Editorial Notebook

Hearthstone gains renown

With over twenty million registered accounts just seven months after the official release of the game, Hearthstone has proven to be a very popular game. I myself started in the first official ranked season in April.

In the beginning, I played as a mage with just the basic set of cards. After opening up a few packs, I then switched to priest for a season. After the realization that priest was pretty much the worst class in Hearthstone at that time, I investigated what was considered one of the most consistent classes. I didn’t want to spend a ton of time crafting cards for one specific deck that only works in the current meta. I wanted something that would carry me through each season, while not being the best deck, but a deck that would hold its own well enough.

This search lead me to the druid class. Luckily, I had at this time gotten a critical piece to the druid deck, the force roar combo. I decided to test out ramp druid and I found it really fun. The general strategy of ramp druid is to use certain cards, Wild Growth, and Innervate, to ‘ramp’ up to the late game by mid game. When this happens, really strong minions are played that the other player usually has a hard time dealing with. If I don’t get the necessary ramp cards, the game is a bit more difficult but not impossible.

From then on, I have been working on building the ultimate ramp druid deck for my play style. I haven’t copied it straight from any of the major players’ decks, although I have looked at those decks for inspiration. I do track my games using Hearthstone Tracker. Unfortunately, the first five months of statistics are on my old computer at my house back in Oklahoma, so I can’t contribute them to this. But from the games I have played at RPI, I currently have a 59-41 win-loss ratio with my ramp druid. I am about to pass the 700 total win mark, also. I mainly play casual and ranked. The highest rank I have achieved is 10 this season and I hope to break into rank five and possibly legend next season.

Now for the details of the deck. It runs the standard ramping cards, Innervate and Wild Growth. Currently, my three drops are a Harvest Golem and Big Game Hunter, BGH. I have been debating whether to switch the Harvest Golem for a second BGH to combat the prevalence of handlock these days, but I still like the Golem for when I do get a rush deck opponent. I run two Keeper’s of the Grove to silence pesky Twilight Drakes and strong legendaries, and I rely on a lot of taunts. Sen’jin Shieldmasta, two Druid of the Claws, two Sludge Belchers, a Sunwalker, and an Ancient of War are the taunt minions I run. Sometimes I’ll play charge Druid of the Claw, but that is usually only to seal the win in. I run an Azure Drake at the moment, but I would really like to switch him out for a Bloodmage Thalnos. With the Thalnos it would be much easier to get 5/2 Swipe, I run two, which would be extremely handy. With the Azure Drake, right now I have to hope that he survives one round and usually if I need a 5/2 swipe he doesn’t. I run two Ancient of Lores also to recoup card loss from ramping and in emergencies heal a minion or my hero. My finisher is usually the Force of Nature, Savage Roar combo. My other two cards I run that aren’t legendries are Faceless Manipulator and Chillwind Yeti. The Faceless is a fun card that I run in the hopes I can copy my Ragnaros or an enemy’s legendary class. The Yeti is just a strong mid game minion that when Innervated and coined out on turn one can completely control the board for two or three rounds.

The legendary cards I run are Sylvanas Windrunner, The Black Knight, Loetheb, and Ragnaros the Firelord. I haven’t unlocked a single one of these from a pack, they have all been crafted. Most recently crafted was the Black Knight. I disenchanted almost my entire collection to craft him and so far he has been worth it. I just love destroying those 9/9 Molten Giants against handlock. Other than Bloodmage Thalnos previously mentioned, the last legendary I want for my deck is Cenarius. In previous matches, had I had a Cenarius, I would have stalled for one more turn allowing me to get the win. He would just be a really good minion to have to seal the late game.

I foresee me playing ramp druid at least until the new 100+ card expansion comes out. With that, it will probably redefine the entire meta, so hopefully I get lucky and Ramp Druid becomes top dog. If not, I’ll just move on and build another deck. I have not spent any real money on this game, everything has been achieved through in-game gold. I am always looking to find more people to play with so if you want you can add me, my in game name is Foehammer#1284.