Time for some liveblogging, I think!
First up, running my Warlock semi-zoo demon synergy deck (codename Kan’trethad) through, deliberately not changing anything until I’m absolutely certain it’s deckbuilding and not player error that’s cost me the game.
Anub’rekhan went squish on the first go (nobody likes being Ragnaros’d in the face).
Faerlina took three; her hero power is a bit rude when it comes to early board clearance (casts Arcane Missile but gets one missile per card in your hand) and she drops a couple of credible aggro creatures.
Maexxna was the difficult one; she plays Deathrattle zoo with two Sea Giants, and her hero power (3 mana to return a minion to your hand) is a bit cruel, plus she has some nice tricks like destroying her own Nerubian Egg (0/2, Deathrattles into a 4/4) and returning it at full health for 2 mana. Had to make four or five attempts at her and it still felt REALLY draw-dependent (two Soulfires back to back and she kept helpfully webbing my Doomguard so I could bring him back at full health, then I topdecked into Drain Life at 5/1 – fluke, really).
The bosses seem to behave pretty predictably (I wonder if they have fixed starting hands?) and, for the first wing, well-timed AOE seems to be the key.
Winning all three wings with Warlock unlocked Druid and Rogue challenge modes. I’m learning Druid and I… have a Rogue deck… so maybe I’ll give those a go after bashing my Paladin decks (codenames: Swagadin – that’s Divine Shield spam – and Paladouche – that’s Secrets) into it.
Also, the rewards are very spidery and mostly Beast class. I sense a spider-themed Hunter meta coming on. Still, I’m in on the ground floor for once!
Also also, the music’s neat.
Swagadin’s up next: 3 4-draws in my first hand and drawing a 4 on turn 1 bodes ill for Anub’rekhan. Plus, he gets a 3/1 and I only get a 1/1 from hero powers. Sad times. Shade of Naxxramas (Stealth, 2/2, gains +1/+1 every turn) is a bit mean – I wonder if it’s a reward? 3 mana for a 2/8 with Taunt, too! At least it summons something of yours when it dies. Still, Swagadin has Silence aplenty! Anub casts Mage and Warlock spells – Frost and Shadow Bolts, Shadowflame. Potential misplay – he gets board control very easily so clearing minions generally better than tunneling him. Beware of Consecration; it hands him free 4/4s if he has the Nerubian Eggs out (yes I realise that’s obvious but I still did it – granted it gave me lethal, but details!)
Faerlina: two sixes and a four? Who the hell built this crappy Paladin deck? Oh… me. That’s right. Aggro and I don’t always get on in CCGs, and by ‘always’ I mean ‘never’. Also, I was wrong about starting hands; it was either luck, or the game was going easy on me the first time through. Anyway, slow deck, slow hand, and that hero power clearing off what creatures I could get out are making tempo very hard to establish. Beware of Worshippers, too; Faerlina growing 1 attack per Worshipper in play has been a nasty surprise in all my games at this stage so far. Also, Divine Shield is really weak against someone who can end up with a free Avenging Wrath for 2 mana if your deck’s having a slow day.
Decided to take Paladouche (Secrets) through on the second attempt, since the Divine Shield deck is hard-countered by her Hero power. Draw 3 4-cost cards, mulligan, get 2 7s and a Holy Light. WELL, I’M REALLY GOING TO NEED THAT, AREN’T I? Also, no daily quest progress in here. It occurs to me that trying to build card advantage here is a really bad idea/turn of luck, and that might explain why my usual decks are stalling; I’d taken 9 damage from the Hero Power by the time I was getting decent minions out. At least I have Mogu’Shan Warders to soak it later on. Also… I’ve never gone second against one of these. I wonder why? Also: my Secrets don’t work too well against someone who spams single points of damage around every bloody turn. Also also: the bosses are not capped at two copies of a card per deck (she just dropped three Worshippers to get 3 attack, fill her board and leave me topdecking… but I’d almost feel safer here if she didn’t have that sodding 5/9 out. FIVE Worshippers now… and I have Avenging Wrath, but too little too late with all those 1/4 Worshippers in play. Loss. Decks need reliable means of dealing 4 damage to every minion in play to get past her cleanly, I think.
Looking at the available cards, I suspect we’ll be driving towards a Deathrattle meta. They’re all unlocked as Minions, although Shade is tied to beating Kel’Thuzad… I suppose that once again I’m going to have to raid Naxxramas, aren’t I?
Off to build that Hunter deck now, I think. More of this malarkey next time I sit down to Hearthstone.