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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Windows, Mac
TBC 2013
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a digital collectible card game set in the Warcraft universe. The game is based around 1v1 card game matches and will operate online through Blizzard's


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Obligatory New Month Hearthstone Report

Out with the old, in with the new. Fired up Hearthstone this morning to see how I did and what I got from the rank rewards. Free to Play (F2P) account: Rank 18, Restart at Rank 22. Played a few games with a cheap C’zoo deck to finish a quest. I heard rumors that maybe we get the Adventure this month? I’m sitting on enough gold now to buy it for sure. Feels good man.

Pay to Win Account (P2W). Finished at Rank 12, restart at rank 20. This month I’m going to get as many Mage wins as possible. So I jumped right in with Tempo Mage, and went 8 and 1! All the way to Rank 16! And then lost. Alot. Oh it was humiliating. Eventually got my 10th win of the day. Switched to Wild (rank 22) with a silly Reno Freezy N’Zoth deck. 2-0 with that, up to Rank 21.

Which puts me at 250 Mage wins, total. IF I can manage 10 wins per day, That’s Golden Mage by July 26th. Then again: I have a job, a baby, a wife who likes it when I’m productive, not to mention days coming up where I will not be anywhere near my PC. So, if I can get to, say, 400 or so, I’d count that as a good month.

  • Jul 12, 2016, 10:18:27 AM

ooh hello! @Bukkhead I just discovered your blog! You seems to enjoy Heartstone quite a bit! Do you stream it too sometimes?

  • Jul 12, 2016, 10:45:46 AM

managed to get 500 wins on my paladin before the expansions playing a lot, since the big changes I find myself bored really quick with the game so just play a few matches now and then

  • Jul 12, 2016, 8:11:58 PM

Thanks @Elloa! Yes, I probably play Hearthstone too much. I don't stream, though. Thought about it-- not sure if folks want to watch my Rank 15 follies :)


Live streaming Hearthstone! Moving through the ranks.

ItsWolflord - Twitch
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Wild YOLO Most-Gods Reno Milkshake Priest Nonsense

Made a cheap-ass miracle rogue deck on my free-to-play account, went 5-1 to finish off a quest. Hooray.

Hopped over to my pay-to-win account. Priest quest. Ugh. Well, let’s make the best of it. We’ll go Wild, and we’ll go wild. Deathrattle minions, steal-’em spells, C’thun minions. Reno and C’thun and N’zoth, oh my. And why not Yogg. Why the heck not.

Results? Well, I’m playing Wild at Rank 19, so, you know. Every loss is to be expected and every win is sheer luck. But oh my Old-Gods, the fun when it all comes together. Top decking Yogg and clearing the board, setting up C’thun, and then throwing down N’zoth.

I can only imagine how irritating this deck is to play against. The Reno come-back. The Sylvanas/Cabal Shadow-Priest/Shadow-Madness steals. Thoughtsteal and Mindgames and Mind Vision.

Back when the Hearthstone devs announced Standard and Wild, I assumed Wild would just be the land of broken OP decks. But so far, it has been, actually wild, as in wild-n-crazy.

I’m half-tempted to craft Y’Shaarj, just to put him in there.

The Shattered Menagerie (Hearthstone Noir)

The name on the frosted glass say “Proudmoore” but my friends call me Jaina. Not that I have too many friends left, on account of a bad night last week at the Slaughtered Lamb. Me and Antonidas got into our cups and when somebody at the bar ordered Fireballs, well... We got banned. Not that it matters, since the Lamb doesn’t exactly have a roof anymore, or walls.

But I digress. Today’s story’s about a little weasel called Gul’dan. I’d mean that literally if my polymorph spells had gone off correctly, but things rarely go right when you’re three sheets to the wind and top decking just to stay alive. Then again, sometimes The Maker keeps you around a little longer, if only because you’re more amusing alive and tortured than dead and at peace. Jerk.

Sorry, more digression. Let’s cut to the chase. Your standard duel, Gul’dan with the zoo and me with the tempo. I’m swapping frost bolts for voidwalkers and he’s running Darkshire Councilmen into my Water Elementals. The ground around us littered with imp corpses and dead cult sorcerers. I don’t even know why I keep those guys around. It’s not like I’m a big fan of C’thun.

Anyway, I’ve got him down 4 life, but my hand is empty. Meanwhile, he’s got a Mountain Giant, pumped up twice with a few Defenders of Argas. The Giant ignores Bloodmage Thalnos and a Sorcerer's Apprentice, and hits me in the face. Have you seen this face? It’s not made for snogging with 20-foot tall creatures made out of stone (And I’d like to see the face that is… on second thought, no I wouldn’t). I’m at three life.

He steps back and ends his turn, saying “Well played,” in an oily voice. You know how some guys can say “Nice Flame Lance!” and it makes you smile, and others guys, all they say is “I greet you,” and you want to take a shower for ninety minutes and shave off all your hair? Yeah, like that last one.

At this point I’m out of fireballs and frostbolts, but what’s a girl gonna do? I’ve got nine mana crystals to play with. I top deck an Arcane Intellect. Play that, draw a Flamewaker (where were you five turns ago?) and an Acolyte of Pain. Play the little S&M bastard, and ping him- he thanks me for it with one more card. Oh looky, a Forgotten Torch. Bloodmage adds his plus-one, and Guldan is toast.

Back in my office, I’m celebrating with a half-full bottle of Old Noggenfogger, when she walks in. Red leather bustier, red cape, red hood. “Valeera,” I mutter. “What brings you here? Problem with a big bad wolf?”

She just shrugs, pulls out a deck. “Heard you made a crater out of Gul’dan. Wanna try a real fight?”

Oh, it is on.

This Week’s Brawl: Heart of the Sunwell.

“In the Sunwell lies unlimited power, and that power is yours! Start each game with 10 mana and see what you can do with it!”

Hadn’t played Hearthstone for a few days and needed to catch up, hopped into my Free-To-Play account. Gotta get that free pack. Gotta get those common classics.

A brawl we’ve had before. Not one so great for the F2P players, since they don’t have all them sweet legendaries they can play on turn one. But RNG is what it is, and perseverance usually pays off for us cheapskates.

I went with druid, because, you know: Irony. In the lore, Malfurion had to fight his brother because of the Sunwell, and shove him in prison for 10,000 years. Me, I built a C’thun deck. I figured, throw out a bunch of worshippers, throw out C’thun, profit. How did it go? Here’s the play by play, as well as I remember it:

Opponent: Warrior, Magni, Golden. (Sigh.)
Him: Onyxia. Lookit all them little dragon whelps.
Me: Swipe, Starfall.
Him: Ysera. (Sigh.)
Me: Beckoner of Evil, Twilight Elder, C’Thun’s Chosen.
Him: Face with Ysera, Gruul, armor up.
Me: Minions to face. Cthun! Grull dies.
Him: Hellscream. Inner Rage on Hellscream, Nightmare on Hellscream, Rampage on Hellscream, Inner Rage on Hellscream. Face with Ysera and Hellscream. I’m at 3 life.
Me: C’thun to his face, my minions to his face, Disciple of C’thun’s 2 damage to his face, Hero power for last point of damage.

And my card pack for winning the brawl had an epic in it!

In retrospect, I could have played Disciple of C’thun first, pumping my C’thun a bit before going face, and I wouldn’t have needed the Hero Power. So I hope Magni didn’t think I was BMing him.

And Now I Never Have to Play Hunter Again

Mission accomplished! 500 wins with Hunter, finally. I know I’m way behind everyone else in the world, but who cares, I did it. 10 days or so ago I decided to just go for it, and here I am. Golden Rexxar.

Most days were positive in the win-rate column, if only barely. One day I had a nice 83%! Today, though, was a slog, to get those last ten wins. 40% win rate, ugh. Mid Range was just not cutting it. I switched to Yogg, which was more or less the same. But the final win was with Mid-Range again. Versus Hunter!

So, now what? Now that’s I’ve got the shiny gold portrait, what do I do? Do I flaunt it on the ladder, along with some ancient card-back, to strike fear in the hearts of my (middle of the ladder ranked) opponents?

Nah. Moving on to Rogue or Mage. Or Shaman. Or Rocket League.

Crazy Game Story: “Til Deathrattle Do Us Part” (hearthstone noir)

(sent this to The Angry Chicken Podcast)

Greetings, traveler. Call me Rexxar.

It was another hot day in Stormwind, the cobblestones littered with movie ticket stubs, and Old Gods ichor dripping off the walls. Me and a green-bearded druid were going toe to toe, the usual stuff: Highmanes and Elekks and Toads, oh my. He was throwin’ around Swipes and Wraths like a midget tosser at a Munchkin convention, but I hung in there, nipping at my flask of Old Noggenfogger every time he offered a snidely put, “Spectacular!”

Things were starting to look grim for Mrs. Stormrage’s little boy, but then Yogg-Saron decided to join the fun. The air crackled with eldritch stupidity and it was all I could do to keep a hand on my flask. When the dust settled, I was sitting at one life, the druid at three, he had hand full of cards, and all I had was a Fiery Bat, belching smoke and muttering something about Blizzcon 2014.

“Spectacular!” the druid offered one more time, and ended his turn. I finished off my flask. Oh well. I’m told Rocket League’s where’s it at now, anyway. Maybe time to move on.

And then she walked in. The Princess. Huruhan they call her. She of the emerald wings (4 of em) and emerald legs (6 of ‘em) and emerald everything else (I’m guessing). “Hello gorgeous,” I said, “What’s a nice Silithid like you doin’ in a place like this?”

She replied in fricatives and letters from the back end of the alphabet. I have no idea what she said, but it didn’t matter. The Fiery Bat jumped out of my hand , I tossed a few arrows to follow, and the Princess tickled the little bat’s fancy for one more damage.

“Thanks for the save, babe,” I said to the Princess. She waved her feelers around like she wanted something more than just lip service for her good deed, so I hightailed it. I was grateful, but there just ain’t enough Noggenfogger, traveler.

Going for the Gold

I’ve been playing Hearthstone for a long time (but not since beta since I never got a key since I’m a just a regular person and not an awesome person) and I’m only just now getting close to my first gold character. Can you guess which class? Go on, guess. You’ll never guess, not in eight tries…


I know, right? Total shock.

But I’ve been above 400 wins for a while, and recently have dedicated myself to finishing the job. That means playing hunter all day, every day. Well, not ALL day- to ten wins, at least.

Then again, that CAN take all day when you’re as bad as I am.

More or less what I do is play, say, Mid-Range until I get three losses, then try Yogg to three losses, then Aggro. And then I cry because I still have a few wins left to go, so I switch to Wild and play that Reno /N’Zoth silly deck just because I’m still Rank 20 in Wild and sometimes get a win off of some newb who doesn’t realize what “wild” means.

It’s a grind, but it’s not all bad. It has led me to try and actually *learn* how to play, so I watched a video yesterday. Ninety minutes of Day[9] ranking up from 18 to 19, all the while talking about why the new Warcraft movie is NOT supposed to be taken as core source material, but as a supplement for Lore nerds. Kind of like those “Art of WoW” books.

That has nothing to do with learning to play hunter. But then neither does this silly cartoon I made.

The Stone Cold Heart(h)

Hearthstone Noir

Another rough day in the city with nothing to show for it but a half-empty bottle of Old Noggenfogger and a Piloted Shredder. Little guy was hanging in there, but he was down to two health after a clumsy dance with Sludge Belcher’s cousin Slime. Across the board, Confessor Paletress stood on a busted-up stairway to heaven, and you know how the song is sung: “There are two paths you can go by.” For me, a lifetime of good intentions had more or less sent me in the opposite direction. We’re talking Rank 10. I’ve seen more Paladin secrets than Garrett’s seen hairstyles.

What could I do. I ended my turn, and wondered if maybe that Overwatch all the kids were talking about was worth a gander.

Garrison Commander arrived. Wonderful. That’s sarcasm, by the way, if you’re taking notes. The boy with the angel’s face healed himself for two, and then she walked in. Legs up to her hips, and that pale blue skin only a banshee queen can pull off and not look like a cosplay kid with serious daddy issues and a mountain of therapy bills.

Her red eyes stared through my soul, or at least what was left of it. “I have no time for games,” she said. Another self-heal, and next came Doctor Seven: PhD, RNG, FML. I dutifully reached for the concede button and the other half of that Old Noggenfogger, when priest-boy offered, “My apologies.”

Something about that apology stuck in my craw. Maybe I was going down, but not without a fight, damn it. I ran my good old Shredder into Sylvanas, and who should decide to show his face but Mr. Doomsayer. I tossed a handy Arcane Shot at the banshee queen, muttering “Thanks for the mammaries”. The Sayer walked over to the other side, and I managed a Webspinner and a token Steady Shot for good measure before ending my turn.

The Doom did his duty and made everything go away. Including my spinner, and my empty hand was graced by none other than the King himself. Mr. Krush and I were old friends. On my turn, I introduced him to the priest.

They didn’t get along too great.

Like I Said, I’m Bad at Hearthstone

Didn’t play any Hearthstone on Sunday. Listened to a podcast, and people were talking about how great mid-range hunter is. So I figured I’d try some mid-range hunter. 4 wins 9 losses. So switched to Camel Hunter. 4 wins 6 losses. So I switched to Yogg Hunter. 10 wins 7 losses as I write this, but that includes several losses in a row as my luck runs out.

Not sure why I bother playing this stupid game, given how bad I am at it. Oh wait, I know: that old gambler’s addiction. Back in the day scientist grabbed some rats and taught ‘em how to push a lever. Then, for some of the rats, they made it so whenever they pushed a lever, they got a treat. Those rats got fat, but not too bad. For other rats, the made so they had to press the lever several times. Those rats didn’t get so fat. But for another group of rats, they made it so that treats only came out after a random number of lever presses.

Those rats lost their minds. They pressed the lever more or less constantly. to the point of starvation—even though they were getting treats! They got addicted to pressing that lever, plain and simple.

I’m the same way. I only get wins randomly. I don’t have it associated in my head with a level of effort, only with trying. And I can never stop. If I lose, I think “I can’t quit while I’m down! Otherwise, this would have all been a waste!” If I win, I think “I can’t quit while I’m ahead! I’ll waste all the progress I might make!”

Oh well. At least I take the time do some extemporaneous writing on the subject. That’s gotta be good for something (even if nobody reads it).

Corwin’s Climb

If you like fantasy novels you should try The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. This is old-school stuff, but set in a modern world. (Kind of but not really). At one point, the main character is leading an attack on a castle, but the only approach is up a long staircase. His army, one soldier at a time, against the defending army, one soldier at a time.

I tried the same thing with the beginning of this season’s Hearthstone. I selected 9 decks, one for each class, and then ranked them by strength. Starting with the weakest, at Rank 18, I played to three losses, then tried the next deck. And so on through all nine decks.

It took me two days, and here’s the lesson: I’m not very good at Hearthstone. 24 wins, 27 losses, but thanks to some win streaks, I still finished at a higher rank than I started.

Tempo Mage, C’thun Druid, and N’Zoth Paladin all had losing records (but none went 0-3). Shaman was the best (what, really?) and Zoo ‘Lock and Camel Hunter did okay. C’thun Priest and Pirate Warrior went 3-3 each.

Lessons learned? Well, like I said: I’m bad at Hearthstone. And I don’t know how to “rank” decks very well. But it was fun, and made me want to go back an reread some Zelazny for the umpteenth time.

I Gave Wild a Try

I was feeling frisky so I decided to see if wild was really wild or not. I started off making a N’Zoth Hunter deck by dropping in every death-rattle minion I could find. That left no room for spells, so I got the bright idea to dump half of them, add spells and Reno Jackson.

And Dr. Boom, because, you know. Dr. Boom.

Me, I used to hate seeing Reno Jackson when my opponent played him, so I was bordering on the hypocritical there. But at the level where I play, more often than not, when I see Reno it just means my opponent loses less quickly.

Finished the deck, hopped in, and went 2-0. Neither Reno nor N’Zoth ever saw play. Went from Rank 23 to rank 22. Yeah, I know, earth-shattering stuff. But the point is: wild wasn’t all that wild. It was just, more or less, good old-fashioned hearthstone. I’m sure if I climb much higher I’ll see crazy decks with synergy that I can’t handle.

But for now, I think I’ll play a few more wild games, if only to get that much closer to golden hunter.

Arena for Breakfast

Finally tried arena on my free-to-play account. Have not played arena in a loooong time. I am satisfied with 3-3 (20G+25G+WotOG pack), given my lack of skill.. and net 105G for a pack is fine too.

Back in the day, I tried my hand at Arena, and usually went 3-5 wins, sometimes 1 win, maybe a 6-win run now and again if I played Mage and got lots of direct damage spells. I have one 11-win run under my belt (yes, Mage).

Then all those Arena helper websites came out, like Hearth Arena. Unfortunately, I was never good enough to be able to take advantage of those-- they'd give me good decks, but I didn't know how to play any better than before.

For now I think I'll skip the helper sites, and just go for it. I've saved enough gold to pay for the next adventure when it comes out, so I'll only play Arena when I have the extra. Like today. Not bad way to kill 45 minutes while I ate my yogurt and oatmeal.

I Didn’t Play Hearthstone For A Week, And Nothing Bad Happened

Had my eighth wedding anniversary last week, which was the same day as my wife’s sister’s son’s first birthday. So we hopped down to California for the party. Before the celebration, we dumped our own infant with grandma and skipped town for a few nights in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Yeah, kind of dull, but we had some nice meals and a decent bit of wandering.

The whole trip took seven days, and I didn’t play Hearthstone at all. I missed the brawl, missed my free packs, and NOTHING BAD HAPPENED.

I mean, nothing bad happened to me. I can’t say as to Hearthstone itself, since I wasn’t there. But me, I didn’t forget how to play, (brawled just now, 2-0, two quests completed, 80 gold, booyah). I don’t foresee the lack of packs holding me back. I think everything’s going to be A-OK.

Then again, this is a first. First missed brawl, first missed free-pack. They say the first time you kill a man is hard, but the second one is easy. Now that I’ve skipped a week without suffering a nervous breakdown, will I wind up skipping more weeks in the future?

I’ve never killed a man, so I don’t know. But I HAVE played Secret Paladin, and let me tell you: I didn’t hate myself after the SECOND game…


I really like playing close games. Holding out until the very end has its benefits.