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Hearthstone Knights of the Frozen Throne Pre-Purchase Benefits and Discounts!

July 30th, 2017 | Posted by Indri in Amazon Coins | card games | Hearthstone | pc-games | Ramblings - (Comments Off on Hearthstone Knights of the Frozen Throne Pre-Purchase Benefits and Discounts!)

The time is near for a new expansion to Hearthstone – Knights of the Frozen Throne, and right now is the best time to get the new cards before anyone else, and cheaper than anyone else too!

Knights of the Frozen Throne Hearthstone expansion

Hearthstone Knights of the Frozen Throne Pre-Purchase Benefits and Discounts

As I’ve said before in previous posts, pre-release is the absolute best time to buy your Hearthstone cards at a discount – and the deal is even better when you buy them with Amazon Coins! Every time there‚Äôs a Hearthstone pre-release, the developers offer a pre-order 50 packs of the new set at $1 each. This allows you to get a ton of new cards at cheap prices, and be ready to play with new cards when the set is officially released. Your packs will show in your account, but won’t become available to open in-game until Knights of the Frozen Throne officially launches (a mid August release date).
As an added bonus you’ll also get a sweet, exclusive card back for pre-ordering this new set.

Knights of the Frozen Throne Hearthstone expansion is bursting with flavor for those of us who enjoyed years of playing World of Warcraft. This was always one of my favorite expansions in World of Warcraft, and I am rather pleased to see them finally release an expansion focused on this part of WoW.

New cards I’m especially excited to play with are:
I believe will lend itself to new decks that focus on taking advantage of the card’s ability by having cards in the deck that give it all of the bonus abilities.

Bring It On! – with a cheap cost to gain 10 armor, and then reducing the cost of all minions on your hand by 2, this card seems to provide much more value than people may think. Even if there are no minions in your hand, 2 for 10 armor is OK value.

Also worth mentioning is the new Lifesteal mechanic – which is basically the same thing as Lifelink in Magic the Gathering. This is probably a more powerful mechanic than many people realize, and if you have played any Magic, you already know this is great for outracing opponents with creatures/minions.

So grab your Amazon Coins and get over to the pre-order page because once the set is released that deal is gone! (Amazon Coins are always a good deal when buying your card packs though! As I have explained much better here)

Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne Trailer Video

Hearthstone Review from a Magic the Gathering Player

June 10th, 2017 | Posted by Indri in card games | Hearthstone | pc-games | Uncategorized | world of warcraft - (Comments Off on Hearthstone Review from a Magic the Gathering Player)

Hearthstone Review from a Magic the Gathering Player

Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been playing competitive Magic the Gathering since the game first came out. Up until a few years ago, that was fine. I had plenty of time and money to spend on the game, and I enjoyed it. Then I got married and had a kid. Reality set in, and now I have real priorities that push gaming way to the bottom of the list.

So what can a lifetime card flipping addict like me do to scratch that itch? Plain and simple, I had to quit playing Magic competitively. I may be able to catch a draft every once in a blue moon, or play some other form of the game on my Playstation etc…but the days of staying up into wee hours of night playing Magic Online tournaments are gone.

Enter Hearthstone – My Magic The Gathering Replacement

As a long time geek gamer, you might have also guessed that I’ve played World of Warcraft. You guessed right. That had to stop too, due to the same issues of not having time to play games for hours.

I was already looking for other card games that could be played faster and easier. So when I heard that there was a card game based on WoW, that was one of the first few I tried. I’ll be honest, I didn’t get hooked immediately… but after a few weeks, when I started getting good at it, I started to like it more.

Hearthstone Pros and Cons


PRO 1 – Fast Games
What I like most about Hearthstone is the games are fast. I’m a dad and a husband, and I work two jobs… I just don’t have the time to sit and play 3 to 5+ hour Magic tournaments anymore. PTQ’s are just not happening anymore. However I can play a few games of Hearthstone, on my phone, before bed or on my lunch break. This is not possible with Magic. The tournaments are draft style, but not really drafts. So you can play against different opponents anytime, you aren’t restricted to a draft pod like you are with MTG. This is nice because I can play an Arena match or two, then live my life and come back later that night, or two days later and continue the same Arena tournament.

PRO 2 – Can be played on cell phone

I’m already carrying my smartphone with me everywhere I go. So to have a decent game on there is pretty nice. I couldn’t imagine trying to play Magic on my phone, but Blizzard did a pretty good job of making their game playable on my Samsung Galaxy. It’s nice to know that if I want to I can play basically anytime, as long as there is WiFi.

PRO 3 – Rewards Galore

While they don’t just give you every card to play with from the start, which they could have done… it does give you
a reason to keep playing the game and some excitement I guess from opening packs. They give out free packs often, and there are various rewards for progress on each class. This is something Magic doesn’t really do, but is a nice incentive to keep playing.

PRO 4 – Much Cheaper than Magic

It is cheaper than Magic. You can spend money on packs if you want to, or you can play for free buying packs of cards with gold you win from the tournaments etc. You have to be more resourceful with your decks when playing for free, but you can still play. If you want to play more competitively, you can either “dust” your unwanted cards to build a deck you want, or spend a fraction of the cost of a competitive magic deck to buy a bunch of booster packs. It’s also kind of refreshing for me, not to have to look at every card and consider it’s monetary value.

PRO 5 – No Chat

One thing about Magic Online that would annoy me is the chat box. Or I should say, the opponents trash talk area. I don’t know if it was just me, but I would always face the most douchey and rude opponents. So I’d ignore the chat box. That being said, even in Hearthstone players can emote in jerky ways, so thankfully there is an option to “squelch” them so you at least don’t have to be annoyed with their commentary.


CON 1 – Dominant Decks
At times it seems like there are one or two decks that completely dominate the game, are basically unbeatable, and everyone you go up against in the player vs player ranked matches seems to be playing those decks. If you aren’t playing those one to 3 “net decks” you probably will lose. This is always an issue with card games, since players have the internet it’s hard to stop them from building and sharing the most broken decks. Blizzard is somewhat quick to respond with card nerfs, but still allow some to stay in.

CON 2 – Low Rotation Cycles
Cards that are released stick around for 2 full years before they go into “Wild” mode. Say you really hate a particular card, like oh say Reno Jackson for example. You are stuck playing against it for 2 full years. People were waiting and waiting for stupid Reno to rotate out, it was so horrible.

CON 3 – Not Much of a Competitive Outlet

Sure they have Arena Mode, and there is some kind of major tournament that takes place in a faraway land once or twice a year… but unlike magic there are not PTQ’s, there are no local gaming shops hosting Hearthstone tournaments that I’m aware of. This is sad for some people who really get into the competitive aspect of the game, it’s just not there for Hearthstone. Which I find a bit odd – Blizzard is a pretty big company and could easily host a pro tour type of thing if they wanted to.

Con 4 – No Trading

While I admit I was never much of a fan of trading, I do realize that trading is an important part of Magic that a lot of people do enjoy. That’s the main reason I’m listing this as a con here. You cannot trade with other players in Hearthstone, but they do allow you to “dust” your cards to the game. Then you can use that dust to “create” the cards you want. The thing is, dusting a card is always a losing trade. You dust something for a fraction of what it costs to create a card of the same rarity. So unlike Magic where you are trying to trade for equal or better value, you will never get that kind of deal with Hearthstone.


Well that’s it for now, I may add to this list as the game goes on, but I stand by my pros and cons at this point. I feel like Hearthstone is a fine Magic replacement for gamers that find themselves limited on time and money. If you haven’t tried it yet, why not go to your app store and give it a shot? It’s free to play and unless you really want to build the best decks to compete in ranked mode, you don’t need to spend any money. You can play it on about any decent smartphone or tablet, and the games or tournaments don’t require you to sit down playing for hours at a time.

All in all I’m glad I found Hearthstone I think I would have ended up very depressed and missing my Magic the Gathering gaming if I had just quit and not found another game.

Top Ten Ways to Lose at Magic the Gathering Sealed Deck Tournaments

September 14th, 2016 | Posted by Indri in card games | magic the gathering | mtg | pc-games | Ramblings | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Top Ten Ways to Lose at Magic the Gathering Sealed Deck Tournaments)

How to Lose a Sealed Deck Magic the Gathering Tournament

You know what they say, learn from your mistakes. In the many years that I’ve played Magic the Gathering, I’ve made tons of mistakes. Probably every single mistake you could make. So I’d like to take a minute to jot these down so all of you out there hopefully won’t make the same ones I did.

Here are my top 10 biggest mtg sealed deck mistakes for you to learn from:

Relying On One Card

Bombs are nice to have, and if played right bombs can single handedly win a game…but they can’t be the ONLY way your deck wins. What if your opponent kill it as soon as it’s played? Or counterspells it? What if you just never draw it? If I had a nickel for every time I had a bomb card in my deck but never drew it once during an entire tournament… It’s just better to build yourself for an all around good deck filled with your most playable cards.

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Forcing Your Favorite Colors

I get it, you love two colors and think those are the best in this tournament. You really want to play them. But sometimes you can’t do that. Those may be the best colors but it you have only low quality, mediocre cards…or just not enough creatures. You can’t automatically play those colors. Magic just isn’t that simple where a certain color or colors always wins. Take time to look hard at your pool, maybe this tournament you will have to play your least favorite colors – but you will give yourself the best chance to win with those.

Not Playing Enough Creatures.

Most good players agree that you should be playing a minimum of 14 creatures in about any limited format. Unless you’re playing a non-creature deck – in which case you will lose 99% of the time in limited. Don’t play non creature “combo” decks in limited, just don’t. Give yourself the best chance to win, you probably have some money on the line, and now is not the time to play weird or casual style decks.

Neglecting or Over-Valuing “Bombs”

Wow, a mythic! I have to play this! No, no you don’t… Just because a card is mythic, or rare, doesn’t mean it’s automatically a good limited card or that it will fit well in your deck. On the flip side maybe you say this: “Wow I opened a (insert awesome green planeswalker)”…but I have all these great red cards and I don’t think green is any good. So I’m not playing that… (and then you lose the tournament). Read up on the set. Learn what cards are actually good and playable for the set in limited format, and gravitate towards the better cards. You may be surprised to learn certain uncommon cards are much stronger than certain mythics or rares.

Forcing a “Strategy” Without the Support

What I see a lot of with these newer sets are the various “themes” or “archetypes”. These could be strong in limited, and are tempting to play, but more often than not you just don’t get enough cards to go “all in” on any of these archetypes – or the one you like best. I believe these archetypes were mainly designed for constructed play, and you are lucky if you can swing them effectively in your sealed pools. Sometimes you just need a mix of “good stuff” to have a deck that wins limited tournaments.

Not Splashing a Third Color When You Should

If you have good removal or bombs in your pool, and not enough in your main colors, you should consider splashing those cards in (hint: you can never have enough removal). Now I’m not talking about mediocre removal, I mean GOOD removal… the kind you would pick highly in a draft for example. Having access to effective removal is well worth adding a few off colored cards and lands to your deck. Just don’t overdo it – try not to “splash” more than 3 or 4 off color cards, tops.

Making Poor Mulligan Choices

Obviously you know when you have one land or no lands you should mulligan… But let’s say you draw 3 islands in your opening hand while playing a blue green deck. Let’s say you have a handful of islands, and green creatures. When you don’t have the right color mana in hand to cast the majority of the cards in your hand, you’ll probably lose from never drawing the lands to play anything. This has happened to me more than a few times, and it’s very frustrating…but 100% your own fault for keeping a bad hand. Don’t let it happen to you. Do the right thing and mulligan!

Splashing Double Mana Cards

If you are going to play that 3rd color, make sure you have the mana base for doing so. Most of the time you won’t be able to play double mana off color cards and shouldn’t add those to your deck. If you aren’t sure how to splash, stay safe and stick with two colors. There is nothing wrong with only playing two colors, provided you have enough decent playable cards in there.

“Splashing” Every Color Without the Mana Base

Look you aren’t going to be able to swing 4 or 5 colors in limited most of the time. Not unless you have some good multicolored lands or creatures that produce any color mana. Even still, it’s going to be hard to always have the right colored mana around to play your cards. You’re going to end up with a few unplayable cards in hand most games. That’s how you lose games.

Taking Advice from Inexperienced Players

I’m not the greatest player in the world, I’m not a “pro”. I have however been playing Magic since 1994 – longer than most people, and I win most of the tournaments I get a chance to play. I’m at least an above average player, which is why I have this blog for newer Magic players or those looking to improve. Here’s the thing. Magic is a highly speculative and competitive game. Everyone thinks they know how to win at it, what cards are best, and they want to share their secrets with you. You can’t believe everything you read from random guys on a Magic forum, You can’t go by everything your buddy says at the local game store. Or even what the store owner says, or whoever the store judge is. Ultimately YOU have to “get it”…and you’re in for a wild ride as it could take months or even years to learn the ins and outs of this ever evolving game.

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Final Words

If you’re reading this post, it probably means you want to get better at Magic and win more limited games. Reading blogs like this one, and watching gameplay videos will definitely get your mind flowing with ideas which help towards improving your MTG game.

Good luck in your next sealed deck MTG tournament, and make sure to watch out for these deckbuilding mistakes!

Any questions or comments? Feel free to drop a message and let me know what you think!

Win More Magic – How to Break Out of Your Magic Online (MTGO) Losing Streak

August 31st, 2016 | Posted by Indri in card games | magic the gathering | mtg | pc-games - (Comments Off on Win More Magic – How to Break Out of Your Magic Online (MTGO) Losing Streak)

If you’re taking lots of tournament losses or want to learn how to break your a Magic Online losing streak, this article is for you. Taking these steps towards improving your game can benefit any Magic player – not only those getting back into competitive Magic tournament play after years of not playing.

Admit You Have a Problem

So, it’s happening…you decided to play a brand new limited format, or to jump back into Magic Online after years of not playing. You bought into a bunch of product and played a lot of tournaments…but…you’re losing…bad. You’re getting chumped by a bunch of n00b scrubs with their sucky cards, and your rating is tanked. You’re so pissed that you’re thinking about quitting Magic forever, but you KNOW you aren’t a bad player and you don’t REALLY want to quit… so what can you do? How can you break out of this losing streak and get into a winning streak?

Take a Good Hard Look

You have to understand that Magic is not quite like riding a bicycle…if you take years off of playing, you WILL get rusty. New sets are released often and introduce new mechanics you may not know your way around. Rules can change, the game client can change, etc. Even if you used to 3-0 a bunch of tournaments way back when, you likely won’t do that now in a new unfamiliar format.

Magic Online attracts a lot of skilled players from around the world, and a lot of them might not have ever taken a break like you did. You may have used to be a shark, but you’re a guppy again swimming with the sharks! Let me say that I speak from experience. I’ve been an on and off MTG player (paper and MTGO) since Revised was released. Most recently I was able to 3-0 very consistently back in the time of M14, as well as win several local paper limited tournaments (drafts, prereleases).

Now I’m back at it after a 2 year break. I jumped into Shadows Over Innistrad/Eldritch Moon limited and well, I had my ass handed to me. It’s a humbling yet frustrating experience, but I’m making good progress and increasing my wins using the following steps. Anyone looking to improve at Magic can and probably should take the following steps.

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Tip One Towards Winning More Magic Games – Review Your Past Games

Though it may feel this way, it’s just not possible that all your opponents are “getting lucky” against you. Somethings up, and you need to get to the bottom of what that might be. One great thing about Magic Online over paper MTG is that it allows you to replay your past games. So you are going to want to look at those games and take some notes. Look closely for any glaring play mistakes, or patterns you can see between the games.

Just make a text file and type up some notes as you watch. Be humble…own up to your bad plays. Learn from them so you can avoid the same mistakes from here on out. You can look at the games you won, but really it’s the ones you lost that you want to learn from, because in some (not all) cases you might have won if you played just a little differently.

Match Replays – Tips for Watching MTGO Replays

These are the things you want to make notes about so you can learn.
Keep in mind you are troubleshooting your gameplay here.

* How did you lose this game? Was it one specific card? What was their deck archetype?

* Did you have anything in the sideboard that might have helped?

* Was this a very close game? Did you fail to attack or block properly? If they had 1 life when they won, can you spot where you could have done that 1 damage?

* Did you fall into a common or uncommon trick more than once that may have cost you the game? From now on try to play around that card.

* If you got “mana screwed” did you play too many colors? Did you add enough lands to the deck? Did you add too many high cost cards? Or can you honestly blame “the shuffler”?

* Who won the tournament? What did their deck look like when you played them? Compare that to your deck. If there’s a pattern, maybe you should try leaning more towards the archetypes that win more often.

* If it looks like you keep playing the same type of deck in a format and keep losing, maybe it’s just not a great deck to play, isn’t powerful enough compared to other popular decks. Don’t force yourself to play a bad archetype.

Tip Two Towards Winning More Magic Games – Study Buddy!

* Read MTG strategy articles, watch pro tour videos, look for pros tips, opinions, and advice. Learn what cards and decks are good in that format, and play that.

* Join some MTG related forums and read some posts. Ask for help, deck critiques, play tips and other advice on the forums. People love to talk (and brag) sometimes they are even right!

Tip Three Towards Winning More Magic Games – Practice Makes Perfect!

Practice Drafting
Use draftsim or other practice draft sites, especially ones that suggest picks with card ratings. These are great for training! Compare what you picked in your MTGO drafts to the cards being highly suggested by draftsim. This has really helped me learn to make better draft picks in the new formats.

Play More FREE (or Cheap) Magic!
If you are losing a lot try to play it as inexpensively as you can for a while, until you feel you have improved. Try some phantom tournaments on MTGO, play a video game version like Magic Duels, practice playing paper with friends, or other ways to play that won’t cost you lots of tix when you lose. Once you get a feel for the format you want to play, then you can jump back into the shark tank of MTGO competitive tournament play.

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