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HearthstoneApr 5, 2015 8:00 pm CT

Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain: Blackrock Depths guide

Blackrock Depths

Ready to enter the realm of Blackrock Mountain, are we? Excellent! Our first stop today is Blackrock Depths. Veteran Warcraft players will possibly remember this instance taking hours to complete. Thankfully, this adventure does not.

Other Wings

Coren Direbrew

First boss up is is this beer guzzler. Coren’s hero power is Pile On! Both Coren and you will drop minions directly from your deck into play while costing him zero mana. It’ll be done every turn automatically. The secret now is to pack your deck with spells that remove or neutralize minions (such has Polymorph or Hex) and really big minions. Remember that Battlecry effects will not trigger if they come into play directly from the library so cards like Dr. Boom wouldn’t be as effective here other than him being the 7/7 stud that he is.

Rewards: Grim Patron

Normal mode

In this case, you want to mulligan away any minions you draw. Keep it to just spells in your hand. Let Coren summon your minions on to the battlefield for you. When I first played against Coren in normal, I lucked out and he dropped a Ysera onto the board for me. Next turn, a Windfury on Ysera made incredibly short work of anything else on the board. I don’t think the game lasted longer than a few turns. You don’t need fancy legendary cards to get the job done, however. Any deck with removal and crowd control spells will do the job. If you don’t have access to that kind of firepower, I assembled a quick mage deck that doesn’t feature any rare cards or higher. They’re all basic cards or common cards that can be easily crafted.

Matt’s deck: Shaman, Mage (No rares)

Heroic mode

Okay, now things get a little more interesting. Coren gets two minions into play while you only get one. I didn’t make any changes to the shaman deck I used and it still mopped the floor with him. It’s a little faster pace and he starts out with an additional 15 armor on top of the existing 30 health. This match might take you a few tries so don’t hesitate to restart the game if you’re not getting the hand you need. If you can survive early on with your removal spells and control the game, you’ll be able to get through him relatively unscathed.

Matt’s heroic deck: Shaman

Defeating Coren nets you the neat Grim Patron card which copies itself whenever it survives damage being dealt to it. Note that kill effects from Emperor Cobra or Maexnna will still trigger a duplicate copy. It technically survives the damage, but the poison from the cobra and the huge spider is enough to kill it. Best way to kill these patrons is to drop them in one swing or stuff them with a silence. I’ve encountered numerous warriors and mages that have included the patron and he is a serious annoyance.

Dark Iron Arena

High Justice Grimstone may very well have assembled the most expensive deck ever. It contains absolutely no other cards except for legendaries! The only thing that would raise the dust count in this deck is if they were all gold cards. There are no spells for you to worry about here. Grimstone’s hero power is called Jeering Crowd and allows him to summon a spectator from the crowd (which is essentially Dark Iron Spectator, a 1/1 with Taunt).

Rewards: Gang Up

Normal mode

A tip I was given for the Dark Iron Arena was to try putting together a mill deck.

Mill deck: A deck whereby the main victory condition is to run the opponent out of cards instead of dealing lethal damage.

That meant playing a druid deck. The plan here is to load up his hand as much as possible to the point that the High Justice starts burning and discard legendary cards that he draws. Between Nat Pagle and Lorewalker Cho, it worked out quite nicely in my favor. It seems like the High Justice always has at least one of those in his opening hand. I kept playing Coldlight Oracles and Grove Tenders to continue filling his hand. Naturalize was a bonus here as it removes one of his bigger threats and lets you fill his hand even more until he runs out of steam (and cards). Eventually, Grimstone will play a Deathwing and clear out the board and his hand. If you have any removal left, save it for that and the game should be yours. Of course, this does involve you lasting to the end.

Matt’s deck: Druid

Heroic mode

This time around wasn’t quite as easy as the first jaunt through normal. He’ll still summon the spectators but it won’t incur any mana use on his part. Yes, Grimstone gets free 1/1 taunts. Oh not only that, he also starts out with a lead on mana crystals against you (3 mana crystals, in fact). I tried using the mill strategy again but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped. I cycled through two classes before I gave in and ended up using a cheesy strategy to defeat the High Justice. It involved using Archmage Antonidas and waiting until Millhouse Manastorm was in play. After that, I ended up casting a free Fireball that was originally in my hand and Antonidas went off allowing me to chain about 8 Fireballs in total. It’s a real cheesy strategy but you can’t deny the effectiveness of it!

Matt’s heroic deck: Mage

If you survive the arena, you’ll be awarded with the rogue class card, Gang Up. I haven’t encountered too many rogues on the ladder that have used it. It seems to be one of those reactionary cards that you can use to copy an opponents minion (but with a gameplan like that, you’re letting your opponent dictate how your deck will eventually operate). It’s possible to build a deck around Gang Up itself. Some entrepreneurial rogues are in the process of trying to put together a mill rogue deck but we’ll have to wait and see if it’s competitively viable.

Emperor Thaurissan

The last boss of the Blackrock Depths wing is Emperor Thaurissan himself. His wife, Moira, is involved here and will be on the board with the main job of being a pest. But like it or not, you need her alive. You see, Emperor Thaurissan’s hero power is Power of the Firelord. Yup, it deals 30 damage and it’s going right to you. The only thing stopping him is Moira Bronzebeard.

Rewards: Resurrect, Emperor Thaurissan

Normal mode

I tried using a warrior deck to start off with. I reasoned that with enough armor, I’d be able to survive Moira’s attacks long enough to defeat Thaurissan directly. Try to secure an opening hand with a Frothing Berserker and an Armorsmith. The new Grim Patron card will come in handy here as well with all the damage that’s flying around. Continue trading against the Emperor’s minions to keep his side of the board relatively clear and you’ll be able to get the win here and move on.

Matt’s deck: Warrior

Heroic mode

Unfortunately, I could not defeat Emperor Thaurissan on heroic while on stream. Oddly enough though, once I went offline and took a quick break, I managed to take him down on the first try. Go figure. This is arguably one of the toughest adventure mode bosses you’ll encounter simply due to the fact that Moira’s attacks are stronger and her health is extremely fragile (she is now a 3/1 instead of a 1/3). Thaurissan won’t hesitate to equip a Death’s Bite and sacrifice his own queen in the process! This means you need to preserve her so that Thaurissan doesn’t gain access to his hero power and instantly kill you the next turn. I wasn’t able to make the warrior deck work out. In the end, I resulted to an all priest deck. Your Silences should be saved for the Abominations. A quick Power Word: Shield on Moira will provide her with a nice buffer. Lightwell will help offset much of the incoming damage from Moira so your buff cards should be spent to help protect and inflate it’s health. Imp Gang Boss is insanely annoying and spawns a legion of imps whenever it takes damage, so save your Shadow Word: Pain for it.

Matt’s heroic deck: Priest

You’ll add Emperor Thaurissan himself to your collection once you’ve cleared it. I suspect he will be a solid staple in control decks to come. Get him out exactly on turn 6 and even if he dies, all cards in your hand will become cheaper which can drastically change the flow of the game. If he survives multiple turns, it’s almost a guaranteed victory. If your opponent plays him, then he is a priority target. 5 health means that the Emperor will often trade for at least two minions. Combo druid decks can blast their Savage Roar and Force of Nature combo on turn 7 instead of turn 9!

If you missed out on my attempts, you can catch the full livestream on our Twitch channel! As an added bonus, I took a quick break in between normal and heroic modes to give the class challenges a try. That mage challenge was utterly amazing!

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