The Curse Trials was not Standard format Hearthstone, but can we learn something anyway?

Curse Trials Class distribution overallAn invitational tournament that was widely characterized as the first Hearthstone tournament to use the Standard format, Curse Trials, was played out over the past three days.

Now, the big caveat here is that Curse Trials had very little to do with Standard: it was the current card pool with Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes banned. So, it was trying to emulate Standard by banning the cards that will rotate out of Standard with the next expansion while not incorporating the upcoming changes to cards that will stay nor, obviously, having access to the spring 2016 expansion that will be part of the first Standard rotation.

Nonetheless, maybe we can learn something from the tournament. Let’s dig deeper into the lineups and their performance to see what we can find.

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Netdecking is good for Hearthstone and good for competition

Netdecking is good for Hearthstone and good for competitionNetdecking, the practice of finding popular or successful deck lists online and copying them card for card, is a controversial subject. Most people do it, but many people consider it to be bad, whether because of the homogenization of the metagame or because of the perceived lack of deckbuilding skills by people who netdeck.

However, I believe that netdecking and the availability of deck information online is ultimately good for the game as well as good for the competitive environment within the game. Let’s take a deeper look at the effects of netdecking to see why this is the case.

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Lessons to be learned from the 2016 Hearthstone Championship Tour Europe Winter season

HCT_2016_EU_Winter_PreliminariesAt the time I’m writing this, the 2016 European Winter Preliminaries are currently underway to determine the participants for the 2016 European Winter Championships. It has been a long and winding road already, and Blizzard is no doubt working hard to improve their game when it comes to promoting Hearthstone as a top-class esports title.

That said, a lot has happened on the way that should warrant careful examination by Blizzard staff in order to really make Hearthstone a legitimate contender with the level of professionalism associated with such status.

In this post, I will go through some of the glitches that have caught my attention, and that should have caught Blizzard’s attention as well.

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Is Standard the end of sticky minions in Hearthstone?

With the Standard format coming out soon, huge changes are about to take place in the Hearthstone metagame. The first expansions to rotate out, Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes, have been cornerstones of many decks. One notable feature of these expansions has been sticky minions, many of which are thus now about to rotate out of the Standard format.

While the contents of the upcoming spring 2016 expansion are not yet known, it can still be useful to examine what is going out and how it can potentially affect the metagame.

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What is the difference between the Standard format in Hearthstone and Magic?

A new way to playIn the most significant Hearthstone announcement since the release of the game, Blizzard introduced a new way to play, the Standard format, which will take over as the main competitive format for Hearthstone.

This is reminiscent of Magic: The Gathering, in which the main competitive format is also called Standard. Not only is the name the same, but the format itself is in large part copied over from Magic. Given that Magic has been a successful game for decades, this is not necessarily a bad thing!

In this post, I take a look at the Standard format in both Hearthstone and Magic and see what the differences between the two are and why such differences exist.

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