Clean Sweep

Each month I’ve been playing just enough Hearthstone to get to rank 20 – not to use the cardbacks mind you, I just like collecting them. Every now and then I’ll even step into the arena where I’ve drawn some really great cards like the combo below.

Legendary-Noz

At the time I was trying to decide between the two dragons since I’ve never used either but I thought Noz would be a more valuable card if I could keep it on the board a while. Unfortunately, when I was close to using it, I didn’t get a chance. My opponent was already sitting at 10 making it a pretty quick win so playing it would have been redundant.

Nozdormu

Tonight I played my usual priest deck where I drew Deathwing from a well used card. This was definitely one I was excited to try since I’ve never had a chance to use it before. I just hoped the match wouldn’t be over too quickly like so many lost opportunities before, particularly in arena.

Their next card made me smile.

Onyxia_whelps

I mean really, I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect way to go. Even as I drew my next card, I knew which one I’d be using.

Deathwing

Talk about an unexpected turn of events although the card did seem familiar.

DeathwingCymre Jones hearthstone

I made this card several weeks ago as a bit of fun – before any news of my own NPC came out. Of course I have to admit, an NPC is a much cooler thing to have since you can only interact so much with a playing card.

They were a good sport though, giving me the “Well Played” emote at the end.

Expert Card Packs Unlocked

Players who have picked up a copy of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls™ can now discover bonus loot in the form of an Expert Card Pack (or Packs!) for Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™.

Diablo Hearthstone-expert card packs

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Reaper of Souls: Digital Standard Edition – One (1) Hearthstone Expert Card Pack, delivered to your Battle.net account starting March 20.
  • Reaper of Souls: Retail Standard Edition – One (1) Free Hearthstone Expert Card Pack, available in your Reaper of Souls box as a redeemable code.
  • Reaper of Souls: Digital Deluxe Edition – Three (3) Hearthstone Expert Card Packs, delivered to your Battle.net account starting March 20.
  • Reaper of Souls: Retail Collector’s Edition – Three (3) Hearthstone Expert Card Packs, available in your Collector’s Edition box as three separate redeemable codes.

I managed to get three rare cards (one from each pack), none of which were that exciting but maybe you’ll have better luck.

Quest for a Hearthsteed

Hearthstone may have officially launched but was I the only one to be surprised by this news? I admit my main interest is WoW but when I started seeing Hearthsteed pics, I decided to find out more about it. For a free game, it can be pretty addictive, especially in the beginning. The day I started playing back in October, I was surprised by all the slick animations and voiceovers.

My first match in play mode turned out to be quite amusing as I was itching to try out a priest deck. Naturally Coolidge battled (or should I say slaughtered) me with his pali deck. Well, it was all still new to me and would never have known the matches took that long if I hadn’t recorded it.

Hearthsteed mail

To earn your own Hearthsteed, all you have to do is win three games of Hearthstone in Play or Arena mode. You should then receive your achievement and mount after logging in to WoW. For some, the rewards have been instant, for me… not so much. If you’re having trouble collecting your rewards, you can try restarting the Battle.net launcher and WoW as suggested in the forums but this didn’t work for me until I logged back into Hearthstone and out again.

Here’s what a blue had to say on the forums:

The servers are currently experiencing some delays in regards to picking up the Mount Up! achievement on the World of Warcraft side and we are currently working on it. If you have already earned the Mount Up! achievement in Hearthstone, don’t worry, once the server catches up you will properly receive the Hearthsteed mount on your World of Warcraft account. Please note that the Hearthsteed can only be earned from the Americas region of Hearthstone at this time.

I wasn’t quite sure how fast it would take to win three matches since I literally hadn’t played for months and this ranking system was new to me so I headed into play mode with my trusty priest deck. As the match went on, I felt more and more rusty, which I quickly told Neo as he cheered me on but I was surprised to walk out with a win in my first match. That soon faded when the next few weren’t that evenly matched.

As a fresh rank 25 player, I was surprised to see several rank 23 opponents but that’s the luck of the draw I guess. Neo said it took a while to get his done and that seemed to mirror my experience although I probably shouldn’t have been watching TV while completing my matches. It really didn’t help my concentration (which is why I kept looking over the same cards) but I ended up getting my wins against against a pali and 2 mage decks.

The first match whittled me down to 5 before I started to turn the match around. I’ve never forfeit a match and this is why. Unfortunately, I couldn’t record the second since my HD was full and I couldn’t minimise the game (even in fullscreen mode). By the time I got to the third match, I didn’t even get to use my ability before the match abruptly ended!

hearthsteed flying

When the pegasus model was first datamined, there were two different versions thought to be Alliance blue and Horde red but it appears the red model will be coming later.

Decking the Arena

It took a couple of days before I felt comfortable entering the Arena in Hearthstone. Having mostly played a priest deck and a bit of the mage in the opening rounds, I wanted to try a few of the other hero classes before I even thought about attempting the arena.

Gelbin MekkatorqueHere you are given a choice of three heroes. Luckily the priest was an option in my first two arena entries so at least I had a better idea of how to play that class of cards.

My first experience was short-changed as my second match bugged out from an opponent’s use of a Brewmaster card. I thought it was odd since there was still no timer after a couple of minutes but after 5mins or so, I checked to see if there was anything in the forums about it. Someone suggested that the player might have held up the match deliberately (as an exploit) but the fuse should have come into play after a short time so I reluctantly closed the game hoping it wouldn’t register as an automatic loss but it did /sigh. Not a great first impression when it takes quite a bit of time and effort to accumulate 150 coins. My first two arena matches already had two losses with nothing much to show for it.

Hearthstone - two winsYesterday, Cool bought me a couple of packs from the store. It was exciting to open them because you never know what you’ll find inside. I was especially excited about my Gelbin Mekkatorque card as I’ve seen a number of people use them in their decks against me. He’s been a lot of fun to play (when I actually have a chance to use him) and can last a while.

After three arena tournaments, I’ve managed to win 4 matches although two were won with a paladin deck. At first I was disappointed since I haven’t played the pali much but it seemed a pretty easy win against two warrior opponents.

Hearthstone top keyMaybe one day I can even win that uber crown key on the right. I have noticed zero wins can still net you a pack of cards so that’s some consolation for the time invested. I wonder if that will change when the game goes live…

First Look at Hearthstone

I admit the main reason I opted into the Hearthstone beta was because of the Hearthsteed. Up until yesterday, I had no real knowledge of the game or games like it. I had purchased a number of TCG packs over the years, purely for a chance at the loot cards and no real interest in the game itself. Unfortunately, the only two loot cards I managed to see came from the Wrath and Cata Collector’s Editions. I even tried my luck with the new Reign of Fire set, buying four booster packs but no loot cards inside.

A couple of days ago, I received my own beta invite prompting me to install the Battle.net desktop app which is a requirement to play. As soon as I saw the opening screen, I was pleasantly surprised. There was so much animation and the heroes even talk to each other making the opening matches fun to play through. You can even interact with the corners of the board and use emotes to communicate with the other player.

As soon as I finished battling Illidan I was eager to get a priest deck going. Around the same time, Coolidge had made a paladin deck so he was eager to challenge me to a match. I have never played this sort of game before so with only the practice matches to go by, I sent him a challenge.

Hearthstone bench

I was so used to my hero ability doing damage (after playing Jaina) that I made a few boo boos during the match. Let’s just say I didn’t make things any easier for myself and Cool didn’t help much :P

A few hours later, I logged back in to try a few matches in Play mode which meant I was playing against other people. I was able to beat six other players meaning I could start making decks for several other classes. After each win, I slowly began to tweak my custom priest deck so it’s been quite fun incorporating some of the more interesting cards available.

This afternoon I logged in to find a challenge from Arv. OMG, he has a lot more experience with this so I didn’t have high hopes. I immediately messaged him saying “[he was] going to kick my ass” but he said “I’ll go easy on you”. Yeah, right! After a particular move he apologised. Apologies, my ass!

For now, I’ll keep playing for the experience and hopefully some really nice cards. I might have a go at the Hunter, Shaman and Warlock decks before I step into the arena, I’ll just have to wait and see.

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