Hearthstone

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mosc
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Re: Hearthstone

Postby mosc » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:31 am UTC

A lot of taunts too. The Litch King is 8/8 for 8, has an end of turn effect, and presents an immediate removal threat not only due to it's offense but to it's card advantage... so they also needed to give it Taut. 8/8 taunt for 8 is a druid specialty that was not far out of reasonable play in many decks and they made this neutral. It's not the only one. Lots of other new minions with effects also bring taunt with them to both provide slow decks with endgame while simultaneously stopping aggro.

I'm not a fan of this expansion. The DK cards all seem necessary and they force deck constructions into a fairly slow line of play. I actually think hunter winning on turn 9 with call of the wild is about as fast as the meta gets.
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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:35 am UTC

I haven't crafted any new cards yet, but I can say that there is still a lot of room for experimentation in the meta. The best players, as usual, seem quiet regarding aggro decks, but my aggro druid has been absolutely slaying. All I did was stick in the new Crypt Lord and Druid of the Swarm in place of some old borderline cards. (I think my list had Golakka Crawler and either Druid of the Claw or Tar Creeper; can't remember the latest.) I also added the Death Knight basically just because I got it for free and it seemed neat.

Druid of the Swarm is totally busted. In the vast majority of games it is "just" a 2 mana 1/5 Taunt Beast. Six stats and taunt for two mana is absurd even without the beast tag, but now I have a new favorite Mark of Y'shaarj target. That card is so strong, I even keep it in my mulligan now. And the fact that I can produce a poisonous beast instead if my Crypt Lord is already handling the situation is just icing on the cake. I really think this advance to an already tier-1 decklist is not to be ignored.

I'm not sure Malfurion the Pestilent is actually a good card in this deck, but I'm not taking him out yet. Expensive value cards are not really what an aggro deck wants, but like all hero cards, this is so powerful that it seems worth inclusion anyway. For my purposes, it basically gives me 2 taunting beasts plus an extra 2 damage a turn for the rest of the game. It's hard to really say that isn't worth the mana.

I'm still only rank 3, but I've just been fucking around completing quests. I really think the grind to legend would not take long with a deck like this.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Chen » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:56 am UTC

Agro token druid is ridiculously strong right now. Those 5 health bodies it spawn make it very hard to remove them all and then you get hit with a mark of the lotus/power of the wild/savage roar and get wrecked. Forget the new bolster on a stick they have as well. Jade ramp druid and other slow decks are also quite strong, but even pirate warrior is still kicking around since it still is fast enough to do ok against Jade druid at least (its just over 50% for them which isn't terrible). Plus agro still steamrolls through all the greedy decks people are just randomly trying out.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:28 pm UTC

I don't play Unleash the Scarabs. That seems more like a midrange card, and it's only useful if you are behind on board.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Chen » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:35 am UTC

Getting 2 scarabs is already good value. Every extra one is like an extra 2.5 mana worth of creatures. It's definitely one of the stronger cards in the set AND it's great for token druid since it does let you come back after you've emptied your hand and things will probably stick around so top deck buffs aren't wasted if you are behind.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:07 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Getting 2 scarabs is already good value. Every extra one is like an extra 2.5 mana worth of creatures. It's definitely one of the stronger cards in the set AND it's great for token druid since it does let you come back after you've emptied your hand and things will probably stick around so top deck buffs aren't wasted if you are behind.

But it's not as good as Living Mana or Bittertide Hydra, which are the two cards it competes with in my list. I cannot remember ever being more than one minion behind on board in a game that was not completely hopeless (i.e. immediately resign), so it seems useless to me. It might have some application when innervated out against Pirate warrior or something, but my deck is faster than every other aggro deck.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby SDK » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:03 pm UTC

Anyone take down the Lich King with all nine classes yet? I'm almost there. Only Hunter left to go. Not quite sure where to go with this one yet.

I found Paladin and Shaman by far the hardest to work out. I built an Evolve deck to finally make Shaman work (Devolving his spirits to destroy his weapon worked nicely), but that required a bit of luck. With Paladin I ended up resorting to milling - I found it was just impossible to actually beat him card for card! Needed to make sure he had no cards left to fight with... so I gave him a Fel Reaver or two. :D

The King's a fun challenge. They did a decent job making each class a different puzzle to figure out.
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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:39 pm UTC

I had a lot of success with Evolve Shaman in Un'goro, and that deck is still clearly pretty decent. But after the Jade Spirit buff that gave it the Elemental tag, I wanted to try something a little different. Jade Elemental Shaman is hardly my idea, but it is still fairly rare, and I've found it very hard to make the deck work. Losing the best 1- and 2-drops forces me to change the way I play pretty substantially.

Jade Elemental Shaman sort of has to be midrange in the current meta, because it just doesn't have the reach of control decks and cannot realistically play Skulking Geist (since Evolve is too important). But to make room for some semblance of an Elemental package as well as two Jade Cheiftains, I have had to cut almost all of my early game. Clearly I will have to make some sacrifices, but does anyone know how I could make this deck work? Ideas that don't require any new legendaries are preferred. I do have all the cards mentioned in the next paragraph, as well as Stone Sentinel, which frankly just doesn't seem good enough (but perhaps with Thrall it could work somehow).

My ideas so far have included finding a midrange replacement for one or both Hexes (e.g. Fire Plume Phoenix), trying to fit in one or two Servants of Kalimos somehow, replacing one removal spell with a Volcano, fitting in Bloodmage Thalnos, replacing one or both Hot Spring Guardians with Tar Creepers, and replacing one or both Bonemares with Blazecallers. The current list is really fucking bad, so I'm sure there are a ton of possible improvements. But to be clear, I do want to keep both Evolves and Thrall, since those are my favorite parts of the deck. Kalimos is also mandatory, even if he is not the right card for the deck.

Here is my current list:

Evolve x2
Devolve x2
Jade Claws x2
Maelstrom Portal x2
Hot Spring Guardian x2
Lightning Storm
Mana Tide Totem x2
Spirit Echo
Hex x2
Jade Lightning x2
Bloodlust
Thrall, Deathseer
Aya Blackpaw
Fire Elemental x2
Bonemare x2
Jade Chieftain x2
Kalimos, Primal Lord

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby SDK » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:20 pm UTC

I'm a bit confused as to what your deck is trying to do. It doesn't look like you have any really good ways to actually abuse Evolve (Doppelgangster?). Then you've got a bunch of Jade stuff, which is fine I guess, but let's slam in Kalimos and call it a day? There's not really any proper Elemental shell here at all. You've basically got three decks competing against each other, and I feel like you're not doing justice to any of them.

Evolve is not a great card unless it's built around - it requires a board presence to do anything, and randomly screws you by pumping out weak cards with good battecries. If you want this to be an Evolve deck, you need to make it an Evolve deck. Evolve needs to be a huge swing at least some of the time. I don't see that happening here.

The Jade/Elemental combo could work alongside each other, but you aren't playing an elemental deck as it is now. You're playing a Jade deck with Kalimos. I kind of like the theory there (you're not forcing any bad elementals into the deck this way), but you need to play it as a Jade deck in that case. That means you need to control the early game until your Golems can take over. Volcano seems good. A second Lightning Storm is probably required. Hell, if you're dead-set on keeping the Evolves, even Saronite Chain Gang ain't bad at keeping you alive. Mostly, I'd look towards reducing your top-end of the curve there. Golems win the late game, so you probably can ditch the Bonemare in favour of something that will keep you alive. Also, you're definitely not playing aggro here - you shouldn't need Bloodlust to close out the game.

It's a cool deck in theory, just needs some focus! Hope that helps.
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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:12 pm UTC

SDK wrote:I'm a bit confused as to what your deck is trying to do. It doesn't look like you have any really good ways to actually abuse Evolve (Doppelgangster?). Then you've got a bunch of Jade stuff, which is fine I guess, but let's slam in Kalimos and call it a day? There's not really any proper Elemental shell here at all. You've basically got three decks competing against each other, and I feel like you're not doing justice to any of them.

Evolve turns 5/5 Jade Chieftains into 8-drops and is generally solid with jade. Most Jade Shaman lists run Evolve, though admittedly usually with Thing from Below.

Evolve is not a great card unless it's built around - it requires a board presence to do anything, and randomly screws you by pumping out weak cards with good battecries. If you want this to be an Evolve deck, you need to make it an Evolve deck. Evolve needs to be a huge swing at least some of the time. I don't see that happening here.

I disagree. Evolve is a very strong card even if you don't build your deck around it.

The Jade/Elemental combo could work alongside each other, but you aren't playing an elemental deck as it is now. You're playing a Jade deck with Kalimos. I kind of like the theory there (you're not forcing any bad elementals into the deck this way), but you need to play it as a Jade deck in that case. That means you need to control the early game until your Golems can take over. Volcano seems good. A second Lightning Storm is probably required. Hell, if you're dead-set on keeping the Evolves, even Saronite Chain Gang ain't bad at keeping you alive. Mostly, I'd look towards reducing your top-end of the curve there. Golems win the late game, so you probably can ditch the Bonemare in favour of something that will keep you alive. Also, you're definitely not playing aggro here - you shouldn't need Bloodlust to close out the game.

I agree that Bonemare clearly needs to go. Bloodlust is also probably excessive.Rather than Saronite Chain Gang, it might make more sense to put in Thing from Below or even Jinyu Waterspeaker. Of course, there's Tol'vir Stoneshaper, but that card seems too situational for a deck like this.

By the way, you might have noticed that my list only includes 28 cards, because it is inexplicably missing Jade Spirit. There's two of them in there, obviously.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby SDK » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:25 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Evolve turns 5/5 Jade Chieftains into 8-drops and is generally solid with jade. Most Jade Shaman lists run Evolve, though admittedly usually with Thing from Below.

A 5/5 Jade Golem costs 5, and turns into a 6 drop. There are a ton of 6-drops that are 6/6 or less, so it doesn't give you that much value. Most of your value there would be coming from your Jade Spirit (a 2/3 that turns into a 5 drop), but that's one card in your list. I believe you're right that most Jade lists run Evolve, but I've always thought that was because they were also running Evolve shenanigans like Doppelgangster.

I agree that Bonemare clearly needs to go. Bloodlust is also probably excessive.Rather than Saronite Chain Gang, it might make more sense to put in Thing from Below or even Jinyu Waterspeaker. Of course, there's Tol'vir Stoneshaper, but that card seems too situational for a deck like this.

Sure, whatever suits your fancy. I wasn't suggesting Chain Gang because it's a great card, just as an example of something that will keep you alive until your Golems can come online.

I agree that Stoneshaper is bad in this deck. That's one of the things I like about your list, you're not forcing bad elementals.
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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:56 pm UTC

SDK wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:Evolve turns 5/5 Jade Chieftains into 8-drops and is generally solid with jade. Most Jade Shaman lists run Evolve, though admittedly usually with Thing from Below.

A 5/5 Jade Golem costs 5, and turns into a 6 drop. There are a ton of 6-drops that are 6/6 or less, so it doesn't give you that much value. Most of your value there would be coming from your Jade Spirit (a 2/3 that turns into a 5 drop), but that's one card in your list. I believe you're right that most Jade lists run Evolve, but I've always thought that was because they were also running Evolve shenanigans like Doppelgangster.

Not the golem, the Cheiftain. Jade Chieftain evolves into an 8-drop.

I agree that Stoneshaper is bad in this deck. That's one of the things I like about your list, you're not forcing bad elementals.

I was also thinking about replacing Aya with Magma Rager. How do you feel about that substitution?
Last edited by Eebster the Great on Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:48 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby SDK » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:58 pm UTC

I mean, if you really want a troll try adding Vol'jin instead. :o
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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Weeks » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:33 pm UTC

SDK wrote:I mean, if you really want a troll try adding Vol'jin instead. :o
Vol'jin the Shaman card?
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Re: Hearthstone

Postby SDK » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:54 pm UTC

About as playable as Magma Rager, I reckon. :wink:

EDIT: By the way, Eebster, I understand that you're trying to tell me to stop suggesting bad cards, but Saronite Chain Gang is not that bad. Infested Tauren saw some fringe play back in the day. Chain Gang is better, especially with your Evolve synergy. He may not be the best choice, but I guarantee he'd be an upgrade to what you're currently running.
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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:49 pm UTC

I was actually referring to Tol'vir Stoneshaper and your assertion that I wasn't trying to "force bad elementals." Being the worst elemental of all, Magma Rager seemed to fit.

I've edited the last post, because its quotes were all screwed up anyway.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby SDK » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:49 pm UTC

Ah, fair enough. I read some snark into that that wasn't there, I guess. Apologies.
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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:26 am UTC

Recently I've been trying out zoo priest with poor results. This is a deck archetype that seems impossible but has seen a bit of success with good players. The key addition in KFT is Shadow Ascendant, which is an extremely powerful 2-drop iff it follows a 1-drop. Themes in the deck include HP buffs (from Power Word: Shield, Kabal Talonpriest, and Divine Spirit combined with a single copy of Inner Fire), buffs from healing minions (by way of Lesser Heal and Circle of Healing, buffing Lightwarden and drawing from Northshire Cleric), and generic powerful minion buffs (in the form of Cobalt Scalebane and Bonemare). The deck also includes Auchenai Soulpriest to give alternative value to the Circles of Healing and Lesser Heal, Injured Blademaster for a target to heal, Radiant Elemental as an additional 2-drop that can tempo out spells, Shadow Word: Pain to aid with an early board lead, and Shadow VIsions to find what I need.

My current rendition also includes a single copy of Kabal Songstealer as effectively a tech card and a way to get through taunts, getting some reasonable stats in the process. Other cards I have tried or considered include Curious Glimmerroot (for another 3-drop), Tar Creeper (to protect my fragile board), Mistress of Mixtures (as the best-statted standard neutral 1 mana minion, and it also buffs my Lightwarden(s) potentially twice over), Mana Geode (as a very strong Priest 2-drop that synergizes with the healing theme), and Tortollan Shellraiser (as an alternative to Tar Creeper). I have also seen versions of the deck that play Prince Keleseth, which I am not interested in, and versions that play cards that almost have to be mistakes, like Acolyte of Agony and Mirage Caller.

Probably more important is Wild Pyromancer. The list I started with played two of them, the idea being to activate it once with a cheap spell like Power Word: Shield before healing the whole board with Circle of Healing. When this works properly, it can be devastating, but it is pretty much a four-card combo: Wild Pyromancer, an activating spell, Circle of Healing, and either Northshire Cleric or Lightwarden. Of those, only Circle of Healing can be cheated out (via Shadow Visions), making this unreliable. From a design perspective, Wild Pyromancer is best when you have a Northshire Cleric and/or Lightwarden(s) in play and also either a Shadow Visions in hand with a guaranteed discover of Circle of Healing or simply a Circle of Healing in hand plus an activator. On top of all that, there need to be other minions in play. That's not impossible, but it just doesn't happen often enough to justify a minion which is pretty bad otherwise. Additionally, even when you are able to play the combo, it usually isn't that great. For instance, if the buffed minion is Lightwarden, it will typically just die right away, meaning you either have to blow the entire combo on a single value trade or you just get some damage to face before losing the (now damaged) board forever; if the minion is Northshire Cleric, you will often not need to draw so many cards or else you will draw so few that the combo doesn't even pay for itself. It never really worked when I played it, so I took it out.

This deck seems very fickle and hard to mulligan for. It doesn't have as many 1- and 2-drops as a typical zoo deck, and if it doesn't take the board early, it is very hard to win. On the other hand, almost all games reach the midgame, where Cobalt Scalebane and later Bonemare are essential to success. Apart from that, determining which spells really need two copies, which need just one, and what to Shadow Visions for in a given game are not obvious. This isn't a netdeck slam dunk, to say the least.

Any ideas for improvements? Are there some good cards I didn't think of here? Are there some tactics I am missing (e.g. are there cases I should not play 1-drops on turn 1)? My most recent list is below, but it is always changing. Mana costs are on the left.

0 Circle of Healing x2
1 Inner Fire
1 Lightwarden x2
1 Northshire Cleric x2
1 Power Word: Shield x2
2 Divine Spirit x2
2 Radiant Elemental x2
2 Shadow Ascendant x2
2 Shadow Visions x2
2 Shadow Word: Pain x2
3 Injured Blademaster x2
3 Kabal Talonpriest x2
4 Auchenai Soulpriest x2
5 Cobalt Scalebane x2
5 Kabal Songstealer
7 Bonemare x2

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Chen » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:58 pm UTC

I think you need to bank more on the inner fire/divine spirit to control the board well. They're the only "fast" cards besides the Bonemares and that's a problem for a Zoo deck. I don't see many good ways to force favorable trades and then finish with burst, which tends to be how Zoo works. Without good card draw Zoo tends to run out of steam pretty quick. You have Northshire/Circle, but that's not always going to get you cards, especially if you're controlling the board well. I'm not sure Lightwarden is a good 1 drop. On turn one it just gets eaten by a whole bunch of things, for free. Unless you have removal for their 2 drop via spell, you're kinda screwed with it. Even Northshire is risky on turn 1 vs any 3 attack minion. You just lose it for free.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:16 pm UTC

Chen wrote:I think you need to bank more on the inner fire/divine spirit to control the board well. They're the only "fast" cards besides the Bonemares and that's a problem for a Zoo deck. I don't see many good ways to force favorable trades and then finish with burst, which tends to be how Zoo works. Without good card draw Zoo tends to run out of steam pretty quick. You have Northshire/Circle, but that's not always going to get you cards, especially if you're controlling the board well. I'm not sure Lightwarden is a good 1 drop. On turn one it just gets eaten by a whole bunch of things, for free. Unless you have removal for their 2 drop via spell, you're kinda screwed with it. Even Northshire is risky on turn 1 vs any 3 attack minion. You just lose it for free.

Well I already have two Divine Spirits, one Inner Fire, two Power Word: Shields, two Shadow Visions, and a bunch of high HP minions. What am I supposed to do to bank on it more? These cards can be really dead draws a lot of the time.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Chen » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:39 pm UTC

-2 Lightwarden
-1 Auchenai Soulpriest
+1 Inner fire
+1 Lyra the Sunshard
+1 Stonehill Defender

Maybe -1 Songstealer for another Defender. And possibly -1 Pain for +1 Death. You have no good way to take out high attack minions.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:45 am UTC

Chen wrote:-2 Lightwarden
-1 Auchenai Soulpriest
+1 Inner fire
+1 Lyra the Sunshard
+1 Stonehill Defender

Maybe -1 Songstealer for another Defender. And possibly -1 Pain for +1 Death. You have no good way to take out high attack minions.

I actually tried a very similar list, except with Potion of Madness replacing Lyra, who I'm really not looking to craft right now. I think substituting one pain for death is definitely right. Auchenai Soulpriest also really underperforms. But if we take out Auchenai, Pyro, and Lightwarden, is it even worth still keeping the two Circles of Healing? I would rather replace at least one with a Silence or a Songstealer.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Chen » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:34 pm UTC

I only kept circle with the assumption Lyra was going in. It isn't great otherwise, though it's the only real card draw engine you have with Northshire. Without that and Lyra I just see you running out of steam super quick, though the Stonehills do help a bit with that.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:32 pm UTC

You can see why it's hard to change the list. Priest still doesn't have enough aggressive minions, unfortunately. And it doesn't really make sense to add any neutral 1 drops. And there is no great way to solve the problem of draw. (Azure Drake would be really nice here.) It seems like it's just a bad deck.

I know some people have had success with this. Does that just mean that they succeeded with a bad deck, or did they find a way to make it decent?

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Chen » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:57 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:I know some people have had success with this. Does that just mean that they succeeded with a bad deck, or did they find a way to make it decent?


They succeeded with a bad deck. The "pros" can do pretty well with pretty low tier decks. Especially you measure success by "getting to legend" or somesuch. In reality getting to legend tends to be more of a time commitment than a skill/deck commitment (though clearly it can be tough if not impossible if you're deck is REALLY bad).

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby SDK » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:00 pm UTC

Chen wrote:They succeeded with a bad deck. The "pros" can do pretty well with pretty low tier decks. Especially you measure success by "getting to legend" or somesuch. In reality getting to legend tends to be more of a time commitment than a skill/deck commitment (though clearly it can be tough if not impossible if you're deck is REALLY bad).

Everyone who says this is an above average player (either that or a below average player with a good excuse!).

You need a win rate >50% to reach legend, which by definition means you are above average. Yes, it does take a lot of time, and it takes a hell of a lot more time if you're just a little above average, but it's much more than just a time commitment. Half the players who reach Rank 5 are not good enough to reach legend, no matter how much time they put in.
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Re: Hearthstone

Postby SDK » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:39 pm UTC

Anyone else excited about the upcoming Arena-only cards? Some look like a lot of fun! Looking forward to playing with these whenever they get released. It'll be interesting to see the final versions as well (if any changes are necessary).

https://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/ ... arthstone/
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Re: Hearthstone

Postby Chen » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:41 pm UTC

SDK wrote:Everyone who says this is an above average player (either that or a below average player with a good excuse!).

You need a win rate >50% to reach legend, which by definition means you are above average. Yes, it does take a lot of time, and it takes a hell of a lot more time if you're just a little above average, but it's much more than just a time commitment. Half the players who reach Rank 5 are not good enough to reach legend, no matter how much time they put in.


There's definitely skill involved and I agree there are some people who won't ever reach legend. My point was the time commitment is so high that even the best of players need to spend a LOT of time getting there, because win rates tend not to get that much above 60-65% even for the best players. That's a LOT of grinding time required.

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Re: Hearthstone

Postby SDK » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:23 pm UTC

Yes, absolutely! I compare it to the Arena top 100 list that gets posted every month. You need at least 30 completed Arena runs to qualify for that list, averaging about 10 games each to get the 7 wins required to make the cut. That's 10 games you need to play every day of that month! It doesn't matter if I get 8 or 9 wins on average (I'm good at Arena, but not that good, just a hypothetical), because I'll never play enough to make the list regardless.

Reaching Legend takes a similar commitment - maybe an hour every day for the month (if you're good). Yuck.
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