Are you not entertained? Well, I am. After waiting for so long, we’ve finally got our hands on Hearthstone‘s (Free) Whispers of the Old Gods and, perhaps more importantly, on the new Standard format. I’ve really been enjoying playing against different decks for a change – though I’ve also been playing against old decks dressed in new cards. It’s fun watching the community re-energized and watching everyone – pro and amateur – jump in and build both strong decks and incredibly silly ones. I think it’s fair to say that so far, Whispers of the Old Gods and the Standard format have both been successes. Of course it’s too early to come to conclusions about anything regarding the game, but the first signs are quite positive. As you’d expect, this week’s Touchstone Tavern is all about the new expansion and the new format, with an emphasis on new decks, new ideas, and premature conclusions on the format. So, let’s jump in.
Pros Pick 10 Most Powerful Cards in Whispers of the Old Gods
Just as the expansion was hitting the NA servers, pros were trying to figure out which of the new cards are the most powerful, so PC Gamer pulled together players such as Elky, Rdu, Orange, Powder, and more to see which cards they see as the most powerful. The cards from least to most powerful were Evolve, Eternal Sentinel, Master of Evolution, Faceless Summoner, Mire Keeper, Call of the Wild, Twin Emperor Vek’lor, Fandral Staghelm, C’Thun, and Flamewreathed Faceless. If you want to check the reasoning behind these choices, go here.
This is What 100 Whispers of the Old Gods Packs Get You
This writer got 100 packs of the new expansion to keep up his tradition of buying quite a few packs. So, what he did is get 100 packs and list all that he got. 100 packs got him 342 Commons, 7 Golden Commons, 105 Rares, Golden Rares 7, 16 Epics, 1 Golden Epic, 4 Legendaries (1 Duplicate), and 1 Golden Legendary. After dusting duplicates, he got 2520 dust. His best pack had 2 Legendaries. His results match up with Hearthstone‘s average odds of 1 Legendary in every 20 packs. Does that match your pack opening experience? I got 3 Legendaries in 65 packs, so not bad. Read the whole story here.
First Impressions of WoG – Standard is Great and More
The writer of this story jumped into the new expansion for a few hours and then wrote his impressions about how the game feels after the introduction of Standard. His first impression is that he loves Standard, even though he was initially angry at Blizzard for making his GVG cards useless. He initially thought he would be a Wild player, but now he’s firmly a Standard player because it’s refreshing to see overplayed cards disappear. He’s not yet sold on C’Thun because it’s still slow and also not always an insta-kill. As for previous expansions, he doesn’t believe The Grand Tournament cards will find their way back into play because they aren’t powerful or reliable enough. And, finally, he loves Deathrattle Hunter because Princess Huhuran works great. Take a look at the whole story here.
Thijs Gives you Some Early Decks to Play With
Thijs, one of the best pro players in the game, posted quite a few decks to help players get some wins in while the meta is new. The decks include Beast Fandral Druid, Tempo Yogg Mage, Deathrattle N’Zoth Rogue, Heal Deathrattledin, C’Thun Zoo, Pirate Warrior, Deathrattle N’Zoth Hunter, Astral Druid, and more. Check them all here, but keep in mind that most of these decks aren’t the cheapest to build.
Ten Favorite Flavor Texts from Old Gods
This HearthHead article pulls together ten of the best flavor texts found in the new set. For instance, Cho’gall’s says “even after all this time, Gul’dan still makes Cho’gall go get donuts and coffee," Ancient Harbringer’s says “honey, can u run down to the store and pick up some 10 cost minions? thx," Tentacles for Arms says “That’s right. Garrosh just slapped you to death with a tentacle," and more. Read them all here for the giggles.
What the Pros Were Playing On Launch Week
If you want some quality netdecking, here are 9 decks in 9 classes from 9 pros. Those decks include a strong Midrange Hunter with Princess Huhuran and Call of the Wild starring, and Amaz’s Yogg Mage, a crazy Tempo Mage deck with a ton of spells and Yogg-Saron as the cherry on the cake. StrifeCro’s Control Paladin is not that changed from before WoG hit (with the notable exception of Ragnaros, Lightlord), and Dog’s Yogg Rogue adds Yogg-Saron as a finisher along with Xaril, Poisoned Mind. Check out all 9 decks here.
In this very interesting story, Mike Donais and Peter Whalen talk about the making of Yogg-Saron, easily the craziest of the Old Gods. The writer first talks about the development of the Old Gods. The developers originally wanted to have each God affect one of the core pillars of the game from the start of each match. C’Thun would have replaced the entire deck, N’Zoth would have affected all your minions, Y’Shaarj would have replaced your Hero Power, and Yogg-Saron would have given you extra Mana crystals. While this idea worked fine, the developers felt it limited them from a design perspective.
So, instead they went with effects that would blow players’ mind; at some point in the development process Yogg-Saron made your spells cost 1 and while it was in your deck, you only got 15 seconds to play each turn. The story goes through the various iterations in depth, and it’s an interesting read if you enjoy reading about game design. At the end, we got the Yogg-Saron we got because every other big payoff design they tried ended up being super-consistent and simply too powerful. Read the whole story here, it’s quite a fun read.
Five Decks You Should Try Playing Now
If you’ve been wondering what kind of decks you could build with the new expansion, try these 5 suggestions by HearthHead. The first is the Standard C’Thun Druid that uses Klaxxi Amber Weaver and Dark Arakkoa to build a strong C’Thun deck. The other ones are Wild N’Zoth Hunter, WOTOG Tempo Mage, Hammerer Shaman and Legend Pirate Warrior – all very entertaining decks. Check them all out here.
Zoo Warlock Still Spams the Board
Based on this story, as well as my last 3 ladder games, Zoo Warlock is still a thing in Hearthstone. While the deck lost Implosion, it got Possessed Villager, which gives you technically 2 2/2 minions for one mana, as well as Forbidden Ritual, which fills the board with 1/1 pretty early on. Add to those two cards Darkshire Councilman, the 3 mana 1/5 minion that gets +1 Attack for each minion summoned, and you can see how quickly the board can get out of control. Check out the rest of the cards here and see whether you want to try it out, too.
Meta – Meet the New (Temporary) King of the Meta, C’Thun Druid
Although it’s still pretty early to talk about a solid meta forming, there’s definitely one deck that’s shining at the moment, and that’s C’Thun Druid. As this GosuGamers story points out, last week Blizzard broke Druid players’ hearts a bit by nerfing Force of Nature, Keeper of the Grove, and Ancient of Lore. However, it more than made it up by giving them C’Thun and some very strong cultists to go along with it. If you’ve played ladder these last few days, you’ll know that C’Thun Druid is very, very popular and very strong. At the same time, though, the deck has its weaknesses; for one, it lacks good card draw. Still, the deck is fun to play and not the most difficult, although I think it will take a lot of tinkering to refine it to the point where it’s a tournament staple. Check the story and the decklist here.
Whispers of the Old Gods Should Boost Hearthstone‘s Mobile Monetization
According to this financial analysis, prior to Whispers of the Old Gods, mobile players spent much lower on the game compared to other games last year. So, Activision radically changed the gameplay to encourage players to keep buying new cards. With old cards not being played much, mobile players should be spending more. And that’s important for Activision since it needs stronger cash flow from Hearthstone to offset WoW‘s decline. It’s always interesting when you look at development decisions not from the eye of longevity and fun but as decisions related to monetization. Check out the whole story here.
Hearthstone Now Has 50 Million Players
Blizzard’s “small project" has definitely evolved. According to a press release ahead of the launch of Whispers of the Old Gods, Hearthstone now has over 50 million players, and that’s a crazy number. You have to keep in mind that this started off as a side project within the company, but it’s definitely not that anymore. Just a couple of months ago, Hearthstone had around 40 million players, so the game is growing fast. Check out the whole story here.
Shaman Has Evolved
Amaz Vs Forsen in WoG
Aviana and Fandral Work Well Together
Best of Yogg-Saron
Funny and Lucky Moments #163
WTF Moments With C’Thun
Kibler’s Deathwing Dream Turn
Kripp’s and Yogg’s Crazy Night
Kolento’s N’Zoth Paladin
WoG Funny Moments
Funny and Lucky Moments #164
Trump’s Full WoG Review
420 WoG Packs Opening
Shifter Zerus Rocks
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, although with all the recent changes to the game, we’ll probably be updating our guides.