Hello everyone and welcome to our pre-holiday Touchstone Tavern, our weekly roundup of the best Hearthstone (Free) news and videos. As to be expected, most of the stories this week are still about the effect of Gadgetzan on the game, be that in terms of how the meta has changed or how the game feels after the influx of the 132 new cards. There’s an interesting article on how Patches the Pirate came to be as well as an article on how to beat that scummy Pirate. Overall, most players seem to be happy with the current state of the game, and that’s great because the game needed a nice boost of positivity after the last few months. And as to be expected, we won’t be publishing a Touchstone Tavern next Monday because Christmas, of course. Let us begin.
A Cheap Deck for Pirate Warrior
Pirate Warrior is admittedly the most powerful deck currently, although I have a hunch that won’t be the case for long. This story talks about the dominance of that deck and the one deck the writer has found great success with against Pirate Warrior. The deck is a Beast Druid that doesn’t even use any of the Gadgetzan cards. He goes on to talk in depth about the deck’s key cards and how to go about piloting it to beat Pirate Warrior.
How Patches the Pirate was Made
Patches the Pirate is definitely a controversial card at the moment (Reynad really dislikes its design), but no one can dispute its importance in the meta. This story is an interview with senior game designer Matt Place about the design process behind this handsome devil. Place said they knew the card’s crazy potential and took almost two years balancing it. The card was initially a 1/1 dragon in Blackrock Mountain Adventure that popped out of the deck once you played the first dragon. The card wasn’t a legendary, though, so it was just too strong. Then it almost made it as part of The Grand Tournament – when it was a 2/1 Legendary Pirate before it was a 1/1 with Charge – but there were still balancing issues.
The problem was the synergies with some of the older cards, so they cut it again, although the idea of the card remained alive in one form or another. Place feels that the card is meeting expectations at the moment but are waiting to see how it plays out. There’s plenty more information about Patches in the story, so check it out here.
This article reviews the latest expansion (which is always a peculiar act so close to the set’s release) and gives it a 4/5 because of how it develops the meta while breathing some life into older decks that haven’t seen the light of day in quite some time. The writer goes into depth on many of the deck archetypes currently being played and talks about how much fun most of them are. What would you give the review if you had to give it a score right now?
Blizzard Job Advert Sheds Light on Design Process
A recent job advert to join Hearthstone‘s design team offers a nice insight on how they design the game. It talks about how Hearthstone card design is broken down in two major categories: initial design (responsible for flavor and story of the cards as well as early cost pass) and final design (making sure cards and decks are fun, intuitive, clear and balanced as well as try to guess what the meta will be like). The new position is for a final designer (if you’re interested in it), but it’s good to see the ins and outs of how the team designs the cards.
Best Gadgetzan Arena Cards
If you’re an Arena player, you should check out this story on which Gadgetzan cards do best in Arena at the moment. For Neutral cards, the top 5 are Bomb Squad, Hired Gun, Friendly Bartender, Mistress of Mixtures, and Toxic Sewer Ooze, for Druid Mark of the Lotus, Lotus Agents, and Celestial Dreamer, for Hunter Alleycat, Dispatch Kodo, and Trogg Beastrager, and so on. You can go here to check the whole list in detail and get up to speed regarding what cards to pick next time you play Arena. And if you’re wondering what class to pick, Tier 1 is Mage, Warlock, and Priest, Tier 2 Rogue, Tier 3 Paladin, and you should probably not pick anything below that.
Popular Standard and Wild Decks of the Week
If you’re looking for which Standard decks were the most popular on HearthPwn, check out the list here. There’s Jade Shaman, Kazakus Renolock, Piracle Rogue, Dragon Combo Priest, and many more. There’s even a Budget Climb Hunter, if you’re just looking to quickly climb the ladder. If you want Wild decks, hop over here to check out a Reverse Healing OTK deck, an Aggro Druid, a Grimy Goons Hand Paladin, and many more.
New Ads Promote Gaming in the Workplace
As we wrote about a few days ago, Blizzard released two pretty similar Hearthstone commercials that are all about taking a workplace fight “inside" into Hearthstone rather than outside. The ads are cheap-looking on purpose and have the two players cosplay as Hearthstone cards and fight it out. Not the most amazing ads Blizzard has produced but still entertaining in their own, silly way.
If you’ve been trying to figure out what deck to play to do well, stay away from Hunter and less so from Mage and Paladin. According to the Vicious Syndicate Data Reaper Report, the power level for all ranks is Pirate Warrior, Aggro Shaman, Reno Warlock, Jade Druid, Dragon Priest, Miracle Rogue, and then Reno Mage, Paladin, and Hunter. For Ranks 5 to 1, it’s Aggro Shaman, Pirate Warrior, Reno Warlock, Jade Druid, and Miracle Rogue, and for Legend, Aggro Shaman rocks with Miracle Rogue and Pirate Warrior following. You should check out this meta report because it has a ton of useful info like class frequency by week (useful for deciding what to play when playing ladder), matchup win rates, and much more.
Best of Jade Golem
Best of Mayor Noggenfogger
Trolden’s Funny and Lucky Moments #205
WTF Moments #63
Kripp Perfects Jade Shaman
Trump’s Reno Priest
Kibler on Jade Druid Killing Control
Trump’s Anyfin Paladin
Forsen Takes on Pavel
Top 5 Gadgetzan Combos
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, so check out our guides.