Hearthstone Chronicles #1: Feeling Cursed
I don't really know why I decided that I wanted to get back into Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. I know I stopped playing shortly before the first expansion/adventure, Curse of Naxxramas, released because the meta game had gotten too stale for my tastes. I had actually pre-ordered the expansion even, and I didn't even bother to dick around with it much before shelving the game and moving on to something else (though I can't recall what that something else was).

At this point, almost a year later, I might as well be a brand-new player. Three more expansions have been released (Goblins vs. Gnomes, Blackrock Mountain, and The Grand Tournament), and I lack both the card library and the experience necessary to compete in the current meta game. I could just buy a bunch of everything to catch up, but I'd prefer not to drop a ton of money on a game that I'm honestly not super-invested in at this moment. Is there really any hope of becoming competitive with such a handicap? I guess I'm going to find out. It'll take a while; I've got no aspirations of getting to Legend rank or anything, since I'd never get enough games in to do so, but getting out of the noob levels would be a decent accomplishment, right?

My first step should really be to finish the Naxxramas adventure, since many of the more valuable cards in the current meta game originate from this set. I can't help jumping into the ladder and working off the rust though, so I throw together a half-assed zoo warlock deck and jump right in. Early on the rate at which I'm steamrolling my opponents gives me a false ego boost; false because by the time I've climbed to rank 21, I'm starting to face some of the current popular decks, like mech mage and patron warrior (*shudder*). By rank 19, I'm starting to rack up more losses than wins simply by not being familiar with the way some of the newer cards interact with each other, not to mention getting my own mistakes swiftly punished.  Yeah, I need to learn to play all over again it seems.

I expected Naxxramas to be training wheels, since by all accounts the normal-mode bosses are super-easy. True enough, I managed to more or less stumble through every boss except Patchwerk and Kel'Thuzad on the first or second try. Patchwerk just required a minor strategy change of the weapon-smashing kind, while KT continues to thwart my attempts at victory. As of the time I'm typing this, I've failed almost a dozen times to take that mouthy skeleton out. It's also not helping that the adventure's other distraction, the class challenges, are also infuriating tests of... I wanna say skill, but I get the feeling that there's a ton of luck involved with these things as well.

This is not quite how I expected my grand return to Hearthstone to end up, with me stuck in a rut already. But I'll keep trying, because why not. Maybe next time I'll have more success to talk about. Or failure, because I'm sure that'll be far more entertaining.
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