Monday, 24 February 2014
Hearthstone: Breaking the Magic Barrier
For some time now I was always despairing when playing Arena in Hearthstone. I am not particularly superstitious, but I was really starting to think that the fifth win was jinxed, as after I won for five times, I always immediately lost all the remaining games. I could never reach sixth victory. This would be nothing special if my runs in arena varied in success. Then I could blame my incompetence. But I always started losing after five wins. It was this barrier that made me a bit superstitious.
So, the other day I started another arena run. I was fortunate, and was able to pick my favourite class, a Paladin. Some people might say this does not play any role in arena, where the draft is random. While this might be true, it is only partially so in my opinion. The class that is your favourite is usually the class you know best, because you played the most with that said class. Over time you acquire a certain feeling, an instinct when and what is a good play.
To some, a Consecration on only one minion might seem as a waist, but to you it makes sense, you do not really know why that is, or how to explain it, but you will consecrate that minion none-the-less. And so, I made my deck and went forth to battle, in pursuit of vast amounts of gold, dust, rare cards, and immortal glory.
The deck I drafted was pretty solid, with a high number of four cost cards, even if I did despair over it during the draft. At times it felt as if I was choosing which of the three cards could hurt me the least during the game. We could say that I was a bit pessimistic about it. As I started the run things went pretty good. I won my first couple of games without much of a problem. A pair of Stampeding Kodos really showed their worth.
After that, I hit in a couple of mages.I do not really know what is it with some mages and druids in arena, but they seem to have answer for everything. I won a game, lost, and then won, and lost again. I was at 4/2 before I knew it. My last opponent, a mage, really left a dent on my confidence as he pulled a Ragnaros after he devastated my board, and then a couple of big taunts. It hurt.
I went into next game hoping it would not be a mage. It was a Warrior. And for some reason he really proffered using his ability, and stacking armour instead of playing minions. Before he knew what was going on, I already won. And now, would come the real test. If I win this, well then the magic barrier is no more.
The game was painful, a tug-of-war. My opponent a hunter. Twice he managed to destroy my board completely, and twice I barely managed to stop his incessant attacks. The combination of Unleash the Hounds, Timber Wolves, and Starving Buzzard should be abolished, banned, forbidden, and whatever else matches these words.
It is one thing to see how an opponent uses maybe two or three spells to clear your board. But it is devastating seeing how your opponent went from no creatures on board to seven. And four of them are even 3/1 with charge. Splendid. All that for only five mana, with your minions already half dead from past encounters. And after your board is cleared, may he forever be damned, he plays a yeti just to mock you.
It was a tough game, fortunately towards the end he was running out of ammo, and the war of attrition we were fighting started demanding a toll from him as well. It is quite something seeing how your opponent when he already thought he had you, suddenly runs out of breath, or luck, and is at your mercy.
In reality it was far from that. We were just throwing whatever we still had. Me hoping I will not die, him hoping I will not have an adequate answer. The game, at last ended. I won. I won with one health remaining. In last turn, I had only one health remaining, and I finally managed to pull it through.
The rest of the run was pretty successful. I ended the run with 9/3. My highest score by far.