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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Fantastic come-from-behind Hearthstone win

Trump is probably one of the best-known Hearthstone players active today, and as such many of you are probably well-acquainted with his Twitch stream. If you haven't been watching recently, you may have missed the nail-biting finish of the match embedded above, in which Trump comes from behind what seemed like a guaranteed win for his opponent to claim victory by the skin of his teeth.

What makes this so fun to watch, in my opinion, is that Trump's victory actually depended upon his opponent making a number of mistakes--which he did. However, in addition to this, Trump had to perfectly capitalize on those errors, which he also did. While you can reasonably expect people to choose certain moves and styles over others, you can never truly predict what any player will do in a given match. In many cases, such as the one above, the ability to seize an opportunity is what marks the difference between victory and defeat. Congratulations to Trump for his skill in doing just that. Take note, avid Hearthstone players, there's a lot to be learned from the above video--in both Trump's actions and his opponent's.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone reveals new Webspinner card


Hearthstone unveiled its final class specific Curse of Naxxramas card yesterday, the Hunter beast Webspinner. The 1/1 spider costs one mana, and upon expiring summons a random beast card into your hand. Senior Game Designer Ben Brode explained via Twitter that the range on the text includes any beast card, with the exception of tokens. That rules out the 1/1 hound summoned by the Unleash the Hounds spells. All other beasts (Including hunter legendary King Krush) appear to be fair game.


In terms of viability, this card shows promise. The other turn one beasts available to hunter generally serve specific purposes. Stonetusk Boar exists almost exclusively to be used with Hunter's Mark, while Timber Wolf is utilized in conjunction with other beasts already able to attack. Webspinner could be a nice early game tempo play, while retaining value later on in the match because of its ability to provide the user an additional card. If that card ends up being a Savannah Highmane, King Krush, or even Core Hound, it's a great play. Really, so long as it doesn't draw you Captain's Parrot or Angry Chicken, it's a victory.

The hunter set currently sits right in the middle, as expert opinions go. It is nowhere near as crushing as it was prior to the most recent Unleash the Hounds nerf, but it definitely has a place in the metagame, especially against the all powerful Miracle Rogue deck. Webspinner doesn't look like it will unhinge the class again, so much as it will provide another early game option, something the class can definitely use. Moreover, it will provide the class another degree of trickery. After Webspinner dies, opponents will be forced to wonder if you have a giant dinosaur in your hand or not.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

World of Warcraft's Rob Pardo designs Magic: the Gathering card

If you play Hearthstone, there's at least an average chance you've heard of, if not played, Magic: The Gathering. If so, then check out this card designed by none other than Rob Pardo, Chief Creative Officer at Blizzard Entertainment. I haven't played Magic in years and I was never very good, but that seems like one heck of a card. It'll be part of the Magic 2015 set, and was previewed at this year's E3.

Now I want everyone at Blizzard to design a card. Let's see Samwise's card. At least get him to do the art on one. It's funny, because Xathrid here reminds me a bit of Lilian Voss, who some say is a reference to this M:tG character (Blizzard says no.) Which is too bad, because it would be hilarious if we ended up with some kind of circular back and forth transfer between M:tG and WoW.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Hearthstone Insider

Five must craft neutral Hearthstone cards

There are a lot of cards in Hearthstone. It can be difficult to know which ones to craft with your hard earned dust, especially in the beginning. Do you save up for a legendary or try and craft more accessible cards in order to build up decent library? I mentioned it before, but I think the best option is grabbing up the basics, specifically cards that hold value across multiple decks.

There's no ranking behind these cards, so grab them up in whatever order you see fit. All of them have strengths and weaknesses, which we'll discuss below.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone unveils new Voidcaller card

Dark times for those of us hoping to see less of a Zoo Warlock presence come Curse of Naxxramas. Voidcaller's been revealed and it looks primed to make everyone's favorite budget deck even stronger. Upon dying, Voidcaller places a random demon from the owner's hand on the board. While the demon played gets to keep beneficial abilities such as charge, it will not tax the warlock with penalties like health loss or card discard as this particular mechanic ignores the battlecry function.

This obviously boosts the worth of Flame Imp and Doomguard, two cards that are already cornerstones of Zoo. It could also be enough summon Pit Lord off the bench, but I'm skeptical as without the Voidcaller, Pit Lord will still hurt entirely too much to play in most situations. Voidcaller should fit easily in the Dark Iron Dwarf slot. Defender of Argus could be subbed out instead, but realistically, it's entirely too good to drop.

What it will likely come down to is a safe approach versus a more risky one. Dark Iron Dwarf is a 4/4 for 4 that is almost never a subpar play, given Zoo's powerful ability to control the board. Voidcaller will be less of a certainty. If the warlock in question has no demons in hand, Voidcaller is statistically underwhelming, being a 3/4 for 4. Moreover, it could actually drop a Voidwalker earlier than intended. Zoo often requires road blocks put up at key points to protect other minions, or avoid blows to the face. Conversely, if a destroyed Voidcaller summons a free Doomguard, that will quite likely end the match. Voidcaller is all about risk and reward, which is fitting considering the warlock set in Hearthstone.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone: Sen'jin Shieldmasta

The Sen'jin Shieldmasta is a textbook example of a card that's incredibly strong despite being available to everyone. This four mana taunt creature is the bane of more aggressive decks because it boasts five toughness and often requires the sacrifices of multiple minions or spells to get it off the board. It's not just an answer to aggressive decks, however. The favorable distribution of stats makes it viable in almost every deck, save Miracle Rogue.

Sen'jin Shieldmasta has very few direct counters. While the Black Knight is designed to deal with it, opponents are essentially trading a six mana card to deal with a four mana card. It works, but it's inefficient. Priests can also drop Shadow Word: Pain to quickly remove it, but it's admittedly rare to see Anduin Wrynn on the ladder, as priests are generally not favored by top players. Druids have access to Starfall and Starfire which each deal five damage to a target, but neither are commonly in use right now. Beyond those cards, there isn't really a whole lot that will destroy a Sen'jin Shieldmasta conveniently. He's a solid play against common decks like Warlock Zoo, Miracle Rogue, Druid Token, Paladin Aggro, and more.

More importantly, Sen'jin Shieldmasta boasts arguably the most fun entry sound in the game, shouting "Taz'dingo!" upon being played. If you're looking for a reliable wall that won't cost you a single bit of dust, consider tossing this troll into your deck.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Season three Hearthstone card back announced

Hearthstone's third official Ranked Play Season kicked off this morning and the accompanying unique card back has since been announced. The rainbow themed card back had been shown off before, but it was unknown what exactly would be required to unlock it. All you'll need to do to obtain it is make rank 20, similar to both the Pandaria and Black Temple themed card motifs.

If you haven't made the grind to rank 20 before, it's not too hard. You just need to win a few games, especially because it's possible to gain a double-star-win-streaks after winning three straight ranked games. Conversely, it's actually impossible to lose stars up to rank 20. If you earned enough stars last season to start below rank 20, you'll still need to log in and play at least one match in order to secure the rainbow card back.


Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Life after the tutorial in Hearthstone


It turns out Illidan was wrong. You were prepared, in Hearthstone, at least. After a climactic battle you bested the Betrayer and closed out the Hearthstone tutorial. What do you do after that?

Unfortunately, Hearthstone's very minor narrative ends there and you're left to fend for yourself in what can be a horrifying world of Leeroy Jenkins', Ragnaros' and more. Your opponents are dropping legendaries and you're just trying to figure out how to keep Goldshire Footman out of your mage deck. Today we'll take a look at how to move forward in a game that features little in the way of linear progression.

While you'll receive some quests early on to take your deck out into the wild against other players, go ahead and shelf that idea for a bit and head on over to Hearthstone's practice area. In this safe environment you'll get the chance to play against the AI, while also unlocking all of the other classes. You won't need to worry about making other players wait while you try and figure out your moves, nor will you need to feel any sort of pressure over potentially losing. These beginner AI decks are designed to teach you the basics of the various classes and in turn help you grow your understanding of the game as a whole.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone ranked play season 2 ending soon

Season 2 of ranked play in Hearthstone will come to a conclusion at the end of this month. The reward for participation in season 2 is the Black Temple-themed card back, seen above. You only need to hit rank 20 before June 1 to earn the skin, a relatively easy feat for most players -- losses don't cause you to lose ranking until you've surpassed rank 20.

The top players of the season may qualify to compete in the Americas Qualifier Tournament, the winners of which will move on to compete at BlizzCon. The full qualification details can be found on Battle.net.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone's Americas Qualifier prize pool is $250,000

Blizzard has announced a $250,000 prize pool for Hearthstone's Americas Qualifier Tournament. The breakdown is $100,000 for first place, $50,000 for second place, $15,000 for third and fourth place, $7,500 for fifth through eighth place, and $5,000 for ninth through sixteenth place. The Americas Qualifiers will include a total of 130 participants, including Legend-ranked players in the Hearthstone ladder and top players from community tournaments.

The full details of the tournament can be seen on Battle.net. It's sure to be a cutthroat competition -- of 130 participants, only 4 will go on to compete in the World Championships at BlizzCon.

Filed under: News items, Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone unveils new Rebirth card

The latest card revealed from Hearthstone's upcoming Curse of Naxxramas set is a new shaman spell: Rebirth. Rebirth destroys a minion before returning it to full health, a spell that will play well with the myriad of new minions with Deathrattle. Rebirth turns any minion's Deathrattle into an on-demand ability for 2 mana -- and puts it back onto the field to be used again. Rebirth could be a terrifying spell even with pre-existing Deathrattle minions such as the Abomination or Sylvanas Windrunner. It could also be used aggressively -- for example, against someone who made the mistake of playing the previously-revealed Anub'ar Ambusher. By destroying your opponent's Ambusher, you could potentially force a far more dangerous minion back into their hand as a delay tactic.

Some of the current mechanics surrounding the way resurrections work (such as with Redemption) means this spell could even be used as a Silence effect. Buffs that have been cast on a minion do not reapply after death, meaning you can easily knock a druid's superpowered tank down to size. It should also be noted that Battlecry effects only apply when a minion is played directly from the hand -- resurrecting it with Rebirth is unlikely to allow that Battlecry to happen a second time.

Some players have voiced concern regarding this card's potential synergy with legendary Leeroy Jenkins. Leeroy is an extremely powerful card right now, particularly in decks that find ways to play it multiple times in a row. A rogue with a pair of Shadowsteps in their hand can attack with Leeroy three times in one turn -- 18 direct damage. More if they have Cold Blood in their hand. A shaman with Rebirth, if Leeroy's Charge ability triggers after resurrection, could now perform the same tactic.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Breakfast Topic: Is your Hearthstone main your WoW main?

While the gameplay in Hearthstone doesn't match WoW's exactly, it does a pretty good job of giving you the feel of the class you're playing. Of course, with such a different kind of game, having a similar feel doesn't mean that class you play the most in WoW will also be the class you play most in Hearthstone. For my part, I play a monk in WoW -- not an option in Hearthstone -- and typically play a paladin -- which used to be my WoW main -- in Hearthstone.

So today we're asking you, readers: which class are you playing most in Hearthstone? Does it match your favored WoW class or not?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Hearthstone Insider

Anub'ar Ambusher joins Curse of Naxxramas lineup

Today's Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas card preview is the creepy-crawly Anub'ar Ambusher. This rogue-only card has the text "Deathrattle: Return a friendly minion to your hand." That could be handy for recalling creatures with battlecries or frustrating if you have a bunch of buffed up beasties out. As with all Hearthstone cards, using the Anub'ar Ambusher to best effect will require some strategy.

As interesting as these tiny previews are, they still don't hint at a release date for Naxxramas beyond this summer. Hopefully we'll be seeing more than previews soon!

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Is Hearthstone pay-to-win?

Many games that fall into the free to play category also fall into the pay to win category -- which is to say that if you want to be able to play well, you'll wind up forking over some cash. It's a big frustration with free to play games which can easily wind up costing just as much -- or even more -- than games with an ordinary pricetag. So while we wondered whether we needed to sink money into buying more Hearthstone packs, we were glad to see Polygon had done a detailed examination of the advantage you get from buying cards in Hearthstone.

Though anyone interested in the economics of it should definitely read the entire article, the end result is that because there are many options to earn in-game gold to buy packs -- and because the best decks aren't necessarily built with all epic cards -- with some patience a casual player will catch up with a big spender. But, still, opening pack after pack of cards that has an appeal that has nothing to do with economics.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Death's Bite weapon added to Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas

We're all looking forward to this summer's release of Hearthstone's first expansion, Curse of Naxxramas. And in the meanwhile, @PlayHearthstone is stringing us along with glimpses of what we can expect in the upcoming expansion. Today's glimpse is the warrior card Death's Bite, a 4/2 weapon with the deathrattle effect of dealing one damage to all minions.

There's no release date -- or price tag -- for Curse of Naxxramas just yet, but while you wait for the expansion to arrive there's plenty of time to read up on what's coming our way.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

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