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Posts with tag hearthstone-highlight

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 Highlight: Frostwolf Warlord

Hearthstone Highlight Frostwolf Warlord

While the Frostwolf Warlord may not be all that great in constructed decks, I highly consider it a bomb card in arena play.

Battlecry: Gain +1/+1 for each other friendly minion on the battlefield.

If I see this card, I will almost always pick it. Your opponent needs to have something that can remove it or stall it long enough to take it out of play and it'll trade favorably for you in most conditions. It costs 5 mana. If you manage to get it out during the mid to late game stages, you're bound to have a few cheap minions up. All it takes is a few minions for it to turn into a hulking monstrosity that will clobber anything in its path. The fact that Frostwolf Warlord is a part of the basic set means that it becomes immediately accessible for just about any deck. Great card to include if you're just starting out any need to add some much needed muscle and firepower to your decks. I've encountered the Warlord mostly in paladin decks because it synergizes extremely well with their hero power (Generate a 1/1) but it also works well with shaman decks.

Playing with Frostwolf Warlord

The Warlord is especially effective in any heavy minion decks like beasts or murlocs. Basically, if you have a ton of minions, the Warlord becomes that much better. Hold some minions in your hand though in the event of any board clears like a Blizzard or an Explosive Shot. You can drop your cheap minions first then hit the board with the Warlord after the fact. Some of the other decks I've seen run it in tandem with cards like Dragonling Mechanic or Murloc Tidehunter (essentially, two minions for the price of one card). The battlecry effect is just a bonus. If you have no other minions in play, you can dump it on the battlefield as a simple 4/4 and it'll be able to hold off anything coming toward it. Given the choice (and if the situation warrants), you're almost always better off waiting until you can get some minions to help buff it up.

Playing against Frostwolf Warlord

Blow it up! Hit it with a Fireball! Maybe a Kill Command! A Lightning Bolt! Whittle it down to size with your spells so that you don't have to trade it with your minions! No removal? No problem! Say hello to my friends Spellbreaker and Ironbeak Owl. Using any silence effects immediately removes the Warlord's Battlecry effect and turns it into a mortal-sized 4/4 (which is still a threat but becomes much more manageable). No removal or silence effects? At that point, it turns into a race. You need to beat your opponent before you get beaten down by the Warlord. Lastly, keep an eye on your opponent's mana. If you're anticipating a Warlord coming out, consider dropping an AoE spell and clearing the board. You might not be able to stop it from coming into play but you can make sure it doesn't come onto the battlefield buffed!

Check out other previously featured cards!

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone Highlight: Eaglehorn Bow

Hearthstone Highlight Eaglehorn Bow

We looked at Battle Rage from warriors last time. Today we're going to check out a hunter specific weapon called the Eaglehorn Bow. It gives the hunter 3 attack and comes with 2 durability. Namely, it can only be used twice before the weapon breaks. However, it has a special ability:

Whenever a Secret is revealed, gain 1 durability.

The Bow can stay in play longer whenever Secrets are triggered. This includes not just your Secrets but your opponent's secrets as well. That's 3 damage every time! The Eaglehorn Bow is a rare card and it might take you a few packs before you manage to pull one.

Playing with Eaglehorn Bow

When it comes to weapons, you can use them against minions or against your opponent (assuming there are no minions with taunt in the way). You need to have secret cards of your own to maintain durability. I suggest running a nice mix of Snake Traps, Explosive Traps, and Freezing Traps. Should you use them against opposing minions or go all in and deck your opponent? That largely depends on the game state. If they're low on health, start applying pressure to them directly. If there's an army of low health minions on the board, then start clearing out any threats that might be in the way or innocuous minions that might mean trouble for you later. You can only use it once per turn if you so choose by attacking with Rexxar. You don't have to use it. Sometimes the better play is to attack with it once and hold on to the 1 durability until you can deploy and reveal more traps. Just the threat of a free 3 damage will make most players think twice before putting out any low health minions. Just remember that when you're attacking a minion, that minion also deals damage to you. It might not be worth it to attack the 11/3 Gurubashi Berserker since you're taking 11 damage back the other way!

Playing against Eaglehorn Bow

The power of the Eaglehorn Bow is the potential longevity of it. The traps allow it to replenish the durability. If you're playing a hunter deck, run a Flare to help pop traps and starve the Bow of any durability. If you're not playing a hunter deck, then it's mostly tough luck! You're going to have to do a bit of trial and error. Remember that the Bow comes with only 2 durability. Force him to use the Bow on threats of your own by deploying taunt minions or minions that can't be left alone at all (aura minions like Timber Wolf or Raid Leader make great bait targets).

If you're looking for a simple deck to put together for Hearthstone, Eaglehorn Bow is an excellent card to build around. Definitely want to include two of it if you can. The next step after that is to load it up with traps (like the ones I suggested above). Stick to traps that provide you with board control or have a high probability of activating. After that, the rest is up to you. I've encountered hunter decks that rely on assorted beasts. Others go for an approach that overwhelms the opponent with Battlecry effects that create additional minions or Deathrattle effects that ensure the opponent gets penalized somehow.

Check out other previously featured cards!

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone Highlight: Inducing Battle Rage

Hearthstone Highlights Inducing Battle Rage

A patch recently deployed to Hearthstone brought a heavy nerf to the warrior card Battle Rage. The original iteration of this card was extremely powerful and one of the best card replenishers in the entire game. The card text originally said "Draw a card for each damaged character." You didn't use this card right away in the early game, but warrior decks are known for throwing their weight around and dishing out as much damage as possible. Pair it with a card like Whirlwind which pings every minion on the board for 1 damage and that can provide you with much needed cards. Note that Whirlwind says minions whereas Battle Rage says character -- Yes, that does refer to players who have also taken damage.

Thankfully, Battle Rage has since been nerfed. It has been reduced from 3 mana to 2 mana and the text now reads:

Draw a card for each damaged friendly character.

Playing with Battle Rage

Most players don't typically need to bust out a Battle Rage early on. The nerf means that your minions have to be wounded (and not dead) in order to take advantage of it. Thankfully, your minions have multiple ways to take damage. The tried and true method is to throw them at your opponent's minions. But if your opponent has no minions, there's a few things you can do. Cruel Taskmasters can ping a friendly minion for 1 damage and provide it with a +2 bonus attack. The Injured Blademaster comes into play pre-damaged. You can Slam your own minion (an extra card). You know what else is a beauty about warriors? Think about all the different interweaving minions that play off of your minions taking damage. Just look at Armorsmith and Frothing Berserker. Lastly, if your minions aren't going to be able to go toe to toe with your opponent, drop a Commanding Shout and charge their lines to soften them up.

Playing against Battle Rage

Battle Rage by itself doesn't represent much of a threat to you. The potential threat is based on the amount of cards it can draw into. If you're engaging your opponent's minions, make sure you actually finish them off. Warriors don't many methods to refill their hand, so Battle Rage, Shield Block, and Slam play key roles in that. Starve a warrior of their cards and minions and you'll be able to choke and stifle their offense. Obviously, there isn't much you can do if your opponent chooses to damage their own characters but you don't have to make their job easier.

Warrior decks are stronger now then they were prior to the reset and Battle Rage continues to play a key role there so don't completely discount it after the nerf. It is still strong enough to help you dig into your deck and find you the cards you need to win.

Check out other previously featured cards!

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone Highlight: Sylvanas Windrunner

Hearthstone Highlight Sylvanas Windrunner
Sylvanas Windrunner is a legendary rarity card. She can be crafted for 1600 arcane dust straight up (or alternatively by being really lucky in booster pack draws). Only costing the player 5 mana and coming out as a 5/5, her bang for the mana buck is pretty darned good. The fact that she's a neutral legendary means she can fit into any deck you're piloting. In my case, I like to utilize her in my shaman control deck. While Sylvanas doesn't have any combat abilities like taunt or charge, she does possess a rather special ability:

Deathrattle: Take control of a random enemy minion.

When she dies, take control of an enemy minion. Not many cards in the game will allow you to do that. Mind Control is the obvious one with Mind Control Tech being another. The funny thing about this card is that it's pretty amazing to watch players squirm and make weird plays to ensure that Sylvanas doesn't take over a random minion of theirs. I've seen players intentionally kill their own big guns by throwing them against my taunt minions. Sometimes they'll even kill 3 of their own minions and wipe out their side of the board just to explicitly make sure I don't gain control.

Think about that for a moment. Players are willing to trade 3 of their own minions for 1 to ensure that I don't steal their stuff. She really can mess with your mind.

Playing with Sylvanas Windrunner

At her core, Sylvanas is a card that punished your opponent for killing her. Your opponent can kill the 5/5 but only if they're willing to trade it for a random minion they have at their disposal. I would happily let Sylvanas die in exchange for a shaman's Al'Akir or a hunter's Savannah Highmane. Opponent has a juicy legendary in play? Try to use your spells or minions to pick apart the rest of theirs. As a mage, you can use the mage hero power to sort of "ping". I generally don't do this unless the opponent's legendary is something really awesome. In most cases, Sylvanas is an excellent threat just by herself.

Playing against Sylvanas Windrunner

Silence effects, guys! Anything you can use to silence Sylvanas to prevent her from stealing your Ragnaros or your King Krush! Do it! Alternatively, take a stock of your hand and the board. Is there anything worthwhile for Sylvanas to steal? If all you have is a Searing Totem (from Totemic Call) out, killing Sylvanas in favor of your opponent taking a Searing Totem isn't a bad idea. On the other hand, if you have a valuable minion on the board, you might not have a choice. Paladins and shamans can generate random minions with their hero power to hopefully get Sylvanas to take control of one of those.

Suppose the worst case scenario happens. You lose your bomb creature to Sylvanas. Analyze your hand or your deck and see what other removal spells you might have at your disposal. Obviously if you can Polymorph it or Hex it, you should. But if all you have is damage spells, you might have to save it and execute your own minion to prevent your opponent from taking command and benefiting from it.

Check out other previously featured cards!

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone Highlight: Animal Companion

Hearthstone Highlight Animal Companion
Today we're going to focus on hunters. Normally in World of Warcraft, I scoff at hunters. Why? Well, just because I can. I know hunters and priests don't exactly have a rivalry the way mages and warlocks do so no one will really understand it. With Hearthstone, that's a different story. The hunter class is one of the few classes that I main. I run an aggressive beast mastery deck in ranked play. One of the staple cards I use is Animal Companion. This card is also a part of the basic hunter deck so no booster pack luck is needed to draw him. Hunter loyalists can obtain the gold version of this card at level 40.

Playing with Animal Companion

When the card is played, it gives you a 1 of 3 different beasts that correspond with Rexxar's beast companions back during the Warcraft III: Frozen Throne expansion Orc campaign:

Leokk - Of the three beast companions, Leokk provides the most utility. I feel that Leokk is the "weakest" in terms of head to head but if you can play Leokk with beasts on the board, you're in a great position. If Leokk is by his lonesome, he's fairly weak. He'll still do a decent job picking off any of your opponent's low health minions though.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone Highlight: Twilight Drake

Hearthstone Card of the Week Twilight Drake
I love dragons. Who doesn't love dragons, especially when these are scaling dragons? The original iteration of Twilight Drake was that it was a 4/4 and the Battlecry effect granted it +1/+1 for each card in your hand. Getting these out on turn 3 (as the second player with The Coin) was immensely satisfying and it forced your opponent to respond immediately or start taking huge chunks of damage. The new version of the Drake has it starting out with a static 4 attack but the health scales with your hand size. This makes it extremely durable in the early game and still somewhat useful in the late game. Prior to the patch, I'd have 7/7 Drakes early on but once I reached the late game where I didn't have as many cards in my hand, it turned into a 3/3 or a 2/2, rendering it almost useless. Now, at least it will still pack a punch with the 4 attack!

Playing the Twilight Drake

You have a slight edge if you go second due to The Coin. You can use it on turn 3 to bring your drake out early, or wait until turn 4 and it'll act as an extra health point. In most cases, your drake will end up being a 4/5 or higher. The Twilight Drake's potency will be impacted by the type of deck you're using, too. Playing Twilight Drake in a heavy minion deck is almost a bad idea because your hand size will often be low as you're playing minions to overwhelm your opponent. Ideally, you want to play these in a more control-based deck like Mages and Shaman where you'll find yourself holding onto cards and reacting to your opponent's moves.

Playing against the Twilight Drake

While it is possible to go toe to toe against the drake in combat, it usually is a better idea to eliminate it with a crowd control spell. A Polymorph or a Hex will immediately neutralize it. Silence effects will remove the Battlecry and drop the health back down to 1 allowing you to send a weak minion to get rid of it. Also, while the drake will have a large pool of health, it doesn't have taunt. You can send your minions after it, but you might end up in a situation where the Drake takes down two or three of your minions before it dies. Shaman decks can easily deal with this by simply using Earth Shock. Read the wording of the card carefully: Earth Shock silences first, then deals 1 damage. So the Twilight Drake loses the health bonus from the Battlecry and then succumbs to the 1 point of damage.

All in all, a handy card to have for control users. It plays strongly with my Shaman control deck.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

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