So I decided to take a second, more in-depth look this time. I read up on HearthPwn for a few tips on the Mage and Shaman as well. The downside to this is that after your initial 2-3 quests, you have no money and therefore no new cards. You get 10 gold for winning 3 matches (which is at best 50/50 when all your cards are crap) and it takes 100 gold to get a new pack of 5 cards. It’s one of those inverted power curves.
Regardless of the progress mechanics, I figured I’d give it my best shot. While I think the mage has a ton of strategy, my cards were giving me next to no chance of winning. There was just not enough synergy to be found. I decided to try my hand with the Shaman, who oddly enough, is one of my stable of characters in WoW.
The concept of a Shaman in Hearthstone is more or less the Shaman from Burning Crusade. Your job is to build a team of as many minions as possible, buff them to the gills, then cast Bloodlust. See, that card gives +3 to all attacks for each card. Enemy heroes have 30 hit points, and the weakest of your cards has 1 attack (well zero for shaman totems), so you’re looking at a crap-ton of damage if you’re able to get 4 minions out. And with a Murloc deck, this is someone simple.
Here’s the flow. Get a deck of summon cards, that are cheap, ideally Murlocs. There’s one that boosts ALL murlocs by 1 as well, which is part of the fun. They are super cheap (1-2 mana) and your job is to stall until 5-6 mana with whatever other cards you can get. Turn 5 comes around, you send out every minion you can and wait til the next turn. By that time, you should hopefully have enough boost cards (Flametongue, Rockbiter or Windfury) to get some serious damage going. If by chance you can get your hands on a Bloodlust (always have 2 in the deck), then the enemy is pretty much dead.
I was down 3-30 on a mage tonight, pulled out the above card drop and killed her in 1 round. I don’t want to know how that feels on the other side.
The disadvantage to this deck and strategy is two-fold. First, you have a fair amount of weak cards and boosts, which are not useful if the enemy can AE you or tank. Second, you’re pretty much useless until turn 6. If an enemy can get 3 minions out by then, you’re pretty much toast.
So it’s either I win in 1-2 rounds, late game, or I get my butt wiped on the floor. If I can play Bloodlust, it’s a win, if I don’t get the card, there’s a 90% chance I’m dead. An all-or-nothing approach isn’t super strategic.
The fact remains that I’ve only seen a small portion of all cards and that building a deck right now is extremely limited. The only way to find more is to gamble on other cards. I despise gambling. I hate lockboxes as they are the plague on the game. I understand that games of chance are important and RNG is important but the entire game is based on a foundation of lottery chances at specific cards that practically guarantee success. It isn’t directly buy-to-win, but damn if it isn’t close.
Blizzard is going to make a pile of cash.