I haven’t written anything in a while – the meta is stale and largely solved, I didn’t play anything new and exciting this month, and I’m sick of a lot of happenings in the Hearthstone world. Without further ado, my list of grievances:
1) Reynad’s Salt
I’ve always kind of liked watched Reynad get mad at some of the brokenness of Hearthstone, and his claims that literally everyone on the ladder was playing his list and stream-sniping him were hilarious, but now he’s taken it a little too far. He has spiraled down to the point where all he does is complain and rage at his opponent’s luck, culminated with this moment in his set of videos featuring his (mediocre) Hunter deck:
“I’m going to teach you how to play the mirror now…”
Well played, Reynad, well played.
How Blizzard allows this class to continue to exist in its current state is beyond me. It gets banned in 85% of tournament sets (completely made up statistic that is likely false) and it’s impossible to come back against due to snowballing Undertakers and the fact that if you get down to ~10 life you can’t stabilize against Steady Shot.
Undertaker is problem #1. “It’s strong, but we’re just keeping an eye on it,” says Ben Brode. So 60%+ ladder penetration isn’t strong enough for you?! As just a 2/3 for one it’s good, and if you don’t kill it immediately it’s frequently a 4/5 for 1. How is this remotely fair?! We’re happy when we get to use our premium 2-mana removal spell on a 1-drop, for pete’s sake!
Absurdly powerful cards like this are supposed to have a deckbuliding constraint to check their power level. Gadgetzan Auctioneer requires you to be half spells, so your board presence can suffer. Houndmaster requires you to play a lot of beasts, which are generally weaker for their cost than non-beast minions. Undertaker, however, can just be tossed into any deck with minions because all of the best minions down the curve have deathrattle.
Problem #2: Mad Scientist. This guy sacrifices a point of power or health for the ability to get a secret when he dies. Secrets cost 2 mana, and Freezing Trap is probably undercosted at that anyways (but we’ll get to that later). So you get AT LEAST 4 mana worth of value from this guy, plus he procs Undertaker. It’s never wrong to play him, even if he’ll die immediately, and if they silence him they messed up because Undertaker and Savannah Highmane are in your deck. Wiping the Hunter’s board generally kills one minion (if Undertaker is within AOE range), gets him a secret, a random beast to hand, and two 1/1’s. AOE is bad against the cheap minion spam deck. /facepalm
Problem #3: Freezing Trap. All of the Hunter cards are such insane value for their cost that you don’t have time to replay a minion, let alone replay one at two more mana. Turn 5 anything + Freezing Trap so that you can turn 6 Highmane into one or fewer opponent minions with a Freezing Trap up is gg, and frequently Freezing Trap with a Houndmaster is just gg as well.
I guess there is an upside to all of this Rexxar insanity: last week I got two “win 5 games with Hunter” quests, so those only took me 45 minutes combined to go 10-1 and get my gold.
3) Shaman Bots
This scourge of Sea Giant motherf…wait, what’s that? They’re banned?
…never mind then
4) Amaz’s Over-acting
Amaz used to have a great stream where he played well, interacted with the chat, and made funny comments. Now he yells about what card he needs, squeals whenever his opponent make a good play, mimics all of the cards’ sound effects, and stage cries when he’s behind. He has become a parody of himself. Imagine if people acted like this in real life.
“Mr. Trump, our investments are down 1.5% this quarter.”
“NOOO!” Donald Trump jumps off of his chair into his leather couch and pounds the cushions for a few seconds before lying still and moaning.
“Mr. Trump, it’s your turn.”
Another moan escapes Mr. Trump’s lips as he dramatically pulls himself off of his couch and slumps into his chair to perform the easy lethal he has. He screams with exltation and jumps onto his chair, arms outstretched.
“Mr. Trump, you only have 300 viewers and no new subscribers today.”
He sits still and plays normally for the next half hour.
5) Invitational “Tournaments”
These 8-16 person events where all of the players are invited are a joke. They’re basically a two-day long commercial for the sponsor where we get to witness “high-level plays” like this one:
And this is the SEMIFINALS! I haven’t heard of Mirrari before, but if this is the sort of play he’s known for, he can go back to being Memnarch in Magic: the Gathering.
How to run a Hearthstone invitational tournament:
- Have a sponsor that sells some product tangentially related to gaming, like computer chairs or energy drinks (what?)
- Get a hook for your tournament, like “featuring Blizzcon qualifier Kolento” or “commentated by Frodan and ThatsAdmirable.”
- Invite two or three good players and fill the rest of the 8 or 16-man roster with randoms who hit legend once or twice and stream sometimes for more than 100 viewers.
- Stream it so thousands of people can see the misplays and think they’re better than they are. Nothing is better advertising than an appeal to ego!
So that’s what’s annoyed me in the Hearthstone world recently. Do you agree? Disagree? Think I crossed the line? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!
Until next time,