Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hearthstone: Free to Play, Pay to Win, and the Challenges of Collectible Games by Brian Kibler

Article at

I prefer constructed to Arena too although Arena is probably a good way to build up your cards if you are good at it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hearthstone: Hearthstone Theory by PVDDR

PVDDR on Managing Your Resources from which is quite a long read but very informative write-up on the concepts of the gameplay and decisions in Hearthstone.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Hearthstone: TheFishou's Feign Death Hunter

Deck-list from Hearthstone Top Decks Decks

One of the first few competitive Hunter decks to feature Feign Death although only one copy was used. I managed to get one from packs recently so I tried out the deck, replacing Piloted Sky Golems and Dr. Boom, as I did not have them, with 1 more Piloted Shredder and Feugen and Stalagg. I think having 4 6-mana minions might be too much? I still managed to use Feign Death although there is no card draw in the deck and as normally, your opponent will not want to kill your deathrattle minions.

Puzzle & Dragons: Mini Heroes of Three Kingdoms Pal Egg Machine for Japan Version (Updates)

Update: Event announced on Gungho website. You can also get 2000 pal points each, for a total of 4000 pal points, from the bottom second dungeon of both the Challenge and Descend Challenge Dungeons. (Links to with the information in Chinese. You can tell if the reward is pal points from mails with a silver coin icon)

Pazusoku blog article
Puzzle Dragon X news containing card list

This new pal egg machine that should be coming soon is probably going to cost 1000 pal points each pull and they are similar to the Chibi Chinese Gods from the Christmas Gacha, similar skills but with orb enhance awakenings instead except Mini Zhao Yun. (No news on this coming to other regions yet) I think they are mostly for collection purposes, skilling-up their original versions, low-cost dungeons (especially Mini Cao Cao!) and S-ranking dungeons. Edit: They have better stats then the Chibi Chinese Gods as they require evolving and go up to level 99. Most of the difference with the original version are around a loss of about 500 HP. I think those with double orb enhance of the same color makes for good subs for orb enhance focused teams.

For team usage, Mini Zhuge Liang will be a good leader for fast farming dungeons while Mini Lu Bu and Sun Quan will be good enhancer subs for devil and healer teams., especially Mini Lu Bu as most people without Lu Bu are using King Baddie. Similar to the Chibi Chinese Gods, I think all of them are useful leaders in the early game for people starting out. I really like how they make use of Pal Points instead of stones as having another choice to use your Pal Points is great since they removed the Metal Dragon Pal Egg event. I hope this returns often with every new event.

Merry Christmas to all readers!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Hearthstone: Kolento and mYi.FaKe Shaman Decks

Kolento's Shaman from Hearthstone Top Deck

mYi.FaKe Shaman from Hearthstone sub-Reddit and article on the deck

Both decks are similar to 11point5ft's Shaman deck which is basically what most standard Shaman deck looks like. The main changes were that Doomhammer was replaced with Powermace and more mechs were added with Feral Spirit cut to make way for the mechs. You can see some explanation about the card choices in mYi.FaKe's post and the sub-Reddit thread. He does not explain the exclusion of Antique Healbot which I thought will be a necessary one-of at least in Shaman.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hearthstone: Neirea's Warrior and Darkwonyx Warlock Decks

From Hearthstone Top Decks Deck Section:
Neirea's Warrior Deck

Darkwonyx's Warlock Deck

Neirea's deck is similar to Kranich's one from BlizzCon 2014 except it is replaces all of the legendaries to focus solely on the Raging Worgen combo finisher. Darkwonyx's Warlock deck on the other hand is kinda similar in that I think it is mainly stalling to get the Arcane Golem-Power Overwhelming-Faceless Manipulator combo.

I didn't really catch Neirea's deck in action but I think it will do better with an Alexstrasza. I used to run something like that as I did not have the legendaries and I find myself defending till I draw the combo pieces but am still unable to finish off the opponent as their health was usually untouched; Darkwonyx's Warlock deck does run one.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hearthstone: Imp-losion in Warlock Zoo? (Updated)

Update: Xixo took the deck to #1 Legend in EU, NA and Asia servers. I'm not sure if people have done it before with a Zoo deck but it is certainly very impressive!

Xixo's Warlock Zoo Deck-list from Hearthstone Top Decks

The most interesting inclusion is 2 Imp-losion. There is a Sea Giant for the "synergy" with Imp-losion too. I think Imp-losion is something to test in zoo as it might be a useful card to re-gain board control if you happen to lose it.

Edit: Imp-losion is pretty mana efficient as at a minimum, it is a 4 mana spell that will at least deal 2 damage and summon 2 Imps (unless you target a minion with divine shield!) and it combo-s well with the staple zoo minions like Knife Juggler, Dire Wolf Alpha and Defender of Argus. However, I don't think Zoo have much space at the 4-mana slot and you don't want to draw too many cards that cost 4-mana and above. Maybe as a 1-of?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hearthstone: Pini's GvG Mech Mage

Source: Hearthstone Top Decks section

No legendaries and no cards above 4 mana cost. This is the cheapest Mech Mage deck I've seen so far.

Hearthstone: Jab's GvG Midrange Hunter from GvG Current Top Meta Decks by Hearthstone Top Decks

Source: Hearthstone Top Decks Article

Nice roundup that covers everything we've seen from tournaments so far. It had quite a lot of decks I posted but I did not find a notable Hunter deck and this article listed one that I think looks quite good; Jab's GvG Midrange Hunter. No Gah'zilla used but has Dr. Boom which is showing up in a lot of decks. The other minion that I think had improved quite a number of decks is the Antique Healbot which did not get a mention.

Hearthstone: Brian Kibler's Understanding Fel Reaver

Source: BMK Gaming Article

The biggest drawback IMO is the information of what is left in your deck that the card gives as it mills. The article is a nice read on an explanation about card advantage in card games. Brian Kibler's MechMage deck has also changed to be closer looking to StrifeCro's, with less Mage class cards.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hearthstone: Android Tablet version roll out and Developer AMA

Update: Android Tablet version is now live worldwide!

Source: HearthPwn

You can get a free pack of Classic cards from playing a game of Hearthstone in any game mode on an Android tablet, so remember to do so once it is available.

The Developer Ask Me Anything (AMA) discussion contain quite a few interesting information about the game's future and features. I think all players should give it a read. The most interesting one for me is that I learn that it is in the developers' intention to not match new players with players that have a massive collections; it turns out that there are bugs preventing it!

Hearthstone: 11point5ft's Neptulon Shaman

Source: HearthPwn Decks section

If you ever wonder how a pre-GvG Shaman deck will look like after GvG, I think this is probably the best looking one. A lot of people were saying how Vitality Totem will provide much needed health for Shaman but Antique Healbot actually takes its place. It is showing up here as well as in Rogue and Warlock Handlock decks.

Hearthstone: Powder's GvG Paladin Deck

Source: Sub-Reddit post by Powder with information on the deck as well as how to mulligan

The only down side as Powder said is the cost of the deck. The mulligan guide is always nice to read even if you are not playing this deck as you learn something about the classes' strategies.

Hearthstone: Kolento's GvG Rogue

Source: HearthPwn Decks section

I think this was probably taken from Kolento's stream. This deck uses Preparation and Sprint for card draw to fuel the aggression, no Gadgetzan required! Check out the comments section on some replacement suggestions for the 2 Legendaries. If you are looking for a budget GvG Rogue, you can check out Free_Gold's "New Age Cancer Rogue" (Basically GvG Backspace Rogue IMO)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hearthstone: Ryzen's Rogue Miracle Oil

Ryzen's Twitch Video of him using the deck

The updated deck is right at the end of the video. There always have been talk about how spare parts will be useful with Gadgetzan Auctioneer but I didn't read up about which spare part generating minion to use for that purpose. Ryzen uses Mechanical Yeti and it looks like a solid choice for it!

Hearthstone: Another take on choosing Quests

Source: Sub-Reddit discussion on quests that don't require wins make the game more fun

Looking back, I actually find it to be quite true. Logically, the Specific Class quests are more gold efficient (2 wins for 40 gold, 5 wins for 60) but when you don't have the complete deck for that class, it actually takes a while as you might find yourself losing and it stretches out to more than the minimum 2 games or 5 games. I did fill up a Zoo deck with 0-2 cost minions for "The Meek Shall Inherit" quest and it was interesting and fun. The only exception to that discussion is the "Total Dominance" quest for 100 gold, which can be done against the A.I., definitely do those!

Edit: Come to think of it, one exception might be the "Only the Mighty" quest because it involves playing minions that cost 5 or more and that might take a while to pull off in a game.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hearthstone Kinguin For Charity 2014 Tournament: Paladins return, budget Mech Mage and budget Miracle Rogue (Update another deck-list link)

*New* Deck-lists from Hearthstone Top Deck (Only for the Top 8 players though)

Deck-lists from in one Image intensive page

Alternate Deck-lists from Hearthstone Top Decks

You can find videos of the matches by searching for 'Kinguin' on YouTube and filtering for the latest entries. I was looking forward to all the Control Priest decks but I think this tournament is all about the return of the Paladin decks. Muster for Battle and Quartermaster really turned the class's power and popularity around. Quartermaster in particular actually buffed Paladin's hero power indirectly as your opponent is now usually pressured to kill the 1-1 tokens as long as you have not played Quartermaster. Muster for Battle also synergies well with the old cards like Equality (board clear when played the turn after Muster with your tokens surviving), Sword of Justice, Knife Juggler and Cult Master. My favourite versions are Tidesoftime's and StrifeCro's; StrifeCro's version makes interesting use of Divine Shield minions and Blood Knight. I'm not a fan of versions trying to use Scarlet Purifier and deathrattle minions as I think it can be situational.

StrifeCro's Mech Mage was the next most outstanding deck in the tournament for me. You would think this is a deck for budget players but it is actually very viable in tournaments and even swept the finals 4-0! Other than The Dr. Boom and Loatheb, the deck only uses 4 rare-s and 0 epic-s. I would consider this the "Zoo" for Mage players. (Edit: To clarify, it is similar in the sense of cost. The play-style is more like Backspace Rogue) Brian Kibler has another Mech Mage deck but that included more Mage cards and Legendaries so is different from this IMO, check it out over at his blog.

Finally, the last deck that stood out for me was Team Archon's Miracle Rogue (Firebat's version). Apparently, it survived the Gagetzan nerf and in this iteration, it is more budget-friendly than ever! I think it still works but probably not as successful as before(?). The only GvG card was Tinker's Sharpsword Oil which IMO is a really powerful spell. Anyway, this new Miracle Rogue along with StrifeCro's Mech Mage are great additions to the growing list of competitive budget decks which only had Zoo and Hunter before GvG. (My favourite GvG Zoo from the tournament was Powder's while there were not really any Hunter decks that caught my eye)

Puzzle & Dragons Japan's Christmas Gacha 15 December tthrough 25 December (Updated)

Update: 50ShadesOfKray's thoughts on the Christmas REM at the sub-Reddit. The point being that the chibi silver eggs are good leaders for new players. Although most new player will probably be re-rolling till they get a good leader, having a variety of leaders is nice for the elemental advantage.

Gacha Cards are Number 1782 to 1794 from Puzzle Dragon X News article

It includes the tricolor Magician Girls and Chinese Gods at 4x rate which had me confused for a while thinking this will be a good chance to get the Chinese Gods. However, the Magician Girls and Chinese Gods are gold eggs in the Gacha so their 4x rate is for gold eggs. That really dilutes the chance of getting a christmas exclusive gold eggs even more IMO which is a real bummer. You can still expect to get mostly silver eggs which are the chibi Chinese Gods.

The chibi gold eggs are good replacements for their normal versions with better enhancements. The chibi silver eggs are good for low cost dungeons as their stats are quite poor and cap at level 70, they all retain their normal version's leader skills so chibi Kirin is especially powerful. Christmas Genie and Christmas Kirin are nice leaders, especially Christmas Kirin, but as usual with Collab gold egg leaders, it might be tough to find friend leaders.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hearthstone: drrgid's Zero-Sum Druid

Source: Reddit Discussion link

The deck does not use any legendary other than Bloodmage Thalnos which itself is more of a utility card rather than a late-game finisher. I have been playing control decks without legendaries and I find matches to be very long especially against other control decks with games constantly going into fatigue. Control decks usually use powerful late-game legendaries to end game and I feel having those will probably help to make games shorter.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hearthstone: Sjow's GvG Priest

Source: Hearthstone Top Decks

The title of that page names the deck as Midrange Priest but I think it should be Control? This is the deck-list that is the closest to the pre-GvG Control Priest decks while able to add in 2 Shrinkmeister with the notable cuts being 1 Holy Smite, 1 Holy Nova and the sole copy of Silence. I'm currently testing mine without Recombobulator as well because I find it situational in usage.

Hearthstone: Forsen GvG Control Priest

I was watching Forsen's stream over at Twitch and saw him using a Control Priest with GvG cards. I've been trying out Control Priest (without legendaries) and using the standard list (an example will be Kolento's list from Dreahack Winter 2014) from before GvG and trying to fit in Recombobulator  and Shrinkmeister.

I had difficulty fitting them in and ended up using just 1 of each with a list similar to Rdu's in Deck Wars S3. Forsen manages to fit 2 Shrinkmeister and a Recombobulator in a much non-standard Control Priest deck (Warning: Deck name contains expletives!). He does not run Circle of Healing, Injured Blademaster or Auchenai SoulPriest cards at all! I think his second form of board clear comes from Lightbomb. It is quite effective, especially against a board of Giants, for example, clearing the 8-8-s with ease. You would previously needed 3 cards to clear the board: Auchenai SoulPriest with 2 Circle of Healings.

You can catch the deck in action in Forsen's past broadcast video on 11 December 2014 at

Hearthstone: Sjow GvG Control Warrior

Source: Reddit thread

I was looking at his deck-list and he only uses Shieldmaiden and Dr Boom from GvG with the rest being mainly the current Control Warrior cards, unlike Firebat's version from Deck Wars S3. I think another good GvG legendary will be Troggzor because he is so difficult to get rid. Sjow also explains his card choices in a write-up over at HearthPwn.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hearthstone: Deck Wars S3 finals decks with GvG cards

Source: article with deck lists

Match Video: Machinima Twitch Past Broadcast Video

I managed to catch this matchup between Firebat and Rdu. GvG cards were used and this has to be one of the first Pro matches with those cards. The interesting decks for me were Firebat's Hunter and Control Warrior decks.

The Hunter deck was beast-themed with 0 Undertakers and Secrets which was a refreshing change. The Warrior deck was very impressive, winning 3 matches in a row as well as making the best use of GvG cards IMO. It did not use Armorsmith interestingly. It instead made use of Explosive Sheep in the 2 mana slot for another board area-of-effect (AOE) damage by proc-ing them with Whirlwind or Death Bite's Deathrattle. There was a play where Firebat used both for a 5-damage AOE board clear. Shieldmaiden also made up for Armorsmith well and even provided a 5-5 body on board. It also cannot be silenced to deny armor.

Rdu's decks were mostly current decks with very few GvG cards except for the Paladin deck. I was not very impressed by the Paladin deck (I just think it may not be the final version with certain cards being possibly change around perhaps) although for the Priest deck, I agree with using a single copy of Shrinkmeister and Recombobulator as I've been trying out Control Priest for a while. I think double copies of them do clogged up the hand. Notably, he did not include Vol'jin which I thought will be an auto-include now after GvG.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hearthstone GvG: Priest Shadowboxer fun!

Update#2: Shadowboxer OTK video by Sharthstone discussed over at the Hearthstone sub-Reddit. I think it takes too many cards to work but maybe you can still pull off quite a lot of damage with fewer of the combo pieces. 

Update#1: Amaz was playing a Mech Priest deck on his stream recently and it includes Shadowboxer! Check out his 11 December past broadcast if you missed.

I opened 24 GvG packs from saved 2000+ gold, the free arena run's pack and 3 launch events pack but did not get any legendaries. I did get a lot of Mechs but am still missing some common ones. I did manage to get 2 Shadowboxer and although a lot of attention was put on Shrinkmeister, I decide to build a Priest deck around them. It turned out to be quite fun.

Shadowboxer is similar to Knife Juggler except that it requires you to have a few minions on board and hopefully injured before you can activate it multiple times. It also survives better in the sense that it has 3 health and I think it is ok to drop on turn two although like Shrinkmeister, it is probably better to drop on a more developed board for value.

Some of the cards to combo with are mass healing spells like Circle of Healing, Holy Nova and I even tried Darkscale Healer. Do note that Circle of Healing heals your opponent's minions so it's best to use that combo on minions capped at 1-2 health, already at full health or against an empty board. I then fit in the deck with the rest of the standard Priest cards (except Auchanei Soulpriest as I don't have it) and also Shrinkmeister because it just has so much synergy with Priest cards. I didn't have Light of the Naaru or Lightwell to try out but those can also combo with Shadowboxer. I had Anique Healbot but I prefer Darkscale Healer for the area of effect healing. Some of the other cool interactions is Shadowboxer activates when your opponent tries to heal as well which was hilarious.

Overall, I don't know if it will be a competitive deck but it sure was fun. That's what games are about, right?

Hearthstone GvG launch aftermath: Arena meta and Hearthpwn's GvG theory-crafted decks

A lot of people at the Hearthstone subReddit are finding the Arena different with the addition of GvG. It seems to be more aggro-oriented now as with the increase in the number of cards, getting board clear spells seem harder. I think that could be random but I did draft a Mage with only 1 Fireball and 0 Flamestrikes from the free Arena ticket run. Anyway, here are the threads on it:

Aggressive player's helpful advice

I am immediately so much worse at Arena

HearthPwn's recent article has a nice section on GvG deck concepts. They are mostly Mech-themed which is really what the expansion is "shaping" decks into with all the Mech support and minions in it. There were quite a few decks that are quite budget-friendly IMO with minimal Legendaries used:

Warrior's The Assembly line by TheChiv

Mech Shaman by Nuba

Beasty Zoo by Sparkaz

Mechanical Zoo by Sparkaz

I think there is definitely room for more tinkering but those are some nice templates to work from.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hearthstone Goblins Vs Gnomes (GvG) is out!

Update#2: GvG is now out for the other regions.

Update#1: Shop is now open! Edit: was referring to NA region

However, at this time of writing, the shop is closed and a lot of people were not able to login earlier as reported at Hearthstone subreddit threads. There were similar issues to the Naxxramas launch so it might take a while before you can get your packs. There were quite a few people buying the wrong pack as well so make sure you choose the right one when you get into the shop to make your purchase!

In the meantime, the free arena run (if you saved it) was fine for me and you can also check out the GvG cards in collection crafting mode by searching for 'gvg'.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hearthstone: StrifeCro's Flare-less Hunter Deck from Dreamhack Winter 2014

Source: Hearthstone Top Deck

Zero Flares so it's perfect after the recent card balances!

Hearthstone Goblins vs Gnomes Release Date, Launch Event and Balance Changes (Update: Free Arena run and card balance changes are now live)

- The free arena run is now being given away till 8 December. Source: Hearthpwn
- The card balance changes are also live and the disenchanting timeframe for full dust is until 18 December. Source: forum
- Expansion cards can be gotten from Webspinners! The best way to try it is through the Naxxramas' Hunter Challenge in my opinion. Source: Hearthpwn
- *New* The Goblin vs Gnomes board is also in-game now.

The expansion will be out on 8 December 2015. Source: Blizzard news

The most interesting information was this datamined by HearthPwn about the launch event: a free arena ticket (arena will be giving out the expansion pack as rewards by then) and 3 expansion packs when you login during the launch event!

Another piece of interesting news is the upcoming balance changes coming to 3 existing cards announced on the Hearthstone Official Forums:

- Soulfire will cost 1 mana.

- Gadgetzan Auctioneer will cost 6 mana.

- Flare will cost 2 mana.

Nothing too drastic this time round compared to the previous balance change, although the Gadgetzan Auctioneer change might change Miracle Rogue decks. Not only does the Auctioneer now comes out a turn later, costing 1 mana more also reduces the number of spells you can play with it on the same turn.

I think the Soulfire change is reasonable as most people try to play Soulfire on an empty hand anyway so the cost is now 1 mana for 4 damage, although I will prefer Blizzard to just make the discard portion compulsory. Pokemon TCG does it to their Trainer cards which requires discarding too and I think it makes it much "fairer".

I think the Flare change is fine as well because of the amount of effects the card packs. 2 mana for a card draw plus removing opponent's secret still makes Flare a good card. Edit: It also removes stealth so that is 3 effects in total.

Hearthstone: Brian Kibler's Dragonmaster Druid Deck

Source: BMKGaming Article

Interesting "themed" deck by Brian Kibler but if the point was to use the legendary dragons, why not just replace the legendaries in Control Warrior deck with them?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

All revealed Hearthstone Goblins vs Gnomes cards so far (Update: Completed)

Update: Hearthmasta has compiled the full list of the expansion over at Reddit with a link to the imgur in the post

At Hearthpwn page

It does not include one more recently revealed on TouchArcade yet but it definitely is a convenient resource.

Hearthstone Dreamhack Winter 2014 Top 8 Players' Decklist


I was looking through Kolento's decks and the interesting thing is that he didn't play Zoo or Hunter but still uses very little Legendaries in his decks other than Warrior Control and that was really impressive. They are definitely more "netdeck-friendly" than most of the other non-zoo/hunter competitive decks.

The other interesting thing about this list is that there is only one Shaman deck, played by Faramir and it is also very budget-friendly with zero Legendaries. He also made an interesting choice in dropping a Lightning Storm, which I will consider a staple card in Shaman decks, for Bloodlust. Edit: I missed out the point that there is zero Paladin decks in the list! I remember there was only one Paladin deck in BlizzCon so the popularity of Paladin is really low at the moment.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

DreamHack Winter 2014 Semi-Final: StrifeCro vs Kolento

Results and Video links at Reddit Post

I skipped right to the 39 minute mark which was Game 4 as there was a lot of talk about it. Be warned that is a very long match! Kolento made really good plays to get around the Duplicate trap and it is well worth to watch if only for that.

I went on to watch the rest of the series and the last two Hunter matches actually sums up my experience with the Deathrattle Hunter deck. Although everyone is saying that Hunter is powerful at the moment with Undertaker, a lot of Hunter games actually centralises around that card quite a lot so matches can easily go bad when you don't draw/play it early enough.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Reynad's Dreamhack Winter Windfury Shaman Deck

Source: Reddit Discussion

It's relatively cheap to craft and I think Al'Akir the Windlord is replaceable with Doomhammer. I will definitely like to try it but am currently out of dust to craft some of the necessary "basic" cards. I'll like to replace Windspeaker with the spell Windfury and test as it can potentially provide a more surprising and bigger burst.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Puzzle & Dragons: GameWith's Sample Team Resource (with Saint Seiya and Battle Tournament Leader teams)


I wrote about this website previously and its Sample Team Resource has since been updated with Saint Seiya and Battle Tournament (BT) Collaboration Leader teams! The BT Collaboration is currently ongoing in the Japan version and it's Gacha machine has pretty good rolls overall compared to a lot of the other Collaborations; mostly useful subs with good awakenings and a lot of them are skill-able easily. I also like the artwork a lot and think the "theme" resembles Shaman King/Pokemon.

Saint Seiya's Collaboration is coming up right after this one and I think the most useful rolls from that Gacha is actually the Gold Eggs and they will be hard to get. That Gacha is going to be updated with more characters and new ultimate evolutions so that is something to look forward to.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hearthstone New "Stall" Deck Idea!

Reddit Discussion on Hearthstone animations

It looks like Hunter is the most suited for this one; load up your deck with long animation cards like those with death rattle effects and watch your opponent run out of time for their turn!

But seriously, a lot of digital card games I've played has the option to turn off card animations and Hearthstone should definitely implement it too, especially having rank games that count as well as being an online game where lag may be an issue and.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Kranich's World Championship Combo Warrior Deck and World Championship Youtube Videos (Updated Kranich's Twitch page link)

Update: Kranich started streaming on Twitch and here's his page.

Kranich took an interesting Warrior deck to the World Championship and it was a variation of the Control Warrior deck with lots of legendaries. However, the main finisher is the Inner Rage + Charge + Raging Worgen combo which deals 16 damage with 3 cards and 6 mana. You would normally Alextrasza first to get the opponent to 15 health points for the kill or you'll have to slowly grind the opponent down to that range. The other card that is not usually seen in Warrior Decks but used was Wild Pyromancer which probably served as another Raging Worgen enabler.

Kranich's version still had a lot of legendaries so it is not exactly budget friendly but there is a version by Neirea which is cheaper in cost, posted by S_treaks in the LiquidHearth forum. I tried out a version of it, replacing cards I do not have with Sludge Belcher and Sen'jin Shieldmasta to stall until I can pull off the combo. It was one of the most fun deck I have played so far with the limited cards I have. It is really satisfying to finish the game with the combo as it is played from the hand and is so unexpected.

You can see Kranich's deck in action against Kolento in the final game of the Quarter-finals series as well as the other World Championship matches over at the Hearthstone Youtube channel Videos section.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Brian Kibler reviews the currently revealed Goblins vs Gnomes Hearthstone Expansion Cards

BMK Gaming Article link

Most people are reviewing the cards through videos but I prefer it in article form for reading and this is one of them.

Kranich and Firebat's BlizzCon Hunter Decks and Thoughts on crafting now

I was checking out Kranich's Hunter Deck used in BlizzCon and it contains Defender of Argus as well as Cult Master that he mentioned in his interview. It is also quite budget-friendly with Loatheb as the only legendary. (Most of the Hunter and Warlock Zoo decks are budget-friendly) I managed to craft it out with the limited dust I had and tried it out in casual matches.

I think quite a number of players are expecting Snake Traps nowadays when facing Hunter so they try to play around it by destroying your minions with spells instead of attacking into them if possible. With Snake Trap being a key component to the deck in my opinion, I think those counter-playstyle affects the deck's success a lot. I did manage to combo the trap with Cult Master as well as Defender of Argus each about once and it was pretty cool. I find Knife Juggler getting a lot of value if combo-ed into Snake Trap and really should be a key to the deck. Kranich only included one copy so the chances of making the combo was rare which leads me to Firebat's version next.

He included 2 Knife Juggler which definitely make the combo more consistent. I used my remaining dust to craft his deck and am now in the process of trying it out. His version does not include the Cult Master or Defender of Argus but instead had Ironbeak Owl and Dire Wolf Alpha most noticeable among other changes. I also like having one more trap, Freezing Trap, to mix things up as well as being one more target for Mad Scientist. I find Firebat's version more fun partly due to the higher consistency of Knife Juggler and Snake Trap combo. After all, his earlier version was named 2x Flare Deathstar!

Going forward, I think it might be interesting to combine the 2 versions and try to tinker out one that is hopefully the best of both worlds. While crafting, I also realise that it should now be relatively safe to craft missing cards from the existing set as long as you are going to spend all future gold on the expansion packs. There's no need to worry about getting duplicates and wasting your dust in the process if you are no longer buying "their packs".

Monday, November 17, 2014

Team Dignitas' Interview with Kranich

Edit: Auto-correction keeps changing Kranich's name. Sorry, Kranich!

Blog Article Link

Reddit comments

I wrote about Kranich a while back as his Combo Warrior Deck caught my eye and here is a very insightful interview with him. I find the information on his card choices in decks interesting and worth trying out. He made an interesting point about popular streamers showing too much information about their play-style that will affect their matches which made it the headline of the article. It even happened to him during the semifinal as his opponent learns from Kranich's earlier matches so I guess it might be inevitable? As Sun Tze said, "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles".

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pokemon Trading Card Game Game Boy Color Game out for 3DS now

Review by Nintendo Life

An RPG-styled old Game Boy Color game for the Pokemon Trading Card Game. No timers and daily quests here!

Blizzard taking action against Botting in Hearthstone (Update: Permanent Banning action taken!)

Update#2: Permanent Banning now by Blizzard. Source: News article

Update#1: There are still bots in the game according to this Reddit thread...

Source: News article

The offenders will be banned temporary till 2015 and subsequent offenders of Botting will be banned permanently. I was starting to face quite a few bots lately and I'm actually more amused than annoyed with them.

You can tell if you are facing a bot especially if your opponent do not respond to emotes and play cards without hesitation. I once face one which stopped attacking after I change their minions attack to 1 as I was Paladin, which was hilarious.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

BlizzCon Top 16 Decklists


Interesting fact, there is only 1 Paladin Deck (RunAndGun) and 1 Mage Deck (Tarie) in the entire list.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Puzzle & Dragons DC Collaboration Superman and Supergirl teams

Japan already gotten the Collaboration and GameWith site has Superman and Supergirl sample teams up. You can also search "スーパーガールPT" for Supergirl or "スーパーマンPT" for Superman in YouTube and filter to the latest dates to see them being used. This video by Sion Wong, in particular, shows a Superman REM-heavy team clearing the DC Collaboration Dungeon very quickly!

An alternative way to get more Superman sample teams is to make use of WukongDark/Light Batman sample teamsSupergirl and Thor (replace Green Zhuge Liang with Flash. Edit: On hindsight, the recover stats are a little low for this team, which is why the similar team suggested over at the Superman's page uses the Light Wizard instead of Athena) over at GameWith. It turns out that Wukong goes very well in Superman teams and vice versa. Superman and Dark/Light Batman are also fairly compatible pairings of leaders other than Superman's active not helping Batman's much. Superman is just a very versatile leader.

He also has quite a number of farmable subs, other than Light descend monsters. I notice Tornado Holy Dragon has a similar active to Baal so its a decent non-REM replacement, though with much weaker awakenings, to use with Superman's active to get a board of red and light orbs. High Light Ninja is another alternative but is much weaker being 4-stars. I did not list the other skill-up monsters as they only went up to level 70.

Good luck to everyone rolling the DC Collaboration Egg Machine!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Hearthstone Expansion Pack pricing

It will be the same pricing as the current packs which means 100 gold. I was hoping there will be a price drop for the current packs as I still have a small collection after all this time playing. Anyway, I started saving up gold for the new packs instead from now onwards as new cards are usually stronger in card games to entice people to buy them.

Source: TouchArcade's interview with the developers at Blizzcon

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hearthstone Expansion "Goblins vs Gnomes" Information and round-up of Preview Cards (Update with Blizzard's Set Teaser page)

28 cards preview from TouchArcade

25 cards preview from PC Gamer (Midiron's Head and V-07-TR-ON cards are new here compared with TouchArcade's)

EU's Goblins vs Gnomes Official Page (Emergency Coolant, Finicky Clearfield, Reversing Switch, Rusty Horn, Time Rewinder and Whirling Blades are new compared to TouchArcade's preview) Update: The mentioned cards along with Armor Plating are "Spare Parts" token cards from Tinkertown Technician and Clockwork Gnome. Source: Reddit

If I did not recall wrongly from going through all the above card previews, we have about 36 cards so far. There are a lot of random effects and it will certainly make the game a lot more interesting and fun. However, I'm hopping for the remaining 90 or so cards to contain more "skill-based" interesting cards. The expansion is coming out in December and will be available in a separate pack from the existing set. Update: Arena will be rewarding new card pack once expansion drops. Source: Ben Brode, Senior Game Designer Twitter and Reddit.

Here's a hands-on from TouchArcade featuring mostly the previewed cards:
TouchArcade hands-on

*New* Blizzard's Set Teaser Page revealing new cards based on Twitter voting.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pokemon TCG Online: Phantom Forces Theme Deck Lists

The game has just been updated with the new expansion "Phantom Forces" and I'm really interested in the 2 new Theme Decks that came with it.

Deck Lists from Tootsy-san in this Reddit thread.

It turns out there don't seem to be any must-have and they both contain the usual trainer cards. I don't think it is recommended to grind out tokens for them even if for that single Pyroar in "Burning Winds". It is probably better to just trade for Pyroar.

Magic 2015 Expansion, card list and upcoming changes (Update is out now!)

Update: Expansion and changes is live now!

The expansion will be coming on 5 November as a USD$5 DLC (Download Content) where you play using Garruk's deck (Expansion is entitled "Garruk's Revenge"). It'll be based on Alara-block so you'll unlock cards from there in the new 4 level campaign.

It's cool that the deck progresses and changes to match Garruk's corruption; predominantly green with Black splashes to having more Black cards in the deck. However, The Escapist reported the expansion's difficulty of the bosses and inability to customise the Garruk deck which reminds me of Hearthstone's Character Class challenges in Naxxramas which was an unpleasant experience to say the least.

The pricing model has also been updated to be clearer and the Premium packs are now unlocked from Multiplayer Mode instead. It has been reported that Wizards of the Coast will plan to reward players that have already spent on Magic 2015. You can get a picture of the pricing model over at IGN. The Premium pack change is available to those who unlock all the original chapters after the 5 November update, source: Gamesutra.

While some over at the reddit sub still wants Two-Headed Giant mode to be added, I think the changes are good and should solve some of the initial complains at launch. The expansion card list is available at so you can start brewing new decks.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Brian Kibler's decks to October Legend Rank

Source Article:

The final deck used was interesting; A Shaman deck with only 2 Legendaries as Al'Akir was replaced with another Doomhammer. I think it is pretty low budget and Bloodmage Thalnos can be temporarily replaced while Loatheb is "accessible" from the Naxxramas expansion. The deck's original creator, as pointed out by Brian Kibler, is Numberguy though.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

HearthStone World Championship and Firebat's "Ha-Ha" Miracle Rogue

The Hearthstone World Championship is currently going on and there are lots of exciting matches. Here's the schedule and players from Blizzard's official site. Matches can be viewed live from Twitch (the broadcast page also has tournament broadcast schedule below the video player) or Youtube. The VODs (Video-On Demand) of matches are also available from those sites.

One match I watched was Firebat vs Qiruo and Firebat used an interesting Miracle Rogue deck. It uses Southsea Deckhand + Cold Blood + Faceless Manipulator combo as a finisher and able to go 3-0 in the series. There was a Reddit discussion on the deck and many were saying it is not something new. Here's the deck-list by karapiper from HeathPwn.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hearthstone: An attempt to take a fresh Free-to-play account to Legend by Lunk42

By Lunk42 from Reddit

It was made with the aim of checking out the entry barrier to Hearthstone for new players and I think the main takeaway is the difficulty in getting enough cards to make decent decks for a number of classes to be able to do daily quests which are pretty essential for gold. As I pointed out in my Late Starter Guide post, it takes around 5-6 classes to cover the class specific daily quests.

The other interesting thing is regarding the Casual matchmaking system, I used to think there is some matchmaking ranking system in Casual but I guess it is only true for Ranked matches as I'm experiencing the same thing as Lunk42. You can also get match up to the same player again often times, win or loss previously. I think matchmaking is simply non-existent in Casual and new players need to be aware of that.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Monster Strike vs Puzzle & Dragons

Puzzle and Dragons Forum discussion

An interesting discussion going on at the Puzzle and Dragons (PAD) Forum. It's interesting to note that there were comments that the rare drop rate of the Gacha machine in Monster Strike was low. There were many changes made to PAD like stamina refresh to 5 minutes as well as character rebalancing all made in the recent patches to the Japan version(US version is getting it soon) to try to freshen things up but it wasn't enough based on the iTunes App Store Top Grossing Chart. I think as with many games, people will eventually grow tired of it. I do think that with more future collaboration with anime and manga like the upcoming DC Comics collaboration, PAD should retain the top grossing number one spot again, even if briefly.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Monster Strike Impressions, Privacy Policy and Links to Tips and Guide

US App Store link

Japan App Store link

Google play Store link

This is a game that I've been wanting to try but it kept failing at the downloading portion at the start in the Japan version; I tried again after a long period of time but it still failed and I eventually given up. Now that it is localised in English (only available in US region stores though), I decide to give it another try.

I manage to get pass the download screen and create an account, however, I started the game with an account with a different name and tutorial already finished; it seemed to be someone else's account. The weirder part was when I switch to Wifi, the account changed to another one with further progress as well as a lot of rolls already done but I get an error trying to access dungeons. It seems like the game is not syncing up accounts correctly.

Luckily, I was able to get a taste of the gameplay with the first account before it starting failing at connection. The game is basically like Marbles or Billiards in play-style while featuring collectible characters as the marbles/balls. It also has multiplayer of up to 4 players but everybody needs to be nearby. I think the game is a breath of fresh air in terms of Mobile Games but unfortunately I have given up proceeding further in the game due to the bugs I face after many retries.

Another point of interest regarding the game was its privacy policy that was sounded out by a reviewer in the US App Store. It stated that the game collects a lot of data! Here's the link to the actual Privacy Policy:

Monster Strike Privacy Policy

If you go through it, it seems rather daunting as the many things that the game collect is spelled out so clearly. In comparison, here's GungHo's(maker of Puzzle & Dragons):

GungHo Privacy Policy (US)

It also collects "Personal Information" but has not presented it like Monster Strike's. I guess it is always a good practice to read up on a software's privacy policies before using.

At this point of writing, Monster Strike is at the top of the Top Grossing Chart in Japan iTunes store, dethroning Puzzle & Dragons which is huge in Japan. This is definitely a game to check out, you might not face the same issues as me.

Here are 2 forum threads which have info and tips for the game:

- The Something Awful Forums
( There is re-rolling in the game as pointed out there and the data to delete for re-roll is "data10.bin".)

- Singapore Hardwarezone Forum
(Based on the Japan version but most of the tips and guide should still be relevant)

How to play Hearthstone on iPhone(with native iPad app)

Source: Reddit

It requires jailbreaking and doesn't sound stable from the comments of it. I think it is still better to wait for the iPhone version in the works by Blizzard.

HearthPwn on Hearthstone's Next Expansion

Article link: HearthPwn

There's a high possibility that it will be announced at next week's Blizzcon!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Generation for iPad out now!

Update: It is out now worldwide! App Store link

A full Yu-Gi-Oh game for iPad is finally on its way! It's now currently soft launched in Canada App Store and works on all iPads except for the first generation. Check out TouchArcade forum thread for the early impressions.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V Tag Force Special (Japan version) coming soon for PSP and compatible with PS Vita

Source: Siliconera

I had to double check the date of the article as the game was for PSP. The game features all the different protagonists of the card game which is really cool, as well as the new Pendulum Summon mechanic from the latest series. If I remember correctly, the last Tag Force for PSP (Tag Force 6) did not had an English release so we can't be too sure about this one either.

Here's the game's official site from Konami.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pokemon TCG Online: Going first and Halloween codes

2 interesting threads at the Reddit sub forum:

- Go First Or Not?
I think it might be better to go second in Hearthstone because you get the coin but in Pokemon TCG, it is generally better to go first as it allows you to set up faster although you forgo the first attack.

- Halloween codes
It's only for avatar items but it's a nice way for a game to celebrate Halloween.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blizzard's Hearthstone Mobile News Updates on Android Tablets, phones and iPhone

Source: Blizzard

Android tablets release set to before the end of the year.

iPhone and Android phones after or early next year.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pokemon Trading Card Game Online - Tips and Links *Updated Buying Theme Decks or Packs Section*

Update: There was an update recently that brought the Standard Format cards rotation to the game. It is like in Magic:TG where only cards from the latest sets are allowed in tournaments. I am currently unable to play the Trainer Challenge as I get stuck at the select a deck screen with no decks available. This might be due to the decks being removed from the format. Update#2: I think the Trainer Challenge requires you to have a theme deck that is in the Standard format, whereas all the free ones I got were no longer legal so I'll have save to get one from the shop first.

There isn't much to do for Hearthstone at the moment after Naxxramas other than grinding for more packs and cards so I'll be focusing more on Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG) Online. It is a free to play game and quite a few things to unlock. You can find out more about the game info from the Bulbapedia Wiki page. (There are daily login bonuses in the game) I've actually bought around 1-2 physical decks around the time when the card game first started way back but I forgotten most of the rules. (Update#3: I found the first deck I tried to make, Haymaker. There was a pre-constructed deck containing the key cards so it was not too hard to build)You can learn about the game from the official website tutorial or in-game while starting. I think we can probably expect the same game when it launches for iPad later this year so the below tips and links should apply then:

Free Redemption Codes

Pokemon TCG Online: Fairy Deck Skeleton from Resilient Life Theme Deck *Updated with a Top 4 Worlds 2014 decklist*

Update#3: Hitoshi Omura of Japan has another version of the Aromatisse deck in the Junior Division. His version is even more "toolboxy" as it has a lot of 1-ofs EX Pokemon and only Aromatisse as the Fairy Pokemon in the deck along with zero Fairy energy.

Update#2: Michikazu Tsuda of Japan took a Aromatisse Variant (combined with Mega Kangaskhan) to Worlds 2014 Master Division Top 4 finish. The decklist can be found in the Official Pokemon site. Here's an article from ProPokemon on the deck and also covers some ideas on how to adapt the deck for the new Standard format. Lastly, The Top Cut website also feature a version of that deck some time back and it includes a gameplay video too.

Update#1: Newer Skeleton List

PokeBeach Forum Aromatisse Variants Metagame Deck Archive Thread

"What I like about this deck is that a new player who are buying their first cards can have a good skeleton just by buying two theme decks.

4 Xerneas
2-2: Slurpuff
2-2: Aromatisse

4 Tierno 
2 Sycamore
2 Roller Skates
2 Fairy Garden
2 Super Potion

10 Fairy

You got some support pokemon, energy acceleration, a stadium. a decent attacker, and some draw. I'd probably add in:
  • 3-5 other strong basics (Bouffalant is effective and at least one good EX like Mewtwo)
  • 6-8 more supporters or draw cards (Skyla, more Sycamore, and Shauna or N)
  • 4-5 search cards (level ball and ultra ball)
  • 6-10 other trainers (EXP share, Super Rod, Tool Scrapper, muscle band, more potions) 

I also think Xerneas could be an alternative to Victini EX for decks can use fairy energy acceleration (that Dragonite deck comes to mind and maybe Stoutland for those wanting to try something different). It could also take advantage of the fairy garden stadium card to ease retreating."

The theme deck is of course referring to the Resilient Life deck. I'm not a fan of cards with abilities that require coin toss so I won't recommend the Roller Skates in the above list. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pokemon TCG Online: Yveltal/Seismitoad/Garbodor in the latest Standard format

I was checking out The Top Cut and a recent report on the Regional Championships shows a dominant showing for this particular deck: Yveltal/Seismitoad/Garbodor. Here's a video by the site featuring the deck (not an exact list of the ones used in competition and I think the amount of Seismitoad normally used might be 3-4) as well as gameplay. It is basically a version of the Yveltal/Garbodor deck (video) which was the US Nationals 3rd Place Deck (video). ProPokemon site had an article on Seismitoad EX and how it might affect the Meta and it turns out the suggestion at the end on adding Yveltal EX was spot on with what had happened.

Viagame's House Cup Decklists

Source: GosuGamers

A wealth of decklists from all the players as due to the format, each player brought out a deck for each classes. I am most interested in Kolento's and TidesofTime's.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Miracle Rogue from Hyped (Updated with TidesofTime version link)

Update#3: Found TidesofTime version from Viagame's House Cup decklists, as reported on GosuGamers.

Update#2: Deck List from Hearthstone Top Deck.

Update#1: After taking another look at the decklist, I notice it is actually a little fusion between Miracle Rogue and Turn 6/Backspace Aggro Rogue with the Arcane Golem and Coldlight Oracle, which was a cool innovation from Hyped.

I was checking out the WCA Hearthstone Tournament on Twitch and chanced on Hyped's matches with Savjz. He was playing a new version of Miracle Rogue, without Leeroy. It looks pretty cool and was able to win games fairly quickly. Here's the Reddit thread about it.

This is the deck list put together by them from the games. The discussion is also warning that it is more suited as a tournament deck than a deck to run rank ladder.

I've also been checking out the Hearthstone Top Deck site and notice a huge decline in Hunters deck, understandably from the huge nerf to Buzzard. The other surprise was to see Sludge Belcher overthrow Defender of Argus as the most played rares in the Most Played Cards list. I learnt from the WCA Tournament commentary that Sludge Belcher fits into most decks and Hyped's Tempo Storm teammate, TidesofTime, even uses it in his Miracle Rogue variant.

The WCA Hearthstone Tournament is currently ongoing at this time of writing and you can find the stream and past broadcasts on Kripparrian's Twitch page.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pokemon TCG Online Free Pack Redemption Codes, valid till 10 October 2014

Update#3: The code redemption is over.

Update#2: More codes were updated to the Reddit link.

Update#1: More codes were added to the Reddit link and some had expired. There is also an official statement from the developer that any abuse of the codes will result in banning.

Source: Reddit thread

It seems like quite a number of websites are getting these free codes to redeem packs. You do not need to type them in caps or include the dashes and they redeem unlocked packs so I intend to keep them for trading. The codes expires on 10 October 2014.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Kolento and his BlizzCon Europe Decks

I do check out Hearthstone competitive news once in a while and a player that consistently do very well in tournaments is Kolento. (Twitch page, Wiki Page) He dominates them with very high win-rates and 0-1 losses in quite a few of them, which was very impressive. Here's the deck-lists to his 4 BlizzCon Europe decks:

Warlock Handlock




Monday, October 6, 2014

Star Wars: Assault Team removed from App Store, Google Play Store and Microsoft's app store

Source: Touch Arcade and Android Authority

I played it some time back and quite like the game. It was an interesting mix of card game with RPG turn-base battles. The graphics were nice and I only had an issue with the inconsistent energy recharge timings and pricing of the IAP between different accounts.

I check out the App Invasion forum and found this thread. It turns out there were bugs and the game was not being updated for a while. The game will also be retired on October 29, 2014 based on a message in-game. By retire, I assume the servers will be shut down? On further searching around, I found the GameFAQs forum and some more topics on the state of the game:

Luke and Leia cards (Luke, Leia and some heroes no longer drop from their respective missions but will still be added as temporary helper if a mission requires them, according to the developer's reply to the players. I remember realising I could get Luke from a mission and didn't find much of a need for going for crates as you can just complete missions for the rest of the heroes. It probably wasn't profitable to the developers so they made a "U-turn" on that and it caused some unhappy players in that thread)

Looks like everyone gave up (On top of the above reasons, the arena (PvP) became too difficult)

I guess the game probably should have stayed in Beta longer to iron out all the design issues: standardising a time for Energy Recharge, hero card rewards, etc. It definitely feels rush now that you looked back at it. I think the game was probably not making enough money to sustain the cost of keeping it up, hence leading to it being "killed" but it definitely is bad for players who invested money in the game, especially the newer players  joining after the hero drop changes. This serves as a stark reminder to all players and online-only games; it is only playable as long as their back-end servers continue running.

Thefishou's Aggro Mage

Gosugamers Article Link containing decklist

According to the article, it went 5-1 during the group stages so I think it is pretty consistent. Another thing I notice about the deck is that it runs only one Legendary card, Bloodmage Thalnos like Hyped's Miracle Rogue variant, this might be the new "first legendary craft" for new players after the Leeroy nerf. I also think this deck will probably be more suited for Ladder compared to Hyped's Rogue and it is a relatively cheap deck; Bloodmage Thalnos will have to be substituted with another cheap minion, like Harvest Golem, until you save enough dust or get it from packs. The article did state that there were 2 unknown cards, so you can also experiment around with those 2 slots.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Guardian Cross and old devices

I was preparing to send my iPhone 5 in for a replacement as it has the battery issue and I wanted to make sure the phone was clear of app data. I was checking out Guardian Cross in particular as it was mentioned to be locked to a device. To my surprise, a newly restored and re-setup iPhone with a re-downloaded Guardian Cross does not load up any game save automatically; you are required to login or start a new game. This is good news for people who wants to trade in or sell their old iDevices. Do check it out yourselves to make sure, just in case...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pokemon TCG Online Soft launches in Canada (Update: Launched worldwide)

Update#2: Some iPad impressions  from Reddit.

Update#1: The game is now launched worldwide. The people over at the forum thread link below are reporting that the game constantly download card art assets and uses up a lot of storage space on the device. I did notice constant downloading of card art assets on the computer version too so I guess it is part of the design. The space issue where card art assets steadily grow can be a problem if your iPads do not have much space left. Overall, I don't think the response in the forum were overly positive about the game. You can check out tips I compiled while trying out the Computer version here.

iOS App Store link

You'll need a Canada App Store account but I'll probably just wait for the official release. However, The game is only playable on an iPad with Retina display so I'll be unable to play with my iPad2. There is a forum thread over at Touch Arcade so you'll be able to read some early impressions over there.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal World Duel Carnival English version (US region) is out now on the 3DS eShop

It costs about US$20 and if you didn't know yet, it has a lot of content cut from the Japan region version. The 3DS eShop do have discounts once in a while so if you can wait for it to get discounted before buying.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pokemon TCG Online: Issues I encountered (Update to Day 5 bonus issue)

The game does carry the "beta" tag so hopefully these issues get ironed out by the time it releases for iPad because I think a lot more players will start playing the game due to the popularity of the iTune Store. You can submit the problems you encountered to the Pokemon Support Center.

- No Theme Decks for selection at the Trainer Challenge. I bought Dark Hammer and it wasn't shown either.

- I had an occasion where the Day 5 Daily Bonus of a booster pack got skipped and it went to a new Day 1 Daily Bonus. Might be a good idea to screenshot your Day 4 Daily Bonus with your system Date and Time as proof in case it happens. Update: I reported the issue and was awarded a Furious Fists booster pack. The Pokemon Support Team acknowledge that it was an issue and is currently being fixed.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hearthstone: Shaman totem facts (Added one more fact)

I have been watching some streams and sometimes, I read comments stating that Shaman should use their hero power to get a totem first. I search around and found some interesting facts about totems.

From's 30 Bizarre Hearthstone Rules:

"18. End of turn minion abilities activate in the order you summon them. For instance, if you play an Imp Master, and then create a Healing Totem that turn, the Imp Master will damage itself and then heal back to 5 HP. If you summon them in the reverse order, the Healing Totem will activate first, and you’ll only have a 4 HP Imp Master."

The above is a specific situation where you want to totem after the Imp Master.

"22. Shaman’s hero power can only create a totem if none of that type are on the board. If you have 3 totems out, you will get the 4th totem you don’t have with 100% probability. If you have 4 totems out, you’ll get an error when you try to use your ability."

I didn't know about the above fact. More on that is elaborated in the IGN's Shaman Guide:

"The Shaman can summon four different kinds of totems through his Hero Power. Each totem has an equal chance of being summoned and only one can be on the field of each kind at a time. Summoning a second totem will yield a 33.3% chance to summon a specific one; with a 50% chance to summon one of the remaining on the third summon in play. Attempting to summon a fifth totem will not result in another summon."

So in general, why should you hero power a totem first if you have the mana? I think the main reason is you want to try getting the Wrath of Air Totem to boost spell power before casting your damage spells for that turn. Secondly, like with card drawing, you want to do it first to re-assess the situation and see if you will play your cards out differently. *New* Thirdly, you can use the fact of unique totems to get out totems that you want before sacrificing away one of it.

Hearthstone: Why your opponent concedes immediately at the start

PC Gamer's Interview with a Hearthstone botter (It is 2 pages long)

The answer to the question in title is in page 2 of the article; you were most likely facing a bot. The most interesting part was the use of bot in arena matches. It still requires human intervention in the initial draft so the botters aren't using a program that auto selects base on the popular tier lists, etc. The article also stats that bots are popular in the region's night-time.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hearthstone Balance Changes for 9/22

Official Forum Sticky thread

- Leeroy Jenkins cost up from 4 to 5.
- Starving Buzzard cost up from 2 to 5 and has 3 Attack 2 Health (previously 2 Attack and 1 Health)

I think the change to Leeroy is reasonable and he will still find use in decks but the changes to Buzzard is too extreme. Ignoring the card-draw ability, the attack/health stats simply do not justify the casting cost that it most probably will not find a place in Hunter decks anymore. On the other hand, you can still combo Unleash the Hounds with Scavenging Hyena at turn 5 and get a huge beast; something to look out for against hunter if you think you are safe from flooding the board after the changes...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Metal Slug Defense ver 1.6.0

It's out with 10 more missions and more units and as well as stages. As part of the celebration for 10 million downloads, a Unit character "Issenman Tarou" was given when you start the game. He is a character created specially for this game and looks just like a POW. In fact, according to that wikia, he is an edited Hyakutaro sprite. I won't be covering the game anymore as I got bored of it. Good luck to all players!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hearthstone: "Hotfixes" the Paladin and Warrior Challenge

Blizzard's HofFixes Forum post

You can refer to the above link for and fixes to the game but the most interesting one was the changes to the Warrior and Paladin's Naxxramas Class Challenges. Here's a reddit post that summarises some of the changes for Paladin.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Try out Pokemon Trading Card Game Online on PC/Mac first before it arrives on iPad

Official Download link

I didn't know there was a PC/Mac client so this is definitely worth checking out! Edit: I just tried it out and the interface is simple and clean so it should look good on the iPad. You can try it out in a guest account before deciding if you want to create an account for the game.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hearthstone: Naxxramas First Wing Free Unlock ending soon

Blizzard reports the event ending on September 30 but according to earlier reports, it should be ending at the first month of the launch event which should be the end of the August.

If you haven't gotten it or want to start a new region, you have some time before the first wing starts costing money/gold.

Note: You need to complete the tutorial plus unlock all characters before you can access the first wing to permanently unlock it for free.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hearthstone: How to win with mindgames (Not the Priest card)

HearthPwn forum thread on the "Well Played/Sorry Strategy"

Conversely, you should also not concede easily unless you are sure your opponent has lethal.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hearthstone: MtG Hall of Fame-r Brian Kibler Sunshine Open Tournament decks

How to Make the Finals of your First Hearthstone Tournament with Decks You've Never Played

I think the advice for people interested in taking part in Hearthstone Tournaments is to be good with a variety of classes. Relying on one is usually enough for laddering but with the tournament formats we've been seeing, it is definitely not enough.

Brian's Priest and Druid decks are interesting because they do not follow the usual deck-lists that most people run. I think we can look forward to more innovating decks and card choices from him in the near future.

Hearthstone: Another MtG Hall of Fame-r started streaming Hearthstone

Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa who wrote the Channel Fireball article on Hearthstone for Magic Players has just started streaming!

Hearthstone: Making of Hearthstone AI video

Link to Gamasutra site

It may be a little technical but is only around 22 minutes long. I think it is fascinating to find out how the AI for Hearthstone works.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal World Duel Carnival English version for 3DS: Read the reviews first!

I was looking forward to the first Yu-GI-Oh game for 3DS. It has been missing from all handheld consoles for a long time. (I'm not considering Yu-Gi-Oh BAM) I missed out that the English version was already out for the Europe region in June this year as I haven't been checking the 3DS scene for a while. 3DS is region-locked so I'll still be waiting for the US region in September 2014 but I have second thoughts after reading the Europe version reviews:

Nintendo Life review

Nintendo World Report Review

Other reviews at Metacritic

This latest version has no multiplayer mode which is really peculiar. On top of that, a lot of features in the English version were cut from the Japanese version: "no Duelist Profiles, no Ending Pictures, no Photos, all Sleeves and Mats are unlocked from the start and there is no Device or Database modes. The only playable characters are Yuma, Astral, ZEXAL, Tori, Reginald, Kite, Dr. Faker, Vetrix, Trey, Quattro, Alito & Konami-kun (aka Tag Force's Hat Guy)." from the Wikia page.

I read that the cards, play mat and card protector designs are unlocked at the start. As much as I dislike grinding cards to improve decks for PvP in Hearthstone, being able to slowly improve a deck card by card is fun, especially in a story mode scenario.

The screenshots I saw were not very attractive as well but with so little content offered, I'm already not sure if I want to buy it at all. Here's the official product page with the listed features and I don't think much will be changed between the Europe and US region release.

Hearthstone Arena Guide links

I found a few more useful guides to Arena around the net:

- Sheng's Beginner Guide to Arena from Reddit. (He also has nice Basic 0 dust Rogue deck beginner's deck guide) The guide is very extensive and a lot of points applies to constructed play as well.

- Massan's Guide to Midrange Arena and Midrange Arena: Rogue at It's an interesting perspective to Arena that I haven't read about and is definitely worth a try.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hearthstone Tips from Hearthstone Senior Designer, Mike Donais

From Kotaku article

The standout points for me:

- "1. Start with cheap minions
If you don't play any cards on the first three turns, you'll likely get too far behind, so make sure your starting hand has at least one 2-mana card even if it means you have to mulligan (redrawing at the start of a duel) a good 4-mana card."

- "2. Spend your mana
First, consider a play that would spend all your mana, and then compare that with your other options. Getting big minions out early is usually the best strategy because it puts your opponent on the defensive. If your opponent doesn't have the right card to deal with your early minions you end up with a big advantage."

- "4. A clear board is a happy board
Trading one of your minions for a similar enemy minion is generally a good idea. Meaning if you have say a 3/3 minion and your opponent also has a 3/3 minion, you should attack and kill theirs with yours. By doing this, they won't be able to surprise you with a buff spell that could make that 3/3 minion a 4/4 minion.
This is also important because if they play a spell that damages all of your minions, it won't be as big of a problem."

- "6. Card drawing is for late game
If you have a choice between playing a minion or drawing cards it is almost always better to play the minion first. Putting out minions puts your opponent on the defensive while drawing cards doesn't improve your board at all. When you are out of minions then you can play your card drawing to get more.
This applies to minions like Loot Hoarder, too. On turn 2, if you have a Faerie Dragon and a Loot Hoarder you should play the Faerie Dragon first because you don't need to draw cards yet. Having the bigger minion out is more important."
Note: shadow1psc commented that the above is not a catch-all rule. However, I don't agree that card advantage is more important than board presence in Hearthstone. I will say sometimes you need to go for board presence and give up some card value.

- "7. Hero power
If you can kill an enemy minion by using your hero power it is a big advantage because you didn't spend a card. However, most of the time, playing a creature from your hand will give you a bigger board presence than using your hero power. In the early game focus on getting out minions so that you control the board. In the late game you will have more mana so you can use your hero power more often."

I think most card games center around getting card advantage but one thing that is consistent with most of the above points is the importance of developing your board which is really key to Hearthstone games.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Budget Mage for Heroic Sapphiron

By Astrohawke18

I was missing an additional copy of Mirror Entity, Cone of Cold and Blizzard but replaced those 3 cards with 2 Haunted Creeper and a Faceless Manipulator and still managed to beat Heroic Sapphiron. I manage to last till we were both out of cards while I had the extra copies of Feugen/Stalagg for the win at. The Faceless Manipulator was not really required since the game lasted till the whole deck was drawn. Save your Fireballs for the 5/6 Necroknight as it helps kill Spectral Knight. I even wasted one Duplicate after stealing a Spectral Knight via Mirror Entity.

I really like the strategy of winning using Duplicate to get multiple Thaddius but I think a certain amount of luck is still required to get the correct draws and Sapphiron getting bad draws. This was the deck I used to clear and not with TommyJTheGamer's Warrior Deck. His Shaman deck for Kel'Thuzad requires a very good draw together with bad draw from Kel'Thuzad (Check out his YouTube video of the clear for an idea) so that might take a lot of tries too. I read people having success with Zoo Warlock so that might be something try clearing with. Edit: After writing this, I cleared Kel'Thuzad with TommyJTheGamer's Shaman deck and got the card back!

Hearthstone: Next Expansion will come out in a new booster pack

Source HearthPwn: Value Town Finale with Hearthstone Senior Gamer Designer, Mike Donais

It will be another type of booster pack so the current pack will still exist.

Hearthstone Online Tournaments Viewing

You can watch a lot of tournaments from Twitch. One channel that features them is 2P_Entertainment. It's interesting to watch top players battle as well as check out the tournament formats where players can ban a deck of the opponents as well as see how and what competitive decks are played.

Lastly, here's an overall schedule of upcoming tournaments/matches from GosuGamers.

Hearthstone Curse of Naxxramas Review by Touch Arcade


I completely agree about the Paladin and Warrior Class Challenge and the Heroic Diffculty:

"some of the class challenges, namely the warrior and paladin feel like you're just brute forcing the random number generator."

"The difference between WoW heroic raids and Hearthstone heroic bosses is that instead of the flawless execution required through player skill in WoW you're again brute forcing the random number generator. Some fights take hours of retrying to win"

Heroic is the most frustrating mode of the game and it makes the card back even more "valuable" that I will definitely want to use it as it was so hard to get. I'm down to the last 2 Heroic bosses and already failed to win them a lot of times...

Hearthstone: A little study on the Naxxramas bundle *Updated with Kel'Thuzad note*

There are quite a bit of people asking whether to spend gold or money on the Naxxramas wings. The general consensus is that using money is worth it. However, if you check out each wings' rewards, the last wing is severely lacking compared to the rest.

Every wing has at least 3 cards and a legendary, along with 2 class specific cards. The last wing only has 2 cards, a legendary and a class specific card.(Note: Kel'Thuzad seems pretty good in Control decks with many legendaries like the Warrior and Paladin versions. Check out his Hearth Head comment page for his info) In addition to that, I think the cards in the last wing are not as important as the first 4 wings as well. What is left other than for completionist, is the Naxxramas card back for defeating all Heroic Mode bosses. I personally don't find the card back attractive and liked the Ranked Mode one more.

I was initially contemplating whether to buy the bundle with money because even with 2 wings left, the bundle is still value for money, but looking at that last wing, I am now thinking of skipping the last unlock. (If you buy the bundle, you definitely have to get the last wing) The last wing can probably wait till I have amassed more cards and start to have excess gold in the future...

Update#1: Check out's Naxxramas Cards Power Rank, Echoing Ooze, of the last wing, is in there but not highly ranked.

Update#2: With all the above said, I might still be buying the last 2 wings bundle. With the game being out so long, I find that my lack of cards is making grinding for gold even more difficult and longer as most others probably have a better deck at this point. Hopefully by the next expansion, I'll have a good pool of cards to be able to start saving gold then. If you ever want to spend money on packs, definitely use it instead on the unlock bundle and use your gold for packs instead.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Naxxramas Heroic clear with Basic/Starter Deck *Updated with all wings clear links*

TommyJTheGamer did it with 3 decks using cards you get from the start. I was successful with a Druid deck against the first two boss but tried a battlecry heavy Priest deck for the third boss and failed. Tommy's strategy uses more charge minions which is another mechanic that can get over Maexxna's annoying Hero power and I'll probably just netdeck his Warrior deck to try for the clear. If you defeat all boss in Heroic mode (all wings), you'll get a card back.

I'm have not bought any packs other than the ones earn for free and am saving and grinding all my gold for the expansion as I'm on a budget and do not want to spend in this game. The basic card decks are great to try for single casual play too I guess.

Update: I tried the Warrior deck against Heroic Maexxna and still couldn't defeat it. It seems you definitely need Voodoo Doctor early to stall as well as to keep Maexxna's board to creatures with 1 attack or less in order to stand a chance.

Update#2: TommyJTheGamer with the second wing clear.

Update#3TommyJTheGamer with the third wing clear.

Update#4TommyJTheGamer with the fourth wing clear.

Update#5TommyJTheGamer with the last wing clear. This concludes the frustrating (for me) Heroic Mode! I'm still left with the last 5... Note: The Sapphiron Warrior deck contains Naxxramas card due to the difficulty so it is still free-2-play but not entirely basic cards-only.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hearthstone: Mr. Bigglesworth and a mode more difficult than Heroic

Hearthhead Mr. Bigglesworth card page

It's Kel'Thuzad's pet cat and I got a surprise when I used Hunter's Animal Companion against him to get this card. There are lot's of nice additional interactions with the bosses in Naxxramas when you emote your character. It makes me want to go back and try all other class with each boss. Update: Check out Kel'Thuzad's Emotes video by Tommy J, the same person who bought you the basic decks Naxxramas Heroic Mode Clear.

I've gotten through all the normal stages of the Naxxramas but am currently stuck at the Paladin Class specific stage. Last week's Warrior class stage was difficult too due in part to the deck provided. This time round, the Paladin deck seems to center around minion buff and Divine Favor so I think the strategy is to dump your hand as fast as possible to use that card. However, Kel'Thuzad clears his hand quickly too and also has Nether Void to clear the board. Unlike Heroic mode, you are stuck with the provided deck so I think this makes it harder.