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.

Hearthstone Tips and Useful Links *Updated General section*

- I found a very useful guide for beginners by Icy Veins website. It's definitely worth a read if you are starting out at the game. Many aspect of the game is covered. I agree with their advice on spending your gold in Arena instead of buying packs as for around the same cost, you get to enjoy playing drafted matches along the way. (Drafting is where you build a deck on the spot from a pool of cards and play using it)

- If you played Magic: The Gathering (MtG) before, a lot of concepts applies here. You definitely want to build decks that take into account of the mana curve; slightly more low cost creatures than high cost creature, etc. While I was learning how to play MtG, I was also taught to consider the effectiveness creatures based on their cost and stats. It is very useful again in Hearthstone and was pointed out in the beginner's guide in the previous point.

- The concept of card advantage applies as always, with card games. Aim to make many-for-1 trades. Edit#1: or rather, 1-for-many in your perspective. Edit#2: I've been watching a few streamers and reading Reddit and find that sometimes, you need to go for tempo/maintain board control over getting the maximum value for a card. E.g. I've seen players put out Battlecry minions that benefits friendly minions on an empty board just to maintain pressure.

- Given the way the game allows attacking of the other player directly unless he/she has a taunt creature up, I personally think the optimal way to attack might be to go for the player almost every time as long as they have no taunt and your creatures can survive theirs with higher health. Baring a spell to clear your horde (some heroes have no direct damage?), it is basically a race to get your opponent's life to zero and force the other player to clear your creatures instead of attacking directly. Edit: A more control style will be to clear their creatures by trading advantageously and you'll eventually win once they run out of steam. Update: Read Icy Veins Arena guide on Combat Techniques for a better analysis on attacking. It's also a good guide for Arena.

- I'm not able to find the rules so here's what I've encountered so far:
  • There is a max limit of 7 minions you can summon onto your side of the board.
  • There is a hand-limit of 10 and once reached, all other cards you will draw is discarded.
  • I have not encounter running of out cards to draw (deck out) and there was no mention of it being a lose condition so I think the cards are recycled back into your deck. Update: I manage to draw my whole deck with Priest. It turns out you will take increasing damage every time you try to draw from an empty deck;-1 for first time, -2 for second time, etc.
- If you play around 11-12 matches of practice matches, it should level your hero to 10 to get all the basic cards for the character. I used to play against every character once but lately, I just challenge Warlock as his hero power helps up the matches quite a lot.

- I've played some expert games and it seems the AI's better cards are making the games harder. I've also lost once due to drawing out of cards and the AI clearing out my existing cards; it seems like 30 cards make it too hard to play control.

- State of the Metagame: 04/27/2014 by onGamers - the top decks of each class featured there.

- Returning token creatures to the hand in this game gives you back the creature as a card. I'm pretty sure in Magic: TG, the token creatures are destroyed as they did not came from the hand technically... Edit: well, in Hearthstone, these tokens are known as uncollectible cards so it is a different concept.

- I enjoy watching people play video games or spectate chess/card matches in the past. With, you can now do it online easily. The Hearthstone section is very active most times of the day and is a good source to learn how to play by watching how others do it.

- *New* I think it is very important to always remember to check if you have lethal at the start of every turn from the midgame onwards. You definitely want to end the match as soon as possible before your opponent draws outs to the current state of the board. If you do not have lethal this turn, then it is better to clear opponent's side of the board of minions and chip away opponent's health with leftover minions to maintain board control.

- *New* If you watch how some of the streamers play, they think of their plays before executing them out, almost without hesitation. If you hesitate while aiming your spells or casting your minions, your opponent can almost guess what you are trying to do and good players can gauge from the rough mana cost, what cards you are holding.


Monday, August 18, 2014

A Late Starter's Guide to Hearthstone (Naxxramas Meta) *Updated with Edit#4*

Efficient Free-to-play Guide to Hearthstone by takeeacy from Hearthstone Players site.

A nice guide for new players starting now after the release of Naxxramas and I will say also a good read for people still building up their card collection.

Personally, I find the daily class specific quests to be tougher now as more and more players have better card collections so I recommend to build/craft a competitive deck like Zoo Warlock or Midrange Hunter first and foremost. Those are easier to build/craft with 0 legendaries and epics. With Zoo, you can win very fast but I find more opponents playing taunt minions which can stop Zoo in its track easily. Hunter seems more versatile and was the first deck I went for. Check out what cards are not used in all competitive decks or MaSsan's disenchant guide and disenchant those. For the best value, crafts 1 of each required rare first. (Edit#1: After which, it is up to you if you want to complete the deck with all required rare-s and missing commons. I personally will not craft commons and wait for them to come from packs instead. For rare-s, I only craft 1 of the required rare and if the deck uses a single rare, I will leave out crafting it too.)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hearthstone tips from former Magic Pro, Gabe Walls

Extracted from his interview at Forbes

The interview was a few months back but I think the tips are still very relevant as they are general in nature.

- Mindset to have when playing: "Knowing how your opponent thinks, what cards he’s likely to have based on his plays, how a particular board position usually plays out, whether to go for tempo or card advantage, and (of course) the ability to do quick mathematical computations for the best outcome"

- For climbing the rank ladder: "Playing mostly one deck allowed me to master it versus almost every conceivable matchup – and likely led to a much quicker run than if I had tried to switch decks back and forth"

- "...practice, practice, practice until you know your deck inside and out, as well as its matchup against every common deck in your rank’s meta game. There isn’t a shortcut really to the hardest part. It’s all hard work and practice."

- "...many of the games are won and lost during the mulligan phase. Knowing which cards the throw away at the beginning and what you are wanting to draw towards is huge. Knowing when to go for tempo early, or when to wait for card advantage based on your opponent and your starting hand is an art that decides many games at the Legendary rank"

- If you want to earn money from playing Hearthstone: "building a personal brand (including amassing a stream following) will always generate way more revenue than tournament winnings alone. That’s almost always true of any game or competitive sports."

Pokemon Trading Card Game Online coming to iPad this year

Confirmed by Nintendo in a GamesBeat article

I think this is the first full TCG game on the iPad. Hopefully Yugioh and Magic joins soon too!

Interview with Magic Pro player, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, about Hearthsotne

GosuGamers link

He previously wrote an article comparing Magic to Hearthstone and some of the information are repeated in this interview. An interesting new point bought up about Hearthstone is on how most of the Hearthstone tournaments revolves around popular twitch streamers which is really true.

I think its digital nature doesn't really encourage people to leave their homes, other than for the Fireside Gathering events to get the card back, which leaves tournaments to be mostly online. I don't know whether those online tournaments require entry fees like how most card tournaments do and if they don't and rely on sponsorship, I guess only popular players will draw viewers. Or, perhaps there are small tournaments, whether digital or outside, but we just never hear about them...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hearthstone: Shaman's new Reincarnate card notes *Updated with interaction with Undertaker minion*

I find it a very fun card for this wing. The previous wing had Webspinner that gives you a random beast minion card which was interesting too. Here are my notes so far from using:

- The reincarnated minion suffers from summoning sickness again; cannot attack unless has charge. Best to use the minion to attack first before casting this on it.

- Does not trigger Battlecry effects.

- Reincarnating Nerubian Eggs are good value

- Should activate Knife Juggler's effect but I have not tried. (twice on Nerubian Egg and thrice on Haunted Creeper!?)

- Can be used on opponent's negative Deathrattle minions

- Edit#1: Reincarnated minion will spawn at the right most space of the board so keep that in mind if you are playing around adjacent boosting cards like Dire Wolf Alpha.

- More notes under the Strategy section at Hearthstone Gamepedia Wiki.

- Edit#2: More notes in the comments section from card database. I like that this site provides the animated version of the gold cards.

- *New* Reincarnating a deathrattle minion procs the new Construct wing minion, Undertaker's stat boost too!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hearthstone The Construct Quarter is out now

I checked around Reddit and there don't seem to be any problems with purchasing. I went ahead and bought the bundle for the last 2 wings as I'm out of gold and do not want to grind for them.

This week's release contains good cards for Zoo Warlock in Undertaker and Zombie Chow while Priest and Warrior get good class cards. Wailing Soul might have some niche and cool usage to disable your own negative Deathrattle or frosted minions and Mad Scientist will find a place in Secret-heavy decks. Overall, Deathrattle-themed decks get all their cards from the whole Naxxramas set in this wing.

I've read that this wing will impact the Meta a lot so keep a look out on how these new cards are used in tournaments. For now, I'm looking forward to the new single player adventure additions!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Magic Hall of Famer Brian Kibler's thoughts on Hearthstone

Twitch Video-on-demand (VOD) link

Note: This was during Hearthstone Beta. His voice was soft at the beginning of the video but he eventually adjusted the volume.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Metal Slug Defense ver 1.4.4 New Emergency Missions

I've been experiencing a lot more SNK Playmore pop-up advertisements navigating around the game menu then ever in this latest version.

Most of the new missions are not too difficult but I did have to try a few times. Here are some tips for the tougher ones to me:

Mission 12 - Just remember to send out the Shielded Guerrilla first with the others behind

Mission 13 - Keep sending out a lot of Native followed by Maggot later. I think I won with just these 2 units.

Mission 14 - I sent out nothing but the Gunnner Unit and it won me the stage.

Mission 15 - This mission grant you more units which confused me initially but after a few tries, it was just like Mission 14; just keep sending out the Gunnner Unit.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hearthstone: How to puchase individual Naxxramas wings earlier

This week's latest wing was already released at the EU server and while I don't think there are much complains this time around (this Reddit thread has a few though) I found another Reddit post by Supernico00 that teaches how to unlock the individual wings earlier. Check out that thread, it should be relatively safe.

It turns out that Hearthstone's in-game time is semi-controlled by your computer or iPad system's clock and the time-controlled Wings purchase to unlock is one of them. The actual content unlock still depended on the server's clock though so no early access. It works on PC and iPads but not Macs unfortunately. I tested it on iPad by setting to a future date and it works and now there's no need to get stuck at unlocking with everyone else doing it together at launch time!

Update: The wing has been released in NA servers and I unlocked it without any problem.

Puzzle & Dragons (PAD) W translation found

I haven't been playing PAD much but the latest Japanese version got me interested. It introduces a second mode which is basically just a puzzle mode of the game. I like this more as I enjoy the puzzle aspect of PAD but not the grind for levelling and skilling up. has a mini guide on the game which includes useful translation of the puzzle objectives which is pretty essential for the game.

Here's the explanation on most of the equipments in the game by Nez from the Puzzle and Dragons forum.

Update: Avatama Book at the Puzzle & Dragons Database which contains descriptions for hats, accessories and outfits.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Meanwhile back in the "Real World"... Pro Tour Magic 2015

Pro Tour Magic 2015 was just over, you can get the official coverage page here with all the information.

A whole new World - Standard after the Pro Tour article points to the diversity in Magic as there are so many types of deck available and 2 out of the 4 current most popular decks did not make it into the top 8.

Top 8 Decklists - I'm always interested in any decklists although I no longer play the game other than the iPad version...

The VOD (Video on demand) of the matches are out at Magic's YouTube Playlist page. It includes Draft matches too. (a.k.a Hearthstone's Arena for Hearthstone players)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Applying Magic: The Gathering Tips to Hearthstone and other card games

10 Tips to Playing Better Competitive Magic by Trick Jarrett

I was sharing this above link I found at my Magic 2015 post and after reading through, I think the tips are great and can apply to a lot of card games in general. Really good advice all round and worth at least a read!

Metal Slug Defense ver 1.4.4 is out!

I'm not going to be repeating the version overview, you can get it from the App page or when updating. I did notice a tad more pop-ups of other SNK Playmore game advertisements at the start but didn't encounter more. I've also checked out the 2 new areas, New York and Brazil, and notably there are no POW to rescue.

I won't be spending much time in this game anymore due to Hearthstone, thus I won't be able to contribute much. I will try to complete the new Special Missions and areas whenever I have the time. Metal Slug Defense is a nice game made with good quality but I think the market is filled with many such games (high quality free to play games) that there is no time to keep playing them all... well, at least for me.