Hello everyone! I’m RidiculousHat from the Coin Concede podcast and I’m here to give you this week’s Hearthstone Roundup.
So what happened this week?
Well, the community is still processing the “In The Works” article (as discussed last week) and it has led to quite a bit of feedback to the developers about the state of the game. There hasn’t been a lot of other news to speak of, so we’re going to take this time to connect you with some content creators in the space that have written, spoken, or recorded thoughts. It’s worth noting that in many cases this content seeks to provide constructive criticism to the current design team in charge of HS, so please enter with an open mind.
The State Of Hearthstone w/Zalae
Value Town #185 (Also available as a podcast)
Omni/Slash ep. 64
TheTavernBlawg – Very Much Still in the Works
The Angry Chicken #281 – “Dead on Arrival”
Coin Concede #154 – “The Works”
There are many, many more folks talking about the state of Hearthstone right now – this is just a small selection to get you started!
That’s a lot of content. What if I just want to hop on and play something competitive?
Remember when I talked about Even Shaman two weeks ago? Well, it’s really good! Let’s take a look at the most updated list.
Atome took this list to the very top of the ladder – rank 1 legend, to be specific. It’s worth noting that Even Shaman seems like a deck that’s based on small minions, but it really just wants to stall the game until you can start dropping big things until your opponent runs out of ways to kill them. Your 1 mana hero power will keep the board full and allow cards like Dire Wolf Alpha, Flametongue Totem, and Earthen Might to interact early on to start applying pressure… but that’s only to get you into the middle of the game, where the deck’s density of threats is truly incredible.
If you look closely at the mana costs here, there are pretty clear brackets – 10 cards that cost 2, 8 cards that cost 4, and 12 big cards. Many of these generate value, either through removing other minions, generating additional cards, or both in the case of Hagatha. You also have Sea Giant as a cheap and powerful threat on messy boards and Hex when you’re facing down a minion you have no other way to deal with. There’s a lot of flexibility here!
Your game plan in general will be to mulligan for your lower cost cards like Dire Wolf Alpha, Flametongue Totem, and Murkspark Eel as well as your 1-ofs with Primalfin Totem and Menacing Nimbus. You’ll throw back Vicious Scalehide quite often, as you really want that Lifesteal to be granted to Corpsetaker when you draw it. While keeping Dire Wolf and Flametongue may seem strange, remember that you will *always* have board… thanks to your hero power! Dire Wolf is almost guaranteed to deal damage the turn you play it, and Flametongue doubly so – your hero power is a scary threat when your minions get bigger. Oftentimes against controlling strategies, you will find yourself hero powering every turn and just playing a single threat at a time to absorb their removal and keep the pressure on.
The deck is all about finding a balance between taking it slow and cranking up the pressure. The real question you have to ask yourself is how much you will get punished for “going wide” or playing all of your minions and filling up the board. Against a deck like tempo mage where they have no mass removal, this is the way to go! They can’t keep up with your sea of minions and have to make the difficult choice of spending burn spells on your face or on your board. Neither choice usually works out for them. Against a deck like Even Warlock, you have to be careful to not set up a juicy Defile or Hellfire! The general rule before you play a minion is to ask “Do I win if my opponent doesn’t have the removal spell?” If the answer is yes, don’t play anything! Just let what you already have down do the work… and that way, if they have the clear, you have more stuff to do.
Hagatha deserves special mention because she is so powerful as a value generator. In many control matchups like Big Spell Mage or Odd Warrior, you want to play Hagatha as quickly as possible and conserve as many minions as you can to keep your hand stocked with random Shaman spells. More cards means more to do, and you will be able to overwhelm your opponent by grinding them out with free extra cards. Against Warrior, I will often keep Hagatha in the mulligan!
Is there a budget option?
There is, though be aware that you lose a ton of the deck’s synergies. Still, it’s worth a shot to just try the deck out.
SpyWalker came up with this budget list and it’s quite affordable and capable of giving you a feel for what Even Shaman is all about. Genn Greymane is the only card above rare and the strategy is largely the same. Hold Ghost Light Angler to refill the board instead of playing it early… it’s up to five murlocs in one!
What about wacky instead of competitive?
How about both?? Asmodai has been playing a crazy combo priest that can kill in one turn while still grinding the opponent out! Check it out.
Zerek’s Cloning Gallery pulls out Malygos, Velen, double Radiant Elemental, and Bloodmage Thalnos (among others)… which allows you to play free 22 damage Mind Blasts and 16 damage Holy Smites! You have a resurrection package with Lesser Diamond Spellstone and Eternal Servitude as well as Shadow Essence to summon minions in the midgame, making the deck surprisingly resilient. There’s no way I’m going to describe this deck better than seeing it in action – check out his stream over at twitch.tv/asmodai_tv.
Where do you get your info?
As stated last week (and every week), check out the below sources of info.
If you only have time to check out one place, it should be the weekly Vicious Syndicate meta report, which can be found here.
Beyond that, if you want up-to-the-minute decklists, there are two places you can look:
AhirunHS on Twitter for decklists
Robotmoon for replays and decklists
What have you been playing?
You know that Even Shaman above? Well… Corbett made an even greedier version. Feast your eyes on this monstrosity!
It’s actually really good too, but it abuses Bright-Eyed Scout and plays even more large threats than the Atome build. Double Bonemare! The Black Knight! Cairne Bloodhoof!! Once it gets to the late game, your opponent will not be able to keep up. Plus, it’s a whole ton of fun.
Until next week, thanks for reading!
If you’d like to hear more Hearthstone talk, check out our podcast at our website and follow me on twitter @RidiculousHat.