So, did you enjoy running around the Temple of Orsis? I did. Hearthstone‘s (Free) new Adventure, League of Explorers (LoE), was all I expected it to be – fun, challenging, and rewarding. I had fun playing it, I had fun writing a Guide about it, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have fun playing with the new cards I got. From what I’ve been hearing around the web, pretty much everyone is happy with the new Adventure so far, which is a refreshing change after all the complaints about the game floating around the internet recently. As much fun as LoE is, the Hearthstone world doesn’t stop even for a new Adventure. This week we have pros talking about the state of the game, about the role of RNG, we have guides on how to maximize your gold from quests, decks that might be borne out of the new cards, a poker star joining a Hearthstone pro team, tournament news, and much more. So (to be topical), jump on the minecart and let’s roll deeper into the world of Hearthstone.
League of Explorers Temple of Orsis Was Fun!
The first LoE Wing has come and gone, and we got to see how different this Adventure feels from previous ones, especially in the last “battle" of the Wing, Temple Escape. While the first two parts of the Adventure, Zinaar and Sun Raider Phaerix, were quite fun but not that different from previous Adventures, Temple Escape felt very different because you were fighting against time rather than an opponent. So, you had to use different strategies and different plays than in most other Hearthstone matches. The production values were, of course, top notch, and I really enjoyed the Indiana Jones’ references and general feel of the adventure. Overall, Blizzard has knocked this one out of the park so far, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store. If you want to read more about the Adventure as well as read tips and tricks on how to defeat the Wing quickly and efficiently, go to our LoE Guide.
League of Explorers Spoilers
If you want to have an idea of what the full schedule of LoE is – including what cards will be released in which Wing, you’ve come to the right place. We already know what Wing 1, The Temple of Orsis, included. Week 2, the Uldaman Wing, will bring Reliquary Seeker, Tunnel Trogg, Brann Bronzebeard, Fierce Monkey, Unearthed Raptor, Tomb Spider, and Ethereal Conjurer. The Paladin Class Challenge will get you Keeper of Uldaman, the Druid Class Challenge will get you Mounted Raptor, and the Priest Class Challenge will get you Excavated Evil.
Week 3 will bring us The Ruined City Wing with Murloc Tinyfin, Pit Snake, Sir Fingley Mrrggloton, Huge Toad, Gorillabot A-3, Jungle Moonkin, Naga Sea Witch, and Anyfin Can Happen. The Shaman Class Challenge will get you Everyfin is Awesome, and the Hunter Class will get you Dart Trap. The final Wing, Hall of Explorers, will get you Cursed Blade, Raven Idol, Curse of Rafaam, Museum Curator, Desert Camel, Eerie Statue, Elise Starseeker, Entomb, Wobbling Runts, Fossilized Devilsaur, and Arch-Thief Rafaam. The Rogue Class Challenge will get you Tomb Pillager, and the Mage Class Challenge will get you Animated Armor. If you want to see any or all of the LoE cards, go here.
3 Decks You Need to Beat After League of Explorers Hits
Many of us expect LoE to change the meta, but not many of us agree as to the degree it will do so. Geek and Sundry put together article on the 3 decks you might need to beat from the upcoming HoE set. First is the Druid Discover Deck that focuses on the new Discover mechanic. As you can imagine, this deck doesn’t offer much consistency because of Discover’s RNG, but it does offer plenty of flexibility. The Raven Idol lets you cheaply go the minion or the spell route depending on your needs, and cards like Mounted Raptor give you more board presence.
To stop such a deck, you’ll need to control the Tempo of the match and take advantage of how Discover cards hurt your opponent’s tempo since not only does she need to play the Discover card, she then needs to play the card that was “discovered." Also, cards like Obsidian Destroyer that spawn Taunts at the end of each turn as well as Animated Armor (that protects you from damage as long as its on the board), help you control the match.
The second deck is Battlecry Shaman deck, a deck that relies on the new emphasis placed on battlecries in this new set, especially with the Legendary Brann Bronzebeard. Cards like Bronzebeard (which triggers Battlecries twice), and Rumbling Elemental help you get more out of battlecries than before. If you want to beat such a deck, Deathrattle cards like Unearthed Raptor might help because they’ll make removing minions off the board a pain for your opponent.
Finally, the Secret Paladin deck is still an important deck even after the LoE set since we haven’t really seen any cards that will give decks based on secrets too much trouble. If you want to counter this deck, you need to go full aggro in order to win before Mysterious Challenger drops and hope that your opponent gets the Paladin secrets before playing Mysterious Challenger.
The 10 Best League of Explorers Cards According to the Pros
As with every new Adventure/Expansion, all the pros are offering their own views of the new cards and how each might affect the game. PC Gamer aggregated some of those opinions and came up with a list of the ten most influential cards of LoE according to Sjow, RDU, Firebat, Lifecoach, Kolento, Kilber, Amaz and Amnesiac, the Hearthstone subreddit, and many more sources. And the cards chosen were Brann Bronzebeard (for cards like Twilight Drake or Antique Healbot), Forgotten Torch (for decks like Freeze Mage), Keeper of Uldaman (works great both offensively and defensively), Mounted Raptor (for decks like Aggro Druid), Museum Curator (Deathrattle cards are almost always strong), Naga Sea Witch (very good for expensive decks because it can ramp up quickly), Tomb Pillager (making minion-based Rogue decks stronger), and Tunnel Trogg (because it gives Shaman decks strong early game).
Quest Guide to Help You Make the Most Gold
With more and more cards coming out of Hearthstone‘s vaults, you’ll need all the gold you can get. So, Hearthead’s guide to maximizing your gold by being as efficient as possible in the way you go about your Quests comes at a great time. Quests are the primary way to get gold in Hearthstone, so it’s important to make the most of them. Every day a random one is chosen for you, with easier (and less rewarding) quests being more probable. There are also a number of unique quests that you can only complete once, so it’s important to get those. Also, you can get 10 gold for every win up to 100 gold daily, which is important to remember if you are grinding for packs and dust.
You get one quest per day at midnight server time in your region, and if you already have 3 Quests in your log, you won’t get another until you clear at least one. Once per day you can reroll a quest by clicking on the little X at the top right of the quest (you lose any progress made towards that quest). For a full list of the quests, go here.
In order to maximize your gold, you have to be patient. Try to only reroll quests with low gold reward (40 gold for instance), and don’t rush to do all three quests because if you only do the two higher prize ones and then reroll the lower one the next day, you’ll probably get more money for the same amount of play time. Any quest 50 gold or higher you should complete. Go here for a list of all the unique quests to ensure you’ve complete all of them.
Kripparian Interview on the State of the Game
Famous caster Kripp talked to Hearthhead about the state of the game and about LoE Adventure. He thinks that the Warsong Commander nerf ended up making aggro decks even more popular than they were because combo decks keep getting nerfed. By Blizzard’s definition of what kind of deck needs to be nerfed, Secret Paladin should get the nerf hammer too since it’s really easy to play and has an extremely high win rate. In general, we need more tools to combat aggro decks, Kripp said.
He didn’t really mind Patron Warrior (he thinks the deck was nerfed to avoid having a Patron Vs Patron in pretty much every BlizzCon match). He thinks the deck had a good role in the game because if you lost, you usually did so around turn 12 rather than turn 3 or 4 that’s the case with Mysterious Challenger and aggro decks. He feels that overall, board clears in Hearthstone are too expensive compared to the aggressive minions being played. He said that even though there aren’t any good board clears in LoE, he’s still pretty excited about the Adventure, especially about Rogue which might even counter Secret Paladin. He still thinks that Shaman still isn’t getting much help, and he thinks Control Warrior should do better in Arena with cards like Obsidian Destroyer and Fierce Monkey.
Brian Kibler Talks Secret Paladin and State of the Game
Brian Kibler, the Magic the Gathering Hall of Famer, talked about Hearthstone recently, opening the conversation with the state of the game after the Warsong Commander nerf. He feels the nerf was a good one because the kind of gameplay Warsong encourages is problematic. He feels that Hearthstone‘s problem at the moment is more with individual cards than a systemic thing, the fact that we get more and more powerful cards and that cards we play don’t change that often. He said that the complaints against Secret Paladin aren’t really about the deck or the cards in it but, rather, that people play against the same sort of decks on a regular basis. It’s hard to make enough cards that will be interesting and powerful enough that players will want to use them in decks as long as the same cards that have existed for so long are still around.
He doesn’t think Secret Paladin is a problematic deck (as we can see from the Hearthstone World Championship); the deck is powerful but not problematic. He feels player will adapt to that deck soon. He thinks overall Hearthstone needs more frequent changes, perhaps in cards being changed, new content coming out, different game modes or formats and so on. Most cards in decks are still from the Classic deck, so having alternative ways to play the game, is important for Hearthstone‘s long term success. He does think that overall all the classes are playable (as seen in the World Championship), but he does think that it’s important to continue providing tools for underplayed decks like Control Rogue or Overload Shaman.
Stop Blaming RNG For Your Lack of Winning
Shevek wrote an interesting article on PC Gamer about Hearthstone and RNG claiming that most people mistakenly believe that randomness determines games and there’s little room for players to show their skills. It’s actually exactly backwards according to Shevek because a superior understanding of probability is what enables pros to be consistently at the top of the Ladder and of tournaments. They aren’t more lucky, they are just much better at taking calculated risks and setting up specific plays through very skillful plays in previous turns. RNG is not the reason players can’t climb the ladder.
Some of the misconceptions that are holding players back from improving are things like Hearthstone being an easy game. Shevek talks about how difficult and skilled game Hearthstone is, but the game itself doesn’t really communicate that because it wants to make new players feel powerful and comfortable. When Hearthstone games go wrong, it’s usually because of an early and seemingly-inconsequential decision. There’s no way a new player can look back and notice these mistakes, and the game doesn’t help him or her figure it out. This absence of constructive criticism from the game’s client makes players think that their failures are because of the game’s lack of balance and of its RNG galore.
The other misconception is that there’s virtue in playing weak decks. For Shevek, it’s much more fun playing strong decks and winning than avoiding them and complaining. Also, strategic variety is healthy, so the idea that we should only have this type of decks or shouldn’t have that type of deck is flawed. For the game to be more stylistically diverse like we all want it to, we need to be more mature as a community and not react so strongly against any strategy that’s currently dominant.
The other misconception is that you need to beat specific strong cards while what you should be thinking about is how to beat strategies. What you need to be doing is figuring out the ways a deck plays and playing the right counters at the right time to sabotage those key moves rather than focusing on removing that one card or teching just for that card. Finally, Shevek disagreed with those who want to see cards nerfed; he feels that the game suffers from not having many strong cards, not from having too many. Powerful cards are exciting and fun, so that’s what the game needs.
This Week’s Tavern Brawl Was a Slightly-Different Version of the First One
Remember Showdown at Blackrock Mountain, the Brawl that started it all? Well, we got the same one this week but with one significant change: Blizzard nerfed Nefarian (he starts with 4 rather than 5 mana) to quiet all those who said the first Brawl was too unbalanced to be fun. The result was a very entertaining Brawl that let us play with some very fancy cards and some crazy Legendaries, my kind of Brawl. Overall I had fun with this one because I do like pre-constructed decks and crazy card combos. Did you enjoy it?
Hearthstone World Championship 2016 Will Likely Have Multi-Major Circuit
According to a GosuGamers article, Blizzard might be restructuring the HWC for next year. 2014 and 2015 saw a very hands-off Blizzard where the company was only directly involved in Blizzcon. This might change, though, and we might be getting more official major events before Blizzcon. Many players weren’t happy with the way the HWC was organized this year, with some complaining about the way the HWC points were distributed and about opaque rulesets, hard to follow storylines, and so on.
Now, Blizzard might organize global majors with prize pool equal to that of the HWC itself (as it has done for Heroes of the Storm). With multiple majors, we should get the most “worthy" players in the finals because, as pro player Neilyo has said, some players were lucky to get to Blizzcon. With Hearthstone growing so rapidly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see changes happening to Blizzcon, but we’ll have to wait for an official announcement.
Poker Pro Bertrand ‘Elky’ Grospellier Joins Team Liquid
Ekly, one of the best ever Starcraft pro players, has decided to rejoin to pro gaming stop being only a pro poker player. A legend in pro gaming in his own right, Elky has also had quite a career in poker, but now he’s decided to return to pro gaming and join Team Liquid (while not really leaving pro poker). He’ll now be an ambassador for both poker and Hearthstone. It’s good that we are getting a big poker name in Hearthstone because it should help the game’s popularity even more in circles that aren’t usually filled with gamers (although that’s changing).
DreamHack Winter Switches from Conquest to Last Hero Standing
The most important event of the European circuit has decided to switch its format back to Last Hero Standing (any deck that is defeated cannot be played again, any deck that wins remains on the board for the next match) after heeding the request of professional players. The GosuGamers article talks about how Conquest has been one of the central complaints of Pro players because they see is as limiting. Since any weak link in a line-up can end up being very costly in Conquest mode (any deck that is defeated may be played again, any victorious deck cannot be used again), players are bringing a line-up of the three most dominant decks which translates to predictable and, perhaps, boring decklists. Now, Dreamhack Winter is switching to Last Hero Standing potentially for the rest of the year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the trend of switching to Last Hero Standing spreads to more tournaments.
WePlay League First Season Announced
Seeing how Hearthstone is becoming more popular, WePlay.TV decided to join the party with the first WePlay Hearthsstone League Season tournament. The group stage for the tournament starts November 16th and ends December 4th. This stage will determine who will compete in the play-offs on December 9th. The season will include 8 pro players, who will be placed into a single group to battle in round robin format with the top four players moving to the play-offs. All matches will be Last Hero Standing format with one ban. The invited players are Eloise, Kaldi, SuperSaiyan, Super_JJ, Ryzen, Xixo, Zalae, and Mr. Yagut. The prize pool for the tournament is $5,000 and will be broadcast on WePlay’s Twitch channel.
As the writers of the TempoStorm Snapshot point out this week, don’t expect any semblance of stability on the meta for the next month because of the influx of the new cards and the experimentation that is sure to follow. Many players will be running crazy decks and pretty much throwing cards around to see what sticks. Decks that will likely see an increase these few weeks won’t necessarily stay there once the meta settles, but at the same time we might see an archetype appear that might become dominant. Also, keep an open mind about the new cards because all of the people reviewing them might be wrong; you never know how well cards can work together and in which decks before you actually get a chance to play many games with them. And if you are the kind of players who likes building decks, you should be very happy right now as this is the best time to experiment.
Now to the meta. Oil Rogue has jumped all the way to the bottom of Tier 2 because of its performance on the ladder and because of how potent it was in Blizzcon. The LoE cards that are really making an impact are Reno Jackson especially with Freeze Mage because Jackson can heal you back to full. Add to that the Forgotten/Roaring Torch, and you can see how Freeze Mage is all the rage right now. Other than that, we’ve been seeing plenty of experiments, but the question everyone’s asking is whether Shaman is going to be a thing again, to which the Snapshot responds with a no, unfortunately.
Funny and Lucky Moments #137
Reno Jackson is a Superhero
Spells Only Deck Challenge
5 Weird Bugs/Interactions After LoE
Best of Doomsayer
Explorer’s Hat Challenge
Countering Secret Paladin
Kolento Plays Freeze Mage
Heroic Temple Escape
As always, we have some good resources on the site for you in case you are new to the game or simply want to sharpen up your game. There’s never such a thing as too much help in Hearthstone.