Checklist of Things to do at Level 100 for Raiders

Checklist of Things to do at Level 100 for Raiders

I could not stop myself. After levelling up my main Priest to 100, I had to level another one to provide additional resources and support. Ended up reaching level 100 on my Paladin on Saturday so I could tank on our alt raids on the weekends. Plus I’ll be maxing out it’s support buildings like the herb garden and the excavation mine.

Apexis Shard Farming

Once you reach level 100, your garrison will offer two sets of dailies for Apexis crystals. These things are currency for gear. Plus you can use them to upgrade the same items that you’ve purchased for later. Right now, it seems like the 630 level blues are available and the raid level ones will be available later on when the actual raids open. Try to knock out the the ones that give 1000 Apexis crystals. I’ve noticed there was a display bug. For example, today’s daily offered the Ring of Blood set of dailies and that one said it would reward 800 crystals but upon turning them in, it awarded 1000.

apexis

Legendary Ring Questline

Khadgar provides this quest at level 98 but you can realistically start it at level 100. His pet an be found at your garrison and will direct you to see his tower out in Talador. The quest is called Call of the Archmage. WoWHead has a great guide on it here to help you get started.

Treasure and Rare farming for garrison resources

I’m addicted to garrison development. After playing years of Heroes of Might and Magic (with the third one being my favourite), I just have a love for base building type games and controlling armies. Treasures are the most lucrative for garrison resources although many rare mobs will drop them as well. When you take them down once, they become ordinary mobs after that and won’t drop any more additional resources. The treasures that are the biggest pain in the rear are the ones in Nagrand as they often involve using those Goblin gliders to get to really hard to reach places.

Heroic dungeon farming

You need to have a 610 ilevel minimum to queue into them. Not only that, you also need to have finished out your Silver level Proving Grounds. However, it’s still possible to stroll into the instance portal and get in that way if you’re running with your guild or with your friends.

Challenge mode dailies

If you complete the challenge mode daily, they offer a random item that’s 640 ilevel which is the level of gear from normal mode raids. For me, today’s was Shadowmoon Burial Grounds which took us a solid 2 hours and 30 minutes. I’ll have a writeup on that later on in the week but boy was it rough. As people get a little more geared up and more familiar, those times should lessen significantly. Not to mention, we walked in there without really knowing much about what to do and there were plenty of trial and errors.

Ashran and PvP

During the opening few days of the expansion, there was virtually no Horde in Ashran. A few of us managed to queue into it repeatedly and take advantage of the situation by farming up as much honor as possible unchallenged. I used the extra honor to buy some 620 pieces to help put myself into position to queue into heroics.

ashran-pvp

Garrison Followers

Now this is the fun part. Everyone loves having more followers! Don’t forget that if you want to upgrade your followers to epic quality, the experience they earn after hitting level 100 goes towards that. So you can turn superior followers into epic followers just by repeatedly sending them out on missions. Here’s a few easy ones you can pick up:

  • Image of Archmage Vargoth: Requires a bit of a trek to Frostfire Ridge
  • Defender Illona: Really easy to snag as well. Complete the single quest in Talador (and yes, Horde players have their equivilent).
  • Pleasure-Bot 8000: Tailors will want this robot.
  • Abu’ghar: Look for 3 items around Nagrand (His fishing lure, his line, and his pole) then look for him within Stonecrag Gorge in the southern most pool of water.
  • Leo’rajh: Just have to find him and free him within Spires of Arak.

Check out this link on WoWhead for a full list of followers that can be earned via quests!

 

Alliance First Level 100!

Alliance First Level 100!

Elapsed time, 10 hours and 5 minutes. The servers opened up at 11:45 PM Pacific a few minutes early. Turned in all my dailies and started my pre-planned route on the way to level 100. At around 9:50 AM the next day (Thursday morning), I turned in my final quest and hit level 100. All in all, my run took me around 10 hours and 5 minutes. My personal best on beta was 9 hours and 33 minutes but you factor in the periodic disconnects and you can see it adds up. Being on a PvP server and being ahead of the curve means almost no one tries to gank you. All the higher level players know and we have a gentleman’s agreement that if you go after an opposing player, it actually slows everyone down for levelling so we don’t tend to go against each other. After that, I tried to stay up for a few hours longer by running a dungeon and completing my Apexis Crystal dailies. Holy heck, it feels as if my body just started weaving in and out of consciousness. There were times I snapped back to reality while healing and noticed my group was a little further ahead in the dungeon. Took a herculean amount of effort just to try to stay focused. After that, I queued up more work orders and garrison missions and went to bed for a few hours.

I was up for about 30 consecutive hours. I’m naturally an early riser so I was awake at 6 AM on the Wednesday. That’s when I did my shopping and cleared out as many other errands as I could. Met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while for dinner and just made an effort to try to relax myself before the game launched. Later that night, I tried taking a nap but I was at that weird sleeping state where you’re partially asleep but still slightly awake and aware of everything. At about 10 PM, I gave up.

Why didn’t you take your time to level to 100 and enjoy the sights and scenes?

I did that during the beta. The final builds of the game were at a point where I could just quest at my own leisurely place and really immerse myself in the lore. I knew when game day rolled around though, it would be a mad rush to 100 and I didn’t want to get myself caught with the flood of players. You just have to beat the curve.

How’d you do it?

Many players out there relied on energy drinks or caffeine to get them through it. I bought myself a fruit platter and had two jugs of water beside me plus a few snacks to munch on. Things got a little dicey around 6:30 AM because I was starting to get hungry and I was running out of hard food to eat. I knew that I would receive breadcrumb quests that sent me over to the next zones so I timed my bathroom breaks with that. During RP sessions in game, I’d pull nearby random mobs for bits of extra experience or start disenchanting items to keep my bag space clear. Most of my experience came with practice on beta servers where I had my routes all figured out.

Why not server first?

When I was the only level 94 in Gorgrond, I ran into a Horde level 95 Shadow Priest. I remember early on in the day a few rollbacks were issued out to players on EU servers for abusing and exploiting the turtle quest turn in on Timeless Isle. Or maybe I was beat out with a player who had a Darkmoon Faire buff. I’m not sure, but I certainly gave in my best effort and loaded up with experience potions on the way up. I’ll certainly settle for Alliance first though.

I am so excited for this expansion. No real dailies to do, for one! No quests to grind out or anything. Lots more exploration! More world PvP action (one of the benefits of being 100 is I get to dish out payback on players who annoyed me over the years).

Post BlizzCon Highlights and Warlords Levelling Tips

Back from BlizzCon! What a crazy weekend. Biggest weekend ever with the announcement of Overwatch and several new game features coming to Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone. Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft were silent this year for obvious reasons since Reaper of Souls had already debuted and we have the Warlords expansion launch tonight at midnight.

BlizzCon Highlights

I held it! The strategy guide that I mentioned I was working on the other day? Brady Games had a booth set up and they happened to have a few copies to give away during a random draw. I went up to them and asked if I could take a picture with it in front of their giant sign and pointed out that I was one of the contributors. At 400 pages, it’s fairly hefty but I think it’s roughly the same size and length of previous strategy guides. Just remember, expect this information to be out of date within a few months due to patches and such.

Overwatch was insanely fun! My original gaming background started with shooters, actually. I’ve since strayed from that genre but it’s great to see Blizzard try their hand it especially since Starcraft Ghost was cancelled ages ago. I wrote up my initial impressions on a few of the heroes I played like Tracer, Pharah, and Widowmaker on BlizzPro. Give it a read!

The rest of my guild was being anti-social for most of BlizzCon but we did manage to meet up a few times for a few drinks here and there. While I was out on the Hilton lobby most days catching up with other internet friends, they were upstairs playing Cards Against Humanity and WoW Trivial Pursuit.

Actually, some of those questions were pretty tough. Can you list all the factions associated with the PvP battlegrounds? I had to think real hard about that one.

At the airport, I was at my terminal waiting to board. I went up to the ticket agent to see if they had a pin or a paper clip I could use to swap out my SIM card. She eyed my poster tube and asked if I attended BlizzCon this year and I said yeah! I go every year! She was so envious because every year she wants to go but she can’t make it out because her airline always schedules her to work BlizzCon weekend. She jokingly offered to trade me a pin for one of my posters in my poster tube. Of course I said yes! I managed to get a few extra copies of the mini Overwatch posters to give away to a few of my friends back home here and offered her one.

She didn’t feel that was a fair trade so she offered me a seat upgrade as well! Damn! Look at that! Just goes to show that you never know who plays games out there. We ended up chatting a little more about World of Warcraft and some of the new features coming before I started boarding. Go figure!

Warlords Levelling Tips

  • Stock up on drinks like water. If you need the extra caffeine, go for tea. If you absolutely must burn energy drinks, go for the 5 hour energy.
  • Try to time your bathroom breaks at every even level. LEvels 92, 94, 96, and 98 feature breadcrumbs that involve you going on a gryphon.
  • Starting to feel a little weary? Splash some cold water on your face or dunk your head under the shower briefly to wake yourself up.
  • Switch your talents and glyphs and load up for instant casts or lowered cooldowns.
  • Check your binds if you’re just returning to the game now.
  • Load up on whatever consumables you need like your potions, flasks, food, and guild banners.

Anyway, good luck out there! See you at 100!

BlizzCon: Day 0

Left cloudy and slightly rainy Vancouver, arrived in sunny and blistering heated Anaheim 20 minutes ahead of schedule on the Wednesday. Picked up by a guildie and we headed back to the convention centre and began planning our activities for the rest of the week. The guild’s advance team was slated to come in a little later in the afternoon.

We picked up our consumables. Shopping here for alcohol never ceases to amaze me in terms of affordability.

Once we settled in, we set up shop at the Anabella and just hung out there for the rest of the night while the rest of the team and friends streamed in to say hi. It was great to catch up with people again especially after a year.

BlizzCon Predictions

You’ll see similar predictions around the web, and I’m going to join the chorus.

World of Warcraft: Eye of Azshara will be a future expansion or content drop of sorts. Or it’s a new fashion accessory from Blizzard gear.

Hearthstone: Spectator mode announced and a firm Android release date will be provided. Hunters nerfed again. New expansion with a goblin or mech theme. Separate booster packs.

Heroes of the Storm: More new heroes, new maps, and a closed beta date. Announcement of spectator mode, with approximate date.

Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void firm date and new features, characters, general storyline announcement.

Diablo 3: Content patch drop.

But for now, bed. Big day tomorrow!

Announcing the Warlords of Draenor Strategy Guide

Before I get to BlizzCon, I wanted to make a quick note of a special project that I and a few of my friends and colleagues around the community have been working on. A few months ago, I was approached to help work on the Priest section of the Warlords of Draenor Strategy Guide from Brady Games.

Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) put together an all-star team to help get you started in Warlords of Draenor when it goes live next week.

I borrowed the full list from Alaron himself, Druid extraordinaire. He’s also giving away a complimentary copy of the guide.

Death Knight: Magdalena (@MagdalenaDK), of the self-titled Death Knight blog Magdalena’s Musings.
Druid: Master Archdruid Alaron of the Fluid Druid.
Hunter: Eyes of the Beast’s Bendak (@BendakWoW), who blogs at and keeps trying to tame me, despite repeated growls.
Mage: Manalicious’s Vidyala (@_Vidyala). Also the artist behind the webcomic From Draenor with Love.
Monk: Video Cast Monk Meditation‘s Chaithi (@WoWMonk).
Paladin: Righteous Defense‘s Rhidach (@Rhidach).
Priest: Just me.
Rogue: Ravenholdt.net‘s Rfeann (@Sveltekumquat). Also check out his blog: Red-Hatted Rogue.
Warlock: Poneria (@_poneria) of Fel Concentration.
Shaman: Totemspot‘s Binkenstein (@Binkenstein). Quite possibly one of the smartest folks in the game. Or at least, the most spreadsheet-est.
Warrior: Matt Rossi. Together, we made up WoW Insider‘s team Matt. (@MatthewWRossi)
Editor: Finally, Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey). No words can describe the hard work and effort that she invested. Truly an inspiration.

It just occurred to me that I can now say I literally wrote the book on Priests. Anyway, I suspect it’ll be fully outdated by the next patch!

Anyway, more on pre-BlizzCon thoughts when I get back. People are already lining up to obtain their tickets and passes.

Things to Get Used to in Patch 6.0 – Raid Leader Edition

We had enough people to raid with last night! Didn’t have to resort to outsourcing raiders on Open Raid, whoo hoo!

Despite being aware of all the different changes that were coming in, there were a few things that still took some serious getting used to.

Enter Immerseus.

Wiped to this fellow three times in the first hour. Wasn’t sure what was going on at first but I suspect it was largely due to players just getting used to their class changes and the loss of a number of spells and abilities.

I didn’t realize how much it affected me until I started calling for cooldowns.

In fact, here’s how a typical conversation in the evening went:

"Give me a Skull banner!"
"WE DONT HAVE IT!"
"Screw it, Rallying Cry!"
"WE DONT HAVE IT!"
"Healing Tide Totem?”
”Nope!”
”Battle Res?”
"BURNED IT ALREADY, 2 Minutes!"
"GODDAMNIT HIT EVERYTHING!"

Accountability just became more important in raids. Can’t have three players dying right away at the start of an encounter anymore. Raid leaders are just going to get frustrated and annoyed before calling for a snap wipe and reset.

The whole Battle Res charge is something I understood on paper but it’s going to take an adjustment period. My raid is going to be sick of me calling for a Battle Res and not having one handy. Is there an addon out there yet that’ll track charges available during raid or is there an interface option somewhere that I’m missing?

If you plan to raid Mythic but have a habit of face planting early or often, then either change your plans or stop eating the dirt.

How does the slowed down healing feel for the rest of you?

I like it a little and I’ll eventually get used to it. But I also know that I’m going to miss the more fast-paced, reflexive healing. I’m hating the Prayer of Mending cast time though along with the new Spirit Shell as-a-talent thing.

But yeah, these are just changes that we’ll have to get used to. 

Haven’t healed or queued into any of the dungeons yet, but so far the reaction sounds mixed. You’ve got some veteran players who are praising the return to slower, tactical pulls and the other type who are pissed that they can’t chain pull the crap out of everything again and blaming it on healers.

I am so looking forward to this expansion. Back to the recruiting grind!

Introducing the Guild Masters!

Introducing the Guild Masters!

Say hello to the Guild Masters.

Today I wanted to take a moment to announce the start of a new blog project. The idea came about after browsing through the Warcraft Guild and Leadership forums. Ran into questions and problems that guild leaders and officers were struggling with.

And you know what I realized?

There is no single place for guild leaders and officers to ask questions or gain support for common issues.

How should a guild leader handle drama?

How does an officer say no?

How do you “raid lead”?

What elements constitute a solid guild website?

Thus, the Guild Masters formed.

I’m hoping to expand a bit beyond that though. I’ve played League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, and Counterstrike: Global Offensive. All of those games involve elements of leadership but it’s not quite the same as leading in WoW. Eventually, I’d like to expand and incorporate those elements but for now, I’m going to focus on the MMO side of things.

If you’re interested, shoot me an email or hit me up on Twitter (@matticus) or add me to your battletag (Matticus#1773).

Conquest turns 7 years old this month. When I started, I didn’t really have that many resources available. I don’t remember the leadership forum having been created yet. I relied on mistakes observed in other guilds. I asked for advice and pointers from the few friends I had who were officers and leaders of their own guilds. I made my own share of screw ups along the way.

As a result, I laid down the ground work for the site back in April and started sketching out what I wanted it to be. It’s a site that’s targeted for newly promoted and minted leaders who might know what they’ve gotten themselves into. I’ve asked a few trusted and driven individuals to provide their own insight. But I’m determined to provide some help and assistance with the Ask A GM section. It’s been up for a month now so do check it out and let me know what you think (or want to see more of).

The small community back then gave me the confidence and skills into what I am today and I want to give back.

Here’s a small sample of posts that are up that’ll benefit you:

If you’re stuck with problems or want some advice, contact us and check out the forums! Guaranteed we’ve had similar experiences in the past.

Hearthstone: Post Naxx Face Hunter

Hearthstone: Post Naxx Face Hunter

I’ve been piloting the hunter deck throughout the month of August and peaked at rank 3. With a little more time, I think the deck would’ve been able to reach legend but I ran out of gas at the end. Here’s the deck list:

Face Hunter by Matticus
Class: Hunter

Hunter (20)

Neutral (10)

Here’s the win rates and percentages by class.

winrate-facehunter

As you can tell, the weakest matchups are against Rogues, Warriors, and Shamans. I’ve only won 2 out of 6 games against Rogues. Warriors are slightly better but expect to lose those matches 2 out of 3 times. But it doesn’t matter because all this deck needs to do is reliably win against the decks most often seen on the ladder: Hunters (55%) and Warlocks (67%).

I won 55% of my games without a coin and 66% of my games with coin. So it’s a little more advantageous for you to go second.

Hunter percentages are slightly over a coin flip depending on the variations.

Against warlocks, I managed to hold a consistent 60% which isn’t too bad considering how strong they can be.

Mages are a slight coin toss and it depends on the traps that they manage to draw into. If they hold you off long enough, their spells will make short work of you.

Druids, Paladins, and Priests are all matchups that should go heavily in your favor.

Strategy

Your basic strategy is to lay out your cheap early minions as quick as you can. Feed your turn 1 Undertaker as much as possible with your Leper Gnome, Haunted Creeper, and Mad Scientist. Given an option between Creepers or Scientists, play the Scientist first. If it dies, your Explosive Traps will appear in play and it will help thin out your deck so you draw into additional threats later.

Use that Hero Power. Don’t be afraid to not play a card and Hero Power instead. Often times on turn 3 or 4, I have the option to play a spell or a minion using up all my mana instead of using the Hero Power. It’s okay not to cast a spell and hold it for later. An example is if you’re on turn 3 with an Explosive Trap and a Flare, you can play the Flare and use your Hero Power. On turn 4, you can drop the Explosive Trap and Hero Power efficiently using up all your mana crystals.

Your finisher is Leeroy and Kill Commands. Hold on to those until your opponent’s life is sufficiently low enough. Hunter’s Mark and Ironbeak Owl are used to either clear out any taunts or remove your opponent’s threats that could shut down your strategy. Make sure you actually have a beast in play before casting Kill Commands. I’ve made the stupid mistake of casting Kill Command with no beast out effectively stealing defeat out of the jaws of victory.

The Matchups

vs Druid

Keep: 1 mana minion, Mad Scientist, Haunted Creeper

Hold your Hunter’s Marks and Ironbeak Owl if you can for mid game. There’s two main druid deck variants here.

The ramp druid relies on accelerating early on into big powerhouse threats like Druid of the Claw (bear form), Ironbark Protectors, Ancient of War, and so forth. You’re going to have to win this game via early game and direct damage or else you’ll be shut out by the great wall of taunters. Recent variations now include Sludge Belchers, Deathlord, and Sunwalkers while Ragnaros simply pounds you to death. Luckily, if they burn their early mana ramp spells like Innervate and Wild Growth into Druid of the Claws or other an Ancient of Lore, a Hunter’s Mark with a minion will make short work of it. With luck, their hand will be depleted meaning less options for them to deal with your horde. Keep applying pressure. If you can draw both Kill Commands or an unchecked Leeroy Jenkins, you should take this game easily.

The token druid is a bit of an easier matchup. Don’t be fooled though as this is also a race. You’re on essentially a 7 turn clock before they can execute their Force of Nature + Savage Roar combo. Violet Teachers will be in play but the more tokens they generate, the more you can counter-engage with your Unleash the Hounds + Starving Buzzard. Stick to the plan and send your minions right at the druid to begin with. Ancient of Lore and Swipe may slow you down but it shouldn’t stop you entirely.

vs Hunter

Keep: Flare, 1 mana minion, Mad Scientist

There are often two variants of hunters and we’ll go over them quickly here.

The Midrange Hunter is slightly slower then the face hunter counterpart. It’ll feature uses of Savannah Highmanes and Houndmasters. They’ll try to control the board more with potential Freezing Traps, Misdirections, and some variants include a Deadly Shot. Lucky for you, you’ll be able to outrace them in a head to head matchup.

The Face Hunter is the mirror deck which relies heavily on attacking the opponent directly. In other words, same strategy as yours! It’s going to be a race no matter what.

When you Unleash the Hounds, make sure you actually clear out their side of the board before going for the face unless you have lethal. The worse thing that can happen is if they counter Unleash the Hounds against you and drop a Timber Wolf or a well-timed Leokk which doubles the damage done. If they have a Mad Scientist on the board and you’re holding a Flare, wait until the Scientist dies before casting the Flare. When you Track later in the game, you’re looking for Kill Commands and Leeroy Jenkins to close it out fast.

vs Paladin

Keep: Flare, any minion

Brace yourself, this is going to be a bit of a grind. Whatever you do, save the Ironbeak Owl for Tirion. Expect to see your board wipe around turn 4 from the Consecrate, but that’s okay. Hopefully you’ve been able to generate some offense and apply early game pressure. There’s a chance this matchup can go the distance because they have to run cards like Defender of Argus and Sen’jin Shieldmasta to slow you down. Expect to be set back further with Lay on Hands or Guardian of Kings. The trick is to hit early and hit fast so that those cards aren’t even a factor to begin with.

If you run into the aggro variant that has cards like Bluegill Warrior, Blessing of Might, Leper Gnomes, then this is going to be a race. You can do more burst damage. If they Consecrate you, not problem. If there’s enough minions out, your Buzzard + Unleash the Hounds can either neutralize their army or it can go straight to the Paladin.

vs Priest

Keep: Hunter’s Mark, Ironbeak Owl

If you get a chance to eliminate their Northshire Clerics, do it as early as you can. Even if it means burning a Hunter’s Mark against their Power Word: Shield buffed Cleric and suiciding your Webspinner, you do it. Otherwise, this should be a fairly straightforward win. I haven’t played enough against the aggro Priest variants to really say what to do against them. Against the standard Priest deck, hold on to your Hunter’s Mark and Owls to bypass any nasty surprises. You might have to dig in here for a bit. The Priest deck does take a few turns to get going. Holy Nova will ruin your day along with Sludge Belcher so save the Owl against that if you can and just rush them. The Priest is going to spend a lot of time deciding between self preservation or board control and it’s going to be a little difficult doing that with your constant pressure. 

vs Rogues

Keep: Explosive Trap, Flare

Ugh, I hate playing against Rogues. It’s like watching someone play solitaire against you.

Save a Flare against any concealed Gadgetzan Auctioneers or Van Cleefs. This is not a fun matchup against you. In almost 200 games, I’ve only played against 6 rogues so we at least have that much going for us. The odds of you running into them aren’t that high. They’re going to clear the board with Deadly Poison + Blade Flurry. Their center piece here is the Auctioneer. You silence it or neutralize it, then the deck won’t be able to go off and you completely stall out their engine. You can either cast Explosive Trap early to hold off against their early minions and hope you have enough follow up pressure or hold it for later in the game when you anticipate a Leeroy coming in your direction (I don’t recommend this since it’s difficult to time). This matchup is also going to be a race.

vs Shaman

Keep: Ironbeak Owl, minions, no more than one Hunter’s Mark, Explosive Trap

This is another tough matchup. Lightning Storm can swiftly remove your side of the board. Hex can slow down your buffed Undertaker. Their Ghost Wolves will often trade favorably against your minions and outlive them an extra turn. Save Hunter’s Mark for Fire Elementals or Earth Elementals (if you run across any). Ironbeak Owl should be saved for taunters or Nerubian Eggs. If Al’Akir gets deployed, the game is well beyond your reach unless you can last minute Kill Command them and deal sufficient direct damage. Shamans rely on controlling the board and making smart trades. Let them generate totems as it’ll feed nicely into your Unleash the Hounds. In your case, you don’t really care about that. Send everything you have against the Shaman. Get their health low enough so you send out Leeroy or use your Kill Commands.

vs Warlock

Keep: Explosive Trap, Ironbeak Owl, 1 mana minions, Mad Scientist

For Warlocks, you’ll play against two main types.

Against Handlock, you need to pile on damage and fast. Hold on to Hunter’s Marks and Ironbeak Owl. The Marks will be used to knock out any huge taunters in your way like Molten Giants. Ironbeak Owl lets you completely bypass taunt so the rest of your forces can punch through. Any chance you get to attack with your Eaglehorn Bow, you do it. Don’t skip attacking it hoping for your trap to proc because you might end up walking into a wall of giants.

That happened to me one game. During one turn, I had an Explosive Trap and an Eaglehorn with one charge while my opponent was at 10 health. I didn’t attack because I was greedy and wanted the extra charge. Then he dropped a pair of giants with a Shieldbearer. In my next turn, I drew a Kill Command. With a Starving Buzzard in play, I would’ve had lethal had I attacked him the turn prior (3 damage from Eagle Horn, the 2 damage from the Hero Power, and the 5 damage from Kill Command). Instead, I only took him down to 3 health before his giants made short work of me afterwards.

The second Warlock deck you’ll square off against is the Zoo deck. Their win philosophy is similar to yours. Attempt to swarm the board and establish control. Between Explosive Trap and your other cheap minions, you should be able to hold them off. You should be able to outrace them. The big threats is their Doomguard which you can mitigate with a Hunter’s Mark. Save your Owl for their Nerubian Eggs. It’ll set them back in a huge way if you can even silence one. Keep hammering away with your Hero Power and make smart trades with your minions (or just go for the face).

vs Warriors

Keep:

This is literally the worst matchup for hunters. Thankfully, there aren’t that many on the ladder in the grand scheme of things. Their hero power to armor up negates your hero power. Cleaves, will pound away and neutralize your early board minions. You might not have enough direct damage to get to them. Their win lies on holding out and surviving long enough until they can whip out an Alexstrasza or a Grom Hellscream and execute you in one stroke.

Final thoughts

On a budget? No problem. You can sub in Arcane Golems for Leeroy. Just remember that the Golem is used as a finisher. Don’t drop him early on in the game and give your opponent an extra mana crystal. Later on in the game is fine because it won’t be as relevant. All the other cards are either commons, rares, or unlockable from Naxxramas.

Win fast, win early, win hard.

Raiding Epiphany

Raiding Epiphany

You know that time when you’re working on a new boss and it just seems like you keep hitting that same block over and over? For us, it was Blackfuse. We’ve been working on the guy for the past month now. We kept bringing him down to about 65% but we’d keep consistently buckling during that first magnet phase. It was a combination of fires, mines, overload, or something else that was seemingly unavoidable.

Then all of a sudden, the clouds part.

Sunlight shines right through.

The players are struck with a wave of epiphany.

Our attempts improve dramatically. We made it past the the first magnet phase, then the second magnet phase, and now we’re breaching below 50% more often than not.

It’s like being able to breathe again after having clogged sinuses for so long.

That’s kind of where we’re at now. I call it cautious optimism, but if this level of improvement continues, then we’ll be on track.

Retooling and rebuilding

Not long after the proposed schedule went out, I had a few members express their inability to commit to that schedule. As a result of that, I did end up losing some fine players and friends.

It’s a little funny how things work out though. I was approached by a previous raider who’d been out of the game for a while and with a different group. Turns out the players in there were looking to move on up and get into some of the more top tier content in the game. Instead of trying to transition from a 10 man to a 25 man guild, they were toying with the idea of flat out signing on with a 25 man guild.

The beauty of the current state of raiding is that players can easily cross-realm on any difficulty. For the past month, we’ve been raiding with many of these players and they didn’t have to change servers at all yet. A few of them made the leap earlier on because they liked what they were seeing. Some others are still holding off for now, but it seems an amicable solution for everyone.

Conquest veterans can be rested a little more on the earlier encounters to conserve energy and mental fortitude for some of the more challenging bosses like Thok and Blackfuse.

Newer players are embracing the challenge and accessibility of heroic raids. Many of them actually fit right in with no problem. Of course, a few of them are understandably upset since they used to be the top dog in their former organization but are now being completely out DPS’d by sheer differences in gear alone. But that’s obviously an easy problem to resolve.

Our raid has received a notable shot of adrenaline, at least!

A post-Blizzcon release

How about that cinematic, eh?

Along with the November 13, 2014 release date?

That’s quite some time away! I was really hoping for an earlier release but it wasn’t meant to be, I guess. Blizzard’s stated time and time again that they’re committed to providing a more timelier expansion release.

What are your thoughts on the 2.5 week leveling period? Raids don’t open until week 1 of December. In previous expansions, raids opened up exactly a week after. I understand their rationale for Warlords in that they didn’t want to release the game during Remembrance Day (November 11th) and then there’s the American Thanksgiving holiday the week after. In theory, I could relax my levelling speed a bit.

But c’mon, my pride is on the line here.

I was beaten to the level cap in the guild for the first time in Mists when I had been the sole title owner from Burning Crusade, to Wrath, and to Cataclysm.

By a non-Asian, no less!

Need to regain my title here!

For more thoughts on the levelling process and the release date, check out the recent episode of The Edge!

Win a Beta Key from BlizzPro!

BlizzPro has five beta keys to give away and we want to hand ‘em out to you! I’ll mention how to get them in a moment.

I know I don’t often plug the show here as much (shame on me). I’m going to attempt to make a concerted effort to do so. We’re steadily aiming to ramp up our content. More co-hosts have been added for a more panel discussion type of production. On the beta, I did get a chance to test most of the bosses that were up. There’s more happening later on today and I’ll try to get in on those as well. If you watch this week’s episode, you can see my efforts as a Holy Priest against Oregorger.

Quiet Matt! How can I get a key?

Easy! I’ll quote it from the post: The Edge: Win a Warlords of Draenor Beta Key!

On August 3rd, we will send a tweet out from The Edge account with #BlizzPro and all you need to do is simply retweet that message and follow @edge_blizzprotv, @Veliice, @ktjnwow, @GitErRaid and @matticus for your chance to win! We plan to announce the winners on Thursday, August 14 and Friday, August 15.

Good luck!