• Miracle Pirate Rogue Guide: Welcome to Gadgetzan!
    01/13/2017
    My two cents: SI version is better against Aggro, while Questing is better against Reno and Jade. Questing version is way more popular in Legend, because of the rise of Reno Mage recently and the Control Warrior now. It's also better in the mirror, which is one of the most common Legend matchups. Statistically speaking, you're more likely to face a deck against which Questing is good in Legend (Miracle + Reno decks alone are over 40% of the meta). On the other hand, in the lower ranks (let's say 10-20), SI:7 should still be better, are you're more likely to face an Aggro or high tempo Midrange deck, while Miracle + Reno decks are less popular (generally harder to play and more expensive). So SI:7 might be better for the climb, especially through the early season meta (which is pretty aggressive) and the low ranks, while Questing should still be better pick for Legend games. Of course, it all depends on the individual meta you face, just like always, but that's how it generally looks like.
  • Weekly Hearthstone Roundup #3 (Dec 23 – Dec 29)
    01/10/2017
    No problem, I'm glad I can help! :)
  • Weekly Hearthstone Roundup #4 (Dec 30 – Jan 5)
    01/07/2017
    I have to agree. Hearthstone gives them so much revenue. Setting up a semi-professional studio with camera, lights etc. requires a room and maybe few thousand dollars at best. Heck, even a decent camera and filming during a day would be enough - in the end, it's not about how the video looks, it's about the content. I mean... why even a video? If there is some issue, if we (community) want to know about something, they can just WRITE it. Or maybe, just maybe, the designers have no clue what to say and they're just making excuses... I would take this explanation from some small, amateur company that's working on their first release. But not from Blizzard. And I don't even blame Ben Brode. He seems to be trying. He's the only active voice from the Team 5, even though they have close to 100 members. He's on a paternity leave and he's still responding as much as he can. But it looks like Blizzard is treating Hearthstone like a milk cow they will just butcher when it won't give them more money. The game has slowest updates, least responsive devs, a lot of unfixed issues, the only new content they're bringing is the one which gives them more money (expansions/adventures). I'm sad to see it, because I really love the game and I hope that it won't stay in this state forever.
  • Stonekeep’s Best of 2016 Awards
    01/04/2017
    Secret Pally got an award last year :) It was #2, Patron Warrior was #1. Since it rotated out with the Standard, it wasn't in this year's meta for too long and that's why I didn't list it.
  • 7 New Year Deck Recommendations!
    01/01/2017
    You're absolutely right about Coldlight Oracle being better than Acolyte of Pain in slow matchups. The draws are mirrored, so you don't put yourself ahead in fatigue while a well-timed Oracle can mill your opponent. I've been using Oracles in C'Thun Warrior a few months ago, and I've seen some other slow Warrior lists utilizing them too. It worked wonders in slower matchups - especially with Brann. Brann + Oracle when my opponent was at 8-9 cards was a pretty common move and it won me a lot of games. But that meta was way slower back then. As you've mentioned yourself, Oracle is worse against Aggro. But it's not only "worse", it's usually a dead card until you've completely stabilized and you aren't afraid of your opponent drawing a few cards, because you know that you will have easy time answering them. Before that, you pay 3 mana for 2/2 body and your opponent gets more from the effect than you do. And that's not only against Aggro - it works similarly against a lot of Midrange decks. Generally any deck that will play cards faster than you do. It's only good against Control/Combo (especially combo, if you can mill some combo piece it's GG). So that's the main reason no one is using it - current meta is very fast compared to the last one, WotG meta was the slowest one I remember EVER (besides the Beta, when people weren't great deck builders). Right now you, on average, are more likely to face a deck that Coldlight Oracle will be bad against than the one that it will be good against. That's why people stick to Acolytes. Even before it was questionable choice, because Midrange Shaman was dominating the ladder and as a CW you usually wanted to run him out of cards, not give him more, but it wasn't as bad as against Aggro Shaman. Obviously, it all depends on the exact decks you face, if you have a decent sample size and you're seeing more slow decks, Coldlight should be better than Acolyte.
  • 7 New Year Deck Recommendations!
    01/01/2017
    Yeah, you're right, this specific list doesn't run Brewmaster! Older list did use it and I've got the two mixed up a bit. Brewmaster gives much more potential damage, but is only great in slow matchups and the deck was optimized to fight against Aggro Shamans, which were all over the Legend ladder. If you face a lot of slow decks like Reno ones, you should probably add one instead of a Doomsayer.
  • Hearthstone Quiz – Gadgetzan Edition
    12/21/2016
    I've got burned by that bug in Arena too. I've lost the game, because I was sure that Reporter is going to die and it survived + the attack buff lined perfectly with the 4/6 I wanted to drop on the same turn (it got from +5 to +6). Later I've seen it getting fixed, but that's why I've remembered those interactions so well. I'm glad that you've learned something new :D
  • Hearthstone Quiz – Gadgetzan Edition
    12/21/2016
    How did you get .5? :p
  • Most Underrated & Overrated Gadgetzan Cards (So Far)
    12/16/2016
    https://clips.twitch.tv/tidesoftime/CloudyAlbatrossEagleEye - straight from the front page of reddit :) Mistaking Dragon Warrior for Pirate Warrior, getting punished very hard.
  • Most Underrated & Overrated Gadgetzan Cards (So Far)
    12/16/2016
    I've mentioned it in the article, but I'm rating the cards right now - in the current meta. Rat Pack is a weak card right now, but once Hunter gets more strong cards, it might get much better. Or might not - if the meta won't slow down and the Buff Hunter won't take off, even a strong on paper card like Rat Pack might not see any play at all. Yes, I was wondering the same. Some people were actually thinking that the card is really strong. I guess the "think only about the best case scenario" mentality is showing. For the same reason, I read that some people called Noggenfogger a good, playable card and a "neutral Ice Block" (say what?). Most of people have though about the card's value when played on curve - which honestly sucks (most of the time it's not worth it to play it on turn 2, you can get punished so easily). But not many have thought about the card as about a "combo card" for the mid/late game, which what the card really is. I love the card, because it adds extra level of depth into the game - both when playing it and playing against it. When you play it, you have to read opponent's hand and pick the best moment to use it. And when you play against it, you either try to reduce the chance that it hits the right target (by keeping more minions in your hand) or by using your valuable minions (like Kazakus) sooner and not being greedy with them (e.g. not waiting for the Brann combo). Thanks!
  • First Week New Meta – Winners and Losers
    12/13/2016
    He just said that Reno Mage is whatever, he didn't insult your mother. He just stated his opinion about Hearthstone deck. You don't have to act like he hurt your feelings. As a matter of fact, Reno Mage was whatever compared to Tempo Mage (pre-Gadgetzan data). Sure, you might not like it more, but it was based on a lot of data (http://www.vicioussyndicate.com/about-data-reaper-report/vs-power-rankings-data-reaper-report/).
  • Crazy & Fun Gadgetzan Combos
    12/09/2016
    Aviana + Kun combo deck is actually semi-viable, you have deck list on the video I've linked (Dog's one) I don't have list for Auctionmaster Beardo combo, but I guess it's just a pretty standard Reno Priest, just with Beardo added. For example, Zetalot was running a Reno Priest this stream with both Embrace the Darkness and Prophet Velen, just adding Beardo would make that combo possible. It's still something that won't work that often. Same goes for Coldarra Drake combo - you just need to run Cabal Courier or Forbidden Shaping in your list and hope to roll Coldarra Drake :) Brann + Dirty Rat + MCT is now a very common combo in Reno decks, mainly RenoLock. E.g. look for Savjz's list, he got a huge win streak with it on rank 1 Legend. The 14/14 VanCleef is possible in the new heavy cycle Miracle Rogue lists with Auctioneer. But the biggest I've seen so far in the game is turn 1 8/8, which is still HUGE, but not as big as 14/14 :D Rest of the combos aren't really viable, they're mostly fun, "one time" combos - you know, those that will work once in a blue moon, but are really fun to perform.
  • Crafting Guide for Mean Streets of Gadgetzan!
    12/08/2016
    The card is very mediocre. Only the lists that run Fool's Bane could really use it. Most of the Warrior decks don't run enough weapons/weapons don't have enough durability to make a good use of it. It might get better in the future if Warrior gets other weapons, but right now it's an "okay" Legendary at best.
  • Pre-Release Brews – Jade Druid, Control N’Zoth Shaman, Pirate Rogue
    12/01/2016
    Thank you! I also can't wait to test them all :) Luckily for me, my job is to write about the game and share it with you guys, so I'll try to get out some day 1 articles! WG is indisputable in this deck, that's one of the greatest Druid cards. Jade Druid is a quite slow deck, even though it doesn't seem so by just looking at the curve. But the truth is that before it can start doing its combos (shuffling Idols + drawing), it really has to get to the higher mana amounts. Blossom is seen as both ramp card and Jade Golem synergy card - it replaces the Mire Keeper in the standard Ramp/Maly Druid. WG is also kinda an anti-Aggro card, because the quicker you get to high mana, the easier it is to deal with the threats or the sooner you can play your Taunts. You're just more safe there - you can start comboing Drake with spells, you can fit some removal on top of a minion, if you aren't ahead on the mana, you're just barely keeping up with Aggro in the early/mid game, and that's not good enough. But yes, if we'll encounter a lot of the Aggro decks, second Feral Rage and possibly some other options will be necessary. I'm still not sure where to fit them, but it most likely depends on the exact meta that will shape up. I'll let you guys know once I write guide for this deck (if it will turn out to be as strong as anticipated) :)
  • Pre-Release Brews – Jade Druid, Control N’Zoth Shaman, Pirate Rogue
    12/01/2016
    I don't think that Paladin with a lot of big removals is going to be a counter. Against deck with infinite threats, no number of finite removals will be enough. It's not like Ragnaros or something that you have to spend 8 mana on. In the late game, Jade Druid will summon those big guys for nearly free. If you summon a 1 mana 10/10, removing it with BGH will obviously be better than not removing it at all, but it will be a poor tempo play - you've spent 5 mana, got a 4/2 body and I can just play another cheap big guy again. But I think that the Jade Druid will definitely have its counters. First of all - combo decks. It should be pretty weak against something like Anyfin Paladin, because the deck could easily stall the mid/late game and then get off a big combo (+it has 2x Equality against big boards). Then, maybe some faster N'Zoth deck - the problem with Jade Druid is that it's both slow AND it has no board clears. If your opponent drops a quick N'Zoth, even ressing just 3-4 minions, it might be too much tempo already to handle. Then, obviously, the Aggro decks - they want to hit you before you can snowball your Jade Golem. Second Gadgetzan should definitely be good in case of more control-heavy meta. Then you want to go all-in on the shuffling + drawing plan. Against Aggro (or even some Midrange, like Shaman), Doomsayer is always a solid option, but we'll need to have to wait before the meta settles down. But it's a pretty good idea!
  • Pre-Release Brews – Pirate Warrior, Aggro Paladin, Midrange Buff Hunter
    11/30/2016
    Hey direna! Congratulations, that's a really nice win rate :D Did you go for the Legend or stop at rank 5? I hope that you're going to enjoy the Gadgetzan version and the new expansion in general.
  • Pre-Release Brews – Pirate Warrior, Aggro Paladin, Midrange Buff Hunter
    11/30/2016
    I thought about Hobart really long but in the end I don't think it will be worth it. The main problem is a 2/2 body - it's really, really weak 2-drop and as a Pirate Warrior you want that early game tempo. Let's say you go turn 1 N'Zoth's First Mate into turn 2 Bloodsail Raider - pretty common opening. 3/3 Bloodsail Raider is not only harder to remove (doesn't die to things like Arcane Blast, Living Roots, Disciple of C'Thun etc.), gets better trades, but also pushes for more face damage. It would be insane if it also buffed weapons gained from N'Zoth's First Mate and Upgrade or it had 3/2 or 2/3 stats. Then it would be an auto-include. But in the current state, I'm not sure if it's worth it. Of course, Mortal Strike is amazing and that's why I didn't touch when finding cards to remove - I've prefered to get rid of one Heroic Strike instead. But as much as I love the card in slower matchup, if Aggro was to dominate over the ladder, it's too slow. You generally win Aggro mirror matchups by winning the early game board control and Mortal Strike doesn't help with that. So that's why, IF Aggro decks were to take over the ladder, which might happen, because both Pirate Warrior and Aggro Paladin look promising + people are usually testing greedy decks during the first few days so Aggro might pop out as a counter, so IF Aggro decks would be really popular, dropping one copy might be good idea. By the way, how were you finding Abusive in the Pirate Warrior? I thought about running it, but that was pre-nerf. I'm not sure if the 1/1 body would be good enough right now.
  • Pre-release Brews – RenoLock, Reno Dragon Priest, Secret Tempo Mage
    11/29/2016
    I also thought about the more top-heavy approach, but I don't think it goes too well with Kabal Lackeys. Those are clearly early game, aggressive/high tempo cards - I think they might not fit into the slower version with 2 Portals and Rag. But if this one doesn't work, I will try the slower one and see how it goes :) And about the Blast - the card is good even without Cult Sorcerers. I've tested it in Heroic Brawl (I've played version without them) and it was still good card. Of course, if you drop the Flamewaker you have less reasons to play it, but I like it. Anyway, we'll see how it goes in a few days. Good luck with your deck list!
  • Pre-release Brews – RenoLock, Reno Dragon Priest, Secret Tempo Mage
    11/29/2016
    I wasn't sure about Flamewaker, but I still think it's good. I disagree on the lack of cheap spells. There is Arcane Blast and Frostbolt, both of which combo well with Flamewaker. Kabal Lackey + Secret is also a "1 mana spell" of sort. Going second you get Coin, which obviously also works nicely with Flamewaker. And thanks to the Counterspell, it should be easier to protect and keep it on the board. You'd like to run Loot Hoarders over Flamewakers? Could you show me the list you want to play?
  • Guide on Amazon Coins outside US/UK/Germany (no VPNs)!
    11/25/2016
    My mail is stonekeephs@gmail.com But I'm afraid that I won't be able to help you until Monday, I'll be really busy this weekend.

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Playing Hearthstone since September 2013. Infinite Arena player. Hitting Legend rank on EU each season, with multiple high Legend climbs during the season and top 200-300 finishes.