Hello everyone! I’m RidiculousHat from the Coin Concede podcast and I’m here to give you this week’s Hearthstone Roundup.
So what happened this week?
There’s some big news – we received a big update today from Team 5 called In The Works, which is their first major blog article that recaps many of the developments coming to Hearthstone in the next few months. There’s a lot to digest here! Let’s break it down.
- The state of the meta is discussed and deemed to be currently healthy. There are effective decks from all classes and significant deck diversity. No changes to the current meta are planned.
- Giggling Inventor is listed as a card to watch and quite popular, but indicated that it’s meant to be strong and is currently not slated to change.
- Wild is laid out as a format that’s similar to Standard but with a higher power level and the post is formatted more as a question to the community than an answer about what wild is supposed to be. The devs are curious to hear community feedback about what the format could and should be, so they’re asking us!
- 4 new cards are being added to the Classic set next month to replace the space left by hall of famed cards. They are all on the simpler side mechanically and are primarily meant to introduce players to class themes.
- The new player experience is being specifically addressed with an added New Player ranked ladder from ranks 50 to 26! Note that these ranks are only accessible for brand new players to the game – and once you hit rank 25 once, you will never see the lower ranks again. These ranks are meant to be less competitive, do not take away stars for game losses, and include rewards at certain ranked tiers (with details to be announced in the future). This experience is opt-out for new accounts if you don’t want to try it, but should allow a more gentle experience for players just learning how Hearthstone works.
- The In-game “Tournament Mode" functionality that was previously discussed as coming to the client has been placed on hold, as the feature profile that they’d developed did not integrate well with the client and the current Hearthstone experience. The feature is on hold indefinitely as of right now.
- There’s discussion of some improvements to Fireside Gatherings including additional Fireside Brawls that tournament organizers can choose to include.
- Tickets are on sale for the HCT Fall Championship in LA mid-October.
The Welcome Bundle is getting revamped, and version 2.0 keeps the same price and pack payout but offers you a Classic Legendary Dragon instead of a class legendary. You can buy this one if you bought the last one!
- Finally, Hallow’s End is returning to the game on October 17th, bringing back dual-class arena and funny costumes for your character portraits. This year, there are more “tricks and treats" for us… including a purchaseable Paladin hero portrait for Sir Annoy-O, a new knight of the (annoying) round table!
Whew – there’s a lot going on here! Feel free to read the whole article linked here and let us know what you think in the comments.
In addition, if you’re looking for some more insight into the state of the meta, Dean “Iksar" Ayala speaks with IGN about the nature of how the game is balanced and current class performance as well as the power of cards like King Togwaggle and Giggling Inventor. This is a deeper nuts-and-bolts dive into how the game is balanced, so if you’re curious about this sort of thing, check it out!
That’s a lot of tournament info. What if I just want to hop on and play something competitive?
Well, we’ve talked about an aggressive deck and a midrange deck… let’s talk about control. In this case, let’s talk about Odd Control Warrior. This is more advanced than our previous builds and definitely more on the expensive side, but it’s definitely worth it.
Theo’s Odd Warrior is very similar to ZachO’s original build, which has been the staple list for this archetype for this expansion- and it is quite strong. While the deck is somewhat poor against inevitable combo strategies like Togwaggle Druid or any deck with Deathstalker Rexxar in it, it makes up for it with the incredible matchup against aggressive strategies. Zoo, Odd Rogue, Odd Paladin… it beats them all handily and has no trouble clearing the board and armoring to near-invincibility.
The secret to playing this deck is a lot of patience. Almost always, your strategy is just to wait and press the button. Gaining 4 armor a turn really stacks up a lot over time, and when it’s not good enough, you have a deck filled with removal. If they play a single big minion, you Shield Slam it. If they play two, you Supercollider them together. If they develop a wide board, you can Brawl or Reckless Flurry to clear it up and then start gaining armor back. It feels suffocatingly powerful when the screws start to tighten and hopeless for the aggressive deck just watching your life total tick up turn after turn.
On the other hand, if you are impatient with your removal, you may find yourself seeing that armor drop off at an alarming rate. If you Shield Slam the turn 4 Twilight Drake, you may lose to the turn 5 Mountain Giant. If you Owl the turn 3 Devilsaur Egg, you may lose when the Savannah Highmane gets Carnivorous Cubed. All of these things require quite a bit of patience, and generally the rule I recommend is to avoid using removal until you’re taking 8 or more damage a turn or unless your life total is getting into the range of dying on the next turn.
If you’re against a class that typically plays big stuff quickly, you’re going to keep Shield Slam. Against decks that go wider, it’s pretty reasonable to keep a Reckless Flurry or a Brawl. You will almost always keep Stonehill Defender and Dyn-O-Matic just to control the board in the middle of the game. And Direhorn Hatchling is a great card, but be aware – if you and your opponent are planning to go to fatigue (like in the mirror match), don’t play it until you can kill it yourself! Your opponent will be saving Ironbeak Owl for your Hatchlings and you should do the same for theirs. The game will come down to who fatigues first, and you very much don’t want it to be you.
Is there a budget option?
Unfortunately you’re going to be stuck with quite a few of the expensive cards, as you can’t really get away from Baku and quite a few epics. Still, we have a cheaper list to start with that doesn’t have a lot of compromises. You lose out on some of the late-game value generation of Elise and the powerful removal option of Supercollider, but if you want to try the deck without breaking the bank, this is the way to do it.
What about wacky instead of competitive?
You want wacky? This week, there’s only one real option.
Savjz came up with this super fun Quest-based Elemental Mage deck, and boy is it crazy. You can generate tons and tons of random spells to pop the quest and give you utility that your opponent can’t anticipate… and then once you get the quest reward in your hand, save the Manipulators and a couple of generated spells, play them both in one turn, and then next turn play Archmage Antonidas, a Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a 0 mana Time Warp, and a few spells to generate damage. Next turn you can play the second Apprentice and 4 Fireballs! That’s a lot of burn to the face.
You can also be a minion-based elemental deck and choose quite a few ways to play the games out. I don’t pretend to even begin to understand everything that’s happening here, but the deck is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re gonna get.
Where do you get your info?
As stated last week (and every week), check out the below sources of info.
If you only have time to check out one place, it should be the weekly Vicious Syndicate meta report, which can be found here.
What have you been playing?
Besides Savjz’ Quest Mage, I’ve been really enjoying playing Muffins’ Malygos Rogue.
You mulligan for Elven Minstrel, get Illusionist and Malygos in your hand, and then when you have the mana you can play Illiusionist, attack with a 3/1 Necrium Blade and trigger the deathrattle to get a 1/1 Malygos, Backstab your Illusionist to get another Malygos, and then double Sinister Strike is 26 damage! If you throw in a Preparation into Necrium Vial, you can get 4 Malygoses out and a single Sinister Strike hits for 23. The deck is fun, surprisingly consistent, and challenging to play. If you like Rogue and combo, give it a try.
Until next week, thanks for reading!