Tinkmaster Overspark – a weapon against inevitability

Tinkmaster OversparkOnce upon a time, in the early days of Hearthstone, Tinkmaster Overspark was a superstar. The Classic set legendary minion that nowadays is a three-cost 3/3 with a battlecry to transform another random minion into a 5/5 Devilsaur or a 1/1 Squirrel (at random) used to have a 2/2 statline but the battlecry effect was targetable. As such, it was generally a superior form of silence.

Then, on 11 March 2014, Tinkmaster Overspark was nerfed to oblivion, or so we all thought. I was actually one of the many players who disenchanted their Tinkmaster Overspark, as it was no longer worth running over a simple silence effect.

However, times change, and with the nuances of the Standard format becoming more clear, Tinkmaster Overspark has already seen a slight return back to the metagame and there is every reason to believe that this gnome will see more play in the near future.

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Chillmaw: Still unappreciated, still a core card in dragon decks

Chillmaw

Chillmaw received a mixed reception during its introduction in Hearthstone’s The Grand Tournament (TGT) expansion in autumn 2015. A card designed to challenge Patron Warrior as a seven mana 6/6 dragon with a deathrattle to deal three damage to all minions if you are holding a dragon, it saw modest play in Dragon Priest and even many Dragon Priest lists chose to not run it.

Let’s face it, Chillmaw is not a fancy legendary when compared to the dragon powerhouses such as Chromaggus, Nefarian, or Ysera. However, it seems to always find a spot in all dragon decks I build, whether Priest, Druid, or Warrior. It is also the card that I get the most inquiries about replacing – people are generally unwilling to craft Chillmaw as it does not do anything fancy at first sight.

Perhaps people should be more enthusiastic about crafting Chillmaw though, especially now with the Standard format making it more powerful than ever. Let’s take a deeper look.

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Hearthstone Standard: How good is Malkorok?

Malkorok

The new Warrior class legendary introduced in the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion, Malkorok, has received a mixed reception. It has seen some play in both Tempo Warrior and Control Warrior, but many people also avoid the card.

Let’s take a closer look at this seven mana, 6/5 minion that also equips a random weapon for you.

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Hearthstone Standard is here, and Zoo is still good

Hearthstone Standard Zoo is still good

With the release of Whispers of the Old Gods expansion and the associated Standard format approaching, there were many questions about the viability of Zoo in the new meta. Zoo was going to lose a number of its best cards, such as Haunted Creeper, Nerubian Egg, and Loatheb, and with all those sticky options gone, would a board-control based strategy still be strong?

As it turns out, yes, it is still strong. In fact, it is scary strong.

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Review of Hearthstone Basic and Classic card changes for 2016

Card_changes_2016

When Blizzard announced that they would introduce rotating formats to Hearthstone, they also remarked that Basic and Classic cards would remain playable in the upcoming Standard format that otherwise rotates card sets out on annual basis. In order to achieve this, there would be changes – in practice, nerfs.

Now, we finally know all the nerfs that are coming to Basic and Classic cards for the year of the Kraken, the first Standard rotation. So, let’s dive right in and look what the changes are and what they might mean.

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Flame Juggler: The sleeper star of The Grand Tournament (Hearthstone TGT)

Flame JugglerWith the Standard format fast approaching, it will soon be time to re-evaluate some of the established truths and choices when it comes to selecting cards for Hearthstone decks. However, there are some cards that are already great when used properly, but that do not receive the appreciation they deserve – much to the delight of the few players who have realized their power.

One such card is the Flame Juggler.

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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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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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