LOTI 011 – Legend of the Innkeeper – “One Hump Or Two?”
Welcome to the Legend of the Innkeeper. I’m Vastidious and I’m Ariannwyn. We’re glad you could join us for our eleventh episode.
This week we are talking about…
What did you do this week?
Top 3 of the week – Naxx Bosses
Vastidious – The Four Horsemen, Thaddius (Polarity shift) and Gluth (turns all to 1 health)
Ariannwyn: The Four Horsemen, Thaddius, and Maexxna (Return a random enemy minion to the opponents hand)
We also had several listeners send in their top 3 Naxx cards from last week. We love to hear from you your thoughts. So send those in.
1. Pax2014 story says over 100 cards in next expansion
“But instead of following it up with another solo adventure pack, the team is working on a proper expansion with a new type of pack, over 100 additional cards, and a bigger impact on the game.”
2. Hearthstone Nominated For The Golden Joystick Awards
Hearthstone has been nominated for the 32nd Golden Joystick Awards in the following categories. Best Visual Design, Best Online Game, Best Mobile Game, Studio of the Year: Blizzard and Game of the Year. Go vote for the game and you will be entered to win an iPad Air.
As we dig further into the Arena, there are several things that players overlook when drafting cards. These are having a good understanding of card value, importance of board control and how card advantage will help you win games. If you are like me, I have problems with bright shiny things. Those bright shiny things being cool combos, cards that are really cool and large minions. With our last episode we tried to address the concept of card value.
One of the items we didn’t really dig into much last week was what a good mana curve looks like. Unfortunately, my answer is “it depends”. And I know that we’re going to get lots of different opinions on this subject, but let me lay out a basic thought process.
First, what does mana curve mean? The mana curve is a visual representation of how many cards you have in your deck with each amount of mana. So on the bottom of the chart is how much mana each card costs from 0 to 7+. On the side you have how many cards are in your deck with that cost. The curve is what the top of the bars look like when you’ve finished drafting your deck. Normally the curve will start out low and rise as you get to 2-3 mana cards. Then as you progress the curve will move back down. The mana curve is just a way to represent the cards you have currently in your deck.
Overall, the mana curve changes depending on which class you are playing. For example, a rush deck tends to have a mana curve that peaks out between 2-3 mana cards, where as the control deck will often peak out between 4-5 mana cards.
However, I’ve heard many discussions about how the mana curve between constructed and arena are different. With constructed you really focus on the class abilities and dig into what is effective for that particular class. With Arena you really don’t know what cards you are going to get so it’s often recommend to keep a nice mana curve with peaks between 3-5 mana cards. The main reason behind this is so that you have a good opening, middle and end game to your deck. Arena games are more likely to last longer than constructed games so you need to have a good balance to make it all the way through.
Is there a perfect mana curve for Arena? Not likely, but if you shoot for something between the 3-5 mana cards as a peak you should do pretty good.
What tends to be important in Arena games is board control. It’s important to do what you can to control the board. A few tips to controlling the board are play your minions first, which forces your opponent to frequently participate in unfair trades, which eventually allows you to clear the board. If you end up controlling the board from the start of the game, by the time you get into the latter stages you will often have more cards on the board than your opponent, which is called Card Advantage. So keep that in mind as we work through the next area of focus.
In the guide we are looking at, after he built his deck he went into HearthHead and studied his deck. He suggests splitting your minions into two categories: Playable and Situational. Playable minions are minions that you can play onto an empty board. Situational minions are minions that you’d like to play when there are minions already on the board so you can utilize their useful battle-cry. This allows you to better analyze what high-quality minions you have. He also sorts them by cost to see what minions he has for each turns. He then does the same for spells, sorting them into Removal and Situational.
After this he suggests looking at your decks strengths (i.e.: “Strong Removal, Strong mid-game minions) and weaknesses (i.e.: “Lack of late game & card draw, susceptible to board clears”) and then forming a strategy (i.e. “Dominate in the mid-game before the opponent has a chance to drop hardy late-game minions”)
A good draft will only get you so far! A huge part of arena is making the right plays.
There are four parts to a game The Mulligan, The Early Game, The Mid Game, and The Late Game. Each are very important.
The Mulligan: The goal of the mulligan is to find low cost minions and cheap removal spells. These cards are used to establish board control early. This is extremely important.
The Early Game: (Turns 1-3) The goal of the early game is to establish board control. This is what wins Arena games. The best way to establish board control early is to play a minion on every turn.
(By seeking to “trade up” each turn, you gain more value from your minions than your opponent. You can imagine, that the goal of each turn is to play a card that can protect your more valuable minion that you play next turn)
The Mid Game: (Turns 4-6) The goal mid game is to maintain board control, and gain card advantage. Mid game is where a player that’s behind can come back and stabilize the board, or where a smart player that’s ahead can secure the late game. This is also the hardest phase of the game.
In early game, your choices are simpler. You either have a minion to play, or you don’t, and you can either remove your opponent’s minion from the board, or you can’t.
In late game, when both players have very few cards in hand, your choices are much simpler as well.
In mid game, you have an exponential number of possible decisions to make, and it can be difficult to determine which one is best.
The Late Game: (Turns 7+)The goal of the late game is to finish off your opponent. In the late game, you have to start paying attention to your opponent’s life total, and calculate how many turns it will take for him to die from the damage you have on the board. You’ll need to take some RISKS if you’re behind, because inevitably, your opponent will be able to exhaust you of your cards. Anticipate board clears and maintain moderate board pressure on your opponent, while exhausting him of cards. You win!
Making the Right Plays
Once you understand the previous concepts you have to do your best to play the best card you can on each turn. There is a fairly simple checklist you can go through as you attempt to make the best plays on each turn.
1. Check for Lethal
Is there some card or combination that will kill your opponent on this turn? Make sure to include your hero power and anything on the board.
2. If you are ahead, can you clear the board?
If you can keep the board clear and have the advantage, then you are in a better position than your opponent.
3. If you have two equal choices, consider choosing the one with more mana cost
If you play the card that has a higher mana cost now, you will put yourself in a better situation in case you don’t have enough mana on a later turn and need to play the card. It’s about spending your mana efficiently.
4. Think about what your opponent can do to mess up your board.
Consider the cards that he might have in his hand. Flamestrike, Swipe, Mind Control, etc.
5. Plan out your turn in your head before playing it. Double check it.
How many times have I played a card and then realized I had not added everything up properly? Make sure you check and double check what you are doing before committing to it.
6. If your play involves a card draw, do that first.
This is a really good point. Draw the card first because you might get a better card than what you were planning on playing.
Playing Around Board Clear
Many players new to the game will often make a simple mistake. Playing ALL the possible cards on the board that you can each turn. I know that sounds counter intuitive, but it’s not the best way to play. One of the issues you have to be aware of and consider with each move is the possible board clear.
Seeing the board cleared out that someone worked so hard to build up in a single swoop is extremely satisfying, err.. annoying. Depending on which side of the board you are sitting on it could be either one of those answers. If you watch some of the popular streamers online, you’ll frequently see them hold back a card or two instead of playing them, just in case their opponent busts out a flamestrike or consecration and take it all away.
One way around this situation is to keep in mind what types of board clearing cards each class has access to. By knowing what cards are available to your opponent, you have a better chance at surviving.
Here we have a new segment. Listener Questions.
This week’s question comes from Mo in Germany.
“Could you insert a Questions and Answers part in your show, where people send you questions about the game and you try to answer them?”
Reviews and Emails
iTunes Reviews: None
Got an email from Mo in Germany. One of the items was the questions segement. “my name is Mo, I’m from Germany and Ive just found your podcast and wanted to tell you how great it is and that I really like your work.”
Manuel Niederl –
I have another suggestion for you guys
While listening to your 10th episode (great episode, I enjoyed the Rabbit Trails haha) I was thinking that it´d be nice if you could maybe explain certain decks and why they´re so good/popular (Zoo is kind of obvious but stuff like Handlock and Miracle Rogue and whatever else there is are not). I liked what you did with the Hunter deck and I think that something similar would work. You could maybe even include some history, who built it first, where the name comes from etc.
Thanks for the great podcast,
We heard from Jiros over Twitter the following:
“Truly awesome! I only got 3 wins max before. Then after listening to the last ep I got it up to 9”
And from Lukelarsen:
“I read through the arena guides you suggested. They have helped a lot in my recent arena runs! Thx”
That does it for this episode. You can email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website at legendoftheinnkeeper.com where we will post the show notes with the episode that has links to all the information we discussed.
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Until next show, Happy gaming!
Music by James Marantette – https://soundcloud.com/james-marantette