CCG 101

 

Deck Design 102

by Kevin Hovdestad on

Welcome back, class. For those of you who are joining us for the first time, Deck Design 101 is a prerequisite, so please make sure you’ve completed your first assigned reading before continuing. In 101, we talked about typical deckbuilding errors and how to overcome them. Armed with that knowledge, the critical next step is to – while still avoiding those traps and pitfalls! – make good deck design decisions. Welcome to Deck Design 102: Choosing Correctly. Our focus in this segment is on choosing strong cards, deck theme, and building towards a playstyle and win condition. Expert Selections Hearthstone is a game that requires you to balance a significant number of resources simultaneously. It may not seem intuitive at first, but you actually have six resources you are managing constantly: Health. Your health represents how long you have to live, and can be traded – using weapons, hero powers,

 

Deck Design 101

by Kevin Hovdestad on

You’ve played some Hearthstone. Maybe you downloaded the iPad app and poked around against the AI tutorial; maybe you’ve had the game since it entered beta and have thousands of games to your name. Either way, you’re here, and you’re in the predicament that all players eventually find themselves in – you have to choose to either take a decklist you found online and make it work (this is called ‘netdecking’), or you can try to fumble your way through and make your own. If you’re anything like most people, you’ll swing back and forth between these two poles. One night, you just want to find a decklist that someone else has already put the wrench time into designing, load it up, and see whether or not it works. Sometimes you’ll get lucky, and be ahead of the meta curve ever-so-slightly – those are the nights you go on unprecedented

 

CCG 101: Must Have Cards for New Players

by JGGiant on

Good afternoon, class. We’ve spent a lot of time on different types of decks, both how to use them and how to handle them when they’re on the other side of the board. This week I want to go off of this topic and focus on a few specific cards. These cards aren’t necessarily the best of their type, nor do they belong in every single deck. Instead, I consider them to be excellent training tools; effective and easy enough to use that you can come to understand how their various effects work and thus can more effectively build a deck around those abilities, even if you end up using an entirely different card. Iron Beak Owl             For those who aren’t familiar with the effect, Silence essentially nullifies the abilities and buffs of any other target card. Windfury, Taunt, Deathrattle, and even special abilities unique to that card are wiped

 

CCG 101: Playing Against The Crowd

by JGGiant on

There’s this wonderful time when a game is brand new where people are left to their own devices. No guides on building proper macros, no optimum build orders, no detailed maps showing the best camping spots; it’s an uncharted wilderness to be navigated and discovered. However, it doesn’t take long for winning tactics to be discovered and soon every player that knows how to use google is using it. It’s the main reason why many games with seemingly in-depth customization options find themselves homogenized as using the optimum builds becomes expected and possibly required. In the case of Hearthstone, this instance comes in the form of the heroes and particular cards. All it takes is for a player to crush the competition in a streamed tournament and soon everyone starts using the same hero. First it was rogues thanks to their insane combos and potential damage output, but then they

 

CCG 101: Arena and You

by JGGiant on

So you’ve defeated Illidan, unlocked all of the classes by beating them in practice mode, and have a basic grasp of the mechanics. Now it’s time to jump into the game, but you’ll notice that there are two modes other than practice: “Play” and “Arena”. Today I’m going to explain why Arena mode is the best place for new players to start despite its high entrance fee of 150 gold.Unlike Play mode where matches are fought between pre-built decks, Arena mode offers the player a choice between three randomly selected heroes. After the decision is made, the game then dispenses thirty rounds of three randomly selected cards for the player to choose from. Once thirty cards have been selected, you play matches against random opponents until you either lose three games or win nine. Once either of these conditions are met, you are given five random rewards, four of which

 

CCG 101: Special Abilities Part 2

by JGGiant on

This week I will be finishing the list of the special abilities that cards may have in Hearthstone. The abilities listed here are some of the simpler ones to understand, but that makes them no less beneficial or dangerous. Deathrattle Cards with this ability cause a special effect to occur upon their deaths. Think of them as the polar opposite of Battlecry; While those abilities activate when the minion enters play, these do so when they leave the board through being destroyed (Simply returning the card to your hand doesn’t count). With that said, the strategy behind Deathrattle cards needs to be different as well. With most Battlecry cards, just getting it placed can often be enough to make the card effective. Deathrattle, on the other hand, needs to be killed before it’s silenced or the state of the board changes to a point where its effect isn’t as useful

 

CCG 101: Special Abilities

by JGGiant on

Like all CCGs, most of Hearthstone’s cards are fairly straightforward. A minion has a set amount of health and damage, you play it, and next round it can do that damage unless that amount of health is taken away from it first. A spell will do exactly what it says, such as dealing 5 damage or removing a minion entirely. Also like nearly all CCGs though, some cards will have special modifiers that change the way a creature or spell behaves based on other conditions. In Hearthstone these abilities are in Bold print and their uses often play into many of the deck types that I’ve described in previous articles. Some of the first abilities I’ll discuss this week are explained briefly in Hearthstone’s tutorial, but a refresher is always a good idea. A creature with the Taunt ability is a tank, but those found in MMO’s they don’t have to

 

CCG 101: Card Cycling and Top Decking

by JGGiant on

Despite all of the planning that you might put into a new deck, there will always be a level of pure luck involved in how well it will perform during any given match. Even if your mana curve heavily favors lower cost cards and you only have four or five cards that cost a high amount of resources, there will be a game where you will find yourself sitting with nothing but those cards in your starting hand. Another scenario is perhaps you have the perfect draw in the late game, maybe a spell that will deal just enough damage during your turn to win just before your opponent finishes you off. Luck will always be a factor due to situations like this, but there are ways to manage it. One of the main things that any CCG player worth his or her weight in booster packs wants to avoid

 

CCG 101: Deck Types Part 2

by JGGiant on

We’re back with part two of our coverage of the basic types of deck builds for beginning players. Last time we discussed the Burn deck for quicker, damage-based builds and Turtle decks for players who prefer planning for the long-term and outlasting their opponent. Today the decks we’ll go over are a bit more complicated but still nothing outside of the abilities of a well-informed newb. The Swarm Deck The Swarm Deck is also known as the creature or minion deck. While all decks employ minions to some extent, this deck is built solely around getting out tons of creatures out as quickly as possible and buffing them to some ridiculous damage. Just about any minion can find a home in a Swarm Deck, but there are a few that are practically designed for such a build. Some creatures in CCGs will offer benefits to creatures of the same types,

 

CCG 101: Deck Types Part 1

by JGGiant on

Starting this week we will be going into more detail on the various types of decks that you can choose to build. I mentioned them briefly in my first posts, but that doesn’t not mean much to rookies so I want to spend some time going over the basic themes behind each type of deck as well as their strengths and weaknesses. We will start with the two most obvious types of decks and therefore the best ones to attempt when constructing your very first build. The Burn Deck The “burn” deck type is for people who want to win quickly using high damage output. Most cards in these decks are usually comprised of spells and abilities, but any creatures that can put out decent damage before being destroyed often makes a good card as well. A few creatures that can absorb damage are a good investments as well, since