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The Streets - A Hearthstone Meta Evaluation

Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:00 pm

New Hearthstone expansion Mean Streets of Gadgetzan has had its work cut out for it. The game had become somewhat stale, dominated by identikit Shaman and Warrior decks and fans were...

http://www.pockettactics.com/news/the-s ... valuation/

Unstablefan
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Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:56 pm

This article is wildly different from what everyone else is saying about MSoG. Reno/Control are not making the game unfun: extreme aggro is making the game unfun specifically in Small Time Buccaneer. This article acknowledges that excessive aggro can be a problem, but the fact that it concludes the opposite is what is happening makes me wonder if the author has played much if any Hearthstone since the expansion dropped.

mattDP
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Re: The Streets - A Hearthstone Meta Evaluation

Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:48 pm

Yes, I've played tons. I'm well aware of the prevailing opinions and I agree small time Buccaneer needs taking down a peg.

But the most vocal critics of pirate aggro are, naturally, the most frequent players. Yet Hearthstone has a large casual play community and I suspect they may feel differently. They want to play fast, exciting games. They don't want to edge close to victory only to see Reno steal it away and drag the game out.

And aggro can be countered. Dragon Priest amd midrange Shaman are both very tough match ups for pirate decks. Reno/Raza/Kazakus is almost unbeatable except by a lucky aggro player or a dose of its own medicine.

Unstablefan
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Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:05 pm

Maybe I'm just terrible. But when I play Reno Priest it seems like about 80% of aggro players get "lucky."

mattDP
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Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:47 pm

Well I can't comment on percentages since I don't play Reno Priest or any other highlander deck. And if you can afford to build Reno I doubt you're terrible. But by "lucky" I was trying to imply that aggro vs highlander boils down to luck. It's just about whether or not they can kill you before you can draw Reno.

FWIW that's by biggest issue with pirate decks. I don't think they're significantly overpowered, but winning or losing is often down to blind luck. If you can mulligan a cheap weapon plus Southsea Deckhand or Buccaneer and avoid Patches, you've probably won. If not, you'll probably lose.

Univac
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Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:41 pm

I think I disagree a lot with this post. The meta is still in flux and things can change a lot, BUT...

Warlock "hardly got any new tools"? The got a ton of removal in felfire potion, Abyssal Enforcer, and Blastcrystal potion. It is why Renolock is the most prevalent warlock build right now with zoo/disco-lock barely making a blip in the meta.

I'm not sure why Reno is considered "ugly." As a mechanic by itself, I agree it is bad. You make a Highlander deck and reduce the consistency of your deck with the upside of having an extremely powerful card like Reno and now Kazakus. (BTW, the power level of Kazakus potions especially with Brann, is ridiculous and often worse than Reno if you are not playing an aggro deck.) The match can often come down to did your opponent draw their power card in time or not. It's a dumb mechanic and I can't wait for Reno to cycle out of standard next year. But the upside is that Reno priest and reno mage are keeping the meta in balance by countering aggro. And highlander decks are far from unbeatable. They get crushed by pretty much any jade deck and miracle rogue (which has made a huge comeback).

I think the biggest let down of Gadgetzan has been the Grimy Goon hand buff mechanic. The meta is still shifting but nobody has really found a viable Paladin or Hunter deck in this meta. Anyfin paladin is okay with new murloc legendary but it's barely seen on the ladder.


And troll cards like weasel tunneler or devolve are not an issue if the never see play. And I like devolve as an idea. Don't get me wrong, it is a terrible card and will probably never see competitive play. But it is one of the only cards that hard counters combo decks. Getting beat down by a stealthed 10/10 Edwin van Cleef is not fun. Use devolve and turn that stealthed auctioneer or huge van Cleef into a worthless minion.

jeffy777
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Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:44 pm

"Mean Streets of Gadgetzan appears to try and swing the balance toward control decks."

A little guy named Patches shoots that statement right out of the water. :)

As a long time legend player, this game has become more aggressive and brain-dead than ever, unfortunately.

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EICJoe
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Re: The Streets - A Hearthstone Meta Evaluation

Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:22 am

All this discussion is wonderful, by the way :) Keep it coming!
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biffpow
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Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:29 pm

I tend to agree with Jeffy777 (though I am in no way a legend player)--there's such an obvious focus on adding cards that rely on luck, the strategic aspects that were present in the game have been drained out of it more and more. I keep coming back to it after a new expansions is released, and I keep being disappointed.

The emphasis on Reno is just another example of that. Rather than encourage strategic builds, this is just more "luck of the draw". I thought Reno was a neat "for fun" card when it came out, and it's interesting to see it evolve as it has, but it's dragging the game down. It doesn't just make the games longer, it dilutes the value of strategy. HS has always had a little of "Will I draw my silver bullet in time?". but now that's the predominant feeling.

(Easy way to fix this, btw: remove the deck-size restriction. Allow people to make their decks be as few as 20 cards or as big as 40 cards, or anywhere in between.)

To one of Matt's points--I do prefer faster games, but not at the expense of playing against interesting decks that force me to adjust my strategy. What we're seeing mostly now are mindless aggressive games. Aggro is popular because people can get fast wins and move up the ladder with less time-commitment. While people like winning, I don't really think people enjoy playing aggro after the first 6 or 7 times. It gets boring (at least to me).

More and more, I think HS is a really interesting CCG experiment that continues to go wrong.

jeffy777
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Re: The Streets - A Hearthstone Meta Evaluation

Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:55 am

I'd say the aggressive cards are ruining the game much more than Reno. People play Reno simply because it's one of the few ways to counter aggro (and even then it's still only like a 50/50 or even worse). Blizz keeps releasing 1 drops that are OP as hell, so people either have to play very fast decks to try to race other fast decks, or play something like Reno and pray you survive long enough to draw him.

Take a look at pirate warrrior, the most popular aggro face deck:

Turn 1 with the Coin = 3 minions AND a weapon, while 2 of those minions have charge (southsea and patches) so that's 4 face damage on turn 1 with the rusty hook weapon....yeah, it's no wonder people play Reno decks...but the thing is, even if you have Reno in your opening hand you're often dead before you can even play it on turn 6.

It's a sad state of affairs.

EDIT:

Check out this screenie: Dead on turn 5...Reno is not the problem, folks...There is just no way to counter that. I even got mortal coil on turn 2 to kill Patches and to draw, played Bran turn 3, healed with the Vendor on turn 4, etc....didn't have Reno, but it makes zero difference when there's no way to play him when you have 4 mana and are just dead the next turn :(. I even saved the coin in case I drew him, but it didn't matter one iota...

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