Hearthstone and Modern

This Friday night magic(FNM) went a lot better in my opinion, I played against some of the more top tier decks than the week before and with some added changes to what I’m playing I’m starting have a more solid deck. Sometime this week I’ll finally write up how I changed my deck, why I changed it and how FNM went, but I want to talk about myself getting into Modern and revisiting Hearthstone.

Hearthstone is definitely a well known card game, but that doesn’t mean its a good game. I played Hearthstone the most during Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, mostly just Jade Golem Druid because ramp is fun and it avoids one of the biggest problem Hearthstone faces and continues to push in its sets, randomness. I understand randomness is something everybody who plays a card game faces, mainly drawing cards off the top, but in my opinion that should be the only factor of randomness a player has to face.

In MTG the randomness of drawing can be altered in some way by changing how many copies of cards you put into a deck and playing the statistics game, relying on extra card draw or altering the top of your deck by scrying. For those unfamiliar with scrying it’s slightly similar to the Hunter card, Tracking, but way better. Scrying is when you look at a certain amount of cards from the top of your deck and choose whether to put those cards on the top, bottom or change the order in which you draw them, which is why cards like Serum Visions and Ponder are extremely good, you know what’s coming up or you’re putting cards you don’t need on the bottom and increase the change of drawing a card you need.

The discover mechanic is one of the two things Hearthstone has that extremely bugs me. A deck randomly adding cards into their hand that weren’t originally in their starting deck gives that player more card advantage, but could also change the game in either players favor. Say you’re facing lethal damage on board, you draw a card that can discover another minion or spell, you could get a card that just wins the game immediately, stalls the game longer, or you just completely whiff. The Mage class is extremely frustrating to play against due to them always running a ton of cards that discover more spells. It doesn’t reward skill, but only luck. There is a reason why 2 copies of cards are allowed and should be enforced, because I honestly can’t play around my opponent possibly getting 3 extra copies of Fireball, which has happened to me many more times than I’d like to admit.

Then the cards with damage ranges, “deal 2-3 damage to all enemy minions”, that’s unacceptable. If I want to board wipe and use my precious resources, just for it to fail or succeed based on randomness, it makes me not even want to play the card. In MTG terms it would be like using an Anger of the Gods, but instead of 3 damage across the board it could 2 or 3, which means that you might completely wipe a board, kill only a few creatures, or kill none of them and then waste 3 mana, in a format like modern that is A LOT of resources to use. Not only would it be a waste of mana, but most of the time if you’re playing or sideboarding in Anger of the Gods you’re trying to exile creatures like in a Dredge match up or slow down a combo deck, such as Elves. It’s not a good mechanic and again pushes more factors than a player needs to deal with in a card game

If Hearthstone wants to actually be a competitive game, there should only be one factor that determines if you win or lose a game, skill. Adding so much randomness means that the possibility of a person having an extremely good day could win every single game they weren’t supposed to and then are rewarded for not being as skilled as another player, and for the fact alone I have no respect for the competitive scene of Hearthstone. If I do play it’ll probably be a deck that has no factor of randomness and everything being upfront, but I feel for the time being I’m going to stick to MTG.

Now that I’m done ranting about Hearthstone, I want to talk about getting into modern. Modern is a format that has a wider range of cards available to build a deck with, the decks are more powerful, a lot faster and the biggest plus for me is that the format is really healthy and you can play many different archetypes. Combo, aggro, control, unfair decks, fair decks, ramp, its all there and things are always changing when new cards are released in a set. As Amonkhet came out, a new card came out that enabled an infinite combo that creates as much health as you want and is seeing competitive play, counters company, as well as Living End decks that was in the finals for a Grand Prix this weekend. For myself, I’ve decided to build a mono red burn deck to start off with and then slowly acquire and transition the deck into Naya burn. The reason I’ve choose burn is it’s a cheap deck compared to most of the other decks available, its an aggressive deck and is meant to win fast, and most of the people I play with are all playing something different; Grixis Delver, Elves, Tron, Merfolk, G/W CoCo. That way we can always play test against different decks and become more comfortable with the format.

Hopefully by Thursday I’ll have written how FNM went and I’ll try to go into more detail on why I’m playing Boros Midrange.

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