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Thread: Hearthstone Megathread

  1. #1

    Default Hearthstone Megathread

    Rather than creating an entirely new sub-forum that will just feel empty and abandoned, I thought I might just start a big Hearthstone thread for anyone that wants to "talk shop" in a centralized place.

    To kick things off, since I play primarily Arenas and have kept track of my statistics doing so since I began, I thought I'd share the Hearthstone Arena Tracker spreadsheet I created (or more accurately, dramatically improved from the original). You can see my current stats of course looking at the default version and there are full usage instructions in the "Instructions" sheet itself, but essentially this allows anyone to easily track their Arena stats in the "Data" sheet, and see tons of detailed info about their overall Arena play in the "Stats" sheet. You can even filter it by date range if you want to see how you've done during certain periods or watch your "progress"!

    The second cool thing I wanted to share is this interesting article written by Hamlet (a well-known Druid theory-crafter from WoW) that talks in great detail about the economy of Hearthstone, specifically the rate of obtaining "sets" of cards (such as the entire set or all legendaries or what not) and the rate at which players can expect to obtain those based on the returns of both cards and disenchanted Dust from obtained packs. It's a long but good read if you're into that sort of thing, but below I've pulled a few select quotes that are quite interesting:

    Arenas will complicate this, and I expect will generally increase the efficiency. Your 150 gold investment in an Arena can be bifurcated into a 100 gold purchase of an ordinary pack (your guaranteed prize pack) and a 50 gold Arena fee. The 50 gold Arena fee will get you some mix of gold, Dust, packs, and golden cards, depending on how many games you win. Iíll avoid speculating on the value until I have data like I said, but observe that it would not take much for the mean prize value to exceed 50. To evaluate a Dust, remember that at the end of the process we turn a huge pile of Dust into all of the cards we donít yet have. The last few packs of cards are likely to be turned mostly into Dust to meet this goal. Since a fully disenchanted pack is worth 93 Dust, acquiring 93 Dust earlier in the process willy likely save us one pack or 100 gold. So as a rule of thumb, 1 Dust will be worth around 1 gold. Coupled with the fact that an extra prize pack (100 gold) or a golden rare+ card (shaving anywhere from 100 to 3200 Dust off of the process) can, even at small probabilities, increase the expected prize by quite a bit.
    The first thing I simulated is the process described above: opening packs until you can obtain a complete playset. For this first run, the simulator disenchanted any card once it had more 2 non-golden and golden copies combined, and will always favor disenchanting golden copies (but the final collection may still have some golden cards in it). In other words, the most efficient approach to obtaining a complete set without regard for golden, and without doing any premature crafting.

    The results were, over 10,000 runs:

    • The average number of packs needed was 512, with a standard deviation of 42.
    • The average amount of Dust used to craft cards at the end was 28,522, or 27% of the total craft value of the set.
    • 100% of commons, 99% of rares, 85% of epics, and 54% of legendaries were found by opening (rather than crafting).
    For example, since in the simulations, 99.9999% of commons were opened in packs rather than crafted, you can assume than any crafting of a common is a waste of 35 Dust in the long run: the craft cost minus the 5 youíll recover from disenchanting it later. The same is true even for raresĖyou have a 99% chance to be out 80 Dust at the end of the process. Whether these costs are worth it in any case is up to you, but itís worth understanding why that Dust is a long-term cost to your collection.

    Crafting legendaries is actually a better proposition, as thereís a 46% chance you wouldnít have opened it even after 512 packs (note the sanity check here against our napkin math of half the legendaries opened after 450 packs). In that case, you incur no cost at all. If you do have to disenchant that same card later, however, itís a waste of 1200 Dust.
    For people interested in the full all-golden set, this is the same simulation over 10,000 runs:

    • The average number of packs has gone up to 2789, with a standard deviation of 101.
    • The average amount of Dust for crafting is 220,369, or 51.4% of the total value.
    • 77% of commons, 69% of rares, 35% of epics, and 19% of legendaries were opened in packs.


    So, donít aim for a full gold set unless itís worth more to you than a new computer or two. In general you can interpret all of these numbers similarly as the non-golden numbers, but I want to highlight that the increase in pack requirements may be larger than you expected. The more expensive golden cards only require 4 times the Dust of their non-golden counterparts, but the commons you need are no longer easy to find, making the whole operation take substantially longer.

  2. #2

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    Since gold seems hard to come by I thought I would share this post I found: Things That Reward Gold. These values may not all be correct as I got 300g for the 100 wins one this morning. Happy Arenaing.

  3. #3

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    FUCK FLAMESTRIKE! JUST FUCK EVERY PART OF IT RIGHT IN THE FIERY ASSHOLE!

    First let me say this isn't some misinformed rant without substance. I've played this game A LOT lately with some 500+ games in Arenas and maintained a 72%+ win rate to date, so while my observations may be personal, they are not ungrounded by any stretch.

    There's some great balance in this game for sure considering the card count and classes, but holy shit is it frustrating to try to "account for" board clear effects (such as Flamestrike, Blizzard, Holy Nova, Consecrate, etc). I'm so fucking sick of completely dominating the entire game situation in both on-board value and in-hand cards compared to the opponent, and suddenly finding myself sucking off the fumes of destruction from the tailpipe of skill known as Flamestrike (or other board clears to a lesser extent).

    Obvious response #1: "Just keep your minions out of reach of the damage!"

    That'd be wonderful and it's something you CONSTANTLY have to think about and strive for, but especially against Flamestrike above nearly all other board clears, that's simply a near impossibility. Flamestrike deals 4 damage to all enemy minions, which means you'll need 5+ health to survive the Flamestrike hit alone, not to fucking MENTION the follow-up Fireblast hero power that really means you need 6+ health minions or you better stretch your cheek muscles a bit because that tailpipe is a'comin! Yet even assuming 5+ health minions are required, how realistic is that in a typical game board? Not even remotely realistic:

    There are approximately 49 (somewhat common, i.e. non-Legendary) minions at present with 5+ health. In truth, the number is a few less than that when you consider automatic effects that drop health levels below 5 on cast, such as the Injured Blademaster & Imp Master; or minions that derive some of their value from not taking damage prior to attacking a first time, such as the Lightspawn or Sunwalker.

    In any case, if we assume around 45 minions that exist that can survive Flamestrike, how many are below that threshold of 4 or less health? A whopping 134! Now granted some of these have mechanics that means they are not completely negated/destroyed by a 4 damage hit (such as Divine Shield or Deathrattle effects), but by and large we can assume around 130 minions will be outright destroyed by a single Flamestrike hit.

    45 vs. 130, or approximately a mere 26% of minions could actually withstand a Flamestrike without outside assistance (read: additional mana or card value imparted on them). That's a remarkably poor statistic to say the least.

    Obvious response #2: "Flamestrike is meant to kill weak minions because of the mana cost; it's a late-game card!"

    To that argument I would first retort that in fact 7 mana is actually a "mid-game" card, if "early", "mid", and "late" game are designated by when a match typically ends over the course of mana gains. That is to say, it is very rare for a game to end before turn 7 (or turn 6 if the player is going second and had a coin for 7 mana potential).

    The reason this distinction is important is because while 7 mana seems like a lot, mana cost is largely a secondary measure of card power compared to the actual card-to-card value you can obtain with any given card. For example, an exceptionally good player will find methods to trade "2-for-1" in many scenarios, where he or she is destroying or otherwise causing the opponent to lose 2 cards for every 1 the protagonist plays. By doing so, upon reaching turn 7 for example, the opponent would have used all 10 cards they had drawn all game to that point, whereas the protagonist would've only used half that number and still have a hand of five cards. This example is very rare but can and does occur, and almost inevitably means a victory for the player that made the greater number of favorable 2-for-1 trades.

    This concept is vital to understanding just why Flamestrike (and other board clear mechanics) are so overpowered in the current design of the game: Flamestrike must LITERALLY only destroy two thus far non-utilized minions to be a positive value for the Mage user. By that measure, it is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to fuck up the casting of Flamestrike. In nearly every game, you could almost certainly simply cast the spell on 7 mana (or as soon as you are able to do so otherwise) and likely get a positive value out of it, destroying more cards and/or mana worth of stuff than you invested.

    The sad fucking reality is that it is precisely BECAUSE Flamestrike is a moderately high mana cost spell (and high damage) that it will more often than not gain such positive value, purely by the nature of how games unfold. Since Flamestrike requires 7 mana yet deals such devastating damage to every enemy minion, it functionally acts as a game reset button for the cost of one card and 7 mana! Unless your opponent has been completely dominating you all game and has a sizable 3-4+ card advantage in-hand, a single cast of Flamestrike for you often means the clearing or near-clearing of their entire game board, with no negative impact on your own minions. This has such a brutal snowball effect because of combat mechanics: Without Charge attributes, the opponent is now playing catch-up the rest of the game to try to get minions on the board that can not only survive for a turn, so they can then attack on the next turn to follow, but can also then gain positive value after that extra turn of survival against a mid-game Mage board of your own. A near impossibility more often than not.

    This effective "reset" means that it is entirely possible and even probable that a Mage player can play a far worse game all around, with far worse trades and overall use of card value, only to come out on top once a Flamestrike is utilized. It is not uncommon in my (extensive) experience to have a 3-4+ minion "lead" on the board against my opponent, which by all measures means complete dominance of the game and a vast favorite to win, only to find my entire board wiped out by a single Flamestrike which can then never be recovered from (remember it's not just the Flamestrike 4 damage you must survive, but also the follow-up damage that is added on top from existing enemy minions, or future Fireblast/attacks the next or same turn).

    Obviously response #3: "If your board is too weak, you need stronger minions and fewer of them to avoid exposure to Flamestrike and other board clear cards!"

    Without a doubt, reducing exposure is a great tactic, but the reality is that is simply not always valid advice that can be put into practice, even if you wanted to. The fact of the matter is, a game against two equally skilled opponents means literal 1-for-1 card trading back and forth, turn after turn until eventually someone makes a play that gives a slight advantage and that is capitalized on until victory is ensured many turns down the line. For this scenario to exist, it means any card your opponent plays must have an equal and opposite response. Because mana limits increase by one per turn, and because (as seen above) Flamestrike requires a very limited subset of 25% of minions above 5+ health to survive, the likelyhood of having a deck with the proper mana curve AND the proper minion strength within that curve AND having the luck to draw those cards when they are needed (typically turns 4-5+) AND having the ability to cast those cards and keep them alive prior to and leading up to said turn-7 Flamestrike is a very tall order against an appropriate opponent. YET, LO AND FUCKING BEHOLD, even if your opponent's brain is made of dick cheese that's been curdled in the warm afternoon sun sitting on the dashboard, the outcome is the same: Instead of you "trading closely" with your opponent 1-for-1 for the most part and then losing 1-2 minions to the Flamestrike that follows, instead you lose 4-5+ minions to the Flamestrike that follows, completely negating your entire ability to outplay them the 6+ turns prior! I BET THE DECISION TO CAST THAT RIDICULOUSLY BULLSHIT CARD THAT MIGHT AS WELL BE LABELED, "Rape your opponent with the curved end of a crowbar" WAS REALLY A TOUGH STRATEGIC DECISION!

    Obviously response #4: "Flamestrike is just one card. A Mage isn't even always guaranteed to have one after turn 7 when they might want to use it!"

    Again, the "omg so much mana cost" excuse actually comes into play here and is more of a help than it might seem at first. Since players start the game with 4-5 cards (depending on first or second go), assuming no extra draws occur during those first few turns, we can expect a player to have drawn a total of 10-11 cards by the time turn 7 hits. If we assume the Mage has two copies of Flamestrike in his or her deck (the golden standard of course of constructed and not uncommon for Arena either depending on draft luck), then this means 2 out of 30 (total) cards are Flamestrike, or simplified that means 1 out of every 15 cards will statistically be Flamestrike. Therefore, having drawn a minimum of 10-11 cards by turn 7, we can safely assume that statistically, the Mage has a 66 - 73% chance of having Flamestrike in hand at the start of turn 7. And of course this chance goes up with each passing turn from there: 73 - 80% chance turn 8, 80 - 86% turn 9, and so on.

    And the fact of the matter is, the mere existence and therefore potential threat of Flamestrike is a danger in its own right. As mentioned above for response #3, a good player will expect Flamestrike around the turn 7 breakpoint and try to alleviate the potential damage in some way, usually by playing fewer minions than would normally be played against virtually all other classes. Thus even if the Mage doesn't have Flamestrike in hand (or even in the entire deck), a massive advantage is extended to them because the opponent must always play in that passive stance expecting that game-changer to hit at any moment from the mid-game and beyond.

    Obviously response #5: "Flamestrike isn't the only board clear. What about Holy Nova, Blizzard, Consecrate, Hellfire, Explosive Trap, etc?"

    While it's true that many other board clear cards exist, and it is also true they are all extremely powerful and often considered a requirement for their respective classes, the fact remains that Flamestrike is exceptionally powerful because of the damage it deals and the lack of negative consequences. To put it in perspective, let's look at the other examples:

    Hellfire is the most obvious example of a clear pro/con dynamic: It does 3 damage (1 less than Flamestrike do not forget) to not only all enemy minions, but all YOUR minions as well (along with both heroes to boot). The simple fact that it has a very real negative impact if not played properly and strategically means it's a much more balanced card. For example, where Flamestrike would often clear the opponents board of minions but leave your own in tact, Hellfire will more often than not clear your own board as well, or at the very least deal massive damage to those minions that do survive.

    Holy Nova is one of the stronger board clear mechanics behind Flamestrike, in that it deals 2 damage to all enemy characters and heals your own characters for 2 in the process. Now the logic might be to say, "Well 2 damage and 2 healing is effectively 4 damage like Flamestrike" but again the reality is the game mechanics do not play out like that. In 99% of situations, a minion deals 100% of it's damage to any target it attacks or is attacked by regardless of whether is has full 5 health or is nearly dead at 1 health. Put another way: Minion attack strength is purely based on their living status and the ability to attack on a given turn. Therefore, the name of the game is not Hearthstone, but is really "Destroy minions, don't just injure them." Dealing 2 damage to all enemies is rarely capable of taking out such a large chunk of minions that 4 damage from Flamestrike would. The list of 2 or less health minions drops by over 50% from the 4 or less minions list we saw earlier, so statistically speaking you simply won't kill nearly as many things doing 2 damage from Holy Nova (or similar effects).

    On the flipside, 2 healing is very useful in many situations, but only in so much as it allows survival or beneficial trades that would otherwise not exist. Often the healing of Holy Nova is entirely wasted on most friendly minions, and if you're lucky or played well, you might be able to get an attack or two before the cast to push a couple enemy minions to or below that 2 health threshold, then heal up some of that taken damage, however, a big thing to keep in mind here: Flamestrike dealing 4 damage in this scenario would've likely not even required the pre-attack damage your minions had to make to push the enemy minions into kill range at 4 or less health.

    Consecrate and Explosive Trap are much the same as Holy Nova except without the healing, so I won't go into each in detail. Blizzard, ironically a SECOND board clear for the same fucking class of Mage, is easily one of strongest board clear cards because of the 2 damage to all enemy minions without consequence, but ALSO causing a Freeze effect on everything, meaning it effectively "skips a turn" for the opponent next round, thus allowing for much more favorable trades for minions that 2 damage from Blizzard itself couldn't deal with.

    The overall point about board clear mechanics as a whole is that they are exceptionally strong and are often game equalizers. However, taking a hit from a "typical" 2 damage board clear (Consecrate, Holy Nova, etc) often has far less impact than Flamestrike which doubles the effective kill capability of the aforementioned cards.

    So yes indeed, fuck this card and the train it rode in on. 4 damage without consequence is FAR too powerful and until it is changed, Mages will remain the go-to class for the masses because poor play is not punished while such an amazing get out of jail free card is in the back pocket more often than not.

  4. #4
    VI Member Morsk's Avatar
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    Well...I just got my invite... I guess I will start being terribad at Hearthstone as well.

  5. #5
    Shocks, Stocks, and Socks
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    It's okay Morsk, I'm just average at best so far... you have plenty of time to catch up

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    VOTE ME RAID LEADER 2012! Takaoni's Avatar
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    I'm officially terrible at this game. Also - I lost my final arena match for the night to a mage ONLY because of a topdeck flamestrike and my heart went out to Kull in a fashion that only Celine Dion could approve of.

  7. #7
    VI Member Morsk's Avatar
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    I have been playing a little bit in my free time (sorry Kull been playing a Mage mostly) and I have to say that I am really digging this game. Still definitely suck at it, but I sucked at Magic when I first started playing too.

    I played a game against Guffies (aka Crit Totem) and he pulled out a pretty devastating combo that I really had no good counter for till it was too late. He brought out Ragnaros on his 7 (damned mana crystal), and subsequently played Faceless Manipulator on his 8. No poly, nothing in hand or on the board to counter them...I started losing minions left and right. Once the board was clear the Rags started shooting at me and he finished me off with a Mind Blast I sat there looking at my cards going....huh well that combos a bitch. I think I ended up pulling a Poly on my 9 or 10, but it was just bad news bears from 7 on.

  8. #8
    VOTE ME RAID LEADER 2012! Takaoni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morsk View Post
    Crit Totem
    That's FURRY Totem to you, good sir.

  9. #9
    VOTE ME RAID LEADER 2012! Takaoni's Avatar
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    Totally lost an arena match today because I didn't know how Mortal Strike worked (assumed it was like some other abilities that give your hero an attack value for one round) and MORTALLY STRUCK MYSELF.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takaoni View Post
    Totally lost an arena match today because I didn't know how Mortal Strike worked (assumed it was like some other abilities that give your hero an attack value for one round) and MORTALLY STRUCK MYSELF.
    That is hysterical!

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