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Hearthstone

#1 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2015-June-27, 21:54

I saw Cyberyeti and now Fluffy mention it, so I'm curious: who here plays Hearthstone, and what are you going for there?

I actually take HS a lot more seriously than bridge :ph34r: because it doesn't require a partner and because my mtg background allows me to be much better for considerably less effort.

I invested no money in it out of some silly principle and now I find it hard to back out even though the game is clearly worth money. My collection is fairly extensive though I'm missing several good legendaries (Tirion/Jaraxus/Malganis/Thalanos/Van Cleef/Cenarius/Grommash are the playable ones), so it's difficult to justify sinking money into it.
I mostly played arena because it looked like there's nothing to gain in ladder. I feel like I'm an infinite arena player (if I need gold I do several arena runs), but ever since I started tracking with Heartharena it stubbornly claims I have a 6.6 win average.

This season I decided to try and take ranekd play a bit more seriously. I laddered up to 7 with a combo druid pretty easily, and I'm now at rank 4 with Strifecro's Grinder Mage which is seriously one of the most fun decks I've played. Rank 4 seems to be the cap though, I catch myself losing for subtle mistakes the opponents are now smart enough to exploit, so I think I need to improve as a player to make it to legend.

What about you?
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#2 User is offline   WesleyC 

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Posted 2015-June-27, 23:46

Hearthstone is fantastic! For an exceptionally polished game with relatively simple mechanics, it also has an extremely high skill cap.

As a competitive gamer (also with a background in MTG) my main frustration is that they still haven't intoduced a proper competitive mode yet.

I've got about 1000 arena wins and 1500 ranked wins and have made it to legend with most of the different classes. Even though the ranked ladder doesn't really have a point yet, it is the best way to challenge yourself against the very best opponents so I enjoy it for that reason.

Regarding the grind to legendary, stick with it! One way that I improved was playing at least 20-30 games with each popular deck type just to get an appreciation of how it wins/loses.
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#3 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2015-June-28, 01:52

It's not even my goal to reach legend, I play HS for fun. The thing is, I have the most fun when I challenge myself and it looks like the high ranks are good for that.
I'll admit that I looked down on HS at first because it's so much simpler than mtg. Then I realized it's still a ton of fun, and I can play a game and be done in like 10 minutes instead of having to clear an entire hour, which suits me much better now (another case against Bridge, it's a bit pointless to sit down for just a couple of hands).

I may have ranked higher but the first tavern brawl was all I did while it was open. The second one was less appealing to me since it was pretty obvious how to break, and thus has the most stale meta ever.
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#4 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2015-June-28, 03:33

I Also play arena a lot, and don't find the fun on ranked that much, I like to adapt, playing with the same decks as everyone else is boring... or perhaps I just suck at it. and can't reach legend for not paying enough attention.

I didn't plan on investing money, but the expansions that required so much gold to unlock I ended up paying.

got most cards from grinding the arena and have a lot of powder as well.

I am starting to become bored that so many play paladin in arena
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#5 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2015-June-28, 04:53

Mage and Paladin are popular and I think have a slight edge, but I don't feel I sacrifice too much when picking classes based on daily quests or just what I haven't played for a while. Playing against paladin in arena isn't that difficult, just be ready for the minibot, so if you're playing a class with no ping and your hand is like 3 3/2s, mull one of them away or something.

In general I'm very impressed by how balanced the game is, especially if you compare it to mtg. BTW, based on my limited experience, if you play arena in the off hours you'll get a higher variety of classes. Noobs tend to pick only mage and paladin since they're the easiest hero powers to use well, and in the peak hours you naturally get more weak players.
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#6 User is offline   WesleyC 

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Posted 2015-June-28, 05:00

Arena is great, especially because you can play anytime without having to worry about crafting additional cards or keeping up with the constructed metagame.

I played exclusively arena for the first couple of months while I was building up my collection and it's great way to learn all the cards and experiment with all the different classes. I still try to find time to run an arena each week but sadly some of the classes (Mage/Pally/Rogue) are inherently stronger than others (Warrior/Druid) which skews what classes people choose to play.

However one of the main things I enjoy about Ranked constructed is the chance to play unique decks archetypes like Patron Warrior, Control Warrior, Freeze Mage or Oil Rogue which each requires a completely different strategy. Also taking a popular archetype and tweaking it by 3 or 4 cards can actually make a huge difference especially if you have a good understanding of the current meta.

Regarding the complexity of Magic vs Hearthstone, although there are certainly more cards/abilities/rules to learn in Magic, I think the percentage of games which are meaningfully impacted by play skill is actually higher in Hearthstone. The removal of mana-screw, the fact that you have to order and choose targets for your attacks and the 30 card deck size make a lot choices that we're automatic or irrelevant in Magic become legitimately meaningful in Hearthstone. If you've ever tried to play Magic Online, the slick interface and non-simultaneous turns also make Hearthstone far more conducive to online play.
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#7 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2015-June-28, 06:03

This is an interesting point. I originally thought "instants -> infinitely more decisions -> mtg wins". However, when I started watching some tournaments I noticed that in control vs. control match-ups at least, both players can expect to draw their entire decks, which makes the match-up a lot more skill-intensive than the mtg variant, which is more about not missing land drops than anything. So, now I'm kind of on the fence. Combo decks are much easier to play in HS (Freeze Mage being a good example of this principle to the extreme) due to lack of hand disruption and generally having turns to your own, control decks in HS seem much harder (difficult to say, I can't afford Wallet Warrior) and zoo/sligh is roughly the same.
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#8 User is offline   WesleyC 

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Posted 2015-June-28, 06:42

I used to be a combo player back in my MTG days - I made world's a couple of times playing ProsBloom, MindOverMatter and Academy (although you probably can't remember back that far!). I'd agree with you that Freeze Mage is relatively straight forward, but having tried (and often failed) to win with Patron Warrior I can confirm that it's definitely at a simlar skill level to MTG combo decks, especially since people have started countering it heavily and the turn timer has been reduced to 70 seconds!

I think tempo/aggro decks are definitely more challenging to play in Hearthstone because in the early game you have to decide how to trade and then make the ultimate decision of when to switch to going allin for face damage and give up fighting for the board. Admittedly I haven't played serious magic for many years, but back in my day it was rarely wrong to turn your little red men sideways.

And although control vs control matchups will appear random at first glance, the huge effect of minor deck choices and subtle play decisions make a huge difference. When I first started playing Handlock, my win rate in the mirror was awful. After playing the deck solidly for a couple of seasons I slowly came to appreciate all the things I was doing wrong!

FWIW I've spent about $200 in total on hearthstone and combined with Arena/Quests/Crafting I've got a full set of cards. On a $/hour basis this would actually make hearthstone one of the cheapest games i've ever played :)
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#9 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2015-June-28, 07:29

My first deck was ProsBloom. BTW the turn wasn't shortened, it was 70 seconds since the beta but they changed it so you don't get extra time from animations during your opponents' turn or something.

In any case, the equivalent of choosing when to go face with aggro is using burn on blockers or on face. Most aggro mtg decks run combat tricks or damage that can turn into extra damage or removal etc. Also wrath of god is 4 mana so it's much safer to overcommit to the board in HS when playing aggro. So, it looks the same to me, though I'm not really an aggro player in either game.
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#10 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2015-June-28, 18:21

Just did 12-2 in arena twice in a row, first time I do 2 in a row, both decks were similar mage decks with just 1 flamestrike, the fun came from this flamekeepers (might not be the accurate english name), that throw 2 arcane misiles when you cast a spell, duplicating those guys combined with medivh echo, I had 3 of them once on the field casting hits before opponent quit :)

Also duplicating sludge beltcher is amazing in arena, almost insta win.
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#11 User is offline   WesleyC 

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Posted 2015-June-29, 08:47

Posted Image

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Posted Image


Speaking of arena triumphs, I hadn't played Rogue in arena since beta and was pretty surprised to go 12-2 with both of these decks in the last week.

Especially the first deck which didn't feel like anything special. I think the current arena meta must really suit tempo rogue.
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#12 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2015-June-29, 09:11

Hm, interesting. My daughter plays this, so I had assumed it was a teen fad thing. Apparently that is not the case. Maybe I should try it. How feasible is it really to play without spending $$ ?
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#13 User is offline   WesleyC 

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Posted 2015-June-29, 10:03

Completely feasible, there's nothing in the game that can't be unlocked for free. They've designed the first 20 hours to be very accessible to new players.

However if you are a completionist (or have ambitions to become a serious competitor on the ranked ladder) then enough cards for a full collection will currently cost you either US$750, 1000 hours of rewards or some combination of the two.
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#14 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2015-June-29, 10:31

View PostWesleyC, on 2015-June-29, 10:03, said:

Completely feasible, there's nothing in the game that can't be unlocked for free. They've designed the first 20 hours to be very accessible to new players.

However if you are a completionist (or have ambitions to become a serious competitor on the ranked ladder) then enough cards for a full collection will currently cost you either US$750, 1000 hours of rewards or some combination of the two.

Ah, ok, thanks.

$750 sounds .. excessive, to say the least. That is obviously a revenue model, not a game. But I guess they can get that from hardcore players, just as MTG does.

But, if free is feasible, good.


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#15 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2015-June-29, 15:18

I only paid for the two expansions, I have a collection full of holes, but have quite a lot of cards.

I've had one (mage) 12 win arena.

I decided to make a face hunter deck because I had all the cards and it does just seem to be easy mode, but prefer fun stuff.

I used to play magic mainly for fun although I have a very extensive/expensive collection of the early cards.

My favourite deck was a red/blue palinchron mana engine effort which I have had win at turn 2.

I was also the first person to win a mindsports olympiad gold medal, which I won for MtG because none of the serious players knew the tournament was happening.
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#16 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2015-June-30, 02:15

I'll see your rogue runs and raise you this 12-1 run:
http://imgur.com/CQjaYvD
It was actually very close to being the dream (12-0) but I got paired again with an opponent I beat and his familiarity with the fact my deck sucked let him beat me - he knew he didn't need to save removal for good targets and that he can overcommit freely.

billw55, I haven't spent a dime on the game and I have most cards you'd want in your collection. There are about 2.5 decks (one isn't completely serious) I can't play, and they're not "the best" in any sense. Tomorrow I'll know how I placed in ranked play but I'm in one of the top percentiles (rank 6 was I think the top 3% of players?), so it's possible to be a cheapskate competitive player.
The game is very well designed in that sense. Never has anything felt less cash-grabby. As a design principle, anything that has any impact on your chances to win can be gotten with no monetary investment. The only things you have to buy are cosmetic in nature.
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#17 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2015-June-30, 03:53

BTW, I have rejoined recently, and I still don't know how to use the new heroes. What am I suposed to do?
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#18 User is offline   WesleyC 

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Posted 2015-June-30, 08:32

Mediocre rogue decks are clearly OP! I guess the main take-away is that drafting a consistent curve is extremely important, especially when you can support it with backstab/dagger.

The only cards that really look questionable in that deck are the two conceals, although I have to admit, I haven't played conceal since combo rogue many seasons ago. Did they play OK?

Regarding the new heroes - I think they're purely cosmetic and I certainly won't be spending $10 for a new skin...
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#19 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2015-June-30, 09:12

Rogue is a good class if you know how to play an aggressive tempo style. That's what I had to do with this deck since it had no staying power - very little late game and very poor card quality, with no card draw or AoE. Conceal was a least-of-evils pick (first over undertaker and booty bay bodyguard when my deck already had several 5-drops, second over sinister strike and silverback patriarch), but it fit the only possible play-style, since it denies the opponent the possibility of making trades, so you get an extra turn of pushing in face damage, very similar to sap. It certainly won me games where I could play it just as the opponent began to stabilize, and one game vs. mage where I dropped a 6/6 and concealed it with some small guys, and now his flamestrike means I push 6 damage in and get to rebuild my board.

Fluffy, they cost $10 a piece and do nothing except look cool. What you want to look into, as a rejoining player, is the tavern brawl mode, available from Wedensday afternoon (EU) until Sunday night. You get a free pack and it's a very fun environment.
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#20 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2015-June-30, 10:18

Huh, just tried to install on my phone and it failed. Android 5.0.2, 2 gig RAM. Why is a mobile app 600+ meg?
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