NVIDIA Shield Tablet (Android) – Playing Hearthstone

Yesterday, the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet arrived and I couldn’t but awe at the experience of navigating through all the apps, and trying something new. It is my first tablet, and hopefully the last one for a long time. I have probably spent 10 hours so far playing around and learning my way through. The more you use a technology, the better you get at it. Your brain starts wrapping around the operating system as you go.

That didn’t do me much good eventually when I figured out how to flash the tablet to the latest Android OS version. Every update I installed showed new UI improvements, and that immersed me in another learning-curve journey which definitely changed the small complaints stacking in the back of my mind as I went through some frustrating things with the older Android version. One of those was that I couldn’t figure out how to shutdown any app (you know, to free up RAM and to increase battery life).

The earliest version the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet had installed had no user-friendly way to figure out how to shutdown an app. So every single app I opened remained in the background. After installing the Android 5.0.1 update, I’m in love. Pressing the square button slides up a stack of all active apps; and you can click the “X” to shutdown an app. Saves battery life, and RAM for better speed and performance. Read more after the break.

Press the Square icon: Stacked Active Apps

Press the Square icon: Stacked Active Apps

How to beat Highlord Omokk | Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain

The Hearthstone: Blacrock Mountain’s Blackrock Spire wing is comfortably easier than the Blackrock Depths in Normal mode. The first boss encounter is Highlord Omokk with warlock spells. His hero power is ME SMASH: “Destroy a random damaged enemy minion.”

The obvious choice here is to use a Priest deck to counter his hero power with healing spells and your own hero power.

How to beat Highlord Omokk | Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain

Highlord Omokk

Dread Infernal (2)
Hellfire (2)
Mortal Coil (2)
Shadow Bolt (1)
Voidwalker (2)

Bloodfen Raptor (2)
Boulderfist Ogre (2)
Chillwind Yeti (2)
Frostwolf Warlord (2)
Ironforge Rifleman (2)
Murloc Tidehunter (2)
River Crocolisk (2)
Sen'jin Shieldmasta (2)
Shattered Sun Cleric (1)
Stormpike Commando (2)
Stormwind Champion (2)



After defeating Highlord Omokk you will be rewarded with two copies of the Core Rager card.



Priest Deck

You can be a bit flexible with your deck, but make sure you have healing, and buff spells, as well as the Crazed Alchemist if you have it. You might need it to flip attack/health.

priest-weaponThis is the deck I used to beat Highlord Omokk:

Circle of Healing (1)
Divine Spirit (2)
Inner Fire (2)
Mass Dispel (1)
Mind Blast (2)
Power Word: Shield (2)
Shadow Word: Death (2)
Shadow Word: Pain (2)
Silence (2)
Thoughtsteal (1)

Auchenai Soulpriest (2)
Crazed Alchemist (1)
Big Game Hunter (1)
Dark Cultist (2)
Deathlord (2)
Lightwell (1)
Majordomo Executus
Mind Control Tech (1)
Northshire Cleric (2)


Gameplay Video

2015 Boston Hearthstone Fireside – RSVP Sun, Apr 19

A few weeks ago, Blizzplanet member Wankyu and me were invited by Blizzard Entertainment to a private meet-and-greet with community managers and developers to play the Coren Direbrew adventure. Wankyu had the opportunity to talk with lead designer Eric Dodds about fireside gatherings. This conversation inspired him to wish to start a Hearthstone fireside in Boston.

We opened up a Meetup.com page so that Hearthstone players around Boston can register and get email notifications about upcoming fireside meetings. So register, and join our first fireside to be held on Sunday, March 19th at 2:00pm. We’ll play for fun. Probably a swiss style tournament.

2015 Boston Hearthstone Fireside - RSVP Sun, Apr 19


Wankyu will wait at the corner between Vassar street and Main street. From there, the group will walk toward building 32 (first Floor). We’ll have free WiFi access to the internet and power outlets.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
32 Vassar St
Cambridge, MA

Hearthstone Android App available now

Blizzard Entertainment is on a roll today with the launch of the Hearthstone iOS and Android app. You can now download the Android app at Google Play for free.

Hearthstone Android App available now

Update (3:25pm EST): “If you already played on PC you can’t play on tablet until the patch is live, which should be within the next hour.” — Sapperwix (Quality Assurance)

Sapperwix – Posted 3:51pm EST

Greetings All!
Wanted to welcome you all to the Mobile Bug Report forum. Please when reporting any bugs include the following information:

  • Device Name
  • Model Number (in the About Device in your options)
  • Android OS (also in the About Device menu in your options)

I’m also going to make a separate sticky for this but please use the appropriate storefront for your device (Google Play Store / Amazon Appstore) to get the best experience. If you install direct from APK you may not have the correct textures and might not be notified of updates. – source

Press Release

The press release was emailed out to Blizzard Entertainment subscribers at 5:00pm EST.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft(TM) Goes Fully Mobile

Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed free-to-play strategy card game now available on iOS® and Android™ mobile phones

IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)— Calling all mobile duelists, it’s time to take your decks on the go—Hearthstone®: Heroes of Warcraft™ is now playable on iOS® and Android™ mobile phones. This version features an all-new interface specially crafted for smaller screens, making it easier than ever to keep the fun of Hearthstone at your fingertips.

“We’re excited to welcome mobile gamers to the Hearthstone community,” said Mike Morhaime , CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment . “Hearthstone’s quick, super-accessible gameplay is perfect for gaming on the go, and with the mobile versions it’s incredibly easy to jump into a match and have some fun.”

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a fast-paced, easy-to-learn digital card game for players of every skill level. Hearthstone offers a wide variety of ways to play, whether you want to prove your prowess in ranked matches, test your chops as a deck-builder in the Arena, battle crafty A.I. opponents to win new cards in the Solo Adventures, or challenge your friends to a duel.

The mobile version of Hearthstone brings all of the exciting features and content available in the Windows®, Mac®, and tablet versions of the game, including Goblins vs Gnomes™, Curse of Naxxramas™, and the newly released Blackrock Mountain™. As with the other versions of the game, players will have full access to their existing card collection when they log in to the game on their mobile phones.

In celebration of Hearthstone now being more portable than ever, anyone who completes one game in any mode on their mobile phone will receive one free Classic card pack from the original Hearthstone set. (Players who download Hearthstone on their iPad® or Android tablet and finish a game for the first time also receive a free Classic card pack.) Win or lose, that free card pack is yours just by playing a game in Play, Arena, or Practice mode.

Visit playhearthstone.com to learn more about Hearthstone, then head to the Google Play™ store or Amazon Appstore for Android, or Apple® App Store™ for iOS, to download the game for free and start dueling!

Hearthstone now available in iPhone

Blizzard Entertainment released the Hearthstone app for Apple iPhone devices. You can download it here. It can be downloaded from iTunes.

What’s New in Version 2.5.8416


  • Hearthstone is now officially supported on iPhone and iPod touch! (Minimum requirements: iPhone 4S, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2 or better) Featuring an all-new intuitive interface hand-crafted for the mobile experience, it’s never been easier to take Hearthstone with you anywhere you want to play.
  • Added an indicator to show if your connection is losing signal.


  • Fixed an issue where cards were not awarded after defeating Blackrock Mountain bosses.
  • “Spectate Invite” now works for both sides of a match.
  • Previewed cards in the Collection Manager should no longer get stuck.
  • Fixed various graphical, sound, and UI issues.

Hearthstone now available in iPhone

images courtesy of @dperschonok (Blizzplanet correspondent)



Does your iPhone 4s experiences lag? Here is a recommendation by a Blizzard Quality Assurance representative Sapperwix:

I’m experiencing extreme animation lag on iPhone 4S. Up to a certain point game plays fine. Then amidst a battle it slows down to a crawl. You have to keep finger on cards for a couple of secs for it to register, for example.

Sapperwix: Highly recommend you set up a backup, factory reset your device, and restore that backup. We’ve noticed some performance issues on older devices that have not done a restoration in a long time. It’ll be a noticeable improvement. — source

How to defeat Ragnaros | Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain

In Normal mode — Majordomo Executus is a very rough boss encounter with spells that can one shot your units: Lava Burst, Lava Shock and Fireball. His hero power, The Majordomo, is weak — summoning a 1/3 Flamewaker Acolyte. Ignore all minions summoned by his hero power. They only do 1 damage, and they take away 1 board slot which prevent him from filling the board later on with Molten Giants.

Molten Giant costs 20 mana, but it costs 1 less mana for each damage Majordomo has taken. I would be very careful not to have Executus below 20 health, because at that point he has taken 10 damage to the face, and his Molten Giant now costs 10 mana. You don’t want him dishing out Molten Giants across the board. Majordomo has 6 Molten Giants in his deck.

Try to fill your board with as many units as you can, and once you have a combined damage of 20 between minions, spells and a weapon — go for his face.

The main reason Executus is a rough boss encounter, however, is that you are not fighting one boss, but two bosses. Once Majordomo dies, Ragnaros spawns in his place with 8 Health/8 Armor and his own hero power: “Die, insect!”. It deals 8 damage to a random enemy (can be your hero or any of your minions).

Trump used a Paladin deck he already had before facing Ragnaros. However, it has a lot of legendary cards that I definitely do not have. I grabbed some of the basic cards of his deck, and I was left with 10 empty slots in my deck. I improvised, and added some cards that I thought might help.

This video shows Trump’s second attempt where he used his legendary cards-heavy deck.

I managed to defeat Ragnaros (Normal) on my second attempt with 3 Legendaries: Kel’Thuzad, Ragnaros and Thaurissan. Only 1 Big Game Hunter. How, I still don’t know. Check out the video:

How to defeat Baron Geddon | Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain

Baron Geddon is the second boss of the Molten Core wing in the Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain adventure. His hero power, Ignite Mana, is among the harshest I have seen in the current two adventure modes– because it is extremely hard to avoid its 5 damage to the face. Basically, if you don’t spend all your mana… Baron Geddon will trigger Ignite Mana. That Hero power doesn’t cost any mana to boot. After the 5th round, you are now likely to be running out of cards, and soon or later you will have unspent mana.

The best way to go about tackling Baron Geddon is getting spells and minions costing between 1-3 mana. Sometimes bad choices must be made to meet the enemy hero power’s criteria– such as opening with Abusive Sergeant (losing that +2 buff) to avoid that initial +5 damage to your face in the first round.

Trying to deal with Baron Geddon is no easy feat, and when you lose many times in a row trying to figure out how to deal with it then it is time to swallow up your pride and do the wise thing. Watch YouTube videos of the top World Championship Series players. In this case, I watched Trump defeat Baron Geddon. His Hunter deck for Geddon is very accessible to most players without legendaries or epic cards (which is what I most like when adding strategy articles — keeping in mind Hearthstone newcomers).

Still, sometimes I didn’t have more than 1 copy of the cards used by Trump and I had to do some trial and error guessing to replace the cards I was missing. Finally, I got close to something that allowed me to defeat Baron Geddon. Hopefully, you have Trump’s cards or mine to achieve victory.

Geddon likes to add some high-health minions like the Mountain Giant and the Fireguard Destroyer. So I added Snipe (shoots 4 damage to an enemy minion played). I removed the Unleash the Hounds, and added Wolfrider x 2, Dragonling Mechanic x 2, and Harvest Golem x 2 to fill up the missing slots from cards Trump has that I don’t have in my collection. Finally, Baron Geddon has a card named Living Bomb, which reads: “Choose an enemy minion. If it lives until your next turn, deal 5 damage to all enemies.” This could be countered with a dispel on your own card (if it is not able to die when attacking enemy minions), but I decided to add Nerubian Egg x 2 to surf on Geddon’s wave. I didn’t need it in my victory, but might be a quasi-solution for some folks to still keep some board presence after Living Bomb’s effect wipes your low-health cards.

Trump Video

My video


How to Defeat Garr Normal | Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain

Garr is the first boss of the Molten Core wing in Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain. His hero power (Magma Pulse) costs 1 mana and deals 1 damage to all minions (including his minions).

  • This is Garr's deck in Normal mode.

    Axe Flinger (1)Lava Shock (1)
    Core Hound (2)Bloodlust (1)
    Dark Iron Dwarf (1)Mark of the Wild (2)
    Fireguard Destroyer (1)Rockbiter Weapon (1)
    Fire Elemental (2)Rock Out (2)
    Flamewaker (1)
    Madder Bomber (1)
    Unbound Elemental (1)
    Volcanic Lumberer (1)

    In normal mode, Garr starts the match with 7 Firesworn minions on the board, each with 0 Attack and 5 Health. The Firesworn has a Deathrattle: Deal 1 damage to the enemy hero for each Firesworn that died this turn.

    If you do the math, this Deathrattle could be a real pain. By round 5, all seven Firesworn will die due to the enemy hero power Magma Pulse. Each dead Firesworm will cast a 7 damage fireball to your hero. The damage is minor if there are less dead Firesworn in a turn.

    The way to go here is to either kill one at a time, heal one or multiple Firesworns, increase their health with buffs, and dispel. For that matter, I used a Priest deck.

    As a priest, you have an arsenal of healing and dispel cards. One of the good combos you can implement during your match is to have a Northshire Cleric out for 1 mana, followed by Circle of Healing; which heals all the friendly and enemy minions by 4. You will get a new card for each minion healed, and you prevent the Firesworns from dying a few rounds more.

    The ideal thing would be to cast Mass Dispel to disable the Deathrattle in all the Firesworns.

    I like to have a 1/7 Deathlord in my deck to prevent damage to my face, but I can also buff it with Divine Spirit to double its health (turning into 1/14). Later on, I can use Inner Fire to make its Attack damage equal to its Health (14/14).

    I added two Holy Nova and two Shadow Madness to the deck in my video, but I think it is best to have two Sea Giants. Their mana cost is reduced by the amount of minions on the board. Considering Garr has 7 minions on the board, and Sea Giant costs 10 Mana, it seems wise to have two Sea Giants on your deck. Feel free to replace the Shadow Madness with something else.

    I don't have Lil' Exorcist in my collection, but if you have it, it might make a great addition to your deck against Garr. The Lil' Exorcist gains 1/1 for each enemy Deathrattle minion. That's a potential 9/10 tank for only 3 mana. Add to that the possibility of using Resurrect after it dies.

    Resurrect and Crazed Alchemist seem like a no-brainer to have available. If a Sea Giant, or Deathlord don't pop with resurrect, probably a resurrected Loot Hoarder or Northshire Cleric gives you extra card(s) as prize of consolation.

    The videos below may give you a rough idea of how to use this deck against Garr (normal). This is a very simple deck, except for the Sea Giant (epic quality).


How to Defeat Thaurissan Heroic | Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain

If Grimstone (Heroic) was a pain in the [insert favorite body part], then Thaurissan (Heroic) is almost there. Thaurissan doesn’t use his Hero power unless Moira is death. The scary catch? Moira only has 1 health in Heroic mode.

A good way to go around this is having cards in your deck that can either buff her health or swap her health and attack from (3)-attack / (1) (Health) to 1/3. That way small AOE won’t kill her, and her damage to your character’s face will be minimal and slower enough for you to survive.

How to Defeat Thaurissan Heroic | Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain

Thaurissan’s health starts at 30 plus 15 shield (45 total). His Hero Power is named Power of the Firelord: Deal 30 damage. Basically, he can one shot you, but don’t despair. All you have to do is keep Moira alive, and dispel. However, there are situations in which you pretty much lose if you don’t have specific cards on your hand when he either summons Abomination or Unstable Ghoul. Once these are summoned by Thaurissan, it is game over. Unless any of this factors are met:

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