Showing posts from June, 2015

Cracking Open Hellfire Citadel

I always love the opening nights of a new Raid. Balance issues are still being tweaked, you can't navigate the place blindfolded or say the boss emotes before they do.Trash is somewhat a mystery. Sure you can find Boss strategies from the PTR, but rarely do they cover trash. Even with the PTR videos, there is still a period of adjustment of adapting those strategies to the strengths and weaknesses of your own raid. I was running a little late (again) but I managed to get into the zone before the first boss, Hellfire Assault. This boss encounter reminded me a bit of the old days of Mount Hyjal or what I thought SWTOR raids would look like. You don't fight one big guy, but instead are challenged by small, powerful groups of enemies. The biggest thing for the tanks was picking up the big Bezerkers before they smashed one of our poor healers. We had the gates breached in three attempts which was already much better than our opening night in either Highmaul or Blackrock Foundry.

[Hearthstone] Defeating Vaelastrasz (Normal)

The next boss standing in your way is none other than the red dragon Vaelastrasz. I have to give props to the voice actor's on the entire Blackrock Mountain adventure. The characters are all well done and as an added bonus, I'm learning the correct pronunication of names like Drakkisath and Vaelastraz. Every Boss encounter is heavily influenced by that boss's hero power and Vaelasstraz is no different. Her hero power causes each player to draw two cards making her fight similiar to playing someone on the ladder with a mill deck. I went with a low mana Hunter deck and focused on playing as many cards as I could each round. Here's my deck list: Arcane Shot x 2 Timber Wolf x 2 Webspinner x 2 Explosive Trap x 1 Snipe x 1 Dire Wolf Alpha x 1 Haunted Creeper x 2 Knife Juggler x 1 Scavenging Hyena x 1 Stonesplinter Trogg x 1 Animal Companion x 2 Deadly Shot x 1 Kill Command x 2 Unleash the Hounds x 2 Emperor Cobra x 1 Goblin Sapper x 1 Ironfur Grizzly x 2

[Hearthstone] Defeating Razorgore the Untamed (Normal)

We open up Blackwing Lair with Razorgore the Untamed. The Razorgore fight is all those eggs ('bout them eggs, no trouble). He summons 1 egg per turn. Its a zero attack minion with 1 life. Each turn it grows by 1 life. If it reaches 4 life, it hatches.You don't want those eggs to hatch because if they do, it spawns a 7/3 minion.  The trick is knowing when to attack the eggs and when to attack other minions and Razorgore himself. I didn't realize it at the time, but Razorgore incorporates a mechanic that I saw over and over again as I progressed through the Blackrock Mountain adventure where the enemy has something akin toa  Zoo deck and overwhelms you with minions. I wanted to get some board control so I would always have options for knocking down the eggs before they hatched. I decidd to go with a Hunter deck for this boss. I included Oasis Snapjaw  mostly to provide nice targets for the Houndmasters. A 2/7 isn't much to get excited about by a 4/9 with Taunt can be

Welcome to the [Tanaan] Jungle

I got on later than usual due to some real life stuff. We got some potential good news on the house front, but now we enter into a holding pattern to see if its all going to come together. Fingers, and toes crossed. When I finally logged on, I got right to work opening up my Shipyard and getting to Tanaan. At the same time, I had designs on getting into a Mythic Skyreach group to get the new epic gem cutting recipe that drops there. Unfortunately, due to my late arrival, groups had already formed and despite having both a tank and healer we couldn't find enough people online to put a group together. I wasn't sure about PUGing a Mythic dungeon so I had to put that off until another night. I completed the quest to build my shipyard and launched off for Tanaan. It's so weird being in a new place. I had no idea where anything was or how to get from point A to point B. Part of that is exciting and refreshing and part of it is frustrating and confusing. Then came the mome

[Hearthstone] Defeating Rend Blackhand (Normal)

The final boss of the Blackrock Spire wing is Rend Blackhand. Rend has a summoning power that changes each time he uses it. He can summons 3 1/1 welps, 3/1 dragonkin, 2 1/1 Orcs with Taunt , Glyth, a nasty 8/4 dragon. I opted for a Mage deck with Pyro as a big finisher. Arcane Missiles, and Arcane Explosion really help with all the possible 1/1 minions he can summon. Polymorph is nice for Gltyh. Water Ele, Frostbolt and Snowchugger also help to keep Glyth away from the face with Freeze effects. Blizzard and Cone of Cold provide nice AoE with a bonus of a freeze effect. Arcane Missles x 2 Mana Wyrm x 2 Arcane Explosion x2 Frostbolt x 2 Snowchugger x 2 Arcane Intellect x 2 Counterspell Cone of Cold Mirror Entity x 2 Fireball x 2 Polymorph x 2 Water Elemental x 2 Faceless Manipulator Sludge Belcher x 2 Blizzard x 2 Flamestrike x 2 Pyroblast Pyroblast is a lovely finisher. 30-0. I'd say that went well.

This One Hit A Little Too Close to Home

We've started the process of formally merging the two guilds together into one guild and Wednesday the combined guild took its first steps in Heroics. We had previously killed Beast Lord, Hanz and Franz and Gruul on Heroic and we managed to get them down again with some effort. It is so funny how our comp swings from one night to the next. One night we will have healers (and shamans) coming out of our ears to the extent that some people switch to an alt, but the next night, we'll be looking for healers to log on and have one shaman. Such is life on the Casual Deck of the good ship Raiding. While we were raiding Wednesday, a coward committed an act of evil less than 10 miles from where I sat in my desk chair. #PrayersForCharleston, #PrayForCharleston, and #CharlestonShooting filled my social media. I was numb. This sort of stuff doesn't happen here, and certainly not this close to home. I went and kissed each of my sleeping children on the forehead and hugged my wife. Slee

[Hearthstone] Defeating General Drakkisath (Normal)

The deck I put together for General Drakkisath uses some legendary minions that you get from completing the Naxxramas adventure. I assume you did Naxx before BRM. If you are new to the game or coming back after a long break, I would advise you to get Naxx first. You can buy it with in-game gold, but it is a pretty insane grind. Naxx contains some really advantageous cards that still see use in many decks even with GnG and now BRM out. Drakkisath has an interesting Hero power. All your cards cost 1 mana, but you can only spend 1 mana. The result is you can only play 1 card per turn but you can play any card, and you can never use your Hero power. I went with a Priest deck full of Legendary and other big minions. Drakkisath starts with 50 HP so you'll need some serious firepower. You will want counters for big minions like his 7/7 War Golems. If he gets Troggzor the Earthinator out be careful of your spells lest you fill the board with Troggs. He's also got a board clear (Twi

[Hearthstone] Defeating Highlord Omokk

The first boss of the next week is Omokk. In all my time in WoW, Lower Blackrock Spire is the one dungeon I really never ran. By the time I got to 60, people were skipping straight to Upper Blackrock Spire as a good percentage of the player base already had the key to UBRS. Omokk's hero power is an Execute he can't control since it hits a random damaged minion, but if you've only got one damaged minion, yeah, that guy is toast. Blackrock Mountain feels like it has many random powers and minions like this. First off, this guy totally cheats. I tried a deck with Arcane Nullifers, Faire Dragons and Spectral Knights. All of those state that they can't be hit by Hero Powers or spells. Well, with Omokk, they can. His Hero power can hit them. He can hit stealth minions, too, while they are still stealthed. Sign this guy up for his Patriots's jersey. Nearly all his minions have a "50% chance to attack the wrong minion" and even his Time for Smash spell hits

[Hearthstone] Defeating Ragnaros (Normal)

The final boss of this wing is none other than Ragnaros, but you don't start out fighting Rag right away. First, of course, you have to deal with Majordomo. Once you have defeated Majordomo and then he will summon Ragnaros who replaced Majordomo as the 'hero' and has 8 health and 8 mana. Majordomo has a major surprise waiting for you. His hand is literally filled with 8/8 Molten Giants. If you get him below 20 HP he will flood the board with those guys. Unless you are a Paladin and have a Equality plus Consecration combo, good luck dealing with that. What you want to do is hold Majordomo just above 20 health until you've got the board control to burst him down. This situation almost seemed tailor made for a Shaman Bloodlust deck. One interesting observation if made is that the AI didn't seem to think Vitality Totem was much of a threat and several times went after other minions. This let me recover and swing the match to a win. Earthshock x2 Forked Lightnin

[Hearthstone] Defeating Baron Geddon (Normal)

I'm continuing my romp through Hearthstone's Blackrock Mountain adventure. Baron Geddon presents an interesting challenge. Basically, if you have any mana left over at the end of your turn, he gets to activate his Hero power and do 5 damage. I countered this with a Face Hunter deck with a decent curve. Mulligan into as smooth an early mana curve as you can. Your hero power is a nice mana dump if you need it. Calculate each turn how you will spend your mana, even if means playing a card before you are really ready to. 5 damage over and over will put a hurting on you. I really wanted another Timber Wolf but I couldn't figure out where to put it. He's got some Molten Giants so hopefully you have some good removal up. My deck isn't heavy on removals. The trick to Living Bomb is you have to kill that minion that turn before it can go off. You can run him into one of Baron's minions. If he dies that way, the bomb won't go off. Hunter's Mark x2 Arcane

[Hearthstone] Defeating Garr (Normal)

The 4th boss you encounter in Blackrock Mountain rocks! Garr is an Earth Elemental that does a pulsing attack that hits all minions for one damage. My thought was to employ a deck heavy on enrage mechanics. The big problem is Garr's Firesworn. They start out as 0/5 and the board is full of them. Garr will use his pulse attack and whittle their health down. When they reach zero, they explode and the more that explode on the same turn, the more damage they all do. The first one to explode on that turn does 1 damage, the second one does 2 damage and so forth. You need to control how many explode each turn. Don't be afraid to use an Execute if you need to explode one of the Firesworn. A Frothing Bezerker would be amazing in this deck. I think I will try to get one before I try Heroic. You could use a Gurubashi Bezerkers for a similar effect. Execute x2 Warbot x2 Firey War Axe x2 Cleave x2 Rampage Amani Bezerker x2 Nerubian Egg x2 Shield Block Acolyte of Pain Raging W

[Hearthstone] Defeating Emporer Thaurissan (Normal)

Welcome back to the third installment of my trip through Blackrock Moutain. The final boss of the first wing is Emperor Thaurissan. The trick with Thaurissan is you can't let Moria die. She's a 1/3 minion on his side of the board so any AoE you do that takes more than 3 hit points will kill her. In addition, he's got some Unstable Ghouls in his deck and if he gets both off they will damage her down to 1 HP and then ANY AoE you do will kill her. Moria will attack you only, unless you have a taunt out. Then she will attack the taunt, so no taunters in your deck unless you want to use a Shieldbearer (0/4). If you let her die, Thaurissan gains an attack that does 30 damage and basically one shots you. Thanks for playing, we have some lovely parting gifts for you, and the home game! I went with a Priest deck with Power Word: Shield. That gave me the option to actually use it on Moria to increase her health if needed. With Anduin's hero power, I could also heal her direct

[Hearthstone] Defeating the Dark Iron Arena (Normal)

I'm continuing my posts on defeating Hearthstone's new adventure "Blackrock Mountain". Before we get into the post, I wanted to comment on the new Hero coming to Hearthstone. Of course, it's not really a new Hero, its simply a skin over the existing Hero with some new dialog. I chalk this up to Marketing and asking Marketing to not lie is like asking a pig to not wallow in the mud. They will do it because it is their nature. The new Hero skin costs $10. I think that is too much money for one skin so I plan to show this is Blizzard in one simple way. I won't buy it. Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog. The actual boss you fight in the Dark Iron Arena is High Justice Grimstone. They did a great job with his voice acting. He summons almost nothing but Legendary minions. They tend to be pretty expensive so playing an aggro type of deck works well here. Mulligan your initial cards to try to get a Mana Wyrm. A Snowchugger would be a second choice. Lor

Dirty Casuals Hand It to Blackhand

I considered not logging Thursday. We had been working on Blackhand for 3 consecutive raid nights and I had reached my limit. The same pattern of the first night repeated over and over. We'd get to Phase 3 and someone would mess up Marked for Death, we'd be scattered for Smash and it would be all downhill from there. We'd throw in a couple of 'regression' pulls on the night where we messed up Phase 1 or Phase 2 to spice things up a bit. I started thinking back to Black Temple, one of Burning Crusade's major raids. Around the middle of the raid you encountered a fight called Teron Gorefiend. In the Gorefiend fight, a raid member would get picked at random. They would be transported to the back of the room and become a 'ghost'. Their class abilities were replaced with special abilities in what would eventually become known as the vehicle UI. Using the 'ghost', the player had to go around and kill adds. These adds were not attackable by anyone exc

[Hearthstone] Defeating the Grim Guzzler (Normal)

I'm going to do a series of posts on how I beat the new Hearthstone Adventure "Blackrock Mountain". I'll show you the deck I used and explain any strategy tips. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. Grim Guzzler's hero is none other than our favorite Brewfest boss, Coren Direbrew. His hero power summons a minion from each players deck. When summoned in this way, the minions do not fire their Battlecry. I went with a minion heavy Priest deck, but I broke the no Battlecry rule with Temple Enforcer. I liked having a 6/6 on the board and felt it was worth it. Feugen and Stalaag make for some real fun if you can get both out and killed. Lightbomb is a great board clear if you get behind or lose a Brawl. Throw in some Giants and big minions, along with some buffs and removals. Mulligan away any high mana cards, you want Coren to summon them early with his hero power. Shadow Word: Pain x 2 Dire Wolf Alpha Shadow Word: Death x 2 V