Category Archives: Card

Thanks to HearthPwn, we have a spy inside Blizzard's Headquarters, or at least one that's able to "decrypt" the company's secret code (not so secret, but I like the whole Bond metaphor here). A couple of months ago, we wrote about how HearthPwn's datamining revealed references to a possible Hearthstone [Free] Co-Op mode, and now HearthPwn has done the same magic on the most recent patch and unveiled much more info on the upcoming Co-Op Tavern Brawl. We now know that Gearmaster Mechazod will be the Co-Op Tavern Brawl Boss, and he'll have 95 Health, 2 Attack, a mana cost of 10, and the best mustache I've seen recently. He might be a hipster Boss, which makes him even more dangerous. His text states that "Mechazod wins if he defeats either of you!" which clearly points to a Co-Op battle against Hipster guy...

If You Like Baseball, Robots, And Cards, the Upcoming 'Baseball Highlights: 2045' Was Made For You

As you've probably guessed by now if you've read my Touchstone Tavern columns, I like card games, both digital and physical. What I don't care much about is Baseball for too many reasons to list now. However, I couldn't ignore Baseball Highlights: 2045, an upcoming card game whose conceit is all about people finding ways to spice up America's pastime. According to the game's setting, American baseball is on its last leg as a spectator sport with football taking over as the predominant national pastime. That is until 2032 when baseball is revolutionized with the addition of pitchers with bionic arms (called 'Borgs) and robots at bat to counter the 'Borgs. The Naturals (humans) are still in the game by 2045, and they are the best fielders. Now tell me, doesn't that sound like the perfect solution for making Baseball more action-packed? After all, robots at bat won't take what seems like forever fixing their gloves before swinging...




Well, last week I asked for a different type of Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl than the one Blizzard had given us; I was tired of having to make my own deck, even if the actual rules were fun. Apparently, Blizzard reads my stuff because this week's Tavern Brawl, Randomonium, is all about random cards and even more randomness on top of that. This week you'll get to play under a heavy manastorm where you'll choose a class, get random cards, and then each turn your cards' cost is randomized. In other words, RNG on RNG, which is precisely what I enjoy in Tavern Brawls. I know some of you prefer more strategic Brawls, but I get my strategic fix on Ladder and Arena. In my Brawls, I want mayhem on top of mayhem with some more mayhem sprinkled on top. So, I like the rules of Randomonium quite a bit...

If you've been following the Hearthstone [Free] Meta ever since Blackrock Mountain Adventure, you'll know that the Patron Warrior deck has dominated the meta for probably longer than any previous deck in the short history of this game. Well, all that's about to change as Blizzard has just announced that it's nerfing Warsong Commander, an essential cog in the Patron Warrior machine, to the point where the card will be unrecognizable. Before this nerf, Warsong Commander gave Charge whenever you summoned a minion with 3 or less Attack. When the patch hits, the card will read "Your Charge minions have +1 Attack." What that means is that Blizzard has pretty much killed Patron Warrior's ability to send numerous Grim Patrons your way, pretty much removed one of the worst One-Turn-Kill offenders in Hearthstone...

It's only been a a month and a bit since The Grand Tournament, Hearthstone's [Free] most recent expansion, hit our devices, but we are all craving for more content already, especially with Mr. Grim Patron, of the Patron Warrior clan, dominating the meta to the point where it's become too predictable. Well, it looks like we might be getting some news about new content soon. As Hearthpwn has noted, one of the Blizzcon Hearthstone panels seems especially intriguing. Called "Hearthstone: What's Next," it invites all attendees to "hear a tale of adventures yet to come!" I don't think it's a stretch by any means to expect at least hints about an upcoming adventure, which would be the third after Curse of Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain...

A new CCG you say? On the App Store? It can't be! Ok, you get the point, another CCG has joined the fray, but this one's offers a different experience from the king of the hill, Hearthstone [Free]. Battle Decks [Free] was developed by Codemasters (developers of the new versions of Operation Flashpoint) and is published by Chillingo, and tries to blend CCG mechanics with a 3D battlefield. Battle Decks in a way mixes Hearthstone and an older classic, Hero Academy [Free] in that you don't only have to play a card against your opponent, you can also choose where on the board to play that card. That kind of mechanic creates very different strategies because when placement matters, your whole thinking needs to change, especially when ranged units take part in a battle. Judging from the trailer, cards will summon 3D units that will then fight on the battlefield according to their strengths and weaknesses...

The card game Sentinels of the Multiverse [$6.99] is often praised as a great co-op game with players joining forces (and decks) to fight against various villains. So, when its digital version hit the App Store almost exactly a year ago, many were disappointed to find that the game only had a single-player mode. Fear not, though, because Handelabra Games is about to remedy this (understandable) issue next week when the multiplayer update will finally be released. The update will be part of a huge 'Sentinels of the Multiversary Party' to celebrate the one year anniversary of the digital edition. If all goes as planned, the update will release at some point on October 16th, so not long to wait if you've been itching to start playing the game with online friends...

Strategy Card Game 'Chronicle: Runescape Legends' Looks Promising, Closed Beta Coming Soon

Another day, another card game, but this one looks like it's charting its own path away from the likes of Hearthstone, and that's a good thing in my books. Chronicle: Runescape Legends is an upcoming CCG based on the Runescape MMO, and it's promising an interesting new twist on the CCG formula. CRL offers expansive deck building with hundreds of unique cards (unsurprising since it is a card game after all), an offline mode called Gauntlet (which I know will please all those who clamor for good, offline games), crafting tools and much more. Like Blizzard's Hearthstone, CRL is bringing the lore and characters of an MMO into another genre and building CCG systems on top of them...

Solforge [Free], Stoneblade's innovative CCG that went the digital-only route even before Hearthstone came out, is heading for a major overhaul in the next few months as it moves from beta to full release. If you haven't played Solforge before, this CCG has a smart leveling system where each card has 3 (or 4) levels, and every time you play a card, it levels up. That way, strategies are very different than most other CCGs because you're always making difficult decisions regarding which card to play and at what point in order to level the cards you want. According to the latest update from the developers, Stoneblade has finally realized the need for a timer in the game (many players famously waited for the twenty-minute timer to tick down as often as they could). When the full game comes out, it will have a turn timer with a reserve bank that will push players to play faster without punishing them during those tricky turns what might require more thinking...

'Dominion' Has Been Submitted to Apple - No, Seriously, It Has

After a very long journey with more hills than valleys, Dominion should be hitting our mobile devices relatively soon (Apple permitted) since according to BoardGameGeek, the game has been submitted to Apple. Keep in mind that the developers have said this is the "first" submission, so there's probably still work to be done before the game's ready. If you don't know much about Dominion, this card game designed by Donald X. Vaccarino is seen by many as the grandfather of deck-building card games, and even though many find it a bit on the boring side, no one can deny its influence on the genre. Back in 2012, Goko Games tried to introduce the world to HTML-5 based gaming and decided to use Dominion as its flagship game. Sadly, the game's launch was terrible and the game was immediately pulled. And we've been waiting ever since for Dominion to once more appear on our mobile devices...

After a few weeks of repeat performances and build-your-own-deck Tavern Brawls, Hearthstone [Free] developers have finally given us a Brawl with pre-made decks we haven't seen before, and I'm actually enjoying this one. As you can imagine, this one is pretty much a Mech battle, and you'll play as either Boom Bot or Annoy-o-Tron. Annoy-o-Tron's Hero Power gives the lowest attack minion Taunt and Divine Shield and Boom-Bot's deals one damage to two random enemies. As you can guess, if you happen to play on the Boom Bot side, you'll get Dr. Boom, not a bad little guy that one. Unlike the last few Brawls, BB Vs AT offers pre-constructed decks, something many were asking for because it allows people without strong collections to compete with the rest...

When it comes to people like me, there's no such thing as "too much" Lovecraftian horror. I love to rep H.P. and the Big C whenever I can. There is just something so wonderfully visceral and imaginative about eldritch horror. Clearly, I'm not the only one who has been sucked into this particular abyss. We've already had a few solid mobile outings for Cthulhu and his gang of incomprehensible amorphous ungodly powerful monstrosities, such as Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land [$4.99], and a port of the phenomenally insane board game Elder Sign: Omens [$3.99 / $6.99 (HD)]. Technically we've had this game since December of 2013, but it's recently been re-launched in its final form with a happening new icon and complete feature list. I give you The Moaning Words [Free]...

'Sage Solitaire' Review - My Sage Advice is to Play This Game

Zach Gage's Sage Solitaire [Free] is a fantastic example of how to make a mobile card game that's unique, fast, and strategic. This is a solitaire card game where you play by default with a deck of cards laid out into 9 stacks on a 3x3 grid, with more cards in the top stacks than the middle than in the lower stacks. You make matches based on some poker hands – two pair is not included – and get points for each match. The rub is that matches have to be made between cards that are on at least two different rows, so you can't play two horizontally adjacent cards. There are 51 cards in total to get through, with one card discarded at the beginning of the game and used to determine the bonus suit, which doubles the point value of any hand made with it. You can trash a card at any time, with each hand you play giving you a new trash. Because of the two-rows requirement, it's possible for any game to end with one ill-fated play, so using your big matches and trashes wisely is important...

Finally, a new Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl! Ok, it hasn't really been that long, but I do enjoy my Brawls fresh out of the oven rather than reheated in the microwave. This week's Brawl is all about the underdog since each turn whichever player is losing by 3 or more health gets a random minion. RNG galore, of course, but isn't that the fun part of Tavern Brawl? After all, not much to lose and not much to gain either. Now, the interesting part of this Brawl is that in Hearthstone health doesn't always match up with who's winning. You could have less health than your opponent and still be way ahead because of board control. Also, if you are playing a Warlock deck, you'll most probably be down on health but up on board control, a situation that will become even worse for your opponent once the extra minions start rallying to your side...

So, a funny thing happened today. Remember a couple of months ago when Hearthstone's [Free] Too Many Portals Tavern Brawl was briefly the wrong Tavern Brawl? Well, this week's Tavern Brawl is Too Many Portals, and guess what?? It actually wasn't when the Brawl started. Instead, we actually got the webspinners one, to many players' dismay. I have no idea why portals are always messing up Blizzard's plans, but I'm guessing there's some kind of magical energy remnants affecting Blizzard's computers, or someone really hates portals. If it's anything like the previous mix-up, you can only earn one pack, so pick your Brawl accordingly...

Hearthstone's [Free] new Tavern Brawl has opened its gates, and it's a fun one. The Double Deathratller Battler is all about, of course, Deathrattles. Like last week's Brawl, you get to make your own deck and then head to battle. The rules are pretty simple this week as any minion with Deathrattle will trigger twice, which creates all kinds of fun if you are playing the right deck. Personally, I couldn't resist the tempation of bringing a couple of Dreadsteeds along the way just for the fun of it, and, as I expected, I quickly ran out of space on my board for my little horses. Another good deck idea is running a couple of Mad Scientists so you can create your own Christmas Tree Hero with all the secrets you can get into the battlefield once he dies...

Touchstone Tavern #15 - Your Weekly 'Hearthstone' News Roundup

This is a fun time to be playing Hearthstone [Free], isn't it? With all the new cards that appear to be shaking things up and all the players trying to figure out what should go where and why, the game is all alive again (in my best Dr. Frankenstein voice). I've been playing the game quite a lot this last week, and I've been enjoying both the ladder and the casual games. I still haven't figured out how much and in what way the meta has changed, but I do know that it feels different enough to be more enjoyable than it was before The Grand Tournament came out. I've also had a fun time going back to Blackrock Mountain Adventure and Curse of Naxxramas and playing those challenges with my new TGT-infused decks; they really break the challenges. Okay, let's see what news this week brought us, shall we?..

Many of you probably remember the conversation over whether video games are art that the Smithsonian American Art Museum Exhibition The Art of Video Games initiated a few years ago. While that conversation was...interesting and heated, what everyone agreed on was that Smithsonian's exhibition was another proof of how video games are becoming an increasingly-accepted form of entertainment (and, perhaps, of art), a wonderful moment in time if you belong to the generation whose parents saw video games as an addiction (to be remedied through an abundance of homework) and a waste of time...

Touchstone Tavern #14 - Your Weekly 'Hearthstone' News Roundup

And it's out, finally! As of last Monday, we've all started playing with Hearthstone's [Free] new toys, the 132-card The Grand Tournament expansion which has been welcomed by most players as it has given us new ways to play the game, new deck ideas to think about, and in general, made the game more fun. Now, I don't know whether TGT will radically change the meta or whether we'll just see a few cards fitting into existing decks; it's really too early to tell that because we'll need to wait until the dust settles and new decks are designed, put to the test, and seen how they fare. I'm hopeful that we won't go back to the Face Hunter domination of old, but I'm slightly worried that Patron Warrior decks will still dominate, especially if that Mr. Frothing Berserker doesn't get a nerf soon...

TEKKEN Card Tournament [Free] was Bandai Namco's attempt to rethink the TEKKEN fighting games by turning the action fighting games into a card fighting game. Although not too many people talk about the game currently, it actually has great reviews on the App Store, so Bandai Namco's attempt was apparently well-executed. By making the game F2P with IAPs, Bandai Namco was probably hoping that TEKKEN Card Tournament would benefit from the popularity of its sister fighting game and become a strong source of revenue. Alas, as a VentureBeat article points out, that was not to be. TEKKEN Card Tournament, which went live in 2013, has broken into the 1000 highest-grossing iPhone apps only in eight countries, none of them countries with big spenders. Therefore, Bandai Namco decided to reach over into the physical world to summon some help for its card battler...

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