The Happy Hearthstone 88 – Reflection and Prediction

We are all about having fun while playing Hearthstone! And one of the best ways to have more fun is to get better. But we’ve all had times when we just can’t figure out what is happening on the ladder. Ignatius helps us reflect on the meta over the past month and predict what’s coming this month. If you want to have the best chance possible at climbing the ladder and getting your best rank yet, this episode is chalked full of great information!

Audio version:

News Chat

  • New expansion has officially been announced: Journey to Un’Goro!
    • The card they presented as an example is a 5 mana 5 attack 4 health Druid beast minion named Verdant Longneck. And its text reads “Battlecry: Adapt.” So the effect appears to come at about a 1 mana premium.
    • There are 10 possible adaptations: Taunt, Divine Shield, Windfury, +3 Attack, Can’t be targeted by spells or hero powers, Deathrattle: Summon two 1/1 Plants, +3 Health, +1/+1, Stealth, and Destroy any minion damaged by this minion.
    • As previously rumored, the new expansion will be all about Un’Goro, which is a zone in WoW that’s similar to Jurassic Park. It’s a pocket of the world where dinosaurs still live. There’s an “adventurous” undertone as Elise Starseeker was involved with the announcement as well.
    • It will have 135 cards. (Spells, minions, etc.)
    • It will release in early April
    • There is a new tribe called Elemental. This is similar to Murlocs or Pirates where these cards can play off of each other. And some old cards (I assume Earth Elemental, Fire Elemental, and Al’Akir) will inherit the Elemental tribe tag.
    • A new keyword called ‘Adapt’ will appear on some cards! This is a new mechanic that is most like Discover. So when you play a card with Adapt, three options will pop up out of 10 possibilities. And you get to choose how you modify the card played.
    • Volcano – Rare Shaman Spell – 5 mana – Deal 15 damage split among all minions. Overload: (2)
    • Pyros – Legendary Mage Minion – 2 mana – 2/2 – Deathrattle: Return this to your hand as a 6/6 that costs (6) — THAT card reads Deathrattle: Return this to your hand as a 10/10 that costs (10)
    • Gentle Megasaur – Epic Neutral Beast Minion – 4 mana – 5/4 – Battlecry: Adapt your Murlocs
    • You can currently preorder the new expansion. For $49.99, you’ll get 50 packs on day 1, and you’ll unlock a prehistoric cardback today!

Topic

We’re going to try out a new episode type today, and if you want to get better at Hearthstone, I think you’re really going to enjoy this. We’re going to do a bit of reflecting and a bit of predicting. We’re going to talk about what has been happening in the game of Hearthstone over the past month (the meta, decks that have been strong/prevalent, etc.), and then we’re going to look ahead to what we think could be expected over the next month. Because the laddering seasons are broken up by each month, my hope is that this will equip you with the tools you need to plan ahead for March and be best equipped for what’s to come. And we’ll mostly be talking about Standard ranked play, because that tends to be the format that most people play.

 

Reflect

  • Over the past month, even though we’re several months out from the expansion itself, and the meta should be all but settled
    • A lot of Shaman, Aggro and Jade (with Jade on the rise)
    • A lot of Warrior, mostly pirates, a little bit of control
    • Your Reno trademarks are prominent but keep seeing techs
    • Aggro Rogue, Miracle Rogue, Dragon Priest, Jade Druid bringing up the rear of our top meta decks
    • Of course, our Tier 1 decks seem to be more or less grounded in their spots
  • Now with all this being in place, the amazing thing is that this far out from new cards, we’re actually continuing to see more iteration. It’s been deceptive, because the iteration hasn’t so much been totally new decks coming out of nowhere, but more along the lines of huge changes to already standing archetypes.  And I think there’s a lesson to be learned here.
  • First big thing we saw in February was the rise of “Water” decks.  
    • Tossing it back to you maybe → what are “Water” decks and why are they called this.
  • So as the Winter NA HCT championships were approaching, the community was pretty much expecting a carbon copy of the EU championships which had happened the weekend before.  But, what we got was the tasty treat of Murlocs showing up all over the tournament.
    • The big highlight was Luminocity’s Fr0zen punching a ticket to the Bahamas using a Murloc Pirate Warrior, and just cleaning up the competition with it.
  • Since then, Finja and his friends have shown up in all sorts of decks on the ladder.  Menagerie Druid, Finja Rogue, Water Mage, and of course Anyfin Paladin.
  • Story of the Finja swing turn with Rogue and the power of the turn following Finja.
  • Reflection → I think this Finja phenomenon can teach us something about theorycrafting.  I think that the Hearthstone community at large is guilty — myself included — of accepting a meta as being completely “settled.”  It’s amazing that this far out from the expansion, with so many powerhouse decks sitting at Tier 1 for week after week — completely refined, apparently — something like this could pop in and shake things up so dramatically.

 

Predict

  • The big nerf patch hit the scene just three days ago.  I remember 2 days out from the end of the season, all the pros were sort of acting like that was the last day, knowing that the patch would roll out the next day and make things so unpredictable.
    • Might want to re-cap what the balances actually were here.
  • Already, I think we’re seeing some pretty big changes as a result of the 2-card balance patch.  
    • Potion of Madness in Priest
    • Whirlwind effects in Warrior
    • Ping effects in Tempo Mage
    • Token Removing Hero-powers in Druid / Mage / Rogue
    • The comeback of Zoo and Tempo mage seems inevitable – the former powerful 1-drop decks
    • Aggro Shaman will have to reinvent itself again — lean on Doomhammer perhaps
    • Aggro Warrior might just settle in with the Finja package – will certainly slow down a bit with the Buccaneer nerf
    • Jade Midrange Shaman will surge in popularity
    • Added strength to any deck that can contest the Buccaneer efficiently
  • Overall reflection → perhaps not any totally new archetypes, but the balance of power will be shifting around for sure, and the return of some former-favorite archetypes seems likely.
  • And, creative iterations are always possible.  The Finja inclusion showed us that nearly 3 months out, and in an extremely refined meta, some sleeper ideas can still be sitting there, nearly untapped.

 

Community

Question

Scott here, aka straydog/thegaryscott/nopunintended. I have a question for the podcast. Reno will soon be gone! Do you think they will replace him with another highlander deck heal?  If so what would the text be?

My sincerest gratitude.

Straydog#1963  

 

iTunes Review

No reviews

Card of the Week

Amara, Warden of Hope

 

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Closer

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Feedback

As always, we’d love to know what you thought of the show and what you’d like to see added to the show for future episodes.

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Guest Plugs

  • Twitch – twitch.tv/ignatiusHS
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  • Podcast – KCFiresides Hearthstone Podcast
  • Great content on Tempo Storm and Good Gaming .com
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