in today's balance changes is Zap's damage getting reduced by 6%. Zap is one of the most used cards in the game, so the developers are hoping this nerf will bring the spell down a notch and make other similar spells playable again...

Buccaneer Nerf Coming(?), Gadgetzan's Effect, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #81

Hello Hearthstone [Free] players and welcome to another news and videos weekly roundup here at TouchArcade. I hope you've been enjoying your play and, hopefully, haven't been encountering too many Pirates along the way. This week we have some more talk on Gadgetzan and its effects, some interesting meta discussions, and, of course, some fun videos. I don't remember any other expansion creating so much talk post-release as Gadgetzan has, not so much in terms of intensity but in terms of how many different topics it seems to have generated. From talk about Pirates to discussions on Control decks to much more, this has been quite an interesting time for the game, hasn't it? Let's jump right in, then...




Clash Royale [Free] is bringing another challenge to the game starting today, but even though it has a new name, it's a repeat of an older one. We are getting the Draft Challenge, but you knew it better as the Crown Duel Challenge. The new name is more appropriate since what you do is draft cards. The way it works is you get to pick one out of two random cards until you have four cards, but the fun part is that the cards you don't pick go to your opponent's deck. The problem, though, is that he gets to do the same, so you end up with four cards you picked and four cards your opponent picked for you. It also means you know four of your opponent's cards already...

Magic Duels [Free] continues to improve after a relatively iffy initial release, and today we got another update that added Aether Revolt, Magic the Gathering's new expansion which actually arrives tomorrow for the physical game. Aether Revolt describes the event after the Consulate's betrayal, which led to thousands of inventions being stolen and peaceful automatons turned into military enforcers. So now, the people of Kaladesh are rising up. The update is adding some pretty cool cards as well as some new mechanics like Revolt and Improvise. Cards with Revolt give you all kinds of interesting bonuses if that condition is met while spells with Improvise let you use your artifacts to help cast them...

I enjoy the challenge of a new Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl, and this week's Spellbook Duel is a brand new one that's all about Discover. In Spellbook Duel, you pick ten cards - no duplicates allowed - and then every time you get to play a card, you Discover one instead of drawing one. As you can guess, this Brawl really helps you curve out nicely since the chances of drawing a card that works for you each turn increase dramatically. The fact that no duplicates are allowed makes Reno decks great in this Brawl, especially a Kazakus one. I just played a quick match with a Kazakus mage deck with your standard Mana Wyrms, flamestrikes, and the like, and it was a steamroller since I got to draw a Kazakus almost every other turn...

A few days ago I had the opportunity to talk to game designer Dean Ayala and senior producer Yong Woo about Hearthstone's [Free] latest expansion and the game in general. I tried to put forth questions I've heard the community ask repeatedly as well as questions I had and tried to avoid the questions everyone has been asking. I started the conversation by asking about their views on how the expansion is doing and how it has affected the meta. Overall, they were glad to see the non-duplicate Mage, Priest, and Warlock decks all doing well and fleshing out their theme, especially since some of those decks weren't played that much prior to Gadgetzan. Early on the meta was filled to the brim with Pirate decks, but now they aren't that popular - although the developers are keeping a close eye on those decks...

Even though most of the world is currently covered in tons of snow, it's hot and humid in Clash Royale's [Free] new arena, the Jungle Arena. As we wrote a month back, Jungle Arena unlocks at 2600 Trophies and is pretty cool looking. The new arena has an Indiana Jones-treasure exploring vibe to it and feels quite different from earlier arenas. When you get into overtime while playing in the Jungle Arena, you get a nice torrential downpour that really makes the Arena come alive. Many reddit users liked this new Overtime feature and hope that other Arenas get the same treatment in the near future...

A few days back, Ben Brode talked about the Hearthstone [Free] team's wish to make more Designer Insights to better address community concerns, so it comes as no surprise that tomorrow morning, January 13th, we are getting a brand new Designer Insights, and this one will be a live stream. Ben Brode will be joined by game designer Dean Ayala for a live Q&A at 9am PST, and they'll both address issues like the state of the game, the new player experience, the ranked play system, and any questions from players. If you want to have your questions answered, send a tweet to the official Hearthstone Twitter account using the hashtag #QA. You can also post a question here, or you can simply join the stream and ask questions there...

A couple of days ago, we talked about how Ben Brode, Hearthstone's [Free] Game Director, went on reddit to describe the steps being taken to enable the team to maintain a better communication with players in the near future. Today, Brode decided to wade into a reddit discussion about the problems of the new player experience. The discussion was specifically about how the biggest problem with the new player experience is that there's not enough separation between those just starting out and people who've been playing the game forever. Brode first talked about how they're aware of the work needed to improve the new player experience and how they've been tweaking it for years and have seen significant increases in new player retention. The team has worked a lot on improving the Casual matchmaker, which resulted in new player winrates increasing by around 15%...

Solforge [Free] was one of my favorite CCGs on mobile for quite some time even though it had a pretty bad UI and other issues as well. Despite all that, this lane-based CCG was doing the all-digital card game even before Hearthstone popped up on the scene (though the two were pretty close to each other), and for a time doing it well. Alas, it was not to last because as Justin Gary, the game's creator and lead designer, has just announced, Solforge is pulling the plug on the servers on January 31st. While I know many of you won't care about one of the many mobile CCGs biting the dust, Solforge was really fun, with some really cool design ideas and some crazy - in a good way - cards...

We knew from last week that Blizzard was going to celebrate Diablo's 20th anniversary in all its games, and today the Dark Wanderer has made his appearance as this week's Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl.. First of all, this Brawl feels more like an Adventure since it's a one player affair. You get to create a deck and then take on the hooded stranger holding a grim deck in his hands. The Dark Wanderer starts the game with 3 secrets already played and the Hero Power Diabolical Powers that summons a random Imp. The secrets aren't your usual fare, so expect to see all kinds of weirdness happening (you can check out all the secrets here). And since he gets to summon Imps, the Dark Wanderer also brings many Warlock buffing cards to the table, so don't let those Imps survive for too many turns or you'll get nasty surprises...

Best of 2016 Videos, Meta Issues, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #79

Happy 2017 to one and all! I hope you've had a great little break - for those fortunate enough to have one - and are ready to face 2017. And welcome to another Touchstone Tavern, our weekly roundup of Hearthstone [Free] news and videos. This issue is coming to you one day later than usual, but even we have to pause for the New Year. And now that 2017 is officially here - though I'm sure I'll still be writing 2016 for the next few weeks - we are back in business. As you would expect, not much happened in the world of Hearthstone this past week, but there were still some interesting stories published. And, of course, we got some "best of 2016" videos as well. Without further ado, let's jump in...

Card games like Clash Royale [Free] always face the challenge of providing a kind of satisfactory end game beyond the never-ending grind of leveling up or, in the case of Clash Royale, making it to yet another Arena. Well, according to this reddit post by a member of the developer team, the team has been thinking of ways to solve the "end game" of Clash Royale that goes beyond just adding another Arena in a never-ending ladder. After all, it doesn't take much for that kind of ladder to feel like a hamster wheel. He doesn't offer any hints on how that end game might look like, and, to be honest, it's hard to imagine how it could be. Still, I think most players will be glad to know the developers are trying to figure out how the game should "end."..

Clash Royale [Free] is getting ready to welcome another unit to the game just before 2016 finally says goodbye to us all, and that unit is the Legendary Electro Wizard. This 4 Elixir card enters the Arena with a zap that takes out units below and clears some space for the Electro Wizard to land safely. At Level 1, he has 550 HP, 200 Damage, 117 DPS, 169 Spawn Damage, and 0.5 sec Stun Duration. He can hit both Ground and Air targets, and the most interesting part of his attack is that he can zap two targets at the same time, which you can see in the video below. His two-handed zap ability makes him harder to distract because he can still attack a tower while also taking out a Tesla or Inferno Tower. Add to that his ability to stun what he hits, and you can see why some are worried this new unit might be too overpowered...

Shadowverse [Free] is easily one of the best CCGs on mobile right now, and it has managed to stand apart from the juggernaut that is Hearthstone despite their similarities. Today, Shadowverse's card collection has grown because of the addition of the new expansion called Rise of Bahamut. You can see all the cards from Rise of Bahamut here and either admire or hate the art depending on your taste. I like it personally because it feels different enough from other CCGs I play - although I know there are plenty others that use similar art. The new expansion brings new mechanics to the game, such as Enchance and Clash, and should entertain the game's players quite a bit...

Hearthstone [Free] is using a portal to go back in time this week - specifically back to August - and bring the Party Portals Tavern Brawl back. This Brawl came out in the middle of One Night in Karazhan adventure and brought along some of the adventure's festive flavor. Party Portals fills up your deck with various portals that let you deal damage and summon a minion, heal and summon a minion, gain armor and summon a minion, buff a minion and summon another minion, add a random minion to your hand but reduce its cost, and summon a random Partygoer (you can check out all the Portals here). As you can tell, there's a lot of minion summoning in this one. I still love the fairytale theme of Karazhan, so I enjoy seeing cards like Red Riding Hood and Romulo hit the board...

My fondness for Blizzard's Diablo goes back decades when me and my brother battled through all those dungeons to take the final boss down. Those were good times, and realizing that this year Blizzard is celebrating 20 years of that fantastic game makes me feel quite old. The original game was released on December 31, and with that day fast approaching, Blizzard has decided to celebrate the anniversary by sprinkling in-game events and goodies in all its games, including Hearthstone [Free]. As to be expected, these events will only be around for a limited time, so make sure you jump in once they're live...

Patches Good for the Meta (?), Card-Draw RNG, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #78

Welcome one and all to another Touchstone Tavern, our weekly column on everything and anything Hearthstone [Free]. I hope you've been enjoying your holidays and your rest - if you've been lucky enough to have some of that. And, of course, I hope you've had the opportunity to play Hearthstone more than usual; if you have, then you've probably seen plenty of Pirate Warriors and, increasingly, our old friend, Mr. Midrange Shaman. As you can imagine, this past week (and a bit) hasn't been the most eventful in the world of Hearthstone, but there's still news to talk about and plenty of videos to watch. Without further ado, let's jump in then, shall we?..

This week's Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl is all about the curve. Clockwork Card Dealer, which we've seen a couple of times in the past, uses these amazing contraptions that on each turn ensure you draw a card with a mana cost equal to the mana you have on that turn. In other words, on turn one, you'll draw a 1-mana card, on turn two, a 2-mana card, and so on. As you can guess, you can very easily build a deck that takes advantage of the Brawl rules and ensures you get the card you need each turn. Of course, it's not that easy if you don't have a good collection because you can be sure that players with expensive legendaries will get to draw them exactly when they want them, provided they're still alive...

Obsidian said that Pathfinder Adventures' [Free] Deck 6 was almost here, and it was speaking truth because the latest update just brought Spires of Xin-Shalast to us just in time for the holidays. Deck 6 brings 5 new scenarios to the game, including the conclusion to the Rise of the Runelords adventure, 4 new locations, 4 new maps, over 40 new monsters, villains, and henchmen, and, of course, tons more weapons, spells, loots, and so on. The update also brings character equipment sets where characters have alternate versions you can purchase in the store and each alt has alternate art. You can see the slight differences between the alts and the original characters in terms of stats here...

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